A week after the wedding, Seveni surprisingly appeared in front of Xu Yi and Still.
“I’m really sorry.” Seveni said to them with an apologetic look, “I wanted to attend your wedding and personally give you my blessings, but I was delayed because of an accident. I truly am sorry.”
Xu Yi honestly looked over Seveni and found that her face was covered in exhaustion, causing him to knit his brows. He waved his hand and said, “This isn’t anything important. Your highness is busy, so it is normal for you to be delayed. But your highness, I’ve heard that…..your recent situation isn’t good…..”
Seveni revealed a surprised look as she looked at Xu Yi and asked back, “Why are you asking this?”
“This is something that I’ve inferred from the information that some people have revealed to me……”
“Does that include Count Sean?” Seveni asked.
“Count Sean didn’t say anything, but he told me that his successor was from the Stagg Family. I think…..that this is not something your highness wishes to see.” Xu Yi paused before saying, “Other than that, Viscount Leslie’s reply gave me some facts. Your highness, didn’t those old nobles use to support you? Why are they suddenly changing their minds and supporting his highness Eric?”
Seveni looked at Still.
Xu Yi immediately said, “Still is my wife, I don’t need to hide anything from her.”
“I am happy and envious of the relationship between you and Still.” Seveni revealed a faint smile before shaking her head and saying, “It’s a real pity that I could never find someone who I could reveal everything to, so…..there are some things that aren't convenient for me to tell you.”
Xu Yi gave a shrug and said with a self ridiculing smile, “I thought that I was your highness’ firm ally.”
Hearing Xu Yi suddenly using polite language with her, how could Seveni not know that Xu Yi was showing the dissatisfaction in his heart? She could only say with a bitter laugh, “Xu Yi, it isn’t that I’m not willing to tell you, rather I can’t. There are many things that if you knew, I think that with my understanding of your personality, you will definitely choose to interfere with. But right now, I don’t want you to do this. The Frestech Chamber of Commerce can develop well, so I hope that you will make our Lampuri Kingdom stronger. I don’t wish for you to be destroyed before you can develop bigger. Do you understand my meaning?”
Hearing the sincerity in Seveni’s voice, Still reached out her hand to take Xu Yi’s and shook her head at him.
Xu Yi gave a deep sigh and looked at Seveni for a while before honestly saying, “Your highness, I understand your thoughts, but I hope that you can also understand my thoughts. From what I can see, you are the most suited successor in the kingdom. Because you really wish for the Lampuri Kingdom to become stronger and doesn’t just want the crown like other people, so no matter what, I will support you with all my strength.”
Although many people had connected Xu Yi and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce to supporting Seveni, this was the first time that Xu Yi had actually indicated his attitude.
When Seveni heard the seriousness in Xu Yi’s voice, her heart couldn’t help being moved. After hesitating a bit, she slowly shook her head and said, “I’m very happy that I can receive your approval and support, but please believe you, you really really aren’t suited to knowing this matter right now. When the time is right, I will tell you.”
Seeing that Seveni was this determined, Xu Yi knew that there was no meaning in continuing this conversation. He gave a nod and said, “Alright, I hope that day will come soon.”
Seveni revealed a faint smile. She took a deep breath and the emotions that shouldn’t have appeared on her face appeared.
“We should discuss business. Since you already know that the one taking over for Count Sean is Count Stagg, I think you should be clear on the influence this matter has on you and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce.”
Xu Yi gave a slow nod, “Yes, but I only know that it will be bad and I don’t know how bad it’ll be.”
“I can only say…...it’ll be worse than you imagined.” Seveni said with a serious look.
“Is that so?” Xu Yi and Still knit their brows at the same time, “That means that your relationship with his highness has reached the point where everything is being shown out in the open?”
“It can be said like that.” Seveni’s voice had a trace of helplessness, “Although this is not what I want to see, the facts are like this. Moreover, I can’t resist this matter, so I can only remind you to be more careful. Don’t give my royal brother any excuse to make a move, do you understand what I mean?”
Xu Yi knit his brows even tighter as he said with a bitter laugh, “Then you want me to be a coward?”
“Royal father once told me that if you want to achieve big things, you must learn to be patient. These are the words that I’m giving you now.” Seveni said seriously.
Xu Yi looked at Seveni and shook his head as he said, “Your highness, these words are suitable for me, but they aren’t suitable for you. If you still haven’t resolved yourself, perhaps many people who have supported you will be disappointed. Do you really think that his highness Eric is more suited to taking the throne compared to you?”
“I don’t want to discuss this.” Seveni shook her head and stopped this topic dead in its tracks, “Chairman Xu, other than coming to offer my blessings to you and Still in person, I also have some important matters to discuss. The first matter is related to the Magic Trebuchet.”
