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Chapter 112: The Arms Race in Another World Begins!
After the morning court session, seeing that there was nothing to attend to at the Imperial Academy, Lin Beifan strolled over to the workshops of the Ministry of Industry to exercise his supervisory duties.
Along the way, he encountered many officials from the Ministry of Industry, and he interrogated all of them thoroughly.
As soon as they saw Lin Beifan’s dark expression, their faces turned ugly.
Some even gritted their teeth, turned around, and walked away.
Lin Beifan smirked. He liked it when they couldn’t stand him but couldn’t get rid of him.
Before long, he arrived at the workshops of the Ministry of Industry.
At this time, thousands of craftsmen had gathered in the workshops, exerting their full efforts to produce the airborne divine artifacts—hot air balloons.
Lin Beifan was received by a Deputy Director, who had a dislike for him but had no choice but to entertain him.
“Sir Lin, since taking on this task, we have gathered a large number of craftsmen. They have been continuously manufacturing hot air balloons for twelve hours. Currently, we are simultaneously producing twenty hot air balloons, which will be completed soon!”
Lin Beifan nodded. “Not bad. When can they be delivered? The Empress is eager to use them!”
After pondering for a moment, the Deputy Director said, “If everything goes smoothly, we can deliver them within three days.”
“Good!” Lin Beifan nodded in approval.
The two continued to walk forward until they reached the area where the balloons were being made.
At this moment, there were many workers inside, placing large pieces of fabric into a green water pool, completely soaking them.
Then, they took them out to dry.
Once dry, they immersed them in water again.
This process was repeated multiple times until it formed the impermeable, airtight, heat-resistant, and durable envelope of the hot air balloon.
This was the key to constructing the hot air balloons.
Whether the hot air balloons could be successfully made depended on this step.
However, this was also the most prone to errors.
Lin Beifan stared at the pool of green water and shouted, “Wait!”
“What’s the matter, Master Lin?”
“This pool of water is not good. The envelopes made from it won’t do!”
The Deputy Director was puzzled. “But we made this pool of adhesive according to your manufacturing method, Sir Lin!”
“It was indeed fine originally, but after multiple uses, the adhesive effect deteriorated!” Lin Beifan grabbed the raw materials from the side and threw them into the water pool in a certain proportion.
Lin Beifan clapped his hands. “Okay, mix it well, then dye it two more times!”
The Deputy Director was still puzzled. “Sir Lin, this…”
Lin Beifan smiled and said, “It involves complex chemical principles that you wouldn’t understand even if I explained. Just remember that when the adhesive becomes diluted, you must throw the raw materials into the pool in the proper proportion until the water returns to a dark green color. Adding a little more or a little less won’t work!”
“Understood, I know how to do it now!”
After inspecting the workshops of the Ministry of Industry, Lin Beifan went to see the training of the Sky Warriors.
Arriving at the Forbidden Army camp, Lin Beifan was received by a commanding officer of the Forbidden Army named Zhao. He held the rank of Fourth-rank official, a powerful innate expert, and commanded a force of 30,000 soldiers. He was highly respected and trusted by the Empress.
As soon as Lin Beifan arrived at the military camp, the officer was already waiting at the entrance, smiling and bowing. “Sir Lin, you have finally come! Please come in quickly. I have been waiting for a long time!”
Lin Beifan modestly replied, “Commander Zhao, you’re too polite. How could I trouble you?”
“No trouble at all. It’s an honor for me to meet Sir Lin! Haha!” The officer laughed heartily.
He dared not be too arrogant in front of Lin Beifan.
The newly crowned top scholar who achieved the Triple Success in the imperial examination!
In just three months as an official, he had already jumped three ranks and become a Fifth-rank officer!
He was highly favored by the Empress and frequently received rewards from her!
He often confronted civil and military officials, offending them all, yet still lived a carefree life!
And in the past few days, he had interrogated all the officials of the Ministry of Industry!
He didn’t even spare the Minister of Industry!
Truly daring and audacious!
Who would dare to offend someone with such great prospects and audacity?
The two chatted and laughed as they walked into the military camp.
They arrived at a spacious open area where the first airborne divine artifact, a hot air balloon, was placed.
Inside, it was filled with hot air but hadn’t ascended yet. There were 30 lean soldiers training nearby.
“Sir Lin, these 30 are our first batch of Sky Warriors, carefully selected from the Forbidden Army. They are loyal, brave, and skilled warriors! All of them have reached at least the Eighth Rank, and three of them have even reached the Seventh Rank! Sir Lin, are you satisfied?” Commander Zhao proudly said.
“Not bad! Commander Zhao, you have done well!” Lin Beifan smiled.
The selection of Sky Warriors was similar to selecting pilots nowadays.
First, loyalty was paramount, and second, they needed to have excellent physical fitness.
Especially the second requirement, it was non-negotiable.
Otherwise, if any danger arose, they wouldn’t be able to escape and would only meet their demise!
“At what stage is their training now? Have they conducted the second test flight?” Lin Beifan asked.
“The necessary training has been completed, but we haven’t conducted the second flight yet,” Commander Zhao replied.
Lin Beifan was surprised. “Really? It has been quite a while already. Why haven’t they conducted the second test flight?”
