Strategies couldn’t be copyrighted or patented; this new strategy would quickly and dramatically change the tides of war. Scholars from across the Empire would dedicate their lives to studying war data, releasing hundreds of theses on its pros, cons, and necessary adjustments.
And with the increase in demand for automobiles, related industries would expand as well.
Even in the past world, cars were considered the flower of industrialisation. Industries related to cars were enormous in both size and numbers.
Isaac couldn’t fathom why Central approved this.
Commercialisation of the automobile industry would revolutionize economic growth, especially the transportation industry. This meant that the level of human civilization would rapidly progress.
From the immediate benefit of shortening transport times for goods to the long-term benefits of population explosions—no matter which angle Isaac saw from, there weren’t any advantages for non-humans.
‘They can’t possibly be oblivious to strength in numbers… Should I consider this just a one-off incident?’
If the Duberon Family utilized the automobiles swiftly, Central wouldn’t be able to stop them.
But considering that Marquess Duberon was an agent of Central, such a conclusion was difficult to believe.
It meant either she went rogue or gained Central’s approval… When Isaac took out a cigarette to calm his mind, Rivelia hurriedly approached Isaac and handed him a document.
Isaac nonchalantly took the document. But as he kept reading, the cigarette fell from his mouth and he looked back at Rivelia with wide eyes.
“… Is this confirmed?”
“Yes. They said it’ll commence next year.”
“Wow. They’ve been talking about doing it for so long, and now they’re actually doing it.”
“Now this seems very intriguing.”
While Isaac was snickering, Rizzly peeked over his shoulder. What he saw surprised him.
Now, Isaac could figure out Central’s intentions. Automobiles were but just a part of the preparation for the next stage.
On the document Rivelia had brought him was a list of technologies and goods that would be released in the next year, but every category on the list would bring more change in their respective field than automobiles could compare to. All kinds of new technologies, goods, and even their distribution plans were prepared in advance, and Isaac could only laugh.
“There isn’t a single one I should look down on, but trains and airships especially… Have they released these technologies knowing that doing so would rapidly change the world forever? I guess the shock wouldn’t be so great since automobiles have been released for some time now, but it will still be a shock to the world. I can understand releasing trains, but I’m surprised that they’re going to release airships too. The Grand Council sure was lenient with their approval.”
“Tsk. I’ve had my suspicions, but they really did approve it.”
“Did you know?”
“I’ve heard rumours. I was still doubtful. Nothing good will come from this…”
‘So he knew.’
Isaac muttered to himself as he watched Rizzly leave, saying that he was going to the communicator room to learn more about what was going to happen.
It meant he knew the consequences of the existence of airships and trains. And they still approved it?
This was on a scale incomparable to automobiles. This would really revolutionise the transportation of goods in this world.
Automobiles were at least limited by travel distance and storage capacity. Once trains started operating, travel times would shorten dramatically throughout the Empire. That’s how vastly superior trains were in moving goods and people. Airships also had many strategic uses.
It would bring more change to the battlefield than the innovation of maneuver warfare.
“The decision was inevitable now that it’s been confirmed the Expeditionary Forces have left the Forbidden Lands. We need to be able to deploy our troops the moment we come in contact with them, but we calculated that if we don’t make these technologies common knowledge, it would take too long to deploy both troops and the necessary supplies. So in order to defeat our foes before they gain a foothold, we need to remove restrictions on mass transport of goods and people.
“Is that how much of a threat you see Expeditionary Forces as?”
“What the Grand Council is worried about isn’t military might but the spread of culture, technologies, religion, and ideologies.”
“Hm, I guess they have the right idea at least. Preparing for the cultural invasion…”
Historically, cultural invasions had been proven to be scarier than a military invasion.
No matter how much this world tried to suppress it, people encountering the new cultures were bound to start fraternizing when they started growing respect for it.
“That is why they decided to reveal trains and airships before the planned date. When they encounter the new technologies of the other world, some will get tempted. But if these technologies the Expeditionary Forces boast of were already invented and debuted by the Empire…”
“It’ll be fascinating, but we have the same stuff too. I guess they aren’t all that better. Is that what you’re aiming for?”
“Close. What’s important is being first in the technological race.”
“I can see why you’d hurry.”
Although it was sad, both this world and the other only remembered the person in first place.
If the Grand Council just sat idly by, it’d create an opening for the Expeditionary Forces to spread strange, new, and convenient inventions. Residents of this world would develop a sense of inferiority that would translate into respect for the Expedition. And respect for the Expedition would lead to a gullible friendliness.
Even if this world started to release new technologies that matched the Expedition’s, people would consider it as a mere copy, although that was the truth.
“Currently, the technologies the Expedition can realistically provide to this world would start at the birth of steam engines. Which is why we are going to systematically release technologies up to slightly more advanced than that to the public.”
“In other fields too?”
“Yes. they are currently preparing for equipment that will spread voices and films throughout the continent.”
“… Are you talking about radio and television?”
“What a joke. I’m about to watch the news in the fantasy world. No, am I about to be on the news instead? You should be aware of how much impact that has, right?”
“Starting from industrial revolution, the final stage would reach a level of technology almost matching that of the Expeditionary Force’s.”
“There are bound to be those who cannot keep up the sudden change like that. And you’re going to embrace that mess?”
