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Lanj: 2014/3/8: Box of Etoa (1/2)

Translated from the original Japanese.


Note from Seren: This article is frontloaded.

2014/3/8: Box of Etoa

“The Seren Revolution will pull up the standard of living up to the Arbazard of the Aleiyu era.”

“For all seven billion people? What about resources? You say ‘if we consume fewer luxury items like beef and beer, then the food situation in third-world countries will ~’, but there aren’t enough resources, and aquatic resources are limited. More importantly, what about energy problems? If the whole world consumed petroleum at Aleiyu standards, then the supply will dry up at the blink of an eye, and even before that, the prices will skyrocket in the short term.”

“Even though petroleum will be used for petroleum products, it won’t be used as energy. We will outgrow our dependence on it.”

“Then nuclear power? Arbazard uses nuclear for 80% of its power, but that’s geologically unreasonable for countries at plate boundaries like Altia. Nuclear power plants are risky even in Arbazard, after all. You’re not thinking of solar power by any means, are you?”

“Nuclear power’s too risky. Besides, the energy efficiency for fission is only about 2%. As we all know, the ideal energy efficiency is 100%.”

“100%…? Impossible. What kind of energy—” Mel suddenly had an idea. “—certainly not?”

“Indeed, antimatter. 1 g gives 20 kilotons of energy. The same amount as twenty thousand tons of TNT. It’s as much as the earliest atomic bombs.”

“Kilotons, hold on… are you going to build weapons with it?”

“Oh, you’re supposed to use joules for energy usage,” he laughed. “Then 1 g is enough to provide energy to Arna for two or three days. Unlike nuclear power, it doesn’t give off any radiation. All the matter turns into photons when it’s annihilated, so that means it has 100% energy efficiency.”

Mel put her hands as if she were holding down a headache. “That’s good, but how are you going to make antimatter?”

“The Axial Nuclear Research Organization, also known as the Drop of the Moon. It’s a well-known agency set in Lestilia, but hasn’t antimatter ever been created there? Let me explain from the beginning. First of all, their particle accelerator can accelerate particles to almost the speed of light. Its diameter is 8 km. The whole apparatus is a giant circle with a circumference of about 28 km. The magnets inside the tube are repeatedly turned on and off to accelerate the particles. Two particles collide in opposite directions as a result. And then—”

“I’m getting a science lesson from you? This is why you’re a teacher type of person. Look, the Drop of the Moon has been able to create antimatter since long ago. Why don’t I think it’s of practical use? Because there’s no point to it unless you can make it inexpensively and handle it inexpensively.”

“The Drop of the Moon has come to be able to produce more antimatter by the Lanj era, but with the modern study of magic, it would be able to produce it even more easily and in larger quantities.”

“What do you mean…?”

“Antimatter is just matter with the opposite charge to begin with, without any other differences. It would be nice if we could casually flip the charge of proper matter.”

“Casually… Who can do that?”



“With knowledge of modern magic and science, a mage above even gods could do it.”

“… Create it?”

“As a matter of fact, there’s already been an experiment. Do you know about the West Damask Hospital?”

“Ah, the place where the director and their son died and it showed up on the news?”

“That place is harsh. There are, of course, unnecessary medications and examinations, and they go as far as profiting from unneeded operations. Even surgery, for example, there was a case when a bypass to the heart would work, and yet for political management reasons, they did an open-heart surgery. The one commanding them is the director. And do you remember Amaliixa Hospital?”

“Well… it’s quite old, isn’t it? I’ve heard that they profited by lying to a healthy female patient and doing a hysterectomy.”

“The director of that place is the son of the West Damask’s director. Amaliixa went out of business, but now he’s in West Damask, all fine and okay.”

“Okay. But the director and the son dying in an explosion the other day… is… an experiment? You don’t say…”

Seren had a smirk on his face.

“The culprit, of that incident, was that you!?”

“If the law won’t decide, then I will. This was an execution. Now, it’s meaningless to start even one incident without making a declaration. During this experiment, I just took the chance to exterminate a villian.”

“You blew up a house with antimatter…”

“What, the amount I made was a mere one ten-millionth of a gram.”

“So that’s why you used the dangerous unit of a kiloton. But to use it as energy, you can’t store it. Even if you create antimatter, it’ll just disintegrate and…”

“It would be enough to extract protons from inside a reverse-polarity vacuum, wouldn’t it.”

“Then wouldn’t proper matter be extracted as well?”

“I’ve used a magnetic field to sieve the regular matter to the left and antimatter to the right.”

“By the way, you know something about polarity. Elt and saal, yin and yang, matter and antimatter. All things are made up of opposites. Then the opposite of the ‘world’ is?”

“… Is the world in a pair, too?”

“You, do you believe that Yumana exists?”

“I know it’s the world where Seren ended up in the Ordin era.”

“I think Kaldia and Yumana might be twin cosmos. I wonder if what we call antimatter in this world is what they call regular matter in Yumana.”

“So you mean, in Yumana, regular matter goes to the right and antimatter goes to the left?”

Seren nodded.

“That’s strange, I think. A ten-year old Seren would weigh 30 kg, and at the moment that mass of antimatter – regular matter in Yumana – reached Kaldia, the resulting annihilation would wipe Anxal off the face of Atolas.”

“Yeah, and because of that, I think that situation is prevented by the abilities of Vangardi, who controls the gates of the underworld, and Meltia, who maintains the worlds. In other words, speaking in modern magical terms, the matter composing all sixty trillion cells – or less, since we’re taking about a kid – is magically flipped in charge.”

“They flip the polarity then send them to the other world?”

“I dare say, they might not be aware of that theory. Just as humans can digest and absorb food without knowing the inner workings.”

Mel let out a deep sigh. “Back to the main topic. How would you store the antimatter you create?”

Seren took out a transparent box from a desk drawer. A tiny sphere was floating inside. “I tried storing 1 g as a test.”

“Bah!” Mel went into a panic. “Isn’t that ridiculous!? If you drop this, it’ll leave no trace of Arna!?”

“It’s okay. The inside is a vacuum. This is called the Box of Etoa. That’s just the syllables of atoe – or morae, to be more precise – turned backwards. As the name would suggest, it uses up gravitational magic. It stabilizes the center of gravity by setting opposing forces in all directions. The secret sauce is the container’s walls. This, too, uses magic, and if by any chance this sphere touches the wall, the load on the sphere is turned around and it just becomes regular matter again. Don’t you think the problems with creation and storage are solved now?”

Mel let out a stiffened smile.