Chapter: 14 Ability
“Your Highness, how tall and wide should the city wall that you’re planning to build be?”
“It should be at least fifteen feet high, six feet wide, allowing for four men to advance side by side on top of it,” Roland had to nod inwardly, professionals truly weren’t the same as ordinary people. They would first ask about the technical parameters and then determine the construction program.
“So it will require for us to dig a trench one man deep to stabilize the upper part of the wall, in addition, for a six foot wide top of a fifteen foot high wall, the width at the base will need to be at least doubled.” Karl replied quickly, “Thus just digging the trench also will consume a lot of manpower. Your Highness, if you give me a hundred and fifty workers, I should be able to dig the trench the months prior to the demons’ arrival .”
“A trench cannot stop the evil beasts,” Roland answered noncommittally.
“That’s true, but if we build the upper section of the city wall with stone masonry, it will take three years time. In order to only stop the evil beasts, you needn’t build the wall so high, approximately 12 feet high should be enough. The width can also be reduced by a third, resulting in a six-foot wide foundation. With simultaneous digging of the trenches and the building of the wall, as well as an increase of the workers to two hundred… In that way, I should be able to finish it by January, in the next year, before the arrival of the demons.”
Karl paused, then said, “Please forgive me, Your Highness, this really isn’t a good time to start. In case the construction of the wall is not on time, even if the trenches were dug well, they will still lose their original form after the soaking rain and snow throughout the winter. When you return, instead of finishing it, you would only need to spend more time and manpower to clean up the softening trench, excavating and deepening it one more time. “
“Say, in case we only build the wall twelve feet high and four feet wide, how long would you need to dig the trenches?”
“It should be finished within one and a half months,” Karl replied.
“Then do it according to this plan, trenching and masoning at the same time, so that we succeed a month prior to the arrival of the demonic beasts.” Roland waved his hand, interrupting Karl, “I know what concerns you, but take a look at this, this is the latest work from the Graycastle alchemical workshop.”
Naturally, he had no time to allow the stonemason to see the gluing process. Instead, he showed him the two bricks he had glued together earlier. Fortunately, when the prince spoke, almost no one dared to question him. When Karl heard that this alchemical adhesive cement could turn from a liquid into a solid form overnight, furthermore that it came with a sky-high adhesion effect, his face exposed his incredible shock. As a stonemason who had dedicated half of his lifetime into his work, he could naturally recognize how great this invention has gone. Apart from stone binding, the most important fact was that it was possible to freely shape its figure! Wouldn’t that be equivalent to no longer needing a second cutting and polishing process, being suitable for any loosely shaped stone? The time-consuming processing stage could be abandoned altogether and the construction rate of any building could be raised to a whole new level. This alone was exciting enough!
Roland looked at the expression on Karl’s face with satisfaction, and once again asked, “What do you think, will three months be enough?”
Karl van Bart’s voice somewhat shivered,”If you’re right, no, no, I mean… If the alchemical workshop described this matter correctly, I… I’m willing to try.”
“Very good, I will let people summarize the detailed information of cement for you. If there are still anything else you need to discuss with me, then feel free to talk with my assistant minister,” Roland laughed, “Mr. Karl, from now on you will be the chief of the employees’ office. “
On the next day Roland saw Nana in the afternoon. The little girl stared blankly at Anna, clutching her clothes for a long time, before saying, “I’m already… Dead?”
The first time Roland saw her, he had to admit that the power of the witch did not only give them the ability to use magic. To some extent, it also changed their appearance and temperament. She and Anna were very different types, but both of them had a unique charm. This feeling had nothing to do with age, and it was also unrelated to their situation. Even when Anna was in jail, waiting for her death sentence, the radiance she emitted still continued unabated. He searched through his entire memory, whether it was a noble lady with a very good upbringing or a street walker in Graycastle, neither had given off such an aura. If one insisted on describing it, then compared with other woman, it was as if the witches were the colors in a black and white photograph.
She was brought over by Karl van Bart, who afterward retired tactfully, leaving only Roland, Anna, and Nana in the backyard. “You’re not dead, Anna too is alive and well,” Roland had to hold back a smile, “I’m the fourth Prince Roland Wimbledon, and you’re -.”
“I’m Nana Payen,” when the little girl heard that she herself did not die, her expression turned lively again. She ran straight to Anna’s side, beginning to chatter with her, unconcerned, disregarding the identity of Prince Roland Wimbledon. Roland naturally didn’t care what a 14 – 15-year-old girl had to say. Instead, he leaned on the round table and poured himself some ale, appreciating the ‘day-to-day behavior’ from the side.”
Anna was clearly a little bit calmer now. In the time Nana would take to say more than ten sentences, Anna would say only one. Having said that, while Anna was only seventeen, she already exuded a big sister kind of feeling. Roland couldn’t help but think, “When she grows up, how outstanding will she become?”
When Nana’s speaking slowed down, he coughed, and opened his mouth, then asked, “Miss Paien, I heard from your teacher that you have awakened as a witch?”
Compared to the vast majority of people who used the word “Fallen” when becoming a witch, Roland preferred the term “awaken”. He was not naïve enough to think that all witches were immaculately white, people who already had a malevolent personality would only bring about greater destruction. This was the same with weapons, they could produce violence, but they could also be used to resist violence. The crucial point in it was in the person who was holding the weapon.
Perhaps the church’s propaganda of the massacres caused by witches was based on the facts, but using that as proof that the whole witch community was guilty was the greatest of injustices.
Nana’s face once again stiffened, she whispered, “Will you hang me?”
“No, of course not, the gallows are for heinous criminals. You are not one of those and Miss Anna is not one either, so do not worry about that.”
She took a breath and nodded, “I’m not sure… The teacher said witches were coerced by the devil and afterward gained some kind of evil powers. C-could I be possessed? Moreover, I have never seen the devil.”
“When did you find out that you, yourself, have become different?”
“Roughly a week ago,” Nana muttered, “I saw a bird with a broken leg and wanted to help it. …… And suddenly, I felt something flowing out of my hands.”
“There were things flowing out?” Roland asked, “What happened then?”
“Ah… It suddenly enclosed the bird like a sticky bubble of water,” Nana’s head tilted when recalling this, “Then the bird’s leg was healed.”
Does she have the power of healing? Roland’s heart began to race, he was very clear what this ability would mean. With the absence of antibiotics, there was no modern medicine here, people with traumas or infection would likely encounter death in these ages . As such, rapid wound healing was almost the equivalence of saving many lives. This ability was very limited in promoting the progress of civilization as a whole, but it had an amazing significance to every individual’s life.
He immediately went to the door, looking for a knight to bring a living chicken. If it could be proven that what she had said was true, he might be able to use this as a source to change the Border Town’s view on witches, ending the current situation of their ruthless persecution.