At first, nothing happened.
But well, that was only to be expected. Starting the fires meant that the water would slowly heat up, only reaching the point of bursting into steam when we would hear the metal of boiler whining under the constant barrage of the inner pressure, signalling that we could finally start the first tests on the engine.
With how there were two valves that operated the supply of both the hot steam and the cold water, we had to figure out the ratios at which they should be turned on and off to connect it with the swinging movement of the balancing beam as to allow this entire machine to work without any other human help than supplying more fuel into its furnace!
Seeing that something was finally going on and how tense the atmosphere was amongst all the workers that were responsible for creating this strange building, even the miners decided to stay and observe the events, joining the fun as the spectators, yet keeping their distance as if worried that this strange thing could suddenly burst in flames.
"User completed his first steam machine without the help of the system!"
"Reached the second level of the steam engineer!"
"Unlocking hidden reward - Control-man!"
Even before this steam horse could start working properly, the system already flooded my mind with a streak of its messages. Yet while seeing that I managed to reach the second level of the steam engineer was nice as it would most likely unlock some new blueprints or even system-crafting for more advanced tools, the hidden reward took my entire attention, as if I understood the meaning behind this reward name, it could solve my current greatest problem!
"System, activate the control-man function or tool or whatever it is."
Mumbling to myself in a voice low enough to make sure no one would hear me do so, I was ready to be met with a huge disappointment, yet to my surprise, my vision suddenly changed!
What used to look like just a brick tower with its furnace mouth and two valve controls being the only things visible from the outside, now turned semi-transparent, allowing me to take a look into how much steam did enter the system, what kind of general forces were interacting with specific parts of the mechanism, even to the point to see the walls of the boiler slowly turning orange as the amount of steam and the pressure started to build up!
Right when the walls of the boilers started to turn pale red, I heard the first cracking from the machine.
"Release the steam valve!"
Shouting my order in a half-panicky way, I saw a sudden change in my vision, as the steam suddenly gushed towards the raised cylinder, filling the entire free space while turning the walls of the entire system into a light orange.
Yet rather than looking at the walls, I focused my attention at the isolating filler, waiting for it to turn red.
"Prepare more weights!"
As the orange colour turned more intense, I realised that soon, the influx of steam would have to be blocked. Raising my hand high into the air to let the workers see it, I waited for the first moment when the isolating rope would reach the slightly dangerous level before swinging my hand and shouting!
"Change the valves!"
While if someone would do the job without prior explanation, then both of the valves would be turned simultaneously, yet I already stressed it more than enough to the workers operating them that under no circumstances, the cold water valve could be open while the steam intake one have yet to close!
"Steam cut off!"
As soon as the worker at the lower part of the machine shouted his report, the other guy controlling the sprinkled turned the handle on top of the valve, allowing a sudden bust o cold water to be sprinkled right inside the chamber filled with hot steam!
In an instant, the steam suddenly cooled down, instantly forcing the cylinder plate to the bottom under the pressure between a partial void and the weight of the atmosphere itself!
Prompted by this move, the counterweight shoot high up to the skies, reaching its upper limit in a matter of just two seconds!
With the water sprinkler now closed, the steam intake was opened once again, allowing the counterweight to plummet back down, yet at a much slower rate than it did raise to the air!
Completely focused on the processes taking place inside the steam horse, I only now realised that the entire surroundings filled with cheers, with a strange silence surrounding the vincity of the miners. Yet while others could celebrate already, I remained focused to the limit of my perception!
With how the steam horse was aimed to operate continuously, making just a single full spin didn't mean its force was exhausted!
"NOW! ADD THE WEIGHTS!"
As soon as the counterweights fell to its resting position, I prompted a group of workers with additional weights to hurry up towards the counterweight and add the iron rings they brought with them. Watching as the steam was filling the inner part of the cylinder once again, as soon as the isolation turned dangerously close to changing from orange to red, I once again swiped my hands to pull all the workers away from the danger zone, before once again ordering the change of the valves.
This time, under the additional weight, the fall of the cylinder was calmer, allowing us to finally calculate the overall strength of the machine.
"Extinguish the fires!"
Seeing that this greatest project of mine so far ended up working just like I wanted it to work, I realised that there was no point in making it do the idle swings, as no other machine benefited from its work right now.
With one more swing happening before the water cooled down enough to stop producing steam, the swinging beam finally returned back to its resting position, allowing the weight to rest on a pile of wood stacked to the perfect height to decrease the burden on the beam while the machine was idle.
As the steam horse finally stopped operating completely, I made sure to call out to everyone, allowing their joyous faces to focus on me.