Chapter 294 “The Secret of the coup day” (Part one)
Du Wei remembers clearly. Back when he went to the northwest, he was almost empty-handed and the central authority of the empire never supported him with a single soldier or coin. Everything he built so far, the current status of his territory, it was through self-reliance and self-perseverance! But now that he’s planted the tree, this guy wants to come pick the fruit with a single word?
Where in the world is there something so easy?
Besides, the sixteen million gold he just spent still haven’t been recouped yet!
“I know there’s bound to be some unwillingness inside your mind.” Prince Son mildly smiles: “I won’t ask you without offering anything in return. After all, I know this new weapon must have come at a heavy expense to develop… Let’s do this, how about I give you ten million gold coins to buy your manufacturing process? The broom, I will also provide six million. Haha… I’m also very interested in your so called “Decepticon Air Force”. If we can make tens of thousands of that air force thingy, whatever advantage the prairie natives have over our cavalry soldiers will become moot!”
Coming to the end, his voice began showing excitement.
Hearing this idea, Du Wei snickered inside at that plan. Does he think the flying brooms are so easy to make? Even if Master Alley personally watches over the manufacturing process, he would still need his “water of aging” to have any chance of success. Even now, the number of brooms he managed to make was few in numbers.
And he’s saying tens of thousands, dream on!
Besides, the user of the flying brooms must be a person of magic! At the very least a magic apprentice! Otherwise, the broom won’t fly if the controller can’t infuse his own energy to power the item. There are only a couple of hundred true mages on the continent and maybe a thousand or so apprentices…. Where in the world are they going to find so many magic users to man the air force?
Prince Son doesn’t understand the ins and outs of this so he’s getting ahead of himself.
But … Gunpowder ten million, broom six million … This guy is thinking it too nicely for himself! Using this method to return what he owes me and still wants to take my two trump weapons card?
When did the world have something so easy to come by?
Thinking up to here, Du Wei sneered inside.
“Your Highness, this may not be workable.” Du Wei made a regretful face as he exhaled deeply.
Prince Son furrows his brow. Looking at Du Wei, he smiles wryly: “What is it? My Duke Tulip, are you displeased with my price and think it’s too low? I know you are taking the short end of the stick on this, but truth be told, my financial situation isn’t well-off either. After all, it hasn’t been that long since I took power and many things haven’t stabilized yet. Just the military spending alone is huge and I’m in the middle of preparing for a future war by overhauling the armaments. The amount of change I have to spare is limited…”
“It’s not a question of money.” Du Wei shakes his head: “Your Highness, let me carefully explain it to you.” His face may look very sincere and truthful, but inwardly: You want to extort me so why can’t I scam you back?
Taking a deep inhaling breath, Du Wei takes a step back and makes a deep bow: “Your Highness, I know my title and status is all given by you. Your favor towards me is known by all and I’m fully aware of this. This weapon or whatever it is, I made it all for the sake of dealing with the natives and the Northwest Army. Your logic and reasoning, I understand them well. But the actual operation of what I created is not as simple as it sounds.”
Against that honest face, Prince Son didn’t get angry despite being refused: “Oh, then explain. Which area or part is not workable.”
“Let’s talk about the brooms first.” Du Wei smiled bitterly: “My highness, don’t be fooled by my magic students just because they can ride around in the air with those brooms. This mini unit of Decepticons was created through the pure use of piling up gold on top of each other! It’s fine if it’s kept on a small scale. It can be used for raiding and such, but absolutely impossible on a large scale if we do according to what you say. First of all, the manufacturing process for this flying broom, a magic tool, is extremely difficult to begin with.” Reaching this part, Du Wei went all out and divulged the manufacturing methods to the Regent.
Moreover, Du Wei concealed the important factor that he used the “water of aging” to let the walnut trees grow. Even with the full technique to graft those mutated saplings, the chance of success from each batch was miniscule or none! According to Du Wei’s estimation, the chance of survival for this mutated walnut tree was at best twenty percent. Just this factor alone would be enough to deter anyone from wanting to attempt it.
Making a rough calculation inside, Prince Son couldn’t resist gasping at the number that came up!
“If you say it like this … A broom, without hundreds of thousands of gold, it’s impossible to make even one.” Prince Son had a face full of worry and disappointment.
Taking advantage of the situation, Du Wei added in another sentence: “Hundreds of thousands of gold… I’m afraid that’s not enough. If we include the rate of success into the equation, I fear the lowest cost would be in the millions per one.”
This number was truly enough to make a person fall into despair!
Even if Prince Son was the ruler of this land, the richest in this world, he would understand such heavy spending on a weapon was absolutely unrealistic. In a year, the average revenue income from taxes and such for the Roland Empire usually hovers around seventy to eighty million. After deducting the court spending, governing body spending, military spending and so on and so on, the remaining amount left wouldn’t be much. Making this calculation, Prince Son immediately dispelled any silly thought of touching this magic tool. Even so, he still had some doubts: “But Du Wei … I’m afraid you didn’t tell me all the truth now did you? If it was that expensive, how did you manage to make a dozen or so then?”
