Chapter 231 “reinforcements” (part one)
Everything inside the tunnel was once again sealed up by Du Wei, but those bodies….. The metallic bones that were nauseating to the touch ended up being removed from the place and was given to Gargamel for safe keeping.
“You are responsible for cleaning up these things … … Then we can closely examine what they are.”
After coming out of the secret tunnel, Gargamel then led Du Wei to the storage warehouse.
Ever since Anglia City was transformed into a colossal factory, the most important product that was being manufactured here is Solskjaer’s “gunpowder”.
This stuff is mainly extracted through the refinement of the Fire Phosphorus Grass. Currently, Du Wei specifically set aside a portion of the city to grow this ingredient and as luck would have it, this plant had a very strong life force, thus making it easy to grow and harvest especially in this dry and arid landscape known as the Northwest.
Under Du Wei’s request, Solskjaer separated the refining process of the Fire Phosphorus Grass into multiple procedures. This way, not only is the efficiency increased, the slaves in charge of actually working the factory will have no idea what they were actually making. Unless by some odd chance someone can piece together all the different steps, which is unlikely, his secret won’t be leaked like this.
As for the storage warehouse, it is buried deep underground because something like gunpowder is extremely dangerous, especially when there’s large volumes of highly refined explosive materials mashed together in one place. Adding in the fact that the gunpowder in this world is way more potemt than the stuff Du Wei knew of in his previous world, he absolutely doesn’t want any incident of a spark going off anywhere near this stuff. If a disaster does occur, at least there will be some sort of cushion in-between those above ground and the main blast.
Pushing open the warehouse door, what welcomed our somewhat nervous looking Du Wei are numerous jars of pottery littered across the room. These blackened jars were very humble in their making, but he didn’t care about this. What he did care about is the stuff inside.
If an accidental spark were to get in here and ignite several tons of gunpowder, Du Wei can forget about leaving here alive because even a grand mage would be incinerated to dust from the massive explosion.
“As per your request, I made the fuse wire.” Gargamel opens up a box in the corner: “I tested it many times and found that the vine from the Fall Flower is more suitable for this objective. Unlike the cotton thread you asked me to use, this stuff won’t easily get dampened by mmoisture and can still light up even if you dunk it in water.”
Gargamel laughs: “I can already imagine it when we toss one of these jars with the fuse lit against the enemy camp. What a scene it will be!”
But then Gargamel follows up with a frown: “It’s just, how far can we throw this stuff? Unless we use a muscle man, we won’t be able to throw it very far. We could also use slings but those aren’t very stable. If an accident occurs during the launching process, we might end up killing our own men!”
Du Wei smiles: “Why must we throw and not drop it from the sky?”
After a pause, he looked towards the stacks of jars that were nearly up to the ceiling: “Let me see the flying brooms.”
Flying brooms are currently the most expensive item being manufactured in Anglia City because this invention created by Old Alley may have been revolutionary for its age….. But it also inherited the crazy characteristic of its inventor: It’s impractical!
Simply said, every time this old cahoot invents something, the resulting product is often more expensive than the original item it was meant to replace.
This includes the Flying Brooms.
Although this type of Flying Broom doesn’t need the help of energy crystals to power it….. This point alone is a landmark achievement, but the problem doesn’t lie there, it’s in the broom itself!
Unlike a normal broom that can be made using any old branch, the Flying Broom can only be made using a 50 year branch from the walnut tree. Everyone on the Roland continent knows that the walnut tree is a very rare tree…. Maybe it’s some kind of underlying biological rule at play here. Unlike the world from his past life where walnut trees were abundant, just one alone in this world is extremely hard to cultivate.
Walnut trees, especially ones that are 50-years old, are the next best thing to store magic energies besides an actual magic crystal. For this reason, the majority of this stuff on the market is mainly used to craft high quality wands/staffs. Even for some of the richest wizards out there, not many could actually afford a genuine walnut tree in the 50 years range!
What’s more, the walnut tree branch used in the making of the Flying Broom is not ordinary even by their standard. According to Old Alley’s blueprint, his invention utilizes a synthetic version of this wood through the technique known as grafting…. Grafting is quite common in his past life, but in this world, it’s quite rare to find someone doing this.
Through grafting, Old Alley managed to come up with a new variance in the walnut tree family and it is through this old coot that Du Wei managed to secure several saplings.
Also for the same reason, Du Wei was able to notice a genius like Cosette. Through their conversations about the cultivation methods of the walnut tree, Du Wei was able to realize how much of a genius this big headed guy was despite the fact that none in the magic union appreciated his theories.
It’s not like he can snag someone like Old Alley out of the magic union, as such, his next best option can only be Cosette.
From this point of view, this big headed genius is worth his weight in gold and more!
The cultivation of this walnut tree variety gave Cosette quite the headache because just the survival of the saplings is a huge dilemma….. Even with the water from the “Spring of Aging”, nine out of ten times the plant would end up withering away before it can reach maturity. It can be said that Cosette is the biggest black hole in terms of consumption of the spring’s water.
In another storage warehouses, Gargamel lowered the defense barrier surrounding this place and then gingerly opened the door for Du Wei to enter.
“This stuff really is grown using the aging water! If measured at market price, then … … Each broom, just based on the fact that it’s a mutated variance of the walnut tree, is at least worth more than 100,000 gold coins! Hell … … Why did you make so many brooms? It’s far cheaper to make flying capes instead.”
Du Wei smiles as he spoke his next words in an understating tone: “The initial process in developing a new technology is always expensive….. But it should be better now, is it not?”
Only after staying silent for a good while did Gargamel finally agree with Du Wei: “You are right. Cultivating this plant at the beginning was a big headache. However, after many tests, we finally found a delicate balance. From then on, the efficiency became much higher and the cost became much lower.”
“As a result, the cost of producing a broom on average is lower than making a flying cape.” Du Wei sighed.
In the room, the walls were aligned with lines of nice shelves and hanging off these shelves were piles of….. Brooms.
Not only did these walnut tree branches emanate a faint light due to their dark red hue, each broom handle was smooth and fine to the touch. In addition they were engraved with the magic patterns pertaining to the wind base attribute.
“These wind based magic drawings were designed by me personally. After I gave the outline to the craftsmen, I had them carve the symbols onto the handles. Don’t worry, the craftsman only had the handle to the work with, they won’t know it’s a broom.”
Lastly, Gargamel pulled a parchment paper out from his robe and handed it over to Du Wei.
“This is the data for the final test of these products. Both Solskjaer and Cosette tested these brooms and it was quite good. However, that Solskjaer is a dummy. His brain may be quite clever, but he’s too clumsy and nearly broke his neck…… This stuff is easy to handle. If one knows how to ride a horse, they will know how to fly a broom.”
Looking over the final results in his hand, Du Wei was very satisfied by what he read. Due to the limitation of material and the limited supply of the water of aging, the first batch only yielded a total of 50 brooms. According to the flight test data, the user only needs to keep his hand on the six pointed star symbol inscribed on the handle and inject a small amount of magic to active the function.
Currently, the Flying Broom is capable of carrying two adult males at once. In terms of speed, it is about double the speed of a fast horse on ground. As for flying time, it will depend entirely on the user’s own magic talent.
“If that Solskjaer can keep it up for a meal’s time then that’s more than enough.”
Remember, Solskjaer’s true strength is only at the magic apprentice level.
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