Chapter 431 - Snow Lava
Not everyone was as far-sighted as Blind He. Their eyes were fixed on the spray snout on the pagoda roof.
They were curious and excited. Since the pagoda cannon was actually called a cannon, it should work similar to the lava-spitting beast. The lava spat by the beast was shockingly formidable and had left a deep impression on them. If the pagoda cannon was anything like the beast, it meant that valley’s defense had been added with a lava-spitting beast. This could enhance its attacking powers.
Gulu-gulu! The sound of lava being extracted was heard, intensifying the curious looks on everybody’s faces.
Only Fatty, who was inside the pagoda cannon, could clearly see what was going on. The lava was being extracted from the fire well before being tempered within the White Cluster Flames, its volume rapidly shrinking.
Standing outside, Ai Hui explained, "The lava will undergo three phases of tempering, causing it to shrink significantly but also increase in quality. As to how much its quality will improve, we will only know after some tests. Oh, the pagoda cannon can temper lava consistently on normal days so it will be ready for battles. I feel that tempered lava is a very good fire elemental material. Wonder if it’s possible to sell? I’ll get Blind He and Lou Lan to evaluate when the time comes. We will have an additional income source if it’s sellable."
Everyone was used to Ai Hui’s habit of linking everything to money.
People who did not know him would definitely think that he was the president of an enterprise, opening his eyes wide at the sight of profit.
Iron Lady had a different perspective. "How powerful is it?"
After some thought, Ai Hui answered uncertainly, "We would have to try it to know. We got to wait for a bit more. There’s a lava reservoir in the pagoda to store tempered lava so there’s no need to do it at the last minute when there’s a battle. But we will have to wait for the first batch to be completed before firing the first cannon."
Ai Hui answered her freely, as if nothing had happened between them. Ah, he’d done it in battle and under urgent circumstances. As an outstanding fighter, how could he have bothered about these minor details?
Nothing had changed between Ai Hui and Iron Lady on the surface, but what went on in their minds wasn’t clear to outsiders.
The only change was that they knew not to talk about bamboo cart in front of Iron Lady and not to mention that Ai Hui was slow unless they wanted to get beaten up. Both of them had solid fists and a bad temper so they wouldn’t get any explanation even after enduring the beating.
These two guys were really unfathomable.
The spray nose on the pagoda started to rotate, catching everyone’s attention. They opened their eyes wide, in fear of missing any detail.
The sound of the cannon blowing off wasn’t loud at all in spite of their expectations. It was really soft and if the pagado cannon had been further away, they might not have heard it at all.
A splendid white light shot out from the cannon barrel, toward another mountain ridge outside the valley.
It was definitely nowhere as mighty as the lava-spitting beast. The oppressive hissing made by the beast when spitting lava was sky-shaking.
Just as everyone was getting slightly disappointed the white light struck the mountain ridge far away.
There wasn’t any of the predicted boom, rising smoke or earthquake.
It was as if nothing had happened.
But Shi Xueman’s pupils shrank suddenly. Without a word she flew toward that mountain ridge speedily. Upon seeing her go, the rest followed in unison. They knew that she must have noticed something.
Ai Hui’s gaze fell upon that mountain range and fell into a short daze. Lagging half a beat he immediately took flight.
The mountain ridge was about two miles away from the valley, a distance that required little time and effort to reach. Everybody got there in the blink of an eye.
Upon reaching it, everyone took in a breath of cold air, disbelief evident on their faces.
There was a table-sized tunnel in the mountain ridge that reached all the way to the other side. The pagoda cannon had actually bored a hole through the whole mountain ridge!
While the light had struck a weaker region, the rocks that had been blasted off were forty meters thick.
Boring through three to six meters of rock wasn’t so big of a deal.
But no one was able to blast through forty meters of rock. There was a hole the rough size of a table and the glossy inner wall had a melted ceramic texture, a clear sign that the strike was not only shockingly forceful but also shockingly hot.
No one dared to imagine what such a terrifying attack would do to a person.
Would the defensive ancient tree’s energy screen be able to withstand such an attack?
Duanmu Haunghun thought this over and the conclusion he arrived at distorted the expression on his face. Perhaps once? He noticed Ai Hui’s satisfied look and felt even more displeased.
Amid the shock, everybody was cheering and celebrating.
With such a strong firepower, just one hit was more than sufficient to send the dire beasts crying.
This murderous weapon could catalyze their establishment in Central Pine Valley. No matter how powerful a dire beast they met, they would be able to defend themselves. This fact instantly took a whole load of pressure off their chests.
Seeing everybody’s excitement, Ai hui called out softly, "The Hellfire Pagoda Cannon can also shoot flames."
His words caught everyone’s attention immediately.
