Already nearing midnight, Satella was very tired and I wanted to get some rest as well, but Giresse suggested that I meet one more person beforehand.
After I accepted his request, he guided me to a dilapidated workshop, where the sounds of striking metal reverberated, and the heat permeated throughout the area. Nice. They say groundbreaking inventions often come from these kinds of places.
“I’ve brought him as promised, Leroy. This is Mr. Grey Millard, the one who outlined the『Hand Pump』.
The stout, bearded elderly man approached me, leering at my entire body before turning around and asked Giresse, “Did this kid really think up that magic tool?”
A magic tool… Why does everyone in this world always use magic to explain everything?
“I can personally guarantee that. Don’t judge him from just his appearance, he’s even craftier than me…” Giresse said, remembering our encounter at the Commerce Guild.
Don’t feel too bad, Giresse. Even I wouldn’t lose to a youngster in his early 20’s.
“I’m Grey Millard. Nice to meet you,” I greeted.
No matter how you looked, he’s older than I was in my past life. Manners are crucial here.
“Name’s Leroy Roy. If you made that then that’s fine. I’ve got somethin’ to ask,” the bearded middle-aged man said with gleaming eyes.
“I don’t mind. But before that, I have an order to make,” I said. “Could you please make this for me?”
I handed out a blueprint to Leroy and Giresse. The Commerce Guild is going to outright proliferate this so, I wouldn’t even mind doing this for free.
They received the blueprint and unrolled it before intently reading my notes.
They’ve got quite the concentration. Especially Leroy—he’s got the eyes of a true researcher, so I can give him my trust.
“This is an apparatus that tells the time?”
“Yes. It’s called a clock. The first page contains a pendulum, and the second details the mechanisms behind a wristwatch,” I explained.
The most inconvenient thing since I’ve come to this world is the lack of clocks. Until now I’ve been counting the church’s chimes to roughly tell the time. Obviously, it’s a far cry from precise, and it’s unacceptable to completely lose your sense of time if you forgot to strain your ear for the chimes at the right time. I’d lose a remarkable amount of time on future negations just waiting.
Also, clocks were essential if you truly wanted to further civilization, so I should keep an eye on this project for at least four or five years after I start spreading it. And in the future I’ll start moving in earnest, so it was more efficient to start spreading it now.
“T-this is amazing!!” Giresse yelled as his face flushed. Well, a merchant like Giresse probably understands the importance of a clock without any further explanations.
On the other hand, Satella and the Judo siblings also peeked at the blueprint, but their reaction was somewhat lacking.
“Is knowing the time really that important, Boss?” Judo asked.
“Of course! You can accurately gauge the time, you know!?” Giresse answered in my stead. “Oh, how we merchants have longed for something like this!”
“It’s as he says, Judo,” I said. “Time is mankind’s greatest ally, but also his greatest enemy. If we spread the clock around the world, not only would merchants be affected, but industries, research, the military, and your private life would experience a drastic shift.”
“That’s right. There are so many business discussions that us merchants cannot afford to be late to. And while there are magic tools that can tell you if a certain amount of time has passed. But, there’s a limit to how continuously you can keep measuring the passage of time. As a result, we couldn’t schedule more than two business discussions in a single day. Business would flip on its head if the guild could get their hands on this,” Giresse excitedly explained to Judo and the others who were just standing, mouth agape. Well, if Giresse wasn’t explaining it to you, I’d beat that importance into you.
Meanwhile, Leroy mumbled to the side, “Hmm, I can’t really see how…”
I can tell because I’m similar, but he’s the type of guy who can’t put his all into something if he’s not interested in it.
“You don’t have to think that hard about it,” I began explaining to Satella and the others. For example, if Leroy-san accidentally made the most delectable soup, you’d want to try and recreate it, right?”
“Yeah, of course,” Satella answered.
I continued. “The ingredients and garnishes are perfect, and the seasonings and techniques are top tier. Still, you’re not sure how long to boil everything. If you don’t boil it long enough, the things will be too hard, but if you boil it for too long, it’ll burn and have a bad taste. In this situation, what if you set a timer beforehand?”
“I see!! You can boil the soup for the perfect amount of time!!” Satella exclaimed. “So it’ll completely change what people consider normal!?”
On the other hand, Leroy still stood with his arms folded, and had been quietly talking to himself. After a while, he looked up in deep thought and asked, “Who… in the world are you?”
