Black Cat Chapter 38: Dash
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Once the money was deposited at the Adventurers’ Guild, it was natural to want to be able to retrieve it freely at any time.
So, I thought of a way to travel to Ibouro on my own.
The idea that came to mind last time was to use void magic to build a kickboard scooter and smooth road surfaces to move around, but the distance was still too long.
I would need some kind of power source other than manpower.
On the way to Ibouro, Mr. Zeol taught me how to handle a horse, but to tell the truth, the horse was always trying to overpower me.
If I barked hard and bared my fangs like a sheepdog, they might listen to me, but they wouldn’t move at all just because I yelled at them.
When I thought of a power source other than horses, I came up with wind power.
Wind magic tools receive a reaction force depending on the strength of the wind blowing, so if I could create a magic circle that blows strong wind, it could be used as a power source.
I immediately began experimenting with solidifying air in the shape of a wind magic circle, varying the size, thickness, and degree of compression to see how strong and for how long the wind could be generated.
At the same time, I started building the frame.
At first, I thought of attaching the wind power source to a kickboard scooter, but it seemed unlikely that the power source could be made that small, so I decided on the shape of a motorcycle.
The image I had in mind was that of a motorcycle equipped with a jet engine that challenged the world record for the highest speed but scaled down to something much smaller.
Since the suspension could not be built, wide and elastic tires were installed to make the ride more comfortable.
The reason for the so-called balloon tires is to make the motorcycle run on normal ground, rather than on a course made with void magic.
When transporting deer or wild boars from the mountains, the cart is driven over a course made with void magic, but since the distance from the village of Atsuka to Ibouro is about 60 kilometers, it is difficult to make a course for the entire journey.
Besides, if I can save the magic for making the course, I can spare more magic for the motorcycle itself.
The prototype frame is a simple shape with a thick pipe that holds the wind magic circle as the main component, a front tube that connects the front fork, and a seat stay that supports the rear axle.
The tires are about 20 inches in diameter to fit my body shape, and the riding position is like lying face down on the main frame, so my eye level is quite low.
Since it is wind-propelled, it has no chain, and on top of that, it has no brakes.
If and when an obstacle appears, I will use my void magic to create a course around it.
I think it is a ridiculous vehicle, but it is much better than the hang glider, which I flew without testing.
The prototype of the wind-powered off-road motorcycle was completed in a total of seven days of planning and testing.
The basic power unit is a 20-centimeter-diameter, 7-centimeter-thick wind magic circle made of void magic with increased strength and can reach a speed of about 10 km/h per single unit.
Ordinary wind magic tools have a magic circle engraved on the board, so they cannot be stacked on top of each other. However, the magic circle formed by void magic is cylindrical and hollow except for the magic circle pattern, so they can be stacked on top of each other.
Theoretically, two magic circles can reach a speed of 20 km/h when stacked together, and three magic circles can reach a speed of 30 km/h when stacked together.
Moreover, perhaps because of the hollow shape, they are quite efficient.
For the time being, I have made it so that up to five units can be mounted on the motorcycle.
Until I get used to it, I’ll basically use up to three, but once I get used to it, I’ll consider using five or more.
Now that the motorcycle is complete, I have no other test but to try it out.
I chose a nice day and decided to take it for a test ride to the village of Kidai.
For safety, I put on void magic armor and helmets.
I walked to the outskirts of the village, formed the motorcycle with void magic, and when I straddled it, I placed one of the wind magic tools inside the frame.
With a high-pitched whoosh, the motorcycle slowly began to move forward.
When the motorcycle started to move, I added one more magic tool, and the motorcycle accelerated.
The speed is about the same as riding a bicycle down a long hill, but it feels faster than it actually is because of my low line of sight.
The balloon tires absorb unevenness, so the ride is a little floaty but not too bad since it does not feel like a bumpy ride.
Just as I was beginning to think this was a pretty good ride, the tires skidded on a curve.
“Oh wow… Wait, wait… Daaaa!” (Nyango)
The moment I went off course and overturned, the motorcycle turned off and rumbled across the grass with only my body in full armor.
The speed was about that of a motorcycle pedaled hard, so there was no damage to my body.
The elastic tires were reasonably resilient, but they didn’t have enough grip, and the lack of brakes meant that I couldn’t slow down enough before entering a curve.
“As expected, it’s useless without brakes…” (Nyango)
Since I couldn’t build a complicated structure, I installed a pedal that uses the principle of levers, and when the pedal is pressed on, the tip of the pedal presses on the wheel to decelerate it.
I built up a new motorcycle and resumed testing. The good thing about void magic is that it can be re-created as many times as necessary through repeated trial and error.
Before the curve, I decided to brake while decreasing the number of wind magic tools and accelerate by increasing the number of magic tools as I rounded the curve, but it was difficult to make the curve smoothly.
The wind magic tool can basically only be switched on and off, so I adjusted the output by increasing and decreasing the number, but since it is wind-propelled, there is a peculiar time lag.
If the motorcycle decelerates too much, it takes time to re-accelerate and the driving becomes jerky.
As with curves, if the acceleration timing is delayed on uphill slopes, the motorcycle’s speed drops dramatically.
On the other hand, if the timing for deceleration was delayed, the motorcycle could not make the turn and would go off the course.
To achieve a smooth ride, like on a racing motorcycle, more work is needed.
Still, once it gets up to speed, it is much faster than a horse-drawn carriage, and there is no need to keep the horse’s good mood.
Even while testing, I was able to reach Kidai in about two-thirds the time of the horse-drawn carriage.
This time could be shortened still further.
My immediate goal was to reach Ibouro from the village of Atsuka in three times shorter than the speed of the horse-drawn wagon.
If I could achieve this, I would be able to make a round trip to Ibouro and back in a day with time to spare.
If a one-way trip takes less than half a day, I can spend a whole day in Ibouro if I stay overnight.
I turned around before the village of Kidai and returned to the village of Atsuka, further testing and improving the motorcycle.
On the way, I passed a horse-drawn carriage, and the driver holding the reins looked at me with wide-eyed amazement.
Both the motorcycle itself, which is undergoing various improvements, and the wind magic tools are made with void magic, so they are not visible to other people’s eyes.
In reality, I was on my stomach, holding the handlebars and straddling the motorcycle with my feet on the pedals, but to other people’s eyes, I must have looked like I was flying along the ground, raising a cloud of dust.
The people of Atsuka village are probably accustomed to seeing the horses coming down from the mountain on a cart with their killed prey, using the road they have made over a field, but it is understandable that they would be surprised if a stranger saw me.
It would be bad if the horses were startled and went berserk, so when passing or overtaking a carriage, it would be better to make a course and use it to keep distance.
I went back and forth from Atsuka village to Kidai village and used magic for about four hours, but I still had enough magic power to spare.
I could ride the motorcycle for a whole day, and it would not be a bad idea to take long trips in the future.
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