Chapter 5: Queen of the fairies

 Edwin calmed his nerves. He took silent deep breaths. He was about to get the answer he had asked the fairies Queen, Madeline, a year ago.

 One year ago in a luxurious café in the holy land, Edwin walked while being guided by a handsome-looking man. While the man looked human, he was a high spirit.

 Edwin had met the high spirit by chance at the academy and they soon become acquaintances.

 The high spirit would often come to Edwin to sample the unique food samples that he constantly made.

 “Are you sure we are at the right place Ryul?” Edwin asked.

 “Our spirit realm is an inferior version of the goddess realm. We can’t take the chance that the demons will attack us while we are there, that why we left it altogether. We only use it now as a quick means of transportation.” Ryul replied.

 “I see.”

 “She is in here,” Ryul said as he opened a door in the café.

 There seated on some fine furniture was the Queen of the fairies.

 “Welcome young prince of Highland” she greeted with a smile.

 “Thank you for speaking with Queen Madeline. I am truly blessed to be your presence.”

 “You flatter me with your words young prince but don’t think that that flattery will improve your chance of getting a better response from me.”

 “I wouldn’t dare do such a thing, your majesty.”

 “Alright then, you may sit down. Ryul you may leave now.”

 “As you command” Ryul answered before closing the door behind.

 Edwin sat down. The future of his kingdom depended on her words and it made him uneasy.

 “This ice cream is a wonderful creation. I have tasted many things but this is something else.”

 “I am honored by your praise”

 “Now then. What is it that you want?”

 Edwin took two stones from his back and placed them on the table.

 “Are those spirit stones?” The Queen asked.

 When spirits deplete their vast magical power they turn into small black stones. These stones are called spirit stones. The stones themselves have no use to humans as humans have no way to process them. They're so strong that they are virtually indestructible.

 Most spirit stones can be found near places of high mana like volcanoes or golden waterfalls.

 They are found there because when a spirit has used most of its mana it turns itself into a spirit stone to absolve mana from nature. No one knows how long such a task would take but some have estimated that it would take at least 1500 years to do so.

 This just shows how vast the mana of a spirit is. Even Elves would be no match against a spirit.

 “Yes. These are sprit stones that I have encased in a special crystal of my making,” Edwin clammily replied. The crystal he spoke of was glass. In short, he had put the spirit stone in a glass marble.

 In this world, magic tools depend on the mana provided by the user. The more mana a user has the more they can use the magic tool. This has always been the golden rule of this world.

 To try and break this rule sages have been trying to find a way to store mana. If successful it would become this world’s first battery.

 However, they ran into problems. They quickly established that mana could be stored in clear crystals but there was a limit of 30 minutes, after which the mana would disappear.

 It more or less sounded like a leaky battery to Edwin. One that was fast to charge but quickly lost all the stored energy.

 Sages across the world tried many things but were unsuccessful.

 One sage came forward claiming to have solved the problem. He fused mana to a crystal and then sealing the crystal with an earth magic spell called, “harden”

 It was successful in containing the mana but there was one huge problem. It was impossible to draw out the mana. Impossible is a bit of a harsh word but to draw out 250 MP from the crystal one would need to spend 500 MP.

 This of course made the crystal impractical for use. The sage wasted his life trying to reverse MP consumption and release but failed.

 What Edwin had created was perfect. For every 10 MP consumption, one could draw out 110 MP worth of magic power.

 Edwin had been born with little mana, to begin with, as such he was sensitive to mana all around. He would often fell ill if someone projects their mana near him.

 His three finances would often do that. He never paid it any mind because he heard of how they were devoted to training their skills. Nether less he would often withdraw from their presence if he encountered them in public.

 He could have asked to stop but his insecurities about his lack of mana and his fear of angering his future brides persuaded him not to do it.

 It was on such a day as he excused himself from his fiancés that he made the breakthrough.

 Eve who was with him complained of how his fiancés treated him. To calm her down he bought her lunch at a local café.

 After having finished the meal the owner of the café showed up and presented a spirit stone to the young prince.

 Because Eve was wearing her casual clothes the owner mistook her for the princes’ lover. He presented the stone as a couple's good luck charm.

 Eve blushed the whole time the manager praised them as a couple and Edwin couldn’t bring himself to correct the man and embarrass Eve.

 When he received the magic stone from the manager Edwin felt strange. It was the first time he had held a spirit stone. He could feel some of his mana leave his body but at the same time, he could tell that wasn’t sucked into the stone.

 Curious by this Edwin decided to do experiments into the spirit stone. He found the spirit stone acts much like a magnet. It attracts mana from the air condenses it around itself.

 Edwin realized he could use this to his advantage. His research resulted in what he showed the Queen. The marble was filled with mana and the spirit stone in the middle prevented the mana from leaking out.