“Didn’t I introduce myself earlier? I’m Grey Millard.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about!”
“Leroy-san, didn’t we promise that you wouldn’t enquire anything more than necessary?” Giresse warned with a puzzled look.
“I know. But, no matter how many years pass, I couldn’t even begin to think up these kinds of things. And not just me. It’s probably impossible for everyone in this world!”
“No, that’s not right,” I said. “I mean just look at Giresse. With just a glance, he understands how much profit this could bring. Do you know why he still wouldn’t try to create something like this despite all that?”
Giresse placed his hand on his chin and pondered for a while, before turning back to me, and answered, “Because you could just tell time with magic?”
“That’s right, that’s exactly right. If we couldn’t tell time with magic, somebody would try to make a clock; that’s just human nature. Unfortunately, we can do it with magic. That’s why nobody even tried.”
“Are you denying magic?” Giresse asked. “Despite wielding such powerful magic?”
“No, I’m not doing anything of the sort. I just want you to begin seeing the limits of magic.”
“The limits of magic, huh…I never even began to think about that…” Giresse trailed off in thought.
Probably. That’s the curse of magic and its ubiquitous influence.
“Magic is used by magicians. Shall we start there?” I began to explain.
“Yeah, non-magicians basically can’t use even magic tools.”
Because I perused the magical foundations book that I had Giresse buy for me, I’ve mostly come to understand this world’s magic.
In this world, there are two types of things that hold a mysterious power. First are magic stones like a fire stone. They have various effects and are usually excavated from mines. Second are the magic tools that are endowed with the power of magic.
Magic tools need a magician to infuse magic inside of it every once in a while to regulate it. This regulation is very difficult and absolutely impossible for anyone not a magician.
There’s no way any nation or the Commerce Guild would just leave that kind of person alone. The magicians are sucked up by large organizations, and your average citizen wouldn’t feel the benefits of any magic tools unless they lived in a large enough city.
Giresse-san was a former noble and a magician, which is why he can use a magic bag.
“Since we remain reliant on the advantages that only special people enjoy, the empire’s citizens remain poor. The fact that only a portion of people monopolize all the wealth goes against the very rules of economics—it’s unhealthy,” I said.
Economics is based on the circulation of money. Once money begins to circulate, then it holds value. If a portion of people and organizations hoard all the money, the circulation stops, and we fall into a downward spiral.
“Wait just a bit,” Leroy paused. “Are you saying you can do what magic does?”
“Well, there’s obviously things impossible without the help of magic. For example, take Giresse’s magic bag: it can’t exist without magic. But other than that small percent, it may be possible to create something not even magic can achieve.”
“That makes sense. I mean, despite straining the limits of magic, you can’t create the same effect as this ‘clock’. Does that mean we magicians are going to fall out of favor?” Giresse asked with a tinge of loneliness.
“That’s wrong. There’s a limit to magic, but that’s because it’s shackled by the fact that you need someone there in order to benefit from the magic. However, that’s probably not an absolute law.”
“Do you mean to say that even those who can’t use magic might be able to use a magic tool?”
“Yes, this is all an experiment to achieve that.”
The magicians in this world aren’t stupid; they must have attempted to achieve this with a myriad of magic types. Regardless, the reason they haven’t produced any results with this method means that it’s impossible to do it with just magic.
However, if we combine magic with science, it might be different. At the very least, magic can do a couple of things that are impossible with just science. Then, if we fuse that theory with science, humanity might ascend one step further.
So you could say that it is essential to develop this world’s science for that very reason.
“That’s certainly our long-standing dream—what we thirst for.”
“This clock will probably be written in history as humanity’s first step. So Leroy, please lend me a hand.” As I bowed, Satella and the others followed along and bowed as well.
In response, Leroy bellowed in laughter, before loudly ordering, “Oi, you lot. Go gather these materials, even if you have to rouse the merchants from their sleep! We’re gonna start smithing!” He then put on a headband and went deeper into the workshop.
He’s a good craftsman. That kind of person who has eyes only for research is someone I desperately need. Once everything settles down, I might try inviting him to my company.
“Then without further ado, I will return to the Commerce Guild and start crafting up a plan. This is the address of the inn. If you talk to the hostess she’ll know who you are,” Giresse said, his face flushed in excitement. As he raced out, he handed me a slip of paper. I hope he doesn’t forget about the rye.
I sighed and began to head to the address written on the paper with Satella and the Judo siblings.