Chapter 64: Human Calculator
Translator: WQL Editor: Geoffrey
As expected, with the rise of the prices of grains and sugar, the sales of the Zhang Family’s brew store also gradually declined. Although the wealthy would probably not be affected by the change of several copper or silver coins, for many at the lowest rungs of society, even a trivial increase in the price of grains or other commodities would greatly put pressure on their ability to survive. Naturally, they were more sensitive to the changes in price. Although the Zhang Family had only increased the price of a bowl of rice brew by a single copper coin, to some, it was a 20 percent increase in price and was something that would be difficult for them to accept.
Seeing the Chinese woman dragging away her kid, who kept swallowing his saliva, in the rice brew store, Zhang Tie could only force a bitter smile. In the past, this kid used to eat rice brew in their store, but due to the recently increasing price, the kid’s mom had no choice but to drag him away. For commoners like them, the rising price of grains not only affected the price of a bowl of rice brew but also their overall living expenditure. Influenced by rising price of grains, the price of the other daily necessities like cooking oil and salt also increased. In addition, Zhang Tie heard that the price of coal had also started to rise in Blackhot City for the past few couple of days. Obviously, the price of a wagon full of coal balls had also increased by 5 copper coins. As the price of grains and coal increased, the price of steel produced from ironworks would also naturally increase. Although it was only a small fluctuation, it was not a good feeling for many of the commoners.
The Zhang Family’s ugly, remodelled three-wheeler had been borrowed by a neighbor to buy grains. These past two days, several people had come to borrow it to transport necessities. As his sister-in-law said she was a bit uncomfortable this morning, his mom became worried and accompanied her to the hospital, leaving Zhang Tie alone at home. In the rice brew store, Zhang Tie boringly drove away the flies with a fan.
Absent-minded in the rice brew store, as Zhang Tie concentrated, an interesting thought appear in his mind…
With his spiritual energy increasing by seven fold, Zhang Tie realized that the that he had been painstakingly training for the past two weeks had greatly improved. Before yesterday, it would take him a long time to visualize an abacus with three columns in his mind, the image of the abacus wouldn’t be steady, and he couldn’t calculate quickly using it either—it wasn’t even able to match the speed of just calculating manually. All in all, he could not use it to do daily calculations easily. Surprisingly, this situation has improved sharply this morning.
At this moment, a golden abacus with seven columns was suspended steadily in Zhang Tie’s mind. The beads on the abacus were moving up and down automatically, outputting results.
What’s 36 multiplied by 98? 3528!
What’s 1269 plus 9621? 10890!
What’s 362 times 125? 45250!
What’s 639 divided by 12? 53.25!
What’s 98564 divided by 125? 788.512!
In the past, Zhang Tie needed to use the abacus techniques in order to get an answer, but now, he was able to know the answer the instant he saw the question. After practicing for a while, Zhang Tie realized that he didn’t need to use abacus techniques anymore. After using the abacus for two years, Zhang Tie finally realized how powerful and effective the time-honored calculator was. He didn’t know where the book that was marked as “After-class reading for preliminary students” was from; however, Zhang Tie didn’t believe that any preliminary school student could match him from the intensity and effect of spiritual energy. Previously, his spiritual energy might have been similar to that of a preliminary school student, but ever since his spiritual energy had combined with the Fruit of Brilliance, it has already become seven times of that from before; it was much more powerful at this moment. Benefitting from the new spiritual energy, he could fully experience the powerful effects of , as he could work it out the instant he saw any calculation question within seven digits. Additionally, Zhang Tie realized the abacus was easily stabilized after it was visualized. During this entire experience, Zhang Tie had even sold a few bowls of rice brew…
“I am able to calculate faster than the manual metal calculators used in trading agencies and commercial banks!” Zhang Tie became excited. He never would have imagined that the sharply increased spiritual energy would help improve his skills so greatly over night. Zhang Tie was sure that Donder would definitely be startled if he saw his improvement.
