the-greatest-estate-designer (NOVEL) - chapter 19
It’s something everyone would’ve heard at least once.
That saying originated from the numerous roads that were built during the ancient Roman period.
‘The Roman Empire was completely enamored with roads.’
Roads should be made as straight as possible. It should connect every nook and cranny in the vast territory. For them, they wouldn’t hesitate to drill holes in the mountains or build bridges in the valleys. Rome was the empire that upheld such beliefs the most.
Thanks to that, they had paved roads with a total length of 85.000 km. Based on the equator, the length of the roads they paved would be enough to circle the earth twice and a little bit more.
“The road is just as important. Do you know the factor that has the greatest influence on a land’s value?”
“I’m not really sure.”
“It’s the traffic, traffic.”
Amidst Javier’s silence, Lloyd continued his words.
“Let’s say you have a house. However, the road from that house to the market is very rough. You have to go over a mountain, cross the river, and even bungee jump. Whenever you go out, automatically, you’ll mentally shout ‘Let’s go, Dream Team!’. Would you like to live in a house like that?”
“I think it will be great for training.”
“If you swim and climb a mountain every day, your basic physical strength will get stronger. Bungee jump… I don’t know what that is, but it would also be great for sword training if it also brings an extreme experience.”
“Tsk, then let’s see it from general public’s point of view, not from a guy with a swordsmanship fetish like you.”
“Um, then that’s going to be a little difficult.”
“I’m right, aren’t I?”
“Now we’re on the same page.”
Feeling satisfied, the corners of Lloyd’s mouth rose.
“It’s not only applied to houses. The territory is the same. Do you know what our territory’s biggest problem is?”
“In the past, it was Lloyd-nim.”
“But now, I don’t know.”
“Hmhmm. It’s the road, the road.”
“That’s right. Have you ever seen a properly paved road in our territory?”
“I haven’t seen any.”
“Right? That’s it.”
It was the truth. Frontera Barony didn’t have a single paved road. Along the road where many people frequented, grasses didn’t grow. So, it naturally formed dirt roads that occasionally froze.
He thought this was the right time to change that. Additionally, getting the road’s common benefits wasn’t his end goal. Lloyd had a more important plan regarding the road’s utilization.
“Anyway, you don’t have to know right away what I’m trying to do. Can you step aside? I want to survey the place.”
The reason for the road’s construction would be apparent from the results regardless. So, rather than wasting time explaining, now is the time to implement it.
Lloyd shooed his hand at Javier and examined the terrain where the road would be built.
‘It’d be best if we could lay asphalt, but that won’t work here. Appian Way is the most suitable technology to be used here.’
Lloyd recalled the Appian Way he had learned during his liberal arts lecture. It also happened to be the topic he researched and presented as a group project.
‘The road of early Rome. The mother and starting point of numerous roads in Rome. Thanks to the Appian Way, Rome was able to conquer the southern part of the Italian Peninsula successfully. Even to this day, that road still remains strong.’
That road was built more than 2.000 years ago. However, it was still in good shape without needing any repair. This aspect showed a glimpse of ancient Rome’s formidable civil engineering techniques. Lloyd planned to build a road just like Appian Way along the central area of the territory.
‘From here to there.’
From the entrance of the territory’s mansion over there, straight through the territory to the base of that far eastern mountain. That part of the terrain was perfect to be used as the main road for the territory’s growth in the future.
But, there was something that had to be done before the construction began, survey and design.
‘First, let’s raise the skill’s level.’
Lloyd opened the skill window.
[Loading your skill list]
[Basic Survey: Lv 2]
[Basic Design: Lv 2]
[Extension Skill-(Shoveling): Lv 1]
‘Hm, I think I need to invest more in my survey and design skills.’
For the time being, Lloyd surveyed and designed several ondol rooms. Thanks to the accumulated experience, the level of his basic survey and basic design skill increased by 1 each.
However, this was still not enough to survey and design roads.
‘The basic survey skill can only cover an area of 121 m² each use. As for the basic design skill, the structure’s volume is limited to 1.331 m³. This is too inefficient.’
Lloyd furrowed his forehead.
That was the truth.
Not long ago, he tested how many times he could use the skill at once. The result wasn’t as satisfactory as he expected. The limit was 10 times for basic survey and basic design each.
