"I don't think that finding a proper material will pose any problem. I'm more worried about the insane amount of work necessary to put the thing I have in mind to use…"
Due to the shortage of coal on my lands, the most basic flammable material that was accessible in abundance was wood. While the process of turning it into charcoal that was capable of bringing forth enough heat energy to create some kind of basic steam furnace, unless, establishing the entire production for the charcoal, most of which would sink back into the production of itself, was not a cost I was willing to take.
On the other hand, there was oil. While their reserves located around the modern lesser Poland and current eastern Sandomir province were laughable when compared to what the middle east could produce, for the minimal use that my lands would require, there was far more than enough of it!
While some people might think that both the oil extraction and refining process are hard and something that only modern people could achieve, as long as I were to be satisfied with the inferior quality of the finished product, just by investing enough gold into this project, I could easily obtain both the petrol for the basic engines and asphalt for the cheaper production of the road!
"Oho? Seeing what kind of weapons you introduced, I'm all the more interested in this roadmaking product of yours!"
With the reaper guns giving me way more than enough validation in the governor's trust, I realised that as long as I could put this road project as something that would benefit me, him and the entire commonwealth at the same time, maybe I wouldn't need to bother with the financing it myself!
"You see sir, while the products I have in mind are theoretically not that hard to obtain, set up the proper production of them on the scale that could be sufficient to build just a single, short road should be easy. If I were to strain my coffers, I might be even able to do it all by myself!"
At this point, there was no way I would explain exactly what kind of idea was coursing through my mind. In fact, the entire project could be started only when the mines that the governor gifted to me would start bringing up the minimal amount of ore required to cut my dependency on the imported iron. But to make any excavation process efficient, I had to create at least a basic engine along with something to fuel it, forcing me to create at least a basic oil extraction and refinery plants and closing the vicious circle, where any steps I would like to begin with required all the others to be completed!
And in situations like this, there was no other way than to kickstart everything with just a small scale production, all done by hand! While in any other situation, this would require me to work out the way of refining the oil, waste a lot of time of coming up with a design for an engine that could use petrol to run… But thankfully, most of those steps could be avoided with the usage of the system!
Hearing how I left my phrase kind of open, the Governor thoughtfully put me back on the track of reality, forcing all my dreamlike thoughts about the future prosperity of my lands to dissipate.
"As soon as the process of building this road will star, not only the entire country but most likely all of our neighbours will sell half of their lives to obtain the recipes and instructions how to do it. The moment any noble sees what can be done, no matter if I put my entire income into expanding the production of those materials alone, it won't be enough to sate even a small percentage of the orders, not to speak about providing supplies for the road itself. And even if we somehow managed to keep it under wraps for the time being, no matter how wonderful the material is, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to build a road."
In the end, there was no escaping it. In order to create a proper road based on concrete and asphalt, one still had to dig a trench deep enough, test out how the water would influence it over time, supply the food for all the workers digging the trenches…
No matter how one looked at it, starting a fully industrial project like that, required a proper industrial backing to do so!
"Okay, I think I understand what's the problem right now. I would lie if I were to claim that I perfectly understand every single step of your plan and how are you going to go about setting everything up, but I think I see the greatest problem that plagues your mind."
Hearing those words from the governor, I was stupefied at first. How could he even begin to unravel the intensity of my anxiety when he had no idea how immense this project of mine was? What started as a simple drive to build a plain, concrete road, now turned into practically pushing the development of the world by about two hundred years at the very least!
But thinking about this, I realised that while anxious about all the problems piling up in from of me, I turned so worried about everything that this emotion even started showing up on my face. Yet I couldn't help but get curious what kind of result did this old fox derive just from the sign of anxiety on my expression?
"Just from your words, I can tell how insanely complicated and multilayered this project is. But while I don't know the details, I can assure you. Leading the military campaigns or even managing all the countless nobles that have more conflicts between them than one could imagine to be possible, can't be done all at once."
Suddenly standing up from his chair and passing the last piece of paper required to finalize the transfer of the Ropian town and the surrounding villages to my family.
"That's why, instead of rushing to get everything done at once, you just need to focus on a single step, and move to the next one only, when that first step of yours will be fully finished."