|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
Now. It wasn’t like I thought all nobles treated their subjects as less than human, but those that didn’t were few and far between.
Maybe I really am a saintess… I mean saint.
The officials we sent out to administer the lands were reporting on a daily basis. However, I hadn’t the faintest clue about running a government, thus I dumped the mountain load of paperwork on my young adjutant, Ansom Krayt.
At the same time, I sent out Tallin to patrol the province on my behalf. His job was to beat any scoundrel foolish enough to stir trouble in my lands, and check up on those officials I sent out.
Even though I did vet those officials, it was also a fact that the entire province was severely understaffed. Thus I did not filter too many out either. As long as there wasn’t anything too egregious, I basically sent them on their way. Hopefully, obtaining power wouldn’t suddenly change their personality.
As it stood, the biggest problem facing the region was an acute lack of food. Time and time again, Ansom’s reports made mention of how this shortage had driven many to crime and robbery. This wasn’t a new problem, unfortunately. The province had always been the definition of the poverty line for food production. Barely hanging on was the best they could achieve.
In fact, the Ertalonese army had raided their food stocks a few times while traveling through this region during the initial invasion. Thanks to that traitorous new lord that murdered his brother, the current situation was balancing on a knife’s edge.
With hundreds of thousands of refugees expected to cross the borders…
By the time I was done reading through the reports, I shuddered at the mere thought of the human tragedy facing us. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, would starve to death at this rate. Not to mention the whole host of problems, like the desperate turning to crime, war profiteering… Then the truly desperate who would have to sell themselves or their own to make ends meet.
As a last resort, some even tried to revolt, but those were swiftly dealt with.
I hated those merchants who spiked their prices, but I had no food right now to spare. Using violence against those profiteering merchants wasn’t a solution either, that would just turn my province into a pariah amongst the merchant community, starving the area further, and hampering any future development.
A better solution had to exist.
Naturally, the best solution would be to import food into the province. Without such an acute shortage, the merchants couldn’t raise their prices either.
But the estate coffers were empty… Which was only to be expected, given that the entire manor was empty, staff and all, unless those people had nowhere else to go when the traitors fled.
I had my own wealth, but I couldn’t very well buy from those merchants directly, that would just peg me as being desperate, giving them even more leeway to fleece me. And I wouldn’t want them giving me a good price, only to allow them some favor or control over me.
A strong front was needed. And I had exactly such an idea in mind… though, not the best one ever. I could get my subordinates to disguise themselves as refugees, and find an opportunity to kill off the dishonest ones amongst the merchants. But there could be casualties, and outside merchants might see this as my province being unable to protect their safety. At that point, attracting more business would be difficult.
A lose-lose situation – definitely not the best idea ever- and one that shouldn’t be used except as a last resort.
Old Adam knew of my conundrum, thus he managed to loan some resources from the smaller nobles left in the region. However, the amount wasn’t much, whether food or gold. After all, if there were any nobles left at this point, that meant they were fallen nobles, ones that could not even participate in the mutiny.
Also, I couldn’t very well empty their treasuries. I only had some small benefits to give, not to the extent where they would give up everything willingly.
The other regions in the north couldn’t be counted on for help; they had their own problems as well. Thus, the King was my next option.
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That last idea struck me when Redleaf came to pay me a leisurely visit through the teleportation gate she set up. After our usual movie, I suddenly remembered how much influence this lady elf had with the King. I still didn’t know why she had so much power in this kingdom, but that didn’t stop me from asking for her help.
When she heard of my request, she immediately patted her chest, and raced off, figuratively, back to the palace.
A mere hour later, someone claiming to be Andassis the Seventh’s messenger came out of the teleportation gate…
And the following day… a huge supply of food came through the same gate…
With the King’s help, our crisis had been averted. I decided to distribute all the food to the refugees for free, shocking the entire world…
The refugees naturally worshiped me, but the merchants were miffed, as if the food was stolen from their warehouses. The King gave them to me, I’ll have you know!
Unfortunately, they couldn’t do a thing against me. After all, I was the Crimson Dragon Lady. Whatever they threw at me had better be stronger than those overlords, or else. In terms of influence, I was the lord of the land, if they wouldn’t listen, then off with their heads!
Now that the food crisis was over, another popped up.
When it rained, it poured…
Unlike a game, there was no loyalty stat I could refer to. And there was now talk of corruption in the ranks…