Castle of Black Iron - lightnovelgate.com
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At dusk, an airship appeared above the civic square of Blackhot City. It arrived so abruptly as if it was emerging out of the void. Before most people in Blackhot City noticed, it had already appeared.
For most average citizens in Blackhot City, airships were a rarity. That’s why when some people with sharp eyes noticed the sudden appearance of an airship above the civic square of Blackhot City, many people nearby raised their heads and stared at that it hovering over 200 m above the ground.
Nobody had seen that airship before. The flat, smooth, and streamlined airship had two stable flaps like a bird’s wings. It’s light shone silver. Looking from the ground, it was like a flying silver fish floating in the sky.
Because it wasn’t too high up, people on the ground could clearly see the propellers on the tail and the two flaps of the airship.
Generally speaking, this was an elegant and domineering airship. The moment people saw it, they would know it was definitely an advanced airship.
The arrival of the airship excited the photographers who were soliciting trades on the civic square. They adjusted the right angles and supporting their photographic equipment, saved the citizens of Blackhot City from missing such a chance to take a photo with such a beautiful airship. Certainly, there were many citizens who wanted to take photos.
The airship kept hovering above the civic square. Nobody knew what it was going to do. Many people in Blackhot City speculated that it came from the Norman Empire. There might be a big figure inside.
Such a peaceful ambience remained unchanged for over ten minutes until a great amount of fully-armored soldiers and vehicles of the Norman Empire arrived as if to face a formidable enemy. An officer of the Norman Empire ordered the soldiers to evacuate the population from the civic square. Not until then did the citizens realized that something was not right and hurriedly left.
Looking at that airship, an officer of the land-to-air defense camp of No. 39 Division oozed fine sweat over his forehead. This airship moved so fast. The moment the air-defense troop in Blackhot City noticed it flying towards the air territory of Blackhot City without any symbol of the Norman Empire on it while its patterns and specifics didn't meet any airship in service or produced by the Norman Empire, the air-defense troop had delivered an air-defense warning to the land troop here.
Since the main stream-driven boiler of the air-defense weapons on the city wall of Blackhot City was in active state, after receiving the warning, the well-trained soldiers of the No. 39 Division pressurized the main boiler and prepared the air-defense weapons. During this process, the soldiers of the No. 39 Division really performed perfectly. However, this airship flew so fast that before the air-defense weapons were ready, it had already rushed into the LV 1 air territory within the city walls.
Because this airship hadn’t come from the Norman Empire, if not for the officers of the air-defense camp who were absolutely sure that there was no such airship in the Sun Dynasty, the air-defense warning would have long been rung throughout the city.
However, the officers of air-defense camp were still oozing cold sweat all over.
"Sir, the lamp message vehicle of air-defense camp is already in place!"
"Contact those people on the airship using plain codes, inquire their status and purpose here!" the on-site officer delivered the order.
On the ground of the civic square, a professional land-to-air communications vehicle was already ready. On the vehicle was a group of special optical communications equipment. After receiving the order, the soldier rapidly peeled off the cover off the equipment and sent the same lamplight message twice towards the airship.
The airship soon replied as its lamplight signal equipment also started to twinkle towards the land.
Seeing the airship contacting the land, the officer of the air-defense camp finally let out a breath.
In only a few minutes, Colonel Leibniz, who had received the news, arrived at the civic square in a vehicle. The people in the airship wanted to talk directly to him and Colonel Leibniz didn't find it improper at all, because no matter whether in the Norman Empire or elsewhere, any people who could take such a luxurious airship were undoubtedly big figures who had both great status and background. At least Colonel Leibniz was not qualified to take such an air traffic tool.
When he arrived at the civic square, Colonel Leibniz raised his head and looked at that beautiful airship. He then re-confirmed that none of the generals’ airships in the entire Iron-Horn Army could match this airship. In the entire North Border Army of the Norman Empire, perhaps only the personal airship of marshal Lin Changjiang which was customized from the east could match this airship.
Colonel Leibniz wondered why any big figure would be interested in this remote, small city.
