When Thomas and Hekrin arrived at the same clearing they used to test fire the revolver previously, Thomas retrieved the finished Peace Maker from his inventory. He marveled at the feeling of the revolver in his hand. The Soul Wood the handle was made of actually felt warm and soft in his grip while the light grey color of the heart steel seemed almost threatening. Thomas found it kind of interesting that his weapon literally contained heart and soul. After admiring the revolver he turned to Hekrin, "I'll be firing it myself this time."
Hekrin nodded and walked off to the side a bit to watch Thomas do his testing. Thomas finally finished admiring his work and slowly cocked the hammer of the revolver with his thumb. So far hearing the click of the hammer locking in place hadn't lost its charm. With the hammer cocked the cylinder lined up the cartridge with a 50% charge of Firestone powder. He was planning to go through each stage to feel how powerful the shots were and see which ones worked best. Maybe none of them would, maybe all of them would.
Thomas charged the Peace Maker with his mana. When he did two things happened. First, the enchantment started working as a small flame appeared on the tip of the firing pin. Second, the rest of the revolver began to glow with a grey light that matched the color of the steel. The feeling was rather strange. Enchantments only took as much mana as they needed to function and no more. However, the Peace Maker seemed to want to drink every last drop of his mana. The more mana that he fed into the revolver the thicker the hazy glow around it seemed to become and the more powerful Thomas felt the shot would be.
Thomas immediately stopped channeling his mana. If he fired the gun with it supercharged like it was he wouldn't have a fair idea of how powerful the bullet was by itself. It took a few minutes for the mana charged into the gun to drain out and return it to its normal appearance. This time Thomas took aim before channeling his mana into the revolver once again. The moment the firing pins flame ignited he pulled the trigger. It was surprisingly stiff compared to the hair triggers he'd experienced in a previous game.
Firing the revolver was a truly cathartic experience. The hammer slammed down and the firing pin pierced the thin sheet of metal between it and the Firestone powder in the cartridge. The Firestone powder ignited instantly. The gun jerked in his hand but not enough for it to matter with his current Power attribute. There was a roar of sound like thunder with a loud crack from the sound barrier being broken that echoed through the woods. The bullet struck the tree and sent out a shower of splinters as the lead deformed and dealt even more damage to the tree. All of this happened in the same instant that he pulled the trigger.
Hekrin smiled as he watched Thomas, though he remained silent. Thomas examined the revolver and thought about how the experience of firing it felt. He kept the feeling in mind as he cocked the hammer and fired the gun again. The second shot fired the cartridge filled to 75% of capacity with Firestone powder. The second shot was definitely more powerful while not being much louder. More splinters blew off the tree as the bullet hit it even harder than the first.
Thomas checked over the revolver again and saw no signs of any issues with it. Even scanning it as closely as he could with his 'All Seeing Eyes' there were no signs of visible cracks. Though, it was the potentially hidden cracks that could be a problem. If they existed. Thomas took a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. So far everything was working well. He once again cocked the hammer and rotated the cylinder so that the bullet with a 90% charge of Firestone was lined up and ready to be fired.
With a bit of mana and a pull of the trigger, he fired the third shot. He could feel a distinctly more powerful kick from the gun, but still easy enough to handle. This time there was a small change as a visible plume of flames about ten centimeters long erupted from the barrel of the revolver. When the bullet struck the tree it tossed up a small cloud of splinters as it dug deep into the wood and left a visible gaping hole. Thomas was surprised at the force displayed by this shot, even though he only used 15% more Firestone powder the difference in power seemed to be even more than that.
Thomas examined the gun again and found no visible signs of damage. He cocked the hammer again and lined up the last shot. This last cartridge contained a full charge of Firestone powder. He honestly wasn't even sure if it would fire or not. If Firestone powder required space to expand or oxygen to burn this shot would do nothing. Thomas channeled his mana and pulled the trigger. This last shot was by far the most powerful of them all. The loudest, strongest, and most destructive shot.
As the gun fired flames shot out from the barrel to a distance of 25 centimeters. The sound the gun made was less like the crack of thunder and more primal like the deep bass from the roar of a giant monster. When the bullet struck the tree there was an explosion of wood and splinters as the force from the bullet ripped a huge chunk out of the tree and scattered it everywhere. Thomas and Hekrin both stared, mouths agape, at the sheer destruction caused by the bullet.
Thomas had found the standard round he intended to use! Though, he did his due diligence and began the examine the revolver with his 'All Seeing Eyes'. He grimaced when he spotted a crack on the barrel. The force from the bullet had, apparently, been too much for the heart steel to handle on its own. He didn't think it would be too much of an issue though if he allowed his mana to enhance the durability of the revolver before firing it. The damage was rather minor, more of a microfracture than a complete split in the barrel. It wouldn't take much effort to fix with his 'Transmutation'.
