Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 3: The Core of CoReform E
Ginya led us in front of a medium-sized partition screen. Actually, this partition screen was so big that you needed to look up to see the top of it, but then again, I was more curious about the huge tent that occupied half of this room……. Would she let me see what was inside it? Just as I was thinking about this……
「Come out, Golem.」(Ginya)
Ginya said these words and then, from a part of the floor, that was exposed bare ground, the soil rose up and before long, it turned into a pair of 3 meter tall giant humanoid figures. Those soil giants walked clumsily. Yeah, they surely looked like clay puppet golems.
「Is that Ginya’s magic?」 (Souma)
「Un. My magic is to create and manipulate golems from the soil. It can’t do difficult tasks, but it has power. It’s really handy to move things.」(Ginya)
「Manipulating clay dolls…… It’s similar to my ability. Is it Dark Attribute?」(Souma)
「 No, it's Earth Attribute. Since it can’t manipulate things other than the earth. Manipulating dolls also can be categorized as gravity manipulation. I think that the categorization of the four major attributes, along with the light and darkness attributes, is just something that had been created subjectively, so people could understand it easily/ I believe that in reality, the categorization isn’t that strict.」(Ginya)
「 So they really do believe in just about anything……」(Souma)
Ever since I came to this world, my view of this world kept swaying. Even though it was an unknown mysterious phenomenon from an Earthling’s point of view, for the people of this world, it was something normal. I had thought that this was normal, but actually this could be said as not necessarily normal. One must know one’s ignorance in order to know about the unknown. From now on, there might be the need for me to question everything.
「Well, rather than that, this is the thing that I wanted you to see.」 (Ginya)
Ginya said that and the golems began to remove the partition screen. The object that we saw behind that partition wall made Liscia and I freeze in surprise. It was a really "incomprehensible thing". What appeared in front of us was an object that was about the size of a two-storied building. If I had to describe its shape in an easy to understand way, then it would be:
「A ridiculously big Dyson Fan?」 (Souma)
「Hmm? What’s that?」(Liscia)
「Ah, no…… It’s nothing.」(Souma)
Well, I could only see it as a huge Dyson Fan. Just from its silhouette, the main body was shaped like a short kokeshi, but the top part was shaped like a ring. From a glance, its purpose was unknown and it also looked like some kind of abstract art sculpture. However, I was curious as to why only the base part was firmly fixed into the floor…… I then asked Ginya.
「What is th-……」 (Souma)
「It’s 『Susumu-kun · Mark V』.」 (Ginya)
What a lame name! …… Wait, Mark V!?
「So there are four more like this!?」(Souma)
「Wh-why are you paying attention to that!?」(Liscia)
Although Liscia retorted, Ginya was laughing loudly.
「Well, the previous models were either blown away or exploded, so all the ones up until Mark V have died.」 (Ginya)
「Is it such a dangerous object!?」(Souma)
「Mark V is alright. This is…… the finished product.」(Ginya)
After she mentioned that, Ginya began to explain 『Susumu-kun · Mark V』.
「I think you already know this, but the large ships in this world are moved either by harnessing wind power with sails or by being drawn by a huge thalassaur, right? This 『Susumu-kun · Mark V 』 is an object that can replace that huge thalassaur. One object has a force comparable to a large thalassaur, so if you attach this to the bottom of the ship, it is possible to propel it.」 (Ginya)
「……! You mean a propulsion device!」 (Souma)
“Just like a screw or a motor!”, when she heard my remark, Ginya placed her hand on 『Susumu-kun · Mark V』’s body with a smile.
「This machine can inhale things that are in the space in front of the ring and then expel them to out behind it. If you operate this in the sea, then it will inhale the seawater and expel it out from behind. This water pressure has enough propulsion force to move an iron warship.」 (Ginya)
So that means, there was something like a screw in the middle of the ring’s empty space.
「Hmm? If it inhales thing in front of it, then what will happen if we use it right now?」 (Souma)
「Oh, a sharp one. On land, it will inhale the air and then expel it. Shall we have an experiment?」(Ginya)
After she said that, Ginya ordered the golems to prepare a huge cloth. And then, at a position 20 meters away from us, the two golems stood up and spread the cloth like a movie screen.
