Most of the populace had needed to pay a hefty fee just to use the Communicators in the public facility, but now they could use it at an affordable price and in the comfort of their own homes too.
And the Department of Supplies announced that with an extra fee, they would add the broadcast function to the Communicator.
Everyone was oblivious to what that meant, as they were simply in awe of the communication function alone. But the few curious individuals that purchased it realised the true advantages of the broadcast function.
The Communicator only offered so much entertainment in talking to other people. It only took a day or two for everyone to have called other people to chat, leaving them with nothing else to do. That gap was what the broadcast function filled.
The very first broadcast program was news reporting on the current state of the Empire’s Royal Family, recorded in history as the very first news broadcast within the Empire and also raising the curtain on the age of media.
There weren’t any proper television shows, let alone markets related to media or workers in that field. Regardless, the Empire insisted on its widespread use, setting the goal at one Communicator per household.
It was the airship that served an integral part in supplying all these Communicators, and Isaac was honestly baffled at first as to when they designed such a meticulous plan. And he was even more so impressed by how smoothly it was executed with not a single hurdle or misstep during the process.
Up until this point, Isaac simply wondered why the Empire was so desperate to proceed with this. Isaac simply thought that maybe that’s how much of a threat the Expeditionary Forces seemed at first. But soon, Isaac realised that he had been stabbed square in the back.
In the previous world, it took an immense amount of funds, materials, and time to construct railroads. But in this world, it was too easy to a fault.
All they needed to say was ‘will you donate this land for the Emperor?’ to acquire the lands necessary for railroads.
Compensation? It exists, but in this world, the Emperor using their land was the greatest reward.
There was not even a notion of standing ground or negotiating to get a larger compensation package.
Although, if anyone even attempted, the Arc Royale would compensate them with a broken back instead.
Rails? That was even simpler. There was no need to line up steel like in the previous world. All they needed were wizards capable of using earth magic.
A wizard would be deployed to their spot designated by a surveyor, and the wizard would use magic on the spot.
Then, the earth would rise to form the H-shape of the tracks. Link them together, and the railroad network was completed.
The same applied for occasional tunnels that needed to be dug out.
Creating the Grand Canal was an astronomically expensive exception because it needed to be of an immense size, large enough for a galley and a mass of water to flow through. But a tunnel large enough for a train was akin to making a small hole in the mountain.
So time, resources, and funding constraints were reduced to be almost incomparable to that of the old world.
All of this was thanks to magic.
When this revelation hit Isaac, he threw the glass of wine out his hand in sheer frustration.
“Are you joking with me? Does this world really think magic will solve everything? You think magic is some magical word that solves all problems? Is making railroads really that easy? I understand that they’ve been preparing this for a long time, but are you serious that it only took one month to create a railroad network in the Middle Province with Gabelin at its centre? All your fears and complaints about the Expeditionary Force—you were all just crying wolf, right?”
The reason behind Isaac’s anger was that the more active trains became, the less value airships would have. Airships couldn’t even compete with trains in terms of sheer volume of transportation.
The airship’s only advantage over the train was the shortened travel time thanks to flying, but once the Department of Law begin meddling with rules they loved so much, they’d soon create ordinances placing airports well away from cities much like the old world, making them less convenient compared to the trains that passed directly through it.
In terms of the cost, airships unfortunately were more expensive than trains.
It was quite clear which transportation method the general populace would gravitate to, given that airships only boasted of just comparable travel times while simultaneously being more costly and less convenient.
And considering how quickly the railroads were created, airports would likely follow a similar timeframe. And once airplanes appeared, the airship’s only advantage would disappear.
The reason why airships couldn’t become commercialized in the old world was exactly this. They couldn’t compete against planes in terms of speed, nor could they remotely compete with trains in terms of volume. And Isaac was about to repeat history.
Isaac didn’t monopolize airships just to use them as a luxurious service targeted at the richest nobles.
“I should have known when they immediately accepted my concession of shares! I’ve been had! At this point, the development of supply chains for other businesses will hasten too… I guess they are prepared to leave the stragglers behind.”
Humans preferred stability over change. If things changed much quicker than the old system could adapt, there would be some who would try to revert back to the old system and reject the new changes.
“At this point, I’ll need to make a new plan… I don’t understand this. What is the Directorate of Surveillance doing? Don’t they know the non-humans are the only ones losing out on this?”
The dam holding back the flood of civilization was broken, and it was sweeping across the continent.
Humans may not be good at surviving extreme changes in environment, but they were also the quickest to adapt to their new environments.
The non-humans with their long lifespans and reclusive nature in their reservations would face a harder time adapting to these drastic changes, unlike humans. And in the name of tradition, they would withdraw even further to try to maintain their old ways of life.
Everything that would happen in the meanwhile would create a disparity in the level of civilization, thus destroying the balance.
All that awaited the non-humans were extinction, slavery, or domestication.
Humans fought each other on the basis of a different skin color. They wouldn’t hesitate to fight non-humans clearly weaker than them.
