Intermission 9 Splitting Magic Stones
The corridor leading to the King’s office in the Royal Castle.
“His Majesty is not here yet, right? Are you sure it’s okay to wait inside?”
“Yes. That was the instruction from His Majesty. That once Baron Hayward arrives, I should show you to his office. His Majesty will be back shortly.”
That was a conversation between Baron Kenneth Hayward, a genius alchemist and the head of the Royal Alchemy Workshop, and the chief chamberlain.
After the conversation, Baron Kenneth Hayward was shown into the King’s office.
However, the office was not exactly vacant.
It wasn’t King Abel, of course.
But a certain water-attribute magician who was reading a book on alchemy while lying on the sofa….
“Ah, Ryo. Now I understand. That’s why His Majesty asked me wait in the office.”
The other guest also understood but had a lot to say about it.
“Kind of boggles the mind, doesn’t it, I mean how could anyone be absent from receiving their own guest. Wouldn’t you agree that he’s gotten more cocky now that he’s king!”
“No, I have not …”
Abel blurted out after hearing the water-attribute magician’s accusation the moment he entered.
Kenneth saw Abel enter and immediately got down on one knee and took a bow as a vassal.
Even though they were old acquaintances, he made sure to observe the proper courtesy.
“You don’t need to, Kenneth. It’s a different story if others were present, but it’s just the three of us, so you can address me as Abel as you’ve always done before.”
But of course, the water-attribute magician and the premier duke of the Kingdom, who was lying on the sofa, did not perform such courtesy….
“I, too, would properly do the needful before Abel if in public, okay?”
“…Is that so?”
“What is it, Abel? That, oh really, kinda attitude. With those eyes that seem to be saying, would he really do it?”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“Yeah, right! I, myself, always want to get down on one knee and bow, too, you know? But as the premier duke and representative of the nobles, and by extension, the people, I must prevent His Majesty the King from being tyrannical! It is part of my duty to prevent His Majesty the King from getting carried away. A country is such a complicated organization!”
“Oh…right…that sounds like a lot of work…”
Abel nodded, having lost the energy to argue with Ryo’s speech.
Kenneth was by the side listening to their comical dialogue, or rather the banter between the King and the premier duke, with a smile on his face.
“Yes, Kenneth. I was told you had something to report about some long-distance communication.“
“That’s right, Abel. I’ve put it all together in a document…It’s a paper titled ‘Possibility of Long-Distance Communication Using Resonance Phenomena by Splitting Magic Stones’.”
Kenneth put the rather thick document on the desk.
Along with two magic stones.
Abel read the first few pages of the document.
Which contained the overview.
Ryo was interested in the subject, so he went behind Abel and surveyed the document.
“Abel, aren’t you reading a little too fast?”
“Really? I believe I’m reading at my usual pace, though?”
Abel was reading at a very fast pace, if not as fast as a fast reader.
He must have practiced quite a bit.
Thanks to his daily paperwork.
People become stronger as they practice.
But it also brings tears to the eyes of those around them.
Especially when the person in question doesn’t realize that they’ve grown because of such tragic circumstances….
“Ryo, why are you staring at me with such pity?”
“N-No, it’s nothing….”
Abel looked at him with a suspicious look, and Ryo hurriedly removed his gaze so as not to get exposed.
It’s not very nice to look at a pitiful person with a gaze that is probably filled with pity….
“I see, this is great. With this, it will be possible to communicate at a considerable distance, albeit one-to-one…but both sides will have to expend a great deal of magic power, and both must be magicians.”
“Yes. The challenge in making it generic lies in that bit. But please understand that it is only technically possible. In the royal capital, the average magician can use it, but…even so, about twenty seconds of communication will drain half of their magic power. Going forward, we will work on reducing the magic consumption and extending the communication distance.”
Kenneth nodded to Abel’s inference and also talked about the future prospects.
“But, first of all, this ‘splitting of magic stone’ of a thing is a surprisingly difficult thing to do…according to gramps, Ilarion.”
“Yes. It is, that hasn’t changed. It’s not something anyone can do, due to the characteristics of the magic stone. Which is why this long-distance communication is not something that can be made available to just anyone.”
“Well, I appreciate that.”
Kenneth’s explanation brought Abel some relief.
If long-distance communication becomes common, society itself is likely to change drastically.
Even if this will eventually happen, policymakers aren’t always in favor of such drastic changes.
That was not to say that Abel was lazy or that the Kingdom government was not trying hard enough.
In any age, in any government, rapid changes in society are undesirable.
Because the ‘government’ is usually the largest organization in a country.
And the bigger it is, the slower it moves and the slower it starts moving.
However, because it is huge, once it starts moving, its driving force is just as strong.
Acceleration is slow, but horsepower is enormous.
That is the essence of government.
When policymakers attempt to apply drastic changes to the government without understanding that, it generates a strain of massive proportions.
And strain always leads to catastrophe.
It either ‘ruptures’ or ‘rebounds’.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to suppress it with a strong force, something akin to ‘violence’.
Generally, that is what history calls oppression or massacre….
Can it be avoided?
Of course, there are examples in history where it was avoided.
It takes a ‘special person’, without exception.
A charismatic, yet extremely capable leader.
Only with such a person will it succeed.
Of course, this doesn’t really make the ‘strain’ disappear, it just makes it less visible….but there is no other way.
“Is it really that difficult to split a magic stone?”
Ryo asked the question that had been on his mind.
“Oh trust me, it is. If you thrust a sword at the magic stone inside a monster’s body, it will break and dissipate, right? By doing so, you can defeat the monster, but then you can’t retrieve the magic stone either. Basically, the magic stone disappears once it is broken.”
Abel, not Kenneth, answered Ryo’s question.
Kenneth also nodded from the sofa across from him.
“You’d have to be an alchemist in the same league as Kenneth to do that, isn’t that right?”
Abel said, and Kenneth smiled shyly.
“Amazing, Kenneth! Unlike a certain swordsman and King, it’s impressive that you’re capable of such a thing!”
“While a certain water-attribute magician and premier duke is likely not capable of it either!”
“That’s understandable! In my case, I’m still developing with so much room for growth!”
Ryo said proudly for some reason.
Hope for the future is important for everyone….
“The larger the magic stone, the more difficult it is to split. Of course, even I don’t always succeed, but again, the larger the stone, the lower the success rate. However, it seems that the larger the stone, the stronger the resonance phenomenon, and the farther the distance that can be communicated with it. Needless to say, the magic power required by the people holding the magic stone will also increase….”
Hearing Kenneth’s explanation, Ryo thought for a moment and then asked a question.
“Is there a preference for the type of magic stone…?”
“We’ve tried wind, earth, and fire, but wind is preferable. With the same magic power consumption as the rest, the distance stretched further by fifty percent. Also, with regards to the pair holding the magic stones, it seems that magicians with the same attributes consume much less magic power.”
After Kenneth finished his report and left the King’s office, Ryo was still sitting on the sofa thinking about something.
Abel did not bother to ask.
Because words were leaking out of Ryo’s mouth, perhaps unconsciously, and somehow he knew what he was thinking.
“If we’re talking about wind magic stones, that means wyverns…there are a bunch of them in the mountains on the way to Rondo Forest…the problem is, who gets to hold the other half…the person has to be a magician, with lots of magic power to boot…in which case, say I possess one, whoever I give the other half has to be a water-attribute magician…I suppose it can only be Prince Willy…”
Abel prayed for the safety of Prince Willy, who was about to become an experimental subject….