Reincarnated into a Game as the Hero’s Friend - Chapter 58
Translator: Nisarah Editor:Fleeting
I told Frenssen to investigate Mangold this morning, while I went to the palace. How long have I been absent from the academy? I guess I have to accept the fact that I’m going to return to the academy after the Demon King is defeated.
If not because of the sudden summon from the palace, I should’ve been in a meeting with Neurath and Schunzel.
“I am Welner von Zeavert.”
“Sir Welner has arrived.”
After I informed the guards of my arrival, they announced it to the room. After that, I was given permission to enter and the guard opened the door.
“Your Highness, I, Welner von Zeavert, have arrived.”
“Thank you. Please be at ease.”
His Highness the Crown Prince Hubertus has summoned me so I have to postpone all of my plans for today. This is the harsh part of working for the court.
Duke Seyfart is also present in the room.
“First of all, allow me to extend my gratitude for your hard work.”
“No, it is all thanks to everyone’s hard work.”
It’s true. The difficult jobs were being taken care of by Duke Seyfart and Count Engelbert, while the physically demanding jobs like scouting and fighting with the demons were being taken care of by the scouts and the adventurers. In that sense, it was all thanks to everyone’s efforts.
“The duke had told me that the battle plan was your idea. It was a brilliant plan.”
“The idea might be brilliant, but I do not think I can execute the plan by myself.”
I’m not trying to be humble. For me to command more than 100,000 soldiers is out of the question. I never even commanded tens of people in my past life, let alone 100,000. I did command some people in the Stampede but that was because I was desperate.
If anything, I was amazed that the Crown Prince and the military officers were able to implement the plan that was based on my vague memory on an actual battlefield.
“Sir is quite humble.”
I’m not humble, Your Highness. I said to myself with a wry smile. It would be rude if I kept denying His Highness’ words. Really, dealing with this kind of situation is tiring.
Thankfully, His Highness didn’t press the issue any further. He shifted the subject of our conversation.
“The weapons presented by the Zeavert’s house are excellent. Everyone was astonished. If those can be purchased at a moderate price, I would like to acquire a number of them right away.”
“That is something you ought to talk with the guild, Your Highness”
Yup. I decided to shift the responsibility to the guild, but the Crown Prince threw me a probing gaze.
“Are you fine with that? The Zeavert house will profit if I buy the equipment via them.”
“I doubt my house would need such a profit.”
My priority is to ensure that all military personnels in the capital are equipped with high quality equipment. My house will need to arrange more funds if the kingdom decides to buy the equipment via us. However, we have already spent a lot of money for the refugee escort mission, so we need to properly manage our liquid funds.
It’s true that my house will gain profit if the kingdom decided to buy equipment via us, but that’s an economic bubble. We will be able to gain profit only until Mazell defeats the demon king, about 2-3 years according to the game. After that, the bubble will burst.
In short, it’s bad for our economy in the long run. Moreover, doing this will sour my house’s relationship with the Commerce Guild and the Bierstedt Company.
For the long term, I believe leaving this to the specialists will be better. I don’t know about Father’s opinion though.
“Ah, and about the refugees, things have settled down for now. The construction of the aqueduct is also progressing satisfactorily. The aqueduct should be able to operate before the dry season comes.”
“That is fortunate for us.”
The topic changed suddenly. The fact that the royal family did this much in just a month is really impressive. Apparently, this is the result of the kingdom using the royal mages to their limit. As expected, the engineers in the capital are quite capable.
“But we have another issue. We don’t know where we should move the refugees.”
“And we also don’t know how to transport them.”
Said the Crown Prince, followed by the Duke. I think this transportation problem must be the reason why a military man like the Duke is here.
“While the Duke and you were away from the capital, the circumstances around the kingdom changed. The most prevalent change is the fact that the appearance rate of the demons has increased.”
“An increasing number of the nobility are saying that if they have enough money to take care of the refugees, they would rather spend it on defence of their own territories.”
