This New Years was colder than the last two years in Banta City.
In the last two years, because of the economic development in Banta City, everyone came to Banta City looking for work.
At its peak, there were over two hundred thousand people that were registered in Banta City and over thirty thousand people who weren’t registered. This was several times more than the fifty thousand locals that lived here.
Although many people headed back during the New Year, there were many people who didn’t go back because their home was too remote, staying in Banta City to celebrate the New Year. Or perhaps they were working during the vacation to earn a higher wage than normal during these days.
So the past two years have been very lively in Banta City. Whether it was the stream of people or the rich commodities, it created a bustling scene. It even made Hannas who came to Banta City during this time sigh that Anvilmar City couldn’t even compare.
But this had stopped with the arrival of Count Stagg.
Because of Count Stagg’s agricultural promotion policies, the companies of Banta City had all left and they left with their workers.
Other than those workers who came from other cities, there were many workers that belonged to Banta City that left because they weren’t willing to give up their jobs.
Looking out the windows of the City Lord Manor, the street was very cold. One couldn’t see the New Year celebration in Banta City at all, making Count Sean unable to stop himself from sighing.
Turning back to his desk and looking over his documents, Count Stagg knit his brows even tighter.
This document was Banta City’s financial report for this year.
According to the report, Banta City’s tax revenue this year was one million one hundred and seventy thousand gold coins, which was a drop from last year.
Although this drop wasn’t considered much, based on the monthly report, Banta City had an increasing trend from January to July. Just these seven months alone brought in a revenue of close to a million gold coins.
Once August came, this number had dropped and it kept dropping in the following months. There was even a deficit in the last two months, causing the tax revenue of the final five months to be a trivial two hundred thousand gold coins.
With this trend, Banta City would be in a financial deficit by next year.
Even if Count Stagg had confidence in keeping the same strong grain yield next year, a city that was always in a financial deficit would receive a negative score from the Royal Parliament.
With this ending, he would basically be announcing the failure of his experiment in Banta City.
The more important thing was that with his failure, it meant that the conservative faction led by the Stagg Family had also failed. This was something that Count Stagg couldn’t accept.
The problem was…..Was there a way to solve this problem?
Count Stagg was reading the financial report in his hand as he began feeling doubt.
Actually in the past few years, although Banta City didn’t have a high tax revenue, there wasn’t a deficit like this. For there to be a deficit this year, it was completely because Count Stagg invested a large amount in improving the crops of Banta City.
Moreover, Count Stagg had secretly spent a large amount of money with the Drake Duchy to ensure the shocking harvest of this year.
Although it was impossible for this money to come from Banta City, to make up for his losses, he had taken back some money for himself as compensation from other places.
This meant that if he wanted to keep the same harvest yield next year, Banta City’s financial deficit would be even worse.
But to solve this problem, the best method that Count Stagg knew was to restore the policy from when Count Sean was City Lord, supporting business development. This would restore Banta City to the same level of tax revenue as the last two years.
But first not mentioning Count Stagg not being willing, even if he was, he had already expelled the companies of Banta City with his agricultural promotion policy, so how could he have them move back with just a few words?
Thinking of this, Count Stagg couldn’t help giving a bitter laugh.
Actually when he learned that he would become Banta City’s City Lord, he had already investigated Banta City. He knew the reason that Banta City could develop so quickly in these two years was because of the magic machine industry led by the Frestech Chamber of Commerce.
If it was in terms of objectives, Count Stagg would have done the same as Count Sean as the City Lord. He would have chosen to support the Frestech Chamber of Commerce and the magic machine industry, speeding up the growth of Banta City.
But Count Stagg couldn’t do this, so even if he wasn’t willing, he had to display that attitude towards Xu Yi and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce when he came to Banta City. He even had to use the agricultural promotion policies to prove that the conservative faction was right.
But now this thought turned bitter fruit that had been swallowed by Count Stagg had even made him doubt it.
Just by ensuring that there were enough grains, would they be able to let the citizens live satisfied and safe lives?
