The building might survive the wind and rain, but it will fall to the softest earthquake.
Well, I haven’t experienced any earthquakes in this world so far.
In such a ramshackle building, there is the village chief with two middle-aged men in front and two diagonally behind them.
On the other side, Espada, Dee and I were sitting, both groups facing each other.
There were originally a hundred and fifty residents in the village.
However, they were raided twice over a period of six months which reduced their numbers to one hundred and ten.
“…So this is the third time you’ve been attacked? Were they all from the same group of bandits?
”No, they were all different.
The first group was manageable because there were only about ten of them, but the second group were ex-mercenaries or adventurers, and we only fought them off after an entire day of fighting.
The one who showed up this time was yet another different group.
“Why do you think they’re so interested in this village?”
When I ask, Rhonda stammers at first.
But he quickly opens his mouth.
”This village is isolated from the other villages, not to mention the larger towns.
Since the lord has changed, knights no longer garrison this area.
In the past, the border with the Kingdom of Yelinetta was close, so the border watch knights of Count Ferdinand’s territory used to patrol the area.
Since the territory changed hands, the knights lost their reason to patrol the area, so they left.”
“So you’re saying that the village is in danger of extinction because of the Marquis of Fertio.”
Ronda became silent as I stated in exact words what the chief had been implicitly saying.
It’s a criticism of the Marquess family.
Even if I wasn’t sitting here, it would have been taboo to say, let alone the fact that I was directly across from him.
Well, had I been an aristocrat with a short temper, Rhonda’s head would have been cut off as soon as they showed any disrespect.
Count Ferdinand had set up deputies in each city, but we pulled out all those administrators.
It seems that our family selected those who had experience as lords and deputies from the Marquis Fertio’s territory and placed them in order from the larger towns, but we still don’t know the situation in the smaller villages.”
When I replied honestly, Rhonda looked at me with observant eyes.
”…In other words, the Marquis put us on the back burner, didn’t he? No, I guess all nobles are like that.
A small village pays tax rates that are equal to a big city but are treated as if they are less important.
All of a noble’s people should be treated equally, but…”
Did he trust me or did he just need to vent? Rhonda began to verbalize his anger at the nobles.
But I won’t listen to it.
I need to redirect the conversation to something more productive… and less treasonous.(T.N.
Note: I took a bit of creative liberty on this part because the original MTL read like some kind of aggressive caveman speech.)
”Village chief, please cease.
I want to talk to you about matters pertaining to the future administration of the village.”
When I told him that with a snap, Rhonda held his tongue as if he were angry.
I see a hint of hostility in the eyes of the two men and women sitting next to him, but my hand was forced.
I look at the three of them in turn and open my mouth.
“There’s no point in complaining, resenting, or lamenting the state of this country.
I know you are dissatisfied, but simple slander behind closed doors won’t change anything.”
“Hah! Of course, a nobleman would say that.”
A middle-aged man stood up and yelled at him.
Probably Rhonda’s kid.
In other words, the village chief’s heir.
I see that he’s big in stature and has a powerful light in his eyes.
But with such a short-sighted personality, there is no future for any village put under his rule.
I gave him a stern look and let out a low voice.
“Please sit down.
I will dictate where this village is going, I am the appointed lord, not you.”
When I tell him that much, Rhonda looks up at his heir with narrowed eyes, causing him to sit back down with a scowl.
Seeing this, I put my hand over my chest and open my mouth.
”The nobles are indeed to blame for the flaws of our country.
To be specific, the laws laid down by the royal house of Berlinate, the founder of our Mordial kingdom, were flawed.”
When I said this, not only were Rhonda and his subordinates shaken, but also Espada and Dee, who were sitting next to me.
A person from a marquis family criticized the royal family openly.
An ordinary nobleman would never do such a taboo and suicidal thing.
But what should I be afraid of? I am the lord of a doomed village, and I have nothing to fear.
I proudly looked around at everyone with my chest puffed out.
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