Chapter 155 Visitor
Roland received the first purchase order for the steam engine, and the transaction’s amount was the largest so far.
Each “naked engine” for the price of 500 gold royals, with the first delivery, planned for in two months, followed by an increase of one engine per month until it reached a total of ten engines together. For future technical support, like replacing broken parts or improving equipment a payment of additional gold royals would then be required. Since the natives had never heard of a free warranty service, it meant more money for Roland.
Barov was the one who was most excited about the deal, in his view, every increase in the Town Hall’s revenue no matter whether it was by looting or by trade was worthy of praise. But there were naturally also some who were against it, for example, Carter, Scroll, and Nightingale expressed all their opinion, they felt that it was still too early for them to sell these powerful machines to outsiders, even more so, considering in hindsight, that Border Town didn’t even have enough machines for themselves.
Roland didn’t explain his reason to them because he didn’t look at it only from the view of a Lord. No, he also looked at it from the perspective of a way in which he could promote the speed of the industrial revolution.
It was almost impossible to achieve the task of advancing the process of industrialization alone, even with the knowledge of later generations. After all, the amount Border Town could handle was extremely limited. Even if he produced a lot of industrial products now, there would still be no one there to buy them from him. So, there was only one solution available to him, he must allow more people to join in on the revolution, only by doing this could new power applications sweep across the kingdom like a wave.
What would he get by selling the steam engine?
A sufficient amount of money, a huge number of new jobs, as well as a group of skilled workers, with the latter being the most important part.
This was also the reason for Roland’s low production rate.
With Anna’s new ability, her former and new production efficiency shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath. As long as she had enough raw materials, she could now cut out a dozen of steam engines a day.
Such products could also easily be sold, but that would only be simply the “selling” of a machine.
But if he wanted to develop the industry, he had to set up a special team responsible for production, assembly, and the maintenance of the steam engine. In Roland’s plan, he would build a factory with all the needed tools, such as a boring machine, planning machine, milling machine, and so forth. The complete steam engine production would only be done by the hands of ordinary workers.
In the beginning, it should be expected that the factory’s efficiency would still be low, and the quality of the first products would also be too horrible to look at, but slowly, everything would surly come on to the right track. In addition, with the experience Anna had gathered by creating them step by step on her own, as long as the workers became familiar with the process, it would be guaranteed that the output would start to increase.
The next step would be to use the profits from the sale of machinery to expand the production scale and also to train more workers. While at the same time the already experienced older workers, would gain the ability to manufacture products of higher quality, such as steam trains, steam ships, and so forth.
For Roland, there was no doubt that this would become a virtuous cycle. Those to whom he had sold the steam engine would also indirectly create benefits for Border Town. For example, if they used them for mining, they could reduce the ore prices; if they used them for shipping, it would also promote trade; when used for spinning and weaving, they could make up for their own deficiency.
Roland was already eager to see how the new steam power would spread over the whole nation and all these machines would come from Border Town. And once he was able to unify the entire Kingdom of Graycastle, he could then save a lot of time and work.
He also considered the possibility that buyers could try to imitate the steam engine, but for the new steam engine, he would use new circular cylinder which could only be drilled out by using his boring machine. He had also considered deliberately designed some complex components, which would be hard to reproduce by relying on the current level of technology. Roland didn’t believe that they would be able to produce a qualitatively good steam engine, even if they could count on a witch that was able to provide high temperature.
After being able to negotiate such a big order, and after finding a way to sell his industrial products, Roland should have felt elated, but he couldn’t find any trace of happiness within himself at all.
“Everything has cleared up itself, so why are you still showing such a bitter face?” Nightingale lifted her legs and sat by the side of the table, holding a plate of dried fish. “Are you still troubled with the news of the Church?”
When Scroll wasn’t around, Nightingale’s behavior always became a lot more casual. Sitting on the corner of his desk or laying down on the couch were all her usual places. For other lords, actions such as these would be seen as offensive, but Roland became aware of the fact that he didn’t mind it as much as he thought he would, and Nightingale was also clearly also aware of it.
“I always wondered why the Church would support Garcia and me for the fight to the throne, but now I think I’m starting to understand it. If my guess is right, I’m afraid that Timothy also got an invitation from the Church.” Roland knit his brow.
In addition to the business deal, Margaret also brought him a lot of new intelligence that she had gathered from the Four Kingdoms. One of the things that Roland was the most surprised about was that the Church had attacked and taken over the Kingdom of Endless Winter. If the merchant was right, they would now also be buzzy preparing the last steps before they launched an attack on the Wolfsheart Kingdom. This news had hit Roland like a thunderbolt out of the blue, and ever since then he had turned all of this information in his head over and over, slowly forming a picture filled with bad omens.
“Why should they support all three of you at the same time with the fight for the throne?”
“It’s not called supporting, it’s called consuming.” Roland shook his head, “The Church doesn’t care if the war spreads throughout the whole country, they’ll be happy as long as they see a lot of infighting inside the Kingdom of Graycastle. As for the possibility that the Church’s believers might get involved in the war, this didn’t actually matter to them. The Kingdom of Graycastle isn’t as weak as the Kingdom of Eternal Winter was. With its vast territory and also a large number of population, if they wanted to take it over by force, they would have lost a lot of their military power. But by helping us to kill each other, they only have to pay a small price to take over the kingdom. It doesn’t matter how many believers they would have left, after all, the Church wanted to build its own Kingdom. “Those pills… were nothing more than a well-prepared trap.”
When Wimbledon III issued the order for the battle of the throne, it was the same as giving the Church the right to dictated the situation. After the Kingdom of Graycastle, the Wolfsheart Kingdom and the Kingdom of Endless Winter have been taken over by them, the Kingdom of Dawn won’t be able to stay standing will be soon to fall. The real purpose of the Church is probably the reunification of the Four Kingdoms, taking into account how slow information travels during this era, and the people’s indifference to politics, it is quite possible that they will only then be able to see the truth and hear the warnings after its already too late.
This was why he was feeling so anxious.
At the moment, there was no basis for them to establish a united front, and hoping that the nobility of the Kingdom of Graycastle will rush to their rescue if they were to hear his fantastic tale, it was more likely that they would rush to the Church and act as their last line of defense. Thus, if Roland wanted to stop them, he had to rely almost entirely on the troops of the Western Territory.
“But you also have those new weapons and the Army of Judges isn’t much stronger than ordinary knights, I don’t believe that they could win against you.”
Roland could still clearly remember the time when the Church was a horrible monster for Nightingale, a source of endless fear. But that she now had so much confidence in herself, came as a small surprise.
He still managed to show her a reassuring smile, but inwardly he could only sigh. It wouldn’t be difficult for Anna to make Revolvers, but there was still a big difference between producing a prototype and launching a mass production of something. Whether it was the reset of the trigger or the automatically turning of the cylinder, both showed good performance. But as long as he couldn’t solve the problem of how to fire the bullets, there wouldn’t be any real value in these new weapons. In the absence of mercury, or mercuric nitrate, he will have to use some alternative materials as a primer.
Hopefully, the guard I sent to the City of Redwater will bring back good news, Roland thought.
Just at this moment, when he had recovered the enthusiasm of the former day, Lightning who should have been buzzy carrying out her daily training, came into the office and brought an unexpected message. The flag flowing at the Eastern Side of Border Town, near the woods was replaced by a blue flag.
According to Roland secret information system, the blue flag represented that there was a new witch that had entered Border Town.