The Secret of the World
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That day I was at the water mill. Telling them it wasn’t like this or that…
“Oi, Yuri. We got it!” (Cuffe)
Cuffe came in with an unusually excited appearance.
People were noisily gathered.
“It’s this. This is what you want.” (Cuffe)
Cuffe’s hands were covered with food fibers. The fiber was loosened considerably because it was boiled.
Originally, it should be done with sodium hydroxide, but even if it was done with lime water, it could be done well if it was boiled over time. I was so happy that I wanted to smile.
This would free me from the raw material problem that had become the bottleneck. Cuffe didn’t need to spend tens of hours to walk through clothing stores any longer.
“Give it a try at once. Try different trees and find the thinnest one.” (Yuri)
“Aah, the thin paper you said. Got it.” (Cuffe)
Cuffe immediately went to whisper.
I was facing a strange device outdoors. I bought a used liquor distillation device and used it to boil crude oil.
I had tried many things, but to make a paper or ink that was suitable for mimeograph, it was impossible with animal and vegetable oil. I understood that.
When I looked into the matter, there were several natural wells in the country, and crude oil was available. Rather, since I was from the Hou Household, I could always procure it if I wanted to. I just didn’t realize it.
From my point of view, crude oil was the water of life for industry, and there were many ways to use it.
However, based on this country’s perception, it seemed that the crude oil wasn’t usable, so it was left untreated. After all, it couldn’t be used unless it was refined first.
If I burned it in the fireplace as it was, the soot and the accretion released were so bad that there would be a strange odor inside the room, and on top of that, there would be something like tar stick on the chimney and the stove. There was no land that actively used crude oil in any region because it wasn’t used for any reason.
However, I knew that there was a way to use crude oil by refining it, so even today, I was eagerly boiling the crude oil.
The winter was coming soon. It was strange when it came to the distillation though. The water in the river became cold, and yet the effectiveness of the cooling part of the device was improved.
The method of separating the mixed liquid by utilizing the difference in boiling point as currently performed was called fractional distillation. When crude oil was fractionated, highly volatile components such as naphta, kerosene, and petrol oil volatilized at a low temperature. Then, something like fuel oil came out, and lastly, something like asphalt remained.
Petrol oil, kerosene and naptha were all indistinguishable with primitive distillation equipment. However, a clear liquid steadily accumulated in a metal container.
It had a strong oily odor, partly because the temperature was still high. The viscosity was low when looking at a glance, so I understood the quality of the petrol oil. I wondered if this could be sold as alcohol lamp fuel.
I packed the fractionated liquid in a barrel with asphalt inside. I put a lid cover on it. Even in the primitive fractionator, the highly volatile liquid became transparent.
However, what I wanted now was a layer that has low volatility and was creamy at room temperature. This was difficult because it wasn’t fractionated well. Even if it was fractionated, it was black, and was always sticky in the distillation tube.
This material was absolutely necessary to make oil-based inks and scraped paper. But, it was still difficult.
This might not be profitable. Did that mean the mimeograph project a failure?
For the time being, I was able to make the pulp. Oil with high volatility meant that it was highly ignitable, so to speak, it had become a byproduct with a lot of utility value.
The problem was what I was doing now was stressing me out.
My hands were already oily, hot, tired and even if I wore a mask, the smell of oil made my head pounding. It made me want to cry. Even though I was supposed to be a lazy person, my thoughts on what I was doing didn’t stop.
This wasn’t a job the CEO did. I wanted someone else to do it.
For now, I had a business to do in the afternoon, so I should finish here soon.
“Syamu, is that correct?” (Yuri)
“It should be correct…” (Syamu)
Syamu said it but she was half panicked.
‘This is absurd, I think.’
“It’s 19.5 degrees. I think the error is at most plus or minus comma 3 degrees.” (Syamu)
“Is that so?” (Yuri)
‘I had already forgotten about it, but in the diary, it says that the axial tilt is 23 degrees.
In other words, the axial tilt is the angle between the earth’s rotational and orbital axis. Because of this, you can see season.’
‘Even in my memory, it certainly never was less than 20 degrees. Why is that? Is this world slightly different from the earth?’
‘Well, there’s race with hair on ears like Shanti, so obviously, it’s different. If the axial tilt is different, it is far from a subtle matter.’
‘I wonder if Syamu got it wrong. No, she is very enthusiastic about astronomical observations, and the procedures should be correct. The method of determining the axial tilt is relatively simple.’
‘If the angle is different, the length of the day may be different in tens of seconds. If I am familiar with the characteristic vibration of objects, it may be possible to compare it, but now, I can’t.’
