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Chapter 7 – Territory (1)

Brendel’s mind was working furiously.

“Four sawmills and two rock quarries near Firburh and there are not even enough materials to repair a gate? No, that’s not the full extent, there are seven sawmills in Trentheim! Let’s see, getting four to work overtime and we should be able to fix and strengthen the walls…..”

[A sawmill provides 1 unit of lumber every week, and working overtime increases the unit production by 1 as well. At least, in theory, there should be enough….. Shit, but I can’t guarantee that’s going to be the same here.]

“My lord knows about the resources here?” Falaern asked as she looked up from the book, her voice even.

“Of course I do,” Brendel pushed down his questions and replied: “so tell me exactly why the resources cannot be procured.”

“Two reasons,” the Elven girl pursed her lips, “the first reason: The workers in the sawmill are Graudin’s private property, and they are not willing to work for us.”

“Why?”

“Because they fear retribution. In their eyes, my lord is one who’s destined to lose. After all, your enemy is Count Randner, and you, my lord, is a weak noble who has no support or power.”

“That’s reasonable,” Brendel nodded, “then vacate them without causing any trouble. The natives won’t follow us if they don’t feel safe. They are as practical as they come, no one will believe promises without proof behind them. That’s fine; we can stabilize our forces if we passed this first hurdle. Overturning this problem will be fast.”

“I see, then who shall work in the sawmills?”

“Do we not have the Senia’s citizens?”

“I see. But we still can’t use the sawmills.”

“Why?!”

“Because my lord needs to conquer them.”

“What?” Brendel was almost laughing out of his nose when he heard the robot-like answers from the Elven girl, “Are the Sawmill not within our control?”

[I’m sure the nearest sawmill was just a few miles away, did the remnants of Graudin’s army gather outside the city and took over the resources? But I don’t recall these mercenaries to have such discipline.]

“That’s the second reason. I have checked with the citizens. Three out of the four sawmills are occupied by Subterrane Dwellers. The remaining sawmill was abandoned five years ago.”

“Subterrane Dwellers, the lowest demi-races living in the Jurgen Underworld? Aren’t they fighting amongst their own tribes and the Demon Lords at the same time, when did they have the time to come up to the surface?”

“It seems there’s a crack in the Dark Forest that leads the underworld to the surface,” Falaern paused for a moment, “our captain believes that it’s a tribe which escaped from their wars and came to this place.”

“And Graudin did nothing about it?” Brendel tapped the table with his fingers gloomily, “But his fondness for treasure……”

Falaern’s eyes were looking at him in an accusing way, almost as if to tell him that all nobles are incomprehensible, and caused him to flinc

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