Count Stagg had been feeling dissatisfied lately, even feeling somewhat battered.
He had already taken over for Count Sean for three months now and not a single thing that he did had succeeded.
Before coming to Banta City, he thought that his family having him take this small role as a City Lord was a waste of his talents.
In his opinion, Banta City’s problems were a piece of cake. They could randomly send someone here, even Baron Belil, the one who had been in Banta City, who he considered a small child was not a problem.
But he still came in the end only because Banta City had become the center of the battle between the Lampuri Kingdom’s two major factions.
The Stagg Family had paid a very large price to take this position as the City Lord, so naturally there could be no mistakes.
Banta City was just a small city, so it was impossible for Duke Stagg as the head of the Stagg Family to take over. In the end, they chose Count Mannel Stagg.
As the blood related younger brother of Duke Stagg, he had the absolute trust of Duke Stagg. At the same time, because he was older and had quite a bit of experience, people were assured of leaving this matter to him.
Before this, Count Stagg was quite relaxed because he felt that he could easily accomplish his family’s goal. He could let everyone see that Banta City was a city with agriculture at its base, which was definitely more important than a city that focused on business.
But when he came to Banta City, other than the matter of dealing with the Frestech Chamber of Commerce being smooth in the beginning, nothing else had gone smoothly.
The first thing he did after coming to Banta City was evaluate the land usage of Banta City and he carried out his impeccable plan. He had driven the Frestech Chamber of Commerce out of Sandton Manor, not letting Xu Yi not even dare to fart.
But he implemented this policy not only to expel the Frestech Chamber of Commerce. His real plan was to survey all the land in Banta City, so that all the usable land in Banta City could be opened before the fall harvest, greatly increasing the harvest amount.
But his final result caused him to vomit out a mouthful of blood.
This was because in the survey data, all of Banta City’s land had already been reclaimed and there wasn’t a spare hectare of land at all!
Like this, it meant that he couldn’t reclaim any land at all and increase Banta City’s harvest yield. He had lost the possibility of creating great merit.
On the contrary, if he didn’t even meet Banta City’s harvest yield from last year’s fall harvest or even fell behind, it would mean that he would have completely failed in taking over as the City Lord.
Now mentioning him disappointing the family, he would even cause the Stagg Family to be blamed by the other nobles in their faction.
The more important thing was that if he couldn’t show any results, he couldn’t prove that Banta City was better managed by him than it was when Count Sean was in charge. This would allow the king to have enough reason to reject the suggestions of the nobles from their faction, allowing him to promote business development in the kingdom.
Like this, including the Stagg Family, their prestige in the kingdom would be greatly affected.
This was something their faction couldn’t accept.
So even if he wanted to vomit blood, Count Stagg worked hard to find a chance to increase productivity.
There was no way to reclaim more land, so the only way was to increase manpower.
However, when he was thinking of how to fix the problem of manpower, Count Stagg found a large joke.
Through the survey data, Count Stagg found that there was a Cantona Chamber of Commerce that had obtained a large patch of farmland from citizens and were farming on this land themselves.
According to the statistics of the City Lord’s Manor, this Cantona Chamber of Commerce was actually subletting land from seven hundred and forty six peasants. It was a land that exceeded twenty hectares, which was even more than what the Stagg Family had in Banta City!
After seeing this problem, Count Stagg’s eyes lit up.
This Cantona Chamber of Commerce didn’t have a noble behind them, but they actually grabbed so much farmland. Not only was this unreasonable, it could even be considered treason!
So Count Stagg through the City Lord’s Manor ordered the Cantona Chamber of Commerce to return the land to the peasants, guaranteeing that they would have land to farm.
Count Stagg thought that he would receive the approval of the people from this because to him, this Cantona Chamber of Commerce certainly had some shady connection with Count Sean. They used Count Sean’s influence to forcefully take the land from these farmers.
For all the normal peasants in the Lampuri Kingdom, their land was their only way of supporting their family. If they didn’t even have land, these normal peasants could only starve to death.
