Chapter 124 Return to Border Town
“I have probably never seen you lie as much as you have today,” Nightingale said as she stepped out from her fog right after Tylo has left.
“How was it for the Church’s High Priest,” Roland asked, “could you tell if he was lying?
“No, my sight was blocked by his God’s Stone of Retaliation, at the place where he was standing, I could only see a mass of darkness.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t treat the High Priest the same way that he has all the other nobles, Roland thought full of regret. He then placed the two pills on the table, “Tell me, do these pills really have some kind of miraculous effects?”
Reducing the pain, the same could be done by morphine, as for increasing the strength, it sounds like it increases the rate at which the adrenal gland releases hormones, the problem is how did they manage to extract these substances and make it into these pills? If the Church had such a high technical level, they should have conquered the world long ago.
Wait a minute… Roland suddenly thought of a possibility, could they have done it with magic?
“You are able to see the flow of magic, right?” He looked at Nightingale, “Can you see any traces of magic in these two pills?
Nightingale took the pills in her hand and gave them a close observation, but when she gave them back she could only say. “There is no magic to see, but for me, they resemble the God’s Stone of Retaliation a bit.”
“God Stone of Retaliation?” Roland asked in confusion.
“Well,” she nodded. “You were with me in my world of fog. It’s only black and white, but the darkness of the normal black and the darkness of the God’s Stone of Retaliation are different. From the latter, I sense a feeling of emptiness as if it was trying to swallow the world around it. I do not know how to better describe that feeling…” Nightingale hesitated. “Rather than speaking of a black hole, it’s more like there is nothing there at all.”
“That’s right, they give off a feeling of nothingness,” she nodded acknowledging, “The two pills give me also a feeling of nothingness, but only very subtly, and… also it’s not a round hole, but rather a section of flowing thin black threads. ”
“Can this ‘nothingness’ affect your ability?”
Nightingale grabbed the pills once more and suddenly entered the fog, only to reappear soon afterward, “They seem to have no effect on my ability.”
“I think it’s still better to take prisoners with a death sentence and let them eat these pills to try out their effects,” Roland wrapped a piece of paper carefully around the pills, only then did he put them into his pocket.
“I would never have expected that the Church would have such a good impression of you,” Nightingale said after she sat back by the Prince’s side, giving off a depressed feeling.
“If the High Priest didn’t wear his God’s Stone of Retaliation, I bet of the ten sentences he had spoken nine would be lies.” Roland said in disdain, “In the end, the most important point is that what they are offering and what they are asking for, simply don’t add together.”
“Look at what they want: More churches, more believers, a prince or king who only gains power with their support, and will henceforth spread their divine propaganda. A stable country is more conducive to the development of believers and the development of their power. Otherwise under the chaos of war, the church and the monastery would be reduced to refugees and become the target for robbing nobles.
“But can’t they just have taken a fancy for you, because you can bring the people a peaceful life?
“I don’t think so,” Roland shook his head, “Stability stems from unity or equilibrium, even if the king idles away only seeking pleasure every day, the people would still be better off than those who are living within the countries that are at war. So if they were to support the 2nd Prince it wouldn’t be so surprising, it would also not be strange if they were to decide to support my sister Garcia, but what is strange that they would come to me and offer their support – especially now after Garcia has just won against Timothy.”
If the Church was to now fully support Garcia, I am afraid that the Eastern territories of the Kingdom would be swallowed by her in less than six months. With that around forty percent of the country would fall under the rule of the Queen of Clearwater, and the pressure I would have to face would start to exponentially increase.
Yet they don’t support the strong, but instead they chose the most vulnerable candidate, from their point of view. This situation seemingly has to be advantageous to the Church. Assuming I was to accept their support, the already complicated situation in this country with two Kings would then become even more chaotic. The direct consequence of a three-sided war would be a sharp drop in population, a rapid loss of wealth and since the war would spread over the whole country its unifying it would only be delayed even more.
What advantage is there to the Church in this? Needless to say they won’t get more believers, I’m afraid that even the churches built in all the cities will all be torn down until nothing is left.
“It seems you don’t understand the nobles’ way of thinking, they are always twisting and turning,” Nightingale sighed.
“Well,” Roland replied laughingly, “I don’t belong to them.”
“…” Nightingale narrowed her eyes, staring at the Prince for a long time, “Strange, why wasn’t this a lie?”
Three days later, Roland had finally cleared out the castle and the stronghold’s library and was now sailing back on Little Town while very satisfied.
Along the Redwater River, near Border Town, the river scene has changed its appearance during the last few days. In the areas near Border Town which had been burned open by Anna there were now many people who were very busy – seeing their dresses, they should be the first serfs who had been transported to Border Town. And in the area near the Impassable Mountain Range, there were erected a number of simple wooden sheds. Within the sheds Roland could also faintly see some activity, he thought it should be the serf’s family.
These people were tied to the land for generations, their children would also be born as serfs, because of this they couldn’t see any hope, ending in living a life filled with numbness. Their motivation to work the land came not from their hearts, instead, it came from the slaver’s whips. The resulting low productivity was simply a great waste of human resources.
There was no doubt that slavery was the enemy of industrial production and was a system which had to be abolished. But Roland did not intend to let them all turn into free hands, but he want to provide them a road out, so that they could see the hope of promotion to becoming free people – even if such a kind master was to give his slaves the possibility to get rid of their slave status was to be a precedent, this kind of compromise on handling serfs wouldn’t arouse much attention even if the news was to circulate. At most, the other nobles would think that he was just a kind person, nothing more.
He only had to wait until the time was ripe in the future, then he would fully abolish slavery, by that time the resistance he would face would be much less.
The area near the pier was crowded with sailboats, making it clear that the small pier was unable to handle all these ships. Fortunately, Little Town was more of a light-craft, so it didn’t need a dock to land. It seems that I also have to put the task of developing the pier on the schedule, Roland thought.
When he was finally back at the castle, he couldn’t allow himself any time to rest, instead, he immediately went to his office to call Barov, letting him report about Border Town’s actual situation and its materials.
The assistant minister has already been prepared for a long time now, so he only had to take out a roll of parchment out of his pocket and spread it out on the large wooden table.
“Your Royal Highness, the amount of materials you sent back to Border Town really scared me,” that said, the upturned corner of his mouth still gave away his mood, “twelve of my apprentices needed a whole night to count all the coins, which were more than fourteen thousand gold royals. This is equivalent to the annual income of an ordinary cities!”
To accumulate all these gold royals the Duke probably needed more than 20 years, Roland thought, most probably it’s comes from the plunder and exploitation of the people in the Western territory. I have to turn them into food, steel, and machinery as soon as possible. “Those jewels, how much worth are the jewelry and handicrafts?”
“I haven’t had the time to convert them yet, by conservative estimates they are also worth around 10,000 gold royals, if they were auctioned in King’s City, their price would be even greater. But for now, they are only stored in the basement of your castle,” Barrow paused, “However, this means that the original storage room isn’t big enough for all the food, so I suggest that you will increase the castle’s area, building further storage warehouses to store other supplies. ”