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Chapter 134: Has the manufacturing method of the hovercraft also been leaked?
At this moment, the Prince of Northern Hebei, who had already obtained the manufacturing method of the hovercraft, had already produced a batch of hovercraft.
“The court has already built a batch of watercraft weapons, hovercraft, and has conducted naval exercises! It is said that on that day, tens of thousands of soldiers crossed the river in a magnificent manner! I wonder when I, the king, will be able to achieve that?” The Prince of Northern Hebei daydreamed.
If he also had a batch of watercraft weapons, hovercraft, how could his grand ambitions not be realized?
“Your Highness, we are not lacking in that regard!” Advisor Zhuge smiled and said, “We have the manufacturing method from the top scholar, and now we are working overnight. We have already built 20 hovercraft! According to the method, each hovercraft can carry more than 200 people! These 20 hovercraft alone can carry over 4,000 people!”
“When we manufacture hundreds, or even thousands, of hovercraft, an army of tens of thousands will cross the river, head straight to the capital, and establish an unshakable position. It’s definitely not a dream!”
The Prince of Northern Hebei was stimulated by this scene!
As someone with ambitions for the throne, this was the thing he couldn’t resist the most!
“Advisor’s words are absolutely right! How about we also have a naval exercise?” The Prince of Northern Hebei said eagerly.
“That can be done, but…” Advisor Zhuge hesitated for a moment.
“But what?” the king inquired.
“Just that if the news of us having hovercraft is known to the court, it may be disadvantageous for the top scholar,” Advisor Zhuge said with a bitter smile.
“Advisor’s words have merit!” the Prince pondered, “How about this, we’ll secretly conduct an internal exercise, without letting outsiders know. What do you think?”
“Well… Your Highness’s suggestion is wise!” Advisor Zhuge reluctantly agreed, lowering his head.
He was well aware that doing so would come with the risk of exposure!
However, at this moment, the ambitious Prince was already swollen with pride, and no matter how much he was advised, he couldn’t be dissuaded. So Advisor Zhuge reluctantly agreed, hoping that their colleagues in the capital would take care and stay safe.
The next day, the prince ordered the troops to block the river and not allow anyone to approach.
At the same time, the hovercraft was secretly transported and prepared for a water trial.
Those who were able to witness this were only the prince’s trusted confidants and some martial arts heroes who had been bribed.
Everyone was eagerly anticipating the first water trial of these watercraft weapons, the hovercraft.
As the 20 hovercraft were launched one after another, forming a connected landmass and floating steadily on the river surface, the Prince of Northern Hebei burst into laughter.
Immediately, a martial arts hero exclaimed loudly, “Congratulations, Your Highness! Congratulations, Your Highness! Look at these 20 hovercraft floating on the river surface. It seems that they have been successfully developed!”
“It’s magnificent! Like a land on water. This commoner has never seen anything like it!”
“With this watercraft marvel, how can our grand ambitions not be realized?”
“Congratulations, Your Highness! Congratulations, Your Highness!”
Flattery came pouring in, and the prince laughed heartily once again, feeling extremely delighted.
However, he still spoke modestly and cautiously, saying, “Brave heroes, it is too early to make such assertions. The naval exercise has just begun! Let’s see now, how many people can these hovercraft carry?”
The prince waved his hand, and Advisor Zhuge immediately called out, “Ten people on board!”
Immediately, ten soldiers boarded the hovercraft, as steady as Mount Tai, as if walking on flat ground.
The king waved his hand again, and the advisor called out, “Another ten!”
And so, 30, 40, 50…
The number of people kept increasing!
Soon, it surpassed a hundred!
Then it surpassed two hundred!
As the number of soldiers on board continued to grow, the smile on the prince’s face became more pronounced.
Unbeknownst to them, they had already exceeded a thousand!
Yet, the hovercraft remained incredibly stable!
Over a thousand soldiers stood on the hovercraft, as if standing firmly on land without any ripples!
Once again, everyone shouted in unison, “Congratulations, Your Highness! Congratulations, Your Highness!”
“Hahaha…” The prince laughed proudly, “Keep adding more people until the hovercraft is filled to capacity!”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
And so, the number of people on the hovercraft continued to increase.
Quickly surpassing 2,000!
Then surpassing 3,000!
When the number reached 4,000, the hovercraft became quite crowded, and there was no more room for additional people!
However, this already pleased the prince greatly!
With just 20 hovercraft, they could transport over 4,000 soldiers!
If they were to build more hovercraft, like 100 or 1,000, wouldn’t they be able to carry even more soldiers?
Just the thought of it was incredibly exciting!
“It’s magnificent! This commoner has never seen over 4,000 people standing on the river surface!”
“If we build more hovercraft, won’t we be able to accommodate even more people? By then, Your Highness can lead an army of tens of thousands, following the river downstream, straight to the capital!”
“With this powerful weapon, how can our grand ambitions not be realized?”
“Congratulations, Your Highness! Congratulations, Your Highness!”
Flattery once again filled the air.
The prince laughed proudly, “Hahaha…”
He felt as if he were floating on air!
“Just one last step to go! Hurry and let them cross the river. Once all 4,000 soldiers have safely reached the other side, it means the hovercraft water trial is a success!” the prince exclaimed with excitement.
“Yes, Your Highness!”
And so, the hovercraft carrying over 4,000 soldiers floated slowly towards the opposite shore.
The process went smoothly all along!
As success seemed within reach, the hovercraft suddenly made a popping sound.
Then, it started to shake, causing the soldiers on board to lose their balance and fall into the river.
The prince, watching from the shore, was dumbfounded!
