Steel, Guns, and the Industrial Party in Another World - C.258: The Cursor Ruler and the Northwest Industry

Steel, Guns, and the Industrial Party in Another World

C.258: The Cursor Ruler and the Northwest Industry
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Alda and Baylding might lack a sufficient number of blacksmiths, but other territories have plenty.

Notably, the blacksmiths in Count Price Parker’s territory are renowned throughout the Northwest Bay for their expertise in forging weapons and armor. In addition to the significant number of civilian blacksmiths, the Count himself operates a large weapon workshop.

This is also why the old Count dared to organize an opposition to the Kent family alliance.

Therefore, Paul invited his allies to Lakeheart Town and proposed a plan to jointly manufacture and sell weapons — he would provide the raw materials, and the blacksmiths from various territories would process them into weapons, which would then be sold, and the profits shared.

“Alda and Baylding can produce a large amount of iron, whether it’s pig iron or wrought iron. You name the amount, and we can supply it,” said Paul, leaving the lords speechless with his bold claim.

“Can you give us a rough figure? Like, how many tons of pig iron can you produce in a year?” Count Parker asked on behalf of the lords.

“Uh…”

What number should he say? Would stating the real figure be seen as bragging?

Before Paul could decide, Hansel, who was beside him, held up four fingers:

“By the end of this year, our two territories can reach an annual production of 400 tons.”

He winked at Paul, suggesting they inflate the figure for now, regardless of feasibility, as they wouldn’t need that much anyway.

Damn, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Increasing production isn’t just about building more blast furnaces and reverberatory furnaces. It also involves considering the increase in iron ore and coal mining, refining coke, and most importantly, training workers in these related industries.

Anyway, setting aside these concerns, Paul banged on the table, following Hansel’s lead:

“That’s right, and if you need more, we can further increase the production!”

As expected, their bravado stunned everyone, and the lords exchanged glances.

Either Grayman was blessed by the Lord, or he had made a deal with the devil — if they hadn’t witnessed the wonders of firearms and cannons in their previous joint combat, they would certainly think so.

“Cough! If what you say is true, Count, that’s great news. Not only can we sell it elsewhere, but we can also use it to arm our own troops, giving us an advantage in battles against Marltz Kent’s army,” one of them remarked.

“Exactly, Viscount. To be honest, I plan to equip each of my soldiers with a breastplate,” Paul said with a smile to Viscount Johnston, who shrank a little, remembering how he had sent a spy to Alda a year ago to steal paper-making technology. He wondered if Grayman held a grudge. Who would have thought that Alda would become a powerhouse with 2,000 regular soldiers and an annual production of 400 tons of iron? Fortunately, he was now on the same side as Count Grayman.

Count Malkan asked, “But how will we transport the weapons in large quantities to the south? It’s not an ordinary weight.”

Paul had an answer: “Simple, by sea. Not only does it allow for a huge cargo, but it also avoids tariffs from various territories on the southern route. With no taxes included in the price, our products become 10% more competitive.”

Sea transport? Indeed, a novel idea. The lords had heard that Alda’s shipyard was building a new type of vessel that relied solely on wind power and had a large cargo capacity.

“Did you eradicate the pirates in the Northwest Bay to pave the way for large-scale maritime transport?” Count Parker asked, stroking his beard.

“Yes, I had this in mind at that time.”

“And you’ve already dispatched an expedition to Horn Bay?”

“Yes, Horn Bay will be a major trading partner for us in the future.”

“Sigh, speaking of the eradication of pirates, we coastal lords owe you a thank you.”

Count Parker’s words reminded everyone of last year’s pirate turmoil and how they had hesitated to aid Grayman when he sought help, making them blush with embarrassment.

“Haha! It’s nothing, don’t mention it!”

Although Paul harbored some complaints, he was happy that his achievements were recognized.

With solutions for raw materials and transportation in place, everyone was willing to join the plan to jointly manufacture and sell weapons — after all, no one wants to turn down money.

Paul further suggested: “Gentlemen, to improve production efficiency, I suggest you use your authority as lords to consolidate the blacksmiths who forge weapons, merging small workshops into larger ones. Encourage the blacksmiths to exchange techniques and collectively improve their skills.”

“Also, since we are producing jointly, I strongly suggest that we standardize our weapon production across our territories, branding them with ‘Northwest’ or ‘Bay’ as a prefix, creating a brand effect. Rest assured, this world is not peaceful, with so many wars, we shouldn’t only focus on the rebellion in the south. United, we won’t have a situation where some feast while others only get soup.”

Derrick Heller agreed: “Right, I heard that the Gabella Empire is preparing for war with its eastern neighbor. A war of such magnitude will definitely require a massive amount of weapons and equipment.”

Price Parker nodded: “Standardizing is indeed better, I agree with that.”

Led by him, the other lords also agreed.

“Gentlemen, when I say standardization, I mean not just shaping the weapons and armor similarly, but also having the exact same dimensions, with a margin of error at the millimeter level.”

“Paul, isn’t that a bit too demanding?”

“No, I believe quality is the primary factor in making our name. Remember this term — standardization!”

“Standardization?”

“Yes, standardization. I’ve specifically made something to achieve this. Bring in the ruler!”

Servants entered from outside the hall, placing a strange object on each lord’s table.

As the lords examined it, they realized it was a ruler with scales, but of a complex design, as Paul had mentioned.

“This is called a vernier caliper, which can measure the dimensions of objects precisely. The instructions are included. With this, we can strive for standardization.”

The precision of the vernier calipers at this time may not compare to those on Earth, but they were sufficient for current production needs.

The lords marveled at the vernier calipers, with some silently cursing Paul for being a fanatic.

After a full day of discussions, the lords decided to establish a so-called “company” named “Northwest Industries,” specializing in the production and sales of weapons and equipment.

Shares were allocated, with Paul holding the largest due to his role as initiator and near-monopoly on raw materials and transportation, followed by Price Parker and Malron Ganard, then the other lords.

This was not set in stone, as shareholder meetings would be held regularly to adjust shares based on individual contributions.

Finally, they drafted a general charter and elected Count Malron Ganard of Baylding to manage the day-to-day affairs of Northwest Industries, as his territory was already under the administration of Lakeheart Town, making him the most available. 𝚏ree𝚠𝚎𝐛nove𝚕.com

“Quality! Quality! And quality again! I will not transport goods that don’t meet our standards!” Paul emphasized in the end.

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