The book clearly recorded who Edward received money from and how much. He had a good habit of keeping his books clear and orderly. That was an important practice for businessmen. In order to avoid writing the wrong number, he used two different writing styles. I could see that he treated his records with equal importance as his life. Given that he sold his wife and child, it was clear to see that business was everything to him.
I also recognised that the shares for the coal mine were rather dispersed. Nobody had more than thirty percent of shares. Among them was Achilles, who only had twenty percent. Thus, it was evident that even Achilles had his suspicions about the business and didn’t dare to invest his fortune. As for the others, lots didn’t even have one percent. Fundamentally, they only invested several hundred gold coins. Nevertheless, they were not to be undermined.
In this nation, one gold coin was enough for an ordinary family to survive for half a month. All of our assets in the North combined didn’t even add up to three thousand gold coins. In other words, if Veirya sold her ruling rights, she would only receive three thousand gold coins, max. Hence, the entire coal quarry’s price had been inflated excessively.
According to my calculations, the quarry was worth about fifty thousand gold coins. Edward was surely the major shareholder. Howbeit, that is under the context that we calculated it using subtraction. Else, Edward wouldn’t have fifteen-thousand gold coins.
It was hard to determine if the value of the coal had been inflated or deflated. The main thing was whether or not it could rake in a profit of fifty thousand gold coins. Coal was just a flammable. If the steam engine gained popularity, the price of coal would soar. The coal mine would, therefore, be able to gain a value of fifty thousand. Now, if nobody thought well of coal, lots of people might not get their investment back (Author note: Whether the value of an enterprise has been inflated or deflated can be calculated using a finance method, but it won’t be described here).
The steam engine was a new commodity. Nobody knew how it’d perform. The main thing was if it could be used later on. Whether or not it would be useful would depend on the accompaniment work. It needed time to garner attention. At the moment, nobody was sure what the potential of coal was. Edward most probably hoped that Queen Sisi could encourage the production of steam engines and its usage.
So, is coal really worth so much? I knew the answer to the question. Nonetheless, as aforementioned, what was truly worth money was the steam engine, not the coal. Would Queen Sisi promote steam engines? No idea. With that said, I felt that there was a need to explain its usage to her.
I needed to inform Queen Sisi of the value of science. As long as she could convince the entire nation to promote steam engines, then the price of coal would increase exponentially in an instant – unless a new coal mine was discovered.
“Oh, my beloved citizens, this must be your first time coming here. This is also my first time meeting you all here. I would like to welcome you,” Sisi rose to her feet to address.
There were young ones and elders, all incredibly nervous people, sitting at the circular table in the imperial palace. They all wore their best clothing. Unfortunately for them, their clothes could only be considered clean and tidy, not aesthetic. In fact, lots of them had a weird stench on them. Their hands were decaying, causing some weird colour that was different to that of their arms to grow out. Some had missing fingers.
They were people who were originally separated by the city wall. In other words, they lived in a segregated zone away from others. They had never had the privilege of having the Queen’s gaze on them. They were kept at a far distance when Queen Sisi toured her city. Their suburb smelt foul. Naturally, Queen Sisi wouldn’t approach it, either. People in the imperial capital were prejudiced towards.
Sisi didn’t show any disgust for them. Beaming, she continued, “You know what I saw in you? Hope. You are humanity’s hope and the reflection of money. I know what you are worth. You aren’t the greedy and sick alchemists that I heard of in stories as a child. You’re just a group of scholars who research things that others can’t comprehend. In essence, you are in the same group as my cultural and music departments. The difference is, I see more hope in you.”
Everyone at the table exchanged glances with each other. As a matter of fact, an elder cried tears of appreciation. They were glad that a Queen, for the first time, was willing to open her arms and treat them friendly when they had already gotten used to being looked down on, marginalised and slandered with fabricated stories.
“And so, I want to let you know that after a week of contemplation, I have decided to establish a science department. Was that how you pronounce it? Isn’t that what you’ve always referred to yourselves as? Henceforth, you shall work for me as vassals. I will renovate your residential area and turn it into my science department. You can continue conducting your research there. In addition, I will erect a school for your usage next to the imperial palace to allow you to continue to foster your pupils.”
Queen Sisi watched the touched crowd whisper among themselves and chuckled: “With that said, do not get excited yet. Prior to carrying out the work, I need to inform you of something, which is that I need you to design something for me. Here, look, this is the new toy I want. In other words, this steam engine. It’s pointless for me to have something on its own. I need you to design it. Take a look, and tell me where this can be put to use. I want to use everything a monarch needs most in this world: power.”
The so-called alchemists, con artists, pests, dangerous individuals, stood up. From that day forward, they had an official title – Queen Sisi’s scientists.
When science was still a brand new term, Queen Sisi established the empire’s first science department. At the time, there weren’t even thirty scientists. Nevertheless, it was they who planted the seeds. Needless to say, we are now talking about the future.
At the time, I wrote two letters to Sisi. One informed her of my strategy, and the other asked her to promote the usages of steam engines for me. I didn’t promote steam engines purely for humanity’s future and technology but solely because I realised how much money I could rake in from it.
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