Like most of the craftsmen shop around this time and place, instead of coming in to buy something, potential customers were supposed to visit those places for the sake of ORDERING something to be made. Just from the fact that the owner of this place greeted me without even raising his eyes from the complicated machinery that I was unable to even name, spoke wonders about how busy this kind of people was.
With all the guilds setting various rules, limitations, taxes and tests, becoming a master of the craft was an insanely hard achievement, making the fruits of their work all the more expensive and sought for. Compared to the modern times when one could produce thousands if not millions of the uniformly looking items after setting a proper factory, here, every piece of jewellery, most of the clothes and basically anything that wasn't supposed to be discarded right after use, was made by craftsmen like him!
"Hmm? My ears are all open."
Still not raising his eyes from the complicated machinery consisting of lenses, plates, forks and even more parts that were too complicated for me to even figure out what I could compare them with, the goldsmith continued to operate with his tools, allowing me to see how intricate his craft was.
"I… I need an engagement ring…"
"I heard that already boy, get to the point."
With a slight pause appearing in my sentence just from how stunning was the sight of this master working, I attempted to explain myself only to be interrupted by the old man in front of me. For the first time since I appeared in this world or timeline, I was genuinely at loss about what I was supposed to say!
With how busy that elderly man was, if I failed to gain his attention fast, he would simply disregard my request. With that said, using a simple world that broke all the rules according to which craftsmen worked, seemed like a good idea.
"Excuse me, what did you say?"
Finally raising his head from the machinery he was using, goldsmith moved the grey hair that fell on his eyes before looking at me seriously.
"I need a golden, engagement ring, not only for today but right away. If you have something you uses to flaunt your undeniable skills, I can settle for it as well."
While all my points from before about how craftsmen were working on order instead of preparing stuff in advance, most of them still kept hold of their best creations, either with hopes of selling it for a greatly overrated price or just to leave some memorandum after they would pass on their craft to their apprentices.
Despite how I could already imagine how light my money bag would become after saying those words, with how this entire city was on the line, I had no other choice than to treat it as an investment.
After all, why would the town's mayor take our words of betrothal seriously, if Elia's finger wouldn't be adorned with a proper ring?
"HIss… And who is the happy girl that warrants such dedication, if I may ask, my lord?"
As if only now did this man notice my robes distinctive to my social class, he asked. Just those words alone were enough to make the future of my money purse even lighter.
"I'm not sure if you know her… but is name…"
Taking a short break here in order to built a bit of the tension, I looked at the goldsmith in hopes of gauging how stupid revealing that fact would be.
"... Elia, familiar to you?"
As if lightning struck this place! Or not really. While I hoped for some kind of great reaction, this old guy was way too old and experienced to get excited with something like this, but he still revealed a slight smile.
"So this young lass is finally going to marry…"
Stroking his beard in the same shade of greyness as his hair, but somehow glistering in the dim light of candles inside the room as if years of working with gold-infused his facial hear with its minuscule particles, goldsmith's sight alternated between his machine, someplace deeper into the shop and my face before he suddenly stood up with a vigour that I would never attribute to him.
"I will do it. Wait here for a few moments."
With the master of this place leaving, I was stuck with his bodyguard alone. Just two minutes later, I already learned that not only he wasn't a local, but he also wasn't a Commonwealth citizen in the first place! With my complete lack of ability to speak German, not to mention, ancient german at that, I could only assume that he was once a mercenary here, hired by the goldsmith after his troop got disbanded and forced to learn all the Polish words connected to the trade of this place, and some basic conversation.
Sadly, with his vocabulary as limited as his drive for turning even bigger that I could see from how he constantly chomped on a slice of dried meat that this small giant was pulling from god-alone-knows-where, there was no way to strike even a basic small talk with him.
At least, the craftsman journey didn't last long, with him returning after barely a quarter of an hour, with something that I could only call a piece of art.
"I still need to add some modifications for it to fit her fingers perfectly and all, so just wait here for a little longer. By the way, how tall she is right now?"
This one question that I marked as a simple curiosity at first, turned out to a complete form of various requests that even I, with all my modern knowledge, found hard to connect to the craft. But despite my doubts, this old man ended up with a satisfied look on his face after wringing all sorts of information from me before sitting down in front of his mysterious machinery and placing the ring he brough in the middle of it.
With how it already looked not like a simple ring, but a set of seven different pieces intervened with each other while keeping their slightly different shades. Even after trying to observe the actions of the old man with all my attention, I still missed what he was trying to do with this already insane ring.
Nevertheless, after exactly fifteen minutes, goldsmith stood up from his chair and moved the ring to one of the simply adorned, small boxes that he simply pulled out of what looked like a closet.
"It will be twenty red goldens. Normally, I would sell it for a much higher price, but you can consider it as a gift from me for the young lass."