“Are there any problems with the Magic Trebuchet?” Xu Yi asked, “In the letter from Viscount Leslie, the Magic Trebuchet have displayed incredible strength in the northern battlefront. The Sack Kingdom soldiers have been beaten back again and again, they can’t even hold a formation.”
“Yes, the Magic Trebuchet is indeed very powerful, but because of its outstanding performance, the army headquarters doesn’t wish for this technology to remain in someone else’s hands. The army headquarters has decided that they wish the Frestech Chamber of Commerce to give the Magic Trebuchet technology to the army headquarters and send technical staff that can help the army headquarters understand the technology.” Seveni said.
“Your highness, this is your intention?” Xu Yi seriously asked.
Seveni paused for a bit before saying, “This is the army headquarter’s intentions.”
Xu Yi instantly understood, “Then can I reject?”
“I’m afraid not.”
Hearing this response, Xu Yi couldn’t help giving a cold laugh, “Then can I ask, what compensation is the army headquarters offering me?”
Seveni was silent for a while before slowly replying, “This is the decision of the army headquarters and the Royal Parliament. All military technology cannot be privately owned in the future.”
“So that means there is no compensation?” Xu Yi asked.
Seveni slowly shook her head.
“Very good.” Xu Yi gave another cold laugh, “This means that I will be handing it over for free. It seems like the face of the army headquarters isn’t that thick. They know that they are giving me an embarrassing request and they had your highness come here as a shield. Good, I can choose to give this technology for free since I am just a normal merchant, I can’t go against the army headquarters. But your highness, please tell the army headquarters and the Royal Parliament for me to properly consider the serious consequences of their actions.”
Seveni revealed a bitter smile as she said with a sigh, “Xu Yi, I hope that you will not lose faith in the kingdom because of this. Royal father places great importance on you and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce.”
“If it’s this kind of great importance, it’s fine if I don’t have it.” Xu Yi said with a cold snort. After saying that, he looked at Seveni with a different kind of expression, “As for losing faith…..I only ever had faith in your highness, I hope that you will not disappoint that faith.”
Seveni was speechless and the room fell into silence.
Feeling the awkwardness in the room, Still forced out a smile and said to Seveni, “Your highness, this is the first matter, is there a second matter?”
Seveni took a breath and calmed herself before replying to Still with a faint smile, “The second matter is good news. Royal father has already decided that Banta City, Karma City, and Saltan City will officially become the Lampuri Kingdom’s special economic zone. In this special economic zone, all trade in these three cities will receive special benefits and preferential treatment when it comes to kingdom laws.”
“This is a piece of good news, but isn’t this too much of a coincidence?” Xu Yi’s tone implied disdain, “Right when Count Sean is being transferred and Count Stagg is taking over, this is announced. Your highness, are you certain that this isn’t to pave the way and create momentum for Count Stagg?”
“No matter what you think, isn’t this a good thing for Banta City?” Seveni said, “After being listed as a special economic zone, all the companies in Banta City will receive preferential treatment. For example, when the products of Banta City’s companies reach the other parts of the kingdom, they will only have to pay a set tax instead of being influenced by the tax of the various regions. You should know that just based on this, how much benefits Banta City companies will receive.”
“Un, this is indeed a good thing.” Xu Yi nodded.
Because the Lampuri Kingdom didn’t have a unified standard tax, different places were controlled by the various City Lords.
For example, Banta City businesses had to pay a tax of 34%, Karma City had a tax of 37%, and Saltan City had a tax of 38%.
Banta City’s taxes were the lowest because Count Sean always supported the development of business. After the Frestech Chamber of Commerce drove the development of Banta City, this was lowered again to promote business development in Banta City.
A tax of 34% was already the lowest in the Lampuri Kingdom.
In the other cities of the Lampuri Kingdom, they were much higher than these three cities, with some cities even reaching a shocking tax of 50%!
From Xu Yi’s point of view, this was clearly an idiotic tax rate.
Lampuri Kingdom’s business sector hadn’t developed yet and in this situation, instead of lowering taxes to promote the development of the business sector and setting the taxes this high, it would be strange if the business sector could develop.
Before, if the large companies of Banta City wanted to sell products in other cities, they had to pay the tax rate for those cities. If they chose to transport their products to other cities, they needed to count the transportation fees, so most of the time they didn’t earn as much as selling to Banta City and the surrounding cities. So most Banta City companies only sold their products locally and weren’t interested in developing foreign markets.
Now that the king had set this place as a special economic zone, implementing a standard tax rate, it could promote the development of Banta City’s companies.
But Xu Yi wasn’t happy about this.
First, this was the first time the Lampuri Kingdom was implementing a standard tax rate, so Xu Yi suspected that this wouldn’t be implemented properly.
Secondly, it was already good that this place was set as a special economic zone, but the one taking over for Count Sean was Count Stagg.
Ignoring the Stagg Family’s attitude towards the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, would Count Stagg have the same boldness and foresight as Count Sean?