“So, why did you call me?” (Lily)
Tea and sweets were placed in front of Lily-san. Here was a private room in the coffee shop in front of the large library that was frequently used after being guided by Komimi.
‘Let’s forget about the axial tilt for now.’
“Aah, uhm, there is something I want both of you to make.” (Yuri)
“Both of us?” (Lily)
Lily-san and Syamu looked at each other.
“What I want you to make is a tool for celestial navigation.” (Yuri)
“Celestial navigation?” (Lily)
Lily-san tilted his head.
“Simply put, celestial navigation is a method of analyzing where you are on the earth in large ocean with no topography.” (Yuri)
“What’s that… what’s the use of it?” (Lily)
“At the present time…” (Yuri)
‘Yeah, how am I supposed to explain this?’
“When you go out into the ocean where you can’t see the land, the sailors won’t know where they are. In other words, you get lost.” (Yuri)
“Don’t they bring a compass?” (Lily)
“Even if you know the direction with the compass, the sailing ship will change its direction in the direction of the wind. So, even if you go into the ocean, you will not know immediately how far you are from the land. Even experienced navigators can’t immediately understand where they are.” (Yuri)
“Hmm, is there such a thing? I don’t really understand.” (Lily)
‘You don’t get it at all?’
‘To begin with, the people in this country rarely get on a boat. They never feel that if they get lost in the ocean, they will die.’
“In other words, ocean voyages are life-threatening. But, if you know where you are, you don’t have to risk your life.” (Yuri)
“Yes, but then, how do you figure out the position?” (Lily)
“That… how should I say it? Do you know that there somewhere on the earth that are now having sun rise and sun set at the same time? Can you imagine that?” (Yuri)
“Well… if I think about it, yes.” (Lily)
‘In this country, the theory of Heliocentric is not popular, but Lily-san is probably aware of this because she associates with Syamu.’
‘It’s daytime now, but the sun is the sun setting on the horizon at another point on earth, and is the sun rises on the other horizon.’
“In other words, there is only one place on earth where the sun can be seen at a certain height at the same time.” (Yuri)
“…Hmm, is that so?” (Lily)
It seemed that she wasn’t convinced.
“Lily-senpai, he is right.” (Syamu)
‘Waah. Syamu called Lily-san senpai.’
“Hmm, do you understand that, Syamu?” (Lily)
“Yes. Of course, you must consider the error of the tool, but if you can measure it accurately, it is natural that there is only one point on the earth where the celestial body is located at a fixed point at a fixed time. It works the same way as the simplest simultaneous equation, right?” (Syamu)
‘Syamu seems to have understood intuitively. This girl… I wonder how fast her brain works.’
“Since it’s fine to put rough ratio, can you make a general table?” (Yuri)
“I can, but what celestial body should I use?” (Syamu)
“For the time being, it’s fast to use the sun at the highest height. It’s the easiest to understand.” (Yuri)
“If it’s sun, it won’t be accurate. If I have to choose, I will choose something else.” (Syamu)
‘She is confident. However, the accuracy is not very necessary for celestial navigation. It’s not that you can’t use it without GPS-like accuracy.’
‘If you aim for an island, you can see the island to the extent you can see it. If you aim for a city, you can get as close as you can to the point where you can see the port’s lighthouse.’
‘The problem is that if you don’t know where you are, you will not be able to find the island or even know whether you have passed the island or not.’
“In general, precision isn’t necessary. We just need to figure out the approximate location.” (Yuri)
“Then, what is the time standard?” (Syamu)
“It is the standard time of Sibyaku with the clock in Sibyaku.” (Yuri)
‘I don’t know if it’s a good thing to make the tool, but I don’t have to worry about England in such a world. It doesn’t change anywhere in the center. I guess only Shanti use it.’
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“The range doesn’t have to cover the whole world. Oh yes… the longitude is up to 120 degrees west longitude in the center of Sibyaku. Since this is northern hemisphere, the latitude can be up to 10 degrees north of Sibyaku.” (Yuri)
“I understand.” (Syamu)
‘That’s amazing. She understands it. It should be quite troublesome though.’
“So… Lily-san, please help me in this matter.” (Yuri)
Lily-san smiled and grinned.
“I’m having a hard time with the printing press, you know.” (Lily)
“Is it difficult?” (Yuri)
“I can’t make glasses…” (Lily)
“I didn’t have any additional orders for the girder.” (Lily)
“I’ve hired a dexterous carpenter… someone good.” (Yuri)
“That can’t be…” (Lily)
‘It seems impossible. Well, I asked Lily-san to do a lot of hard work…’
“I understand… sorry for saying that.” (Lily)
‘She gives up. If she looks carefully, she may find someone.’
