The existence of the Purgatory Desert could be said to be good and bad. The good was that it would be difficult for both the Qin Empire and the Tanggulasi Empire to surprise attack Titan as they would need to reroute away from the desert and there would only be a few routes to attack Titan. Titan had never come across any sudden danger as of then.
The bad was very obvious. Half of the soil in Titan Duchy was not suitable for agriculture and the weather conditions were bad.
Titan Duchy was not actually close to the Purgatory Desert. In the radius of a few thousand miles to the Purgatory Desert, surrounding the desert, there was no domain owner for the land.
There would not be anyone that came and stayed at such draughty land. Even adventurers were not willing to go to the Purgatory Desert.
The prefectures near to the border of Titan were not poor. The production of food was extremely little, but they were suitable for grape plantations so they possessed skilful technique to make wine and had countless wineries.
The wineries there produced tens of thousands of barrels of grape wine every year and most of them were sold to the Qin Empire. It was not weird to see people from the Qin Empire appear in Titan Duchy. There was more businessmen from the Qin Empire than Sikeqinya.
In Qin law, to make wine with grain was highly prohibited, so the sales of grape wine in Titan were shockingly good.
Saleen’s group with four carriages, brought along weapons that Titan people liked in exchange for grape wine. Such action blended among the public without drawing any attention.
To preserve the quality of grape wine, it would be best if there were mages to take care of them during transportation. Lex’s plan was carefully constructed. The four carriages, with a combination of dozens of swordsmen and a few mages, paid dozen of gold coins as tax entering Titan Duchy. Then, there was no one that would try to cause trouble along the way.
Lex brought Narnia and sat in a carriage with Saleen. Jola was left out helplessly. This was because his sword aura was the highest among them all. He had to constantly ensure the troop’s safety. He had to ride on a horse and followed alongside of the carriage.
The skeleton war horses were kept in the green spirit and replaced with normal horses. Lex laid against the cushions in the carriage and found it comfortable. The magic chariot itself was a mage’s portable fortress, so it would of course be designed according to the mage’s habit and mentality.
In the carriage, there were eight separated broad seats that were big enough for a mage to half lied down to rest. There was a low platform in the middle of the cabin. It was tough and extremely light, but it was an equipment that could set up a last minute magic array. The four walls of the cabin were covered with a hollowed pattern inflated with unwanted crystal.
Through the crystal, mages could observe outside of the carriage directly while when an outsider looked through the crystal, they could only see twisted images. They would not be able to tell what was inside exactly.
The essence of the magic chariot was under the seats. Below the seats, there was a magic array that was arranged closely that had a corresponding magic nucleus inlaid that could increase the power of magic. When mages were familiar with all the magic arrays, they could make use of them to make a far distance attacks.
With the effect of the magic array, the magic chords and mental powers of the mage was diminished to their lowest. Even if it was just an average mage, they could perform just like Saleen and release all magic that they learned instantly. On the chariot, there would not be chaos of element and there would not be a counter attack of magic.
Lex stretched, which was a rare sight. Her hair was let down, it looked like she was enjoying the carriage. She said casually, “Saleen, this carriage is not too shabby, give me one then.”
“Sure, I have seven and a half like this carriage, you want the half or…”
What half of a carriage meant was the magic chariot that had not been repaired. The chariot was sunk to the bottom of the sea with the warship and there were many parts that were damaged. Saleen could put together a complete seven due to the fact that he has an irreplaceable salvager like Nailisi.
“I want this one that I’m on, it suits me.”
Narnia looked at Lex in shock. Her Highness seemed to have changed a lot, like a more friendly person. Lex was always nice to the people around her, but her elegance formed a kind of imposing aura naturally. Even she could not feel it, everyone actually still feared her.
Saleen smiled, but kept quiet. Lex brought so many of her people to Metatrin City and there definitely were many people that did not concede to him. Lex asking for a magic chariot from him signified their closeness and meant that their relationship did not build upon benefits. Many people that found out about this would cut short the idea of causing him trouble.
Theoretically, Metatrin City belonged to Bitter Water Prefecture. In actual fact, the city was built by Saleen. Even without Lex, it might just be a smaller scale and developed in slower pace. With the help of Sregl Island, it would not be difficult for Saleen to build a city anyway.
Saleen could see through the tricks that the nobles were trying to pull in one glance. It seemed that he had such blood flowing in his bones.
“Lex, I’m curious, why do we need to reroute for up to a thousand miles of the route?” Saleen was familiar with the map that Lex showed him. Originally, Lex would constantly head south after she left Kroranian, but she brought the troops to the West, to the border between Titan and Tanggulasi.