 Each marble had 60 000 MP worth of mana. An expert sage would have a capacity of 12 000 MP while an elf would have 24 000 MP worth of mana.

 Having access to such vast amounts of mana would result in unbelievable power for any army.

 And that was Edwin's goal. If Highland had such power they could no longer be looked down upon by other kingdoms. Not only military but economically as well. Such power would bring about an industrial revolution on the continent and Highland would lead the way.

 “Can her majesty tell me if any harm was coming upon the sprit stones that were encased?”

 “I see” The Queen looked at the two stones Edwin had placed on the table and knew immediately what he meant. As the guardian of all spirits, she would be forced to act if this invention of Edwin threatened the spirits.

 Queen Madeline was a powerhouse on the continent. She had the power to cause great destruction if she so desired. However, she chose to rather limit herself to the protection of spirits.

 Long ago a foolish king and captured and tortured a high spirit out of spite to the Fairy Queen who had refused him an audience. Her response was merciless. In less than three days the entire kingdom was destroyed.

 Many had called upon her to fight them in the battle against the demonic forces but she had to decline. With the goddesses captured she and some of the high spirits had to quickly take over their roles as guardians of nature. They were not as powerful as the goddesses and it was taking a toll on them.

 If they abounded this duty. The world’s nature would collapse, causing unimaginable damage.

 It was the Holy pope who understood the Queen's reasoning and persuaded the others to give up on adding her to the alliance.

 Edwin could go ahead with producing large-scale production until the Queen gave her consent.

 “I cannot answer your question yet. I need to examine these spirit stones closely for a while”

 “A while?”

 “Hmmm…One year. I should have an answer for you within one year”

 “I am honored for your consideration”

 “There is no need for such words but more importantly how are you going to pay me for my services”

 “I will be more than happy to provide your majesty with a large shipment of ice cream in various flavors”

 “There is more than one flavor?”

 “Yes. Please look forward to it”

 “I will”

 The two ended their discussion on that day and never met again, until now.

 “You have an answer?”

 “Yes. I do.”

 “Then…” Edwin held his breath. Her words here and now held the fate of his kingdom.

 “I have no problem with this spirit crystal”

 “Spirit crystal?”

 “I’m sorry I took it upon myself to name it”

 “No, no, no. I should apologize for not naming it sooner. I am very sorry” Edwin lowered his head as he apologized.

 “There is no need to go that far, young prince. What you have made is truly a wonderful invention. Because of the hard surface that covers the spirits when they turn into spirit stones, it’s very hard for them to replenish their mana. As result, they can take as long as 1000 years doing this. But from what I can tell it will take a shorter amount of time under these conditions.”

 Her words shocked Edwin. He never intended for the spirit crystal to be used as a means to accelerate the replenishment of the spirit's mana. There were meant to be used as a battery for his kingdom.

 Edwin’s shocked face looked cute to the Queen but she showed no sign of it on her face.

 “It seems you didn’t notice where you so eager to gain my approval that you didn’t monitor the spirit crystal for too long?”

 Her question confused Edwin. It was true that the time between making the first two prototypes and presenting those to her was less than seven days. He could imagine what an extra day would change anything.

 “Here have a look”

 The Queen placed on the table the two-spirit crystals Edwin had given her. But there was no black stone in the middle. Instead, there was a white and green color in each separate spirit crystal.

 “Eh,” Edwin said in surprise

 “A week after I got the spirit crystals the spirits emerged from their stone casing and began absolving the mana.”

 “Really? Does that mean you replenished the mana in the crystals?”

 “|No. While the rate at which the absolve mana has increased it not that far from the rate of an elf. At the current rate, the spirit should be able to regain its mana in about three years”

 “Huh?”

 The Queen just said something outrageous. What should take the spirit thousands of years could now be done in a matter of three?

 “I know it’s hard to believe but that is the current situation.”

 “I see.”

 “Furthermore it seems the magic consumption has reduced to 5 MP”

 “Eh?”

 “You have truly made something amazing young prince. I have made up my mind. I will be moving to Highland.”

 “What!” Edwin said with a surprised look on his face.

 “Am I not welcomed here?”

 “No, no, of course, you are but”

 “There is no need to worry. I plan to keep my presence in the kingdom a secrete”

 “Is that so?”

 “Yes. It’s not well known but I was attacked by a demon in the holy kingdom”

 “What! The demons have reached the holy kingdom”

 “It was a small attack force and my subordinates took care of it quickly but as things are right now, I cannot stay there. Highland is the last place the demons will think to look for me.”

 “I see. I will make proper arrangements but as you may know, right now we are in the middle of a civil war.”

 “I know. But someone who could make those treats and this spirit crystal is someone I have faith in to win this war. Am I wrong?”

 Edwin had a wry smile on his face. How long was she in this room?

 “Yes. Make no mistake. This war will end very soon.” He replied with a firm resolve. 

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