Kingdoms Online



Chapter 38: Seeker of Vengeance


A note from Termax


Rick made a small serving of spaghetti with tomato sauce and cleaned the kitchen after he had logged off from the game. He then decided to go for a short jog in the neighboorhood to help him wind down before heading to bed. When he made it back home he locked the door and took a hot shower.

In his bedroom, Rick set his alarm to wake up in a couple hours and went right to bed so that he could get some sleep before he rejoined the game and prepared for the battle.

When his alarm woke him he turned it off and used the bathroom. As he left the bathroom he turned the light off and went into the spare bedroom to hop into the VR capsule.

Rick found himself once again in his large canopy bed in the castle bedroom once he had reconnected. He reached over and gently woke Angelica up. When he saw her stir awake he stood up and turned the bedroom lights on and equipped his runic full plate mail "Bastion of Protection".

He crossed the room to the armor stand that held Angelica's armor and he helped her equip all of her gear and recharged her armor's storage gems. The two of them left the bedroom and crossed the hall to wake up Nezera who actually woke up when they lightly knocked on her door and entered the room.

Rick saw that her armor was laid out on a corner table so he decided to make her and armor stand to help keep her armor organized and out of the way. Since he had an inventory he never thought about how it must be a pain for all of his troops to have their weapons and armor laying around the apartment.

Once he showed Nezera how to use the armor stand he and Angelica helped her with putting everything on. She was already familiar with how to strap it on but it was much easier when someone helped with the leather straps and buckles.

Rick also charged Nezera's runic armor which was exactly like Angelica's but a different color. The three of them then left the castle that was still dark. The castle staff were still asleep and would wake soon to begin cleaning, making beds, preparing meals, and washing clothes.

The only other people awake were the two guards who came to attention as they walked out the front door. They could also see that the Captain of the guard had units patrolling the castle walls and had two more guards standing guard at the castle gatehouse entrance.

Rick snapped a salute to all of the vigilante guards who noticed the trio as they passed by them on their way over to the restaurant. He was surprised that the lights were on when they entered and found that the restaurant staff was all inside preparing breakfast already.

Apparently, word had got around the restaurant about the battle and the staff had all decided to come in and help out. They knew that Rick had made breakfast for the units every time before they went out to fight and they wanted to be able to do their part since they could not fight this is how they chose to help support the troops.

He thanked the serving girls and kitchen staff then left Angelica and Nezera to wait there for him as he left to walk over to Tower Island. He noticed that the stable lights were already on and when he looked in while passing by he could see the stable hands placing armor on the horses and preparing their saddles and reigns.

Rick kept walking not wanting to bother them and entered the tower on the island. He removed some large cuts of smoked meat from the fridge and stored them away. He then rounded up all of the Tigers and Dire Wolves from their stables and led them over to the restaurant. He led the group of animals inside and gave them all a plate stacked with slices of smoked meat.

As the animals ate in silence General Sturm walked in and Rick gave him a wave as he was cutting up more meat for the critters. Over the next fifteen minutes, units poured into the restaurant in groups until the place was filled with many different races of military troops all dressed for battle. 

The restaurants serving girls began to bring out plates of food from the kitchen. They went from table to table with organized speed showing that they had done this routine so many times that they had it down to a science already. In a matter of a few minutes, everyone was served and eating a delicious breakfast of fried eggs mixed with cheese and vegetables, pancakes with butter, and a large thick slice of meat.

Rick went over and began strapping armor onto his Tigers and Wolves while everyone ate and instructed everyone to meet outside when they had finished eating. He did not try to rush them along and let everyone take their time and enjoy their meals. He was about to lead all of these units into battle and for all, he knew this might be one of their last meals. He was fairly confident that they should all make it back fine, but in battle, the blows come from all directions and anything could happen in just a blink of an eye.

