Ask Chris #3 is out.
Also, don’t be surprised if time actually passes in this story. Not all of a character’s life has to be interesting. I’ll try to only write about the interesting parts, though 😛
Professor Farman and William had come to an understanding. Professor Farman remained grumpy and strict, and William continued to secretly be his favorite student. Though, that wouldn’t really be true any longer, since William would no longer be a student. Instead, he would be a research assistant. Although Professor Farman taught classes, most of the higher level faculty also were researchers to some degree or other.
The main focus of Professor Farman’s study was magical theory. Although, calling it a focus was rather incorrect. In essence, it was a study of natural law, and what could be done by a wizard to manipulate the world. With proper understanding and enough mana, in theory, anything could be done. Mana, however, was often a key issue in those things that were deemed “impossible”. For example, although one could theoretically create edible food out of mana, there wasn’t enough mana around to make anything. Even if the mana were present, controlling large amounts was incredibly hard. Indeed, to make any mass, it would take a very large amount of mana.
If mass-energy equivalence was the same, assuming the world worked in basically the same manner as where he came from, making something from nothing was basically impossible. Put simply, even a 1 kg rock contains almost 1500 times as much energy as the nuclear bomb, “Little Boy”, which was dropped on Hiroshima. Thus, making a 1 kg rock of of energy would take slightly more energy, accounting for losses in the conversion process. How, then, did people cast water spells, or create earth walls? Quite simply, they moved the matter, instead of creating it. Thus, it was harder to “create” water in a desert.
How much easier was it to move matter than create it? It would be about 100 billion times easier to move the same 1 kg of rock from the other side of the planet than to create it. Still not a trivial amount of energy, but it was not necessary to move anything that far. Though, this did put a bit of a damper on any plans to teleport things long distances. Though, William still wasn’t sure exactly how wizards used mana to accomplish these things. To really understand that was going to take quite a bit more learning, if it was even known precisely.
It was around this time that William implemented the first stage in his plan to find other reincarnated people. Though he called it the first stage, he didn’t actually have a second stage in mind. His plan was quite simple, but by no means guaranteed to produce any results. William’s parents, being merchants, would be key. He created some flyers, which he his parents would have delivered to all the largest cities. Then, the flyers would be hung somewhere people would see it. What did the flyers say? Quite simply, “If you can read this, contact William Stevenson” and his location in Ostana.
How would that help? Simply, it was written in English. Unfortunately, the plan still had many holes. It cost money to have the flyers delivered, and more to have them hung up. William couldn’t even guarantee that the people in the other cities would put them somewhere they would be seen, or even put them up at all. He also would pay to have some instructions translated into local languages that asked for people who recognized (and had firsthand knowledge of) the script to contact him, for a reward. This would allow him to find reincarnated people who didn’t speak English, but were also from Earth. Unfortunately, William had no way to know if there were even other people from Earth who had reincarnated here, and that they would see and respond to his request. However, he didn’t know of any way to determine the genuineness of a reincarnated person unless they were from his universe.
The process would be long, and expensive. At least, on a research assistant’s pay. William would be sending out flyers over the course of a few years, and then there would be travel times. Thus, he wasn’t expecting much in the way of results for quite a while, unless he got lucky. It was also possible that even if there were a large amount of reincarnated people with memories, they might not be from William’s universe. After all, if there were a very large amounts of places to draw from, then it was less likely that many would come from Earth. William also didn’t know if people would keep their memories at all, or if he was one of a few lucky exceptions.
However, William was still willing to put effort into something that might produce no results, because he knew he would regret not trying. And, if it did work, it would be a great accomplishment- at least to him. He wasn’t sure if he could get, or even wanted, any kind of public recognition of his study on reincarnation. While he may be comfortable telling his parents and those close to him about being reincarnated, he wasn’t planning to make it public knowledge.
As for the other thing William was most interested in studying, the soul, he had absolutely no idea how to study it. How could he study something that couldn’t be seen or felt? Well, he didn’t know for sure that nobody could do something like that here, but he also had no indication that there was anybody who could, either. In addition to studying the soul, William wanted to look into possible other ways to use magic. Were there other ways to sense mana? Were there ways he could control it, or something similar, without the usual senses? So far, the answer had been no, but that was what he could find with the resources available to a student. Perhaps he would find something in the future. If not, well, he had a second life and the chance to live in a world with magic. That was more than he was expecting.