Dulaketon City was more south than Sowell City, but the wind and snow from the north still reached Dulaketone City and completely covered the city in white.
Count Michelle put down the book in his hand and looked out the window.
The snow covered everything and there were icicles hanging from the branches. It looked very beautiful and could have also meant that Dulaketon City would have a prosperous harvest next year.
But Count Michelles heart wasnt happy at all, rather he was a bit worried.
His highness Eric was clearly very dissatisfied with Count Longley meeting Xu Yi privately and even inviting the Frestech Chamber of Commerce to invest in Basaru City. He had even angrily rebuked in his return letter to Count Michelle that Count Longley was a traitor, not only to his highness Eric, but also to his dead father.
Perhaps it was because he was angry at Count Longley, his highness Eric even asked Count Michelle if he should be dissatisfied with working with the Frestech Chamber of Commerce. His words were filled with questioning towards Count Michelle, asking Count Michelle if he also wanted to be a traitor.
Count Michelle wasnt surprised by his highness Erics response, but he was very disappointed with his highness Eric being angry with this situation.
Before he truly understood why Count Longley contacted Xu Yi, deciding that Count Longley was a traitor, Count Michelle thought that this was a very petty way of handling things.
Count Longley might have made contact with Xu Yi and have invited the Frestech Chamber of Commerce to invest in Basaru City, but this was completely different from betraying his highness Eric. It didnt mean that the Longley Family and Basaru City would switch her highness side.
In this situation, the right thing was for his highness Eric to investigate everything and understand Count Longleys ideas before making a decision. He shouldnt just push Count Longley away right away.
He had called Count Longley a traitor, so even if Count Longley didnt plan on betraying his highness Eric, he would be forced away in this situation.
His highness Eric didnt have many supporters in the northeast province, there was only him, Count Longley, and Lamarte Citys Count Will.
Now that he called Count Longley a traitor and doubted him, could it be that he was planning on giving up on the support of the northeast province?
Although Count Wills Lamarte City was the biggest city, Lamarte City wasnt enough to represent the northeast province.
Not to mention that compared to Sowell Citys Count Sean who firmly supported her highness Seveni, Count Will wasnt much better.
Moreover, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce was currently investing in Sowell City. If Count Sean and Sowell City had several years, developing Sowell City like Banta City, then the northeast province would probably depend on Count Sean.
Thinking of this, Count Will suddenly felt very tired.
His highness Erics attitude made him a bit unhappy and his highness Erics method of handling things made him disappointed.
He even felt that his decision back them was a bit of a mistake.
"Perhaps…Its better to support her highness Seveni?"
This thought grew in Count Michelles mind before he quickly threw it out.
As an old noble who was almost sixty and experienced many political changes, he knew some truth.
That was that during times of struggle, there were winners and losers, but the ones most unwelcome were those who wavered.
Count Michelle gave a sigh and rubbed his forehead. He relaxed his expression and rang the bell on the table, calling his housekeeper over.
"Go investigate what Count Longley and Xu Yi did in the two days they were together. Also investigate what they said as much as possible." Count Michelle said first, "Then send a gift to Count Longley in my name and tell him a few things."
The housekeeper paid rapt attention to Count Michelle.
Count Michelle paused and thought for a bit before continuing, "Tell him that I hope that he can inherit the best part of old Longley and properly be the City Lord of Basaru City."
The housekeepers expression was a bit strange, this was his first time hearing such an ambiguous order from Count Michelle.
But the housekeeper didnt question at all, he just honestly wrote down those two orders.
"Right, has the goods for his highness Eric been prepared?" Count Michelle asked.
"Its already been prepared and can be loaded at any time." The housekeeper replied.
"Horse carriages?" Count Michelle revealed a smile that had a bit of ridicule, "Alright, load it up and set off. Our prince doesnt like waiting any longer."
The housekeeper agreed before hesitating to speak.
"Speak." Count Michelle said in a deep voice.
The housekeeper quickly said, "Lord Count, when collecting those goods, there were a few people who tried to resist. The guards were a bit negligent and their hand was a bit too heavy, so in the end"
Seeing the difficult expression the housekeeper had, Count Michelles face sunk, "How many died?"
The housekeeper had a bitter smile, "Currently theres thirteen dead and fifty six heavily injured. There are over twenty people among them who cant support themselves anymore."
"Isnt that close to forty people who’re dead?" Count Michelles face sunk even more, "I had them collect the goods, not have them kill people!"
The housekeeper could see the anger in Count Michelles eyes and was afraid, but he had to explain, "Lord Count, its already the end of the year, so these citizens dont have much in their houses. If it is forcefully taken, of course they would go all out. The guards had no choice but to retaliate and then"
The housekeeper didnt dare continue. Seeing the expression on Count Michelles face, he doubted that if he continued in this situation, even he might suffer.
