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Road to the Crown 81 Marching ou

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18th march 1574

"Remember, from what they will pay you, one third goes back into investing in what we actually are focusing on, and the rest will be fully devoted into obtaining iron, barrels and all the other necessary resources I wrote down for you on the list. Also, with how important your work is, I can't let it go unnoticed, so every week, you can take one red golden to yourself. Do you have anything that you will require to fulfil those orders?"

After three days of ordering my projects around, improving the aspects that I didn't realise before or that simply escaped my attention, I amassed enough weapons and ammunition for it to safely challenge Peter's might with my own. While I only managed to get just two guns properly settled with the designed ten barrels and two magazines for each of them, with all of them storing exactly twelve bullets - the maximum number of bullets that could be shot before the barrel would heat up to the point where we would risk its explosion - I could already produce a hailstorm of two hundred, forty bullets shot in a span of barely forty seconds, just by placing two gunners at each gun, ordered to shoot the bullets simultaneously from the barrels at the opposing end of the gun.

Three days of working with the gun also allowed me to implement some small improvements, starting with a special ring on the gunner's glove that could be used to pull out the pin in case a bullet failed to shoot or the magazine was stopped midway, and at a simple pedal that would push the burning fuse into the firing chamber into all barrels at once ending.

"Sir, seeing the size of your entourage, am I safe to assume that you will be gone for at least two or more weeks? I'm sorry, but with all the shooting sir has done over the past few days, I came to a realisation that the problems in Pilzno are going to soon be dealt with."

Taking a look at Matsu's face, I couldn't help but smile. With how timid her expression was looking now, one could take the false guess that she was like that all the time, without even realising that as the econom of my lands, she was considered the personification of the devil himself for most of the serfs and workshop owners that had to pay taxes to my treasury.

Just the fact that she ignored the order of not steeping anywhere into the visibility range of the place where I moved all the firing test to showed a part of her real, hardworking nature. If she didn't know what I was preparing for, she wouldn't be able to make ample preparations for my departure, nor would she be able to set her own plans of what she would do as soon as my criticising eye would disappear, allowing her to torment everyone under her shoe even more than when I was looking!

Ditching away the urge to pat the head of this unruly girl, I just passed her the small note that I have drawn back before leaving my room while nodding to the servant that already brough Helga to my side and was currently checking all the belts on her saddle.

"Yes. If everything goes according to my plan, by the time, the matter concerning the Peter should be all dealt with, but my return can actually end up delayed. If that will be the case, you can expect a summons to the Pilzno, for my wedding ceremony."

The matter concerning me and Elia binding the knot was even more popular than all the investments I was doing. For commoners, a noble wedding was a bunch of time free of work, with some priveledges and tax exceptions thrown around like money, with actual coins thrown in the face of the eager crowds by the pair of newlyweds as we would return from the Pilzno for the second part of the wedding in Tarnow. With a great feast to obligatory to happen for both the higher social circles and the serfs serving under both of the nobles actually participating in the wedding, it was hard to find any other reason to celebrate as much as everyone would during the marriage ceremony!

But for the direct servants of the nobles, these kinds of events were a pain in the ass. Starting with the logistic, through the costs of all the feasts, wine and accommodation, all the way to the losses incurred by the lower taxes, one could say that the marriage was celebrated only by those who could afford it!

Yet I wasn't bothered by this at all. With the challenge that I was going to issue to Peter, not only would be my life and Elia's hands on the stake but all our titles and wealth as well. That's why despite my worries of the secret of the new weapon leaking, I still decided to make some of my more trusted men practice shooting the new weapon before it was even fully finished, just to make sure they wouldn't panic in the face of a hundred of light cavalry charging right against them!

"Sir, if that's the case, then I might need to rent some additional warehouses in the city, to store all the products. While I was quite reluctant towards sir's business ideas before, seeing how those pesky traders area eager to piss money right in our hands for this beer, I promise I will never have any more doubts about Lord's ideas. Please, accept my forgiveness!"

With Matu's head bowed down, the urge to pat her head returned even stronger, almost capable of overcoming my social distancing habit present in all of the nobles when it came to interacting with people of lower classes. Before I could lose the last bit of my silly resolve to hold my hands near my body instead of rubbing her head in patronising gesture, I moved to the Helga, put my shoe in one of the holsters and jumped on top of the saddle. In the middle of my own castle, with my newly found power basing purely on the hot weapon rather than on the personal military prowess, there was no point in showing off how I was capable to sit on my horse without the help of the holsters!

"Don't worry about that. Ah, and before I forget, try to replenish the gunpowder in both the castle and city armoury. With all the firing I done those past few days, the storage rooms are already showing their floor. I want them filled up the ceiling by the time I will be back!"

Already on top of Helga, I finished my talk with Matsu, with the young econom sending me off with a deep nod of her head. With my trusty mount already stepping in place, as if she couldn't help but feel excited by the incoming fight, that this smart animal could sense by the amount of metal, gunpowder and humans running around, I let go of the reins, allowing her to step a few paces forward before I stood in my holsters to inspect whether everyone was ready.

"Sir, carriages are ready!"

"My lord, footmen are ready to depart!"

"Sir Mike, Cavalry is ready to go!"

With the three officers, namely Bart in charge of carriages with weapons hidden on top of them, Kalen for once sober, commanding the footmen and Victor, of the house of Nejal, the man sent to my aid by the Governor who I had more than enough of time to get aquaintanced with during the last few days, commanding my cavalry, all reporting the readiness of their regiments, there was nothing else that would stop us from departing right away.

"Men! With God's Mery leading us forward, march out!"


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