「Next I need the arrows, screws, and the springs.」
I needed to make more of these than needed. I had enough materials for them in my area so I could make as many as necessary.
The crossbow arrows were called bolts. They were thick and short iron rods. This was the ideal form for the greatest penetration power possible. If you cut corners during this process it would cause accuracy to drop sharply.
I was used to crafting crossbows. I often made them in countries that were underdeveloped.
Using my knowledge, magi control, and the strong crafting abilities of the dwarven people I would be able to make guns which would be better than crossbows. However…
「I can’t get any gunpowder.」
That’s right, to make gunpowder I needed saltpeter. It’s not as if I couldn’t be lucky and find myself a saltpeter mine…but it wasn’t realistic. There was also a way to get saltpeter from excrement as well.
It would take around 5 years to produce and a few battles would eat up almost a year’s worth of saltpeter produced that way. It was again, an unrealistic idea.
There was also the option of purchasing saltpeter, but it was rare and expensive. Basically maintaining a troop of gunmen was a money eating venture so we couldn’t support it.
「Plus maintenance would be an issue.」
Even simple guns like matchlock rifles would get distorted barrels or be jammed by soot. Simple issues would lower their usability. To use them properly a certain amount of education would be needed.
On the other hand, crossbows only require a small amount of teaching and training to become viable in combat. Furthermore it was simple in structure.
「The other issue is how much iron it would need.」
In comparison to the crossbow the guns would need to use more iron. If you added in the bullets to the sum then I wouldn’t be able to produce a suitable amount. Metal was a precious resource. It was useful for much more than just weapons. The only real way I had of procuring it was stealing from the Empire, which wasn’t an option right now.
For the crossbow, much of it could be made using wood instead of iron.
The only issue with that is that I would have to make them by hand.
Since the wood components had to be crafted by hand I heaved a sigh as I got to work.
Yesterday I had cut some trees into medium sized lumber.
So now I had to cut them to the size of the crossbow. I took out my knife and strengthened the cutting edge with magic. It cut through the wood like a hot knife through butter.
The wood that would become the foundation of the crossbow was carved, a hole was made through which the rim could pass, then another hole for the grip, and finally one last hole to attach the pedal.
The true skills of a dwarf were shown in the ability to craft an item straight from an idea in their heads.
「Okay, all the parts should be fine.」
I began attaching the various parts to the wooden stock and used the screws to fasten them properly. I attached the spring for resetting the trigger.
I attached the reel and the iron loop to the top.
With this the crossbow is complete. I just had to attach the bowstring and it’d be ready.
「A normal string won’t cut it so I guess I’ll have to craft that as well.」
I began the final crafting process. I baked some wood at low temperatures creating charcoal. I used my earth magic to manipulate carbon fibers within it to create a simple carbon fiber.
Carbon Fiber is one of the strongest types of thread on Earth. If you braided it together into thicker rope then it would become even stronger.
I stretched the bowstring across the rim.
Now I could call this a finished product.
I tried it once as a test. I pulled the trigger, the reel released, and I released the trigger causing the spring to reset the firing mechanism.
「I guess I’ll pull it back once for a proper test.」
I pulled the string with my enhanced physical strength and hooked it onto the reel. I didn’t forget to estimate the draw strength of the crossbow as I did so.
「Hmm…It should be around 89kg of draw weight. Around double that of my father’s long bow.」
The strong spring-loaded power, carbon fiber string, and 50cm rim all contributed to provide double the power of a simple wooden bow.
Of course it wasn’t something people could normally pull. I had added some elements to the bow that would make it possible for even a weak young girl like Lucy to be able to pull it.
I said as I pulled the trigger as the reel released and allowed the bowstring to snap forward with incredible force.
Doing this without an arrow on the string would eventually cause issues with the crossbow so I don’t recommend doing this.
「All that’s left is a proper test firing.」
I stopped my magic physical reinforcement.
Then I began loading the crossbow the proper way. I placed the ring on the front end onto the ground, put my right foot through the loop, stepped on it, and began pulling the string with both arms using my back muscles.
Indeed the limit for a human pulling a bow with one arm was around 45kg. However, if you used both arms and the muscles on your back then you could do it easily. Even a High School girl had back muscles with a total strength of around 100kg. They should be able to pull an 89kg bow like this.
I calmly pulled the bowstring with my back and latched it onto the reel.
This time I was going to test out the firing capabilities so I placed a bolt on the string. I had dug out a groove so the bolt wouldn’t fall off the crossbow. It sat inside the groove nicely.
This should mean that the bolt was fairly accurate.
I pointed the crossbow at a set of fairly good armor I had purposefully left unmelted.
「Now…let’s see. Will it pierce through?」
I pulled the trigger.
The crossbow bolt flew out at an initial velocity of 102m/s at the armor. Then, it quite easily pierced through.
「Okay…it looks like I’ve cleared my assignment. All that’s left is too see how many I can put together in five days.」
Weapons only had real meaning once you built up a certain amount.
If it was only a single one, then it would mean nothing even if it could harm them.
It was something meant to be used as a group.
As I thought about that my time limit arrived.
My appearance reverted to Cyril. Then a sense of exhaustion flooded my body.
「Fuu, from now on it’s a fight against time.」
I had plenty of components ready, but the issue was I needed to carve the wooden components by hand.
In order to reduce the amount of iron used I had decided the main body of the crossbow would be made of wood. Each of those would take 15 minutes to craft even with dwarven skills.
The time limit I could be Kuiro was 122 minutes so I could only craft 8 at a time maximum.
I could craft it as Cyril as well…but I was afraid the quality would suffer.
At this point in time it’d be best to just turn into Kuiro and do the job properly.
I decided that and ended my work for the day.
I believed the day the crossbow would debut was close.