“Even if you trampled on my brother?”
Asked the Emperor.
Hayley was dumbfounded. After all, it is the Emperor who conscripts supplies from Grand Duke Roygar and the eastern nobles.
In short, Artizea only gave the Emperor a chance to do so.
If the Emperor doesn’t want to, she doesn’t have to trample anyone. Normally, it was possible to put all the burdens mostly on all the nobles and the riches, and use the imperial finances only to a convincing degree.
Of course, the Emperor would not bother with pretends.
The Emperor made a friendly voice as if calling for Countess Eunice or Fiona.
“I am old; aren’t you a smart kid? Let’s stop with the political conversation.”
“You already know that I will use this to steal things from my youngest brother. I am very willing.”
While the Emperor said so, he acted as if he was a victim.
Just as if Artizea has created all of those situations and he has to receive it.
It seems to be honest, but it is hypocrisy, and it seems to be perversity, but it is true.
He probably sincerely lamented that he couldn’t help but take everything.
It is also true that he feels sorry about robbing Grand Duke Roygar in the future. He also felt sorry for Cedric.
However, for the Emperor, his power and his will are more important than all that.
Even Artizea couldn’t be honest just because the Emperor asked her to quit political dialogue.
If you take a peek at the Emperor’s inner mind and talk with him man-to-man, you would have to pay so much more.
“How can you say such a fearful word of trampling on someone? Your Majesty is the lord of the empire. If there is anything you need in order to lead the empire, you deserve to have it.”
Artizea said politely.
“I know well that you can restrain your personal feelings, and that even if I get resentment from fools, I know that everyone is putting it under Your Majesty’s responsibility. I am so scared that it seems that what I did has become a concern for you.”
The Emperor flicked his fingers.
Responsibility. He hasn’t heard that word in a while.
“You’re trying to intimidate even me.”
“I won’t dare.”
“You’re afraid of Karam but not me?”
“Why would I be afraid if you were going to receive my gift?”
Eventually the Emperor smiled.
Yes. It’s been a long time since he gained this justification without using any of his own hands. He did not intend to miss it.
He was feeling the pleasure of hunting after a long time. And Artizea was a great chaser.
The Emperor favored a competent man. Like an awl protruding from a place he had never thought of, a child he had known from an early age suddenly showed off her talent, and he couldn’t help but be happy.
It will be Lawrence’s job to tame it.
“Not the land.”
The Emperor said in a gentle voice.
“You must be worried. This war of succession or others, the future is in jeopardy. Even though I think of Cedric as my nephew, how many years will I be here?”
“Don’t say those fearful words. You will live a long life.”
“No matter which one becomes the Emperor, he will feel burdened.”
Said the Emperor.
“But you cannot keep the land. Instead, I’ll greatly increase the supplies to be sent to the north, and I will add more than 20% out of my pocket to it.”
“I promise to do that for the next 7 years. If I do that even for a few years, you won’t have to worry about it for a while.”
“Even if we kept the land anyway, it is an area that can only be used as a small landowner at best.”
“If Evron has it, the problem is different.”
“I’m not trying to rebel. You know what my husband is like, don’t you?”
“I just want a safe place to retreat just in case. It’s not from monsters, but from humans.”
The Emperor looked at Artizea quietly.
She was laying her eyes down, so he wouldn’t be able to see the gaze. Still, it was as if he could look inside Artizea.
“Additionally, they were all bought under the name of the Marquisate of Rosan. The title of the Grand Duke of Evron is to be inherited by the firstborn, and the Marquis of Rosan to the second child. The day when Evron Grand Duchy occupies both the west and the north and confronts the imperial family will not come.”
“A premarital contract can be made into pieces of tissue at any time.”
The words were persuasive. Because the Emperor was the one who did that as well.
“Don’t say that you don’t look that far into the future. If you were the one who only thought about the near future, you would have accepted my offer rather than keeping the land.”
Artizea said as if she didn’t have any other choice after a moment of silence.
“…. Then, what should I do with the land that I have already bought?”
The Emperor was still thinking.
When Artizea asked, he was flustered.
He can’t confiscate the land from his young nephew’s wife. Artizea bought the land too openly.
He could not avoid losing his face if he received the land as a tribute. That doesn’t mean she can’t keep the western farmland in her hand.
It was also not appropriate at this point to buy and sell for money. This negates the profit of Evron Grand Duchy’s requisition.
“What do you want to do?”
Asked the Emperor.
Artizea replied with a cautious attitude.
“If Your Majesty tells me the disposition, we will follow it as it is. Otherwise, we will dedicate it to the temple.”
