Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Klein circled the lawn behind Leppard’s house a few times on the bicycle the inventor had just completed.
“It’s not bad, it’s just as I expected, but there’s no need to make a lone-standing bell. The cyclist won’t be able to free a hand when they encounter a situation. You can combine the bell to the handle. This will make it simpler and more adequate for situational developments.” Klein’s right hand clasped the brake tight, slowing the bike down to a stop.
Meanwhile, he placed the bell in his left hand back to its original spot.
Leppard thought for a moment.
“Yes, that’s right. I was simply imitating the ringing bells of the carriages and forgot that this is a brand new mode of transportation.”
At this point, he looked at Klein, who was getting off the bike with great familiarity, as he placed it on a rack.
“You give me the feeling that you’ve ridden a similar type of transportation tool before, and you rode it very well… I’m sure all the other bikes on the market are very flawed and very different from my bike.”
Sir, do you have time to learn more about bicycle-sharing systems… As a Clown, I should actually be able to ride a unicycle… Klein silently lampooned before smiling.
“This has nothing to do with experience, the key is outstanding balance and exercise.”
He quickly changed the subject. “But based on your introduction just now, the production cost is quite high, and it’s quite at odds with our product’s market segment. You have to come up with a plan as soon as possible to reduce the cost, and you have to understand that nobles, magnates, and other people of the high-classes of society will definitely not choose to ride their own bicycles. It would be disgraceful, and the same goes for the middle class with an annual income of 300 pounds or higher.
“Our target audience are clerks, postmen, so-called working-class aristocrats, and people who earn between seventy to three hundred pounds a year.”
“This is just a prototype, yea—a term invented by Emperor Roselle. It’s normal to have a high cost. If the subsequent industrialization is successful, I believe it wouldn’t be a problem to lower it to 6 pounds. If we can find a cheap replacement material for natural rubber, it’ll be even better. That’s the most expensive component,” Leppard had long considered this problem as he replied.
Unfortunately, no crude oil has been found in this world yet… I wonder if it actually exists or not… Can refined coal tar be a replacement in this aspect? I don’t know about this at all, I’m neither a student of this profession nor a Savant… Klein thought for a moment and said, “If the cost can be kept below four pounds, we’ll be rich. As for the cheap material used to replace natural rubber, you can go through Roselle’s manuscript. Maybe he has some ideas.”
“Yea,” Leppard said before he suddenly added, “speaking of which, I just remembered that there will be an Emperor Roselle Memorial Exhibition at the Royal Museum next week! It’s organized by the Church of the God of Steam and Machinery. Rumor has it that there will be the original blueprints of Emperor Roselle’s inventions and all kinds of relics. ”
The original invention blueprints and all kinds of relics? Klein’s heart skipped a beat and pressed, “When is it exactly? I’m very interested.”
“From next Tuesday to next Friday, every day from nine in the morning to six in the afternoon. Although Emperor Roselle was once the enemy of the kingdom, the allure of his legendary life hasn’t declined because of this.”
“I’ll take some time out of my schedule to visit the exhibition.” Klein fished out his bulging wallet and took out two ten-pound and two five-pound notes. “Here’s the second payment. Use it to study how to cut costs and make the most perfect application at the Patent Office. If you don’t have a lawyer you know, I can introduce one, and the last twenty pounds will be given to you next week to find new investors and complete the industrialization of the product. Of course, I’ll also help you get in touch with people who are interested.”
He had never thought of monopolizing the profits of a bicycle. First, he lacked the money for mass production, and second, he believed that he lacked the social connections needed for industrialization, promotion, and sales. He could barely do it himself or hire people to do it. It was hard work with no guarantee of success. It was even possible that he might make a loss. In that case, it would be better to bring in new investors with relevant resources and channels and let the professionals handle the professional work.
More importantly, he would then have the opportunity to cash out a certain amount of shares in advance, accumulating the resources and cash that he needed to advance to Faceless. He wanted to avoid running into a situation where he encountered the ingredients but lacked the money to buy them.
Besides, I have no intention to be a bicycle tycoon. My identity is sensitive. I should stay away from things that might draw society’s attention towards me before I become a Faceless. I’m acting as a Magician, not a businessman or a factory owner…Klein sighed in his heart.
“I know several lawyers,” Leppard muttered and received the second round of investment funds. “Why don’t you go to the bank and apply for a loan? When we get the patent, I’m sure that a bank will loan us money, like the Backlund Bank or Varvat Bank.”
“We’re not just bringing in investors, but resourceful channels, connections, and skills; do you understand?” Klein explained with a smile. He then put on his hat and said, “When you’ve applied for a patent, send me a letter. You know my address.”
On the Sonia Sea stood an island with an extinct volcano.
