Chapter 788: Shocking Changes
Although the Marathon Family dared not openly oppose the Supreme Council, they still had some control over the things within their industry. For example, suppressing the forging business of the Tower of Dusk and restricting them from obtaining a source of ore could be considered commercial compet.i.tion, and the Supreme Council would not be able to intervene. In fact, shortly after the establishment of the Tower of Dusk, the Marathon Family tried to monopolize the forging industry of the Breezy Plains through cooperation with the Dwarf Kingdom under the pretext of expanding the family business. Whether or not they had targeted the Tower of Dusk was subjective. After all, to outsiders at that time, the forging business was a very important source of income for the Tower of Dusk.
At that time, the Marathon Family did everything they could to recruit all the blacksmiths in the Breezy Plains in addition to using the dwarf blacksmiths, causing the Tower of Dusk's smithy to have almost no room for development. Although it was said that the fate of a smithy lay in the hands of the top blacksmith, Lin Li, a Smithing Guru, would obviously have to do more than just forge magical weapons and magical equipment all day long. Excellent magical equipment could indeed enhance the reputation of the smithy, but running a business and maintaining the operations of the smithy was still reliant on the commerce of the middle and low-end weapons and equipment. After all, not everyone could afford the best magical equipment, and no fool would buy it unless the prices for the top-grade magical equipment were lowered to that of the low-end ones.
The Tower of Dusk lacked blacksmiths and mining sites. Although they could still keep the forge running, and managed to become famous in the Breezy Plains with their ability to produce a piece of top-grade magical equipment every 10 to 14 days, that did not bring enough money for the Tower of Dusk. Fortunately, the Tower of Dusk began to dabble in the pharmaceutical business later on, and managed to rely on the pharmaceutical business to bring in a ma.s.sive amount of money that solved their cash flow problems to support the operation of the Tower of Dusk. Although the Marathon Family also owned a pharmaceutical business, they had less control over the pharmaceutical industry compared to the forging industry. Their original plan fell through, but they continued to suppress the forging business of the Tower of Dusk as much as possible. In terms of the control of the smithing talents, the Marathon Family was much more lax. After all, there was not enough ore, and without sufficient ores, there was no use for there to be so many blacksmiths.
However, there had been a large amount of high-quality ore being transported continuously from the Ledin Kingdom to the Tower of Dusk's forge in Doland lately. The biggest problem that hindered the Tower of Dusk's smithy from developing was finally solved. Before the Marathon Family received the news, the smithy of the Tower of Dusk had recruited a large number of blacksmiths according to Lin Li's instructions, adding on to the senior blacksmiths who were originally working for them. Within less than 20 days, the blacksmith shop of the Tower of Dusk expanded more than tenfold.
By the time the Marathon Family realized what was going on, the high-quality ore from the Ledin Kingdom had already been forged into fine weapons and equipment by the blacksmiths, and begun impacting the weaponry market of the Felan Kingdom. That provided stiff compet.i.tion for the Marathon Family, and the Tower of Dusk even relentlessly s.n.a.t.c.hed away a portion of the market.
Actually, the Marathon Family was not too worried at this juncture. In the forging industry which they had control over, there were still compet.i.tors, but in many cases, the compet.i.tors might not be able to occupy a significant position in the market if the quality of the equipment they offered wasn't up to standard.
After all, it was not just about commercial activities. Having run a forging business for so many years, the Marathon Family's connections and network of relations definitely couldn't be taken away easily, especially their ties with the military, which could not be easily meddled with by anyone. Even if the Tower of Dusk had a great reputation in the pharmaceutical industry, they couldn't really affect the military.
The military would not prepare advanced potions for every soldier, but they would definitely equip all soldiers with weapons. After hundreds of years of operating a forging business, the Marathon Family had already become the largest armament supplier in the Felan Kingdom, and had monopolized all the weapon supplies of the military. Relying on their cooperation with the military, the Marathon Family controlled more than 70% of the forging industry in the Felan Kingdom. Everything that was related to forging would mostly be marked with the brand of the Marathon Family Forging Workshop.
During the hundreds of years of operation, the Marathon Family had gained more than just business development. With the shockingly ma.s.sive amount of wealth that they had, the Marathon Family gradually penetrated the forces in every corner of the Felan Kingdom. From chapels to the military, there seemed to be people from the Marathon Family everywhere, and they were all linked to each other by interests, forming a large network of human relations. Those who were outside the network would have a hard time getting in.
