Chapter 2428: Feature of the Waves
Everybody agreed to go to the spot where the ultra-huge shield tunneling machines were working and check what was going on, but the mysterious orders that were all there was in the mainframe crystal processor of the Great Iron Plants. The vibration sawtooth and the blast drills had just started to be manufactured. There was no information about where they were going to be sent after production.
Li Yao estimated that Wuying Qi and Li Linghai had no reason to share such confidential information with Li Minghui, who had the habit of betraying. Li Minghui’s Great Iron Plants only needed to produce the consumable parts, and the transportation work later would be the elite Imperial Guards’ duty.
Or rather, even the elite Imperial Guards might not know where the consumable parts to be produced were going to be sent, and only a few leaders, such as “Moon Devil” Yue Wushuang, knew a thing or two about it.
Although he did not know the accurate coordinates, Li Yao could speculate where they were.
“The Great Iron Plants is just a very common industrial complex of mining, purifying, powering, and refining. Although it is rather large, it is not very technologically advanced.”
Pondering for a moment, Li Yao said, “Look at the technology transfer agreements and specialists’ guidebooks. Those things are enough to prove that a great deal of time and resources have to be invested in order to produce qualified consumable parts. It can be quite troublesome to upgrade the few main assembly lines in the Great Iron Plants.
“There are a lot of similar heavy industry towns like the Great Iron Plants in the underground world that are more advanced with better facilities. Even though the mother lodes here contain abundant rare metals, the gap between them and the demand for the vibration sawtooth and the blast drills are still obvious. Many raw materials have to be shipped over from the outside world.
“Then, why had Wuying Qi and Li Linghai chosen such a ‘plain’ heavy industrial town to produce and fashion the consumable parts that they needed?
“I think that the only answer is distance and transportation. The spot of their secret work can’t be far away from the Great Iron Plants, and there are bound to be tunnels or caves that directly connect the two places, allowing them to ship the consumable parts over without any hindrance.”
“Even so, the search range is still too wide.”
Long Yangjun remarked, “The underground world is not like the surface of the planet, where you can see everything with your eyes. Telepathic thoughts are often blocked by rocks and spiritual energy too. It will take tremendous time and energy to search each and every cave, tunnel, and gap within several hundred kilometers.
“Don’t forget that Wuying Qi and Li Linghai might conquer the four Kurfürst families’ last strongholds on the capital planet at any moment. Should they control the entire capital, it would be at least a hundred times more difficult for us to escape!”
“That is indeed a major problem, let me see… Right, quakes!”
Li Yao’s eyes glowed. “I don’t know how many ultra-huge shield tunneling machines Wuying Qi and Li Linghai have grasped for their excavation and exploration, but I imagine that there must be a couple of them, right?
“When the shield tunneling machines shatter the rocks with brute force, deafening noises will burst out, which will transmit all kinds of soundwaves. They will only be more conspicuous when a couple of ultra-huge shield tunneling machines are working at the same time!”
Long Yangjun thought for a long time and said, “That’s an idea, but there are countless soundwaves in the underground world in the first place. The quakes of the air circulation and cooling systems of the underground towns, the deafening noises of the shield tunneling machines of other towns and factories, the natural seismic waves caused by feeble tectonic changes… When thousands of complicated waves are entangled, they will be beyond recognition after they are transmitted to this place. How are you going to locate the soundwaves of the ultra-huge shield tunneling machines from them? It’s as difficult as finding a drop of water from a flood!”
“That’s not necessarily the case.”
Li Yao smiled and said mysteriously, “I’ve got a plan!”
Long Yangjun looked at him without saying anything.
Li Jialing stared at him, frowning.
Li Yao played mysterious for a long time, only to find that nobody echoed with him. He couldn’t help but feel disappointed. “Hey, shouldn’t you be asking ‘what’s your plan’?”
Xiaoming and Wenwen sighed. “Dad, we are in the middle of an emergency. Just speak it out if you have a solution. Stop playing!”
“It goes like this—”
Li Yao scratched his chin for a long time and coughed in embarrassment before he said, “The frequencies of different soundwaves are not exactly the same. It’s like the sound of an earthquake is different from that of a volcano eruption, and it’s even more different from the normally functioning magical equipment in a town.
“The same goes for the shield tunneling machines. The sounds of the small shield tunneling machines less than ten meters in diameter are certainly different from the huge shield tunneling machines more than thirty meters in diameter!
“In the meantime, the ‘super gigantic behemoths’, with a working surface of a hundred meters, must have unique and highly recognizable noises. Even though the soundwaves have been debilitated to almost nothing after being delivered in the rocks for hundreds of kilometers, some of the basic features will not change.
