Emperor of Steel

Chapter 342 - Singular Goal 2

Chapter 342: Singular Goal 2

It wasn’t just Shaikan who was sensitive to the matter of civil war that broke out.

Luke too had been gathering information and solidifying his mansion and lordship.

If he could strengthen his defenses in such times, later he would be able to move the way he wanted.

“The refugees, which had been decreasing in number in recent years, are beginning to increase once again. It is possible to assume that this was due to the effect of the civil war.”

Regular Meeting times.

Maron, the chief priest of Marquis of Rakan, said while looking at the papers in his hand.

Since the temple was dedicated and under the mercy of the Lord, the priests looked brighter than the administrators.

“I don’t think that you have gone down to the south?”

“That is true, but the southern noblemen’s estates, including Marquis Mayers, have been mobilizing troops because those people are scared with the concept of surviving.”

In normal times, the situation would have been left alone, but the civil war had broken out.

Once war broke out, the lords would seize the exiles and be constricted as soldiers or laborers till the end of the war.

And as a result, the refugees and the men from the southern side of the empire were evacuating to the Rakan estate, so they could survive and live comfortably.

“It looks like since our estate hasn’t released a statement about its stand during the civil war, people are gathering over here.”

At the end of Maron’s words, the new financial officer, Bentley, raised his hand.

He was the eldest son of Dickson, and was considered to be a lot tougher than his father.

“There is a limit to how many people we can feed and provide shelter for free. We need to make haste and take up measures.”

“Is there any solution you have in mind?” Asked Luke.

“Yes, why not arrange for jobs in the mines?”

At the words of Bentley, Luke nodded.

“That surely sounds like a plausible idea. Though not official, Kurgon nagged to me about how he was short of hands in the mines.”

The mines of the estate were owned by the Red Hammer clan. However, recently, the miners were decreasing.

Surely the pay for the mines was definitely high and possible ways to prevent the accidents in the mines were taken care of, but still, mining was a dangerous job.

And so, not many humans were ready to go into the mines for work and were rather happy with plowing the land.

And it wasn’t just the humans who were like that.

Even the dwarves who were born from the ground were readily choosing to work into a workshop or magic tower if given the chance.

Last time, when Katarina Magic Tower gave out the news for recruiting men for their new fields, the dwarves fought amongst themselves on who would take the position.

So this time, most people going into the mines would leave within a few years.

‘It doesn’t matter if their humans or fairies, everyone wants comfort.’

Luke, who thought to himself, asked Rogers, the commander of the army.

“Commander, what is the total power of our men now?”

“There have been quite a bit of change since the addition of the Albertville estates and the generation of the Red Wolf Knights.”

Over just a year, the power of Marquis of Rakan had increased a lot, but the addition of Albertville estate had helped a lot in boosting their power.

It was because more than 5,000 trained troops and 36 Gigants were deployed in Albertville.

And the knights were faithful to him, and if they could be used as hidden cards, they could cause a huge damage to the Emperor.

“Currently there are a total of 150 Gigants in the Marquis of Rakan, combining the knights and the warrior class. The number of troops has increased to 35,000, and the number of knights is 1,100 along with the regular and the apprentice knights.”

Luke smiled as he surpassed the number of troops a normal Marquis needed to have.

It was because his retainers were constantly striving to improve the power of the estate.

“If we combine our forces with the Albertville estate, we are like a duchy.”

“That is right. In addition, we have 5 Sword Masters which are never in a duchy, and if we include the hero-class Gigant and the puppets we have, the Imperial’s Central Army won’t even stand a chance against us.”

The scary thing about the Marquis of Rakan was the knights and their excellent skills.

From the time he had woken up in the Rakan manor, the loyalty and skills of his men had increased more than ever.

But just the fact that they have 5 Sword Masters was like a hidden card.

“Nice. What about the preparations of the Katarina Magic Tower?”

At Luke’s question, Mute responded, “Currently, we are working hard to form magical troops, so we can provide you with some combat and logistical support anywhere, anytime.”

“What is the number of skilled wizards belonging to the magic tower?”

“Currently, there are more than 20 people with 5 or more circles, and there are more than 50 people with normal circles. Most of the men are Iron Mages.”

“It is a pity that we are lacking with War Mages, but that is fine.”

Luke nodded his head and asked, “When will the knight class mass production be possible?”

Katarina Magic Tower recently succeeded in developing a knight class Gigant.

However, the Gigant called ‘Gaius’ was tested and improved in the field, yet they still found problems with it.

To help that problem, Luke provided the key designs and some magic circles form the knight class Gigant Pierre from Dark Moon.

The wizards of Katarina, who studied them, started fixing the problem of Gaius one after the other.

“Thanks to you, I was able to compensate for the lack of core engine power and the problem of balance breaking when starting at a high speed. The production facilities will be able to start the mass production after the full moon.”

“It doesn’t have to be right now, but we need to have it as soon as possible in huge quantities. I know that you are busy, but we might need to hurry,” said Luke.

“Understood.”

Since then, there were suggestions about the technologies and the know-how’s of Gaius, which would be applied to a warrior class Gigant that would be given to the Rakan estates.

It was like an upgrade plan and it was Alex, the vice-captain of the Knights of Unicorn.

