Chapter 0191 The Royal Alchemy Workshop
“Kenneth! Is Kenneth here~!”
At the entrance of the Royal Alchemy Workshop, a robed magician-looking guy was calling out.
After several shouts, there was finally a response from the inside.
“Ah, yes, yes, just a moment please.”
And the person who came out…wasn’t Kenneth
The robed magician-looking guy, in other words, Ryo, was discouraged, but he happened to be a familiar face.
It was Radden, Baron Kenneth Hayward’s subordinate.
“Hm? Is that you, Mr. Ryo? It’s been a while.”
Ryo had been in this alchemy workshop at the time of the chaos in the royal capital, and had taken Kenneth and his men out and evacuated them to the frontier Count Rune’s residence.
At that time, he remembered evacuating the man in front of him, Radden, with them.
“No, wait…why are you at the front door? Weren’t there guards at the gate when you entered the compound?”
Radden wondered why Ryo was suddenly in front of the entrance.
There was no notice from the guards as well …
“It’s okay. They didn’t notice for some reason! ”
Ryo, who seemed distracted, nodded and answered.
Radden wasn’t sure how to respond to that.
While he was wondering what to say, Ryo continued.
“Radden, I’m here to see Kenneth. He is supposed to be investigating something.”
Then, Radden freaked out.
He became overly alarmed as to why the magician in front of him knew information that should have been confidential.
He had saved him during the royal capital mayhem, and he hadn’t forgotten the debt of gratitude, but that and this were two entirely different matters.
The Alchemy Workshop can be said to be an organization that is highly sensitive to matters concerning information leaks.
This is because it has a history of being an organization under the direct control of the royal family and has manufactured alchemical tools requested by the royal family in considerable numbers.
In particular, Kenneth, the chief, was very careful about information leakage.
And why it was very unfortunate when the information on ‘Vaedra’ got leaked from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which had jurisdiction over the matter.
“Oh, don’t be so alarmed. I have been given authorization from the Grand Master of the Adventurers’ Guild in the royal capital to come to observe ‘it’. You can seek confirmation, I’m sure everything will become clear to you…”
“I understand. Well, for now, you can wait at the reception…”
“No, I’ll be good anywhere near ‘it’. I think it would be best to confirm with Kenneth in person, don’t you think?”
That was, of course, far from the proper procedure, but with the pressure Ryo was putting on him, Radden could not resist.
“Well, then, come with me…and please, do not wander off anywhere. Follow me…”
“Yeah, I understand, let’s get going.”
Ryo just kept smiling.
Radden, however, had learned that day that …‘there is nothing scarier than a smile’.
Ryo followed with a smile on his face.
Of course, he had told him to follow him, which was exactly what he was doing, but…Radden was half in tears.
The Royal Alchemy Workshop is a big place.
The campus is large, and so are the buildings.
But that wasn’t the case with the number of people working there.
Excluding clerical work, the number of alchemists is only about ten.
However, for that reason, being an ‘alchemist of the Royal Alchemy Workshop’ means that one is recognized as one of the top-class alchemists in the Kingdom.
Currently, the alchemists are led by Baron Kenneth Hayward, who, at the age of just 22, was known as a genius alchemist.
He was in one of the largest rooms in the alchemy workshop, called the ‘analysis room’, where various equipment was placed.
It was a vast space, not only in terms of area but also in terms of height, with the ceiling more than 20 meters high.
A single unit of the golem in question was placed at the center of the room, with various lines extending from it.
Kenneth, who had been working feverishly, finally took a breather as he removed the glove he had on his left hand the entire time.
At that moment, there was a knock at the door.
Kenneth looked at the knocked door as he placed the glove on the workbench beside him.
Entering the room was his subordinate, Radden, and a Water-Attribute Magician he hadn’t seen in a while.
“Mr. Ryo, long time no see.”
“Hello, Kenneth. Y-You must have received word of my visit, I believe…”
Ryo still had a smile on his face, but was distractedly looking at the golem sitting in the center of the room.
Seeing that, Kenneth said while laughing.
“Yeah, we received clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs for your visit. Still, it’s amazing, the connections you’ve made to get the authorization to observe this.”
“In exchange for accepting a request to go to Twilight Land a week from now, I was allowed to see this. Anyway, that aside…”
Saying that, Ryo kept looking at the golem the entire time…moving closer little by little, and finally, he touched it.
Of course, nothing happened when he touched it.
But he was able to touch the golem that he had been longing for ever since he saw it on the battlefield back in the Inbury Duchy.
