Chapter 269 The first plenary session (Part 2)
When it was the Ministry of Chemical Industry’s turn, Kyle snorted, “Your Royal Highness, I hope you can find the real head of this department as soon as possible, I do not want to attend this kind of meeting for a second time.”
“…” Roland secretly rolled his eyes, after becoming a leader, he had discovered that it was important for him to selectively ignore words sometimes. Is it that easy to find a person who has talent for both alchemy and chemistry? “Do you have any idea how to mass produce the two acids?”
“No,” Kyle shrugged his shoulders, “And because of that, I have to spend more energy and staff on researching this topic, so rather than sitting here and wasting my time.” After spending such a long time in Border Town, he had also acquired some of Roland’s vocabulary, “In case you insist that I should give an account, I can only say that the laboratory is lacking personal, the more people that come to us, the better. In addition, regarding the recently five added people, although they aren’t as old, they can still be counted as clever, it seems that the Primary Education you implemented is still somewhat useful.”
Well, the person with the most disrespectful way of talking was probably the chief alchemist. However, taking each other’s age into account, and the degree of enthusiasm he showed for chemical experiments, Roland did not feel any resentment towards him for this. It was also important to remember that after going through the explosion and after being completely healed by Nana, his first and largest reaction was that he was glad that he could now conduct experiments without the slightest of scruple, and then even planned to taste the different flavors of the acids, who other than he would have such a fanatical enthusiasm to their work?
“All right… you will continue to research, and I’ll have Barov think of a method to fill in the staff shortage.”
“Oh, by the way, Your Highness,” Kyle opened his mouth again. “Were you able to compile your ‘Intermediate Chemistry’? If you could give me some details, maybe I can think of a method for the large-scale production earlier.”
“I already said at the Honor and Award Ceremony, so long as you train enough apprentices and assistants to fill the new laboratories, I will give you the book,” Roland said, spreading his hand out towards him. In fact, at present, he had not written even the first line. Just the Elementary Chemistry had already consumed all his knowledge of chemistry. He already feared, that even if he racked his brain for it, he would still be unable to fill more than a few pages of the Intermediate Chemistry.
The fourth person to report was Karl van Bate, who was from the Ministry of Construction.
“First of all, I want to thank Miss Scroll,” Karl said, as he nodded towards Scroll, “I’m really glad to hear that the children I’ve taught were able to graduate smoothly.”
Compared to the chief alchemist, the stonemason’s communication skills could be said to be as different as the sky to the earth. Scroll nodded in return before replying with, “I should be the one thanking you.”
Then Karl opened the records he was carrying with him and in a methodical manner began to describe: “At present, the town’s projects are steadily advancing. The main projects are the Kingdom Avenue, the Redwater Bridge, the new residential area and the new city wall. The amount of people working on the construction of the Kingdom Avenue has already reached four thousand five hundred people, half of them have come from Longsong Stronghold and according to current predictions, they should be finished by spring next year. Regarding the status of the Redwater Bridge, currently they are still carrying out the construction of the underground concrete wall. The residential district is already extending to the old city wall, and there are currently approximately one thousand people busy constructing it. As long as the supply of the cement and bricks are ensured, it should be possible to complete the task of moving all the eastern refugees into town before the arrival of the Months of Demons.”
Since Karl usually informed Roland on a daily basis about the recent developments of the projects, his report this time was very simple. He didn’t even mention matters such as the expansion of the castle area and the construction of the witch dorm. And after deciding on a good position for the new city wall, it was being constructed by Lotus herself, with a daily progress of approximately one hundred meters.
“You’ve worked hard,” Roland nodded, the Ministry of Construction, regardless of whether it was the staff or the amount of allocated funds, was the department with the largest amounts. Therefore, its achievements were also the greatest. “Those handymen coming from Longsong Stronghold, besides speeding up the construction they are also promoting Border Town’s preferential treatment policy. Furthermore, after a year of work, those handymen can be regarded as qualified craftsmen, and so the number of people who want to go back should be kept to as little as possible.”
