Chapter 10: Getting ready

There was a moment of silence between Amelia and Maling when they heard this. Xiaoxia was still in the dark, he couldn’t really follow the dialogues between them.

“Menon, I will see to it that he will arrive shortly once everything is arranged, my staff will contact your office when we are ready” Amelia said, breaking the silence.

“Understood, take care” Menon said, and the hologram faded after that.

“Xiaoxia, seems like you have become a person of interest for the much vaunted MeisterSchloss” Maling informed him.

“I do not understand” Xiaoxia replied.

“Well it is common for our empire to request MeisterSchloss to send their Artisans over, but there hasn’t been any record of MeisterSchloss asking us to send someone over” Amelia informed him with a gentle voice, a 180 degrees to the voice she uses with Maling.

“We even requests training for some of our own like Amelia over there, who doesn’t know how well she has it” Maling replied with a joke.

“Oh just shut it. Anyway young friend Xia, you will be in the care of Menon for this trip, Maling and myself will not be able to follow you” Amelia glared at Maling while telling Xiaoxia the plan.

“This is true I will not be able to guide you, since I have been promoted to Viscount and Lord of this bird blood something province, I will be swamped with work and perhaps die along the way, but hey it’s a promotion” Maling sarcastically added.

“It doesn’t matter if we wanted to go or not, besides having our duties to carry out for THE EMPIRE, it was clear only you were invite and not us” Amelia emphasized ‘the empire’ clearly for Maling, who was an excellent warrior as well as strategist. But he always drags his feet when it comes to administrative stuff, which he surprisingly excels in, although everyone could do without his constant complains.

Leading Maling and Xiaoxia to the antechamber, Amelia beckon to one of the maids and spoke to her briefly.

Awhile later, Shi Min, an older man, as well as military officer appeared.

“Your Royal Grace you summoned” they knelt and said in unison

“Yes have you arranged for what I asked?”

“Yes your Royal grace” the answered.

Shi Min passed the requested item to Amelia, while the older man passed her a device.

At the same time she indicated to the military officer and turn to speak to Xiaoxia, “Young friend Xia, please come here”

Xiaoxia obediently approached.

“Please stretch out your hand” the military officer spoke.

Xiaoxia stretch out his hand and the officer place an object which quickly diffused onto the back of his hand. A glowing rune appeared and slowly faded without a trace.

Still looking as his hand he turned around as Maling said “That is a high grade registration tag, without this you will not be able to use the inter-system spatial transportation systems. Only ranking members of the empire, elites of society or extremely rich merchants could be granted one”

“Also to travel to MeisterSchloss, you need a unique identification registration pre-approved by them, and only high grade registration tags have them. The one your parents registered for you on your birth is a common one that is unable to do so” Maling added.

“Minister Lee, have you informed MeisterSchloss the prearranged time?” Amelia asked the older man.

“Yes your Royal Grace” Lee replied.

“Xiaoxia this is a high grade quantum-bag, please harness it to your belt, it has the biggest capacity of its kind and there are some items contained there for your trip as well” Amelia passed Xiaoxia what looked like a tiny bag.

“Your Royal Grace” Shi Min cried out looking a little anguished.

“Shush” Amelia replied and continue, “Here is a universal spatial bank, usable at any establishment, if there are some establishment who cannot process this, tap on the top here to withdraw the necessary amount”

As Xiaoxia held out his hand to receive the device, Amelia covered both of her hands and clasps the device and his hands between them. The device gave a warm glow and there were some inscription on it that changed.

After passing the spatial bank to Xiaoxia, Lee’s face turned to green.

Xiaoxia could not help but notice the faces on Shi Min and Lee.

Amelia notice it as well and said to Xiaoxia with some affection, “Do not worry about them, these are my personal travel pack and spare change whenever I need to go somewhere. They should be just sufficient for your trip”

“Your Royal Grace what last you for a few days may last our young friend for life, Haha” Maling laughed out, remembering to add honorifics in front of others.

