Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > 291 The Notice

Meanwhile, in the palace of Graycastle, Timothy was sitting on the throne and holding his scepter, looking down at Rayleigh Chenies, his Chief Alchemist. Rayleigh was complacent and respectful.

"Do you know which formula the traitor Boer stole?" Timothy asked.

"Yes, Your Revered Majesty. It was the last snow powder recipe that was invented by alchemist workshop. Please allow me to demonstrate." Rayleigh bowed deeply.

After the new king had given him permission, Rayleigh waved to his apprentices in the back, indicating to set up for the test. Two of his students walked forward holding leather bags. Rayleigh laid some white paper out on the floor. He dumped the snow powder, from each bag, onto the paper and divided them into two fine lines. One was a light gray, while the other was much darker and closer to the color of gray charcoal.

"Your Majesty, please pay close attention. The pale powder is the first and original snow powder, while this darker one is a newer, more recent invention." Rayleigh pulled out a fire-lighting stone and lit-up both of the powders on the paper. The pale powder burned slowly and produced a thick smoke, while the darker one was almost incinerated instantly, burning the paper beneath it.

"What does that mean?" Timothy said with a frown, "Burning a piece of paper doesn't show me that it'll overcome my dear sister's weapon."

"Of course not, My Revered Majesty." Rayleigh smiled while stroking his beard. "Forgive me for asking this, but did you notice the smoke that was being emitted by the burning powder? It has a unique feature where the quicker the powder burns the more smoke it produces, making the powder rather formidable. I can prove it with this next test."

This time, the apprentices brought forth two parchment bags tightly wrapped around fist-sized balls of the snow powders. Each one had a long string and the students ignited them before covering the bags balls with copper bowls. They all stared at the sparks as the fire traveled along the wicks, nearing the bowls.

"Your Majesty, please be aware. The noise is going to be very loud, so make sure you cover your ears." Rayleigh suggested.

As soon as the Chief Alchemist had finished speaking these words, there was a loud bang and one copper bowl bounced up and turned over. The second was tossed high into the air, hitting the ceiling, and then bouncing a little, making a clear clashing sound as it made contact with the slate and granite.

"Damn it!" Timothy cursed silently while tightly clenching the scepter he had almost dropped. Unconsciously, he swallowed hard and complained in his heart. "Why didn't this old man warn him a little earlier?"

He repressed his rage and turned his attention to the second blown-up bowl that one of the students had brought over for him to inspect. "After all, that old man is the anchor of the Alchemist Workshop in the king's city and I need his help to develop alchemical weapons."

He found that the copper bowl had been totally disfigured, whose outer-edge had become twice as large as if something powerful had hit if from the inside.

"After repeated testing, we discovered that the gas emissions from being ignited unlock the power of the snow powder, and this is why I suspect Boer decided to take this particular formula," Rayleigh said this with confidence, "A dense ball, compressed and containing large amounts of snow powder would be powerful enough to rip their armor and men into pieces. I believe that the new snow powder formula will replace traditional weapons, such as swords, spears, bows, and arrows. Even a well-trained knight won't be able to defeat a civilian who's draped with bags of snow powder."

Timothy noticed that the comment had triggered some of the knights, their faces turning sullen. When he noticed Steelheart Knight Weimar was about to step forward in protest, he quickly used his scepter to knock the floor and shouted, "Silence!"

After everyone had bowed their heads acknowledging his command, he turned his eyes back to Rayleigh Chenies and then asked, "Was the formula taken by the traitor the new formula?"

"No, Your Majesty," Rayleigh shook his head and exclaimed scornfully, "He discovered the formula by accident when he was grinding it down to compound the snow powder. But, the storage, though small, of saltpeter is common in the alchemic workshop. However, what he took isn't large enough for him to conduct more tests. And, my snow powder, the best formula based on massive testing, is far more powerful than the occasional accidental invention."

"That's good." Timothy was relieved. He had known that Garcia had put a lot of spies in the King's City, but yet he didn't expect a spy to be hidden in the alchemist workshop. She had planned the traitorous theft involving Boer and 12 other apprentices. Generally speaking, alchemists were considered rare, but in the king's city, where more than 20 alchemists resided, so losing one alchemist wasn't a big deal. However, the tricky part was the fact this alchemist had made an extremely lethal snow powder just before leaving in the middle of the night before the formula had been recorded at the alchemist workshop.