Ryo was overcome with emotion.
While Ryo was touching the golem back and forth, Radden, who had stepped out earlier, brought coffee for Kenneth and Ryo.
“Mr. Ryo, would you like a cup of coffee? The golem is not going anywhere.”
“Umm, yeah, I know it’s not going anywhere, but…I don’t have much time…”
“A week, was it? Actually, I just finished my analysis for the time being. I have to compare some data, but in the meantime, that is, for a week, you can look at it however you like, Mr. Ryo. Of course, you mustn’t break anything, though.”
Kenneth said with a smile on his face.
The moment those words reached Ryo, his head turned toward Kenneth in a heartbeat.
Kenneth’s smile turned a little bitter as he answered.
After that, Ryo headed toward the coffee, repeating a series of little fist pump gestures like a tennis player.
With coffee in hand, Ryo’s gaze remained fixed on the golem.
“Well, what do you have in mind, Ryo? Would you like to hear my findings after you have looked around on your own? Or you hear me out first and then go fiddle around with it?”
“Oh…actually, I’d have preferred to do that after observing it myself, but since my time is limited…I’d like to hear your findings first, Kenneth, if possible.”
Ryo pondered for about two seconds before answering.
“I see. That certainly does sound better.”
Kenneth nodded and said.
“First of all, this golem has six magic stones in its body.”
“Six…. Even two alone linked together is…”
“That’s right, just linking two together alone is extremely difficult.”
Ryo muttered involuntarily, and Kenneth affirmed it.
It is common sense in alchemy that, ‘one magic stone in one alchemy tool’.
If there are more than one magic stone, they will repel each other, or operate uncontrollably such as causing thermal runaway, rendering the alchemy tool useless.
Of course, a top-class alchemist can link two magic stones together, but it is only said to be possible, not easily realized.
“Although there are six magic stones, all six cores are not active at once.”
Hearing this, Ryo felt a little relieved.
After all, he didn’t think it possible to analyze a golem equipped with hexa-core parallel activation technology in a week.
Kenneth continued, pointing to the golem’s chest.
“The larger wind-magic stone in the chest is the main core. This magic stone is active at all times. In addition, there is one on each arm, one on each leg, and one on the head. These are activated as needed.”
“If the one on the chest is always active, then definitely dual-core is…”
“That’s right. As far as I can decipher the magic formula, up to three cores can be activated in parallel.”
Succeeding in dual-core coordination alone is already impressive, but three cores….
To put it bluntly, it’s a level of alchemy that was incomprehensible to Ryo with his current knowledge.
“Whoever made this, is quite something…”
Ryo gave accolades to the creator in earnest.
Kenneth nodded broadly and continued.
“There are only so many people who are capable of alchemy of this caliber, even in the Central Nations. And I became convinced when I saw the magic formula inside. It’s Frank de Verde who created it.”
“Frank de Verde?”
“Yeah. He’s a genius alchemist who was the pride of the Knightley Magic University. He is the one I looked up to as my mentor.”
Kenneth explained with a frown.
“Kenneth’s mentor…. Must be quite, amazing.”
Ryo’s vocabulary was extremely limited. Because he’s overwhelmed with so many things….
“Yeah, he is. He is a genius I can’t even hold a candle to. Working with him, I created several alchemy tools. But two years ago, Frank suddenly disappeared. Until now, we have not been able to locate him…I guess he is in the Union, from what I can see.”
Kenneth’s expression was a mixture of sadness, loneliness, and some relief.
(It has four legs, but why only two magic stones for the legs?)
Such a question suddenly popped up on Ryo’s mind, but before he could pose it, Kenneth asked first.
“You saw this golem fighting, didn’t you, Ryo?”
“Yep. Its movement speed was not as fast as a human’s, but its defense and penetrating ability were amazing.”
Ryo’s vocabulary had been subtly lacking since a while ago, but it couldn’t be helped. That’s his limit.
“Defense…was deflected, wasn’t it?”
Kenneth’s words were partly inaudible to Ryo.
“It deflected Vaedra…”
“Oh right, you don’t know anything about Vaedra, do you, Ryo? Well, the clearance stated you are allowed to see Vaedra as well…”
Kenneth said, a little impatiently.
“Oh, I do know of Vaedra. Is it not that, green light…magic thing?”
The ‘Vaedra’ as the subject in the report from the frontier Count Rune, and the ‘Vaedra’ as the phenomenon that he had observed on the battlefield, and yet somehow, the two were somewhat unconnected in his mind as being the same.
