The crackling sound of wood being burnt disturbed the silence of the night, the brightness produced by the lit fire chased away the darkness in its immediate vicinity and warded off the chilly winds of the mountains.
Staring up towards the dark sky which is littered with numerous twinkling spots, Xiao Chen silently observed the shining gems of the night.
After inspecting the progress on his grand plan of building a city wall, Xiao Chen was lost in his own thoughts and climbed up the mountain behind the village. He camped on a nearby cliff with a great look of the village and its immediate surroundings.
From where he stood, he could make rough outline on where the wall will be erected at basing on the long ditch that the Yohan First Battalion dug. The slowly rising structure made almost entirely of fire bricks where the raw materials for the cement were to be blasted up with intense heat. The noisy pounding of the mountain walls to the north by the orcs and ogres as they tear boulders off from the mountain.
The long serpentine line of taurens moving around with their heavy loads. Xiao Chen even met some trolls on his way up the mountain with the things that they foraged around the woods of the mountain, be it raw materials or food.
He just nodded at them and continued in his ascent to the mountain till he found where he was at now.
"There you are chief"
Gur'kan emerged from the darkness while panting and his forehead covered in sweat shined with the help of the light from the campfire. Gur'kan went around the camp trying to find the chieftain but he saw not even a shadow of him.
Asking around the village, he finally learned about the chieftain's location when he stumbled upon the trolls who saw the chieftain going up the mountain.
"What's the matter?"
Xiao Chen glanced towards Gur'kan who had his hands on his knees and his back arched forward trying to catch his breath.
"The kobolds! They discovered a huge body of water underground which looks like a lake and it seemed to extend towards the lands of the pinkskins to the west"
Gur'kan reported in between deep breaths as he was still trying to stabilize his breathing. The kobolds were really industrious workers, they worked in rotation continuously and only needed a few hours of sleep to rest.
They only take breaks when it's time to eat then return to digging tunnels again. With the goblins aiding them, they didn't need to get out of the dark tunnels. The goblins were the ones who carried the things they mined outside while they continue on in carving paths deep underground in darkness.
"An underground lake...hmm...Did they try searching around it, where does it leads to?"
Xiao Chen's curiousity was triggered and he was also alarmed, that place might be possible attacking point that the humans would utilize to attack them.
He chose the location of the village due to its advantageous natural barriers but with the discovery of the underground lake, the safety of the village would be at risk.
"Ugh... No chief, they haven't tried to venture too far from the shore due to wariness of what might be lurking somewhere in the water"
Gur'kan sat down beside Xiao Chen as he extended his hands towards the campfire where the skewered meat were being roasted. It seemed that Gur'kan made use of the unique scent of the prime beef being roasted to located him.
Ignoring Gur'kan, Xiao Chen started thinking. If there is such a huge body of water underground, they might be able to make use of it as an entry to the lands to their west and nabbed some resources from the control of the humans and also to explore and discover this new world that he was now in.
An hour close to midnight, Xiao Chen descended from the mountains with Gur'kan in tows who was busy nibbling on the roasted skewered prime beef meat on his hands. It seemed that he was truly enjoying his time. Xiao Chen saw the patrols on duty doing their rounds in the village and nodded towards them before proceeding to inside his own tent and to his warm bed.
The next morning, Xiao Chen told the kobolds to tunnel away from the lake for the meantime till they solved the current problem that was on their hands. They had to deal with the incoming minions of the demon that swarmed the south first before exploring the newly discovered underground body of water.
Getting a close eye of the gravel cast offs of the kobolds while mining, he finally saw a huge number of the ash gray colored cast offs that he was looking for which he tasked the kobolds to specially look for besides the metal ores, mostly iron.
There was a huge pile of the ash gray cast offs which was separated properly from the rest. He finally had his first raw material in making cement.
The ash gray cast offs contained plenty of calcium carbonate which could be used as limestone when they are grounded. Requesting Mohrios and the rest of the taurens to prioritize moving the first raw material for the cement, Xiao Chen thanked the kobolds for their efforts before returning back to the village.
Xiao Chen selected some of the bored warriors of Yohan to accompany him, in grinding the mining cast offs into dust. For many days they grinded them to dust and gathered plenty of them.
Mixing the grinded material with clay that underwent plenty of washing to purify it,the actual production of cement was finally start.
Some small amount of gypsum was added to the mix which the kobolds accidentally discovered while tunneling nearby the underground lake. The result was an ash colored wet paste which was then mixed throughly in an iron container before being brought inside the fire brick structure.
Xiao Chen asked the Arkhan shaman who was tasked in blasting the materials with intense heat.
"I hope your odd idea works,chief"
The Arkhan shaman said as he started calling on the power of the spirits.
"Ga'rumm sokk'ra daka'rr segann!"
The shaman muttered and intense heat started emerging within the kiln. A ball of fire emerged out of thin air just above the slimy paste that was laid on top of the fire bricks that make up the floor of the kiln.
Like a beating heart, the ball of fire started pulsating and the heat that it emitted started getting hotter and hotter that even with the fire bricks containing it, Xiao Chen could still feel the intense heat that it emitted.
Knowledge is useless unless properly applied