They then followed Ai Hui excitedly back to the tower.
The flames sprayed by the cannon were White Cluster Flames, but because of the layers of clustering the result was a flame of small volume, about a foot long or so.
Having witnessed the lava attack, the audience had high expectations of the flames. Upon seeing this pathetically short and white flame, all of them gave Ai Hui a strange look.
Ai Hui looked very embarrassed. He did not expect the flames to be this tiny.
But he had thick skin and laughed it off.
Blind He, on the other hand, felt that a foot long flames were just right for tempering some high grade materials. With three layers of clustering, the flames were more powerful than his White Cluster Flames. But they did not have many rare materials. Ordinary materials were forged by the smelting furnace and would not be able to endure such a strong flame.
As long as it works, Ai Hui thought and quickly forgot about his embarrassment.
He had one more spraying snout and it mustn’t be wasted. Ai Hui started building his second Hellfire Pagoda Cannon. Having gained experience, Ai Hui and Blind He’s speed was clearly much faster.
They took only one day to complete the second pagoda cannon. For convenience’s sake the new cannon was called "short pagoda cannon" and the first one was called "long pagoda cannon".
Short pagoda cannon attacked much more frequently than long pagoda cannon, but its range and power of attack was much smaller and hence more suitable for short-range defense. Having learnt his lesson, Ai Hui did not add a flame shooting function on the short pagoda cannon.
The two pagoda cannons were like two guardians, defending the valley and securing peace. The grave atmosphere, that once enveloped the valley, had lightened up significantly. The merry laughter of a few children, especially, made the valley livelier.
Life seemed to have gone back on track as the elemental energy was gradually recovering. All kinds of plants started undergoing a growth spurt and the valley was overflowing with the charms of spring.
Having undergone the long pagoda cannon’s tempering, the lava was of a superb quality and its body was only one twelfth its original volume. Its fresh, red color was now a splendid white. Peculiarly, its initially viscous texture was now fluid and flowed like water.
No one had seen such a lava before, and as usual, a name should be given to it. With their previous experience, everyone automatically disregarded Ai Hui despite the fact that it was his contribution.
Ultimately this completely new type of lava was named Snow Lava.
Ai Hui muttered to himself non-stop. That name wasn’t any different from the one he had in mind so how dare they ignore them.
Nevertheless, everyone ignored him.
The long pagoda cannon could produce about three liters of snow lava whereas the short one could produce two.
Much practice was necessary to teach everyone how to control the cannon. At least three liters of snow lava would be consumed so only two would be left.
Although the quality of snow lava was decent, no one knew how much money it was worth.
Time had been flying past for the fire elementalists in the valley. One of the five fire elemental elixirs had already gone into their tummies. Not only did their elemental energy improve greatly, they also got to enjoy the fire elemental soup specially brewed by Lou Lan.
The only challenge was that the pagoda cannon wasn’t easy to control. Training everyday really consumed a lot of their elemental energy and they were all close to collapsing. The flames from the pagoda cannon were of an extremely high grade, so exercising any control over it was very difficult.
What surprised Ai Hui was the fact that Fatty performed the best in this aspect.
Ai Hui had to interrogate him by grabbing him before he spilled the reason. He felt safer in the pagoda cannon and hence was at ease. Another reason was that whenever he was close to exhaustion, Lou Lan would give him a little elemental food. The more tired he was the more he would get.
Fatty sneaked guilty glances at Ai Hui as he spoke.
Ai Hui knew not whether to laugh or cry at Fatty’s explanation, but on second thought he had just found a method to deal with Fatty in future!
Blind He had never seen bones like the four Ai Hui and gang had picked from the scarletfire flying foxes’ cave so he couldn’t be sure what kind of dire beast those belonged to.
Peace was restored in the valley. The daily bombardment of the cannons also quieted the surrounding beasts. While they were still unable to walk across Blackfish Mouth Volcano, no beasts dared to have their sights on the valley as well.
The situation seemed stable, so all they had to do was to continue their development plans patiently. However, a new problem arose shortly.
The resources in the valley were running out!
Lou Lan couldn’t even gather sufficient ingredients for his elemental soup. Blind He was facing the same problem. No matter how ample the team’s initial preparations were, there were still many incalculable aspects.
Just the elemental energy pools alone consumed a significant amount of resources.
Central Pine Valley was a closed one, so resources did not replenish themselves. The more they used, the less they had left. While the medicinist and farmers had already started sowing the seeds, time was needed for those to grow.
The team had to replenish the goods. They were about to embark on their first trading journey.
Everybody had already spent most of their Heaven Merit Points on the previous batch of materials and had little points left. They needed to sell produce from the valley in order to earn some points to buy other goods.
This was also going to be their experimental journey, albeit a month ahead of schedule.