Wizard! Chapter 526
William scratched his chin. “Time just seems to pass more and more quickly…”
“Does it?” Lorelei asked without looking up from her notes, “There are various theories about why it might seem that way… but I have not felt anything like that in a very long time.”
“That’s because you don’t even pay attention to time. Do you even know what year it is?”
Lorelei sifted through her notes more, “Yes.”
“Did you remember before you looked it up?”
“…No. It was not important. There are no events that need tracking by time in particular.”
William shrugged, “I suppose not. So, what have you been up to lately? You haven’t really talked about your research in… years.”
“Has it been that long? Well, I suppose that is… required. I have been studying genetics and interbreeding.”
“You did mention that, but not much else about it…”
“I had not yet reached any significant conclusions.” Lorelei held up a paper, “Research will still be ongoing for many years, but initial results were fruitful. Dominant traits include gevai horns, elven ears, and dwarven beards… though non-dwarven females that grow beards have significantly reduced growth rates. Mana perception is still under research, though part-gevai with horns do seem to be born with mana perception.” Lorelei walked over to a shelf and pulled out a large tome which thudded on top of the table. “The only combination we have large volumes of research on is dwarves and elves, courtesy of the Allied Subterranean Territories. One might presume that only seeing mana in the context of living things and only seeing mana in the context of minerals might be mutually exclusive but… they seem to do just fine, though aren’t particularly adept at spotting free mana.”
William frowned, “I thought mana perception was related to the soul.”
“It is… partly. Mostly. It’s unclear. The body is certainly related. Being born in a particular kind of body might cause a development in the soul or… perhaps not. While a majority of elves and dwarves can see mana, it is not to the same extent as humans or gevai. Likewise, while gevai can all see and control mana, it’s not necessarily to a great extent. If all humans with the potential awakened their ability to see mana they would outnumber the gevai… though the total quality isn’t easy to compare.”
William nodded, “Makes sense. How did you get all this information?”
“Why, you think I would kidnap a bunch of people and force them to have babies?” Lorelei raised an eyebrow, “It’s much easier to just offer free medical services and the like… especially for those who were accidents like Roque. Which are not… all of the children, but quite a few of them.”
“People will figure it out eventually.”
“Hah! What a funny joke. Some people never will… or don’t figure it out soon enough. Schools are filling up, which is making Lila ecstatic… but also a bit worried.” Lorelei shrugged, “It will probably sort itself out soon enough though. We don’t have to worry about gevai teachers dying of old age that much, and as more people get educated more people will be able to teach.”
“Thus the world continues to turn. Well, I must be off… I’ve got a meeting with Theo.”
Talking to people through a phone was convenient, but meeting in person had some useful benefits. After all, he couldn’t hear how a machine worked, and they were some time away from useful image transmission methods. The main focus of research was on other things.
Theo pointed to a few blueprints up on the wall. “…so you see, with a higher efficiency engine, less magic is required in the process. The maximum power output will be lower, but still reach the maximum efficiency of the tracks. Combined with other measures, this will reduce the likelihood of dragon attacks… and also the reliance on ambient mana. This will allow for the sequential or parallel action of more engines without risk of failure. This is especially important for ships, as there have been a number of incidents in ports with temporary mana depletion.”
William already knew most of what was going to be said before he arrived, and he agreed with the premise. Mana renewed itself through natural processes, but there was only so much around at one time. With the advent of more widespread magical devices there wasn’t necessarily enough ambient mana for them all to operate smoothly. On the other hand, coal wasn’t a renewable resource, but was already required for magitech engines. Theo understood this… but he already had his eye on other energy sources. It was just a question of how quickly they could get there… and recreate the technology.
Though Theo was brilliant and had indeed worked to on space ships, it wasn’t possible for one person to be intimately familiar with every single detail of a large system. Theo might know the theory behind matter-energy converters, and even have a good idea of how one might be constructed, but even if he had the ability to engineer all the parts he wouldn’t know every single screw, or piece of programming or chip on the logic boards controlling it. He didn’t know the exact ratio of materials in the shell or the energy containment modules… but he could guide technology in the right direction.
Unfortunately, even with the backing of the government such progress required more money, and that meant making trade safer and more efficient. More ships were using engines instead of just sails, and that had led to problems. Even if the technology was better, it took some time to convince people to change over when everything else seemed to be working just fine… usually.
No building was allowed around the Eternal King’s castle for a mile, but it was a central location for diplomacy and trade… once the roads had reached there. Because of that, a city sprung up around it in a ring. It had since meandered off in different directions on its own. The constant influx of people from other nations to Cruonia was only a small proportion of their population, but for the mainly gevai nation it brought explosive growth in population, along with the natural population growth from births and economic prosperity.
William named the city Anceron, because it had to have a name and ‘castle city’ was rather bland. It wasn’t technically any more under his jurisdiction than any other city, but that didn’t mean his opinion wasn’t sought for many measures. Part of that was because he did have significant authority over everything even if he didn’t always exercise the power, and the other part was courtesy.
Part of Anceron’s growth was spurred by an entrance to the Subterranean Allied Territories. One of their more prosperous cities was semi-coincidentally nearby, and the entrance as well. It wasn’t entirely a coincidence- it was a central point both above and below ground. There would have likely been a prosperous city in Anceron’s place long before if the Demon King had managed his country properly… or at all. It had taken quite a long time into William’s reign to start growing, but it had needed significant infrastructure like roads to really get started… and they hadn’t been the most immediately important roads to improve. That had meant it had been dozens and dozens of years before the roads were really started because it just kept getting put off… but with more ambassadors and foreign traders staying nearby, it had started to develop on its own before the roads were finished, taking off once they had completed.