21st Century Archmage - Chapter 58
Chapter 58: A Territory that Eats Money like a Hippo
“I will develop elite troops.”
“By elite troops, you mean…?”
“I want to form a cavalry with people who can use mana, where everyone above or at captain level can use Aura Blade.”
“!! T-That is…”
Today was a ridiculously busy day. Thanks to the knights being there, I was able to take command of the soldiers with ease and return to the covert. Then, during our evening meeting, I revealed my future plans.
“If we do not quickly gain military and economic independence, the enemies all around us will not just sit back. Before that happens, we must quickly increase our power.”
They were basic components, but things we absolutely needed right now. Derval, Ryker, and the Skyknights, including Janice, nodded.
‘There’s no end to the work.’
Even two of me wouldn’t be enough. I had to be constantly on the move; I wasn’t even Superman but I had to fly around on Bebeto to the point of getting airsick.
‘I should just grasp 7th Circle magic already.’
I wanted to become a 7th Circle mage that could install a Warp movement magic circle. But despite my feelings, the enlightenment that could break the circle wall had not yet come calling.
“Politics, economy, military, culture, art, the environment! Nerman will become the center of everything. I hope you will keep that in mind and do your best!”
“As you command!”
The dream I longed for would soon become their dream, too. Until the day my paradise came to fruition, we would run forward at breakneck speeds.
“Derval, have you started recruiting administration academy graduates?”
“Yes, my liege. I utilized the Rubis Merchants’ high-speed communication device and sent the news to the few friends I have left in the empire. They will contact me back soon.”
“Ryker, did you catch the Information Guildmaster?”
“Of course, I have escorted him nicely to the jail.”
“You did well. Also, you should pick out the soldiers who have a talent for mana from tomorrow onwards. And win over the mage mercenaries and turn them into formal soldiers.”
“Please do not worry! As long as you give me an ample bonus, I will even bring you an archmage.”
Even after receiving a knight title, Ryker couldn’t fix his mercenary habits. He would probably live his whole life like that. Alternating between thoughts of women, money, women, money until the day his bones turned to dust.
“Knight Janice, is there anyone in Nerman who has been a miner in the past?”
“If possible, it would be great if they were skilled miners with thorough knowledge on various types of minerals.”
“There is. There is a place nearby where people who used to be miners in the past have created a village.”
“Then call them for a private audience. It is a very important matter, so bring them with care.”
“As you command!”
‘There’s more than just one or two things to command.’
This wasn’t even a construction sim, but a real-life territory management scenario that couldn’t be restarted if I made a mistake. I had to bring all the knowledge I possessed as well as the knowledge I didn’t possess to the table.
“Sir Derval stays, everyone else is dismissed.”
“As you command!”
“Haaah, how can you work us to the bone like this every day without any breaks. Won’t even give advance pay…” Ryker grumbled as he left.
Janice was watching him from the side with a slight smile. It seemed she had more or less adjusted.
“My liege, I am worried that this is too hard on you.”
Once the knights left, Derval examined my face as he worried.
“Don’t worry about me and take care of your own body. If you so much as catch a cold, I’ll chase you right out.”
Derval just chuckled at my words.
“Territory management is harder than I thought…”
“My liege, you are doing very well. I am sincerely thanking the gods while looking at my liege who has more administrative knowledge and insight than myself. The gods who have given me the opportunity to serve a master like you.”
‘Just try living in Korea, this is just the basics.’
Among the world’s advanced countries, Korea was number one when it came to role learning. Even if you just crammed and had no practical knowledge, you would gather all sorts of knowledge related to territory management.
“How are the residents?”
“Everyone is content. Viscount Lukence was so oppressive that your actions have become the hope of the residents here.”
“See to it that they have the most comfort possible. And if there is anyone harboring evil thoughts about the residents, punish them severely. Nerman, as well as you and me, are only here because of the residents.”
“I will engrave your words deep within my heart, my liege.”
Derval was treating me like some kind of sage. Even now, his eyes were shining brightly with the words ‘I respect you.’
“But it’s rather fun, isn’t it. This is just the beginning, but I’m not at all afraid.”
“That is only possible because it is you, my liege. Your plans to turn this place into a land fit for people when even the Bajran Empire gave up on it, it is only possible because it is you, my liege.”
