196 Chapter 193 A Mech for a King
The exterior of the workshop was very ornate, with intricate stone work forming spirals around the eaves of the building, and several golem gargoyles moved carefully across it, cleaning and upkeeping it.
Joseph paused to watch one, with curled horns to match the spiral work, as it dug dust out of a tiny crevasse with its needle-sharp claws, and realized that it was using death mana to power itself. Thinking back on the slight manipulations of mana the gnome he had spoken with, had done, he realized someone must have set up the mana cycle down here, to deal with the lack of new mana being available from the corrupted world tree. While incredibly complex and rough around the edges, this artificial mana cycle had prevented the gnomes from running out, in all the years they had been down here. It was so complicated, that Joseph was convinced someone saw the future needs of the city and had designed it that way, without explaining to the common gnomes what they were doing.
Stepping up to the doors, he was now even more interested in seeing this mech, that the gnome had spoken of. Feeling the handle of the door taste his mana, he realized it was spelled to only allow a certain mana user from even entering. Shaking his head at the slight inconvenience, he turned to the wall beside the door. Only the door was spelled.
The stone of the wall reshaped itself to form an arched doorway, similar to the doorway that was spelled, just without a door. Taking Stella's arm, they entered the workshop, looking around curiously.
Joseph could tell that Stella wasn't very interested, but also knew that she wouldn't mess with any of the projects that were still waiting for someone to come finish them. The multiple tables all around them had so many projects started, he wondered if this wasn't a workshop for multiple people. Then he spied the mech in the corner and paused in appreciation.
It would easily fit him, and he found himself ignoring all of the projects and fascinating items on the tables, as he made his way to it. Running his hand over it, Joseph realized with a jolt that it wasn't built for the pilot to be a gnome. It was built for a human sized creature, such as himself. Curiosity took hold, and he began to analyze and study it.
Built for a human to pilot, the mech stood over twelve feet tall, and was made completely of magical alloys. Even the smallest bolts were magical. Behind it, shoved between it and the wall, he found a crumbling piece of parchment. Reading it, as it crumbled in his fingertips, Joseph found that the builder of the mech, had built it for the savior of the realm. With a short laugh, he dropped the rest of the dust from the parchment onto the floor and whipped all of the dust off of the mech with a flick of his wrist, and a small blast of wind.
Stella moved over to the door, to be out of the way, as he began to poke and prod it, looking for the entrance. Finally, its chest popped open and he was able to infuse enough mana to get it to open the rest of the way. The mech ran on the mana that he created with his mana enhancer ability. It had to be built just for him, and he was delighted.
Before he could climb into it, there was a slight sigh from Stella, and he laughed again.
"Sorry, I guess I got a little distracted. This can wait until we're done in the library. Ready to go?" he asked sheepishly.
She glanced around at the things scattered throughout the room, as if surprised he didn't want to investigate each thing before leaving.
"I already know what most of these experiments were doing, and the others I feel I can probably figure out with a little thought. I won't forget them, after all. I really want to see the map of the wastelands, that's supposed to be in the library."
"Alright. But, why were you so thrilled with the robot?"
"Mech, it's a mech. Apparently, it was built specifically for me to use, while fixing the world tree."
"And how is that possible? The person who built it has to have been dead for ages."
"A prophecy," Joseph chuckled. Whoever was in charge of those, sure was looking out for him.
"Of course," she said with a grin, following him out of the workshop towards the library.
A large carving of an open book was suspended over the doorway, and when Joseph touched the door, it didn't seem to taste him like the workshop had. Stepping inside, they both paused in amazement.
Twin staircases spun around the room, taking whoever dared to step on them, to the many floors above them. Joseph counted four floors above his head, totaling five all together. The ornate metal railings only came to his knees, but each landing was more than tall enough to allow him easy passage along the multitude of shelves. There had to be millions of books stored here.
Stepping further into the room, he spied spell runes that kept the air inside the building at the perfect temperature and humidity to preserve the books. There were also clean runes, that prevented dust from settling and dirt from marring the pages. He knew that this was something he could very easily see himself duplicating in his own castle, once they were moved and where he wanted them to be. It was glorious.
"Where do you think the map is?" asked Stella, glancing around, obviously not about to start drooling as he was.
"Probably over there," he said, moving towards a large table partially obscured by one of the staircases. Stepping up to the table, they both paused in surprise. A small gnome was busy pouring through a book, and had looked up at them for only a moment before returning to it.
"Excuse us," said Joseph.
"Over there," she said, pointing behind her with her thumb at a closed door that was just now visible. "The maps are over there."