“If it goes according to the plan, our estate will have the best performances of all the warrior class.”

“I know what you mean. It will be hard to reach out to anything more since we already have Gaius and Stiletto in our hands,” Mute spoke with a warm expression.

Some of the estate’s warrior class Gigants were quite old, and they had been purchased before Stiletto.

Moreover, they had different magic tower when it came to production.

To improve, they had to grasp a more detailed structure and produce the parts accordingly, but more than that, it would take a lot of manpower and resources than one estate could provide.

“It would be better to throw away the old ones, and then if possible, use its materials to produce new Gigants.”

“But won’t it take time to produce new ones? How are we going to fill in the gap? Moreover, there are many riders who are more used to using the older ones than the new Gigants.”

When the debate started to get heated, Luke came up with a plan to solve the problem.

“Let’s outsource for the improvement of old Gigants.”

“Outsourcing? Are you asking us to refer to another tower?”

“Yes. The agents of Argos reported that the Hallis Magic Tower is known to make sturdy Gigants.”

Hallis Magic Tower was where Luke purchased his first Gigant.

The performance of Sting II that was made there was very satisfactory.

So, after that, Luke often went to Hallis Magic Tower if he wanted to buy or repair a Gigant.

However, the battle of Magic Tower put the Hallis Magic Tower in jeopardy.

Did they participate in the war?

Nope.

When half of the continent’s top ten magic towers had fallen, the magic towers began to make aggressive investments, such as expanding their facilities and filling whatever they were lacking.

In addition to Hallis Magic Tower, there were many middle-sized magic towers who thought of the same thing, and the talented lords like Luke built their own magic tower.

The most prominent magic tower of such lords was Marquis Mayers.

They not just actively recruited wizards of the ruined tower, but they also took in the branches of the 10 ruined magic towers, including the Veritas Branch in Brandon.

Not just that…

Marquis Mayers repaired and produced Gigants by themselves and put pressure on the seized magic towers.

“It was the same with Hallis Magic tower, who has been placed under pressure. The Gigants are selling, and it is hard to pay the wages of the wizards by doubling the tax,” said Luke

“You want to give them a job?”

“Yeah, I think they would be very grateful if they were just given a job.”

It was because of how Luke felt when he had gotten a Gigant from Hallis Magic Tower when he was still in his humble beginnings.

It was a small, poor shop unlike Veritas Magic Tower, and he wanted to be kind.

He judged that the men in Hallis were sincere and kind and would prove their loyalty to him.

“But Hallis is in the city of Brandon, the center of Marquis Mayers place. What would happen if our Gigant is sent there and something goes wrong?”

“Are you talking about the Gigant getting stolen?”

“Yes, aren’t they fighting the Emperor? When the improvement and repair gets done, they might forcibly seize the Gigant. I think that it would be better to pay some reasonable amount and get it done in our estate.”

Rogers knew the likelihood of Marquis Mayers behaving like that.

“Then, we should call the men of Hallis Magic Tower over into our estate and have them bring their equipment too. I think that it would be better to ask them to move in.”

Lamer city was said to be the number one trading city in the south. However, it lacked the industrial base in terms of magic.

The things the city had were medical or artifact related, and there were only small workshops and freelancing wizards that would go around supporting the clans in the Gigant Arena.

“Attracting the magic tower will lead to a competition and a high level of magical engineering, which will indirectly help the Katarina Magic Tower. In addition, it can be used as a supporting power in case we jump into an emergency.”

“It can provide new jobs for our young ones. The larger the production, the more taxes that can be collected.”

The finance officer, Bentley, quickly came up with the advantages associated with tax revenue.

However, there were still men who opposed to it.

“But do they have the skills to take on the task?”

The purpose of upgrading the older Gigant was to have a greater performance in the class along with the technology that they managed to gather by making Gaius.

It was natural to wonder if it would be possible for a medium-sized magic tower with no special skills to be able to do it.

“All we need is pass on some related skills.”

“Are you being serious?”

Mute seemed startled at Luke’s words.

“I already said it. We will need to pass on a few skills to them, but the gift we will be getting back is greater.”

When words of such spread out, many more Magic Towers would try to enter the Rakan estates.

And since there was a benefit being given for transferring, many more would be attracted,

“For example, it could be like tax-free for several years, or it could be to provide materials or manpower for the magic tower construction. I plan to use that as a bait to increase our estate’s magic industry. At least for a brighter future, that has to be done,” said Luke

“Uhm…”

Luke didn’t tell them what exactly the future held, but his retainers knew what it was… because magic was the foundation as to how a nation was created and sustained.

The main example would be the Baroque Empire.

The Baroque Empire didn’t just cooperate with the Veritas Magic Tower for numerous years, it also developed the magic industry of the empire and made an Imperial Magic Tower.

As a result, it enabled the empire to grow strong enough to tackle the Holy Arthenia Empire.

“Absolutely never. Think about using the civil war for anything else. You might be dissatisfied, but you need to think about the future of the estate and follow me,” said Luke.

“Understood, Lord.”

And like Luke’s proposal, they decided to outsource Hallis Magic Tower.

Also, the plan to promote the magic industry of the estate was established and announced the very next day.

That allowed the Rakan estate to prepare for their next big step.