p>Lloyd Frontera smiled at himself after confidently saying all that.
The look in his eyes seemed to say, ‘I’ll take on the curses.
Blames? Pointed hands? I’ll take those too.’
So, just close your eyes and follow me.
That’s what he seemed to say.
This person in front of me.
I thought he was a worthless ruffian.
He often was an embarrassing person some time ago.
He still is.
But now, I don’t hate him at all.
‘Although your way of doing things is mean and rough.’
After all, what he did was often right.
He helped me on completing the Asrahan Core Technique.
He revealed Sir Neumann’s betrayal.
So, what about now? Maybe he was laying the groundwork for the territory to leap forth.
“I understand.” Javier involuntarily smiled and spoke frankly to Lloyd, “I’ll agree.”
Lloyd, the one I escort.
I looked at him with sincere eyes.
Lloyd looked straight at me too.
He then tilted his head.
“You’ll agree? To my plan?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Youu, what are you thinking about just now?”
“I never asked for your approval nor permission.”
I’m the territory lord’s son.
Why would I need your approval to dig a mine? Me?”
“So put aside your delusions.
Will you get out of my way? Let’s do some survey.”
Javier’s graceful face crumpled up.
Lloyd said that while laughing mischievously.
As expected, Javier is a fun guy to tease.
Starting from that day, Lloyd spent the whole day sticking around the mine site.
Surveying the surroundings and analyzing the site.
Two attempts to construct a mine in the past.
Two consecutive failures.
He drew a construction plan in accordance with the case.
‘The answer is not in the conventional rock drilling methods.
It takes a long time, and above all, too dangerous.’
There were records of the past construction failures inside the mansion’s library.
As I looked at them, it was recorded that they used traditional rock drilling methods both times.
‘They proceeded by scorching the rock with fire and cooling it down so the rock split.’
That was the conventional method of breaking rocks.
What if a big rock comes out while digging? The workers set the rock on fire until it gets very hot.
In that state, they then pour cold water on it.
Sudden temperature change gets applied to the heated rock.
Along the grain, the rock will split.
It also will become easy to break.
‘That was how they progressed at first.
But they couldn’t advance more than 30 m.
The mine collapsed.
It went without saying that the unlucky workers got buried there.
Therefore, Lloyd’s grandfather, Baron Matthias Frontera, gave up on the mine construction.
‘The reason is simple.
Because the bedrock is weak.’
If the nature of the vulnerable bedrock is not properly understood, accidents are bound to occur.
The bedrock of this mountain—within his understanding—is a kind of soft ground that is made of a mixture of some rocks and loose soil.
Thus, mobilizing a customized method for the environment was essential.
“So, I’m going to use the shield tunneling method.”
“Shield tunneling method?”
They were in the middle of dinner.
Lloyd then gave the baron who sat across the table a piece of paper.
“I’ve been thinking about it.
Here’s the conceptual diagram of the shield tunneling method.”
“A conceptual diagram.” The baron’s eyes turned to the conceptual diagram.
Lloyd continued his explanation, “To put it simply, the cylindrical frame made of steel is called the shield.
Workers enter the shield to dig up dirt and rocks.
In the meantime, the shield will withstand the mine’s pressure and prevent it from collapsing.”
“Hmm, is it a support that’s sort of a shield?”
Have you heard of shipworms?”
“Roughly, it is an animal that is the distant relative of squid or snail.
It’s a terrible fellow who gnaws the bottom of the boat and makes holes on it.”
“But, what does such an animal have to do with this construction right now?”
“It’s the inspiration of the shield tunneling method,” said Lloyd with a smile.
That was the truth.
In fact, in the mid-1800s, the construction of the Thames Tunnel—which was drilled beneath the Thames River in London, England—was carried out this way.
At that time, an engineer named Marc Brunel—who designed the Thames Tunnel—saw the ecology of shipworms, got an idea, and developed a new method.
Which is the shield tunneling method.
“Shipworms drill holes onto the wood at the bottom of a ship with a pair of small shells at its end.
However, wood swells when submerged in water, and the hole—which was dug as far as possible—could become narrow so the shipworm can get caught in the hole and die.
To prevent this, the shipworm simultaneously digs a hole and applies secretion to the inner side of the tunnel.
As the secretion hardens, it prevents the hole from narrowing.
The shield tunneling method works the same.”
Lloyd pointed at his conceptual diagram.
“The shield acts like the secretion of the shipworm.
Protecting the workers while acting as the vanguard when drilling holes.
Inside the shield, the workers will form groups.
Some are digging the hole while others are installing the equipment to prevent the mine from collapsing in real-time.”
“Just like that bug that spreads its secretion inside the hole to prevent the hole from collapsing?”
“So you’re going to advance little by little while digging and reinforcing the hole simultaneously.”
“That’s a pretty accurate summary.”
Lloyd then explained the plan in more detail.
The baron listened attentively to Lloyd.
In the meantime, the baron got very interested.
Coal is a wonderful resource to be used as fuel for fire.
If you can dig it up, it’s money.
The baron, burdened by an enormous amount of debt, couldn’t help but be tempted.
In addition, the new method Lloyd proposed also seemed plausible.
Finally, the baron allowed the construction.
But there’s one condition.”
“What is it?”
“During the construction process, I don’t want you to go inside the mine.”
“Because it’s dangerous?”
“Of course.” The baron’s answer was firm.
“The fact that it’s a new method doesn’t guarantee it’s perfectly safe.”
“But that’s not going to work.”
“Why is that?”
“If I don’t go in, what kind of worker will believe the safety of the new method?”
“Besides, we have to keep an eye on the situation and its changes in the site’s environment.
That way, accidents could be prevented.”
I’ll be safe.”
Since then, they continued to argue back and forth.
But, Lloyd was the side who was more stubborn.
In the face of his stubbornness, the baron eventually raised his hands.
That was how the construction of the mine was decided.
However, Lloyd didn’t start the construction immediately.
This was because he had something to prepare before the construction.
He waited for the night to come and put Javier to sleep.
In the middle of the night, he stepped out to the training ground in the backyard.
The system window was loading.
He opened the “Random Summon of Phantom Species” menu.
“I can’t use Ppodong for this project.
He’s too big to dig a tunnel, so it’s rather dangerous.
However, it’s going to take a long time to dig a tunnel with human strength alone.”
If the construction period got prolonged, it would cost more money.
The shield tunneling method only makes the construction safer.
Speeding up the construction isn’t possible.
Therefore, in order to reduce the construction period and save construction costs, competent help is needed.
‘If possible, it would be better if it had the ability to dig underground.’ Lloyd thought so and ran the ‘Random Summon’ menu.
There was just enough RP after he used it last time.
[Random Summon Cost (2nd time) = 70 RP]
[Current RP: 119]
[Do you want to do a random summon?]
I chose ‘YES’
[Summoning a random phantom species]
A pale light flooded the space.
The space fluctuated as a complex magic circle was engraved.
An unfamiliar silhouette began to be seen in the turbulent space.
A new phantom species finally revealed itself.
Lloyd’s eyes widened as he looked at it.
tl/n: Oh Lloyd, you’re such a brat.
I won’t be surprised if Javier wanted to cut you down.
Btw, thank you for the Ko-fis! I’m sorry I couldn’t give you all a bonus chapter because I’m still in the middle of my final college assignment.
I’d greatly appreciate it if you would buy me a coffee!
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