Year 1, Summer, First Month, Fourth Week.
“Son, come eat breakfast, you can continue drawing later... “
Karl didn’t want to admit but he also got inspired by the Chief’s speech. He didn’t sleep well thinking about the extraction Arrays and how he would use them.
“What’s... Why aren’t we eating the broth?”
Last night, each villager received another portion of food to take home. So Karl was expecting to eat it again this morning. Actually, the soup he was eating tasted a little like yesterday’s broth but wasn’t nearly as good.
“We wanted to make it last more, so we mixed it with common soup... Of course, I only used roots in the soup, as grandma Marlen suggested. The other families are probably doing the same...”
Karl didn’t inquire anymore and put his attention into eating the soup.
At the magic fields.
“Hey, Alfeur. Have you also finished watering the crops?... Look at how everyone is working faster today! And no one fell or got dizzy... Do you think it’s the ... food from yesterday?”
“Yeah, definitely... Just be careful not to saying anything close to the guards. Things will get better for us if we stay quiet...”
Diana used the wood stick to sweep Carion off his feet. The boy couldn’t do a thing and went down trying to counter-attack. Toni tried to suppress his laugh but couldn’t help giggling.
Diana shot glares at him, ending his teasing, but turned to the fallen boy with a smirky smile.
“Do you see? That’s why I told you that you’re not suitable for attacking, you should stay on defense...”
“Humph... It’s not fair, you trained every day and went outside several times. If it was me, I would be better than... “
“No Ifs. Stay as a defender or go away!”
The boy wasn’t done, but Diana couldn’t care less. Before he said anything else, she moved to attack the two other recruits.
Tael was just arriving and saw the whole thing.
“Oh, the two over there are still standing after Diana’s attacks? I know Carion, but who’re those girls? They look like sisters.” He asked.
“They’re Old Bill’s granddaughters. The one with the long hair is Sania and the short-haired is Samia. They’re twins. Although they’re leagues away from Diana, they keep their cool. Sania has some good moves and Samia is fast and very careful. I think they will be a great addition to the party...”
Tael looked attentively at how the small brown-haired girl repositioned herself to receive several attacks from Diana and thought:
‘she’s not an amateur, just like Diana... I also never saw her at the fields... The way she’s shifting her wooden stick to block Diana from different angles shows that it’s not her first time’
He shifted his analyzing gaze towards the other girl with short hair.
‘She’s not simple either... She’s looking everywhere but doesn’t lose the details of the fight. Every time Diana tries a finishing blow, she joins her sister to prevent it...’
Tael wasn’t a specialist in fights, but he was very mindful and learned a lot by observing Diana these last months. In his opinion, the girls weren’t strange to fighting, it even looked like they trained regularly.
Diana realized that she had grasped the girls’ strength and decided to finish the demonstration. She fainted an attack at Sania’s left shoulder but instead dashed to attack Samia.
The girls reacted by trying to sandwich Diana with attacks, but they weren’t fast enough. Samia received an attack on her left side and a subsequent one on her left calf. She went down without resistance.
Sania tried to attack Diana’s back, but Diana finished her sister faster than she was expecting. Diana turned back and blocked her attack, before unleashing a torrent of combined attacks. Soon, Sania was overwhelmed by her attacks and also went down.
“Few..... You’re good. Your synchronized fighting is impressive, but you have to work on individual fighting. For now, you should stick to attacking beasts together but prepare in case you’re attacked separately...”
“If the team could be as synchronized as you... That would be something!”
“Oh... So, are they part of the team?” Tael asked sincerely and Diana only smiled at him.
The girls’ response to being defeated by Diana was very different. Samia quickly stood up and gave a sly smile, while cleaning some blood from her lips. While Sania was still on the ground with her head down in defeat. She felt like she had failed an important task.
Either way, for the following afternoon, both girls eagerly trained with the team.
After having breakfast, Karl decided to walk while thinking about the Arrays. He needed to keep moving to shake off his sleepiness. Last night he stayed up late because he wanted to finish drawing the extraction Arrays.
Previously, he took time to calmly learn the Arrays and Runes. But summer was the season in which the crops need more watering, hence he decided to finish the tool as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, Master AI told him that he would need to learn at least three Arrays to craft the WET (water-extracting tool).
