Chapter 220 Decomposition and Restoration
Early on the next morning, Roland had filled the office floor with a variety of test items.
From solid to liquid, from minerals to ingots, from inorganic to organic matter, simply everything that should be here was here.
“It seems you are euphoric.” Nightingale squat down, took a small steamed dumpling from a meal plate and threw it into her mouth.
“Of course, there is a new witch in town, and even better, her ability is so incredible,” Roland rose his eyebrows. “Also, do not think that I didn’t see that, you just slyly ate one of the test objects.”
“There are still a few left,” Nightingale said while wiping her mouth. “Is Lucia’s ability really that useful?”
“It’s of the greatest usefulness, not matter if it’s decomposing or restoration, they both would bring significant improvement to the smelting and manufacturing industry.” Roland said excitedly, “In case she paired up with Anna, they could easily upgrade the machine’s strength by several times. Even if they couldn’t be mass produced, as long as they made several machines by hand, the level of the town’s production would definitely receive a qualitative improvement.“
Right now, the machines produced for Graycastle Industry by Anna are still working extremely accurately, but they were limited by the materials own flaws. During the production process, their abrasion and deformation problems would become increasingly evident. For example, seeing the cutting tool break into many pieces is a frequently observed phenomenon. If it wasn’t for Anna supplementing maintenance parts, these machines could only be used for one or two years at most.
But if Lucia’s uses her ability to control the parts the materials turn into precisely enough, it might be possible to use high strength iron, steel, and even alloy for manufacturing the machine tools. Not only would it increase the tool’s lifetime, their processing efficiency and processing standard could take a step further. By then items like the revolver rifle, which at the moment could only be produced by the Anna, would be able to enter the state of reaching mass production.
“Is it so?” Nightingale skipped back to the table, “But she does not seem to think so.”
“Because she hasn’t really recognized the value of her ability, it the same with Mystery Moon.” Roland further explained unconcerned, “When Lucia finished studying ‘Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science,’ she certainly won’t think this way any longer.”
“… ” Nightingale kept silent. Not knowing how to reply, she instead put two dried fishes into her mouth.
When Lucia finished her breakfast and came to the office, her ability test officially began.
With his heart full of expectations, Roland followed closely how one test item after another changed and if there were any differences between them. For example substances like iron ingots and iron ore both changed into a silver-white granule, but when he took a closer look, he also discovered that at their edges there laid different kinds of powder. Grapes and meat didn’t change at all, while the dumplings turned into water, flour, and meat residues.
When she was halfway through the test objects, she suddenly stopped and said with some embarrassment, “I seem to… have exhausted my magic.”
Roland looked to Nightingale, only to see the latter nod. “The amount of magic her body stores is very small, it just looks like a cloud of drifting smoke, but it is for the first time that I see a color like hers.”
“What kind of color?”
“… gray,” Nightingale said.
Roland returned to his desk and waved to Lucia, calling her over, “The witch’s magical capacity grows with their age and training. You are still not an adult, so being able to do so much is already quite good.” Waiting until the young woman had walked to the table, he pushed the already prepared parchment over to her, “Since you decide to stay in Border Town, please sign this contract.”
When Lucia came to the end of the contract, she couldn’t help but grasp a mouthful of air, “A whole gold royal a month? Your Highness can… but my ability hasn’t been thoroughly tested?”
“This has nothing to do with your ability,” Roland smiled and shook his head. “As long as you are a member of the Witch Union, this contract will always be effective.”
“Even in the case that the witch’s ability is useless?” She asked in disbelief.
“You can also interpret it like that,” The Prince spread out his hands, “But I do believe that the power of any witch has its own unique use, it’s only a matter of unleashing that power. So you really don’t have to worry about being useless.” He paused, “Also, you should already have heard of the real reason for the demonic bite from the other witches. So to ensure that you can smoothly pass through your Day of Awakening, you have to practice your skill every day. After dinner, Teacher Scroll will give lessons in the living room; you also have to attend the lecture. Although you have already mastered your reading and writing skill, you still have to study Primary Mathematics and Natural Foundation.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” Lucia nodded vigorously.
“You have a younger sister, right?” Roland asked with a smile. “When attending class, take her along with you, she should be at the right age for receiving an education.”
Lucia was slightly stunned, then, after raising her head to confirm that His Highness wasn’t making fun of her, she happily bowed, “As you say.”
After Lucia asked to be excused, Roland put the signed contract into the drawer, then thoughtfully looked at the broad range of test products on the ground.
“What is the result?” Nightingale asked curiously.
“Awe-inspiring,” he said, picking up the plate with the steam dumplings, which now contained meat pieces and flour, “For example this… When kneading the flour, the gluten will form a ramified structure, letting the flour dough become strong but flexible. Once cooked, due to the high-temperature the gluten protein will denature, even when reground into powder, it is impossible to restore it to its previously smooth and exquisite appearance. This transformation is considered irreversible, but…” Roland pinched into the small cluster of powder in the palm of his hand, and felt a silky feeling, just like from freshly ground flour. “She was able to bring the meal back to its original appearance.”
“Well, I can’t say that I understand you,” Nightingale curled her lips, “But putting it that way, can her ability be seen as restoring a material back to its original state?”
“It is not really like that,” Roland pointed to the iron ingot. “In the case that it was merely restoration, the iron ingot should have been returned into iron ore, but in fact, it was broken down into iron powder and other impurities.”
“… So in the end, what is her ability?” Nightingale asked confused.
“For the time being I still haven’t fully understood it, but if I had to speculate, I would say that her ability has two effects, as for its appearance, it manifests according to her knowledge and experience.”
“Knowledge and experience?”
“Essentially, there is no significant difference between meat and iron ore, they are both composed out of a variety of particles, but Lucia can only break down iron ore with her ability, but not the meat. I believe the reason for this is because she is unable to understand organic matter… or so to say, the constitution of life in generally,” Roland explained, even though he wasn’t sure whether this was correct, he still had no doubt, that right now what Lucia needed the most was learning new knowledge.
Three days later, when the second convoy carrying refugees from the Eastern Region arrived at Border Town, the same disease had broken out on the ship. But this time it was much more severe, with almost half of the people being infected. After questioning some of the patients, Roland learned, that the black spots had appeared the first day after boarding. Which meant that they had been infected by the parasite earlier, and because of this the incubation period had been shortened a lot.
At the same time, Roland also received a letter sent from King’s City, which was sealed with the mark of Margaret’s Chamber of Commerce.
When reading the content of the letter, his brow wrinkled.
When the demonic disease spread through King’s City, the Church declared that it was all a witch’s conspiracy. They furthermore told the people that they had a Holy Elixir which could repel the evil spirits.
Furthermore, even outside of King’s City, many ill people had started to appear, and because of this Theo had chosen to temporarily stop the delivery of fugitives.
If he wasn’t calculating it wrong, the first fleet would return to King’s City in four days, bringing with them the news that Border Town was able to cure the demonic plague. However, with nearly one week spent traveling, it would still be too late for those people who were already infected by the disease. Moreover, the public proclamation of the Church also had the smell of a conspiracy in the works.
After thinking it over again and again, he decided to send a small team to escort Lily to King’s City. Otherwise, more than half of King’s City population and the Eastern Regions’ refugees would die, and those who survived in the end would become devoted believers of the Church.
Roland had to do his utmost to prevent the birth of that kind of situation.