As Zhang Tie felt great about using so easily, an extremely absurd thought suddenly came to mind—maybe this was how people used the abacus in the beginning? A long time ago, people had powerful spiritual energy and could easily use this calculating tool in their mind; however, later on, their spiritual energy declined and they could barely finish calculation in their mind. Thus, someone decided to use a real object to replace the imaginary object in their mind and started to operate by hand. After another hundreds or thousands of years, when everybody was accustomed to operating an abacus by hand, a guy suddenly realized this calculator could be visualized in the mind and could replaced by visualized object. As a result, he invented the , which reflected the original usage of this calculator…
If his assumptions were correct, then he would be the only person who could master the true usage of this calculator. Zhang Tie didn’t know whether this marvelous calculator could be improved. He remembered that Donder had once told him about a powerful profession in the East called “fortuneteller”, which would own a calculator known as “Yi”. This calculator was not used to calculate numbers but instead the fortunes or disasters that would befall a person and the changes between the heaven and the earth. Was related to “Yi”?
While Zhang Tie was pondering on this thought, his mom and sister-in-law had returned. Instantly breaking the abacus formed in his mind, he ran towards them. “Mom, what’s wrong with sister-in-law?”
After speaking, Zhang Tie realized that he had said a really silly question. In response to his question, the face of his sister-in-law flushed slightly, and his mom glared at him ferociously and flicked his forehead. “What matter? Go make lunch...”
In the afternoon, as usual, Zhang Tie helped his mom make rice brew, but this time, it was different; his sister-in-law had joined them. As a result, they finished much faster than before. After lunch, their neighbor brought back the three-wheeler, and thus Zhang Tie rode it to shop for rice and sugar. As expected, the prices had risen a bit again. Considering the poor sales of rice brew last week, he only bought two bags of rice this time. Returning home, Zhang Tie noticed that his mom was teaching his sister-in-law how to make liquid yeast.
“This liquid yeast is the key, as it determines the final taste of the rice brew. Our Zhang Family makes our own liquid yeast, and we store it inside the spare jars boiling water after they have cooled down. We prepare two jars of rice brew; one is to be used, while the other is to be left to ferment. When one jar of rice brew is almost used up, we’ll add some water, cut-up fruits, fruit rinds, and kernels, and we’ll open it every day and give it a shake to give it some fresh air. After a week, a new jar of rice brew would be ready. We usually put two spoons of well-fermented liquid yeast into each jar before covering the lid. Taste some, this liquid yeast is delicious. Zhang Tie used to stealthily eat it before…” Zhang Tie had remembered those steps deeply in his heart. He didn’t pay attention to what mom had told to his sister-in-law at the beginning; however, his mom really made him lose face in front of his sister-in-law. While listening to what his mom had said, Zhang immediately thought about something…
Mutated and evolved yeast—Mutated and evolved rice brew—？
Zhang Tie remembered that there was an option in the Castle of Black Iron that allowed all living beings to mutate and evolve, and he had even tried it on a sprouted potato the first time he entered the Castle of Black Iron. As he hasn’t seen any improvement lately, he had almost forgotten about it. Watching his mom teach his sister-in-law how to make liquid yeast, Zhang Tie had a sudden realization. If he could help mutate or evolve the yeast used to make brew, would the taste of the rice brew be improved? If so, that would help improve the sales of the Zhang Family’s rice brew.
After thinking for a while, Zhang Tie felt this way was feasible. At the very least, he could have a try. “The Zhang’s family has already used the same method to make rice brew for the past two decades, so why not try something new? Nothing is lost even if it fails!”
Thinking of this, Zhang Tie became excited. In response, in the evening, he found a clean glass jar in the kitchen and stealthily filled it with half a bottle of liquid yeast. Afterwards, he took it back to his room and quickly entered the Castle of Black Iron. Opening the “Living Beings and Species Management” option, he chose “Carbon-based Living Beings and Species Management” and then “Microorganisms”. After selecting that bottle of liquid yeast, he inputted 300 points of aura value, 5 points of merit value, and 0.1 point of basic energy storage and started the first evolution and mutation for the yeast.