“Yes, Your Royal Highness,” Karl agreed.
“Then the next one… is Iron Axe.”
It was Iron Axe’s first time participating in this kind of meeting, and so he seemed to be a little out of place. He cleared his throat, “Your Royal Highness, the army has two main things it wishes to report. First of all, the Second Army has completed their basic training, and they are now ready to be sent to the Longsong Stronghold. And secondly, in the wake of adding new blood, the First Army now has eight hundred and twenty-five people. Putting aside the three hundred and fifty people of the artillery team, the rest of the soldiers have all been equipped with revolving rifles. That’s all I have to say.” Then finished his report with a military salute.
“That sounds pretty good. Have the Second Army set out tomorrow and be sure to place reliable people at the important ranks. After reaching the stronghold, they aren’t allowed to stop their daily training and ideological education. Furthermore, I expect a weekly report to be sent back to Border Town.” Roland instructed.
The last to report was Barov, he first looked at everyone, then slowly saluted Roland before reporting, “Your Royal Highness, ever since the previous payment to Margaret’s Chamber of Commerce for the refugee transportation and the money spent on Theo’s mission, the City Hall’s gold stock has declined very badly. Coupled with the bumper harvest and the Ministry of Agriculture’s acquisition of grain according to the set market price, it has resulted in an inventory of barely 2000 gold royals, this can be considered as a relatively dangerous boundary.”
Two thousand gold royals… compared with last year’s winter it undoubtedly was a huge sum of money, but Roland was also perfectly aware that Border Town’s situation was also no longer the same at it was back then. Even just for the Ministry of Construction, already burdened Border Town with the huge expenditure of paying for the five thousand workers. There was also the high salary for the First Army, factories, chemical laboratory, and City Hall, which also required a large amount of money.
In other words, Border Town might have been earning money quickly, but it was also spending the money just as quickly. Even under the circumstances that large parts of the materials and machinery were self-sufficient.
“I am aware of this, but at the beginning of next month, when Margaret’s caravan arrives in town, we will be able to obtain a huge income through the sale of the steam engines,” Roland responded. “Furthermore, the purchase of food and the transport of the refugees aren’t daily expenses. I’m sure that during the next six months, the treasury should be able to improve steadily, there is no reason for you to worry too much about it.” He paused. “also, I plan to raise the salary of everyone here.”
“Raise the salary?” Barov got startled and stared blankly at Roland.
“That’s correct, the City Hall is no longer an institution only run by a dozen people, and your workload has increased significantly, so your salary will also naturally rise.” The Prince smiled and then continued to say, “From this month onwards, I will increase your monthly salary to five gold royals, and according to this ratio, the payment for your apprentices and assistants will also go up uniformly. Be at ease, the needed fund doesn’t accumulate too much, it is not more than 20 to 30 gold royals.”
Although a salary of five gold royals for this kind of position in the City Hall couldn’t be counted as generous, but Roland knew, that what Barov enjoyed even more than the salary, was being in charge of Border Town’s revenues and expenditure and providing them with the according statistics. Furthermore, since he had yet to set any regulatory ministries, Barov could get hundred times his current salary. But so far, he had not seen any signs of corruption from Barov.
Of course, apart from relying on the other people’s conscious, Roland could also always count on Nightingale’s ability to maintain the department’s integrity. No one could conceal their bad behavior from her gaze.
“In addition, there is one thing you may already know,” Roland continued. “By the end of the Months of Demons, I plan to officially establish a city here. In other words, Border Town will be upgraded into an official city. The city’s west side will stretch until the barbarian wasteland, the eastern border will be Longsong Stronghold, while the southern end will be the hills and the ocean. With the city walls and the mountains as a natural barrier, the area will be far larger than King’s City or any other city in the Four Kingdoms.
“So you still need to pay particular attention and improve your work, to meet the attitude that is required to establish a city,” Roland paused and then emphasized every word, “I hope that our city, even while in a boundless winter, can stay as warm as during spring.”