Chapter 117: Completion of the Special Quest

Kant also expressed his approval after seeing his solemn expression.

Whether or not he could use the refined white salt to open up the market of the Dukedom of Leo would depend on the first deal between Manid and Baron Dylan. If it went well, everything would go smoothly in the future.

The Stone Pass that connected the Dukedom of Leo and the Nahrin Desert would become the shield of Oasis Lookout.

But Kant did not think that this shield would be forever reliable.

On the contrary, if he showed signs of weakness, this shield would not hesitate to retaliate.

Baron Dylan, who was at the Stone Pass, could rise from an ordinary cavalryman from a foreign country to a baron of the Dukedom of Leo in just twenty years. He was not a stupid man who only rely on battle achievements, because that was unrealistic.

However, Kant did not care.

He dared to join forces with Baron Dylan although it was like asking for a tiger for his skin. He was confident.

As long as Baron Dylan could help him block most of the attention and malice in the early stage and allow Kant to survive in the Oasis Lookout, which was still weak. When the Oasis Lookout eventually became strong enough and could protect itself, the shield’s job was done.

And when that time came, even if Baron Dylan did not want to continue being a shield, it was not up to him.

There were no urgent matters to be dealt with at the moment.

Manid got up and walked out of the Council Hall to start preparing for tonight’s salt-making work.

Kant gave up the authority completely.

The salt-making technique was not difficult. The Sarrandian people had already told Manid to find a few strong peasant men and women. The sugar-making workshop close to the city wall was temporarily used as a salt-making workshop.

The peasant men and women were busy.

Sacks of coarse salt were piled at the door.

Nearly forty sacks were piled up into a half-a-meter-high city wall, taking up half of the street.

Charcoal, firewood, and oil for ignition were also prepared.

The two stoves in the sugar workshop were also cleaned and stuffed with firewood and charcoal. They were sprinkled with oil and ignited. Black smoke was released into the air from the chimney on the roof. There were no clouds and no wind. A stream of black smoke rose into the sky, it was quite eye-catching in the Nahrin Desert. It could be seen clearly from a distance that would take half a day to reach.

It was like a warning smoke or a signal to mark the location of the Oasis Lookout.

There were gains and losses.

The large-scale salt or sugar refining, because of the use of large amounts of charcoal and firewood, produced thick black smoke. It was like telling everyone that this was the Oasis Lookout that produced sugar and salt.

At the same time, it would also let malicious people know the exact location of the Oasis Lookout.

But it didn’t matter.

Anyone could easily find the Oasis Lookout.

Within the Dukedom of Leo, there was still a map that marked the route from the Stone Pass to the Oasis Lookout. Otherwise, Kant wouldn’t have dared to venture deep into the Nahrin Desert with just a few men.

Perhaps the expedition army of the Grey Mane Kingdom would be able to capture a few low-level Jackalans and let these true natives lead the way.

Although this world did not have GPS, those experienced leaders in the army could still find the right path with the stars and the Sun, as well as many geographical details that ordinary people did not care about.

Kant was beginning to learn the skills, so he knew how that would work.

Compared to the returns and benefits obtained from refining salt, these were all small problems that could be ignored.

The salt refining process continued.

If there were no limitations on charcoal and firewood, Kant would even increase the scale of salt refining.

However, tomorrow morning, the refined white salt would enter the Stone Pass. On the return trip, he would use his connections with Baron Dylan to buy a large amount of grain, charcoal, and iron tools. When Kant first arrived, he had prepared six horses and three carriages, they would return with these materials, solving the problems in the Oasis Lookout, forming a virtuous cycle brought about by trade exchanges.

In the sugar workshop, the speed of salt refining was also increasing.

Sacks of coarse salt and spring water were poured into the iron pot. As the temperature rose, the salt quickly dissolved and turned into saltwater.

Firewood was added up to the bottom of the pot.

The saltwater began to bubble and boil, and an extremely ugly grey foam appeared on the boiling water.

These were all impurities in coarse salt, various substances left behind when the salt-alkali land dried up were the main reason why the coarse salt was so bitter that it could not be eaten. It may even be poisonous and cause diarrhea.

The peasant women would deal with this.

They carefully skimmed the foam off and scooped it up the foam with a spoon. After the saltwater was slightly clearer, they poured it into a wooden bucket.

Charcoal was placed neatly in the bucket.

The water with a very high salt content was poured into the bucket, leaving only the last layer at the bottom. It was all grey and sticky to the touch. It was either soil, sand, or heavy metal residues, which were impurities that could not be absorbed by the human body, after sinking to the bottom, they would end up like the foam. It was poured into another wooden bucket and would be discarded later.

Then, the iron pot would be cleaned and the above steps would be repeated.

