Chapter 1092: Splitting the Spoils

The rebellion at Southern Blue wasn’t that complicated.

After Qianye, Song Zining, Ji Tianqing, and the others entered the Great Maelstrom, the Empire also left the neutral lands. The dark races also withdrew after sending in their candidates.

The passage in the neutral lands was only available for entry and not exit. Those who had entered there would need to leave via the established passages. This meant that there was no sense staying in the neutral lands.

The Eternal Flame naturally couldn’t stay very long. As an active powerhouse of the demonkin race, he had too many things to manage. He also wanted nothing more than to leave since the environment in the neutral lands was also a type of torment for their race. The Imperial fleet couldn’t stay too long, either. Unlike the dark races, they couldn’t afford to lose such an elite force.

In addition, the Throne of Blood was looming over their shoulders like a sharp blade. No one knew when that fellow would go crazy, so who would dare overstay?

This produced a vacuum with regards to authority over Southern Blue. Drooling over the recently industrialized city, many powers started jumping out soon after the Imperial fleet’s departure was confirmed.

Unexpectedly, however, Heavenly Monarch Zhang couldn’t stand being left out. He actually sent Zhang Xuance along with a hidden divine champion expert to assist him.

Since Zhang Buzhou had put his foot on the table, the other powers could only pull back. The man could dispatch two divine champions in the Eastern Sea area, including an expert like the Wolf King. Other parties like the Moonlight Demons and Thunderfrost Temple were only stronger on paper.

All the major trading groups had also made their move for a slice of the pie. The situation in Southern Blue was thus decided upon.

Song Zining seemed to have foreseen all of this, however, and instructed some of his key subordinates to surrender immediately.

Major workshop systems were different in that each one of them was intricately linked and essential to the whole. The entire system would be affected if one of them was problematic. Hence, as long as the workshops were willing to surrender, they would be left untouched. Not only the managers, but even the technicians, stewards, and laborers remained the same.

Zhang Xuance did want to disrupt things, but the major merchant groups immediately lodged a complaint. His disruption wasn’t all that important, but the entire system would be in danger if the Ningyuan workshops stopped running for a month or two. Besides, all the big workshops were owned by Song Zining; who knew if the others could get back into the system after falling out? Even Heavenly Monarch Zhang’s face was nothing in the face of massive profits. Later, these merchant groups found out that their decision was correct.

There were too many powers seeking a share of the city, so much so that Dark Flame could no longer handle them. Many subordinates had received orders to surrender from Song Zining, so the takeover process was extraordinarily smooth, with little if any bloodshed at all.

Only the smaller mercenary group heads offered resistance. Who would’ve thought they would be so loyal to Qianye? Or perhaps they had found a sense of belonging with Dark Flame. Their positions weren’t that important at all, so they were never given instructions to surrender.

Unexpectedly, these minor characters had fought to the very end.

Their resistance was tragic and miserable, ultimately ending with their demise.

It was just that the major merchant groups soon realized a key problem after dividing the city, one related to the construction of warships. The production of high-performance engines relied heavily on components from Ningyuan Heavy Industries. The small portion of them that could be produced in local workshops needed to be treated with a special alloy, the formula of which he had traded for with his military contributions.

The problem was that the formula was in Song Zining’s hands, and those in the workshop had only ever seen the final product. All they knew was that it came in the form of a silver powder, of which there were only two bottles left in the workshop. Back then, Zhang Xuance had studied the bottles for a long while, but he still couldn’t figure out what was so valuable about them.

Despite that, the parts could not be made without the alloy, and the engine could not be assembled without the parts. The young man understood this at the very least.

His solution was also quite simple—they might not be able to make high-performance engines without the alloy, but they could still make less powerful ones. All these so-called fleets in the neutral lands were made up of rusting ships. They could fight with warships that were a hundred years old, just as they could with newer vessels.

Zhang Xuance would have never imagined that his so-called less powerful engines could not be built, either. The entire neutral lands put together could not produce a single warship engine. All they could build here were dark, crude, and extremely heavy ancient models with poor kinetic output. The only advantage they had was their durability in the adverse environment of the neutral lands.

As for the overconsumption of resources, having an engine to use was good enough for the neutral lands. Who was going to complain about that?

After a series of twists and turns, Zhang Xuance discovered the predicament he was in. Without the support of Ningyuan Heavy Industries, the workshops in Southern Blue would come to a grinding halt after a couple of months. Although the production of other warship parts would remain largely unaffected, what was the use of a shell without an engine?

Young Noble Zhang did have his own way of handling things. This Southern Blue was a freebie anyway, so he would do what he could within these two months and think about other things later.

