Chapter 205 Microscopes
After Timothy’s armed forces had been repulsed, Border Town became calm once again.
Roland selected three people from the City Hall’s Ministry of Education and added another two teachers to form a team, which he then sent, together with some of Soraya’s books to Longsong Stronghold. No matter how much effect they could achieve, he finally took the first step for the assimilation of the stronghold.
Petrov, although he did not excel at commanding a battle, his performance in administration was outstanding. In just one week, two thousand recruited road-workers, escorted by cavalrymen, came to Border Town one after the other. If not for the second batch of ten blast furnaces he’d already put into production, Roland would also never have dared to make the firm resolution to establish a hard road between the two locations. But now, he finally had the opportunity to extravagantly spent a lot of money.
Roland named the road the ‘Kingdom Main Street’, and Karl, the Head of the Ministry of Construction, was fully responsible for its construction. Its structure and the streets’ in the town were exactly the same; a cement-stabilized gravel layer. During this era, where there existed no heavy vehicles, this kind of pavement was already sufficient to undertake every transportation tasks. Moreover, with a good drainage performance, if the circumstances ever demanded, later on, an concrete or even a asphalt pavement could always be added.
To always have enough construction material, four steam-driven milling machine replaced the labor-power that was required to crush the stones, producing dozens of tons of gravel and material each day. It was the too small transportation capacity, which hindered the further rise of the output, so many stones needed hundreds of people to send the stones with carriages to the construction site during the day. For the later generation of roads, one single muck car would have been enough to complete the whole shipment.
With the exception of the four furnaces which maintained the clay brick firing, the rest of the blast furnaces had been put into the production of cement powder. After going through repeated component tests, as well as making sure that the mine provided enough iron powder, Border Town’s cement production, whether it be its quality or quantity, they were both far better than the original batches.
However, the mass transport of gravel and cement powder also brought a large negative impact to the town, of which the most severe problem was the dust. Until the afternoon, there had only been little wind, so that a dense cloud of dust could be seen flying in the sky, turning the street into a light yellow. Although most of the town people did not mind such a situation, for Roland, there was nothing worse than having to shut all of the doors and windows during the hot summer.
Therefore, the carriages for transporting the cement powder and gravel had been fitted with a cover plate as quickly as possible, to reduce the dispersion during the transportation. At the same time, he also used it as a chance to promote Leaves’ ability. Within a few days, the inside of the town was covered with shade providing trees, they were symmetrical parasol trees, which Leaves had grown one branch of after another, creating the impression that the scenery appeared to be full of green for as far as the eye could see. With Roland’s additional appeal to all of the people, that they should take the initiative and sprinkle water over the dust, the situation had quickly been improved.
The straight distance between the two places was less than 70 kilometers, but considering that the road had to avoid the extensions of the Impassable Mountain Range, the total length of the road would be around 100 kilometers and its expected construction duration would be one year. With roads of such excellent quality, some modern kinds of vehicles could also come in handy, such as bicycles and steam powered cars.
In his vision for the future, the development of education and the upgrading of the road were necessary steps to fuse the two cities together. Just like the cities of the later generations would energetically carry out urban integration. After the land between these two places was fully opened up, Border Town and Longsong Stronghold would slowly merge into one huge city. And in case he could even integrate the southern hill into the city, he could then open up a path through the edge of the mountains, and even get an outgoing sea port for himself.
Of course, being able to develop so much land would require an even larger population. And in response to the possibility of future wars, the city would need to be self-sufficient with its food production, while also providing a significant number of workers for the industrial production.From his preliminary calculations, he would need around one hundred thousand residents, while Graycastle’s largest city, King’s City, had only around twenty to thirty thousand people.
When thinking about this issue, Roland remembered that the North and South of the Kingdom of Graycastle, are both places that have recently experienced a war. So, when the winter comes, it is likely that there will be a large number of refugees coming who would be deprived of food and clothing. By offering them food and a warm shelter they can all be absorbed into Border Town.
