While our discussion took on a rather comfortable, informal approach, for the Kristine to react with such short, meaningless statement, it was a huge sign that she couldn't really believe what I just said.
"Like I said before any reloading will be necessary, a man holding my rifle can shoot up to twelve times. When his rounds are all gone, all he needs to do is take the magazine, a part that holds the shots, out, and replace it with another one. But fear not, while the possible speed of shooting is increased, its accuracy and range are also overwhelmingly better than those of the simple carabines that our army is equipped with now."
The moment I started bragging about my own inventions, it would take a great man to stop me from doing so!
A great man, or my wife in person.
"Mike, stop. It's not something one can believe without seeing."
With Elia's delicate hands pulling on my sides with surprising strength, I had no other way than to stop talking and focus my attention back at her.
"What? It's not like I lied or overestimated its capabilities!"
Seeing her slightly irritated expression, I was instantly forced into defensive. Who could've known that for someone like me, who didn't feel anything when an insane amount of bandits were doing their bests to claim my wealth and life, would be so scared of even the slightest sign of displeasure from my dearest wife!
"Okay, okay. Let's stop this before you will start arguing for no reason. I can't deny it, you made me interested in them already, so I would love to go and have a look at what they are truly capable of. As for the other end of the deal…?"
While the sentence that Kristina spoke was broken, the tone at which she paused it was enough for me to understand that it was, in fact, a question.
"Just like I said before. I need your help in building two kinds of roads, one of which might draw a particularly huge amount of attention. Yet don't get me wrong, I can pay for its entire costs myself, but I will need your family to set up a net of patrols that would prevent anyone from taking it apart."
Sending a look to the Kristina, I attempted to assess how did she absorb this first request of mine, yet just like her husband back in the capital, I couldn't read a thing from her expression.
"What's more, I need this special kind of road to go to the place where the mines would be set up. That's actually the main reason behind creating this special road, as this will allow me to move any quantity of mined black rocks that I would like, obviously, paying for every single one of them to your treasury. And that alone allows you to see why all three requests that I came here with are so deeply interconnected. Yet since we want to speak about military… No, nevermind. Let me put this one thing on hold, as you need to see how those rifles of mine work to fully understand the extent of the last problem I need to bring. Can we go now?"
While the impression I made while describing the rifles of mine might be great, the concessions that Zamoyski household would have to agree to get their hands on it weren't small either. Just the fact that it would be my initiative to start an extremely costly process of opening new mines could be quite worrying, not to speak about something as insanely grand like building a new road, or rather two roads!
That's why it was so important for me to bring Kristina to the open, where the prowess of my rifles could be physically proven to her. After all, words were words, and the actions were actions!
"I think this will be a good idea as well. I'm sorry to say that, but hearing your incredible recounts about the prowess of your weapons, I find it hard to imagine it, not to speak about believing your words."
If not for the fact that as she spoke those words, Kristina bowed her head, even with how laid-back I was about all this noble etiquette nonsense, I would have to take it as a direct insult!
Yet rather than acting upon this moment, I swallowed my pride and followed the host back to the big corridor and all the way to the main hall. With how enormous this place was when compared to either my Tarnowian palace or even Elia's home back in Pilzno, I couldn't even be surprised when I saw all my carriages parked directly on the expensive tiles of the main hall of this building!
"So, would you be so kind as to show those magical weapons of yours to me?"
Stopping right in front of the row of carriages, Kristina turned around and faced me with a charming smile that elevated her beauty ranking from the weak three to a strong four.
"Sure thing. Would you be so kind as to prepare some targets for me?"
As I was asking, I already moved towards the automated carriage. Just by sorting through my luggage there, I quickly found several rifles, safely hidden in the secret compartment. While at this point I could pull out my personal rifle that was far better than all the others that were crafted by the machines rather than my system, I still decided against it.
After all, if I were to show-off my real weapon, then when the trade would begin, Zamoyski would nearly instantly develop justified hate to me for duping low-quality product in exchange for such huge concessions on their end!
"That's how it looks. As you can see, this round part located between the barrel and the handle is where the ammunition is stored."
While holding one of the crude rifles far away from my body with its barrel aimed at the floor, I pointed my hand at the specific parts that I was talking about. Even though I had no doubt that Kristina could easily uncover the general details of the design herself, as the proud owner of the product, I felt obliged to properly introduce all of them.
"As for how it works, let me show you."
With a row of empty, clay cups lined up on the table roughly fifty meters away from our position, I made sure that no one was standing near enough to get potentially hurt before raising my weapon and quickly taking aim.
Without any real effort from my end, the first cup flew away from the table. Yet while this wasn't enough to convince anyone about the real shooting speed of this gun, I still took my time to point the barrel downward again, before turning myself back to the audience.
"As you can see, my finger still blocks the trigger in the half-pressed condition. Look what happens when I fully release it."
Positioning myself so that everyone could see the process, I relaxed my finger, allowing the small spring to push the trigger back to its resting position. Yet as this small piece of metal moved, the entire mechanism came to life, with a set of simple gears moving the cylindrical magazine around, and placing the next bullet right inside the firing chamber.
"And that's how it looks when you want to fire it for real."
Noticing that everyone already saw what they were supposed to, I turned back towards the target, raised the muzzle and took aim.
Bang… Bang… Bang. Bang. Bang. Babababang!