Wizard! Chapter 524
William almost wished he could be dealing with the league personally, but he would just have been sitting around waiting out sieges for the most part. That would have been preferable to what he was currently doing, but his job was important.
Specifically, his job was to continuously reassure the other parts of Liaoyang. No, he wasn’t going to start attacking other nations. The League had started attacking trade ships and had refused any sort of diplomatic solution. Yes, he’d snuck an army around the western coast of Liaoyang and into League territory. No, he wasn’t going to occupy the land.
The second point was technically a lie, but it was more reassuring than telling them there were ways to enter their countries they didn’t know about. They might guess at the extent of the subterranean colonies, but they wouldn’t know. If they did find out, William would note that neither Cruonia or the Allied Subterranean Territories had any reason to attack them or cross their borders without permission. They probably wouldn’t believe his final statement about not occupying the land until he actually withdrew. To that end, he just had to keep himself occupied.
William had some practical concerns about the Allied Subterranean Territories. He wasn’t concerned about an attack or anything they would actually do. He wasn’t concerned about them taking resources from his territory, as nobody could practically dig a mile down. That of course excluded those with dwarven technology and knowledge, and they were already the ones there.
The only real concern he had was with their expansive territories… what happened if there was a collapse? The distance came into effect again. At that depth, a collapse would likely have no effect on the surface. That wasn’t particularly comforting, because it still might. There were caverns just beneath the surface in various places that could be dangerous if they collapsed… but the Allied Subterranean Territories didn’t live in those. William was just reminded of them because Lila had dropped a noble estate into the ground for trying to suppress her schooling.
William asked for a list of large collapses or cave-ins, along with their locations. The response was, “Sorry, we don’t have that information.”
William looked at the elf in front of him. It was one of the bearded ones, but it was just a small beard. That made him an elf still… until a better word came up. None of the combinations of elf and dwarf were good words. “What do you mean you don’t have it? Surely you can get access to it…”
The elf looked next to him to a more dwarven companion questioningly. The other diplomat answered, “Ah… he meant to say…” The dwarf looked for words, “There have been no significant collapses. Not in settled areas, anyway. Natural caverns are quite stable for the most part, and anywhere we settle is carefully engineered. There haven’t been any collapses over ——– tons in… recorded history.”
“That’s…” William had to pause to understand the word. The ambassadors spoke gevai, but didn’t have reason to commonly use very large numbers. Thus, they used their own language’s word. That was… “Twelve to the seventh… tons?” That was an extremely large number, but William did some calculations in his head. It was amazing what kind of stuff could be done in your head if you didn’t have technology to do it for you and had years of practice. If everything had the density of granite… that was a cube of stone a gross yards across. That was a massive amount of stone… but on the scale of a country or even a city it wasn’t that large. It was smaller than a city block. “That can still be quite large…”
“It is a very long time frame. We usually have one or fewer great gross tons per year… and usually in new construction areas.”
That was… a cube a couple dozen feet across. That wasn’t so unreasonable- they had collapses nearly that size in their mines. They were working on minimizing them and they were rare, but they happened. The gevai also didn’t live entirely underground, and had fewer citizens. William shook his head, “Perhaps it is best we don’t mention those numbers specifically. Most people don’t have good context for dealing with such numbers. We can just mention that any collapses are very minor… and that the Subterranean Allied Territories has the largest desire to avoid any incidents.”
“Well… of course we are invested in safety. If we did not even care for our own citizens we would basically be d- be monsters.” William noticed the diplomat almost said demons in his own language… but he couldn’t blame him. For uncountable years the gevai had been earning that appellation. “Besides, no self respecting person would want to be blamed of… shoddy engineering.” The last two words were said as one would say the most foul profanity in the world. That was something the language shared with the dwarven islands.
“Of course. I wouldn’t mean to imply such either.” William folded his hands and smiled lightly, “However, even the best engineers can’t make perfectly earthquake proof constructions.”
The elf shrugged. “That’s why you just have to read the fault lines and not build in those areas. Just as you would not build a house where it could sink into a river, swamp, or the ocean.”
William didn’t mention that people did such things, but he agreed that wise people would carefully consider the location. The important thing was that they were apparently very good at reading fault lines. Unlike on Earth, where entire countries and provinces were built in zones with earthquakes. On the other hand, it was somewhat of a different thing to build on earthquake prone land and to build in earthquake prone land. “Well then, enough of that topic.” William maneuvered a paper across the desk toward the diplomats. “This is a manifest of a shipment of goods, mostly wines and woods, that we will be delivering to your capital as a token of appreciation for the risks you have taken on our behalf recently.” They had already agreed on a proper payment for use of their tunnels, but a gift of wines that they would always appreciate and wood they could not grow themselves would make them more willing to help in the future. William just hoped he didn’t actually need any favors any time soon.