“Haha, as long as Sir Derval is here, I have such strength to go on, isn’t it fascinating?”
“I am extremely happy to hear you say that, my liege.”
If I had a close relative here, I would want to introduce her to Derval. To be honest, if Derval hadn’t been here, I wouldn’t have tried to turn this place into my territory.
“You go on as well. But bring the branch manager of the Information Guild to me.”
“Then, please have a good rest.”
Derval bowed politely as he left.
‘It’s already so late.’
A festival of stars was already well underway in the sky I could see through the office window.
All other things aside, at least the natural environment was bomb.
* * *
“I’ll keep things short. I want unconditional cooperation.”
“W-What do you mean…”
After spending one night in jail, the Nerman branch manager of the Information Guild was completely terrified. He was a chubby man in his mid-thirties, an appearance that was at odds with his profession as the Information Guild branch manager.
“Your name is…?”
“It is Smearns, my lord!”
At least he was perceptive.
“The information I want should be brought at the fastest speed possible. But the information about me and Nerman going to other places should be the slowest and most inaccurate possible. Easy, right?”
Smearns blinked his beady eyes at my explanation.
“That is impossible.”
With a composure that had been absent when he came into my office, Smearns calmly stated that my request was impossible.
“I wish to ask why.”
“If we do as you described, then there would be no reason for our Information Guild to exist. There is one and only one reason why our Information Guild could outstrip the information gathering ability of every empire and kingdom in the long, long history of this continent, and that is our quick and accurate information trade. Even if you were to kill me right now, other information guild members would sell everything to someone wanting the information.”
‘Hooh, it’s that level, huh.’
I wasn’t too surprised by the Information Guild branch manager’s determined response. There must have been more than one or two people like me in history.
“Haha. Got it. If that’s what you say, then that’s that.”
At my sudden burst of hearty laughter, the branch manager looked bewildered.
“Then let me make a different request.”
“By request, you mean…”
“Deliver the information I want faster than anyone else in the world. That is the request I want to make.”
“Please do not worry! As long as the price is right, we can even find out the color of the underwear the Imperial Princess likes to wear.”
‘My god, does this jerk think of me as a pervert…?!’
I complained a little in my heart, but at that moment, Bajran’s Princess Igis’ face came to mind, and my face reddened in spite of myself. That much imagination was just a little life bonus for a youth of tender years, ok?!
“That is unnecessary… But I wish to find out about a certain party.”
“What party is it…?”
Apparently, the corpulent Smearns really liked to trail off in ellipses.
“It is information regarding the Golden-Eyed Reaper, Aidal.”
“Geh! T-the Golden-Eyed Reaper!”
“Ah! To be more precise, not the Golden-Eyed Reaper himself, but whether there are mages belonging to Aidal’s magic tower after he disappeared, and if there are, where exactly they are living.”
“That is… That will be an SS-grade request that exceeds the S-grade…”
“I will give you one Grade 3 magic crystal as advance payment.”
“An SS-grade refers to information that can threaten the existence of the Information Guild itself. An S-grade is the categorization for information regarding a conspiracy that can usurp the seat of power in an empire or kingdom.”
Wearing a severe expression, Smearns didn’t give me an affirmative.
“If I am satisfied with the information, I will give you 1 million Gold in a lump sum.”
“Mm…” Hearing the price I offered, Smearns made a sound of contemplation. It was half the annual gross income of a small territory, but the branch manager hesitated with a troubled expression. “We will do it. Only, you will have to give us a time limit of five months at the very least.”
“Haha. I will give you plenty of time.”
‘Please, go sniff out the places they’re hiding at.’
I needed the cooperation of a magic tower, but I really didn’t want to do business with those arrogant, thieving pricks. Just because they had learned a bit of magic, snubbing people was a granted, and they were thieves for whom back-stabbing was optional. Just the fact that they were so dirty and cheap made me not want to join hands with them.
But then I remembered my master Bumdalf’s magic tower. If he’s to be believed, It was so powerful that at one point, all the empires and kingdoms on the continent took the initiative to send tributes, then the scale of the magic tower must have been quite something. Just like the Kallian saying that the wealthy would live 3 years even after ruin but a magic tower would live 100 years after ruin, I wanted to believe that those people were still living somewhere on this continent.
“But who are you, my lord? You do not even have an exact place of birth…”
“Why, has a request about me already come in?”
