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Chapter 74: Heaven Enters the Sea, Dreaming Under the Shade of Rice
After about half an hour, everyone arrived at the Imperial Academy.
Lin Beifan led everyone to the lakeside.
At this time, there was a student by the lake, playing with all sorts of strange things and looking very busy.
When he saw Lin Beifan leading a group of officials in their official costumes coming over, he was very surprised.
He quickly put down whatever he was holding and bowed respectfully, “Student pays respects to Director Lin, and all the officials!”
“No need for so much courtesy!” Lin Beifan smiled kindly. “Haitian, let me introduce you. This elegant and peerless woman is the current Holy Empress! The others are the current civil and military officials!”
“Ahh! It’s actually the Empress!” The other party was flustered and bowed again, “Student pays respects to the Empress, long live the empress!”
“Stand up.” The Empress extended her hand.
“Thank you, Your Majesty!”
Although he stood up straight, he still dared not look up. His whole body trembled and his face was covered in sweat.
Obviously, he was seeing such a grand scene for the first time and was very nervous.
Lin Beifan laughed, “Haitian, how is your research going? I brought the Empress and the civil and military officials to take a look. Show us your results quickly!”
Haitian nodded hurriedly, “Yes, yes…I will show you my results…but I am still quite nervous.”
He was still too nervous and couldn’t explain clearly.
So Lin Beifan stepped in and smiled, “Before showing you the results, may I ask the Empress and the officials a question? Can steel float on water?”
“Absurd! Steel is so heavy, how could it possibly float on water? It will definitely sink to the bottom of the sea!” Gao Tianyao looked displeased.
“Yes, how could steel float on water? It’s impossible!”
“Lin Beifan, why are you asking such a strange question?”
“Have you studied so much that you’re becoming foolish?”
Everyone mocked him.
The Empress remained silent and looked calmly at Lin Beifan.
Lin Beifan smiled faintly and took out a strangely shaped iron block from the side, made to look like a model ship.
“Your Majesty and officials, take a look, is this made of steel?”
After the Empress and several officials passed it around, they nodded, “Yes, this is definitely made of steel!”
“If this thing is put on water, will it sink?” Lin Beifan asked with a smile.
“It will definitely sink!” the officials declared confidently.
“Alright, watch this!” Lin Beifan tossed the iron block into the lake.
The iron block splashed into the water and created a lot of ripples.
When everyone thought the iron block was going to sink, it actually floated up, swaying with the waves like a boat.
The Empress and officials were all shocked, “This…”
“As you can see, although this thing is made of steel and is extremely heavy, it can still float on water! Your Majesty and officials, do you know why?” Lin Beifan asked with a smile.
“We…have no idea!” everyone shook their heads in confusion.
One official couldn’t help but ask, “Sir Lin, this iron block is so heavy, how can it float on water? It doesn’t make sense!”
“It’s because of buoyancy!” Lin Beifan smiled, “Water has buoyancy, so it can support boats and oars, leaves, and even all things, including steel! The reason it doesn’t float is just because it hasn’t met the right conditions yet!”
Everyone nodded in confusion.
But in Lin Beifan’s eyes, they were all pretending to know.
Only the Empress pretended to be the most profound, staring at Lin Beifan all the while.
“Lin Beifan, what is the point of researching these things? Can it govern the country and protect the people? If not, they are just useless tricks and not worth considering!” Gao Tianyao sneered.
“Minister Gao, your vision is too narrow!” Lin Beifan shook his head and said, “Your Majesty and officials, just think, if we thoroughly understand this principle and build large steel ships, what would happen to our Great Wu Navy?”
Everyone’s faces changed, stunned.
“Building large steel ships, this…”
“Using steel to build a ship, how could that be possible?”
“But if we can build large steel ships…wow!”
Everyone gasped in shock.
Lin Beifan’s eyes were fanatical. “If we can create a steel behemoth, we can dominate the world’s waters and be unstoppable! Our navy will no longer have any worries!”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Your Majesty and esteemed guests, do you still think this research is useless?” Lin Beifan smiled faintly.
Everyone fell silent.
Only the empress nodded in approval. “Sir Lin, you speak the truth!”
Then she said dreamily, “If one day, we really can create a large steel ship, we will be unbeatable and rule over the seas and oceans in no time!”
“Minister Lin, and this student, you must continue with this research! Once the steel ship is created, I will reward you heavily!” the empress said.
