Book 8, Chapter 90

Thunder Cannon

*BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!* The explosions almost seemed to merge into one as the gun’s barrels went through one full rotation, slowly coming to a stop. The aftermath kept ringing in Richard’s ears for nearly half a minute after, only disappearing when he poured in a little energy to heal the damage to his eardrums. At the end of the arena, the target’s chest had been blasted into shreds; no normal rune knight could survive that.

Richard looked at Blackgold’s mysterious gun in a different light. With such a high firing rate, it was formidable within its thirty-metre range. More importantly, it didn’t require much training to use either; the only limitation was that it needed warriors with enough strength to handle the recoil.

“Do you think that’s the end of it, kid?” the grey dwarf smirked at his expression, twisting the main chamber to pop out a metal disk. He then picked up an identical disk from the mobile trolly, inserting it back in and reassembling the gun in moments before aiming at another dummy.

Another round of explosions rang through the place, flames blazing from the gun as though it was a dragon’s mouth. One more rune-knight level dummy was blasted to shreds, taking only three seconds from the changing of the disk to the end of the bombardment. Its significance was clear.

Blackgold’s mood was lifted, his high-arching moustache trembling as he shouted wildly. Twisting the gun to insert a fresh metal disk, he spun the barrels of death once more. This time, a level 10 target was decimated. Only then did he seem to simmer down from his high, inserting a fresh round and pointing the handle towards Richard, “Want to try? It feels amazing.”

Richard obviously didn’t reject, but a sense of danger suddenly crept over him as he stretched a hand towards the gun. The gun suddenly started inflating, the grey dwarf’s eyes going wide, “Not this again!”

*BANG!* Smoke instantly swept through the arena, the stinging odour of oil spreading into the air. A translucent barrier flickered into existence around Richard, firmly stopping a palm-sized gear that warped upon impact, but even as the lubricating oil splattered into a black flower the nearby Blackgold yelped in pain.

Shifting his gaze, Richard found the grey dwarf looking extremely pathetic. His leather outfit had been torn full of holes, body and face splashed with lubricating oil and littered with burn marks. A massive gear was stuck in his forehead, the flesh starting to swell.

Not this again, huh… He finally understood why Blackgold had been looking so ragged. Thankfully, grey dwarves had strong physiques; this sort of explosion only left the grand mage with some light injuries and dizziness. The other mages seemed to have been prepared as well, having hidden away the moment the gun was being tested with barriers and tower shields protecting them.

As a green moon formed atop Richard’s head and started healing him, Blackgold wiped his face clean of the black oil. Looking at his former student that wasn’t harmed in the slightest, he smiled awkwardly, “All great inventions meet with some accidents, don’t they? Don’t worry, this isn’t common, it only happens a few times every… few days.”

Richard had no response. The explosion had been limited because it had occurred in the dwarf’s hand, but a level 10 knight would have died on the spot. From the looks of it, this thing exploded frequently.

“What are you guys doing? Where are the backups?” Blackgold shouted, prompting some mages to pull several more trolleys over. Each one had a six-barrelled firearm on the top, with several metal disks down below.

Richard picked up one of the guns, but instead of holding it at his waist he just aimed it straight forward with one hand. Aiming at a dummy, he held the trigger down. The weapon started shaking violently as it spat out pellets, but his hand swept in a steady motion that hit six different enemies with a six shots. Twisting the body, he popped out the red hot disk and added another one in. It didn’t take long for six more targets to be shredded apart.

Blackgold scratched his head in amazement, muttering softly, “I had to train for a month to get so accurate…”

The gun had stopped rumbling, but the gear continued to spin with its inertia. Richard started examining it with fierce concentration, understanding the magnitude of this surprise. There were many areas that could be improved, but this was just like Rosie’s rune workshop; it could change any upcoming wars entirely.

“This thing—”

“I call it the thunder cannon. Fancy name, isn’t it? Hahaha!” Blackgold plucked the gun from Richard’s hands, snapping it apart into its base components.

A disk was thunked onto the ground, “Copper body, and the pellets are a combination of lead and flexible steel.”

Following that was the barrel, “Iron.”

A heap of gears crashed down, “Iron.”

Most of the thunder cannon’s components turned out to be common materials, and considering that physical value alone a single one of Blackgold’s old two-barrelled rifle could make a dozen thunder cannons. However, he was the only one who could smith that rifle, while these components looked crude enough to have come from novice smiths.

“See? This is why it’s marvelous! Not the power, but the cost! I’ve spent five million gold of yours, how could I not know what you want?” The grey dwarf was so pleased with himself that he almost spat into Richard’s face.

Richard picked up each component and examined it meticulously, closing his eyes in deep thought as he simulated the construction of a thunder cannon. A single one didn’t even cost 10,000 gold coins, a number that would go down further at scale. He heaved a long sigh, “This isn’t just marvelous… It’s a miracle!”

With such a high assessment, Blackgold could only laugh.

Richard waved his hands, assembling the components back together with magic, “But I can’t have it exploding all the time. My warriors aren’t as strong as you, they’ll lose an arm at minimum.”

“But the costs will go up!” Blackgold grumbled, “If we could swap materials for some critical sections, it wouldn’t explode so easily.”

“What’s the difference?”

“The barrel needs to be made of frostiron, and some gears need to be made with high-carbon steel. It’ll go up to 20,000 gold each!”

“Then do it. I need you to get this into production immediately, 3,000 to start.”

“Wait… How many?” the grey dwarf shivered.

“3,000.”

“That’s… Did I hear you wrong?” With each thunder cannon costing 20,000 gold, three thousand of them would be 60 million. This was a number of top-tier offerings! Even as the Deepblue’s treasurer, he’d never had so much wealth flow through his hands. Only Sharon’s harvests could even compare!

“3,000,” Richard repeated again, “But change the design a little, mainly dimensions and power. I need one variant to be a little lighter, even if it drops the power. See if you can make it suit these guys.”

Receiving a blueprint, Blackgold read through for a moment before almost jumping in surprise, “Damn, are the silvermoon elves coming back out?”

“Oh? This isn’t them, these are just some… other elven warriors I subdued in a secondary plane.”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Choco

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA