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77 Testing the new weapon

14th march 1574

"Surprisingly, making those small parts was far easier than I expected. Instead of making them separately, I just used one of the old forms and added blockades to split the entire barrel into the small parts you wanted sir. If I were to find the solution for some smaller problems, I could make about three mechanisms that you requested, sir, daily."

As soon as the new day began, the first thing that I did with Elia, was to rush towards the city, in hopes that the hard part of my primitive machine gun would be already finished. Spending the evening by crafting all the ammunition by hand allowed the two of us to talk quite a bit, yet despite spending over five hours on packing the gunpowder into a cylindrical, wooden container that I carved out of a random piece of wood, enclosing it with the bullet, wrapping it all up with the flammable coat made with the thin cloth soaked in oil and enriched with the loose gunpowder.

Unwilling to let everyone know about my small invention yet, I could only store all the bullets that we made, amounting to measly two hundred plus. Thinking about the ammunition, I couldn't help but dream about the future where I could encase it in some kind of metal, to turn it into a properly fused bullet, but doing so would require not only the metal coat for the bullet and the explosive load but also something to start the explosion in the first place!

"For now, do what you need to do. I still need to test whether it will work in the way I imagined it, but I can tell you already if this small project of mine will turn successful... You will most likely have to abandon your entire shop and move to my castle, where I will make a special workshop just for you. But for now, we will be going to test it out. I will send someone with the information later."

Grabbing the rough barrels, I nodded to the blacksmith and left the shop. With Elia trodding beside me, I could see her excitement on her face, almost as great as my own. Even though she instantly understood the concept, through the entire yesterday she couldn't show even a hint of being actually hyped by my creation. The situation changed only when we had to spend hours upon hours to craft the ammunition, that if the test would be successful, would be used up in a matter of minutes!

With how modern-day warfare was based on sieges and grand battles, as long as we could prove that my invention was worth its price, after using it to my own advantage during the interregnum, I could simply sell it to the new king if I failed to become one, and see military power of commonwealth skyrocket!

Obviously, only in the short term. Sooner or later, other countries would learn about the new weapon, and I wasn't prideful enough to assume I was the only one who could come up with such a concept. In fact, grape-shot cannon was invented with the same idea in mind but failed to be usefull outside of the thin, city alleys.

With the cannon loaded with a tin filled with small balls, upon firing it, the balls would fly in all directions. Most of them would either go by sides, fly over the heads of the intended target or simply bury into the ground under their feet, with only a small part of the grapeshot actually shooting as intended. Compared to it, my gun would shoot all the bullets as a normal musketeer would!

After reaching the castle, I simply brought the already prepared materials, including two empty, wooden crates that could serve as the base to support the barrels, and one filled with the ammunition we made last day. But along with that, I actually brought a set of three muskets, two pistols and an artillery fuse.

After all, there was no way I could test my new gun without testing my ammunition first!

Moving from the formal castle grounds to the roundels at its back, I didn't forget to alert the guards that I would be exercising my shooting skills in the open. With how no one was allowed to live in the direct proximity of the castle to avoid making the siege easier for the potential enemy, I didn't have to worry about hurting some passersby by an accident!

Taking the musket, I reached to the back, only to grab a single, black bullet from Elia's hand. After all the effort we both made to craft them all, she already informed me that I could forget about any testing if she wasn't included in them!

"Okay, let's move."

The location I picked for the test wasn't random. With the earth fortifications in place, aimed at making things hard for the artillery of the potential aggressor, we could simply lay the musket on top of it, while hiding behind the mound itself, safe from the potential hazard of the gun exploding.

That's also where the artillery fuse came to use. For an outsider, it looked like a fancy looking spear, with two curved branches splitting right below the blade from the metal handle. But in reality, the way those branches were folded, allowed for a long fuse to be kept right at the tip of its arm!

While in a normal case, it would be used to fire the big cannons, to which the artilleryman couldn't get close personally due to the force of recoil, I used it to light the gunpowder on the flashing pan of the musket, while the two of us remained hidden behind the earthy mound.

BOOM!

With the nature of the test, there was no way to discern whether everything was all right just from the sound. After all, either the bullet successfully fired, or the barrel of the weapon exploded. With no bulletproof glass to hide behind while observing the events, we could only wait for a while before climbing on the earthy mound.

And the musket was still in its perfect state!

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