Magi Craft Meister 472
14 Family Trip Arc
14-23 Turning Point
No matter how talented Jin was, not even him could create new magic or magic tools with an idea alone. He decided to collect his thoughts for the time being.
It was lunch time. They were going to have rice balls.
It was said that on Earth, only Japanese people had enzymes that could digest seaweed, but in this world, everyone could eat it without problems. At least, that was true for all of Jin’s friends.
“This salty taste is delicious!”
Elsa seemed to enjoy the simple, salty taste of the rice balls. Jin was the same.
When they were about to finish their meal, Laojun contacted Jin.
“My Lord. Master Reinhardt, Miss Berthie, Miss Saki, and Miss Stearleana have arrived.”
All of his friends who had gone to the Shouro Empire had arrived. Jin gathered everyone in the command room on the first basement floor.
“Long time no see, Reinhardt.”
“Indeed it has. The feudal lord’s work has settled down for a while at last, so I can finally afford to come here…”
Reinhardt had small dark circles under his eyes.
“Though Adberg is still at work even today.”
Berthie stepped into their conversation with that remark.
“My request for asylum in the Shouro Empire has been accepted. I’ve been able to settle down without any issues. Mr. Toa is a nice person as well.”
“Kuhuhu, my father also seems to have taken a liking to Stearleana. I’m relieved.”
Stearleana and Saki also briefly reported their current situation.
After chatting for a while like that, Jin decided to get into the main topic. That is, artificial Magi Crystals.
First of all, an explanation and apology to Reinhardt.
“…So that’s what happened. Sorry, Reinhardt.”
“Gah! You were doing such interesting things while I was doing nothing but work!?”
Reinhardt let out a scream full of regret, but as soon as he heard Jin’s explanation, he somehow managed to calm down.
“Well, it can’t be helped. So, there’s going to be a report from Laojun soon?”
“That is correct. Would now be the right time for me to start?”
Everyone nodded silently.
“Then, I’ll begin. The first thing I noticed was about Pelshika juice.”
In particular, Pelshika juice from Hourai Island was known to have a high amount of Ether. It was also a well-known fact that its concentration increased further when it was stored in an ether box.
“Of course, it’s still far from the amount of Ether of a Magi Crystal, but I thought it would be useful for research.”
Therefore, Laojun then decided to remove the unnecessary ingredients found in Pelshika juice one by one.
First of all, its sugar content. He separated a type of sugar called fructose from the juice with Engineering Magic. Then, he separated its dietary fiber. At this point, its Ether content had already increased tenfold.
The rest were vitamins and minerals such as potassium and iron. This left almost the liquid portion of the juice, which comprised about 90% of its total composition.
“When only the isolated liquid contained in Pelshika juice was stored in an ether box for a single day, its Ether content had increased to about 1200 times its original value.”
“Wait a minute. That increase of 1200 times its original value is compared to the value Pelshikas have at the time of harvest, right?”
Saki asked a question, interrupting Laojun’s speech.
“Correct. I failed to mention that in my explanation.”
“Umm, can you tell me how to measure the amount of ether contained in a substance?”
Saki asked another question, this time tilting her head to the side.
“Understood. Simply put, I converted a certain amount of the solution into mana with an Ether Converter, and generated magical power using a Mana Driver. Then I compared the duration of the process.”
The point is that the amounts were indirectly compared by converting them into energy. It was essentially the same as comparing the capacities of different sets of batteries by checking how many hours could each set keep the same light bulb on.
“I see. I understand it now. Thanks.”
“I’ll continue. This time, the amount of Ether contained was comparable to that of a Magi Crystal of the same weight. Therefore, I believe that if this ‘solution’ can be crystallized, it could turn into a Magi Crystal. These are the facts that I’ve been able to establish.”
Everyone was deeply impressed. It became apparent that Magi Crystals, which were an important material in Magi Craft, could be synthesized.
After a brief pause, Laojun resumed his speech.
“From here on, it’s all conjecture. I believe it would be easier for Ether to enter the gaps between the molecules of a liquid substance than those in a solid state.”
Jin nodded. He had also thought that that would be the most likely scenario.
“In that case, I wonder if you can saturate Ether into ordinary water?”
Reinhardt’s question was quite reasonable.
“Yes, regarding that, I’ve been wondering if the water contained in the Pelshika found in Hourai Island wouldn’t happen to be an isotope of ordinary water.”