Lin Beifan bowed. “I shall obey!”
The student named Haitian was thrilled. “I shall obey!”
Then Lin Beifan led the group to a wide square. Several students were working on a balloon-like object.
“Your Majesty and esteemed guests, before introducing this object, may I ask if you think it’s possible for humans to fly?” Lin Beifan asked.
“That’s impossible! How can humans fly?”
“Even if one reaches the pinnacle of martial arts, they can only jump higher and stay in the air longer. Flying is impossible!”
“Perhaps only divine beings can do it!”
Everyone shook their heads.
Lin Beifan pointed to the balloon and smiled. “But my invention might make it possible!”
The crowd erupted in protest.
“It’s definitely not possible!”
“Please watch,” Lin Beifan commanded.
The students lit a fire underneath the balloon and it swiftly inflated. Then, amidst everyone’s shocked gazes, it slowly rose up to a height of seven or eight yards. Luckily, there was a rope holding it down, or it might have flown away.
“It’s really flying!”
“How is this possible?”
The Empress was shocked and so were the officials. Lin Beifan smiled and said, “This is modified based on the principle of a Kongming lantern and was originally called an air balloon! Currently, it can carry about 10 kilograms of weight, which means it can carry a baby! Think about it, if we enlarge it 10 or even 20 times, we can carry people up in the sky!”
“It seems like we can really do it!”
Everyone looked up at the air balloon in awe and wonder. Flying, it was the dream of many people for thousands of years, with countless classic poems and myths and legends passed down over generations. It was romantic and deeply ingrained in the culture, but it was almost impossible to achieve. Humans could not fly, but now they saw hope.
The Empress exclaimed, “Great, great, great! Sir Lin you have given me yet another surprise!”
“Your Majesty, besides flying, this air balloon can be used in various ways! With its wonderful applications, it can quickly enhance the military might of our country and suppress enemies all around!”
“What can it be used for? Tell me quickly!”
“As the saying goes, if you stand high, you can see far! With this air balloon transported to the battlefield, people can climb up and fly, and see the enemy’s troops and deployment from above.”
“Yes, why didn’t I think of that?”
“With such a powerful weapon, our chances of winning are greatly increased!”
The officials slapped their foreheads in agreement.
“In addition, it can also survey the terrain!”
Lin Beifan smiled and said, “Our country has many mountains, which are high and treacherous, and many places are difficult to walk. Many terrain areas are still a blank space! However, by sitting on the air balloon, we can observe the mountains and terrain from a high vantage point!”
“Yes, it can be used this way too!”
Lin Beifan went on to explain the several benefits of the air balloon. Each application was amazing and made people applaud!
The Empress looked at the air balloon with fiery eyes and said, “Lin Beifan, we must study this air balloon carefully and try to carry people up in the sky as soon as possible!”
“I will fulfill Her Majesty’s order!” Lin Beifan bowed.
Then, Lin Beifan led everyone to a grassy field. The field had been damaged and replaced with rice paddies. Several students had taken off their clothes and were busy working in the paddy fields, like ordinary farmers.
At this moment, everyone felt a little uncomfortable. The first two inventions were too astonishing, either flying in the sky or diving underwater, exceeding everyone’s imagination, and were incredibly impressive. However, this scene before them…
It was almost commonplace.
“Lin Beifan, what is this?” The Empress asked curiously.
“Before unveiling this invention, I’d like to share one thing I dreamed of under the shade of rice paddies since childhood!”
“Say it!” The Empress nodded.
“Since I was a child, I had a dream of finding a comfortable spot under the rice paddies!” Lin Beifan was exhilarated. “I once dreamed that rice grew taller than sorghum, the ears longer than brooms, and the grains were as big as peanuts! My family and I were taking a nap under these rice fields.”
The Empress laughed, “This is not only your dream but also mine! If rice can grow taller than sorghum, ears longer than brooms, and grains as big as peanuts, then there won’t be any hunger or poverty in the world! As the people say, food is of the utmost importance. Once the problem of food is solved, many problems will cease to exist!”
Then she asked in confusion, “However, what does this have to do with your invention?”
“Because I found that by crossbreeding hybrid rice, the rice grown will be taller, stronger, more resistant to natural disasters, and hence yield higher!”
“So, I encourage interested students to research in this area!”
The Empress and officials all looked dismayed.
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