After five hours of travel, Lakshman brought the horses to a stop. He felt their speed was gradually reducing and realised the horses need rest. So he slowed the horses down until it was just a trot. Then he led them to the side of the road and stopped them completely.
“You can go and have your meal,” he told them once he got down and took the reins off them.
The horses neighed softly and walked work before get began to graze on the nearby grass. Lakshman smiled as he looked at them eating and suddenly felt his stomach grumble.
“Looks like I could do with a meal as well!” Lakshman said with a grin on his face.
He heard voice from behind and turned to see Ondine, Tetra and Emilia getting off the carriage. They were carrying the cooking utensils Marilia had bought for them a month ago. It was her farewell gift to them which she kept it a secret from them while everything else was happening.
“Right! I want your help in cutting up the vegetables and I’ll cook!” Emilia said brightly.
“Aww… Why do I need to help?” Tetra asked curiously.
“No complaining, Tetra. You’re helping as well!” Ondine said and she dragged Tetra away.
With much complaining form Tetra and scolding from Ondine, they finally got the vegetables ready. Emilia then began to use them and started cooking up something delicious. Lakshman could tell it would be delicious from the smell wafting towards him.
“Hmm? Where’s the food?” Wolfenstien asked as he poked his head out of the carriage.
Even though he was sleeping, his stomach was not. His nose smelled the smell wafting towards them and he instantly woke up because of it.
Wolfenstine yawned and said “How long it’s been since we left the capital?”
“Hmm… I think it’s been around five hours.”
“Ah. That’s good then. Looks like it’s just around time to eat breakfast.”
Hey yawned again and they sat down on a log and fell silent. Meanwhile, they could smell the delicious smell and hear the occasional complaints and scolding from Emilia and Ondine.
Lakshman was thinking through how far he has come from when he left his village. Since then, he thought back to how many months it had been since he left. That was when he suddenly realised he lost track.
He turned and looked Wolfenstine curiously, who was tapping the ground with a stick while looking bored. Wolfenstine was known as the Scientific King and was also the leading expert in experimental subjects. Wondering whether he could help him, Lakshman decided to ask him.
“What is it, Lakshman?”
“I was just wondering… How do you tell the day, month and year?
Wolfenstine looked at him with a curious expression on his face and said “Just use your Adventurer Card.”
“Eh? Use this?” Lakshman asked curiously and he pulled out the Adventurer Card he registered at the capital.
Wolfenstine nodded and said “Simple hold it out and say Date. It’ll create a magical overlay thing and will tell you what day, month and year it is.”
“R-Really?” Lakshman said in surprise.
“Try it if you don’t believe me,” Wolfenstine said with a shrug of his shoulders.
Lakshman quickly did as he was told and he held out the Adventurer Card before saying “Date!”
In an instant, an overlay image appeared above his card. He was stunned to see that it read “17/09/8093 PX” which amazed him.
“Wow! It’s really showing me the date! This is amazing!” Lakshman said brightly.
“I’m more amazed that you didn’t know about it. Didn’t Darian or Rumble tell you those things?” Wolfenstine asked curiously.
Lakshman shook his head and said “Nope. They just told me the basics of creating a party and adding and removing members from it.”
Wolfenstien widened his eyes at him and clicked his tongue before saying “Idiots… This is why I don’t like their training methods…”
“What do you mean?”
“They basically threw you into the water before you knew how to swim! That’s the kind of thing happening here with them not telling you much at all. It looks like they expected you to discover them on your own.”
“Oh… Well it was still good that you told me,” Lakshman said and he smiled at him.
Wolfenstine laughed and said “Yeah, but maybe I’m just overthinking it. Even your dad would’ve been able to teach you a few more things.
“Yes. He’s been an adventurer for most of his life. Naturally he can help you out.”
“Cool!” Lakshman said happily. Then a sudden thought came to his mind and he asked “Also, isn’t there a better way of telling the time of day instead of constantly looking up at the sky and using the position of the sun?”
