Chapter 45: Clash (3)
Lucid’s mood was elevated as of late, mainly due to the fact that he had succeeded in recreating magic that utilized friction as its main force. Of course, he would still have to experiment and figure out more practical uses for this magic, but he wanted continue learning about new theories first, to be able to use different types of magic. He was particularly drawn to the field of physics, to the point that the only books he read now were physics texts. “Come Play, Physics!” was a book among Ki-woong’s collection, and it was a must in Lucid’s to-borrow list, as well as other physics related books. Even in the school library, he only checked out books with the word “Physics” in the title. There were parts he didn’t quite understand, and parts he skipped over because he couldn’t even make out some of the words, but he still enjoyed the whole process, as he felt that he was taking the necessary steps towards achieving more complete knowledge.
Maybe it was due to global warming, or maybe the weather was just fickle, but fall left just as soon as it came, giving way to a surprisingly early winter. Though they were still in the months of what would typically be considered late fall, people were already taking out their parkas to endure the cold winds during their commute. Concerned parents wrapped their children up to their necks, covering them in thick mufflers before sending them off to school. The children, on the other hand, would undress as soon as they reached the classroom, shedding off clothing item after clothing item like a snake would its scales. And good for them, too, since the heaters in all the classrooms were blasting at full force. Still, the heaters were rather unnecessary, as the children ran all throughout the classroom, zooming between desks, and quickly worked up a sweat.
The start of the second term seemed like only yesterday, yet the end of terms was only a month away. The first graders usually learned about various subjects, aside from Korean and math, and this time, they were to learn about winter.
“Children!” The teacher called, earning the students’ attention. “Today, we’ll be playing something called the Love Thermometer! You see, next month is December. What season is that? That’s right, it’s winter! Can anyone tell me what winter is?”
By now, Hee Yeon was used to drawing the children’s attention with questions and the cadence of her voice. When she was sure all her students were listening, she smiled and continued to explain.
“… So as you can see from these pictures, helping out a friend or donating to someone in need, or even picking up trash from the ground are all considered a form of volunteering. There are more opportunities to volunteer in winter, since it’s very, very cold. There are more fundraisers to help those without proper shelters or access to food. Do you know of any? Yes, these are all in place so that we can share a little of what we have to help out those who need it most. When we do this, we are making the world a brighter, happier place. Did everyone understand that?”
“Yes!” the children answered in unison.
“Good! I will now give you this paper thermometer, and you will be writing down all the types of volunteering or sharing that you can think of. If you start filling it from the bottom, the temperature will go up and up, right? The more the temperature of your thermometer goes up, the more our classroom, our homes, and our country will be filled with warmth and love. Alright?”
The purpose of this activity was to show children real life examples of sharing and volunteering in everyday life, so that they may also practice them in their lives. If the children were encouraged to present their ideas on the topic, it would serve to motivate them to volunteer, which would fulfill the objective of this ethics building class. On a larger scale, this class was meant to encourage the children to put what they learned in school into use in their daily lives.
While all the other children were busy with the task the teacher had assigned them, Lucid was contemplating something else altogether. Recently, as he had been reading, he had learned something absolutely mind blowing. Until now, Lucid had always understood fire as something similar to water or air, but it turned out to be entirely different. Fire was simply a physical phenomenon. An “exothermic combustion phenomenon that released heat and light,” to be exact. Though it was a fantastic discovery, it also caused some confusion for Lucid. He had, after all, materialized fire through complete understanding. At the very least, he could make out its figura, and even now, he could materialize a small fire in his hands. The issue, however, was that his understanding had been flawed all along.
Pincheno had told him that sorcerers needed to understand the fundamental properties of the forma they wanted to recreate in order to properly materialize it into the real world. This meant that without knowing an object’s fundamental properties, it would be impossible to recreate it with magic. And that was the issue. Lucid had, until now, completely misunderstood the properties of fire. How was he able to conjure it with magic?
Lucid stared at the small fire dancing on his palm. Without a doubt, a fire. Yet the more he looked at it, the stranger it began to look. That’s when he remembered what he had read about it. The book had said that fire needed three components in order to burn: oxygen, a flammable material, and a temperature exceeding its combustion point. But the fire he had conjured was missing the flammable object. It wasn’t burning through anything, rather just floating around letting out heat and light. Lucid closed his eyes and rummaged through his memories.
He remembered Pincheno talking about willpower. “You need more than just regular willpower. You need extraordinary determination, the determination to both combine all the laws of the world into one and rise above them if it means achieving your goal. Once you obtain the willpower needed to discard all else and focus only on consumme, that’s when you’ll be able to do it.” That’s how Pincheno had explained it. The determination to combine all the laws of the world and to also rise over them. Could that mean…? Lucid was struck with an idea.
