07-10 The Mystery of Ether
After finishing lunch, it was decided that each one would spend the afternoon as they pleased.
For some reason Jin headed towards the direction of the mine, but when he was in a place with no other people in it Reiko undid her [Stealth] and appeared. Then,
“Father, it seems something has happened on Hourai Island.”
She informed Jin of it.
“By that, do you mean something even Laozi couldn’t deal with?”
“No, if I had to say then I’d describe it as an important discovery that I wanted to report.”
“Is that so. Alright, let’s go see it for a while.”
Jin said and also used [Stealth, and along with Reiko the two invisible people returned back to the carriage. Jin couldn’t see to the outside so he walked led by the hand by Reiko.
After confirming there was no one watching, they silently boarded the carriage, activated the hidden Warp Gate, and warped to Hourai Island.
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“Welcome home, My Lord.”
They came out of the Warp Gate on Hourai Island, and Laozi’s voice greeted them.
“Oh, I’m home. You had something to report?”
Jin proceeded to the chamber where Laozi’s machinery was and sat down on a chair prepared there. Reiko also sat down next to him.
“Yes, My Lord. To be frank, it’s about the ‘Albatross’ units.”
Albatrosses were the airplanes Jin had build that flew with [Magi Jet Engine]s.
“Right now they’re continuing drawing up the topographic map by means of aerial surveillance, but during that process we came to understand something unexpected.”
“Yes. First, please take a look at this.”
Following Laozi’s instructions, Jin had the in-progress map spread out in front of him. The one responsible for it was the army golem Land-1.
“It’s well made.”
“Thank you. We’ll add the details later, but the terrain can be rougly understood as it is now, I think.”
“Yeah. However, why is there not much of anything in the southern hemisphere?”
The northern hemisphere of the map was drawn detailedly, but only a little had been drawn in the southern hemisphere.
“That’s the point of this report.”
Laozi then began the report.
“At the beginning, measurements advanced all right. However, the ‘Albatrosses’ that went south noticed an abnormality. As did the boarded Sky golems.”
“Yes. The operation efficiency of the Ether Converters fell. However, when we examined the returned Albatrosses we didn’t find anything unusual.”
When Jin heard that, a hypothesis came to his mind, but because of the lack of information he refrained from a snap judgment, and had Laozi continue.
“And then, for the Albatrosses that went north, they say that conversely their Ether Converters’ perfromances increased. Again the boarded Sky golems reported this same increase.”
After that Jin had the feeling that his hypothesis wasn’t incorrect.
Laozi concluded with stating that from this information he deemed that the concentration of Ether in the air increases when going north, and decreases when going south. It was consistent with Jin’s hypothesis.
At that time Reiko, who had been silent until now, spoke.
“During Mother’s era, it appears that the habitats were divided so that north was devil beasts’ territory, and south was humans’ territory. Don’t you think there’s a connection?”
When Laozi heard that,
“Reiko-san, thank you for the excellent information. My Lord, judging from this information there can be no doubt of the fact that Ether concentration becomes denser when heading north.”
He reasoned. Jin agreed too. Reiko also agreed and explained,
“Besides, during the time I searched for Father, I warped all around, and there was an area where the efficacy of my Ether Converter was strangely higher. Perhaps it may have been in the north.”
Jin nodded and spoke of his conclusion.
“Yeah, with that many facts, putting aside the reason for it, your conclusion doesn’t seem to be mistaken. When it comes to going north, there’s no problems, but there’s an urgent need for development for the planes going south.”
With that, Jin started designing a new type of aircraft with Laozi’s assistance.
“Let’s install three Ether Converters. Then to have it be able to fly even without Ether, also build in a large Mana Tank.”
The Ether Converters and the Mana Tank differed from the usual mechanical airplanes, but the size didn’t change that much, so while making additions they didn’t end up making a larger fuselage.
“My Lord, I recommend also supplementing the Magi Jet Engines.”
Laozi thought they’d better augment the engines, so he made a suggestion. Jin decided to adopt that suggestion and,
“Alright, let’s add one to both wings. By having three engines in total surely even long-range flights would be possible.”