After receiving the news that the supreme commander of Blackhot City had arrived, the people inside the airship started to get off.
Yes, get off. They directly got off from hundreds meters high in the air.
The moment the soldiers and officers of the air-defense camp of the Norman Empire caught sight of the black spots that jumped out of the airship in a tidy formation, everybody became dumbfounded as they widely opened their mouths. The black spots jumping out of the airship were people.
Those people rapidly jumped off the airship like dumplings diving into the water. They quickly narrowed the distance between them and the ground and reached the height of less than 50 m above the ground in a wink.
When everybody on the land thought those lunatics jumping out of the airship were going to become meat paste, they all felt that the sky had turned dark for a short while since all the lunatics had opened a helical rotor in hand which kept rotating. As a result, all the lunatics slowed down. Soon after that, they collected their parachutes before directly hitting the ground like meteors falling from the sky.
All the soldiers standing around the square felt the ground tremble a bit. In a split second, many bricks on the ground broke into pieces like spider web stretching through the square.
All of a sudden, all the Chinese soldiers with black hair and eyes were standing straight like javelins, revealing a killing intent.
Seeing those people falling to the ground from several hundred meters high in a split second, everybody forcefully swallowed their saliva, including Colonel Leibniz. These people were powerful, very powerful, which could never be matched by the average troops of the No. 39 Division, or so the soldiers of No. 39 felt about them.
Face pale, the officer of the air-defense camp had watched those terrifying Chinese soldiers dropping from the airship to the ground at that fast speed, and he immediately recognized that the items they used just now were foldable rotachutes. What the most elite imperial airborne troops of the Norman Empire used were these rotachutes which were more advanced than common parachutes. This was not amazing. What made the face of the officer of the air-defense camp turn pale was their speed of decent, which was almost half of that needed by the imperial air troops.
This meant that if his troop was defending here, before all the land-to-air weapons were launched and a series of tactic movements such as locking on and aiming at those people were completed, they would have already fallen to the ground. In front of those people, the air-defense camp of the No. 39 Camp became absolutely useless. That was to say that those soldiers might face the overwhelming massacre next.
'Who are they? The Norman Empire cannot have such an elite troop!’ the officer of the air-defense camp asked himself inside.
Not only the officer of the air-defense camp, even all the soldiers and the other officers of the No. 39 Division had the same question. Everybody was shocked by such a sudden appearance as the moment they caught sight of these people, they knew that they could never match them.
Even though those powerful soldiers jumping off the airship shocked everybody who saw it, the next scene almost popped out their eyes.
Soon after those powerful Chinese soldiers landed, another person jumped off the airship. He moved as fast as an arrow shot downwards from the airship. Almost in a blink, he had already drawn close to the ground from several hundreds meters in the air. Compared to those powerful soldiers who jumped off the airship and decelerated using rotachutes, this person didn't even use any equipment to decelerate at all. When he was close to the ground, he just suddenly stilled like a feather before lightly landing on the ground like stepping off the last step on a staircase, not even arising any dust.
Many soldiers and officers of the Norman Empire below were forcefully rubbing their eyes repetitively. They couldn’t believe their own eyes. Among them, only the hearts of a few officers including Colonel Leibniz kept racing fiercely as they knew what the last person's amazing ability meant—he was a knight, a real knight. Only people above LV 15 could display such an immortal ability.
In this age, those talents who reached knight ranks were the real back bone of human beings’ survival on this continent.
In the Norman Empire, a knight undoubtedly meant an army. All the armies of the Norman Empire were battle groups centered on knights. Any knight was qualified to be an army leader. The army leader of the Iron-Horn Army was a knight, a well-reputed knight in the Norman Empire—Black Iron Knight Lord Clausewitz. The Iron-Horn Army was an army centered around Lord Clausewitz.
Among all the countries and powers of Blackson Human Clan Corridor, the quantity of knights was the most direct and important standard of a country's national strength.
So undoubtedly, the last person getting off the airship would be able to match Lord Clausewitz's status regardless of his nationality. Of course Colonel Leibniz dared not neglect him.
