Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > 283 The Hydrogen Balloon Delivery

283 The Hydrogen Balloon Delivery

Margaret's Chamber of Commerce arrived at the pier of Border Town on the third day of autumn as according to the appointment.

The caravan regained its former scale this time with 10 sailing ships lined up and steadily anchored by the trestle.

"Your Respected Highness, Prince Roland, we meet again," Gammon, the merchant from Crescent Moon Bay bowed and said, "I heard Miss Margaret mentioned that the first steam-powered boat was completed?"

"That's true." Roland laughed. "However, it'll need three or four days' trial trip to verify the reliability of the power system in order to ensure the quality of the goods."

"I'm looking forward to it," Marleen said while clapping her hands, "we can definitely wait around here as it'll take as much time for the fleet to unload. Your Highness, may I visit the steam-powered boat during the trial?"

"Of course, it's a completely new boat. I'll have to show you how to operate it as it's totally different from the sailing ship. However, these are tomorrow's content according to the plan." Roland made a gesture telling them to follow him. "The most important thing now is to relax the tired body, I supposed you've not had your lunch yet? I've prepared a full feast in the castle hall."

"There'll always be a good meal to enjoy every time we come here." Margaret laughed. "I'm really hungry now as the wheat biscuits and jerky was as hard as stone and it was difficult to swallow."

There was no reliable preservation technique in this era, so most of the dry food was really hard and dry which reminded Roland about canning. Manufacturing a variety of delicious and convenient canned food was definitely the best option for long-distance travel and marine merchants after the completion of the light industrial development.

When the feast was over, Hogg patted his belly with gratification. "I almost swallowed my tongue while gulping down the mushroom soup. I can also taste the flavor of seafood, stewed chicken and pork bone at the same time. Your palace chef is superbly-skilled. "

"I prefer the dessert after the meal which was called ice-cream... right?" Margaret said, "I guess it's made of milk and honey before it was frozen into ice crystals with saltpeter."

"Some butter and egg white are added too in order to make it softer," Roland added. "May I know what the volume of saltpeter is this time?"

"There's still only one boat." The businesswoman shook her head. "The alchemist association is still buying up saltpeter, and the prime minister even sent the patrol team to help them sift through the niter plant. They're no different from the robbers who have the title of philosopher and even this boat of saltpeter was shipped from Redwater City."

"In this case, most of the goods delivered this month are washing stone?"

"That's right." Hogg drank up the white liquor in his glass and filled it up again himself. "However, it may be a little more as I remembered by heart that you personally said to get as much as possible last time. There're premium-quality iron ingots and lead ingots other than the washing stones, and not many cities needed them recently except you." He sighed. "And the mine operations are getting worse."

[t's the impact of the civil war,] Roland thought to himself, [the purchasing power is gradually declining everywhere. If it lasts for another two or three years, it'll basically lead to increasing food prices and starvation rate.]

"Oh yeah, what happened to the Western Region recently?" Margaret suddenly asked.

"What happened?"

"On the way to the town, the fleet came across a lot of... well." She paused for a moment as if she was considering how to put it. "A lot of floating corpses were floating on both sides of the river. There were some broken planks and ropes on the water other than the bodies, which looked like a boat wreck; however, there was no reef in the river, so I thought..."

"Hmm, they're Timothy's fleet that attacked the Western Region." Roland pretended to be angry and simply narrated the war a week ago. "They've received the punishment they deserve."

In order to avoid clogging the waterways and epidemic, Roland had arranged Anna and Lily to clean up the battlefield where one was responsible for burning the damaged ships and another was responsible for purifying the river. The dead bodies that Margaret saw were probably the bodies that were drifted far down the river before the battle ended.

"I see," the businesswoman smiled and said, "it seems that Timothy is going to hit the wall on both sides."

"Both sides?"

"And Garcia from Port of Clearwater. The latest news I heard was that it was Garcia's men who previously attacked the Eastern Region. The Blacksail Fleet didn't return to the harbor but went north along the coast after they robbed Seawindshire and Valencia, and no one knows where she eventually went."

"Went north..." Roland wondered. "Did she leave the Kingdom of Graycastle?"

"It looks like it now and Timothy's men went back empty-handed from Port of Clearwater as it's now an empty city." Margaret said, "It wasn't a secret in Black Street as he brought a lot of Rats there. Anyway, he may attack the Western Region more frequently as you're the only one left now. "

"You're always welcomed to the Crescent Moon Bay if you're thinking to leave the Kingdom of Graycastle as well," Marleen said.

"That's true," Gammon patted his chest and said, "the island there is enough to hold 10 Border Town and we're willing to offer it to you and your people for free."

[However, I'll have to surrender the technology of steam engine and paddle steamer, right?] Roland turned a blind eye in his heart. Tilly Wimbledon would be their first target to go for if the Kingdom of Graycastle was crumbling. However, Roland was simply smiling and said, "Yeah, I'll think about it if that day really comes."

"Oh yeah," he looked towards Margaret and said, "I've successfully made two detection balloons which you ordered last time."

"So fast?" The latter was surprised and said, "Can you please bring me to see?"

"Of course, follow me," Roland stood up and said.


There was a fully inflated hydrogen balloon in the extended castle backyard.

Its airbag was in a droplet shape and it was wide on the top and narrow at the bottom while the top diameter was five meters. It was made according to the size of the test target and it could take off with an adult man. The airbag and ropes were painted with the sky-like camouflage and it would minimize the scale of recognition with the matching camouflage reconnaissance clothing for the observers.

"It looks different from the balloon we took last time?" Margaret looked carefully at the new product.

"Because it can be used without a witch." Roland cleared his throat and began to introduce the method of using the detection balloon to the crowd. "There're moving valves at the end of the airbag that's used for inflating and deflating as it was exactly the alchemy filling that makes it fly. The inflating method is as simple as unscrewing both of the valves after the matching hose is connected to the gas tank." After that, he demonstrated the process of inflating and deflating to the crowd once.

"How many bottles of gas are required to fill a detection balloon?" Margaret quickly grabbed the main point.

"Five or six bottles..." This question made Roland a little embarrassed. "It'll not take more than seven bottles." The main reason was that it was difficult to control the concentration of diluted sulfuric acid to generate hydrogen in the bottle and it would be a waste of valuable manpower of the laboratory to purify the distilled sulfuric acid to 98% before diluting it.

"Is the alchemical gas very expensive?"

"Indeed. It's hard to keep and very dangerous... I mean under a careless operation." Roland coughed twice. "So, each of the tanks can only be stored for a year and no knocking, dismantling, or burning allowed; otherwise, it'll cause serious consequences." He paused. "The price is somewhat expensive. However, no worries as the first tank will be provided for free by Border Town on your first purchase of the detection balloon. You'll also receive an additional sky camouflage reconnaissance clothing."