Thinking about the dishes, I couldn't help but longe for the good, old, tomato soup. In theory, making it was one of the easiest task ones could come upon. Brew some stock from chicken and several vegetables for a few hours, add enough mashed tomatoes and here you have it…. But the reality was often disappointing. The biggest hurdle to overcome was once again, the accessibility of the tomatoes. Just like with potatoes, the brown gold that would eradicate the hunger from the most of the countries around the world, in the current age, both of those great vegetables appeared only in the few gardens of the insanely wealthy royals or greatest nobles. It would take over hundred years for a single potato to be officially brough to this lands, with two more decades required for the appearance of the tomato.
While I could send someone with a pouch filled with gold to visit noble's mansion in order to obtain those golden plants for the sake of creating the greatest garden in commonwealth… or rather for the sake of allowing me to enforce the creation of wide plantation for them, but that sort of thing would not only take months to be realised but also had a low chance of success. Unless I would find some trader willing to bring them directly to me from the insanely far lands of the Iberia, I had to make do with what I had on hand.
"I still don't get it. Why would you let them profit out of this delicacy? Why did you even go as far as to spread it amongst the commoners instead of promoting it among fellow nobles? Wouldn't that work better in the long run?"
Just like she could catch on most of my ideas before I would finish explaining them, this was the time where she didn't need to elaborate on the basis on her approach. As long as noble would enjoy something, the middle and lower class would seek to replicate it. Just like in the future, King Louis with some number to his name would promote tomatoes by putting together a huge amount of garden filled with them and strictly guarded day by day, only to suddenly lift the protection and allow everyone to steal them away for the sake of farming them on their own, doing so not only required time but also enough money to actively promote it among fellow nobles!
"And what about taking back your city, then? I'm doing my best to push every possible thing I can into the care of others so that I will remain free to start more and more projects. Sure, I could use this soup to profit myself, but how much I could realistically make with it? Two red goldens per month? Three?"
Shaking my head, I finally finished the last serving of the sour soup I could force inside my stomach before putting the bowl away and standing up from my chair. Just like I mentioned, there were many other ways for me to invest all the resources and manpower I had available. Setting out the breweries for the beer would take most of the people serving under me just to assemble the materials in the time it would take me to recover Pilzno for Elia. How I was supposed to spare even more people for this silly project?
"Ah, that's true… Should I take it for granted that you are going to focus on recovering my lands then? Are you sure you are ready for such a risky mission? We might be both nobles, but the moment we step inside their own lands, my family will have no qualms for killing us!"
What she said right now was true as well. Just like Peter couldn't do anything about my position even if here were to bring a huge host with him, with all my power that I could siphon from the city, I could maybe create a force one hundred people strong. Adding the vast amount of resources required to feed them on the way, even greater after considering the fact that there was no way for me to spare the horses for everyone, and this small task turned into something insanely hard.
Thinking about all of this, I couldn't help but think about the other business I was thinking about setting up and actually monopolising for as long as possible. If not for the fact that I saw the entire production line that would make it possible to set it up, I would never ever consider doing something as complicated as that, but with how I had just the right amount of resources to at least kickstart the production, even if the output would be small and the product of relatively low quality, it would be far more than enough for my purposes.
Yes, I was talking about a proper concrete.
The technology required to make it was lost with the fall of the Roman empire, as the volcanic ash, the main ingredient used by this once great country to make their mortar was simply absent from the lands that picked up the light of the civilisation. Since there was only so much one could build without a proper mortar, it wasn't long before people found alternatives, hugely based on limestone and gypsum alone.
There was a lot of positives about this kind of mortar, but the durability wasn't one of them. Additionally, the time required for it to actually bind two objects together was really long, making it unusable for my plan.
But there were two reasons why I was actually interested in this sort of production. Starting with the resources, almost the entire region that my lands were located in, was rich in limestone and all the other types of rocks required to make a proper cement. And with the help of the system that somehow offered to create a machine turning those raw rocks into a quality product just for a steep initial price of two hundred kilograms (440pounds) of iron and the constant addition of the mechanical energy.
Thinking about this, if I were to really go with my plan, the difference in binding time and the strength of said mortar after drying off would be the backbone of my plan to retake Pilzno from Eila's family hands!
After all the guest left the palace with a huge list of stuff that I gave them to think about, I decided to stay behind and enjoy my soup for a little longer. While its quality was as mentioned before, way off the mark of what I was looking for, it didn't pale in comparison to other dishes offered by the kitchen at any other given occasion.