Ancient Magi used magic to move vessels, calling them magimachina.
The awakened vessels ranged from precision instruments to massive golems,
but that is where we get the name for the Awaken Button from.
“Oh come on! Why do you keep doing that, you stupid monkey!?”
Today, yet again, Aqua was cursing him out while having to slap away flying wooden blocks coming her way.
“Aqua, you’re just being nitpicky. Right Lufelle?”
“I am not. Right, Rin? You agree with me, don’t you?”
“I think that’s just how boys are~. I had a friend like that back when I was a kid.”
“I wouldn’t care but could you all stop throwing those at each other!? Suuure it’d be fine if any of you guys got hit, but it’d kill me!!!”
Yelled at by Tia, everyone bowed their heads in apology.
Well, even if she said that, the fae were a race that used their agility to make their way in this overpowered world. I doubt such a simple attack would ever actually hit her, but I decided to keep my mouth shut on that.
“They’re getting along well… I think?”
“Of course they are.”
Nina readily agreed, but I wasn’t so sure. It just looked like them bickering to me.
“There are a lot of young elves like that nowadays–children who look down on other races, never treating them as equals.”
“Oh… so that’s it.”
I suppose being willing to duel someone could also be seen as someone viewing another as being on their level.
Well, I wouldn’t get that at all though.
Elves were different from the other long lived races. They were perhaps the only race other than dragons to have an infinite lifespan.
At the very least, I’d never heard of one dying of old age.
Moreover, they could use magic more skillfully than other races almost without exception. It was almost par for the course that they’d look down on others.
Come to think of it, they even treated humans similar to livestock six centuries ago.
“Is Aqua that young?”
Honestly, I couldn’t tell how old elves were by their appearance. For example, Nina looked to be even younger than Aqua.
“She should be a little over a hundred.”
“Yeah, that’s young.”
Answering without giving it much thought, I came to realize I’d changed, too.
There haven’t been any humans who’ve lived to one hundred. Nevertheless, I feel like that’s fairly young. I haven’t thought about it too much recently since I’ve usually been staying in my human form, but I really have turned into a dragon, haven’t I.
“Her in particular—she seems to be a huge admirer of Violet. I’ve been thinking that she only came here to beat the Swordsaint, the one said to be stronger than Violet, and somehow prove that elves are stronger.”
I hesitated over what to say.
“My condolences… I guess.”
I couldn’t think of anything else to say, and given that Nina nodded in response, I figured she was in agreement.
Among the Swordsaints, Yutaka was by no means strong—and not in the meaning of among the current generation of Swordsaints, either. I mean, he was part of the twenty-seventh generation. There had already been more than a hundred humans who’d inherited the Swordsaint blood. More than half of them were those with warlike dispositions. To compare Yutaka to all of them, it would be quicker to count up from the weakest.
… However, they were constantly studying, improving their techniques, and forever growing stronger as the generations passed. It was an advancement speed that none of the elves could keep up with.
Not even Nina could win against any Swordsaint beyond twenty years old anymore.
“Mentor, we’re done!”
Yutaka came over carrying a big water wheel and spoke up.
Looking around, everyone was carrying water wheels of various shapes and sizes.
“Alright, let’s give it a try.”
I had a thought—what if we all made water wheels, engraved them with letters, and saw who’s would spin the most?
“Who wants to go—”
Tia raised her hand and spoke up before I’d even had a chance to finish.
“Umm… where’s your wheel?”
However, she was palm sized. There was no way she’d be able to carry something as large as a water wheel and she wasn’t carrying anything either.
Tia gestured behind her with her thumb.
“We, umm, made it together, Mentor.”
Tia had pointed to Lufelle, who was carrying a super-sized water wheel.
“Nina, can I leave it to you?”
Putting the gigantic water wheel that was even bigger than me in my dragon form onto the water mill was definitely impossible. Nina, easily understanding what I was meaning, caused a huge tree to grow by the edge of the water.
With its branch inserted through its axle, the bottom of the wheel dipped into the waterway. Nina did a great job at getting it just right.
“Oh, yeah. Let’s say Awaken to activate it.”1
When I said that to Tia, who’d been approaching the water wheel, Nina glanced over to me.
Her expression didn’t change, but her eyes looked to be asking about the word she’d never heard before.
“It’s like saying get up or wake up. You’d use something like that if it were for an incantation to make it move, right? I felt it would be best if we used an incantation that we’d only use for letter-based magic.”
We didn’t tend to use English words much, so we could use it to easily distinguish it from incantations. It was the same line of reasoning as not using everyday words as when you train a dog.
“Oh… so it’s Magia.”
Nina came to some strange conclusion on her own. Even Yutaka and Rin started nodding in agreement.
“Eh, what? What’s Magia?”
I’ve never heard of it though?
“Those weird-sounding words you only use when you explain magic. The ones you write in katakana. Like energy, fire breath, and dragon.”
“Oh… I see…”
I wasn’t going out of my way to avoid borrowed words intentionally, but I suppose there just weren’t many reasons to use them in such a primitive era to begin with. Still though, when did they start calling it Magia…
“Well, alright. Tia, if you would.”