“I didn’t really intend to do a grain business there. I was just trying to get to know the land while doing a charity work. Then, wouldn’t the temple also help me with the charity I’m trying to do?”
The Emperor laughed.
“You’ve been up to it since the beginning.”
Artizea silently bowed her head.
“Yes, when you bargain, you have to start with an unacceptable proposition. The land cannot be exchanged for money, so it is best to change it for honor.”
“It was a waste that I offered to give you 20% more.”
Artizea said politely.
“I was determined to say that. Even if I didn’t start by thinking about the money, the investment wasn’t a small sum for me.”
“Now that you’ve done it, you are going to take charge of the western rebirth project. I’ll give you the key to the granary.”
Said the Emperor. Artizea looked at him with a surprised face.
“It’s a duty that I can’t handle.”
“You’re the Empress’ lady-in-waiting, so you’re worthy. Don’t reject my favor multiple times.”
Artizea slightly stiffened her face.
But he said he would give the key to the granary
Duties show the Emperor’s trust, anyway. Like the Emperor’s words, refusing several times was disloyalty.
She bowed politely and indicated that she would accept the will.
“It’s an undeserved honor.”
“Don’t disappoint me.”
Replied the Emperor.
“Why are you both so pale?”
As she stepped out of the terrace, Lysia asked.
“The Emperor will entrust us with the keys to the granary, so he told us to take over the western rebirth project.”
“Aren’t you honored?”
It is an enormous welfare project that covers nearly 20% of the mainland of the empire. Honor and real power also followed.
In the process of controlling grain prices and stockpiling food, it has gained considerable influence and substantial gains for the grain dealers.
“In reality, if we handle it wrong, the offense will grow without limits. Right now, the rebirth project in the West is practically a mess. If you manage it, you can just pour out your own money and you might have to take the blame for its failure.”
No place was more prone to offense.
When they receive this right, they are subordinate to the Emperor.
If they take in moderation and are loyal to the Emperor, they will continue to reap great profits.
However, as soon as they fall outside the eyes of the Emperor, it gives a reason to be purged. Either way, the Emperor had nothing to lose.
“No matter how much influence Your Grace has gained from becoming Her Majesty’s lady-in-waiting, you’re still young. Isn’t it too much as a conciliatory measure? Is His Majesty trying to use Your Grace’s lapse as an excuse to attack Her Majesty the Empress?”
“That’s not it.”
Artizea answered firmly.
“I think the Emperor has completely overpowered Her Majesty. And there is also a blood relationship problem.”
“You mean, if he brings Your Grace in for a penalty, then even Sir Lawrence will have problems?”
“Yes. And he can’t purge Evron again for such a problem. Rather, he’s doing this to undermine Lord Cedric’s reputation.”
The rebirth project is always like pouring water into a bottomless pit. It was even more so in a situation where the system had completely collapsed, like in the West currently.
It won’t be easy to even fill in all the necessary positions with the number of people who are available right now. It’s harder to find someone you can trust.
Those underprivileged will resent them, and if there are any flaws, they will be disappointed that Cedric is not as great of a man as they thought.
If you move in moderation along what the Emperor wants without losing money, you will be criticized for being corrupt.
However, in order to prevent people from saying such words, the only way to run the project is to drag and apply even the private property of Evron Grand Duchy’s.
However, just as there are limits in the north, there are limits in the west as well. It is unbelievable to relieve poverty in a short time especially in a land that is larger than a kingdom.
‘Even if nothing was successful, it would be better for Lysia to go and save the world by herself.’
After all, the Emperor wasn’t an easy partner to anticipate.
There was also a positive side. At least, it was clear that the Western Grain Merchant Union was undetected.
Growing Karam crops is also not a problem. It seemed possible to spread it in the West first and then bring it up to the North.
‘If you think about it in the long run, this might be better. Anyway, we have to make a major overhaul someday.’
Artizea walked slowly, submerged in thought.
She doesn’t have to think that they’re going to get results right away and earn a high reputation.
It would also be nice to start with the mindset that Cedric will look like he has a determination to improve the Empire from now until Cedric rises to the throne in the future.
If she attaches a competent assistant to Lysia, she won’t get much backlash from the people. Artizea believed that Lysia’s sincerity would prevail.
“Your Grace, did you ever decide to dedicate the land to the temple from the beginning?”
“Hmm? Oh, yes. I was going to use it as a bribe anyway. This way, I can confidently hand over my property.”
Since she is a saintess, she will have to do her best to helping the temple.
When she thought about it, her head hurt.
“Your Grace, are you tired?”
It was when Lysia asked anxiously.
Alphonse stopped. Hayley did the same.
Artizea wondered what was going on and she raised her eyes. Miraila was coming over from the other side of the hall.