Otherworld Nation Founding Chronicles - Chapter 43
Otherworld Nation Founding Chronicles Volume 2 Chapter 43
Ron is badass. Though it kind of feels wrong. Haha. But that’s just me.
Also… Riajuu explode! Almis, you lucky bastard.
The new lord is a reasonable man.
That’s how the people of the Ars Territory see their new ruler.
At present, there’s no military conscription. If you do labor, he’ll compensate with a wage. Taxes are surprisingly low. Furthermore, he gave people who normally can’t do agriculture like widows a special job, that of making paper.
‘Yes. It’s not a tax after all. Except in cases of war, calamity, or when there’s an emergency need for goods, I won’t be taking special taxes.’ These words he said to the surprised blacksmiths have spread across the Ars territory in the blink of an eye.
King Ferrum was notorious for frequently requisitioning goods while King Ragou Ars was known for asking for special taxes.
In contrast, Lord Almis doesn’t do any of those.
The people are embracing him with great expectation.
At the same time, however, they also see him as someone who does strange things at times.
It’s about the official post called the Tax Collector.
When you speak of the Tax Collectors, they would refer to the vassals that the current lord brought from the forest. You can also call them as knights.
They were unusually excellent in the martial arts and all of them could read, write, and calculate. All of them were dispatched to each village at the same time as the new lord was inaugurated.
Furthermore, they investigated the size of all the agricultural lands in each village and recorded them and their owners in paper.
To the people of the Ars Territory, they can only see this as eccentric behavior. They couldn’t understand what’s the point of doing them.
The Tax Collectors also said this:
“Listen well people, from here on out, we will be the ones who would come to collect the taxes. The village chief is still the one responsible for gathering the village’s taxes so nothing much will change but it would be us who would come to get them. Please be at ease. However, we will never condone tax evasion or embezzlement.”
For the village chiefs, this should mean that they would save time. Although they’re doubting why they should accede to this way, they nevertheless agreed.
It will be in the sixth month when we will actually begin to collect the taxes. (TL Note: I don’t get it so I winged it.)
“Hey, this isn’t enough, you know? Is this really everything?” Ron asks as he glares at the village chief.
The village chief answers ingratiatingly. “Yes sir. That is everything. Do you have reason to believe that it’s not enough, sir?”
“Yes. There’s a large discrepancy between what you gave me and this area’s projected harvest. We haven’t heard anything about crop failure here.” (Ron)
The projected harvest is amount of harvest derived from the analysis of the area’s normal harvest as surveyed from the population, the size of the land, and the current year’s weather. Even if the projection’s off, barring exceptional disasters, there shouldn’t be that much of a difference with the actual harvest.
Therefore, the village chief is suspect to embezzlement.
“Come, we’ll investigate.” Ron commands as he and Soyon proceed together to the village chief’s house, shaking off the chief’s repose.
The two carefully observe the village chief’s house.
It was not a pit house, perhaps a reflection of the chief’s social status. It’s properly built with flooring.
Ron notices something out of place. He stabs the floor with the hilt of a sword. It somehow made a sound different to how it should be.
Ron and Soyon looks at each other. Meanwhile, the chief’s face turns pale.
Ron raises the sword and swings down towards the floor. The sword strikes the floor and makes a fissure. The duo put their hands through the crevice and pulled with just the two of them.
The floor makes a creaking sound as it turns over. Underneath is a wide space wherein a large amount of wheat is hidden.
“What is this?” (Ron)
“Umm…This is…” The village chief hesitates to say.
Ron speaks as he surveyed the wheat with cold eyes:
“This is embezzlement. It is a felony. About five lashes, if I recall correctly.” (Ron)
The village chief bends his knees and lowers his head deeply.
“Pl…Please!! I will give the Sir a third….No! Two-thirds of everything here! So…please!” (Chief)
“Don’t screw with me!!” (Ron)
Ron draws his sword and swings it.
The chief’s walking stick falls to the ground. His face turns ghastly pale. (TL Note: This line made me crazy. It turns out the author alluded to a riddle here. Won’t translate it because it doesn’t translate well but I can say with certainty that this is the literal meaning.)
