Release that Witch Chapter 1060
After nearly a year of preparation, Neverwinter was now operating at full speed like a war machine.
The Months of Demons could not stop this new king's city from madly absorbing neighboring resources. The Administrative Office once thought that the population of 100,000 was an unattainable goal, but after just one year, the urban population had doubled. The infusion of a large number of fresh labor forces has led to the rapid expansion of various industries, and four new chemical plants were even added. Machine-related processing and assembly plants have also exceeded double digits.
According to statistics, the monthly salary paid by the Administrative Office was close to 10,000 gold royals. When Roland first arrived here, the highest income was only 24,000 gold royals—this was after plundering Longsong Stronghold. In other words, the fortune amassed by the Duke of the Western Region after half a lifetime would only be enough for two and a half month worth of wages.
Steam engines, paddle steamers, perfumes and Chaos Drinks constitute the main sources of revenue—these goods were sold through the Joint Chamber of Commerce to the Fjords and the Four Kingdoms. In addition to the reward that had to be paid, the rest of the money went to a large number of raw materials and handicraft products. The coming and going of money now formed a delicate balance, and savings in the Treasury have started to diminish.
This was a very uneven development model, but in the face of the threat of the Battle of Divine Will, Roland did not have much of a choice.
If resources were not devoted to heavy industry, machine guns would not be able to shoot at will, and artillery would always lack cannonballs.
Only in this way could he arm the entire army.
Expanding the First Army from 8,000 to 10,000 people was only the foundation. The Air Force under the command of Tilly Wimbledon was also in active preparation. In addition, the "Conscription Act" and "National Mobilization Act" have entered the drafting stages. These two policies were aimed at improving the war potential of Neverwinter by mobilizing the ordinary students, workers, and farmers to perform the most basic discipline training. This was similar to the college military training of the later years. Although they could not be allowed to use guns directly on the battlefield, the training time could be shortened when there was an urgent need to replenish the manpower.
Since the specific time for the upcoming Bloody Moon already had some discrepancy, no one could determine when the Battle of Divine Will would start. It could be four to five years if they were optimistic and in the worst case scenario, it might be within one or two years. For Roland, the biggest strategic goal at the moment was to turn defense into offensive so that the war would be in the enemy's territory.
Therefore, the demon who invaded the ruins of Taquila was the nail he had to pull out.
In fact, the transportation of materials and the mobilization of personnel began gradually during the late winter and early spring.
This was where the advantages of rail transportation came in. Even if heavy snow filled the entire Fertile Plains, as long as the rails were cleared, the essential war supplies could still be continuously transported to the front lines.
Most of the steel produced in Neverwinter had become single steel rails. The route hidden in the Misty Forest had also been laid. Once Roland made the order, the new Northern Expedition would be officially launched.
Both the corps and the city were ready to go.
However, before this, he had two more things to handle.
On the second day after the Months of Demons ended, Roland received a request for a meeting with Thunder.
"What's wrong, leaving so soon?" He set up a relaxed afternoon tea in the parlor. While fetching Anna, he also sent an invitation to Margaret—with regards to this businesswoman who had a certain chemistry with Lightning, he could only help this much. "Are you impatient to explore the Shadow Sea City?"
"I knew I couldn't hide it from you," laughed Thunder cheerfully. "Every moment that I controlled the steel ship, I was imagining it facing the scene of the sea breeze. If I could, I even hoped to sail straight to the sealine."
"In that case, we will probably face the risk of water shortages halfway through the journey." Margaret shook her head reluctantly. "The other Chamber of Commerce that have invested heavily in you would not be happy to see you leave their fleet behind. Unless you plan never to return to Fjord Islands."
"Haha, I just wanted to express my excitement to His Majesty," he said, touching his chin. "As Margaret said, this adventure is no longer just about me. After all, for the Fjords, the development of new sea areas means opportunities and wealth, and no Chamber of Commerce would be untempted. This is probably the biggest expedition in the history of the Fjord Islands. I need to return as soon as possible to make adequate preparations."
It seemed that after Thunder's propaganda and recruitment, the team has now become a group. Roland smiled and sipped a mouthful of his tea. Thunder was without a doubt the greatest explorer in the Fjords. He was able to attract huge investments just by expressing his interest. "It seems that in a few short months, you have already mastered the steel ship."
"This was thanks to Her Majesty Anna," said Thunder, saluting Anna by pressing his chest, "the subsequent improvements that she made to the hull was of great help. You have to see it in person, otherwise, it would be difficult to imagine that such a large iron vessel could be nimbler than the three-masted ships.
"I'd also like to make a request." Anna nodded and said, "This ship was only active in the Shallow Beach near the sea during the trial. If it's possible, I hope to get a navigation report about the deep sea area. All the problems encountered should be recorded there. It is best to use Neverwinter's new waterproof ink and a sealant bag. So even if it falls into the sea, it can be completely preserved."
He probably did not expect her to make such a serious request so Thunder hesitated for a while before saying, "I understand. You can count on me, Your Highness."
Roland touched Anna's head lovingly and then looked at Thunder. "There's also something that I would like to entrust to you."
"I await your instruction."
"I'd like to recruit a group of explorers."
"Unrelated to this expedition?" Thunder quickly realized.
"Yes," Roland put down his teacup. "I would like them to go to the Endless Cape."
"I remember there was nothing except yellow sand and black water," Margaret said surprisedly.
"That's what I thought as well..." Roland shrugged. "The Endless Cape was low-risk, so there would be no need for experienced experts. So quantity would be more important than the ability."
Seeing that he did not elaborate on the reasons, Thunder did not persist in his questioning. "There're many people like these in the Fjords. I wonder what the rules of eligibility are..."
"None," Roland replied. "Although we specified for an explorer, in fact, anyone can do it—whoever finds any relics in the Endless Cape will be rewarded."
"Even if it's only a brick of the ruin that remains?"
"Naturally, but only if it comes from the Endless Cape." He confirmed by saying, "The more information a relic contains, the bigger the reward. The news will be valid for a long time. As long as I'm the king of Greycastle, it'll be honored."
"With your words as a guarantee, I'm afraid that area will be crowded in the future." Margaret smiled and said, "I wonder if I should take the opportunity to open a tavern in Festive Harbor?"
"You would be most welcome." Promoting the economy of the oil port was indeed one of Roland's goals. After all, the civilization in the painting had a history of at least 1,400 years. It was still unknown if anything was left behind at all. Undoubtedly reward was a good way of recruiting explorers, and killing two birds with one stone.
"By the way, Your Majesty," said Thunder, "since the steel ship has passed the sea test and is officially put into use, does it have a name yet?"
"Of course, I intend to call it the Snow Breeze."
"The Snow Breeze...?" The explorer pondered for a moment. "Surely it's a good name, but wouldn't that be too soft, and not fit for its steel body?"
"Both rigid and soft combined is the best way," Roland could not help raising his lips. "More importantly, this name implies auspiciousness and will surely bring you good luck this time."