Chapter 183 The Township Construction Plan
“What is this?” Nightingale asked while looking at the black, shiny stone on the table.
“Obsidian.” Roland didn’t even raise his head a bit, entirely busy concentrating on drawing the blueprint.
“Ob… what kind of stone?”
“No, I was just speaking nonsense.” He sighed, slightly looking upwards at the shape and color of the stone, only the ghosts will know what this is, ah. After all, he wasn’t a geological engineer, even if he had a pure metal right in front of him, it still wasn’t guaranteed that he could distinguish it, even less by what the ore looked like.
The knowledge he had in his head only told him that most of the ores were a complex composition of compounds; different impurities gave them different colors. For example iron ore could be composed out of: hematite, pyrite, and siderite, which when looking only at by using their outer appearance, seemed to be thousands of miles apart.
Especially pyrite, which would sometimes show a light yellow metallic luster, leading to the situation where it is often identified as gold, giving it the nickname, fool’s gold.
As for their heat-resistant… the compounds themselves didn’t have a fixed melting point, this was related to its impurities and its ingredients, so by using temperature alone, it still wasn’t possible to distinguish between all the different varieties. Furthermore, even if the metal elements existed in their ion state, as long as he didn’t know its purification method, the smelting would be useless.
“There actually exists something you do not know about?” Nightingale asked in astonishment.
“There are a lot of such things,” Roland put down his quill and made himself a cup of black tea, “do you want to drink something?”
“No,” she waved her hand to decline. “Ah! That’s right, beef jerky isn’t as delicious as salted fish, it would be better if you put some salted fish into the drawer later.”
“…” For a moment Roland was silent, then he decided it would be for the best if he pretended not to have heard her.
Regarding the stone, he intended to give it to Kyle Sichi and let him deal with it. After all, minerals were radioactive to some extent, so placing them in his office just so they could serve as decoration wasn’t a very good choice.
Recently, after Soraya’s ability had evolved, he had suddenly discovered that there were a lot of new things he could now create.
The first of which would be a tap water system, which would greatly enhance the standard of living for the residents. Just thinking about what it would be like if he was one of the residents, who came home covered in sweat after a busy day: but when the they wanted to clean their sticky bodies and they happen to discover that the water tank was empty which meant they would have to go to the next well to fetch some water, this kind of feeling had to be bad.
Moreover, Roland was very tired of the process of always having to get a jar of water when he wanted to wash his face or wash his hands. In addition, he always got the feeling that there would be some parasites growing within the water after a few days spent inside the tank; not to mention that water tank was rarely ever cleaned even once each month. And when he took a closer look, over the sediment at the bottom of the water tank he could also see some caterpillars like creatures flowing.
In case they used a water tower for their water supply, there would be no additional technical difficulties. They could just use a steam engine to pump the water from Redwater River directly into the water tower, and from their they could rely on the siphon principle to let the water flow through the pipelines and into each house, with this they would have formed an infrastructure for an automatic water supply system. The reason why Roland hadn’t put it into practice until now was because… of the missing materials.
If they used water supply pipes made out of iron or copper, which didn’t have any anti-rust treatment, the pipes would be turned into scrap iron within a few years. Brass pipes were perfect for water supply pipes, they were corrosion-resistant, and their internal walls wouldn’t also become encrusted, they were non-toxic, and with their copper ions, they would also be sterile. But from which area should he take the money to produce these pipes? The output of the North Slope Mine was far from being sufficient to be used for luxury products. Even within later generations, high-grade copper water pipes were still considered as products only used within high-end residential areas.
At present Border Town was not only unable to export ore. They were even reliant on external sources to satisfy their demand. So, whether it were iron pipes or copper pipes, Roland was very reluctant to use them for something which didn’t give much benefit but was purely for his own enjoyment from getting a water supply system.
But now it was different, with Soraya’s coating magic he could make the piping out of thin air. With her magic, they could easily manufacture water pipes, for example by taking an iron pipe as a mold, wrapping it in paper and then have Soraya cover it in her coating. Afterward, they only had to take out the mold and they would get their pipe. Even if these kind of water pipes didn’t turn out to be pressure-resistant, it would be sufficient as long as the water pipes were placed in a covered ditch.