「Let's experiment to see how strong its power is. 『Susumu-kun Mark V』 will inhale the air from our side and expel it towards that side. Please witness its power!」 (Ginya)
「Oh, wait a mo-……」 (Ludwin)
It seemed that Ludwin was trying to stop her in a hurry, but Ginya didn’t care and 「press♪」. She then pushed something like a switch, and at the next moment,
With that loud noise, “we” got blown away by the sudden gust of wind.
Shaken by the sudden wind, with a *don*, our backs hit the wall. C-can this be said as a kabedon?…… Or rather, the wind pressure made me stick to the wall and I couldn’t move any part of my body at all! Liscia and Ginya were in the same situation. Until Ludwin crawled to approach the machine and pushed the same switch to stop it, we were stuck to the wall like insect specimens.
After being released, Ginya made a dry laugh.
「Ahaha…… Sorry, sorry. It seems that I have made a mistake in recognizing which direction it was facing. Since I made its form as minimalist as possible to not waste any material, it has the drawback that it is difficult to tell which way it’s pointing at.」(Ginya)
「 If you already noticed this, then fix it already…… 」 (Souma)
Or rather, if the front was this strong, then wouldn’t if we stood in the back, we would have gotten sucked into the machine and then expelled forward? Isn’t that a ‘human cannon’? How scary!
「So sorry, Your Majesty. In any case, do you understand the power of this 『Susumu-kun · Mark V 』?」(Ginya)
「…… Literally, with my own body.」(Souma)
I sarcastically said so, but it was certainly an amazing device. If it wasn’t fixed firmly to the floor, the device itself might have been blown aw-…… Ah so, perhaps that’s why all the ones until Mark Ⅳ had exploded or were "blown away"? When I comprehended that curious tidbit, Ginya was in high spirits and explained about the mechanisms of this device.
「This ring part is made from a special metal inscribed with modified energy warding enchantments. It has an interesting history, this enchantment was originally a failed product based on the 『Magic Negating Enchantment』 used by the Imperial Magic Armored Corps. Since the 『Magic Warding Enchantment』 only could ward off magic and couldn’t stop the magic, even if the Magic Armor Corps were fine, the soldiers in the rear lines would still be damaged, so that research was discontinued.
I then noticed this failed enchantment. If it can ward off magic, then surely it must interfere with the movement of mana. Then, since there is mana in the air and water, if we could give it a direction, then we can make something to inhale and expel it out. If we could compress that expelling power, then couldn’t we create a propulsion device? …… Or so I thought.
To move the mana in the air and water is almost synonymous with moving the air and water itself. And then, after making so that device will inhale mana and expel it if the modified enchantment inscribed into the metal ring was provided with energy, and thus, this 『Susumu-kun · Mark V』 was completed.」 (Ginya)
Ginya fluently explained it, but since she mentioned enchantment magic, I couldn’t judge the veracity of her explanation. Oh well, since the experiment happened like Ginya had explained, what she said was correct……. perhaps.
「Do you understand it, Liscia?」(Ginya)
「Not at all.」(Liscia)
It appears that this is difficult to understand even for the people of this world. Ginya then smiled wryly.
「Well it’s enough if you can understand what I had said before, that one unit of this could work like one thalassaur.」(Ginya)
「…… But, isn’t this thing is unnecessary?」(Ludwin)
The one who asked this was Ludwin, who was greatly confused.
「First of all, in order to make one of this, don’t you need quite a lot of money?」 (Ludwin)
「Un ...... Yeah, at least enough to care for ten thalassaurs for ten years……」(Ginya)
「Then, if one unit only could do one thalassaur’s share of work, isn’t this just a great waste of money? Furthermore, it looks like this can’t make tight turns like the thalassaur can.」 (Ludwin)
「 Wh-what are you saying, Lu-nii! Don’t you understand what this invention will bring?」(Ginya)
「 Bring? 」(Ludwin)
Ludwin tilted his neck in confusion, but I was of the same opinion with Ginya in this matter.
