The industrial area and the red light district were different to each other. There were yellow flags over there while there were green flags over here. There was an arched gate over there while the city doors were here. If you wanted to compare, then the buildings in the industrial area were worn out in comparison. It was apparent that the architects forcefully tried to increase the height of the buildings which reached dangerous levels. They were overstretched into the middle of the street dangerously and blocked the sunlight. The ground wasn’t even. The ground was uneven and there was the stench of dirty water. When we arrived at the green coloured door on this side it was like we had entered a different world. It was completely different to the bustling and flourishing scenery on the other side. This place stunk like a rubbish dump with the smell of sulphur and rust.
This place must be made up of both the slums and the industrial area. The smell of this area really should be isolated here. This sort of location is ideal for people in the slums working in the industrial industry. Bubbling red and yellow water was also flowing about here.
“It won’t work… Look at the materials you gave me. This is all silk. I could help you make some cloth armour if you asked, but it’s impossible to make armour with the level of defence you’re asking for with this material.”
I disappointedly took back the materials. It’s true that the materials mom gave me were very strange. She gave me a bag of Earth Dragon scales and a bunch of silk. She said that only humans could make the armour, but it seems like the humans here haven’t even seen Earth Dragon scales before. Humans no longer wear armour. These blacksmiths only manufacture weapons like guns and swords…
I left the building and called: “Nier!”
Nier got up from the ground. The three or so kids in front of her scattered. I looked at Nier. She still had the hint of a smile on the corner of her lips. I stood there and looked at the kids running away. I looked at their flimsy-haggard clothing, and dirty skin, and asked: “Nier, do you like kids?”
Nier nodded and calmly said: “I do. Because they remind me of my old self when I see them.”
I nodded, turned around and asked the blacksmith behind me: “Do you know any blacksmith who could make this stuff?”
“No human can.” The blacksmith pushed his glasses up, looked at the lines on the barrel and continued: “However, there is a shop that’s never opened for business before at the end of the street. There’s someone there but they’ve never accepted any jobs before. Perhaps you can try your luck there.”
After I gave my thanks, Nier and I walked shoulder by shoulder through the narrow street and stepped over small pools of dirty water. The kids here are all disciples of the blacksmiths in the area, or are children of those living in the slums looking for scrap metal. Kids have been looking at us curiously ever since we entered the area.
I was surprised Nier liked kids, and just as surprised that she could smile around them. I never imagined that.
“What are you smiling about?”
I came to the realisation I was smiling. Nier looked at me, frowned and said: “You’re smiling disgustingly.”
“…Forget it. And here I was going to try and improve our relationship.”
“Please abandon such unrealistic thoughts.”
“You might fall for me if we have kids, you know, because of the kids.”
“Please stop harassing me.”
She always talks to me in the same tone! She knows how to smile! She smiled in front of the kids! But, no. She gives me a frown instead. I sighed and we continued on our way.
Is this shop at the end of the street really a shop? I stood at the end of the alley and looked at the wooden door that was almost as black as the walls around it. I wasn’t sure if I could entire. This should be the shop the blacksmith mentioned, right? This was the only building at the end of the street.
All artisans and blacksmiths place a sign on their front door indicating if they work with glass, metal or wood materials. This place, however, has none.
I knocked, pulled the heavy wood door open and went inside.
The interior and exterior of the store were the same. The repulsive smell of oil and rust filled the air. There was also the unpleasant smell of something burning. I didn’t see any completed products on display when I entered. I just saw a huge desk. On the table were items I was very familiar with. There was a large set square, compasses and pencils. Underneath the drawing tools was a large sheet of paper with a blueprint on it.
The instincts of my previous job kicked-in and I leaned over to take a look at it. It was the blueprint for a gun.
Based on the rifles I just saw, humanity’s troops were still using flintlock guns. This is the gun with the most extensive history and the most famous gun model. However, the gun on this blueprint and the rifles outside were different. My eyes lit up. Regardless of who the boss of this place is, they were a smart one. The gun on this blueprint was missing the most important component…
The breach loader.
The current guns of this era were front-loaded flintlock rifles, but the owner of this place had already considered loading ammo from the rear. This will become a huge step forward for humanity. The step where guns went from front-loading to back-loading was the most important step for gun development in the history of guns. The first back-loaded gun blew the front-loaded gun out of the water and laid the foundation for the direction of gun development from there.
This person had designed all the parts of the gun, and the only thing they didn’t know was how to design the firing barrel of a back-loaded gun.
I bent over at my waist, picked up the pencil and set square, and added some stuff to the original blueprint. The earliest back-loaded gun designs were very simplistic. You used a needle to push the paper with gunpowder into the gun to fire it while the sheet of paper would be burnt up. Load it again and you could fire it again. The drawback was that the gunpowder got expelled from the gun and into the atmosphere, but there’s no way around that. I really wanted to draw the blueprints for the completed version of back-loaded guns, but I knew I couldn’t tamper with history’s development. Moreover, if I allow them to be mass produced, there’s a chance that humanity will attack the elves.
Given those reasons, I drew the earliest version of a back-loaded gun onto the blueprint. This rifle would basically be one step up from the front-loaded gun.
I enthusiastically drew and wrote on the blueprint. It wasn’t hard to me as I studied gun design. This was like an ingrained skill for me. Since I’ve designed a back-loaded gun, I’ll need to design the bullets too… If we were to mass produce them…
“What are you doing?! Don’t touch my blueprints, you retard!!”
A sabre swung over to my face where I was crawling on the table as someone roared. The sabre cut through the piece of plank before me. I could see my reflection on the sabre.
Nier reacted in a surprised manner. She drew her long sword and became vigilant of her surroundings. A shadow which resembled a bear angrily stomped out. Nier stepped in front of me with her long sword in hand as she vigilantly watched the oncoming person.
“Little missy, get that useless piece of metal out of my face or I’ll pin you up on the wall.”
The voice was crude but distinguishably belonged to a woman. Nier shifted her feet. Nier didn’t get angry but she remained alert. The lady finally entered the light. Her red and messy hair that looked like a lion’s mane was oily. She wore a frown and was clearly unhappy. She wore a vest which revealed her curves but she didn’t seem to care. Her arms which were revealed carried muscle you wouldn’t usually see on a woman.
“Far out. Young people these days don’t have any regard for anybody these days. They always come and leave without a word, touch peoples’ stuff… Do you know what you just ruined? God damn it. I’ll…”
She picked up the blueprint as she cussed. Her attention was then focused on my drawing.
She started at it intently. Her angry faced turned into a look of surprise. Nier, however, became an awkward existence. She hesitated before sheathing her sword. The woman looked at the blueprint and then at me. The she turned her attention back to the blueprint. Finally, she slammed the blueprint onto the desk and excitedly shouted: “Are you a genius?! Tell me, how did you come up with such a clever idea?!”
“Hmm… Should I call it talent… Or shall I call it inspiration…?”
These things of yours are toys from my perspective anyway…
1 Bonus Son-con Chapter
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