Chapter 135 To start with the basics
– “The Devils grow in number each day, but we become less.”
“The Holy City of Taqila has already fallen into the hands of the enemies, the only option left to us is to scatter in all directions.”
“We fled over mountains and across rivers, as far as possible from the Gates of Hell.”
“But next time, where should we flee?” –
"What do you think about it?" Back in his office, Roland closed the illusion of the ancient book and turned to Scroll to get her opinion of it.
""In the case that what the Knight remembered was the truth,, this would really be an incredible coincidence." Scroll pondered for a moment about her next words, "The content of the treasure map and what's recorded in the ancient book is the same, so this proves that the Church had once stepped into the Wild Lands and constructed a point of resistance against the Devils there. In addition, the points marked on the map are perhaps the defense towers, posts, warehouses, or whatever they built there.”
"You mean... this isn't really a treasure map?"
"Of course. After all, the Church isn't a group of bandits or pirates; they do not need to hide their treasures, but they would leave behind a drawing to help the future generations.”
Roland nodded, "Well, so... this is just such a map?"
"Although it is not clear why the Church did not record this period in history, I believe that the ruins buried in the eastern forest aren’t the only one of its kind." Analyzed Scroll, "If the locations marked on the map are just some facilities, the chance that we find something after all these centuries aren't that high, but if it has a storage warehouse in the basement, it will probably be another underground site, and we might be able to uncover some clues from it."
"What kind of clues?"
"Like the reason that the Church is concealing the existence of the devils? Why do they resist the devil, but still carefully conceal it?" She paused, her voice becoming a little unsteady," and... why do they call us witches the Devil's messengers and why do they want to kill us?"
Roland did not know how to comfort her, so he was unable to find the right words as he fell silent after a moment. Only after a while he slowly began, "Unfortunately he didn’t know how accurate the picture was. According to his statement, the original map wasn’t drawn by hand.”
"Do you want Nightingale to go to the knight's house?"
"That doesn't sound right," Roland denied, "The treasure map has already been passed on for hundreds of years, so the possibility that the storeroom is filled with God's Stones of Retaliation or other traps is high." Pointing at the triangle symbol, "For now, this place is out of reach, in any case. If this is the area of our North Slope mine, then the location of the hexagonal star is at least 50 kilometers away from us, almost as far as the distance between Border Town to Longsong Stronghold. With the exception of Lightning, who can travel that distance within a day, the rest of us would need to walk for two to three days. What will we do if we were to meet some of the Devils during the journey... I don’t want you to have any kind of mishap."
"You can let Lightning explore the forest from the air; maybe she will be able to find something," Scroll suggested.
"That is a viable option." Roland immediately stood up, "The next time she comes back I will give her her new mission, but for now I want to go to the North Slope Mine while you get ready to give your next lesson. If you need more copies of the books, you should find Soraya, she will handle it for you. Don’t forget to continue to give them lessons this evening.”
Now that Roland had already held the first lessons of his new primary course, he could give the teachers position to Scroll. With her phonetic reading and writing and her ability to repeat everything from memory she had once heard or read, Roland believed she had everything that was needed to become a good teacher.
"Yes, Your Highness," Scroll said as she saluted and left.
The testing and production area near the North Slope Mine was now more than two-times as large as it was before, and the two holes needed for the production of the twelve-pound cannon were still left on the ground. When Roland arrived in the testing area, he immediately saw Anna practicing her new ability. On the table next to her, there laid two finished products that looked exactly like steel pipes.
He immediately held them up to take a closer look; the steel pipes were perfectly round and had a totally smooth surface without any pores, the hole in the middle was equally wide on both sides, and the sunlight passed through without any problems through the hole in the pipe. To compare the thickness of the pipe-walls, Roland placed his fingers into the holes. This way, he discovered that they were exactly the same size.
Roland couldn't stop admiring her work, "How were you able to make this?
"Take a look," Anna picked up a freshly cut steel bar, laid it flat on her hand, and inserted a thread of her black flame into one end, leading it through the complete body. Then she let the thread rotate around the center of a circle, and soon the hole was complete.
What an amazing ability, he thought, with her magic, she is capable of hot wire cutting, and at the same time her accuracy and control are incomparable. Anna alone is enough to push the industrial production to a new height inside Border Town. Trying to restrain his excitement, he said, "Let's do some basic tests first."
The basic test included the testing of the scope of her abilities, her ability’s strength, and its duration.
Nightingale also took part in the test; she appeared out of her fog and was responsible for observing if there were any changes to the magic inside of Anna's body.
The results showed that in addition to a substantial increase in the strength of her ability and the duration at which she was able to cast her magic, the range at which she was able to use her flame was still around five meters, and it was only within a range of three meters that she was able to carry out her precise control.
Furthermore, her magic still belonged to the category of summoning, and could still be suppressed by God's Stone of Retaliation. When Anna ordered her black flame to enter the range of the stone, the flame would still suddenly disappear.
Unless she could evolve to the point of directly accessing her magic, she wouldn't be able to get past this hurdle.
However, Anna's new capabilities still belonged to the category of earth-changing. With her black flame, it became much easier to produce the industrial machinery, and her ability to reproduce all kinds of tools could be considered as the method to push the level of machine processing to a whole new level.
However, a large-scale industrial production wasn't something that one person could do on their own. For example, Karl had already finished one of the furnaces he had to build on the hillside near the North Slope Mine. However, by the time they tested it, they discovered that although they could use it to produce clay bricks for the creation of cement, its temperature tolerance was not up to the level that they had needed. So, in the end, they still had to rely on Anna alone to produce the required cement – fortunately, since her day of adulthood, it was no longer required of her to step inside the dusty room to complete the calcining process.
It wasn’t the case that Roland was unable to find a solution to the temperature problem. For example, they could use the steam engine to create enough wind in order to improve the furnace's temperature, and they could then let the heated up air circulate to minimize the heat loss. But without Anna, they were unable to create another steam engine. After all, only she could complete the welding of the key components.
It could be said that the creation of industrial machinery was built on the Anna's shoulders. The moment they lost her, the so-called industrial revolution would be nothing more than flowers in a mirror and the moon reflected in the lake.
During the Months of the Demons, Roland had done everything he could in order to survive, and now that the threat of the demonic beasts no longer existed and Longsong Stronghold had provided them with enough additional population and capital, he naturally wanted to change the present situation.
– "First, let us start with the basics."
He let Anna cut out a two-finger wide and one millimeter-thick steel sheet. He then measured a centimeter-long distance on it, and repeated this until he had a ten-centimeter-long ruler. Then he let Anna’s black flame climb up the steel sheet, and create vertical marks at a regular distance. Under her fine control, the distance between each vertical mark was almost exactly the same.
Roland’s intention was that this ruler was only the start. Afterwards, he wanted to create various kinds of measuring tools to define the samples for uniform weights and measures. These standard units would then be written as the norm into manuals, becoming an inseparable part of his educational courses.
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