The martial arts heroes were dumbfounded!
Everything was fine just a moment ago, so why did it suddenly sink?
Why did everyone fall into the river?
“Can someone tell me what on earth is happening? Why was everything fine just now, and now everything has gone wrong?” The king was furious, feeling as if he had been slapped in the face!
No one could answer his question. Everyone turned to the advisor for help.
Advisor Zhuge, with a stiff expression, said, “Reporting to Your Highness, it could be due to poor craftsmanship. The hovercraft was just built, so there may be some issues with the water. Additionally, it might be because this was everyone’s first time maneuvering the hovercraft across the river, lacking experience! Therefore, trying a few more times should solve the problem!”
“Hmph! I hope so! Keep a close eye on it. If such a problem occurs again next time, I will hold you responsible!” The Prince of Northern Hebei left displeased.
Meanwhile, in the Southern Jiang region…
The Prince of Southern Jiang, who obtained the method of constructing hovercraft, immediately had five hovercraft built by working overtime.
On the same day they were built, he couldn’t wait to conduct a water trial.
“Can such an ordinary-looking small boat really transport 200 soldiers?” The Prince of Southern Jiang questioned as he looked at the hovercraft floating on the river’s surface.
“Rest assured, Your Highness, it will definitely work!” Mr. Wang Fugui, the owner, smiled and said, “You don’t know, back then I witnessed tens of thousands of soldiers standing on this waterborne state formed by hovercraft, majestically crossing the river. It was incredibly awe-inspiring. I believe that if the Empress can do it, you certainly can too, Your Highness!”
“Hahaha, you make a valid point!” The King of Jiangnan laughed heartily.
“Furthermore, Your Highness, these hovercraft can be used for commercial purposes!” Mr. Wang Fugui said excitedly, “The carrying capacity of these hovercraft far exceeds that of ordinary boats, and they are cost-effective with simple craftsmanship. They can be rapidly mass-produced! We can promote them on the river and greatly increase our income!”
“Is that so?” The Prince of Southern Jiang became excited.
No one understood business better than the Prince of Southern Jiang!
For those engaged in business, transportation is a problem that must be solved!
In this era, the cost of transporting goods to another place for sale is extremely high!
The same product often needs to be sold at several times the price just to make a profit!
If transportation capacity can be increased, the substantial price difference will enter his pockets, making enormous profits!
The more money he earned, the more it would contribute to his grand ambitions!
“I wouldn’t dare deceive Your Highness!” Wang Fugui smiled and said, “Although it cost 6 million taels, it is absolutely worth every penny!”
“Very well, very well!” The Prince of Southern Jiang became excited, his face flushed. “If this thing is as you say, 6 million is nothing at all, and we will quickly earn it back! Fugui, you have once again achieved great merit! I will definitely reward you generously, generously!”
“Thank you, Your Highness!” Wang Fugui exclaimed loudly.
As they conversed, the five hovercraft had already been launched.
The Prince of Southern Jiang ordered people to board the hovercraft. Once there were 1,000 people on board, they would cross the river.
Everything was going well initially, and it seemed that the first water trial was about to succeed. However, when the hovercraft reached the middle of the river, it made a popping sound and became extremely turbulent, causing the people on board to fall into the water.
The Prince of Southern Jiang was dumbfounded. “What is going on? Who can tell me?”
He turned to look at Wang Fugui, his gaze filled with anger and doubt.
Wang Fugui turned pale, his back drenched in sweat.
He could only muster the courage to say, “Your Highness, it’s possible that the craftsmen made some flaws in the hovercraft during their first construction, especially since they rushed to complete them overnight. It could also be that the soldiers were not familiar enough with operating them for the first time, so…”
“Very well! Since you say there are these issues, I will give you time to solve them! But if something like this happens again next time, you will be held accountable!” The Prince of Southern Jiang angrily left.
“Yes, Your Highness!” Wang Fugui forced a smile.
After obtaining the manufacturing method, other vassal kings and countries immediately produced hovercraft and conducted water trials. However, without exception, they all failed halfway through the river.
All of this quickly reached the ears of the Empress.
It often made the Empress unable to resist bursting into laughter.
One time, she even laughed herself awake in the middle of the night.
“Hmph! Those who dare to steal my hovercraft manufacturing method deserve their failures!”
Due to her overwhelming joy, whenever she was happy, she couldn’t control her extravagant generosity and would often bestow unwarranted rewards upon Lin Beifan during the morning court sessions.
Lin Beifan was at a loss!
Your Majesty, can you please stop giving rewards?
My house really can’t fit them all!
They go to waste every time. Such a waste!
The court officials were also at a loss!
Your Majesty, as the ruler of a nation, can you please stop acting recklessly?
Stop favoring one person excessively!
We, the loyal ministers, also need some consolation!
Leave some for us, please!
Clearly, the capricious Empress did not consider the feelings of Lin Beifan and the court officials!
After completing a round of rewards, the Empress joyfully declared, “If there is anything to report, do so now. Otherwise, court is dismissed!”
“Your Majesty, I have some information to report. It has been discovered that Prince of Northern Hebei, Prince of Southern Jiang, Duke Wuxi… and several other vassal kings have successfully researched and manufactured hovercraft as waterborne weapons in their respective territories. Their trials have been highly successful. I implore Your Majesty to take note!” The commander of the Imperial Guard stepped forward to report.
“Your Majesty, I have just received news that the surrounding nations, such as the Great Xia Empire, Great Yan Empire, Dayue Dynasty, and others, have also researched and successfully launched hovercraft. I implore Your Majesty to take note!” A senior general stepped forward to report.