Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last few months.
I have to finish a lot of things on my end (extra hcna lessons, graduation thesis, etc).
Basically, I’m screwed from several directions.
I declared after moving my knight, Ed’s movement came to a halt suddenly.
Ed was desperately trying to find an escape route… but it was for naught.
I had confirmed my win 9 moves ago.
Right now, Iー David Zafran Chrebl, along with my younger brother, Edgar, were playing a tabletop game from his previous life called shogi. At first, Ed had the advantage since he was using standard 『Opening Moves』, but my recent practice started to swing the game to my victory.
As I move my gaze away from the sight of him still glaring at the board, which he made skilfully by shaving down a piece of wood, I thought more about this game.
It is indeed interesting that a game that doesn’t have a practical use in any way to have built up a hundred years worth of research in standard opening moves.
I didn’t know if I should be amazed or shocked.
In any case, it’s impossible for me to deny the cultural richness of his so-called previous life.
(TL: 定石 – established tactic/play by the book。My chess friends gave me this link )
「……I admit my defeat」
He said reluctantly.
I gave a wry smile to my competitive younger brother. But, I don’t dislike this rebellious and straightforward younger brother of mine.
The royal library gathers young geniuses from all over the country, and there are many children even smarter than Ed. Even though I said it, personally, I felt self-conscious when being put among those people.
However, many half-baked young librarians broke down from receiving repeated “rejection” from the Royal Library Labyrinth. For them to last in the group and be promoted to an assistant librarian, young librarians should not be only smart but also persistent.
Those who ignore and pay no mind to the refusal from the Library Labyrinth and steadily piling up research results ー that is by not being discouraged from having to read one or even mountains of books, that person is sure to be the one who is accepted.
In that respect, when comparing Ed to the young librarians gathered from throughout the kingdom, he may possibly score average in his intelligence aspect, but from his personality aspect, he was really fit as a librarian. No, considering his age, he can just strengthen his 「intelligence」 aspect from now on.
Ed hadn’t even become 5 years old yet.
「Ed, would you choose to set your mind to be one of the librarians in the royal library?」
I asked him about the thing that concerned me.
「While the Royal Library Labyrinth sounds interesting, but I have duties elsewhere. I think being in a job that restricts me in one place will have to wait for now」
「Ah, you still have to chase the other reincarnator, is that right? Although, are you sure he’s in the same age-range as you are right now, Ed?」
「I think so, but even then, he’s really a terrible opponent. Right now, there’s a possibility that he has moved adults in his surrounding around and is scheming something」
「If you managed to uncover the knowledge that sleeps in the depth of the Royal Library’s mystery, won’t that be useful to fight that Kizaki reincarnator guy? In reality, just using your knowledge from previous life, you are able to reach the 4th labyrinth floor like me. You don’t have to announce it if you don’t want to create an uproar, but if you do, you are going to overwrite my record as the youngest librarian」
「About that, I’m not that great or anything.The only reason I passed the labyrinth guard’s questions is because that knowledge was considered as common sense back in my previous world」
Royal Library Labyrinthー was also known as, Library Dungeon.
But its true identity is a bit more complicated.
When explaining Royal Library Labyrinth, it couldn’t be explained with the word “Royal”, “Library” , or even “Labyrinth”.
The Royal Library Labyrinth is an ancient ruin that exist even before the Monokans Royal Capital even exists and host 2 of the ancient wisdoms of this world. The labyrinth was divided into so many layers where each of them was filled with bookshelves, sculptures, pictures, and other museum-like objects. In addition, there are mysterious “guards” placed throughout the labyrinth, and unless you can answer their question, you can’t proceed to the next section of the labyrinth. Especially, before the gate to the next floor, there is a special guard called 「Floor Guard」 who has a really short but difficult question.
It’s difficult to answer the question unless you understand the content of the mountains of books piled in that dungeon floor. This question can be answered by a team of several people, but in that case, there will be some limitation on what you can do on the next floor. Both Ed and I had each cleared the questions up until the 3rd floor alone and reached the 4th floor. At the moment, except for Ed and I, there are only a handful of people who managed to reach the 4th floor all by themselves.
In any case, I couldn’t grasp why it was called the Royal Library Labyrinth. There is no royalty so it’s not exactly “Royal”, the content was more like museum-art gallery-ish so it couldn’t be called “Library” either, and it’s not a dungeon so calling it a “Labyrinth” leave a bad taste in my mouth.
「Besides, the Library Labyrinth gathers promising children from all over the kingdom and raised them into young librarians for that reason, isn’t that right? I don’t feel like being grouped together inside that sort of elite group」
Ed shrugged his shoulder.
As he said, the Royal Library Labyrinth librarian group/department was gathering specially gifted and promising children from all over the country and gave them education for the sake of advancing the research in the library.
That was how I was scouted as a child librarian.
「Ed can continue reading books without getting tired or needing a break. If you ask me, it’s an unbelievably enviable skills」
I said so while fixing the position of my spectacles.
