A ridge-grade engine along with its necessary components could be considered a generous offer.
Qianye made sure his thoughts wouldn’t show as he continued flipping through the pages. The contents of the third page caused him to raise his brows: toad-grade warship main cannon.
The toad-grade main cannon wasn’t the most advanced model in the Empire’s arsenal, but just like the ridge-grade engine, it was the most widely-used cannon in the fleet. Its most useful feature was its triple fire capability, allowing the ship to fire three ballista bolts at the same time, or one at a time. The cannon was compatible with almost all special bolts in the army.
Most importantly, it was a main-cannon made for cruiser-grade airships!
The toad-grade cannons were far inferior to the Landsinker in Qianye’s possession, but it was definitely better than the other available main cannons. Be it in terms of firepower or quality, it was far superior to anything Qianye had in store. Song Zining had also gotten his hands on some destroyer-grade main cannons, but the toad-grade armament was beyond his reach.
Seeing that the Empire had put such things openly on the table, along with modifications required for the neutral lands, Qianye couldn’t help but ask, “Is the Empire planning to build a fleet here?”
Lan Xincheng said with a laugh, “The neutral lands is too far away. The Empire has no desire to add it to the national map. With the war on the void continent in a deadlock, there’s no way we have the extra power to colonize new lands.”
“Since the war there is in a deadlock, I don’t reckon you can bring out these resources easily, can you?”
From what Qianye remembered, the Empire and Evernight were engaged in a fierce fight. The airship fleets had fought several major battles in the void, with small ones occurring on a day-to-day basis. The Imperial fleet should be holding onto every small engine under such circumstances, let alone the ridge-grade and toad-grade armaments.
“These engines and cannons will be transferred in from other places. These fleets might face some delays, but that’s okay. The bigger picture is more important.” Fang Zhan joined the conversation.
“The bigger picture?” Qianye knew that people had very different definitions of this term.
“The continued existence of His Majesty and the monarch is the bigger picture.”
Qianye nodded in approval. The Empire was facing a period of shortage in personnel. Zhang Boqian had just made his name recently, and there was no telling whether Lin Xitang would break through. The next generation heavenly monarch Zhao Jundu was still young and not even a divine champion yet. If the Longevity Monarch could live for another decade or even just a few years, the Empire would have an extra Heavenly Monarch for that period. Even if the monarch only remained at the capital without doing anything, the invisible intimidation would still benefit the Empire a great deal.
Qianye continued flipping through the pages, his expression growing odd as he reached the end. Listed in the booklet were all kinds of equipment, materials, and… training courses.
The equipment was all made for warships, and most of them were up to the latest generation standards. Qianye was already half an expert in the field of airships—he could tell that the large amount of materials were for use in the production of deck boards, walls, and armor plates. The smaller amount of strong materials was for special areas of the vessel, like the engine room and the chamber for the main cannon.
The training courses, however, were of a different nature. These classes would train warship commanders and officers for crucial posts like the helmsman and cannoneer. Operating the main cannon of a warship was no easy job—not to mention an entire specialized procedure that they would have to follow, some special bolts also required the operator to be powerful. For instance, the homing bolt’s accuracy was related to the cannoneer’s cultivation and perception.
With the equipment from the earlier pages and this training regiment, did the Empire want Qianye to build a private fleet?
Seeing this list, Qianye knew where the Empire’s bottom line was. It seemed they were willing to invest deeply for the white-fruits in Qianye’s hand.
Qianye pointed at the ridge-grade engine and toad-grade main cannon. “How many of these can you provide?”
“Five engines and six main cannons is the Empire’s bottom line. It’s not impossible if you want more, but you’ll have to wait a year.”
Five engines meant five destroyers. Although Southern Blue could also produce engines, its current capacity was only enough for two engines each year. The ridge-grade engine was a mature technology—it wasn’t as good as Song Zining’s newly developed engine, but there was an abundance of parts available at a lower cost.
The advantage of Song Zining’s engine was that it was more durable and capable of withstanding the adverse environment of the neutral lands. It could be used almost anywhere.
As for the toad-grade main cannon, its triple fire mode was more than enough firepower for a cruiser, but its single-shot firepower was somewhat lacking. That wasn’t a problem for Qianye because he wasn’t going to build a fleet.
The Empire wasn’t greedy this time—five engines and six main cannons for two white fruits or equal value of white-fruit wine. All the other materials added together was also enough to trade for a brand new cruiser. Now that such a sweet deal was before him, Qianye naturally wouldn’t let things be.
Qianye mulled over the trade for a moment before saying, “Two white fruits and equal value of white-fruit wine, I can accept this deal.”
