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“Greetings, Honorable Mario brother, I am Ts’ai Lun. We are making a new and wonderful thing here. But please come back later, I am having a most trying time with the drying time.”
Cai Lun (蔡伦, written in-game as Ts'ai Lun) was a eunuch under the emperor of the Han dynasty, Ho Ti. He was also promoted several times due to his service for the emperor. In the year 105, he invented a process of papermaking that allowed for the creation of modern paper, and, although technology has accelerated his process, the original principles that he discovered are still used to this day. In Mario's Time Machine, however, Bowser time travels to 105 and steals a Bamboo that Ts'ai Lun needs to complete the process, and he later meets Mario after the latter time travels himself to return the Bamboo.
Mario's Time Machine
In Mario's Time Machine, Ts'ai Lun is depicted as working on his papermaking process in the emperor's palace in Luoyang when Bowser steals his Bamboo. Mario then attempts to return the Bamboo to him without knowing that it belongs to him. Due to his lack of knowledge, Mario questions some of the other people within Luyong (including Ho Ti) about the Bamboo, and all of them easily talk about Ts'ai Lun and his plans to create paper. If Mario attempts to talk to Ts'ai Lun without knowing that the Bamboo belongs to him, he introduces himself and asks Ts'ai Lun what he is doing, to which Ts'ai Lun replies that he and his group are attempting to creating something "wonderful", but they are having a tough time completing it. After confirming that the Bamboo belongs to him, Mario returns and asks him if he needs it. Ts'ai Lun excited says that he was looking for the missing piece, and immediately puts it to use, thanking Mario for helping him create paper. Mario asks him what he intends to do with the paper, and Ts'ai Lun says that he wants to first write a thank-you note to Mario. He believes that books can be made a lot more cheaply now and says that history is going to be written with his invention.