Chapter 47: Clash (5)
Lucid was now able to manipulate the temperature of a given area, though he couldn’t maintain it for very long. He actually couldn’t maintain any of his magic for very long, whether friction or fire or enlargement. After a set amount of time, the magic would simply wear off or be canceled. The one exception had been the wall of fire, which had stayed up for a considerable period of time. Still, it had drained him of all his strength and Lucid knew that it had been the price to pay.
Regardless of all this, Lucid had succeeded in another type of magic, and he was very proud of himself. He returned to class right as classes were about to resume and noticed a purple jacket hung over one of the chairs. The more he practiced it, the more he realized how wondrous magic was, but it still paled in comparison to this world’s technological advances. They were a result of countless years of countless experiences and had shaped this world into one where magic was wholly unneeded.
“Well then, could you give us a brief explanation of this IQ test?”
“Oh, of course,” the doctor answered. He seemed a bit nervous, but hours of practice helped him get into a more comfortable position. “This test, formally known as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale, is one of the most widely used tests to measure IQ. In today’s case, we used the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), which is used to test children between the ages of 6 to 15. The child in question achieved a score of 124. That puts him in the top 7%, so we can see right away that he has a remarkable IQ. That being said, if we consider the fact that most “prodigies” have an IQ of 130, which is the top 2%, it’d be a bit of a stretch to call him a prodigy.”
It was a disappointing answer, especially for the filming crew. Wang considered all the changes that needed to be made to the storyline, while Producer Jang continued to ask questions to stretch the video length.
“Could you analyze the results in more detail, please?” he asked, signaling his team to insert subtitles for this portion when the video was to be released.
“Well, if you look at all the individual results, he achieved astounding scores in most of the categories. Especially here, in math, vocabulary, and comprehension. This tells us that he’s especially adept in language. On the other hand, he only achieved above average scores when it came to performance. This means that he spends a lot of time reading, which allowed him to develop his perception, awareness, and understanding skills.”
As Wang circled keywords such as “reading” and “IQ development,” Jang quickly scribbled down “regular vs hardworking prodigy” next to her notes, underlining the phrases for added emphasis. It didn’t take long for Wang to catch on to what he was saying. A self-made prodigy, who worked hard and studied his way to reach an extraordinary level of intelligence, would make a much more interesting story than just a regular prodigy.
“Thank you for your time, doctor.” Jang said, wrapping up the interview.
“Thank you for having me.”
Once the interview was done, the staff hurriedly left the hospital to reach their next destination: Seoul Science High School. Thankfully, the physics teacher there had agreed to meet with the crew to discuss things. Thinking of it, people were much more willing to appear on television before. Now, with how dangerous things could get, they were more than careful about having their face revealed to the public. This only made work harder for filming crews, as they had to go from place to place to find someone, anyone, willing to help them and to find appropriate shooting locations as well.
Nayeon turned to Lucid, who was waiting in the car, and smiled. “Aren’t you tired?” she asked. “You got up so early and had to take a bunch of tests.”
“I’m okay,” Lucid answered.
“Really? It’s gotten so cold, and I feel terrible for dragging you around like this. But the next shoot is the last one for today, so we’ll all get to go home and rest. Are you up for it?”
Truthfully speaking, Lucid wasn’t cold at all, and he had fun with the IQ test. He had heard that they would now be meeting with a physics teacher from a science high school. Wouldn’t that be much more fun? Indeed, he wasn’t tired at all. He was excited.
“Is everyone here? Let’s go!”
When they reached the school, the physics teacher (cleanly dressed, hair neatly parted, and wearing thick-framed glasses) greeted hem in front of one of the science laboratories.
“So, I’ve heard you have an interest in physics!” he said to Lucid, smiling warmly. Indeed, the teacher was of the firm belief that looking at a child’s eyes, glimmering with curiosity and the need to learn, was a teacher’s privilege, pride, and calling.
“Yes,” answered Lucid.
“What have you been studying recently?”
“Right now, I’m trying to learn more about changes in temperature, but there weren’t many books covering it. Before that, I was really interested in friction.”
It was a pity to say the least. If only this child had been given adequate resources or even put in a more helpful enviroment, he would have been able to explore all the fields he wished to. But living in an institute, as the teacher had heard, had its limitations. A pity, indeed.
“Is there anything you’d like to ask?”
“A few, actually. I’d like to know more real life examples of how friction is used, both in fields where it is and isn’t a necessary factor. I’d also like to know the observable changes given an extreme coefficient of friction. For example, when a motor is running, some energy is lost due to friction. So if the coefficient of friction were zero, the energy lost would also be approximately zero, increasing the motor’s efficiency. I wonder if that efficiency will render the motor close to a perpetual motion machine, or if other factors prevent the formation of a true perpetual motion machine.”
A perpetual motion machine was a thing of interest for anyone interested in physics, and Lucid’s curiosity on the subject showed how young he truly was. He’s still in first grade, the teacher reminded himself. Still, it wasn’t this teacher’s first time dealing with prodigies like Lucid. He had encountered many, actually, for various reasons, and even in this school, many of the students were truly gifted.
“Well, before we can try to understand friction, we have to learn about force and energy. Have you learned about those?”
“To be honest, I believe I don’t know that much about them. I’m not quite sure how much I know, but sometimes I get the concepts confused while I’m reading, and sometimes I don’t understand what the text is saying at all. So I can only say that I know for sure that I don’t know much about either.”
“Understanding what you do and don’t know is a very important step in learning. I commend you for that. So, I’ll explain both force and energy to you, and then we can talk about the scenario you told me about. How does that sound?”
