Chapter 73: The First Public Gate
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After the successful test flight of The Montgolfier, the Ito Conglomerate was flooded with requests by the nobility to go on future flights. The costs of building the infrastructure, materials and building costs for the airship were still far out of the range of a good return on investment, however, Guy didn't mind wasting the money on such a historic opportunity. What he lost in upfront costs would easily be made up through future returns just in promoting the Ito Conglomerate name. Thanks to the many inventions and products of the Ito Conglomerate as well as the products of Montfort Industries, Guy had more money than the Royal Treasury of Pays Des Abrutis. Guy wisely created a bank as one of his first investments and started to reinvest the money he made in his first year in his new life. In a lot of ways, Guy de Montfort was centuries ahead of his competition. The areas he lacked knowledge in, he overspent to get the best minds available. 

Madeline sat with Guy as he read through some of the documents on his table she asked, "I used to think that I was just an hour or two of studying behind you. If I could just learn one more book or spend one more hour training my sword." She sighed, "I see how hard you work and it makes me tired just watching you. I am worried that you won't survive long living like this... When will you have enough?"

Guy stopped writing and put down his pencil, "You're right. When I first got here, I was just working nonstop because I was afraid of being in a strange world. I thought I needed to protect myself by having back up plans and making sure my new family was secure. I saw how easily the entire family could be put to death so I came up with plans within plans to avoid a dead end." He pointed to a thick book on the shelf, "The first few months were very hard, I started with one idea using the pocket money my father gave me to spend. One idea became two. Two allowed me to create a dozen. With a dozen, I started Montfort Industries. With Montfort Industries I opened the first Ito Bank. The Ito Bank allowed me to open more businesses. Those became the Ito Conglomerate. That book is the current list of businesses owned by the Ito Conglomerate. Most of them I have never seen or even looked at their name. I built this Conglomerate to be self-sustaining and growing. The managers and employees are all taught to reinvest the way I started out."

Madeline shook her head and said, "It's like you managed to become the King of your own country."

Guy shook his head, "I have become the financial backbone of the entire continent. Backed by the power of the Council of Magic, we have become too hot for any nation to touch or think about stealing from. Without that power, any number of nations would be trying to take from the Ito Conglomerate." 

Madeline sighed, "What do you want to do in the future? Have you thought beyond this? If we have a family, will you spend all your time here and ignore us?"

"I would like to spend more time with the Council in the future, possibly just teaching at the Academy. What about you, do you only want to raise children?" he looked at her and asked.

Madeline thought for a while and then said, "A woman's duty is to her family, it's expected that I would raise our children." 

"That's not what I asked you though, what do you want to do." He smiled at her. 

Madeline thought a while and then said, "I want to captain an Airship." She closed her eyes and then said, "I would love to just be able to fly all over the world, exploring and seeing the beauty of the world. I wouldn't mind having one child, but I don't know about more than that. I guess I would have to see how I felt. I just never really thought about a life of being married after my engagement was canceled." 

Guy smiled and said, "We can have our own private airship, better than The Montgolfier. I know the owner, he owes me a favor." 

The held each other and laughed.

Murphy walked in and said, "Mage Montfort, you asked me to tell you when we were ready to start the gate. We have both entrances ready." 

"Perfect timing Murphy lets get that over and done with so we can get the wedding preparations completed." Guy smiled.

*****

The Council of Magic all gathered at the first static gate point. Doreen asked, "So we thought we'd try setting the spell the same way we accidentally created the status board. We'll write the formula down here on the ground and then infuse mana into it. What we aren't certain about is if the gate will close again. We're hoping that it will stay open." 

Guy nodded to Doreen and said, "It's your baby, start it up." 

Doreen grinned, she pressed her hand against the ground and thought about infusing mana into it. A moment later a bright red gate opened up similar yet subtly different from the normal silvery gates. Doreen looked worried as she looked at Guy. He shrugged and said, "I don't know, should we wait and see if it closes?"

Diggory suggested, "Let's ask Claude to walk through it while one of us waits on the other side to see if he makes it."

Alicia grabbed on to Claude and said, "No, let's just toss something through it instead."

Madeline shook her head and then stepped through as Guy reached out to try and stop her from walking through. A few moments later Madeline walked back through and said, "It works fine. We should monitor the gate to make sure it's really static and stable." 

Guy frowned at her for a long time. 

Madeline batted her lashes and said, "Sometimes I want to be the hero too." 

Doreen laughed and said, "Maddy, I am with Guy on this one, even Diggory didn't want to do that." 

Alicia nodded and added, "What if you had been burned up or something, how would Guy have lived on?" 

Guy nodded and pointed at Alicia. Guy then rubbed his chin, "Let's let the gate stay open three days, then we'll start moving the equipment and materials to build the wedding area. If the gate fails before then we can always use The Montgolfier as a backup plan."

Alicia bounced up and down and then said, "Claude, you'll need to talk to the Rouvroys, I'll go meet with my mom and big sister." 

Madeline asked, "Have we talked to the interim government about the public gate?"

Olivier smiled and said, "Ella and I had tea with mother and the four Dukes yesterday. They want a public gate between the capital and each of the four Dukedoms. That way they can move their armies as needed for defense as well as allow the Dukes to move back and forth to their territories with ease."

Guy nodded, "That's easy enough to do. Let's make sure that this is stable and then we'll open those four next week prior to the wedding."

The Council members all voiced their agreement. 

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