Chapter 55 A once in thousand years opportunity
Roland opened the door to his office, seeing that Barov was waiting for him.
Roland threw the letter towards his assistant minister, then sat himself on his chair, with his feet on his desk.
If he had not been in the presence of an outsider, he would hum a ditty.
“Your Highness, it’s okay to grieve.” Barov began to frown while quickly reading the letter .”The death of the King is such a tragedy, and he was even murdered by his own son. Thics is really a tragedy, I don’t know what Your Highness should do next.”
“The trial leading to Gerald’s death was just too strange. I want to wait and see what my elder sister and my younger sister decide to do,” Roland said, “but in any case, there are some things we should do in advance, even if we do it only to be on the safe side.”
Barov looked at the Prince, waiting for him to continue.
“Because of the replacement of the King, the next few months or even years can become turbulent, so the first thing we should do is safeguard our loved ones and family members.” What was more important was the fact that the 2nd Prince could kidnap these people to threaten them, now, if he wanted to maintain Border Town’s administration and financial affairs functionality, his assistant minister was indispensable. Roland sipped his tea and then continued, “You and Carter, as well as your subordinates should all write them a letter, I will have the guards deliver them while they deliver my response to the King, then they will arrange for them to take shelter in other towns.”
“Not in Border Town?” Barov wasn’t a fool, after twenty years of political experience he immediately understood the prince’s meaning.
“No, they won’t come directly to Border Town.” Roland didn’t want the other side to use the families of his subordinates to threaten them, and he also didn’t want his subordinates to think the he himself would threaten them with their families, so he chose a compromise. He would first bring them to a more secure town, and after he had a strong foothold in Border Town, they could be migrated.
“I understand, I would like to thank Your Highness for your concern.” The Assistant Minister spoke while nodding in agreement, which let Roland feel relieved. It seemed that his subordinates were intelligent people who could think for themselves.
Roland declared, “Another thing we have to talk about is the ore trade. After the last iron ore trade, we will put a stop to the ore trade and sell only rough stones to Willow Town. I need the iron ore saved for our own usage.”
“That wouldn’t be good. As a result of that, our revenue would decline, Your Highness.”
“Yes, but it will not drop too much. Recently the miners found a new deposit of gems, so with this we can make up part of the gap.” explained Roland, “And winter isn’t really the time for business, the peddlers hesitate to come trading when they always have to fear an attack of demonic beasts, so we will most likely only have two to three transactions during the next four months. Thus it is obvious to trade rough stones to make up for the less trade, since they are the more cost-effective choice.”
“I see.” Barov accepted the explanation and recorded the orders down.
After his Assistant minister had left, Roland called for Carter and told him, “I need to expand the size of the militia, so you will responsible for it and will give out recruitment orders. You will need to quickly evaluate their abilities, and if you find strong members they will be appointed as team captains. You will also implement the same training methods like last time.”
“Your Highness, if I train them according to those training methods, I am afraid the new team will need a very long time before they can be deployed to the battlefield.”
“As long as they are stronger than the mob.” Roland dismissed his concerns and told him to do what he said. Despite his input, the training level was far away from that of the army. He was afraid that this level of training was only on the level of a college student military training, but sometimes it was only important to have better combat effectiveness compared to their opponents. In addition to fighting against the brainless demonic beasts, most of the time they would fight against a noble’s private army, mercenary soldiers, or if needed, turned into a mixed arm. So as long as they used cross-era weapons and equipment, even an army on the level of college students would be able to cope with it.
After Carter left, Roland could not stop himself from laughing.
He did not think that such a fortuitous situation would fall into his hands! It was simply like someone sending him charcoral during a snowstorm or handing him a pillow when he was sleepy.
Was this bad news for me? Was this a dilemma? Wrong! He didn’t know much about Garcia Wimbledon, but he was sure that she wasn’t a woman who would allow men to trample on her. The 1st Prince was sentenced to death in such a short time, even if there was no insider, she probably wouldn’t easily return to Graycastle only because the 2nd Prince had ordered her.
It was the same for himself. He would just stay in Border Town, so someone would be bound to come out – most likely it would be Duke Ryan from Longsong Stronghold, since he was such a restless person. Otherwise, he wouldn’t send someone in this horrible weather during the Months of the Demons, only to deliver the letter to his hands.
One day Duke Ryan would want to confront him, since until Roland left Border Town, Ryan could not rest or eat in peace.
Choosing to stay in Border Town would be equivalent to defying the new King’s edict. If Roland would only wait until the end of the Months of the Demons, Duke Ryan would in all likelihood, under the name and banner of Timothy Wimbledon, try to teach him a lesson. That was exactly what Roland wanted.
If you asked someone what they needed for faster industrialization, the answer would be without doubt people.
Large-scale production required a large number of staff devoted to it, after all a lot of people were needed to drive huge machines. In that time the term “sheep ate people” came into existence. It described, that when tenant farmers in Britain were thrown
off their land to starve so that sheep could graze and produce wool for new
mills, turning them into free laborers.
The Industrial Age was a cruel time. So long as they unceasingly invested into the education of the laborers they could archive a generous payment. The more developed the industry, the larger would be the population.
If Roland had a problem, then it would be Border Towns low population.
Border Town had around 2000 inhabitants. Even with the newly invented machines, it was only a small type of workshop. There were not many free laborers, so many projects couldn’t be expanded. But from where should he snatch so many people?
Should he buy slaves? Not to mention, he didn’t know from where he could buy so many slaves, adult slaves would cost a lot of money, and they would have little sense of culture. Buying slaves under the age of ten and teach them would take too long, granted that he would allow child labor, so he would have to wait for many years.
Recruit talented people? To this borderland, how many people would be attracted to this town? And for them he would need to spend even more than for slaves.
Encourage his people to increase the birthrate? Forced marriages? Forget it…
He also couldn’t hope to get more people from Longsong Stronghold, the kingdom was in a steady state, so if he tried to lay his hands on the surrounding lords, he would become a joke in the future. For the same reason Duke Ryan didn’t dare to face Roland openly, he could only take actions in secret.
But now it was different, after Timothy took over the throne, he would be eager to have all his competitors disappear, all this could be seen from the recall order. Duke Ryan apparently was able to see this point, once the old King was gone, and he had the control over the west border, so if he didn’t try to enforce his rule it would be strange.
This was a long-awaited opportunity for Roland.
Longsong Stronghold was already for hundreds of years the business center at the west border, with nearly ten thousand residents. But behind the stronghold lay the big cities, without any strong defense. He would just have to beat Duke Ryan, take over the city, and get a large number of freedmen and at the same time he could accumulate a lot of wealth
What would be easier than the annexation of the population? What way would be faster to get wealth than to plunder it?
This message was just like a beacon to dispel the mist, illuminating the future path of Roland.
He definitely would not miss this golden opportunity.