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Translated by Green Cake
“…… Farmers have come to ‘pay taxes’, huh?”
It’s the 6th day of the autumn month, three days have passed since the God of Healing, Lydina and the God of Entertainment, Arcana began to live in Yuritania.
Amid her usual duties, Yuri was baffled by the somewhat unbelievable report from Renge, the deputy captain of <Sakuraka>, who is today’s “love duty”.
“I’m sure they’ve been informed that there will be no taxes for the rest of the year, right?”
“Yes, my lord, but…… At present, more than 20 farmers flocked to the lord’s house. They said, ‘I know it’s tax-free, but I’d like to pay my taxes.’”
“…… Where in the world can you find people who want to pay taxes?”
“I completely agree, but since there are people, I can’t help but ……”
Renge also lowered her eyebrows and made the same puzzled face as Yuri.
Surely, if they are there, there is no point in questioning Renge about it.
“At any rate, I would like to ask for your lord’s decision on how to handle this. If you don’t mind……, I can send them away for you.”
“Well…… No, let’s just see them for now.”
“Empress Yuri will meet with the farmers in person?
“I have time to spare. Besides, I like farmers, you know? It’s very admirable that they are willing to work hard to produce a steady stream of delicious crops.”
That’s what I mean when I say I have ‘pure respect’ for them.
In this world, farmers tend to be looked down upon. Yuri even thinks that it would be better to give preferential treatment to the farmers among the city dwellers.
Yuri was once asked by Terres of the <Kuroyuri> to be kind to the farmers. Yuri responded by promising Terres that she would take responsibility for making the country farmers happy.
What her beloved child wants is none other than Yuri’s wish. Can I try to do something to improve the treatment of the farmers to comply with Terres’ wishes?
“…… My Lord?”
“I’m sorry, I got a little sidetracked in my thinking. I’m going to meet with the farmer directly and ask them about it.”
The office was not large enough to accommodate too many people, let alone several. I’ll tell Renge to meet me in the other room.
When we met, we found out that there were 22 farmers in total.
There were too many people for Yuri to have a conversation with, so she asked the farmers to decide on one representative.
It took a few minutes, but one of the chosen men walked up to Yuri.
“I’m a farmer, my name is Castella.”
“That’s a nice name.”
“Oh, thank you.”
At Yuri’s words, Castella bowed deeply.
He was a well-built man with the appearance of a diligent farmer. His name, on the other hand, reminded me of a sweet treat from Nagasaki.
As for Yuri, she prefers it without the coarse powder.
“May I ask what brings you to the lord’s house?”
“Yes. We are all wheat farmers, and thanks to Your Majesty, Yuri, we have had no damage from demons this year. We were able to harvest a lot of wheat in late summer, and we would like to pay it as a tax.”
“I believe there is a notice that there will be ‘Tax-Free’ for the rest of the year. Do you know that?”
“Yes, but ……. I know, but I can’t help but feel a little guilty if I’m treated so well and I have to keep all the wheat I harvest for myself.
I don’t want to be taxed 70 percent like in the kingdom, but can I at least pay half of the harvest to Your Majesty, Yuri?”
Indeed, I had just thought of giving preferential treatment to the farmers. But at this point, Yuri hasn’t done anything about it.
“We would be more than grateful if we didn’t have to farm in fear of demons. It’s a very fine house with unlimited water, no stench of excrement, and several magic tools that look like something a noble would use.
―――We have a lot of good things going for us, but to not pay taxes and use all the wheat we harvest for our food is just too much.”
“It seems that wheat farmers are quite picky when it comes to paying taxes when we say we don’t want taxes……
And that’s not to say that you’re the only ones who get preferential treatment. I’m not just talking about you. I’m talking about the merchants, the artisans, and the manual laborers who unload the goods. To all of them, I am providing housing with equal comfort. There is no need for you to be grateful for what you consider to be ‘good treatment’.”
“From our point of view, it is more than enough for us to be treated equally with other citizens.”
Agriculture is, of course, the most important industry in the country.
They think that it is ‘normal’ for their bearers to be treated in a lower rank than citizens of other professions.
I can see how unfairly they were treated under the kingdom’s administration.
“Your clothes are not dirty, but they are very damaged.”
“Oh……, I’m embarrassed about this. I picked out the best clothes I could find at home, but……”
In response to Yuri’s words, Castella looked a little dismayed.
The clothes worn by the farmers were quite worn out.
Though they seemed to have been washed properly and did not smell unpleasant. To be honest, it was quite a sight to see how bad their clothes looked, with many torn and blackened parts.
“I’m glad you want to pay taxes to me, but why don’t you sell your wheat to a merchant and use the money to buy clothes and other necessities?”
“…… Even if we sell our crops, the merchants will beat us to the punch anyway. If that’s the case, we’d be more than happy to have Your Majesty, Yuri, take all the money.”
The wisdom of the farmer is specialized in growing crops, and they are not familiar with common sense learning, such as reading, writing, and calculating.
From the merchant’s point of view, there is nothing easier to deceive than an uneducated person. Yuri couldn’t help but think that it was understandable that they were being sold off for their crops.
So, to protect themselves, the farmers would collide with each other and barter for crops and other products that they created with their own hands.
