Chapter 834: Matters of the Territory (7)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Ansom Krayt was silent, or rather, he was at a loss for words, because Werdeness was completely right.

As he said, as long as I maintained my current status, the number of people who would line up to win my favor would only increase by the day.

And everyone knew that, other than buttering a person up, or giving them gifts, the next best method was to take care of someone’s nemesis for him. Even if the person in question had already forgotten about this so-called nemesis.

In fact… people would probably praise me for being magnanimous if I “forgot” about old grudges, despite my obvious position of superiority. The opposite would be true if I chose to pursue such old grudges; I would be seen as petty.

Long story short, if I maintained my current status, I wouldn’t even need to pursue my own grudges, someone would take care of it for me, or my enemies would come groveling for forgiveness on their own. Paradoxically, pursuing these grudges myself would produce the opposite effect.

Obviously, Werdeness was hinting that he could be the one to handle such mundane matters which were beneath me.

“In that case, I’ll leave the noble houses to you. As for those three to be executed… I will leave that up to you as well.”

This was to be a test for him. That was what I had decided after listening to his plans.

Naturally, the man was beside him when he realized I had given him complete autonomy in this matter. He immediately beamed, bowing both as a sign of respect and of gratitude. “You have my utmost gratitude, my lord. Your humble servant won’t let you down.”

“I think so too.” I nodded. “You aren’t like the rest -you are smarter than them.”

“My utmost gratitude, my lord.”

“Moving on… I think you will find this next matter rather familiar to you.”

“My lord?”

“Just like before, there are some fools I need to kill to send a message.” As I said that, my voice was calm. Deathly so.

“I would have expected nothing less from our great lord.” Werdeness almost instinctively replied with flattery. But after a moment of consideration, he asked cautiously, “My lord wishes to punish those who protested the most?”

“I wish to punish those who had made use of these extraordinary times to turn a quick profit.”

At that point, a smart merchant like Werdeness realized who I was referring to and what I was intending.

“My lord, your humble servant has something to confess as well, our house’s pricings have risen, but…”

I raised my hand, cutting him off. “Enough. I know you have your circumstances. I’m sure you had to raise your prices, lest the other merchants turned against you. But your smartest move thus far was not to cross that line in the sand, else I would not have met you at all. Because you did not cross that line, I won’t pursue your role in this. What I truly despise is slavery, and those who would rob the refugees of their freedom for a quick coin.”

“Your humble servant understands.” Werdeness fell silent again. Finally, he cleared his throat, steadied himself, then spoke, “The most egregious of the merchants come from eleven merchant guilds. Each of them has the backing of a noble house. Of those eleven, three of them were groomed by foreign nobles. When my lord gave out the supplies from His Majesty, approximately 130,000 commoners were made slaves of these eleven guilds. Other merchants had partaken in this horrendous act, but these eleven were the worst. And by my investigations, the amount of refugees in the territory has crossed a million. 270,000 of them have been made slaves…”

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“Cut straight to the point.” I had no desire to know these numbers and cut him off once more. “If I hand over authority to you, how do you plan on remedying this situation?”

“With my lord’s leave, your humble servant will bankrupt these offenders using the powers of my lord, then buy them up at a low price. Naturally, all these assets are my lord’s. As a gift from your humble servant.,,”

Werdenss laid out his plan for me further. And it actually was a simple plan, but an effective one.

He was planning to use my authority to restrict the daily activities of those guilds, then deal the finishing blow with his own. By absorbing all these guilds, and apparently enriching himself in the process, he would divert all potential blowback to himself while I could just simply sit there and count the coins.

Of course, by distancing myself from this entire process, it would take much longer, allowing for more counterattacks and variables.

“When all is said and done, my lord merely has to claim ignorance of the entire matter. A reason along the lines of being busy with the magitek research should suffice…”

“Interesting… very interesting.”

I had to admit, I had a certain fondness for subordinates who were willing to sacrifice their reputation for me.

“It is your humble servant’s honor.” Otto smiled widely, every bit a loyal henchman.

Ansom, on the other hand, was at a loss for words again.

“Hey. Enough gawking. I have a job for you too.” I waved at Ansom and continued, “Find a bright fellow amongst the magitek knight pilots to help Otto. I want this matter handled well.”

“Yes, Commander.”

“Don’t ruin this opportunity,” I turned to Otto and smiled.

“Rest assured, my lord, your humble servant swears on his life to handle this well.”

“I don’t need your life, I just need it done. Ansom, show Otto out, and find him an assistant.”

“Yes, Commander.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Not long after I was done with those two, the meisters came knocking on my door once more.

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