77 – The Milk Tea Is Getting Better and Better
Liszt had no intentions of letting the fief’s residents establish a caravan for themselves and instead intended to establish one that belonged exclusively to the castle. Without the ideas and drive for reform and innovation, no free trade system could be established. Therefore, it would be better to run his fief by just following the practices of most aristocrats.
Old Grandet was chosen as the caravan’s leader.
While Harpagon and Shylock were to assist him.
“What you can currently peddle is only seafood. I hope that starting from the Coral City, the Flower Town’s seafood will gradually be sold in every town and city.” Said Liszt.
“As you wish, Sir Lord.”
“Then, let’s talk about how you intend to sell seafood. This product is new, so it is obvious that the people, who had never before eaten it, would be guarded against it.”
Old Grandet replied after contemplating a bit: “Sir Lord, we could publicize that Sir Count is full of praise for seafood. I’m pretty sure that countless people would rush to the food praised by Sir Count alike a flock o ducks.” This was the principle of promoting a product via a celebrity. Although it was not creative, but it was very effective.
Shylock supplemented: “Also, we can get in touch with the kitchens of a large number of aristocratic families and send them a bit of seafood for free to sample.”
“There is a large number of freedmen, which are potential consumers, in the Coral City. We could set up a street stall to offer cooked seafood free of charge to give passersby freedmen a taste. Before long, everyone in the Coral City will become aware of seafood’s allure.” Proposed Harpagon.
Liszt felt that the two methods were quite good: “It seems that you have already formulated a plan for this operation. You can begin with it once the road through the Thorns Ridge is cleared.”
Old Grandet hesitated for a moment before saying: “Sir Lord, we don’t have a carriage, so how do we transport seafood to the Coral City?”
“I will purchase several carriages once the road is cleared.” Muttered Liszt. The castle still had sixteen gold coins. Generally, a roofed carriage could be purchased for one gold coin.
He could only purchase six carriages as there were not enough horses for more.
Liszt sighed lightly after sending Old Grander and the other two away.
He was originally under the impressions that the castle had enough gold coins, yet now, he discovered how wrong he had been. One hundred and twenty gold coins were spent for five hundred serfs. Therefore, to scale up the fief’s population to five thousand people would require six hundred plus gold coins, while to scale it up to ten thousand people would, even more so, require nearly two thousand gold coins.
“I could sell the Bloodred Sword to Levis or Captain Mickey? No, they couldn’t afford it. But if the price was lowered to one thousand gold coins, they should be capable of affording it, right?”
However, as his hand gripped the Redblood Sword hanging from his waist, the gentle magic power he felt made him unable to make this decision.
It was a gem weapon.
Dragon-produced gems represented power.
Besides, it complemented his qi attribute. Even after he became a Sky Knight, the Redblood Sword would still be worthy of being paired with him.
“One step at a time. I hope that by fertilizing the farmland, the Flower Town’s yield this year is high. Moreover, with the sprite worms I brought as well as the ones that were born by themselves, the next quarter’s taxes should surpass fifteen gold coins, right?” This quarter’s taxes had already been collected by the castle.
After careful calculations, Isaiah came to the conclusion that the variety of crops and handicrafts collected in the spring quarter roughly amounted to seven gold coins.
Previously, the spring quarter’s taxes generally amounted to about three gold coins.
The winter quarter’s taxes were nearly non-existent, while the summer and fall quarter’s roughly amounted to four and seven gold coins respectively. On the whole, less than fifteen gold coins would be collected each year.
This year, however, with sprite worms, fertilizer, and seafood, Liszt was confident that the summer quarter’s taxes would reach the sum of last year’s taxes.
While in the fall, the taxes would be even higher and might even surpass those of Lvera’s Falcon Town.
“Master, your milk tea is ready.” The butler, Carter, walked into the study while carrying a cup of milk tea brewed with fresh milk. Having a cup of milk tea everyday before going to bed was Liszt’s habit.
After he received the cup of milk tea, the thirsty Liszt directly drank half of it in one breath.
