In Another World With Just Monika Chapter 69
/"I'm baaack!"/ Monika chirped happily as she emerged out of the other projector cube. /"Negotiations have been completed to satisfaction!"/
Then she paused to stare oddly at the scene and asked, /" what is happening here?"/
"So long! So thick!" Charlotte panted, her face dripping with sweat and her face red with pleasure. "So complete!"
"Okay. Stop. Just stop." I sighed. "This is why I had two sets of books printed out. You have all the time to examine the anatomy texts later."
Then I raised my face out of my palms. "Wait, what was that just now? Monika, what have you done?!"
She put a fist to the side of her head like some sort of clumsy anime girl and let out a mischievous /"Tee-hee!"/
Sue stared at the moaning mage, who was still rubbing the spine of the book against her cheeks and the side of her mouth. Dang it, Charlotte! It's a good thing Sue was still too young to realize what this display was doing to me.
"Umm Miss Charlotte why are you rubbing the book on your face?"
/"I think it's like how a cat rubs their cheeks against things to mark it with their scent,"/ Monika offered.
"That sounds legit," said the little girl, nodding reluctantly.
Charlotte eep'ed again, blinking back into sanity. She put the book down and blushed. "I'm sorry! I was behaving improperly again, wasn't I?"
Monika stared at her some more. /"Were you? Somehow I feel that the way you act is proper somewhere else. Don't you know someone who acts like that?"/
Charlotte looked away. "I guess it is said that /'new things must be embraced with all your heart'/ and /'true love does not need reciprocation'/," she admitted. She spoke about how her own teachers behaved the same way to new knowledge. I guessed long-lived Fey had to put their all ardor into things, better to love intensely and insanely than to surrender to dreadful ennui.
That reminded me "Monika, what do you mean by negotiations? We already discussed our fees for tutoring?"
/"I'm sorry, Player, but I can't tell you that. It's supposed to be a surprise."/
"Monika, a healthy relationship is built on good communication."
/"Player, just because I love you with all my being doesn't mean I can't troll you. Just trust me on this one. It's all for your best interests, and your face when you realize it will be hilarious."/
" fair enough."
Now that Sue's first tutoring session was finished, it was time to get our own just rewards from Charlotte.
Alan's [Portal] ability created what looked very much like a [Dark] [Summoning] magic circle. It was practically [Self-Summoning]. He could lay down two [Portal] circles. He could tag one place, move far away, and open another magic circle that would allow him to teleport to the first marker.
He could then return to the second marker, and that would refresh his ability allowing him to lay down another pair of summoning circles. But this was not as big an advantage as simply having two active connected points.
If he goes A - > B - > A -> B, the circles would vanish. AB AB.
But if he goes A -> B -> A, and then manually walks back to Point B, he could return to A from there as many times as he wanted. AB A BA BA BA.
He could also cast [Portal] again, which would wipe the and reapply Portal B allowing him to GTFO from somewhere else. Portal A wouldn't vanish until he actually enters Portal B from Portal A's location. Something about tensioned energies completing the loop.
Alan demonstrated by teleporting downstairs into the main hall and then having to run all the way back upstairs to the library.
" that's a [Town Portal], isn't it?" I mused. Diablo's Town Portal. (://..//_)
/"It has its limitations, but I can see its uses,"/ Monika added charitably.
"Most forms of teleportation are personal, or limited by distance or weight," Charlotte explained. "But Alan can carry objects, bring along someone else with him, and the [Portal] doesn't seem to be affected by any distance whatsoever."
/"I can see how that would be absurdly useful,"/ Monika added. That explained why he might have been chosen as her bodyguard in Mismede. He was the ultimate in emergency evac planning. Very useful for protecting the Royal Family, but the sheer distances involved means a unique advantage for ambassadors and agents far more useful than just standing around the palace.
She stared at him intently, and the sallow-faced man met her gaze with a bored, possibly faintly inebriated stare of his own.
/"Interesting. I'm going to need some time to think over how to [Decompile] this."/ Monika stepped back and opened a door into the expansive landscape that was her desktop background. She vanished into it, closing it seamlessly behind her.
And then Charlotte was all up in my face. "And now it is for OUR JUST REWARDS!" she announced with a manic grin.
Alan sighed heavily and reached for an untranslated tome of Ancient writings. He opened one and shoved it over to me.
I looked at the letters that reminded me faintly of cuneiform and, yes, they were all gibberish to me. "Monikaa?"
The Aug Reality translation program automatically popped up and overlaid the translations on transparent text boxes over my vision. All right then.
"By taking a Deaugment, which lacks any meaningful arts to access the Origin Magic, and introducing that to the nature of the Soma Arts method of blasting magic in order to introduce a change in the Edos" Yeeeah I have no idea what any of this means.
