The Empress's Gigolo Chapter 157
Chapter 157: Two Plans
Chapter 157: Two Plans
Translator: TYZ Editor: Book_Hoarder
Ren Baqian looked at the iron mountain in front of him with doubt. Is this really natural?
Ren Baqian believed that this was an enormous remnant of a meteorite rather than a mine.
It was possible that the remnant of a meteorite crashed here a few billion years ago. After many years of transformation of the earth's crust, the gigantic basin became a plain. The remnant of the meteorite eventually turned into the current Mount Damo.
Ren Baqian felt that this explanation was more likely than the iron mountain forming naturally.
Otherwise, nothing seemed to make sense at all.
"Can you make a few holes here?" Ren Baqian asked Gu Qiong as he pointed to a rock above his head. "The holes must be fist-sized and half a meter deep."
Seven meters above Ren Baqian, there was a four-meter-long rock protruding outwards from the wall of the mountain.
It was very hard for one to mine from that area given its height.
However, if he could make a few small holes there and place explosives within them, he might able to blast a huge chunk of it off.
This was merely his conjecture, after all he wasn't an expert in demolition.
"Sir, even though I don't know what you're intending to do, it's impossible to make such huge and deep holes there. We can only make fist-sized holes at most. Anything deeper than that, we will have to resort to digging," Gu Qiong explained with a troubled look on his face.
Upon hearing these words, Ren Baqian furrowed his eyebrows. If what Gu Qiong said was true, explosives might not be very useful here.
If he was on Earth, he would have many solutions to deal with this situation. For example, he could use acetylene to cut it.
However, most of tools on Earth needed either electricity or gas tanks. For example, if he decided to use acetylene, he would have to bring one tank of it here. However, he could only bring one per trip. Furthermore, he had to bring it to this place directly. Otherwise, given the condition of Dayao's roads, it would explode on the road here.
In addition, if he really brought a tank of acetylene here, his secret would be exposed. This was unacceptable for him.
"Bring me to the vicinity of Mount Damo to take a look." After pondering over the issue for quite some time, Ren Baqian felt that he should take a look at the surroundings of Mount Damo first. Right now, there was still some time before the sky darkened. He should at least inspect the surroundings of the iron mountain first.
For the remaining part of the day, everyone rode around the foot of Mount Damo for some distance before going back. Ren Baqian realized this mountain was exactly what he expected it to be. It was an enormous remnant of a meteorite. That was because structure of this mountain was completely different from its surrounding terrain's. He noticed that all the ore veins were gathered at the top of the mountain. Furthermore, there were extremely little trees and plants on top of the mountain. Mainly, there were weeds and scrubs. The layer of soil which covered the surface of the mountain should be dust that was accumulated over the years.
"Sir Ren, do you have any ideas?" Tao Jiyuan furrowed his eyebrows as he asked Ren Baqian on the way back.
"Oh? I do have an idea, but I don't whether or not it will work. We have to give it a try first," Ren Baqian raised his head in shock and replied. His thought process was disrupted by Tao Jiyuan's question.
"That's great then. For so many years, countless people have come up with ways to increase the mining output for Mount Damo but failed. As such, we can only use manual labor to mine the iron bit by bit. If Sir Ren's idea works, you will do the nation a great service." A smile spread across Tao Jiyuan's face.
"I'd rather you go and snatch iron from other countries than mining them from this place," Gu Qiong grumbled on one side.
Ren Baqian rolled his eyes. Isn't this obvious? Snatching iron is of course more efficient than mining them. The issue is, is it that simple to do so?
By the time they reached their camp, the sky had already darkened. Those laborers swarmed back to the camp as well. They crowded around a few barrels in the middle of the plaza and waited for their meat soup. However, there were very few people talking to each other. They had spent many years like this. Extremely few new prisoners were sent here as well.
Ren Baqian could smell the fragrance of meat soup from a distance. "Nice food!"
"If they're not full, they won't have enough energy to work. After all, if you don't have enough energy, you won't be able to chisel a single piece of iron from this iron mountain."