“Bribery. I believe that’s also five lashes.” (Ron)
“Please have mercy!” (Chief)
“Tell that to the lord.” (Ron)
Ron and Soyon leaves after making the villagers load the wheat into the horse cart.
“This is the 12th case. Embezzlement and bribery are too rampant!” (Ron)
“There are a lot of village chiefs embezzling taxes. That’s why there’s a phenomenon that even if you slap on high taxes, you won’t be able to gather much.”
Yal says after they got together on the way. (Check) He’s still learning how to read and write so he’s accompanied by an assistant. He has also finished his rounds and is on the way back to Almis’ place.
“But Ron was so cool, you know.” (Soyon)
“Really? I practiced it you know. Leader is kind after all so I thought that we should go with a strict image.”
‘This flirting Baka-couple’ Yal can’t help but think as he smiles faintly looking at the couple.
“By the way, aren’t the horses insufficient? Not for the Knights, but for the stuff like tax collection, and land plowing. Don’t you think it’s better if we buy more?”
“Leader is thinking about buying more horses, you know? I heard he’s currently negotiating with the Cretian Merchant. “
“I see. But what do we do about the cost? Can we really buy horses with just paper?”
We’re currently in the process of manufacturing large quantities of paper, gathering together and employing widows and children in the Ars Territory. Having said that, there are also limits on the number of trees we can turn into paper.
As expected, can we really get and maintain that much horses?
“After we deliver these to the mansion’s storehouse, the next rounds would be the villages up north, huh. Since they’re kind of far, we’ll probably have to stay the night there. Sigh.”
“Well, we’ll be free soon after we finish the job so let’s just do our best for now. The most troubled among us now would be those two people after all.”
King Ferrum’s Old Palace.
It has become Almis and Tetra’s love nest. Presently, however, that love nest has disappeared and transformed into hell.
“The Hell! This is too much! This is just the quarter, huh…”
“Certainly, the present report mentioned only a quarter. More would probably be come later.”
“I know, I know. I know already so please don’t say it anymore.”
We’re firmly collecting the taxes after we made the family registers/census. I now see, this much is expected. I just never thought that this “as expected” would become so troublesome.
I was thinking why hasn’t anybody else done this before? It’s not that they don’t do it. It’s actually that they couldn’t do it.
“Let’s just ask help from Ron and the others when they come back. This is not something only two people can handle…”
“Agreed. I wonder if everyone will finish soon.”
Everyone is doing their best right now going around the Ars Territory collecting taxes. They’re certainly tired already. I’ll really feel bad for them. But you see….
The two of us are even more exhausted!!
“Haa…We’ll really be doing this every year at this season? At these rate, we’ll die, you know!”
“Don’t worry. By next year, we’ll have 10 people ready for duty. In other words, we’ll be able to add 10 people to the tax collectors. It’ll be easier to do the job then…probably.”
“But the highest we can go is only a hundred people right?…”
The kids I brought together with me number about a hundred people. In other words, the maximum number of bureaucrats would be a hundred people.
Right now, even if we relentlessly recruit even the young girls, we’d only have potentially 70 recruits. We’d only be able to increase the number of people we have 1.5 times.
“I guess we really need to develop human resources.”
“Yeah. It’s necessary. Let’s discuss about it later.
This means the things I need to do have yet again increased by one. Sigh…I’m starting to accumulate stress.
“Hey…can I have a hit?” (Almis) (TL Note: Unsure なあ……ちょっと当たっていいか)
“Hmm? Nnha!” (Tetra)
I pressed my lips on Tetra’s as I pushed her down.
“It’s just to have a break, can I?” (Almis)
“Nnn…Have as much as you want……” (Tetra)
Tetra closes her eyes. I reach out my hand to Tetra’s chest…
“Uhmm…I have a supplemental report, Sir….” (Lulu)
We make eye contact with Lulu. She averts her eyes in a panic then silently places the report on top of the table.
“Uhm…I guess please choose the place better?” declares Lulu as she exits.
What to do…what to do…
“What do we do?” Tetra immediately looks at me and asks.
“Hmmm…I guess I’ll just have it at night. It’s kind of cooled down anyway. Besides…”
I have to quickly digest the new report.