Commander Zhao smiled bitterly. “It’s unavoidable! Although we have the method of piloting provided by you, everyone is still inexperienced. They haven’t actually flown before, so their experience is lacking, and they are clumsy! If any mishap were to occur and the airborne divine artifact were damaged, we wouldn’t be able to bear the responsibility!”
Lin Beifan chuckled. “Commander Zhao, you’re too cautious! Let me tell you, in a few days, the Ministry of Industry will produce another 20 balloons! If one balloon is damaged, there are still 20 others to rely on. No need to worry about it!”
“Besides, even if they lack experience, don’t forget that I’m here. As the first person to fly, I wrote the piloting method that you all learned. I will guide you in flying and quickly familiarize you with the art of piloting the hot air balloons!”
In fact, it was Lin Beifan who couldn’t resist the temptation of flying in the sky again.
So he came up with a reasonable excuse.
“Sir Lin, your guidance is sufficient for us. You don’t have to fly,” Commander Zhao quickly said.
“If I don’t fly, how can I teach you the art of flying?” Lin Beifan replied.
“Sir Lin, it’s too dangerous! What if something happens to you? How can we justify it to the Empress?” Commander Zhao said with a bitter smile.
“Don’t worry, I won’t be in danger!” Lin Beifan waved his hand dismissively.
“Sir Lin, that’s not what I mean! I mean, Her Majesty has explicitly forbidden you from boarding the hot air balloon! If you were to board the balloon, we would be disobeying the imperial decree and would be executed!”
Lin Beifan was shocked, “What the hell? Is the Empress specifically targeting me?”
“It’s indeed what Her Majesty said!” Commander Zhao looked at Lin Beifan with a hint of envy and said, “Her Majesty said that your life is related to the Great Wu Empire, its prosperity, and stability. You must not make any mistakes! If you insist on boarding the balloon, all of us will be in trouble. You see, Her Majesty values you greatly. Please spare me, Sir Lin!”
Lin Beifan’s mood instantly turned sour!
He would rather not have such importance placed on him!
All he wanted now was to fly!
“Commander Zhao, this won’t do. How can I teach the art of flying if I don’t fly? Please speak some good words for me in front of the Empress. It’s just a short flight. With my experience, there won’t be any problems. Everyone can rest assured!”
Seeing Lin Beifan persistently pushing for it, Commander Zhao didn’t want to offend him either, so he agreed, “Alright! I will inform the higher-ups on behalf of Sir Lin. If it’s not possible, then there’s nothing we can do!”
“Thank you, Commander Zhao!”
Not long after, inside the palace…
The Empress, who was reviewing memorials, received a verbal message from Commander Zhao and was somewhat surprised.
“What? Lin Beifan wants to board the hot air balloon again?”
The chief eunuch nodded respectfully, “Yes, Your Majesty! The top scholar says that only by boarding the hot air balloon can he conveniently teach the art of flying and quickly train a group of sky-faring warriors!”
The Empress continued to focus on reviewing the memorials and said, “Tell him directly, he is not allowed! This guy dared to cut the ropes and fly outside the city on his first flight. We almost couldn’t find him! Another attempt? No way.”
The chief eunuch lowered his head, “Yes, Your Majesty!”
Just as he was about to go and deliver the response, the Empress called out, “Wait!”
The chief eunuch turned around, respectfully asking, “Does Your Majesty have any other instructions?”
The Empress pointed to the fruits on a tray beside her and said, “This winter melon from the Western Regions is good. It’s sweet and juicy, even more delicious when chilled. Send it to Sir Lin for him to taste!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” The chief eunuch lifted the tray with both hands and left.
About an hour later, several eunuchs arrived at the Forbidden Army camp.
“The imperial decree commands: Lin Beifan is prohibited from boarding the divine artifact, hot air balloon. It is decreed!”
Lin Beifan’s face was full of disappointment, and Commander Zhao spread his hands, expressing helplessness.
At that moment, two young eunuchs opened a large and exquisite food box, taking out chilled fruits from inside.
“Master Lin, these are fruits bestowed by the Empress, winter melons from the Western Regions. They are sweet and juicy, and even more delicious when chilled. Please have a taste, Sir Lin!”
Lin Beifan blinked. What did the Empress mean by this?
Was she implying that he should just be an ordinary onlooker and stop causing trouble?
As a result, Lin Beifan could only eat the chilled watermelon while instructing the Sky Warriors on how to fly.
In this way, three days quickly passed.
The 20 hot air balloons from the Ministry of Industry were delivered on time.
With the 20 hot air balloons, the training speed of the Sky Warriors increased significantly.
In less than three days, they had basically mastered the art of flying and could ascend to an altitude of forty to fifty meters.
The Empress was extremely pleased and rewarded everyone generously.
She also decided to hold an ascension ceremony soon, where all 20 hot air balloons would ascend simultaneously, shaking the world.
On that day, when the 20 hot air balloons rose into the sky above the capital, the entire city became lively!
It was hailed as a rare spectacle in the Great Wu Empire in a hundred years!
This rarely seen scene quickly spread throughout the country and even to other nations!
Princes and rulers from various countries were greatly stimulated!
The Great Wu Court already possessed 20 sky-faring divine artifact hot air balloons!
And they hadn’t even made one themselves!
How could they compete with the Great Wu Court in the future?
As a result, they invested more resources and efforts into manufacturing hot air balloons.
The arms race in the otherworldly realm had begun!