Magi Craft Meister 577
17 Resolution With The Demons Arc
17-26 Gossip 31 – The Mole’s Findings
On August 4th the underground probe Magi Machine “Mole” had begun an underground exploration of the Inad Mine.
“Mole” was a cylindrical device with a diameter of 2 meters and a length of 3 meters, and it resembled the shield machines that were used for tunnel digging on modern Earth.
It could be used in one of two ways: either through its Magic Tool that allowed it to use the “Dig” spell, or with its Hyper Adamantite chips.
The excavated earth and sand would be discharged to the surface using its dedicated transfer machine.
Equipped with both a sonar and a Magi Detector, it can dig while searching for foreign objects in the ground so as not to miss any treasure buried on its path.
And it was also able to use the “Toughen” on the walls of the tunnels it created to prevent cave-ins.
Since the idea was to search for any buried objects, the excavation had to be done at a slower pace than usual.
Back when the Giant Centipedes first came out of the mine, the existence of an unfamiliar Magic Tool was detected in one of the caves used by them.
But before the tool’s nature could be confirmed, a cave-in occurred and everything was buried underground.
“First, we need to aim to reach 200 meters underground, which is how far below we had reached back then.”
Thus “Mole” kept on digging while collecting some sphalerite –which is the primary ore of zinc– on the way.
By August 12th, “Mole” had reached 50 meters underground. There it found some deposits of arsenopyrite, which is an iron arsenic sulfide.
On August 21st, it reached the 100-meter mark, where it mined some olivine on the way down.
The 150-meter mark was reached on September 1st. The “Mole” found some garnet deposits there.
And on September 9th, it finally reached a depth of 200 meters underground, which was the point where the Giant Centipedes had crawled out from.
“Mole” continued to dig deeper down with more caution than ever.
“I’ve found something.”
Smith 3, who was in charge of operating “Mole”, reported his most recent finding to Laojun.
“It’s a broken Magic Tool. I believe that it was smashed as a result of the cave-in.”
“Noted. Please collect it and transfer it here.”
Following Laojun’s instructions, Smith 3 carefully dug out the Magic Tool, changed the built-in transfer machine’s destination settings and sent it out.
Then “Mole” continued digging deeper into the ground.
On September 10th, “Mole” hit a cave at around 220 meters underground.
It seemed to be about 1 kilometer long and around 300 meters wide. It was truly a huge cave, with a height from floor to ceiling of about 20 meters.
But it was clearly man-made.
The walls, floor, and ceiling were unnaturally flat.
Smith 3 reported this to Laojun, who in turn asked him to examine the cave in detail and sent Smiths 4 and 5 to assist him.
The 3 Smiths split up in order to cover more ground.
“Mysterious Magic Tools found.”
“Mysterious material found.”
“Mysterious substance found.”
Each of them had found something different, which in turn would lead to more surprising discoveries.
“Perhaps there is some kind of processing facility in this cave.”
This “processing facility” would be a place that processed the corpses of living beings by either burning or dissolving them.
“With this size, it must have been able to process a considerable amount.”
Smith 3 continued his report to Laojun.
“This is…? A Golem. Though it doesn’t seem to be operational anymore.”
Eventually, the final report on the Smith’s findings in this man-made underground cave consisted of four mysterious Magic Tools that seemed to be used for the same purpose due to their similarities with one another, about 50 tons of a mysterious material taken from an unknown creature which was probably some kind of magical beast, and nearly 20 grams of a mysterious substance that resembled a black powder stored inside a crystal storage container.
The aforementioned broken Golem, which didn’t seem to have anything special about it, was not included in their report.
The mysterious magic tool was analyzed on the spot.
As for the mysterious materials and substance, after conducting as much research as possible on site and confirming that they weren’t dangerous, they were sent to Hourai Island.
Jin opened his eyes wide when he received the black powder.
That black powder was exactly like the small amount that Jin had received from No. 700672 some time ago.
“But I don’t get it. No. 700672 said that about a million brains had to be collected from creatures of this world just to create a handful of this…”
At that moment, they were contacted by the Smiths.
