Chapter 241 Liberation
At the moment, there were undoubtedly 2000 or more people gathered in the public square, yet their excitement didn’t differ much to that of a large gatherings of more than 10'000 people of the later eras. Roland inwardly sighed, Echo’s ability was indeed extremely handy.
The reason why he had chosen these three people was mainly in order to set an example for the masses – of the three of them not one was a noble, Iron Axe belonged to the Sandpeople and had came from the other side of the Southern Border; even though Kyle was an alchemist, he had been born in a common family and reached his rank after starting as an apprentice and climbing up the ladder step by step; while Nana, was a witch.
They were an alien, a civilian, and a witch; putting it in a way that modern civilization would have, this choice had been inspired by an impeccable sense of of 'political correctness'.
Roland hoped that through this ceremony he would be able to impart his concept to all of his people – Border Town only focuses on your merits, it doesn’t pay any attention to where you might have come from.
The first person to come forward and receive his medal was Iron Axe, Roland had personally engraved the gold medal with an insignia of Graycastle’s tower surrounded by wheat ears and with an edge of pinions. The moment Iron Axe took the medal the members of the First Army in the audience, raised their hands in applause and many other people began to whistling.
"His name should already be known to all of you, Commander of the First Army’s Firearm Team, Iron Axe!" Roland turned to face everyone, "Before the arrival of the Months of Demons, he was just one of the many hunters in the town. But whenever there was a fight endangering Border Town, Iron Axe would never be absent, and in the previous month, he has also led the First Army soldiers to King’s City, saving those refugees besieged by the demonic plague from the Eastern Region! The recent 6000 people temporarily living outside of the city wall had all been brought back by him!”
Most people on the square were either Border Town’s natives or member of the First Army, while the number of serfs and refugees only accounted for a few hundred people, but under Echo’s sound transmission, the mood of the corw didn’t become awkwardly silent. The moment Roland paused his speech, the fugitives at the scene all immediately began to cheering out loudly, and their intensity wasn’t the least bit weaker compared to the First Army's.
Iron Axe also appeared to be very excited, most probably, with his identity as a member of the Mojin Clan living in another kingdom he would never have thought that he would ever obtain the Prince’s favor. He first presented Roland with the First Army’s military salute and then went down on one knee in Graycastle’s knight ceremony. In case Roland hadn’t stopped him with his hand, he would most likely also have gone through with the ceremony of the Sandpeople.
"Get up, as a soldier, just using a military salute is already enough," Roland laughingly stated.
"Thank you... Your Highness," he answered with a slightly trembling voice as if was making supreme effort to suppress his emotions.
The Prince patted Iron Axe’s shoulder in a consoling manner, placed a bag with 100 gold royals into his hand then signalled Kyle Sichi to come over.
"This one, you may be seeing for the first time, he came to Border Town from the kingdom’s Central Region, the former chief alchemist of Redwater City’s Alchemic Workshop, Mr. Kyle Sichi!"
Hearing his words, let the people exclaim in wonder.
"A chief Alchemist? Aren’t they people who even the king has to treat with respect and courtesy?"
"You mean just like royal astrologers?"
"No, the position of an alchemist is even higher than that of an astrologer, after all, no one can guarantee that the latter's prophecy will become true, while the alchemist at least does something that is tangible."
"Furthermore, he even came from Redwater City’s Alchemic Workshop; I heard that only the Alchemic Workshop in King’s City is comparable to it!"
In the Four Kingdoms, alchemists and astrologer all had a lofty status, and within the ranks of the civilian population they were also called sages, and were the only people worthy of lecturing the powerful nobles and lords. When he saw the reaction of the crowd, Roland was very satisfied, he stretched his hand out to calm the crowd then said: "Even though Mr. Sichi didn’t personally participate in the battles, but with the continuous improvement of the firearms, from single shot to salvo, it would never have been possible without his chemical laboratory, which was also an important factor in guaranteeing the First Army’s victories. Without these alchemical and chemical products, Border Town would not be able to win and obtain true peace."
