The train stopped and an announcement sounded.
We have arrived at the East Capital Station.
The doors will be open for twenty minutes. Please exit slowly.
Lisbon stood up and stretched.
"Are we finally at the capital?"
There was not a faint sign of fatigue on Lisbon's face. It was the same for me.
There was a reason why first-class bedroom cabins were so expensive. I could barely feel any vibration from the train, and the restaurant on the train looked more luxurious than the one at the inn. Perhaps due to being somewhat included in the ticket cost, the meal wasn’t that expensive considering its taste and quality. There was also a small casino and a shower facility, so it wasn’t an exaggeration to call it a high-end train trip.
According to Alice, the quality of the food and service diminished as the ranking decreased. I was wondering how she knew so much since it was also her first time on the train, but then I caught sight of a guidebook for train trips sticking out of her bag.
I considered telling Alice since she was acting pretentious, but decided to turn a blind eye. She had been acting like she was on the edge lately (thanks to me), but now that she didn’t have to worry about money, her actions looked kind of cute as expected of someone her age.
When I got off the train, I saw a view that was on a different level from all the other villages we had gone past till now. Thanks to the high altitude the train station was located at, we could see part of the capital.
In the center of the city, the beautiful and gigantic imperial palace was gracefully exuding its presence from within tall walls lining it. To its west were magic towers around 20 to 30 stories high. The market between the imperial palace and the train station seemed to be lighting up the whole capital.
Lisbon and Alice also seemed to be amazed by the enormous city and looked around with glittering eyes. Seeing how they were mirroring each other, they were definitely siblings.
"Could you please stay away from the rail? It’s dangerous."
When the startled station attendant told the brother and sister duo to back off, a sign that had been hidden by Lisbon’s body came into view.
Fragile structure- Frequent Accidents- Do not lean on the railing
Only then did the brother and sister discover the sign and apologize. They then proceeded to escape the train station to avoid the eyes of the attendant.
"Let's go to the bank first."
As Alice stepped out of the train station, she suppressed the glint in her eyes she had earlier. She looked as if she wanted to go visit the capital immediately. Regardless whether it was because she wanted to pay me back immediately, or because she had no money on hand currently, she took out her map and headed to the bank. It was probably because of the latter.
Alice’s map was a bit crude, but it couldn’t be helped. Since it was her first time coming to the capital, she had probably obtained the map at her hometown or at some point during the journey. There was no way a detailed map of the capital could be obtained in such places. In this era, a map was technically classified as a military item.
The capital was a place where the emperor resided in his imperial palace, so it was already considered amazing to be able to obtain such a map from a remote area. Of course, it was an exception for someone like me who had obtained the map from an illegal informant.
Sure enough, Alice tilted her head as she read the crude map.
"This place and this place look like the places over there, so it should be one more block and then to the right."
I glanced at the map and thought of the map I had memorized before I kindly pointed in the right direction on the map that Alice was holding.
Alice blushed and said, "I, I know."
She then snorted and headed ahead.
Lisbon smiled as he watched his sister. An onlooker would presume he was looking at his daughter running her first errand.
Alice led us to the bank after wandering about three times. She proudly entered the bank and headed straight for the counter.
"Excuse me, Ma’am. I've got customers in line, so could you please take a number? The queue numbers are at the entrance of the bank.”
It was a fairly modern bank. Alice blushed and quickly went to grab a queue number. She probably thought she had acted like a countryside bumpkin just now, but I didn’t really think so. I got a number after her.
As we sat on the chairs arranged by the window, Alice headed to the counter when her number was called. When she presented a large plate at the counter, the clerk received it and used some magic tools on it. Soon after, the clerk returned Alice one big and one small sack along with the plate.
The plate Alice was holding must have been some kind of passbook. Looking at it closely, there were various magics cast on it. It seemed to be able to synchronize with the magic tool to find out its current balance as well as update it with the new balance. It was also possible that it could be used as a credit card.
Alice came back and took out four silver coins from the small sack.
Looking at how the volume of the sack decreased by half when she took out four silver coins, it seemed as if the small sack had around one refined silver coin (10 silver coins) worth of money.
She then proceeded to take out a handful of refined bronze coins from the large sack.
"The 20 refined bronze coins are the interest." Alice avoided my eyes and whispered, "Thank you very much.”