“That is… Yes. The price has increased to the point that it has been categorized as an A-Grade request.”
“A-Grade? It’s right under a conspiracy, lol.’
I guess I wasn’t too cheap.
“Shall I tell you?”
“Huh? Hehe. I would be grateful if you did so.” Smearns did not hide the brightening of his face.
“Even though you’ll get hurt if you know?”
“No, it’s not just getting hurt, you could even get buried. Buried tied to a huge boulder deep, deep in the ocean.”
The chubby Smearns’ happiness was short-lived and replaced by a face on the verge of tears.
Sometimes, I could show a pretty evil appearance.
Even I didn’t know.
Which one was my true self….
* * *
“I did it!”
The magic circle that was finally installed after several days of hard work indicated its completion by exuding red and blue light.
It was a Mana Concentrator, one of the circles stored inside my mental library, and pretty much a gift from the gods for those who possessed a feel for mana. I don’t know how other magic towers did it, but because I had personally experienced Master Bumdalf’s Mana Concentrator, I could verify the excellence of its performance.
“It will enable the mana enlargement up to a certain level in a short period of time.”
Nerman lacked everything, but even among the things it lacked, the number of knights who could use mana was particularly poor. Even if they did joint attacks with wyverns and Skyknights, who made up the core of a battalion, against hordes of monsters, the knights would become no more than punching bags. There was an urgent need to enhance the knights skills to their maximum, as well as quickly turn people who had a sensitivity for mana into usable knights.
“It’s really too bad about the mages.”
The magic circle was completed, but it was too much for me to operate every day. Because the Mana Concentrator sitting in the middle of the hangar used a refined Grade 3 magic crystal, it could mana concentrate three knights at a time. However, the problem was that only a mage could operate it. And the even bigger problem was that these “mages” were few and far in between.
“It’s already been a fortnight. We need to start sweeping away the monsters for real now…”
Only by repelling the monsters could the sowing be completed on time, and only by completing the sowing could we reduce the importation of food for the coming winter.
This time, the provisions acquired through the Rubis Merchants cost no less than 400,000 Gold.
400,000 Gold for an amount of food that would feed the over 500,000 Nerman residents for just three months.
“If we don’t gain self-sufficiency and decrease our importations, we’ll soon go broke.”
It wasn’t just the provisions.
This last fortnight, Derval had reported Nerman’s current situation many times over. The state of the castle walls and the nearby forts was urgent, every kind of consumable, including the soldiers’ armor, in addition to needing additional personnel in the remote areas were all matters that needed to be solved, and fast. On top of that, the river levee swept away last summer needed to be repaired, and the construction of a road so that merchants could safely travel as well as measures required to ensure their safety were urgently needed. The procrastinated issues of previous years were coming back now in full force to bite me in the butt.
“I’ve got no Bank of Korea, but I need to stamp out money from somewhere…”
Viscount Lukence had been sucking blood and marrow even despite Nerman’s desperate, miserable state. He really was something. Far from levying taxes, I had to take measures for the time being to aid the poor.
“We’ll be increasing the number of knights from today onwards. As long as the soldiers with a feel for mana are nicely picked and trimmed, we’ll probably get over 100 new knights.”
I hadn’t yet formally sent soldiers back to their homes, but I would send soldiers who were too old or couldn’t add to our military force back to their villages before long. They would protect the villages as reserve forces as they engaged in productive work.
“I wonder if the letter has arrived by now…”
As I thought about a certain woman, a smile sprang to my lips.
* * *
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* * *
But then, when I recalled the temples, my smile crumpled into a frown.
Because this place couldn’t make money, all the temples had left. These kinds of places were in even greater need of religious workers to gather and grant the mercy of the gods, but this continent was no different from South Korea. No monks but only charlatans, and no pastors but only greedy bastards blinded by money kicking up a fuss everywhere in Korea. I couldn’t understand how people who didn’t know God’s mercy could possibly live by selling God. If they had a shred of conscience, they shouldn’t live while taking advantage of human frailty like that.
“At least the magic towers will be quiet for the time being, kuku.”
Gauss Magic Tower’s Oltois spent some very rough days in the covert’s underground jail. No matter how powerful a magic tower’s influence was, they couldn’t just go on a full-scale war with a territory. The most they could do was have a high-ranking noble or the emperor admonish the territory and give them a fine.