「Indeed, this is a great invention. Ludwin.」(Souma)
「Your Majesty, too?」(Ludwin)
「Try to think about it, if one unit has the same power as one thalassaur, then with a simple calculation, if we could gather ten units, then they could give a power equal to ten thalassaurs, right?」(Souma)
「!? That is certainly……」 (Ludwin)
Ludwin didn’t seem to really understand this invention, so I explained it in an easy to understand manner.
「Well then, is it possible in reality to harness ten thalassaurs? Isn’t the case of the battleship Alberto being drawn by two thalassaurs already a rare case?」(Souma)
「That is .... Yes, indeed, that’s true. Even if we harnessed ten thalassaurs, it is impossible for all of them to abide to the same order. Even in the whole world, people can only harness three at best?」(Ludwin)
「In other words, even if the turning radius of the ship is limited, this device is able to move even larger ships than the present. For example…… Ah, that’s right. Let’s try to construct a cargo ship with five of these installed on it. There will be a revolution in the goods’ logistics.」 (Souma)
It would be possible to transport a lot of goods on the sea at the same time. More than half of this country's border faces the ocean. The construction of a new city as a hub for goods distribution had also reached the final stage, and it would have a great impact if it could strengthen our maritime transportation capacity.
Finally, it seemed that Ludwin finally comprehended the amazingness of this invention. I then asked Ginya.
「You said about sending energy a while ago, right? This is an amazing invention, but what kind of the power source does it use?」(Souma)
Since I came to this world, not to mention electricity, I had never even seen a single steam engine. A form of energy that could move such a large mechanical device, was it magic power as I expected?
「The power source is built in, Your Majesty.」(Ginya)
Ginya said this as she took out a lump-like thing from her white coat pocket and handed it to me. It was palm-sized, but it felt a bit heavier than its appearance suggested (like when holding a fishing sinker), and looked like a pure black cuboid crystal.
「A crystal that is commonly called as a 『Curse Ore』.」 (Ginya)
「You mean that Curse Ore?」(Liscia)
When Liscia heard Ginya’s answer, she demonstrated a noticeably strong reaction to it.
「You know about this, Lisden!?」(Souma)
「Who are you calling Lisden? …… In this world, we also use magic for mining ores. The mines are dug with Water Magic, the tunnels are hardened with Earth Magic, the stale air is exchanged with Wind Magic, and the metals are dissolved with Fire Magic. However, magic couldn’t be used in the area surrounding these Curse Ores for some reason. Furthermore, if you keep using magic, then……」 (Liscia)
Liscia made a gesture of bringing her hands together and then rapidly opening them while saying, 「Boom」.
「Explosion!? Isn’t an explosion in a mine really bad?」(Souma)
「Enough to make the miners weep. If they dug a mine and then struck upon this ore, they couldn’t dig further anymore. In this world, magic is thought of as a blessing from the Gods and Spirits, so this ore that makes magic unusable is a "cursed stone" that doesn’t receive the blessings from the Gods and Spirits…… hence why this is called a Curse Ore. What more troublesome, is that it can be taken in large amounts from underneath Elfrieden Kingdom’s land.」(Liscia)
Liscia said this self-deprecatingly. In the first place, Elfrieden Kingdom was a country with poor mineral resources, but it looks like it wasn’t only due to its featureless terrain. So there are still a lot of things that I don’t know…… While I was thinking about such things, Ginya made a daring smile.
「Cursed Ore? Don’t say such a foolish thing. Rather, the fact that there are tons of this ore buried underground, this country can be said as truly blessed by the Gods! 」(Ginya)
Ginya said with an exaggerated reaction.