Second, would be the creation of a power supply system… He was afraid that there was no way to spread it over the whole town within a short time, but to let the castle shine in full light had always been something that Roland had wanted to achieve. Having to read books using the weak lighting of a candle wasn’t only too painful for the eyes, it also caused them great harm. Furthermore, the summer was coming up soon with its hot temperatures even during the nights. If they then also had to put on candles and torches, what kind of atmosphere would it then be?
Nowadays, with generators and wires, the road wasn’t too far before the castle could enter the electrical age ahead of its time. As for the filaments for the lamps… Roland vaguely remembered that the usage of tungsten-wire carbonized-bamboo filaments were commonly used to produce incandescent. And bamboo wasn’t a rarity, in the forest south of the Redwater River there were a lot to be found.
However, what Border Town currently needed most were smelting facilities. The quantity of their iron production was directly related to the scale of their mechanical production and weapons manufacturing, which were both needed for the survival of the town.
“Are you painting a… tower?” Nightingale sat at the table and asked curiously.
“Almost,” Roland nodded, “but it is inside is empty and it can be filled with fuel and ore. It has the same function as a shaft furnace and can be used to smelt iron ore into pig iron.
This was upgraded version of the ancient blast furnace, a vertical shaft furnace.
To learn about Lesya’s plan for a shaft furnace Roland had visited the construction site and had taken a look, to tell the truth, with the exception that its capacity was too small, and the temperature it could reach was too low, its structure had been very close to a blast furnace, and if Soraya hadn’t evolved her magic, giving the town the possibility to produce fire bricks, Roland had intended to build a dozen of such shaft furnaces.
But now, where they had refractory brick, they naturally should consider a furnace which could reach a higher temperature, and had a higher output than the blast furnace.
The height of the new shaft furnace was nearly eight meters, enough to have as much as four times the capacity than the old shaft furnace. The furnace was tower shaped, and its largest part was three meters wide. In order to prevent the tower from collapsing, he had installed some brackets at the bottom. The furnace walls were relatively thin, with a thickness of half a meter and the innermost layer would be made out of Soraya’s heat-resistant firebricks. At the same time, it also had a ventilation hole through which a steam engine would continually provide fresh air.
In order to make full use of the power of the steam engine, Roland had also designed a set of automatic feeding equipment for the blast furnace, which included a climbing rail and a movable door at the bottom of a unique material cart.
With the help of a steam engine the cart would climb to the top of the furnace, there the buckle at the bottom of the car would insert itself into a hook, pulling open the pouring mouth and dumping the fuel or ore into the furnace. For this era, this system could be regarded as the best possible method.
Unlike the old shaft furnaces with their large openings and low heat, his new furnace, once it started production wouldn’t stop for a long time. Though they would have to continuously feed it with fuel and ore, its output would be much higher than that of Lesya’s shaft furnace. As long as they construction five or six of these furnaces the town’s pig iron production would be multiplied.
When Roland finished drawing all the blueprints, he rubbed his sore wrists and then took a box out of ones of the table’s drawers and pushed it to in front of Nightingale.
The startled Nightingale didn’t know what to expect, “This is…”
“Ah… I had intended to give it to you at an early time, but engraving the pattern took some time, after all, I’m also not extremely skilled with the machines in the factory,” Roland smiled, “You should open it and take a look.”
On his words, she stretched out her hand to open the box, and was unable to suppress a gasp of surprise.
Looking inside she saw two revolvers which were completely different from the prototypes used by Carter. The two pistols were made out of shiny silver and polished so much that she could see her own reflection within. Furthermore, its body and grip were engraved with delicate patterns, on top of the barrels he had even engraved Nightingales name: “dedicated to Veronica.”
This idea had already been in Roland’s mind for a long time. Compared to carrying around those inconvenience flintlocks from before, the newly developed revolver was quite perfect for her. Whether it was their security or their firing rate, it was all of a high level. And now, after giving such powerful weapons to the hands of an agility type like Nightingale, Roland was already looking forward to the results.
“Thank you,” with a big smile on her face she picked up the two pistols, jumped off the table, and directly stepped into the shooting position. “Will you teach me how to use them?”
“Of course,” Roland nodded, seeing Nightingale in her white assassin outfit coupled with a gorgeous and dazzling smile, made him instantly understand what it meant to be handsome to the point of having no friends, “Using them isn’t difficult, as long as you are able to sneak at the target side, you only have to pull the trigger and shout : ‘it’s high noon’.”