Chapter 148 The merchant from King’s City (Part 1)
Border Town welcomed the long missed rainy weather, from the dark clouds in the sky, the rains came splashing down onto the earth, hitting the windowsills and the windows creating a loud crackling sound the whole time.
It was reasonable to say that the spring was meant to be a rainy season, both warm and humid. But this year in Border Town, since the end of the Months of Demons, the number of rainy days they’ve had could be counted on one hand. Fortunately, the farmland was directly beside the river, which made the watering very convenient. Now, due to the heavy rain they received the oppressive air had finally dispersed. So now, as Nightingale opened a window, the room was flooded by the rich fragrance of mother earth.
From afar, you could see the sprouting crops on the other side of the Shishui River. The horizon was covered with endless amounts of green wheat seedlings. Now, washed by the rain, these crops sparkled dazzlingly in contrast to the gray water of the river.
Roland stretched his body and put the pen back into its container.
Seeing that he had finished, Nightingale finally asked, “Did the blueprint turn out well?”
“Well, it is an entirely new weapon, with its fire rate increased by several times,” Roland said, placing the blueprint on the stack together with more than a dozen of designs. “I’ll call it the rotating rifle. What do you think?”
“You don’t need to show it to me,” Nightingale said, showing an ironical smile. “I wouldn’t understand it anyway.”
“This is just the primary type, if the barrel gets shortened, it will become a revolver, which you can also carry around with you. However, even if it would come in handy to have it, I still first have to solve a missing key piece of technology. But, when the times comes and I can give it to you, you no longer need to fear the Army of Judges coming from the Church.”
“You mean, it will allow an ordinary woman to kill a heavily armed Knight?”
“Not only one, but several,” Roland smirked, “if you’re lucky, then five powerful men also wouldn’t be a problem.”
Nightingale exposed a look full of disbelieving, the moment when he wanted to say something further, a knocking sound could suddenly be heard coming from outside the office.
“Your Royal Highness, Barov’s apprentice who was sent to the capital, came just back, he brought a merchant with him who trades in saltpeter, at the moment the merchant is waiting outside of the castle for you to receive them.”
What apprentice of Barov? When Roland thought about it, only one thing came to mind. Before the attack on the Longsong Stronghold, Border Town’s stock of gunpowder was running low, and he had sent some guards to the Fallen Dragon Ridge and Redwater City, hoping to obtain a new source of saltpeter. Barov’s apprentice was the last to be sent on his journey, his destination was King’s City. After all, they should have all kinds of goods over there, coupled with the approaching summer, this meant the production of saltpeter would certainly be significantly increased.
He had never expected that the last person he had sent out would be the first to come back with good news.
“Bring them to the reception-room, and I’ll join them soon,” Roland looked out the window at the sky, “And let the kitchen prepare another portion of dessert.”
Turning back around, he saw that Nightingale had already disappeared.
But he knew that she was as always at his side.
Later when Roland entered the reception-room, the merchant was only just now brought into the room by the guards. She took off her wet cloak and straw hat, then bowed in front of the Prince showing her respect, “I am Margaret Farman, a merchant from King’s City, today I’m here to salute you, Your formidable Highness Wimbledon.
Seeing that the merchant was actually a woman, was completely unexpected to Roland. During this era, the traveling routes were much less safe than during the later times. Traveling around one may not only encounter bandits or refugees, but the towns also had many underground forces, not to forget there was still the dangerous wildlife to take into consideration, so seeing a woman working as a merchant was quite rare.
Like Lightning, she had bright blonde hair, but her hair was thicker and longer. She should be around 30 years old, and perhaps because of living a harder life than that of the ordinary people, she already had wrinkles around the eyes and on her forehead. Her skin color was also darker than the Kingdom’s people, at first glance her appearance seemed a little rough. But it was clear that she didn’t belong to the Sandpeople, but rather to the people of the Fjord.
“Sit down,” the Prince said, motioning that she could take a seat. “You aren’t an original citizen of the Kingdom of Graycastle, are you?”
“Why would you ask that?” Margaret smiled.
“The color of your hair, it is a very rare sight to see from people of the mainland. As far as I know, most people coming from the other side of the Vortex Sea have such pretty blond hair, I also know a… an explorer from the Fjords.”
“You are very knowledgeable; my hometown is indeed in the Fjord. But I have already left the Fjords and come to the mainland more than a decade ago. Today I’m living in the capital, and can be considered as a half-citizen of the Kingdom of Graycastle.” She paused, “Since it wasn’t so long ago that you’ve left the capital yourself, it is possible that we have already met somewhere before. To be able to live in the same city as Your Highness, I feel very honored.”
Sure enough, a successful businessman is splendid at speaking, even knowing that the other side was just flattering him, Roland still got a pleasant feeling. However, right at this moment, he could feel how his right side was suddenly pinched … uh, this time you didn’t need to determine if she was telling the truth or not, Nightingale you’re too enthusiastic about doing your duty.
“In the Fjords, being an explorer isn’t just a hollow title.” Margret continued earnestly, ”You may not understand, but the land where the people can survive is very scarce in the Fjords, where the water rises and falls, some islands will be swallowed at high tide. While other islands spew flames and smoke all day long, and they have such a high temperature that even the stone melts, converging all into a dark red river. Only those who open up new channels, or find a new suitable place for people to live, are eligible to get this title, so there aren’t many people who proclaim themselves, explorer.”
“Haha, not only does she call herself an explorer, she also claims her father to be the greatest explorer,” Roland smiled and shook his head, “Well, children, they like to imagine themselves as great people.”
“In the Fjord, even the child, will not so easily claim that title,” Margaret frowned up, “did she ever mentioned her father ‘s name?”
Seeing the earnest look on her face, Roland also realized that had he misread the situation, can it possibly be, that for the Seafolk take the title of Explorer as something they believe in spiritually? Is it possible that it cannot be called so casually?
“Her father’s name is Thunder.”
Roland had never expected that the moment he said the name, Margarite eyes became big and round, “You know Sir Thunder?”
“No, I only know his daughter. How is it possible that you’ve heard of the name?”
“No one in the Fjords hasn’t heard the stories of him! Sir Thunder, the Twin Dragon Islands and the Shallow Water Island were discovered by him. With this he expanded our living area by almost half. He also painted a detailed map of the east coast and the Shadow Island. Now, every child of the Fjords knows of the deeds of Sir Thunder, he is one of the greatest explorers of the Fjords!“
“But I heard that Thunder seemed to be buried in the sea because of a storm…”
“No, Your Royal Highness, a real Explorer will never fall because of a storm. He has faced numerous dangers, but in the end, he has always survived. At the moment Sir Thunder must be somewhere gathering the crew for a new expedition, just like he has always done.
Margaret leaned forward, “Your Highness, would you happen to know where his daughter could be right now?”
Roland was still a little surprised, he had never thought that Lightning’s father was actually so famous. Can it be that her tales which sounded so much like fantasy were all true?
“She lives here in my castle, after the shipwreck, she has kept traveling westwards until she reached Border Town, when I happened to meet her, and I took her in.”
“In your castle?” Margaret was full of expectation. “Can I see his daughter?”
“For now, most probably not,” Roland said, at the moment, Lightning should be flying over the Concealing Forest, looking for the site marked on the treasure map. “She is currently practicing… taking a jungle adventure. But if you plan to stay overnight, you can wait until she comes back.”
“Then I’ll wait and I will talk with her later,” Margaret nodded without hesitation.
“Then we can now discuss business, right?”
“Of course, Your Royal Highness,” Margaret answered laughingly, “do not hesitate to speak your mind.”