“It’s a mess that’ll happen regardless once the Expeditionary Forces appear.”
“If it’s a mess either way, you’re going to at least make it yourself, huh. At least you can control it that way.”
Isaac clicked his tongue at the tough decision, and Rivelia left the rooftop, mentioning her duties. Only after Isaac went through two more cigarettes did Rizzly return.
“So you found out?”
“Yes. The Grand Council approved it with the condition that we have a monopoly over core technologies and its related patents.”
“An economic capitulation… But would that really be enough of a shackle?”
Humans were truly intelligent when it came to profit. At the end of the day, most people lived with one thing in mind. Riches.
Even if they had a monopoly, you’d never know when someone would have a spark of innovation and give birth to a completely new invention. The Empire would most definitely support it too.
The other races could point at their patents, but that only worked within Central. It was impossible to censor technological development and account for untold inventions throughout the world.
They could argue that the technology was originally theirs all day, but for the inventor who actually put the time and effort to create it, it’d seem like they’re just stealing their work. If the creator demanded why they didn’t reveal the technology in the first place, the non-humans wouldn’t have an answer.
Rizzly seemed to catch on to what Isaac was saying and shrugged as he answered.
“It seems there are other ways to restrict the Empire too. Even if we didn’t, we still have the Directorate of Surveillance.”
‘That still shouldn’t be enough…’
In an industrial revolution involving trains and airships, the development of mass media was a bomb that could utterly and completely change society.
No matter how much control over the media was had, it was a double-edged sword. It could potentially reveal the Central’s secrets and the existence of the Expeditionary Forces.
Not only that, the development of communication technologies would empower those who were unhappy with the feudal system and its restrictions, enabling them to gather and join forces.
Central seemed to worry only about culture, technology, and religion that the Expedition would bring, but they also had to prepare for countless ideas centred around certain aspects.
Even in the previous world, these bloody ideologies almost brought the end of the world and started many wars. What would happen when these same ideologies were imported too?
When approached by these ideologies—which have fed upon blood and been polished through time—some would turn to radicalism, some would be opportunistic, some would seek a quick buck and so on. They were the same as religious fanatics.
Isaac was about to point out this fact, but he gave up. This world was too used to Central’s merciless suppression; in the other world, Central’s methods would’ve been recognized akin to massacres— flagrant human rights violation that would’ve led to massive outcries.
Even so, Central wouldn’t be able to continue acting unimpeded like now once the media established themselves.
There was no way Central wasn’t aware of the media’s danger, so their approval for its development meant either they had confidence to control it or there was potential gain that outweighed the risks.
Plus, it wasn’t a bad thing for Isaac.
No matter how big of a scene he made, it would end as an inside joke to those in the know, but it was much easier to tear the world apart using the media.
The media was a great money maker too, and Isaac had previously been born in a world of cutthroat battles for views.
“This might make me some decent money?”
Isaac pondered deeply as he smoked his lungs away. Port City’s proposal for reunification had ended with Isaac’s rejection, but the expected release of new technologies had changed the situation.
Port and New Port City were truly at the centre of distribution in a geographical sense. It possessed all the best geographical traits of the entire continent for people to gather and redistribute goods.
Just operating with ships brought so much fortune, and if trains and airships were included too, the possible profit could match that of the Empire’s yearly tax revenue.
The problem was Port City. Approachability, placement, and most important of all, connections cultivated through their long history and traditions. If left alone, Port City could find a new foothold and revive dramatically, threatening New Port City. The simplest solution was to absorb Port City before these technologies were released, but the Lichtens were in the way.
“Advancing with both the reunification with Port City and absorbing the Lichtens’s territory is impossible.”
“I never thought money issues would cause a headache for me so suddenly.”
Isaac muttered in response to Rivelia, when Rizzly made a suggestion.
“How about you sell some shares?”
“Yes. Everyone knows how immense the profit will be once trains and airships are released, so you’ll get plenty of investment.”
“Who would want to invest in me?”
“Well there’s the Queen, high ranking officers in each Directorates, the members of the Grand Council, and so on. You’ll be able to raise all the funds you need in no time.”
Isaac folded his arms with an unimpressed look at Rizzly’s explanation. He chewed on his cigarette.
“I don’t like looking at them just putting their spoon on my meal like that… But I guess I need to reinforce our friendship. The elves and North bears can take what they want.”
Rivelia coughed dryly when Isaac gave his approval. She avoided eye contact out of embarrassment, and Isaac smirked at her cute act.
“The Pendletons can have some too. But, don’t take more than five percent.”
“But what shall we do with the Seven Grand Merchant Guilds? They’ve been showering us with honey lately.”
“The Seven Grand Merchant Guilds? I guess a merchant guild of that size wouldn’t miss out on such news. Are they bribing those around me because they aren’t making any dents on me?”
“They’re quite persistent. They’ve tasted the rewards once before, after all.”
When they develop social media, I’d love to see what Isaac would post and it’s comments xD
The part about a cultural invasion being much more influential than military invasions is the author’s reference to Korea’s long and historied past of its dynamics with the Chinese dynasties and Japanese rule.
I thought that the culture & ideology invasion is more about westernisation and the cold war, an entire war that happened because of two ideology.