Chapter 309 The Exploration of Knowledge
On the second day of autumn Roland finally received a letter from King’s City.
Since the letter sent came via a flying messenger, it was most likely written by his personal guard Theo.
Freeing the paper from the bird’s claw, Roland stepped over to the window, using the radiant and enchanting sunshine to carefully read through it.
“Because the palace was quickly blocked and no one was allowed to enter or leave, I wasn’t able to scout out the damage caused by the explosion. But within the evening almost all of King’s City’s inhabitants knew of the attack on the palace, whether it be in the pub, the inn or the city squares, wherever people gathered there was only one topic of discussion. Even the death of the former King hadn’t caused such a sensational impact. In addition, since you’ve given a warning beforehand, there are now many people who believe that Timothy has already died from this attack and they believe you will soon start ruling over King’s City from there becoming the new king of the Kingdom of Graycastle.”
This paragraph allowed Roland to feel thoroughly relieved – there could be no better news for him than to hear that the bombing mission had been successfully carried out, and that the witches would be safely returning soon.
He made himself a cup of tea before returning to the side of the mahogany table and continuing to read the letter.
“However, according to the collected information, at present, there isn’t any sign of activity from the several big nobles outside King’s City. Furthermore, the royal palace has also responded very quickly, so I speculate that Timothy Wimbledon is still likely to be alive.
“In addition, there are some people who swear that this attack had come from the sky. In the end, there seems to be some residents who’ve witnessed an unremarkable colored object drop from the sky, falling with utmost speed unto the imperial palace. Therefore, I have already come up with an initial plan regarding the task you’ve handed me – if I could actually embellish this matter into heaven’s punishment against the fake King, I think that many of the people will believe it to be the truth.
“Regarding this, the hands under my control are full of enthusiasm. During daytime, they’ve collected information concerning all of Timothy’s tyrannical practices. If this was to be mixed in with the story, it would surely become even more effective. I believe that it won’t even be a month before the street rats spread this news to the ears of all of the citizens.
“In addition, I will continue to closely monitor the movements of the Eastern Barracks. But looking at the current situation, Timothy still doesn’t seem to have come up with any countermeasures to resist the attack, so it seems that he doesn’t have any time to care about anyone else.”
The letter was again not signed at the end. After reaching its end, Roland folded the letter and put it into the drawer before releasing a deep and long breath.
In case Easterly Wind No.1 really has stopped Timothy from dispatching troops, the result would already be very good.
After all, the large number of drugged people consumed during a fight was indeed too wasteful. The later the other side launched its battle of attrition, the more opportunities Roland could get to win over the population.
Roland raised the cup and drank a mouthful of fragrant black tea. For now, the next thing he needed to do was to rest and wait for the witches to return.
It was already several days since he had last seen Anna, and there was also nobody who stole any of the dried fish out of the drawer, all in all, this made him feel a bit uncomfortable.
At this moment, Carter opened the door to the office.
“Your Royal Highness, two fleets have arrived at the pier.”
“Has Margaret’s Chamber of commerce finally arrived? Taking into account the time she had spent on the road, she must have missed a good show… hold on,” Roland stopped for a moment, feeling slightly surprised, “You said there were two fleets?”
“Yes,” Carter said laughingly, “You remember the messenger group you had sent to the Southern Territory to recruit staff? A batch of troops has already come back. The number of refugees that they brought along with them is already enough to crowd the pier to its bursting point. Currently, the City Hall is carrying out your plan and Miss Lily is executing the…”
“Ah right, you’re talking about the program to eliminate the existence of plagues or similar threats…” The Chief Knight coughed twice, “This group of people number about four or five hundred people in size.”
“Do they?” Roland couldn’t prevent the corner of his mouth from rising. It seems as if it was just moments ago when we spoke about the possibility of this matter, but now it’s already started to show results. It seems as if the number of temporary houses Lotus needs to prepare has increased yet again, “Let’s go and take a look.”
Kyle Sichi put down the extremely thin remaining section of the “Intermediate Chemistry” while repeatedly muttering, “So that is what it is.”
“Mentor?” Chavez asked anxiously.
Since the time he had received the “Intermediate Chemistry”, Kyle had been unable to find any sleep within the last two days, almost reading through the whole ancient book overnight. Chavez himself had also taken a few glances at it, but the book’s content was too abstruse and much too difficult to understand.
“I’m fine,” the Chief Alchemist’s voice didn’t contain any trace of weariness, instead it appeared as if his spirit was trembling with excitement. Even though the corner of his eyes may have contained some dirt, his two eyes were still bright and full of fire, and looked nothing like a person who had just gone through a sleepless night.