“What do you mean?”
“Hmm… For instance, when it rains… You can’t exactly look up at the sky and judge where the sun is, right? Or on a hot summer’s day, how am I supposed to know the position of the sun when it keeps shifting?”
“Oh. So you meant like using a Clock.”
Wolfenstine went into the carriage and rubbed trough his bag. Then he pulled out a round board which had twelve crystals embedded near the edge of the board. Below those twelve crystals were smaller and numerous crystals and the same amount of numerous crystals below that.
“What’s that?” Lakshman asked curiously and Wolfenstine began to explain.
“This is called a Crystal Clock. It’s supposed to tell you the time of day by glowing on one of the twelve crystals and then one of the sixty smaller crystals. Between each of the twelve larger crystals, there are five smaller crystals, but the equal amount for the second row.”
“Wow…! That’s amazing!” Lakshman said in amazement. Then he looked at the glowing large crystal and asked “So what time is it now?”
“Well… Let’s see here. You count from the top and go counting from right to left in a circle. Okay?”
“Okay… So the count would be… 1… 2…. 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9. So it’s 9 in the morning?” Lakshman asked once he finished counting.
Wolfenstine nodded and said “That’s right, but that’s not the end of it. Now tell me how many minutes there is.”
“Hmm…” Lakshman said as he quickly counted the smaller crystals on the first row. Once he was done, he said “twelve minutes?”
“That’s right. Now form them into words and tell what time it is now.”
“Uh… Mmm… Nine in the morning at twelve minutes,” Lakshman said hopefully.
Wolfenstine chuckled and said “No. We say it as nine-twelve in the morning.”
“Ah. So it’s nine-twelve in the morning. That’s the time of the day,” Lakshman nodded in understanding. Then he looked at the Crystal Clock and asked “How does it work?”
Wolfenstine laughed and said “Actually, it’s not done yet. We had originally intended to use numbers, but we had to settle for using Energy Crystals. You see…”
Wolfenstine began explaining to him how he and his colleagues created it. Once the explanation was done, Lakshman was shaking his head while saying “Too much… Seriously! Magic Engineering is really complicated!”
At hearing such words, Wolfenstine shook his head and said “It’s not complicated, just a tad bit difficult to adjust it to the settings of Mother Nature. If I had thought it was complicated, I wouldn’t have been able to create the Wolf’s Bane Potion.”
Lakshman nodded as he understood Wolf’s Bane Potion was a drink that allows the drinker to heal from getting bitten by a werewolf. Then Lakshman asked if Wolfenstine had thought of making one that’s like a drink that cures vampire bites. Wolfenstine informed him that he almost completed Wolf’s Vampric Potion.
At that moment, Ondine walked over and said “Alright, you two! Time to eat!”
They turned to look at her and saw that she had two plates in each of her hands. Their stomachs suddenly growled in hunger and they decided to talk later and eat first.
“This is delicious!” Wolfenstine said cheerfully as he ate the food while Lakshman nodded.
Ondine smiled and said “Ask if you want more, Emilia said she’ll make more if you want.”
Wolfenstine looked really happy and said “Three more please!”
Emilia smiled and said “Coming right up!”
Lakshman checked the Crystal Clock and read it to mean nine-twenty-five. He wanted to see how quickly he could eat. Wolfenstine suddenly proposed an eating competition and Lakshman agreed and they began eating with great gusto.
It eventually took them almost fifteen minutes because they kept asking for more. Finally, feeling their full stomachs could not take anymore, they called the eating completion a draw. Then Tetra came over with glasses full of water that Marilia created using Water Fountain.
“Marilia’s said it’s a perfect substitute for water since we’re nowhere near a water well,” Emilia told them cheerfully and they drank gladly.
“So that’s how Marilia conjured up water out of thin air. Using a magic technique to make water and then using it for regular means. What an ingenious idea!” Ondine said happily as she drank from the glass of water.
