Chapter 174 Industrial Park
Two days after Ashes departed, beyond all expectation Maggie returned to Border Town, once more appearing in front of everyone.
After understanding the reason, her return then turned into a warm welcome for a new member of the Witch Alliance.
She was greatly moved by the banquet which was a celebration in her honor and was also being held in the castle's back garden. The top of a long iron shelf had been covered with all kind of meat which was free for anyone to take and barbecue.
The range of seasoning was also very rich, there were salt, oil, chilies, peppers, as well as Roland personally created barbeque sauce. Which was made from cooking a stew made out of all kinds of different mushrooms from the Concealing Forest together with a whole chicken. He also added a mixture out of salt, sugar and wheat flour, which let him forget the non-existent Monosodium Glutamate(MSG). Maggie almost ate to the point of bursting her stomach before she stopped.
On the afternoon of the same day Roland also tested her ability.
According to Nightingale’s judgment, her magical capacity when compared with all the other witches could be described as among the medium level. Furthermore, her ability to freely change any kind of bird was only possible on the premise that she had seen it before. Changing her form used up a comparatively large amount of magic, and during one day she could change her form around 4 to 5 times, while maintaining her shape only consumed very small amount of magic. Her ability could be classified as belonging to the summon type and was also suppressed by the God’s Stone of Retaliation. Her favorite bird to change into was the pigeon, but Roland noted that she would always be a lot bigger than the regular bird no matter in what kind of bird she changed into. For example, if she turned into a sparrow, in Roland’s view, her sized would equivalent to a common pigeon, while if she was to change into a pigeon, she had almost at the same size as a sea eagle.
This point left Roland feeling quite sad that Maggie was incapable of changing into any of the fantasy creatures he had painted for her such as a Phoenix, Griffin, or a Kunpeng.
In addition, to Ashes original intention there was still something else he had to pay attention to, that was the question of, what kind of abilities did the witches gathered by Tilly poses? In case she had many auxiliary witches who could significantly increase the efficiency of farming, he didn’t mind to exchange for them with his technology.
For this reason, Roland decided to write a long letter addressed to Tilly. He started with showing her that they were in a natural alliance, and then warned her about the Church’s intention to unify the continent, and lastly he handed her an olive branch, expressing his desire that they could help each other and in so doing that they could progress together. Now he only had to wait until Maggie went to the Fjords next month, and permit her to deliver the letter without having to go through an extra effort.
The next day, the Prince was welcomed by another piece of good news.
The factory for the production of the steam engines has finally been completed. It was located on the opposite shore of the Redwater River, on the western side, next to Leaves’ experimental field. The entire site was surrounded by a wooden fence, there was also had a smooth and simple road leading to the pontoon bridge. In Roland’s plan, this area would in the future be turned into an industrial park.
As a result of his wish to expand the building space to far out as was possible, the factory was built using a comparatively easy to use wood material, covering an area of ??about 1000 square meters. Anna's self-built machines had also already been shipped in. There were two steam-driven boring machines, two manual milling machines, a manual grinding machine as well as a manual lathe.
Although the machines were quite simple, at least in theory, its workmanship was nonetheless of the best quality. Apart from the pedals and the other similar parts which were made out of wood, all the other parts were made out of wrought iron or cut out of steel. It could be said that it had been processed from the best materials currently in existence and with the highest possible precision.
Roland feared that he currently would only have ten workers that could come to work in the factory. They were the former town blacksmiths and their apprentices who had seen his presentation in the castle backyard and were now recruited by Roland with a fixed monthly salary of fifty silver royals so that they could learn how to operate the high-end machines. The blacksmiths, together with their forging tools, would all move into the brick house that stood outside the factory. Yet with the exception of some unimportant parts, the steam engine would soon be produced by using only these machines.
To celebrate the opening of the factory and to strengthen morale, Roland decided to gather all the City Hall officials and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and together with a short speech in front of the factory building. With Echo’s simulation of a gun salute, Graycastle Industrial Company had formally announced its establishment.
