Magi Craft Meister 512
15 Showdown With The Demons Arc
15-25 Interference Device
Jin figured he might as well get in touch with Reinhardt and the others.
This of course caused Reinhardt to want to go help even at the cost of neglecting his work, but he ended up tearfully giving up after Berthie scolded him.
“Then, you have to tell me how it came out in detail!”
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“…So that’s what I think.”
Jin reiterated his theory before Elsa, Saki, Toa, Stearleana, and Vivian.
“Hmm, so what you’re saying is that Ether is at the same time a source of magical power and a medium that conducts both magical power and this ‘force of will’, right?”
Saki was the first to react.
“That’s right. So I’ve been wondering if we would be able to create Ether at will.”
“Hmm. First of all, we need to make sure that Ether is really a medium that conducts both magical power and this ‘force of will’.”
That was Toa’s opinion as a researcher.
“I would like to provide some information in regards to that.”
Laojun’s voice echoed throughout the room.
“I believe you all know about transfer machines. They require the use of magical power to create a path to the destination, but this tends to be more difficult as something or someone is transferred to the south, where the Ether density seems to be low. ‘
The fact that the density of Ether becomes higher as one goes north and lower as one goes south was already well known. Laojun’s input supported Jin’s theory.
“I can agree that Ether conducts magical power. But, this mental power, this ‘force of will’? …Is that even real? I’m not so sure…”
Stearleana was skeptical about the concept of mental power.
“Hmm, but that’s not the point.”
Elsa quickly pointed out that discussing whether or not these concepts were real wasn’t the point of their meeting. They were trying to come up with ways to create some kind of device which could interfere with magic.
“Right. Though I’d like to study the possibility of the existence of this ‘force of will’.”
Toa seemed to be very interested in this concept.
“Well then, what do you think we’ll need in order to make this device, Jin?”
“I think that we’ll have to first explore the theory behind how magic is put into operation in the first place.”
“…Simple enough, eh, Jin?”
Saki seemed slightly disappointed with Jin’s answer. However, he continued to delve further into his theory.
“The caster converts the Ether they have taken in by breathing into Mana, storing it into their body. How much Mana can a person store varies between each individual.
The Mana in one’s body decreases as it’s used, but it will slowly regenerate. Perhaps the human body mana on a cell-by-cell basis.
Then, one’s ‘force of will’, or mental power if you’d prefer, works on their Mana, transforming it into magical power.
As long as this mental power is involved, there will be a difference at an individual level between one’s Mana and the magical power they can produce.
Magical power uses the surrounding Ether to activate magic spells. The total amount of Mana the caster has determines the maximum amount of spells they can use before running out of Mana.”
“Hmm. So in short, mental power draws magical power from Mana, which in turn is generated from the surrounding Ether?”
Toa briefly summarized Jin’s theory.
“Yes. What we refer to as ‘magical power’ is actually the force that acts on the Ether, and I suspect that it can also cause all sorts of phenomena by manipulating Ether in various ways.”
“I have no reason to disagree with that. It makes sense.”
“So we’ll be making an interference device based on that theory, right?”
Elsa’s remark once again brought the conversation back to its course. Their primary purpose was to develop an interfering device, rather than trying to fully elucidate the phenomenon of magic. They couldn’t lose sight of their purpose.
“There’s no doubt that Mana and Ether influence each other.”
This was also from Elsa. Though she wasn’t very good at making hypotheses, she seemed to have managed to summarize the main point of Jin’s theory.
“The Mana refined in our bodies can be manipulated at will. This is due to our own mental power. Are we all good so far?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“In that case, would there be a way to turn that Mana back into Ether?”
“Oh, I see…”
With that train of thought, Jin considered the possibility of finding a practical solution to their puzzle without having to approach the theoretical side of magic.
“Another thing. Barriers. Could we say that they are barriers made through Mana?”
Elsa approached the main point without concerning herself with unimportant details. This could be a hidden ability of hers.