Ren Baqian nodded his head.
Gu Qiong had already prepared a wooden house for Ren Baqian. His dinner was meat soup as well. However, his meat soup had been improved with some wild herbs and two dried rations. Even Gu Qiong had to also eat such food every day. After all, there were no towns or villages nearby. Other than the people that delivered meat and other rations, no one else came here. It was almost impossible to make other types of food.
After finishing his dinner, Ren Baqian immediately went to sleep. The next morning, after he woke up, he called Gu Qiong and Tao Jiyuan to his room. "I have an idea that we can try. Pile up a large amount of wood at Mount Damo and then burn it. Then, pour plenty of water over the fire. Things expand when it's hot and contract when it's cold. Cracks will start to appear on the metal surface and this will make the mining process slightly easier."
Even though this was Ren Baqian's idea, he wasn't too optimistic about it. It wasn't at all easy to heat up the iron mountain. Furthermore, metal was a good conductor of heat and the rock composition was very little. Even if a huge amount of wood was burned to heat up the iron mountain, only a few cracks would be produced on the iron surface.
Moreover, cutting down trees and transporting wood to this place will require a huge amount of manpower. This method wasn't that easy to implement. The efficiency of this method was too low.
Ren Baqian had another idea. He could return to Earth to make a huge number of mirrors and concave mirrors and bring them back here. Then, he would adjust the angles of the concave mirrors so that they would point at the wall of the mountain. Subsequently, he would use the mirrors to direct the sunlight to those concave mirrors.
This way, he could use the concave mirrors to focus the sunlight and melt the iron into molten iron within an extremely short period of time. This would make the extraction process of iron much easier.
"Things expand when it's hot and contract when it's cold? What does it mean?" Tao Jiyuan did not understand Ren Baqian's idea. However, he was very interested and curious about it.
"I can demonstrate it to you." Ren Baqian led both of them out of the wooden house.
"Start a fire first," Ren Baqian instructed. Gu Qiong immediately asked someone to get some wood.
After a while, a fire was started. Ren Baqian picked up two rocks and asked someone to hold them with two iron awls and heat them up with the fire.
The rest looked at him curiously, trying to figure out what was he doing.
When it was about time, Ren Baqian instructed the person to throw the rocks into a bucket of water that was prepared a while ago.
Immediately, traces of steam were released from the bucket of water. After a few minutes, Ren Baqian placed his hand into the bucket of water and scooped out the two rocks. There were a few cracks on the rocks.
Following which, Ren Baqian showed the rocks to everyone. Everyone, except Tao Jiyuan, did not discover anything unusual. A look of realization dawned upon Tao Jiyuan's face as he said, "I see."
This was a very common natural phenomenon. It wasn't that no one discovered it, but rather, no one pointed it out and explained what was going on. Therefore, they did not know the concept of thermal expansion. Certainly, no one had thought of using this concept on Mount Damo.
"What happened?" Tao Jiyuan asked curiously.
"An object will expand when you heat it up. Even if you can't see it, it is actually expanding. And after an object is cooled down, it will contract. If these two processes happen within a short period of time, this reaction will be produced. Not only will this reaction occur on rocks, but metal as well.
Ren Baqian gave Tao Jiyuan a rough explanation. If he talked about molecular theory, Tao Jiyuan would definitely not understand it.
A pensive look appeared on Tao Jiyuan's face. Meanwhile, Gu Qiong widened his eyes and asked, "Sir Ren, your idea is to burn Mount Damo?"
"We can just burn one part of it," Ren Baqian looked around and replied. The top of Mount Damo might not have much vegetation but its vicinity had a lot.
He could instruct Gu Qiong's men to cut some wood to burn a part of the mountain. Even though the efficiency was very low, he still wanted to give it a try. He could at least increase the speed of the extraction process of iron.
After he returned to Earth, he would do some research on how to make concave mirrors. By then, he could solve the iron extraction problem of Mount Damo once and for all.
It was a pity that he wouldn't be using the 40 kilograms of TNT he brought here.