"What's with your face? What are you thinking about?"
Suddenly stopping her cuddles, Elia climbed on top of my chest and after combing her hands together on my solar plexus, she rested her chin on top of them, looking straight in my hazy eyes.
"Ah, sorry. Was thinking about the possible ways of retaking the Pilzno."
Just like I said, even if the idea was ready, it's introduction was far harder than I initially assumed it would be. Not even bothering with the fact that a simple check confirmed that the system required me to reach the third level of gunsmith skill since it only required me to make a finite quantity of weapons or ammunition, the problem laid in the very foundation for any sorts of improvement to the current weaponry.
And it was the problem of igniting the fused bullet that I found hard to tackle.
The good thing was that with the huge popularity of the gunpowder in this era, it wasn't a problem to find the base materials required to create the igniting mixture… Yet I was in no way capable of recalling the recipe for it! What's more, even the system wouldn't help me with it, forcing me to reach that damned third level before allowing me to pry into its secrets!
Limited by the source of my technological power, I had to look for other ways to ignite the fused bullet. Creating fused ammunition wasn't any sort of problem. Just by coating a thin cloth with oil and sprinkling a fair bit of gunpowder on it could be used as the shelling of the ammunition. Just make a tube out of it, place the round inside and fill it with gunpowder so that a single spark will be enough to create a proper explosion. Add some sort of metal coating for the thing, and you have created moisture-resistant ammunition!
But the problem of the firing mechanism still remained. How Could I make sure that every round would be fired? Using flint was too unreliable without the flash pan, and with such complicated mechanisms, even a single failure could lead to the whole gun collapsing!
"So, did you figure something out?"
Only by this point, I managed to somehow cast away my worries and return mentally to the bed in my palace in order to look in Elia's eyes while wondering how should I answer her.
"Not really. While I have the idea about what should I do… Every time I solve a single problem, two more pops out. No matter how much I try to avoid actually solving those problems, in fact, I'm still going back to them over and over again, with all my possible solutions turning out to be useless."
There was no way I could explain to her what I was thinking about. Even if I were to attempt doing it, the chances that she could understand the way in which a Gatling gun worked that I had to actually reverse engineer to make my plan work, were as great as her turning into angel an ascending all naked into the heavens.
"You are too vague for me to help you with anything but…"
Raising her head above her hands, she moved one of her fingers and started moving it on top of my chest, as if she wanted to write something on my body with it.
"If you have troubles with solving a complicated problem by simple measures, how about just ditching away the complicated problem and replacing it with a simple one? Well… Don't take my advice to heart, as I don't really know what you are thinking about…"
As if the heavens to which Elia failed to ascend right in front of my eyes, decided to grace me with a miracle, her words actually made my mind spin, as I realised that I was plagued with actually a stupid problem! How could I replace the firing mechanism in a Gatling gun that was remade to actually use properly fused ammunition? Why should I even bother doing so?
The idea that I had to achieve, was a fast shooting, backloaded gun. But what if the gun was actually loaded in the middle? What if I simply got the barrel locked in place, mounted a firing pin behind it and created a magazine that would move between those two?
While there would still be some intricate work to do, all I had to do, was create a set of short, hollow pipes, with just a small hole in one side and the opening matching the diameter of the barrel on its other side. By connecting such kind of loading mechanism into a long stick, I could simply run it down the hole between the match and the proper barrel, making the bullets shoot only when the hole in the firing mechanism and in the pipe itself would match so that the spark could be transferred, aligning at the same time perfectly with the barrel itself!
"What happened? You look weird when your eyes are so wide!"
At this point, I was too hyped to even care about Elia. Pushing her aside, I stormed out of the bed, grabbed a piece of charcoal from an already cold fireplace and started sketching on one of the tables, hoping I could save my idea before it would be washed off by other thoughts of mine.
As the lines of my new invention came alive, I could already see how the entirety of the project could work. From the simple mechanism locking the magazine in place during the shoot, with the recoil of the burning gases resetting it and allowing for the movement of the magazine, through the simplicity of reloading such magazine…
Extending my hand backwards, I continued to stare at the silly drawings of my table, while gesturing Elia to get closer. With how simple the mechanism was, even she should be able to understand the principle behind it!
"You see, you put a burning match here, then you drive the magazine through the opening…"
Tracing my fingers along the lines of my sketch, I continued to explain her my idea, while ignoring the soft warmth of her body pressing against my side as she rested herself on my back, looking at the sketch from over my shoulder. But thanks to this position, I could clearly fell when her body tensed up, signalising that she understood what those silly lines on the table meant.
"Oh, God merciful… If that's what you came up for my sake, I will be too terrified to ask you for anything ever again!"