Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > 827 War Supplies
Chapter 827: War Supplies
Translator: TransN Editor: Meh

Edith was the first to raise questions after Leaf finished. "Your Majesty, is it safe for us ordinary people to consume the magic-engineered wheat?"

It was probably the problem that the people here were most concerned about. After the Pearl of the Northern Region brought that up, not only Petrov but also Spear was anxious to get a straight answer.

Roland replied with a smile, "First of all, there's no significant difference between Golden Twos and Golden Ones, for both of them are developed by Leaf. The only difference is that Golden Twos yields more food than Golden Ones. Second, although it's enhanced by magic power, the plant itself doesn't contain any, so you don't need to worry that it will cause harm to ordinary people. In fact, the oatmeal and the pancake I ate a few days ago were actually made from Golden Twos in the testing field."

Roland somehow remembered the fervent discussion about natural food, hybrid food, and genetically engineered food in the modern world. Some people stressed that the best food was natural food, but they had forgotten what natural food had originally looked like.

The origin of Golden Twos was very complicated. To fully explain it, Roland had to educate them on genetic mutation and the mechanism of heredity, a part of knowledge that even Leaf did not know much about. Although Leaf's ability could induce great changes to plants in a short period of time, she had to constantly supply the plants with magic power to sustain the change, and the change could not pass down to next generations. If the change was too great, the plants would die instantly when the supply of magic power suspended.

Therefore, when Leaf cultivated golden wheat, she used her ability mainly to create genetic mutations and accelerate the growing speed of the plants. Then, she picked out those fit for survival and eliminate those not. After numerous rounds of selection and reproduction, she finally cultivated a species with a distinctive character. The process was no different than traditional farming, except it was a lot faster. The selection process, which usually would take hundreds of years, had completed in merely two years.

Roland had once seen what an original watermelon looked like. It was a fist-sized fruit wrapped in a hard shell with several pieces of yellow flesh in it, pretty much like a mandarin. By the 17th Century, however, the flesh had turned to a red color and the fruit itself had also become much larger. Unfortunately, over half of the fruit was filled with white tissues, with only four or five spoons of eatable flesh.

Apart from watermelon, many fruits people often saw nowadays looked quite different from what they had looked like in the past. In fact, the same held true for plants and animals. The most typical example was dogs, an originally non-existent species that had transformed from wolves as a result of generations of human influences.

Therefore, the so-called natural food was also a product of repeated human selection and filtering. The true, original food was most likely tasteless.

Plus, not only human beings but also other species, from mammals all the way to microorganisms, were all constantly changing to adapt better to the environment. In Roland's opinion, it was as natural for human beings to build a power station as yeasts ferment bread, because life itself was a part of nature.

Roland knew these theories were beyond the understandings of these local officials, so he simplified his answer to two sentences: a) It was safe to eat Golden Ones, and it was certainly OK to eat Golden Twos; b) I ate them as well. The best way to persuade them in this era was that the king set an example for his people.

Seeing that everybody was now convinced, Roland went on, "Furthermore, like what we're doing in Neverwinter, all food trades in your city should be supervised and controlled by the secondary City Hall. Private food sale is forbidden. Barov, the Governor-in-Chief, will talk about the detailed implementation of the policy."

Countess Spear Passi raised her brows. "Your Majesty, if Golden Twos does provide high yields as you've described, there must be a large excess after all subjects are fed. That'll create a huge financial burden for the government if City Hall plans to buy back all the excess. The population in Fallen Dragon Ridge is just a little over 10,000. Considering that, do we also have to produce so much food?"

"Yes, because we aren't going to consume the excess of food but to stock them."

"Stock them?" Spear was a little surprised.

"For the upcoming Battle of Divine Will." Roland pronounced the words slowly.

Other than attracting immigrants to Graycastle, the other reason he forced local officials to promote Golden Twos was this battle that was going to determine the survival of all human beings. Since Roland was born in peacetime and had not experienced the cruelty of a prolonged war, he could only make war preparations based on what he had learned from histories.

The worst scenario Roland could think of was that the population reduced by 30% and that all young, abled ones went to war, leaving women and children working in the plant to provide supplies to the front. In that case, the farmland would be very likely deserted. If, however, they had food excess that could last two to three years, they might be able to survive the most difficult wartime and wait until things turned better.

Roland had discussed the matter with Karl Van Bate, the Minister of Construction. The latter believed that a granary that was well-designed, well-structured and well taken care of could preserve grains for at most five years. Although stale grains of one or two years old would not taste as good as fresh ones, nobody would give much thought of it when they were overwhelmed by the bitterness of a war.

It was worth noting that there were high-yield crops other than wheat in Leaf's testing field. After two years of experimenting, Leaf had successfully enhanced other imported crops, such as sugar canes, corns and potatoes, and cultivated their high-yield breeds. Corns and potatoes, in particular, genetically produced more food than wheat. The reasons Roland chose to promote Golden Twos rather than these two plants were: a) he could not easily create a monopoly on food trades as they could reproduce; b) their storage life was shorter than grains'.

Of course, agriculture was a very complex industry, which involved food for both human beings and animals... For example, poultry relied heavily on fodder beans. However, Roland had no time to carefully plan that part out at the moment, as the food problem in wartime was already a project big enough for him to worry about.

Since most of the attendees knew what the Battle of Divine Will stood for, nobody raised questions on the policy pertaining to the survival of human beings again. At the end of the conference, Roland fastened his eyes onto Scroll and said, "I hope that we add agriculture to our secondary education as a subject so as to train people into experts who specialize in farming various plants and crops."

As the education level in other cities was incomparable to that in Neverwinter, Roland felt it hard to realize the democratization of education throughout the whole Graycastle. As such, he believed it was easier to dispatch some trained professionals from Neverwinter to supervise the agricultural industry in other cities. The movement would set a precedent for the other industries, such as chemistry, architecture and medical science. He did not expect his subjects to conduct their own research or construct new theories, but simply to apply what they had learned to the mundane operation of the industry.

After the conference, Wendy brought Roland a piece of news.

The witches who were exploring the snow mountain of the Western Region had safely docked at Neverwinter.

When Roland arrived at the wharf, someone dashed to him and threw herself into his arms.

Her blond hair tickled his cheeks. The air was impregnated with the scent that Roland was so familiar with.

"I'm back," Chuckling, Nightingale whispered in his ear.