Sadly, Timothy's secret agent was unable to intercept Boer and the fleeing group, but he was able to catch the diversion spy. As soon as he had the information, he immediately ordered the prime minister to purchase all of the saltpeter in the city, and required the alchemist workshop to rediscover Boer's snow powder formula. He was so pleased that this was accomplished in two months that the disrespectful old man didn't seem as nasty as he once was.

Timothy cleared his throat before saying. "Well done. You'll be granted 25 gold royals as a reward. Moreover, I'll open a workshop in the inner city area to massively produce this quick-burning snow powder. Meanwhile, you'll continue to do your research and discover any other applications for this snow powder." "And you'll be granted a title and land, but only if the snow powder is as powerful as you described, and allows a civilian to defeat a knight."

"Thank you, Your Majesty!"

After the chief alchemist had left, Knight Weimar could not help but step forward and say, "Your Highness, the snow powder may look scary, but it can't defeat a knight. You have already seen that it's only lethal when in very close proximity. Before a carrier could even get that close to me I can think of 10 different ways in which I could have already killed him. Even if they find a way to get near me, I can use the ignition time to slay him and then not even have to worry. What Rayleigh said is just the imagination of someone who has never witnessed a war."

"We also think this, Your Majesty. "The other knights chorused.

"That's why I order him to continue his research and find better applications," Timothy comforted them. "Like a shortened ignition time or possibly find a way so it could be tossed. Of course, whatever kind of weapon it is, I always believe that my knights are better than mere peasants."

However, what he had in mind was not exactly the same as what he was saying. The civilians, though they were indeed useless, weak, and cowardly, would become formidably lethal once they were weaponized with snow powder and under the control of the "madness" pills. At least, when sieging or attacking a shield formation, his army could breach the enemy's defense line using only a few of the mad militias. Dispatching them while they were draped in bags of snow powder would open a gap through which they can then approach the target.

Suddenly, there were hurried footsteps outside the door. A guard rushed hastily into the great Hall and dropped to one knee before saying. "Your Majesty, it seems that the militia you sent to the Western Region has been defeated. From what I've been told the remaining wounded have returned to the king's city, with a denouncement letter from Roland Wimbledon. Currently, the news is spreading quickly."

"What?" Timothy was shocked. "Make them keep their mouths shut and bring the remaining soldiers to the castle!"

In the courtyard of the castle, the wounded militias congregated. They looked lousy and shabby, begging while kneeling on the ground like lumps of mud. "Your Majesty please show mercy. Please allow us to have some more pills. I can't stand it anymore."

[You all are a group of waste and are useless for anything but annoying the enemy. Any food consumed to keep you alive will be a complete waste. How dare you ask me for more pills?] Looking at them coldly, Timothy asked in a low voice, "What happened? How did you come to lose the battle? Anyone who can tell me the details clearly will be granted the antidote."

Everyone shouted at once, "We were attacked on board and the fleet broke into chaos. Lord Knight commanded us to go ashore, but as soon as we reached the shoreline we were under a volley of crossbow bolts. The rain of arrows was so dense we couldn't even defend ourselves. Finally, Lord Knight surrendered, as did the rest us."

"Where's the Lord Knight who led your troop?" Timothy asked.

"I, I don't know, they escorted us to our camp, but no one has seen Lord Knight."

Timothy's frown deepened and his voice grew colder. "Then how did you make it back here?"

"Prince Roland released us." one of them answered quickly, "He gave everyone a letter, and told us to bring them to you."

"Every one of you?"

"Yes, I've got one here!"

"Your Majesty, I have the letter too!"

They scrambled and shouted, pulling out the 'letters' sent from Roland.

"Hell! He really gave this damn letter to everyone?" Timothy beckoned to the guard to hand over the letters and he found that each letter had the same passage.

"I'm sorry about your foolishness, Timothy Wimbledon. You'll soon understand how big of a mistake you've made by invading the Western Region repeatedly, and what you've done to us will be repaid. I've decided to march into the king's city at the beginning of the September, by then you'll find that you aren't as safe as you expected, and every civilian will notice that your throne is hanging by a thread."

"Roland Wimbledon."