At that, he leans sideway and eyes Du Wei with an inspecting gaze.
Pumping in his heart, Du Wei sighs: “It’s all luck. The first batch of my walnut tree seedlings was very fortunate to have a high survival rate. Even then it’s pure gamble. Since the first attempt, whatever I planted always yielded unsatisfactory results, most dead by the end. God, I don’t even know how much money I threw into that bottomless hole by now. Your highness, don’t think of me being stingy, this process truly is difficult. If you don’t believe me, I can have someone hand over the entire cultivation method for you to try. Then you’ll know yourself.”
This manufacturing process can be real, but without the “water of aging”, whatever they try will be a failure. This much Du Wei was certain.
“And also, even if we do manage to produce thousands of flying broomstick… I fear it still won’t work! I believe I’ve made it clear to you by now. A flying broom must be controlled by a user of magic, at the very least a apprentice! Where in the world are we going to find that many magic users on the continent?”
Prince Son nodded, believing in his words: “Then what do you suggest we do?”
Falling heads over tails inside, Du Wei understands he absolutely cannot laugh at this moment or show any hint of smugness on his face, otherwise his fox tail will be caught! Deliberately making a worrisome face as he brood over the question, he slowly replied: “I have an idea, but it’s still immature. Hmm, maybe we can try it because there’s a possibility it might work.”
“Say it!” Prince Son pricked a brow.
Du Wei stood upright, speaking as he gestured with his hand, “Your Highness, this flying broom… I’ll be blunt. Its main advantage over the enemy lies in the fact that it can stay aerial during combat, but that advantage doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a broom…”
Prince Son’s eyes lit up with delight. He’s a smart man so he immediately caught onto whatever Du Wei was leading to, “Your meaning is…”
“Air balloons.” Du Wei smiled: “Your Highness, my family business has something called a hot air balloon. I believe you haven’t forgotten about that now have you? There’s been some improvements on my invention in recent years, it’s bigger and can carry more weight. This contraption may not be as fast as the flying brooms in the air, but there’s one upside to all this: the use of the hot air balloons doesn’t require a user of magic. The controller can be anyone with some experience and knowledge. Most importantly, the cost per balloon is much, much cheaper than a flying broomstick.”
Contemplating the idea, the more he thought, the more feasible Prince Son thought it might work. Nodding: “What you said is correct, especially the point about air superiority! Humph! If we can have our soldiers fly around in the air at all times, then we won’t have to worry about the cavalry legion of the prairie army!”
Pausing, he suddenly smiled again: “Du Wei, this hot air balloon thing, what’s your suggestion?”
Du Wei knows this wasn’t a time to be polite; otherwise he will suffer another loss again. Biting the bullet, he went for it: “Your highness, this hot air balloon may have become popular in recent years, but I’ve never divulged the manufacturing process to the public. Although there’s been imitations here and there, but those can never match up to those made by my Tulip House! Your highness, if you wish to form an air force, I would like to be the first to support it. However, my pocket may have some funds to spare, but I don’t believe it’s possible to support the entire aerial force through my house alone.”
Prince Son bellowed out a laugh: “I won’t let you eat a loss on this. I’ll leave this matter to the military procurement department and have them purchase only from you in the future…. Hmm, that won’t do! It’s better to organize a big workshop to produce it on a mass scale. Du Wei, I want you to sell me the manufacturing process for the hot air balloon. Otherwise, I fear you won’t be able to handle the orders with what you have.”
Du Wei was also very happy: “Your Highness, there’s no need to sell you the hot air balloon blueprint, I’ll directly give it to you instead.”
Making a delighted expression, Prince Son was just about to say the word “reward” when he abruptly swallowed it back in. He knows Du Wei too well. This guy would never take a loss without reason. Suddenly being so generous, there must be some kind of scheme behind this act. Changing the word from “reward” to some praising phrase, “Haha! You probably have some other conditions don’t you.”
“Not exactly a condition, but a difficulty.” Du Wei was full of wryness as he smiled: “Your Highness, with just the crafting technique for this hot air balloon is not enough to make it fly… One of the key features to this contraption is the fuel! Only through the burning of a specially formulated concoction can the balloon rise into the air. Otherwise… this thing would be nothing more than a piece of garbage.”
“That fuel …”
Du Wei immediately cut in and continued: “This fuel formula absolutely cannot be sold!”
Prince Son furrowed his brow: “Du Wei, this matter is of great importance, related to the imperial armament and the affairs of the state. If you feel displeased, I’ll make it up to you…”
Du Wei still shakes his head. Using a righteously tone, he said: “Your Highness, let me tell you a story okay?”
“Story?” He furrows his forehead.
If you like this translation, consider donating for a extra release.