Release that Witch Chapter 1172
Chapter 1172: A New Population Policy
In Neverwinter, Graycastle.
In the castle boardroom.
With the expansion of the Administrative Office, the meeting room became increasingly crowded. Many officials were sitting on benches behind their ministers and deputy ministers, whereas clerks and assistants were forced to stand flat against the wall. The hall was thus packed with around 200 people.
Roland thought it was now time to build a larger conference hall to accommodate these officials. He gathered that once the local officials came to the king's city to report their work, they would probably have to use the first floor of the castle to receive them.
He noted this idea down on a book and clapped his hands, and the meeting room instantly fell silent.
"I believe everyone has learned about the great success of the 'Torch' project that lasted for around 10 months. Now, we've eradicated the demons and expanded our territory to the Fertile Plains. From now on, instead of a deserted land full of traps and dangers, the area to the west of Neverwinter will provide us with resources and food!" Roland paused for a second and then said, "That's right. This land larger than the Four Kingdoms put together will be the land we'll dwell on for the next 100 years!"
The hall erupted into thunderous applause.
Territory expansion was viewed as the most important task for a king, and was also the fastest way for officials to gain a profit. Even civilians could benefit from the newly-acquired land, as this new land was several times the current territory of Graycastle.
"The 'Four Kingdoms' would probably become a part of history in a few years," Barov said jubilantly while stroking his beard. "The other three kingdoms are incomparable to Graycastle in strength and power."
"Quite right. It would be hilarious if we continue to use the word 'the Four Great Kingdoms' to document our history."
"How about 'One Great and Three Small Kingdoms'?"
"A little bit too much of a mouthful. I would rather come up with a brand new name."
"I Agree. I trust that the word 'empire' would suit our current status."
The ministers were absorbed in this heated discussion.
Roland did not stop their argument but allowed them to savor the aftermath of the victory over the demons before he steered the subject back to business. "I hope it's our mutual understanding that this victory is just the beginning of the war! Although we drove the demons out of the Fertile Plains, it doesn't necessarily mean that they wouldn't come back. This peace is only temporary. The real threat is the Battle of Divine Will when the Bloody Moon appears. I believe our enemy will put all their efforts into fighting this battle. Therefore, we must be well-prepared!"
"In other words, we shouldn't slack off. Instead, we should work even harder. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
The crowd shouted together.
Roland surveyed the room and nodded at Nightingale next to him.
Nightingale turned around and pulled back the curtain on the wall.
A huge blackboard replaced the map of the Western Region, on which there was only one single word: people.
"This is what I want," Roland announced slowly.
Peace was restored in the Western Region. With the return of the army and the consolidation of the local administration in various municipalities, Graycastle citizens had become, unprecedentedly, united. Among all the plans Roland was about to implement, increasing the population became the most important one.
To expedite the implementation of this policy, he even placed a higher priority on this matter over the post-war analysis.
Without a doubt, the biggest problem for Neverwinter now was its small population.
Had the First Army had an armored unit during the "Torch" project, they could have easily repelled the demons that had ambushed the witches using the simplest infantry fighting vehicle.
Although it was not necessarily ideal to use the first generation of the piston engine to produce an infantry fighting vehicle, it was better than nothing.
Roland knew that the production rate in Neverwinter had reached its maximum.
The plants could yield no more steel.
The battle had cost them 90% of the shells accumulated over years in Neverwinter.
The railway, which meandered through the plain, had almost consumed all the steel they had.
Agatha now also felt it increasingly hard to catch up with the acid production in the plant.
The production of RPGs further exhausted the ammunition stockpile.
It was undeniable that they had reached dead ends in many areas.
Roland needed people to expand production.
He also needed people to work on new projects.
To put the plan into action, Roland needed even more people to coordinate with different departments.
The population of Neverwinter was currently increasing at a steady pace and had reached 200,000. Compared to other cities, this number was astronomical. It would probably take just another decade for Neverwinter to expand into a metropolis that housed one million residents.
Roland would have peacefully accepted the victory had the demons not acted so unpredictably in the past war. In fact, as the reason for the demons' unexpected behavior still remained as a mystery, Roland felt a little uneasy about the outcome. He would rather see a fierce, bitter battle in Taquila between the First Army and the demons that lasted for over half a year and caused over half of the soldiers to be classified as casualties than the result he saw now.
He had planned to conduct a prolonged campaign.
But the demons had not let him do so.
The deviation from their original operation plan indicated some unforeseen changes had taken place. As the army returned to Neverwinter, Roland's fear of uncertainty grew, which urged him to speed up the process by taking some unusual measures.
"Your Majesty, the Administrative Office has been on top of that," Barov replied as he rose to his feet. "Based on the statistics, the city takes in immigrants every year. I believe in about five years, the number of the immigrants in the city will be doubled— "
"I can't wait another five years anymore," Roland interjected. "I wish to see this happen this year, and possibly more immigrants than what was initially planned, if possible."
"200,000 a year? Your Majesty, I'm afraid that's impossible..." Barov said hesitantly. "Only a famine or a riot could bring in so many people at a time."
"You were talking about the immigration under normal circumstances, but I'm intending to issue an administrative order. If we make relocation mandatory, it won't be very hard to reach this target. In short, this long-term plan can be divided into three parts."
Roland stuck out three fingers.
"Which are relocation, cross-border recruitment, and more births. These are what you should work on next."