Science and Magic: Chapter 3

When Science and Magic Go To War ~Tales From Other Worlds~

Chapter 3: Juxtaposition Exposition

Before any meaningful exchanges could begin a tremor ran across the ground, dislodging even more loose stone from the ruins.  Karen and Alfred ran outside to assess the situation, narrowly avoiding the collapse of the floor. Contrarily, Chester and James found themselves plunging into an abyss alongside Misato, falling into the ruins underground level.

“Crap.” (James)
“Don’t give me that, maybe we’ll get lucky and meet a vampire.” (Chester)
“Is girl who fell with us okay?” (James)

Ignoring the bruises and otherwise painful injuries, the two of them surveyed the area with military light sticks. They found Misato uninjured but unconscious at the edge of the room they fell into. With James carrying her, Chester led the way down a corridor.

“Do you even know where you’re going?” (James)
“Of course, when in doubt go left! When that doesn’t work try your other left, that will surely be right.” (Chester)
“We’re doomed.” (James)

The ruins they were in seemed to be mostly intact, and had only succumbed to disrepair rather than destruction. Unfortunately, this didn’t increase the safety by any noticeable margin. Chester, who had engaged in archaeology when he was younger was avidly soaking in the scenery, and frantically taking photos.

“First we need to find somewhere to rest, so that we can wait for our guide to awaken.” (Chester)
“That’s probably the best idea, there’s no telling what we could encounter on this side.” (James)

With a consensus reached, the next room they came across became an impromptu camp. Taking out a packet of cookies, they rested up and ate some snacks. Going over what knowledge they currently held and what they needed.

“Given by the fact there is a Magic Academy, and Magicians it’s safe to say this world can wield Double SuperPositioned Particles.” (Chester)
“Additionally their clothing and books are made using antique methods, so we can assume that their technological level is inferior to Earth. I can’t safely guess what period it is but I would hazard it’s about the renaissance.” (James)

Taking out a small red artificial-leather journal, Chester jotted down some notes with a pen. Specifically, he wrote a list of things that gave indication of the civilization level. While he was doing so, Misato awoke from her slumber.

“What happened?” (Misato)
“Ah, you’re awake. The floor caved in and we fell into the underground level of the ruins. We were waiting for you to wake up before we proceeded to find a way out.” (James)
“Before we do that though, we need to confirm a few things with you.” (Chester)
“Confirm?” (Misato)

Misato was the one who wanted to ask questions, in front of her were two impossible people with impossible belongings. They both held sticks that glowed without magic and could write without dipping a quill in ink. It violated all of her common sense.

“Yes, for starters where are we?” (Chester)
“This is the Kingdom of Edelstein. It’s currently ruled by King Tezram, however he’s expected to abdicate to the Crown Prince soon. Ah, the country connects the peninsular to the main continent, and after losing a war 38 years ago is currently in a tentative alliance with the Kingdom of Lorial to the North East. To the south is the United Territories of Babylonnia and the Holy Dukedom. To the South West is the Archipelago of Olympa” (Misato)
“A monarchy huh? So where are you from?” (James)
“I’m a citizen of Edelstein, and have the largest quantity of magic in history. To be able to use it I was sent to the Magic Academy.” (Misato)

Chester had stopped listening for a brief moment, and was sketching out a crude map of the word in his journal, currently it only covered one segment, The Peninsular. He assumed it was similar to a horizontally flipped Franco-Iberia. Lorial is similar to Spain and Edelstein is similar to France. That would make the Holy Dukedom similar to Germany. Of course, this was all speculation.

“So what’s the Magic Academy?” (James)
“It was a structure built for the easy raising of Magicians, rather than previously used apprenticeship system they all gather in one place. This allows a variety of techniques to be taught. For four years each person learns magic and basic academic knowledge under several teachers. As we improve we can increase our Grade from One to Five. Once we graduate we can join the Magic Guild with that officially recognised Grade.” (Misato)
“So it’s like Earth’s grading system. I suppose that makes sense, Oxford and Cambridge are exceptionally old.” (James)
“So what’s the Magic Guild?” (Chester)
“The Magic Guild is an international alliance of magicians for self-preservation of their techniques and to prevent their own exploitation at the hands of nations. It’s like an escape clause for conscription and such. However it is a true political body, a Grade is usually comparable to a military rank in Edelstein, being a member affords privileges and once I join I finally won’t have to worry about employment.” (Misato)

Chester noted that it was like a paramilitary organisation to protect its own freedom, it probably causes lots of headaches for people in power.

“Edelstein is unique because even though we use the internationally recognised tin, silver and gold as currency we called them Rupies, after the Ruby on the Edelsteinian crest.” (Misato)

At that moment Chester burst out laughing, and was uncontrollably rolling around on the floor.

“Hold on hold on, I just need to find a china shop and start cutting the grass. We’ll be millionaires in no time! James let’s go!” (Chester)
“What kind of plan is that?! I know what you’re thinking but this isn’t a game!” (James)

Bewildered by their response, Misato only watched, questioning why she was stuck with these people that clearly knew nothing.

“Anyway did you write all that down?” (James)
“Yeah, spoil sport. I got all the notes. For now we should focus on getting out of here, I inquire about magic later. Then we’ll have to find some way to live here while we look for a way home.” (Chester)
“Just open a portal back.” (James)
“It’s impossible I tell you. The rift requires a connection on both sides.” (Chester)
“Isn’t your device still on Earth?” (James)
“It’s not that simple, it has probably broken anyway. Or been moved.” (Chester)
“So I really am stuck? What about my job?!” (James)
“You mean your job is more important than this ground-breaking discovery?” (Chester)
“Speaking of discoveries! We need to make a log! Right…camera go!” (Chester)
“Is that a video camera? You seriously came prepared; I have solar cells in that pack right?” (James)

Leading the way, Misato who was eavesdropping didn’t understand half the words they were saying even when using the translation tool to its fullest. This only happened when there was nothing to translate it to, which almost never happened except for foreign discoveries. Such as when steel was first mass produced.

“Why can’t it be translated then?” (Misato)

She muttered to herself.

“On what principle does translation magic work? By my guess, it’s probably because we’re talking about science and technology, which won’t exist here.” (Chester)
“Magic doesn’t exist where we came from, we ended up here when Chester discovered magic for the first time.” (James)
“Normally I’d call you crazy, but there’s no magic coming from either of you, and your belongings are just as void as well. So I have to concede that you’re telling the truth.” (Misato)
“How does magic work anyway? I mean how can you use it?” (Chester)
“Huh? Well it’s just an energy connected to imagination, you imagine what you want to happen and it happens. The better you imagine the less energy needed. That’s why we use chants to stabilise the mind and reduce magic fluctuations.” (Misato)
“So it’s like using a computer to inject fuel rather than using the gas pedal to control the valve.” (James)
“Only you would compare magic to a car.” (Chester)

As the three of them treaded down the corridor to the exit, James tripped on something.

“Welcome to standing up school, and you fail.” (Chester)
“Don’t give me that, I’m even sure what I tripped on.” (James)

◆  ◆  ◆

With a snap, a single silk thread broke in two, and a faint vibration traversed the wall and down into a distant room. In response, a single leg descended, if it wasn’t for being as thick as tree it could have been described as spindly. The hairs on it ruffled slightly and a clicking noise could be heard as it lowered to the ground.

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