(Patreon) Wizard! Chapter 465

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“Why have you asked me here, my king?” Theo bowed upon entering the room.

“We’re not in public, there’s no need for that.” He motioned for Theo to sit in the chair across the desk from him. “I just had you come here to thank you for all the work you’re doing. I could have come to see you, but you don’t have an office… and no official position. You spend most of your time constructing useful blueprints when you’d probably rather be studying…”

“Well,” Theo scratched his head, “It’s not like they’re anything complicated. Besides, most of the blueprints aren’t really that great. I have to write ‘power component goes here’ or such since I’m not really that familiar with magical formations yet.”

“We do appreciate all of the details though. Specifying the amounts of power required was very helpful… and based on the standards available here, any sort of machinery counts as complicated.”

Theo shrugged, “I guess. It’s not even fuel combustion propulsion science. What did I do all that studying before in my previous life if I couldn’t even whip up some basic blueprints?” The gevai language didn’t actually have a good word for rocket, so Theo brute forced the words.

“Did you study… fuel combustion propulsion science?”

Theo shook his head, “Not that much.”

“Oh.” William’s shoulders fell. “It would be very helpful eventually. There are some who would love to go to the moon.” William looked off toward the ceiling, but the moon wasn’t even out even if it hadn’t been covered by the building.

“Um…” Theo grinned sheepishly, “I mean, that won’t necessarily be a problem. I was actually a…” Theo struggled to find the right words. He’d been reading through the dictionary to expand his vocabulary, but there were still some words missing- from the language itself. “I worked on space ships. We just stopped using fuel combustion.”

“That’s even better.”

“I suppose so… but even if we can rapidly progress technology it’s not like I’ll be around for that.”

“Why not?” William frowned.

“I mean… “ Theo scratched his chin, “We still have to make machinery work. Either through purely physical or magic it will take some time to industrialize things. Even if technology progresses three or more times as fast that’s still over… a gross of years.”

“So?”

“So… I’ll be dead.”

William sighed, “Are you sick?”

“No?”

“Lazy?”

“Of course not!”

“Likely to be assassinated?”

“Um… I hope not.”

William shrugged, “Then, why would you be dead?”

“I mean, it’s a gross of years…”

“What did your parents teach you?”

Theo thought that was a strangely sudden change of topic. “Reading, writing… how to speak, I suppose. Math… until I had enough practice with base 12.”

“Did you actually read?”

“Not that much. It was actually a rarity that a fishing family had a few books and could read…” Theo frowned, “Why does this matter?”

“So you didn’t read a lot of… history? Or anatomy…”

“I… is gevai anatomy that different from humans? Besides the horns… skin color… muscular strength…” Theo looked down and poked himself in the stomach.

“We share the same vital organs and such. How long do you think gevai live?”

“… About the same? I suppose gevai are unusually healthy…” Theo concentrated for a moment as he thought about it, “Is it that different?”

“Gevai live a gross of years before dying of old age… minimum. The maximum is…”

“Another few dozen years?”

William folded his hands, “Why do you think my position is called Eternal King?”

“Umm… the old… the Demon King kept reincarnating. Was that not it? It also sounds pretty good.”

“That’s half of it. However, he never died of old age. Part of that is he liked to go into wars to get himself killed, and the other part is the maximum gevai lifespan is… practically infinite.”

“Really? But if that’s the case… how do people die of old age?”

“When they give up, they start aging.”

Theo blinked. “That’s… not how biology works. I mean… stress factors could cause premature aging but…” Theo thought about the implications of that.

“It’s a bit more complicated, but gevai with ambitions don’t tend to age beyond the prime of their life until they run out. They don’t necessarily have to ‘give up’ to start aging… but if you accomplish your goal of raising a family and don’t have anything else… that’s often the start of the end.” William shrugged. “It’s not necessarily purely biological. Souls exist, after all.”

“Ah…” Theo found that hard to argue with. Not that he knew much about souls, but something that caused him to be able to reincarnate, “What are souls?”

William shrugged, “The most intrinsic parts of a person. They store memories… and ki… and they determine whether or not someone can use magic.”

Theo tilted his heads. Didn’t brains store memories? On the other hand, he definitely had a different brain, and a period where he’d had no brain at all. “How does that all work?”

“I don’t know. Not precisely, anyway.”

“Hmm. Would it be possible to talk to the foremost expert on souls?”

“Sure.”

“…” Theo waited, assuming there was more to be said, “So… how can I contact them?”

William grinned, “Unfortunately, it’s me. I can say a bit more, but describing souls is… difficult. Plus, there are certain ethical issues with some or possibly most study of souls. If you train in ki some more maybe you can study it yourself as well.”

“Hmm.” Theo nodded, “I guess. Isn’t it mostly good for fighting though?”

William shrugged and pulled a book off a shelf without standing up, “Probably. But you can do this. I hear from Headmistress Lorenz that you don’t like combat training?”

“I don’t like to fight.” This was the part where he would be upset at Theo for not working on cannons.

William shrugged again, idly flipping through the book he’d picked out. “Fine, but remember, if you’re not sick there’s only one other thing that will cause your death. I really would like to have you around for as long as you want to keep helping with research.”

“I mean… I do have some ambition. I won’t die of old age.”

William shook his head, “That’s not going to be the cause of your death. Certainly not any time soon.” He slammed closed the book he’d been looking at, “It’s assassination.”

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