This “Spectacles” was also one of Ed’s invention.
It was made by melting quartz into a transparent material called “glass” and creating a convex plate called “lens”. This lens fixed the weak eyesight by shifting the light’s focal point and able to fix the eyesight of the wearer. On top of that, the lens thickness can be adjusted to a certain “degree” to match the wearer’s eyesight.
Since it requires very delicate techniques, it can’t be produced except by using Ed’s acquired transformation ability from his 〈Alchemist〉 class.
(TL: calling it glasses in a fantasy setting is kinda un-immersive)
Ed gave the first prototype to me, who has bad eyesight due to constant reading, as a present.
It’s a shame that I couldn’t wear it in public, but it will be useful in the library’s frontline, away from public eyes.
「Nevertheless, after seeing these glasses, pencil, ballpoint pen, paper manufacturing process, and press-printing method, I think it’s a waste to confine your knowledge inside the library」
Fine quality papers that were just starting to be sold by the Chrebl Firm, was spread on the top of the table where Ed and I were currently sitting.
At first, papers were imported from the eastern region, but in recent years, the eastern region’s country isolation policy causing the drop in supply, resulting in the price of paper in Monokans to skyrocket into tenfold. Because the countries in the eastern region kept the manufacturing process a top secret, from the Kingdom-side, not only the manufacturing process, but we don’t even know the materials needed to produce it.
In this regard, Ed’s knowledge from his previous life proved to be effective.
Even though Ed has no experience as a papermaker in his previous life, he knew the general outline of paper manufacturing process thanks to his 「Compulsory Education」 he had. By comparing that knowledge and the ancient paper-manufacturing process that I uncovered from the Ancient Library Labyrinth, we were able to duplicate the manufacturing process, even to the point of mass-producible level. This manufacturing method was later brought to the head of the Chrebl Firm, president Poporus, through our father, who then started manufacture and sell 「Chrebl Paper」 a few months ago.
The paper that was in front of us was the Chrebl paper sponsored by Chrebl Firm.
「But if we took the other reincarnator into consideration, we really can’t grow too fast, isn’t that right?」
Ed murmured with a troubled face.
Certainly, if we use too much technology that is too advanced for this world, the “other” person who held the same knowledge from another world could sniff him out.
「Back to our topic about paper, there are tons of trials and error being made from the other company even before us. Modern alchemy, or so it was called. In fact, they even made bad-quality paper out of straws」
「Pencils too, aren’t they? Originally, it was some mine engineer-ish people’s idea to use graphite like a chalk, so pencils shouldn’t attract that much attention… I guess」
「As for pencils, we’ll purposely mess with the graphite and clay ratio and create some inferior products, so it will be fine. But this time, we’ll sell it using other company, not the Chrebl Firm. Regarding ballpoint… As we expected beforehand, I don’t think we should sell them to the masses」
The ballpoint pen was made by replacing the usual pen tip with a very small ball and attach a fine ink tube on its back. It doesn’t need to be dipped in ink every so often when used to write letters, but it needs a very precise manufacturing process, currently Ed cannot mass produce it. He made a handful as a gift for me and other trustworthy people, while also taking the opportunity to raise his skills. We still can’t introduce this to the public market.
As for the on-field decision making, Ed entrusted everything to Father, Popurus-san, and me.
He knows what he can and he can’t do, so he entrusted the task to other people.
I think this was one of Ed’s virtues.
Trying to rashly do everything by yourself will reduce the efficiency and inflict more harm than good.
It seemed that what I can learn from this little brother of mine are not only his knowledge from his previous life.
「But in the end, I only imitated the things that I had seen in my previous life. I still think that David-niisan is the real genius here. I only taught some general concept of basic algebra, but you can use them to recreate Classic Newtonian Mechanic and differential-integral calculation. In my previous life, that knowledge was applied by countless mathematician over several generations」
「Ah, no. It’s because you told me the general ideas so I could imagine the concepts. In addition, Ed had already given a faint hint about the goal. Einstein… was it? It’s thank to your world’s physicist who drew the conclusion for the theory of relativity, even though it still needs a little bit proving…」
「……When I am watching you, there times when I question my own intelligence, niisan」
Ed said in amazement.
But in reality, it should be my line!
How far does our civilization lag behind compared to Ed’s previous world?
To begin with, Marquekt didn’t even know the basic concept of science.
I was called the Natural Phenomenon Behaviorist, someone who strives to empirically derive the law behind how everything works. The concept was more or less similar to what Ed called 『Science』 from his world.
That’s why, as a herald who walks in this field, the story of Ed’s previous life sounds so exciting and enviable at the same time.
(TL: previously translated as Natural Phenomenon Scholar. I think behaviorist seems more appropriate)
Special thanks to K.Cladwell for his generous donation.
I shall survive for another day
I sent the other half of the chapter to Karuma, so it should be done “rather soon-ish”.