Chapter 533 Cutting the Gordian Knot
All soldiers who were motivated had dreams of becoming a general.
It was just that the First Princess preferred to think of them as her trump card and wanted them to protect her castle.
Roland, on the other hand, thought differently.
He believed that spirits and ideas could be spread. The sheep led by a lion would be brave, and likewise, many of the soldiers brought out by the generals loyal to the First Princess would gradually become loyal to her.
Of course, this presupposed that the generals thoughts would remain the same; as peoples status and identity changed, their thoughts would gradually change, which was a variable factor.
No one dared to guarantee someones eternal loyalty.
But Roland did not need the general to be able to carry out the idea of loyalty to the princess forever, just for a few years.
A few years, as long as the news didnt leak out, would be enough for Roland to build the base of the floating city.
After being stunned for a moment, the middle-aged soldier looked at Roland with a faint smile on his face, and after a beat of silence, his expression was hesitant and gradually became solemn. He said, "Of course we are, all of us one hundred brothers are."
Roland nodded. "Then the matter is very simple. You guys are very strong, I can see that, so I dont care what method you use, just dont hurt the innocent, dont plunge the whole city into chaos, just put Judson and the other five people under house arrest. Although they want to kill me, they were people that the First Princess promoted after all, so some respect has to be shown for her."
"I see." The middle-aged mans eyes were bright, burning with ambition. "What happens after they are placed under house arrest?" "What else do I have to teach?" said Roland matter-of-factly. "Receive their men, of course, and then obey my orders and those of the First Princess."
The middle-aged soldier held back his excitement, suppressing the slight trembling of his body.
He licked his lower lip, which was already a little dry, and once again knelt down on one knee. "I will always be loyal to you, Mr. Roland, and to Her Highness, the First Princess, and this feeling will never change."
Roland nodded in satisfaction. "All right, take action, and when you succeed, tell me your name."
The middle-aged man was shocked. He thought he understood what Roland meant: If you dont succeed, dont come back.
But in reality, this was just the wrong result of an ambitious persons excessive imagination of those in high positions.
Roland simply didnt want to waste any more time and had them act as soon as possible.
The middle-aged soldier, with a solemn look and a little nervousness, led his brothers and left the castle quickly.
It was already evening, and when Roland entered the main hall of the castle, several maids immediately brought up the dinner that had been prepared.
A few candles were lit on the long black dining table, and the castle, built with giant rocks, was cool during the day, but at night, it was especially warm.
After all, rocks had the property of absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night.
The dinner tasted delicious, and Roland ate slowly as he browsed the forum.
Shortly after, the tax official came in from outside, along with a few overweight middle-aged men. They stood next to Roland and looked a little alarmed.
On their way over, they saw the group of elite infantry that had been staying in the castle on the move, divided into five groups, ferociously arresting people in the city.
They had heard of this group of elite soldiers made up entirely of Master Warriors, but since the soldiers had only been following the orders of the First Princess and had remained in the castle without action for several years, they gradually forgot about the existence of this group.
After all, who would think all day long about something that wasnt a threat?
So when this group took action, they were surprised to find that they had underestimated the power of the First Princess.
And they also underestimated the determination of this temporary lord who had appeared out of nowhere.
"Sit down, all of you," Roland said as he gently pushed the dinner aside.
Only the tax official carefully pulled out a chair and sat down, while the rest of the merchants remained standing.
They were big merchants, very rich.
But in front of the nobles, in front of absolute power, their money could not make them stand any straighter, nor could it guarantee their lives or the safety of their families.
When he saw them shaking like frightened quail, Roland didnt force them and said, "I came here with no intention of killing anyone, nor do I want to change the environment or the situation here. But there are people who dont want me to stay, so Ill have to make the first move, and as long as you dont oppose me, things will be fine."
No one dared to speak, including the tax official, who didnt dare to look at Roland.
The dual identity of a temporary lord and a Mage brought a considerable deterrent effect.
"It seems that you guys welcome me." Roland laughed at himself and continued, "Tax officer, I want you to do your job and try to collect all the tax you can from this city, and I will send you more men. Remember, we dont over-collect taxes, but we also cant let people cheat on them. If someone refuses to pay, or pays less and dares to resist, you have the power to arrest them directly. If they are too aggressive and dare to resist, you can come to me and I will back you up."