Seeing the Frestech Brand Magic Air Conditioner hanging in his office, Count Stagg revealed a bitter smile as he fell into deep thought.
This thought didn’t last long because there was a sudden knock that came from the door.
Count Stagg gathered his thoughts and sat back down as he said in a deep voice, “Come in.”
When the door opened, Count Stagg’s assistant came in and reported in a low voice, “Lord City Lord, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s chairman Xu is here to see you.”
Count Stagg was stunned. Why did Xu Yi come to see him today?
After thinking for a bit, Count Stagg gave a nod, “Have him come in.”
The assistant looked at Count Stagg in surprise before leaving with a sound of agreement.
After a while, the door was opened again and Xu Yi was led in by the assistant.
After Xu Yi and Count Stagg exchanged greetings and the assistant closed the door, Xu Yi had a private meeting with Count Stagg.
“Sit.” Perhaps it was because of the thoughts he had before, Count Stagg pointed at the chair in front of his desk. This was his first time being polite to Xu Yi.
Xu Yi revealed a faint smile, as he sat down after thanking him. He said to Count Stagg, “Lord City Lord, I thought that you would return to Anvilmar City for the New Year, I never thought that you would stay in the City Lord Manor. You really are a City Lord who works hard.”
Count Stagg gave a cold snort, “These words coming from other people, I can only treat it as poor flattery, but from you, I feel like it is sarcasm. You think that I’m a good City Lord? What a joke!”
Xu Yi shook his head, “Although I don’t approve of the Lord City Lord’s administrative ideas, that is unrelated to you fulfilling your duties, so my praise is sincere.”
“Alright, stop rambling on with words you don’t even believe.” Count Stagg waved his hand as he looked at Xu Yi and asked, “Why did you suddenly come looking for me today? Just say it, stop beating around the bush.”
“Alright, then I’ll be direct.” Xu Yi paused for a second before saying, “Lord City Lord, I came this time to discuss next year’s agricultural development for Banta City with you.”
“You want to discuss agricultural development with me?” Count Stagg looked at Xu Yi in a daze, like he had heard the funniest joke, “Chairman Xu, could it be that your Frestech Chamber of Commerce can’t get enough of just making magic machines and want to dabble in farming?”
Faced with Count Stagg’s taunting tone, Xu Yi’s expression didn’t change as he said with a faint smile, “If I could increase the grain yield of Banta City, does the Lord City Lord think I’m qualified?”
Count Stagg knit his brows and said with a cold smile, “You have a method? What a joke, our Stagg Family has several hundred years of history in farming, could it be that we can’t compare to someone like you who isn’t even thirty?”
“Lord City Lord, I think that even you have to admit that the agricultural magic machines that I developed have great use in increasing grain yield, right?” Xu Yi asked.
Count Stagg’s face scrunched up.
This was something he couldn’t refute because even if he targeted Xu Yi and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, at the important part of the fall harvest, he had asked for Xu Yi’s help in the form of agricultural magic machines produced by the Frestech Chamber of Commerce.
It could be said that without agricultural magic machines, the harvest yield would have greatly decreased.
Thinking of this, Count Stagg’s face relaxed as he asked Xu Yi, “What? Did your Frestech Chamber of Commerce create some new kind of agricultural magic machine?”
“No.” Xu Yi shook his head and replied.
Count Stagg was instantly angered, “Then are you just here to waste my time?”
“No, how could I dare.” Xu Yi quickly waved his hand and said, “Lord City Lord, agricultural magic machines can only help open farmland, but they don’t help much with the yield. This time I came looking for you to tell you that I have a method to increase the yield itself.”
“How could that be possible!” Count Stagg gave a snort with a look of disbelief, “Our Stagg Family has over several hundred years of experience with farming, how could we not know this method that you know.”
Xu Yi laughed, “Lord City Lord, I admit that your Stagg Family has several hundred years of experience with farming, but can you compare to the thousands of years of knowledge the elves have?”
“The elves?” Count Stagg was stunned as his eyes looking at Xu Yi became serious.