Dream Life Vol II Chapter 53.1: “Mysteries of History”

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 After the new year began, we took classes with Professor Ruspede two days out of five and went to the forest on the other days.


 We repeated this process.



 Professor Ruspede’s classes, in the past, the theme was decided by the professor asking questions, but these days, the lecture often begins with me asking questions.



 When the topic was compound magic, it went something like this.



“I read in a library book that there is no such thing as compound magic.” (Zack)



 When I asked that, the professor, as usual, would ask me what I thought before answering.


 I told him my hypothesis.



“I think, my hypothesis, that it already exists. Isn’t the magic circle the most typical example of this?” (Zack)



 The professor said, “Not necessarily. First of all,” he then asked, “Could you please explain your own definition of compound magic?”



“The compound magic that I think of is magic that has multiple attributes that interact with each other at the same time, something that cannot be done with just one attribute.” (Zack)



“At the same time, and interacting with each other… Well, that’s a good enough definition. Then, as for the magic circle, it falls outside your definition of compound magic.” (Ruspede)



 I asked, “What do you mean?” The professor then pulled out a book and began to explain.



“Look at this magic circle. When a person passes by it, it detects if he or she has a magic tool for authentication and unlocks the door for those who have it, and shoots a blowgun at those who do not. First, look here. Light attribute determines the presence or absence of magical tools…” (Ruspede)



 The professor began to explain about the magic circle on the trap found in the old ruins.


 If the presence or absence of a magical tool that affects the light attribute magic is confirmed, gold magic is used to remove the clasp of the key, and if not, wind attribute magic is used to send air into the trap to activate a blowgun.


 I looked at it and thought it was an automatic control device made of sensors and simple logic circuits, but sure enough, as far as I could see from its magic circle, it was not activated in parallel, but in series.



“…The order of the required spirit power is determined by the magic circle. Therefore, even within the magic circle, they are not activated at the same time.” (Ruspede)



“So, you are saying that there is no compound magic as described in the book?” (Zack)



 The professor replies happily, “Nothing of what you defined has been discovered yet.”



“Does that mean that something other than my definition exists? In your explanation just now, it sounds like the ‘at the same time’ part is the problem, but the ‘interact’ part is fine.” (Zack)



 When I ask this, the professor laughs and says, “You can use it, too.”


 I tilted my head,



“During the practical exam, didn’t you use the magic of [Great Storm – Tempest], it was actually a compound magic.” (Ruspede)



 I didn’t understand what he meant and asked him to explain what he meant,



“I can’t show you because I’m not good with wind attribute, but [Tempest] is a larger version of [Tornado Slasher]. The magic you used was not using blades of wind, but blades of ice, was it not?” (Ruspede)



 I still didn’t understand what the professor meant, because I had thought that Tempest was a magic to slice through fine ice particles in the shape of a blade, as in the image of a great winter storm.


 When I told this to the professor, he said,



“That’s more like [Snow Storm- Blizzard], a snowstorm made using a water attribute. [Blizzard] is more of a spray than a whirlwind, but it is similar to your [Tempest] in that it uses wind to spray ice and slice through targets. However, [Blizzard] is more focused on attacking with cold temperatures than on slashing with ice.” (Ruspede)



 And then, he started explaining compound magic.



“Your [Tempest] is a compound magic of water and wind attribute. I imagine that you created a tornado with the wind attribute first, and then created blades of ice. That’s what it looked like to me.” (Ruspede)



 It is true that I invoked the magic with the image the professor gave me, but I was not aware that it was compound magic. I was not thinking about it too deeply, because that was the kind of image Liddy taught me.



“Then what about [Snow Storm – Blizzard] that you just mentioned and [Flame Hurricane – Firestorm]? They seem to me to be compound magic in the same way.” (Zack)



“I suppose you could call them compound magic. However, both are naturally occurring phenomena, but your [Tempest] is different. I don’t think it’s magic you can create without having the two attributes.” (Ruspede)



 According to the professor, both Blizzard and Firestorm are magic that can be done using a single attribute, and rather than combining multiple, it seems that they are just imitating natural phenomena and actual events. Since it is an actual phenomenon, it is easy for the spirits to understand, and it is possible that they are assisting the spirits of the master’s attribute.