The construction of a floating city required a lot of materials, and without stable funds to buy magic materials, the construction progress would definitely be greatly affected. So the second thing Roland had to do was to make sure that the tax collection was going smoothly.
The tax official nodded sternly, then wiped the cold sweat off his head and said, "Yes, Mr. Roland."
"As for you guys" Roland looked at the merchants and found that their bodies were still shaking, so he smiled and said, "Dont be so afraid, as long as you pay taxes properly, I wont give you a hard time."
The merchants shook even more severely when this was said.
Roland was stunned for a moment, then sighed helplessly. "As expected, merchants all die for money."
He understood now. These merchants probably all evaded taxes, and when the steward invited them over, these people were panicking, worried that this might be an ambush. In the end, Roland talked about tax collection right off the bat, and they immediately assumed they were done for, and now with the words "die for money," they were so frightened that they assumed Roland was the kind to kill to set an example.
There were even two fat merchants who had stains on their crotches.
"Its my first day here, so I wont do anything to you as long as you dont think of getting rid of me." Roland thought for a moment and continued, "But tax evasion is a crime, after all. It cant just be left as it is, so Ive decided to give you guys a chance. Within three days, go to the tax official, pay the tax in full, and then pay the twenty-percent fine on top of it." Roland tapped the tabletop, and with the noise, the merchants all subconsciously cringed in fear. "This is what Ive decided. Whos for it and whos against it?"
No one dared to speak out.
For some reason, even though Rolands last question sounded very gentle and did not contain any negative emotions, after listening to it, they felt a chill all down their spines, as if there was a cold wind blowing hard at their backs.
Cold sweat flowed down their backs, which was sore and aching, but no one dared to move.
"Very well. Lets put the matter of taxes aside for now."
After these words, all the merchants were slightly relieved.
Roland placed several sheets of paper he had already prepared on the table, then the steward picked them up and gave them to all the merchants.
"Im a Mage, and I need a lot of materials to study magic." Rolands gaze stopped on the tax officer for a moment before he said, "And you are to help me keep an eye on these magic materials, and if you find them, buy them for me. I will buy all the magic materials on this list at fifteen percent of the market price. I want quantity as well as quality."
Hearing that Roland was asking for their help in buying goods, these merchants relaxed a lot more.
They could now sense that Roland didnt seem to have much malice toward them, nor did he have that superior attitude.
Back from a tour in hell, the merchants didnt dare to quarrel with Roland and said they would definitely help him find all the magic materials on the list.
Having the steward send the merchants away, Roland said to the tax official who was still sitting, "The money for the purchase of magic materials will be paid out of the tax, but dont let this affect the development of the city of Motasos. Also, how much is the monthly tax revenue of the territory? You have to get me a list of the income and expenditure, understand?"
The tax officer nodded repeatedly.
After the tax officer left, the middle-aged soldier returned. He and other elite soldiers had easily captured the five military officers and escorted them to the main hall.
During the arrests, some of the troops saw their leaders being arrested and tried to resist, but they were suppressed without fanfare.
Looking at the five military officers who were tied up tightly, Roland was quite satisfied.
These hundred elites were as strong as he thought they would be.
At this time, Judsons eyes were bloodshot and red. He stared at Roland and roared, "Roland, how dare you do thisif I die, the capital will definitely send someone to kill you too. Let me go and I will leave by myself."
For Judson, the royal bloodline was probably the last of his cards to play.
Once used, it would be gone forever.
But it was better to be alive than to become a pile of yellow dirt.
"Send them to prison, and remember that their food must not be too bad, and they should be kept white and tender to sell at a good price." Roland laughed. "If anyone comes to ransom them, each of them will cost a hundred gold coins to free, or else they will be locked away for two or three years." The elite soldiers immediately stepped forward and dragged the five military officers, who had little ability to resist, away. Along the way, Judsons extremely angry curses could be heard.
Roland looked at the middle-aged soldier. "Well done, and quick, too. Now you can tell me your name."
"Fauci Doyle," the middle-aged man said with reverence.
"Fauci, take your men and go seize the property left by those five men." Roland stared into the middle-aged mans eyes as if trying to see through his nature. "Remember what Ive said: more work, more pay."
Fauci felt that Rolands eyes were a little frightening, and immediately lowered his head, not daring to meet his gaze.