“Bordeaux area is the most important wine production area in Titan Duchy. Their best wine masters there were the best too. Being next to Tanggulasi, once there was war, the place would be the first to be unlucky. I came early to hire a bunch of wine masters and bring them back to Metatrin City.
“Lex, Metatrin City is not suitable for a grape plantation.” Saleen said curiously, “although I’m not an alcoholic, I knew that the quality of grape wine is related to its production region. The entire north, I didn’t see any grape plantations.”
“But we have mages! Saleen, things like alcohol cannot be banned. If we were to not make alcohol, it would make the alcohol price in the north rise and people would use grain to ferment in secret. Caucasus people like to drink, regardless of the type of alcohol. If we do not take control of alcohol, it will affect the army’s fighting power.”
Saleen nodded to express that he understood. Lex planned to build a magic grape plantation, using magic to assimilate environment that stimulated the growth of grapes. The capital would be much higher, but to purchase directly from the south would be much more expensive.
Metatrin’s grain would not be able to self sustain in a short period of time. If there were people that made wine using grain and formed a bad culture, that would be worse. His understanding about magic was compatible to Lex, but for issues about taking care of a nation army, they were far apart.
The winter in the north was cold, it was impossible to restrain the army from drinking. If they were to produce wine, they could turn the entire issue into an advantage. To seize control of alcohol for the entire army could heighten their morale.
Lex was not the first to do so, Holy Rock City was already doing it. Not only just a small amount. They started planning before Holy Rocky City formed a nation, to have countless organization to write play and insult people that drinks hard liquor while praising grape wine that was lower alcohol content.
Thousands of years later, people from the Qin Empire were used to drinking wine that was made of fruit. Only those rugged men from Tanggulasi would drink hard liquor that was made of grain.
Until then, even noble themselves believed that drinking grape wine was something that suited their identity while drinking grain alcohol was a bad habit of the hooligans.
The advantage that it brought upon the Qin Empire was huge. Environment that was suitable for grapes would not be suitable for grain. Environment that suited to make grape wine needed sand soil and it required vast differences in temperature. Grapes were most sensitive to rain storms, hail, and insect attack. They had no requirements for rich and fertile soil though.
For so many years, the Qin Empire went through many floods and many draughts, but no one starved to death. That was due to royals that had been controlling the plantation and storing of food. The Qin Empire had some little ridiculous nobles, but rarely anyone dared to use the cultivated land.
“The place that we are going is the Princess Castle, the earliest feudal estate of Titan Duchy. Back then when the royals of the Cloudflow Empire tried to rope in The Grand Duke of Titan Duchy, they married their daughter to him and built a huge castle as dowry. The Grand Duke of Titan used all his strength to block the Sacred Knights of Holy See and died in front of the castle. The Princess of Cloudflow became a widow.”
Lex introduced the place to Saleen, it was history.
“That’s not worth it.” Nailisi said softly.
“What not worth it? The princess left two descendants for the Grand Duke. From then onwards, Titan gained fame, won against the few nations surrounding it, and became a strong duchy. They had the Cloudflow Empire at their back, otherwise, they would have fallen long ago. You thought it was easy to build the four duchies? To live, it was way more difficult than for the four empires.”
“Master mustn’t like the ending.” Nailisi was not afraid of Lex, she was entering mature period then, the power of Luoluokaluo was slowly taking shape. The grade-6 mage would not be able to threaten her any more.
“Nailisi, don’t talk nonsense.” Saleen cut in.
“I didn’t talk nonsense. To sacrifice his own life for the thriving of a duchy, what’s the meaning? The Princess of Cloudflow didn’t have a good heart. The son that she gave birth to, it’s hard to say whose kid he is. Sister Sika, what I said is correct, right?”
Saleen keep his mouth shut. “What the Cloudflow Princess and the Grand Duke of Titan did, does not relate to me. Why does the more the story go on, the more it sounded like it’s insinuating Lex and I? Although there is nothing between Lex and I.”
Nailisi lowered her voice and spoke directly into Saleen’s ear, “Master, why do you look guilty?”
No matter how soft she spoke, she would not be able to hide from a grade-6 mage. Saleen was angry and he wanted to kick Nailisi, but he was afraid that he would hurt his leg. Lex seemed calm and she ignored Nailisi’s tease. She continued to chat with Saleen.
“The Grand Duke of Titan was considered a hero. Even people in Cloudflow thought highly of him. That’s why the Cloudflow Empire never planed to weaken Titan as they were worried it might trigger internal dissatisfaction.”
The word that popped into Saleen’s head and he felt ridiculous. In his impression, all heroes in the novels, poems, and plays did not quite have a good ending.
Just when he was thinking, there was a sound of chaos in front, someone shouted with their ear deafening voice like a gong, “Hero, help!”