“Yeah, that’s the one. In terms of category, I heard that it is classified as a ‘magic weapon’. But I had no idea it had been put to practical use in the Inbury Duchy…”
Kenneth’s expression was filled with frustration.
It’s no wonder. Something he had designed and would have manufactured if he had been given the green light, had somehow, already been made in another country.
“Kenneth, do you know where the leak came from…”
“Yeah, I was told. It leaked from the Ministry of Home Affairs.”
Kenneth answered slightly shaking his head, more in disgust than indignation.
Even though the alchemy workshop was very strict about information leaks, if the breach came from the authorities, there’s no preventing it then.
Of course, those who steal information also understood the weak link to breach.
By concentrating their efforts there, they could obtain information with less difficulty.
The means of doing so are much the same in any world, now and in the past.
It’s either by cajoling or blackmail.
In other words, either with money or honeypot, or blackmail using family as hostage material.
The leak from the Ministry of Home Affairs this time was the former, and those involved were executed immediately, apparently because they were commoners.
Aristocracy, what a frightening society…
“I heard that it also deflected Vaedra in convergence mode… However, no matter how much I look into it, I can’t figure out the principle behind it. The arms should only be able to produce fire-attribute magic or earth-attribute magic. Or perhaps the wind-attribute of the main core…either way, it doesn’t possess a no attributes magic barrier system. So if Vaedra was deflected in that situation…sure, an earth barrier might be feasible, but from what I heard, that wasn’t the case either…”
“Oh…. So that plasma was generated from a fire-attribute or wind-attribute magic huh?”
Ryo said casually, recalling the scene in his mind.
From Ryo’s knowledge based on light novels, he had assumed that ‘lightning’ was a wind attribute, but considering that lightning is plasma, it is not necessarily from wind.
It’s quite possible to generate plasma with fire-attribute magic too….
No, thinking about it, he’s beginning to think that it’s possible to generate plasma with water-attribute magic as well.
Back on Earth, he had also seen videos of aluminum cans being cut by water-based plasma….
But when Kenneth heard Ryo’s mutterings, he got hooked.
“Ryo! Do you know what it is?!”
“Uh, well…I’m not sure I can explain it in detail precisely, but…. It’s sort of a fire-attribute or wind-attribute magic that produces extremely hot…um, yeah, small lightning bolts, which causes a change in atmospheric density…making it harder for the impact to pass through.”
Kenneth didn’t understand the explanation either.
If Kenneth of all people could not understand it, it was only natural that Abel and others were completely lost.
It was all Ryo’s fault, it seemed.
“Okay listen, Vaedra is a weapon that transmits air vibrations with wind magic, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is! Wow, I’m surprised you could tell. Its greatest advantage is that there is no recoil to the body at all because of the propagation of air vibrations.”
“So, the golem’s defense mechanism can interfere with those air vibrations.”
“Oh…that’s what you meant…. The match-up couldn’t be any worse.”
Kenneth shook his head in understanding, then chuckled.
“Originally, the golems’ arms may have been a mechanism to make it easier to break through by melting the walls and gates with their lightning, but then they applied it to defense. When I saw that, I wondered if perhaps the designer had envisioned intercepting Vaedra from the very beginning.”
Ryo replied, recalling the scene on the battlefield where the golem had repelled the green light from Vaedra.
“I see. If Frank is the designer of the golem, it is possible. Because Frank was developing alchemy with us at this workshop right up until he disappeared.”
Kenneth said with a slightly sad expression on his face.
Ryo finished his coffee and then asked Kenneth.
“Kenneth, there’s something I’ve always wondered about.”
“Hm? What is it?”
Kenneth was still slowly sipping his coffee.
“The magic formulas written for alchemy tools, always seem kind of…disjointed to me.”
In extreme cases, it is not too much to say that alchemy tools consist of magic stones and magic formulas.
As an entry point to alchemy, there is potions creation and the like, but ‘magic formulas’ are seldom employed in those cases.
At the most, maybe creating potions using ‘magic synthesis’ on paper or cloth with a ‘magic circle’ drawn on it.
Or, generating a simple magical phenomenon by writing magic formulas from a book onto a magic stone…at best.
But when it comes to the stage of creating alchemy tools, the ‘magic formula’ is indispensable.
He found many examples of magic formulas in alchemy-related books he had purchased and in the alchemy-related books in the library and was able to comprehend them, but they were still far from being sufficient for Ryo, who ultimately aimed to engineer a golem.
So, he looked at the magic formulas written on various alchemy tools. He wanted to learn by observing them.