“Ah, I see.”
Mithril silver is an isotope of silver, which means that most of the 60 or 62 neutrons contained in the nucleus of silver are replaced by magical elements.
Aluminum is an isotope of titanium, which means that most of the 26 neutrons contained in the nucleus of titanium are replaced by magical elements.
“We will call such isotopes ‘Magi Isotopes’. The water contained in the Pelshika found in Hourai Island, that is, its hydrogen and oxygen, are probably Magi Isotopes. I believe that the reason for this is that the very soil of Hourai Island may act as a catalyst for such elements to turn into Magi Isotopes.”
“I see, I think I sort of get it…”
Other than Jin –actually, Jin included, no one could say for sure that they had fully understood the logic behind Laojun’s hypothesis.
Still, they could at least feel that they were standing at a major turning point in the long history of magic and Magi Engineering.
“If we are going to use it as an energy source, we don’t have to make it solid, right?”
Jin opened his mouth after a brief period of silence.
“Yes. I’ve been wondering if it would be okay if I changed the Ether Converter so that it could use the Ether found in this ‘solution’ instead of drawing it from the air.”
“…J-Jin, wouldn’t you be able to get an extraordinary output from that?”
Realizing the meaning of Laojun’s words, Reinhardt jumped in, sounding somewhat excited.
“Yeah. If we refine mana from a ‘solution’ that has a higher Ether concentration higher than the one found in air… And if we ignore the Mana Driver’s durability, I think we should be able to get about 100 times more output than usual.”
Everyone was lost for words once again. Jin realized that this “solution” would be as easy to handle as petroleum was on modern Earth, which can produce a high output of various fuels, such as atomic fuel.
“My Lord, how should we call this ‘solution’?”
Laojun’s voice broke the silence.
“Since it’s a solution that contains Ether, how about ‘Ether Water’?”
“Come on, Jin, that’s too simple!”
Saki disagreed with the name without a moment’s delay.
That was Elsa’s proposed name. E from Ether, W from water. It was slightly better than “Ether Water”, but the party still felt that it should be a little different than that.
“How about ‘Ethenol’? There’s no particular meaning to it, it just sounds similar to Ether and it has a nice ring to it…”
“I see, it does sound good. What do you guys think?”
Reinhardt nodded at Stearleana’s suggestion. Seeing him nod, Berthie soon followed. Therefore, they decided to name the new solution “Ethenol”.
Returning to the main subject…
“So now we should see how we’re going to crystallize this Ethenol.”
“Very well. Since it is originally water, it will certainly become solid if frozen. However, at room temperature, it will melt again and return to its liquid state.”
At this point, Elsa noticed something.
“But the Magi Crystals found in nature are supposed to contain mana, not Ether…”
“That is true.”
It seemed that Jin and Laojun had the same misunderstanding. The experiment they had conducted the other day had demonstrated that what was entering the gaps in the material made of Magi Atoms was Mana.
The Ethenol was a ‘solution’ in which Ether would enter the gaps between the molecules of substances made of Magi Isotopes. It was similar, but different.
This was still a very useful discovery, so the result was satisfactory nonetheless.
“Then, we just have to find a way to generate Mana with an Ether Converter and then secure that mana.”
“That’s right. I’m wondering if there’s something we can understand from the phenomenon that a Magi Crystal’s color changes depending on its attribute.”
Mana itself has no magical attributes. However, Magi Crystals change color depending on their attributes, e.g. fire, water, earth, wind, light, darkness, and so on.
So once again, they decided that Laojun would be conducting various experiments in order to better understand this phenomenon.
＊ ＊ ＊
After the technical talk was over…
“So, another demon, huh…”
Jin first told Reinhardt about the demon they had met in the Celuroa Kingdom, Androgias the Wild, and then about the other one that Elsa already knew about but the others didn’t: Alciel the Puppeteer.
At the same time, he talked about the gravity, destruction, and enslavement spells by the demons.
“The magic used by the demons has a different arrangement and structure from ours, so it takes time to analyze it.”
He then explained how he had been rearranging the format his own spells used.
“So that’s how you were able to counteract Androgias’ gravity magic that day.”
Saki reprimanded Jin for having forgotten to explain it to her later like he had promised.
After apologizing to her, Jin continued his explanation about demons. There were some things that some of them already were aware of, but he wanted to make sure that everyone was up to date with all of the information they had at the moment.