When the last group had left the restaurant and reported that only the staff were inside, RIck led the group down to the stables so that the cavalry could collect their mounts. The cavalry entered the stables and walked their mounts out into the street as Rick opened a Portal to a location in the woods north of the Nekomimi settlement. Standing in the dark forest Rick used his Cartography skill to make a map of the area before deciding where they would attack from.

Rick took out the map and looked over the surrounding terrain.

 It looks like we have a few options available here. I could use the hills on the north side or east side of the settlement to make another fortification or we could set up in front of the hills and attack them from a distance. Another option would be to quietly march right into the settlement, but I think that would be risky and we would wind up becoming surrounded eventually. I doubt that they will try to charge our location when they discover us so a fortification will be useless. We need to remain mobile so that we can try and force them into a melee fight. Rick put the map away after memorizing the area with the PhotoReading skill. 

He walked over to General Sturm and had him form up the troops and they began quietly marching south out of the forest and over the hills. After crossing the hills they stopped at the edge of the open plain.

Rick walked back up the hill behind them about halfway and used his Move and Shape Earth skill to cut out a flat ledge on the hillside. He then began to evenly lay out the Balista in a straight line facing the distant settlement. With his ballista bolt recipes, he was able to make more fire and standard bolts for the ballista and stacked them in neat piles next to each machine. When the female ballista crew noticed him on the hill setting up their engines they started to climb up to his location and stand next to each available ballista.

The siege engine crew were told to once again begin with runic fire bolts and they all began loading up the engines and sighting them in on the shimmering campfires that dimly lit the distant huts a few hundred yards out in front of them.

Rick left them to prepare and walked down the hill until he could just see over the top of his units and made another ledge with a waist-high battlement along the front of it. He brought his ranged units up behind the battlements on the ledge so that they had a clear sight of the enemy if they tried to approach their location from the settlement. He told them to make sure to take cover behind the short ledge if they started taking ranged fire and went back up the hill to have the Ballista crew to begin the assault.

SpoilerRick's Frontline Location.

 They all activated the small fire runes on their loaded bolts and released them in unison across the field. Rick watched as the glowing specks arced through the darkness to fall somewhere inside the settlement. Without waiting for orders the line of dwarven women began winding back the bows on their engines and reloading them with runic fire bolts. After a few quick adjustments, they all released a second volley onto the unsuspecting sleeping tribe.

The line continued without hesitation to reload and fire and after the third volley, they could all see flames that were not under control begin to grow and light up sections of the distant huts. Rick gave them instructions to continue their barrage until they were told to stop and he walked down the hill to where General Sturm, Angelica, and Nezera stood together looking out at the distant fires that were beginning to take hold in the Nekomimi camp.

"I going to fly over there and see if I can't shake things up a little. Keep everyone back here and if any enemy begins to attack before I return then establish a shield wall and allow our ranged and magic troops to fire at will." Rick said to the three standing before him.

He then activated Flight and flew up above the fire bolts toward the settlement where he started dropping a combination of fire and space spells down on the sleeping tribe. It did not take long to wake them from their beds once a couple of his spells detonated on top of the small hovels below him. 

Rick slowly circled the camp using his fire elemental affinity and fire spells to ignite the outer huts in hopes that the flames would begin to jump from one hut to the next and engulf the settlement in the same way that the forest orc camp had burned.

The Nekomimi tribe had built their settlement very close to the western ocean and they even had a few crude docks and small boats along the coast. They more than likely used the boats to fish in the ocean and had built their homes close to the shoreline so that they would not have far to travel when they went out to cast their nets every day.

Rick noticed that the wind began to pick up and blow in from across the ocean and help fuel the fires below him. When he saw this happen he flew toward the west side of the camp and concentrated on igniting as many huts as possible there. The western ocean winds pushed the flames toward the east and it wasn't long until a wall of flames began to engulf the dry wood and leather hovels.

With his concentrated efforts, all in one location he was spotted by the sharp eyes of the Nekomimi below him and they did not hesitate to start accurately bouncing arrows off of his runic armor.  Now that he had used over half of his mana he flew up into the air and back toward his troops without trying to hide the direction he was heading.