「If we see it without the veil of mystery of it, calling it cursed is a stupid story. The Curse Ore doesn’t make it so that magic can’t be used, but it instead absorbs that energy. Try to think about it. You can’t use magic near the Curse Ore, and if you try to use it anyway, it will explode. Where did that explosion energy come from? Wouldn’t you naturally think: “because the ore absorbed the magic energy, if it passed its tolerance levels, it will explode”?」(Ginya)
Umm…… So in other words, the Curse Ore is like a rechargeable battery and absorbs magic energy. Then if it is charged too much, it will explode…… Why I feel an uneasiness? I guessed that perhaps this was because we were seeing such an unimaginable thing right now. Particularly, something that could completely undermine the order of things in this world.
And then Ginya made an outrageous remark.
「And so I succeeded in extracting the absorbed magic energy from the Curse Ore and then using it as a power source for this device.」 (Ginya)
With just that one sentence, it sent a chill down my spine. If this was true, then it was really similar to a rechargeable battery! Although there were many things that I still couldn’t understand, but I realized the importance of the Curse Ore and Ginya who uncovered that secret. For this world that had neither electricity nor steam engines, if we could acquire a technology that could "store energy" ahead of the other countries, this country will make a great leap forward. Then being able to "surpass the Empire” would no longer be a dream.
But, at the same time, I felt the danger of this technology. First of all, the Curse Ore was wrapped in superstitions. If they knew about the research on the Cursed Ore that doesn’t receive the blessing from the Gods, the people of this superstition-infested world might end up to harboring distrust towards us. If it was only domestic, then depending on the citizens’ enlightenment in the future, we could do something about it. However, for example, a religious state like the Lunaria Orthodoxy State would surely turn into our enemy. For a country ruled by the religious doctrine, something that destroys that doctrine, (even if it was just the superstitions surrounding it), would mean the decline of their authority and power. They surely wouldn’t allow this to happen.
Also, even for a country with low level of faith, if they knew about our possession of this technology, they would certainly say 「hand over it」. From Liscia’s words, the Curse Ore itself seems to be buried in substantial amounts underneath this country. In the worst case, all the neighboring countries might commence a resource war. Even though I was finally able to create a secret alliance with the Empire and got rid of the Amidonian threat, this country will be destroyed if such a situation happens. While this technology had the potential to make this country be the number one country on this continent, it also had the danger of ruining this country completely.
「H-hey, Souma!? What happened!?」(Liscia)
I staggered and then Liscia supported me.
「…… Sorry. I felt unwell with my high risk, high return imagination.」 (Souma)
I then talked to Liscia and the other two about what I had thought just now. Liscia and Ludwin’s faces went pale. Just like me, they felt the same dread. However, only Ginya didn’t show any concern at all.
「Why are you so worried about that? Isn’t it fine if you completely research it before being targeted by another country and then become strong enough, so that other countries couldn’t interfere?」(Ginya)
「…… That’s too optimistic, but there is no other way than that. Even so, for this matter, there is a need to make progress in absolute secrecy……」(Souma)
If that was the case, what became the biggest problem was Ginya's personality. She was now this country’s top important figure like Tomoe-chan. Even in the unlikely event that the imagined scenarios happened, we needed to prevent her from escaping or from being kidnapped by another country, And so, I wanted to entrust her with trustworthy people inside the country. The person herself seems to have a one-track mind of researching, but she is still a woman in her mid-twenties. I wanted to avoid the situation where she was being courted by a nobleman who knew her importance.
――― So, it came to this. I looked at the ikemen Royal Knights Commander.
「…… Hey, Ludwin?」 (Souma)
「Yes? What is it, Your Majesty?」(Ludwin)
「Do you like Ginya?」 (Souma)
Souma’s imagined scenario reminded me of the so called “Resource Curse” and the fact that most modern global conflict were partly ‘fueled’ by the necessity for modern countries to secure enough resource for their industrial and war machines.
 Kokeshi is a Japanese limbless wooden doll
 Susumu means advance or move forward. So it means like: “Mister Move Forward Mark Five”, “Mister Go-Forward Mark Five” or “Mister Propeller Mark Five”. [E/N: Since it’s a Dyson fan, they should attach a container to it so they can kill giant magic spiders.]
 Don’t know kabedon? Go read some shoujo manga.
 It’s a pun of 知っているのか雷電? (You know this, Raiden?) from Sakigake! Otokojuku!