I’ve made some more prototypes recently.
The first is a protector I’ve made using the hard rubber. This piece of protective gear was modelled in a similar fashion to those protective pads worn by athletes competing in American football and or Ice Hockey. The thickness is around 1 cm and I wanted to make it using the hard rubber, but I noticed that I couldn’t really create a curved surfaced armor very well, so I decided to make each part individually.
I used earth magic and wind magic to create the parts and then I used void magic to further shape the parts, I think I did relatively well. The best thing about using magic, is that you didn’t have to individually create the parts using your hands and fingers, it was mainly created using the power of your mind and imagination, so it’s really convenient in a sense. I got carried away and started thinking that I could make a full blown armor made of rubber, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t figure out the problem to increasing the breathability of the armor and also the problem of its weight, whilst it wasn’t as heavy as a metal based armor, it was still quite heavy for its size. Or more like I realized that we have a limited amount of rubber, so the idea of making a full fledged armor was rejected for now.
Well in the end, by installing my protective rubber gear to the existing model of leather and cloth type armors, I managed to attach the protective rubber in various key locations to protect the main parts of the body. I created various types of protective gear, namely: the protective shoulder pads and elbow pads, and when I remembered the Kamen Rider series I used to watch, I couldn’t help but to create a chest protector and belly band, furthermore to connect all the pieces together, I used a girdle strap made out of rubber. As for the metal fittings used to create the belt, for now I used a combination of ebonite and small metal pieces. By normal standards, most people back in my earth would think the design has a lot of improvements that can be made to it, however, as a trial product, I can just get the samurai clans to wear it, and I don’t think it will be a huge problem to do this. If you combined this with the hand and wrist guard I made previously out of the ebonite material, it would pretty much cover the whole upper-body in black rubber material and you will look kind of like a ninja. (Well I naturally knew back then that there was no such thing as ninja’s but when I was a kid I used to read plenty of manga and now I could only see this piece of armor as a ninja’s armor). The front surface of my protective gear was covered in ebonite of course to increase the durability, furthermore I also created various parts for the lower body as well, in particular areas to protect the knees, thighs and shin regions.
Next I want to talk about shoes and sandals. On the feet side of things, there was no problems whatsoever. Up until now, the shoes in Orth were either made out of pieces of leather and or knitted with wheat straws, considering this fact, the rubber improved version of shoes that I created were much more comfy to wear by far and I think that the people were really satisfied with the quality of this product.
Another thing that has recently become quite popular with the customers is when I applied the soft rubber to the linen cloth they wore. This type of cloth that I created by mixing linen with the soft rubber was truly versatile in the amount of uses it had. Although the durability of the product is only at a moderate level, you can wear the product like a raincoat and you can also use it as a hood to cover cargo when transporting various goods under the rain. Don’t you think that it’s really useful? Another high selling point was that if you rolled up the material tightly it can save up a lot of space and because it wasn’t bulky you could easily store it away.
In addition, in regards to the sling shots I created, this product was especially popular with the male population. I wonder if it would have been better for me to prepare even more powerful weapons… I managed to create ebonite spherical shaped marble bullets which was around 1 cm in diameter, when I tried shooting with these new bullets I found that they flew really well and their power was quite good. It’s just that the weight was lighter than metal moreover, if you were to just talk about the power then even if you picked up a small jagged stone, it would still be better than the ebonite bullets. Obviously I already took into consideration my heaviest rubber, and if I wanted the heaviest one it would have to be ebonite. There was no problems with the bullet being affected by air resistance, and this is quite important as a bullet that couldn’t accurately reach its aim was essentially useless.
What’s more is that I found that the square cushion which used a mixture of soft rubber and an inflation of air was quite popular, however in terms of the hose which I thought would be popular in dense areas, people didn’t really understand the use for such a product and it turned out to be really unpopular. Well the villagers did understand that the concept that the hose could be used as a sort of siphon, whereby they could use it to transport water from the bucket and let it flow through the hose, but even after knowing this, the demand for the product was low. I think that if a bathroom becomes popularly used in Orth then it would totally boost the popularity of this hose product…..I even created a rubber plug to go along with it, but I guess considering the culture of this world, I’m put in the awkward situation of being unable to sell these types of products.
When Hegard’s Greed clan and the Samurai family clans advertised the rubber products that I made, in general the populous reacted really well to the products.
It would really be inappropriate if Hegard claimed that all of these products were made by a kid like me, so what was explained to the public was that Hegard had thought of these ideas and merely ordered me to create these products. In any case people seem to believe that the second son of the Greed household was extraordinary…
I conducted the test for durability for my products and this test will last for about 2 months. I also tried testing the protective gear I made by placing it on a wooden dummy and then using a sword to stab and pierce the armor to test its endurance.
Well, I think everything should be fine…
In terms of me creating the rubber products, Myun did not show any suspicious behaviours and was acting as per normal.
But there was this one instance where Hegard held a big product launch and he said “Because this is a really important matter, I think it will be better for everyone to attend”, therefore all of the important Samurai clans were invited along with any people who served under our family, naturally Myun was a part of our household so she was allowed to come along as well.
I was wondering if by attending this special event, Myun would have some sort of reaction… I was really careful whenever I made the rubber products to make sure to be in a secluded location before I created the products with magic. In any case, I think that even if she saw the prototypes in this particular event, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Even in the worst case scenario where these products were stolen without me realizing, considering the fact that one day I plan to sell these products outside of Bakkudo village, even if it gained more outside exposure, I wasn’t really bothered by this.
