Chapter 291 Advance Notice
Within the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Graycastle, Timothy was tightly grasping his scepter, while he looked at the Chief Alchemist Rayleigh Kenneth standing within the audience, showing such a pleased expression.
“Were you able to get a clue about the alchemy recipe taken by the deserters?”
“Sure! Your honored Majesty, this is the latest snow powder developed by the Alchemy Association. Please permit me to demonstrate it now.” Rayleigh said with a deep bow.
After receiving the new King’s approval, he waved in the direction of the crowd behind him, two disciples holding a bag in their hands immediately stepping forward. He spread two sheets of white paper over the ground, and poured out the snow powder within the bags on top, forming two separate lines. One of them was ash gray, while the other was much darker, being almost ashy black.
“Your Majesty, please take a look. The lighter one is the snow powder originally used during celebrations, while the darker one is the latest development, the fast igniting snow powder.” Rayleigh took out a flint, ignited the powder on top of the papers. The light snow powder merely began to burn slowly and emitted thick billowing smoke, while the dark colored one burned all the powder in one breath and also spread over to the white paper below.
“What does that mean?” Timothy asked with a deep frown, “The toy that my dear sister got, didn’t only burn a piece of paper!”
“Of course not, Your honored Majesty,” Rayleigh said, as a big smile began to spread over his whole face, “I do not know if you had noticed the amount of smoke it released when I ignited it. The faster the snow powder burns, the more smoke is released in a short period of time, and this is the cause of its extreme power. I will prove this with another experiment.”
This time it were two fist-sized parchment bags, which were wrapped up tightly. Each of the disciples ignited a thin rope which was put into the paper bag then covered each with a copper bowl. The sparks moved along the rope, gradually crawling into the copper bowls.
“Attention, Your Majesty, this time the sound will be louder, so please cover your ears.”
The chief alchemist’s voice had just faded as a loud bang ringed out. One copper bowl flipped upside down, while the other actually flew straight towards the ceiling, after falling back to the floor it still bounced several times on the granite slate, issuing a crisp sound every time.
Damn it! Timothy unconsciously swallowed, he had nearly let go of his scepter. Why didn’t this old fool mention it earlier!
One of the disciples gathered the second bowl and placed it back in front of the new King, whereas he suppressed his fury to the bottom of his heart and focused his attention on those bowls. This man was still the Chief Alchemist of King’s City Alchemy Workshop, if he wanted to study the new alchemic weapon, he couldn’t do so without his help.
At this moment, it became apparent that it had changed its form, it just looked as if someone had resolutely hit it on the inside of the bowl with a hammer, deforming the rim of the bowl.
“I have repeatedly verified that the power of the snow powder doesn’t lie in its burning, but in this gas. This is also the truth hidden in the receipt the deserters had stolen.” Rayleigh stood in the middle of the hall and spoke frankly with assurance, “If you increase the amount of snow powder, and tightly compress it into a ball, it will become powerful enough to break armor and tear bodies apart. I believe that sooner or later, this new type of snow powder will inevitably replace swords and arrows. Even if they are well-trained knights, they won’t be a match for a civilian equipped with these bags of snow powder.”
This sentence caused a great outburst from within the crowd. Many of Timothy’s Knights faces gathered within the hall showed gloomy expressions. Even Knight Steelheart Weimar looked as if wanted to step forward and argue with the alchemist, so Timothy quickly knocked with his scepter against the floor and shouted, “Quiet!”
After the crowd bowed in unison, Timothy turned his gaze back to Rayleigh. “Is your formula exactly the same as the recipe the deserters took away?”
“No, Your Majesty,” Rayleigh shook his head, and then put a lot of disdain in his words, “Although saltpeter is one of the Alchemic Workshops stock items, however, the stock won’t be too big usually. At the time of mixing the snow powder, he just happened to find this formula. Even if he wanted to run more test, the amount of saltpeter wasn’t enough to use it several times. However, the formula for my fast igniting snow powder was developed after going through a large number of test. It is the optimal method and its power is much greater than a product produced by chance.”
“That’s good to know,” Timothy said in a relaxed voice. Although he had known that Garcia had arranged many of her people within all ranks, but he had never thought that she even had some henchmen within the Alchemy Association. The scheme of the deserters was well planned, and at the time he fled he had taken a dozen apprentices along. Usually something like this wouldn’t be a big deal, after all, even though alchemists were relatively rare in other cities, King’s City had more than twenty of them. So, if one had left its impact would normally be something insignificant, but this time the man had discovered a new highly lethal kind of snow powder before leaving. And instead of contributing it towards the Alchemic Workshop, he had left without a trace the very next day.