‘But what should I do? If I don’t ask Lily-san, this may take a lot of time.’
When I was thinking with my eyes close…
“Hmm, that can’t be helped~.” (Lily)
She said it.
“You can’t refuse an Onee-san if she looks like this~.” (Lily)
‘What’s that? She suddenly feels good. It’s like when you get lost in the escape game, it feels like the next door has opened for some reason. ‘
‘Nevertheless, she’s grinning and help a hand on his cheek. I wonder if Obaa-san-like behavior is a common thing in this world…? Lily-san is not an Obaa-san, but…’
“Well, you’re not busy, right?” (Lily)
“Yes. For the time being.” (Yuri)
“If you do it, you will get it. Ask me something.” (Lily)
“It should be something like this.” (Yuri)
I took out a paper that I had prepared.
‘What I want her to make is a sextant. A sextant is a tool that uses the reflection of a mirror to measure the angle of an astronomical object relative to the land horizon or sea horizon. The angle between the starts also can be measured.
‘In front of the tube for direct peeking, there is only a right half mirror attached, and there is another mirror at the end of the mirror. The mirror can be rotated and a large protractor is attached to it as a fulcrum. When the mirror is rotated and two of the objects overlap in the field of view, the angle of the tilted mirror becomes the angle as it is. So, if you look at the protractor, it is the angle between two objects.’
“Hoho… you’re asking too much again.” (Lily)
Lily-san said when looking at the simple drawings I wrote.
“Is it going to be difficult?” (Yuri)
“There’s a glass and a mirror… the body seems to be anything, but… a soot mirror, is it? But, I don’t want to think that this is something unusual.” (Yuri)
‘A night star is fine, but if you look into the sun, your eyes will be blind if you don’t cover it with black glass or a shade. This is the first time she heard about a soot mirror, but things similar to shades are essential.’
“Is it possible to place an order in a place like a glass workshop?” (Yuri)
“I think so.” (Lily)
“In any case, you can order about ten pieces at once.” (Yuri)
“Are you sure? Well, it’s cheaper than buying a piece at a time.” (Lily)
“Well, I leave that to you.” (Yuri)
‘Anyway, I’m going to have it on a ship starting from now on. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing to have it.’
“Well, I got it. But it’s going to be pretty expensive.” (Lily)
“It doesn’t matter.” (Yuri)
“Do you make so much money?” (Lily)
“Well, not that much.” (Yuri)
‘The result is skyrocketing. Even with paper alone, I will be able to make kerosene lamps and lighters from oil. Moreover, there is no element that slow the sales.’
“But, what are you going to do with so much money? I don’t think you have problems with money already. Aah, is that your plan from the beginning?” (Lily)
“No matter how much money I have, I don’t have to worry it.” (Yuri)
“Even so, there is a limit. Why do you need to work so hard?” (Lily)
‘Well, that question is right. In fact, I don’t want money or want to live a luxurious life. So, what am I working hard for?’
‘It is only a means since it is necessary in the process of reaching a goal.’
“Well, I’ll tell Lily-san if you join my company.” (Yuri)
And, I evaded the talk in that way.
“I decided to use the name of the Hou and Associates. It’s because my father found out about it.” (Yuri)
“Aah, that’s why.” (Lily)
“Yes, that’s right.” (Yuri)
“I’ll join the Hou and Associates then.” (Lily)
‘Eh? What did you say?’
“What did you say just now?” (Yuri)
“I’ll join your company.” (Lily)
‘No, no, no. Let me tell you myself.’
“It’s like joining a play, you know?” (Yuri)
“Even if you say the Hou and Associates, you are free to quit whenever you like, yes?” (Lily)
‘You’re right. I don’t have the management policy of ‘If you’re not going to be hired for life, don’t come from the beginning!’.
“You’re right, but your job won’t pay the way you used to. The reward for Lily-san is not a purchase but a salary. You’ll make less than what you do now. Will that be fine?” (Yuri)
“Is that so? I don’t mind.” (Lily)
‘Are you sure? Why?’
“I’m doing the same job as before, right? Plus, I don’t have to work in the room that Yuri-kun prepared from morning till night.” (Lily)
“Well, that’s fine.” (Yuri)
“…Speaking of quitting at any time, I’ll be in trouble if you say I have to quit in a month.” (Lily)
“What do you think of me? I’m not going to do anything stupid.” (Yuri)
“Then, please take care of me.” (Lily)
‘I’m somehow astonished.’
“I’ll join the company as well.” (Syamu)
‘This is getting strange somehow.’
She raised her arm.
“Syamu is no good.” (Yuri)
‘She is somehow sad.’
