This, finally, is something Hanako can agree to, and she starts in with her questions. Her speech, quite crass just a moment before, is civil again as she addressed Meitei. "I understand Kangetsu holds a bachelor of science degree, but what specifically is his area of expertise?" "His graduate work was on the earth's magnetic field." The master provides a straight response. The significance of this subject area, regrettably, is beyond Hanako. She offers a cursory response, but her expression remains one of doubt. "Does such research lead to a doctorate degree?" she asks. "Are you suggesting that the degree motivates the research?" the master asks in return with a sour look. "Yes. There's nothing special about a bachelor's degree. Lots of men hold them," she replies coolly. The master turns to Meitei, with a look grown even more disagreeable. "It's not for us to say who earns a doctorate or who doesn't. Let's move on to another question." Meitei too is a bit peeved. "Of late, is he still researching the earth's -- whatever it was?" "Several days ago he addressed the Society for Physical Sciences, presenting his research results on the mechanics of hanging," the master offers without hesitation. "Good gracious! Hanging? He's really out there, isn't he? He won't be earning his doctorate with a topic like hanging." "Not if he's the one hanging. But the mechanics of hanging is another matter. I wouldn't count him out." "Really now?" This time she turns to the master, looking to read his face. Sadly, the meaning of 'mechanics' eludes her. All her queries are for naught. Believing, perhaps, that a basic question is beneath the dignity of Madam Kaneda, she resorts to scrutiny of the men's faces the men, hoping to glean some insight. The master's expression is anything but accommodating. "Does he ever produce anything that the average person might understand?" "Indeed. The other day he authored a paper on the structural stability of acorns and how it relates to the dance of celestial bodies." "Are acorns really worthy of university research?" "As an outsider, I wouldn't know. But at any rate, if Kangetsu is working on it, then they must deem it worthwhile." Meitei brushes her off with cool composure.