Chapter 160 Confrontation
Roland had already corrected designs for the Revolver's bullet a long time ago. After all, circular lead bullets and loose gunpowder were an arrangement that was simply too archaic. Taking Anna’s processing capacity into account, it should be feasible for her to directly manufacture the shell for the ammunition. The problem was that there didn't exist a reliable primer, which could light the cartridge of the bullet that was filled with black powder.
The outer shell of the ammunition was generally made out of mercury fulminate which was very sensitive to impacts. When the firing pin was pulled and it hit the base of the bullet, the mercury fulminate would ignite, which would ignite the black powder, ejecting the bullet from the chamber.
It was such a pity that even after breaking his head over it, he still couldn’t recall the necessary raw materials he needed for the mercury fulminate. From a literal point of view, he would definitely need nitric acid and mercury. However, if he looked at the result of the chemical equation he had written down, it became apparent that these two substances would only produce nitric acid together.
In addition, knowing the raw materials wasn’t equally to having a smooth production of usable products. Roland would still have to discover the right concentration and temperature for the reactive process, and whether he still needed to add another catalyst or not add one, was also a crucial point he had to figure out before finishing the product.
Moreover, because of the sensitive properties of mercury, manufacturing it was considered a very dangerous process and if it exploded one could easily lose some fingers, so Roland was afraid of trying it out personally.
So, Roland had to settle for the second-best option, using a metal ammunition case but keeping the old flintlock ignition, which would require that the spark could enter the interior of the ammunition case to ignite the gunpowder. Therefore, he had to leave a hole at the bottom of the ammunition case, but he still had to find a method which would prevent leakage of black powder.
Obviously, these two points were contradictory to each other: the greater the opening, the faster the leakage of gunpowder. Yet if the opening is too small, it would become too difficult for the spark to ignite the gunpowder.
He needed something that would allow the spark to ignite the powder, while at the same time blocking the hole, to prevent the leakage of gunpowder.
Roland first thought was pyroxylin, which was also known as nitrocellulose.
It was also one of the few chemicals which he still remembered and could also be used for weapons because it had such a simple production method: the cotton had just to be soaked in two strong kinds of acids. The two acids it used were the commonly available sulfuric acid and nitric acid, and there would be no danger involved in producing them. Even though he still had wanted to wait for the hopefully soon, arriving alchemist, but now, where he had the deadline of seven days, he decided to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
Taking the quill, Roland began to write down the idea he had already in his head for a long time.
The first ingredient he needed was cotton, and the best cotton yarn were the ones which weren’t weaved or dyed and it was exactly this kind that he had brought back with him from his visit to the Duke’s castle, and was now also piling up within his castle’s warehouses. Cotton yarn needed to be skimmed. Otherwise the grease attached to its surface would prevent the nitrification.
He was already familiar with the stuff required for removing the oil, it was sodium hydroxide, which was also commonly known as caustic soda. At the same time, it was also one of the raw materials needed for making soap: For producing soap, one had to add fat to caustic soda, and then stir it until it became solid. Afterward it could be used as washing soap. But Roland has been too busy developing the industrial and agricultural technology and with defending Border Town against foreign enemies, that he hadn't found any time to invent any such commodities.
As for how he was meant to produce caustic soda, the simplest method would probably be the electrolysis of salt water. So the Prince discovered, that in order to create the new types of bullets, he first had to develop a DC Generator.
Ashes was walking along the Redwater River, feeling somewhat depressed.
Since the other witches knew that she had come to Border Town to bring the witches of the Witch Cooperation Association away, their attitude towards her had cooled down, a lot, and there was no longer any signs left of the warm welcome she had received last night.
Moreover, she had also noted that most of the witches were practicing their ability in the castle backyard, which showed that Roland had also found a way to avoid the suffering from the demonic bite. Originally Ashes had wanted to use this vital piece of intelligence to show her good will to the other witches, but her plan was unexpectedly shattered right from the beginning. So in addition to telling them the disadvantages and advantages of leaving Border Town, she had nearly nothing else left for persuading them to move.