However, the Marathon Family had never thought that Lin Li would clinch a deal with Prince Arthur, who represented the royal family of the Felan Kingdom, back when he was in Alanna. Although it was a pharmaceutical business deal, the royal family undoubtedly had a great influence on the military. The att.i.tudes of the Brilliance Shrine and the Ledin Kingdom towards the Tower of Dusk were obvious evidence of their respect for the Tower of Dusk, and anyone could tell that they were keen on forging ties with the Tower of Dusk. In that case, how could the royal family cooperate with others now that they wished to get closer and cooperate more with the Tower of Dusk? Regardless of how many connections the Marathon Family had, they still had to obey the royal family which controlled the Felan Kingdom. There were only a few who would dare to rebel against the royal family, and by the time the Marathon Family reacted, it would all be too late.
Apart from the constant updates from the Tower of Dusk, Lin Li would also occasionally receive letters from Angelano when he was in the Darkness Shrine. Angelano, the alchemist, was very attentive when working in the Tower of Dusk for the sake of obtaining Balak's magical crystal that Lin Li had promised to give him. After Lin Li left, the first thing Angelano did was to restore the Alchemy Colossus that the Tower of Dusk had brought back from the Dragon Mountains.
In the letter, Angelano complained to Lin Li more than once about the poor quality of the four Alchemy Colossuses that were peak-level alchemical masterpieces of this era, and were simply a huge insult to alchemy in his opinion. If it had not been necessary for him to stay in the Tower of Dusk, Angelano would have long run to the Rotterdam Kingdom to teach the so-called alchemists a hard lesson.
Lin Li also had plenty of thoughts and emotions about that matter. When he first came into contact with the pharmacists of this world, and saw them being complacent yet making mistakes, he felt pretty much the same as Angelano did at the moment. However, the situation wasn't exactly terrible. After all, if there were pharmaceutics Gurus everywhere, who would be impressed by Lin Li and be convinced with his abilities? If there were Alchemical Gurus everywhere, Angelano, too, would be nothing.
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In fact, the functions of the four Alchemy Colossuses were actually quite remarkable for this era. Even in the eyes of many people, it was considered an amazing feat for such a large figure to be able to move and fight. However, as a Goblin, Angelano had the most complete and orthodox inherited alchemical knowledge in his mind. Seeing the alchemy created by his species getting ruined to such an extent, the anger within him was unimaginable.
Connoris, who had obtained a new body, had been working hard to integrate himself into the perfect body, and thus didn't send much information to Lin Li lately. Lin Li only found out through Angelano's letter that Connoris had transformed some Death Knights using the Eternal Furnace and increased the number of Holy Death Knights to 24. Connoris had allegedly developed an interest in Ujfalusi's Humerus Wyrm as well, and asked Ujfalusi to let him experiment with it. However, Ujfalusi rejected his request. If the Humerus Wyrm were to become a Holy Wyrm, how could he, a Lich, still dare to ride it?
However, Connoris' idea actually made Lin Li feel a little tempted. After all, he was not a Lich, and he didn't have to worry about the issue of Divine Power. If he were to turn the Crimson Dragon in the Summoning Lamp into a Holy Wyrm…
Of course, that was not what Lin Li ought to be thinking about now. Be it an Alchemy Colossus or a Holy Wyrm, he still could not really rely on them, and the only thing he could depend on was his own strength. Lin Li was thrilled for a while after receiving the letter, but soon put those thoughts away, and focused his attention on improving his own strength. Reading the Darkness scripture, asking questions and consulting Sendros, and sparring with the five high priests made his days feel rather pleasant.
However, on this day, after finis.h.i.+ng a day of studying, Lin Li induced some of his mental strength into the magical crystal of the Dragon of Destruction as he usually would, only to feel a sudden and ma.s.sive magical wave that erupted from the depths of the Night Canyon. As soon as he exited, there was also a violent tremor in the entire Darkness Shrine, and a huge roar immediately filled the Night Canyon.
Lin Li immediately put away the Dragon of Destruction's Dragon Crystal, and scurried towards the square outside the Darkness Shrine. At this time, Sendros and the five high priests had already arrived, with even more priests and believers of Darkness behind them. However, they all looked extremely worried, and were staring at the endless darkness.
Upon sight of Lin Li, Sendros's eyes glistened, but he didn't say much to Lin Li. Instead, he suddenly flew towards the source of Darkness in the Night Canyon where the magical wave was coming from. The five high priests and some Legendary-level priests, too, followed Sendros closely without hesitation.
At the thought of the things that Sendros had mentioned before, Lin Li was also plagued with worry at this time. Hence, he did not hesitate, and immediately used his Power of Flight to catch up with Sendros. Lin Li of course didn't think that he would really be the savior of the Darkness Shrine, but if it were within his means, he wouldn't mind putting in a little effort to help. After all, the Darkness Shrine was a partner-in-cooperation of the Tower of Dusk.
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