Release that Witch Chapter 876
Roland shrugged, it seemed that he had to work harder. Being overtaken by his own subordinates was never something to be proud of.
Thankfully, Redwater City was now back to normal. Out of the remaining filtered nobles, 70 percent had decided to continue doing their previous jobs while the rest wanted to try their luck at the City Hall even though the basic requirement to apply for the administration exam "literacy of sentences" was easy for them. Roland still believed that after the final tests, these people would not have too much of a chance to become official members.
After all, it was hard for nobles to change their habits.
But certainly, becoming a normal clerk was much better than losing your head.
There were even three nobles who wanted to join the First Army. They were knights originally and when being observed by Nightingale, they did not conceal any evil thoughts. However, he still stood by his original decision and refused their applications.
Having solved the issue of the feudal power, the work efficiency of Redwater City and the surrounding areas had greatly improved. In just over a week, more than 20,000 people had boarded the ships for Neverwinter, whilst more and more people continued to arrive at Redwater. At first glance, abandoning the small towns and villages seemed to decrease the amount of land they could control, but in fact, it drastically increased his capability to control the City Hall.
In such an age where even roads were scarce, the implementation of government decrees in the countryside was something he could only dream of. Arranging a few leaders within the course of a year was rather doable, but asking them to go around implementing the decrees was quite difficult. Barov had asked him more than once why he persisted in sending people to Neverwinter, instead of unifying the kingdom and leaving everything as it was. He had never fully answered him.
It was because the City Hall Director could not imagine how many people could actually be absorbed by the compounded industry of coal and iron, nor understand how much energy and time it actually took to build such an industry.
And the most important part was that those remote territories could not operate effectively and thus, from the perspective of resource utilization, keeping them would just be a waste.
Thus, it was more suitable for the current situation of Graycastle to gather the population in several major cities with convenient transportation.
It was from that moment of land reform that Roland finally acquired jurisdiction of the Redwater area.
As for his next target, that was Silver City.
Compared to the huge City of Redwater, the old king's city district was much easier to deal with. It was originally a common city, not much different from the several cities encircling the king's city. However, its existence became more special when the first silver mine was discovered there. As more and more precious mineral veins were being excavated, the city became busier and busier, and eventually reached its current size.
Considering the great importance of Silver City's output to Graycastle's economy, the latest Lords were only appointed by the family of Earl William, the "good old man" who was loyal to the Wimbledons. In addition, their power was also restricted and in the next couple of years, the city was almost never allocated to other nobles.
In other words, as long as the lord of the city declared it, Silver City would always be a thing.
Roland believed that "persuading" the other side was not a difficult task, considering he was the descendant of King Wimbledon III and the most suitable heir to the throne.
However, he was somewhat concerned about the fact that the city, which was built on mineral veins, was Nightingale's hometown.
Every time he asked her about it, he would get the same answer "I have cut my ties with the Gilen Family, so you don't have to worry about my feelings." He still felt Nightingale was hiding something, but because of his busy government affairs, he did not have much time to think about it so he could only leave this be for now.
Four days after receiving Iron Axe's secret letter, the First Army of the Eastern Front Army entered the Silver City territory through the canal.
It was almost the same with the trip to Redwater City. Earl William led his platoon out of town to greet them and after a warm greeting, he followed up with a dinner invitation. The difference was that in Redwater City, they were welcomed by the city's nobles while in the old man's platoon, there were more merchants, including their old acquaintance Hogg.
That evening, the Earl's opening speech set the tone for the feast. He was willing to hand over his feudal power and fully supportive to His Majesty Roland's new government. A warm applause sounded immediately at the meeting and the latter swallowed back the words that he had prepared to say.
And through Hogg's efforts, the feast became a business fair.
"Aren't you always asking me how the machine in my mine operates?" He talked proudly in front of a bunch of merchants. "Its real inventor is currently standing in front of you—it's His Majesty Roland himself! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You don't even need to go to the Western Region. You can get the answer directly here in Silver City!"
The merchants immediately swarmed over.
"Your Majesty, could you tell us why its power is so strong?"
"If you're willing to sell more rail systems, the Daymond's Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to working with Neverwinter."
"Your Majesty, do you remember the Fastsail Association? Two years ago, we provided you with several sailing ships to transport refugees from the Eastern Region—in terms of trade strength, we're definitely one of the best Chambers of Commerce in the Central region. If possible, the Fastsail Association wishes to buy a complete set of the manufacturing equipment for a steam engine. And naturally, at a very generous price!
Remembering the"good news" the female merchant Margaret had revealed to him, Roland did not know whether to laugh or cry— "Hogg will bring a large number of merchants to the Western Region". Unexpectedly, he had actually met them beforehand.
The world would have been such a nice place if everywhere in Graycastle was like Silver City.
After satisfying the merchants' curiosity, he finally found a chance to speak privately with the old lord.
They walked through the hall and went to an open air balcony, temporarily putting behind the buzz of the party.
Roland held his wine glass and after staring at the city for a long time, he finally said, "To hand over your city power like this, aren't you feeling any regret?"
"It was never actually mine to keep, so what's to regret..." Earl William smiled. "Your father, as well as his father before him, though they never said it clearly, they would have never allowed Silver City to have its own cluster. And it's a rule for the William family to never have their own cities. As far as I'm concerned, this power isn't so important." He paused for a moment."Not to mention that I don't actually need this power."
"You don't need it?" Roland could not help but ask curiously.
"The actual reason for the city a province is to expand and consolidate your power to prevent others from looking down on you. But Silver City does not have this risk—anyone who wants to attack this city will blatantly provoke the authority of the Wimbledon royal family. So as long as my family stays loyal, I don't need to worry about getting attacked." The Earl had a sip of wine and continued, "In turn, feudal power is also in a sense a weakening of your own power—through it, one has to allocate part of his own resources to others in order to gain their allegiance. Compared to giving out these resources to other people, I'd prefer to manage them by myself. Do you know how much the output of Silver City has increased in the past 20 years?"
Roland shook his head.
"As much as 16 times, after all, I put most of my energy into it..." The old lord said with high spirits, "At first, it was just an open-air silver mine, but right now the excavated mineral veins have reached more than 10 different kinds. In addition, at first there was only an excavation team sent by the royal family, but now, not only are there are all kinds of ore and jewel merchants, but also many auxiliary industries have been developed through mining, such as oil lamp, mining shovel manufacturing, etc. Your steam engine can also be considered as one of them, am I correct?"
"Indeed," Roland said with a smile.
"This feeling is like raising a child and watching it slowly grow up. Why would I be willing to split and share it with others? That's why I don't need such a power." After saying that, the Earl sighed. "Your Majesty, do you wish to let me continue managing this city of shimmering Silverlight for you?"
"Of course, if you wish to." Roland lifted his wine glass towards him, they smiled at each other and then touched their glasses gently.
"Oh right," Roland changed the subject after finishing his drink, "do you know about the Gilen Family?"
"Gilen?" Earl William pondered for a while before raising his eyebrow. "I think I remember them but not very clearly—after all, it's been for a long time for a new noble family to appear in Silver City. All those families were here before the discovery of the silver mine. If I remember correctly, the last Gilen must have changed his family name two years ago and his land now belongs to the Somi family."
When he said those words, Roland instantly felt Nightingale's grip on his arm.