Chapter 179

Winds of Fortune – Chapter 2

D-180

“How’s the work going?”

“The items you requested are finished. Would you like to see them?”

The Dark Guild’s Sedum and the research facility administrator were guiding San and Biyeon to a private corner of the fairly large facility.

Along the long corridor, there were various research rooms on each side, each filled to the brim with modern Earth-style research tools and machinery.

There were over a hundred workers moving about busily within the large facility. The facility was located in Prigojin, a joint venture between San and Biyeon and the Dark Guilds.

With the ample financial backing of the emperor’s court, the joint venture was able to build a large facility and conduct various experiments as well as production.

“We produced the items as you stated, but I’m not sure if it’s exactly as you wanted.”

Referring to a ten-meter-long row of various items, Sedum started describing the current progress on production on each of the items.

The first item that Biyeon lifted up was a square box with a turn-able handle on top. It was a portable electricity generator that utilized magnets and coils. It worked in the same way as the bicycle lights that operated when the bicycle’s wheels turned. Once the handle was turned, electric sparks would be produced from the internal copper wires. A small storage battery resided inside the box, allowing for some level electric charge to be stored.

“It’s a good start. Enlarge some of the gears that are attached to the main gear so that it’s easier to turn yet more effective in producing electricity overall. You can do that, right?”

“Since the principle is the same, I believe we can.”

“Can you produce about 50?”

“Yes, as you wish.”

San lifted another device. It was a hexagonal-shaped box with a dial on top. As he lifted the cover, he saw various copper wires and other mechanisms within. The electric resistor components were made by refining and molding carbon fibers. There was also a condenser for storing electricity for a short amount of time and a substrate containing copper wire coils.

When he turned the dial, a Beep sound started ringing out. The needle indicator on top started moving left and right, measuring the level of vibrations that it sensed through its inner copper wire coils. A steady stream of ink flowed down from the needle and drew lines on a piece of revolving paper. It was a kind of high-frequency detecting oscillator.

Having studied at an engineering high school and having majored in electrical engineering in university, San had spent the last two years perfecting the device with the researchers at the facility. San soon accelerated his body and turned the dial on the device. In normal conditions, very low frequencies and ultra-high frequencies could not be heard or discerned. However, through this device, San was able to gauge a greater array of frequencies that were outputted from his body. He varied his acceleration and observed the measurements stated on the device. It was as if San was turning the dials on a radio to find the correct frequency.

San and Biyeon met eyes briefly and nodded their heads before putting the production items down.

“It seems to work. I want the dial to be enlarged to gauge a greater range of frequencies and to miniaturize the shape. Can you do that? Small enough to fit in one’s pocket?”

“It may be difficult in the beginning, but I’ll try. How many do you need?”

“The more the better. Also, they’ll have to be tuned to slightly different frequencies as well.”

“Yes, sir.”

“How many do you have right now?”

“We have three.”

“Can you hand them over right now?”

San received the three frequency measuring devices and connected them to an external battery. He then accelerated his body and started configuring the devices through the dials. After adjusting them to his needs, he placed them around him in a triangular figure.

Biyeon started checking the devices as San started adjusting their places on the floor. Once they felt that everything was set and operating properly, they nodded to each other.

“How many?” San asked Biyeon.

“There’s about five that are operational.”

“That should be enough. Let’s start negotiations then.”

San smiled broadly. Sedum, not understanding what the two were conversing about, tilted his head to the side.

“Is there an issue, sir?”

“No… just some assholes who won’t leave us alone. Don’t mind us.”

“How is the microscope production going?

“We’re making advancements. It’s a truly amazing device. How can such small things look so large and detailed…”

“There’ll probably be quite a few refinements needed. So, how was it using the microscope?”

“Do you mean what we gleamed with the microscope regarding the liquid samples?”

Biyeon nodded her head.

“We’ve done some analysis on the captured ‘vampires’ that you provided us. It’s been slow going and very complicated. We have about twenty members working on that project right now, but so far, we haven’t been able to get anywhere.”

“Was their blood drastically different from normal human blood?”

“Outside of the blood being purple, we couldn’t find any discernible difference.”

“Have you tried the salt that we gave you? You should have been able to measure some minute changes.”

“We tried experimenting using various concentration levels, but we weren’t able to observe anything of note.”

“Try conducting the experiments using those frequency measuring devices that we set up. If my inklings are correct, you should be able to observe something based on where the subject is located within the triangulated area. Outside of the blood sample testing, you’re conducting other testing as well, right?”

“We’re also conducting experiments on electricity and stimulant drugs.”

“If you find anything out, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. Also, make sure everything is recorded down. Also, let us know what elements the vampires are sensitive to. If we can’t kill them, we should at least be able to disable them.”

“Yes, sir.”

“How many test subjects do you have left?”

“Fifteen. Among them, one is ‘Awakened’.”