The saltwater that had been refined with these steps could already be consumed right away. Although the taste was still slightly bitter, ordinary people would not care.

Most of the salt was consumed by the noble families.

Next in line were the wealthy citizens in the cities who had decent jobs. They would still buy the salt although it was expensive and consume it during certain festivals.

The peasants in the countryside, the serfs who did not have freedom did not belong to the group of salt consumers.

If Kant was willing to sell these slightly bitter salt at a low price, it would be welcomed by most people. This was because this salt, which could even be afforded by the peasants in the countryside, would become a windfall that swept across the entire country.

Although the price was low, the quantity was large.

It was just like the salt industry of an ancient country, it was monopolized. While making salt affordable to ordinary people, they would also make a profit through quantity.

But Kant would not adopt such a trade plan.

Or rather…

Why would he want to turn the expensive salt, a luxury product that only noble families could afford, a commodity that was as precious as spices, into a common condiment that even ordinary people could afford to eat?

Kant had control over the source of salt production.

But he was not the only one who produced salt. The distant Dwarf Kingdom also produced salt.

The Dukedom of Leo already had merchants who used this as a means to make a fortune. They basically relied on this, and they would not let others interfere. This was also why Kant would give the vast majority of the profits to Baron Dylan.

Kant let Baron Dylan attract the firepower of those who once had a vested interest to win time for himself.

On the other hand, completely breaking the rules of the salt industry by turning salt into a condiment that both the peasants and the serfs could afford to eat would completely trigger the conflict.

It would no longer be a commercial competition.

Instead, it would be like subverting a culture. It would be so serious that it would cause a huge protest in the entire Dukedom of Leo.

Those high and mighty noble families would never allow it. The lowly peasants would never be allowed to eat the same salt, even if it looked similar but actually tasted bitter.

This was an extremely strict social system.

Bloodline determined everything.

If Kant changed this, even if it was just a symbolic thing, the consequences were not something he could bear at the moment.

This was his concern.

But Kant did not want to change this, because high-grade fine white salt was a rare luxury item that only appeared in noble banquets. The selling price was very profiteering, and it allowed him to quickly accumulate power.

Even if he shared most of the profits with Baron Dylan, the return would still be generous!

Because he controlled the salt mine.

Just like now.

After the impurities had been filtered by the charcoal, the remaining saltwater was poured into another iron pot.

As the firewood burned and the flame licked the bottom of the pot, the water quickly evaporated, and the remaining salt liquid became thicker and thicker. Eventually, the crystallized white salt began to form and adhere to the bottom of the pot. It was as white as snow and extremely beautiful.

The peasant women immediately used wooden shovels to take the salt out and put it in specially prepared gunny sacks.

However, the amount of refined white salt was much less.

Usually, a bag of coarse salt would be dissolved and filtered, and then the white salt would form. In the end, it would only fill up half a bag.

Almost half of the salt would be lost.

However, thanks to the vast difference between their prices, even if more than half of the salt was lost, the remaining half a bag of white salt would be worth 40 bags of coarse salt. This was hundreds of times more profit!

The appearance of the first finished product encouraged these peasant women and men.

They began to speed up and become more and more skilled.

By the look of their excitement, Kant knew that by tomorrow morning, these 40 bags of coarse salt would definitely be successfully refined and turned into fine white salt that was expensive but loved by the nobles.

With Manid’s supervision, efficiency was guaranteed.

Kant was relieved.

Now, he still had another important matter to deal with.

Firentis had already brought his team back.

Behind the 50 Swadian Heavy Cavalrymen, there were over a hundred Jackalan captives with dirt-covered faces and bloodstains on their bodies. Looking at their fearful expressions, one could tell that they had already experienced how terrifying the heavy cavalry could be.

Without hesitation, Kant ordered Firentis and the leader of the trade caravan, Joslin, to quickly go to the Council Hall.

Emergency notification.

Once Joslin completed his inspection and officially purchased the 100 Jackalan captives, they would then have a total of 500 captives, the special quest from the Kingdom of Vaegirs could be announced as complete.

And the five Honor Points would officially belong to Kant.

Thinking about the big gift pack he could get from the lucky draw, Kant couldn’t wait any longer.

“Lord Kant.”

Firentis and Joslin walked into the Council Hall and bowed respectfully to Kant.

“Well done.”

Kant nodded to Firentis with a smile on his face.

However, he turned to look at the leader of the trade caravan, Joslin, and said directly, “You’ve checked, right? I think with these captives, together with the ones captured previously, there should be 500 people, right?”

“Yes, Lord Kant.”

Joslin nodded and reported, “This time, there are a total of 103 captives, which is equivalent to 3,090 Denars.” After a pause, he continued, “In total, there are now 572 captives, the requirements of the quest are fulfilled.”

“That’s good,” Kant chuckled.

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