"Your Highness, is this the weapon you were looking for?"
Frederick's eyes widened in surprise at the exquisite craftsmanship of the revolver he had designed. It was sleek, slim and sexy. Everything he wanted in a weapon. He could not hold himself back any longer as he grabbed the revolver and spun it around. The weight was evenly spread, and the cylinder and cap lock were well made.
"Did you make every part yourself, Wesson?"
"Yes, Your Highness, I spent every day of the past six months personally crafting every piece. I even forged the steel myself. It would have saved me some time had I made one of my apprentices do some parts, but I felt it best to do it all on my own, at least for the first one. But Your Highness, I must say this is a fierce weapon indeed. I had a few test shots and well, that mechanical indexing cylinder design of yours is ingenious." Wesson chatted excitedly
Frederick loved this revolver and felt the urge to name it. He decided to call it the Regal, hopefully it would be the Queen of revolvers, at least until the world came up with cartridges. He could not wait to test out the revolver and so he quickly headed to the training yard and practised with it.
It was a lot slower than modern revolvers but that was the limitation of the technology for now. In time he would industrialise Erlitz and introduce specialisation and mass production techniques, but that would be after he became Grand Prince.
It took a little time to get used to, both the front loading and the accuracy, but Frederick mastered it in no time. Satisfied by the craftsmanship of Wesson, he commissioned ten more of the revolvers. Since these would involve his apprentices, they would be of lower quality, but Frederick did not mind, after all the utility of the weapon far outweighed the extremely high standard of an expert gunsmith like Wesson.
Three months later, Wesson had managed to create three more revolvers. Frederick gave one to Phillip but he preferred his daggers and swords and chose to pass it onto Jacques who fell in love with the weapon. Frederick gave the other two to his mother and sister, they were both versed in the arts of firing guns despite being females. Erlitz was a rather progressive nation for its time, women were equal in all ways bar the military, women could only serve in background roles for so-called traditional reasons.
Frederick was dragged out of his reminiscing by a loud cough from Phillip. He realised he must have been standing and staring silently for quite some time now. He laughed in embarrassment before turning back to Phillip.
"Well, since it was Jacques then I guess we have no need to worry too much. However, it is best if we head back to Erlangen as soon as possible. Have Leopold and Bertrand quickly come over to my room."
Phillip immediately bowed before he left to carry out the order. Frederick quickly packed some vital things and got dressed for travel. Not long after he heard some knocks and asked them to come in.
Leopold and Bertrand still bleary eyed walked in warily. Being woken up in the middle of the night and summoned by Frederick made them a little nervous. They could not help but think that something terrible was about to happen to them or had happened to Erlitz.
Frederick read the expressions and guessed the thoughts behind them and chose to quickly hose down their expectations.
"Leopold, Bertrand, I need to rush back to Erlangen. The Styrian Princess was attacked on their way to Erlangen and she is currently in a serious condition, the assailants used a poisoned blade. I must handle it personally in case things go further awry."
Frederick saw their eyes widen in shock as they processed this dangerous piece of news. If handled badly, it could lead to a war between the two nations. Everyone here knew Erlitz was in no shape to fight a war, let alone a war with a major power like Styria. Even though they were slightly handicapped by the implosion of the Great Frankish Empire and the flood of refugees, their military was still far superior to Erlitz's.
Leopold chose to speak first.
"Your Highness, you can leave Stolitz to us. We can manage things here until the day you can finally get started with reforming the nation."
"Leopold, I was hoping you would say that. However, I will need Bertrand to come with me. Leopold you are a good administrator whilst your brother is a good analyst. I will need his help in these next few months. After I settle these issues, we can discuss your future in more detail."
Frederick saw Leopold look a little dejected at Bertrand being selected to accompany him on his way back to the Capital. But it was quickly replaced by a fervent desire to prove himself worthy by administering Stolitz well in the meantime.
"Bertrand I will give you thirty minutes to get yourself ready to travel. We will ride lightly, anything else you need can come with the rest of the men when they set off tomorrow."
Bertrand immediately bowed and left the room. Leopold gave his well wishes before he followed after Bertrand. Frederick quickly gathered his things into his travel bag and left to find Erhart. He had already been informed by Phillip about rushing back to the Capital.
Frederick headed outside and found Erhart and a platoon of the Royal Guards already mounted and ready to depart.
"Your Highness, I left instructions with Captain Grey to have the rest of the men follow after us at first light tomorrow. We are ready to leave whenever you are."
"Thanks Erhart. I'm afraid we will need to travel quickly possibly through the night, have you sent word to the towns along the way to have horses ready?"
"Yes, Sir Phillip is doing so right now."
"Good, good. Then we will wait a little longer for Phillip and Bertrand."
Ten minutes later Bertrand and Phillip both came out of the castle and quickly mounted their horses. Frederick gave the order to set out.
Rushing through day and night, what would have usually been a week journey was cut down to three days. Frederick's weary eyes glistened at the sight of Erlitz. He was home and hopefully he could finally begin his plan to change the world.