Chapter 135 – Romaine’s second plan (3)
“Miss Romaine, I don’t think you can call their actions a trade, it’s actually a donation.” Sangany answered behind her.
Romaine’s face went up a little higher as she tapped her chin with her finger: “But that’s obviously a trade. If you buy hope with food, isn’t that a transaction?”
“Using food to buy hope? What does that mean?” Amandina looked strangely at her.
Everyone felt the same way about Romaine’s replies. Brendel was the only exception as he wondered how Romaine’s little mind actually worked. She seemed to always think of something that normal people could not.
“Amandina, how long do you need to make this place a self-sufficient economy if the region is governed by you?”
Amandina immediately felt there was an additional meaning to his words. She turned her attention to him, wondering if the youth had his eyes set on this territory, or simply to test her out.
Regardless of his intentions were, she took a serious look at the filthy citizens who had clothes that were patched up many times from different clothes like refugees, thought for a while before she answered with difficulty.
“The shortest time would be at least a year, two if things don’t go well. There is no wealth amongst the citizens right now, and they lacks the basic requirements to convert into a commercial industry. Even if we did a tax reform and redistribute the land for cultivation, we need a certain amount of time to gather the resources to store up wealth…… But I am confident that I can start paving the road of a commercial district in two years. But it would require a great sum of money…..”
“Then we just need to distribute the wealth so the citizens are wealthy enough right?” Romaine interrupted her and said it like it was matter-of-fact.
“Is…… there any meaning to it?” Amandina nearly choked on her indignance: “Are we going to be any different from the addicted gamblers if we lend our money to the poor? It’s the same as letting them gamble for us, and the money we win back is nothing but our own money with the real possibility of losing everything…..”
She looked at Romaine like the latter was someone who was merely interested in dealing with risk.
“Didn’t you already say you’re ‘lending’ money? These cute gamblers won’t run away with our money and bring back even more to us. It’s cgoing to be clearly stated on promissory notes.”
“In the end we won’t receive anything because they are simply too poor and ignorant on how to earn money.”
Romaine shook her finger like she was a world-class banker, then pointed at the citizens in the city.
“You are not wrong. But these people are desperate to get out of poverty, right? Distributing our money is the same as buying hope for them. When we give them money, we can teach them on how to work in production lines and fulfill their wish on being self-sufficient, and when they do so, it naturally means they would be able to pay off what they owe in thier promissory notes. I would then gain many partners in the commerce game. This is different from gambling. If you bury your a gold coin in the ground here, the next year you would be able to gain two gold coins!”
She winked at Amandina mischeiviously.
“That…… Maybe it’s true, but achieving it in reality is difficult……” Even though Amandina understood Romaine’s point of view, she was unable to accept this crazy logic.
“Indeed there’s a certain difficulty…..” Brendel nodded, but he looked at Romaine with praise. Romaine’s ideas were not really transactions, but a form of redistribution. If they direct both capital and production materials to the citizens, they would be able to create high productivity. However, that idea will only work if the entire region’s wealth was under the territory’s lord. Still, it was remarkably ahead for this era in terms of economic policies.
While Brendel was capable in administering the financial structure, he was a layman when it came to building the finer details on infrastructure for a business.
He was confident he could set the foundations for the policy and free it from any outside interference, though.
“Rather than say you’re buying hope, you can think it as buying labor. By having a motivated workforce, there would be a difference in the speed of creating financial gains. If we are to do this, then the most important aspect of the policy is how the wealth is redistributed. Amandina, do you have any thoughts on this?” Brendel said.
“Repair the roads.” Amandina said.
Brendel nodded inwardly when her thoughts were the same as his own.
“…… My lord, what exactly are you planning to do in this land?” Amandina hesitated for a while before she finally gathered her courage and whispered to him.
Amandina almost could not believe the words she was asking. It was the same as encouraging her lord to attack a legitimate lord. Usurping the land was the equivalent of betraying the kingdom. However, the royal crown was weakening as the days passed by, and witnessing the noble lords’ cruely and decadent behaviors, she was greatly shaken in the kingdom’s future.
Brendel first nodded, then shook his head and rubbed his forehead.
[I certainly have ideas on this place. That bastard isn’t some decent noble in the game or this world. Just look at the plight of this place. Baron Graudin is just too close to my future lands, even if he doesn’t invade my territory, there would definitely be highly unfair trading happening in the future. There wouldn’t be any profit to speak off. But there are two things that I’m lacking in to take him down. Men and timing.]
He estimated that he should wait at least one to two months, when the various lords in their territories announced their independence, and no one would care about the fight between two lords in the southern border. By that time, he should be ready to deal with Baron Graudin.
[But this is a headache. Trentheim at this year is certainly one of the poorest regions in Aouine. I was afraid Romaine might have trouble creating commerce in this area, but it seems like she already have ideas in place. Should I get Amandina to start working on a plan? Money is the next concern, the first step would be blackmailing money from the nobles who skimmed profits from Bruglas’ routes as our startup capital, then start working on access to the rich southern mines. Any other sources like overseas trading can be left to Amandina to work on—]
A loud snap from a horse whip suddenly broke his thoughts. He and his men immediately turned to the source of the noise, and saw a group of riders entering the city. Even though their equipment were all mixed all over, their emblems were clear.
Their flag was a pelican over a black-and-white checkmarked squares, which was clearly Randner’s retainer’s symbol. Brendel immediately knew these men belonged to Baron Graudin’s personal troops.
They wrote through the uneven roads quickly and raised their whips in order to drive the citizens on the street to the sides. The citizens scattered like they were a bunch of livestock, but this scene seemed to be oddly humorous to the riders, and they laughed openly and loudly.
A few even had to correct their riding postures from their laughter.
Amandina instantly frowned. This was not an uncommon sight in Bruglas as the city’s guards did the same thing. Scarlett scoffed coldly a little later after observing the riders.
“They seemed to be dragging something behind them.” Sanford suddenly pointed at the ground behind the riders.
“Dead bodies.” Brendel answered, but sighed as he finished as his words: “The nobles’ private soldiers went out to kill bandits.”
“Is there something wrong?” Amandina was puzzled over his reaction. Was it not a common thing?
But Brendel placed his palm up to stop her queries, then pointed at another direction. When she placed her focus in the area, she saw a group of women kneeling on the ground weeping as they covered their faces.
“…… What’s going on?” She asked.
“Rather than calling them bandits, you can call them peasants forced to flee from the lord’s taxation. Many of them lived their lives out like common peasants and do not partake in thievery, but since they avoided taxes, they were classified and judged as outlaws.” One of the Grey Wolves Mercenaries answered her question as he was familar with this practice: “My father also died in this manner, these fucking nobles…..”
“Are there only men?” Amandina inhaled deeply and asked.
“Yes. It’s not exactly heaven living out int he open.” Brendel nodded.
At Brendel’s final comment, the city suddenly seemed to fall into an odd silence. Other than the private soldiers’ yells and curses, and the women’s quiet weeps, there was on one who spoke when they saw this sight.
(TL: I think I explained it before, but Feudalism has 3 concepts, Lords – Vassals – Fiedom. Vassals answers to their sworn lords and may hold fiefs. For more information, go wikipedia. Too much info to summarize, honestly.
The next thing is about redistribution of wealth. When I look at the information as a whole, it seems like Amandina/Brendel is either going for trading/production over agriculture.)