Japanese words using katakana weren’t just borrowed from English, they came from various countries. It was easier to just pass it off as things to be used for magic. I didn’t even really know which countries all of the words originated from in the first place, anyway.
“Okaaay. Here we go… Awaken!”
Tia clapped her hands together and shouted.
However, ignoring the effort she’d put into her shout, the water wheel didn’t move.
“Hey! Why aren’t you moving!?”
I quietly observed the water wheel as Tia berated it from overhead.
A surprising number of small letters were scrawled all over the wedges of the wheel.
I see. So Tia made use of her small size to write a vast number of letters on the huge wheel Lufelle constructed? It was simple, but unexpectedly well thought out.
… Somewhat naïve, though.
“Tia, there’s no meaning in repeating the same words over and over.”
The only thing she’d written on the water mill was take the water and turn over and over really close together. Repeating the same characters would have no effect, same with incantations.
If all of them were phrased slightly differently, it would probably work. Though taking a better look at the wheel, it looked like it was actually working—just very, very slowly. It was difficult to move such a huge wheel with one a single phrase, after all.
“Alright, I’d like to go next.”
What Aqua presented was a beautifully carved water wheel with a very artistic appearance. It was shaped beautifully, but would it actually function as a water wheel?
“Let’s see… it was Awaken, I think?”
Simultaneously with Aqua speaking the word, the wooden wheel began to turn.
It changed it shape as if it were alive to catch water before spilling it and rotating. Amazing… it was amazing, but what was with the way it moved? It was entirely different from the water wheels I was familiar with.
Seeing my surprise, Aqua stuck out her chest proudly.
“Yeah… well, it’s something alright.”
To be frank, it looked kind of like an insect and grossed me out a bit.
It definitely was spinning easier than Tia and Lufelle’s had, though.
I suppose the one drawback would be that it didn’t rotate at a constant rate?
However, likely due to its method of movement being too complex, Aqua’s wheel stopped turning.
I’d already known that it was impossible for the wheels to move in perpetuity, of course.
Whether the magic’s source was an incantation or from engraved letters, it would still have a certain duration. The effect caused through the magic would be prescribed precisely by what was engraved, however. The reason why Yutaka’s piece of wood always flew away from him was due to that.
It didn’t mean that they held no advantage, of course. For example, although you’d have to go through the lengthy process of reciting an incantation each and every time you wanted to use it, you could just activate runes with a single phrase once they were engraved. If we could get to the point that the water wheel kept spinning for a few hours each activation, it would be a lot simpler to thresh and mill things.
“Looks like it’s my turn next.”
Yutaka carried his large water wheel and plugged it onto the water mill—it looked like he’d taken the time to properly measure its dimensions as it was the perfect size. His seemed to be the best crafted thus far, both in how it was made and how sturdy it looked.
Seeing the wheel start spinning rather quickly after he spoke, I let out a voice of admiration. It was moving exactly how I’d expect a water wheel to move. Yeah, this should work.
However, not only did it not stop, it even increased in speed.
“… Yutaka, what did you engrave on the wheel?”
Yutaka drew an arrow on the ground… Huh? … I guess it’s fine even if it’s not a word, as long as it holds some meaning?
“But… it’s not just being pushed by the water, right? It’s amplifying that power itself?”
“Yes. I didn’t think it would be enough to turn with just the water’s power.”
Seeing Yutaka nod, I realized why the wheel was accelerating.
The rotational force was probably continually being amplified.
It held the advantage of being able to be used many times, but magic brought about by runes definitely had a drawback.
That is, your intent and the result didn’t always align.
Magic brought about by reciting incantations could have a varying output, but its result wouldn’t be different than what you expect it to have. However, that wasn’t the case for runes. I doubted Yutaka intended for it to accelerate that much. Not only was the output greater than he’d intended, the behavior of its acceleration was off as well.
The speeding water wheel slipped off what held it to the mill and slid into the waterway straight at Aqua.
It’s just by chance, but why is it that she’s always the one to be targeted each time…
“I’m last then?”
Ignoring how Aqua and Yutaka started quarreling with each other, Rin took out her water wheel. It was a simple ring about as wide around as her waist. It had no buckets, nor did it have an axle to attach on to.
“Mentor, you want the water wheel to spin to turn the millstone, right?”
What she looked at as she spoke wasn’t the waterway, but inside the water mill itself.
It didn’t have anything to do with the water mill directly, but the mill work using the millstone itself was done in this hut.
Rin held the ring around the millstone and spoke.
And so the millstone began to turn.
“I figured that in that case, it’d make more sense to just move the millstone directly through magic.”
… She’s right!
My mind was completely stuck to the thought of a water wheel, so I entirely overlooked the possibility.
“Why bother with water?”
I mean, she was right, but still…
Should a merfolk go around saying that?
- Spoken as the borrowed English word, not the Japanese word 目覚め. Important because of language reasons. Pretend it’s a borrowed word they’re saying here. Using Latin like Evigilare or some other language wouldn’t work, either. Nina and others are already aware that Mentor uses borrowed words such as *force*, *kilogram*, and the like to explain concepts that simple Japanese doesn’t handle so well. So my apologies and again, pretend it’s some borrowed word they would have never heard.