Chapter 109 - Winding up
23th of April
The expeditionary army escorted nearly 5000 prisoners detained in the battle and returned to Shanhai Town.
There was a small incident while returning from the Jifeng tribal valley; the great shaman of the tribe committed suicide in the temple upon learning the tribe had fallen under the siege.
The news about the great shaman’s suicide spread quickly among the tribe and caused quite some stirs. Seeing sparks of rebellion among the tribe people, Ouyang Shuo decided to stay at the valley for one more day for the purpose of calming the tribe people and the affection towards the other tribes around the valley. They held a funeral for the great shaman and their action greatly lifted the Jifeng tribe people’s hatred towards Shanhai Town.
As expected by Ge Hongliang, after the news that the Jifeng tribe had fallen to Shanhai Town, within a day, the surrounding tribes, including two medium scale and six small scale tribes, quickly sent their emissaries to the Xuanniao tribe’s great shaman to be the middlemen between them and Shanhai Town. This was also to express their good will towards Shanhai Town.
With the fall of the Jifeng tribe, the Xuanniao tribe replaced the position of Jifeng tribe in a indiscernible way, becoming the regional head. This caused the tribal leader, Shi Xiong, to be very proud, and he admired the great shaman’s decision on that day. Seeing that Shi Xiong was a little bit carried away, the great shaman had no choice but to step in. The shaman warned him that the only reason that the Xuanniao tribe was the way it was right now was solely because of Shanhai Town, so he shouldn’t get carried away and take the other tribes around the valley lightly as it may cause these tribes to rebel against Shanhai Town.
Under the reminder of his shaman, Shi Xiong managed to wake up from his own imagination. In order to express their gratitude to Shanhai Town, they sent another two pairs of hummingbirds to show their respect towards Shanhai Town. As for Ouyang Shuo, he was clearly satisfied with the actions of Shi Xiong. Those hummingbirds were sent to the Military Intelligence Division. He also told Song San to try his best to learn the secret technique of the Xuanniao tribe on how to breed and expand the numbers of the hummingbird. This was because these little things were extremely useful, as they could help in gathering information, delivering messages and the value of these tiny creatures could easily be summed up to that of an entire battalion if used properly.
The remaining 600 hunters were all disarmed and were sent to the mining field to mine for two years after returning to Shanhai Town. They would be granted the identities of residents of Shanhai Town at the end of their services after 2 years. With these 600 people, the amount of miners increased up to 1000 people, meeting the requirement to advance into an advanced mining field. With the Armory Division and Weaponry Division starting to produce armors and weapons, the demand of iron increased drastically, and these 600 captives came in handy to raise the mining speed.
The hands of these 600 people were covered with the blood of Shanhai Town’s army. As punishment, Ouyang Shuo had sent them to the mining site to mine to eliminate their hostility and physical strength. He specifically ordered the person in charge of the mining excavation site to only give them three meals a day, an amount that was only enough for them to not starve. However, their most basic human rights or so were maintained as they weren’t allowed to be punished by the wardens without a reason or theyd be punished heavily.
Although Ge Hongliang also suggested to pick out some of them and recruit them into the infantry unit or city defense unit, Ouyang Shuo did not approve his idea and turned him down. Since there were the new tribes that were inclined towards Shanhai, he did not have to worry that there were no high quality candidates to recruit into the army ranks. There were still some unstable elements in recruiting the hunting members.
The remaining 4000 people were arranged and sent to the Northern Salt Pans to begin the last phase of the saltern construction. Upon completion of the Northern Salt Pans, it’d reach the maximum limit of 1000 acres. With the increase of these 4000 people, Beihai Town was pushed to the size of a grade 3 town and was ready to advance its level once the other infrastructure constructions were completed.
Ouyang Shuo also thought about keeping these 4000 people in Shanhai Town in order to reach the population number of 10,000 to advance into a city, but this was not an easy task. First of all, the politics, economy, culture and military points for the town must meet a requirement of 45 points each, but Shanhai Town had already met this requirement.
The crucial point was that to advance into a city, the town lord must hand in an application to the game system in advance. Upon meeting all requirements, the system would automatically generate a huge wave of bandits to siege the territory. Only upon successfully defending the territory would the town successfully advance to the next level.
Moreover, this application to the game system was limited to a number of times. Failure in defending the territory would lead to a cool down of half a month. Should a player apply 3 times and fail 3 times, the territory would lose its qualification of promotion permanently. Thus, one must think twice and be fully prepared before submitting an application.
However, Ouyang Shuo killed his thought of advancing Shanhai Town in such a short time. He cleared his mind, as he was never a person who acted frivolously.
After returning to his territory, Ouyang Shuo immediately gathered the Construction Division and the Transportation Division to deploy the construction of the stables in the valley. The Construction Division was not only responsible to build and service the path road linking the Xuanniao tribe to Jifeng tribe. They were also required to follow the request of the Transportation Division to modify some structures that had been previously built in the valley. The unnecessary ones were to be demolished and the drawbridge of the fortress had to be redesigned and built into one with enhanced defensive capabilities.