Lan Xincheng said, “The goods are all outside of the neutral lands. They can be shipped over in three days once I send the signal!”
Qianye was a bit surprised. “Oh, it seems the Empire is rather confident about me accepting this deal.”
Lan Xincheng said, “The military is quite big, but the person overseeing this deal is related to the owner of that secret insignia. We’re a bit confident because of this relationship. Besides, this deal is related to the monarch, who would dare disrupt things?”
Fang Zhan looked a bit awkward. There were indeed people who dared to do so. To those people, nothing was a problem if only they could kill Qianye. Even if the Longevity Monarch were to die tomorrow, it had nothing to do with them. Removing Qianye would be akin to severing their opponent’s outside help, and that was the greatest benefit for them.
At the thought of this, Fang Zhan suddenly became restless. His expression sank when he recalled the people who had given him advice before the current trip. If Lan Xincheng hadn’t reminded him, he probably would’ve fallen for the trick.
Qianye neither agreed nor refused. “What’s the Longevity Monarch’s situation?”
Lan Xincheng was a straightforward person. “The monarch is in isolated cultivation after obtaining a white fruit. He instructed us to get as many as we can, three at the very least.”
With this kind of life-extending medicine, the effects would diminish with each use. Taking five of them in quick succession went to show that the Longevity Monarch was quite experienced with the process of life-extension and knew the exact number that would maximize the effects.
“Three? I surely don’t have that many. I can offer 2 at most.” Qianye had no intention of taking out everything he had.
“Two is fine as well.” Lan Xincheng smiled.
“Then let’s talk about the other resources.” With that, Qianye produced a wooden box and pushed it forward.
Lan Xincheng didn’t open the container immediately. “This is?”
Nodding, Lan Xincheng fished out a pair of gloves and donned them. He then used his origin power to seal the box and slowly opened the lid. This was to ensure that the medicinal properties of the contents wouldn’t dissipate. At the same time, Lan Xincheng’s origin power was also neutral and gentle, devoid of all extreme characteristics. This type of origin power might be a bit disadvantaged in battle, but it was exceptionally useful in handling rare medicines and special materials because it would not cause any damage. In comparison, Qianye’s Venus Dawn might not be suitable for handling certain delicate goods.
Seeing sheets upon sheets of scaly herbs, Lan Xincheng gasped. “Dragon Scale Moss! So much!”
The Dragon Scale Moss in the box was the main ingredient for high-grade military-use stimulants. An ordinary patch of moss could produce twenty stimulants. There were dozens of such patches in the container, enough for hundreds of stimulants!
There was no need to explain the use of stimulants. These high-grade medicines were only distributed to the high-ranking officers of elite corps. It would take a champion to withstand its medicinal effects. Ten such stimulants was enough to tip the scales on a small special-operation. Such a big box of Dragon Scale Moss would be coveted by every corps commander.
Lan Xincheng had been in charge of outfitting the army for many years. How could he not know the value of these herbs? He slapped the table in excitement, saying, “I’ll make the decision. If you have four such boxes, all the resources at the back of the booklet are yours!”
Qianye broke into a laugh, and his opinion of the man improved by several points. This fellow wasn’t just an official—he had lost his composure because he had the front-line fighters in mind. He wasn’t all that excited when talking about the white fruit just now.
In fact, both parties knew that the Longevity Monarch would only get one of this newfound life-extension medicine. One would never know for sure where the other would go, but some careful thought would reveal many possibilities. For instance, the Pointer Monarch, Zhang Boqian, even the Emperor and Empress, or the other two heavenly monarchs. On the lower levels, Lin Xitang’s value to the Empire wasn’t inferior to the Longevity Monarch’s. The Empire would gain several more provinces if these people were to live a decade longer.
Qianye shook his head. “That’s all I have.”
Lan Xincheng couldn’t hide his disappointment. “This… isn’t a lot!”
Fang Zhan laughed. “General Xincheng, this box will increase this year’s production by twenty percent. Why are you not content yet?”
“What do you mean by that? It’s not like you don’t know that group of commanders. They’re even fiercer than the dark races when it’s time to fight for medicines. Not to mention twenty percent, they’ll devour everything without blinking even if we produce two times the amount.”
“That’s true.” Fang Zhan agreed.
Qianye said, “I don’t have any more Dragon Scale Moss, but I have this.” He produced yet another long wooden box and placed it before the two.
Lan Xincheng opened the box. “Star Cherry!”
There were three pieces of Star Cherry Wood, enough for six restoration medicines. If the Dragon Scale Moss could aid in a dozen special-operation missions, the three pieces of Star Cherry Wood would be able to save six lives.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie