On the road to become a town
The next day after I finished hunting I had to entertain Geisel who came to my mansion, he looked very tense.
Surely it is for all the retainers he saw serving under me.
「My little brother… why, do you have so many retainers…?」
「Everything is due to defending Nagrad Fort. Even from the surrounding lands, those who have confidence in their military prowess also wished for me to employ them. When repeated a couple of times, the number increased by itself」
「It’s not d-difficult to provide for so many retainers…?」
「Indeed. But since the number increased, now it is possible to use the land which had been left as fallow ground and use it again to cultivate, so it’s likely that the harvest that the territory will yield will greatly increase. And since the amount of land increased, I was able to distribute them among my new retainers」
「I-is that so…? But remember that at most you are one more of my retainers… Try not to go far beyond the limits of your position…」
Say what you want. It’s obvious that I won’t obey you.
「Nevertheless, there were a large number of dangerous scenes, not only the previously protected fortress. If by chance I had possessed such military force at such a time, I could have defeated a large numbers of enemies easily. In order to protect the territory of Neville, this military force will surely be necessary. Please understand」
「Uu… Is that so…? That is also true… Okay, now and in the future continue to be loyal…」
「Yes, the younger brother helps the elder brother. I feel like this is the only way that will rejoice even more father in heaven」
Compared with the old days, now I can afford to say what I want. From now on I will start chasing my brother to the end.
ButーーBut if I continue like this, my brother who is strongly suspicious of others will catch something.
Since I understand that, I had to probe about what my brother thinks about me in advance.
Immediately, a piece of information entered my ears.
A spy who entered as a merchant at Neville Castle came to report
「The Viscount seems to be frightened of Alsrod-sama. Especially since he does not have a child yet. Now he is worried whether he will be killed or not in order for you to seize the rank of Viscount」
「Is that right? That’s something I already understood, but he is certainly a man who can’t hide such feels」
It has not been more than a couple of months since I returned from the fortress. It means that officially despite having obtained my Job, it has not been more than a year since I joined the ranks of adults. Even I didn’t think that the situation would change.
I have read a lot of history books too. It is very common for a person who increased his military fame to establish his dynasty. People gather under a charismatic person. On the other hand, it’s difficult for my brother who is weak in war to make people come together under him.
「Let’s send to my brother’s wife our best wishes for an easy childbirth and an amulet of a famous temple. Continue gathering information」
The merchant went away.
It’s not like I’ve made suspicious moves so I don’t think he will do something like confiscating my lands, but it wouldn’t be rare for the assassination attempts towards me to begin shortly.
I know Geisel’s character well. That he is right now calm is because he can’t do anything but wait.
However, truly this “calm” is my greatest opportunity.
Until then, I will make my reputation increase as much as possible.
Assertively I volunteered to maintain the tombs of our clan. The Neville HouseーーIt’s clan with the same name as the land as surname.
And it’s not like there is a law that forbids me to maintain the tombs of our clan. But looking at it from an outside perspective, I will appear as if I were the successor to the Neville House. Of course, on the surface I’m doing it on behalf of the busy feudal lord.
At that moment, my inner voice came to tell me something.
ーーYou should take measures to stimulate trade now. Since there isn’t such a thing as a poor Monarch. You should start trying with a small place.
If money comes in, you will not have problems. But specifically how should I start?
ーーStart by making the merchant’s stores free of tax. Doing so will surely make the market’s scale grown a lot.
It is true that stores in the market must pay a tax, that was the common sense until now. There is also no need for them to pay taxes to similar commercial associations like the ones owned by the Neville Castle.
But then, how will the Lord make profit?
ーーChange it to a system in which they will pay a part of their profits.
But that way they will escape without paying their taxes.
ーーIf they can make profit, then the merchants will pay honestly. You certainly don’t want them profit and then being stingy with the tax. There will be no harm even if one or two who don’t profit don’t pay. What you want is to collect tax from the places that have money.
Shall I believe what Oda Nobunaga says?
Within my territory I issued an edict that says that: 「All the goods sold in the market are from now on tax free. Whether it’s a merchant or peasant, they can start selling whatever they want as they please. However, they must pay part of their profits」
It had an immediate effect.
If you patrol along the main road, you can see that the market’s scale grown a lot.
As the people selling increased, you could see people selling alcohol/sake, people selling bentos/lunch box, or even more people joining to start new types of business. The scale of the town was growing at an accelerated pace.
It was only a little after I got my job, almost a year later, that along with Raviara, I went to patrol.
「Raviara has never seen such a lively town in her life!」
Seeing the lively appearance in which she was, it was apparent that Raviara was surprised from the bottom of her heart.
「It’s still small compared to Neville Castle, but perhaps as a temporary town it could be the biggest in its class」
「The elves coming from my mother’s side are also selling herbs, and you can even see more beastmen merchants compared to before. More than a temporary town, this looks like a true town!」
「Even the merchants near the castle that are beginning to open stores here is increasing. Even if they fail, it doesn’t cost us anything that they open a store, so there’s no economic loss from our side」
「You can really say that this was a great success」
At the moment, they are paying us properly part of their sales. If it is discovered that they don’t pay, their right to sell is revoked, but since their profits increased they pay honestly. Rather, it became a place where you want to open a shop even if that means paying.
「But… this will become a provocation against the Viscount, is not that true?」
Raviara said quietly.
It’s time for Geisel to make his move.