Thomas worked the bellows of the forge to bring the iron up to temperature. Once the ingot pieces were up to temperature, Thomas pulled out the largest piece and started to hammer it out into a rectangular shape about fifteen centimeters long. This piece would form the base of the crossbow along with the flight groove that the bolt would rest in. Thomas used the hot cut tool to hammer a groove in a straight line down the top of the iron bar to make the flight groove. Later he would add the latch and bolt retention spring to one end of it. The other end would host the risers and limbs for the bow.
With the body roughly shaped, Thomas selected another chunk of iron and began to hammer it out into a thin bar about the same length as the body of the crossbow, approximately fifteen centimeters. He also used the dishing tool from making the grenade to help him put a curve into the bar to help form one of the limbs that would make up the bow. He repeated the process a second time to make a matching limb so that the two limbs would form a whole bow at the front of the crossbow.
Thomas spent the next hour forging out various small pieces he would need, such as the hinges and the small pieces he would need for the trigger assembly. Because the crossbow would be mounted on his wrist the trigger assembly was positioned at the back of the crossbow, all he would have to do would be to push down on it and it would release the bowstring to propel the arrow forward. Lastly, he'd forged a few small pieces that he would have to carve teeth into to make sprockets that would work with the enchantments to pull the bowstring back after it had been fired.
Over the course of several hours, Thomas refined each piece until they approached completion. With most of the pieces of the crossbow nearly done he switched to working on the bracer that the crossbow would be mounted onto. He intended to rivet the crossbow to the thick leather he had selected. He cut out a rectangular piece similar to the one he'd cut out for his current set of leather bracers. Actually, he was basically recreating that but with thicker and tougher leather and a softer underlayer to go against his arm to make it more comfortable.
Thomas cut two copies of the leather rectangle and layered them on top of each other with leather for the straps sandwiched between. He decided to make the straps go completely across the top of the bracer to reinforce it even more. He used the same kind of glue that he'd used at Hyde's and earlier to make the grenade to bind the two layers together. Additionally, he stitched the leather to the straps just to completely reinforce everything so it could handle any pressure it might come under in combat. The last thing he needed was for the crossbow to fall off of his arm in the middle of a fight.
Once the leather portion of the bracer was done, Thomas began work on the soft cotton pad that would go between the leather and his arm. He used two sheets of cotton cloth with cotton stuffing in between to make the pad and sewed it to the interior of the bracer. He stitched a cross pattern to firmly adhere the pad to the bracer, as well as reinforce the bracer even further. It was not going to fall apart anytime soon. With the bracer completed, he began to assemble the device.
First, he attached the main body of the crossbow to the bracer by drilling holes through the base and the bracer with a hand drill and hammering rivets into it with a ball peen hammer against the anvil. Incidentally, he decided he would craft a power drill at some point. With the base attached to the bracer, he attached the locking hinges and limbs to the main body and locked them in place with several rivets to reinforce the binding glue. He wasn't that confident in the glue so he added a couple of extra rivets where he could to make sure it was as secure as possible.
Thomas had to stop his assembly at this point to work on enchanting the pieces that would make up the auto-draw system of the crossbow. It wasn't really all that complicated. A wire was attached to the bowstring and fed into a winch-like system that would wind up and pull the bowstring back until it locked into place. When the trigger was pulled the bowstring would launch the bolt while pulling the wire out. By feeding mana into the attachment the winch would wind up and redraw the bowstring. To make the enchantment, Thomas only had to imagine a powerful electric motor that had a lot of torque. Thomas used the oil and mana crystal mix left over from the grenade to engrave each piece of the auto-draw assembly with the symbol for the electric motor, which was yet another circuit board-like pattern.
Once the engraving was done he began assembling the trigger mechanism. It wasn't too complex and consisted mostly of a single metal piece that was circular with two sections that had sections carved out. One small section that the trigger would hold in place and a large section that would hold the bowstring in place. When the trigger was pulled it would release the section it was holding allowing the metal circle to rotate and release the bowstring. For the winch part of the crossbow, Thomas twisted together two sections of sinew from an unknown animal to make a strong wire for pulling the bowstring.
Thomas attached the arrow retention spring once the trigger assembly and winch were installed, covering those somewhat sensitive parts. With that done he only really had one thing left to do, string the bow. Thomas used two more sections of animal sinew to make the bowstring and attached it to the wire coming from the winch in the body of the crossbow. He finished that off with some glue to bind them together. It might not be the best idea and would make changing out the bowstring in the future a pain in the ass, but he didn't want to risk the wire potentially coming undone on accident. He'd just have to replace the bowstring and winch wire at the same time in the future, if he used this thing that long. With the bowstring installed the entire thing was finally completely assembled.
|System Notice: You have created a Normal Wrist Crossbow. Quality: Excellent. You have gained 144 Magitech Engineering experience.|
|Weapon Type:||Wrist Crossbow|
|Description:||A specially crafted crossbow that can rest on an individuals wrist and collapse down for easy carrying and storage as well as automatically draw the bowstring back by feeding mana into it. The full metal construction gives the crossbow extra power when launching bolts. Damage dealt is dependant on the ammunition that is used with it.|
Thomas smiled as he looked over the specs of the crossbow. It seemed like it might have some power to it, unfortunately, he didn't currently have any bolts he could use to test it and he didn't feel like making any at the moment. Though he would definitely have to craft a few special pieces of ammo. After all, a grenade arrow was a classic! After looking it over for a bit, Thomas set it down on the workbench and touched it with a single finger. He urged his mana to move to his finger and fed it into the crossbow. As soon as his mana came into contact with it the winch went to work and slowly wound the wire back to draw the bowstring. It took less than two seconds for the bowstring to click into place.
