Release that Witch - Chapter 679: A Generous Return
“I know,” Roland waved and looked at Gammon with great interest. “Where did you hear about this?”
Although he did not regard the matter as confidential, it was almost impossible for the outsider to know about the steel ship as there were still a couple more months to go until it was fit to launch. Plus, only the bottom of the hull was completed at the moment and it was built in a totally enclosed shipyard. All the workers they had selected were the most skillful local residents.
They would have to pay special attention if any locals were secretly in contact with the Fjords.
“It’s big news in Fjords that Sir Thunder is recruiting new crews and that the campaign is on a much bigger scale than any of the recruitments in the past. It isn’t a surprise that many people from Fjords have joined his team since there are many outstanding captains in Crescent Moon Bay.” Gammon said with a smile, “The news regarding the magical steel ship also came from Thunder. He must take some hard measures to dispel the concerns of others about an in-depth exploration of the ocean to the west of Shadow Islands.”
“How many people know about this?”
“Not many, Your Majesty. The captain would not have revealed anything to us if he didn’t receive a great help from Crescent Moon Chamber of Commerce earlier. After all, Sir Thunder is a lot more highly respected than us businessmen.”
“I see,” Roland nodded, “however, I can’t meet your demand since we cannot build a second ship in a short time as this kind of ship is extremely hard to build.”
“We understand, Your Majesty,” Marleen said, “We’re just hoping that you can sell the second steel ship to us after you complete the transaction with Sir Thunder. Crescent Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce is willing to pay 10% deposit up front and we’ll pay 40% of the remaining once the project starts.”
“They have already started to talk about the deposit before they even know the price.” Roland once again realized the Fjords people’s adventurous spirit. Perhaps they smelled the great potential of the ship much faster than any ruler of the Four Kingdoms. At least, he had never seen any great nobles who would pay a high price for something he had never seen before.
“The city of Neverwinter also needs more than one steel ship, so it’ll be two or three years later by the time the shipyard has time to build you one.” Roland slowly said, “Have you not considered to send your craftsmen to participate in the construction and sign a new ten-year or five-year contract? That might speed up the construction process, and you can also learn the relevant techniques.”
“You’re kidding me,” Gammon felt a little embarrassed and said, “We absolutely don’t mean to covet it. We won’t dare to ask for such techniques. With a steel ship like this, you can definitely become the most popular partner in the Fjord Islands, provided that it’s really like what Sir Thunder described.”
“I’m not kidding.” Roland took a sip of the drink and shrugged.
“…” It was their turn to be shocked this time.
After a moment, Gammon said in disbelief, “You mean… you’re willing to disclose the technologies to the Crescent Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce?”
“As long as you can provide enough craftsmen as I need not only blacksmiths and carpenters but apprentices as well,” Roland replied without hesitation. “I’ll need 2000 of them. You can recruit literate civilians to make up the number if you don’t have that many. You need to provide the laborers within five years. In that case, we’ll start the ship construction next year. Of course, you’ll still bear the expenses incurred on shipbuilding.”
“I really don’t know what you’re thinking, Your Majesty,” Gammon said with a wry smile. “Perhaps it’s not your most valuable technology just yet?”
Roland shook his head and said, “The steel ship I’m building for Thunder is the most cutting-edge technology that the city of Neverwinter has so far.”
He was not making a fool of himself. “So far” was indeed no exaggeration at this point of time… Who knew what would happen five or six years later?
“Then, why are you…” Gammon startled. Then he waved with resignation and said, “No, I’d better not ask. The Crescent Moon Bay is willing to make the deal.”
Why? Since the development of technologies could not be achieved without a foundation, not to mention those of ship construction. Fjords would not have enough manpower to maintain this huge industry, even if they were given mines, machines, and converters. When the first steam engine was introduced, the manufacturing industry could no longer be copied by a pair of skilled hands or a hammer.
Roland could not help but remember the answer of the Black Sea Shipyard director when he was asked about the need of Varyag’s construction, “It needs the central party committee, the State Planning Commission, the military-industrial commission and nine Commissions of Industry for National Defence.” Although steel ships were not so highly demanded, it was also the result of the entire city of Neverwinter’s joint production. Other than the core power parts and hull welding work that Anna was in charge of, the remaining parts had been distributed in batches to the assembly plant and processed by the common people.
It would be an inevitable trend of industrial development.
Therefore, he needed more manpower to achieve his goal rather than protecting the technologies from being stolen. The population of the city of Neverwinter was increasing drastically but it was not fast enough for Roland. However, he did not need to explain this to a businessman. The man would eventually understand five years later.
“What a wise choice! The steel ship will not let you down,” Roland lifted the glass and said, “cheers.”
“It means drink up the wine in a gulp for celebration,” he calmly explained. “The new etiquette of the king’s city.”
“Well, really? In this case… cheers.” Both of the businessmen from Crescent Moon Bay were forced to drink up the white wine in their glasses.
After a while, Nibelung and Atiyer also returned to the living room and agreed to sign the contract.
As a result, the City of Neverwinter received the biggest order they ever had. It included a renovation deposit of 4,000 gold royals (the remaining 4,000 gold royals would be paid upon the completion of the construction), and a prepayment of 5,000 gold royals for the construction, both of which would be received by the end of the year. There would also be a total price set out according to the subsequent construction progress. He could already imagine Barov’s grinning face. Once City Hall had such great revenues, they would be financially more capable of arranging a job for every citizen.
Nibelung changed the topic after they had reached an agreement of the business, “Your Majesty, we also heard that there are a lot of perfumes for sale here other than the ships, I wonder…”
“Miss Margaret had signed a contract with me six months ago. She’ll be my sales representative and will be responsible for the sale of perfumes in the Fjord Islands after we open the Shallow Beach port. So, you should talk to her instead if you want to buy perfumes.”
Roland added after seeing his regretful expression, “However, the city of Neverwinter is also preparing to promote a brand new merchandise. Perhaps you will be interested.”
At these words, he clapped his hands, and the guard who was on-duty outside the hall quickly came in with three glass bottles.
The bizarre color of the clear liquid in the bottles immediately caught the businessmen’s attention.