Her highness Seveni’s territory was in the northeast province, it was situated near the kingdom’s eastern borders and was around seven hundred kilometers away from Banta City.
The distance was far and with Seveni showing her attitude, she didn’t inquire about matters outside her territory, so naturally she didn’t know what was happening in Banta City.
However, on the first day of year 3784, Seveni’s mood was the same as the people of Banta City, it wasn’t that good.
Around half a month before the end of the year, there were refugees that had flooded into her territory from the west and northwest.
At the beginning, they were in rags and very skinny, clearly looking like refugees. Seveni immediately had the subordinates under her take care of things.
But as time passed, there were more and more refugees that came to her territory.
To this day, with all the data, in just half a month, there were over two hundred refugees that came to her territory.
This made Seveni very surprised.
With the Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s agricultural magic machines being spread across the kingdom, the grain yield of the kingdom had greatly increased.
Then because of the use of fertilizers, the grain the kingdom produced each year was enough to satisfy the demands of the people, there were even extra grains that could be sold to the neighbouring countries.
Normally speaking, even if there was some natural disaster, the kingdom should have enough grains and there wouldn’t be refugees.
Not to mention that the kingdom had good weather this year, so there weren’t any natural disasters.
But now there were refugees in front of her, this caused doubt in Seveni’s heart.
There was a sacrifice to the death of Lampuri Thirteenth on the first day of the new year. When Seveni thought of her father’s urgings before his death, she couldn’t help finding the refugees that arrived in her territory to question them.
After a few simple questions, Seveni got an answer that she never would have imagined.
These refugees didn’t escape because they didn’t have enough to eat, they were escaping conscription.
“Conscription?” Seveni slightly knit her brows, “Other than conscription into the royal army, there has never been any kind of conscription before. What are you escaping from?”
“No, no, no, your highness, you’re mistaken.” The one who answered was a middle aged man who escaped from the northwest territory. He shook his head and said, “We aren’t evading conscription from the kingdom, we’re escaping the conscription of the local lords.”
Seveni was stunned, “Conscription of the local lords? What did they want to conscript you for?”
“It was to make us work in the factories. They wouldn’t give us seeds if we didn’t work, so we wouldn’t have anything to eat.” The middle aged man said with a sigh, “But working in the factory means going early in the morning and only coming back at night. It’s like this for every day and I’ve done this for several months, so I can’t take it anymore.”
“Right, we are the same. There are times that we work all night and are only given a few hours to sleep. There were two people who worked themselves to death in our village last month.” A man who was skinny and shouldn’t have been that old, but looked like a man of thirty to forty agreed.
“Right, right, there were many people who worked themselves to death on our side. We were afraid of the same, so we took the chance to escape.” The one who spoke this time was a middle aged woman, “Our entire family ran away this time, otherwise if anyone stayed, they would have been caught. If we kept working, our entire family would have died of exhaustion.”
Seeing all thin and pale refugees all saying the same thing, Seveni was shocked in her heart.
“Where did they make you work? You’re actually this tired?”
“It was working in the factories, we seemed to be making magic machines?”
“Right, it’s those magic machines. Those damn magic machines, I even see them in my nightmares!”
“Un, I was making something called the Magic Kettle? It seems to be this. It’s a simple thing and wasn’t hard to make, but doing it all day long, I really couldn’t take it anymore.”
“Of, we were making the Magic Air Conditioners.”
“We were making Magic Stoves…..”
Hearing the discussion of the refugees, Seveni’s expression became a bit strange.
If she didn’t hear wrong, when these refugees were caught by the lords, they were actually being forced to make magic machines without stopping?
But in Seveni’s mind, wasn’t working in a magic machine workshop supposed to be simple? Wasn’t it easier than working in the field?
“Your highness, you haven’t done it before. Let me tell you, that work is indeed very simple, but doing the same thing from morning to night, doing it over ten thousand times, no one can take it. Moreover, we can only rest a bit during our meals, we don’t get any time to rest at all.” A refugee explained to Seveni.
Seveni asked in a stunned voice, “It can’t be, right? Could it be that you’re not working only eight hours a day? Don’t they pay you extra for working overtime?”
“Overtime?” The refugees were the ones who were stunned this time, “What is overtime?”
