~Earl Knowles’ Perspective~
I felt a slight sense of
discomfort when I heard that story. And I did not understand at the time what I
Next, I talked to Bertram, the
blacksmith. He was a blacksmith and a dwarf, and he looked at me with quizzical
eyes as I entered his workshop.
When I told him what had
happened and asked him about Zacharias, he became even more wary of us.
“What do you want to know
about Zack? In a word, he’s a genius. A blacksmith like me doesn’t know any
I asked him to tell me
whatever he wanted to know, and I began to ask him what his interests were.
He was interested in all
aspects of metalworking and came up with many ideas. The most surprising of all
was the fact that Zacharias was involved in the development of the hand pump.
At the time, he was only four years old, and was probably just beginning to
speak clearly. The four-year-old had the idea for the development of an
unprecedented machine called a hand pump.
Bertram’s expression changed for
a moment after he said this, I noticed it and sensed that there was more to the
story. Then I continued to ask more questions, but he had no more significant
facts to share.
I then proceeded to
investigate Zacharias’ involvement in what made this village different from the
others. There were indications that he was involved in the spread of toilets
and the establishment of a school, but no significant facts were found.
All we could hear about the
development of this village was that Nicholas Garland, the most intellectual of
the squires, took the lead in promoting it. The development of soap, the
production of liquor, the establishment of a school… all of these things were
done by one squire, a soldier to boot.
I wondered if it was true, so
I requested an interview with Nicholas Garland.
I had interviewed him when I first
arrived in the village, but my impression at that time was that of a gentleman
with a calm demeanor, not a man of brilliance.
As for the interview with Mr.
Garland, he did not say much. He did not seem to be a man of many words, and
his speech was short and to the point, so much so that it took me all day to confirm
But when it came to who did
it, strangely enough, Garland’s name was the only one that came up.
I learned that both Zacharias
and Sharon had two more childhood friends.
They are both children of
squires, and the Lockhart family calls the four of them the “Zack Quartet.”
They are both a year older
than Zacharias. One is Melissa Marlon, and the other is Dan Jakes, who is
Sharon Jakes’ older brother.
Melissa, called Mel, was a
cheerful red-haired girl, but she was more skilled with a sword than an average
soldier. Of course, as a magician, I had no idea, but when my mercenary escort
said, “She’s a terrifying girl,” I asked him why.
He said, “Her skill level
is probably over 20, and she is probably a level 20 swordsman as well.” Basing
it on the mercenaries’ ranking, she would be the equivalent of a seventh-rank mercenary.
At her age, she could make a living as a mercenary.
When we talked to the squires,
we learned that the previous lord, Govan Lockhart, was a famous swordsmith, and
that he had taught her since she was very young. Once she was shown included in
the training, and she seemed unconcerned about the training, which was so
intense, she just hid her pain under a calm expression.
The other boy, Dan, was also
His swordsmanship was not as
good as Mel’s, but he could use a bow, and he was also very good at hiding his
presence. When I asked the mercenary scout escort what he thought of him, he
replied, “He’s a professional scout. I mean, he could become an adventurer
at any time,” he replied.
An eleven-year-old kid can do
the same work as an adult adventurer or mercenary right off the bat. Zacharias
is a full-fledged adventurer’s level, and Sharon’s graduate-level magic is
nothing short of extraordinary.
The four members of the
“Zack Quartet” were that precocious.
I could not believe that this
place could produce such geniuses. But I do have an idea. There was a rare
swordsman named Govan Lockhart, and a genius magician named Lydiane Dupré
guiding them. If one were to ask an uninitiated person, he or she would think
that it is not impossible.
It would be understandable if
one or two geniuses emerged from the dozens or hundreds of people who were
taught by them. However, the fact that all four were born at the same time and
were all geniuses, and that they had been training from an early age, without
being forced to do so, is extraordinary.
