Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 363: New Trading Route

Chapter 363: New Trading Route

Chapter 363: New Trading Route

Translator: Meh/TransN Editor: - -
"Setting out from the... Western Region?" Margaret asked curiously. "I didn't know that there's a good harbor that leads to the sea here."

"There isn't yet, but we can build one."

Her eyes widened, "Your Highness, are you serious?"

"Of course. By next spring, we should be able to begin the construction." Roland smiled and said.

In this era, harbors were, without exception, natural. Construction projects which required transforming the natural landscape, such as man-made harbors, were practically impossible.

However, now that he had obtained Tilly's full support, he simply had to wait until the housing construction in Sleeping Island was completed, after which Lotus would come back to the Western Region, and furthermore, the crisis caused by the demonic beasts should have subsided by then. It would then be a suitable time to start work on the harbor.

He stood up and pointed to a map that was hung behind him. "In the south of Border Town, there's a shore where the depth of water is ideal and the surface area is highly suitable, sufficient to accommodate all of the facilities required by the harbor. By making only a few modifications, and also flattening the ridges along the coast, I'll be able to transport goods from the inland of Western Region to the harbor."

"Modifying the shore... and flattening the ridges? Why is it that when you speak of these astonishing plans, I seem to get the impression that they are not difficult at all?" Margaret said with interest. "However, do you have a merchant fleet? You should know that sea ships and inland river ships are very different."

"At the moment, no." Roland spread his hands. "This is also one of the reasons why I hope that you'll participate."

"I'll provide the ships?"

"And also be responsible for shipping and selling," he added, "while Western Region will only provide the goods."

This was equivalent to possessing the exclusive dealership in the fjord region, and with her experience, Margaret could smell the potential profits. If he created his own merchant fleet and sold goods to the Fjords himself, the profits would be higher, but Roland did not want to expend too much energy and manpower in this area. He simply wanted to obtain some funds as soon as possible, in order to maintain the rapid development of his territory. After the primitive accumulation was completed, it would only be a matter of time before he introduced credit.

As expected, the businesswoman blinked her eyes and excitedly asked, "You're entrusting it all to me?"

"If the price is reasonable." Roland nodded. "If you're willing to take care of Western Region's overseas trade, we can discuss the details right now. The selling area is limited to the Fjords, and the selling price must not be lower than the price at which we're currently selling to the Crescent-Moon-Bay Caravan."

"That's for sure. The steam-powered boat, which doesn't rely on wind power to sail continuously, has alone made it worth it for maritime trading teams to compete for and buy goods at high prices." She said in a highly assured voice, "If selling directly to the Fjord Islands, I'm confident of doubling the price."

"We can share the excess profits together." Roland laughed. "And, aside from the steam engine, there's also another major product." He clapped his hands, and a guard who was waiting outside the hall immediately walked in with a plate in hand. On top of the plate was four or five gleaming crystal bottles, and each of them was only about the size of a thumb.

"This is..."

"Open it and smell."

Feeling curious, Margaret pulled the cork from the top of the bottle and sniffed. Her eyes immediately lit up. "My gosh, you actually created perfume!"

"I wonder, how is it compared with the perfume created by the Alchemist Workshop in King's City?"

"The fragrance seems to be stronger." She raised up and scrutinized the bottle, seeming very fond of it. "Was this manufactured by the Alchemist Workshop in Border Town?"

"More or less." Roland also took a bottle and placed it in his palm. In accordance with his demands, the perfume bottles were made by firing crystals of excellent transparency, and each of them had the same hexagonal prism shape. By spinning the bottle gently under light, the perfume inside the bottle would change into various shades of color, and looked extremely aesthetically pleasing. If the sales concept of later generations was anything to go by, exquisite packaging could greatly increase the quality of the product itself. As the perfume served as the hit product to open up the Fjords' market, he naturally took great care with every aspect.

Compared to the steam engine, the perfume could be described as real low-cost goods. When Evelyn realized that "the spiciest White Liquor" was also a type of liquor, she started to continually produce liquors with very high concentrations and even skipped the final step of distillation. As for roses and other flowers with unique smells, they were made into various oil products by Leaf. By mashing only two or three stalks of flowers, it produced sufficient fragrance to fill a bottle of liquor.

"If you like, I'll give these few bottles to you." He placed the perfume back on the plate.

"Really?" Margaret smiled, "Then I shall not be courteous."

"I heard that this thing can be sold in the Fjords at a high price?"

"You should know, the Alchemist Workshop in King's City sells only a very limited stock of perfumes every year. The thousand or so bottles don't come anywhere close to fulfilling the demand. In fact, of the perfumes sold in other regions, a large portion is bought by maritime merchants and resold in the Fjords."

Margaret paused after she said this. "I wonder, how many bottles of perfume can your Alchemist Workshop produce a year?"

"If there's sufficient material, it should be approximately ten times the amount produced by the Alchemist Workshop in King's City." Roland deliberately downplayed the actual figure. He did not want to sell this highly profitable good as if it was cabbage, or earn only four or five thousand gold pieces a year. Along with the steam engine, the perfume served as his hit product, and Roland hoped that it would be able to bring back a similar profit.

"..." The businesswoman remained silent for a long while before she heaved, "Your territory is truly full of the unexpected."

"So, does that mean you're willing to manage the sales of these goods?"

"Of course, Your Highness." She stood up and bowed to Roland. "I find this to be a rare opportunity."

...

After a general agreement was reached, the specific details and contractual terms were handed over to Barov to negotiate. Roland returned to his office and prepared to write a letter to Theo, who was hiding in King's City.

Whether to initiate an attack and overthrow Timothy, or to open up a new trading route, a fine balancing act was required. Roland did not want to put all his eggs in one basket. He hoped that even if the attack failed, he could continue to obtain saltpeter.

And the way to do this was self-production.

In the letter, aside from mentioning his intention to attack, he made a point to encourage Theo to contact the nitre plants in the surrounding areas of King's City and purchase a batch of nitre workers to send to Western Region.

This year, life was certainly not rosy for saltpeter merchants. Apart from prohibiting exports, Timothy also forced the merchants to sell at a low price to Alchemist Workshop. As a result, the profits of saltpeter fields naturally sank. Roland believed that as long as the pay was good enough, it would not be a problem to obtain entire factories' worth of workers.

The principle of saltpeter production was not complicated. At present, the population of Border Town was continually increasing, and could already satisfy the large amount of faeces required by the saltpeter fields. All of the conditions for self-production were fully met. Before defeating Timothy, this was undoubtedly one of the most stable guarantees.