The “Barrier” spell could be considered to be a barrier that uses magical power to forcibly “stop” Ether in the air.
At that time, Ether would be like cement, and the air molecules would be like gravel. In this sense, the resulting “Barrier” would be like concrete.
Incidentally, if created in a vacuum, a barrier would be created containing only cement, that is, only Ether.
Pseudo-solidified Ether would be strong enough to prevent even an attack from Reiko.
“…Have you come up with anything, Brother Jin?”
Elsa asked this after noticing that Jin’s expression had changed.
It seemed that Elsa’s input had been like a keyword that unlocked an idea in Jin’s mind.
“Take the fire-type spell ‘Fireball’, for instance. This spell converts Mana into heat energy, then it generates a flame out of the air heated by this conversion before launching it forward. Let’s take this as an example.”
Jin then explained that there were several possible ways to nullify this spell.
“The first one is to prevent it from accessing its Ether supply.”
Naturally, if Mana cannot be generated, the spell would not work.
“The second one is to revert Mana into Ether.”
This is the method that Elsa had come up with. It could be said to be a canceller of sorts.
“The third one would be the Magi Jammers we now use. It interferes with the caster’s chanting, preventing Mana from being generated in the first place.”
“Yeah. I see. So apart from the third method, which would be better? The first one or the second one?”
“We should be able to determine that by examining both methods.”
Jin’s remark would make it possible to choose the most feasible out of the two methods.
“So how do we go about preventing Ether from being used?”
“By eliminating the Ether in an area?”
“No, that would be far too convoluted, don’t you think?”
Leaving the “how” of that idea aside, it would be a very impractical solution.
“Then, how do we turn Mana back into Ether?”
“If Mana is generated from Ether through mental power, why not interfere with this mental power?”
“Ah, but wouldn’t it be better to…”
Toa, Stearleana, and Saki. Each of them came up with their own ideas.
Jin found this very enjoyable. The idea of wishing he could continue doing this kind of debate for a long time grazed in the corner of his head, but he couldn’t afford to stray off the topic for now.
“It may not be possible to completely eliminate Ether from an area, but we could manage to put that Ether under our control.”
According to Jin’s theory, the magical power of the caster taps on the surrounding Ether to create magic. The idea was to use their own magical power to beat the caster to it, and put that Ether under their control instead.
“I understand the theory, but…”
Toa seemed completely puzzled.
“Wouldn’t you need an enormous amount of magical power in order to do that?”
Saki seemed to have finished her father’s sentence.
“No, that’s not the case. Take Ether Converters for instance. They’re Magi Devices, which I first installed in Reiko and then all across Hourai Island, which have the function of working on and collecting Ether around it.”
“Using up a lot of magical power in order to collect Ether would be mistaking the cause for the end.”
Elsa added to Jin’s explanation.
“I see, that makes sense.”
Convinced, Toa nodded.
“Expanding an Ether Converter’s range, we should be able to interfere with the Ether in the surrounding area. There’s no need to draw it all in towards us, but it should be enough to put it under our control.”
“Would that really work?”
Stearleana was still half-convinced about it.
“Evidence would be better than debate at this point. Should we try it out?”
Jin instructed Reiko to increase the output of her Ether Converter to 100%.
“Now most of the Ether around Reiko should have been captured by Reiko’s Ether Converter.”
Jin then went on saying that they should be able to see for themselves by trying to use any kind of big spell.
“I’m putting big spells as an example since there must still be a lot of Ether around here.”
“Ah, then let me try it first. ‘Purify’.”
“Purify” was not only an Engineering Magic spell, but also a high-level Earth Magic spell that removes impurities from an object.
As she tried to remove the impurities from a Magi Stone she had in her pocket…
“Oh, you’re right. It doesn’t work as well as it normally would.”
She noticed that both activating the spell and the spell’s own effect took far longer than usual.
“I see. We should be able to make our interfering device now that we’ve seen this.”
It was as if a ray of light had made its way through an overcast sky.