Toroa, June 21th, 1500
The party began when Wuld stepped over the threshold of the house. Wuld didn’t look surprised or even fazed, but for someone like Yord who had known Wuld since he was a little baby, it was clear that Wuld was pleasantly surprised. A lot of people had come over to celebrate his birthday, from neighbors to people from over the town who had interacted with him like the blacksmiths and the carpenters, to everyone from the library.
They sang together and wished him happiness, long-living, and other various well wishes, before handing him the various gift they brought him. They urged him to open the gift promptly, and they cheered up for every gift that was revealed. Wuld smiled softly at the start, and before long he smiled as wide as Robin’s smile, and he was so giddy that he vibrated in place.
From the various gift he had been given with, Yord only noted the gift given by the scholars. As expected of learned men, they knew what kind of gift that would be more than a short term one or decorative useless thing. They gave him a form of ownership of part of the share they got from marketing the tools they had made, like the one-wheeled hand cart. the pedal-powered machine saw the planer, the drills, and other things.
The funniest one was the gift from their parent. Wuld got something really big from their mother, and when he happily opened its cover, it was food. A big pile of snack and dry goods that would last him for a month – a year if he was some other kids lke the one who lived in the town – and a recipe book. While the one from their father was a box stuffed to the brim with bundles of bellies.
The party had winded down an hour or so ago and all the participants started to went back home or drop down to fall asleep. As the first one fell down on the tiled floor, their parent took out bedrolls and blanket and pushed them to roll above the bedroll. The other walked closer and got their own bedrolls and blanket before curling down and turned the birthday party to a party of sleepovers. It was a bit surprising that the one who fell asleep first wasn’t the kids, but other invitees who got too much alcohol to drink.
It was still another hour of Robin trying to cram all the fun she could have had in the birthday of her only friend in this island, and Wuld reluctantly playing laong with her. And then when Robin couldn’t hold back her yawn anymore, Wuld accompanied her on a two bedroll that he put side by side on the tiled floor of their house.
Yord held back his smile seeing Wuld looking uncomfortably irritated having to accompany Robin to lie down on the bedroll he placed near the wall. He made a look at Robin’s mother, his gaze pleading for her to do something about her daughter. Olvia only smiled slightly and let out a soft sigh, placing her palm on her cheek while tilting her head. Robin happily snuggled on Wuld’s arm, eyes closed and with a wide smile that didnt fade for a long time.
When Robin finally fell asleep, Wuld tried to pry her off but instead succeeding, he had gotten more tangled up with her. Robin rolled over and pinned his stomach, sleeping with her face down and arm hugging Wuld’s tightly. Wuld grimaced, let out a put upon sigh and closed his eyes to sleep. He looked uncomfortable being glomped and elbowed by Robin, but it only took a couple of minute before his breath evened out.
Yord was still occupied with feasting when most of the scholars – who hadn’t fallen asleep yet – moved away to another part of the house. He was a bit curious about what they would do, but judging from the way the one who walked away to talk – Robin’s mother and her colleague – kept glancing down toward the sleeping form of Robin, it was something related to her. or it might be something about Ohara.
It was probably something that would unlikely be important for him, so Yord shrugged and kept eating. But even when they walked away, Yord could still hear snippets of their conversation. It was like they moved away for the sake of formality instead to secretly discuss something. But then again, Robin was still fast asleep, so they were still successful enough to keep the content of their conversation away from Robin.
She could easily eavesdrop over people’s conversation even when she wasn’t sticking her ear to the wall after all.
Suddenly Wuld, who was still pinned tightly under Robin twitched and opened his eyes. He wiggled out slowly to pry her off him, but it was so slow going. Yord glanced briefly toward their direction and resumed eating. But he paused when it occurred to him that maybe Wuld wanted to go to the bathroom.
So he walked closer and helped Wuld to get off of Robin’s surprisingly tight grab. It was another couple of minutes before he could transfer her crushing grip toward pillows and blanket he took out of Wuld’s room. Wuld huffed and stretched out his body after he stood up from the bedroll.
“Bathroom?” Yord asked absently.
“...No.” Wuld was taken aback and paused to think briefly before answering Yord’s inquiry. He suddenly smiled wide and stepped closer, looking up at Yord.
“Hey, hey big bro!” he whispered
“Guess what I just got?”
“Stomach ache?”Wuld wrinkled his nose. Yord continued ”a good dream?”
“It’s not a dream,” Wuld paused and put his finger on his chin “well, technically it was a dream, but the content was something that could be applicated toward real life.”
“...what?”Yord mulled over his thought over the food he chewed before reluctantly asked.
“I finally got my cheat!”
“Yup, I’ll show you.” Wuld walked toward a somewhat open and clean place from any trashes and sleeping people, and started to move in a strange way. Wuld contorted himself this way and that, and doing things that were even stranger than the ‘yoga and stretching’ exercise that he forced on Yord when the former started training him.
The exercise looked way more difficult than all the other exercise Wuld had shown him how to do. Wuld was so focused to finish the exercise, and his sweat gleamed down and started to flow in rivulets the longer the exercise being carried out. Yord thought that would be problematic and more troublesome when Wuld eventually forced him to do this current exercise. He wouldn’t have time to do anything else like having fun.
Nearing the end of Wuld’s demonstration, he had already steeled himself to refuse to learn it. The only thing left was to find the excuse why.
“So that’s the cheat I got. It’s Rosenberg’s body tempering exercise. Do you want to try it?”
“Maybe later, Wuld. Cheat?”
“Of course! I am a protagonist after all! hehehe” Wuld spoke smugly and full of self-satisfaction.
“You’re gonna teach anyone that?”
“Of course!” but then Wuld paused “Well, not everyone. Maybe you and only some other people. It would be bad to have this spread to the populace.”
“Good for you. it would be bad if just about Everyone got it, right?”
“Yeah,” Wuld scowled and sat down to regulate his breath. And then he tilted his head and asked,” What're those people talked about?”He pointed toward the place where the scholars gathered to talk.
“I think it was about sailing again somewhere else to muddy the track or something.” Yord chewed his chicken leg and swallowed before continuing, “Olvia had a bounty and was still pursued when she was around Ohara.”
“Oh.” Wuld nodded and sat for a while before he jerked in place and beat a closed fist on his upraised palm, “I got an idea for a destination they should go!”
“Why don’t you tell them then?”
“Of course I will!” Wuld stood up and ran toward the sound of conversation while Yord shook his head amusedly and took a glass of syrup water to wet his throat. He still had another couple of plates filled fried chicken to clean up.