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149 – Quietly Reaching the Bottleneck of Qi
“Mission completed. Reward: wooden variant of fast-growing type of thorns.”
The slowly changing smoke in front of Liszt's eyes lifted his spirits. From the beginning of the suppression of magic beasts to mid October, after nearly a month, the logging team finally finished cutting down the trees of the Thorns Ridge.
The once not particularly lush yet verdant woods had been turned into bare slopes of land.
If there was an environmental protection organization around, it would certainly express a serious protest against Liszt. Destruction of vegetation, land degradation, these were crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, this was Liszt's domain, where he could do as he pleased. Besides, the Coral Island was verdant and lush, so cutting down a few trees wasn't worth mentioning!
With sprites present in this world, there was no fear of desertification.
Moreover, there was no industrial development here. No matter if it was an island or the continent, no matter how barren the land was, at least 70% of the area was covered by forest, at least 95% of the area was covered by vegetation. Whether it was farmland or weeds; in any case, there was no shortage of vegetation.
Therefore, Liszt didn't care about environmental protection.
“Wooden variant? What's that?” This was a reward from the thorns sprite worm chain mission. Previously, he was rewarded with spiky variant and poisonous variant thorns. Spiky and poisonous were were easy to understand, but wooden was somewhat troublesome: “Wooden… Does it mean wood properties?”
His thoughts revolved quickly: “There are different kinds o f trees. Some trees are suitable for making furniture and are unreasonably expensive, other trees aren't suited for papermaking… Wooden variant of fast-growing type of thorns, does it indicate that the wood properties of thorns changed?”
Apart from serving as hedges, ordinary thorns were of little use.
As they could neither bear fruit nor were they very firm, they were of very little interest.
“No matter how I think, it's of no use. I have to see the real thing. Once I study the ‘fast-growing wooden thorns', I can ascertain its worth.” List came up with a name for the new kind of thorns in the blink of an eye.
At this moment, the content of the smoke in front of his eyes changed.
“Mission: the commercial area of the Flower Town is gradually flourishing. The workshop area, however, has been idle for a long time. There is not enough workshop support. Why are craftsmen being wasted on cutting trees or farming? Please build 3 new workshops to increase the prosperity of the town. Reward: bottleneck of qi.”
“Hmm?” When he saw the strange reward ‘bottleneck of qi', Liszt's eyes suddenly opened wide.
However, he didn't found it strange, only surprising: “My first mission reward was an advancement in qi, which allowed me to smoothly break through to an Earth Knight from an Apprentice Knight. This time it's the bottleneck of qi, does it mean that I'm about to become an elite Earth Knight? That must be it!”
With reference to the low-ranked qi, mid-ranked qi, high-ranked qi, and dragon qi, Knights were divided into Apprentice Knight, Earth knight, Sky Knight, and Dragon Knight.
Furthermore, Earth Knight could be roughly divided into two stages – ordinary Earth Knight and elite Earth Knight.
Earth Knights who had just broken through were ordinary Earth Knights. Over time, with constant practice, the total amount of qi would gradually increase.
Liszt was at this stage. Every day, he could feel his qi increase.
When the total amount of qi reached a peak and no longer increased, it meant that you reached the level of an elite Earth knights. At this stage, it was very difficult to increase the total amount of qi simply by practicing cultivation.
Many Knights were fettered by this stage, unable to take a step further. They could only continue to develop the use of their qi techniques. With age, after about 50 plus years of age, the body would decline and the total amount of qi would gradually drop, degenerating from elite Earth Knight to ordinary Earth Knight.
Marcus was now pushing 40 and his body was still at its peak. A dozen years later, his body would probably decline and his strength would be greatly reduced. This was the reason why he so urgently wanted to render contributions on the battlefield. He had to render contributions before it was too late.
Half of the elite Earth Knights, which included Marcus, wanted to render meritorious service.
However, some elite Earth Knights, such as Levis and Lvera, weren't anxious to make contributions. They wished to continue to improve their strength.
But solely relying on practicing cultivation was of little effect at this stage.
By then, you had to rely on a great number of magic ingredients to stimulate your body, continue to increase the total amount of qi until quant.i.tative change led to qualitative change, and break through to a Sky Knight.
A Sky Knight could easily defeat 100 Earth Knights.
If matched with a good mount, a Sky Knight was a killing and merit machine.
“When this mission is completed, will I formally enter the elite Earth Knight stage?” Liszt could not believe it, “I thought that it would take at least 3 to 5 years of cultivation for me to step into the elite Earth Knight stage. Unexpectedly, it will take me over half a year to accomplish this.”
He was getting more and more excited, feeling as if he was radiating the light of a genius.
“To build 3 new workshops in the workshop area is very simple. At present, there are 6 workshops in the workshop area – a blacksmith shop, a leathersmith shop, a mill, a carpenter shop, a tailor shop, and a locksmith shop… According to the existing artisan serfs, I can build a soap making workshop, a brewery, and a cooper shop.”
The soap making workshop – the soap maker Burnell, who drifted over from the Smallkerchief Island, could not only make scented soap, but could also make soap (pancreas soap). Although the soap formula had yet to be completed, but he already produced barely-usable soap.
For Liszt, the soap making workshop not only served to get the reward, but also served to earn money.
The brewery – the brewer Frank Graindistiller, who also drifted over from the Smallkerchief Island, could brew fruit wine; 2 other purchased serfs could brew rice wine and beer respectively.
Liszt had now a good relationship with the successor to the Wildhoop Family, Aubrey, with whom he often exchanged correspondence. He could get hops fairly cheep from the other party to make his own beer.
Liszt didn't hope to make a profit. If he sold what he produced, he could barely maintain a brewery.
The cooper shop – there were quite a few coopers, who were craftsman serfs Liszt purchased. Cooper was a common trade that was a mixture of carpenter and blacksmith. Buckets and barrels were indispensable in day-to-day life. Thus, after the cooper shop was built, sales would not be an issue. Even if there was no mission, he would still build a cooper shop.
“I just don't know if the cooper shop counts as a workshop. It should be a handicraft workshop, right?” Liszt had some doubts. He couldn't tell whether the cooper shop, tailor shop, and the like should be regarded as shops or workshops.
“If it doesn't count, then I'll just build another workshop. Sooner or later, I'll have to build… a peanut processing workshop, where boiled peanuts, seasoned peanuts, fried peanuts, sauced peanuts, and peanut b.u.t.ter can be produced. The Flower Town should not sell primary agricultural products directly.”
Primary agricultural products weren't worth much.
At the very least, agricultural products should be processed first and then sold.
When his train of thought reached this point, he summoned Gort, whose hairline had been receding from overwork: “Adviser Gort, I want to see results regarding the development of the workshop area. Make arrangements for a soap making workshop, a brewery, a cooper shop, and a peanut processing workshop to be built.