Chapter 1129: "The Mysterious Stone"
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
"Her Highness' ability... isn't flying, right?" Nightingale muttered.
"No, but she can fly with a Stone of Flight. However, when she's carrying heavy objects, even a Stone of Flight won't help much," Roland answered as he looked at the "Unicorn" hovering in midair. "What's the matter?"
"Although you talked about planes many times and also showed me the drawing and the internal combustion engine, I still feel it incredible... Men can fly like a bird with just a little bit of extra help," Nightingale remarked impressively. "The plane, to be honest, is none other than a bunch of metals and wood."
"Yes, it's made of metals and wood, but it's us who pieced them together," Roland said with a faint smile," We used our hands, magic power, and knowledge. So, we don't, technically, completely rely on external forces."
"Everyone can fly like her, right?" Nightingale asked quietly. "Including me — "
"Yes, everyone, including you," Roland said positively. Nightingale was familiar with the sky. She had ridden on a hot air balloon and traveled with Maggie before, but these past experience was nothing next to a flight where you could have full control over where you were heading. Even Nightingale, a witch with magic power was awed by the plane. Roland could imagine how the mass would react to this new invention. Men's ambition to be free from the pull of gravity had started the moment they had stared up at the canopy of the sky.
The member of the Society of Wondrous Crafts killed in a testing flight was the best example.
The "Unicorn" landed magnificently on the tracks 30 minutes later.
"How did it go?" Roland asked Tilly who trotted to him in excitement.
"This plane is awesome!" she said breathlessly, her eyes sparkling. "It's way more flexible than the 'Seagull'. Wendy's wind control isn't bad, to be honest, but she can't always manipulate the aircraft into the way I want. This is different. I can control everything, including its speed, diving angle and turn, like it's completely fused with me!
"Fused with you?" Roland was mildly taken aback. Although the "Unicorn" was inspired by various biplane models, it was essentially a very crude testing plane. The pilot had to use her instinct to adjust its flying speed and control the aircraft manually. Roland was actually worried whether this plane could successfully take off. However, in Tilly's opinion, this rudimentary plane was as advanced and high-tech as a modern fighter equipped with a fly-by-wire control system and a flight control computer.
That was probably the difference between a genius and a person of mediocrity.
"So... are you satisfied now?" Roland asked as he waved at the hangar manager. "That's it for today — "
"What are you talking about, brother?" Tilly interjected. "How could 30 minutes be enough?"
"Then why did you land?"
"To let you know that I'm going to be here for a while. You have a lot of work on your plate, don't you?" Waving airily, she said, "Off you go. You don't have to wait for me. I still want to try some other flying methods."
Watching Tilly scurry off, Roland shook his head in amusement.
The plane had passed the test, and he was sure Tilly would learn everything about the "Unicorn" in no time. Since Tilly could leave the plane anytime, there was no need for him to monitor the subsequent testing flight anymore.
"It seems you were dismissed," Nightingale gloated.
"Shut up," Roland said gruffly while rolling his eyes. "Let's get out of here."
Nightingale disappeared into the Mist.
As soon as Roland returned to the castle hall, the guard trotted up to him and said, "Your Majesty, a message from the Third Border City. They've completed your task."
"Really?" Roland said, his brows going up a fraction of an inch. "Where's the report?"
"They hope you could see it in person."
It appeared that the discovery at the Festive Harbor was more complicated than he had thought. After a moment of reflection, Roland said, "I see. Let's go now."
Celine had been waiting for him at the underground hall.
"Your Majesty, you were right. There are materials used to make the Magic Cube at the Endless Cape," Celine said as she stretched out her auxiliary tentacle. "The magic power in that grayish yellow stone on the left are pretty similar to that in the Magic Ceremony Cube, though not completely the same. If we have a sufficient amount of the materials, I can start to create the replicate now."
"How much do you think you'll need?"
"A few thousand, I think."
Roland thought this was actually quite a lot. A couple of thousand stones could possibly fill a room. It seemed that he had to extravacate the Endless Cape as soon as possible. "I'll arrange it. So what about the other one?"
"The other type of stone is absolutely extraordinary. First, I can assure you that its radiation won't cause any harm to animals. From what I see, it's just some regular light, not the type you are worried about..."
"That's right. Of course, there is a chance that the radiation is too weak to be detected. However, if that is the case, I won't be too worried about its lethality." Celine picked out a chipped stone from the bottle on the right and handed to Roland. She said, "I asked Miss Lucia to break down one of the stones. Its ingredients are very similar to sand's."
"Sand's?" Roland echoed in surprise.
"Very strange, right? But it looks like a stone — or rather some bigger gravel. It's flexible and will glow when being compressed. I've never seen anything stranger than this in my entire life."
"Hmm..." Roland fumbled the sample thoughtfully and said, "That's not quite accurate."
"You know what this thing is?"
"Not really, but it does remind me of something else..." Roland replied slowly. "Substance is comprised of elements. Apart from elements, its structure also plays a big part in determining its properties. You don't understand it because you haven't seen many materials yet."
Take carbon for example. When carbon atoms had a tetrahedral molecular geometry, they would become hard diamonds. However, when they had a layered, planar structure, they became crispy, fragile graphite. One layer of graphite was called graphene, which had really great conductivity. When two layers of graphene formed a certain angle, however, they would become a perfect insulator. When they were cooled down to a certain temperature and were injected electrons, they would transform into a superconductor.
These three materials were all made of carbon.
That was the beauty of physics.
In fact, the exploration to the microscopic world was just a tip of an iceberg even by modern standards. In this unknown realm where men could only rely on theories, they were doing exactly the same thing that ancient people had done thousands of years ago. They reorganized and restructured elements to create new materials and inventions.
They found the "glowing tablets" and Soraya's coatings mysterious probably not because they contained magic power.
But because human beings just knew too little about the world they were living in.
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