He didn’t think there were magic tools that specifially utilized the magical energy in the ground, after all. Tanaka honestly asked what the doubt that crossed his mind.
「There are quite a few crops that require magical energy in the ground. In fact, this year’s harvest has drastically decreased. It’s scary to even think about next year’s harvest.」
Omoi, who had originally shown less vigor, became even more gloomy.
「Is the magical energy in the ground not recovering?」
「I believe it’s steadily recovering, but at this rate it’s going to take two or three years to fully recover… And in the meantime, I’m sure the harvest would decrease even more drastically.」
If it really took two or three years to recover then for sure the recovery rate was considerably much slower than the magical energy in the air.
「I’m currently in the middle of developing a magic tool that can restore the magical energy in the ground, but I need a large magic crystal for it to work. Do you want to take a look at it?」
As they were chatting, they arrived at Omoi’s house. When they went around to the back of the house, there were three rock drill-like machines.
「One of them utilizes magical energy in the air. One utilizes the magical energy of the user. The last one utilizes magic crystal, though it’s not yet complete.」
The man stared at the incomplete magic tool in frustration.
「Are the other two magic tools that have already been completed not good enough?」
「Unfortunately, the magical energy in the air is too weak for the cause. Or rather, to begin with, if the magical energy in the air were enough to power up this magic tool accomplishing its purpose, the magical energy in the ground would have naturally recovered at a much faster rate.」
Omoi gave Tanaka his deduction from the results of his research so far.
「The one that utilizes its user’s magical energy is more or less effective, but I quickly run out of magical energy when I activate it. I may not look like it, but I’m still a full-fledged magician you know….」
Tanaka was surprised to learn that Omoi was actually a pretty high-leveled magician. Considering the fact that he possessed a magic book, that might indeed be plausible, but the gap between it and his appearance made it hard to see him as one, but Tanaka decided to keep that thought to himself.
「Which means that only leaves me with the magic tool that utilizes magic crystal, but I can’t seem to find said magic crystal anywhere….」
Face down, Omoi continued to speak feebly.
「This was originally something my father researched. The possibility of chaos breaking out in the future might have put pressure on him. When he was in a weakened state after pushing himself too much, he fell ill due to an epidemic…. So, since my father had gone to such lengths and reached this far, as his son, I want to somehow complete this research with my own two hands.」
As expected, even the carefree Tanaka was touched by Omoi’s story.
「By the way, my father has safely recovered and is currently taking a nap upstairs.」
「He’s still alive?! Stop phrasing things in such misleading ways!」
Tanaka furiously retorted, wondering what was the serious story until just a moment ago all about.
「Well, it’s just I felt that we’d been talking about a lot of gloomy matters, so I thought about lightening up the mood a bit….」
Surprisingly, Omoi seemed to have quite a mischievous personality.
「I don’t need that kind of consideration! That only exhaust me more!」
「Hahaha, but I think I’ve more or less figured out how to interact with you.」
「You don’t have to! Just treat me normally!」
While chatting as such, Omoi led Tanaka to his room. Tanaka felt unnecessarily exhausted.
Entering the room, Omoi then moved toward the bookshelves. Tanaka looked around the room from the spot where he stood. The room looked somewhat like a laboratory with the rows of dubious equipment inside.
「Here, this is my magic book. It’s somewhat dirty, but you don’t mind, do you?」
Tanaka finally obtained up to fifth-order magic book. Tanaka’s excitement rose rapidly along with his happiness.
「Thank you, Sensei! With this, I’ll be sure to turn into a great magician and later on show the glory of the spring of our world to all of those gleeful influential people in the imperial capital who had driven you out!」
「Hahaha, I have no such experience, though. Well, I did give you my magic book, so I hope you can turn into a great magician.」
Tanaka immediately stored the magic book he had just received into the item box, as it was precious. That was when he saw something that caught his attention. Omoi, who seemed to have noticed his gaze, explained.
「That’s a magic tool that crystallizes the user’s magical energy. I had to struggle quite a bit to create it. But unfortunately, I failed to produce the magic crystal I desired.」
It looked like a wearable gauntlet, it seemed like it was supposed to be put on like that of gloves.
「Could I try putting it on for a minute?」
「Feel free to.」
Tanaka was very excited as he put on the magic tool. To Tanaka, it looked like a mechanical demon arm.
「As expected of Sensei! You do know your chuunibyou stuff! We could definitely tear apart the barrier between dimensions with this!」
「I don’t get what you’re even talking about, hahaha.」
Tanaka’s chuunibyou relapsed and began to spiral out of control. Omoi simply watched over him happily.
「With this, I should be able summon my sealed followers back to my side, and this time we shall soar through the heaven for sure, hahahahaha!」
As Tanaka’s excitement sored though its peak, a strange phenomenon occurred. The magic tool on his arm began to shine and exploded right after.
The magic tool burst aparts and scattered around.
「… I’m so sorry, Sensei! I got too excited….」
「Hahaha, don’t mind it. It was a failed creation anyway.」
Omoi didn’t seem to be bothered by it, he seemed to be more concerned about Tanaka’s safety instead. Suddenly, however, a shouting voice could be heard from upstairs.
「Hey! Omoi! Pipe down already! Can’t you quietly let me take a nap?!」
「Sorry. We’ve got a visitor here!」
「I! I’m so sorry! I’m truly sorry for being so noisy! I’ll leave right away!」
Tanaka hurriedly apologized.
Omoi might not be bothered by it, but as expected Tanaka felt some guilt because of it. In the end, Tanaka decided to take his leave.
Omoi sent him off at the front door.
「I hope you will become a great magician someday.」
「Yes! Thank you so much for your help.」
Tanaka left in good spirits. Omoi found it dazzling as he saw off the slightly eccentric magician.
After seeing Tanaka off, Omoi returned to his room.
「I’m feeling a little better now that I’ve talked it out, but still, what an interesting person he was.」
Omoi recalled Tanaka’s strange behavior and smiled a little as he began to clean up the magic tool parts that had scattered about. Then suddenly, he noticed an unfamiliar object. It was a large crystal that emitted eerie light, lying on the floor.
「… Is this a magic crystal? But I’ve never seen or heard of anything this large before. And what’s this? What’s with this light…」
Omoi was dumbfounded by the mysterious object in front of him.
◇ ◇ ◇
Year 5963 of the creation calendar, due to massive crops failure, global food shortage broke out.
The one who had mended the situation was the Haru Empire. Haru Empire managed to minimize the chaos by distributing food to other countries for as long as it was possible.
In the shadow of Haru Empire’s rapid agriculture recovery, a young researcher played an important role. Haru Empire greatly admired the researcher’s work and attempted to promote him as a courtier, however, the researcher refused the offer, leaving his magical tools behind in the Empire, and set out on a journey in search for someone.
The researcher and Tanaka wouldn’t meet again until much later.