Upon saying this Amelia motioned for her staff to leave the room.

Maling whistled as he looked at the card as well as the quantum bag.

“10 Imperial diamonds, 20 Imperial Rubies, 1,000 Rhodium, 5,000 Gold, 100,000 Silver!” Maling exclaimed looking at the card, he could read the inscription stating the amount it held as well as stating the owner of this spatial bank is Xiaoxia.

“High grade personal spatial communications device, High grade personal spatial transportation device, 2 lower grade vermillion crystal, 5 lower grade scarlet crystals, 10 lower grade light purple crystals, 100 lower grade azure crystals, 500 lower grade light pink crystals, 1,000 lower grade neon green crystals. Spare clothes, weapons, armor … ooh … yummy a month’s supply of Imperial cuisine in stasis containers … and what is this?”  Maling was wide eyed while going through everything and exclaimed at the end.

“That you bum is a sole plate” Amelia replied her tone towards Maling the same since the previous day.

“A sole plate?” Maling asked while grunting and struggling with effort on a pair of items that materialize out of the quantum-bag, they looked like something someone cut out of a pair of big shoes, albeit the material look suspiciously familiar to Xiaoxia.

He eventually dropped them with a loud “thud”.

“They are made of premium refined Myalithium, top of the line reverse gravity device created in MeisterSchloss” Amelia replied.

“They are controlled by this” Amelia replied taking out a device that looked like a pair of gloves, except the material was extremely thin and transparent with what looked like metallic webs crisscrossing around the material.

Xiaoxia understood what it meant when a material is ‘premium refine’, basically from what he learnt from his father, a material had a few grades from low to premium refined.

“It was something created a few era ago, long replace by low grade personal spatial devices” Amelia added

The personal device Amelia have is a high grade one. The vast majority of inhabitants uses the much cheaper low grade personal spatial transportation device to warp to the nearest spatial dais hub (like subway stations) within a 5 league radius of their homes to move about the city. These normal citizens’ spatial transportation devices were only restricted to public access dais.

“Besides many still use this sole plate in MeisterSchloss, as it is fun and the view is wonderful” Amelia warmly smiled, while remembering her younger days spent in understudy there.

“Only problem is it is so heavy you literally have to fly into your house or have a secure landing platform built, you do not want your precious sole plate to be stolen” she added.

The Myalithium hammer lifted in his 7th month was just high grade and this premium refined Myalithium was 2 grades higher thus 10 times heavier. It was often called Black Iron and found in abundance in Black Iron region, with lesser quantities in other colonies and even on the main world.

“But why Myalithium, wouldn’t it be better to use something light?” Xiaoxia asked.

“Actually it is the reverse, the heavier and denser the material, the more effective reverse gravity works, as the name implies it is reverse gravity, so as much as a material is heavy and dense, once reverse gravity is used, it is as much lighter and less dense in reverse. Myalithium is by far the cheapest to mass produce, and been heavily used on our military warships and other floating contraptions” she answered in summary.

Xiaoxia nodded, and left it as it is. However he asked out of curiosity, “Who is Menon and what are Moon Elves?”

“They are another race of beings, more superior to the Sha Mo Ren and they can live over an era without being in Unknown Realm, only less than a handful of other races are more superior. They are also have a close cousin the Nature Elves” Maling helpfully answer.

“Menon is he is one of the 6 elders in the Council of MeisterSchloss, also being the oldest. I could only guess his age, since he was already very old when I first met him” Amelia added.

“That is true, however even amongst the 6, they are still not the ruler of MeisterSchloss. All of them are Vice-Lord, little is known of who the actual Lord is, and even according to our historians, it is still the same Lord since 4 eras ago” Amelia further pointed out.

“So what we can deduce is there is a high probability he is above Grandmaster Artisan which is an Enlightened” Maling surmised.

