Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 455: The Second Step of City Construction

Chapter 455: The Second Step of City Construction

Chapter 455: The Second Step of City Construction

Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
Roland arranged a feast for the nobles to ease their minds.

A long table covered with a white tablecloth stood at the center of the hall, with a large variety of delicacies, delicious wines, and beautifully arranged flowers on it. The nobles were seated on either side of the table facing each another.

After drinking a few glasses of red wine, everybody seemed to feel more comfortable and less stressful. Given that the Honeysuckles and the Elks were both Roland's supporters and that all of the great nobles had been crushed, these petty nobles were unlikely to strike up a discordant tune at this hour. On the contrary, they voluntarily revealed their intentions to stand on Roland's side during the conversation. Under such circumstances, Roland knew it was time to talk about his new policies.

After they all had been fed, he distributed the booklet that was prepared beforehand to each noble.

It was the "marketing graphic book" which he carefully designed and drafted.

"Your Highness... what's this?" As he expected, the nobles soon asked in surprise, "Why are the drawings in this book are so lifelike?"

"Yes, they look so real."

"It doesn't look like a picture... No paint can express such delicate colors."

They were, no doubt, nobles from the big city, who knew how to properly appreciate artwork. Roland clapped his hands and replied with a smile, "They are indeed illustrated by a painter. The only difference is she's a witch, and the paints she has used are actually her ubiquitous magic power."

All of the nobles were startled by these words, not sure whether they should put down the booklet or not.

"The local church has fallen from power. What are you worried about?" The prince said, raising his brows, "Witches are no different from us. I've confirmed that myself many times."

"Uhhmm... Uhm." Petrov almost choked. "Your Highness is right."

"Of course Your Highness is correct. Haha..." the other nobles chimed in, managing to summon up a laugh.

"Um... looks like I just said something that contains an unintended meaning." Roland put on a look of indifference and switched the topic while thinking. Ever since he became a prince over a year ago, he had noticed that his ability to remain unflappable amid changes had improved by leaps and bounds—or rather he had become increasingly bold. "The point is the story inside it. The drawings are just to make it more readable and interesting."

While the nobles were still absorbed in the story, Aurelia, the Elks' girl, looked up abruptly and asked, "Is this the family history of a noble?"

"Aurelia!" Rene reminded her while lowering his voice, "You should call the prince Your Highness!"

"Correct. He used to be a noble in the Western Region." Roland gestured Rene that it was fine and then continued, "Some of you may still remember him."

"Your Highness... I know him," answered one knight. "His name is Tigui Pine. We used to be neighbors and his territory used to be adjacent to mine."

"I also met him once," someone else recalled. "He was just a Baron back then. His father was a feudatory of Joe Kohl. But since Lord Joe left the Western Region, his territory has diminished."

"Viscount Tigui is currently living in Border Town." Roland said, smiling, "The graphic book records how we met... as well as what happened later. As you can see, he's a noble living in a society regulated by the new system. He's now busy practicing flintlock. I expect that right after the Months of Demons, he'll take his daughter and guards to Misty Forest to have some fun hunting there. As far as I know, ever since he sold his territory to the east of Stronghold and settled down in Border Town, not only has he been promoted to a higher rank, but his properties have increased by several times as well."

Fear originated from the unknown. The same held true for changes to the system. As the nobles were ignorant of what impacts all these changes would bring about, they abhorred anything foreign or unfamiliar. In order to reduce their fear and resistance, Roland picked Tigui Pine as a living example and asked Soraya to sketch out his life in a cartoon format. Compared with those dull biographies, cartoons apparently presented the details of the story in a more vivid way.

"You may have known that I'm planning to build a city in the Western Region. In fact, I've been thinking about that for quite a long time. By then, Border Town, Longsong Stronghold, and the narrow land in between will all be consolidated into one," Roland continued, "someone may ask how the two towns, so distant from each other, can possibly be connected. I have to say that the unification will be confined only to administration. In other words, the new city will be governed by the same laws and policies. This is also the reason I take back nobles' feudal and legislative powers."

"Your Highness, but our territories..." somebody asked.

"They'll still be yours," he interrupted. "Like I said, you won't lose anything except these two types of power. The very nature of feudalism is to grant lands to others who will then become your subordinates, and thereby expanding your influences, leading lower nobles to defend against enemies and fight for profits for you. However, a professionally trained army will be responsible for city defenses under the new system. As long as you follow the rules, you'll gain far more than you used to. After all, you benefit more from slicing up a bigger cake than sharing a small one."

While the nobles were silent, Roland sipped tea before continuing his persuasion. "You've never been to Border Town, so it's perfectly normal that you don't know how much you can actually gain. In fact, the town's revenues for the latter half of the year reached 30,000 gold royals. It could have been 10,000 more if the Months of the Demons hadn't come so soon."

The nobles all gasped out. "30... 30,000?"

Roland had learned the annual financial situation of Stronghold from Petrov a long time ago. The annual income of the City Hall was no more than 30,000, and these petty nobles obviously earned much less than that. 100 gold royals would be a fortune to them.

"As you'll be administrators of trades of all kinds in the future, you'll certainly be well paid." Roland went on, "Back to the consolidation matter一aside from the unification of administration, the two towns will also be closer geographically. For example, it takes me one day to travel from Border Town to Longsong Stronghold now. Once the construction of Kingdom Main Street is completed, it'll take less than a day to cover the distance on foot, and half a day by horse or bike, not to mention other faster transportation methods."

"What's a bike?" Aurelia questioned curiously.

"A manually operated riding apparatus that runs fast on a flat surface." The prince mused, "I bet in five years... no, in three years we'll be able to work in Border Town after having breakfast in Stronghold." As Kingdom Main Street ran straight between Stronghold and Border Town, it reduced the distance to a mere 60 kilometers, allowing people to travel within half an hour by tram or car.

Nevertheless, most of the nobles cared little about transportation. The knight who claimed to be Tigui Pine's neighbor asked cautiously, "Your Highness, by what you just said, did you mean that you want us to manage Stronghold?"

"Yes and no." Roland shrugged. "Like I said, the consolidation of the two towns will be limited only to administration. The Stronghold will become a district of the city, directly administered by the City Hall. But considering commuting a day to work still sounds quite unrealistic, for the time being, I'll set up a secondary City Hall in Longsong District. It'll operate in the same way as Border Town, with multiple secondary departments under it. You'll work in those secondary departments dealing with local matters."

"Secondary... departments?" the nobles echoed, looking bewildered.

"It isn't simple to manage a town. Although you'll get paid well, it won't be that easy to do your part," Roland said bluntly. "Therefore, I need you to come to Border Town with me once we've re-established order here. I want you to see with your own eyes what a well-functioning City Hall should look like. With respect to city management, you've got a lot to learn."