Some minutes after landing a group of about fifty Nekomimi was spotted attempting to cross the open field. It seemed like after Rick had flown off they had quickly assembled a reconnaissance group to head in the direction he had flown and that burning ballista bolts continued to launch from. 

Unlike the hostile forest orcs, the Nekomimi attempted to stay low in the grass and use the darkness to slowly approach the foreign attackers outside of their settlement. They were quite visible to Rick and many of his units that had the Night Sight skill and began to quietly display hand signals to alert everyone that an enemy squad was coming their way.

General Sturm gave out hand signals to form the shield wall and had the back ranged units prepare to attack. Once the enemy was in range the fire at will signal was sent out to the elevated archer line on the hill behind him. The archer released a volley of arrows in silence that rained down accurately on the surprised enemy who found out the hard way that they had been discovered. A few of the more inexperienced Nekomimi attempted to return fire and found out that their simple wooden bows did not have the range and accuracy of the enemy who all were outfitted with the Mythril compound bows, Rick had designed and had the higher ground giving their arrows extra distance.

While the Nekomimi arrows continued to fall way short of the enemy invader lines the more experienced or cowardly of the Nekomimi did not hesitate to head directly back to the settlement. The ballista engines up on the hill suddenly went silent just after the remaining Neko tribesmen had been either driven back or eliminated. Rick walked up the hill and found out that they had all expended their runic fire bolts and were awaiting further orders.

He told them to hold off on their attack and to load standard bolts in preparation for the enemies counterattack. Rick instructed them to go ahead and fire upon any enemy squads that attempted to cross the battlefield.

Rick activated his Farsight skill along with his Night Sight skill and watched the settlement from the Ballista line on the hillside to see if he could figure out how the enemy would respond. He knew that a few from the small recon group had made it back to the settlement and they were most assuredly informing their comrades of their current location.

With the fire raging through the settlement Rick could see that the enemy tribesmen were being pushed away from the burning huts out onto the eastern plains. As the winds blew in from the ocean to fan the flames the group of Nekomimi continued to grow until there were hundreds of them gathered around. The furious group watched as their homes and everything they owned went up in the inferno along with quite a few of their trapped loved ones.

Wanting to strike back at the attackers they formed a plan and moved out in a large group of what looked to be roughly two or three hundred. Surprisingly they did not advance to the north were Rick and his units stood to wait for them to decide on how to attack. The large group of Nekomimi went directly east into the forest and with his Far Sight still activated Rick could see that they were then turning north and slowly making their way parallel to the woodline. 

I can't believe they are actually trying to flank us. They are using the trees to hide their advancement so that they can get in bow range of us or to possibly come up from the side or behind us!

SpoilerNekomimi Flank.

 Rick ran down the hill to the archer line and had all of them fall in behind him and they descended the hillside. Rick met up with Sturm, Angelica, and Nezera and told them what the enemy was up and quickly filled them in on his plan.

He waved the cavalry, Tigers, and Dire Wolves over to him and he had the archers, offensive magic units, and half of his heavy infantry mount up. He had the archers ride on the back of the cavalry units horses and the infantry along with mages double up on the Tigers and Dire Wolves. The half-giants used their Aura Knight "Heaven's Helper" skill to summon a spirit type mount that looked like a warhorse that was larger than a Clydesdale horse. Angelica and Nezera both climbed onto the back of the Tiger, Rick was on and he quickly led the mounted units at a gallop across the dark grassland into the eastern tree line. Even though the mounts were all heavily weighed down by the two units they all carried they only had a short distance to travel so by the time they began to tire from the run they had reached the forest.

When all of his units reached the forest, Rick turned them south and they rode to a spot where a large hill formed a bottleneck that would force the enemy to skirt the edge of the forest to bypass it.

SpoilerRick's Mounted Counter-Flank.

