The mountain path wasn’t easy to trek early in the morning. Besides being slippery, the forest was also dark. I used the tree trunks as support to traverse the path I once walked. A dominating team had once marched through this path, with Queen Sisi riding at the forefront, being both conceited and smug. These days, the leaves covered the path as if to symbolise laying Queen Sisi’s former glory to rest.
Only simple tents were set up at this location. The coal mine was already within sight. Owing to the slippery hill of soil, the place had turned into a cliff, allowing them to reach the coal in the mine even when standing at front. I didn’t know how large the mine was or how long they could mine it for. Howbeit, the black layer of coal seemed to be boundless.
As the coal quarry was close to the elven lands, the miners were worried that the elves would take their vindication out on them. Hence, the minors fled. Maybe they were struggling to survive in my town at the moment. Who knows. This forest connected to the elves forest; the elves could’ve sneaked over and killed them at any moment. In saying that, I didn’t think the elves would be that lame.
After Lucilia’s ascension, there were no more fights between elves and humans. It was a weird ceasefire. Neither side signed any ceasefire agreement, reimbursed each other or gained anything. The elves triumphed, but all they got out of it was a mountain of corpses. While humanity lost the war, they didn’t lose a single inch of land. As such, the war might’ve just ended up forgotten without anyone noticing. Perhaps the insurgence took all the attention off the war. Only those soldiers who were dismembered knew what happened, except they would also soon be forgotten.
The price of coal was a question mark. What were the transportation fees? Should I repair the path that connected the quarry to the city? Should I foot the bill for it, or should I include it in the price? Also, before I know the area the steam engine requires, how do I export the coal? Should I drop some money to build a complete factory here? Shall I construct a factory for producing steam engines? I’d need to pay that scientist if I wanted to produce steam engines. I didn’t want to pay that sum. I still hadn’t profited from the mine. Still, I needed find out how to manufacture them… Unfortunately… I was no scientist.
To answer my questions, I needed to make a trip into the city to get a rough idea of how much flammables cost. I also need to figure out the capital required for transportation. I managed to crown Queen Sisi, destroy the chapel and military; however, this wasn’t an easy deal to sort out.
I knew how important the job was. It was a big cultural leap for all of humanity, while I happened to be standing at the forefront of event. I was spurring on humanity’s development. Every step I would take was going to be things that the nation and society of this era had never ever witnessed. Accordingly, I needed to start from the very bottom and ensure I didn’t neglect any aspect.
As it was part of the town, the door before Edward wasn’t locked. He pushed the door open to be met with a large and empty hall. It was where the administrator of the town was found, yet there wasn’t a single worker.
“Judging from the look of this, it appears that the owner of this place isn’t even bothering to run any operations,” judged Edward.
Edward headed to the rear and pushed another door open. This time, he was met with a long corridor. On one side of the corridor, a bright flower had bloomed. The flower comprised of seven colours, and its soothing scent boldly danced through the air. The fountain was switched off.
It was still early in the day, so Edward assumed that he’d catch Lin Dongqing. Though he spoke a big deal, the very thought of engaging in a real challenge with Lin Dongqing rustled his feathers. There was no doubt that Lin Dongqing had accomplished many terrifying things.
“Can I really win against him? What’s my relationship with Her Majesty? Will she actually help me when I need it?” Edward inwardly questioned.
Edward knocked on the door then silently waited. Footsteps approached from the other side of the door. Edward saw a bright smiling face. She was just a kid. She most certainly wasn’t tall, but she displayed charming traits of a woman at a tender age. Her red eyes could seemingly suck the soul out of one. Her smile was brighter than even the flower and sun outside. She wore am an unadorned shirt and a short skirt. Her faint scent was more entrancing than even flowers.
Although he had prepared himself in various ways to avoid Lin Dongqing swaying or shaking him, he was dumbstruck at the magnificence of the young girl’s beauty. His heart skipped a beat. He had never been so entranced before.
“What is this feeling? Is this exciting and eagerness to hug this girl love? Is this what they call love at first sight?” Edward asked himself.
Leah had seen him before, but it eluded her as to who he was in the heat of the moment. As she pondered to herself and Edward stood there in a daze, Veirya came up to Leah from behind.
“You here. For him?”
“Mm… Uhm… yes… yes.”
“Papa has gone out already.”
Leah hid behind Veirya and curiously scanned Edward. She noticed that he kept staring at her ever since they came face-to-face. Veirya had no intention of letting him in.
Edward asked Veirya, “Is that right? Mr. Lin has gone out, has he? Can… I come in to wait for him, then?”
“Mm…” Veirya made way.
“Are you Mr. Lin’s daughter?”
“Yes,” replied Leah, with a proud nod and calm tone.
Was Edward’s remark a polite greeting or an intrinsic desire?
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