840 Black Blood
Chapter 840: Black Blood
Translator: TransN Editor: Meh
After Roland returned to the castle, Roland still could not feel peace in his heart. As the saying goes, people would shed tears of delight. But in his view, Hero cried not only out of delight but it was also a way to pour out all her suppressed emotions after suffering years of unfair treatment, pain, and false accusations.
In other words, the fact the put on a tough look did not necessarily mean that she did not feel pains. It was rather a mask underneath she hid all her true feelings. It was not an unnormal reaction for a girl who had just come of age before the misfortunes had weighed upon her. She had done very well in being strong and hopeful.
The treatment turned out successfully, and she regained a pair of normal feet. After being unable to walk for such a long time, it might take a while for her to control her feet again. However, since she could feel her new feet after the treatment, her feet nerve must have been well connected with her spinal nerve. With rehabilitation, she would be able to walk again sooner or later.
This treatment had also helped Roland to further confirm Broken Sword's ability—to increase the witch's "magic power limit".
Every witch had her power limit. Take Hummingbird's ability for an example. There were limits to the volumes of the objects of which she reduced weights, the lasting power of her magic and the extent of weight reduction. Once she passed one of the limits, the consumption of her magic power would multiply. It was like a rising index which could not go far beyond its normal value. To think it in another way, Hummingbird was unable to turn a huge mountain into something as light as a feather, nor could maintain her power effective forever. It would probably require an unimaginable amount of magic power to achieve that.
The same applied to Nana. The magic power she needed to regrow the limbs was far beyond her magic power limit. That was why she could replant broken fingers but was unable to regrow limbs, not even with Leaf's help.
Broken Sword's ability helped increase such limits so that something that had been impossible became nearly possible. With Broken Sword's help, the witch did not have to consume a considerable amount of magic power at a time but they only needed to apply their ability several times.
From the drawer, Roland pulled out a stash of Wendy's reports that recorded the test results when Broken Sword worked with other witches and spread them on the desk.
The result showed that most witches' abilities sharply strengthened with the help of Broken Sword. The heightened limit enabled them to enhance the effectiveness of their work. For example, the Dawn I enchanted by Mystery Moon would work longer, from the previous five days to the current two weeks. The improvement was highly precious for Neverwinter, for the city was not in a position to generate electricity on a mass scale at present. After all, as the number of plants grew, the power supply for lighting was hitting a bottleneck.
Also, the consolidation effect enchanted by Candle could maintain longer with the Broken Sword's support, which was quite beneficial to the increase in service life of machine tools as well as the advancement the processing level. Now that so many green workers were sent to the plants, it was no surprise to see them break a dozen of boring cutters or several machines every day if Candle did not help.
In addition, Broken Sword also offered significant assistance to witches like Soraya, Agatha, Lucia, Paper, etc. who worked in the plants. Thanks to those witches, the industrial development in Neverwinter was still phenomenal even without a well-established regulatory agency and sufficient labors. Without the witches, there would be more accidents and breakdowns of the system due to the dangerous and primitive production methods. Now with Broken Sword joining in, the production process would be safer and more efficient.
Roland concluded his report with his prediction that Broken Sword would be one of the busiest witches in Neverwinter.
In the afternoon, his guard Sean entered his office.
"Your Majesty, the Minister of Chemical Industry, Sir Kyle, hopes you can pay a visit to Lab Four. He said that there has been some progress in what you asked for."
"Oh?" Rowland's eyes brightened. "Rearrange my schedule. I'll be there immediately."
"Yes, Your Majesty."
Roland, escorted by guards, arrived at Lab Four.
With the establishment of the acid plant and the nitration plant, the humble bungalows, which had been originally constructed as small workshops for both experiments and production, had become the veritable research center of Neverwinter. Now near the Redwater River, walls had been set up to separate the buildings. The research center was now guarded, equipped with a logistics team, and even the interior had been renovated. The outer wall of the building was repainted in a cream color, looking magnificent and grand.
Kyle Sichi did not show up at the gate of the building of Lab Four to greet Roland. Only the vice minister Chavez stood there, looking a little embarrassed, but Roland did not take it as an offense. He had known the Chief Alchemist a long time ago and was aware of what kind of person he was, so he just waved his hand and entered the building without a word.
Kyle was standing before a long lab table, his eyes glued to the liquid in the condenser pipe as it trickled down the beaker. The amber liquid was transparent, giving off an old and familiar smell. There were some more beakers around it, in which there were liquids of different shades of colors.
Roland could not help drawing a deep breath.
It had been a long time since he smelled the scent of gasoline.
Certainly, gasoline was an inappropriate name for this crude product that was definitely incomparable to the widely used fuel in the modern world, although they did have the same scent. Roland still had a long way to go before it became a steady energy supply.
"Your Majesty." The Chief Alchemist, who just noticed Roland, placed his hand on his chest. "You're right. The Blackwater in the Southernmost Region indeed contains many liquid components. I've done some experiments according to the approaches described in 'Intermediate Chemistry' and found out that the components could be separated through distillation, but..." He paused to point at the beakers on the table. "If the sample is further distilled, the composition of each component present little difference."
"That means you did it right," Roland said carelessly, for he knew that they were all hydrocarbons, and Lucia would obtain the same result if she did the experiment. "Did you dig out something else?"
"The components are all combustible, and the upper layer of the liquids obtained from the distillation are more volatile in nature, like this one..." Kyle picked up the beaker with the amber liquid and slightly shook it. "It's like an explosion when it's ignited! Your Majesty, are you planning to make a more powerful explosive out of it?"
Roland chuckled as he gazed at the animated old alchemist, who, in his opinion, had finally improved and become a real chemist, because now, he could associate combustible materials with explosives.
In fact, the Blackwater was sampled in Endless Cape.
From the very beginning, he suspected it was the eruption of oil wells that caused the so-called underground fire to burn constantly. Oil belonged to a big family. As oil was the lifeline of the modern industry and the essential material that had greatly influenced the World War, Roland had learned a lot about it. In fact, the difference between the oil sampled in the east and the west continents was so great, even greater than the skin colors of people in these two areas, that they could be considered as two entirely different liquids. The color of the oil varied dramatically, from golden, dark green to black, maroon, and even transparent. Some of the oil was as runny as water, while some thick and sticky; some could not be burned directly, while some highly inflammable...
In terms of their components, any mixture of hydrocarbons consisting of hydrogen and carbon could be taken as a kind of oil.
So, it was not strange to classify Blackwater as oil.
In other words, it did not matter whether Blackwater was similar to the oil in the modern world, as long as they could obtain combustible oil from it. After all, even people in the modern world had not been able to completely figure out where the oil came from, neither had they completed a thorough research on all the members of the oil family. Roland had heard people proclaim that oil would be used up in 50 years when he had been young, but it turned out that the reserves of the new oil fields discovered every year grew much faster than the consumption of the oil. Moreover, the summation of all the reserves of discovered oil fields had far exceeded the amount of the oil calculated based on the biotransformation hypothesis.