Chapter 40: Lei’s Day
Everyone left the house together and headed to their respective workplaces. I didn’t hold onto Alistair’s hands and so I plodded. I immediately went out onto the wide road.
It was the same road that I’d walked through yesterday, but there were more people here now because it was morning. They all looked like they were rushing to their workplaces. Some people looked like they were taking their kids to work, so there were a lot of kids around too.
“Oh, my, is that a new kid?”
“Yep, we picked her up.”
“Haha. Again? Hang in there.”
People spoke to Bart and Alistair like this. Everyone seemed surprised for a second when they saw my eyes and hair, but then they seemed to have understood something after they turned to Alistair. They’d probably exerted all of their surprise on Alistair when they found out he was a part of the Four Marquis. I’m relieved.
*CLANG CLANG* the bells rang from the mountains, and people started speeding up. Apparently, that was the signal to start work in the morning.
Alistair also explained this to me before picking me up and running. But we immediately stopped in front of a big shop. The shop was equipped with double doors and people were already lining up in front.
Alistair and Bart broke off into a side alley and entered the shop through the back door.
“I guessed you’d be tired. You’re working today right after coming back only yesterday. Oh?” The teasing voice was cut off in a questioning way.
“Brendel, this is the kid I told you about yesterday. The one we picked up.”
“I picked her up, so I’m taking care of her. Her name’s Lei,” Alistair said as if he was interrupting Bart’s explanation.
“I see. Alistair did?”
Alistair gently put me down.
“I’m Lei,” I looked up and greeted. The person named Brendel opened his eyes in surprise for a moment before gently saying, “I’m Brendel. We have a lot of small things here. Can you be good?”
Then, he patted my head. He has brown hair and eyes. Maybe in his 50s? His hands are big and rough. Brendel put the hand that he’d patted me with on his chin.
“But where should I put you?”
“Dere.” I pointed at a corner of the workshop that was connected to the shop.
“Oh, there’s a lot of woodchips there. Are you sure there’s alright?”
Apparently, they placed wood chips there to make boxes for magic tools. It looks interesting.
“Well, we’ll have to put her somewhere, so I guess there’s fine. Lei, that’s fine right?”
Brendel seemed worried, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I was itching to go where the woodchips were.
“Then, let’s start working.”
I moved towards the woodchips at the same time those words were spoken. Brendel’s voice called after me, “Aww, she’s tottering.”
Argh, everyone. But those woodchips are like a treasure trove for an infant.
There’s probably a lot. First, I’ll divide the pieces of wood by size and shape. I piled the wood, the bigger ones on top and the smaller ones at the bottom.
It was a huge success. I’d stacked them up so high. Alright!
“Ooh.” I heard a lot of voices from the shop. I turned around and put my hands to my hips.
“She got angry.”
The workers laughed as they went back to work. I feel like Alistair was looking at me in jealousy. But I got bored after stacking three towers of wood.
Let’s take a little walk. The workshop was similar to Bart’s house; there were several tables and chairs to work on, and there were boxes on the shelves at the back.
I peeked into a box that I could see and saw a small box the same size as the one used to warm water, a light blue glowing slate, a pale red glowing slate, and various others of different sizes lined up neatly in the box. There was also something that looked like furry moss and something that looked like magnet powder. I can’t touch them, but I was excited nevertheless.
I looked around for a while, but it still wasn’t lunch time. Brendel and another worker were dealing with customers. Some customers brought their magic tool boxes with them and consulted with the workers and some took out valuable magic stones out from bags and exchanged them with other magic stones of the same size.
I was approaching the counter.
There were colourful slates and various sized magic stones placed neatly inside of a box on the counter.
“Hey, you. Don’t be naughty.”
I only looked around because I was told that by a worker. But when I got closer to the next counter, it was too high and I couldn’t see the top of the counter. I looked around and found a box, so I climbed on top. When I stood up, I could barely see Brendel’s hands. That box looks like the one Alistair uses when he heats water.
Brendel opened the top half of the box where the magic stone would be placed. Black sand like the magnet powder I saw before filled this compartment, along with a blue slate and a small red slate. He took the blue slate out, then a blue plate of the same size out from under the counter and exchanged them.
He put the top half back together and turned the switch on and off.
“The slates were broken. You have a magic stone already, so do you want to replace the slate?”
“I don’t really need hot water since it’s summer, but I’ll get it replaced anyway.”
“Aite. It’s just a small slate, so that’ll be 3000 Gil.”
“That’s the way it is. The box will still last for a few years.”
Like that. I see. Do the slates connect the magic stone and heating material and make it work?
“Ah, Lei. It’s dangerous!”
Ah, Alistair found me. I got off the box.
“Did you get bored?”
“It’s almost lunchtime. Just hang in there for a bit.”
Fine. I’ll go clean the blocks. I sadly returned to the woodchips. It’s surprisingly difficult to do nothing.
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