“Um Mr. Roland,” Master said after a firm handshake. “What’s that Design Bureau for?”
“To make everything I want you to make,” Roland answered smilingly. “For example, right now, I want you to make a brand new tractor. It must be easy to operate and manufacture, also with a great potential for future modification.”
“There should have been a lot of tractors like that on the market”
“I certainly expect more than that. What I just mentioned is just a basic idea,” Roland said while shaking his head. “First of all, except for the engine, you must make everything else by yourselves.”
“Then it’ll cost a lot,” Master said while clicking his tongue.
“I don’t need a lot of them. It should be around the same price as those handicrafts. I have a few collector friends who’re willing to spend money on them.”
“Also, no automatic machine tools should be used during the manufacture process. Well” Roland paused at these words and surveyed the surroundings. “The tools currently used in the plant look fine to me. I need the size and the manufacture method of each spare part. In other words, the Design Bureau should not only make them but also draw the floor plan for the assembly line.”
Seeing Master Xie look a little worried, Roland added, “Of course, I’ll recruit some students to assist you. You only need to give them work to do.”
“OK then It’ll probably take more than half a year to complete the project with just pencils and paper.”
“The last thing that I’m going to tell you now is the most important one,” Roland went on. “You must have creativity.”
Momentarily stunned, Master Xie asked, “I’m sorry?”
“For example, the tractor that I want you to make is powered by steam. Therefore, technically, we need a large boiler to store fuels and water. However, in reality, there are no such parts, so you should imagine that it’s powered by nuclear energies, like those in movies.”
“” Master Xie was now totally speechless and astounded.
“Given that, you must minimize the impact of those ‘non-existent parts’ when you make the model. Only in that way can we collect reliable data during the test. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“Er” Master Xie thought for a while before he asked gingerly. “You mean that we should imagine it as something that doesn’t belong to this era?”
“Exactly,” Roland said, grinning. “Do you have any technical difficulties?”
“In theory, no, but” he said hesitantly. “But to tell you the truth, you probably can’t really use it even if we successfully produce such a machine.”
“That’s exactly what I need. My collector friends don’t really want them to have practical values.”
Profoundly relieved, Master Xie then asked, “Well Mr. Roland, what about the salary of the chief designer?”
“Twice your pension,” Roland replied with a smile.
After Roland returned to the Garde’s car, Garde put down his wine glass and shrugged. “So, what do you think?”
“Pretty good. I just don’t know how to calculate the expenses of a factory” Roland said courteously.
“Forget about those trivial matters. It’s an honor that we Clover Group could help the Martialist Association,” Garde said while waving his hand. “I’ll talk to the other executives regarding this project later. From now on, you’re their new boss.”
It was not hard to leave a factory that was going to be demolished open, as the land and the property still belonged to the Clover Group. All the corporation needed to provide was the salaries of the workers and the expenses for the maintenance of the old machineries. It was obviously a very good deal for the Clover Group, for they earned the trust of the Defender of the Prism City at a minimal cost.
Had Roland conducted the project all by himself, he would have needed to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there was no guarantee that he would succeed.
Having said that, Roland did not want to miss a single opportunity of using the Clover Group.
“Is it really OK? I think we need to at least recruit more people to ensure the smooth operation of the plant. To increase productivity, we also need to work out a reward system, and that’ll cost a lot of money.”
“Hmm” Garde pondered for a while and said, “I’ll send a person to help you with the finance. If there’s any extra expense, just let her know. But Mr. Roland, you know the Clover Group won’t approve if you request too much”
“I understand that you’re not the only person who makes the decision. Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. Thank you for your help.” Sending a finance personnel was also an effective way to minimize risks while also keeping an eye on his spending.
They clanked the wine glasses.
Three days later, the agricultural machinery plant became the Design Bureau of Graycastle. Although it looked as desolate as ever, the workers in there were quite enthusiastic about their new job after being promised they they would get promoted and have a raise.
Roland instantly felt a lot relieved after this matter had been settled. He could not help smiling when he thought of the prospective expansion and the grand future of the Design Bureau of Graycastle. Even his work had become more enjoyable.
With the help of the Design Bureau, Anna did not neccessarily have to work day and night. She could, instead, put more of her efforts into inventions that she enjoyed much better. Overall, the project brought a lot of benefits.
The workers in the Bureau would probably never know that their drawings would one day turn into reality in the other world and become weapons used to perpetuate the glory of the mankind in the bitter war against a foreign race.
“What are you laughing at, Your Majesty?” Nightingale asked as she revealed herself and cast him a despicable look. “Having fun last night? I hope you didn’t do anything improper in the dream.”
“How come? Do I look like that kind of person?”
Nightingale twitched her lips and said, “It’s very understandable. Phyllis told me that the ancient witches don’t really care about it. They view it as something just as normal as sleeping and eating.”
“ Did she?”
“No, I’m teasing,” Nightingale said while squinting at Roland. “So, you were thinking about that, were you?”
Apparently, this was one of Nightingale’s trap.
“I’m impressed with your imagination,” Roland said sarcastically as he stared at her. “I’m happy because I solved a big problem. It’s not what you’re thinking.”
“Hmm, I detect that it’s 95% true. I take it as you’re telling the truth,” Nightingale said while spreading out her hands.
“Wow, you can round it up to a specific percentage now?”
“Yes, probably because I use my ability more often, I feel my sense become sharper.”
“Then what about the left 5%? Just a disclaimer, I didn’t lie.”
“Perhaps, you aren’t that certain subconsciously,” Nightingale sneered.
Roland was speechless. He had a feeling that he would eventually fall into Nightingale’s trap if he continued with this conversation.
“By the way,” Nightingale went on after she ate a piece of dried fish. “You haven’t been staring at the Bloody Moon recently.”
“That’s right” Roland said and suddenly realized that he had not looked up at the sky for a long time. The crimson sphere was still suspended in midair, completely stationary however he looked at it. “Probably because I know that it’s just a hollow of nothingness.”
Just then, the telephone on his desk rang.
It was from the Administrative Office.
“Barov? What’s the matter?” Roland said after he picked up the receiver.
“Your Majesty, the increase in the immigrants exceeds our expection,” Barov complained over the telephone. “If things go on like that, we won’t have much money left in the treasury!”