“An Enlightened?” Xiaoxia asked.

“Even I do not know the details, except according to the Divine laws, an Enlightened has to have mastered more than one elemental alignment” Amelia replied honestly.

Hence the trio continued their discussion waiting for the appointed time to approach before sending Xiaoxia off.

Xiaoxia soon found out more about other matters, like the reason why Amelia treated Maling as such. A little amazed that Amelia still had hope Maling kept a promise, even though it had been 90 years since. The promise to marry her once he had achieved at least Arch Duke.

Of course Amelia felt that impossible. He could not achieve such high status in current times of peace. To gain titles faster, he had to prove himself on the battlefield again.

Coupled with the fact he constantly dragged his feet every chance he had when it came to administrative duties. By the time he even had the glimmer of hope being an Arch Duke, Amelia felt she would have died unwed and childless.

Amelia loves children, having personally helped out in children’s shelters and orphanages regardless of her status. Her disposition towards Xiaoxia was only natural as she also had a very deep maternal instincts and always wanted to have children. Unfortunately she blame Maling as the cause of all her woes.

But she grew up in admiration for Maling during the last major war, and feelings like these do not weaken but only grow stronger over time. Hence she never thought of marriage to anyone else.

The Emperor had rejected various suggestions from other family members including her parents to marry her off to another Empire for political gains. He loved Amelia as his most precious and favorite great grandchild, and decided to let her make her own choice.

He treated her differently based on the fact she had never once asked for anything and have achieved many accomplishments on her own merit.

She only accepted favors from the Emperor when asked, and never took the initiative nor gave any suggestions or hints she wanted something.

Thus the Emperor took a proactive step and made it a point to know everything about Amelia’s life, including who she likes or what she needed help on.

As such, she was given the rule over 1st colony, when the Emperor found out she have fallen in love with Maling.

In fact Maling’s promotion was not a matter of favor and it was totally based on his own merits. That is why the Emperor was more than impressed with Amelia’s choice. If it had been otherwise, he wouldn’t even thought of letting her leave the main world.

With regards to Maling, Xiaoxia grew accustomed to his flippant attitude, he knew very well Maling was a beast on the battlefield, and aside his endless streams of complaints, he was beyond exceptional in his administrative prowess.

He also had big issues using spatial transportation. Everyone regardless of who or what they are consumes a pill to prevent spatial sickness for vast distances, however Maling refuses to do so. That was the reason the Amelia’s statement when they first arrived at the palace.

This was much to Xiaoxia’s chagrin, as Maling didn’t or rather forgot to give him the pill. The second time he had forgotten something relating to Xiaoxia (the first being the spatial lag).

For the pills, if it were a short distance like from Xiaxia’s town to Black Iron Spire, then there wouldn’t have been any need, as the effects were negligible. But they were talking about hundreds of thousands of leagues, and people have been known to be sick for days after forgetting to self-medicate.

Maling was reprimanded viciously by Amelia, who rough him up a little as well. Maling also apologized to Xiaoxia. Soon everything was hunky-dory again.

In the little time they had, Xiaoxia found himself growing fond of Maling, even though he was older than his father and could nearly be his grandfather. There was a brotherly aura around Maling that made Xiaoxia comfortable in his presence.

Minus some characteristic flaws and a roguish countenance, Xiaoxia found he could trust Maling with his life.

As the conversation moved on, Xiaoxia also gathered more information on MeisterSchloss. It was one of the few independent nations in the world and it was ruled by a council of six elders from the different elements of Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Wood and Light.

Only at Artisan level could a crafts person unlock their elemental alignment, even then ½ of them won’t have one initially. Eventually all will achieve this over time, some even as late as Grandmaster Artisan level.

He discovered as well elemental alignment was not limited to Artisans and Special Class Ki talent children had the dormant ability as well.

When their conversation topic had changed to MeisterSchloss, Amelia had given a book on the brief history of MeisterSchloss to Xiaoxia, it look suspiciously like a children’s book with colored illustrations and big words.

