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124 Finishing the foundations

22nd April 1574

By the time all the blueprints for both the testing grounds for when the minimal amount of required resources would be produced and the real layout of the city were finished, I moved out from the tent, leaving the craftsmen to think over all the hints I dropped about the construction of the city.

In the end, I was just a single person, how had some insights what kind of services made living in a city easier and would be appreciated, yet that didn't mean I knew how to deal with all sorts of problems that local people have in my current timeline.

Just like I thought about making small grocery stores in the middle of each neighbourhood, after consulting it with the craftsmen, they made me realise that creating a proper supply chain for each of them would be simply too hard to implement. Rather than that, this central building would be divided into twenty room and managed by a single person, who would collect the orders and money from the people living in his area and buy them from the local warehouses that would connect the town to the outside world.

Settling the matter of simple trade like that, not only would provide all the houses with additional storage space that would be relatively close to them, it would also mean simpler distribution of goods around the town, growing at the same time as the income of the local citizens would increase, rather than averaging across the entire site!

Yet with my thoughts returning from the imaginary streets of my future city, my eyes were drawn to the foundation pit, now nearly fully filled with wet concrete, continuously splashed with bucket upon bucket of water by the workers nearby.

Seeing how some of the men simply watched the process as almost all craftsmen responsible for managing this workforce of mine were now busying themselves with studying the blueprint for the city, I had no other choice than to approach them by myself.

"Hey! You guys! Go grab some tools and go cut some trees. We will need quite a lot of firewood soon!"

Not even daring to confirm that they heard my order, the workers instantly straightened their bodies before running away towards the pile where most of the tools were. Seeing how they instantly departed for the nearby forest, I could finally rest my gaze on the foundation in making.

"How is it going?"

Looking at the focused faces of the craftsmen not daring to raise their eyes from the surface of the concrete even when asked directly, I turned my sight to look at the details of the almost finished foundation. Yet to my positive surprise, there wasn't even a single crack present on its smooth surface!

"It seems that we figured out the right amount of water required to sprinkle it with, sir. If we were to get more pots or some smith to construct a certain mixing machine we thought off, we might be able to speed up the process of laying the foundations considerably. Also, would sir mind if we ask whats the price of this mortar? It's the first time for the two of us to see product so easy to work with!"

While seeing how the most annoying task out of all that would be present during the construction of the steam horse was almost done now I felt happy, hearing the inquiry about the concrete itself put me on the tip of my toes. Right now, even the production plant in Tarnow was still under the construction, while all the supply of the concrete powder was made by my system on the spot from the limestone ditched from the mines.

"You could call it a test product I brought all the way from my southern lands, but from what I saw, as soon as we finish a few of those steam engines, we could start producing it locally. Sadly, for now, we will have to do with the limited supply that we have on hand."

With the lack of coal, I was unable to make coke that was necessary to make any form of an efficient iron furnace. Without a proper example of steam horse to prove the governor that investing in my project was a worthwhile endeavour, I would be unable to convince him to negotiate with the owner of the nearest coal-rich lands to the east any form of trade that would require the other guy to set up the mines in the first place, as doing so was one of the most costly investments in the current age!

That's why, while I would love to jumpstart the productivity of this place and my lands, I had to limit myself to the charcoal-based furnaces, which would, in turn, require insane amounts of wood to be cut by hand in the first place to match the future output of the iron mines. At least, with a working steam horse, I could automate the process of pumping the fresh air into the furnace, freeing some manpower to be used elsewhere.

"That's really sad, sir. Anyway, I think the foundation should be done now. With your permission, we would like to start laying out the bricks. From what I remember, we should start with filling the base, and limiting ourselves to building the walls alone the higher we go, right, sir?"

With how the bricks of this construction would be used only for the sake of holding the entire metal structure in place, as long as the walls would be made thick enough to survive the constant onslaught of heat from the fires below the boiler, there was no reason to waste more bring on expanding them even further!

"Yes. When you finish the base, take some men to place the boiler in its future position, and use it as reference for how thick the walls can be built. While we can fill the gaps with clay that will harden as the fires will start burning underneath, the fewer gaps will remain after placing the bricks, the better!"

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