Chapter 33 Gunpowder
Not even a quarter hour rest later, Iron Axe clapped his hands and shouted, “Everyone stand up, His Highness, the 4th Prince is coming.”
Van’er soon returned to his place, due to the special training he had before. He had learned to follow orders almost subconsciously, so he took his pike dummy and assumed the ready position for stabbing with his wooden staff.
The Prince and his followers were walking behind them on the wall. Van’er noticed from the corner of his eyes that the prince had slowed down his steps when he was near Van’er.
Roland sighed silently, the sayings ‘a late evening will destroy the morning’, and ‘to get up too early will ruin the whole day’ were really true. Just when he had finished processing the aftermath of the raid on the castle, he was reminded that he had to inspect the militia’s training results. Roland pitied himself. He hadn’t slept the whole night, so now he was sleepy the whole day. But he had to come, since now the team had been transferred to the stage of combat training, and he, as the highest commanding officer, if he didn’t show himself for a long time, the morale of his team would become unsteady.
Well… What would someone usually say when reviewing the team? Roland thought for a bit, ‘Are we only comrades only during good times or are we also comrades during hardships’? If he did not get an answer after shouting this slogan, the whole atmosphere would be very awkward. Maybe it would be better to just pull someone aside and talk with him, asking him for his impression and earning a good reputation.
So he begun to implement his new plan, and patted a young man who looked fairly sturdy on the shoulders.
“Is the training to hard and do you feel tired? Is eating three meals a day enough?”
Based on his past experiences of watching the news, his response to his questions should be a loud shout, “Not tired, and very good!”
But the result was completely different than what he expected. The man turned directly towards him and went down on one knee, which really shocked Roland.
Van’er felt that he had been blessed, His Royal Highness the Prince actually cared for him and even cordially asked him if he was tired from the training! When talking about the royal family or even only ordinary nobles, they were usually all reluctant to speak a word with their soldiers. He unconsciously imitated a knight’s salute to honor His Royal Highness. Regardless if this ritual was appropriate for him, he only had one thought: later when he returned to the streets, he could be considered a new person.
When he was asked to stand up, his brain was still a mess, so he couldn’t even remember what he had answered.
In the end, His Royal Highness had asked all of them. If someone had any comments or suggestions about the training, he would step forward. Suddenly Van’er’s mind was completely clear once again – this was a good opportunity! If his thoughts were true and His Highness’ militia had to guard the walls alone, they couldn’t afford the heavy responsibility. Maybe my worries of running away or staying are unnecessary, right?
He carefully thought about how to phrase the sentence, “Your Honor… Your respected Highness, the current numbers of the militia is too small. If we line up in the same way that we have trained during training, when the demonic beasts strike, we will only be able to defend one-third of the whole wall and won’t survive… “
Even if the prince began to recruit several groups of militia now, Van’er was afraid that the training time wouldn’t be enough. In addition, the weapons used by these people would also be a big expenditure, it was already difficult to supply for the 100 soldiers in the time left.
Even now they were still holding their wooden staffs to train.
If His Royal Highness Prince could also realize this point, maybe he would recruit a group of mercenaries from other towns as their main defense. At least they would not need training and could be directly sent on to the battlefield, and they were already carrying weapons and armor, but the price to hire them was relatively high.
Roland thought for a moment, nodded and said, “Yes, you’re right, with our current militia force to guard the whole city wall, isn’t very realistic.”
Van’er felt very delighted, His Highness actually… agreed with his view?
But he did not expect the next words the prince said, “Demonic Beasts are in a sense only a variant of normal beasts, they don’t become more intelligent, right?”
“Yes, Your Highness, their base forms are only ordinary animals, so the demonic beasts are still the same, even their habits are basically the same as they were before the change… but I have not seen many of them, so I’m not sure that this is true for all of them.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear. Although there are nearly six hundred feet between the Shishui River and the foot of the Northern Mountain Slope, we could lure them to attack a specific area which we prepared beforehand.”
“You mean by using traps?” asked Iron Axe.
“Yes we could use traps, but not the kind commonly used by hunters. Common traps are used to capture prey by camouflage, but I intend to do the opposite. We will set up roadblocks in the direction away from the city walls, such as fences, slopes, and ditches, forcing these mindless demonic beasts to walk around them. Continuous barriers will guide the prey to a designated place, at which we will place our main defense.” when Roland came to this point he directly looked at Iron Axe,” As for how to lure these monsters, I think nobody knows more about it than you. “
After a short moment, Iron Axe answered, “It’s no problem to guide them, the wolves have hydrophobia, the wild boars have photophobia, and the other demonic beasts also have their own fears. But Your Highness, this way we would need to face all the evil beasts at one small point, will that not be too dangerous? “
“If we only rely on pikes and bows, that would be true.” Roland took a deep breath and said confidently, “But now we have a new weapon!”
When it was time for the prince’s departure, he once again came to Van’er, “Your observations were very good, what’s your name?”
“Va-Van’er, Your Highness.”
“I will propose for you to be a vice captain for one of the teams to my chief knight, Mr. Van’er, I’m very satisfied, good work.”
Next to the house for the production of cement, Roland built a new house. It was for the production of snow powder – or more precisely, gunpowder.
It only had one big room which had an area of three hundred square meters and only one entrance. He also implemented the most stringent security regime. Two knights were always guarding the door, and anyone who wanted to enter were required to register first and go through body search, looking for something which could light a fire. Indoors. any source of fire was prohibited, so it was only possible to work during the day. In order to even prevent Nightingale from sneaking into the room, he hung up a cotton curtain above the door.
“This is what you called the new weapon?” Carter was summoned to take a look at the new invention, he took the powder in his hand and took a sniff, “This is not snow powder, right?”
Perhaps Iron Axe didn’t know what snow powder looked like, but Carter had often participated in royal ceremonies, so he naturally knew how snow powder looked. It was the alchemic workshop’s finest creation. The recipe was a secret to outsiders, but if the prince desired to know it, he would certainly be able to get it.
“It’s snow powder, but not entirely,” said Roland, “It’s the alchemic workshop’s last product improvement, I call it gunpowder.”
Gunpowder can be described as a product that was perfect for mass production. It didn’t need any exotic materials. As long as you had charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter and mixed them at a ratio of 1:1:7.5 it could be produced without any technical barriers.
In this time period, snow powder was mixed into a ratio of 3:1:1 and it also sometimes contained some strange materials (such as mercury, butter, honey, etc.) which were sometimes mixed into it at a 2% ratio, but with the result of slower combustion and less gas release this held no advantage for the gunpowder. However, Roland knew that the alchemist would constantly test other ratios, and he predicted that they would only need 30 years until a recipe close to the original gunpowder’s recipe would appear.
In the history of Roland’s former world, gunpowder was invented a long time before the production of the first cold weapon. The reason for this was because the recipe and the corresponding weapon manufacturing process didn’t work in unison.
However, what many people ignored was the fact that one did not need to rely on guns, the gunpowder itself was a very formidable weapon.