Yesterday he managed to get Elise ennobled. Hopefully, this would clear up that unfortunate matter.
He also used his prerogative as the king to start a long and arduous process to bring an end to that particular loophole. Maybe his nobles would not be obstructive in what they would see as an attack on their ancestral rights.
He snorted at that thought and said to himself: “Yeah, right. Almost everything else would be more likely…”
He thought about Jonathan. His ideas were certainly fascinating, especially his talk about a technological device that could easily produce many copies of one book.
How had he called it again? Ah, now he remembered, printing press.
A fascinating and likely descriptive name. Printing might be how to make the words appear on the pages and press, which might be another part to it.
What did he say he would need to recreate one? A smith, a winepress of all things and a woodworker? Maybe the translation spell made a mistake, he might have meant carpenter.
He would need to speak with Jonathan about that. Written books which were much less expensive? He would really like that.
So he ordered a servant to extend an invitation to Jonathan so that they could talk in detail about that.
Jonathan did not know how to feel.
After he spoke to Archmage Tablos, he found out that the mages would not necessarily have realized what happened. If anything happened at all.
He also found out during that conversation that he would meet the king in a few days.
That was three days ago.
Today was the day he would meet the king.
In fact, he stood before the door to a closed study, waiting until the king invited him inside. This happened after no more than five minutes.
Pretty fast for a world where precise timekeeping was possible but prohibitively expensive and only usable on a small scale. Which made it useless for appointments.
Mages could use them, especially alchemists and the ones who followed similar professions.
After he was invited in and had accomplished the greeting, which he still found strange, they were alone in that room, for god’s sake, the king got directly to the business, for which Jonathan was thankful, even if he did not show it.
King Eduard III of Theron began to speak: “So, you said that you would be able to create a printing press if you had help. So, what would you need, and how long would it take?”
Jonathan thought for a moment and answered: “I am not sure honestly. I know the concept behind a printing press, but I thought a bit over the issue. I am certain that I can get people thinking into the right direction, but I am honestly not sure what good it would do. We will need an inexpensive material to write on, to even consider using the printing press. It is a tool for mass production, everything else does not make sense. In my world, we used a material called paper. I know out of what it is produced, and I am pretty sure I could create, with a bit of help and much trial and error, a passable paper, but the real problems start after this. And it is the question of how your writing system is structured. It does not affect if it is possible, but it does affect the start-up cost, as well as the speed. Also, it can make it much more difficult, especially if you have very filigree symbols or some which are very similar. Problems that can be overcome, certainly, but they add time to the development process. It is not important right now, but something to consider. What would I need to start? A source of paper or a material that can be used instead, a smith, a goldsmith would be optimal, a carpenter and a wine press. If no source of paper is in reach, I will be forced to develop that too, but for this, to start, those should be enough people. Material wise I would also need a certain amount of lead. For now, the weight of a sword should be enough, but only to test. The smith would certainly be able to give more precise amount after the first round of testing. Another problem will be the ink. I know enough about it to get started, but somebody who produces ink would be much help.”
They spoke a while longer and then the king began preparations. He would send everything to the school, where the Archmage would ready a place to work.
Also, Jonathan found out during the rest of the conversation that they still used vellum and paper was completely unknown, as were any materials that could replace its role.
The king made clear that the development of paper alone would be a revolutionary development.
Especially if Jonathan managed to build a program which would increase the literacy rate of the population considerably.
Also, a scribe would be a helper for the project, which not only took care of the ink problem but also of a problem Jonathan had not considered until now.
He could not read nor write the letters of the alphabet in this corner of the world. The scribe was able to do that and more.
After they set all this into motion, Jonathan was sent back to school, where he fell asleep as soon as he was on his bed.
Who would have thought that planning could be so exhausting?