In the end, Timothy’s spies were only able to capture some of the remaining confidants but failed to intercept the entire group of deserters. The moment he learned about the news, Timothy immediately ordered his Imperial Prime Minister to purchase all of the saltpeter capacities within the city and requested the Alchemic Workshop to reproduce the deserts’ snow powder formula as soon as possible. And today, after waiting for two months, they finally showed some results, which made him feel quite satisfied. Even if this man’s respect for him was a bit lacking, he was still pleasing to his eye at this moment.
After settling his thoughts, Timothy cleared his throat and said, “You did well. For your contribution, I will grant you twenty-five gold royals as reward. Additionally, I will also open a snow powder workshop in King’s City’s inner city, which will be responsible for the mass production of the fast igniting snow powder. However, you cannot become lax and have to further study its usage. If it actually turns out like you said, that civilians would become able to defeat knights, rewarding you with a title and territory won’t be a problem.”
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty!”
After the chief alchemist had left the hall, Sir Weimar, no longer able to hold himself back, stood up and said, “Your Majesty, even though this stuff looked a bit scary, but wanting to use it to defeat a knight, is absolutely not possible. As you can see, it needs to be ignited to trigger, its killing range is also only half a step or so. At that distance, against a civilian, I have dozens of ways to instantly send them to the ground. Even granted that they are able to use it at a close distance, I can still take advantage of the ignition time to strike and kill my opponent, before calmly leaving. According to Rayleigh’s way of speaking, it is clear that he had never been to the battlefield.”
“We also think the same, Your Majesty,” other knights followed up.
“That’s why I let him continue to search for a better way,” Timothy said, “For example, by shortening the ignition time or making it throwable, and so forth. Of course, no matter what kind of weapon they use, I’m also convinced that a Knight will be better than a farmer.”
Although he spoke like this, within his heart, he also had some traces of disagreement. Civilians indeed completely lacked any usage, they were cowardly and ignorant, and also afraid of dying. But if controlled by pills and equipped with snow powder, they could become a powerful weapon. At least that was if they had needed to storm a city gate or a shield wall, they would only have to send out a few militia holding snow powder, and it would be enough to tear a hole in a solid line of defense.
At this moment, some footsteps could suddenly be heard coming from beyond doors, soon followed by an anxious personal guard who came running into the hall, and fell onto his knees and announced. “Your Majesty, it seems that the militia team you had sent to the Western Territory got attacked, and now the defeated soldiers have come back to King’s City. I even heard that they brought back a letter of reprimand, by now many people have heard about it.”
“What?” Timothy’s eyes became wide, “Make sure that they keep their mouth shut and bring all who are still alive to me here in the castle!”
In the castle courtyard, a ragged militia group could be seen kneeling on the ground and pleading, “Your Majesty be merciful, please give us some pills, we cannot stand it any longer.”
You group of wastes, in addition to consuming the enemy, there is basically nothing else you can be used for. Since you are alive, you’re already wasting food, and now you even dare to ask me for pills?
Timothy looked with cold eyes at the group of people and said in a low voice: “In the end, how was it possible for the enemy to defeat you? Who can tell me something about the course of the battle? Whoever can give me a clear answer, will receive the antidote.”
All the people suddenly began to speak at the same time, “We were attacked while we were still on board, which turned the fleet into chaos. The Lead Knight gave the command to go ashore and get in order. However, the moment we landed we were attacked by unending crossbow bolts, so dense that we didn’t even get the chance to fight back. It was the Knights who took the lead and surrendered, we merely followed them and… kneeled.”
“What about the group of Knights and the Lead Knight?”
“No… I don’t know. They escorted us back to the camp, but we didn’t see any Knight.”
Timothy frowned and his voice became even colder, “How were you able to come back?”
“It was Prince Roland who let us go,” one of them said hurriedly. “Also, he gave us a letter that we are supposed to pass on to you.”
“To all of you?”
“That’s right, I also have one!”
“Your majesty, I also have a letter!”
The group of people shouted at once and stood up, pulling Roland’s “letter” out of their pockets.
To hell with it! He actually gave it to everyone? Timothy gathered the letters only to discover that they all contained the same message.
“Your stupid act makes me feel sorry for you, Timothy Wimbledon. The repeated invasion of the Western Territory was a grave mistake for which you will have to pay the price. I will attack King’s City at the beginning of the second month of autumn, I will make you learn that your place is far from being as secure as you imagine. When the day comes, all of King’s City’s people will see, your kingship is already on the verge of collapse.
“- Roland Wimbledon.”