The telephone on the table rang.
Roland spent a few seconds rummaging through a pile of machines before finding the connecting receiver, lowering his body and answering it.
The label on the phone indicated that the caller was from the Aerial Knight Academy.
Following the increase of lines to the office, Roland was compelled to add another table to his work area just to hold the phones.
“Really? I’ll be right there.”
After hanging up, Roland stood up with a joyful expression. He picked up the coat hanging on his chair and draped it over himself.
“Was that Tilly?” Nightingale asked, frowning.
“Yes, the preparations for the big plane is complete, they are going to have its trial flight soon.”
The so called big plane mentioned by Roland was the Design Bureau of Graycastle’s main focus—the Four-engined strategic bomber. Upon finding out that there was the possibility of obtaining a mobile runway, Roland immediately sought for the relevant technical staff and inquired about the feasibility of changing out engines. The answer he received was, so long as minor adjustments were made to the existing weight, there would not be an influence on the yielding of pneumatics. But modifying the Phoenix’s engine brought about a substantial drop in performance; for example, the takeoff required a longer runway before the Phoenix was able to lift off, the internal fuel capacity dropped by half, and its flight time dropped to a third of its original time… In all, the new planes were incapable of satisfying the demands previously raised for long distance raids.
The only advantage was that outcomes could be immediately seen.
The Phoenix’s engine was an improved model of the star-shaped engine, a model Anna completely grasped over a year ago. It was relatively more mature and robust compared to the engines allocated to the large-scale bombers—even though the Bureau had supplied detailed blueprints, the prototype had to be first tested, and that definitely affected the progress of the entire project.
In reality, when the plan was initially formulated, the bomber had been prioritized in the ‘one year plan,’ and was already considered a brazen plan for Neverwinter. Even if nothing unexpected occurred during the research and development stage, its production would still have taken another half a year.
If not for Senior Lord Mask’s actions that caused Roland to realize that the Deity of Gods had an internecine ability, a year would not have been considered long. But now, the situation was substantially different—in the event where the Deity of Gods overdrafted on the God’s Stone mine to ascend into the sky, destroying the core would not be able to prevent the floating island from falling and causing catastrophic destruction.
With humanity’s own Skycruiser in the form of a floating island, losing bombers was no longer a huge cause of concern anymore.
Crossing over a tangled mess of lines, Roland wore the coat whilst walking to the door. “We should take a look as well, this might be history’s largest plane!”
Just when he passed the mahogany table, his sleeve suddenly pulled a teapot on the table. By the time Roland was aware of this, the teapot was already falling to the ground irreversibly.
“Ah…” Nightingale moved slightly, her figure disappearing for an instant but she was still one step too late.
The teapot tumbled in midair, as though something invisible had struck it, before dropping and shattering into pieces on the ground with the boiled tea splashing all over.
“Your reaction seems to have slowed quite a bit,” Roland quipped. “In the past, you’ve never slipped up on such things; have you been eating too much snacks that you’ve become heavier?”
“…” Nightingale surprisingly didn’t retort, and instead turned to look at her own hands.
“Leave it to the maids to clean it up, we need to head to the Aerial Knight Academy, Tilly is waiting for us there.”
At the Aerial Knight Academy runway, a black plane larger than the Seagull was being towed out of the hangar.
Aside from its massive size, the broad dual wings and the four engines installed below were the fighter plane’s distinct features.
Although the thick and short outline of the star-shaped engines was not aesthetically matching with the slender plane, the spectators did not seem to mind the disharmony—just its unprecedented size was enough to capture their attention.
Compared to the Fire of Heaven’s dexterous form, the pure black paint made the plane look like a gigantic creature lying prone on the ground.
Good was no exception.
His eyes never left the plane ever since it came out. If not for his personal experience of flying the Fire of Heaven, he would never have believed that such a heavy plane could actually fly. But even so, Good’s heart was filled with shock and awe—from the fact that Neverwinter was able to produce such an exaggerated gizmo in a year of his absence, he simply felt that the Queen’s abilities were just too exaggerated.
Finkin, on the other hand, could not give any other descriptions other than repeat how huge it was.
“I reckon that only the most outstanding of Aerial Knights will have the qualifications to operate this beast?” Hinds sighed with emotion. “In our class, I think only Good stands a chance.”
“Not really.” Unexpectedly, the one to reply to him was the usually cold Instructor Eagle Face. “According to what I know, the pilot of the bomber will not be selected from the current pilots. That doesn’t mean that these people aren’t outstanding, but Princess Tilly believes that ensuring sky dominance is the main goal for the Aerial Knights. As long as the bomber is protected and any approaching enemies are shot down, it doesn’t matter if the huge plane is operated by a team of recruits.”
“Instructor…” The three of them straightened their backs.
“Rest easy soldiers, I’m not here to reprimand you.” Eagle Face glanced at them emotionlessly. “You are all the best of the best among the Aerial Knights, have more confidence in yourselves.”
“Yes!” The three saluted.
“Everyone will be going up against the demon’s main force soon. Work hard.” Eagle Face turned and walked away with a wave of his hand.
Finkin heaved a sigh of relief. “Why do I feel that Instructor is feeling especially…”
“Gentle?” Hinds added.
“Yeah.” Good shrugged. “But if the words we speak behind his back reaches him, he will not hesitate to send you guys to a week of toilet duty.”
The two immediately switched topics.
Right at this moment, the black plane’s propeller started spinning at high speeds, the loud humming noises drowning the discussions of the spectators.
Even after so long, hearing the familiar and pulsating cadence caused Good’s heart to pump with ardor.
I really love flying…
With the unending striking sounds of the pistons, the bomber gradually moved forward and gained speed—the entire process took longer than the Fire of Heaven, but upon reaching the end of the runway, it still only lifted its nose by a bit.
Gravity no longer had its clutches on the plane.
It was as though the black beast had expanded its wings while facing the damp sea breeze to climb to the skies.
After its takeoff, the bomber adjusted its direction and flew northwest of Neverwinter. In that direction, the floating North Slope Mountain appeared especially strikingly.
Good knew that the essential factors to their initiative had been completed.
The time for the decisive battle was right in front of their eyes.