Magi Craft Meister 488
15 Showdown With The Demons Arc
15-01 In Leaps And Bounds
“Launching in 10 seconds. 9, 8, 7, 6…”
A countdown voice echoed in Hourai Island.
A metal ball had been placed in the corner of the central plateau where the laboratory was located.
It was 1 meter in diameter. It was a “Magi Machine” with an aluminum outer shell.
“Magi Machine” was a general term for complex magic tools made by applying “science” to them.
“3, 2, 1… 0!”
The spherical Magi Machine started to float in the air, and then began to ascend very rapidly.
Its speed was close to the speed of sound speed, and it disappeared in a blink of an eye.
“Laojun, are you able to track it?”
“Yes, My Lord. It is currently at an altitude of 5,000 meters. …6,000 meters, 7,000 meters…”
On August 3rd 3457, at 9:00 am, a prototype artificial satellite, dubbed “Satellite 001”, was launched into orbit.
It was propelled by a Magi Gravity Engine. It was Jin’s latest Magic Tool, created after analyzing the “Gravity Magic” used by the demons.
It was capable of producing an acceleration of 2G –19.6 m/s2– until the satellite could leave the atmosphere. The outer shell wouldn’t overheat because its air friction was completely negated through the use of the “Wind Barrier” spell.
At the same time, by using another Gravity Magic spell on the satellite –actually, by changing its inertial mass– its mass was made almost zero.
Jin was able to use Gravity Magic to that extent, but that effect was achieved through the use of “Ethenol”.
“Ethenol has many practical uses.”
“Yes, My Lord. It’s perfect for getting ultra-high output in a short to medium timeframe.”
By using an Ether Converter, the satellite could be operated almost permanently, but on the other hand, using Gravity Magic had a certain amount of Mana cost, so relying solely on it for power could lead to concerns about running out of Mana at some point.
This concern could be completely avoided by using Ethenol, which was a high-concentration ether solution.
It wouldn’t be possible to replenish the satellite’s Ethenol supply once depleted, but as soon as the satellite was in orbit, that would no longer be a problem because the Ether Converter alone was able to provide sufficient magical power to keep it in orbit.
“Satellite 001 has reached the stratosphere. Current altitude is 50,000 meters. Accelerating…”
The thinner the air, the less likely it would be for the satellite to overheat at higher speeds. As long as the inertia was almost 0, the influence of the acceleration pressure would also disappear, so the satellite could be accelerated as much as they wanted, but they would still need to be careful not to lead it to overheating. But if the risk of overheating disappears, they would be able to increase the speed indefinitely –literally.
“10G, 11G, 12G…”
Eventually they would be able to get an acceleration of 100G. This was a launch experiment that also served the purpose of collecting data regarding achieving such levels of acceleration.
“We have reached an altitude of 35,000 kilometers. Reducing acceleration.”
Acceleration would stop as soon as the satellite was in a geosynchronous orbit, that is, an orbit that matches the planet’s rotation. Since its inertia was almost zero, its acceleration would eventually become zero as well the moment it started to come in contact with a few particles. After that, its inertia would be restored and stabilized.
As its inertia is restored, its kinetic energy would return to its initial state. In other words, it would come to a stop relative to what it was at the moment of launch. That is a characteristic of inertia that is especially useful when trying to make a satellite go into a geosynchronous orbit.
“We’ll now begin orbital correction.”
A set of ultra small gravity engines were used for fine adjustment. By freely specifying a gravity vector for each engine, it was possible to move the satellite in three dimensions to precisely set its position.
This was of course Jin’s first launch, so naturally, he didn’t have all of the necessary data. Satellite 001 was the first prototype Jin and Laojun had come up with after much deliberation.
The idea was to use it to gather as much data as possible in order to make future launches easier.
Furthermore, if they could get position data from outer space, it could eventually allow them to go to space at leisure via a transfer machine instead of having to go through the trouble of launching a shuttle from the ground.
At any rate, utilizing outer space as a resource was an integral part of Hourai Island’s future.
“The satellite has entered orbit. Beginning fine adjustments.”
“Okay, I’m leaving the rest to you.”
Making fine adjustments while constantly monitoring was simply too much to do for a human, so Jin had to rely entirely on Laojun for that.
If Satellite 001 was successful, the plan was to put another 8 similar satellites into orbit as well.
The role of each satellite was to gather position data for the transfer machine. It was the same way of thinking as with a GPS.
With that total number, the satellites would become geosynchronous with each other by monitoring each other as well as being monitored on the surface.
The second one would be meant for ground surveillance. Since it would be loaded with a high-power laser cannon, it could also be used as a deterrent in case of emergency.
The third one would be meant for the observation of outer space. It would make it possible to not only investigate the moon from a closer distance, but also to find any possible presence of Ether in outer space.
The fourth one would be meant to be used to collect operational data of Gravity Magic. Jin had wanted to install a gravity engine in addition to the Magi Jet Engine on the aircraft.
