The Struggle of a Weak Aristocrat in a Different World C82
The Struggle of a Weak Aristocrat in a Different World C82: Problem
The heat woke me up. I tried to get out of the covers to escape the heat, but I felt a tug, so I carefully peeled away the hand that had been placed around my waist.
I got out of bed and stretched widely to let the stiffness and pain leave my body. It was still dark in the room, so I opened the curtains thinly and looked outside to make sure it was still night. The sky was turning white and I knew it was dawn. The pale blue light coming through the thin slit in the curtains illuminated Yulis’ innocent sleeping face.
‘She looks so cute when she’s sleeping.‘
I muttered in my head a thought that I normally wouldn’t have.
Yesterday, when I was sleeping outside my room, Yulis found me and carried me on the bed, holding me by my side, and then used me as a pillow. I was in a strange position for a long time and my body ached, but I was so tired that I fell asleep immediately. Yulis was also sleeping comfortably, so he must have been very tired.
Yulis opened her eyes thinly, looked at me, and muttered.
I thought I was careful, but I must have woken her up.
“You can still sleep, Yulis.”
“That’s true, it’s still early.”
With that, Yulis lifted the quilt with one hand and patted the bed where it was open.
I asked, but Yulis kept pounding the bed in silence, so I reluctantly settled into my original position.
After sleeping for a little while, Yulis woke up and immediately dressed herself in her usual maid’s uniform.
“Now, Master Chris, I have a problem I want you to think about, like I said yesterday.”
“Yeah, I guess there are lots of problems. What exactly are they?”
Yulis, who seemed to be in an unusually good mood in spite of the problem, replied wryly.
“It would be fine if I just answered verbally, but since it’s not something we can deal with right away, shall we actually take a look around the territory?”
“I’m sure I could understand better if I took a look around but what about your work?”
“I’ll leave my work to my brother, so don’t worry about it.”
I asked her with concern because I could tell from her appearance yesterday that she seemed to be busy, but Yulis answered without any hesitation.
I haven’t seen you yet, but I hope you’re okay, Hal.
The door was suddenly slammed open and a familiar silver-haired man walked in and opened his mouth.
“You’re home at last, aren’t you?”
“Hal? What’s the matter, are you in such a hurry?”
I was taken aback by Hal’s energy, but asked him why.
“If you don’t hurry, someone else will take Chris-sama’s……labor!”
“Brother. Chris-sama has the important task of touring the territory with me. Please give up.”
“I’ll show Chris-sama around the territory and explain the problems, so I’ll leave my share of the work to you, brother, okay?”
“I’m sorry, Hal.”
Hal’s sorrowful voice pushed me out of the room. Then, Yulis and I went to the city together.
Even though it was still early in the morning, the town was full of activity. Merchants were selling their wares in designated sections, people we’re going to the construction site, and even nobles were happily shopping.
“What can I do for you, Master Chris?”
“I’ve got a lot of questions, but first, where did you find the money to hire all these construction workers?”
“The money comes from merchants who are looking for security.”
Yulis unexpected words startled me.
“Merchants? Is the merchant community large enough to invest in us like this?”
“Yes. We’ve been funded by various business associations, but the one that started the fire was Duke Orrard official business association.”
The Orrard family is known to have one of the largest trading houses in the country.
They are supporting me? This means that the House of Orrard is recommending that I fortify my defenses. It’s too unnatural for them to do that when I haven’t yet decided to join them.
“So the merchants are gathering all these people.”
“Yes. Originally, merchants and people were increasing in the baking business and the production of perfume and liquor by distillation, but now this increasing number of people is attracting more and more people.”
I see. So this unusual increase in the number of people means that the workload is increasing.
I looked at the flow of people as I searched again.
“There are a lot of people I’ve never seen before on their way to the construction site, can you trust them?”
“We thought it was unnatural, and we checked, but there is nothing suspicious about them.”
Are they trying to build a secret passage making it easier for enemies to attack? I’m still on my toes, but I’m pretty sure they’re just helping us to fortify our defenses.
“Can you give me a tour of the Orrard house business?”
I walked down the main street following Yulis’ lead and we reached a large and crowded store.
“That’s the Orrard house business.”
“There are so many people I can’t see what they sell.”
Yulis replied with satisfaction.
“It’s food. They sell them in large quantities at low prices, which is why they attract so many people.”
It all made sense to me.
“Is the lack of taxes having an adverse effect?”
The reason for the unusually fast construction is the people that the Orrard house gathered incessantly.
Those people need a huge amount of food and since the Orrard house sells it in large quantities at low prices, the merchants who sell food will naturally retreat.
Furthermore, as people call for more people and the population grows, what will happen if they suddenly withdraw?
Sooner or later, we will not be able to provide for our own needs and will have to import food. Such expenses would cover the labor costs of the people hired as the population grows. We will not be able to pay for the maintenance of the expanded construction facilities.
In the first place, would we be able to import food when war breaks out?
“The Orrard House has a monopoly on food.”
“We are dependent on them, so we are forced to obey them.”
And once the construction is finished, people may leave. The current merchants would leave as well, and the expanded facilities and labor costs could lead to bankruptcy.
“We knew this would happen, but we couldn’t ignore all the merchants’ calls for safety, so we had to accept it. Right now, we’re having major construction work done to buy time.”
That decision was probably the right one. If we get the construction work done quickly, they are bound to try something else.
“The only way to solve this problem is to make sure there is enough food and that the construction workers don’t leave…….”
“And consideration for the nobles outside the Orrard family.”
Yulis added to what I said and let out a sigh.
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