We confirmed what resource each noble would be responsible for, which included food, gun powder, weapons, clothes and other military resources. What the nation could provide in terms of resources and production abilities eluded the boy. He finally got what he wanted – the key to winning the war. He had never seen firearms or firearm tactics, the weapon that changed the world and would undoubtedly change the outcome of the war. Nature was powerless in the face of humanity’s technology.
The resources for war committee members were also established there. The point of their appointment was to ensure that the volume and quality of the resources were up to standard. Needless to say, that was just to entertain on a surface level. Once the boy left, the committee started their real meeting.
Their goal was to make sure of delegations of sales after the victory. As I already said: if two businesses sold the exact same good, competition would be good, but it was only the nobles who were competing. If any of them had harmful ideas, nobody knew what would happen once they reached the South. They would be beyond Sisi’s control, meaning she wouldn’t be able to control what took place there. To avoid them sabotaging the big picture for personal profit, we needed to split the spoils of war were divided reasonably.
Whatever they wanted to sell in the South needed to be sold as per our agreement. That prevented conflict if they sold different items, too. I also needed to tell them not to sabotage the big picture for their personal profit. The nation we allied with was one of our most important alliances. I intended to turn them into a replenishment zone when we crossed the waters. Before we solidified our status and authority, we couldn’t allow anyone to ruin our relationship.
“In other words, we can sell freely there? Will the market be big enough?”
“That’s on you. I noticed that lots of factories have been opened here. Now, as the minister of business, I need to remind you of something: if you want to start a factory, you can go to the South. You can go and discuss land acquisition and setting it up with their nation. Howbeit, you are not allowed to use the fields for agriculture near the imperial capital for factories. I know you have your own fiefs, but I won’t permit you using up all of Sisi’s cultivated fields for crops as factories. If I find out somebody is doing that, you’ll end up bankrupt, and your field will be confiscated. Don’t mistake this as an empty threat because I can do it.”
The biggest difference to the past was that Sisi’s ancestors had already divided some of her land had. Even if the next war was closely connected to Sisi, she wouldn’t have jurisdiction over them. The lords could do whatever they liked with their land. Once they had a taste of what factories could offer, they would turn all of their cultivated fields into factories just as England did in the past. England also faced a land scarcity issue. That said, I didn’t think things would go so south to the point that people would start eating people in Sisi’s nation. Otherwise… I’d probably to write some book declaring my stance before it all hit the fan…
The nobles didn’t brush aside my threat. To be precise, it wasn’t a threat. Just months ago, I turned all of the money the bank accumulated – which was an enormous sum – into a mountain of useless rocks within a few days. All of the businessmen and nobles in the imperial nightmares still suffered from post-traumatic disorder after that ordeal. They all knew what was coming to them if they got on my bad side.
“Now, we need to discuss the factories. All of the factories you start must have the ministry of business’ approval. There is to be no private factories. As for tax, I won’t charge you tax according to your ledgers. I know what you’re all thinking. I’ll train a specialised group of people who will handle taxes for Her Majesty. To add, I must ensure the rights and welfare of employees. I’m sure you all know the saying, ‘An empire’s tomb comes from their slums.’ It’s going to be too difficult to resolve any employee riots.”
“I do not think that is within the jurisdiction of the minister of business,” interjected Oaksvid, after checking Alexis’ gaze multiple times and speaking on behalf of all the nobles present. “The factory determines employee welfare and rights, not the minister of business. You are too naïve. Giving employees too many benefits will jeopardise the factory. Are you not aware that uneducated people with boundless greed will bring harm for their own benefit?”
Asking them to provide their employees with human rights was asking for the impossible. Perhaps my concepts were too far ahead for them to accept. I doubted they’d believe me even if I did try and explain. I didn’t show respect or protect employees, either, if we were to be fair. So, perhaps we needed to set it aside for the meantime. It wasn’t the number one priority, anyway.
“In that case, I’ll put it aside for now. You do what you have to do. In short, you should now be aware that this concerns two nations. I’m not their nation’s suzerain. While I offered a hand, I need to ensure equality between us. It’s not time for us to be acting superior yet. In the future, our grandchildren will occupy their nation and rule it but not now. My job is to stabilise our relationship. As well, I hope you all stay aware that this is our investment. Don’t create cracks in our business for paltry profits. Now, as the minister of business, I wish you all goodnight.”
I stood up and bowed. They also stood up and nodded.
The market was a blank slate. Sparkling coins and new land and all they had to do was give the people a little bit of stuff for a big payout in the future. The investment was so minute that it wasn’t worth mentioning.
If the empire’s future had just begun, I had put the empire on the right track. I knew what I was carrying on my shoulders. When I first arrived in this world, Sisi stepped on my head. I never imagined I’d one day end up being the one to stand above everyone and lead the empire.
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