After taking a short pause, the Prince then continued, "Incidentally, the chemical laboratory is currently enrolling trainee alchemist, they will accept people who have completed the Primary Education course and also went through Border Town’s citizen inspection. After being accepted, you won’t only receive a generous salary, but you will also receive the chance to become an outstanding just like Master Alchemist as Mr. Sichi!"
The moment his voice fell, the masses once more began to loudly clamor, yet Sichi himself wore a face covered in impatience, when he took the medal he ill-humored said, "You called me over because for such a matter? This was indeed a waste of time; I might just as well have done a few more experiments instead."
"This is a great opportunity for publicity, didn't you complain that you were short-handed," Roland shrugged his shoulders, "By the time when the number of apprentices are doubled, I intend on writing the book on ‘Intermediate Chemistry’ and teaching it to you.”
"Advanced... Chemistry?" Hearing this, Sichi immediately bowed, "Thank you a lot, Your Highness!”
Although it was quite important to focus on one matter, fostering a successor was equally important and also demanded immediate action. And the wider the foundation, the easier it would be to achieve results, the same as was true for scientific research. Roland never planned to put all of his eggs in one basket, so whenever there was a perfect advertising opportunity like this, he certainly wouldn’t just let it go.
The final one was Nana.
The girl seemed a bit nervous as she came to his side, Roland couldn't help but sigh in sorrow.
Compared with the time during the Months of Demons, when he didn’t wish others to see them, today, he finally intended to announce the witches presence to everyone – after nearly six months of preparation, Border Town has now reached the perfect moment to welcome them. Furthermore, choosing Nana as their representative was also the result of careful deliberations. All the soldiers of the First Army called her an angel, and within their ranks she even held an higher rank than Iron Axe, second only to his own reputation. While there were also many town residents who had already received her treatment. No matter if it were mine accidents or injuries caused by machines, the injured had already developed the habit of looking for their angel for treatment.
After watching the drama “Witch Story” several times, the attitude of the serfs had already changed and they were no longer against them. Seeing the tragic fate of the witches but also that they were always brave enough to make a stand and fight in the dramas, created an image of witches which was capable of winning a lot of people's sympathy and goodwill.
The same could also be said about the refugees who could only survive because of Lily’s ability. Even if there were people who loathed the witches in their heart, after being rescued by them they couldn't any longer slander them with malicious talk. Even more now after they hadn’t received help from the Church in their most vulnerable state - at least in Border Town, these woman with their extraordinary abilities would be protected by the Lord.
However, the most crucial point was: Even if there were Church follower who wanted to expose them, it would be difficult for them to set off any wind and waves here in the Western Region. Border Town was completely under his rule, and the Church in Longsong Stronghold had been completely destroyed, in that way they lost the possibility of monitoring the Western Region. Only if they went to the cities further away, like Fallen Dragon Ridge or Redwater City, would they be able to find any of the Church’s priests.
"This is -" Roland did not even have the time to finish his introduction, before the square burst into thunderous cheers.
"Miss Nana, Miss Nana, the young lady has come!"
"Young Angel, thank you for curing my husband!"
"Little girl, when you have time come to my house and eat. I specifically raised two chickens, whether steamed egg soup or stewed chicken soup they are all possible!”
"Nana looked at me!"
"No, she looked at me!"
Nana could not help to cover her mouth, and her eyes became moist. Roland believed that the other witches went through the same feelings as she did – they had finally broken away from the evil identity the Church had forced upon them, and were now finally able to walk under the sun like any other person. Roland smiled brightly and patted her head, "You don’t need to be afraid, just speak some thankful words in response to everyone’s enthusiasm. Don’t forget that from now on you are the representative of the Witch Union.”
"Um..." She sniffed and wiped her the tears flowing over her face, bowed to everyone then said, "Th-thank... thank you!"
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