TL: 2 more chapters coming soon.
Chapter 34 – Expansion (15)
Schafflund’s source of silver came from the base of Graham’s mountains which contained an enormous amount of silver ore. The mine vein extended towards Karanjar’s mountains and the Dark Forest.
Schafflund’s silver mine was just a small portion of what the Dark Forest had to offer, but it still allowed Aouine to benefit greatly.
“Amandina, tell me what you know about Schafflund,” Brendel said.
The young noble girl’s eyes brightened up slightly, and she immediately answered: “Schafflund is the most important source of income in Trentheim since its beginning. During the Year of Dwelling Beasts, the previous Lord Trentheim built a fortress to harvest and transport silver, but it slowly formed into the town that we know of today.”
“Year of the Dwelling Beasts,” Brendel recalled in his mind, “that’s thirty years ago?”
Amandina nodded and said:
“The highest ranking officers there are comprised of an adjutant and secretary officer. Neither of them answers to Graudin but directly to Count Randner, and this is why Graudin is unable to take much of it, despite the silver mine producing nearly fifteen tons of silver every year. Also, the creatures in the Dark Forest make it impossible to extend the harvesting area of silver ore, and Trentheim continues to remain poor.”
“Graudin is utterly useless as a city’s lord,” Brendel was pitying that pitiful worm a little, and he smiled a little, “but this means I’m going to take away Count Randner’s cheese.”
Amandina smiled at his remarks: “Have you not moved it already, my lord?”
Brendel laughed. He turned around and saw Jana’s gaze on him, keenly noticing a streak of anxiety in her eyes despite her restrained expressions.
When Jana saw the other two commanders who joined Brendel at the same time as her receiving his orders, she did not want her men to sit and do nothing. If they had nothing to show Brendel, then they might be sold out for being useless.
Even though the young lord appeared to be friendly, she had encountered many nobles and had to maintain the necessary amount to despise and suspect these bastards, simply because she knew how despicable they could be if they turned against her.
“My lord, please allow me to conquer Schafflund! I know the situation there, the mine only has a mere hundred-odd soldiers defending it,” She used a slightly raspy voice to plead her case, and placed her hand over her chest, “it is more than enough for my men and I to capture it.”
“But Palas is too close to Schafflund. I’m afraid that other Lord is watching the situation closely, even if we do occupy it, we wouldn’t be able to control it.”
Jana was silent.
“Are we not able to follow up with that thought? Can’t we use the Subterrane dwellers, or are we unable to trust them?” Amandina asked.
“We want Schafflund to work properly; the workers will be affected if Lord Palas harasses the place,” Brendel explained after thinking for a moment.
[Hmm, well, Tagiv had sworn upon his deity, and the Subterrane Dwellers wouldn’t dare to break their oaths, so it’s okay to trust them, but it’s not a good choice…..]
“How much food are we lacking?” He asked.
“Seventeen thousand bushels,” Amandina said.
Brendel felt difficulty to adjust to this world’s system as the game used metric measurements.
[One bushel of wheat is roughly 27 kg, and rounding it up would be approximately 500000 kg. That’s a pretty big number.]
“If we count our men and the partial allocation of food to the Subterrane Dwellers, how long we can last based on the current wheat in the city?”
Amandina frowned slightly: “Based on the data, that would be two months. But there are a few other sources of food that have not been entered yet, though we would still not last for more than three months.”
“This means we have a window of two months,” Brendel said.
Brendel thought for a while: “Then it’s fine, continue to recruit soldiers from the citizens. If Bosley wants a plot of land, human resources, or money, just give it to him. Do the same for the other three mercenary commanders, but I’ll have to set the Magicite Workshop aside for now.”
Amandina nodded again. She deliberately chose to mention it, but she understood that Trentheim did not produce Amber Gemstones so it was more of a grumble.
“Romaine’s business plans have to be set aside as well,” he continued.
He could hear Romaine’s voice behind him, “Of course, right now there’s no point in implementing these plans.”
It seemed like she was not feeling sad.
“Finally, make sure that we are capable of fighting for the upcoming battles, you can use your judgments to cut out any other expenditures. Of course, you do know that the only true request that I have, is not to let everyone here be chased off into the Dark Forest.”
His last sentence made all the girls grin.