So Count Stagg felt that his actions were indeed righteous and he was prepared to accept everyone’s praise.
But he never expected how things would turn out.
When he ordered the Cantona Chamber of Commerce to return the land, the Cantona Chamber of Commerce had expressed their protest. They claimed that their renting of the land had been approved by the City Lord’s manor and it was all reasonable without any problems.
Count Stagg was already prepared for the Cantona Chamber of Commerce’s protests. He directly said that the previous City Lord’s contracts weren’t related to the current City Lord, so all the contracts signed with the City Lord’s Manor had become invalid. They had to investigate whether these contracts were reasonable before reinstating them.
However, this reply was angrily spread by the Cantona Chamber of Commerce. Not only did the «Banta Times» report on this, even the newspapers in the cities around Banta City had reported on this.
Count Stagg thought this was only a small matter and it would only create some noise in Banta City and the surrounding city for some time. Moreover, it was something that would give support to Count Stagg and nothing else.
Even the nobles that Count Stagg thought would be on his side stayed silent and there were even some nobles that had opposed this.
The response of the citizens compared to the nobles was much more intense.
After the report came out in the «Banta Times», companies of Banta City and even the surrounding cities came to the City Lord’s Manor. They requested Count Stagg to approve the contracts that they had signed with the City Lord’s Manor.
There were many companies that had tactfully or explicitly said to Count Stagg that because of Count Stagg’s actions, they had lost their trust in the City Lord’s Manor. They requested that their contracts become invalid and they requested the City Lord’s Manor to settle accounts.
Faced with this situation, Count Stagg was surprised. When he had the City Lord Manor’s officers count the contracts with the companies, he was shocked to find that the Banta City’s City Lord Manor under Count Sean had signed contracts with seventy three companies!
These seventy three companies had all kinds of products and services, going from improving the banks of the Sandy River to even the dish clothes that the City Lord Manor’s kitchen used.
If the contract between these companies and the City Lord Manor became invalid and all transactions with the City Lord Manor stopped, Banta City would instantly become paralyzed.
At this time, Count Stagg found that he had done something very stupid. He had created a situation where he and the City Lord Manor’s officers had fallen into a panic.
Actually, to be honest, this wasn’t his fault.
It was because based on the experience of other places in the Lampuri Kingdom, there weren’t any companies that dared to go against the City Lord Manor. That was because compared to a City Lord, a small company wasn’t anything.
But Banta City was different from the other places of the Lampuri Kingdom.
Almost every company in the city dared to bare their teeth at the City Lord Manor for their own benefits and they were all justified.
Like the small Cantona Chamber of Commerce, they didn’t put Count Stagg in their eyes at all. When faced with the casual response from Count Stagg, they didn’t swallow their anger and obey, rather they didn’t care about the risks of angering Count Stagg and directly exposed this matter to everyone.
The more important thing was that the newspaper industry in Banta City and the surrounding city was very developed. Even a small piece of news in the newspaper would be known by everyone, not to mention an explosive piece of news like this.
If everything was placed in front of everyone, Count Stagg naturally didn’t dare use power to suppress the Cantona Chamber of Commerce. Rather he had to deal with the requests of the seventy three large and small companies.
However…...speaking of this, the thing that went against Count Stagg’s expectations the most in this matter was the reactions of the peasants.
Count Stagg thought that by helping the peasants take back their land from the Cantona Chamber of Commerce, those peasants would definitely be grateful to him.
But he never thought that when he sent someone to inform the peasants that they would be regaining their land, he would be met with cold faces and there were many peasants who scolded them for meddling in other people’s businesses.
What was even more exaggerated was that several peasants in their anger scolded the City Lord Manor for not caring about them peasants and that Count Stagg wasn’t worthy of being the City Lord.
When faced with the opposition of these people, Count Stagg could still comfort himself by saying they didn’t understand, but when he was met with the curses of the peasants, he really couldn’t calm himself down.
He didn’t understand. He was clearly helping the peasants take back their land, so why did they react like this?
Could it be…..the peasants didn’t want their land?