Release that Witch Chapter 367
Here’s the second one, sorry for the delay, something unexpected came up. Enjoy it.
As Petrov walked out of the cabin, his nose didn't perceive the smell of rotten wood one would expect, the trestle at the side of the ship was obviously new, but the old wharf had been expanded to twice its former size, and walking over it no longer made a squeaky sound. Stepping on the pier gave out a reassuring sound—apparently the joints between the planks were very reliable, and the materials were also rather thick.
Immediately after leaving the boat and walking down the docks, several uniformed guards came over. The man at the front observed the emblem hanging from the Lionheart's mast and said, "May I ask who you are? Are you Lord Hull of the Honeysuckle family?"
"Yes," Petrov nodded in acknowledgement, receiving such inquiries filled him with joy, "I am Petrov Hull, I came here by the request of His Highness."
"Sir Iron Axe has already informed us, follow us, please," the guard made a gesture with his hand.
"On foot?" He was slightly startled.
"Yes, the stables have been dismantled," the guard was a little embarrassed and answered while smiling, "Rest assured, the town's road is in good shape."
Petrov soon understood what the guard meant by saying "good shape".
The dark-colored streets were flat and wide, there was no snow over the road, and neither did it have much water on it—the paving seemed to be formed by many black stones, with small gaps in between them, that after being soaked in water, gave out a clean and smooth appearance. And to his surprise, there was more than one road, every other hundred steps he could see a straight fork, forming neat squares and making the town have a high degree of organization. Even after walking for fifteen minutes, he could not see a spot where the road was muddy.
Petrov was amazed at the discovery of the town not resembling the one in his memory.
"My lord, is this really… Border Town?" Seth had his eyes wide open as he looked around, "Didn't you say this was only a makeshift residence put in place in order to work at the mine?"
"That was true before," the guard answered with a smile, "but ever since His Highness came, everything started to change. Like the roads in the town, the construction started six months ago, and required a thousand people busily working every day, finishing almost a road a month."
Petrov noticed an undisguised pride in his tone, making it obvious he was feeling proud to be a member of this town.
However… this was simply unbelievable! On both sides of the street there were trees arranged evenly, making him imagine a scene in the summer season, with the lush foliage casting its shadow and sheltering the people from the scorching sun. Then there were the houses—the small mud houses and shabby wooden shacks had disappeared, and instead were replaced by sharp-cornered brick houses, each one being two or three stories high, each designed almost identically, making it obvious that the same group of stonemasons worked together on these buildings.
In only one year, how could he turn that old barren town into this?
With both surprise and confusion, Petrov followed the guard into the castle area, after arriving, the guide was replaced by a knight that was donning armor. He left his attendants outside the walls as he proceeded.
When he set foot in the lord's castle, Petrov found himself having similar feelings to which he had a year ago.
Nothing seems to have changed much in here, comparing it with the duke's castle in the stronghold, the prince's castle is obviously smaller in size.
The knight pushed open the door of the reception room, and made a gesture as if inviting him to go inside, then he soon saw the figure of the prince, sitting at the main seat of the table.
His Highness Roland Wimbledon.
"Welcome to Border Town," Roland said while smiling, "Mister Ambassador."
There seemed to be no change in His Highness, this gave Petrov an inexplicable peace of mind. He raised his hand to touch his chest, and respectfully saluted, "The Honeysuckle Household pays respects to you, Your Highness."
"Sit down," Roland nodded, "I asked you to come here because of a very important matter. This issue concerns the future of the western region, and naturally, it also includes Longsong Stronghold."
"I plan on establishing a city here, it will range from the Concealing Forest to the west, to Longsong Stronghold at the east, and it will include half of the western region. By that time, the stronghold will act as a fortress east of the new city, and it will be the first line of defense against the Church's army, rather than acting as an independent city as it has been up until now." Roland methodically explained, "In this vast territory, the same laws will have to be implemented and abided by, and it will be unified under the management of a new city hall. Therefore, no nobles will be able to meddle in the affairs of the city, the five big noble families of the western border will be no exception."
Petrov felt his heart shaking fiercely! A year ago, he also had the idea that Duke Ryan would move the defensive line against the demonic beasts to Border Town, allowing him to use the land in between at the same time. But unexpectedly, a year later, the prince would also adopt this method, and he's being more thorough than what he imagined. But turning Longsong Stronghold into part of the city? Just by imagining it, he could understand that the scale of the city would be astonishing!
He unconsciously tried to raise a question, but before he could articulate the words, they were swallowed back—since he spoke about it himself, there was no doubt the decision had already been made, and nobody could prevent him from carrying out the plan now.
Petrov never thought of going against the prince… Duke Ryan's fateful defeat had left a deep impression on him, making him believe that this grey-haired man could never be defeated, at least… he himself could never achieve it. The only thing he could do now, was to seek his own interests amid these great changes.
"You said, the five noble families would not intervene in the affairs of the city, then how will the Honeysuckle household be of use for you?"
The prince was silent for a while, and as he saw Petrov showing a slight uneasy expression, he chuckled, "You really surprise me, Mister Ambassador, whether it was the time I offered you to surrender Longsong Stronghold, or the positive attitude you just showed me, it is rare for nobility to make such wise decisions." After saying this, he restrained his smile and said in a serious tone, "As long as the Honeysuckle household is willing to accept my rule, you can continue to assist me in the management of the Longsong area."
"Either me or my father, we will always comply with your will—"
"I'm not talking about individuals, but the territory." Roland interrupted him, "Henceforth, it is to accept it as me offering shelter to the nobles, only conceding ownership over the territory, but no government rights over it—whether be it the law, the enforcement of it, or any other policies and regulations, they will be subjected to the decrees promulgated by the city hall."
"Such…" Petrov hesitated to speak.
"The territory will be able to be inherited by generation, just like a knighthood, your family will also be able to run farmlands, workshops, or other businesses. These industries, together with the land, will belong only to the Honeysuckle family, and others won't be able to meddle in them—this will be a gift granted by me. Apart from the government rights, the land you own will not have any change, and even under the stimulus of the new policy, it will only grow more prosperous." the prince continued, "Of course, you can also choose to return to your own territory, and live like a traditional noble. However, when I complete the expansion of the new city, and start expanding outwards, the occupied areas will cease to belong to their original owners."