After licking the bit of foam off his lips, he asked a bit hesitantly: “Mr. Carter, was today’s milk tea brewed by Mrs. Mawson?”
“It was, Master. Is there a problem with the milk tea?” Carter was a bit nervous.
Liszt shook his head: “There is no problem. However, I feel like Mrs. Mawson’s handicraft is getting better and better, the milk tea is getting better and better.”
“I will convey Mrs. Mawson your praise. I think it will make her very happy.”
July 1st. The afternoon sun hung lazily in the sky. From time to time, alike mischievous children quietly blindfolding the eyes of their friends, clouds would cover the sun.
The weather was not too hot. Furthermore, the wind was blowing.
Liszt, who was inspecting the logging work, stood on the other side of the Thorns Ridge. With a dashing and elegant smile covering his face, he solemnly proclaimed: “On both sides of the road, the trees one hundred meters away from the road were all cut down. The logging team has accomplished my instructions in an exemplary fashion. As the lord, I pay you my respect.”
They were just empty words.
Next, the commoners still had to keep working: “Now that the road through Thorns Ridge is cleared, the Flower Town is linked to the rest of the world and is no longer occluded in a corner of the Coral Island. Anyone can go outside and take a look. However, in order to further strengthen the road’s security, you must persevere and construct palisades.”
After a pause, he continued: “Therefore, the logging team will temporarily not disband and will immediately start with the construction of palisades. The palisades shall thoroughly separate the Thorns Ridge’s woods on both sides of the road.”
The wood needed for the palisades was readily available as there were still large numbers of felled logs on the ground.
The best wood was transported to the castle for storage, the second best wood was transported to the oyster settlement to be used in the construction of the houses, the third best wood was to be used to construct the palisades, and the rest was taken away by the commoners to cook food.
Clearing the road was worth celebration.
Liszt summoned Gort, Marcus, Isaiah, and Blair to make arrangements for the following operations.
First of all, of course, there was the issue of the caravan; the peddling of seafood would immediately begin once the chariots were purchased. Next was the purchase of goods; Liszt intended to use the last ten gold coins to purchase food, which also included hops beer, that the castle was short on. Lastly, the information that the Flower Town was freely accessible was to be disseminated to each city’s caravan.
The castle’s caravan was responsible for bulk purchase and sale on Liszt’s behalf. In general, it wouldn’t involve much trade between commoners.
Once the caravans from other fiefs entered the Flower Town, they would enliven the fief’s atmosphere, bringing about the circulation of wealth and daily necessities.
“Finally, there is one more thing to take note of – the Flower Town shall lower taxes in order to attract freedmen. This information is to be disseminated in each city.” Liszt currently had a yearning for an increase in population as the development of the fief was his top priority. In contrast, he didn’t feel like taxes were that important.
Several people were busy carefully writing down Liszt’s instructions.
Marcus suddenly said: “Sir, I would like to take a day off to bring my family back to the Flower Town.”
After hearing that, Isaiah heaved a long sigh: “My stupid son might not want to come to the Flower Town, he is too used to fool around in the Coral City.”
Blair, on the other hand, said happily: “Then I also would like to bring my family back. Although life here is a bit monotonous, but the air is fresh.”
Gort smiled embarrassingly: “Liszt, I also want to bring my family back, but… Freya is pregnant. I don’t know how to handle this.”
Liszt said seriously: “Teacher Gort, although keeping a mistress on the side when going away is a common practice of aristocrats, but in the end, it is still immoral. I have no intentions of persuading you to stop and besides, Freya is already pregnant. Therefore, in the Flower Town, Freya will be regarded as your wife.”
After muttering for a moment, he continued: “Her child, if it’s a boy, is to be a retainer knight of mine in the future.”
“Sir, your generosity puts me to shame! I, Gort, am at your service!” Gort stood up, walked up to Liszt, and solemnly saluted.
This was the same etiquette that Marcus had previously observed when he had resolved himself to truly follow Liszt.