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19th April 1574

Contrary to all the events in Pilzno that concluded after just a single day, the partying in Tarnow lasted an entire three days before the guests finally started moving on and returning back to their own homes.

Overall, while the cost of organising all the festivities sucked all of the profits from the beer trade ever since its establishment, just the amount of primary contracts and down payment I got from all kinds of nobles willing to pay with their own blood for just a barrel of the premium beer allowed me to not only make up for the cost of the party, but also gain a hefty sum of about two hundred red goldens!

With how insanely huge the demand for the product was, all of the resources that were in the town were instantly turned into additional brewing lines for the beer, yet contrary to what some might expect, after doubling the output of the premium drink, all the further expansion focused solely on the basic one.

Yet I perfectly knew that if I flooded the market with more beer than I could sell to the nearest neighbours of mine, rather than earning from it myself, people would just use it as yet another luxury product that could bring them money a bit further down the road either west or east. Even if this kind of natural promotion done by the smaller merchants could work wonders in terms of popularizing the brand, with how insane this beer was as compared to the modern standards, I could make far better use of it by introducing it myself and using the sudden rise of popularity to promote all the other products.

But while the drink business was insanely profitable, rather than managing it myself, I shifted all the responsibility for it on Matsu's shoulders, even going as far as starting the construction of the very first, administration building, located right beside the castle, where all the managers for all my projects would tune the fine details of their respective responsibilities.

After all, while I could focus my entire attention and bring far more benefits by constantly upgrading it and expanding to new fields of with new products, that would be a waste not only of my time, but also of my capabilities. Just like with the monopolisation process of all the taverns in my lands, rather than dealing with it myself, I simply pushed the responsibility on the shoulders of the most prominent owner out of those who decided to cooperate with me, and after setting the outline of what I expected him to do, I simply pushed this project out of my memory, limiting my interaction with the matter to the occasional reading through reports.

Because right now, I had a far more important task on my hands!

With the end of the month already closing in, in less than a single month, the king would finally escape from the country, leaving me with only two more months before the parliament would announce the interregnum period, starting the race to the throne. Even though I knew that the King that would end up elected would be one of the more memorable ones due to his various exploits that greatly improved the standing of the country as well as its stability and position, without creating a stable foothold for my own household, I would be unable to influence any of his decisions at all!

"So that's the lists of the items you need to create the first steam horse?"

Using the opportunity that the Governor would return to his own lands from the Tarnow, I decided to accompany him on his way there. With various tasks still requiring the attention of the owners, I already convinced Elia to stay home for about two weeks, before she would get her own escort and join me at the mining town that I was going to establish at our mines.

"Yeah. What's more, this steam horse is just a first step in my plan of developing those lands, so I hoped that as soon as it would be made, we could reach an agreement in which the lands where those mines are, along with the settlement that I want to establish there could be transferred to my ownership. While all its taxes could be transferred directly to your family coffers, sir, if I want to set all the projects I have in mind for that land, I need to be in direct control over this land."

Just like Elia pointed out unless the governor would gift or sell me that part of his own lands, I would be unable to really invest myself in it. But there was no way he would deprive himself of all the benefits stemming from the fact that not only he promoted the development of this place but also invested in it as well. That was the reason why I before even talking about the terms of this potential transaction, I already gave up the rights to any taxes collected in that place!

"You just tripled the amount of land you own directly in a single place, and you are already seeking a way to expand even further? Aren't you a bit too hasty here?"

It was only understandable that Jan would oppose this idea. If I were to grow too fast, not only he could feel his control over my actions wavering a bit, but all the neighbouring nobles both in the southern part of the province as well around the lands that I was currently trying to buy, would find me quite annoying, especially when the prosperity of those lands would start attracting the refugees and free men from their lands directly under my rule!

"Sir, with all due respect, I do not aim to become one of the grain potentates. I do not wish to receive large swaths of land that could be farmed for profit, but only as much as it would take to establish a proper housing and amenities for all the workers that will soon flood this place! With your coffers filling with a part of the wages I would pay them, along with a portion of the haul from all the investments I will focus myself in, rather than keeping it to yourself, wouldn't it be easier to just wash your hands away from it while collecting the taxes in peace? But just like you said, sir. We can always talk about this topic when the first steam horse will start operating!"

As the entire travelling column already formed at the fields outside of the city, if we didn't want to stall the entire group from leaving, we had to end our talk right here. Jumping on Helga's back, I looked back, only to spot some of my own carriages filled with barrels upon barrels of beer. Rather than taking the heavy resources required to settle the first engine along on this rather lengthy ride, I preferred to take way lighter beer with me, sell it during our stay in Sandomir and use the money obtained to procure all the materials right there, before letting them all flow down the Vistula and then upstream the Stone River all the way to our final destination.

"I think that's a good idea. As for the workers required for your mines and the building projects, I think you can obtain them cheaply from the Sandomir slums or fetch them from the villages along the way. Anyway, are you really sure you don't want to travel in the carriage with me?"

Hearing the governor's kind invitation, I shifted my head to the side, watching the simple construction of the massive vehicle he intended to ravel in, only to shift my eyes back to the soft back of my loyal mount.

"Thank you, sir, but I think I will stay on the horseback. With the quality of our roads, we wouldn't get to talk all that much anyway, so there is no point in making my buttocks sore from all the bumping!"

Kindly refusing the generous offer, I nodded my head, before tickling Helga's sides with my heels and making her jump into a slow trot. With the two of us finishing our conversation, there was nothing else stopping the entire column from starting its journey, so with just a simple gesture of the governor's hand from the insides of his carriage, the men started shouting around as the horses stopped grazing on the roadside grass and finally pushed the entire group forward.

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