Release that Witch Chapter 836
Despite some hard selling happening, the Fjords businessmen still finally accepted this method of selection. They all knew that if they quit now, the others would only take over their share. Eagerly wanting to become distributors for these exclusive products, they did not mind such a little compromise.
And they also could not deny that what Roland said had some truth to it. The samples that they had brought back before, despite the notable differences in taste, could not be matched by the fruit wine or other drinks on the market. So the difference lay mainly in the amount of profit. Since they were all responsible for sales in different regions, the possibility of competition was not high, thus further reducing the risk of selecting an inferior product.
Roland was chuckling to himself as he observed Gammon and the others pacing back and forth around the barrel. Some were nose sniffing and even trying to find some residual appearance of the beverage. Though the buckets looked ordinary from the outside, the interior had a layer of membrane made by Soraya. This completely isolated the air inside and outside, therefore the nose would certainly not be able to smell any difference.
Taking advantage of the crowd picking out the Chaos Drinks, he quietly pulled Margaret aside and whispered, "The buckets on both sides of No. 10 and No. 24 have quite tasty drinks. At least I personally like them very much."
The latter looked astonished. "Your Majesty..."
"You can take that as a gift," said Roland with a light laugh. "If it wasn't for the first batch of businessmen that you brought, the Western Region might have taken two or three years more before it could look like this. Though your intention wasn't to do business with Border Town, the town still reaped the benefits, so this reward is nothing." He paused and said, "But of course, it would only be for this time. After all, if you get good cards each time, the others will certainly become suspicious."
He had pretty much said all the facts. At that time, the steam prototype had been cumbersome and difficult to operate, and had only been suitable for the simplest drainage and haulage work. There had not been too many sales markets in the Western Region. Had she not introduced it to the Silver City mineral traders, thus opening up a high-profit trade route, the initial accumulation would have been more difficult.
Not to mention Margaret's Chamber of Commerce was responsible for the sales in the Graycastle area, so monopolizing the local market through the first batch of higher quality products was also a good choice.
"In that case, I accept your gift." The businesswoman did not do much to refuse—in dealing with people, she really resembled Thunder who was cheerful, generous, and uncalculating. After briefly saluting Roland, Margaret laughed and said, "Since I have received your gift, I can't do nothing in return. I might as well reveal to you a good news."
"What do you mean?" Roland asked, raising his eyebrows.
"The first group of businessmen you mentioned, which includes my old friend Hogg, plan to visit the Western Region this period." She lowered her voice and said, "But from his letter, it seems that this time it would be more than just him—the machines that you sell have spread in the Central Region of the kingdom, and almost all the mining businessmen are now asking him about the rail-transport system. And in about six months, your plant will be busy all day long."
"Is that so?" Roland was a little startled, then smiled and nodded his head. "That does seem like a good news to celebrate."
However, only he knew that there was a heartfelt sense of accomplishment after hearing this news.
"This day has finally come," he thought.
Over the past two years, he had sold a total of nearly 100 steam engines, of which only 30% belonged to the kingdom. At the beginning of the establishment of Graycastle Industrial Co., the monthly output was only an appalling two or three units. This output could hardly meet the demand of his own domain, but he still sold a part of it to Silver City. He had been looking forward to this day.
Such a scarce source of power is almost negligible for the industrial revolution, but it was a sign of a change from manpower to machinery and of a new mode of production. When everyone noticed the power of this new source of energy and wanted to follow suit, the change would start.
He believed that this interest-based change was almost impossible to stop. Its effect would be more than 10 million times better than just selling and promoting products, and its energy would be enough to change the whole era.
Today, Neverwinter was no longer like before. The output of one day in an industrial park today was equivalent to one month's output in the past. After the plants adopted three shifts, it would grow even more. Most importantly, a large number of apprentices who had received elementary education were steadily turning into workers—they had never touched a hammer nor built a sword, but had learned how to use machinery to produce machines. As long as the time was ripe, there would be an unprecedented eruption of productivity in Neverwinter in this era.
From Margaret's news, Roland seemed to envision that this moment was now not far away from him.
Two days later, the Fjords merchants left Neverwinter with their selection of Chaos Drinks, and Barov eagerly went into Roland's office with a thick pile of books.
Judging from the chief's smiling expression that almost covered his eyes, Roland knew that the results this time must have been quite good.
However, after opening the statistics sheet, he did not linger on the deposit amount but instead focused his attention on the new arrivals.
According to the agreement of the last meeting, Sunset Island and Shallow Water Town would each provide 300 craftsmen in exchange for completing the transformation of the paddle steamer in five years. The wealthy Crescent Moon Bay was even more direct and used 2,000 people and 50,000 gold royals to purchase a steel ship with no sails. Although both were aiming to get the knowledge of shipbuilding technology, Roland did not care about this and instead treated it as a bargaining chip—as long as they were willing to leave their people in his city, he would be fine with giving them not only manufacturing methods and techniques, but even design drawings.
Therefore, they also made a lot of effort this time. According to Barov's statistics, the number of craftsmen brought by the Fjords trip was 10% to 20% more than the agreed number. Most of them were old-timers with many years of experience in shipbuilding and carpentry, hence its intention was self-evident: Neverwinter did not prohibit technical skills from being mastered by other cities. This meant that when the contract was completed, other than those who were treated as part of the transaction, the others would learn all the skills and return to the Fjords.
Unfortunately, they did not understand the technical terms of the new era.
Roland could not help but raise the corners of his mouth. The people of the Fjords would soon realize that if they wanted to produce their own steamship, they would have to buy raw materials, equipment, key parts and components from Neverwinter... In the end, they would only be more dependent on Graycastle, like small countries without complete industrial capabilities in the modern world where he had lived.
He lifted the quill, drew a circle below the total number of these tradesmen, and returned the statistics sheet to Barov.
"Help the arrivals to settle in and call Karl Van Bate so that together you can make a financial plan based on what the industrial park is doing right now," said Roland. "We have to build a few more plants."