I also decided not to show any half-baked products which had a high amount of strategic value such as: the vehicle tyres and the rim. The only thing I showed in the presentation was an old prototype of one of the experimental tyres.
Naturally other than the high value tyres which I omitted on purpose, there was also a couple of other unrefined products that I also omitted from the public’s view. For instance, in I did not publicise any magical tools in the event.
In any case, out of the products that were shown in the presentation, I managed to see a clear change in Myun’s expression two times in the whole event. The first noticeable reaction she had was when I showed her something I thought she would be surprised with, and the other item she got surprised with was out of my predictions.
The first product she was surprised with was the sling shot. Well to be honest because this was to be expected to a certain degree after seeing a new invention, when her facial expression changed after seeing the sling shot, it gave me a hint as to what she may have been thinking. After all, considering that this was a world largely at war, when seeing a new weapon invented one would have a certain amount of surprise. In any case, this may be the first time she had shown any reaction so at the very least, if she really was acting as a spy, I managed to figure out one of her interests, and I at least have a general idea of what I needed to be worried about.
When I announced the sling shot, out of the people who attended, the samurai clans had plenty of questions, but other than the military personnel, and especially out of the women the only one who asked questions about the sling shot was Myun. Myun’s question was “With this tiny bow thing called a sling shot, even Al-sama can output that much power?” More so than a question, it was more like she was trying to get an approximation of its war potential whilst praising me at the same time.
Another time when she changed her expression was when I showed her the improved version of the sling shot, this particular sling shot was able to shoot out a buck shot of bullets. In honesty at that point in time, I was getting a little too caught up by the fact that everyone was taking a liking to the sling shot and because Myun seemed interested I even presented the buck shot sling shot as a demonstration.
The buckshot version of the sling shot had the same Y based handle, in other words, the only thing that changed is the elastic band used to shoot the bullets, this band was replaced with circular ebonite ring with a diameter of approximately 5cm. this ring is then fitted with several layers of thick rubber like condoms. These condoms were stretchy and could fit around 20 small 2 millimetre ebonite balls, and when you fully stretched out the material and fired it like a catapult, the projectiles can fly up to 15 m with a spread of around 1.5 meter for each bullet.
When I previously tested the power of this device, it could leave a dent of about 2 cm into a tree. If it hit your eyes, it would most definitely make you go blind, and if it came into contact with bare skin, it would without a doubt be very painful. However, as long as it doesn’t hit the eyes, if an adult just covered his face and ran past, whilst it may hurt a lot it wouldn’t be enough to completely obstruct them from advancing. Naturally, the closer the target is to the buck shot the stronger the power becomes. I liked to hang this on my waist and pretend that it was some sort of cool handgun. I also made an elastic belt around 10 cm in length which could holster my sling shot.
Like a western cowboy gunman I set up the sling shot inserting the bullets, I held the slingshot in my left hand and pulled back the elastic rubber holding the bullets as far as it could stretch and then released them towards the cedar boards which was approximately 15 m ahead, when I did this three of the cedar boards which had been lined up in advance broke upon impact. After launching the buckshot version of the sling shot which was connected to my waist by the rubber belt I could just naturally let go of the sling shot from my left hand and it would instantly fall back into place on my waist. At a time like this, if this was real combat, you could easily approach the wounded person in question and just finish them off with a knife at close distance.
The great thing about this is that the time between taking the shot and transitioning into some other action is virtually seamless. Furthermore, it didn’t really have a difficult process of needing to set up the sling shot before hand, and all you needed to do was grab the bullets and shove them into the sling shot, so if given another chance, you could also just launch another barrage of attacks, it was quite a convenient device. Additionally considering that there are around 20 bullets the area of effect is quite large, even if you aren’t the most accurate aimer in the world, the chances of hitting the target is increased exponentially. You also cannot disregard the amount of power it has.
Myun observed all of this with a calm gaze but to a certain extent I could see that she was really surprised.
The other thing that Myun was really interested in other than the sling shot was actually the shoes. Because many other people were also really interested in this product, her actions didn’t stand out that much, but one thing that was special about this was that when it was allowed for the people to try on the shoes, Myun personally tried the shoes. The shoes Myun tried on was not the boots, and was the sandal type, so considering that she was a servant, choosing to try on the sandals were quite a normal thing. However, the sandals she chose were ones that had a rubber strap on the top and could securely fix the foot in place, it was almost like a sneaker type sandal. This was one of the goods that made full use of the rubber characteristics.
She tried walking in them, running in them and even lightly jumping up and down to confirm the efficiency of the product.
At the very least I was able to make something which drew Myun’s interest. The next step is for me to properly observe what Myun will do with the information she has obtained. Will Myun wait until I’ve finished doing all my durability tests within these two months? Or will she immediately take action in order to go somewhere or to report this to somebody?
There is also the miniscule possibility that it is all just my imagination and that her gazed just seemed to be suspicious. After all, she didn’t even show an interest in the armor I created which was definitely one of the main attractions of rubber in my opinion.
To be honest, I really thought that if she were to show interest in something, it would be the armor… Well, the protective gear is one of the inventions which I am quite proud of and was the hardest for me to create, so I guess I may be a little biased towards it. (Light Novel Illustration: Protective Gear)