Ah. Well, that’s understandable. After all, accepting refugees into your own territory is risky. You need to keep spending money to take care of the refugees until they are able to take care of themselves.
“Nevertheless, We can’t simply shelter them in the capital forever.”
“That is right since for now, the refugees are just baggages”
Oh, wow, he’s blunt. But he’s right. We need more money to take care of the refugees.
“We might need to issue a loan for a war fund.”
“What do you mean?”
Crap, I said that out loud. The Duke’s question made me break out in cold sweats. But it seems like the duke has no intention to blame me or anything, he is genuinely curious.
Over the past month I’ve come to know him, I understand that the Duke is a sly person. Maybe he knew the meaning of my words, but feigned ignorance. But well, so be it.
“Ah, about that…”
“I am not angry, just say it.”
The Crown Prince’s urge eliminates my possible escape route. Even if I want to explain it, The tax collection system, social circumstances, and basic economic power of this world is completely different from my previous world. I don’t think words like bonds or securities even existed in this world.
My only choice is to use a really simple term to explain it.
“To put it simply, the country will be going into a debt.”
“The country will take debt?”
“The word debt might be a little off putting, but it simply means that the country will issue a loan agreement to individuals or groups. For the first few years, the country only needs to pay the interest.”
I explain it in a simple way but to tell you the truth, I also don’t really know the details on how government bonds work. I can remember more about wartime bonds issued by Rome in the Punic War compared to the government bonds.
Now that I think about it, even in the BCE, Rome had a similar system of bonds so I guess introducing this system to this medieval world is fine.
At any rate, I have introduced a really basic system of governmental bonds here. His Highness and the Duke let out a light sigh.
“Your idea is crazy but it’s quite novel. No, maybe it’s better to say that your idea is novel but quite crazy?”
“… I think the latter is more correct.”
I don’t think they are being cynical. The notion of bonds in this world is probably too novel to the point it can be called crazy.
“However, if we can’t secure the source of funds to repay the debt, no one will lend us any money.”
“That is right. That is when the country issued this loan agreement, the country will need to increase taxes so it can pay the interest.”
To top it all off, the loan must be returned when the expiration date hits. Extending it even once would lead to a credibility dispute. This is after all a society that is akin to the Middle Ages. It is feasible to throw one’s weight around, but once that is done, credibility will never be gained again. When that turns out to be the reality, the distrust from the people will straight away develop into a ruling concern.
The loan also needs to be paid by the due date. If not, the country will lose the trust of the creditor. In this medieval time, you might be able to use your status to write off the debt, but if you do that, no creditors will ever let you borrow their money again. This kind of distrust among creditors might spread to the ordinary citizens and it might become a problem for the government.
Really? Will that happen? This world has demons so it’s possible for a country to say ‘we will protect you from demons so just shut up and listen to us!’ Does that mean it’s possible for a country’s existence to be sustained by demons?
Come to think about it, the ancient kingdom was destroyed by the demon king in the past yet the entire humanity wasn’t exterminated, but why? Maybe because this world was a game so the game developer didn’t really think that through? Or is there another important reason?
I almost became lost in my thoughts again but since I was in front of the Crown Prince and the Duke I forcibly pulled my focus back. Then, the Duke started to speak.
“The public will criticize us, right?”
“Ah yes. It’s necessary for us to convince the people that we will be able to return the tax to its original amount, without limiting what the citizens can buy. However, if we lose to the Demon King, we will have nothing left.”
Humans cannot beat natural disasters. The last words I said might be too brazen but that’s my real thought. For some reason, The Crown Prince and the Duke tensed with surprise when they heard my words.
“I see. Indeed, you are right. The sight of those Triot refugees will convince anyone that we need to raise the taxes.”
“The idea to put the country into a debt is crazy but the fact that if we do nothing our country might end up like Triot is a convincing reason to implement your crazy idea. It’s also true that we need more money to fight with the demon army. The sight of Triot’s refugees still remains vivid in people’s minds, so this is the best time to implement your idea.”
No, that’s not my meaning. It seems like I just created a huge misunderstanding.
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