Chapter 15 – Exploration
Ashen’s Age: 10 Years Old
As I turn around, I observe the area past the gate. I am in a dilapidated court yard. It does not look like people have lived here for quite some time. Everything is overgrown and in disrepair. But it is strange. I feel like the hedges, which make sort of a mini, chest high maze, have been pruned recently. They are cleanly shaped. It is as if someone did the minimum amount of work to keep the place up.
I can also feel the wisps that were in the forest in the periphery. They’ve made it inside the gates as well, but they seem to still be observing me at a distance. I’ll keep an eye out for them just in case.
I walk towards the front doors of the mansion, along a stone path and past disused fountain in the middle of a circular stone courtyard which lays between the gates and the terrace. In the center of the fountain is a statue of a woman with two heads and a winged cat. A tressym? The woman is in a fighting stance with a rapier in one hand and a swirl of water in the other, while the cat is slinking between her legs. Water looks like it would flow out from the tip of the sword, the cats mouth, and out of the water ball. There is no water in the fountain right now, though.
I walk past the statues in the fountain, and look upon the house. It is two stories, and looks similar to my house back home. It is a brown, wood framed house with a stone foundation, and blue shuttered windows. There is no sound coming from the house. It is still late afternoon, so there should be birds or other critters about, but I do not hear them.
Anyways, the light is starting to dim, and there is no light coming from inside the house.[Light Ball]
I create a ball of light and have it follow.
I walk forward and put my hand on the door, and give it a push. At first there seems resistance, as if it were locked, but a couple seconds later, the door opens normally. Inside is a dusty entryway. In front of me is a staircase that leads to the second level, and to either side are doors to different rooms. The wood floor is slightly dusty, but again, it is as if someone did the bare minimum for cleaning the floors. I head through the first door on the left and into a living area. There are dusty couches and chairs around the room and a big fireplace in the center. Back home, this is split into two rooms-the living room on the front side, and another room in the back that serves as an indoor dojo where Blue trains during the winter or when it is raining.
In here, however, it is a large, open room, with a circular fireplace in the center with a chimney, and the rest of the room oriented around it. It is a large and splendid room, and feels like the place where you would hold a party. On the fireplace was a stone with a fire symbol imprinted onto it. I tried touching it and pouring magic into it, and the fireplace came alight. Woah. I quickly touched the symbol again and the fire died out. So the fireplace is a magic tool, eh?
On the right side of the first floor was a dining room and a kitchen. Both seem to be in good shape.
In the back are two bathrooms. Inside was a sink and a toilet. When I tried turning the faucet handle, it even had running water! But there were no pipes under it. Is this a magic tool as well? I am curious about the toilet too, but I held back. This is an amazing house. I wonder why it was abandoned? Or, no, is it abandoned? I don’t know.
I creep back out and head up the stairs. The stairs are lined with a thin, well trodden carpet. There are no footprints in the dust, but then again, the mansion is surprisingly clean for something abandoned.
When I get to the landing, there appear to be five rooms. One directly in front of the stairs, and two on each side. I open the door to the room in front of the stairs. The walls around the room are covered in book shelves. On the opposite wall are glass windows and a door that lead to a balcony terrace. I can see a table and a couple chairs out there, though they look like they’ve crumbled apart.
The room has a few couches, a desk with a comfy looking chair, and a table with some odds and ends laid out on it. Unlike the rest of the house, though, this place is a mess. There are books littering the floor, and dust everywhere. Kind of like whomever was cleaning the house wasn’t allowed in here. I think I can feel the wispy like things jitter, but they haven’t followed me in here.
This is the first time I’ve seen so many books in this world. There are books back home, but they are all on things like history, politics, and etiquette. Perhaps, maybe, even so, there just might be some books here on magic. That’s what I am really eager for. How others use magic in this world. Thus far, I’ve had to make it up as I go after all.
I walk over to the table. On the table is a note book that looks like a journal, some metal plates, some etching tools, a dried up bottle of ink and quills, and some magic stones that appear depleted. When I look at the plates more closely, I see etchings on them. They remind me of circuits. Could it be someone was making a magic tool? When I glance at the notebook, I see a design sketched out.
In the sketch, the plates are arrayed in a wooden box. There are three levels inside the box, with a plate on each level. Lets see, on there are also small plates that are attached between each level, and a plate on the front of it with a hand print with some etches in it.
Above the sketch is scrawled ‘hot/cold box’. The parts in the drawing are labeled things such as activation plate, wind plate, hot plate, cold plate. It looks like whomever was working on this was building an air conditioner. That’s pretty amazing.
I skim through the rest of the notebook.
Amazing. This is like an engineers sketchbook where they kept all of their invention ideas and blueprints. There are designs for a variety of inventions here. A hat that deflects wind, a chair that hovers and moves on command, a pair of small devices that appears to give off a magic pulse the closer they are to each other.
The drawings are intricate and detailed.
This is amazing. With this. If I study this. If I do. Then. Then. I can make magic tools myself!
I was an engineer in my previous life. One that specialized in circuitry as well. These drawings show me that they are using magic in much that same way.
It even has drawings on how to make a magical battery out of magic crystals.
I stash the notebook in my bag.
I think I just found my new playhouse.