One by one, ships with masts and sails approached the shore, crowding up the reasonably sizable wharf.
The sound of the pirates singing, shouting, laughing, cursing, and cheering filled the air, turning the place into a sea of revelry.
The Hanged Man, Alger Wilson, stepped off the Blue Avenger and climbed a cliff not far away and watched all of this in silence.
With the exception of the Four Kings and the Seven Pirate Admirals, the rest of the pirates only received the news of the event a week ago. Most of them won’t be able to arrive in time as this will prevent the navies of the different countries and the powerful Beyonders from the various Churches to launch an assault. Alger watched the pirates carrying out buckets of ale without his attention on them.
He knew that the Loen Kingdom already had a new generation of ironclad warships, but he wasn’t worried about meeting one here. This was because only four months had passed, and the advertised invincible fleet still needed more ironclad warships, and different types of ships for support, as well as the time to train military officers, sailors, and gunners. There was no way they could create a combat force without a year’s time.
Even as Alger’s thoughts drifted away, the pirates on the ships and wharf suddenly cried out in alarm. Some ran deep into the islands, some hurriedly steered their ships away from the wharf, as if they were running from devils and the plague.
In just a few minutes, the bustling scene from before was reduced to a desolate mess and silence.
Alger turned his head to look at the sea and saw a ship painted black with a huge white flag with a skull hanging from its mast.
The skull was pitch black, and its eye sockets burned with a ghostly blue flame.
Black Death… Alger whispered.
He understood why the pirates had scurried off.
Wherever Rear Admiral Ailment Tracy passed, she would leave a wake of people who got sick for no reason!
Black Death approached the shore slowly as a figure wearing a white linen shirt and dark red coat appeared at the ship’s bow.
The figure was quite a beautiful lady, and she also exuded a heroic vibe.
Her beautiful black hair was coiled up high, and she had a white scarf wrapped around her head. She wore beige pants and had a tall and slender figure, and it had no lack of elegance.
What attracted the most attention was the woman’s long, straight eyebrows and the sharp, bright blue eyes.
As she looked around, her eyes would occasionally lose focus, making her look adrift and exceptionally alluring.
A wandering poet who had mixed himself with the pirates had arrived at the edge of the cliff at some point. He began reciting.
“She will always be a girl.
“She indeed brings ailments. Oh, I’m sick. My mind is full of her.”
A number of pirates who left, gathered once again as they looked at Ailment Maiden Tracy, mesmerized.
Alger held back his feelings of contempt as he glanced at the pirates and scoffed inwardly.
Truly a bunch of fellows with no future or will. All they knew was hide moments ago, but now, they’ve become seduced by her beauty.
Although Ailment Maiden is indeed very beautiful, it’s not to the extent that it will cause them to act this way. Oh… A Beyonder power related to allurement?
As his mind was whirling, Rear Admiral Ailment Tracy left Black Death and began walking to the black palace deep within the island.
At that moment, a huge sailboat appeared on the sea. Its flag depicted an eyelash-less eye with ten stars surrounding it.
Admiral of Stars Cattleya… Alger nodded gently and muttered silently.
Since the Black Death and the other ships were already docked at the wharf, the huge ship didn’t approach the shore. Instead, it went around to the sheltered cliff and anchored.
Soon after, the gloomy sky suddenly lit up, and bits of stellar radiance sprinkled down, condensing in the air to form a transparent long bridge. It led from the giant sailboat to the palace.
A woman stepped onto the long bridge and began strolling through the air.
She wore a black, classical robe with numerous symbols and magic characteristics inscribed on it. The most obvious one was a mysterious eye with no eyelashes.
Hanging on this woman’s waist, there was a celestial globe and a short scepter. She resembled powerful warlocks who were active in the Fourth Epoch according to folklore.
Alger looked up and frowned slightly as he muttered in puzzlement, That celestial globe looks familiar…
It’s like, it’s like… the strange glass bottle I previously obtained, the one I had no idea how to use. It eventually shattered after Mr. Fool pulled me into the Gathering…
On the outskirts of Empress Borough, Audrey led her maids and the huge golden retriever, Susie, into her own manor.
“Miss, the delivery from Enmat Harbor is just ahead,” the butler in charge of the manor said in a respectful tone.
“Alright.” Audrey nodded lightly and said half-jokingly to the large golden retriever beside her, “Susie, this is your present.”
As they spoke, they turned a corner and saw the so-called gift.
It was a giant lizard whose skin changed color depending on how the light hit it. It was three meters long, and its height reached Audrey’s knees even with it laying on the ground.
They were two colossal creatures, enormous enough to frighten a child!
“Woof?” She turned her head to look at her mistress and saw that her expression was exactly the same as hers. Apparently, she hadn’t expected the gift to be so exaggerated.