“Are you also relaying the results to the Han-Sung Clan’s gramps?”

“Yes, he is very interested in our results and findings. He’s never come across a species that seems so human.”

“On top of that, there’s one that’s Awakened, just like a human being.”

“It’s a possible cataclysmic disaster. To think that such beings were amongst us! Furthermore, their average power level is three times greater than a comparable human’s. If they were to enter a city in large numbers…”

“That’s why we’d like to equip and train you guys to be able to contend against them yourselves. We don’t have much time left either,” Biyeon responded. She continued, “Did you find out anything about the blood sample we handed you? Did you find anything out of the ordinary?”

“As you mentioned, there was an ‘egg-shaped’ thing within the blood. It’s so far not responding to any external influences or chemicals. It’s also shown resiliency against heat.”

“How about electric shock?”

“We observed no reaction.”

“Argh… this is a conundrum… they really made this problem difficult,” Biyeon said as she frowned.

“Just think of it as donating blood. It’s good to create some fresh blood in your system every once in a while,” San replied as smiled and offered his hand.

“Anyway, please continue your good work. Don’t hesitate to contact us if there’s any development, no matter how small…”

“Yes, sir.”

***

“Welcome. It seems to be tougher and tougher to see you these days.”

Cecil smiled brightly as he welcomed Biyeon. Behind him was Honbi who had an instrument strung around his back. Honbi seemed as though he had rushed out to greet Biyeon once he heard Cecil’s greeting.

“Yes, it’s been a while. There’s been a lot of work these days.”

They were meeting at the Cecil’s new theater. The veteran bard of the northern provinces had ingratiated himself with the royal court and the people of Prigojin, especially the art crowd. He had already become one of the most popular artists in the capital. 

“You also seem tired. Make sure to maintain your health while progressing on your work,” Biyeon lightly replied as she gave Cecil a hug and organized the frayed hairs atop the elder bard’s head.

“I’ve grown old and can’t do the things I was able to do when I was younger. My theater is always fully booked, and I also have the assignments you two have given me to do,” Cecil responded with a comfortable smile.

“Thanks to your help, we have to operate under a murderous schedule, but I guess we have nothing to complain about…” the younger Honbi added on.

“I’m glad that you two have found your place here. How’s the reception to the new theater format?”

Biyeon received the cool water that Honbi handed her, wet her lips, and cleaned her mouth with a clean towel.

“The popularity of the new format is incredible. In the beginning, only the younger rich people enjoyed the new format, but now, it seems like everyone is enjoying it, regardless of class or title. We’ve been getting so many private performance requests that we’re booked well into the future.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Combining song and theater has allowed us to expand our performance into three venues. However, every time we do a performance, we’re oversold. We have to turn away as many people as we allow in. It’s much more difficult turning away people than actually conducting the performance,” Honbi commented.

“I hope they’re receptive to the content of the performance. Is the audience receptive to the storyline that we made? Also, have you been able to perform fresh content at regular intervals?”

“We release a new performance every ten days. Since the bards under our employment are all veterans, it usually only takes us four days to convert your requests and stories into theater-appropriate performances. Actually, the ideas and stories you provide us are so entertaining that we always look forward to receiving them. All the bards are thirsty for new, novel stories and ideas.”

“How is the publishing side doing? Are the stories being published and sold?”

“Since the advent of your printing press, we’ve been able to publish one hundred copies every month. We’re already backordered, so we’ve newly employed another hundred employees to operate the presses, but I still don’t think we’ll be able to fulfill all the demand. However, our competing publishers are enjoying a golden age of profit like no other time.”

“Competing publishers?”

“Since our publications are so popular, many publishers have sprung up to copy our works and sell them to fulfill the public’s demand. They’ve even incorporated their own spin on the stories, incorporating illustrations and beautifying the outward appearance of the books. They sometimes sell at more expensive amounts because of their expert craftsmanship.”

Biyeon chuckled after hearing Honbi’s explanation. She had a bittersweet smile on her face for a moment.

‘Well, I guess the development is normal considering there’s no such thing as patents or copyrights in this era… but to sell more expensively than the original… I never would have thought of that. Since the competing publishers are the true professionals in their field, is this to be expected?’

“When will the children’s books and nursery rhyme books be coming out?”

“They’re almost complete. Would you like to see a sample?”

Cecil ordered one of his employees to fetch a few sample children books.

The employee brought over five books with roughly fifty pages in each book. The books detailed a variety of stories and jingles with illustrations and explanations. Each page had been produced with template plates, so they would be easily copyable for mass distribution.

Biyeon picked up one of the books and started flipping through it. She thought that Cecil and his employees must have put a lot of effort and consideration into the books as they were well organized and appealing. She continued to carefully peruse each page and illustration within the book.

“I hope we can go into production soon so that every household in the world can have a few copies in their homes. I’ll take care of the money, so sell it as cheaply as possible.”