Ouyang Shuo ordered Zhao Dewang to make full use of the tribal people’s manpower. All he had to do was just provide them food, and these tribal people would be more than happy to work. Ouyang Shuo believed that once they got a taste of the sweet life over here, the other tribes would eventually lower their guard and cooperate with Shanhai Town sincerely.
The army rested and prepared for another three days, and after that, Ouyang Shuo began to reorganize all the battalions. The city defense unit alone will be occupying the entire advanced military camp in the city, officially taking over the responsibility for city defense. Another advanced military camp was built somewhere twenty miles away in the west by the Construction Division and handed over to the infantry unit, being named as the City West Camp, located somewhere between the border of the territory and the main base, responsible for safeguarding the western region of the territory. The responsibility was heavy because there were a lot of main properties; industrial areas outside the city, mining field, factories and settlements everywhere, saturated in the western region.
The cavalry unit was instead officially moved to Friendship Town. In the north of the town, an advanced military camp was built for the cavalries, named City North Camp. The camp was like a nail struck deep in the great prairie, safeguarding and monitoring the nomadic tribes.
Before the cavalries departed, Ouyang Shuo summoned Lin Yi to his office and had a secret discussion for the entire afternoon with the presence of Ge Hongliang. Whatever that was discussed was not known by any other people except the trio.
On the eve of the 1st of May, Shanhai Town welcomed several happy events.
Through the recruitment hall, an advanced priest, Ge Yan, was recruited. He is said to be one of the descendants of the Ge Hong bloodline from the Eastern Jin Dynasty. The priest was not only a master in Taoist classics, he was also a master apothecary, proficient in making pills. One could really see some traits of the Ge Hong The Great Priest in Ge Yan’s actions.
Ge Hong did not choose to have the Taoist temple built in the city, but he chose to have it built on top of a hill somewhere at the west of the city after travelling around the entire territory for more than 3 days. The scene around the hill was indeed beautiful, making it a great place. Feng Shui had always been mysterious, Ouyang Shuo did not stop him for this reason and he deeply believed that Ge Yan choosing that location had his own reason and consideration since he was someone who is good with Feng Shui.
Taoist temple belonged under the category of cultural structures, it came with the advantage in promoting the culture of the territory. Thus, Ouyang Shuo did not hope to gain income from the temple. He also ordered the Construction Division to follow the demands of Ge Yan in the construction of the temple. Upon completion, under the stats of Ge Yan and the unique characteristics of the temple, the cultural index of the entire territory was increased by 5 points.
The temple was then named Qing Yang Temple by Ge Yan and he took in 2 miscellaneous servants and 4 orphans as apprentices.
The other two structures in the grade 3 town, the pawnshop and the inn, was also completed by now. However, these two structures were not able to operate properly now. With the presence of the Four Seas Bank providing low-interest loans and the conditions of Shanhai Town, the pawnshop is more for display only and the residents were basically refugees from other places and they have yet able to save up much money or any valuable items. Therefore, the Finance Department only hired one shop keeper just to look after the pawnshop.
The same goes for the inn. Shanhai Town was currently a closed territory and there’s barely any outsider. Naturally the inn had no guest at all, therefore, there’s no one who was willing to take over the inn and with no choices left, the inn could only be temporarily managed by the Finance Department.
The jewelry shop too, caught Ouyang Shuo off guard with zero business. Upon knowing this, Ouyang Shuo specifically went to understand the situation. The truth however, had left him confused about whether to laugh or to cry.
The reason was not because there’s a shortage of goldsmiths or silversmiths, the problem was that these craftsmen had the skills needed but not the capital. Jewelries in the ancient era were generally made of gold, silver, and copper, and required materials with relatively higher purity. With the conditions of Shanhai Town, none was able to provide the required materials.
Ouyang Shuo deliberately decided that the government will take over the business of the jewelry shops and the profits will be used for the government’s daily expenses. He immediately put in 100 gold coins and turned them into high purity gold, silver and copper ingots through the magical function of the item storage bag.
With the government taking over the jewelry shop now, Ouyang Shuo had to elect a shop keeper to maintain the shop. Under the recommendation of Yingyu, he selected her maid, Si Qin to be responsible for the shop. Si Qin had been following Yingyu for quite some time so she had also learnt a considerable amount of business knowledge too. Therefore, Ouyang Shuo believed that she was capable and handed over the shop to her.
Another good news was about the silkworms. After nearly two months of cultivation, the silkworm breeding had finally began to enter the right track. As expected, the first badge of silks produced by the silkworms were recognized as the territory special local product by the system. It can be sold through the grocery shops. With the addition of these silkworms, Shanhai Town had now acquired three types of unique local products, which were the Three Flower Wine, White Tea and Rainbow silk.
As rare items were naturally expensive, the price of Rainbow Silk had reached a whopping ten gold coins, becoming the third goose that lay golden eggs of the town. Upon learning the news, Ouyang Shuo immediately demanded the expansion of the silkworm breeding field. The Finance Department then immediately loaned out two hundred gold coins with low interest rate for the upgrade of the entire textile industry chain. Under this process, the textile association was beginning to generate more and more profits for the town.