96 Feasting grounds part 2

15th April 1574

"Speaking of the Peter…"

Instead of finishing his sentence up, the Governor closed the distance between us while reaching forward with his hand, as if asking me for a handshake. As soon as I accepted his touch, I was brough into a light, manly hug, allowing Jan's lips to line up with my ear.

"... I heard some unsettling rumours about the way you dealt with him…"

In an instant, my mind splurged into its full spin, analyzing the exact meaning and the reasons for the Governor to mention is in the open, even if in a covert manner. While I already expected him to uncover the existence of the reaper guns, I was quite surprised that he didn't wait for a more private occasion to speak about it!

With such a great politician like him, there was no way his actions were just a small slip of the tongue, especially with how he intentionally made sure others would take our quick exchange for nothing but more private congratulations. And since that was the case, with how willing I was to land under his protective umbrella, there wasn't really any point in hiding my own gift for him.

"Sir, those rumours are best held back and turned into a fairy tale. After all, what I used my new invention for, is already the limit of what I could achieve with it, so I would like you, governor, to hold on it in wait for the opportune moment, when their momentary usability could bring the best results."

In the end, there was no way for me to make any real use of those reaper guns. Despite the troubling times akin to a civil war coming soon, there wouldn't be that much real fighting between the factions during this period that would warrant the usage of such overwhelming weapon, especially if one were to consider how quickly other countries would learn about its existence and either make one for themselves or just find countermeasures against it.

If I wanted for my invention to truly change the course of the history, it would be best to simply hold on to this ace card, while making as great of a stock of ammunition and gunpowder for it, so that when it would be used, the country wouldn't be limited by the constraints of importing the base resources required to even shoot it, considering how most of our neighbours would ban the gunpowder trade with us in order to sack our ability to use it in the first place!

In fact, I was already set on prioritizing the development of the lands that would fall directly under my rule, in order to turn them from rich but backwards place of the continent to the technological centre of not only the country but the entire world! That's why, with how I planned to play high rather than wide, there was no point for me to lose favour only to keep a hold on this weapon that I wouldn't even be able to use!

"That's quite a… generous offer. What do you seek in exchange for them?"

Just as expected from such a veteran politician! Rather than accepting my gift and dropping the matter, he instantly moved to the price of my gift, unwilling to left me with spare favours with him! But in the end, it worked out in the way I wanted, allowing me to try to unify the lands between the Krakow and Resovia under my own, unchallenged rule!

"Sir, when Peter will enter the trials… Not only I would love to see him banished, but his town stands on the way between my lands and the profitable markets of Resovia and all the cities further east… If there was a way to change its ownership…"

There was no need for me to continue. As the sole remaining blood of the Tarnowian line of the Terrna house, my ambitions to rebuild the power of my great ancestor were already in my portfolio. But rather than looking to expand haphazardly, taking the ownership of the lands all over the country, I limited myself to the places that I could directly connect.

This alone should be enough to convince the governor that no matter how I would grow, my power would remain well within his grasp, allowing him to use me as his own asset, rather than worrying about me trying to take over his place. With how the agriculture industry permeated the blood of all the nobles in the country, being this strange one who aimed to industrialise his lands had to first prove profitable before they could stop patronising me in their hearts!

"Consider it done then."

Finally breaking our hug, the governor once again shook my head while his lips dressed a wide smile as if I sent him off with a great joke.

"Before I leave you to be tormented by the others, here, accept this small gift of mine."

With a single clasp of his hands, the governor called a huge group of men, that brough an enormous coffer, with a piece of paper, nailed just above its lock.

"My people told me that your servants are buying all the iron they can find. Looking at how you already introduced one kind of great drink to us, and how the rumours are claiming that we will have a chance to experience yet another product of yours today, rather than decorating you and your beautiful wife with pointless gold and jewellery that you will be able to afford by yourself soon, I decided to support your efforts directly!"

Taking out a big key from his pouch, Jan approached the coffer while ordering his men to slowly drop it to the ground. With how it was carried on four different poles by over twelve men, it became obvious that its content had to be extremely heavy.

After tearing the piece of paper away from the chest, the governor inserted the key into the lock, only to open the lid and reveal the content of the coffer to the public.

"In order to help you on your endeavours, I brought you all kinds of the best metals that can be found in the entire continent, along with a contract, giving you the right to exploit two of my iron mines for twenty years!"

As if the lightning struck me down.

Just a single mine was capable of turning a common noble to a rich one, with how expensive the iron was in this age! While this gift has its own limitations considering how the mines were located outside of my own lands!

In fact, while I could make great use of this gift, it wasn't without its own constraints. Just a single look at the piece of parchment that the governor passed to my hands proved that while those mines were confirmed to contain a huge amount of iron and other metals, not only I would've to pay for all sorts of constructions required to put them to real use, all the costs of maintaining it along with the worker's wages would burden my own coffers, while providing a constant stream of inevitable taxes both to the Crown, and the Governor's treasury!

But all those problems could be disregarded, with how desperate I was to find a reliable source of iron for myself. According to my knowledge, while drastically limited, there were many points even in the lands that I already owned, where oil could be extracted. While the coal was simply outside of my means to procure in any reasonable amounts, with those new mines of mine and some more investment in the oil extraction, the development of my lands would soon skyrocket!

"This gift… I will gratefully accept it!"

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