But here in Nerman, even if the great emperor himself came calling, it would be to no avail. If he tried to assert his rights even though he didn’t do a thing for Nerman, I would kick his mouth closed.
Someone calling himself Gauss Magic Tower’s vice-branch manager came over and took away Oltois, who aged a few years within a few days.
The magic towers sent a message saying ‘to our regret,’ saying they all could not cooperate with any of my matters in the future. One day, I would round them up and send them all packing out of the territory.
“So there are more mines in the Rual Mountains than in the Kovilan Mountains, huh… But the problem is whether miners can hold out there… In order to develop the mines, we’d need quite a lot of guards in addition to the mine workers.”
I summoned former miners and asked about the past mines, finding out from them that there wasn’t just gold and silver here, but also a mine that produced magic crystals. The problem was that in order to mine them, the monsters rushing in day and night would have to be blocked.
Nerman was a place where money-making opportunities were laid out everywhere, but because of the monsters, nothing could be done. I was determined to start a large-scale extermination as soon as we were ready.
I was about to go outside after finishing the magic circle when I heard something heavy being dragged.
“Huh? What’s that sound?”
There was also the strained whinnying of horses.
“What’s going on?”
In my curiosity, I opened the hangar door and went outside.
‘Eh? What the heck is that?’
A squad of soldiers were dragging something atop a carriage pulled by four bulky horses.
To my utter surprise, the thing on top of the carriage was a steel robot about 3 meters long. It wasn’t a handsome one like the robots in manga, but a robot with a rusted, crude frame wearing a helmet, a completely unexpected item.
“It’s been a while since I last saw a dravit.”
“To think this was still around.”
As soon as I heard the word, an explanation sprang to mind.
‘At one point, these siege iron golems were an absolute necessity of war, but with the appearance of Blessed Spears with high destructive power, they disappeared.’
Not only the explanation, but several pages of mana circuits and blueprints came to mind. In particular, even a blueprint for the most cutting-edge of golems capable of quite some speed was also drawn out in my head.
“Where did you bring this from?”
“My Lord! We found it while organizing the goods in Gadain Castle.”
I had ordered my men to drag out all of the goods in Viscount Lukence’s Gadain Castle, leaving just a centurion squad there for basic defense. It was a castle created by wringing the Nerman residents dry, so I ordered them to sell everything that could be sold to purchase food.
‘Hooh, it’s pretty useful, isn’t it?’
Nerman lacked all sorts of things. Antique or not, everything that could be used had to be utilized. And there was an incredible thought that shot through my head like a ray of light.
“Is this the only one?”
“N-no, sir. There are another five or so dravits sitting in a rusted state,” responded the centurion leading the soldiers with an expression that worried he had done something pointless.
“You did well. After a quick rest, go bring over the rest of the dravits.”
“As you command!”
At my words of praise, the centurion’s face loosened in relief.
‘If all goes well, I’ll own a tractor army. Kuku.’
This thing called magic, the more I used it, the more it made me think it was amazing.
Despite not reaching the era of machinery, this field of study could produce everything needed for daily life in an environmentally friendly way.
It really made one wonder if magic wasn’t a true blessing granted by the gods to humans.
* * *
“My liege, at this rate, we will run out of gold coins within a month.”
Derval interrupted my daydreams about the tractor plough I saw when I was a kid in the countryside where my grandpa lived. Then he informed me that our money was running low.
‘Well fuck, I knew this was gonna happen.’
The Nerman Plains, the name alone was so very nice to hear.
The land was huge, the water was clean, the mountains were great, and on top of that, the resources were plentiful.
But the problem was, everything was possible only by pouring in a shitton of money.
And Nerman, the land that even the empire gave up on, was now my responsibility.
“What do you think the most ideal economic actions are? Here in Nerman, I mean.”
I couldn’t just ask him outright for ways to make money. Because now I was Nerman’s master, someone who needed to maintain dignity.
“The first thing is to firmly secure provisions. Continuing to import provisions from the continent will cost too much. Secondly, it would be good to develop the mines. In the past, I even learned in the Empire Administration Academy that Nerman’s mineral deposits are considerable. The Bajran Empire has many mines in the Litore Mountains, so our mines are probably not very attractive to them, but there are definitely plenty of resources that do not exist in the other kingdoms. Also, it is worth thinking about intermediary trade. As long as you maintain good relations with the Kesmire pirates, my liege, we should be able to gain a rather large profit from conducting such business.”
