Asset disclosure is honestly a very time-consuming job that also requires a lot of effort because the job isn’t to just display assets for everybody to view. It requires one to cross-check if the income and expenses between the finance records and income match. You also need to check to see if there are any signs of money laundering. While there’s no point in laundering money in this era, it’s still a challenge to ensure that the two match. It’s not a job you can complete in a single day. For an industry as large as the church’s it could take about a year. In other words, I’ll be able to find out if the church’s income is coming from legitimate sources if I investigate them for one year.
However, I don’t care what sort of corrupt behaviour they’ve been up to. It’s got nothing to do with me, so I don’t care about it. Right now, I just want to see where the church is stashing its piles of copper coins. If I can find it, I’ll be able to repossess the pile of coins that haven’t been approved by the royal family yet.
I don’t care who the church thinks they are. You took coins that haven’t been approved by the royal family. That’s against the law. The only entity allowed to legally tax people is the empire. I’m making this statement after reading up on the empire’s laws.
“So how do you intend to start, your majesty? Our records will be delivered in a few days. I think you will be done checking in about a year, right?”
“No.” I shook my head, looked at him and continued, “I want to see where you are storing your money right now.”
Who gives a toss if you people have a finance issue or not?
He froze up. He looked at me confused, and repeated my question: “Where we store our money? Right now?”
“That’s right. The storage where you are currently storing your money. I want to see the money inside.” I looked at him and smiled casually, “Just let me see it and I’ll be fine without seeing everything else. If there is a problem there then all of your numbers will naturally have a problem. If there is no problem with it, then your other finance related aspects will be fine too.”
“There is no problem, it’s just that I have to remind you that it is still in-work, your majesty, did you forget by any chance?” He calmed down and looked at me as he spoke with a smile. His smile looked like it was hiding a sense of jeering. It seems that he thinks I’m scared which must be why he reminded me.
I looked at him and calmly replied: “I know.”
“Alright, this way then.”
It was boring on the way. Nier was looking at me angrily the entire time but I pretended to not notice. I’m actually confident that the copper coins are gone, so they must be here at the church. There’s no way the church would dig a hole to bury that many gold coins. Moreover, the church must need the money too. The fact that the church wants to forcefully repossess the block of land in order to stop me from interfering tells me that the church isn’t prosperous as it appears on the surface. It looks like the church is in a financial pinch. To put it another way, the church definitely needs to use the copper coins, and hence won’t hide them.
I just need to see them. I don’t think the church would imagine that I’d start with the copper coins. I don’t intend to investigate where you got them from. You’re telling me they’re donations? You’re telling me people kept donating and donating until the value of copper coins in the entire empire appreciated? If you were telling me it was due to a catastrophe, I might believe you. But there’s nothing of the sort happening right now. And one last thing, people might as well stick to praying for good fortune if they can’t afford things that you’d buy with copper coins.
Underneath the church must be filled with copper coins. They have no way of denying this.
It might be explainable if we were operating based on a paper currency economy, but we’re talking about a boat-load of coins. They have no way of talking their way out of it.
Nier who was following behind me softly said: “Your majesty, you seem to be very confident.”
I nodded: “Uhm.”
Walking in front of me, the archbishop arranged for people to prepare to open the money storage. He turned around, smiled and said: “Every dollar the church possesses has its origins recorded. The origin of every dollar the church has right now can be traced. Your majesty, do you not trust me? We are under the watchful gaze of god. We cannot possibly lie.”
“If you want people to trust you then do things that convince people to trust you.” I smiled coldly and added, “Bring your recent records here. We’ll have an answer once we compare your books.”
“I have asked someone to go and fetch them already.”
The archbishop looked at me and stood before the warehouse. The warehouse requires two people to open the lock on the door to it. It looks like it’s been reinforced with lead, so it’s extremely sturdy. We stood at the entrance and waited for it to be opened. Nier stood behind me, sighed and softly said: “Your majesty, the origins of their every dollar must be recorded. It’s pointless to investigate this sort of thing.”
“Not every dollar.”
“It will be recorded! Even normal corrupt officials would do that, so it goes without saying that the church would!”
“It’s fine. What I want to see isn’t their records. That sort of stuff would be something Castell would look at, not me.” I smiled and then continued, “I want to see something on a deeper level, something objective. I don’t want to just run my eyes over numbers a few people wrote. I want to see something concrete. Numbers can be forged, but coins can’t.”
“What exactly are you…..”
Nier looked at me puzzled. I revealed a mysterious smile but didn’t answer. Nier sighed hopelessly and said: “I don’t know what you want to do but I usually can’t understand what it is you want to do. However, I do feel that you are talented with money after the incident with Castor last time nonetheless, so I shall trust you, your majesty.”
I looked at the large door in front of me and said with maximum confidence: “If I am correct, then the orphanage’s problem will be solved.”
If the worth of copper coins appreciated, then at least more than half of the copper coins are here. Even if they’re just copper coins, all in all, they should total about thirty-thousand gold coins, right…? Maybe not…… There might not even be half. But I’ll have seized the church’s weakness. Even if I don’t manage to get thirty-thousand gold coins, I can still allow the orphanage to continue operating.
Directly taking the copper coins away is the stupidest choice. It would be pointless for me to take it all away. What am I going to do? Re-distribute it? While that would elevate my name in a positive way, that wouldn’t serve any purpose other than antagonising the church. I decided to leave it at the church. As long as the sum is still here, I’ll have their weak-point in my grasp, and we won’t be at odds with each other. Both parties benefit and I would’ve solved the problem.
I’m a genius.
After I solve this, I can leverage their weakness to get what I want. Perhaps I can find out who the people who blackmailed Mera were. After I find out who they are, I’m going to personally kill all of the humans who killed Mera’s people. I want to run the blade I used to stab Mera with through their chests. I want vengeance. I want to get revenge with my own power.
“Sir, the key is ready. Do you want us to open the door?”
I looked at the two people who came over holding the keys and cut them off. They looked at me and asked: “Your majesty, do you have orders? Or did you want to personally open the door?”
“No, I’ll let you open the door. I want to take a look at the books.”
Of course, asking for them is pointless. However, the show must go on. I can’t smile. I’m going to win soon. I can’t smile.
“It is only reasonable for you to ask.”
After hearing what I said, the archbishop looked like he was relieved and passed me the book. I skimmed through it. There was nothing interesting about it. I don’t have any interest in these numbers of yours. I don’t want this. What I want is your pile of copper coins that have shady origins!
You can forge your records to explain where the coins came from, but with so many copper coins gathered in such a short time, causing the worth of copper coins to appreciate, you think you can convince me you obtained them through upright means?
“Alright, open up.”
I waved my hand and the two keys enter the key holes.
They slowly pushed the lead door open. I took in a deep breath and looked at the warehouse that was gleaming like sun-rays…….
1 Bonus Son-con Chapter
Thank you for all your generous donations, we have reached the goal, and I will now get to translating the bonus chapter.