“…I don’t want to be scolded by Satsuki-san.” (Yuri)
‘To tell the truth, I don’t think Syamu is suitable for work, and I don’t think she can do much after the astronavigation.
“What? That’s boring.” (Syamu)
She started talking like an ordinary female student.
“Yeah, that’s why. Let’s end the discussion today, shall we?” (Yuri)
‘Well, I’m busy, so I’m going to go home.’
I stood up the chair.
“Yes, yes, so see you… that’s not it! What are you feigning ignorance by going home?” (Lily)
‘It seems she remembers… What’s with this energetic sitcom…’
“Haa, this is absolutely a secret, alright?” (Yuri)
“I think that this country is going to be destroyed.” (Yuri)
“I don’t know if it’s five years or ten years later, but this country will soon be destroyed. This is unavoidable.” (Yuri)
“Why? It’s not bad at all, but… it should be fine, right?” (Lily)
“It’s not fine. Out of nine Shanti countries, six of them were destroyed by Kuran. Why do you think that the Kingdom of Shaalta won’t be destroyed?” (Yuri)
“The Kingdom of Shaalta is no different from other destroyed countries. Functional flaws similar to those of the destroyed countries were kept in the same way. Even when the Kilghina Kingdom is about to fall, the fact that people don’t care remain the same. The attitude of Kuran hasn’t changed at all. If that’s the case, it would be normal to think that this place will be destroyed in the same way as in the destroyed countries.” (Yuri)
‘This is the fact that everyone is pretending not to see.’
‘If this is the case, there will be salvation if we are in a civil war with the revolutionary forces who are worried about the current situation. Even if there is a reality of seeing some blood, there is hope in the future. But this isn’t happening in this country because the conservative influence is too strong.’
“But, it may change in the future, isn’t it?” (Lily)
“It is possible. For example, the possibility of Her Highness Carol will lead the country strongly, and major changes to the country would become a reality. However, that is wishful thinking. As for me, I’m not going to bet my life on that possibility.” (Yuri)
‘As I said, I didn’t believe in that possibility.’
‘The critical bad part of the Kingdom of Shaalta’s government is that the power is not concentrated in the royal family. That’s how it is. If the royal family had absolute royal power, this would have been different.’
‘There should have been ways to make various reforms, such as remove the rotten parts of the country like surgery, rebuild the country as a strong country, and confront the Kuran. While dictatorship has a large negative side, it has the potential to resolve the worse situation quickly. But in this country, unfortunately, the royal family has no such power.’
‘The military and the government have been decentralized between the Five Braves or the five General Households and the Seven Great Witches. The royal family has less than 7000 soldiers in the first army of the imperial guards. They have the right to preside over the senate, the right to represent diplomacy, and the right to command the General Households. Although this is a great power, but it is far from absolute power.’
‘In this way, no matter how hard Carol tries, there’s nothing she can do about it. The foundation of the authority is too work, and it has been tied up. Even if the royal family goes on a rampage, it will become an impetus to allow the surroundings to seize the control at any time. Then, is there a presence other than the royal family that can play the role?’
‘All the members of the General Households were the same except for the Hou Household. They are just cowards, keeping their weapons at home, and have no guts to coup.’
‘Unlike them, the Hou Household army is being rebuilt after the collapse of being used in the expedition. Since there are Generals households without having background in military, even if it’s my household, it’s not possible to play that role. The Witches are, needless to say, are the embodiment of conservatism. They are literally like rotting women, so even if you leave it to them, the country will only sink to the bottom.’
“Then, what are you going to do?” (Lily)
‘What should I do? The only answer is to run away.’
“This celestial navigation is for that time. With this, I can go anywhere without getting lost in the ocean. When the country destroyed, the only way is to become the prisoners and slaves for Kuran, but it will be very different when there is an option to run away to the ocean.” (Yuri)
“Of course, that is the last resort. If I don’t have it, I will only have money and supplies that I no longer need. Even so, it’s not pointless to prepare for that time.” (Yuri)
“It does seem so.” (Lily)
“If you don’t like what you hear, you can quit the company. But please don’t talk about it.” (Yuri)
“Don’t worry about that. I’m not angry. Well… I think I have something to think about.” (Lily)
“If so, I leave the money here, so please think about it slowly with another cup of tea. I’m going to go soon.” (Yuri)
‘I probably shouldn’t be here.’
It was true that I was busy, so I left enough money on the table and left the private room.
- Click on the link below to learn about various things.
- It’s very interesting to learn about all this since I’m not a navigator in life or learn chemistry in more details. It took me a while to grasp the basic knowledge of it though.
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