The sound of some kind of liquid being poured could be heard. It was then followed by the sound of metal being singed.
“There, that should do it…”
“Are you sure boss? What if it explodes like the last time?”
“That’s why we are doing it outside this time around, just hide behind those metal plates if something goes wrong.”
Roland and Bernir were standing outside his home and where an empty unoccupied field was. On the ground was a four-legged contraption that looked similar to a very blocky insect. Ten meters from it were thick slabs of metal shoved into the ground.
“Okay, I’ll activate the bug-bot mark 2 now.”
Roland proclaimed while Bernir ducked behind the protective metal. Agni was also there and was ordered to keep his distance and alert them if any people came too close to their testing area.
“You sure come up with interesting names there Boss.”
He frowned a bit after Bernir started chuckling, he was not sure how to name this thing but it needed something to distinguish it from others. Everything that he learned from making it would be written down later into his notebook so that he would have a point of reference. The prototype looked like a big metallic bug so it was named like one, it seemed just natural to him.
After placing the wand that he used to close the golem’s ‘fuel tank’ he was ready to activate it. Previously he used something that should have been powering a heavy-duty golem or a train. He truly made a blunder due to being actually excited to see if he would be able to produce a real magical robot
This time around a remote was used to turn the creation on. Then Roland quickly ducked behind the other slab of metal to cover up. Even though he survived the previous explosion with some minor injuries it didn’t mean that he enjoyed it.
The small insect-like golem activated and rose up. Roland started giving it a few voiced commands to move back and forth. This time it didn’t look like it would be exploding. Previously the compartment that stored the mana fluid had gotten orange from overheating, this time around it looked fine.
“By Solaria’s tits, you’ve done it boss, you’ve made a golem!”
Bernir peeked out from behind the cover as he saw the small metallic contraption shuffling its legs around. It followed Roland’s instructions and didn’t seem to be falling apart either.
“It seems to be working but I couldn’t have done it without your help.”
“Hah, don’t sell yourself short boss, any craftsman could make those parts but almost none could actually bring life to them.”
Bernir had a certain strange look to him, his eyes were glued to the golem and they were sparkling. While this was a large achievement to Roland it was even a bigger deal to Bernir. Dwarves were born craftsmen, they strived to further their craft and golems were right on top of that totem pole.
While there weren’t that many runesmiths that could actually put runes to metal, it was enough for these dwarves to just be part of the creation process.
“Heh, I don’t think those old scruffy-bearded bastards would actually believe that I helped a runesmith create a golem!”
While Bernir was in his own little world Roland approached the small runic robot that he made. It didn’t seem that it would be exploding so he started to inspect the joints and the power source.
“It looks to be holding, I guess we can move onto phase two now.”
“Yes, we need to stress test it, if you notice something be sure to tell me during the test.”
Just like with any other prototypes, they weren’t the finished product. While this small golem was now working he needed to try to destroy it. It needed to push it as hard as he could, thanks to this he would figure out the limits of his new creation.
Thus the testing continued, first the little golem needed to run as fast as it could. It shuffled its legs back and forth. The first problem was spotted as after a certain threshold the magic robot started fumbling over its own legs.
It also had a problem in keeping itself steady on uneven ground. The generic program that it had did a bad job at letting it detect smaller obstacles like rocks. Sometimes it would trip over them or fall into smaller holes.
Going over softer ground also posed a problem as it got stuck and couldn’t get itself out. Only when following some specific voice commands was it able to dig itself out.
Throwing rocks at it also proved unsatisfactory as the golem was not able to react to anything in time. It was clear that even a weak adventurer could easily dance around this contraption that he made.
Next came the strength test. They started putting large rocks and then boulders onto the golem to see if it could move the same with added weight. It was actually surprisingly sturdy but the slowdown was quite noticeable after a certain threshold was reached. Next was an easy pull test where the golem had to try pulling a large rock behind it which was quite surprising as it did have some pulling power.
This was then followed by a flipping test. This was one of the tests that it outright failed. It remained on its back like a turtle with its legs flailing around. It was clear that if he wanted it to be able to function after getting flipped he would need to add some changes.
One such change could be to add a wider range of motion to the legs. The joints could become looser if that was attempted so he could also add something to the golems back that would flip it over instead.
“Are you sure about this boss?”
“Yeah go ahead.”
Bernir gave out a sigh while hefting a sledgehammer over his shoulder. Soon he swung it down on the golem that he helped make. The hit forced the metallic construction to buckle under pressure and Roland was quick to note everything down.
“Put some strength into it!”
This would be the last test of the day and Bernir clearly was saddened by the fact that he needed to destroy the bug-bot mark 2. Following the instructions, he delivered a hard blow to the body which now left a clear mark.
The golem’s legs gave out and one of the joints came loose. Roland kept looking as after the damage was done the golem started acting strangely. It was all over the place, it couldn’t keep its balance and the three working legs were spasming out.
“Interesting, even though it should be able to keep itself upright with only three legs, it can’t.”
It was clear that the runic program that was responsible for this golem’s functions was not designed to take losing even one leg into account. If it shifted its weight and let the other three legs take some load off, it should be able to still function.
“Try hitting the other side now but don’t damage the golem core.”
While it was fine to destroy the golem’s body it would be a big loss if the golem core was damaged. Roland didn’t know much about the golem’s inner workings but inside of that core would be the information.
It might have looked like he was just destroying his golem and testing its resistance. But, the runic program he put into the golem had a helpful feature. This feature was discovered in one of the books that the Professor gave him.
It allowed the golem to store limited amounts of data that could be analyzed later. With the timestamps that he was sure to make in his notebook, he would need to figure out to what this data corresponded.