This thought made him calmer and freed himself of distress.

Zhang Xuance stood high above the masses, remaining indifferent to the impending crisis, but those merchant managers weren’t free from mortal desires. On the contrary, these people thrived on mortal desires. They immediately realized that the value of Ningyuan Heavy Industries wasn’t just systematic.

They had dissuaded Zhang Xuance before because they didn’t want the system to stop running for a few months, but now had come to a realization that Ningyuan was the true foundation of this production chain. They maintained a certain level of respect for the Song-managers who had surrendered, ensuring that the workshops and caravans under them remained unaffected. Everything was the same apart from the owners.

Apart from the giants like Myriad Gold Group, the others had no intention of gaining control. They even did their best to uphold their previous contracts. They still wanted to import more materials from Ningyuan Heavy Industries because, with these materials, the entire system could continue operating. One had to know that this was a ten times difference in profit!

No one, including Zhang Xuance, realized where the real crisis lay. It wasn’t that they didn’t think about Song Zining and Qianye returning, but what if they did? The situation here would’ve been settled by then, and it would be impossible to have them spit out the proverbial meat they had already swallowed—not without offending Heavenly Monarch Zhang at the very least. If the duo’s attitude was good, they wouldn’t mind inviting the two to the table. There was enough meat for two more people, and having those two onboard would guarantee the continuous supply of meat.

Who would’ve thought Qianye would act so harshly upon coming back. He immediately injured Zhang Buzhou’s hidden divine champion, who fled without even taking Zhang Xuance with him.

Qianye made it clear that he wasn’t about to give Zhang Buzhou any face. Now, all that was left was to see how the heavenly monarch would retaliate.

This was a fight between major powers. Weaker characters would be ground to fine powder just by getting close, let alone stand between them. Including City Lord Ji Rui, all the other powers big and small were acutely aware of their position. To them, it wasn’t important who had control over Southern Blue because they would have to pay the same tax anyway.

That was why these local powers didn’t offer much resistance when Qianye and Song Zining took over the city. Their attitude was no different when Zhang Xuance arrived.

Now that Qianye had suppressed Zhang Xuance with raging momentum and shaken up all the major merchant groups, no one else would stand up to him anymore.

The merchant group outlets offered some resistance when they were confiscated, but they were duly suppressed. The scattered counter-attacks throughout the city lasted no more than a day. The entire cleanup process went smoother than expected.

Qianye never showed his face all this time. Everything was handled by his original subordinates.

Southern Blue was once again peaceful after one day.

At noon the next day, Qianye gathered everyone to a meeting as usual. This used to be Song Zining’s job, but now, it was his. Only when he was forced to manage daily affairs did Qianye realize that the work wasn’t easy. Song Seven had made appropriate arrangements for all matters big and small, on top of observing the general situation in Southern Blue City and Eastern Sea as a whole. However, Qianye was already having a headache with day-to-day affairs.

By the time he had finally completed all the chores, only the aides were left in the conference room. Manager Song produced a booklet and passed it to Qianye with a smile. “This is the list of gains from the confiscated stores.”

Qianye looked through the list and saw mostly common resources. What shocked him was the sheer amount of it. For instance, there were several hundred tons of high-grade metal alloy plates. There were also several dozen tons of temperature and pressure-resistant materials. Such a large batch of resources couldn’t be bought easily even if one had the money.

Manager Song introduced certain items as he looked through them. This large batch of resources was for use on warships. Song Zining was planning to build military-grade warships, so they couldn’t skimp on materials. The original arrangement was for the major merchant companies to provide materials for these warships, but everything had fallen into Qianye’s hands following the rebellion.

In addition, there were also dozens of military-grade ballistae, destroyer main cannons, and other large components. These were main cannons built for Song Zining but with some components awaiting transportation from the Empire. These main cannons used ballista bolts, which could only be built in the Empire.

There was no use for this batch of robbed components, so all they could do was keep them in storage.

Just from this list, Qianye gained a general understanding of Song Zining’s idea. Whoever bought these warships in the future, they would need to rely on him for ammunition, parts, and engine maintenance. This would generate a steady stream of business, the value of which would exceed the airship itself several times.

Song Zining’s plan was to build three warships for the first batch. The frames had just been set up, but they were still lacking engines and main cannons. To build these things, however, they would need a key ingredient—the superalloy. The process would reach a dead-end at this point.

Qianye knew that this was not a limit for him because this key superalloy was stored on the Northern Continent.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts



TL: Legion   ED: Moxie

     

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