Thomas let it sit for a few minutes to make sure the trigger assemble could handle the pressure of the drawn bowstring for as long as needed. Leaving it cocked for a long time during the day would just stretch out the string and make it useless, but he had to make sure he could keep it cocked for at least a little while without the trigger assembly failing. After a few minutes passed he nodded in approval and pushed down the trigger. The bowstring let out a loud snap sound as the limbs pulled it forward. The wire from the winch followed closely and stayed attached to the bowstring properly.
Thomas carefully checked over every inch of the crossbow to make sure nothing had shifted position or broken after it had fired. Seeing that everything was in place and in good condition, Thomas heaved a sigh and set it down on the workbench. It looked like everything had come together rather nicely. Thomas left the back room and went to let Hekrin know he was done. Hekrin joined Thomas in the back room and looked over what Thomas had created. Hekrin examined it with a trained eye, poking and prodding in various places. After a good ten minutes of looking it over and even test firing it, Hekrin nodded and set it down, "Not bad kid."
|System Notice: Reputation with Hekrin Graveljaw has improved.|
Hekrin grinned at Thomas, "Have any issues making it?"
Thomas shook his head and answered honestly, "Not really. I already knew how to do everything that needed to be done to make the parts. It just took time to forge, enchant, and assemble everything."
Hekrin gave Thomas a smug look, "Of course. After all, you already learned all of this."
Thomas grimaced. He'd walked right into Hekrin's verbal trap. He'd just inadvertently admitted that everything Hekrin made him do had benefitted him. It had, of course, but that didn't mean Thomas wanted to give Hekrin the satisfaction. Hekrin laughed at the look on Thomas's face and looked extremely satisfied, "What you're doing right now is just the bare basics kid. Give it some time and you'll be able to delve into the really deep subjects and make devices of your own design." Hekrin looks over the crossbow once more then addresses Thomas, "You owe me fifty gold for the materials you used to make this."
Thomas was a bit surprised at the quoted price. He hadn't even used a whole ingot of iron, the material that should be the most expensive. The price didn't bother him, he had more than enough gold for it, it just felt too high so Thomas asked, "That seems a bit much, why is it so expensive, Master?"
Hekrin points to the tendons used to make the bowstring and winch wire, "Those tendons come from a creature called a Zelph. They're slightly more powerful monsters so their materials are worth a bit more."
"What's a Zelph?"
Hekrin looks at Thomas and sighs, "You should read more kid. A Zelph is a large lizard-like creature, sometimes called a ground dragon. It has no real relation to dragons, just happens to look kind of like a much smaller and weaker one without wings. They're fiercely territorial and their bite is wicked poisonous. A single bite will fester and kill most weaker adventurers. However, almost all of their body can be used for excellent crafting materials. Their hide make great leather armor, their claws make great daggers, their bones are excellent reinforcement for plate mail, and their tendons make excellent bowstrings."
Thomas thought about that and shrugged his shoulders. He'd have to try and hunt one down in the future for the materials. Since that was the case, Thomas withdrew fifty gold coins from his storage ring and handed them over to Hekrin. Hekrin accepted the coins with a smile and they vanished shortly after being placed in his hand. Hekrin made his way back towards the storefront, "Feel free to make anything else for the next couple of hours until I close the shop!"
Thomas watched Hekrin leave and sighed. It almost felt like Hekrin just wanted him to make stuff so he could charge some money for it. Thomas thought about what he might need next. He wasn't ready to begin production for selling items yet, instead, he wanted to outfit himself and test some of the items out before deciding what would be best to sell. Currently, he had a melee weapon, a ranged weapon, and armor.
As Thomas was thinking he broke out into a grin. What he needed was not a weapon or armor. What he really needed was tools! And one tool that would make his life a lot easier would be a welder! Now the question was, how to go about making it? Obviously using a MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welder was still the most common form of welding in the real world but the question was, could he replicate that here in AoG using magic? Making an enchantment to gather carbon dioxide for the 'Inert Gas' part of MIG wasn't much of an issue, he figured. He also didn't think it would be very hard to make an enchantment to provide the current. As far as he could figure, the hardest part would be creating the wire used by the welder. But, if he could pull it off he could make an extremely compact MIG welder that would basically just be the welding torch. He wouldn't need a generator or gas tank at all.
Thomas crossed his arms over his chest and closed his eyes as he tried to think of a way to easily produce the wire. Since he would be welding iron he needed to think of a way to make iron wires thin enough to work with the welder. Perhaps... perhaps his transmutation could potentially be used for that?