Derval laid out his opinions as if he had just been waiting for me to ask. As expected, he was a very useful talent.
“However, the most important thing is expanding our military power. Unless we repel the monsters, there is no answer to any of our problems. Also… The active cooperation of the magic towers and temples is vital.”
Derval stole glances at me as he added a sentence about the magic towers and temples at the end. Even though he knew that we had crossed a river of no return with the magic towers thanks to my prickly temperament, it seemed he still held regrets about it.
‘The help of a temple is the most important. Not just for recovery potions, but only by bringing in a temple can the residents get a sense of security.’
The evil Viscount Lukence was expelled, but their faith in me was probably not that great. The residents had a deep-rooted mistrust towards lords and nobles. It wasn’t something that would disappear in a day or two.
“What is the reason for the approximately 1 Gold price of orc byproducts?”
“That is probably the price of the leather. It’s not as good as ogre or troll leather, but among monsters, shoes and armor made from orc leather are useful goods for beginner mercenaries or militiamen.”
“I see. But are there no demon beasts in Nerman?”
“There are. But they have more than enough monsters to eat, so they simply do not attack the humans. Unlike monsters, demon beasts are smart.”
I was also aware. Or well, it wasn’t just being aware; I had even caught one before.
“What about seafood? Considering that large species of fish can be caught in the river alone, it seems the fish resources are plentiful.”
“I am collecting information from various documents and the fishermen here regarding that point. According to what I have found out so far, when fall ends and winter begins, an enormous number of salmon appear along the Lovent River. Also, between summer and autumn, madir follow the shore as they move south. Of course, there are also other fish species in enormous quantities spread out in the ocean. But it was only a pipe dream because the Kesmire Islands, ten thousand islands strong, have been controlling the currents.”
‘Tuna! Kuku. You’re all dead!’
Derval’s words were calculated with a ‘ka-ching!’ into money.
“The problem is, there are as many sea monsters as there are fish. In particular, the demon beasts here are known to be more dangerous than in other places.”
Of course, if there wasn’t that kind of danger involved, how else would it be a money-making venture?
‘If we catch fish, we can supplement provisions to some extent and even make money.’
The likes of sea monsters or demon beasts weren’t even dangerous, at least to me. If they came, we could resolve everything in one go.
“Tell Ryker that from today onwards, he should bring selected knights and people with a talent for mana here. Three people per day in the evening.”
“I will relay that to him.”
There were probably many things Derval was curious about. I hadn’t heard the rumors myself, but there must be some saying that I could use magic. However, Derval firmly resisted and did not ask.
That was the kind of knight I needed.
The kind of loyal knight that would believe in me even if I were to make a castle out of sand.
* * *
After heating up the dravit’s frame with Fire, I cast Clear on top.
When the rust on the body was heated up nice and hot with magic and then hit with Clear, it fell away from the body like scorched rice falling from the inside of a rice cooker.
“Nice and clean.”
I admired the dravit’s clean frame, which was now free of all dirt and rust.
“An iron golem fueled by a magic crystal. They were made obsolete by the appearance of Skyknights, but they can be of use to me.’
Reaching a height of a little over 3 meters, the steel robot’s forearms were the size of my thighs. I wanted to express my respect to the Kallian mages who created something like this in a world where science and mechanical engineering were not very developed.
“A masterpiece made of alchemy, metallurgy, and magic, huh?”
I really liked the rust-free black dravit in front of me.
Casting magic, I flipped over the dravit. Made of pure iron like medieval knight armor, even the dravit’s joints were protected by thick pieces of armor.
“It has all ten fingers, but they don’t look too flexible.”
From what I heard, in the past, dravits would carry enormously large cast-iron hammers in their hands and charge towards castle gates or walls. A dravit’s powerful defensive ability, which would not budge from the likes of arrows or most spells, was critical in siege warfare.
However, after they became lumps of meat skewered by Blessed Spears hurled by Skyknights, they became relics of the past.
I opened the thick protective panel on the back.
“It’s an ancient mana circuit.”
There, I saw a magic circuit.