And the non-humans should be well aware of this fact, which was why it was puzzling why they simply accepted this change.
Isaac let out a deep sigh and looked at New Port City’s main street.
Because the entertainment industry was the quickest to adapting new technology, new Communicator screens were already installed on many walls.
The dazzling pictures and film grabbed the eyes of passers by and stopped them in their tracks.
“Fuck me. There are ads already too? The Seven Grand Merchant Guilds didn’t even tell me about this and kept this to themselves now?”
Isaac placed his hands on his waist and grit his teeth ferociously. Rizzly and Laila, afraid to attract his ire, carefully cleaned up the broken glass all the while keeping an eye on Isaac’s mood.
Just as Isaac said, huh? Blink, and the network facilities needed for broadcast were installed. Huh? Blink again, and the Empire and the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds had already begun exercising their monopoly through general broadcasts, along with news, shows, and advertisements related to themselves.
Aggravating as it already was, what personally anguished Isaac was that none of this could have been possible without significant advance preparation.
What pissed him off the most was that when the airship was revealed, they begged and pleaded for a bigger share, yet they didn’t have any intentions on trading him vital information in return.
They were simply concerned about reductions in their profit margins as the airship became the figurehead of the new era, knowing full well it would soon become a luxury good as the reveal of new technologies continued.
Isaac could jump in now, but it was too late to become its forefather. Sadly, it wasn’t possible to ignore ads as Isaac, along with other invaders, knew best how powerful advertisements were.
“The Directorate of Surveillance knew of this right?”
Isaac’s mark changed to Rizzly, who began sweating profusely. Laila, who had been at his side, began backing away.
“U, um as I’ve said the Directorate of Surveillance will maintain neutral…”
“Are you kidding me? Does this look like a human-only issue right now? Shouldn’t the non-humans especially know best that they’ll be losing out if things go wrong?”
“I do think it is strange, but that’s all I heard from the higher-ups. I’m sorry but I don’t know any more than that.”
Watching a river of cold sweat stream down Rizzly’s face, Isaac determined that Rizzly wasn’t hiding anything.
“Sigh. What’s done is done, and I’ll only be a bigger fool by crying over spilt milk. Whatever. I might be late, but I haven’t lost much either.”
It was a shame Isaac couldn’t monopolise broadcasting, but it wasn’t too late.
Even if this world had the hallmarks of broadcasting, it couldn’t possibly outcompete invaders of all people in areas such as idols, entertainment and advertisements.
And Isaac possessed many weapons that the residents of this world couldn’t even imagine.
“I’ll need to pick some elves and North Bears to work as stewards and stewardesses for the airship and make an ad for it. What will be the catchphrase? The place your dreams come true? Where fantasy become reality? Hm, I’d like to make those smarty pants do this instead, but there isn’t an advertisement industry yet, so I have to do this myself. Then I’ll need to strip their clothes off… Would the elves volunteer for that? I guess they would be since it’s a unique experience. And I can get honey for the North Bears. Then who will I choose as the figurehead…”
Isaac reminisced of the countless ads he glossed over all his life and tried to scrape together an ad when Rizzly carefully approached him.
“There will be a parade commemorating the reunification of Port and New Port City soon.”
“A parade? What pointless banter. Is this happening with everything sorted?”
Isaac smirked and asked, and Rizzly dropped his head.
“It will take longer than expected.”
Isaac’s eyes grew cold once more, and Rizzly began stumbling on his words.
“That is, they seem to be having second thoughts about unification, what with the trains and airships now being available.”
Isaac smiled mockingly and bit down on his cigarette.
“Pass that issue to Smartass. He’s a specialist in that field.”
“Yes Sir. Then I’ll take it that you’ll be attending…”
“Why would I?”
“This was the brat’s handiwork so she should go instead. The two of you can go together.”
Laila flinched when Isaac’s eyes shifted to her.
“And where are Kunette and Reisha off to this time?”
Isaac asked when he realised Kunette and Reisha, whom he was going to use, weren’t around.
In fact, it’d been a while since he’d seen them.
“They’ve gone back to their homes due to their tribal events. Julia kept asking if she could go too, so Reisha took Julia with her.”
“Hm, now that you mention it, they are quite the important people. I forgot. I almost made a mistake.”
Isaac was going to make Kunette and Reisha finally earn their pay—by having them pose in advertisements.
The elves had a reputation for beauty—as long as they kept their mouths shut. Isaac would strip Reisha, whose beauty was remarkable even among the elves, down to the whatever thread necessary to attract male customers. In Kunette’s case, her adorableness would capture the hearts of female customers.
Of course, Isaac would introduce other elves and North Bears to dramatise the effect. And with the airship, customers that hadn’t been able to come to the city due to time constraints might be able to come.
But Kunette was the daughter of North Bear chieftain, while Reisha was the daughter of a major elf family.
If Isaac put them in the ad without a thought, both North Bears and elves could retaliate, which could fracture one of Isaac’s main allies. Isaac needed to convince them carefully.