Seeing that person focusing on him, Colonel Leibniz kept his shoulders square and walked towards him in a dignified way, giving him a military salute.
"I'm the highest ranking officer in Blackhot City, Colonel Leibniz, your excellency. Your airship has entered the LV 1 air territory of Blackhot City, may you tell me your purpose here?"
Because the opposite was a Chinese, Colonel Leibniz spoke in Chinese. In the Norman Empire, Chinese was a necessary language that had to be learned by everyone in the top class. It was also the standard language in all the top class receptions and salons. Chinese symbolized dignity. If Zhang Tie had heard Colonel Leibniz speaking Chinese so fluently, he would definitely have been stunned.
Hearing Colonel Leibniz's words, that old man who had gotten off the airship slightly nodded towards him before waving his hand to let another soldier beside him present Colonel Leibniz with a document.
The moment Colonel Leibniz caught sight of the bloody dragon of the Norman Empire, his spirits rose and he carefully took that document, getting a look inside. There was a special communications certificate and an action memo in all the air territories of the Norman Empire jointly presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Department of Norman Empire, based on which, that airship coming from Jinyun Country could legally enter the LV 1 air territory of any city in the Norman Empire.
Additionally, no matter what they did, they could still freely leave while the outcome should be charged on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Department of Norman Empire. When necessary, at the sight of this document, any local officers and stationed army were obligated to assist and coordinate with the possessor of this document to carry out required actions.
Certainly, Colonel Leibniz could see through the truth of this document; however, the content made him muddle-headed—what for would a big figure ranked knight from Jinyun country come here with such a document? What was worth them traveling such a long distance?"
Of course, that airship hovering above the civic square of Blackhot City was very eye-catching. Not only the people in the civic square could see it, actually, as long as they raised their heads, almost all the people in the city could see the huge airship that shone with silver lights.
Already promoted to the manager of the workshop, Zhang Tie's dad was walking back home after leaving work. When he noticed that people beside him were pointing and looking far into the sky, he raised his head. The moment he caught sight of that huge airship, he became stunned andh is lips slightly trembled. He quickly returned home, face turning pale.
Zhang Tie's home had remained unchanged. As his parents had to look after elder sister-in-law who was pregnant and was going to deliver a baby, Zhang family's rice brew store had not been opened for a long time. Each day, Zhang Tie's mom would spend most of the time on her daughter-in-law. These days, Zhang family's kitchen was filled with the aroma of various foods and soups, making passers-by drool. For this, Zhang family's relatives by marriage were very satisfied.
When Zhang Tie's dad returned home, he found that his wife was still stewing soup in the kitchen but looked not as energetic and spirited as usual. The moment she saw him, she bit her lips and wanted to say something.
"I know, I already saw it on the way back, it's the silver-wind level airship of the Huaiyuan Palace of Zhang Family..."
"Can they be here for other things?" Zhang Tie's mom hopefully asked.
"There's a mark of the Clansman Pavilion of Huaiyuan Palace. I'm sure!" Zhang Tie's dad gave a bitter smile. "This time, it must be the elders of the Clansman Pavilion who came here for our affair. If not, the elders of the Clansman Pavilion would have never come to this small city no matter what happened here!"
"We've been here for dozens of years. How could they find us?"
"I'm just a trivial figure in Huaiyuan Palace. At that time, I pretended to die to escape. Dozens of years soon passed with us being safe and sound. The fake corpse must have rotten away and been found by others recently. I guess that it must be Guoguo, he must have awakened his ancestral blood ties and exposed his trace..." Zhang Tie's dad smiled. "I didn't imagine that although I was average my whole life, but by marrying a good wife I'll have a son who will awaken the ancestral blood. I have no pity any more..."
Zhang Tie's mom stretched out her hands and took a tight hold of his, tears rolling down from her eyes while he comforted her by patting her hands.
"Don't worry, I just pretended to die and escaped together with you. It's not a big mistake. The worst that can happen is that I'll be recorded on the "Guilty Deeds Record" and be punished to do labor work for a few years back in the Huaiyuan Palace. As the recent years have been becoming less and less peaceful, perhaps with Huaiyuan Palace at my side, it'll be a good thing for me!"
