Dulaketon City was more south than Sowell City, but the wind and snow from the north still reached Dulaketone City and completely covered the city in white.
Count Michelle put down the book in his hand and looked out the window.
The snow covered everything and there were icicles hanging from the branches. It looked very beautiful and could have also meant that Dulaketon City would have a prosperous harvest next year.
But Count Michelle’s heart wasn’t happy at all, rather he was a bit worried.
His highness Eric was clearly very dissatisfied with Count Longley meeting Xu Yi privately and even inviting the Frestech Chamber of Commerce to invest in Basaru City. He had even angrily rebuked in his return letter to Count Michelle that Count Longley was a traitor, not only to his highness Eric, but also to his dead father.
Perhaps it was because he was angry at Count Longley, his highness Eric even asked Count Michelle if he should be dissatisfied with working with the Frestech Chamber of Commerce. His words were filled with questioning towards Count Michelle, asking Count Michelle if he also wanted to be a traitor.
Count Michelle wasn’t surprised by his highness Eric’s response, but he was very disappointed with his highness Eric being angry with this situation.
Before he truly understood why Count Longley contacted Xu Yi, deciding that Count Longley was a traitor, Count Michelle thought that this was a very petty way of handling things.
Count Longley might have made contact with Xu Yi and have invited the Frestech Chamber of Commerce to invest in Basaru City, but this was completely different from betraying his highness Eric. It didn’t mean that the Longley Family and Basaru City would switch her highness’ side.
In this situation, the right thing was for his highness Eric to investigate everything and understand Count Longley’s ideas before making a decision. He shouldn’t just push Count Longley away right away.
He had called Count Longley a traitor, so even if Count Longley didn’t plan on betraying his highness Eric, he would be forced away in this situation.
His highness Eric didn’t have many supporters in the northeast province, there was only him, Count Longley, and Lamarte City’s Count Will.
Now that he called Count Longley a traitor and doubted him, could it be that he was planning on giving up on the support of the northeast province?
Although Count Will’s Lamarte City was the biggest city, Lamarte City wasn’t enough to represent the northeast province.
Not to mention that compared to Sowell City’s Count Sean who firmly supported her highness Seveni, Count Will wasn’t much better.
Moreover, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce was currently investing in Sowell City. If Count Sean and Sowell City had several years, developing Sowell City like Banta City, then the northeast province would probably depend on Count Sean.
Thinking of this, Count Will suddenly felt very tired.
His highness Eric’s attitude made him a bit unhappy and his highness Eric’s method of handling things made him disappointed.
He even felt that his decision back them was a bit of a mistake.
“Perhaps…...It’s better to support her highness Seveni?”
This thought grew in Count Michelle’s mind before he quickly threw it out.
As an old noble who was almost sixty and experienced many political changes, he knew some truth.
That was that during times of struggle, there were winners and losers, but the ones most unwelcome were those who wavered.
Count Michelle gave a sigh and rubbed his forehead. He relaxed his expression and rang the bell on the table, calling his housekeeper over.
“Go investigate what Count Longley and Xu Yi did in the two days they were together. Also investigate what they said as much as possible.” Count Michelle said first, “Then send a gift to Count Longley in my name and tell him a few things.”
The housekeeper paid rapt attention to Count Michelle.
Count Michelle paused and thought for a bit before continuing, “Tell him that I hope that he can inherit the best part of old Longley and properly be the City Lord of Basaru City.”
The housekeeper’s expression was a bit strange, this was his first time hearing such an ambiguous order from Count Michelle.
But the housekeeper didn’t question at all, he just honestly wrote down those two orders.
“Right, has the goods for his highness Eric been prepared?” Count Michelle asked.
“It’s already been prepared and can be loaded at any time.” The housekeeper replied.
“Horse carriages?” Count Michelle revealed a smile that had a bit of ridicule, “Alright, load it up and set off. Our prince doesn’t like waiting any longer.”
The housekeeper agreed before hesitating to speak.
“Speak.” Count Michelle said in a deep voice.
The housekeeper quickly said, “Lord Count, when collecting those goods, there were a few people who tried to resist. The guards were a bit negligent and their hand was a bit too heavy, so in the end……”
Seeing the difficult expression the housekeeper had, Count Michelle’s face sunk, “How many died?”
The housekeeper had a bitter smile, “Currently there’s thirteen dead and fifty six heavily injured. There are over twenty people among them who can’t support themselves anymore.”
“Isn’t that close to forty people who're dead?” Count Michelle’s face sunk even more, “I had them collect the goods, not have them kill people!”
The housekeeper could see the anger in Count Michelle’s eyes and was afraid, but he had to explain, “Lord Count, it’s already the end of the year, so these citizens don’t have much in their houses. If it is forcefully taken, of course they would go all out. The guards had no choice but to retaliate and then……”
The housekeeper didn’t dare continue. Seeing the expression on Count Michelle’s face, he doubted that if he continued in this situation, even he might suffer.