But Amandina still felt it would be nice to move off to the Dark Forest when she thought of all the things she had to do now.
“My lord, does this mean you have a solution for our finances?” She asked.
“Well, it’s still the silver mine.” Brendel gave a hearty laugh, “there’s no reason not to move such a large piece of cheese when it’s right beside us, right?”
Medissa suddenly understood why, and her silver eyes widened with comprehension, “My lord, you mean to say we should take a different approach to Schafflund?”
Brendel praised her with his eyes: “Yes, I want you and Scarlett to come along with me to visit Count Randner’s subordinates. Miss Jana, you can come along too—”
Jana immediately replied: “Do I need to bring my men?”
“Of course, but there’s no need to be too many,” Brendel deliberated for a moment, “twenty to thirty men would suffice.”
Jana nodded silently, but she was feeling quite conflicted inside. He was younger than her, but every time she spoke with him she felt that she became a head shorter and had to look up to him. Clearly, it was not his noble status, but a unique air about him that allowed him to remain utterly unfazed by anyone.
She could not help but think that even if this young man met up with the king, the latter would feel the same way. Even though this thought was a little ridiculous, Jana’s instincts told her she was right.
In any case, receiving this order made her relieved. She politely took her leave and immediately went to gather her men.
“Do I need to go as well?” Amandina asked after the female commander left. It was apparent to see she was unwilling to go. She was starting to feel tired of seeing battle after battle, as well as running everywhere.
“It’s best if you stay behind and help me come up with a plan,” Brendel could see how unwilling she was and said.
“What of it?”
“Rebuild the entire Firburh city somewhere else into a fortress.”
“What?” Amandina’s eyes were completely round.
Brendel knew that she would be shocked, but it was a necessary plan for him. If princess Gryphine refused to enter an arranged marriage with Lord Arreck, then this rewritten history meant that the Royal Faction’s armies would lose in battle once the northern lords and crown prince’s coalition army fought them.
When that happened, he hoped the newly rebuilt Firburh would become the final bastion of defense against their terrible might. It would preserve Aouine’s southern territory, especially Valhalla, which was his trump card to tilt the chessboard.
Firburh’s position was also an excellent spot. It faced the sea in the west, and had a silver mine in the east, and was a natural commercial hub between the rest of Trentheim and Valhalla.
[Aouine’s future capital for me has to be Valhalla. Firburh needs to become an impregnable fortress to defend it, but this spot isn’t going to work. I already instructed Tagiv and his men to find a suitable place somewhere in the north and make sure there’s enough space and geographical suitability for defense and offense. The north of River Gris is hills that have gentle angled slopes, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find somewhere suitable.]
These creatures were not used to attacking cities, but they were brilliant city builders in the Jurgen Underworld.
He stopped his thoughts when he saw Amandina’s confused expressions: “There’s no need to be shocked. This matter cannot be done within a day or two. We have one or two more years so we can make this a long-term project.”
It was a little challenging to build a complete fortress with all the facilities of a town in a year or two, but the basic necessities could be set up. Naturally, this building speed was only possible with magic, unlike Earth.
“What do I need to do?” Amandina inhaled deeply when she saw that Brendel was serious. It was not a small project to build a city, and the amount of knowledge to build one was just too much. It was the first time that she felt she was not going to be able to do a good job.
“It’s not a hard problem. You can just take a look around this city and think back on what you saw in Bruglas. Ponder on how the past architects build the cities and think about what we need.”
Brendel once again emphasized that the New Firburh had to be a fortress.
“Ciel will also aid you in this matter. Even though he’s a wizard by profession, I’m sure that he has studied widely in many areas and shouldn’t be a problem for him when it comes to simple planning.”
“Ciel will help me?”
Brendel nodded. “…… Of course, if there are any noteworthy craftsmen good in building structures, you can recruit them.”
He did not have much confidence in his words. The famous city builders did not really exist in this era, and even if they did, they would not gather in this impoverished city. This was not some fictional novel, and Bosley was already an exception.
[The more I talk about this, the more ridiculous it sounds. This world isn’t a game where I can just spend unlimited resources, and let the system go ‘ka-ching’ and build an entire ready-made fortress in the middle of a forest. We’re building a real-life fortress after all……]