 Everyone dismounted and the infantry was ordered to form a shield wall behind a line of bushes and trees with the ranged units and magic casters making up a 2nd and 3rd row behind the wall. Rick sent the cavalry out behind onto their right flank on the open grassland and had the Tigers and Wolves fall in behind the 3rd line. Rick stood on the frontline peering through the shield wall with his Night Sight and FarSight ready to inform his units of the second he saw any movement.

As his units were setting up the ambush line, Rick used his Nature elemental affinity to grow the vegetation along the front line so that all of his units were hidden from the approaching Nekomimi.

They all waited in silence for about fifteen minutes and then Rick spotted the front of the advancing enemy group a few hundred yards south of their ambush line. Rick gave the hand signal he saw his units use earlier when they spotted the enemy. The line of Hero Rangers started nocking arrows and waited for a signal to attack.

Since the enemy group was strung out in an oblong column, Rick held back and allowed them to come to within roughly twenty yards of their hidden location before he unleashed the archers and mages on them. The quiet forest with the ocean breeze blowing through the canopy and the chirping insects instantly turned into a deafening battlefield as runic fire arrows mixed with a deadly combination of attack spells burst amidst the enemy formation.

Enemy bodies were hurled against burning tree trunks as a collective roar of agonizing screams mixed with the explosions. Rick opened a Portal behind his units to the cavalry who waited in reserve out on the grassland and stepped through to give them orders. He sent them to charge down along the treeline and find targets of opportunity.

"I want you to attack the enemy with your bows, but do not enter the forest! Stay out where you can use the maneuverability of your horses to your advantage! Once the enemy begins to fall back do not follow them until I move the infantry forward from our current position! We will all move in a line and drive the enemy back to their settlement! Rick yelled out so that they all could hear his orders.

He then sent them forward and stepped back through the Portal and closed it behind him. The Nekomimi even though falling into an ambush and taking heavy losses did not falter and continued forward attempting to use the trees for cover so that they could return fire. They were able to form a firing line and returned a nasty swarm of arrows back at Rick's units. 

If not for the interlocking tower shield wall they would have been in serious trouble. The sounds of the enemy arrows clanged loudly off the infantry shield wall shattering on impact leaving at most an occasional scratch or tiny chip in the hard but lightweight Mythril shields.

When some of the closer enemies noticed that they were not penetrating the shield wall hidden behind the bushes they climbed some of the trees and began to shoot down over the shields and managed to hit a mage and a couple Hero Rangers.  As the Assassin/Clerics took care of the wounded, Rick had the Archers focus on clearing the trees of enemy bowmen. The treetops were instantly cleared of the makeshift snipers and the archers were able to once again join the attack on the ground units that the magic casters were still fighting.

Rick rounded up Angelica, Nezera, and the armored animals and led them in a wide circle to come at the Nekomimi from the side who were focused on the shield wall north of them. He led his armored strike force into the side of the tribesmen catching them completely off guard. The Wolves and Tigers rushed ahead and created chaos among the enemy which allowed Angelica Nezera, and Rick to simply slash and carve their way right through the enemy before they even knew what had cut them down.

The tribesmen were no match for the furious armored beasts who looked like metal demons. Within a matter of minutes, the Nekomimi who had been attacking from behind the trees were pulled from cover to be ripped and shredded apart like playthings. The horrific screams sent shivers down the backs of the survivors and sent them running south in panic. Rick reigned in the Tigers and Dire Wolves and went back to the shield wall and had them form up into Testudo.

It took a minute to figure it out since they were used to forming a Testudo formation with larger numbers and then began a slow march south. Rick kept the huge armored Tigers on the left flank and the Dire Wolves on the right flank and had them use their keen animal senses to weed out any hidden enemies along the way. 

The cavalry followed behind the advancing Testudo until they were directly east of the burning settlement. 

SpoilerHolding Location.

 There on the edge of the forest looking out at the settlement and group of surviving tribesmen, Rick set up yet another temporary shield wall. He used his Portal Spell again to bring General Sturm and the rest of his units over to the new eastern location after he packed away all of the ballista engines.