Furthermore, I also have to take into consideration that there should also be many refugees within the Kingdom of Endless Winter and the Wolfsheart Kingdom. For that reason, it would be better to write Margaret a letter and ask her to help me to find out how the situation is within those two countries.
After he had finished to writing down the recent development program, the Prince folded the paper and placed it into the drawer. Afterward, he stretched out his tensed-up body and decided to go to Anna’s room to take a look at how much progress she had made with creating a lens.
Ever since he learned about the reasons for Soraya’s magical evolution, he was intent on making a microscope, which would allow the witches to observe the structure of cells.
If they could examine the unusual microscopic world with their own eyes, it might lead even more witches to evolve a new ability, the worst case being, he will at least arouse their interest in learning about it.
For the production of microscopes, creating the convex lens responsible for enlarging the object wasn’t difficult, the difficulty part laid in the problem that the focal length was differently for every hand-polished lens, therefore matching the eyepiece to the objective was a delicate operation, needing to adjust the distance between the two lenses repeatedly.
He had described the principle behind the convex lens only once, and then given Anna a few pieces of crystals that had a fine quality letting her cut the lenses and measure their focal length. Now, after three days, Roland’s heart was full of curiosity at to what extent Anna had been able to realize it.
When he came to the door of Anna’s room, Nightingale sent him a smile, standing against the wall. She seemed to be saying that she wasn’t going to follow him in, since she had reduced her stealth time, Roland no longer had to guess her whereabouts. And whenever he and Anna wanted to be alone, she would always choose to stand at a distant location.
When he opened the door, he saw Anna sitting at the table, playing with a metal tube.
“How is it?” He asked, stepping forward.
The moment after the question left his lips, he became shocked. There on the table laid several instruments which resembled an actual microscope, coming very close to the sketches he had drawn for her.
“With the few test products I made according to your blueprints, I can indeed see a lot of details which are usually very difficult to discover,” she looked up, letting her slender bangs slide down from one side of her face. “I used it to look at paper, leaves and stagnant water, and found out that they look very different from their usual appearance.” Since their experience during the hot air balloon trip, when they had both been alone. Anna no longer used any titles, which also made him feel very more relaxed.
“How did you do it,” Roland exclaimed, “The sketch was only a rough outline.”
“The outline was enough,” Anna laughed. “You see, as long as the eyepiece and the objective lens are fixed at the appropriate distance, they can play the role of the amplifier. Afterward, they only needed to be fixed to an iron pipe, and with this, the microscope’s body is completed. As I was testing the magnification of the lens, I found out that the objective and observation target had to maintain a particular distance within which I could see a distinct image; whenever my hands shook the image would become blurred. From your diagram I could see that, you needed a frame to which to attach the lens to, and a platform, which could be moved up and down to get to the best distance to the object.” She paused. “But it is harder to figure out for what the bottom piece is, can you tell what it is for?”
Roland swept his eyes over the drawing and discovered that this issue was his own mistake. It was a mirror, which was used to increase the light falling onto the object, but during this era, they had yet to invent the mercury mirror. The typical aristocrat still used a bronze mirror or an iron mirror to arrange their appearance. While they had a glass frame that was covered with a thin silver layer within the Imperial Palace, to get a better reflection effect. Even without this mirror, as long as the sunlight was strong enough, the microscope could still be used.
After explaining the mirror in detail, he couldn’t help being amazed by Anna’s comprehension. Even by solely relying on a rough drawing of an outline, she had created a product which came close to the finished goods, something which would be absolutely impossible for him to have done.
Seeing that when Anna had bowed her head to examine a new lens, she was exposing her fair neck, Roland couldn’t stop from stepping forward, and wanting to kiss. But she merely placed her hand on his face and gently pushed him back, “Later, Your Royal Highness, I’m busy now. ”