Even though they live in cities, they are citizens who seldom use money.
(They must be able to exchange their crops for money at a fair price.)
Yuri pondered in her mind what he needed to do.
Would it be a good idea to create an organization like an ‘Agricultural Guild’ to make it easier for farmers to convert their crops into gold? With a guild in charge of the crops, they would be able to prevent themselves from being taken advantage of by the bargaining power of the merchants.
Or would it be better for the government to receive only what the farmers want to pay for the crops? It would be quicker to give them a cash refund based on the amount of crops paid.
(…… Yes, let’s go with that.)
Yuri decides on a plan in her mind.
Once she has made up her mind, Yuri’s actions are quick.
“As an Empress, I am very happy to have such an honest and disciplined people like you. I will be grateful for the crops that you have brought.”
“Oh……! Thank you for accepting it!”
“However, I believe that I must repay you with a certain amount of sincerity for your devotion in paying the tax that was originally unnecessary. I will give you some form of small reward later, but please don’t refuse it.”
“Yes, I understand. I will be grateful if you do.”
―――I’ve got your word. There would be no problem now.
As soon as the farmer left the lord’s mansion, Renge gave them a word of encouragement.
“Thank you for your hard work, my lord.”
“Renge, I’m sorry, but could you call Erin to the manor? There is no need to rush, but if she is free, tell her I would appreciate it if she came early.”
Erin is the wife of Ados, the head of the Tormark Trading Company.
I’ve heard from Ados that she used to be a skilled merchant, so I’m sure I can count on her for this.
Twenty minutes after I gave instructions to Renge, Erin came to visit me at the lord’s mansion.
“I heard that Your Majesty, Yuri, wanted to see me, so I’ve come.”
“Erin, could you take a look at the wheat in the other room for me?”
“Wheat, you mean……?”
I led Erin to the room where the wheat we had just received was being stored.
As many as 22 farmers harvested 50 percent of the wheat this year.
Each farmer manages about three to four fields, so the total amount of wheat harvested from 33 to 44 fields is naturally quite a lot.
This is especially true this year since the crop has not been damaged by any demons.
However, if the wheat is processed into flour and compressed, it will be much less bulky.
“It seems to be very good quality wheat. What’s going on with this?”
“A few days ago, a farmer from Yuritania came to pay his taxes.”
“……? Isn’t there supposed to be ‘Tax-Free’ this year?”
Erin’s expression, which seemed to say, “I don’t understand”, was understandable.
Yuri explained the whole story. Erin nodded admiringly.
“It’s all thanks to Your Majesty, Yuri.”
“The farmers don’t want to sell their wheat to merchants because they’ll buy it anyway, so I’m thinking that instead of receiving this wheat from the government, I’ll give them a cash payment that matches the amount they pay.”
“I see…… Instead of merchants, the government buys them once.”
“Thank you for understanding so quickly. Unfortunately, we don’t know the correct market price for wheat, but since we can clearly distinguish which wheat was paid for by which farmers and by how much, can Erin calculate the cash amount to be paid to them on our behalf?”
“I’m sure I can do the calculations on my own. I’d be happy to do it for you.”
“Thank you, that would be great.”
It took Erin less than two days to calculate the right amount of wheat to be paid this time, and the treasury of the Yuri Empire paid the farmers that amount.
Since a large amount of good quality wheat was delivered, the equivalent amount would be quite substantial.
The farmers seemed to be quite puzzled by the fact that the government had refunded them more than they had expected. But we did not allow them to refuse to accept the money, using their word as a shield.
Yuri also took this opportunity to issue a notice to the farmers that if they sell their crops to the government, they would be paid the proper amount. This gave the farmers the means to convert their crops into cash without being sold off by merchants.
Soon after the issuance of the notice, crops other than wheat began to be brought into the country. The amount of cash that Erin judged to be “sufficient” for the amount to be paid would contribute to the circulation of the economy, as farmers would have cash and be willing to spend it.
On the other hand, the merchants were notified that they could purchase crops from the government at any time at a reasonable price.
Unlike buying from the farmers, they would not be able to buy at a discount, which would mean less profit. The stability of being able to purchase crops from the government at the same price all year round is very attractive to merchants.
What’s more, since they can buy as much as they want from the government at any time, they no longer need to prepare storage facilities for stockpiling.
Since all merchants receive the same price from the government, the price of crops sold by merchants to citizens has also become more stable. On the other hand, there was no price competition among merchants, but this could not be helped.
Ten days had passed since the measures were implemented, letters of appreciation from the farmers began to arrive at the lord’s house from time to time.
Until now, it had been difficult for them to earn cash, so when they saw stalls operating in the city, they could only look at them as if they were someone else. Now that the government has started to convert crops into cash, they can actively use the stalls and their daily diet has become much richer.
Although the main food served at the stalls is ‘demon meat’. Many other stalls use a variety of crops as ingredients to create unique and distinctive dishes.
Knowing the happiness of tasting good food, and knowing that the crops they grow are being used effectively in those dishes, will help farmers find the motivation to grow even better food.
I hope that they will continue to do their best to make Yuritania a “Gastronomic City”.
Read only at Travis Translations