Pincheno had told him that magic was the act of borrowing the essence of an object from Latio. An already existing essence was bound by no rules and had no additional properties. In other words, the essence was the true form of an object, with no other conditions attached. It was the sorcerer’s job to apply specific conditions and rules upon that essence, and whatever the sorcerer added upon it, it didn’t alter the essence itself. This meant that even if a sorcerer were to misunderstand water as a viscous fluid, as long as they properly understood the fundamental quality of water, they might be able to conjure actual water. No, they would be, for certain. They would merge their misunderstanding along with all the other rules and laws of the universe and rise above it with their willpower.
The first time Lucid had cast fire magic, he had been freezing next to a wolf carcass. The first property he had thought of had been light, and then heat. He had then struggled to figure out other properties related to fire, but that had been futile. Everything else could be dismissed as conditionals. His understanding of fire’s properties had brought him close to its essence, and once he had an image of this essence, he had been able to recreate it through extraordinary willpower. That was how he managed to cast fire.
Another thought struck him moments later, as Lucid was listening to the teacher’s explanation. It began with the realization that showing pictures of voluteer work to explain the concept of volunteering was different from first defining voluteering and then providing examples. Determining the exact definition of volunteering and then looking for appropriate examples was the correct approach, Lucid thought. Simply providing different examples and labeling them all as volunteering was nothing but circular logic.
The difference between deductive and inductive reasoning carried on into the field of magic theory. The various physical properties of heat, such as the transfer of energy and molecular action, could all be fundamental properties of an essence that exists within Latio, though Lucid couldn’t be sure. After all, he had never come across true essence before. However, he knew that if he could find an accurate and all-encompassing definition for heat, it would help him understand the criteria of fundamental properties (universality and unique characteristics) and visualize the essence of different material qualities he came across. However, simply listing off qualities of an object wasn’t enough to determine whether a property was fundamental or not. It would all depend on whether he could properly visualize it. As such, Lucid decided that he would also need to practice conjuring mental images. Once he had a solid enough image, then he would simply recreate it through immense willpower.
Ultimately, Lucid’s habit of reading any and everything he could get his hands on had proved to be useful in correcting a mistake he had made. It could very well be that today’s realizations might become tomorrow’s dilemmas, but Lucid was still very young. How much more would he have to study in order to figure this out? Only time would tell.
“Sweetie, there is something I’d like to talk to you, so will you please stay?” Hee Yeon told Lucid as he prepared to pack his things.
“The thing is, I sent word to a TV station, and they told me they’d like to interview you.”
“Me?” Lucid asked incredulously. Somehow, this felt a bit familiar.
“Well, you see… I haven’t been able to help you as much as you need, which is embarrassing for me to admit, but… Anyway, so I thought if more people knew about you and your circumstances, then someone would step up to help you out. If it does end up airing on TV, you might even get someone to sponsor you! Or at least, people could get a fundraiser going. If that were to happen, you could study as much as you wanted and take courses suited for your level of intellect. How does that sound?”
It was a difficult question to answer, especially since Lucid had no idea what they would and wouldn’t show, what kinds of questions he’d be asked, or how an interview was even directed. All Lucid understood was that Ms. Kim was placing great emphasis on the fact that it would be helpful for him. Frankly speaking, that was the part he cared about the most. Being able to study as much as he wanted would be a dream come true.
“I’ve already spoken with the institute,” continued Hee Yeon. “And they wanted me to break the news to you. But you don’t have to choose right away. In a couple of days, one of the screenwriters from the TV station will be here to ask you a few questions. You can decide what to do after you speak to them.”
With the new knowledge that he would learn more details after speaking with this screenwriter, Lucid decided to go ahead with the interview."Read latest chapters at Wuxiaworld.site
A few days later, two weeks before the beginning of winter break, Lucid met with the screenwriter after school. A woman in her mid-20’s, she looked rather aloof, and she wore rather plain clothes. All in all, she seemed like a rather easy-going person.
“Hello!” she greeted as she saw Lucid approach her. “I’m Nayeon Lee. You’ve heard about me from your teacher, right?”
“Yes. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Yes, same here. Hmm. Maybe we should go somewhere else for this. There’s a lot I want to talk about, and we don’t want to be standing here forever.”
Hee Yeon, who had been standing behind Nayeon, conveniently led them to the counseling room.
<Clash (3)> End.