Count Stagg and Count Sean were around the same age, they were both over fifty years old this year, but Count Sean seemed much more vigorous. Count Stagg was only a few years older, but his appearance was much older and his face was much more strict.
After getting out of the carriage, other than revealing a friendly smile when looking at Count Sean, when he met the others, he had a strict look that wasn’t easily moved at all.
Moreover, when his expression was different when it came to facing nobles or merchants.
His face still had the same strict appearance, but when he was facing nobles, his expression could be considered normal.
But when he was facing the merchants, although it wasn’t clear with his strict appearance, it was very easy to perceive the disdain that it carried.
The only exception was when he met Xu Yi.
When Count Sean led him to Xu Yi, Count Stagg’s serious expression became a bit relaxed and his expression became a bit strange.
After looking at Xu Yi for a bit, Count Stagg suddenly shook his head and gave a soft snort, “It was hard enough for his majesty to give you a noble title, but you continue lowering your status to be a merchant. It really is a waste of his majesty’s recognition of you and losing face for us nobles!”
The surrounding business circle representatives have ugly looks on their faces.
Although their position as merchants in the Lampuri Kingdom was below that of nobles and couldn’t even compare to the farmers, even if the nobles felt disdain towards the merchants, there was no noble that would put it so straightforward in front of the merchants
The merchants had very low positions, but successful merchants had large amounts of money.
Money was always easy to use, whether it was earth or the Sines Continent. As long as one had enough money, even if the merchants didn’t have a high status, they lived better than most peasants and even nobles whose households were in bad conditions.
Moreover, it wasn’t easy for large nobles to engage in business with their status, so they mostly used representatives to do business or directly cooperated with merchants.
In the end, one couldn’t feed themselves with their position no matter how high it was.
If they wanted to live a high scale life of luxury, if they didn’t depend on business to make money, normal nobles weren’t that much better than peasants.
So there had always been a strange relationship between nobles and merchants in the Lampuri Kingdom.
The nobles looked down on merchants, but they wanted to live the same luxurious lives as them.
The merchants envied the nobles’ positions, but they actually looked down on those nobles who felt superior and didn’t actually know what the real situation was.
Both sides had what the other side needed, so cooperation was the best choice for both sides.
In the end, the nobles and merchants had close knit business deals, while looking down on each other.
This relationship seemed messed up and even twisted, but this was the real situation in the Lampuri Kingdom and most of the other kingdoms on the Sines Continent.
Take the large merchants of the Lampuri Kingdom.
First, not mentioning the Falcao Chamber of Commerce that was clearly set up by the large noble family of the Jole Family, even the Armani Chamber of Commerce, the Amrit Chamber of Commerce, and the Sarank Chamber of Commerce that didn’t seem related to any nobles actually had nobles behind them to some extent.
The chairman of these companies frequently came in contact with nobles, but this was the first time that a noble had been so straightforward with his disdain towards merchants.
If it was a small noble, for veteran merchants like chairman Rank, chairman Cruise, and chairman Vincent, they wouldn’t care at all and could even reprimand that noble without any courtesy.
But the one who said this was a Lord Count and it was a Lord Count that came from the Stagg Family, one that would take over as Banta City’s City Lord.
No matter how dissatisfied they were, they could only lower their heads. They didn’t dare look at Count Stagg and they didn’t dare reveal a single bit of their true feelings.
Only Xu Yi slightly raised his lead and looked at Count Stagg before saying with a faint smile, “Lord Count Stagg, I don’t feel that being a merchant is lowering my status and it isn’t losing face for nobles. To me, this noble status was just one that his majesty granted me and the status that I really care about is my status as a merchant.”
Count Stagg raised a brow, “What? You want to wallow in degeneracy?”
Xu Yi’s face sunk slightly before he said with a serious look, “Lord Count, I don’t understand what you mean. If you’re saying that me being willing to be a merchant is wallowing in degeneracy, I don’t agree with this view.”
The surrounding people were surprised.
No one thought that Xu Yi would actually contradict Count Stagg in front of all these people.
Count Stagg came to Banta City today to take over the City Lord’s position. According to customs, he would definitely do some things to establish his authority.
Everyone knew that at this time, it was better to be as honest as possible in front of Count Stagg and not face the muzzle of his gun, otherwise the consequences would be dire.
So even if they were dissatisfied with Count Stagg’s words that had no traces of courtesy, the business circle representatives here didn’t dare say a thing.