The sun was now beginning to rise and the cover of darkness was tossed aside as Rick had his infantry form up in Testudo. He split the cavalry and had them form up on the flanks while the armored animal followed from behind.

Rick was sure that the enemy was retelling the battle that just took place in the forest and he wanted to make his move before they could decide on their next course of action. He had General Sturm lead his troops out of the forest and they marched all together toward the remaining Tribesmen.

WIth the sharp eyes of the Nekomimi and the rising sun continuing to illuminate the battlefield, they were seen crossing the field soon after leaving the forest. With the ocean and burning settlement behind them, the Nekomimi had nowhere to run or hide.

When General Sturm knew the troops were in striking range of the enemy he had his units dissolve the Testudo and form a shield wall. As General Sturm was giving the Archers the orders to open fire on the enemy who began to move forward to get into range, Rick unleashed the cavalry on both wings who rode forward to unleash a hail of arrows along with the archers.

The demoralized tribesmen hardly had time to even try to form a firing line before small groups of them attempted to break and run to the north or south. Rick used his Speak with Animals skill to send out the Tigers to the north and the Dire wolves to the south and cut off any escape routes.

After a few volleys, Rick told Sturm to unleash the infantry and he sent the cavalry around behind them at a full gallop to hit the enemy from behind. Outnumbered and surrounded the Neko tried to fight back with their daggers without much success against the fully armored infantry who were wielding superior weapons with double the reach. 

Because they had attacked his people twice killing two of his men and almost Angelica as well, he did not show them any mercy and had his troop fight them until the end. It would have been great if he could have brought some of them over to his side to help defend his city, but he just couldn't bring himself to forgive or trust them. 

Rick had his men gather up all of the enemies arrows and left everything else behind. The crude weapons and clothing were not worth bothering with so he opened his Portal and brought his troops home as the sun began to peek over the eastern mountain range.

Before sending everyone off he used one of his recipes to make armor stands for all of his military units and sent them all home to relax for the rest of the day. The cavalry walked their horses to the stables and Rick took the armor off of the Tigers and Wolves then let them return to Tower Island. Nezera and Angelica decided to head back to the castle together so that they could remove their armor for somthing a little more comfortable.

Once everyone had walked off, Rick opened his notifications that had been blinking away.

SpoilerShow Notices!.

 323 out of 323 attackers dead, it's kind of sad that every single one of them is now dead.  I would have rather had an ally than a few more experience points and a new title. 

Rick closed his notices and opened his Status Menu to see what changes had now taken place as the workers began filing into the crafting district to begin their daily jobs.

SpoilerShow Status!.

 Rick went over his stats and titles then closed his status screen and began walking through the crafting district talking with his workers and collecting their completed products.  Rick arrived at the shop he had assigned to the Sail Makers and found that they would be able to finish the final sail in about an hour so he activated a Fast Domain and watched as the finished sewing together the final sail.

He packed away the sails and finished his rounds in the crafting district. When he had gathered the completed items and carriages he opened a Portal to his store office. In his office, he found not only the sales record book but a large stack of books on his desk with a note from his merchant. Rick went through the sales records and collected the pile of coins from his desk drawer along with four notes with customer names and directions to their residents who had purchased carriages from his store.

 After dropping off the sales record book, Rick restocked the displays and then left the store to deliver the purchased carriages to the customer's homes. Following the written directions he went to the four large residents and assembled the newly built carriages for each of the customers and made sure to inform them of the delivery before heading off to the inn that his merchant had told him about in his note.

He was lucky enough to find the merchant sitting at a table ordering breakfast when he entered the inn. Rick sat down and order breakfast as well and listened to the merchant's report of what books he found available and a small place that he wanted to rent. Rick gave the merchant an idea of what type of books he would be interested in, but he really didn't mind if he even bought random unrelated books. He wanted to fill his castle library with books and one day would also want to make a city library so books of any kind would be useful to him.