“That sounds wonderful.”
And so the lesson carried on calmly, peacefully, and Producer Jang was left to gnaw at his nails. It was obvious that this child possessed a level of intelligence far superior to that of his peers, even if his IQ score wasn’t exceptionally high as to be considered a prodigy. Still, if you tweaked the story here and there, threw in some opinions by professionals, and focused on the “hardworking prodigy” angle, it would make for a pretty good segment. The only problem was that the current proceedings were, frankly, quite boring. He wanted (no, needed) impact, but there was no impact anywhere in the vicinity. He turned around to assess his team’s reactions, and when he met eyes with Wang, he knew that she had the same worries.
“Let’s take a short break. Is that alright?”
“Oh, of course.”
The teacher shrugged and sat down next to Lucid, ruffling his hair. “I heard you studied all this by yourself. It must have been hard.”
“It wasn’t, not really. It just takes me a while, but I do understand it in the end. Even if I don’t get it at first, if I keep studying, then one day I might. That’s what I thought. All the middle school and high school students understand it, don’t they?”
When the crew had approached him before shooting started, the teacher had assumed that Lucid would be an avid learner, with a strong need to learn and learn. However, now that he had sat down with the boy and talked, he found that Lucid was actually in no rush at all, and rather took things slowly and persevered. Perhaps that was why he wanted to help this boy so much.
“Can I ask what you’d like to be when you grow up?”
“I’m not sure yet,” Lucid said nonchalantly.
“Because what I like and what I can do are two very different things.”
The teacher couldn’t shake the feeling that Lucid reminded him very much of his own son, with the way he talked. He also wondered whether living in an institute was preventing him from freely persuing his dreams, or, worse yet, even having dreams in the first place.
“What got you interested in physics?” the teacher asked again.
“Hmm… I just thought that physics was a science that allowed you to perceive the truth between everyday phenomena. I think it’s very important to perceive such truths.”
After all, perceiving the truth was the only way to get close to Latio and cast magic. Lucid left this bit out, which was a very wise decision indeed. The teacher was finding more and more things in common between the strange child and his son, and if Lucid were to find out that this was due to the son going through “eighth grade syndrome,*” he might have gotten quite upset.
Regardless, the teacher sat with this eighth grade syndrome first grader and exchanged many questions and answers while waiting for filming to resume. In the meantime, Jang and Wang hurried to a corner to discuss alternatives.
“I mean, won’t the child himself be enough of a sensation?” said Wang carefully. Honestly, coming up with a whole different story on the spot would be no easy feat, and though the younger writers were working hard to come with something, she could practically hear the cogs in their heads creaking under the strain.
“He could be, but the footage we have right now doesn’t have any impact.”
“Do we really have to use his face?”
If it came to that, they could just focus on his looks by shooting his face at different angles. The camera director nodded in agreement, but Jang wasn’t wholly convinced.
“There’s a limit to that. If we have no concrete story, the viewers will be pissed, and they will let us know they’re pissed. What if we were to throw a curveball at him, and then show how he gets around to solving problems?”
“The issue is that he doesn’t have a well-rounded understanding of math and physics. He knows what he knows, and the rest is average at best.”
“For now, we have to finish today’s shoot. The school won’t let us stay forever.”
As always, time worked against them, and shooting began again. The teacher briefly explained force and energy, writing down some formulas on the board and providing examples for easy understanding. Lucid was as focused as ever, branding everything the teacher was saying into his brain.
“Excuse me, sir.” Jang interrupted. “Do you have any physics experiments prepared? Something we could try right this moment. Viewers might be a bit bored if you just teach him theories all day.”
“We do actually have a friction experiment set up. It’s to test the difference in efficiency between two motors with different coefficients of friction. Those students there are just getting it ready, so we should be able to conduct an experiment now.”
Jang went over the plan with Lucid to get his consent and immediately prepared to film the experiment, which consisted of observing the difference in rotations between two different metal rods, each attached to motors spinning at the same rate. This experiment allowed students to record exact numbers, which in turn helped them figure out how much energy was lost during the transition from electric energy to spinning energy. The difference in lost energy would thus explain how much friction affected the transfer of energy. As Lucid listened to the explanation for the experiment, he found himself completely taken by the fact that he would be able to observe changes with precise numbers, rather than having to guess.
“Sir, would it be possible to observe the changes caused by the lowest possible coefficient of friction?” he asked. This was another point of interest for him, after all.
“Hmm… Yes, of course.” The teacher answered. “It’s a test commonly carried out by lubricant companies. We add a bit of lubricating oil to a metal rod, compare it to a non-lubricated rod, and figure out the efficiencies for both. That’s also how they test and compare oils from different companies to see which is most effective.”
“Could we do that here?”"Read latest chapters at Wuxiaworld.site
“Yes, as long as we don’t show the brand name. Isn’t that right, producer?”
As they weren’t funded by any of the lubricant companies, and this experiment was carried out solely for the purpose of learning, Jang agreed that there would be no issues. Rather, he thought that it would make for splendid footage. As everyone prepared to carry out the experiment, Lucid was hit with sudden curiosity. The lubricating oil, after all, would only help reduce the coefficient of friction, not render it to zero.
“Then,” he thought, “wouldn’t I be able to calculate the results if I used magic to turn the coefficient of friction to zero?”
He would only need to sneak it in during the experiment with the lubricating oil. None of the people present would even notice, but the results would be more than meaningful for him.
<Clash (5)> End.
*eighth grade syndrome: also known as chyuunibyou, it refers to a phase in life where teens experience delusions of grandeur, to the point of convincing themselves that they are special and/or have special powers and abilities.