"It's my mistake. You could have..."
Zhang Tie's mom's tears fell like rain...
"I wouldn't be qualified to be a man if I hadn't been brave enough to escape with you. Compared to you, that real estate was nothing at all. "
At this moment, Zhang Tie's dad became very masculine and fascinating.
At supper, Zhang Yang, Zhang Tie's elder brother returned home after a day's work. Dad pulled him in to a room. Ten minutes later, Zhang Yang came out with a shocked expression. He then looked at his mom and his dad. He felt like seeing a fairytale, a real life love fairytale which had always been beside him during the past dozens of years. It was featured by daily firewood, rice, oil, and salt...
After supper, Zhang family was covered with a restless ambiance. About an hour later, when it became completely dark, the barks along the whole street outside suddenly stopped, replaced by the sound of "Kaka" caused by heavy and tidy footsteps.
Hearing the footsteps stopping outside their house, Zhang Tie's dad, mom, Zhang Yang, and elder sister-in-law all held their breath.
The gate of Zhang house opened by itself and a figure with crossed hands behind its back slowly walked inside.
The moment he saw that figure, Zhang Tie's dad trembled all over and hurriedly pulled his wife to kneel in front of him. Seeing their parents kneeling down, Zhang Tie's elder brother also hurriedly knelt down together with his wife.
"Zhang Ping, the unworthy descendant of Huaiyuan Palace of Zhang Clan welcomes Sixth Uncle..."
That one was rightly the last person who had jumped off the airship. Looking emotionless, that person didn't say anything. After glancing over everyone, he took a look at the rice brew store, the the kitchen, and finally the main hall. When he caught sight of the incense tablets that were placed respectively on the incense burner table in the middle of the main hall, his expression became a bit better.
The elder gave a cold harrumph through his nostrils. After glancing at the people kneeling on the ground, he pointed at the elder sister-in-law. "As you've married a member of the Zhang clan and are pregnant with a blood-tied descendant of Zhang clan, you don't have to do this, stand up!"
"Zhang Ping, do you know your fault?"
The elder's voice immediately became solemn...
At this time, when the dusk fell in Blackhot City and a group of people got off the airship and came to Zhang Tie's home, everybody in Blapei was making the final preparations for tomorrow's beer festival and carnival. The entire Chevli village was filled with a rich atmosphere of of the upcoming festival.
As a girl who would travel along with tomorrow's festooned vehicle downtown, Hanna stayed with the girls in the village for almost the whole day. They were decorating the festooned vehicles, preparing new clothes, and dressing their hair. Of course, they would load their own beer into the barrels when they came back in the evening to sell them in Blapei tomorrow.
From unmarried girls in Blapei, the girl whose beer was the most delicious in tomorrow's competition, she would have the honor to win the title of "Beer Queen". For girls in Blapei, that was sovereign praise and agreement. What it meant to the girls of Blapei was what for an average soldier of the Iron-Horn Army would mean to suddenly become an army leader.
There was a "Beer Queen" from Chevli before, but it was over 30 years ago. Yet it was still often mentioned with pride by the villagers—Chevli was a treasure land which once had a Beer Queen! Additionally, this honor was not awarded every year. Only the girl who could brew the truly delicious beer that won everybody's praise had the chance to win this special honor. In the last four years, nobody had won this special honor in Blapei
Although Hanna also had the ambition to become the "Beer Queen" in the beer festival like all the other girls in Blapei, she knew that it was almost impossible. She had learned brewing beer from her elder sister-in-law and her mom. Although it was not the worst, it could only reach an average level in Chevli village. It was really hard to make her craftsmanship outstanding among all the other girls. Even her family members didn't think that she could win such a special honor.
But no matter what, happiness counted most in the beer festival.
Hanna's family members thought this as they helped her pour the fermented beer into wooden barrels from the beer fermenter...
But the moment they opened the lid of the fermenter, old Harley was the first to smell the special fragrance which was utterly different from before. The moment he smelled it, old Harley loudly exclaimed.