Rick gave the merchant plenty money to pay the rent on the small place he found for a month and enough spending money.  Before leaving the Inn Rick paid for their breakfast and left the merchant to go take care of his living arrangements. From a small alley next to the merchant's Inn, he opened a Portal to the location his shipwrights had been working on his sailboat. 

The Shipwrights were already busily finishing up the inside of the cabin so he left them with the sails and flew off toward the south. He stopped at a small grove of trees along the way and cut down eighty-four decent sized trees and stored them away after stripping them of branches.

Continuing his flight south, Rick landed on the coastline in the large bay that he had always wanted to one day turn into a harbor. 

SpoilerGodshome Island Map.

 Removing a tree from his inventory he used his astrallium axe to split it into four sections. Using his Shape Wood skill he shaped the four sections into round poles similar to a telephone pole. He acquired a recipe for the shaped logs that he named "Pier Pole" and used this new recipe to make extras. With the use of his other lumber recipes, Rick also made planks and posts to be used to make large docks.

Inside of his Fast Domain, he unequipped his gear and waded into the ocean water and used his Shape Shift skill to transform into a fish. He swam around in his fish form while using Move and Shape Earth to dig out the natural bay along the shoreline so that one-day large ships would have no problems sailing into the harbor without having to worry about beaching or hull damage.

Once he was happy with the depth he transformed back into his original form and left the water to redress. He began taking out Pier Poles and flying out over the water and pushing them into the ocean floor while also using the Move and Shape Earth skill to remove just enough of the ocean floor to slid the Pier Poles roughly twenty feet into the ground. When he had the Pier Poles all sunk firmly into the ground he started boxing them in with wooden posts and then laid out the planks and nailed them to the post box frame.

He made a huge dock along the shoreline to hold goods and people that would one day be unloaded from the ships docking here. Along the dock, he erected four temporary wooden buildings that his workers could use to hold materials escape bad weather or even spend the night in if they chose.

Now that he had the main dock built next was to build outstretching docks with individual slips to tie down ships that were unloading or remaining at the dock. He made fifty boat slips that were large enough to hold even wooden frigate sized ships and then moved on to make a covered dry dock close to the docks. Making use of runes he carved large wind runes that could pump water out of the dry dock through clay pipes so that when the large wooden doors were open on the dry dock and it flooded to allow the built boat out they could close the doors and pump the water out to make the next ship.

Spoiler: Harbor Layout

 Now that he at least had the start of a basic harbor he packed away his tools and lumber and flew back toward his city to land at the Officials Building. Rick walked inside to the System Gate in the main hallway on the first floor and opened to the Buy Units Menu. Irene came out when she heard the door open and when she found out he was going to purchase more citizens she went to the lounge and instructed the messengers to come to her office.

 Directing to the Religion Division Menu, Rick purchased one human female Pope, one human female Cardinal, one human female Head Priestess, four human female Priestesses and six human female Clerics. Along with the Religion units, he also spawned eight female Halfling Servants and eight Male Halfling Servants. He sent them all out with the messengers and told them to meet him at the temple when they had been assigned apartments.

 Rick walked outside with the large crowd and headed toward the temple while they went off with the messengers. When he entered the Temple he sat down in the front row of rews and looked through his inventory at the titles of the new books his merchant had purchased to pass the time.

It wasn't long before the group of females returned from finding the location of their new homes and receiving the key that unlocked it. He stood up when he saw them entering and called out to Faith.

"Faith may I speak with you for a moment?" Rick said aloud.

With a bright flash of light Faith suddenly appeared before him with a bright smile. "Hello, Cedric it seems that you have brought a few new friends along with you." She said while glancing at the shocked group behind him.

He then introduced all of the Religion units to Faith so that they could meet the goddess that they would be serving from now on. Rick was unsure on how Faith would want her religion to be handled and what was involved with the religious services so he left it up to Faith to teach this all-female group how to handle the temple. All he added is that he would like to see an early morning and evening daily mass so that the people of the city could stop by and over prayers or attend services when they wished.