He looked at the black notebook of ‘Hassan’, the ones Kenneth had taught him here in the alchemy workshop before and after the mayhem in the royal capital, and the magic formulas written on the alchemy tools shown to him at the Gecko trading company and other places.
But while there were things in common, common parts, and similar syntax…stuff, there were also many things that were completely different.
Why is that?
“Oh, that’s probably because magic formulas differ depending on who wrote them.”
“I mean, it’s like, for every hundred people, there are a hundred different magic formulas.”
Ryo was lost trying to keep up with his comprehension but somehow understood that he had been told something outrageous.
“An alchemist once said. He said, ‘Writing a magic formula is equivalent to creating a language’.”
There were several different languages on modern earth.
The Central Nations have relatively the same language system, as this seems to be the case on ‘Phi’. At most, there are differences in dialects.
The eastern countries are said to have a completely different language system from the Central Nations.
Some languages are similar, but some are completely different…and magic formulas differ from person to person…?
“This is quite a problem.”
“Even if you say so…”
Ryo expressed his feelings pressingly, and Kenneth, hearing this, replied with a wry smile.
“If it’s just alchemy tools sold at merchant shops and the like, they may overlap since famous magic formulas can be found in the market, or in books, but…I’m guessing that’s not what you’re aiming for, is it, Ryo?”
“No. Because I want to build my own golem! ”
“Right, I do remember you saying that…”
During the royal capital chaos, Kenneth had heard Ryo make mention of it.
Kenneth did not laugh when he heard of this grand objective.
On the contrary, he cheered him on.
“Now that Ryo has been granted access to all information about the golem, you can browse the information about artificial golems stored in this workshop.”
“Oh, I can…”
Ryo’s eyes lit up at Kenneth’s words.
“It’s a document that Frank left behind when he was still here, so it’s like the basic technology that this golem is based on. During the chaos, Ryo didn’t have the authority to view them, so I couldn’t show them to you. I will show them to you later.”
“Oh, Kenneth, thank you.”
Ryo then held Kenneth’s hands and looked as if he was about to cry.
“So, back to the magic formula, even though it’s different for each person, it doesn’t mean that it can be anything. So if you write something random, it won’t manifest any magical phenomenon.”
“Makes sense. You said it’s like ‘creating a language’…how is that?”
He tried to imagine creating a single language on modern earth…as it turned out, he couldn’t.
“First, let’s start by considering the difference between ‘magic’ and ‘alchemy’ that you normally perform, Ryo. Both are the same in terms of ‘magical phenomena’, such as generating earthen walls or producing water. Are you with me?”
Ryo nodded confidently in a student tone.
The mood was like that of a student taking a class in a subject in which he’s proficient.
“Magic creates magical phenomena through ‘sound’ and alchemy through ‘letters’. Magic involves chanting. That “sound” causes magical phenomena, but in the case of alchemy, it is said that the sequence of letters causes magical phenomena. Therefore, alchemists have to find the sequence of letters that cause magical phenomena.”
That’s a daunting task.
Repeating thousands and thousands of trial and error to find the sequence of letters that cause magical phenomena…?
As a person born and raised in Japan, ‘the land of Kotodama*’, the explanation that words cause magical phenomena was easy to understand. (TLN: The spiritual power of words)
The best example of how ‘sound’ could cause phenomena is in ‘Norito’ or ritual prayers.
When reading out loud, it’s necessary to make absolutely no mistake….
Another example of ‘letters’ causing a phenomenon is the ‘o-fuda’ that seals various objects.
The strings of letters written on them have power….
For Ryo, who had grown amidst such culture, it was an easy explanation to understand.
Still…thousands and thousands of trial and error is….
After thinking that far, something else suddenly popped into Ryo’s mind.
“Do you mind if I make use of the ‘sequence of letters already found’ or modify some of them?”
“Sure, go ahead.”
Ryo asked, and Kenneth answered with a smile.
Student Ryo seemed to have found the answer the teacher was trying to convey.
That’s right, one could use the ‘sequence of letters’ found in books, used in alchemy tools, or used by Kenneth and Frank.
At the very least, there is no copyright in alchemy!
He remembered Sera getting mad at him when he tried it with a book, but….
It’s a common method for beginners in programming.
Duplicate the original program and change some necessary parts.
In the past, Ryo had been taught how to do that as well….
You never really know what’s going to be useful and where.
Or you could just combine those of other people…or maybe not.
Because there are cases where they collide and cause malfunction…It wouldn’t be easy, but at least Ryo finally took a step toward the future he had his sights on.