Release that Witch Chapter 920
After Roland took a seat, the people in the hall bowed before sitting down.
Under his leadership, the small and remote Border Town had rapidly developed into a major city. Roland could clearly see that he had become a spiritual leader in the eyes of the conference participants. He had never felt anything like this when he had given lectures to students at a primary school or when he explained his designs to his clients. All the people who attended this meeting were not only listening but also preparing.
They were always ready to execute his plans and orders.
He had a sense of achievement from seeing his administration bear fruit. Three years ago, only a few people in the castle had served him wholeheartedly whilst all the local nobles had ridiculed him. Now, however, he had a splendid team to assist him.
He went straight to the point. "Neverwinter can't allow demons to take root on the Fertile Plains, especially somewhere so close to our border. Although the enemy came a little earlier than expected, we've also made rapid progress recently. We've recovered the lost regions and can now focus on fighting the demons." He paused to glance around and said word by word. "Our next goal is driving the demons out of the Taquila ruins. We must do our utmost to achieve this goal. Do you have any questions?"
"No, Your Majesty!"
Everyone responded in unison.
Even Barov who usually preached against wars did not raise any objection since he was aware of the fact that most refugees came to the Western Region for the good order, capable king and safe environment. If the demons set up a base at Taquila and then kept harassing Neverwinter, the people would be terrified and even flee the city. Without enough population, City Hall could no longer sustain the development of Neverwinter. He learned this lesson from the decline of the Eastern and Southern Regions.
"So let's talk about our war plan and policies now. Any department can share their ideas."
"Your Majesty, I think the top priority is relocating the industries in the north of the city as soon as possible." Barov was the first one to stand up and reply. "The people outside the city wall are the ones most vulnerable in the face of the demon invaders. Even when we finish constructing the new wall to protect the people, the flocks of sheep and herds of cattle will still hinder our troop deployment in the north. It's just like what happened when the whole city was placed under the strictest martial law." He paused to eye Wendy. "Due to the alert, the city gates remained closed, which blocked the transportation of wheat seeds and forest resources. Fortunately, City Hall had done everything in its power to minimize the impact."
Roland had already learned this from the previous reports. As Barov mentioned it again, he could not help looking at Wendy. Surprisingly, she seemed peaceful and undisturbed. He thought she must have meant it when she said that she would take full responsibility.
"Not everything in the north can be relocated. We can use paddle steamers to carry wheat seeds, mushrooms, and other resources into the city via the Redwater River. However, we can't move the North Slope Mine to another place. Additionally, it'll cost us a lot to rebuild the Furnace Area." Roland decided after a moment of pondering. "We should increase our vigilance over the mine region so that we'll be able to fight back when the Devilbeasts attack. As for the alert, I need to elaborate on this issue. When the city is under martial law, we need to evacuate the idle personnel on the streets and in the market, but all the factories must resume production and keep working from today onward until I give a new order."
"I see... I'll make a list of the properties and business we can relocate, and report back to you." Barov immediately changed his tone since he realized that Roland did not want to place blame on Wendy.
"By the way, please include land-use planning in your report." Roland knocked on the map behind him. "Now that the threat in the Great Snow Mountain has been ruled out, all the area in the west can be used. With the help of Leaf, Misty Forest can serve as a natural barrier protecting our left flank."
On the map, the Barbarian Land could be divided into three parts. From left to right, they were: Misty Forest, Neverwinter grasslandáandáthe Impassable Mountain Range. Misty Forest looked like an inverted triangle, occupying almost half of the Barbarian Land with its vertex located at the snow mountain of the Western Region. The Redwater River that originated in the mountain and flowed through the border area of Neverwinter could be considered one side of the triangle whilst another side started from the vertex and headed to the Dragonspine Mountains in the north. This triangle formed a large buffer zone for the city.
At present, Leaf could cover the entire western section of the Redwater River and thus provided a safety net for the concrete boat platoons to transport coal and forest resources back to the city.
Aware of the situation there, Barov readily accepted Roland's request. "Yes, Your Majesty."
"Your Majesty, I think we need to tell the public about the demons' origin as soon as possible," Wendy said. "Otherwise, our people will easily get panicked when seeing them suddenly. As you usually say, propaganda job is the most vital part of our administration. If we don't work to control the public opinion, some evil-minded people may take advantage of the people's fear."
"I agree," Alethea who appeared on the light curtain added. "Although common people have limited personal ability, together they can form a noteworthy strength. Fear resembles a whip. Most of the time, it's daunting, but it can also be used as a driving force for us if we handle it properly."
The early appearance of the demons disrupted Roland's original propaganda plan which was scheduled for after the unification of Graycastle and his enthronization ceremony. He thus chose to leave this problem to Barov. "You decide the content and the propaganda means by yourself. Remember to make sure that all the subjects understand that demons are enemies of the whole humanity and that we'll fight against them till death. Meanwhile, you should emphasize that in the face of guns and cannons, demons are nothing different from demonic beasts, no matter how hideous they look."
"As for the rumor mongers and troublemakers," Roland sneered and looked at the two police chiefs, Vader and Rene Medde, "I think I don't need to tell you what to do with them."
They hastened to nod. "Of course, Your Majesty."
Once Neverwinter finished discussing the wartime order and the related policies, Pasha raised a question which was likewise the greatest concern for everyone. "How are you going to attack the demons near the Taquila ruins?"
"The safest way is to set up artillery positions near it to destroy the demons' Red Mist supply equipment." Roland measured roughly on the map with his fingers. "Now our Longsong Cannon can hit targets 10 kilometers away. After some adjustment, it'll shoot even farther. Without Red Mist, the demons in the ruins will quickly die."
Roland did not brag about his weapons at all. Considering the operational convenience and the limited transportation capacity, he had not adopted 152mm caliber for the first generation Longsong Cannons. As a result, they could not match an ideal cannon whose caliber was 152mm in many respects. However, he was able to quickly convert them by enlarging their chambers and using separate-loading ammunition instead of fixed ammunition. By doing so, their range would be remarkably increased even if the other parts of the cannons, such as the barrels and wheels, remained unchanged.
"Got it. Your Majesty, the Taquila witches are willing to fight this battle for you."
Taquila survivors were undoubtedly the most aggressive ones in the Battle of Divine Will. They would take the lead without any hesitation when combating demons.
"But, I still need to solve a few key problems to implement that plan." Roland shook his head. "Without adequate preparation, it's hard for us to gain a foothold when faced with an attack from the demons." He retracted his hand and flicked his finger at the spot of the North Slope Mine. "The first issue is how to solve the transportation problem."