Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 954: New Great Wheel

Chapter 954: New Great Wheel

Chapter 954: New Great Wheel

Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
"Oh, she's already able to come ashore..." Roland said with much interest, "I remember you said that after she chose to settle in the sea, she didn't come into contact with humans for a long time."

"It's thanks to Her Highness Tilly and Miss Camilla's help." Margaret sighed. "Without the ability to communicate directly through the consciousness, she probably still wouldn't have been able to adapt to a normal human life. Also, Joan has completely forgotten how to speak. Even though Lord Thunder introduced many scholars to her, the results have not been very positive. Right now, she can't speak more than a few words, and she isn't even able to hold a simple conversation."

At this moment, the female merchant paused as if she didn't know whether or not to continue.

"What's the matter?" Roland asked.

"I don't know whether or not it's because of her long-term transformation, but some of her body parts are no longer the same as those of humans." Margaret bit her lips. "As far as I'm aware, as long as they don't utilize magic power, witches should be no different from humans. But Joan can no longer change to her previous appearance. Her cheeks, neck, arms, and legs are covered by cyan scales, just like those... Sea Ghosts."

Roland immediately thought of Lorgar's long ears and tail. Well... a skin covered with scales was quite the style—ahem, no, now wasn't the time to think about that. Considering that the Sand Nation people even feared the cute ears of Princess Lorgar of the Wildflame clan, it was only to be expected that the reaction to Joan's situation would probably only be worse.

"Did anyone harm her?"

"We tried our best to prevent it, but it was still inevitable that someone would spread the news." Margaret sighed.

"If we want to teach her how to adapt to human life again, then it is inevitable that she will come into contact with other people," Thunder said helplessly, "Her appearance is not well received even at the Fjords—since taking her in, three maids and two scholars have already been scared away from her. There are even rumors that I am raising a Sea Ghost. Maybe the sea is most suitable for her after all."

"If my friend truly disliked life on land, I wouldn't force her to stay on the island against her will." The female merchant continued. "But Joan didn't really mind the process of coming into contact with other people. Even though she has to stay for many hours in the sea each week, she still likes to hang out with those maids that accept her. Furthermore, compared to the raw fish meat she used to eat previously, she now prefers it well-cooked."

Still, this kind of environment was only limited to Thunder's premises—Roland understood what she meant, but he couldn't think of a good solution. Changing one's point of view required lots of time, not to mention, her situation was much more serious than that of the other witches. Throughout history, animalization, deformation, or in general inhuman appearances would always be faced with discrimination and social exclusion.

"It will get better eventually," he reassured her. "May I take a closer look at her?"

If the problem was indeed that serious, the only thing to do for now was to conceal her appearance—just like Lorgar's ears, who would look like a normal person as long as she wore a hat.

"Of course." Margaret waved at Joan and said, "Come here, dear."

But the latter only took a quick look at them and then hid again.

"Uhm... Your Majesty, I'm sorry but she probably isn't used to such a big crowd." Margaret bowed apologetically.

"It seems like you scared her." Nightingale gloated next to his ear.

Roland glared at the space next to him, coughed twice and said, "It doesn't matter. She has to stay in Neverwinter for a while anyway. She will get used to it eventually. Let's head over to the shipyard for now."

...

In order to build the steel ship, Roland specifically cleared an empty space of nearly a hundred acres south-west of Shallow Beach and asked Lotus to build a wall around it, forming a barrier which prevented anyone from peeking in from the outside. Apart from setting up sentry towers at its four corners, he also arranged the First Army to guard it. Therefore, apart from the onsite workers, not many people knew how this massive ship, which required the agglomeration of all the top industrial production lines within Neverwinter City to be built, looked like in the end.

As they entered through the wall and arrived at the bottom of the zigzagging staircase, an exclamation of uncontrollable amazement erupted within the group.

Everyone's attention was drawn by the huge structure displayed in front of them.

That was definitely not an exaggeration.

When admiring the ship from below, the first thing one would see was the towering ship hull—different from the round hulls of the three-masted sailing ships, the side of its hull was perpendicular to the ground while the base was so flat that there was no sign of any extruded keel. Since their view was limited, everyone felt as if they were standing under a towering steel wall, and one could only succumb the feeling of pressure that it gave off.

"In the name of the Three Gods... am I dreaming?"

"How heavy it is? Must be more than 20 thousand tonnes."

"Even the biggest sailing ship wouldn't be able to withstand an impact from it!"

"Don't even mention sailing ships. I'd bet that even deep-sea monsters would flee in its presence!"

"Thunder... no, Lord Flyingbird, you didn't tell us that we were going to sail on such a monster!"

The order within the group was instantly scrambled as the sailors ran towards the ship. They started touching and knocking its hull, unable to contain their enthusiasm.

All of them were the most experienced sailors of the Fjords, and even though they had never seen something like this before, they still understood its uniqueness.

As for Thunder, his shock on his face was no lesser than the rest. In fact, it was even more.

When Roland had mentioned in his letter that the ship was made entirely of steel from top to bottom, he had assumed that he was exaggerating—after all, even in normal wooden ships, the best wood and materials would only be used in the key parts of the ship. Therefore, when recruiting his men, he had only described the ship as an ocean-going vessel without sails, which contained a steel skeleton strong enough to withstand the huge waves of the Sealine.

But what his eyes saw now proved that was not the case.

Even though he knew that Neverwinter was very adept at ship construction, yet he had never imagined it would be to such a level. The amount of materials alone were so terrifying that it would be impossible to gather all them in the Fjord Islands, not to mention the technique that was used to join the hard steel together.

How valuable is steel?

Among the various commodities, iron ore was not considered luxurious as a palm-sized crude iron ingot could be sold for about 30-40 silver royals. But if it was forged into steel, then its price would multiply by over tenfold. It would be so valuable that knights would usually treat their steel armor as family heirlooms and pass them on from generation to generation.

The reason for the high price of steel was how time-consuming its processing was. In an entire lifetime, a blacksmith could only make about seven or eight sets of qualified steel armors. In other words, even if all the blacksmiths of the Fjords were gathered, they would not be able to make so much steel even over a dozen years.

What he first ordered from Roland was just a steam paddle steamer, which, according to the Fjords' Chamber of Commerce, cost around three to four thousand gold royals. So when the other side said they would only charge the production fee, he did not really consider it as a large favor. That was because the worth of a new Sealine was far more than the cost of the ship itself. Since the King of Graycastle only wanted to exchange intelligence, this trade could not be considered as him taking advantage of the other side.

He had even planned to pay Roland the full cost of the ship after the exploration of the Sealine, as a reward for him taking care of his daughter and because he wished for Lightning to have a better life in Neverwinter in the future.

But now Thunder finally realized that, even by considering only the cost of the materials alone, the price of this ship would still be an astronomical figure.

He could not help but feel sorry for his purse.