Trying more than that brought extreme fatigue and dizziness. Then, the skill naturally canceled on its own. It even took him almost a day of recovery to use the skill again. In conclusion, with his current skill level, only an area of 1.210 m² and a volume of 13.310 m³ can be measured and designed per day.
‘This is won’t to work. The distance from here to that mountain is so long. We have to hurry the construction a little to finish before spring’s rainy season comes.’
Lloyd didn’t have much time. Thankfully, He’d gathered quite a few of RP.
[Current RP: 659]
… No, a lot was piled up.
‘Should I at least give Sir Neumann a thank-you note?’
It was thanks to the duel and Sir Neumann’s defeat that my favorability with many people was improved.
20 points of favorability from the baron, 2 from Javier, and 1 from Sir Bayern. On top of that, the fief resident’s accumulated favorability rose by 6 points. Because of this, Lloyd was able to gather a whopping 507 RP that day alone.
Even so, He didn’t waste RP hastily. If Lloyd keep it, there will come a day when it will be useful. With that faith, Lloyd frugally kept the RP up until now.
And finally, the time to use the RP He saved had come.
‘Well let’s see. Let’s raise one level each for a test.’
Lloyd moved his gaze to one side of the skill window. There was a skill-up button. He blinked his eyes at the button, the gesture was similar to clicking a mouse.
[Skill Level Up List]
[Basic Survey: Lv 2 → 3 (RP Consumed: 10)]
[Basic Design: Lv 2 → 3 (RP Consumed: 10)]
[Extension Skill-(Shoveling): Lv 1 → 2 (RP Consumed: 15)]
‘Survey and design.’ Two skills were chosen.
[Skill Level Up!]
[Basic Survey: Lv 3]
[Area that can be surveyed at once: 144 m²]
[RP required for next level-up: 15]
[Basic Design: Lv 3]
[Volume of the structure that can be designed at once: 1.728 m³]
[RP required for next level-up: 15]
[Current RP: 639]
The skill’s impact has slightly increased. However, He couldn’t be satisfied with this.
‘While we’re at it, let’s invest in them properly.’
Survey and design were his lifelines. It was not the time to be stingy about investing in them.
Lloyd boldly poured out his remaining RP. The level of survey and design skills were increased dramatically.
Level 3 to level 4; level 5 to level 6. Finally, He leveled them up from level 9 to 10.
When Lloyd invested some RP once more and raised those skills to level 11, a slightly different message popped out in his mind.
[Skill Rank Up!]
[Basic Survey Skill’s rank has been upgraded to ]
[Optional Skills have been unlocked due to skill rank up.]
[Intermediate Survey: Lv 1]
[Area that can be surveyed at once: 1.600 m²]
[Skill-Only Option ①: Land Price Appraisal – Appraise the unit price of the surveyed terrain at present time. (Error rate +/-5%)]
[Skill-Only Option ②: GPR Scanning – Automatically scan the surveyed terrain up to 5 meters underground. Identifies all elements within range, including ground composition, soil, bedrock, groundwater, buried resources, and many more.]
[RP required for next level-up: 100]
[Basic Design Skill’s rank has been upgraded to ]
[Optional Skills have been unlocked due to skill rank up.]
[Intermediate Design: Lv 1]
[Volume of the structure that can be designed at once: 64.000 m³] [Skill-Only Option ①: Architectural Printing – Print the drawn design accurately (on designated paper, etc.).]
[Skill-Only Option ②: Floor Plan Display (2D) – Displays the design as a 2D floor plan on the actual land. (Note: Only visible to myself)]
[RP required for next level-up: 100]
[Current RP: 119]
‘Oh my, a jackpot.’
The changes in the skills’ description made his eyes wide open. Lloyd wasn’t even bothered at the RP which had been consumed tremendously.
‘The skills’ limitations on survey’s area and design’s volume have increased immensely. However, there was something even more amazing than that.’
Lloyd gazed upon the Intermediate Survey’s optional skills. These optional skills were added when the skill rose above Beginner Lv 10 and ranked up to Intermediate. The contents of these optional skills were truly amazing.
‘Land appraisal? It’s just like a complete real estate application because you can literally appraise the land’s current market price. In addition, it can also scan the underground.’
Let’s try it for now. Lloyd cast his gaze into the distance and activated the Intermediate Survey skill.
Lloyd’s eyes faintly glowed blue. At the same time, the landscape he was looking at changed.
Within the range of a square-shaped area 40 m² wide and 40 m² long that was designated by his gaze, several pieces of information have been added and displayed. The first information was the estimated price of the land.
