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Chapter 144 – Frontier Territory Grants ~Development and New Invention~
This is Heinz’s government office. In Schwarzer Frontier Territory, instead of the lord’s mansion, all kinds of matters regarding good governance are conducted in this place.
Sitting in the center was the acting territory lord, Cornelia. Meanwhile the secretary of the state George and other domestic affairs officers were busy with the various kinds of political affairs.
[The population is growing rapidly.]
Cornelia murmured after inspecting the table showing the recent months’ population growth.
As the rumour circulated further, more and more people showed interest in moving in.
They might not know what awaits them here, but Heinz was still a good chance for them to earn a better life…
The frontier territory thus did their best effort to answer that high hopes. From hiring adventurers to escort and guide the newcomers, to dispatching the White Legion that just returned from their assignment of the Aryan subjugation to ensure security. After all, Grants is still rife with magic beasts.
Of course, there’s also spies among the many people migrating. Heinz’s development cannot be made public yet, so these spies need to be eliminated.
The Dragon’s Eye is in charge of finding and dealing with those spies. When the soft method of recruiting failed, they would get rid of the spy.
Even if they somehow escaped the Dragon’s Eye, deviating from the highway means that they’d have to deal with monsters on their own. That usually ends with their deaths.
And that’s how the frontier’s method in accepting migrants.
[The monitoring has spread to other areas as well, and the number of migrants has been stable recently… but it seems that the harmful effect of rapid population growth is emerging.]
With the migrants increasing in number, the lord of the territory they lived in started to take action to prevent people from moving out. As a result, the rate of migration had settled down somewhat… but the fact remained that a lot of people wished to move to the frontier territory.
George scanned the materials in his hands. What he’s looking at was the report on the number of arrests per month submitted by the security forces. Another one was a table summarizing the expenses associated with the population growth.
More people also means more trouble. Recently, trouble has been occuring not only in Heinz, but also in Leblanc, suburban villages and other places.
Land and housing are par for the course. But since the people came from various places, cultural differences are bound to occur…
[For the time being, we need to concentrate on maintaining public security. Other than that, some people are engaged in illegal business recently. I intend to root them out.]
[After all, if the market and security do not stabilize, the economy will not grow well.]
Responding to George was Tobias, the secretary of commerce.
[Our Lord will soon return from the north. At that point, we can appoint some soldiers to the security forces. I suppose they’ll immediately be able to be fielded as they are fierce fighters.]
Tobias suddenly recalled something and asked.
[By the way, according to the information given by the official Marius as well as the people in the market, there are some who dabble in illegal trade?]
[As of now, security officers have been dispatched to the villages and some of the perpetrators have been arrested.]
Sitting next to George, deputy state secretary Ramires was the one who replied.
[Unfortunately, among the merchants…there are some who sell at an exorbitant price or buying at a much lower price when they’re dealing with less educated customers, some lend money with a high interest rate… and some attempt to evade taxes. Apparently most of them were migrants from the Royal Capital.]
Sitting across the table, the secretary of commerce, Tobias sighed deeply.
[Well, after Marius-dono read the report submitted by the officials and the merchants, the problem was quickly dealt so the damage hasn’t been that great.]
[It’s indeed reassuring to have Marius-dono around. As long as he’s the security inspector, the officials and the market will proceed properly.]
George praised with a chuckle.
Because he got into the bad side of many aristocrats for being too strict and just as an inspector, Marius was dispatched to Grants in a plot to get rid of him. He ended up liking Heinz, deserted from his position in the Royal Capital, and swore his loyalty to Ares.
Currently, he’s working as a security inspector, keeping the officials and merchants in check, covering all sides. He’s now an irreplaceable officer for the current frontier territory.
[What about those frauds: the officers and merchants that have been arrested?]
George replied to Elan’s question with a cold voice.
[Send them to Nora and have them work in the mine. I’ll also tell Nora to send them to the darkest and most dangerous part of the mine. We must show them the severity of their crime. Cornelia-sama, would that be fine?]