There was no way that the number of engines would be proportional to the flight range, but the point was probably valid as it made it easier to increase both flight speed and altitude. It didn’t mean that Jin comprehended much of the aerodynamics from the start. He only had had experience building model planes. If it didn’t work out, he’d just rebuild them, Jin thought.
And thus, they decided to build several fuselages.
First was the fuselage for use in long-distance reconnaissance. It was loaded with three Ether Converters and three Magi Jet Engines too. It had a large Mana Tank and –theoretically– it could easily go around the world.
Next was the fuselage for use in transportation. It was similar to the long-distance reconnaissance models, but rather than improving flight distance the takeoff weight was improved by increasing the surface of the wings and the volume of the fuselage.
Finally was the fuselage for use in stealth manoeuvres. The ‘Albatross’ was used as the base, but a [Stealth] function was installed, the offensive ability strengthened, and the frame was made to be capable of high-speed movement. It would be no exaggeration to call it a stealth fighter.
They were each named with the long-range reconnaissance model being ‘Skylark’, the transportation-model being ‘Pelican’, and the secret model being ‘Raptor’.
The Skylark was a Eurasian skylark, and Raptor was a bird of prey. Jin christened them after names he had heard while on Earth. If you thought of the two then certainly, you’d get the feeling that albatross would be a better name for the long-distance reconnaissance plane rather than skylark, but since Jin named them it’s hopeless to worry.
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When the designs were roughly completed, Jin once more viewed the map.
From the measurements until now, he could grasp the approximate size of this planet.
“However, it’s smaller than I thought.”
According to Laozi’s calculations this planet’s diameter was approximately 2400 kilometers. It was small compared to Earth’s diameter of about 12700 kilometers.
“It’s filled with heavy elements after all…Probably magical elements too, huh.”
Jin had an interest in this planet’s structure too, but he postponed that and changed to a different thought.
“Laozi, it seems that there’s a turbulent situation in this world too, so stay alert.”
Jin brought it to Laozi’s attention.
“Yes, things such as [Subordination Rewriting Magic] and Unifilers, right? I get the reports from Reiko-san too.”
“Yeah, that’s right. If they knew about this place, they’d unmistakably set their aims here. Be careful.”
“Understood, My Lord. I will do that, and staying vigilant in Kaina Village is important too, right?
It was the name of the village that was special to Jin. You could call the village a second home to him.
Now that Jin had received the title of honorary Magi Craftsman of Egelia Kingdom, a small hope swelled of perhaps being able to go to Cline Kingdom and openly visit Kaina Village located in its countryside. It still seemed to for a bit later in the future, though.
After that, Jin spent time listening to the detailed reports regarding the islands’ development, and the state of affairs on Kunlun Island.
To put it briefly, eveything was going very well.
Finally, he tried asking about mining Elradrite, but unfortunately a vein of it couldn’t be found on either Hourai Island or Kunlun Island.
“Well, I guess it can’t be helped. Please continue your investigations.”
“Yes, My Lord.”
Then Jin once again went through the Warp Gate and returned to Yada Village.
＊ ＊ ＊
Because of the time difference, it was still bright in Yada Village.
After getting out of the carriage, Jin took the opportunity to check and see if there’s been any damage or abnormalities anywhere.
A voice then greeted him. Turning around, he saw Elsa.
“What, are you up to?”
“Um, just inspecting the carriage. Tomorrow, we’ll take this to the ruins, right? That’s why.”
Elsa looked satisfied with an answer like that.
“Jin-kun’s remarkable. Even after making something like this, you’re still prudent.
“Haha, you won’t get anywhere even with flattery.”
Jin replied like that to Elsa’s praise and,
“Alright, everything’s normal.”
He said and clapped his hands together.
“I hope the weather’s fine tomorrow.”
Jin looked up at the sky while walking alonside Elsa.
The clouds in the sky dyed red by the sunset seemed to be an omen of fine weather for tomorrow.