Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
「Not exactly, but long ago there used to be people who advocated the following theory: They claimed that every piece of equipment in the world may contain something they called「Skill Slots」and that every attempt at fusing the Skill Crystal into a piece of equipment that does not have Skill Slots that the Skill Crystal could be fitted into would always result in a failure with one hundred percent of probability, or at least that is what their theory claims.」
「Were the ones who came up with this theory Dwarven scholars, or was it someone else who came up with it and they expanded on it further?」
「Since Dwarves are the only race capable of becoming Master Smiths, it was a subject researched purely by the dwarven scholars of old. They were the ones who came up with the theory and tried to prove it, without the help from anyone from the outside of the circle of the Dwarven race.」
「Ah, no, thankfully it was a different type of scholars from that shady one with the 「Earth is round and people on the other side of it will fall off it into the sky」 drivel. They were the ones who devoted their whole lives to proving that what they were claiming was correct, but because the results of their research were less than conclusive, nowadays there are not that many common Dwarves who accept that theory, which makes the fact that you have heard about it that much more amazing.」
These Dwarven scholars of old must have been pretty brainy guys to have figured that much out without even being able to see if the Skill Slots are there or not. Sadly, without any hard boiled evidence, even though their idea that if there is an Empty Skill Slot in the piece of equipment then you could fuse the Skill Crystal in there was the correct one, then of course no one would ever believe them. After all, taking people’s words at face value is not the best thing to do, no matter the world you are in.
「Is that theory no good now?」
「Instead of saying tha it is no good, it would be more fitting to say that it is simply impossible to prove, since no one can see the actual Skill Slots.」
Well, I guess that much is a given if you do not possess the Indentify Skill like I do.
「Impossible to prove? Is there really no way to check it at all?」
In theory, verification of that theory should be easy.If Skill Crystals can be fused to the same equipment many times, then all you would have to do would be to try fusing the Skill Crystal with a given piece of equipment over and over and over again. If the equipment does have an Empty Skill Slot in it, they should have seen some successful attempts after a number of fails, whereas if the equipment does not have an Empty Skill Slots in it, then the fusion would always fail, no matter how many times they would have tried. But because Skill Crystals are very rare items to begin with and the probability of failure is always high even if the Empty Skill Slots are really there, I can definitely see why they started claiming that the verification of that theory is impossible.
「However, if I had to say so myself, then I would have to say that nowadays there are more people who do not believe in this theory at all than those who believe in it.」
「People who deny it are in the vast majority? Why is that? Is that theory that universally hated?」
「If the fusion fails, the Skill Crystal will be lost and the equipment that you tried to infuse with it will be disassembled into its base components, but whether it will be all of the materials or just some of them is up to a complete coin toss. If you are lucky enough to have all the materials left after the failed fusion, you can simply try to remake the equipment that you lost, there is still a matter that nags most of the people: is the remade equipment going to be as good or the same quality as the one they initially wanted to infuse, or is it going to be worse? We have no way of definitely confirming or denying that, since, as I already said, no one is capable of seeing if the Skill Slots are actually there or not, and that in turn makes it impossible to determine whether or not the re-made equipment is identical to how it was before, or is it perhaps somewhat different? And of course, while there is nothing stopping us from attempting to fuse another Skill Crystal with the re-made equipment, those who believe in the Skill Slot theory argue that it is not in fact the same kind of equipment as it was before.」
So the equipment is going to be destroyed if its fusion fails?If that is true, then that would really make the verification process even more impossible than I initially thought. Without Identify to check if the Skill Crystal got properly embedded in the piece of equipment, pretty much everyone would not be able to tell the difference between a weapon or armor that has the Empty Skill Slot and the ones that do not, because they would all look the same to them appearance-wise even if you managed to put the disassembled equipment back together. Also. . .
「So does that mean that there is always a chance that not every material can remain after the disassembling process?」
「Yes. It is not something that occurs every time, but there is always a chance of that happening, even when performed by a Master Smith with the best Skills and tools available.」
「I see. . . What do you think about the Skill Slot theory itself, Sherry?」
「For me personally, the Skill Slot Theory seems to be a little too far-fetched. Instead of putting the blame for the failure of the fusion of the Skill Crystal with the equipment on the one performing the fusion it pins the fault on a number of factors that are not defined or grounded in reality, which enables people to shirk the criticism and pass the blame for all the failures as they see fit, all for the sake of not claiming the responsibility for the failure themselves.」
So Sherry is disagreeing with the Skill Slot Theory then, I presume? Noy surprising, since she looks like someone who would not believe just about anything that people would try to tell her without seeing concrete proof first. So unless someone gives her the clear-cut evidence that the Skill Slot Theory is real and that they really do exist, she is still going to dismiss it as something unproven. To be thinking even about such small details. . . As I thought, Sherry really is quite smart.
「I see. I am very glad to hear that you are aware of it.」
「Thank you master, and I am sorry if it sounds like I am mouthing off. It is just that I was always interested in all the things that surrounded me, so I always talked to the people around me asking for an explanation on how this and that works.」
Sherry bowed her head apologetically.
「There is no need for you to feel sorry. I do not think that the thirst for knowledge is a bad thing at all.」
Yeah, I think the exact opposite, actually. Since I am not all that good when it comes to intellectual stuff and Roxanne can be pretty. . . airheaded at times, having someone who is genuinely smart in our ranks is truly a blessing. Since it looks like Sherry knows a lot about a great number of things, she will definitely be useful to me, even if only for the purpose of explaining the things that I do not understand about this world to me. Also, even though Sherry is skeptical about the Skill Slot Theory, it seems like it is actually true, as it is evident by me using the Identify Skill to check if the items I am buying or finding in the Labyrinths come up with the Empty Skill Slots.
「I know, but. . . it is just that before I became a slave, my mom would always get angry whenever I did not know something, but on the contrary the people around me were always saying that trying to learn too much for your own good will do nothing but bring doom upon yourself and those around you.」