I thought she was just a spoiled little kid, but she surprisingly seemed to have a good side to her.
I put the refined bronze coins into my sack and said, "Thank you."
I honestly didn’t expect her to pay interest. Still, refusing the interest she offered first was something only a sucker like Lisbon would do. When the clerk called out my number, I headed to the counter.
"What can I do for you, sir?" the clerk asked with a slightly stiff smile. Smiling all day also consumed a lot of stamina.
"I'd like to open an account."
"Yes, Sir. To open an account, you need to provide some personal information to the bank. Is that okay?"
"Okay, then could I see your ID first for opening an account?"
I nervously pulled out my ID. This was the counterfeited ID, not the one I had obtained from Hestia. I waited with a throbbing heart, worried that my sham would be detected. If I were to get caught, I would either run away or take out another ID. Since my other ID seemed pretty powerful, wouldn’t they let me go for something like counterfeiting?
The clerk received the ID, placed it inside a magic tool, and tapped on the keyboard. She then took out the ID from the magic tool and handed it back to me.
"Yes, Mr. Den Mark. Your ID has been verified. To open an account, you have to deposit at least one refined bronze coin worth of money. Will that be okay?"
Fortunately, it seemed like I had succeeded in creating a perfect ID. With a sigh of relief in my heart, I handed over a refined bronze coin to the clerk.
The clerk received the refined bronze coin and started typing away on the keyboard. She then handed over a plate just like the one Alice had earlier, after which she gave me a plate with numbers written on it.
"Could you set up your six-digit password?"
I entered my date of birth from my previous life.
"Yes, thank you. The account has been opened. When you want to make a deposit, you can just bring the passcard I gave you to make a deposit. However, if you need to make a withdrawal or send money to another person, you will need to bring your ID, password, and your passcard.
The bank was more progressive than I had thought. I didn’t expect to be able to even transfer money. I think I’ll disguise myself later with magic and come back to make another account so that I can deposit my platinum coins and withdraw them as change.
I don’t think the bank will leak my personal information.
Still, it was better to be cautious since people could start investigating me if they found out that I had money worth at least a platinum coin. One reason was that people from back home could come to find me.
After finishing my business with the bank, I said to Lisbon and Alice, "Since we arrived at the capital, let’s split up from now."
"What? Why? Let's go look around the market together." Lisbon was surprised and grabbed a hold of me.
But I shook my head.
"No, I came to the capital because I had some business to take care of, so I'll have to go take care of it."
"Will you be leaving the capital after you’re done with your business?"
Unexpectedly, it was Alice who asked this time.
Was it just my misunderstanding that she looked a bit regretful?
"No. If possible, I'm thinking of settling down in the capital. But you never know what the future holds.”
Lisbon seemed to be struck by a good idea at my words.
"Then why don't you live with us?"
Oh my God! Living with this sucker could make me die from cancer!
Alice could have antibodies against him since she was his sister, but I did not have such anti-sucker cells.
I shook my head.
"I can’t cause such an inconvenience. Since you guys will be here at the capital for a while, we’ll meet again if our fates entwine. See you then.”
I bowed slightly and parted without looking back.
In the last five days, I learned about most of the common norms of the empire. In other words, I didn’t need a Lisbon Encyclopedia anymore. Wasn’t it a good habit to leave a sucker after you ran out of things to use him for? What a nice farewell though, since I didn't run away with his money or steal his items.
I listened carefully to my surroundings in case they followed me, but fortunately, they didn’t seem to be doing so.
There were three things I had to do now. First, I had to find a house to stay in. Second, find out the schedule of the civil service examination. Third, study for the examination.
When I was still in my hometown, Hestia had steadily collected and studied books with information related to the theory of law, administration, and management of the empire — some of which were also related to civil servants. Except for soldiers (soldiers were recruited every day), civil servants were selected twice a year during winter and summer. Since the date was now headed towards summer, the winter exam in January was already over and the exam in the summer of July was the only one left for the entire year.
I had a little over a month left since it was May already. Now that I had found out the platinum coin I had brought was actually an amount of money beyond imagination, it made me wonder if there was a need to take the examination. Still, it was better to work than to do nothing.
But, let's find a house to stay first.Previous Chapter Next Chapter