Centered around the magic crystal insertion point, mithril was connected like threads on a square mithril circuit board around 20 cm large. Once these threads were connected, as long as none were severed, the mithril alloy circuitry was permanent. Just like how gold was used in cellphones, mithril absolutely needed to be used in important mana circuits.
“Shall we give it a test?”
I didn’t know how long this thing had been buried, but after removing the rust, it looked to be in good condition.
“A Grade 4 should be more than enough.”
According to the knowledge in my head, there had even been dravits that used up to Grade 2 crystals in the past. However, after getting reduced into moving targets for the Skyknights, no one would be so crazy as to use such a valuable crystal.
Magic crystals came in various sizes, ranging from the size of an egg to an adult’s fist. Mana output stopped increasing from a certain size, so most large magic crystals were used after splitting them into pieces.
I placed a transparent magic crystal the size of a child’s fist into the safety valve.
As soon as I put in the crystal, mana flowed rapidly through the dravit’s whole body. I quietly put my hand on the crystal and transferred some of my mana. In order to control it without the interference of other mages, it was necessary to imprint one’s mana upon startup.
Once the mana imprinting was complete, the protective panel closed on its own. Then, the visor on the front slid down and the joints moved as the dravit produced iron noises.
“Hey there, friend, why don’t you get up now.”
Dravits possessed speech-recognition capability that jumped through the ages. It couldn’t understand everything, but a dravit would react to the command words saved in the circuitry.
At the words “get up,” the dravit strained to raise its upper body from atop the carriage. Blue light shot from its visor like a laser.
It wasn’t as natural as a human’s movement, but the dravit’s joints moved pretty well.
It was fascinating.
I felt happier than getting one of those Gundam plastic models I’d only heard about.
Thud thud, thud thud.
“Ohh! You’re doing great!”
It was so much fun. A robot this big and obedient couldn’t be made easily even in the 21st century. I felt like a kid with a new toy.
CRUNCH! Thud! Thud! Thud!
At least, until it punched through the hangar wall and started going outside.
“Woah woah! Stop! Stop! You birdbrain!”
My happiness was short-lived as I stopped the dravit with cries of alarm.
‘It can even run if it’s installed with a new model of mana circuitry, and I can even add a few types of attacks.’
A mana circuitry was an elaborate, miniature magic circle. The creative fun this thing offered was leagues greater than I thought.
“My friend, return to your original position and rest up.”
The iron golem that couldn’t talk simply closed its eyes where it stood and went into sleep mode. It seemed ‘return to your original position’ wasn’t included in its command phrases.
‘The knights must be doing well, right?’
Looking at the pitiful dravit, I moved to the hangar next door.
Cleared of people and wyverns, I was using a few of the hangars as experiment rooms for magic.
This title of lord, which let you do everything in Nerman as you pleased, gave me a sense of joy the more I used it.
Although, well, it would be even better if it just didn’t take a little too much money.
* * *
‘They’re sound asleep.’
Inside the square Mana Concentrator were three people. There was a whirlwind of mana within the area of the Mana Concentrator, which used a Grade 4 magic crystal. And that mana was rushing into the noses and bodies of the knights using mana breathing.
This was a special magic circle that only Master Bumdalf knew about. It couldn’t produce Blade Masters in a short amount of time, but it could enlarge mana pathways that were normally too small and expand a person’s mana core into the greatest size possible for them.
‘I should install a few more tomorrow.’
Watching the comfortable faces of the knights, my heart became resolved. I had to make the best knight regiment in the continent in the shortest amount of time. That was necessary for my survival.
‘Urngh! Today was fruitful as well~’
I broke into the food temporarily stored in Gadain Castle and sent it to all the villages. Whatever happened in the future, as long as you were born as a human, you couldn’t break free from the fact that you had to eat something to survive.
Unable to yawn aloud, I went outside.
‘At least the covert defense is perfect.’
Whenever I had time, I wrapped the covert up in magic circles. They didn’t operate on ordinary days, but in an emergency, the excessive number of magic circles would reveal enormous force as soon as I said the activation word. It was something that only I could do.
‘But if I could make magic circles with 6th Circle methods, then…’
I was quietly returning to the headquarters building.
After these last few days of obsession with magic circles, it felt like my magic-related knowledge was suddenly being rewritten.
How to describe it?
It was like finding a previously undiscovered mistake while reviewing your notes.
Even as I worked, the complicated formulas in my head were intertwining.