Game of the Monarch - chapter 91
“Good work everyone, you’ve all worked hard. Let’s go inside before you tell me the details.”
“Yes, My Lord.”
Milton went inside and changed to something more comfortable before listening to the reports from his retainers. Max and all the other retainers stood proudly in front of Milton.
“Then, I’ll start reporting, My Lord.”
“First of all, the port and mine that you wanted to develop has been finished while you were gone, My Lord.”
Milton already knew all this because he had checked with his abilities, but he pretended not to know as he listened to the report.
“Were there any problems?”
“Yes, My Lord. While we had some difficulties trying to find workers for the mine, the problem resolved itself as the territory’s population continued to grow.”
“Right, then what about the port?”
“Because the port has just been established, we haven’t obtained any results. But as the population increased, we’ve had the upper society wanting to join, so as soon as the port gets busy, it should be a huge benefit to the estate.”
“Good, well done.”
“Yes, My Lord. Lady Sophia has contributed a lot to the port’s development.”
As Max praised Lady Sophia, Milton turned towards her with a smile.
“You’ve accomplished a lot.”
“Thank you, My Lord. It’s all because you trusted me and were willing to let me work.”
Sophia gracefully lifted the hem of her skirt in a curtsey as she responded to him. Outwardly, she seemed like a lovely young noble lady, but Milton noticed that Sophia also had a significant increase in her abilities. Sophia smoothly took over reporting to Milton.
“I will report on the construction of the port and the renovation of the city, My Lord.”
She passed him the prepared documents.
“The city was formed around the central plaza with roads spreading outward from it and a clear division between residential and commercial districts. The water and sewage facilities were also completed alongside the network of roads.”
Milton quietly marveled at her work.
‘I really hit the jackpot. I wonder where such a pretty and smart jackpot like her came from.’
For some reason, Sophia was really pleasing to the eye right now.
“However, it’s important that we secure a water supply source in advance to prepare for an increase in population, My Lord.”
“Secure a water supply source? Do you have a specific proposal for it?”
“I think it’s best to build a dam to secure our water supply, My Lord. I have both the site and a construction plan ready, but because this wasn’t something that I could decide on my own, I was waiting until you returned home, My Lord.”
Sophia handed him the paperwork that would allow her to build the dam.
“Get started on it.”
With no further discussion, Milton boldly signed the permit. Sophia gave a delighted grin as though she was a child who had just received a present.
“Thank you, My Lord.”
‘She’s really that happy about building a dam?’
Sophia really was an unusual lady, most ladies would have preferred dresses or jewels.
Although there were several other reports, they were mostly about the same stuff — as the population increased, the size of the territory naturally increased, and consequently, the territory became more developed. After Milton heard all the reports, he spoke to his retainers.
“Once again, thank you for all your hard work while I was away.”
At Milton’s praise, everyone looked proud of themselves. When Milton looked at his retainers, he realized that only a couple of them had a Loyalty stat that was below 80 — he had mostly won them over.
“As you may have heard, the Republican burnt down our Capital.”
“They’re bastards worse than an animal…”
“How could they destroy it just because they couldn’t take over?”
“They’re absolutely unforgivable.”
All of them were angry, but Sophia was the angriest.
“The Capital itself was a testament to the great culture and history of… but to burn it all…”
Sophia wailed her indignation.
‘Oh dear… should I comfort her?’
Milton wanted to try to coax her, but then realized that other people were also there. Instead, he spoke with poise.
“Let’s all calm down now. Anyway, it will take a long time to rebuild the Capital, but in order for a country to function, it must have a center. And so, Princess Leila has decided to make our Forrest Estate the temporary Capital.”
All his retainers were startled by his words.
“Truly, My Lord? Our Estate will be the Capital?”
“It will only be temporary.”
“E— even so, our Estate as the Capital… My Lord, then will our territory become the center of the country for the time being?
“I assume so.”
They got very excited. Originally, the South was considered a backwood countryside to the rest of the Lester Kingdom. You could tell how the rest of the country thought of them just by looking at how Rick and Tommy had been the butt of the Capital nobles’ joke at a clothing store. But now, Forrest Estate was the center of the country. Even if it was temporary, it wasn’t decided how long that might be. If it was a short period of time, it would be about 3 to 5 years. It may even be a longer period of time and perhaps even stay as the Capital. It goes without saying what a great opportunity this was.
‘Yeup. Wherever you go, it’s always great if national policy is tied to real estate.’
Milton thought to himself as he looked at his excited retainers.
“Yes, I agree, this is great, but you have to keep in mind that the amount of work that needs to be done has increased.”
As his retainers’ expressions grew serious, Milton continued.
“The first thing we need to do is find accommodations for the refugees that will be arriving.”
As the population grows, it is important to be able to support them so they can survive. Food, clothing, and shelter were more important than anything else.
“My Lord, how many refugees will arrive from the Capital?”
“It’s estimated that there will be a little more than 300,000 refugees.”
For a moment, Max looked tired. Currently, Forrest territory had about 130,000 people.
It was no wonder he would be tired when it would be burdensome to instantly add more than three times the current population.
To be honest, this was a lot less than the original number. When the Republicans had invaded the Capital, there were 1million citizens who had followed Princess Leila and evacuated. That number included both the elderly and the children. But 100,000 people could not handle the harsh life as a refugee and had died. And once the war was over, about half of the refugees had stayed behind to rebuild the Capital. And half of those remaining refugees, mainly the strong men, had applied to become soldiers and serve in the North. With this war, many of them had realized how terrible it was for a nation to have no power during a war and had volunteered to become soldiers. And after it had been cut down many times, the final number of people that Forrest Estate had to accommodate was 30,000. But this was still a large number.
