Chapter 292 Precision Guided Bombs
The place where they would be practicing shooting their pistols was arranged at the castle’s front courtyard.
Including Sylvie, all of the witches selected for the investigation team had received a revolver.
Roland spent two days to let everyone become familiar with and master the posture needed to shoot a gun, before they switched over to shoot with live ammunition. The major part of the training was divided into aiming while shooting from ten meters and paced shooting from five meters distance so that they could cope with a surprise attack or an open attack of the enemy.
During the posture training, most of the witches were still able to imitate the pattern, but the moment they fired their first shot the truth was soon revealed.
Especially when the deafening sound of gunfire split the air, for most of them, their first reaction was to block their ears, turning the observing Nightingale’s brows straight.
Except for Anna.
Whenever he looked at her, both her hands seemed to remain motionless even as she continuously pulled the trigger, completely disregarding the gunfire and smoke. Regardless of the accuracy of her aim, just this posture alone was already absolutely efficient.
Can it be, in addition to learning new knowledge, Anna is just as highly talented in other areas? Roland thought to himself, secretly surprised, even though these are black gunpowder bullets, this is still a large caliber revolver with a strong recoil. So how it is possible for her arms to remain so stable, and how is she able to shoot continuously?
Stepping behind her, full of curiosity, he saw two black flames sticking against the handle of the gun and holding it firmly in the air, while Anna was only keeping a virtual grasping position not even touching the real revolver. After he pat her on the shoulders, he saw her taking out two black flames from her ears as she turned around. She gave him a ’come and praise me’ expression and said, “How about it? I always hit the target!”
Roland didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. But since he didn’t have any better options he loudly declared: "Everyone, no one is allowed to use their ability to assist you with the practice!"
"So that you won’t get flustered, in case you meet an enemy carrying a God’s Stone of Retaliation," Rolland explained. He sighed and reached with his hands to help plug Anna’s ears. "Like this, you won’t be afraid, alright?"
"Yes," Anna’s eyes were brimming with happiness. She turned around, changed the bullets, lifted the gun and aimed.
"Maggie quickly come over here, I also need someone to block my ears," Lightning shouted, full of envy.
"Goo?” The latter pointed at herself, the gun still in her hands.
"You cannot shoot the gun after turning into a bird anyway," the little girl said with a wink, "You help me first, and I'll help you cover your ears later.”
The other witches in the castle were also attracted by the successive sounds of gunfire, gradually, they all gathered at the castle’s front courtyard. Many of them looking eager to also have a go. At the end of the day, almost everyone had come up to experience how to use a revolver for themselves.
Roland’s heart was deeply moved as he looked upon this diverse group of women all in high spirit as they fired the weapons they were holding.
Even now, he could still remember the appearance of each witch when he met them for the first time.
Previously, Anna’s hands and feet were thin and weak, just like bamboo poles, her eyes had lost all signs of life, and always had a monotonous expression.
The area between Nightingale’s eyebrows always contained traces of stormy clouds. Her smiling expression also had nothing to do with her mood; in other words, its only use was to cover the true state of her mind, so there was always a false smile which was hanging at the corner of her lips.
And Wendy, usually speaking in a low voice, was unable to conceal her exhaustion. Leaves, someone who had thrown away all thoughts of a healthy future and accepted all the misfortunes decreed upon her by fate; and Lily, like a cat, ever on guard.
Furthermore, there was Lightning, Mystery moon, Hummingbird, Scroll, and so on...
After experiencing being oppressed, being framed, and being hunted, they were already lucky to be able to survive. As for where they were supposed to go. They absolutely had no time to ponder over that. Nowadays however, they were already completely differently from how they’d been in the past.
The witches were now emitting a unique charm, their eyes were flashing with rays of intelligence. They no longer seemed unsure about their fate – in addition to being able to live, they now had some effort to spare pursuing some other things, something that was just as beautiful as life itself.
And whenever he came face to face with one of the witches, their eyes would be filled with gratefulness and trust, making Roland’s heart feel as if it was filled with strength.
After lunch, and in the afternoon, it was time for the specially developed high-altitude throwing exercise in preparation for the "Autumn offensive". The number of witches participating in the exercise had been reduced to half, leaving only Anna, Wendy and Lightning.
This was also the minimum amount of people required to complete the air raid.
Setting the attack time at the beginning of the second month of autumn was what he came up with after some careful deliberations. If the time was too short, they would be unable to carry out the mission safely; and if they took too long, Roland feared they wouldn’t be able to stop Timothy from attacking again. As long as he decided to launch a large-scale attack on the Western Region and forcefully fed the recruited civilians with the pills, the air raid wouldn’t be able to achieve its desired effect.
Therefore, the autumn offensive had to be completed before Timothy could complete the recruitment.
To realize his "promise", Roland planned to drop a 250-kilogram bomb at the top of the castle. That bomb, which was about five times Nightingales’ weight, would be dropped from a height of two kilometers, directly smash through the dome of the palace, then detonate inside.
As the hot air balloon slowly lifted off, it also took a basket that was transporting a solid imitation of the bomb into the sky – as Roland was riding in the basket, the solid iron projectile was a number smaller, probably only around four times Nightingales’ weight. However, its shape was completely the same as the aviation bomb they would be using in the future. It had a streamlined form, with a thin front and a thick rear, together with stable tail wings and a speed reducing parasol. It would ensure that it remained perpendicular to the ground, and that it would control its maximum speed.
The basket they would throw the bomb from had been especially remodeled. They set up an iron trestle so that the projectile could stand upright in the middle of the basket with one-half of it hanging out of the bottom. So as long as someone pulled the valve, the hook would loosen and the bomb would separate from the basket to fall straight down.
With the rising height, Border Town soon became as large as a fingernail, while the Redwater River had turned into a bright silver band.
"This is the first time I’ve been at such a high place," Wendy said, as she looked out of the observation window. "It seems as if the whole Western Territory has become small."
"That’s because it is indeed very small," Rolland said, and lightly chuckled. "Look at the wilderness in the North, that’s the place where we should be going to later.”
"Do you want to go even higher? I already can’t see the target," Lightning shouted from outside the basket.
"It is more or less right," he nodded toward Anna, then gave the little girl the ready signal.
Although it was impossible to determine how far away they were from the ground in the end, it was more than a thousand meter – this was an attack altitude that could be described as being entirely safe, while the enemy would also be unable to see the hot air balloon.
However, a distance of more than a thousand meters of empty air meant that the place the projectile hit in the end would depend entirely on fate. If they wanted to hit the target accurately, the bomb needed to have a guidance system.
And it was the little girl, Lightning, who would take over this task.
"Release the bomb," Roland commanded.
Wendy pulled a valve, the bomb was released and a stream of wind immediately came pouring into the basket. Anna used the cover plate, which had long since been prepared, to seal the dropping hole, then tightened the handle – they had repeatedly practiced this processes while they were on land, which meant that the two women were already very familiar with it.
"Can she hit the target?" Wendy asked while looking through the window.
"We will only know the answer after landing," Roland said and shrugged.
As the bomb fell, Lightning would drop at the same speed as the bomb while applying a horizontal force against it. In this way she could freely change its trajectory and turn it into a guided missile. By the time it closed in on the target, Lightning would pull on the mechanism at the tail end to separate the parachute from the missile. At the last hundreds meters, the bomb should then gather enough kinetic energy to break through the palace roof.
As a result, the height of the drop-off would be sufficient while the precise control on hitting the impact point would also be guaranteed.
All they now had to do was unceasingly keep on practicing this routine, nothing more.
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