Count Michelle was silent for a while before taking a deep breath. He waved his hand and said, "Since theyre already dead, forget it. Fine each of the soldiers who beat those people to death a hundred gold coins and if they cant pay, send them all to jail."
The housekeeper was shocked, "Lord Count, there might be problems with this"
Count Michelle glared at him and the housekeeper immediately swallowed his words.
"Alright, go and prepare the goods to be loaded onto the truck." Count Sean waved his hands, signaling for the housekeeper to leave.
Seeing the exhausted look on Count Michelles face, the housekeeper didnt dare say anything else and left with a bow.
Count Michelle stood there for a while before suddenly giving a sigh, as he revealed a smile of self-ridicule.
"So our great Dulaketon City has a bit of trouble collecting three hundred thousand gold coins worth of goods?"
"Lord City Lord, this is the account of what was paid to the kingdom, please look over it." The finance manager of Banta Citys City Lord Manor Fumar submitted an account to Seveni.
Seveni looked it over before putting it down with a nod.
"Im clear on this account, so theres no need to check." Seveni said with a faint smile, "Our Banta City has turned over seven hundred thousand gold coins to the kingdoms finances this year, we cant forget everyones hard work. Its been hard on you all, so I want to express my gratitude on behalf of my royal father."
The officers of the City Lord Manor all quickly stood up and gave Seveni a bow.
"Your highness, this is our work, we cant take your gratitude."
They said this, but everyone had a happy look on their face and there was a happy feeling that filled the room.
Banta Citys tax revenue this year was much higher than last year, so everyones lives in Banta City were much better. When these officers left the City Lord Manor, they were respected wherever they went.
"It is all because of your outstanding work that our Banta City could develop so well. Its normal for me to express my gratitude to you all." Seveni said, "Alright, everyone sit down and lets discuss how Banta City will develop next year. Baron Fumar, tell me, after paying the kingdom finances and settling last years accounts, how much is left in our Banta Citys finances?"
Baron Fumar didnt look at any records and directly replied, "Theres still one million two hundred seventy six thousand and three hundred forty six gold coins."
"Then its close to one million two hundred and eighty thousand gold coins." Seveni nodded, "What suggestions does everyone have on how to spend this money?"
Everyone looked at each other and hesitated.
"Theres no need to be afraid, just express your ideas. I want to see if there are any feasible ideas you have." Seveni encouraged them to speak.
"Then..Lord City Lord, Ill make a suggestion." Baron Fumar raised his hand.
Seveni nodded at him, encouraging him with a smile.
Baron Fumar sat up and said with a serious look, "Your highness, I propose that we take out some funds and renovate the old part of Banta City. Now that our Banta City is the most prosperous city in the kingdoms south, the old part of town still has the same appearance as before. I feel that it doesnt fit the position that our Banta City currently has."
"Right, compared to the beautiful and clean new housing, the old part of town is another world." Another officer agreed, "Right now the people in the old part of town want to move to the new districts. If I wasnt trying to save some money to buy a villa from the Amrit Chamber of Commerce, I would have moved already."
"Right, the old part is small and crowded, it isnt convenient. We can renovate it to make it more beautiful, which is quite good."
"Un, I also think the same"
Hearing everyones discussion, Seveni thought about it before nodding, "This is a good suggestion. Then Baron Fumar, since you have raised this suggestion, how much money do you think this proposition needs?"
Baron Fumar had clearly considered this before and he replied in a confident manner, "Lord City Lord, it is impossible to make earth shattering changes to the old part of town, so I suggest that we restore the parts that are worn out and of no use. So we should construct some public facilities, repair some broken down parts, and make improvements in certain places. According to my initial estimates, fifty thousand gold coins should be enough to use."
"Only fifty thousand?" Seveni was a bit surprised, "You really are economical. Alright, take the fifty thousand gold coins. Our surplus is over one million and two hundred thousand. Does anyone else have any other suggestions?"
Baron Fumar was a bit surprised, "Lord City Lord, do you want to use the entire one million and two hundred thousand?"
"Of course we cant spend it all, but is there a use in leaving it? The people of Banta City have paid these taxes, so of course it should be used to improve their lives. Come, give me some more suggestions."
Everyone looked at each other and couldnt think of a good idea.
Seeing the difficult looks on their faces, Seveni gave a sigh. She thought that if Xu Yi was here, he would definitely have all kinds of strange ideas.
This fellow was really good at earning money, but he was also good at spending money.
But Seveni suddenly felt that this was a bit funny.
The other cities in the kingdom would worry about their finances at the end of the year, but she was worried about how to spend their money next year, this really was a very luxurious worry.