The Mechanical Era

Powdered Prototype

They both made way up the creaking wooden staircase to the upper floor. It seemed to be made as a home for the owners family. Kant was guided throughout the hallways with many cheap wooden doors to a dinning room with a wooden desk and chair.

”Wait here sire. I will bring something. ” he said with a smile. While he went off, Kant sat down and looked around. The place had half melted yellow wax candles on the walls next to the windows. An expensive item for a peasant for lighting at night. The only other thing noteworthy was the wooden cupboard.

The man came back with a teapot. He opened the cupboard filled with plates, cups, spoons and forks made of wood. He took out one wooden cup, and poured the yellow liquid in. ”I am sorry for our lack of luxury. We never thought the day would come for royalty to come to our humble business. But please, enjoy the tea. Only for people like sire himself. ”

”Its fine. ” Kant drinks it. It tasted just like tea, only without the sugar added in. He did not mind, as he had already not used a lot of sugar in his cup of tea.

”I am more of a coffee guy anyway. ”

”Pardon sire? ”

”Sorry. Its nothing. ”

”I see… What is that sire wants to know? ”

”F…First of all. What is your name? ”

”My name sire? ”

”Yes. I would like to know your name. ” The owner smiled.

”W…well sire. My name is Jose. ”

”It i…is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Jose. I would like to know the design choices went into this m…making this building. What is the history of this establishment? When did it start? ”

Jose was a bit surprised. Royalty coming down to have a conversation with people, and ask questions of their way of life haven been heard of before the days of Queen Diana Maybale III.

”Well sire. This shop was actually started by my great grandfather. Our family had managed to save up to buy a little plot of land to build a shop here.

It started out with 2 rooms, and was much smaller. It was wide as the counter outside, and it was as only thrice as large as this dining room. When it was on a day he had no work, he help serve his customers with his food. If he off working in the mines, our great grandma would take over for him that day. ”

”Where did they live? ”

”The other room behind the store sire. They both lived and worked there, like most people in their place would do. If the shop wasn doing well, the money from his job could cover it. If he got fired from his job, he hoped the restaurant would cover the family expenses until he found new work.

When the city grew, more people came to do business. The shop grew along with our family wealth, so they bought a bit of more land to add more rooms. It had helped us feed my family through famines like the once 3 years ago. If the shop suffers, we can easily sell a part of it, to get us some money. ”

”I see. How big was the shop when you were a boy? ”

”When I was young, I remember the store having only one floor. It took 6 months to build this floor. The stones was what took the longest. It costed us a bit ”

”Is it because they had to grind them properly, as well as to make the holes to keep it together? ”

”I think is was the reason sire, yes. ”

”Good to know. ” Kant replied.

Kant happily walked out, thanking the owner beforehand and giving him a gold coin for the troubles. He continued to explore the city, talking with the owners, interacting with people and slowly getting better at communication. He had learned many things of the city itself.

Unlike North-American cities, where a city was like complicated and fragile machine, Hoverdam was complex habitat built for humans and the product of a culmination of several millennia of human experiments of trial and error on urban design that made compromises to work in a best in any situation.

It wasn perfect, it wasn even the prettiest city he ever visited, but he understood their way of thinking, respected it. Yet, there still he could improve. Visiting Jose and the other owners had gotten him an idea. Kant wanted to create something to present to the people, to solve a problem, and now he got one; cement

Specifically Portland Cement. It was a material that was used in many modern buildings in the old world. From what Kant can find, the people here used a form of Lego Architecture that took manpower and time to make and grind the specific bricks needed. If he could make and effectively communicate its uses, he could get the attention of people he would like.

From that point, he could present and get merchants to build some factories and distribute the product to other cities, bringing in a lot of gold where Kant would tax to use on other innovations he can fund, and to start building credibility among the people at least.

He continued to observe and tour more of the city. While walking, he accidentally bumped into a distressed woman. She wore a black cloak with a black mask, presumably a high class mage shopping incognito. Kant noticed that she was breathing very heavily. Before he could ask, she quickly apologized and disappeared among the dense crowds of people handing around, away from Kants eye. Kant brushed it off, and continued with the sight-seeing.

The sun was beginning to set. Kant had arrived back to the palace. He had been thinking of creating cement since the trip, but several holes had emerged. For one thing, who would be able to buy the product he is going to sell. What incentive do merchants have to stay here to produce it instead of anywhere else? Doubts started racing his mind.

Before his brain started panic and trap itself in a mental jail cell, he started taking deep breaths to calm himself down. With a clear mind achieved, he digested his own questions again.

In the likely event that I won be able to mass produce vast amounts of cement, are there any rich buyers I can sell off to initially? He had to ask someone else, someone with expertise on this matter. But who?

”Sire. Your tea is here. ” Cora, who came out of nowhere, spooked Kant.

”Oh… Ms. Cora. You startled me. ”

”Sire seems to be in a deep thought. What is it that you are worrying about? ” she asked.

”Well I had this idea to make something that could help people but er… I am not sure if I am able to produce in the quantities enough at the start… ”

”And you are thinking where there is an elite buyer? ” she finished his for him.

”Yes… exactly. ” he said with a smile.

”What is this product Sire? I would like to know more about it. ” she asked,

”Its called cement. It is a mortar that allows bricks to stick in a day or two, so we don have to grind and make Lego bricks anymore. ” Cora started to think, while Kant took a sip of his tea.

”The Wall. Sire what about the wall ”

”What wall? ”

”In the city of Albersterg, the king is planning to build a fort near a huge wall to allow the city to expand. You can convince to sell to him. ”

”That is… good. Hey how come you know about this? ”

She smiled at him. ”Lets just day that gossip spreads across us maids like wildfire. ” Kant accepted her answer, and asked her to heat his tea again. She gladly did by using a simple heating spell. Cora left the room afterwards, and Kant was all by himself again. He went back into evaluating his plan, and started listing all the equipment he needs to make his product.

He writes it down on a piece of paper, a coffee brown one with a pen in his hand. Once he was finished, he takes it and walks out of his room. After walking along the hallway, he knocks on the door.

”Come in. ” Arjun voice consent behind the wall and dark oak door.

”Sire Kant. What is it that brought you here? ”

Kant places the list down on his table. Arjun picks it up.

”Arjun, can you to get me a vacant building, along with everything I want in that list. ” Arjun scan the page, and becomes a bit perplex. He thinks for a minute, and puts the list down.

”Alright sire. Whatever you say. ” he said, while he nods. Kant made a faint smile, thanked the man, and left his room, to practice some lines.

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