Release that Witch Chapter 497
Two concrete boats were docked as workers carried linen bags onto the shore, and the newly appointed officials in the Ministry of Agriculture counted them. The entire harbor was bustling with energy, which was a rare sight for Stronghold, a place still experiencing the aftermath of the Months of Demons. After being inspected and counted, the seeds in these bags would be distributed directly to every farmer.
"Your Highness, can the Golden Ones seeds really triple the wheat production?" Petrov was still a little skeptical. "Won't that mean that the produce could feed everyone in this city?"
Barov had said something similar to Roland before. To most of the noble, constant hunger was quite common among the civilians. "Feeding everyone is the basic responsibility of a lord. We're only taking the very first step. Also, it's not just because of my benevolence. Hungry subjects can't fully devote themselves to the construction of the city."
"But... this is no doubt an incredible accomplishment. I don't know of any other city in this kingdom that can achieve it."
"It's indeed an achievement, but I contributed very little to it. This is mostly the witches' work—without Leaf's modifications, there would be no Golden Ones."
Petrov was silent for a while. "Perhaps we really were wrong before."
"What do you mean?"
"We had the wrong attitude towards witches." Petrov sighed deeply. "Most of the nobles didn't care about the church's propaganda, but we still despised and distrusted the witches, so it wasn't hard for us to go along with the church's violence. Even if we used the witches, we treated them like slaves... Only Your Highness saw their true value and treated them like humans. This is the most incredible part—they really are special."
"Not only did you ignore the value of witches, but also ignore the power of the people, which is actually even stronger. Witches are like a catalyst and when they work together with the common people, there can be great improvements in civilization." However, Roland did not say his thoughts out loud. "We can still make up for the lost time. After all, we're all the same."
"Your Highness, the boiler is ready, and the Victory is set to sail," reported a guard.
"Tell everyone to board the boat. I'll be there shortly." The prince turned to Petrov. "The instruction team of the Ministry of Agriculture should arrive by this afternoon. They will show you how to plant the Golden Ones. As for the mine construction, population growth, universal education, and building factories, we've already discussed enough in the meeting. Just follow the plan and try to address any problems you run into by yourselves before asking me." He patted the eldest Honeysuckle son on the shoulder. "I'm leaving this place in your hands. If you serve me well, you won't be just the executive officer of the Longsong Area forever."
Roland boarded the concrete boat and ordered to set sail. Following the long sound of a horn, the Victory slowly left the shore and sailed towards the Border Area.
"How many Bald Boats are there already?" Joe clicked his tongue. "They're all coming from Border Town!"
"It's called the Border Area. Didn't our Lord say that we're all part of the same city as the town now?" Snaketooth twitched his mouth. Joe nicknamed the strange sail-less boats "Bald boat", but he preferred to call them Concrete Boats—their broad gray hulls looked like giant bedrocks, not even budging an inch as the movers ran around on them. "What's it called again?"
"City of Neverwinter," Tigerclaw chimed.
"Who cares? It has nothing to do with us." Joe exclaimed excitedly. "You're going to be taking this kind of boat to Border Town, right? Be sure to figure out why it can move without oars and what the white mist and black fog it spouts are!"
"This really has nothing to do with us," thought Snaketooth. "At least the city construction will give everyone a job."
"Are you really planning on leaving?" Sunflower seemed upset. "If you have to work as a handyman no matter where you go, why would you go to a foreign place?"
"Because we can earn one extra silver royal," said Tigerclaw, chuckling. "We can earn six silver royals if we stay here, but seven if we go there. If we can work on either place, we're obviously choosing the one with more money."
"I wasn't asking you." Sunflower rolled her eyes at him and turned her attention to Snaketooth.
For some reason, Snaketooth suddenly felt a little guilty. After the construction of the City of Neverwinter, the Lord kept his promise, and countless recruitment notices suddenly appeared in the square. However, the Rats had very few job options, which were mostly handymen and mason apprentices, and they were offered a lower salary than others. Of course, this was still better than their former lives, when they lived lack of food-if the salaries could really be distributed on time.
"Are you ever coming back?"
"Beep... Beep..." Suddenly, a siren began to wail at the harbor, and a red flag began to wave.
"It's our turn to leave, hurry!" Tigerclaw grabbed Snaketooth's hand and dragged him towards the harbor.
The crowd behind them also began to move as the siren rang. When they entered the security inspection area, Snaketooth felt as if he was being carried by the masses. He held his suitcase to his chest and kept staring back, but he couldn't see Sunflower or Joe over the dense waves of people.
A few officers in black uniforms were checking tickets at the end of the line. "What's your name? Assigned group? Take out your documentation!"
Snaketooth came immediately after Tigerclaw. He took out a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and handed it carefully to the officer. "Snaketooth, Fifth Construction Team of Redflag Group..."
The officer ignored his introduction, scanned his ticket, and slapped it onto his chest. "Boat on the left. Next!"
Tigerclaw was already waiting for him at the entrance. "They didn't ask for bribes. That's amazing."
"Indeed... they didn't." Snaketooth half-heartedly folded his documentation, put it in his pocket, and scanned the harbor for his friends.
When the Concrete Boat sounded its horn and slowly sailed away from the harbor, he finally saw them on a flight of stone steps—Sunflower was waving Joe's jacket, while Joe hugged his elbows and crouched behind her.
Snaketooth also took off his jacket and waved it furiously, ignoring other passengers' stares of confusion.
Their eyes finally met once again.
"Take care!" he shouted. His friends also seemed to say something, but the sound of the boat's engine drowned out their voices.
Sunflower followed the boat along the shore for a while, but the Concrete Boat was soon too far away and disappeared from her sight.
Even then, Snaketooth failed to give her his answer.