|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
“Regarding my judgment on the corruption cases of Aishad, Domodir, Kasheek, and the other interim officials, do you have anything else to add, Adam?”
Seated in the main office of the estate, I stared through the mountains of documents on my table right at a downcast-looking Old Adam.
“My lord, you are wise in your decision, but…”
He left it hanging there.
In truth, even if he had continued, it wouldn’t have mattered. There were lines that shouldn’t be crossed, and this was one of them. In my most difficult of times, an official whom I had personally raised actually dared to defy my orders and attempt to pocket my funds -unforgivable.
I treated my subordinates fairly and well most of the time, but it seemed that human greed knew no bounds, and some people just loved to poke at the sleeping tiger. Did they think I was a Hello Kitten” or something?
Thus I threw those foolhardy officials into the slammer. And if I could have my way, it was off with their heads.
I was dead serious on that; this would be the perfect chance to set an example of them as well. Old Adam, with his years of experience as the majordomo of the ruling nobility, could tell my intentions even without me saying.
In the end, they were locked up but spared. The side effect of that was they were now under my supervision, and if the families behind them wanted them back, they had better come crawling…
Because there was no way they could ever hope to beat me in a show of force…
While their corruption was a serious matter, it still wasn’t to the extent where all fourteen of them should be executed; that would just make me seem inhuman.
After all, each of them stole varying degrees of supplies and gold. I couldn’t very well have someone beheaded simply because he stole one gold coin. I would be a terrible despot.
That and the fact that I would instantly push away all the nobles in the region, given that they were all shady in some way. No one wanted to live with a figurative Sword of Damocles above their throats. And a pond that was overly clean was also barren of fish. But I still hated when someone tried to fleece me. For the time being, I had them locked up to see how their families would offer recompense.
Money, apologies, whatever. Perhaps even a display of willful stubbornness. It mattered not, because I was planning to turn this into a huge scandal.
Looking at the faint smile on my lips, the old steward shook a little. In all likelihood, he had guessed some of what I was planning. Even so, he still had to try. “Perhaps we should at least listen to what they have to say?”
“Adam, be frank with me, how much money did they give you?”
“My lord… I …”
Spoken with only the gentlest of tones, my words fell upon him like a hammer on an anvil. He immediately fell to his knees, quaking as he stuttered.
“It’s fine, you may rise for now. We might not have known each for long, but I am not an inflexible person. I do not expect everyone under me to be a perfect human, without a single speck of dirt on them, but… With times being so hard, a person whom I had personally picked had the audacity to steal my own money… Did they think I wouldn’t punish them for this insolence?”
Old Adam was quiet at my words. He knew this whole situation wasn’t my fault to begin with, and he knew how much I valued the common men from my actions.
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In this day and age, I was probably the only fool of a lord who would do such a thing.
“Just ignore them for a few days, tell them I’m busy with official business.” I smirked before continuing, “It’s not like I’ve officially declared an execution date, we can discuss the matter of those fools later.”
“Understood.” Old Adam nodded. At least he had something to tell his patrons now.
“All right, you may leave as well. I’m sure you have many duties to attend to as the steward.”
“With your leave, my lord, I will be off.”
His old back stiffened and immediately lowered. “Yes, my lord?”
“I need you to send a message to Meister Amori and Belud. Just tell them I have some new insights regarding that little problem, find some time tomorrow and we may discuss this in detail.”
“Yes, my lord.” He replied respectfully before whipping around and rushing out the door.
Hmm… That won’t do at all. Old Adam is a decent steward of my estate. He does good work and even helps me with some official matters; I wouldn’t want him to be living in fear all day.
But am I even that scary?
I mean… Look how handsome I am, why would people be scared?
With the old steward gone, I buried myself in those documents again. Menial as they might be, Kesek was in dire need of administration right now. The food problem was solved, but the masses needed work as well, else they might just get up to no good again. Even those refugees were no exception. Especially if I wanted them to settle in my territory.
With Kesek’s lack of production, boosting our population would only be a boon for development.