“It’s free and comes easily!” Emilia said and she winked at them.
Tetra drank her glass and said “Thanks! I think I’ll go and sleep now…”
“What? Why do you want to sleep right after eating?” Ondine asked in a surprised voice.
“I’m tired! Master got us moving pretty early in the morning. I’m very drowsy because of the lack of sleep I got. So good night!” Tetra said with a finality.
“It’s morning…” Lakshman said, but Tetra just winked at him before transforming into her sword form.
Lakshman took the sword and sheathed it. The Phoenix Blade often had markings on her with flames and such. So when powers are not active, the sword appears just like any ordinary sword. So Lakshman was very careful not to leave her anywhere.
“By the way, is the Crystal Clock complete yet?” Lakshman asked Wolfenstine.
Wolfnestine shook his head and said “Not yet. It’s in the beta stage and I’m not quite satisfied with it just yet.”
“Eh? Now ready yet? Is there something wrong with it?”
“I told you a while ago, I want it to have numbers and not crystals. I’m trying to make it easier for people to read and interpret just by looking at the thing rather than counting everything.”
“Really? I don’t find it a problem. In fact, it’s a great exercise to constantly count since people are stupid enough to forget their numbers.”
At his words, Wolfenstine burst out laughing. Even Emilia and Ondine laughed at his joke. Lakshman simply smiled and watched them laughing.
An hour later, they packed up the utensils and boarded the carriage. Then Lakshman got the horses back to the carriage and went on their way. They did not stop at any village and travelled quite distance.
It took them more than a week to reach the town before the Forest of Fog. When they entered town, they were glad to see that all the buildings were restored. At seeing who they were, the people smiled and greeted them happily.
Later, they met with the town elder and asked how things were going. He was pretty satisfied with how their town was repaired without problems. Wolfnestine was really pleased with the work the Werewolves and Vampires put into restoring the village. It was also the place Wolfnestine decided to get off at.
“I think I should go over and check with the clans. Then I’ll head back to Mardana region to finish my experiments. I got a lot of projects to take care off!” Wolfenstine said to them with a wink.
“Ah! Well then, thank you for all your help,” Lakshman told him while smiling.
“Why are you thanking me? I was practically useless! Instead, I was just like those side characters from the novels that authors write about. They didn’t even call out my name back there when I helped Darian and Marilia with evacuating the towns’ people.”
“Oh…! Should I talk to them about it?” Lakshman asked and he looked at Emilia and Ondine.
Wolfenstine shook his head, however, and said “It’s not worth it. I don’t need that reward anyway! Doing experiments in my science lab is the greatest reward for me. It’s actually a job I enjoy!”
Lakshman chuckled and said “Still… Your presence did lift the mood and made quite the comedy show with Rumble.”
Wolfenstine laughed and said “He and I rivals because I’m smarter than him while he’s a lot hot blooded than me.”
“One’s a warrior and the other’s one a scientist! Quite the combo,” Ondine said and they laughed.
Then Wolfenstine pulled out the Crystal Clock from his bag and handed it to Lakshman. Then he said “Keep it. I’m sure it’ll come in handy.”
“Eh? D-Don’t you need it for your experiments?” Lakshman asked curiously.
Wolfenstine shook his head and said “I’ve already gotten all the data I need on it. Also… I think I’ll follow your advice and release the Crystal Clocks later on and see how public treats it. After that, I’ll make appropriate adjustment and anything else required.”
“I see. Thank you very much for giving it to us for free.”
“Haha! Think of it as a farewell present from me!”
“Ah… Well then…! It’s goodbye. Until next time, be sure to take care!”
“Naturally and you take care as well! Darian isn’t around to help you out, you know?”
At those words, they laughed and Lakshman, Emilia and Ondine boarded the carriage again. Then they waved as Lakshman set the horses into stride. They gathered speed and disappeared into the Forest of Fog.