Seveni was speechless, it seemed like these refugees didn’t know what overtime was at all.
“Then your wages? You work such long days, you should receive quite a bit, right? Twenty gold coins a month…..Oh, no, that’s impossible. Ten gold coins a month?”
“Ten gold coins?” The refugees looked at Seveni with wide eyes, like they had heard something incredible.
Seeing their expressions, Seveni immediately understood she made a mistake.
Perhaps for Banta City, ten gold coins a month was the normal wage, but for the rest of the Lampuri Kingdom, this was already a very high wage.
“Your highness, perhaps to you ten gold coins isn’t much, but we…...haven’t even seen ten gold coins before.” A refugee couldn’t help saying.
“Right, I’ve only seen gold coins once in my life. It was that person who went to Banta City for work who showed it to me. He said that he was getting thirteen gold coins a month for his work in Banta City.”
“That much? Why didn’t you go to Banta City as well?”
“I wanted to go too, but my parents are too old and I didn’t dare go too far.”
“What about now? I remember that you said on the road that your parents were beaten to death by the lord, you don’t have this burden anymore, right?”
The young man who said this had a sad look on his face as he lowered his head and said with a sigh, “There’s nothing to gain even if I go now. That person from our village said that after the Frestech Chamber of Commerce left Banta City, those ten companies completely control Banta City now. I might be sent back to the same place if I go there now.”
After saying this, the young person suddenly looked up and begged Seveni, “Your highness, can you take pity on us and not send us back? If we’re sent back, we will be beaten to death by the lord eventually!”
Seveni was stunned and didn’t reply. The other refugees also reacted and began begging Seveni together.
“Your highness, I heard that you were the most benevolent. Please forgive us for the crime of escaping! We just want to keep living.”
“Yes, your highness, we really didn’t want to escape, but we didn’t want to die from exhaustion.”
“Your highness, please forgive us……”
She looked over the begging faces and Seveni gave a sigh. She stood up and told the people in charge to take care of the refugees before leaving this temporary residence.
The refugees behind her kept begging, but she hardened her heart to ignore them.
It wasn’t that she wasn’t willing to accept, rather from the responses of these refugees, they were clearly citizens of private territories. According to the rules of the Royal Parliament, even if she was the princess, she wouldn’t interfere in the territories of other nobles.
These refugees were citizens under other nobles, so those nobles would decide how to handle them.
Although she could accept them temporarily, she didn’t have the right to handle them.
The only thing she could do was take care of them temporarily. She could pretend that she didn’t know anything and could hide it for some time.
If the nobles of these refugees came, according to the rules of the Royal Parliament and the unspoken rules between nobles, Seveni couldn’t keep them here.
She walked along the road that wasn’t considered spacious in her territory and Seveni thought about what she talked about with those refugees, feeling bitter in her heart.
She thought that by solving the problem of grains, she could let the citizens live a better life.
But she never thought that the citizens would still be suffering.
Although she didn’t ask clearly, based on the response of the refugees, they were forced to work in the magic machine factories. Not mentioning overtime pay, they didn’t even receive a wage.
Because they were conscripted and conscription was naturally volunteer work.
Thinking of this, Seveni couldn’t help giving a bitter laugh.
When she saw the worker rules that Xu Yi made for the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, she was surprised since she thought that Xu Yi was thinking too much.
Because she felt that since those workers were employed by the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, they should follow their arrangements, there was no need to make so many rules to follow. Moreover, the working times seemed so rigid.
Of course, Xu Yi had said that Seveni’s ideas represented nobles suppressing commoners, but Seveni didn’t admit it.
Looking at it now, Xu Yi was completely right.
The bitter experiences of these refugees perfectly demonstrated this.
Thinking that the work of these refugees were related to magic machines, Seveni felt even more emotional.
Although this meant that the magic machine industry was developing in the Lampuri Kingdom, this wasn’t the kind of development that Xu Yi wanted to see, right?
Thinking of this, Seveni began feeling a bit of complaint and a strong missing of Xu Yi.
This fellow who had abandoned the Lampuri Kingdom and Banta City, what was he doing on the first day of this year? Does he know about the situation of the Lampuri Kingdom now?