Rick then asked the group of male and female Halflings to follow him over to the gaming houses. He explained that their jobs would be to teach people how to play the games and also work as card dealers or game referees. Using the Fast Domain he went from one game to the next explaining the rules and how each was played he also gave each of the Halflings a few sheets of parchment and charcoal pencils so that they could take notes on everything he taught them.

After a couple hours of schooling the Halfings he told them that they could pick a floor of one of the gaming houses to work or that they could take turns rotating from one building to the next it was completely up to them and then he left them to play with the different games to get some first-hand experience with them.

He left the gaming houses in the care of the Halflings and began to cross the city. While he walked he used his Cartography skill to review the city construction progress.

SpoilerUpdated City Map.

 The crafting district is just about completely finished. It looks like I can get them started on the next big project. Rick thought as he headed deeper into the western side of the crafting district.

When he had reached the plot that Handil and Jerem's crews were working to finish up the last to crafting buildings he took out his drawing desk and a chair. He cast Fast Domain and sat down to begin drawing up the next big entertainment project.


SpoilerEntertainment Project Design.

 After drawing the new Amphitheater and writing down the measurements he had committed to memory he walked over to Handil and pulled him to the side. He showed him the new design that he wanted him and Jerem to start on next and explained what it was. He explained how he would need to make use of the aqueduct arch to make the outer shell. He told him how there should be a backstage area and how the fake building faces on stage should have access to every level so that actors and actresses could use the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors of each building.

Rick took out his city map and pointed out the area where he wanted it built and told Handil to have Jerem and his crew join him in the Amphitheater construction once they had completed the last buildings in the crafting district.

They all walked over to the plot and while Handil's work crew began marking out the area with the measurements of the Amphitheater, Rick opened a Portal to the limestone quarry. He went over to the large stacks of cut limestone blocks and stored them along with the piles of limestone dust. When he had collected all of the presently cut blocks he stepped back through the Portal and stacked all of the limestone blocks along the road.

"This should keep you and your men busy while the Wagoners catch up and begin to bring you all the supplies you will need here," Rick told Handil in Dwarven.

Handil just smiled while shaking his head then waved to Rick as he walked off toward the castle. Rick sat down at his table in his castle workshop and disconnected from the game. He made a couple tuna fish sandwichs and ate them while doing some research on his computer. When he finished eating he rejoined the game and took out a pencil and parchment to write down what he was just studying online.

He had to continue to disconnect and reconnect quite a few times to draw out the diagrams for a couple designs he wanted to experiment with. 


SpoilerRick's Experimental Designs.

 Along with the diagrams, he transferred over information that he had found from do-it-yourself and off-the-grid websites. He was studying how to make a simple paintball gun and a magnet generator. The paintball gun he wanted to see if he could make one that could shoot a small metal bullet. If he could carve wind runes inside the gun that shot out a powerful blast when the switch rune was pressed it could propel the metal ball out of the barrel. He needed to experiment so that he could make the gun shoot at a long distance and also be lethal.

The magnet generator he knew was possible to make it was just a matter of making the magnets and aligning them properly.  He wasn't in a hurry to make the generator yet so he just made the magnets from astrallium. By heating the astrallium in the forge and applying an electrical current to it with his lightning elemental he was able to make the magnets without too much trouble and received a recipe for them.

Rick stored the magnets in his inventory for later and began making the various parts for the new air gun out of steel. With the help of his blacksmithing and Metal Sculptor skill, he made each individual rifle part inside of his Fast Domain. It took him quite some time to carve out a precise twist in the rifle barrel, but after a few attempts, he was able to use his Metal Sculptor skill to finally make the barrel rifling.

When all of the small pins, bolts, screws, and springs were finished and assembled he moved onto making a high-powered air cartridge. He chose to use the general shape of a typical airgun cartridge but on a larger scale. After making three different sizes he was able to make one that barely fit inside the rifle stock.


