12 Chapter 12 Absolutely no cleavage for an 8-year old!!!
Knocking on his father's door with a catchy tune from his last life, he heard his father answer, "Come in Joseph."
"Father, I wish to go around town and sight see with my attendant. I would like some pocket money and a couple guards, please."
"Ahh, I was wondering how long it would take for you to notice her."
"It's been twelve days since I met her in the kitchen."
His father laughed softly. "Very well, but I'm sending four guards. This way two can flee with you and two can hold back whoever is after you. Then if something else happens, one can carry you while the last holds them back."
Nodding, he turned to Stella, "Do you know how much things cost so no one tries to take advantage of me?"
"Yes?" she answered with a noticeable lack of confidence.
Turning back to his father, he shrugged.
"Good enough." His father handed him a small pouch of coins.
Hoping the guards would keep his wallet safe, he thanked him and they headed to the front room of the inn. Four strong looking slaves showed up rather quickly and they headed out to explore the town.
Joseph started checking out the merchants and craftsmen. He looked forward to eating at some of the street stalls later because the food smelled delicious. He was looking for workers who were obviously his dad's slaves, but wasn't having any luck among the blacksmiths. He decided to pick one to talk to anyway.
"Excuse me, do you make any whisks?"
"What's a whisk? Is it like a whip?" The half-dressed man was covered in soot and sweat from the fire.
"No, it's made of fine wires and you use it to stir eggs or stuff, very quickly…"
Joseph could tell that the man had no clue what he was talking about. After asking several of the other blacksmiths, and getting the same answer from all of them, that he probably wanted to talk to a jeweler for such detailed work, he felt a little disappointed. Stu would have loved a whisk as thanks for teaching him magic.
They continued on, and it wasn't long before he spied a rather nice seamstress shop. It had a nicely drawn sign and wasn't on the main road, which meant the prices would be better. He knew from his previous lives that those businesses on the main streets had to pay extra for being there, and thus had to pass on that price to their customers.
"Hello? Is the shop open?" he asked.
"Yes, sorry, I'm here." A short lady stood up from behind a pile of fabric. It looked like a shipment of fabric had just been delivered, and they had arrived in the middle of her sorting it.
Spying a rather nice dress laid out, piqued his interest. It confirmed his desire for the shop. Taking out his slate, he started to draw a dress he wanted made. Studying it, he thought it wasn't bad for a 7-year old. Unfortunately, drawing was not a skill he got from either of his two lives.
"Could you make me two dresses that are like this?"
As she looked at it, she seemed very excited about it. It was modeled half-way between a magical girl costume and a maid outfit. Stella would have stockings, like tights, that went all the way up so they wouldn't have to worry about anything indecent. She was only 8 after all. It would also have a full neckline, because he thought it would be bad form to try and show off the cleavage of an 8-year old. It was like a maid for a fairy princess. He was certain Stella would look adorable in it.
The seamstress's eyes kept getting bigger and bigger as he explained it to her.
"I'll need at least a week to make this. I haven't had a challenge in a while."
"Will you be able to get me both dresses in that week?"
None of the guards or Stella seemed to think the price was too bad, so he paid her the quoted price and they left. Picking up some of that good smelling food from the market on his way back to the inn, he thought about how he would ask his dad about the delicate tools he wanted made.
After waiting a few minutes for his father to finish his task, he explained his need for a blacksmith who could make delicate things.
"What sort of things are you thinking about?"
"I want a whisk for Stu, along with a noodle extruder, a potato masher, egg slicer, cheese slicer, and a hand crank mixer." He had time to think about what he wanted as they waited.
"That's a lot. Maybe you should talk to a jeweler," he said, after Joseph had drawn out what they were.
"That's what the blacksmiths said, but they all need to be made out of iron and I'm not sure the jewelers can handle that."
"Well, the next town has Selena in it, and she's my fire mage. You'll have to wait to talk to my workers there, and see if any of them can make those things. It should only be a couple weeks."
Joseph knew that the towns his father was talking about were the estates he had set up for training his slaves. They were closer together in this kingdom than in other kingdoms, because non-human slaves were treated worse here. The placement of his towns made getting them out of this kingdom easier.
"Could I also get an etiquette teacher? I would like to learn how to carry myself and act properly. Also, I would like Stella to be able to learn her letters and numbers."
"I don't have a problem with any of that."
Joseph then showed his dad all of his dress designs. He thought if his dad made some, and tried to sell them, he might be able to make some extra money. His dad explained that he outfitted his slaves in specific styles and colors to denote their abilities and current level of training. It helped to distinguish them from other slaves.
When Joseph asked about such things as water mills and power hammers, his father told him that while they had mills to grind their grain, they did not have any of the other fantastical ideas he was talking about. He would need to talk to the craftsmen when they reached the next town.
They fell into a pattern after that, of him studying all day, then meeting up with Stella to be tutored right before supper. His father enjoyed the time with him while they ate, then he went back to studying. Stella tried to stay up with him, but never could. He thought it was adorable how hard she tried. Could this be what it was like to have a friend?
None of his previous lives, including his current one, ever had a feeling like this. She was a very good person, who tried very hard to do everything she could right. Whenever he looked at her, or noticed her, a warm feeling arose, that made his day better. As he made sure she was covered with a blanket before turning in each night, he decided it would be good to have a friend.