Chapter 3 Battalion’s Commander Chest Muscles are not bad! (3)
“Hi officer, what would you like to order?” The manager of the shop immediately greeted Zhou Weiqing upon seeing his army uniform. In Heavenly Bow Empire, although the profession of blacksmith was not considered low, but it was still far from a soldier. Here, the most respected profession besides Jewel Masters were the soldiers of the army. After all, the mere 50k strong army of the Heavenly Bow Empire had withstood countless invasions from surrounding countries, and thus they were greatly beloved by the citizens. Although Zhou Weiqing looked very young, but he still looked very smart in his army uniform.
Zhou Weiqing asked: “Are you the boss here?”
“Yes, I am. Our shop might not be very large, but we are a time-honored brand in Heavenly Bow City, and have a good reputation. Whatever you wish to order, I’ll give you a discount since you are defending our country!”
Zhou Weiqing grinned, and lifted his hand to pluck off the hat off his head, looked out the window carefully, before moving closer to the boss and whispering mysteriously: “Boss, I’m from the 3rd Archery Battalion of the 5th Regiment of the army. I’m actually here on a secret mission from my Battalion Commander to forge something. If you do this well, needless to say you will be well rewarded.”
The boss hesitated for a moment, looking over Zhou Weiqing in evaluation. Although this archer looked very young, but he had an honest face and did not look like a cheat.
Zhou Weiqing continued in a low voice: “Don’t you know our 3rd Battalion? As soon as I mention our Battalion Commander you should understand; it’s our Empire’s top beauty, Viscount Shangguan Bing’er herself. You can go ask around and check for yourself.”
Upon hearing the name Shangguan Bing’er, the boss’ eyes brightened immediately, “Officer, what does Viscount Shangguan Bing’er wish to forge?” To the commoners of the empire, Shangguan Bing’er was like a legend, after all she was also common-born, and was known as the Goddess of Commoners. This unsuspecting boss never expected that anyone would use her name to cheat someone, otherwise that person would be spurned with scorn by everyone. How would he know that the person in front of him was also a viscount. If Shangguan Bing’er actually found out that Zhou Weiqing was actually making use of her name, who knows if she might just castrate him!
Zhou Weiqing said: “I need a extremely durable, strong but light metal to forge something. And it needs to be in a rush, I need it by today. Money is not a problem, but I need it to be hastened immediately.” As such, he took out the gold coins he had and laid them on the table.
Although Zhou Weiqing was not able to cultivate from young, but his thinking was definitely much more cunning and wily than anyone of his age. The reason why he used Shangguan Bing’er’s name was because he could not afford to wait for the usual time that such a forging order would take.
The boss immediately nodded and said: “No problem, we happen to have a valuable titanium alloy which has to be refined by a Fire Jewel Master. Although the price is high, it suits your requirements perfectly. It costs around 10 gold coins per kg of the alloy, but since this is for Viscount Shangguan Bing’er, I’ll give it to you at cost price of 7 gold coins per kg. How’s that?” As soon as Zhou Weiqing took out his gold, the boss had believed his tale.
Upon hearing the words titanium alloy, Zhou Weiqing’s eyes brightened. He had heard of the metal before, as his father had a suit of armor forged with titanium alloy. It was extremely tough and durable, yet extremely light and easy to manoeuvre in, and was considered one of the best materials for forging equipment. As such, he was overjoyed and immediately replied, “Great, that’s it. I want to forge this.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing handed over his hat to the boss.
The boss was confused momentarily, “Isn’t this the hat for archers?”
Zhou Weiqing nodded, saying: “Exactly, we are looking to forge it like the hat. Just imagine, on the battlefield, the danger that we archers face are usually from enemy arrows. If the hats were made out of titanium alloy, the arrows that the enemy rain down upon us will not be able to hurt us. Furthermore, I require that a handle made from thick canvas be created inside of of the hat. In that way, I can also hold it in my hand like a shield.”
Upon hearing Zhou Weiqing’s explanation, the boss was very impressed by the feasibility of the plan. However, titanium alloy was so rare and expensive, how could it be issued to all archers?
Actually, Zhou Weiqing had thought about such an idea a long time ago. In the past when he was bored at home, he used to spend some time coming up with weird crazy ideas. Earlier, when he had been applying the join the army and the squad leader in charge had told him that archers were the safest unit, he knew that it had been bullshit. As the son of Admiral Zhou, how could he not know about the dangers of the archer units, especially those of Heavenly Bow Empire, which had one of the highest turnover rates. Due to the fact that the damage dealing capability of the archers were so high, they were also often focused heavily upon by enemies. Exchanging fire between archer units were also highly common. The only reason Zhou Weiqing still chose to join the archer unit was because he already had a few ideas on how to increase his safety, and it was also true that they would not engage much in melee combat.
He already had such an idea to turn the archer’s hats into a shield at the age of eleven. To use it in the battlefield would be extremely easy, when they were under fire from the enemy, he would just need to crouch down, and huddle in a little with his head down, and the enemy arrows would likely all be blocked by the hat. Of course, such an idea would not be easy for commoners to think of, only someone like Zhou Weiqing who was inborn with such a fear of death, and had such a sly, cunning way of thinking, would be able to come up with such an idea. At that time, he had wanted to tell his father about the idea, but every time he looked at the stern face of his father he just could not speak up. Who knows if his father would approve or reject his idea, after all trying to outfit titanium alloy hats to the whole army of archers would be impossible.
“Respect! This must be Lord Viscount’s idea. How creative! Alright, we will take up this job, I’ll get everyone on it and rush it out by tonight. I’ll also only charge you the cost of the materials and not the service charge, so it should come up to around 6 gold coins per kg of titanium alloy.
This was the great part about tricking someone, not needing to ask for a discount, and the boss had automatically given one. Zhou Weiqing was rather proud of himself. As for the boss thinking such a sly idea came from Shangguan Bing’er, he didn’t care. After all, safety first was his motto.
“Boss, do you have any completed products made out of titanium alloy? Preferably for defence.” Zhou Weiqing had never heard of being able to get titanium alloy at the price of 6 gold coins per kg, as far as he knew the usual price was 10-12 gold coins per kg. Since he would be going onto the battlefield in the future, he wanted to prepare as much as possible.
“You’ve asked the right person, I have a set of internal armor made out of titanium alloy, and stitched together with the sinew of the heavenly beast Magic Tenacious Snake. It’s light but extremely durable, definitely more than enough for archers.” As he said that, the boss walked to the back of the counter and took out a silver shining internal armor.
Zhou Weiqing grabbed it in his hands and shook it open. It was a half-body armor, able to cover the entire top half of the body up to the hands. It was so extremely light, less than 2kg in weight, that was the benefit of the titanium alloy.
Zhou Weiqing was euphoric to see such an item, “Great, this is great, I want this. I estimate that this should be slightly more than one kg, but boss don’t worry, I won’t let you suffer a disadvantageous loss, I’ll count this as 2 kg. Here’s another 12 gold coins.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing grabbed 12 coins and laid them down on the table at lightning speed.