“Looks like it went well. Phew…”
Reiko was clinging to Jin like a shadow.
“Ah, I’m really looking forward to the future.”
Jin looked up at the vast, cloudless blue sky.
＊ ＊ ＊
“So, how did it go, Jin?”
Stearleana called out to Jin as he was back to the laboratory.
She hadn’t appeared from the laboratory, nor from Jin’s house.
She had come out from her own house, the one she had in the provincial town of Goa, in the Celuroa Kingdom.
“I made some tea, why don’t you stop by?”
“Oh, don’t mind if I do, then.”
Jin entered Stearleana’s house.
“Come in, make yourself at home.”
When he entered the dining room, he found Saki’s father, Toa Eschenbach, sitting there.
Toa seemed to have found a kindred spirit in Stearleana, so at Saki’s recommendation, they had him take an “aptitude test”. Naturally, he passed, and as a result, he was given clearance to enter and leave Hourai Island.
Vivian also took the same test at that time, and was accepted into the “Family”. She now enjoyed exchanging information and knowledge every day with Ann and Laojun.
“Ah, it makes me so happy as a storyteller to be able to uphold these legends!”
Vivian also continued to work as a storyteller for the Shouro Empire.
And on the other hand, speaking of Stearleana and Toa’s quick chemistry…
“Those two are definitely going to get married one of these days. Father has this look on his face that I’ve never seen before.”
That was Saki’s reaction. She even added,
“Well, it’s been a long time since my mother died, and there aren’t many women strange enough to be interested in someone like my father. I think Stearleana would be a nice match for him.”
Though her face showed a seemingly lonely expression.
Toa and Stearleana had spent the past few days in Hourai Island together.
“So you launched the satellite?”
As Stearleana poured down some more tea, Toa asked that question to Jin.
“Yes, we somehow managed to do it. Some fine tuning will be necessary, but overall I think the operation was a success.”
“Well, that’s amazing. I’ve heard a lot from my daughter, but what you do is absolutely mold-breaking.”
Jin still hadn’t used “Transinfo” on Toa, or rather, he couldn’t. Because that spell could only be used on him or with a Control Core he had made himself.
Unless Toa himself could use “Transinfo”, he wouldn’t be able to gain knowledge through it.
This was still something Jin and the others had to find a workaround for. In the meantime, Toa would be learning what he needed to learn through books made by Laojun.
“Ah, but I’ve been learning so much, I can hardly go back home now.”
Toa seemed to enjoy spending his days in a carefree manner in Hourai Island. He would also spend every night at Stearleana’s house.
Jin didn’t have the slightest intention to make any sort of comment about that.
“But you can imagine how surprised I was to find this house here.”
Stearleana, who was sitting right next to Toa, interceded in an earnest voice.
After Stearleana went into exile, Laojun made use of the cover of the night and dispatched Falcon 2 along with several Smith Golems.
Being careful not to damage the building, its foundation was separated from the ground, and then the entire house was transferred to Hourai Island by a transfer machine.
Then, it was affixed into the place it was currently located.
As far as the Celuroa Kingdom was concerned, an entire house had vanished into thin air overnight, but neither Jin nor Laojun heard of any kind of chaos having sprouted from that event.
Laojun was currently providing support for others who had also defected from the Celuroa Kingdom. For the time being, they were being sent to the Shouro Empire, who welcomed them with open arms.
“Well, you seemed to be a bit sad, Stearleana. After all, you’d be emotionally attached to your own house.”
“Yes, that’s right. It may not be the house I was born and raised in, but it’s the house I was given back when I was first scouted.”
Stearleana was, like Vivian, born and raised in the town of Coupu. They used to play together when they were young, but when Stearleana turned 15 and Vivian turned 17, they were selected by the kingdom’s “scouting”.
“Scouting” was a practice in the Celuroa Kingdom to find talented children and provide them with a gifted education. It’s one of the main reasons why the Celuroa Kingdom had a technical advantage over its peers.
After that, Stearleana was set on the path to become a Magi Craftswoman, while Vivian was trained to become a professional storyteller, thanks to her great memory.
After their training was complete, Vivian was taken back to her hometown of Coupu, while Stearleana was ordered to live near the Royal Capital.
“After living for 10 years in the same house, you start to grow attached to it.”
Both Stearleana and Vivian’s parents, who were fishermen, were said to have died in an accident shortly after the girls were scouted out of town.
There was a grim rumor that said that the relatives of those who would be scouted out of town for training would be assassinated by the kingdom in order to remove all lingering attachments to those being scouted, but its veracity was not confirmed.
“Should I bring Vivian’s house here as well, then?”
“Ahaha, you really do break the mold.”
After Jin and Toa’s voices had brought her back from the corners of her mind, Stearleana quickly smiled and drank the rest of her lukewarm tea in one gulp.