Reincarnated Princess Wishes To Avoid Death - Chapter 67.5
Short Story 3
Princess Mia Gains a Bosom Buddy Through a Mutual Misunderstanding Part 3
The discrimination against agriculture in the Empire can be traced back to its very roots. The land that the Tearmoon Empire is on used to be called the Fertile Crescent. A seed planted there would easily reap ten or even twenty times more than a seed planted anywhere else. The people that originally lived in the regions lived through farming. They lived easy lives with abundant resources and plenty of harvests. They had very little conflict…
…until they were invaded by a tribe of hunters. This tribe used their hunting skills for war and so they were able to quickly subjugate the original inhabitants. Since then, the conquered natives were mocked by their new rulers. These new rulers called them the “slaves of the land.” They were ridiculed and called spineless and talentless. They were thought to be too cowardly to hunt that they can only live by tilling the land. As serfs, they provided their masters with food and labor. This made the invaders richer and richer.
At some point, these hunters began calling themselves as nobles. And the man who was their tribe leader became the First Emperor of the Empire. From that time, the farmers had always occupied the bottom spot of the social hierarchy of the Empire. Even when serfdom was abolished long time ago, the discrimination remained alive and well. It was still thought that those who farm are only those who have no other talent for doing anything else. It isn’t like the noble altogether prohibit farming. But they only farm the bare minimum and if they can, they prefer to rely on imports. This is why the last thing that they want is that their territories be turned into farmlands. This is the ultimate irony of the Tearmoon Empire. It is an empire built upon the lands perfect for farming, but the ones living in it utterly despise it.
That twisted concept is now what Ludwig is fighting against. He is going against the very history and tradition of the Empire itself.
“At the moment, we are totally relying on food imports from the neighboring kingdoms. This situation is too risky. If ever there is a famine, those kingdoms will surely prioritize themselves. So, unless we increase our domestic production and be self-sufficient, then the Empire has no future.”
“I do agree with what you are saying but changing the current mindset and situation will be very difficult.”
Balthazar grimaced as he was already considering the implications of forcing the noble to farm.
Seeing that his prey has taken the bait, Ludwig leaned forward.
“The reason I wanted to meet with you is to ask about the state of things in the edges of the empire. Those Outland nobles… how are they doing?”
“Probably exactly as you suspect.”
The areas that were newly absorbed into the Empire were known as the Imperial Outlands. And so, the rulers of those regions were commonly called as Outland nobles. They had already been farming even before being part of the empire, thus they felt no shame in tilling the land. Since they became part of Tearmoon, however, they were ridiculed by the nobles of the capital. They were seen as country bumpkins and called Outland Nobles. Of course, this causes a lot of resentment and anger.
“Soon even the Outland nobles will follow the ways of the others and will reduce their farmlands. The Scarlet Moon Ministry has rules that set limit the amount of farmland that can be repurposed… but as long as there is money, the rules can be bent.”
It seems to be that the Outland nobles are slowly following the trend of the Central nobles. They now want to repurpose their lands to something else other than farming.
“Outcount Rudolvon is one of the few exceptions. He is determined to keep his lands for farming. But nobles like him are hard to find.”
Balancing the supply and demand was getting difficult every day even with the import of food from other countries. There is a noticeable slow decline in the amount of food harvest. Though the decline may be slow, it is nevertheless there; slowly and surely. The effect is surely fatal. Ludwig thinks of it as a poison that is slowly dripping into the Empire, that will cause it its death almost unknowingly.
“While on topic, what about our special Princess, who you keep on talking about? Does the Wisdom of the Empire have a grasp of the problems that we are facing?”
Just moments ago, Ludwig was brooding about the Empire’s problem. But upon hearing the mention of the name of Mia, his spirits immediately lifted. Although the situation of the Empire may seem to be heading to its doom, there is still hope. And Ludwig fully knows where that hope comes from.
“I received a letter from her Highness yesterday. It was the first one that she had sent since leaving for the academy…”
He smiled knowingly…
“She wrote that she attended her first meet-and-greet party. Do you want to have a guess of who was hosting it?”
“Perujin Agricultural Country.”
Balthazar took a deep breath. In his eyes were starting to show a hint of admiration.
“I must say… that is interesting.”
Perujin Agricultural Country is a country in the southwest border of Tearmoon. Even though its land area is large, their military and economic power is weaker than that of Tearmoon. That is because about eighty percent of their population were farmers.
Because of this, Tearmoon looks down at Perujin as a second-rate, uncivilized, and undeveloped country that is hardly worth of its time. It was considered to be a country of serfs. Sadly, this discrimination from the Tearmoon nobles blinded them from the truth. Most of the food imported into the Empire actually came from the country that they looked down on. This just shows how gravely the situation really is.
“The country that is looked down by nobles but it actually vital to the Empire, huh… If the Princess did this out of diplomatic insight, then… what this could mean would be… my God. That’s definitely a progressive thinking!”
“This is Her Highness we are talking about, you know. I won’t be surprised if it was all calculated. But that’s not the end of it, there’s more to the letter. Guess what happened next?”
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