“Will there be a separate subsidy from the government, My Lord?”
“Princess Leila said that for the time being, she would use her personal accounts to support this. She has also promised tax exemption for the next three years.”
As though thankful, Max sighed in relief.
“The refugees will be arriving in the next ten days. For a while, they’ll pitch tents and live like refugees but they can’t live like that forever. Sophia.”
“Yes, My Lord?”
“The most important thing is the living environment. It’s alright if it’s temporary, but make an environment that is livable for the people.”
Sophia thought for a bit before responding.
“It’ll be impossible to build something for everyone one at a time. Even if it’s a bit inconvenient, I think it’ll be best if we built a communal housing facility that could accommodate more than 100 people at once.”
“I’ll leave that up to you.”
Because Milton knew very well what Sophia could do as an architect, he gave full authority to do as she wished.
“Yes, My Lord?”
“I’m removing you from the Administrator position.”
For a second, Max looked as though his entire world had collapsed, but his face brightened as Milton continued to speak.
“Since the territory has gotten bigger, we need to create separate administrative offices. I’m giving you the position of Chief Administrator and entrusting you with full authority over the administration personnel.”
This basically meant that Milton was entrusting the entire territory’s internal affairs to Max. In the past, Milton couldn’t reappoint him in such an important position because even though Max was highly skilled, his Loyalty was low. But now that his Loyalty had reached 95, Milton had zero hesitations with giving Max the reins.
“I’ll never let you down, My Lord.”
“Mm, I trust you.”
With those words, Max’s Loyalty instantly shot up to 98.
‘Why’s it going up so quickly… ah! Wasn’t that one of my traits?’
Monarch’s Dignity LV.#: Ability to gain allies’ trust and enemies’ fear just by existing. As punishment and rewards are given, your subjects’ loyalty can be greatly increased.
Thanks to this special trait, the subordinates’ loyalties could increase a lot according to the rewards and punishments. But that didn’t mean you could randomly reward people. It was an ability that was only effective if appropriate rewards were given to the right person at the right time. It seemed to have been the perfect moment for Max.
There’s a saying, ‘When fortune knocks upon the door, open it widely’ and ‘strike when the iron is hot.’’.
As the refugees flocked to Forrest estate, the administrators of the territory were so busy they didn’t have a moment to rest.
“Those looking to register their citizenship, please do it here.”
“To speed up the process, please register together if you came together with your family.”
“There’s not enough food and blankets over here.”
“The B-2 residence is full.”
Max hired people in hoards to fill the administrative positions and to help accommodate the refugees. They registered each incoming refugees’ citizenship and divided up the residential districts for even distribution amongst the refugees.
As ordered by Milton, Sophia had started the construction of the communal housing facilities.
Even in the process of accepting the excessive influx of 300,000 people at once, Forrest territory was still able to continue developing. How was this possible? Was it because Max was competent and the administrators under him were all working hard? Undoubtedly so. But, even though the administrator was competent, there was another reason for the territory to be running this smoothly.
That reason was money. It costs money just to stay alive. And the amount of money 300,000 people needed was ridiculous. But the reason Forrest Territory was able to comfortably accept that many people was because Princess Leila was a tremendous sponsor.
Even Milton had been astonished by Princess Leila’s fundings. The amount of money she had when she was previously the head of Charlotte Merchant Company was just the tip of the iceberg. Money was just pouring out of her, like water out of a well.
“At the rate it’s going, it’ll only last about a year.”
Eventually all wells will draw out.
Milton was surprised by this.
“It’ll only last a year?”
“Let’s talk straight. The money is lasting a year because it’s me. Do you know how much of my money you’re spending right now, Marquis?”
Milton gave a wry laugh. In fact, he had also been wondering if it was alright for him to spend this much. But he also had something to say.
“It’s not like I’m just wasting the money, Your Highness. We’re prioritizing and only spending it where we must and trying to be as economical as possible.”
“I realize that. I’m not saying to blame anyone, I’m just pointing out the reality of our situation.”
Princess Leila sighed before she continued to speak.
“Whatever we do, I can only last a year with our current expenditures. So all I’m saying is that we need to stabilize the situation before then.”
“That’s a difficult issue.”
“It always is when you’re trying to stabilize a country.”
This was more difficult than trying to defeat an enemy in war. But, one thing immediately came to Milton’s mind.
“Let’s start with something easy. Should you ascend the throne first, Your Highness? I thought quite a few people were whining about that?”
Princess Leila grinned at him.
“Even you’re whining at me, Marquis?”
Recently, a lot of people had been recommending Princess Leila to ascend the throne. Currently, Princess Leila’s authority was no different from that of the king. Leaving the throne empty while trying to stabilize a country wasn’t a good idea. However, there was a reason Princess Leila hadn’t given in to the people’s wishes and still hesitated.
“If I knew whether my father was alive or dead, then I’d make my decision.”
1. 노는 물이 들어왔을 때 저어야 한다 is an idiom. Literal translation of it would be that you should row when water is coming inland (so that you can go out and fish) but I’ve used a similar idiom in replacement
2. 쇠뿔은 단 김에 뽑아야 한다 is another idiom. 쇠뿔 is a ox horn that apparently can be pulled out/shaped when you heat it up. So if the horn is heated up, you should take the opportunity and either shape or pull it since it’s already been heated up for you