Release that Witch Chapter 1131
Roland immediately set off for the ammunition plant at the Third Border City.
He knew Anna was not at Neverwinter at the moment, but he believed they could manufacture tracers with the current available technologies.
If he intended to mass produce tracers, he had to rely on factory workers rather than Anna.
Escorted by his guards, Roland entered the plant where all the workers went down to their knees, both excited and overwhelmed. Looking at the ecstatic look on their faces, Roland realized he had just made a rash decision. However, since he was already here, he had no choice but to hastily turn this unexpected visit into a tour of inspectation.
After the exhilarated workers returned to their workstations, Roland immediately came up to the superintendent and said, "Bring the most skillful foreman here. I want him to test out something for me."
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
The mechanism of a tracer was simple. It was bascially a bullet head filled with luminescent activators, accelerants and slow burning gunpowder, sealed with a tailpipe and a shard of aluminium foil. When the bullet escaped from the muzzle, the resultant gas would unseal the foil and ignite the slow burning gunpowder and the accelerants, leaving a bright, dazzling trajectory behind.
In the technologically advanced modern society, manufacturing tracers was not a big issue. All they needed to do was to add another assembly line. However, in Neverwinter where the development of industrialization was still in its infancy, it would be a lot more difficult to produce tracers. First of all, luminescent activators were usually a mixture of strontium nitrate, powered aluminium and magnesium, and barium peroside, which meant they had to first create these chemicals before mass producing tracers. Roland knew very well the industry level of Neverwinter. Up to this date, the Ministry of Chemical Industry was still not able to guarantee a constant supply of machine guns and ammunition to the First Army, let alone other additional weapons.
The superintendant soon brought a worker to Roland. To Roland's surprise, he was not a withered, gray-haired elder but a young man in his mid twenties. The foreman went down to his knee in the same manner as a knight and asked, "Your Majesty, what can I do for you?"
Roland understood that Neverwinter was currently industrialized. Unlike traditional handicraftsmanship, the younger generation who learned faster than the elders became the main workforce. The development of technologies closed the gap between the young and the old. Experience was no longer an asset when it came to new production tools.
Roland noticed that most workers in key positions were merely around 20 to 30 years old, which indicated that Graycastle was facing a bright future.
Roland nodded in satisfaction and said, "I want to add something new to the bullets. Now, listen carefully."
Since the "tablets" would produce dazzling light upon deformation, all he needed to do was to ignite gunpowder to provide a thrusting force that would create a flare.
The mechanism was pretty similar to that of a punching machine. He would first need to carve out a gourd-shaped hole at the bottom of the bullet head and fill the hole with thin-sliced tablets. When the bullet left the muzzle, the expanded gas would push the slices into the hole. As those slices were stuck in the bullet, they could not restore its original shape but remain in a reduced state. The tablets would thus keep illuminating until the electricity within was exhausted.
After hearing Roland's explanation, the worker agreed to work on the project.
The next day, Roland found a report on his desk.
The result indicated that the experiment was successful. After several attempts, they had managed to produce more than 20 tracers that left a clear, flashy trajectory on the screen.
Roland felt very encouraged!
Poor visibility at night had been bothering the First Army for years. Even with flares, it would still be hard for them to fire as accurately as in daylight. This problem would become even more serious when soldiers fired from above in the plane. Pilots would have no idea where their bullets landed from the sky even on a clear day. With a tracer to point out directions, they would then have a bigger chance to win the Battle of Divine Will.
Traditional tracers would actually deviate from their courses as the luminescent activators reduced. As they became lighter in the air, their centers of gravity shifted. As such, there was an old saying before tracers were widely used in wars, which was, if the target was hit by a tracer, then it meant you had just missed it. Nevertheless, the tablets were a better option in a sense that their weights would not change during the process. Roland only needed to slightly lengthen the bodies of the bullets so that they would work just as the same as normal ones.
The only problem left now was how many "tablets" there were in the Southernmost Region.
A week later, the two explorers who had discovered the ruin in the desert arrived at the Shallow Beach.
Roland further inquired them about what they had discovered down in the cave at the parlor.
The replies from the pair were consistent with the report. Before the Giant Armored Scorpion had appeared, they had walked a few hundred meters until they had reached the "tablet wall". They had no idea as to what was behind it.
In other words, they might have only found a very small portion of the "tablets".
According to the murals, there should have been tons of bodies.
Roland was also very concerned about the natural environment in the cave and the legendary Flowers of Providence that should have been extinctive a long time ago. According to Simbady, the natural environment in the cave was very similar to that of Silver Stream Oasis.
If the vast meadows had indeed gone through a desertization after the departure of the Three Gods Emissary, so should have the underground cave underneath the Endless Cape.
Perhaps, the legend was not exactly accurate. There might be some other hidden secrets.
Roland could not wait to explore the desert.
After the meeting, Roland had a private talk with Rex.
"Your diving suit is very interesting. The discovery of the ruin would definitely be a part of our history," Roland said while sipping his tea. "To be honest, I'm surprised that you actually applied the steam engine to your invention. Most people have no idea how to use it unless provided with instructions from our tech guys, let alone transforming it. I believe you're already halfway to the honor of being titled a lifetime honorary explorer."
"Th-thank you," Rex stammered in excitement. "It took me half a year to figure out how this machine works. I can offer you a discounted rate for my diving suits, if that pleases you — "
"No, you misunderstood me. I don't need your diving suits," Roland interrupted him with a smile. "I can certainly make a better one if I want."
Rex blinked in confusion, apparently astounded at Roland's reply. He summoned a really forcible grin and said, "Your Majesty..."
Roland talked over him, "I don't really care about whether you think I'm boasting or not. What I really want is — the Society of Wondrous Crafts."
Momentarily stunned, Rex said hesitantly, "I... don't quite follow you..."
"I know what you're trying to prove, and I can help you get what you want," Roland said flatly. "There are only two academic schools at present: alchemy and astrology. I believe what you're doing is very similar to alchemy. Both you and alchemists are creating new things for the mankind. So, why don't we set up another academic school for wonderous crafts and establish a society for this industry?"
Rex suddenly felt breathless. He instantly took the implication behind these words. If this was an offer from someone else, Rex would definitely think he was talking sheer nonsense or making fun of him. Compared to the prominent Society of Alchemists and Astrology Association, the Society of Wondrous Crafts was frivolous. Nonetheless, powerful and distinguished as the King of Graycastle was, he might be able to achieve what he had just promised.
He swallowed hard and asked in a coarse voice, "And what do you need from me?"
The king must want something from him if he planned to improve the reputation of the Society of Wondrous Crafts.
"Ahem, no, I mean that you work for me," Roland corrected himself while clearing his throat. "Move to Neverwinter and become a resident of Graycastle. I take all credit for your work and will have the right to sell and use your inventions. You'll, on the other hand, gain fame and wealth, as well as an optimal research environment in return."
"I..." Rex did not know what to say. Although his work had been constantly criticized by the public and treated with utmost contempt, he viewed his every invention as his own baby. Most members of the Society of Wondrous Crafts would probably feel reluctant to abandon their research to someone else.
"I understand you need more time to think about it. Take a rest and think it over," Roland said as he rose to his feet and passed a book across the table. "Let me know your final decision three days later."
"Your Majesty, this is..." Rex asked in confusion as he took the book.
"Your reward for the discovery of the ruin," Roland answered with a faint smile.