Release that Witch Chapter 953
Two three-masted ships with black and white flags were unloading their cargo when Roland walked into the harbor surrounded by his personal guards. The City Hall officials were circling around the stacked wooden boxes while occasionally making sounds of excitement.
"Long time no see, Your Majesty!" Margaret quickly came forward and bowed with a smile. "Please forgive my appearance... It's not suitable to wear long skirts while sailing at sea, so I hope you don't mind."
The man next to her also bowed. "Your Majesty, Sander Flyingbird of Twin Dragon Island pays his respects to you—are you satisfied with what I'm wearing?" He then winked at him as he asked, "Don't you think this quite matches the words 'High-flying seabirds'?"
In fact, even before he spoke, Roland had already noticed his distinguishing dress. To be honest, it would have been impossible to remain unnoticed when there were so many feathers on one's body. His clothes were those of an ordinary sea merchant from the Fjords, but they were covered with bird-feathered tassels everywhere, from the bandana on his head to the soft leather shoes on his feet. However, after the long sea journey, most of the feathers had become stiff and, though still attached to his clothes, they had now lost most of their luster. Looking at such a scene, one could only be reminded of a bird that had been shot out of the sky.
"No... you've misunderstood," Roland said. As far as he was concerned, "Sander Flyingbird" was just a well-known blue icon, and every male of his age, as well as every female, would experience the same impatience before opening a package with this mark. "Though you want to avoid being recognized by Lightning, I can promise you that if you were to enter the castle looking like this, you would definitely attract her close friend Maggie's attention, Mr. Thunder. In that case, you wouldn't be able to disguise yourself even if you had a fake beard on your face."
"Hahaha... Is that so?" Thunder laughed with his clear voice. "That's a pity. I was quite proud of this disguise. Did you know that ever since I found a tailor to make this dress, it has become the new trend in many islands?"
"Is this the power of a model?" Roland thought and rolled his eyes silently. On the other hand, it was no wonder he was the most prominent explorer of the Fjords if he could maintain such a young mentality despite being at least forty years old. Nobody else would bother to put in so much effort for just a temporary made up name.
Everything began with that letter before the expedition.
Now that the steel ship was completed, it was time to finally test it. Roland's feelings towards the unpredictable sea were full of awe. He was clearly aware of the actual level of his first steel ship—there was no doubt that even with all the equipment and other gimmicks installed on it, it was still far from sea-worthy.
It required more than a pile of iron pieces which could float and move back and forth to make a qualified sea ship. Due to the violent waves, the ship's mechanisms would have to be completely different from the versions on the inland riverboats. In addition, considering that it was the first time they were using the steam turbine, the reliability of its power system was also still questionable.
However, the most troubling aspect for him was that he was not familiar with the operational procedures of a ship or the human-engine interaction aspects. Whenever he had trouble with the principles of machinery, he could just go to the Dream World to find a solution, but this could not work for the sailing of a ship. Before the development of electronic control systems, each ship would have to be calibrated and handled separately. Hence, there was no other solution left other than to keep researching by himself.
Thus, inviting Thunder to test it out was the best option he could think of.
Not only he was an experienced navigator but also the leader of an Exploration Group, with hundreds of excellent sailors at his command. His feedback would be invaluable.
Roland was planning to use this chance to both test and adjust the ship while recording all its sailing data. That would undoubtedly be helpful in his preparations to build the next ship. Furthermore, this data would bring Neverwinter lots of wealth.
Since this part of the whole process would take two to three months, Thunder would have to stay in Neverwinter City for a while. In order to conceal his identity, Roland created a fake identity for him in the letter—that of Sander Flyingbird. Surprisingly, not only did he accept it, he even added in a bunch of customizations. His enthusiasm and playful spirit really left the King of Graycastle feeling amazed.
"Oh, Your Majesty, were you really able to finish the construction of the steam-powered boat this fast?" Thunder changed the subject. "At the Fjords, even with the most suitable materials available, the best craftsmen would still need a couple of years."
"That's far too slow. Ater all, the processing of steel is easier than that of wood as it doesn't need to be soaked in preservatives, and there is no need to wait until it's dry. It only requires ample heat." Roland shrugged his shoulders. "It is currently in the shipyard of the harbor. If you are interested, we can go see it right now."
"I can't wait!" Thunder's eyes instantly lit up. "I just couldn't stop thinking about it on my way here!"
"But what are all those crates of gold royals for?" Roland pointed at the boxes that were being unloaded continuously whilst their number was being counted by the City Hall. "As I said before, you'll only be charged the cost of production of this boat, nothing more."
"Of course, we wouldn't dare to refuse your generosity," Margaret replied, "These are the profits from the perfumes and the Chaos Drinks."
"That much?" He was a bit surprised. "It's not yet the delivery date stated in the contract, right?"
"Well, since we were on our way here anyway, we could reduce some of the burden from the next delivery like this." Margaret smiled. "But Your Majesty, your guess was correct, those two products have become very popular in the Fjords, especially the Chaos Drinks. The sales volume is incredible. The value of the most delicious ones sometimes rises up to ten times the original value even if they are second-hand. People are willing to collect even the ones that don't taste as good. In short, Chaos Drinks have now become a symbol of strength in the feasts of all the Chambers of Commerce."
Roland couldn't help but raise his eyebrows. It seemed like he made the right choice in letting a professional merchant handle this business.
"Your Majesty, there is a magic reaction within the crowd." Suddenly Nightingale's voice sounded next to his ear. "Is there a witch in their group?"
That's when he realized that not far behind Margaret was a peculiar woman looking towards them. Half of her body was hidden behind a maid and she was showing only half of her face. When their eyes met, she quickly hid her face as if she was a scared rabbit.
Roland vaguely remembered the female merchant mentioning her in their letter. "Is that person your previous witch friend?"
Following his gaze, Margaret nodded softly. "Yes, Your Majesty, she is Joan."