TL: 1 more chapter coming up next.
Chapter 35 – Expansion (16)
[How does building something work in this era? Lime as mortar? The rocks aren’t going to cut and stack themselves to form a wall, which means bricks have to be made from a kiln and then transferred to the workplace. Human workers aren’t a simple set of data too. The money and food involved are going to be black holes. It’s also a professional skill to allocate human resources effectively. It will be challenging to ensure a hundred men outputting a hundred men’s worth. Heck, it’s easy to make it less than half if I did it poorly.]
Even though Brendel had managed a small number of men in the past, he thought that the number of workers would go up to thousands and even over ten thousand.
It was not like fighting a war where he could just send in his armies. He had to know what the workers were supposed to do for their tasks.
[Maybe the Rolan Dwarven Craftsmen or underworld Great Earth Spirits, or the Wizard Craftsmen…… These dwarves live in the northern regions even further away than Osor. But that place is always snowing in the mountains, and they don’t live in Aouine. Hmm, come to think of it the Kirin Dwarves are distant relatives— No, I can’t use them, they are professionals in making wine, and not building cities. The Great Earth Spirits are considered high-class citizens. On top of that and their building skills, they have exceptional combat prowess and are regarded highly. Why would they come up to this poor place and suffer?]
Lastly, Brendel thought of the Wizard Craftsmen. They were arrogant old men who were in the Silver Alliance, but they were unlikely to be interested in him. Also, these men had incredibly keen senses who might guess that he usurped the original Brendel’s body after talking to him.
In the end, he chose to take it one step at a time. He currently had no solution, but once his strength rose in the future, he might be able to find a method to substitute things.
“Go ahead and do your best, I trust in your abilities.” He could only say these lines.
But these words made Amandina glow and she nodded earnestly.
“I think I heard you calling for me, my lord?” A youthful voice came from the outside.
Scarlett who was not too far away from a black pine tree subconsciously followed the voice and saw Ciel wearing a dark cloak covering his entire body who walked into the courtyard.
The young wizard had hardly appeared before anyone ever after the day Graudin was killed. He stayed in a small cottage provided by the city’s guards and acted as though the worldly affairs had nothing to do with him.
Ciel had explained to Brendel that he was testing out new magic spells. An apprentice wizard becoming a master overnight needed to some time to get adjusted.
Brendel watched him stroll in with a face full of carefree ease and even appeared to be a little excited.
[This guy seems to be doing well these days. It’s certainly more interesting compared to the time he was in the graveyard.]
“Why are you here?” Brendel asked, but he quickly saw that he was not alone and there was another young man beside him.
Brendel recognized the young man to be the only person who survived amongst the unfortunate group of adventurers, Alistair, who was a fledging wizard who used Chord Magic. Although, he did not understand why Alistair would bother staying on under him. He eventually came to know that his companions were all from noble families, and while they were not exactly influential, they were still well off.
[He’s still around, huh…… There’s actually no need to continue mingling with my mercenaries since his origin is good. Amandina called us as righteous rebels, but we’re more like bandits, to put it mildly. And the only difference between real bandits and us is that Amandina, Ciel and I understand the rules of the nobles’ game.]
Ciel came up with a small smile and respectfully bowed all the way to his waist before Brendel. Any outsiders would have been shocked to see a wizard so respectful to a noble, but Ciel did not miss a beat and greeted Brendel.
This meant that Alistair was now staring at them with odd, astonished expressions. He shifted his eyes at Ciel, then at Brendel. Even though Brendel was a Gold-ranked swordsman, Ciel also had the same rank, and the position for the latter was regarded with higher importance.
Amandina did not seem to be surprised anymore and merely fiddled with the documents she had. Medissa did not understand the etiquette in this era, while Scarlett had no idea what a Gold-ranked wizard really meant.
“I’m here for the money.” Ciel answered with a smile before he acted like an elderly gold-ranked wizard and scratched his head, causing Scarlett’s eyebrows to twitch a little: “But I’m also here to give out money.”
“Give out money?” Brendel parroted his words with a peculiar look.
“I think I’ll talk about the reasons why I need money, since I know my lord likes to take in the bad news first,” Ciel quickly stole the chance to speak his agenda, “the things that you asked me the previous time, I thought for a while and there should be no problem.”
Brendel quickly understood what Ciel was talking about.
Ciel had now become a leading figure amongst all the casters in the city. If he were to shape up the other wizards in the mercenaries, it might be possible for him to establish a Wizard’s Association like the Tower of Stars and Moons.
Although his situation looked quite pitiful now, the future that he envisioned was quite optimistic; it would not be good enough to go up against the Silver Alliance, but they would not be weaker than the Black Tower’s wizards.
Brendel had asked this question a little earlier because Ciel studied under the Black Tower’s wizards and there might be some taboos. There was a certain degree of discretion when it came to their knowledge, and a war nearly happened when they splintered off from the Silver Alliance. He finally received an affirmative reply from Ciel now, but he was quite surprised by Ciel wanting to give out money.
[What’s this guy playing at now?]
“I think we should talk about the good news first,” Brendel said.
“My lord, have you forgotten what the item you had given me?” Ciel reminded him with a smile.
“What is it?” Brendel was still uncertain, and he saw Ciel taking out a painting from the Magic Item Bag on his waist.
“Marsha above, the portrait of the Coruscating Darkness Princess!”
Amandina dropped all her documents and shouted with wide eyes, then turned suspicious: “Is this a fake?”
Judging from her lord and Ciel’s true nature, that might be a possible answer. But Brendel shook his head.
“This is the real thing.” He said, recognizing it from Fortress Riedon. It was something he stole and was quite a devious act back then, but right now it seemed that the decision to do so was brilliant.
The painting of Lamona, the Elven princess of Coruscating Darkness, was highly sought after and not impossible to sell it for several million. Even though this money was not much to Brendel, it was enough to solve their immediate problems.
Brendel immediately thought of Ampere Seale because there was no appropriate market in Firburh.
[I need someone to head to Ampere Seale, the opportunities there are favorable due to investors betting their whole fortune on the complicated political structure. There’s also a need to establish some form of relationship with them as this city’s lord. A civil war is about to break out, and Ampere Seale would certainly be in a raucous state right about now.]
Brendel smiled confidently as plans started formulating.