Dream Life Vol II Chapter 56.1: “The Value of Technology”

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 After receiving the request to subjugate the Soldier Ants, we went to the mountains several times. But so far, we haven’t encountered any monsters that are too strong.


 In the meantime, it was late May and we had our final exam.



 The written exam was as easy as ever, and both Sharon and I got perfect scores.


 The practical exam, however, was to see how first-year students manipulate magic, and I almost lost the top spot to Sharon. To be precise, the results of the examinations were not released until June 29, the day of the closing ceremony, and the results were not yet available. However, according to Professor Ruspede, I am almost certain that I am at the top of the class.



 The exam for magical manipulation was a test of how well I could activate and control the magic I was good at. Specifically, it was a test of accuracy, such as the accuracy of the magic’s hit rate.


 If it is only about power, I don’t feel like losing, but when it comes to accuracy, it is a different story. Especially in the case of the [Swallow-Winged Blade – Swallow Cutter] magic, Sharon is better at subtle manipulation.



 The reason I was able to beat her this time was because the target was fixed. If the target was fixed, even I could hit it right in the middle, so there would be no difference.


 Then, the reason why Professor Ruspede assured me that I was in first place was that I had simultaneously activated three [Swallow Cutter] and shot all of them in the center of the target.


 At the moment, Sharon is not very good at simultaneous activation, and even at her best, her [Swallow Cutter] can only produce two shots. Even so, this is still an amazing feat by her age, but from the standpoint of simultaneous activation alone, I am by far the better magician.


 If the magic does not require any control after activation, I can activate about five shots at the same time.



 Although what I did was a bit too much for the subject of magic control, Professor Ruspede assured me that simultaneous activation is also a part of magic control, so I am almost certain that I will get the top place.


 If this is a moving target, Sharon is likely to be at the top. I am confident that I can hit a moving target at a certain speed, but in Sharon’s case, she shows such control that she can even hit a flying arrow.



 Of course, Sharon, who doesn’t like to fight, has no desire to be in the lead. She would probably faint if she were to take the top position, especially against me. She might even say she would give up the top seat.



 I am not at all concerned about being at the top of the class.


 The pecking order of the academy seems to be essential for advancement within the Magicians Guild, but I will never be an employee of the Magicians Guild, nor do I intend to become a court magician.


 The only reason I am at the academy at the moment is that I am under the tutelage of Professor Ruspede. His lessons are non-standard, but it is very easy for me to understand. The way he discusses each case in depth is similar to the way I used to have design meetings when I was an engineer, and it has been very helpful for me to come up with new ideas and to correct my misconceptions.





 In January, Professor Ruspede began to give public lectures, which all students can attend.


 The lecture is open to all students of the academy, but due to the size of the auditorium, it was initially limited to 200 students.


 However, there was a tremendous demand for the lecture.


 Almost all fifth-year students, the most senior students, wanted to attend the lecture, and nearly 80% of fourth-year students also applied. Even among third-year students and younger, there were nearly 200 applicants. In other words, the total number of applicants was just under 600, or nearly 60% of the total number of students at the academy.



 The academy was upset by this. Naturally, they went to Professor Ruspede for advice, but he simply said that he would leave the matter to the academy and would not need to discuss it with them.


 The headmaster of the academy came to talk to him directly, but unfortunately it was when we were attending the professor’s lecture.


 The headmaster to him, and the professor, perhaps feeling annoyed, said to me,



“I’ll leave it to you, Mr. Lockhart. You seem to be good at this sort of thing.” (Ruspede)



 I told the professor, “I’m not your assistant or anything. And I’m a first-year student…” the dean interrupted me and said,



“Mr. Lockhart. You take care of it. You can use my authority if you need to. If this doesn’t work out, I’ll talk to… the chairman, no, it will be fine.” (Headmaster)



 Apparently, he was concerned about Councilor Wagman and wanted to make this a huge success at all costs.


 I simply said, why don’t we limit it to two hundred people by drawing lots?



“That’s not going to work. The purpose of this open lecture is to open the door to a wide range of motivated students and help them acquire in-depth knowledge. If it is reduced to one-third of its original size, it will fail to achieve its purpose.” (Headmaster)



 He was not surprised that a first-year student like me would be so dismissive, but I tried to explain what I was thinking.



“In that case, wouldn’t it be better if the professor held three lectures?” (Zack)



 When I said that, the professor said, “It’s already troublesome. I’m not going to do it twice.”



 I became so annoyed that I asked the headmaster if he could assign someone to talk to the professor, but he took me out into the hallway,



“There is no staff who can deal with Professor Ruspede. I think he will listen to you. He will listen to you. Please.” (Headmaster)



 He bowed his head in a worshiping pose.


 I thought that it was not something he should ask a student, especially one of the youngest, to do, but since I was also the initiator of the open lecture, I had no choice but to accept the request.



 What followed was the hard part.


 There is only one place in this institute that can accommodate six hundred people.



 It is the student cafeteria.


 The cafeteria itself can accommodate about 300 people at a time, so if the tables are cleared, everyone should be able to get in.


 However, that is not enough for a professor to give a lecture.


 The lecture itself is only an hour long, but preparation and clean-up arrangements are also necessary. As one would expect, this was left to the staff, but even so, there were problems.



 Naturally, there are no microphones or loudspeakers in this world.


 It would be quite impossible to give a lecture to six hundred people in a loud voice. Furthermore, the room is not like an auditorium, so the seats in the back are almost 20 meters away, so it would be difficult to see the words on the blackboard that had been brought in.



 First, I checked with the professor to see if there was a sound amplification magic tool, but he said he had never seen one.


 If the professor, who is an expert in magic tools, doesn’t know about it, then there probably isn’t a magic tool for amplifying sound.


 The professor’s voice would carry well within 20 meters or so, so as long as he wasn’t talking privately, I should be able to hear him. If he could write on the blackboard in large letters, I would be able to see him. That’s what I thought.



 However, the professor’s lecture was supposed to be quite advanced. Even fourth- or fifth-year students may not be able to catch up with the content.


 I thought about making a condensed pamphlet. I thought that with this, people would be able to keep up with the lectures to some extent, but this, too, was difficult.



 First, there is no convenient thing like a copy machine.


 All the books in this world are handwritten and not even woodblock printing is used. Even if I make a pamphlet of about one A4 size, I have to prepare 600 sheets of it.



 I wanted to go into woodblock printing, but I couldn’t find anyone who was good at engraving. I had no choice but to do it myself, and then it hit me.


 There was no need to use a wooden board. I thought, “Can’t I use gold magic to make it out of a metal plate?”



 I asked him to prepare a thick steel plate, about A4 size and 2 cm thick. Then, he pasted the professor’s handwritten manuscript onto it.


 The text was carefully cut out. Sharon, who is very dexterous, did this work.


 Only the letter part remains on the iron plate, and the metal is extracted perpendicularly to the surface with about 5 mm thickness from the top of the plate. The magic of the [Extraction] requires direct contact with the hand, so the iron remains on the paper portion. I have to be careful here, because if the magic is not applied perpendicularly, the bottom of the letter part will be cut off.


 After failing several times, I created a single-iron plate print.


 Although written simply, it was a very hard work that took most of the time of practical skills and used my magic power to the limit. So much so that it was necessary to have Liddy and Sharon take over bath duty.



 The professor watched with great interest, and was quite surprised when the printer was completed and test prints were made.




“This is a great invention that is revolutionary for the development of learning. As expected of Mr. Lockhart. This is a technology that should definitely be popularized!” (Ruspede)




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