[…if all of you agree with that then so be it… however, please set up a deadline of sorts at least. Give them time to reflect and repent…]
George bowed in response to Cornelia’s words.
[Understood. Then, they will only have to work on the mine for several months or years depending on their crime. After the deadline is reached, we’ll decide what to do with them based on their work ethic.]
After hearing that, Cornelia showed a relieved look then followed up with the next topic.
[Then… regarding former slaves and orphans…]
[We will continue our effort in that matter. Our Lord strongly wishes for it. We will continue on even if this will cause a boom in the population.]
Even when he’s still staying on Schwarzer territory, Ares had been buying slaves from the big cities around the continent. But he’s picky when he does so.
What he paid a lot of attention to was the reason as to why the person became a slave.
He ignored those who enslaved themselves because of crimes they did, those who did so because of gambling or those who did it to buy drugs.
He only bought those who were kidnapped against their will or those who were forced to sell themselves due to poverty.
[I may not be able to help all of them yet… but I think that I should still save as much as I can whenever possible.]
That was what Ares believed.
[It may seem… hypocritical. Future generations might see this as me doing this for self-gratification. But… I still want to do it anyway.]
Ares would purchase slaves under the guise to secure labor forces for the harsh and underdeveloped land that is the frontier.
Ares would not free them immediately. He knew that there’s no way that they’d be able to make a living for themselves right away.
[Freedom is something you earned yourself. Work hard for a year to buy yourself back. Earn your own freedom.]
While ensuring the slaves basic human rights, Ares imposed upon them a year of labor in order to buy themselves back. It was to instill self-esteem, willingness to work and, above all, the value of living.
Ares also gathered orphans. Many war orphans scattered around Arcadia continent. Normally churches would take care of these children…but many were sold to become slaves to reduce food costs.
He would actively seek out these surplus orphans. On this matter, he had the assistance of the people from underworld, mainly Balzac.
[Perhaps one day they’ll become the future pillar for the Schwarzer clan?]
Ares laughed in jest. And so, many orphans from around the continent were brought to the facility in Grants. Each of them were brought up properly.
[There are still a lot of jobs and houses we can spare for these slaves. We can afford to continue this effort.]
After saying so, George flipped through the materials.
[Alright….on to the next topic.]
The discussion continued on…
The political council continued for a while that day. The last proposal for today was probably the most important for Schwarzer territory… This one was a report from the ministry of industry’s Francesca.
[The trial version of the 『Magic Train』we are developing is nearly completed~. Once the track between Heinz and Leblanc is completed, I believe it’s possible to do a test run~]
Many domestic officials cheered after hearing the report.
[So it’s finally happening!?]
[Is it true that such a large iron box can move?]
[If it can really transport a lot of both materials and personnel at once…also at an overwhelming speed… then won’t that probably be the greatest revolution of this era!?]
As various questions kept flying around, George had to call for silence before asking Francesca.
[Are there any safety issues?]
[None so far~. As long as the magic power input is stable, there’s no risk of explosion or anything else~]
The current concept of magic train came up when Ares invited Fran for a discussion.
For Ares, the idea of magic train had long since been on his mind. Thanks to Gilbert’s knowledge, he actually already wrote a concrete plan for it. But the huge consumption rate of magic stone forced him to put the plan on hold.
However, after discovering that a large amount of magic stones can be obtained through the help of the dragon vein, the plan was being reviewed again.
And fortunately, a genius in manufacturing machinery and tools, Francesca joined them. After another planning with George and Shion, the train was finally developed as one of the projects with highest importance in the frontier.
[For the time being we need to complete the railroad first. When is the soonest we can expect it to be completed?]
[If Shadow can increase the number of the skeletons…I believe we’ll finish it in about three months~]
[So that’s about it… Our Lord is also returning soon. Please proceed onward with the construction.]
And just like that, Heinz continued to develop further.
After the magic train was completed, it would bring forth a major revolution in the transportation industry not only in the frontier, but also the entire continent… But that is another story.