Books Xiaoxia had outgrown by his 5th year. But he sat down and started to read this book.

**********

The city of MeisterSchloss is currently bigger than any city in the world, it was founded in the 29th Era. This was before the profession system was started.

The founder was a crafts person, who started with only a small outpost.

It was on a small island, only a dot on the map around 4,000 x 5,000 leagues. No one was living here, but the craftsman chose it for it’s strategic location.

On all sides of the ocean were a biggest empires in the world. There were many others as well. The crafts person was smart, he knew spatial transportation devices were extremely inefficient during this era.

But if people were to make a stop at his outpost, and move on from there, it will take less than ¼ of the required Ki. Thus this was very beneficial especially to merchants, who could save on the costs of Ki crystals, which were more expensive they were then as compared to now.

The craftsman was close friends with 3 of the biggest empires, he had done many important and vital things for them over many years. The 3 major empires supported him and protected him. They also acknowledge his claims to the island. This was easy, as there was no natural resources here. Non of the empires bothered with it.

The craftsman lived for many years, and lived to see the outpost grew into a village, and from a village into a town and from a town into a city.

Even after the craftsman was gone, the city continued to expand. During a certain era, six elemental factions within the city built their city on the island surrounding the main city.

By connecting these new cities with a line on the map, it will form a hexagon.

Very soon the whole island was populated and it expanded into the ocean. But building over water was very inefficient and costly for them. They had pushed the limits till it could not be done anymore.

At this time, a very smart Grandmaster Artisan proposed for the city to expand vertically instead of horizontally. Everyone agreed.

So even up to till today the landscape of MeisterSchloss is filled with skyscrapers, and its people rejoiced.

By this time MeisterSchloss was already famous for being the center of knowledge exchange, as well as a hub to exchange and obtain materials and goods not available their hometowns.

Even now the magnificent city still continues to grow.

**********

It was a little after midday that the Amelia as well as Maling and Xiaoxia were at the Palace’s spatial transportation hub. It was unlike other hubs who had either localized destinations or main world destinations.

This hub could access any hub at any destination as long as the proper access has been granted.

Xiaoxia could see the obvious difference in the materials used. This gate was more elegant and well-crafted as compared to the other mass produced ones.

“Young friend the time has come” Amelia look at him with a little sadness in her eyes.

“Hey young friend Xia, remember to contact me anytime you need help!” Maling said as Amelia approached Xiaoxia.

Amelia passed Xiaoxia a cylinder containing three lower grade scarlet crystals. Xiaoxia’s eye widen a little.

“It really far you know” Maling told him, seeing his expression and went on saying, “It a breeze, I have already contacted your parents and you should do so as well when you arrived at MeisterSchloss”

“I will Maling” Xiaoxia replied.

“And do not forget to take the potions the spatial lag is just as bad there as it is here” Maling cautioned him.

“You can contact my palace if you need to find me” Amelia offered as well.

“Thank you Aunty, thank you Maling” Xiaoxia bowed cupping his hands.

“Ok it’s time to enter, or it’s gonna cost another extra crystal” Maling warned.

Xiaoxia turned around, gripping the cylinder closely to his chest and took a step.

He immediately vanished from there. In a few moments a huge trunk appear at the spot where Xiaoxia had been standing.

“As expected, Menon really does keep his promise” Amelia remarked.

She opened the trunk and at the next moment was rather shocked.

Contained in the chest were 5 high grade vermilion Ki crystals and about a dozen or so devices that was unfamiliar.

“Wow! They did really mean it when they said they will bear all the cost” Maling let out a big exclamation

Taking out the note left in the chest, Amelia and Maling read it together.

“To the Arch Duchess Amelia, thank you for sending your young friend over, here is your repayment, and as a token of our friendship here are 12 prototype portable Ki talent devices.

                                                                                    Menon”

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