Release that Witch Chapter 803
Simbady had thought it was just a bluff. He had never expected Osha clan was serious.
When the warriors from Osha clan were about to execute the order, a clash broke out between the two groups. Over 50 people, who regarded the punishment as unreasonable and attempted to escape the discipline, started to tussle with the ones who tried to catch them.
Unarmed, the wrongdoers soon lost their battle to Osha clan equipped with clubs and shields. They were, as a result, stripped naked and prostrated to the sandy ground.
Thuram whipped them himself.
The whipping scene inflamed some of the spectators, who were on the verge of starting a virulent altercation but were eventually deterred by the flintlocks carried by Graycastle men.
Everybody had learned the miserable defeat of the watchdog in the oasis that night.
Even cavalrymen swift like winds had failed to penetrate Graycastle's defensive line.
What had crushed them was exactly the same shiny iron weapons in those soldiers' hands.
In a second, screams and shrieks filled the bank.
Osha did not plan to flog those clansmen to death. After he showed their bleeding backs to the whole group, he instructed them to treat the wounds with herbs and bandage them with gauze. Normally, there was rarely any plague in the freezing Months of Demons. As long as they were physically strong, they should survive the whipping.
Carlone and most of the clansmen were outraged, except Molly, who rejoiced over the punishment.
After the fearsome whipping was over, the group formed two lines and headed to the depth of the desert under the guidance of the whistle.
Thuram did not utter a word, but everybody became automatically self-disciplined. The procession was in an exceptional order.
When they were close to an iron tower, Simbady discovered a drying oasis, or rather a pond. This was probably what Thuram referred to as the water fountain for the vanguard. No shades of trees overhung the pond, except a few dying bushes around it. The pond was very shallow, the depth of which was no more than a man's height. Perhaps, it had been a verdant oasis a few decades ago. However, as the water vein of Silver Stream gradually diminished, the oasis, in the end, reduced to a cup of sand.
The pond would not even suffice to provide drinking water for the few hundred labors working here, let alone to nurture a tribe. That water could still be seen was because of the remnant of underground streams. Once summer came, those meager water would soon evaporate under the scorching sun. Even if no one drank the water, the pond would become completely dry in no time.
Simbady had seen a lot of ruins of oasis like this.
In other words, if those Graycastle men failed to find a new water source within two or three months, they would have no choice but to leave this land, not to mention establishing a new town.
Thuram did not pretend that he was not aware of the scarcity of the water. He hollered at the team, "Do you see this pond here? This is going to be the only drinking water for us in the next couple of months. So, make your water elsewhere. Are you all clear?"
"What about... food?" someone asked.
"Somebody will deliver food to us. If there isn't enough, we can go fishing," Thuram replied.
Hearing they would at least have food and water, all the clans relieved a little bit. The group thus dispersed and pitched their tents based on the instructions of the supervisor from Osha clan.
How to quickly set up and take down a tent was a must-have life skill for every sand nation. A tent made of sheepskin could shelter three to six people, and usually, one person was responsible to carry all the required tools and equipment. There were only four women from Fishbone clan who had applied for the job, so they erected three tents which arrayed in a triangle shape, each of which was fastened by a rope. The door of each tent was flung open facing outward, as a way to alert each other in case of danger. This was the simplest tent arrangement among all.
In the afternoon, Thuram whistled again and summoned everybody. He then took them to a place close to the beach.
Simbady was surprised to find out that northerners had conducted a thorough search here.
On the flat sandy ground stood numerous short wooden poles, each pole tied to a white rope. Like dividing domains, these ropes and poles segmented the land into many huge rectangles. Each rectangle was 60 meters in length at least.
The most incredible thing was that all the rectangles were of the same size, every edge and corner of which was precisely marked and measured. Simbady wondered how they did that within a distance of 60 meters.
There were 50 or 60 rectangles marked out by white ropes by a rough count. Simbady also saw some Graycastle men keep marking the land with wooden poles, with strange tools in their hands. It seemed they planned to continue to do so until all the land in their sights was covered.
"You're finally here." A tall man came up to Thuram. "My name is Kencury. I'm a former member of the Mason Guild in the old king's city... Well, you've probably never heard of this organization. Even in Graycastle, few people remember the Mason Guild these days. Thanks to the benevolent king who's willing to hire us, we're able to settle down. Otherwise, we probably don't know where we'll end up ... Um, that's not quite right. Let's leave this matter at a later date." The man coughed and patted Thuram on his shoulder. "Anyway, I'll be responsible for the construction of Endless Cape. I assume you're the supervisor appointed by Miss Echo, right?"
Echo? Isn't it Lady Drow Silvermoon's nickname? Simbady was shocked by the fact that the Graycastle men named Kencury sat as equal with the chief at the same table!
Not custom to the small talks and Kencury's overelaborate formalities, Thuram made a stiff smile. He stepped back and bowed. "Please call me Thuram. As to those lads, just let me know what they should do. If anyone slacks off, I'll punish them severely."
Apparently, Thuram had received instructions from the chief of Osha clan, for he paid great respects to Kencury. But Simbady knew it was those Graycastle soldiers guarding this area that Thuram was truly afraid of.
Kencury stretched out his arms. "Very well. Guys, there's no tavern or woman here. Ahem, I mean that kind of woman. So, concentrate on the construction! The first task for you is very simple, which is digging holes. See those white rectangles? Dig a hole in each rectangle until the sand has reached your knees!"
For a moment, nobody responded. There was an embarrassing silence.
Thuram's brows went up. He bellowed, "Are you guys all deaf? Get your ass moving!" He sounded quite ill-tempered, but a hint of triumph in his eyes betrayed his complacency.
But Kencury raised his hand and stopped Thuram. "Hang on... No need to rush. I haven't explained to them why we have to dig those holes."
"Sir, you don't have to explain to them..."
"No, no, no. His Majesty once said something that I can't agree more. He calls it pro... proactivity. Right, that's the word!" Kencury clapped his hand. "It roughly means that once a person knows the reason behind his labor, he'll become more productive. So, listen carefully... These holes will determine whether we can live here in the future! These holes..." He paused for a second and then continued, "are the key to converting seawater to drinking water!"
The group immediately stirred up at these words.
"The mechanism behind this is very simple, but only King Roland thought of it. It's just like boiling water—we are going to first feed these holes with seawater. Once the water is heated up by the sun and turns into water vapor, we collect them to get pure drinking water." Kencury even used his hands to further explain the matter, "It's OK you don't understand. You just view the ocean as a giant pool of bitter water saturated with salt. If we can separate the salt from the water, the whole Swirl Sea will become our drinking water source!"
Simbady was rooted to the ground. He doubted if this project was realistic. Put aside the validity of the theory in the latter half of his speech. He wondered how they were going to collect such intangible things as water vapor.
Kencury clenched his fist. "The production will naturally be very limited. One rectangle can only provide water for a dozen people. Therefore, we have to build a large number of conversion sheds to supply water for hundreds of workers here! You should all feel lucky, for His Majesty pays special attention to the construction plan of Endless Cape. This is also the second town named by the king other than Neverwinter. To celebrate the unification of the Southernmost Region, His Majesty endowed the town with the name 'Festivity', and you guys are not only the builders of Festive Harbor but also the first residents who settled down here!"