༺ Necessity Is the Mother of Invention ༻
Despite the Regressor’s cold gaze, I managed to convince her using all sorts of words. She was still wary of me, but it seemed like she had decided to wait for now seeing as how she loosened her grip around her sword.
After heaving a sigh of relief, I suddenly became curious about something.
“By the way Trainee Shei…”
“What are you here for? Did you follow us?”
“I didn’t follow you! I just… happened to come here looking for you.”
The Regressor tilted her head to the side with her arms crossed while Chun-aeng floated above her head.
“Tyrkanzyaka asked me about what you said. That thing you said about teaching her about the times. What time it would be at.”
“Huh? We’re actually doing that?”
「You suggested it?!」
The Regressor looked bewildered. I felt guilty so I nodded along.
“Alright, alright. I’ll go prepare for it now.”
“Try your best. I hope it goes well.”
As she turned away from me, the Regressor added one more thing.
“Of course, I’ll be listening in as well.”
‘Me, teach? I’ve been living off the streets. I don’t have the knowledge to teach someone.
‘I may be one of the most educated people here, but at best I’m a graduate from a standard public elementary school and dropped out of military middle school. I did get more education than a typical security level one citizen the moment I entered military middle school, but that was only because I read the mind of the kid with the second-best scores. If it wasn’t for my mind-reading cheat ability, my education would’ve ended at elementary school.’
Oh, by the way. The reason I read the mind of the kid with the second-best scores instead of the first was because I was the person who had the highest scores in the school.
It wasn’t done with my own studying of course. I just borrowed a little help from everyone during tests.
O students, lend me your strength.
I’d like to thank and apologize to every student who had their rank pushed back by one because of me.
However, because of my insanely high test scores, all of my instructors thought that I would be the genius to drive the Military State forward by an entire generation. But I completely failed the practical portion of the entrance exams to military high school, so I dropped out, trying to run away. And now, I ended up like this.
As any person who wasted their life often did, I reminisce about my school days.
“Maybe those days were the golden age of my life.”
I missed the days when I lived so freely just with the ability to read minds.
Albeit the issue is that I still can’t think of what I’m going to teach Tyrkanzyaka.
As I unconsciously fidgeted with my pockets, I realized something.
“Oh! I’ll just use this!”
‘This will do.’
The first three floors of Tantalus were the cells meant to hold the prisoners. Typically, those words would remind you of an atmosphere that felt confining and cramped.
However, as a prison with prisoners but no guards, Tantalus was a little different from the typical stereotype of prisons, in the sense that the stone walls were broken and the metal bars were bent in all kinds of directions.
Walls and bars didn’t suffice as an obstruction for the prisoners that were sent here. The metal door was now in the shape of a metal croissant, and the bars that were bent whichever way reminded me of wet pasta. One of the walls had an intricately made spear—three metal bars twisted together—embedded into it, and another cell had a perfectly smooth square hole cut out of it.
‘Fuck. It seems that the prison was nothing more than a bunch of toys to the criminals placed here. That’s terrifying. Just how did the workers that had to live amongst these criminals survive? Oh, right, they didn’t!’
Having solved the mystery, I made my way up the stairs.
The fourth floor was where the workers resided. It was also where I was staying since I had nowhere else to go. The doors didn’t lock, but they opened and closed properly, and there were still a few amenities like a kitchen and a place to do laundry.
I headed to the worker training room at the end of the fourth-floor hallway.
There, the ‘trainees’ were waiting for me.
A coffin, having pushed aside the chairs to make room, was floating in the air. The Regressor was hunched over on a chair, while she crossed her arms and legs. She glared at me the moment I walked in. Azzy was lying down on the floor playing around. I doubted she actually came to learn.
With everyone’s focus on me, I headed to the lectern. It was a small class consisting of a dog, a corpse, and a person, but I couldn’t help but be a little nervous as I stood in front of them. I took a deep breath before I began to talk.
‘It’s fine. I’ve done this plenty of times. It’s not any different from swindling people into buying worthless things.’
“I’ll start by establishing the goals of this class. From what I’ve seen the past two days, all you superhuman beings severely lack some common sense. If we were to release you as you are into society, you’ll have a hard time fitting in. And if that happens, you’ll end up back here again. So…”
｢Just a moment.｣
An eerie voice creeped out from within the coffin. The vampire seemed rather annoyed.
｢…Why do you wear such casual clothes when you’ve come to teach?｣
“Huh? What’s wrong with my clothes?”
The standard supplied button-up shirt and a pair of shorts that had built-in underwear. I was casually dressed, but this was fairly common.
However, to a thousand-year-old boomer like the vampire, even that was not formal enough.
