Anyway, Leonard had finally got himself a territory.
Apart from Leonard own sentiment, objectively, Alexis was not the best territory, but it was also not a bad territory either.
It was something he and Shera had talked about since the beginning, two years ago.
The Alexis territory, the former Marquis territory, was extremely large.
In fact, it had around 6500 square Ri (It was as big as Kanto region in modern Japan).
The invader, Admov, even after 2 years hadn’t conquered all of the territory’s area yet. The fact that they had lost a lot of soldiers during the battle against Rozalia aside, due to the territory was covered with trees their movement was obstructed further. From the time being, they only control key points in economic activity such as the provincial capital and the highway, to obtain taxes revenues from the traders. That was indeed a correct judgment.
To move Admov people into the territory and took control the whole Alexis territory would take around a decade to finish.
In other words, in term of Alexis remotes areas, Admov’s eyes didn’t reach much. The former Rozalia had ordered evacuation causing empty villages here and there…
“Let us migrate the Line town’s citizen to those villages.”
Leonard explained to Garai and Tiki.
That was being done in the Alexis mansion located in the imperial city.
They were discussing moving the 30,000 people who were supposedly being massacred.
“We can’t move them at one go…” Shera added from the side. “If we move 30,000 people at once, even Admov would notice it. And even if they arrived there, the place was not suitable for elderly and weak people. Let us have hundreds of hard-working men to come to the abandoned villages and rebuilt them one by one.”
Until then, just as promised by Alan, he will take care of them temporarily in Eidonia.
“Though it is better than starting from scratch. It is hard to restore villages and field after it was being abandoned, you know? Even more, the Line’s people never done something like this…”
“But, I have promised them another land where they could live…”
Leonard said that earnestly.
“That is true, your highness.”
Garai also consented.
He and Tiki knew. There was no other way for the Line people. They could not ask for luxury. In fact, for them to have their life after doing rebellion, not being turned into slaves in itself was already a luxury.
Though he agreed with Leonard words, Shera interrupted…
“By the way, Leo-sama is not your highness anymore you know? You can call him with just your excellency.”
“Is that so? I’m sorry… I’m not too familiar with aristocrats custom.”
“I don’t care. It is fine if you just remember it…”
“Ha…? Do you want me, your highness, no that’s wrong, I mean, your excellency?”
“Naturally…” Leonard said replied. “A lord cannot do anything alone.”
Garai was not used to Leonard way of talking with only a few words.
That was why Shera supplements him from the side. With mischievous tone.
“Leo-sama wants to add Garai and the others who worth a thousand gold coins as retainers. If you want to become a Lord’s retainers, you need to be familiar with aristocrats custom, you know?”
“Making us into direct retainers?” “We’re worth a thousand gold coins?”
Garai and Tiki eyes turn white. As soon as Garai bend over his body, Tiki also reached out her hands, they both then pinched each other cheeks. Leonard was pleased when he saw them looked happy but, he also frankly pointed out ‘The gold coins actually belong to the previous governor though…’
Going back again, it was day 25th of the 4th month.
Garai called out to Leonard before he finally going to burn the mining town of Line.
“I have something to consult.”
Under Garai and Tiki guidance, they led Leonard and the others to the governor mansion.
There they showed a hidden door, which when they opened, it caused them a great shock, there was a large amount of silver nugget stored there.
“We’ve found them recently!”
“You did well…” Leonard replied…
Before they used the mansion as their temporary house, Bauman had said to them “There might be assassins hiding somewhere. It would be very bad if something happens to your highness”, In which he immediately tasked the people to investigate the mansion.
“This child is the one who tells us…”
Then Tiki showed a small mouse in her palm.
“You can talk to a mouse?!”
“Fufufu, I could talk with any other animals, you know?”
As Shera’s eyes opened wide, Tiki puffed her small chest with pride.
“W-Wait a moment please.”
After she said that, Shera immediately rushed outside with such a fierce momentum.
When they saw her behavior, Tiki and Garai looked at each other, but Leonard was stunned.
“If this is the result of the previous governor saving, this would be the result of the heavy taxes…”
He had been given permission to take taxes as much as he wanted…
“We want to sell them but, to be honest, it would be very difficult for us…”
“If commoners like us to sell silver nuggets in these amounts, the merchants would grow suspicious instead and asked us ‘Where did you steal these?’.”
“The elders had acquaintance with the merchant named Anju but… I feel he was a shady person. In the end, he ended up disappeared just like that in secret.”
“That is why this would be better be used to fulfill your highness dearest wish!”
Garai and Tiki recommended that with smiles on their face.
Certainly, Leonard who wants an army to get Alexis back needed a lot of money.
“How far is your virtue, I wonder?” Leonard looked at them in amazement.
However, in response to that question, Garai and Tiki could only look at each other.
“If we’re talking about virtue then… Your Highness…”
“For your highness to not think about filling one’s own pocket with this money, aren’t you the one who is more good-natured?”
It seems they were more amazed by Leonard behavior.
As they talk with each other, Shera returned again with ferocious momentum.
In her arms, there was an impudent looking stray cat.
The cat looked annoyed because of her action whom the cat must’ve thought as a strange human.
“I have a dream of talking to a cat since a long time ago…”
Now that there was an interpreter in front of her, Shera pushed the cat toward Tiki.
Tiki who looked puzzled then answered…
” ‘Let me go, Human.’, The cat says…”
Even without Tiki saying that Leonard could understand that just from looking at the cat expression.
“Figure—…” Shera said that, and while looking half crying, she let go of the stray cat.
Her appearance invites laughter from Leonard and the others.