Together Thomas and Hekrin walked over to the tree and began to examine the damage caused by the bullets. Looking at it, Thomas could see how the damage got progressively greater as he added more and more Firestone powder to the cartridges. The last shot, with a 100% charge, had dealt the greatest damage to the tree by far. The kinetic force of the shot had gouged out a crater in the tree that was several centimeters wide and deep. Thomas found this to be a bit off since, normally, the entrance wound from a bullet was small while the exit wound was larger.
After looking over the damage, Hekrin smiled while stroking his beard, "That weapon of yurs is rather powerful kid. Especially that last shot. Still, it's rather disappointin' that yur weapon isn't a true Magitech weapon." Hekrin looked at Thomas with his beady black eyes, "I'm really lookin' forward ta seein' what ya make in the future kid."
Thomas reached out and stroked the crater gouged out by the last shot, "It's really just a first step, Master. I needed to learn and experience making this weapon in order to be able to make something more powerful and more magical." Thomas grinned and turned to face Hekrin, "Now that I know this works, I can begin planning how to make my next weapon. I expect it will take a little time for me to come up with something proper."
Thomas stepped away from the tree as he continued, "I was thinking about seeking out your Master and getting myself an U.L.T.R.A. of my own."
Hekrin thought for a moment, "That's not a bad idea kid. My Master taught me everythin' I know about Magitech, he should be able ta teach you a thing or two." Hekrin looked a little embarrassed, "I ain't much of a teacher. I honestly never wanted ta take on an apprentice of my own." Hekrin looked in the direction of the city, "When we get back you can have access to all of my blueprints. They might give ya some ideas ya can use."
Thomas stored the Peace Maker inside of his inventory, "I'd like that."
Together the two of them made their way back to the city. When they got back to Hekrin's shop they split up. Hekrin went inside to stand listlessly at his shop counter while Thomas went inside of the U.L.T.R.A.. After stepping inside he stopped as he had a sudden realization. Hekrin might not just be standing at his shop counter doing nothing. He could very easily be designing things in the blueprint system! Realizing that, Thomas laughed to himself. For all he knew, Hekrin spent most of his days designing things in his head.
Thomas dismissed all thoughts of what Hekrin might be doing and went to work immediately. He pulled out the Peace Maker and made quick work of repairing the microfracture. Fortunately, using his 'Transmutation' to fuse the metal back together didn't mean he had to reshape the entire barrel. If it did he would have had to remake the barrel from the beginning. With the Peace Maker repaired, he opened the cylinder door and tilted the barrel of the gun up toward the ceiling. Using the ejector rod he ejected the spent cartridges one at a time onto the table.
Though the main part of the cartridges was intact and looked good, the thin circles of iron used to replace the primer were completely obliterated. His plan to simply repair them was clearly not going to work. They were either completely gone, or only small scraps of them remained. It wasn't a big deal though. He could simply make more. Thomas stored the revolver and got on toward his real work for the remainder of the day.
For the next few hours, he spent his time making more cartridge shells, small metal circles to act as primers, copper coated lead slugs, and Firestone powder. Once he had enough materials for making a large amount of ammunition he began to assemble it together. He used a ramrod to place the circular pieces of iron into the base of the cartridge before filling it with Firestone Powder. After tamping down the Firestone Powder, he placed a slug on top and used a tool summoned from his metal magic to crimp it into place.
|System Notice: You have created a Normal grade Peace Maker Bullet. Quality: Average. You have gained 30 Magitech Engineering experience.|
Seeing the notification made Thomas smile. It seemed like his theory was correct. Until he honestly believed something was finished properly, the system would not consider it a finished product. Only when he thought it was really done would he gain experience for finishing it. Thomas set the finished bullet to the side and went to work non-stop to assemble as much ammunition as he could. Even if the Peace Maker was only the first step that didn't mean he couldn't use it for a good while.
He spent the next several hours working, the only time he stopped was for breaks to use 'Serenity' to recover his mana. By the time full night had fallen he'd managed to make himself a hundred rounds of ammunition. This left him with less than half of his Firestone stockpile remaining. He would eventually need to purchase more, or maybe not. It all depended on what he came up with next.
Thomas cleaned up the area he'd been using and stored everything that was his back into his various inventory spaces. He left the U.L.T.R.A. in the condition he'd found it, minus a bit of coal used in the forge. After leaving the building he made his way over to bid goodnight to Hekrin before making his way to The Swans Nest. He wanted to get a good nights sleep. Tomorrow he planned to do some studying and then some hunting to test the Peace Maker on a living target. Hell, he could even finally finish that stupid herb gathering quest he'd picked up so long ago.