｢Teaching is like a river. It flows from a high place to be received at the bottom. So the one who teaches must always maintain a certain air of authority and dignity. How can anyone be inclined to learn from someone so poorly dressed?｣
“This is ridiculous, I can’t believe I’m being criticized for my attire by someone who lives in a coffin.”
“I know, I know. It’s like your wheelchair. I get it, I’m not going to berate you for that.”
– Cough! Cough!
The Regressor’s face grew red as she violently coughed in reaction to my statement.
「…A ‘wheel-chair’? You’re saying something I don’t understand again… but what is this ‘wheel-chair’? I feel as if I am being insulted.」
‘Alright. Note to self: never explain what a wheelchair is.’
I gripped the lectern with both arms and shouted towards the coffin.
“And Trainee Tyrkanzyaka, there’s a clear reason as to why I came here dressed like this. Please do not doubt the teacher when the class hasn’t even begun yet.”
｢Alright. Show me. I hope your words serve more purpose than just excuses.｣
“Don’t get too surprised.”
‘I’ll show this outdated vampire the greatness of modern technology.’
I stretched out my left arm.
“Citizens of the Military State undergo a recording of their biological statistics when they reach the age of eighteen. Height, weight, body shape, bone structure, and even the length and width of our limbs. All of these things are recorded and engraved into our bodies.”
I turned my wrist to face the class. A peculiar hole was in my left wrist. The dip made from digging out flesh looked as if it were meant to hold something.
“Because of this, the Military State has the most advanced identification system. Utilizing it, they’ve made a few useful inventions.”
I dug out the object Azzy and I had found in the control room. The small dark-blue marble was just the right size to perfectly fit the hole in my wrist.
I hooked most of them by now. The Regressor who already knew what it was, and the vampire who had questioned the strange hole in my wrist.
They had a rough idea of how to use this marble.
“The Military State’s science is the best in the world. This is the pinnacle of alchemic technology, the clothing technology of the Military State.”
With those words, I fit the small marble into my wrist with a resounding click.
Instantly, blue filaments began to cover my body.
Along my skin, firm, strong fibers made the base structure. Thin blue strands weaved together to form layers in between. A garment was instantly tailored based on an alchemic pattern. Strands became fabric, and fabric became a clothing material that piled ontop of itself, step by step.
I did a quick twirl in place because I felt like I needed to. On my third way around, a warden’s uniform perfectly tailored to my body had covered my entire body.
Quickly taking the form of a trained warden, I saluted, according to the State standard.
“The Clothing Packet.”
It only took ten seconds for the stiffly ironed suit to cover my entire body. The invention of the century used the information recorded in your own biological data to transform into perfectly fitting clothes. Even if it ripped or got messy, all you needed to do was change it back into a marble and wipe it clean.
It was one of the best inventions, even among the seven great inventions of the Military State.
I boasted as I lifted up the collar of my brand-new clothes.
“With the invention of the Clothing Packet, citizens of the Military State were freed from the curse of laundry. Also, they spent less money on buying new clothes. A person only really needed a couple clothing packets, and they could keep reusing them.”
“Now, do you understand why I came so lightly dressed? I wanted to show you the Clothing Packet in action. It’s better to just wear the standard underwear beneath.”
Hums of amusement echoed from the coffin, but I could hear the vampire’s thoughts clearly.
「That’s amazing…! The world really has changed so much!」
I knew she’d love it.
It was a stereotype that old people disliked new technology. In reality, they were often willing to spend more time exploring it. Curiosity was something that existed within everyone, regardless of age.
The only issue was that, for some reason, old people tended to revert back to analog ways, saying ‘It had a nicer feel to it.’
However, the vampire’s attention was now solely focused on the Clothing Packet.
“A warden’s uniform… Hmph.”
Shei’s expression soured after seeing my outfit. Then, the vampire asked the Regressor.
｢Child, you didn’t have any hole like that on your wrist.｣
“I won’t ever get that kind of stuff.”
The Regressor shot back in a moody manner.
“That’s for surveillance. It’s a product of authoritarianism, made by the desire to track and control every single citizen.”
“It means they monitor every citizen. You need a Bio-receptor to enter major roads or buildings. And if someone goes into the wrong place, the authorities can use it to arrest them immediately.”
｢…What is the issue with that?｣
The Regressor—who had only experienced the future—probably didn’t understand, but the vampire was from a totally different time. One with absolute monarchy.
‘Do you think human rights were a thing back then? If they were, the vampire probably wouldn’t have died at such a young age when she was alive.’
After the Regressor realized that, she clicked her tongue.
“Besides, there’s an even bigger issue with the Bio-receptor.”