But "Yes! Ah! Yeeeeeesssss!" Charlotte screamed out in (almost?) orgiastic delight. "You can do it! Oh!"
"Whoa, so you really can read it," Alan had to speak up. "I didn't really believe that was possible." Then to Charlotte, "Calm down, woman! I know you've been studying this for the longest time, I understand your feelings in this matter, but control yourself!"
There was a child in the room, after all!
"Is it really such a big deal?" I asked.
Charlotte let out one last full-body shiver and opened her eyes. "That is exactly right! We've all been struggling to piece it all together, one word at a time, taking months or even years just to progress, and all our efforts always riddled with problems like mistranslation or even not knowing the sounds of the words we manage to decipher, much less the concepts they mean to convey!"
She lunged at me and grabbed at my shoulders, her fingernails painfully digging into skin through the layers of armor cloth. "PLEASE! I beg you, assist us with translating these scripts for the sake of our research!"
I nodded slowly, unsure if she wanted to french kiss me or rip out my jugular with her teeth. "That was the deal, yes. As long as you also cooperate with my research."
"WELL BARGAINED AND DONE!" Charlotte pressed her forehead to mine, and then pulled away. She put another sheet of paper in front of my face. "How about this?! Can you read this? This is something that is often found in documents related to the Ancient Partheno Civilization!"
"Partheno?" I blinked. Like what, Crystal Spires and Togas? (://.//.//) Eh, sure why not.
I began to read. "NOTICE. This material is protected by Originating Source Rights and is copied solely for the educational purposes under license. You may not sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of this material to any other person. Where provided to you in MagiScript format with a School Key, you may only make physical records from it for your own private study and research. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action for copyright infringement and/or disciplinary action. Penalties may include fines, magical drain, public humiliation, and up to imprisonment or permanent magical devolution. System distributor signature [Babylon]."
I looked up. " Charlotte, this is Ancient Civilization DRM, what the hell."
Then I began to look through the other materials. "This part started with notes on magical research then two paragraphs over it becomes regulations about on divorce law. Then it turns into notes on history. All probably insightful to the culture and norms of the ancient civilization, but these scripts are all over the place. No one book is a coherent set of information."
"This still helps so much!" Charlotte squealed. "Every scrap of information is precious!"
"Do you have blank sheets of paper I can burn the translations into? Monika, I need the laser printer, please."
There was no response.
A section of the desktop flipped around to display a [IN CLOSED CONTEMPLATION. DO NOT DISTURB.] sign.
Crap. I'm going to have to read all this aloud for them to transcribe. Before I could do that, I raised my palm up and asked "Huh. That reminds me... it still takes extra effort for me to do this, even if we agreed to assist each other. How much do you think is fair for my time in translating per page?"
"I don't know. One gold?"
Alan and I stared at the pile of books. I giggled and he sneered. Then he screamed at Charlotte "NO! OF COURSE NOT."
"But we have to respect Sir Zah's skills and offer no insult or else we might not get any more translation help" she whimpered.
"This is why we work things into a time-managed contract instead of per item, woman! Do you think I'd still be here if I could charge you for whatever shite you force me to do? PROBABLY. But I'd be insanely rich at it too!" Then he looked past me to waggle his finger at my snickering. "You should be thanking me that you're not getting the brunt of this, one day you will be alone with her and I will be laughing. Safe and far far away."
We haggled to a silver per page. I was just checking if I could hustle some more dough from them. Maybe I shouldn't be getting the [Generosity] medal after all. From a great distance I could just feel Elze gritting her teeth again in economic frustration.
And so, after some time to gather writing material, we did so. Because it was much faster to speak than to take notes, I could actually look at two documents at once and then alternate sentences while one was writing. It was as confusing and prone to mistakes as it sounds.
Until suddenly with a cry of pain, Alan raised up his cramping right hand. Then he grabbed the inkwell with his left hand, guzzled it down, and fell backwards on the floor. He spasmed for a few seconds, and then lay deathly still.
"The ink isn't poisonous, Alan," Charlotte said dryly. "We checked."
Shite. Now I wouldn't even get away with playing dead too.
"Let's pause it for now," I said, my voice already weak and hoarse. "This weekend is supposed to be Sue's study time, after all..."
Sue peered out from behind the edge of book. "I'm okay!" She was not bored at all. She returned to the comfort of its pages, back into fun and high adventure, and protected from whatever other lurid exclamations Charlotte might make.
Because as a reward for her studies we also laser-printed the Slayers light novels. Lina Inverse was not a very good role model, but she was every sheltered young lady's inspiration.
Surely nothing could go wrong from this.