The Magus of Genesis v2 — Chapter 20

A Red Metal

赤い金

 

There is always treasure around you.

Holding the meaning of ‘There is always happiness to be found’,

a proverb passed down through the Scarlet Clan.

 

“Wait, Mentor made that hole!?”

Luka, staring at the huge cave opened in the mountain’s side, was wide-eyed.

“Reeeally?”

Finding it hard to believe, Rin tilted her head in a tinge of doubtfulness.

“He did. I remember that day well, too. Even in our forest, we all saw the flame that Mentor produced clearly.”

Nodding along, Violet gave her side of the story. Even for the elves, something from five hundred years ago can be said to be a while back.

“Well I don’t doubt it one bit. Even if Mentor’s usually calm, he does some absurd stuff now and then.”

Shig struck my back with a grin.

“How nostalgic.”

“You weren’t there, Yuuki. Alright everyone, get down.”

I put my nose to the rock and tilted my head to act as a way down. With my current body, it wasn’t very difficult carrying all of our students on my back.

“So… what does this metal thing metal look like?”

“Honestly, I don’t know.”

I shook my head as I returned to my human form, answering the question Nina asked upon entering the tunnel.

“How should I put it… it’s like a glittering thing, something with a different feel from ordinary rock.”

“Glittering…?”

Nina took a quick glance through the tunnel.

Sunlight didn’t make it into the, so it was practically pitch-black on the inside.

“So… you?”

“No, not like me… I mean like it’ll reflect light more intensely.”

How should I explain metallic sheen?

“Like water?”

“Oh, yes, a bit like water.”

Making it about water despite me talking about stones was very like her, but it’s true that metal can reflect light on its surface in a way that’s similar to water.

“In that case… please shine on us, small sun.”

A small light burst from Luka’s hand, floating up an becoming a sphere of light much like a small sun, as the incantation indicated.

“Great stability there.”

“Eheheh… thank you.”

When I praised Luka for producing a light orb that didn’t flicker, her tail wagged back and forth in embarrassment. Maintaining a fixed output to the magic was much harder said than done.

“Still though, it went further than I thought it did…”

The tunnel’s hole made by my breath had a glass-like surface. It had melted everything it came into contact with. Though judging by the various holes and rubble inside the tunnel, it looked as though it had collapsed here and there.

“I suppose we will have to clean the area up first?”

Violet made her hands larger by gloving them in thorns. Taking that as the signal to begin picking up rocks, everyone started to clean up using their own methods.

“Floooat like fluffs aaaand… bam!”

Reciting her incredibly unique incantation, Rin floated rocks into the air and their them toward the entrance.

“Woah! Hey, be careful with those!”

Holding a rock with his arms, Shig shielded his head from the rocks she sent over his way with his upper arms and complained back at her. In his case, he could move rocks without relying on magic because of his physical strength.

“Luka, these are for you!”

“Okaaay.”

Meanwhile, Yuuki was slicing through the larger rocks and leaving them to be carried out by Luka. A very cooperative way to deal with the more difficult ones.

Even if a dragon’s legs aren’t suited to carrying objects, I decided to return to my dragon form and deal with the much larger things by putting them in my mouth and sweeping the debris with my tail.

Next to me, Nina was doing the same thing; just in a magical sense. When she waved her arm as though to move the air, the debris moved accordingly. I couldn’t understand the principle behind how it worked at all, but even if I tried asking her about it, she’d just answer with something that wouldn’t actually answer anything.

“Haaah, I’m wiped!”

“Hey, get back to it.”

Rin was giving it her all in making the debris fly away, but she also quickly exhausted herself and fell prostrate on the ground. Seeing her lying down like that, Shig spoke up.

“Hey hey, Shig, you know, couldn’t these be round?”

Not paying him any mind, Rin spoke up while striking some of the rubble with her tail.

“Round? What are you talking about?”

Seeing Shig be confused, Rin pointed at her wheelchair a few times.

“Ooooh.”

Understanding what she meant, Shig nodded and sat down the rock he was carrying.

“Those who are hard, who are heavy, and who are the children of the earth. Reform yourselves as my hands desire.”

It happened slowly, but once Shig completed the incantation and pressed his hands against the stones, they began to alter their shapes. A short moment later, it was as round as a ball.

“Now I’m gonna shove it out!”

“I said to be careful with those!”

Rin, giving it a big shove and shouting, pushed it out of the tunnel like a bowling ball.

“Shig, that magic you just used…”

“Eh, did I do it wrong?”

“No, that’s not what I mean… I mean, you thought of something great.”

He’d changed the rock’s shape like it was clay.

Far from me not teaching him that kind of magic, I’d never figured out how to do it in the first place. So magic can do that sort of stuff as well…

“… I just changed its shape though?”

Shig answered back, confused.