Now that Xu Yi was directly opposing his words, it was simply turning the muzzle onto himself.
Chairman Cruise’s heart skipped a beat. He couldn’t help looking at Xu Yi, wanting to signal to him to withdraw his words with his eyes, but he found Count Stagg’s ice cold eyes looking over him. He quickly lowered his head and didn’t dare breathe too loudly.
When he lowered his head, he realized something.
The meaning of Count Stagg’s ice cold gaze was that he specially came here to provoke Xu Yi.
When he thought of the attitude the Stagg Family had towards Xu Yi and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, chairman Cruise’s heart turned cold.
Xu Yi might be in trouble this time…...
As expected, after Count Stagg was silent for a bit, like he was surprised that Xu Yi dared to contradict him, he asked in a deep voice, “What? Why don’t you agree? Did I say something wrong?”
Chairman Cruise couldn’t help looking at Xu Yi again, praying with all his heart that Xu Yi could admit his mistake. It was easier to talk once he avoided this problem.
As long as he passed today, even if Count Stagg wanted to cause trouble for Xu Yi, he had time to deal with it.
However, chairman Cruise’s prayers were all disappointed.
With his understanding of Xu Yi’s character, he knew that this person either didn’t express his opinion or if he did, he definitely wouldn’t change it easily.
If it was described in a good light, it was considered tenacious and in a bad light, it was considered stubborn.
As expected, once he heard Count Stagg’s question, Xu Yi said with a nod, “Yes, Lord Count, I think that there is a problem with your views. According to the laws of the kingdom, nobles do enjoy more benefits than normal people and merchants, so their positions are higher. But I have always believed that for a person, no matter what status they have, they will have corresponding duties when enjoying rights. Since nobles enjoy more benefits, they must also fulfill more duties. Otherwise, what difference is there between them and bugs?”
As soon as Xu Yi’s voice fell, there were cold gasps from around them.
Everyone looked at Xu Yi in shock, simply not daring to believe the words that came from his mouth.
Perhaps he wasn’t wrong, these were his real views.
But he actually dare to say them in front of a Lord Count and he had said them after Count Stagg had expressed his views, this was simply planning on going against the Lord Count!
Wasn’t this seeking death?
Count Stagg slightly narrowed his eyes and they betrayed a trace of surprise. He clearly didn’t think that Xu Yi would not only not take back his words, he would make them even more intense.
“Chairman Xu, are you saying that we nobles are bugs? Don’t forget, you are also a noble!” Count Stagg said in a cold voice.
Seeing the surrounding Banta City nobles expressed looks of doubt and shock, Xu Yi revealed a faint smile as he shook his head and said, “No, this isn’t my meaning. I just wanted to say that whether it is a noble, a merchant, or a peasant, no matter who they are, if they can’t fulfill their duties and responsibilities, they are a bug. Lord Count, do you think that I’m right?”
Count Stagg really wanted to say that Xu Yi was talking nonsense, but he found that he couldn’t refute the righteousness in Xu Yi’s words. He could only give a reluctant nod as he said, “These words are indeed correct, but chairman Xu, your words didn’t have this meaning earlier, right? You’re saying that the nobles have more benefits, so they should have more duties. This is accusing most nobles that they aren’t fulfilling those duties, right?”
Xu Yi in a thoughtful voice, “Lord Count, I think that you’ve misunderstood me. I only want to say that nobels need to put in more effort to maintain their high positions. If you’re not willing to put in the effort to enjoy more benefits and a higher position, this doesn’t sound reasonable, don’t you think?”
Count Stagg said with a strong snort, “What isn’t reasonable? If one cannot have a higher position and enjoy more benefits, is there a need for nobles? For example, chairman Xu, if his majesty were to take away your noble position, would you be willing?”
Xu Yi revealed a faint smile, “His majesty is wise, how could he take away my noble status without any reason?”
“Just the fact that you’re both a noble and a merchant, that is enough to take away your noble status.” Count Stagg said with a cold snort, “Chairman Xu, let me make it clear to you. The Royal Parliament is currently considering your dual status and once the Royal Parliament considers you holding both positions unacceptable, you will be forced to pick one. When that time comes, do you still want to remain as a noble?”
Everyone was stunned again.
No one had thought that the Royal Parliament was conducting special considerations towards a small baron like Xu Yi.
And Count Stagg’s question was very correct. When the time comes, what will be Xu Yi’s decision?