Count Michelle was silent for a while before taking a deep breath. He waved his hand and said, “Since they’re already dead, forget it. Fine each of the soldiers who beat those people to death a hundred gold coins and if they can’t pay, send them all to jail.”
The housekeeper was shocked, “Lord Count, there might be problems with this……”
Count Michelle glared at him and the housekeeper immediately swallowed his words.
“Alright, go and prepare the goods to be loaded onto the truck.” Count Sean waved his hands, signaling for the housekeeper to leave.
Seeing the exhausted look on Count Michelle’s face, the housekeeper didn’t dare say anything else and left with a bow.
Count Michelle stood there for a while before suddenly giving a sigh, as he revealed a smile of self-ridicule.
“So our great Dulaketon City has a bit of trouble collecting three hundred thousand gold coins worth of goods?”
“Lord City Lord, this is the account of what was paid to the kingdom, please look over it.” The finance manager of Banta City’s City Lord Manor Fumar submitted an account to Seveni.
Seveni looked it over before putting it down with a nod.
“I’m clear on this account, so there’s no need to check.” Seveni said with a faint smile, “Our Banta City has turned over seven hundred thousand gold coins to the kingdom’s finances this year, we can’t forget everyone’s hard work. It’s been hard on you all, so I want to express my gratitude on behalf of my royal father.”
The officers of the City Lord Manor all quickly stood up and gave Seveni a bow.
“Your highness, this is our work, we can’t take your gratitude.”
They said this, but everyone had a happy look on their face and there was a happy feeling that filled the room.
Banta City’s tax revenue this year was much higher than last year, so everyone’s lives in Banta City were much better. When these officers left the City Lord Manor, they were respected wherever they went.
“It is all because of your outstanding work that our Banta City could develop so well. It’s normal for me to express my gratitude to you all.” Seveni said, “Alright, everyone sit down and let’s discuss how Banta City will develop next year. Baron Fumar, tell me, after paying the kingdom finances and settling last year’s accounts, how much is left in our Banta City’s finances?”
Baron Fumar didn’t look at any records and directly replied, “There’s still one million two hundred seventy six thousand and three hundred forty six gold coins.”
“Then it’s close to one million two hundred and eighty thousand gold coins.” Seveni nodded, “What suggestions does everyone have on how to spend this money?”
Everyone looked at each other and hesitated.
“There’s no need to be afraid, just express your ideas. I want to see if there are any feasible ideas you have.” Seveni encouraged them to speak.
“Then…..Lord City Lord, I’ll make a suggestion.” Baron Fumar raised his hand.
Seveni nodded at him, encouraging him with a smile.
Baron Fumar sat up and said with a serious look, “Your highness, I propose that we take out some funds and renovate the old part of Banta City. Now that our Banta City is the most prosperous city in the kingdom’s south, the old part of town still has the same appearance as before. I feel that it doesn’t fit the position that our Banta City currently has.”
“Right, compared to the beautiful and clean new housing, the old part of town is another world.” Another officer agreed, “Right now the people in the old part of town want to move to the new districts. If I wasn’t trying to save some money to buy a villa from the Amrit Chamber of Commerce, I would have moved already.”
“Right, the old part is small and crowded, it isn’t convenient. We can renovate it to make it more beautiful, which is quite good.”
“Un, I also think the same……”
Hearing everyone’s discussion, Seveni thought about it before nodding, “This is a good suggestion. Then Baron Fumar, since you have raised this suggestion, how much money do you think this proposition needs?”
Baron Fumar had clearly considered this before and he replied in a confident manner, “Lord City Lord, it is impossible to make earth shattering changes to the old part of town, so I suggest that we restore the parts that are worn out and of no use. So we should construct some public facilities, repair some broken down parts, and make improvements in certain places. According to my initial estimates, fifty thousand gold coins should be enough to use.”
“Only fifty thousand?” Seveni was a bit surprised, “You really are economical. Alright, take the fifty thousand gold coins. Our surplus is over one million and two hundred thousand. Does anyone else have any other suggestions?”
Baron Fumar was a bit surprised, “Lord City Lord, do you want to use the entire one million and two hundred thousand?”
“Of course we can’t spend it all, but is there a use in leaving it? The people of Banta City have paid these taxes, so of course it should be used to improve their lives. Come, give me some more suggestions.”
Everyone looked at each other and couldn’t think of a good idea.
Seeing the difficult looks on their faces, Seveni gave a sigh. She thought that if Xu Yi was here, he would definitely have all kinds of strange ideas.
This fellow was really good at earning money, but he was also good at spending money.
But Seveni suddenly felt that this was a bit funny.
The other cities in the kingdom would worry about their finances at the end of the year, but she was worried about how to spend their money next year, this really was a very luxurious worry.