‘-- You already know how to attract the water. Now, you need to learn how to move it towards a direction. The Array used to move energy is called Direction Array, which is represented by a triangle. --’
***Image in the comments***
‘-- The triangle’s concept is Destination. It has the aspect of Movement. Just like the sun moving from east to West, the Array will move its content’s energy upwards. --'
Karl thought that the Direction Array’s concept was easy to grasp. He could probably get the drawing right until tomorrow. With the combination of the three new Arrays, he could craft the WET.
Karl spent three days testing until he finally got it right. The most difficult part was to connect and combine the Arrays. Once he knew how to draw each Array, he tried several combinations.
Master AI could have told him the right combination, but the process of combining and analyzing the results was very important.
Initially, Karl tried to position the Arrays in different orders, but he soon understood that it wouldn’t work. After getting frustrated a couple of times, he finally realized that he had to combine the Arrays.
Once he got that right, he only had to test with proportions and sizes until the design worked. Of course, he wasn’t prepared to spend good materials in testing so he used white grass ink on the testing designs.
His final design had two major Arrays, one basic and one complex Array. The basic Array was the Extract Array, used to power the WET with an energy crystal. And the complex Array was a combination of the Properties Extraction Array and the Direction Array. Karl named the complex Array as Direct Properties Array.
***Image in the comments***
After he finished the design, Karl still had some practical considerations to make. First, he had to find a way to guide the water from the bottom of the well until the surface.
When designing the Array, Karl made sure that it was capable to move the water up to six meters. So, the well depth wasn’t a problem. But when the water was pushed upwards, it would splash outside, making it difficult to collect it.
If the splash was regulated and made constant like a fountain, it could work, but it would take too much magic energy and a LQ crystal wouldn’t be enough.
This time, the problem was solved by Old Bill. He got the inspiration from something he saw decades ago in the city. The solution was to use a hollow material to guide the water. The water would go through it and could be collected at the end. To form a big tube, they could connect bamboo sticks.
The magic energy consumption didn’t even enter Karl’s mind. He would draw a line from one side to another of the bamboo tube and the energy crystal would be inserted only when water was needed, just like he did with the weapons.
The last problem appeared after they tested the WET for half an hour. The tool stopped working and Karl discovered that the Array drawing was being damaged by the water. Old Bill said that the only solution was to find a water-resistant material to draw the Arrays. Unfortunately, Karl didn’t know other materials that were both magic conducting and water-resistant, so he turned to Master AI.
‘-- Do you remember about the plant in the water stream which I told you to collect? You can use it now. --’
‘The pickerel weed! So it can be used to make water-resistant magic ink... Should I use it only to draw the part of the Array submerged in water? I remember you told me that it would lose its properties if it wasn’t stored with the water crystal...’
The village was dark but one could already see the signs of dawn arriving. Usually, at this time, the villagers would be sleeping. However, most of them chose to abdicate from their rest, to see the first official operation of the WET.
The tool was on its prototype version. It had much to be improved, but that didn’t matter. The WET meant hope. Magic was a privilege of the nobles, the commoners would never touch it. But now, the power that made the nobles superior, that gave them the right to enslave and oppress, found its way into their hands. It represented a chance of freedom.
“Please Karl, do it.” Chief Omero instructed.
Karl nodded and placed the energy crystal into the Array. The crystal brightened and a feint light traveled through the drawings, following the bamboo stick from the surface all the way into the bottom of the well.
The tube struggled a little against the ropes that were tying it. Small water strings flowed from several places, where the bamboo sticks were connected. The villagers held their breath in expectation.
In a matter of seconds, water flushed from the bamboo’s end pouring into the bucked. Karl took the crystal off the Array and the water stopped flowing instantly.
Everyone was too shocked to react. Of course, Toni wasn’t everyone.
The villagers started to cheer. They were so excited to see it working that they continued to draw water until it was time to leave for the magic fields.
Chief Omero looked at Karl. His eyes were shining.
‘Finally!’ He thought while clenching his fists.
Only a couple of village elders saw and understood his expression.