“Look, the technology transfer agreements and the specialists’ guidebooks have recorded the performance parameters and the production methods of the vibration sawtooth and the blast drill in great detail. Then, according to the features of the consumable parts, plus the designs of the regular shield tunneling machines of the Imperium, we will be able to model in the crystal processors, infer the general picture of this ultra-huge shield tunneling machine, and calculate what features the soundwaves it releases during the work entail!
“As long as we can grasp the features of the soundwaves, we will compare them to the soundwaves that we receive. Wouldn’t we find where the hotspot is easily?”
Long Yangjun asked, “There are plenty of types of shield tunneling machines in the Imperium, which have different mechanisms. Which one of them are you going to infer with?”
“It doesn’t matter. When the sizes and the working surfaces of the shield tunneling machines expand to a certain level, the optional structures will be few. I can model and calculate all of them in several different ways.”
Li Yao grinned. “By then, we will have a library of dozens of different soundwave features. After that, we will compare them with all the soundwaves that we can collect. There is bound to be something similar that we can find, right?”
“That’s a rather huge calculation load, isn’t it?”
Long Yangjun asked suspiciously, “Are you sure you are capable of it?”
Li Yao looked at the kids and said confidently, “In the past, maybe not, but right now, it… shouldn’t be a problem!”
Seeing that Li Yao was confident, everybody immediately began to work.
Although producing a “soundwave detector and collector” and tracking the ultra-huge shield tunneling machine with it would certainly waste a lot of their time, everybody agreed that it was worthwhile.
Wuying Qi and Li Linghai were too strong to be defeated by them in a head-on clash. Also, the identity of “Blackstar the Great” was not really something that had to be kept a secret. Even if they could escape from the capital and “reveal Wuying Qi’s real appearance”, there would be barely anything that they could reveal.
Or rather, such revelation might achieve the opposite results. For example, if they were to “reveal Wuying Qi’s real appearance” in front of a soldier like “God of War” Lei Chenghu, chances were that Lei Chenghu would be so overjoyed that he would go to Wuying Qi and pledge allegiance immediately.
Therefore, they had to grasp Blackstar the Great’s trump card, or at least see clearly what the trump card looked like, in order to have enough leverage for the game after they escaped from the capital.
After reaching a consensus, Li Yao and the two kids focused all their computational abilities on the modeling and computation of the ultra-huge shield tunneling machines.
The shield tunneling machines were civil magical equipment after all. However large they were, their structures were fundamentally the same and not very complicated compared with military magical equipment. For Li Yao who had dismantled and modified almost thirty Colossi, it was naturally a piece of cake, particularly when he had two kids who boasted enormous databases!
The production of the “soundwave detector and collector”, on the other hand, took them quite a while, mainly because the precision demand was too high, and Li Yao had to craft many components manually.
From modeling and calculating to the production of the magical equipment, it took more than twenty hours before a piece of weirdly-shaped magical equipment was finally made.
It was not exactly “produced” but assembled with the searching devices on the Colossi. Due to the limited time, layout and appearance were not Li Yao’s concern at all. At first look, it was just a messy metallic crap. Four gigantic metal bowls extended out and were folded on the relatively even rocks by Li Yao, who pumped the air inside first and then injected the highly sensitive gas that he had specifically refined as a conductive medium.
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
As he held his breath, poured his spiritual energy into the magical equipment, and levered the sensitivity to the highest, thousands of waves that were raging unstoppably inside the rocks were immediately released, interweaving into noises absolutely unrecognizable for human ears.
Li Yao was patient enough to input the “noises” into the library of soundwave features that he and the two kids deduced together. As he expected, it did not take long before he found an extremely feeble wave from twenty degrees down the southwest, which was 95% match with a certain sound wave in the feature library!
“Look, the overlapping graph of this soundwave implies that it has multiple sources. Quite a few ultra-huge shield tunneling machines have made it together during the work.”
Li Yao pointed at the crests and troughs of the waves and explained it to Long Yangjun and Li Jialing, “More importantly, the sound wave hits the bottom every three minutes and a half, and it will not rise again until about two minutes later, before it reaches the crest in another two minutes. This is obviously the cooldown time of the ultra-huge shield tunneling machines.
“According to my calculation, the ultra-huge shield tunneling machines of such a high power must have an extremely high temperature during the work, which prevents it from digging and shattering incessantly. Three and a half minutes to four minutes is already the limit. They have to be cooled down for two to three minutes before the next round of work.
“All the features match perfectly. So, this place is exactly our target!”