Luckily for him, he would not need to go through a tedious process of elimination like he did when he first tried working with runic components. No, this time around he had some research that the Runic Magus had lent him. With it, as a reference, his progress would be a lot faster than before.
“Well then, think we are done here…”
Roland looked at the beat-up remains of his golem. He bent down to pick it up and even now the contraption was still moving. If the golem core was not damaged it would keep sending signals to the intact runic components.
This caused this contraption to look a bit strange as it was flopping the half-broken legs around in random directions. With a click of the switch onto the remote that he made the golem was disabled and it stopped moving.
As he was about to leave though, he heard a loud howling that came from where Agni was ordered to remain.
“What is it boy? Did you sense someone?”
Roland and Bernir moved to where the Ruby Wolf was making noises. When they arrived they could see him growling at the nearby forest area. Neither Roland nor Bernir had any real detection skills so they could not detect anyone hiding in the bushes.
What Roland could only do was to take out his mapping orb to see if he could detect something. The map was soon displayed before him but he could not see any people nor monsters on it. The only dots that he could see were the ones for simple animals.
“It looks like he might have seen a squirrel or something, you should have seen him chase that one poor squirrel all up onto a tree, I didn’t know that he could climb so well!”
Bernir gave out a chuckle while petting Agni on the head. The dog seemed somewhat offended by the gesture but there was nothing that Roland could do or say. It didn’t seem that they were being watched or at least that if they were, the person was not here anymore.
All of them returned to the workshop and together with Bernir they started taking the golem apart. Everything was mapped and the damage was written down into his notebook. The last thing that he had to check for was the mana fluid tank.
Surprisingly the golem didn’t burn through that much mana. From what Roland could tell, golems didn’t require that much energy to function. Only when someone tried giving golems some spell-slinging functions would they require a lot of juice.
‘It seems that when it comes to pure mechanical force then the golems are quite cost-efficient.’
The day turned into night and Roland was now in his bedroom noting a few things down. When he recalled all the golems that he had seen in Edelgard they all lacked such spell addons. They were mostly used for their large frames to do manual labor.
Only the golems down in the dungeon were seen to perform magical attacks. This was probably all thanks to the dungeon’s nature as the monsters there were provided with mana by the dungeon itself. If he ever wished to create golems that could actively shoot magic at people he would need to take the energy problem into consideration.
While Elokin’s Fluid was a power source that worked well enough, it cost a lot of money. Unless he was able to head down into the secret room in the dungeon he would need to develop another way to get around this.
‘Should I bring it up with the cat?’
Roland had the option of asking the strange magical cat for help. He could very well know a better way to power the golems.
‘If it’s a stationary model then I think I could make it work with my current generator…’
There was a certain version of the golem that he was thinking about. This one would not be able to move but it would be able to detect and eliminate intruders.
With the wind turbines working quite fine and already powering his whole workshop there was space for innovation. While he could not create a fully functional humanoid defensive golem he could do something else, a defensive turret of sorts.
To some craftsmen, it would probably not really be a golem, more of a trap. It wouldn’t really need many moving parts, just the ability to turn its cannons around to face the intruders. This was something that he needed as the mining field was already giving him a headache.
Even these golem tests that they were performing today. Normally he would like to do it behind his walls but with all the mines there it would pose a problem if the golem went berserk and ran into them.
Then there was the way that Agni acted. He was not sure but whenever he went outside to test his wares he felt like they were being watched. Even after all of these years the bad experiences from the past kept coming back.
The run in with Robert only made him more paranoid as it was clear to him that people from his family could just pop out at any moment. Even worse than them would be the members from the cult that had no idea what were doing.
Before and after coming here he did some research and this island was supposed to be free of cult influence. Luckily for him in the underground, there were more powers fighting among each other. The area he was occupying was said to belong to a different faction which should increase his safety.
Roland shook away the bad thoughts and returned to the more important issue, his store. While Elodia didn’t give him a reply just yet this didn’t mean that he would not be moving ahead with his plan.
He was already affiliated with the adventurer’s guild so his shop could strike a deal with them as well. They could help him by selling him crafting materials that he could not otherwise get. The dwarven union was still denying him access to any of their wares. Even Bernir was blacklisted from their shops and was finding it hard to buy anything out in the markets.
They were really set on denying him but not like he cared that much as the guild prices weren’t that much off. They had enough affiliated merchants from the outside to keep him stocked with the required goods.
While he was prioritized for being a Runesmith this couldn’t be said for some of the other shop owners. There was only so much that could be spared and the union was really making it hard for the others to earn money.
One of the ways that the guild was trying to save their stores was with the help of the dungeon. There were some large mineral deposits there that were uncovered that could be mined. Even now some adventurer parties would be tasked to go down to get some of the dungeon-specific ores.
Roland crossed his arms and looked up at the ceiling. After the golem had borne fruit he had all sorts of ideas but he also felt like he didn’t have enough time for most of them. He was only one man, going through all of the materials and books already took up a lot of his time.
He quickly grabbed his notebook and started going through it. Next to it, he had the book manual with the golem’s runic program that was somewhat unclear about a couple of things. He started looking through the code that now thanks to his new title was more understandable.
An hour passed, then another and soon it was already one in the morning. Even when it was this late his eyes didn’t feel tired. Ever since his stats had increased he did not sleep more than five hours a day and when he was awake he either looked at his research material or was contemplating runic code.
‘If I was this hard-working in my old world I would have probably been a lot more successful.’
With no skills to guide his progress, Roland did stagnate. In this world where work was displayed on a spreadsheet on a system screen, it was easy to have something to work for. Even now, when he was ready to close his notebook a certain nudge would be given to him by this friendly world system.
Unlocked Determined Scholar.
You gain the Parallel Thinking Trait.