Thus, after staying in the
village of Rathmore for nearly a month, we were unable to determine the factors
that led to the birth of the two geniuses, or rather, the four geniuses. I
could only think that the four were born at the same place at the same time by
coincidence, truly by the gods’ providence.
We left the village of
By that time, we had blended
in with the villagers, and on the day before our departure, they held a
farewell party for us at the inn. The day before our departure, they held a
farewell party for us at the inn, and the lord and squires showed up to bid us
farewell, regardless of status.
They also gave us scotch and
soap as souvenirs.
On October 6th,
We returned to Doctus.
We had compiled our research
reports in the village of Rathmore and in the towns along the way, and
submitted them to Councilor Isherwood on the same day.
The councilor seemed to be in
a bit of a bad mood and hesitated to talk to us, but we could not avoid
“…So, in our
investigation, we were unable to find any reason in the village of Rathmore why
Lockhart and Jakes showed outstanding talent. The details are contained in our
report, and if there are any questions, we are always willing to come back and
Councilor Isherwood was not
interested in our report, but was only idly thumbing through it.
Reston and I bowed our heads
and left the councilor’s room.
The next day, we received a
call from Councilor Wagman, Chairman of the Education and Research Committee,
requesting an explanation of the report.
Councilor Wagman seemed to be
in a good mood and asked us questions about the report. He seemed particularly
interested in what Zacharias had done.
“So he’s been expressing
his opinions among the adults since his youth… I see…” (Piers)
I thought the councilor had
misspoken, for he had referred to the childhood of a child of only ten years
old as his “youth.”
I was a little amused to see
that even the sharp-witted Councilor Wagman could make such a mistake.
“…So, to sum up, your
report, you are sure that it was a coincidence that two magical geniuses
appeared in the same place at the same time?” (Piers)
I said, “That is the only
possible explanation based on our investigation of the village of Rathmore.
However, we cannot rule out the possibility that the guidance of his tutor,
Mme. Dupré, raising them together.”
The councilor shook his head
“I have never heard of
Mme. Dupré from Professor Ruspede. So I don’t think that’s the case. Thank you
for your efforts. You have a good rest.” (Piers)
The councilor gave us three
days of special leave.
Reston and I were grateful for
the leave, even though we hadn’t gotten much out of it.
~3rd Person Perspective~
After they had left, Piers Wagman
opened the report again.
The page he opened said,
“…The longer one has been in
contact with Zacharias Lockhart, the less aware one seems to be of him, being a
child. In particular, the old squires, Bertram the blacksmith, and Scott the
distiller, felt from every word that he was a similar adult, and even more so,
a superior. When I pointed this out to them, the squires and Bertram looked
blank or disquieted, while Scott looked somewhat satisfied. This was the
impression of the squires and Bertram, but not a confirmed fact. However, there
is no doubt that the boy in question had shown his genius from his early age of
four or five years old. However, our investigation could not conclude whether
this factor was congenital or acquired by the hand of the gods…”
Wagman quietly closed that
(I wish I could go there once,
to that place called Rathmore Village. It would be worth it just to see what he
has done. Well, I don’t have time for that…) (Piers)
He was convinced that the boy
named Zacharias was involved in the peculiarities of Rathmore Village mentioned
in the research report.
This was because Wagman
himself had talked to Zacharias and could imagine that Zacharias had done many
things to develop his beloved hometown. If someone had told him that a
ten-year-old boy could not have done that, Wagman would have given an honest
nod. But his intuition told him that Zacharias had been the cause.
(However, it’s really
interesting! …However, I owe him one. I’d better keep this report out of sight.
It’s not a debt that can be repaid at this level, …especially if Miles–Councilor
Miles Isherwood–shows an interest in this, and that would be troublesome.
Fortunately, after what happened the other day, that doesn’t seem to be the
case. Heh…) (Piers)
He put the report in the back
of his own office desk drawer. After that, the Zacharias’ hometown was never
mentioned again within the guild.
A/N: I wanted to write about the village of Rathmore as seen by a third
party, so I included a side story.