 On the other hand, my Tempest is different from ordinary magic in that I intentionally make a blade out of ice and add it to the tornado.



“So, you are saying that magic that intentionally combines two phenomena is compound magic?” (Zack)



 After the professor said meaningfully, “Maybe so, maybe not.”



“As for that, we don’t even have a definition. How can we know if something that has not been defined even exists in theory?” (Ruspede)



 There is a magic called [Icicle Spear], which is a spear made of ice and thrown by magic, but it does not create wind magically to make it fly. The definition changes depending on the extent to which it is reproduced by magic. The professor seems to be trying to say that the definition is ambiguous.



 This is how the lecture time with the professor passed.





 On the other hand, in the practical skills, I was becoming more and more like an assistant for the professor’s research.



 Right now, among the jobs I’ve been given, the most useful is the identification of metals.


 I find out what metals are being investigated and, in the case of alloys, which metals are in what proportion.


 The objects to be examined are excavated objects that the professor gets, often thousands of years old.


 And the reason why I am seen as useful is because there are many unnamed elements in this world that cannot be identified by the professor, but I can.



 More than a dozen metals such as gold, silver, copper, iron, and lead have names, but metals that have not been discovered or extracted, such as nickel and aluminum, do not have names. This makes them impure and difficult to distinguish.


 Specifically, gold magic is used to analyze and analyze the ratio of metals, but in the case of elements unknown to the magician, they are all considered “unidentifiable”.


 In my case, I have the special skill of [References] and I have memorized the periodic table of elements that do not exist in this world to some extent, so even if there are unusual elements mixed in, I can almost always identify them. Then, I can give appropriate names to elements that do not yet have names in this world, so I can make progress in my work. However, if I identify all the elements that I know, the professor will be suspicious, so I limit myself to a few major elements such as chromium and nickel.



 There is a reason why the names of chromium and nickel are mentioned here.


 Stainless steel was found in ancient ruins.


 In the professor’s opinion, it is more than 3,500 years old, BCE, and is often excavated as containers. Other than that, there are stainless steel plates with letters on them that are now indistinguishable, and he is researching to see if they are magical tools.


 There are also aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, and titanium alloys, and it seems that the lost civilization had quite advanced metallurgical and metalworking techniques.


 I was shown some writing, but it seemed to be hieroglyphic, an ideographic script, and I had never seen anything like it.



 When I assisted in this research, I was curious about something and asked the professor about it.


 I asked him why there are long-lived elves and dragon people who are said to have practically no life span in this world, and why their memories of the past of about 3,500 years have not been inherited.


 Aside from dragon people, in the case of elves, there are enough of them in terms of population and they live in a moderately dispersed manner. Their lifespan is about ten times longer than that of humans, 700 to 800 years, and some of the longest-lived have lived more than 1,000 years. Three thousand five hundred years may seem like an incredibly long time ago, but when compared to the human lifespan, it is about 350 years. In Japan, that would be the Edo period. The question was, “If nothing else, why not pass down the story within your race?”


 The professor said, “If nothing else, you’re right,” and then told me a little-known fact.



“The Tria calendar was first used 3,000 years ago, 3,012 years to be exact. Then do you know what kind of calendar they used before that, and why they changed the calendar?” (Ruspede)



“The reason for the calendar change could be due to a change of government or some other natural catastrophe, I think.” (Zack)



 The professor nodded, “That’s right.”



“There was a great calamity more than 3,000 years ago. There is no detailed record of it. After that period of time, more than 3,000 years ago, almost all sentient races, including humans, elves, dwarves, and other races, disappeared.” (Ruspede)



“What does that mean?” (Zack)



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