77 Vhalar, 719
The ability to see magic was not the only thing granted by Gleam Sight, as any Syns that had reached the rank of Magus would be able to tell. It allowed Abra to see spirits as well which made the world a lot more vibrant than it used to seem. For some odd reason, Abra had woken the past seventrials with the same two spirits lingering around him and at long last he was getting suspicious. Though he could see the spirits it wasn’t obvious to him what concepts they were aligned to or why they were here at all. All he knew was that they went wherever he went. His goal for the day was to figure out both why and how they became bound to him like this.
Abra walked the streets of Raelia and used his Gleam Sight to look at the spirits during his journey. Spirits tended to congregate near their concepts, that much was obvious to anyone with the Gleam. Though Abra couldn’t tell what the spiritual concepts were that congregated around a depressed person, it was easy to group them together just by how they behaved and looked. So all he needed to do was find what fancied his two spirits. A break of walking hadn’t clued him in on anything in particular other than the spirits did seem to get excited around certain people. They didn’t seem to discriminate between races and they didn’t always both get excited at once. Their actions were peculiar and made no sense at all to the increasingly annoyed Abra.
A trip to the marketplace cleared up a lot of the confusion. One spirit, the one he would identify as the Commerce Spirit, went nuts whenever they walked by a transaction in action. It was easy to see that it loved when money changed hands. The other spirit, the one he would identify as the Wealth Spirit, went nuts whenever he walked by someone who was clearly loaded with money. It was easy to see that It loved the rich. It had an uncanny way of knowing who was wealthy even if they didn’t show it. Abra wouldn’t have guessed something abstract a concept as wealth would be able to be sensed, but spirits worked in their own strange ways that didn’t have to make sense to a mortal like him.
“Abra? Is that you?” asked someone who looked busy packing his things. “I wouldn’t miss those eyes anywhere. It IS you! Com’ere I got something you might be interested in.” The person speaking was pulling a set of bags out of his shop and tying them to a mount.
Abra was very sure that he had never had a meaningful relationship with this guy in his life. “Yes, I am Abra,” he said emotionlessly, “what is it? How exactly do we know each other?” The only thing he was interested in was money.
“Oh? Aha… Word’s spread about you and your bank plans. Word has it you have a good business sense. Look, I’m leaving to sell goods ‘round Melrath. If you could take a look at my shop, point out some areas we can improve… I’d much appreciate it. I’d be happy to pay your fee if you have some good ideas. Just have a word with my wife when you’re done and I’ll let her know to pay you.”
The proposition was very unexpected. Was he gaining fame this easily just by wanting to open a bank? “I don’t see why I couldn’t help out,” Abra replied after thinking it over. Who was he to turn down free money? If fortune favored him, he could figure out if his spirits liked other things other than wealth and commerce. A handshake sealed the deal then Abra went into the shop while the owner went on his journey.
The shop was very obviously a place that sold pouches and containers. Some were made of metal or glass for long term storage while others were made of leather or cloth for carrying around on a day to day basis. The shop had a couple customers, both elderly in appearance who walked around without much purpose. In the middle of the shop there was a counter that a woman leaned against while scribbling down something on some papers. She was probably the wife that he had been directed to.
Before Abra could so much as get a word out, three little girls all under age ten ran up to the wife crying about something to do with a doll. Abra hadn’t even noticed their presence to begin with though their bickering could be heard from outside the shop. His oath to neutrality made it easy to ignore stupidity like this.
“Sarah took my doll!”
“I want a turn!”
The mother turned to look at them. Her eyes were surrounded by dark circles, her skin loose around her cheeks. She looked like a defeated mother who was just trying to get some work done. She said, “you’re all supposed to be sleeping.” She snatched up the doll and then the tears started. Three whiny brats made it hard to focus on anything else. Even the two customers found that it was time to leave, one of which put down what he was going to buy just to get out of earshot of the cacophony.
Strangely, he felt magic running through his body as soon as he noticed the kids. He could instinctively tell who was on what end of the argument without having to listen to what they were saying. He came to the conclusion that he had the innate ability now to determine who was on whichever side of an argument. He thought this odd and mostly useless for the situation at hand though so he decided to solve the argument and move on.
“Your mother said it’s bedtime,” Abra said after five more bits of arguing ensued. He walked over to kneel next to the kids then continued, “don’t you think it’s best that you just take your nap? You’ve already scared the customers away and that money you cost your mother will surely come out of your toy budget. Maybe, if you’re good enough, more people will buy things and then you won’t have to all share the same doll. I was different from you kids when I was young. I always helped my parents with what they needed and I was rewarded for it with as many toys as I could ever want. Come now, off to bed with you.”
As Abra spoke about sleep he couldn’t help but notice that his index finger and thumbs were rubbing together absentmindedly. He felt magic coursing through him, divine magic similar to what was granted to him by Chamadarst. He looked at his fingers to see that specks of dust were forming in his hands, though he had no clue what it was for. Nor did he have the time to figure it out. He quickly pocketed the dust and watched as the kids agreed that it was actually best to go to sleep.
“That has never worked before,” the mother said with exasperation when the kids left, “I don’t know how to thank you.”
“Thank me? Oh, I suppose I haven’t explained yet. I am Abra, a businessman like yourself. Your husband asked me to help with the business so I’m just doing my job. I can’t believe they made so much noise that they made the customers leave!”
“Tell me about it,” the mother said with a tired sigh. “So? Take a look around I suppose. I’ll get some tea.”
“I don’t think I need to see much,” Abra said with a comforting smile, “I already see the problem. Your kids are a huge drain on you which makes it hard for you to manage the store. You’re doing paperwork when you should be helping customers or promoting your business. I take it you don’t make many sales either if your husband has to leave town to find customers. If you really want to get rid of the problem then you need to teach your kids discipline or send them elsewhere while you work.”
“But,” she started.
“Or, you could learn to ignore your distractions and try to make up for it by working a lot harder. Either way, I don’t see a path forward that results in your kids interfering during business hours.” Abra looked around at the otherwise typical store and then turned his pitch black orbs back to the woman.
“It’s easier said than done to get rid of the kids,” she said while staring at her empty store.
“Can’t be that hard,” Abra said curiously, “how much does a babysitter cost? You could even have them help out with small tasks and reward them for it.”
The mother couldn’t find a good reason to reject Abra’s advice. The truth was she wanted to do it all even if it meant sucking at everything. She needed the reality check that her visitor was giving. She stood silently and deliberated internally for several bits.
“Just try it,” Abra said while heading back to wherever the kids were sleeping. “I’ll watch over the kids today and see how big a difference it makes. If it doesn’t work then I’ll waive my fee.”
It was no surprise that by the end of the day the mother already looked so much less stressed and the sales had gone much better than normal. No longer did she have to rush customers out to deal with whatever crisis her kids were going through. She thanked Abra for the advice and gave him his payment in the form of coin. He’d earned it.