“It’s simpler than producing fire or water from nothing or flying without wings, yeah? I mean, you could always change a rock’s shape by hitting it anyway.”

Hearing his obvious explanation, I got hit by a mental shock.

I’d held the notion that magic was mysterious, something unexplainable.

To put it another way, I’d completely missed the concept of being able to use magic to reproduce something normally possible.

“Those who are hard, who are heavy, and who are the children of the earth. Reform yourselves as my hands desire.”

Replicating Shig’s incantation, I patted the rock. It did immediately begin to distort its shape, but it was hard for me to shape it as properly round as Shig did. I might’ve used too much water on it, judging by how it felt more like watery mud than clay.

“This truly is difficult.”

“I didn’t soften at all…”

The other students also attempted to replicate the feat, but while Violet was also unable to properly change its shape, Luka’s attempt at the magic didn’t appear to have any effect at all.

“Shig is so good!”

“Why’re you so proud about that?”

Rin said that as she puffed out her chest in pride and elbowed Shig, who was smiling in embarrassment.

“Hmmm.”

Making a sound simply to make a sound, Nina stretched out a rock with her hands, not even bothering to use an incantation. It looked like thick pasta noodles. Seeing our resident genius do it so easily dented Shig’s hard-earned bit of happiness.

It would’ve been nice if she held back even a little.

Suddenly, something dropped out of her noodle rock.

“Hey, is this it?”

What Nina picked up was a red mineral with a distinctly different luster from the surrounding rocks.

“Yeah, that’s it!”

When I examined it in my hand, it was heavy for its size and rather cold.

It was some kind of metal, there’s no mistaking it.

“… Shig, can you change this thing’s shape as well?”

Suddenly coming up with something, I asked Shig if his magic would work on it.

“Sure, but… what’s its name?”

It’s name.

My mind blanked.

“I can’t use magic on it without a name yeah? Should I go with metal?”

“No, give me a moment…”

I hadn’t thought of anything in that direction at all. It looked to be neither iron nor copper. It had a red color to it, but it was rather different than the dark red tinge rust would give. It was a vivid red, like a flame. Maybe I should go with a name like how I did with scarlet wheat and potatoes?

“Scarlet iron… no, wait. Right—let’s call it scarlite.”

Thinking up a name for it, I decided to call it that. Although it might not turn out to live up to the legendary metals Japanese fantasies had like adamantite or mithril, I hoped that the name would fit the red metal well.

“Got it. That which is hard, which is heavy, and which is a child of the earth—scarlite! Reform yourself as my hands desire and…”

Tripping up midway through the incantation, Shig stopped enunciating the incantation and looked at everyone.

Looking to Yuuki as if to ask what he should make, he appeared to have come up with something as the perplexity disappeared from his eyes.

“Reform yourself as my hands desire and become a sword.”

Seeing him perform the task, I realized that the processing difficulty depended on the material itself. Although it took several strokes of the hand to turn stone into a ball, the scarlite formed into a sword in the blink of an eye.

“Here.”

Shig gave Yuuki the sword, which was formed from its tip to the hilt area, with the point facing himself.

“It’s heavy…”

Contrary to her words, Yuuki easily brandished the sword.

She swung it down, then up, then thrust it forward followed immediately by a pseudo-parry. It moved so fluidly in her hands that it was like she’d had it since birth. Wanting to give it a proper test, Yuuki’s expression turned serious and she faced a nearby rock.

“Hah…!”

Together with a sharp breath out, she slashed.

The rock was cut cleanly in two.

“Wow, it’s amazing! Big brother, this is amazing!”

Yuuki jumped up and down in delight.

“Umm, could I see something?”

Luuka brought her nose to the sword in Yuuki’s hands, giving it a sniff.

“… Huh?”

… And tilted her head.

“What’s wrong?”

“Umm, Mentor?”

Luka, troubled and furrowing her brows, spoke to me hesitantly.

“If this is what you’re wanting, there’s a lot of it near the academy.”

“Eh—?”

Hearing something I never thought she’d say, I couldn’t stop my voice from coming out.

“Err, do you remember that stone I threw when we were deciding on the class leader? That was this.”

“Eeeeh!?”

 

 

Q: Without metal tools of their own, how did ancient civilizations first obtain metal?

A: In those times, there was ore to be found on the surface, not needing to be dug up first.

 

 

Now that I think about it, it was a simple answer.

For some reason, I thought that you wouldn’t be able to find metal without digging into a mountain first. Although metal ores are originally produced deep underground, mountains themselves are just ground that has risen upward. Following that logic, it’s possible for minerals to be unearthed at the surface given a long time period.

Then again, the reason I hadn’t thought of something that simple is because in my era, the ores that could be found near the surface had long been excavated.

However, there was still more than enough metal ore on the surface in this world. If I have all of our students go and look for it after this, we should have enough gathered to go around to help everyone in the village.

 

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