 Once he had connected all of the wind runes he put them on a circuit that ran to a storage gem and a switch rune. Behind the hinging trigger, he carved the switch rune into the rifle frame so that when the trigger was pulled back it would touch the switch and activate the wind runes that sent out a blast of air from the rifle barrel. The bullet he designed for the rifle looked similar to a pistol bullet without the brass casing. Since this rifle would work off of compressed air it did not need gunpowder so Rick was able to skip making the bullets brass casing and primer.

He made the test bullets from three different materials. The first bullet was made from the extremely heavy Astrallium. The second bullet was made from soft iron and the third bullet was made from the hard but lightweight Mythril.

Outside the castle, Rick set up a stone block target and walked away roughly twenty-five yards and tested the three materials. All three of them at the close range was able to knock out decent sized chunks from the stone blocks and it was hard to tell if one did any more damage than the next.

Rick set up brand new stone blocks and walked back about seventy yards and tested all three bullet materials. The iron and Mythril bullets still id quite a bit of damage, but the heavy astrallium bullet seemed to have already lost quite a bit of velocity and only managed to make an indent in the stone block.

At over one hundred yards the astrallium bullet no longer could make it to the target unless Rick aimed above the target about 6-8 inches and had lost all of its power. The iron bullet was able to still accurately strike the target but it was obvious it was also losing velocity. The Mythril bullet was still hitting hard and Rick could tell that even at this range it would still be able to kill.

He quit testing the iron and astrallium bullets and continued to walk back from the target testing the limitations of the Mythril bullet. When he reached around one and fifty yards from the target the bullet began to lose its power. It could probably still be effective out to one sixty-five yards but it would more than likely not create a wound that would stop an enemy right away.

After his tests, Rick returned to the castle workshop and field stripped the rifle. Even though the rifle tests were a success he wanted to see if he could somehow extend its range. One hundred and fifty yards was a decent range, but he had an idea that he thought was worth testing.

Inside the rifle stock, he stacked two of the runic air cartridges on top of one another and designed a "Y" shaped extension so that the two cartridges could send a blast out at the same time into the rifle chamber.

This new system would definitely use up the mana in the storage gem much quicker but it should also extend the killing range of his rifle. He ran through all of the same tests again with the three different materials and was able to almost double the effective range of all three bullets. The Mythril was able to shoot out to over three hundred yards and with just open sights it had decent accuracy.

With these rifles, I will be able to outfit every one of my soldiers with a ranged weapon now. With only a couple weeks of practice, they will all be able to shoot targets at a distance and it should bypass the whole Instinctive Knowledge Archery requirement that is needed to use a bow. Rick speculated as he opened his friend list.

He gave Nezera a call and asked her to meet him in front of the castle and she came out right outside with Angelica. It seems they were both in the library and Angelica was giving her a crash course in the written human language with the books in the library.

Since Nezera did not have any ranged skill he explained how the rifle worked and what it did. He then showed her how to hold it and squeeze the trigger to shoot it. At twenty yards after twenty shots she was able to start to hit the target. Angelica also gave it a try and she was even quicker to learn how to aim and shoot the rifle. Rick after verifying that anyone would be able to use the air rifles let the two girls return to their studies.

Once I get a decent amount of coal and iron again and restock my steel supply I will be able to make a large batch of these runic air rifles and have the troops start training on them. Rick checked his notices to be sure re received a recipe for the new modified air rifle and named it "Runic Air Rifle". Placing the new rifle in his inventory after naming the recipe he went upstairs to the library and told the girls he was going to bed.

He checked in on the bookmakers and found that they were becoming quite skilled with using the new ink pens so he had them start on copying the scrolls over to book form. After unequipping his gear in his castle bedroom he laid down and disconnected from Kingdoms Online for the night.
















A note from Termax

About the author


  • Kingdoms Online


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