“Master, Laojun, we believe we now understand the purpose of the mysterious Magic Tools. They have a function that allows them to collect Ether.”
“Wait, how’s that different from an Ether Converter?”
“Their only function is to ‘collect’ Ether.”
In short, they seemed to have the function of collecting Ether from the surrounding area to increase the concentration of Ether within a certain range.
Jin had been wondering why bothering to just collect Ether and not do anything else with it, but now he had an idea of what its true purpose might have been.
“Perhaps the demons… or rather, our ‘ancestors’ made these tools?”
The climate was harsh in the north, and Ether was scarce in the south. As such, the possible measures to combat each region’s shortcomings were to either devise ways to stay warm in the north, or to collect Ether in the south.
And this facility’s purpose was to collect Ether from the area to increase its concentration.
“It seems to be more efficient than the ones used in Ether Stockers and Ether Boxes.”
“I see. I suppose we could call these ‘Ether Condenser’.”
Jin instructs them to send them over as well. Then, Laojun made another big discovery.
“My Lord, could that place have been used as a monster farm?”
Laojun speculated that the “ancestors” could have raised magical beasts in that place, which had a high concentration of Ether thanks to those Ether Condensers, and then farmed their brains in order to mass-produce mental catalysts.
Jin himself had started to explore that possibility, so he immediately agreed with Laojun’s theory.
Then, after many years passed, these ancestors and their descendants either perished or left this place, leaving the golems behind, which simply continued their assigned work.
Jin agreed with this as well.
“At any rate, I’m grateful that I got my hands on a little bit more of this mental catalyst. Though I might not have any use for it anymore.”
After all, a pact of peace between the demons and Jin had been recently struck.
However, for anyone who dedicates themselves to creating new things, securing all sorts of materials is without a doubt something that can greatly expand their potential, which in turn can open new possibilities for the future.
“Please send me a sample of the mysterious material.”
Jin then picked up the material sample that had been transferred over. It was silver-gray with a certain shininess to it, and it was quite light. It had a level though undefined form, though this was a result of it being a biological material being artificially made flat as part of its processing.
This material was supposed to have once been the shell or carapace of the same magical beasts that were farmed in order to manufacture the mental catalyst.
It was hard for Jin to guess how many years, as well as how many of those magical beasts, had been necessary in order to manufacture that mental catalyst. And he couldn’t see himself trying to do the same thing.
Still, the best way Jin had to pay respects to all those magical beast was to not let the materials they left behind go to waste.
“Hmm… I’ve never seen anything like this…”
Jin decided to examine it without haste, and to think about both its characteristics and possible uses.
“Perhaps those Giant Centipedes came to be as a side effect of the prolonged use of this Ether Condenser?”
Laojun shared his guess with Jin, who seemed to have been thinking about the exact same thing.
“Are you sure there aren’t any more of those Giant Centipedes around?”
“Yes, we’re not picking up any reaction within 1 kilometer of our position.”
“Okay, leave the investigation of this cave to Smiths 4 and 5 and return to the ‘Mole’. Let’s dig a little deeper underground.”
Smith 3 did as instructed and resumed the digging work.
Since there seemed to be no further concern about collecting anything else, he increased the speed to cover more depth in less time.
Then, having dug 50 meters deeper in a single day, he found native gold, native platinum, and some iridosmine (an alloy of iridium and osmium).
Iridosmine is a metal that is used to reinforce golden pen nibs –the part that rubs against paper– of high-quality fountain pens due to their hardness and resistance to wear.
“I don’t have much use for it, but Saki and Toa might be happy to get their hands on some of this…”
With that in mind, Jin stored it in his warehouse.
The “Mole” continued to dig deeper and deeper, and around 500 meters underground, it came across a relatively large vein of Magi Crystal.
It was milky white, as was average for Magi Crystals that were attuned to have all attributes.
“With this amount, Kaina Village should have enough Magi Crystals for the next 500 years…”
However, mining all that Magi Crystal would only be possible with Jin’s technology and the materials stored in Hourai Island. When looking at the cost-effectiveness of the whole process, it wouldn’t be that big of a profit. But Jin probably wouldn’t understand all that.