Chapter 2 – The World After 200 Years
I walked down the snowy mountain with Lilith.
A little way down said snowy mountain, a small village came into view at the foot of the mountain.
Hmm. There was no village in this place 200 years ago, but it seems like things are different from what they used to be.
It’s a remote area that has no geographical advantages, but it appears to be thriving.
Perhaps this is the result of the nobleman who governs this land demonstrating his excellent ability for governance.
While I was thinking about this, we arrived at our destination.
“Here we are. The building you see over there is the hideout I’ve prepared for Abel-sama”
I couldn’t help but give voice to my astonishment.
There’s a large mansion in front of me.
In my time, it wouldn’t be surprising if they said it was a house inhabited by royalty.
It’s a symmetrical two-story building, or rather a three-story building. Just how many rooms does this mansion have?
I can’t wait to get inside and look around.
“Abel-sama. I’m afraid that’s not the building I’ve prepared for you. It’s the detached building next to it”
I shift my gaze with Lilith’s words in mind.
There’s a house. A wooden house.
In a good way, it’s simple, but it’s plain in a bad way, too.
No, it was only after I saw the mansion that I thought so. It’s actually a splendid structure in its own right. There’s a chimney and if you look closely, you can see the attic, too. Ah, it’s quite a nice house with charm, isn’t it?
“It’s normal, I suppose”
“Normal is the best, you know? Considering Abel-sama’s position, I felt it wasn’t a good idea to stand out too much”
Now that she mentioned it, she has a point.
In my previous life, I was feared as the strongest magician by some people. But with the body of a child that I have now, I can’t show even 30% of my true abilities.
It may be a wise choice to wait quietly for now until my body grows.
The house Lilith showed me was vaguely resembling the interior of an ordinary house from 200 years ago.
A light-colored wooden desk on a well-polished wooden floor, and the fireplace.
On the sofa, there’s a delicately prepared rug. Sofas already existed in the past, but the attention to detail and care in how the rug was embroidered is astonishing.
But what I’ve never seen before is that mysterious orb hanging from the ceiling.
It is dazzling. The next thing I knew, the sphere glowed.
What is this all about?
Since it was just me and Lilith in the house, there were no signs of anyone having constructed magic.
“I’m sorry to have startled you. What’s shining over there is a light fixture called ‘Light Bulb’. It’s an excellent item that can illuminate the surroundings with the flick of a switch”
Lilith then showed me the lights flickering by repeatedly turning the switch on and off.
I see. This is convenient.
Perhaps a small magic stone is inlaid inside the light bulb, so that magic is constructed automatically in response to the switch.
The evidence of this is that the flow of magic power is slightly stagnant only around the light bulb.
“You’re not too surprised, are you?”
“Yeah. Certainly, I think it’s a great invention, but I just couldn’t help but think it would be more convenient to construct my own magic”
Originally, magic that illuminates the surroundings is the specialty of the <<Burning Eyes>> which rules over fire attribute magic, but at this level of magic, anyone can easily use it, regardless of the color of the eyes.
In the world I lived 200 years ago, children would frantically learn the magic syntax of <<Luminescence>> because they loathe the dark night.
“Fufufu. That way of thinking is very like you, Abel-sama”
My way of thinking?
<<Luminescence>> is the basis of magic.
Even if it’s not me, I think it’s a natural dubiousness that every person who has studied magic would have….
“I’m going to prepare a meal now, so please feel at home”
With that said, Lilith walks into the kitchen.
Incidentally, since it’s a small house, I can peer into the kitchen even when I’m in the living room.
“If you are feeling tired, please feel free to lie down on the sofa over there. I’ll let you know when it’s ready”
In that case, I won’t hesitate.
Maybe it’s because I woke up after a long time, but I’m more tired than I expected.
After lying there for a while, I ended up falling into a comfortable slumber on the sofa.
“…Abel-sama. Your meal is ready”
It was an hour later when Lilith woke me up, as promised.
The food was already set on the table and the house was filled with a delicious aroma that could stir my appetite.
“You were sleeping soundly”
“Yeah. I can’t help but notice how often the drowsiness comes in this child’s body”
“…Can I ask you a question? Why the childlike body, when you knew that it would be inconvenient?”
“Well, it’s true that it has risks, but there are also merits to it”
It is said that there are three peaks in this world.
That is ── the peak of learning ability is in your teenage years, the peak of physical strength is in your twenties, and the peak of magic power is in your thirties.
The reason I chose the body of a child before entering its teenage years was that I believe there would be a lot of new things to learn in a world 200 years later.
Well, apart from that, I also had personal reasons for wanting to start over in a child’s body.
“Ooh…. You’ve cooked up some surprisingly elaborate food”
Today’s dinner is cream pasta with clams and tomatoes.
The menu itself is simple, but it looks fancy probably because of the tasteful tableware and the side dishes.
“By all means, please enjoy your meal”
“Thanks for the food”
Apparently, my body has been craving for a meal in my 200 years of sleep.
I ate up the food in front of me in the blink of an eye.
Before I had time to comment on the taste.
“What do you think? How does it taste?”
“Yeah. I think it’s pretty good. Did you learn it somewhere?”
“No. It’s not that big of a deal, but I’ve only learned a little from reading cookbooks”
“I see…. There are even books about cooking in this day and age…”
In the world 200 years ago, books were a superbly expensive commodity.
This was partly because the paper itself was expensive, to begin with, but it was also because each book was written by hand, leading to tremendously high labor costs.
To make matters worse, even if the book has the same title, after several copies are made, the quality of the book deteriorates as the contents are rewritten over and over again by hand.
In earlier times, 90% of books were about magic, and the only other books were a few history books.
At the very least, the idea of making a book about cooking was unthinkable in my time.
“In the past, you could buy a small house with a single book…”
“Yeah. I was spending all the money I earned too, so I was living in constant poverty”
In my case, I was obsessed with the original first written book, not the poor quality copies, so I honestly didn’t have a lot of money to spare.
But this is just the beginning of the fun that I’m going to have in the future.
The evolution of humanity has been remarkable, and the level of civilization in this world has evolved more dramatically than I had expected.
Probably in this day and age, it is now possible to read books quite cheaply.
“If you don’t mind, after dinner, I can show you the library I’ve prepared upstairs?”
“Ooh…! You’ve even prepared something like that…!”
“Yes. I knew that Abel-sama was an avid reader and I figure the quickest way to learn about the present times would be to read books”
Lured by Lilith’s words, I lightly step over and head upstairs where the library is.
If I can read the books that I love, without a doubt, I’ll be able to spend my boring childhood in a meaningful way.
At the time, I was thinking about this heedlessly, oblivious to the ‘Decline’ that was secretly taking place in this world.