“I don’t think we’ll need to worry about expenses. Even at first glance, the books are revolutionary in their content and offering. Furthermore, it provides life lessons in an entertaining and interesting way, so we’re fairly certain that we won’t have any issues selling them.”

“Have you been able to complete the nursery rhymes as well?

“We've completed around twenty songs so far. Among those, twelve are for children and have been widely distributed to the children acting within the theaters. It should become popular and spread like wildfire soon enough.”

“About the art festival…”

A wide smile was spreading across Biyeon’s face. She felt that she had lucked out by meeting Cecil and Honbi. They could trust each other wholeheartedly and, on top of that, they were skilled in their craft.

Biyeon knew the power of culture. She also knew how to wield the power of culture to better situate herself and what she valued.

‘We need to establish an icon for every popular, cultural movement. Through that icon, we control the trends and popularize new behaviors and attitudes. I need to implement my ideas into those popular trends. Then, naturally, an agenda will arise…’

Cecil walked with Biyeon to the door. Honbi waved his hand goodbye. Biyeon slowly rose up the carriage’s footstool to enter the carriage. The world would soon change. Everyone within this world will start to sing their songs and accept their messages. Furthermore, those values and ideals would spread far and wide as more people adopted this new culture. Thus, the world would conform to San and Biyeon. 

‘Isn’t it unfair that only we should change for this world?’

***

San looked at the back of his hand. Soon, a wisp of aura rose up from the back of his hand. The first element to pop out was Kirky. He was the element that San had captured back in the Sun God Tehara’s Temple. In front of San, Biyeon gracefully moved her hand and placed it atop of San’s. She quickly gathered Kirky. Afterward, another tens of elements were brought out.

Each of the elements carried unique characteristics. They were elements that San and Biyeon had gathered during their various adventures and travels.

The first time they confronted an element was when they were at the Essen estate. That was the first time they felt the presence of elements. However, they soon found that elements existed everywhere. Though they were ever present in any corner of the world, very few actually possessed consciousness. In other words, as a comparison, it was like finding a logical, thinking form of bacteria or virus. The elements were like ideas and energy waves that were able to exist under a simple maxim, which could be summed up in a line or a couple of sentences.

Though they were able to understand the existence of these elements early on, they were not able to communicate with them properly. However, after advancing through the acceleration levels, they were able to develop their neural pathways and progress towards communication with the natural world. Once they reached this level, they started trying to communicate with the elements.

If the elements took control of a human body, they would be able to communicate with human speech, but if they took control over an animal or item, there would be no way for San and Biyeon to communicate with them. Thus, they decided to store the elements in their bodies and communicate through neural pathway communication.

Though this process took a considerable amount of time, they were able to finally learn the language of the elements. The language they used was very simple and the content of their communication was very simple in relation to humans. However, this wasn’t the case for elements who still retained a part of their ego. These ego-possessing elements were as complicated and sophisticated as humans. They were also more aware of their present state.

Once they were able to converse with elements, San and Biyeon started collecting them. Additionally, for the elements, San and Biyeon’s bodies were the optimal homes to reside at. Their bodies were constantly filled with energy and the constant opportunity to dialogue allowed many of the spirits to reconstitute their former ego. San and Biyeon took this opportunity to collect the elements and subjugate them under their indomitable will, like an unbreakable circular form of logic.

The elements themselves were like bundles of communication lines. The elements’ ability to communicate meant that the elements themselves were able to recognize what they were composed of and utilize their being to communicate. Furthermore, many of the elements developed and evolved under San and Biyeon’s care. It was as if they were reinforcing the broken, shattered fragments of their being and once again becoming whole.

An Elementalist would wield these elementals to take over human bodies and control their senses. This was why it was hard to confront a party that possessed an experienced Elementalist. One could never trust one’s senses if an Elementalist was around.

San and Biyeon were currently trying something new for the first time. Since they were being overheard in any and every capacity, they wanted to utilize these elementals to their advantage. If their conjecture was correct, they’d be able to execute a spectacular plan.

The elementals were busy reading books.

‘Children stories.’

‘Important information for the modern explorer.’

These were the books that San and Biyeon would soon spread throughout the world like air. The elementals would soon become the ‘guiding lights’ for people to adhere to the lessons gleaned from these books.

***

“Will this be helpful?”

Biyeon asked with a sense of frustration filling her eyes. A small cup was in her hands.

“The more complicated our thoughts, the more confused the skeletons will be. If we’re unsure, then they’ll just give up and die.”

“But don’t we not know what we even want to do?”

“what’s there to think about when fighting? If we’re talking about getting into fights when drunk, then I’m a master. Anyway, drink up…”

San raised an alcohol bottle up to Biyeon’s cup and poured out its contents. Biyeon received the liquor, unsure of what else she could do.

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