What surprised Ashes the most was, even though Roland Wimbledon’s appearance had changed very little since the time she last saw him, every gesture from him now contained an indescribable temperament, completely out of tune with the image he previous held of being a dandy.
How could this be? He had previously definitely belonged to the incompetent class, during business appointments he would always think first about finding a way to escape, never standing up for others, and even if the problem was clearly caused by him, he was also too afraid to take on any responsibility. That time when he had thought about harassing her, she only needed to throw him a hateful look, to make him fall to the ground in panic. But she had later heard from Tilly, that he had claimed that he had fallen by accidently, and that the 5th Princess was at fault for it. After all why would she even find such an ugly woman as a guard?
From that time on, Ashes' view of the 4th Prince had fallen to the lowest possibility ranking.
Previously she had believed that such a type of person would be easy for her to handle, but during today’s negotiation she had failed utterly to gain the upper hand. Especially when the other side suggested a one-on-one competition, she had discovered that her threat of using military force didn’t work any longer, since the other side hadn't thought about escaping. Instead, it might even have had the complete opposite effect. If she had threatened him at that time personally, in addition to reducing the witch's positive impression of her, it would not have had any other results.
Ashes sighed, if she just could be as smart as Tilly, every problem that appeared before her could have been all smoothly solved. The moment she encountered a situation such as this, she would surely have been able to come up with a solution to this, right?
If she hadn't wanted to help Tilly as much as possible, Ashes really would have taken the next ship heading to Silver City and also leave the Kingdom of Graycastle as soon as possible.
Unconsciously, she had already left the area of the town, she was no longer be able to see those green wheat field on the other side of the river, but instead she was looking at the unclaimed woodland.
When Ashes was already ready to turn back, she suddenly felt the fluctuation of magic behind her, subconsciously turning her head, she could barely see a knife heading towards her cheek, taking advantage of her horizontal movement. The magic fluctuation had transformed into a surging billow, and Ashes suddenly felt a piercing pain coming from her cheek, the other person's systematic and logical moves were clearly nothing like one would expect to come from an ordinary person. Ashes no longer hesitated, completely dumping her passive attitude, to concentrate on avoiding the dagger coming to her from the front, she put all her strength on one foot and catapulted out of the way.
However, the other side just disappeared into thin air, and within a blink of an eye, she had already appeared behind herself, leaving Ashes totally unable to follow her opponent's movement.
She drew her sword and rotated in a circle. Turning so fast that she created a dull whistling sound with the sword, causing a large amount of dust to raise up from the ground. This attack from her had no dead areas and was able to scoop up any kind of threat, but in front of this unknown enemy she was facing, even this tricky attack of her's ended in a complete failure. When her swords swept through the attacker’s previous position, there was nothing to be touched.
That’s bad, she thought to herself, straining all of the muscle in her body, ready to react to the next round of attacks from the other side, but the shadow just disappeared from in front of her.
The dust settled down slowly, while the person again appeared near Ashes, playing with the dagger she was holding in her hand.
It was Nightingale.
"Should I see this as a warning?" Ashes frowned.
"Of course not," Nightingale said, putting her dagger back to her waist. "I just wanted to see the strength of an extraordinary."
"Are you sure? It was more like…”
"Do you think I would force you into leaving Border Town quickly, or otherwise I would not stay polite with you?" Nightingale interrupted her. "If that was the case, what would be the difference between Cara, and me?"
Cara? Why would she mention the former leader of the Witch Cooperation Association? Ashes asked herself in confusion.
"You can rest assured that I won’t hinder you from approaching any of my sisters, and if someone is willing to leave with you, I don’t think His Royal Highness will stop you. I certainly would not..." Nightingale paused, "But if you threaten to hurt His Highness, I guarantee you that next time I won’t just be stabbing at your side anymore." Here she grinned and then disappeared into thin air, "Enjoy your time in Border Town.”
Sure enough, you still warned me off, ah, Ashes shook her head.
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