The times when the mentor delved into alchemy they mustn’t be easily disturbed, this was a rule which each disciple need to abide by. So, having waited until now, Chavez finally dared to open his mouth and speak, “This book… this disciple doesn’t understand what is an atom, and what is an electron?”
“You are already a qualified alchemist, so you mustn’t call yourself a disciple. According to His Highness, we are colleagues now.” Kyle paused, “As for your question, I do not know how to answer it… In fact, when His Royal Highness Roland gave me the “Intermediate Chemistry”, this book was also attached to it.
Chavez looked at another book on the table, on the cover was written: “Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science”.
“Sichi… Mentor” he wasn’t accustomed to using such a familiar form of address yet, “It looks as if it closely follows alchemy… No, it completely lacks any relation with chemistry.”
“I also thought the same,” Kyle said while stroking his beard. He sighed then continued to speak, “However, after reading through a few pages, I discovered that I have actually been totally ignorant of this world.”
“What?” Chaves was stunned. Alchemy is the study of the composition of substance, the essence of elements. If they could be considered as knowing nothing about it, then what difference was there between other people and monkeys?
“I mean the concept behind it,” the Chief Alchemist’s voice was full of excitement… and also satisfaction, “We think that alchemy is just alchemy; that it is the research of scholarly knowledge. We say to ourselves that the sun rising and falling, and the flowers blooming and fading are things which have no relation to us.”
“Isn’t that right?… Those who are good at observing the sun and the stars become astrologers, as for the plants,” Chavez was slightly disgusted, “Only farmers and herbalist would study them.”
“That’s why we know nothing at all,” Kyle shook his head, “From the beginning, this book tried to connect everything together, whether they it be stones, flowers, thunder, or fire, all are made up of the same thing, all follow the same set of rules. Not only does chemistry react according to these rules, even the sun rises and falls and the flowers bloom and fade according to it. This rule is so precise, that as long as the conditions are the same, the result will also always be exactly the same. Chemistry is only a small part of this.”
“……How can this be?”
“I also find it hard to imagine,” he unfolded the periodic table of elements. “In Intermediate Chemistry, it describes the form of these elements – one big ball surrounded by numerous smaller balls. The big ball decides which kind of element it is, and the number of balls in the outer ring determines the characteristics of the element, and this very list, is arranged according to this law. They’re as neatly lined up as a parade of soldiers. Now, I also fully understand the meaning of His Highness: Why we can, without ever having seen or come into contact with this element, are still able to deduce its properties and reactions. Because even the smallest reaction, like the loss or addition of those small balls, won’t involve any changes to the big ball at all. This is also the reason why elements don’t disappear during a reaction, they will only ever transform.”
For a moment Chavez pondered about what he had heard and then asked, “Do you … believe it?”
These theories are too misty, and they cannot be verified by the eye, so how are the people who wrote the book able to know of it?
“I do not know, so I cannot answer your previous question,” Kyle said while showing a smile, “But it doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not. The key is that it provides a perspective I have never imagined before… In the end, it allows me to look at it through another door and behind that door, there isn’t only just chemistry.” Speaking until here, his voice came to a stop, “Unfortunately, His Royal Highness wasn’t able to record everything. Perhaps he was unable to understand it himself, so who knows what he might have missed.”
Chavez wasn’t able to comprehend everything he had heard, just like when he had become an apprentice. When he’d first heard the terms used by alchemists’ it had been like hearing people speak in another language, and now, he once again had this feeling.
But he wasn’t worried, as long as he followed his mentor, he would be able to learn this so-called theory of “all living things are interconnected.” Compared to the Chief Alchemist, the thing he lacked the most now, was time.
After a moment of silence, Chavez asked, “But, why did His Highness use different colors for the names of the books?”
Showing an expression of surprise the Chief Alchemist let out a cry, ”Ah.” Then he said, ”This… is something I’d actually ignored. Could it be that he’d casually used them?” But he quickly shook his head, “No, if they were colored black and red it could be the case. But these types of colors are especially difficult to make, it is unlikely to be unintentional. In other words, His Highness deliberately used them?”
“Elementary Chemistry” was blue, “Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science” was also blue, “Elementary Mathematics” was green, and “Intermediated Chemistry (Remnants)” was written with purple paint. It didn’t stand out when you looked at each of them alone, but if placed together, it was particularly eye-catching.
“Probably for appearance sake?” Chavez guessed.