‘Oh my God…. Our territory, how could it be so cheap?’
Currently, the place he scanned could be called as the center of the territory. Just like the yolk of an egg, with bars and several shops huddled together. However, the estimated selling price per pyeong33.3058 m2 was less than one gold!
‘Hmph. I need to work harder.’
Once again, Lloyd realized the condition of Baron Frontera’s wealth. However, it was the story just for now. The price of the land will go up naturally when He cultivate the land.
Lloyd then focused on other information that appeared from the survey skill. The information he noticed this time was the result of GPR scanning.
‘This is a lot better than I thought.’
Just like how the optional skill was described, the underground within the survey’s range was visible clearly up to 5 meters deep. He could see how tree roots are intertwined inside the ground, how the groundwater flows, and even rabbit caves which were made in several places. Lloyd gulped unconsciously.
‘This is awesome. Seriously.’
So far, only information of the surface could be available when using the survey skill. In other words, there was no way to know what was underground except for digging the ground himself. However, that problem was resolved at once.
‘This would be very useful especially when it comes to constructing the ground foundation.’
Constructing a ground foundation is an absolute must. In particular, the bigger the building is, the more important the foundation construction is.
What if the underground is messy when you are building a large bridge or dam? What if you didn’t do the proper foundation construction?
In a few moments, the building will soon reveal its problems. Tilted, cracked, or sunk. Eventually, it’ll crumble and fall apart.
Before that, there may be a situation where demolition has to be carried out with tearful eyes. It will be a catastrophe. Because you have paid so much money to build something just to pour more money into its demolition to prevent further damage.
‘But if the GPR scanning is done automatically, it’ll be much less likely to happen. The time used on constructing the foundation will be greatly reduced.’
Lloyd can check the foundation construction in real time. The construction period will also be much shorter. This means He can save more money from the construction.
‘The Intermediate Design’s optional skills are also formidable.’
This time, Lloyd paid attention and gazed at the two optional skills in the design skill.
‘Architectural Printing and Floor Plan Display.’
He wanted to use it right away. However, Javier was still by his side. If Lloyd print a lot of drawings using design skill, He could be misunderstood as a human printer.
‘Let’s use the design skill when I’m alone.’
Let’s start with the survey.
From that day onwards, Lloyd began to survey during the day. The path was surveyed by calculating the area for the road. All of the information collected over the past few days was converted into data. Then the data was transferred to the design skill.
If daytime was the survey’s stage, then night time was when design became the main character. When night came, he put Javier to sleep first.
“Plastic Limit (PL) is defined as the percentage of water content when fine-grained soil is remolded by rolling a soil sample into a thread shape with a diameter of 3,2 mm (1/8″) and crumbles. The plastic limit of the soil…. Blah-blah-blah….. As for determining the Liquid Limit… thoroughly…using an analogous cone with a weight of 240g…d=20mm for cone penetration test and the water content ratio in correspondence… blah-blah…”
When Javier was completely knocked out, he began to use his design skill. Road routes and cross-sectional views of the road were designed based on the information obtained from the survey. And then, he quietly printed out the design’s blueprints so it wouldn’t wake Javier up.
As a test, Lloyd tried to print the blueprint on a paper. Then, the blueprint he designed was really printed by the skill.
‘Oh, it’s working. It’s really working.’
Up until now, he had to hand-draw the blueprints he designed with the design skill. It was a difficult and uncomfortable labor. The accuracy was also slightly reduced.
Then, now that the drawings are printed out like a printer, it became extremely pleasant and comfortable.
But that wasn’t the optional skill’s only power.
“Hey, Javier. Can you see that?”
“Yes? What is it?”
In the morning a few days later, Lloyd tried his optional skill on Javier at the site where the road was planned to be built. He pointed to that place.
“There. There are lines all over the ground, aren’t there?”
“I don’t see that. But…”
“I’m a little concerned about Lloyd-nim’s eye health or mental health.”
“Do you think I’m seeing things?”
“Hohoho, I understand.”
Lloyd chuckled slyly.
It was the result of last night’s design skill. Therefore, there were 2D floor plans engraved throughout the site. It was only visible to himself.
‘Okay. I can do this.’
The survey skill and design skill had become much more powerful than expected. Thanks to this, the construction’s preparations were done quickly.
It was time to jump into the real work, the full-scale construction.