During the next few days, as the company's executive Roland came to visit the factory several times. Demonstrating the uses of the machines in person as well as an overall of the steam manufacturing process in general.
The best way Roland could think of to let the illiterate blacksmith grasp the processing and assembling of a steam engine was to map the whole process out. Following the usual process of creating a simple manual, he labeled every part with a name, number and size. Afterward, he used a diagram to show the installation order and the connection pattern. With this task, Soraya had also helped him tremendously in making sure that he could finish this task quickly.
The first few days of production went exactly as he had expected, almost no part that they had made had met the requirements, not even to speak of trying to piece together a whole steam engine.
However, Roland didn’t care about the scrapping rate, in the hands of Anna, in just the blink of an eye, these formerly defective products were soon remade into a new plate. And he believed that with repeated practice, it was only a matter of time before these blacksmiths mastered the production methods to be used in the new era.
In addition to the industrial factory, the Prince also changed the backyard at the North Slope Mine into his own military factory and was now mainly using it for the production of revolver rifles and bullets. Since by now, Karl's recommended “furnace expert” Lesya had also arrived at Border Town, a new batch of airbags had been installed, substantially increasing the temperature of the furnaces, even making it possible to independently calcining cement powder, making the former calcination room obsolete.
But limited by the current crafting ability, the revolver rifles and bullets production was still completely in Anna’s hands. At this moment, Roland was still busy designing a bullet stamping sheet for a stamping press, although its cutting efficiency wouldn’t be as good as Anna’s direct forming, it could at least reduce her burden.
And also, to thank Anna for nearly half a month of rushed work, he had decided to send her a gift.
"A gift?" Anna put down the recently cut part that was still in her hand and stroked a strand of hair that had slipped in front of her forehead back behind her ear, revealing a brilliant smile, "Well?"
"Don’t you want to know what kind of present it is?" Roland teased her.
"En..." she earnestly reflected on it, and after a moment before she said. "I like all the presents that you've given me."
After six months of being nursed back to health, there was now no longer any traces to discover of her time spent in the dungeon. Where she had previously been thin and weak she was now slim, her blues eyes brimming with spirit. Dressed in a white dress she seemed to be fresh and cool, her whole body seemed to be filled with vitality.
This is what an 18-year-old girl should look like.
When he saw Anna, Roland was unable to stop the corner of his mouth from raising, every time he saw her his mood would always become a lot better.
The so-called "gift" was covered in a layer of linen and placed in the castle courtyard to ensure Anna's surprise. He had gotten this idea when he had seen how Ashbringer had covered her sword. Since he was the Prince, the gift of course also had to be something special. Presenting something like jewelry or other similar finished products showed off much less sincerity, so he had to think for a long time before he came up with an idea.
When Roland pulled away the linen, a basket weaved with rattan appeared before them, to which the end of many ropes had been tied with the other sides and connected by a vast canvas.
"This is... what?" Anna walked closer and begun to circle around it full of curiosity.
"A hot air balloon," Roland replied with a smile, "It can take you up into the sky, overlooking the earth like a bird in the sky.”
"Flying up to the heaven?" She turned around, her eyes flashing with excitement, "Can it really do that?"
Soaring into the sky has been the dream of mankind since ancient times, from a hang glider to a hot air balloon, from the airship to the aircraft, for the exploration and challenge of this, humanity has already paid a huge price, but mankind has never given up on its pursuit. Even though witches have always existed in this word, flying was still only a right for the minority. The scenery from up high was bound to leave a deep impression in someone.
"Of course, you just have to fill the airbag at the end of the ropes with hot air."
Roland had arranged for Nightingale, Lightning, and Maggie to work as emergency personnel. In the case of an accident, with the help of Lightning together and Maggie in her large sea eagle form, the two of them would be able to land safely. As for the other witches, he decided to temporarily not inform them of this, especially Wendy and Scrolls, they would certainly have opposed any of his adventures. In their eyes, he should absolutely never come even close to even the slightest mishap.
- Does anyone know of a better term to use than “revolver rifle”?
- Shishui River finally got changed into Redwater River
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