Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 861: The Redwater Plot

Chapter 861: The Redwater Plot

Chapter 861: The Redwater Plot
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN

On the 10th day of the expedition, they were at Redwater River.

Roland was in quite a heroic mood as he stood at the front of the shallow water gunboat, looking at the sparkling river in front of him.

Behind him was a huge fleet, and despite the fact that some of the ships had turned eastward three days earlier, the remaining ten steam-driven paddle steamers remained a rare sight on the river. The chimneys, standing like a forest of iron, were painted in a striking snow white color, and the black smoke that erupted created a "dark cloud" over the river.

After entering the Central Region of Graycastle, there were significantly fewer vessels, which meant that the Kingdom's trade center was moving westward. However, the influence of several major cities in the central region was present. Compared to the many single-masted boats in the Western Region, most of the sailboats that were found here were more exquisite and beautiful.

All the merchant ships that they encountered along the way kept their distance. Bold sailors would lie on the ship's side, and point to the flagship of steel exclaiming endlessly. The captain or businessman who recognized the High-Tower and Spears flag would even bow and salute the vessel.

Roland was very satisfied that he could amass so much after three years. But he was even more gratified about these young officials who were brought up by the City Hall.

They did not have a lineage of 100 years nor did they have a rich and powerful family background. They just had a short-term universal education and a mastery of literacy. If this was the past, at best, they could only work for the nobles by doing some miscellaneous administration for a living. But in Neverwinter, they gradually became the backbone of all the departments.

Because of the lack of patronage, the new generation of officials fully supported Roland—other than him, no one else would use normal civilians that had no status.

Because they had never held any management posts, they would act cautiously in accordance with the rules and regulations. When they encountered any problems, they would make the effort to ask their superiors for help and would not be arrogant or conceited like the nobles.

As they were selected from ordinary subjects, they were used to carrying out tasks on their own. The Ministry of Agriculture officials led the farmers to grow wheat and the officials of the Ministry of Construction demonstrated the characteristics of cement to the new workers. This scene was a common sight in the city. A powerful, centralized government needed to have strong control over the people at the grassroots level in order to exert its fast and efficient potential. This action by the civilian management was exactly what was needed.

Of course, the civilians that jumped to the management level did not come without flaws.

Just like a poor man who had never owned property and suddenly came into fortune, it was easy to fall into the trap of greed and shortsightedness. The level of education at Neverwinter was not high, so they probably would not possess personal standards and professional ethics. Fortunately, there were Nightingale and the internal review by the Security Bureau that could effectively curb this tendency. After several screenings and severe punishment, those who remained in City Hall had understood the limits of His Majesty.

The ever-growing number of young officials had become Roland's guarantee of expanding his own power. It could even be said that his plan to regain the kingdom was based on the number of officials available.

Now, he finally had the foundation for unifying the country.

"Notify the Adviser Department to go to the observatory for a meeting." Roland turned toward Nightingale. "How should we go about taking over Redwater City? It's about time that they come up with a plan."

...

In fact, it was not the first time that the Neverwinter fleet visited Redwater City. As early as six months ago in the Tooth Extraction Campaign, the First Army had visited this central city.

The Adviser Department's opinion was reasonable: "Your Majesty, Redwater, in terms of the Central Region, is considered second only to the old king's city. Not only does it own a vast territory, there are also many nobles. I'm afraid we can't force them to hand over their power like what we did with Willow Town."

Sir Eltek, Morning Light's father, further elaborated by saying, "Earl Delta, the lord of Redwater City, isn't an ambitious man. This can be seen from the city's tax revenue—he could easily request for more as he controls the intersection of the inland rivers. The Delta family had managed this area for several generations. Even if they gave up their manor, they would still have a comfortable life. As compared to rebellion, the Earl would certainly know how to make a wise choice."

"But this doesn't mean that the other nobles will follow suit. It's by no means easy to consolidate their opinions, especially the Tririver and Rock Ridge families. It's rumored they're not on good terms with Earl Delta." He pointed to the map and said, "And once your claim is officially proclaimed, it's likely that this will bring the opponents together similar to what had happened in the Western Region before, so we speculate that the First Army may have to fight and force them to surrender their power."

"Of course, this isn't bad. Destroying rebels can reduce the trouble for the management later on, and your great strength will certainly deter the rest of the misfits. So we suggest that you summon Earl Delta alone to convince him before announcing the decree—although those nobles should more or less already know about your intentions. If someone disobeys later on, you can just send troops to clear them out."

Roland nodded and silently looked at the map.

He did not mind using military action to persuade his opponent. The First Army was used to doing that. However Sir Eltek's words, "just like what happened in the Western Region before" gave him some concern. The time he had spend to eliminate the five big families took a lot longer than the seizing of Long Stronghold and king's city. The reason back then was that the area of a fief had been far larger than that of a city. He had to take a few extra days just for a detour. Redwater City had an even larger manor around it compared to the Western Region cities. If he really wanted to clean it up, it would take more than two to three weeks, plus the subsequent placating measures.

"Isn't there a faster way?"

"Well, Your Majesty, faster means..."

"I don't want to spend too much time on this. Later on, there'll be several other cities. If they all require such measures, by the time we get to Coldwind Ridge, half of the summer would have passed."

"This..." The Earl and the others were silent for a moment.

"There's a method but it might be detrimental to your reputation," muttered Edith suddenly, "bring them together and announce to everyone on the spot."

"Oh?" Roland looked at her. "Go on."

"I've encountered a similar problem, but it was even worse," said Pearl of the Northern Region and then she gave a detailed account of her plan to eliminating the Hawes Family and Lista Family. "I'm afraid that if I'd followed the tradition of the nobles, and had declared before taking action, the Northern Region would have still remained in their hands."

After listening to her plan, the staff of the Adviser Department could not help but gasp.

"Your Majesty, this..."

"It's hard to be convincing without evidence and trial!"

"If it gets found out, I'm afraid that it'll bring suspicion from the other nobles."

"Have you forgotten that there should be no other nobles in Graycastle other than His Majesty?" Edith said flatly. "No trial was needed when the former nobles dealt with civilians." She turned toward Roland and said, "But it depends on whether you want to carry it out, after all reputation—"

"Only the victor is qualified to write history," Roland interrupted her, "for example, if you don't say anything, no one will know you've done something like this. I have to thank you for your trust in me, and anyway, this matter won't be found out. As for the takeover of Redwater City, let's follow your idea."

He then saw a strange glimmer in the latter's eyes. At that moment, the Pearl of the Northern Region's breathing seemed to quicken.

However, she quickly masked her unease and bowed her head.

"As you wish, Your Majesty."