Flame Kingdom – 8

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Chapter 8 (Not knowing what Kota said)

Conversion rate, 1 Gold Coin = 10,000 Yen.

“…You manage to gather a lot aren’t you?”

Two days after the meeting discussing Rondo De Terra feasible management improvement, the plan was then carried out.

“I didn’t gather this. They come by themselves, selfishly.”

It was about paintings and decoration with unknown use that were placed in the dining room. I see, no wonder Erika said to me to wait for two days.

“Are all of these gifts for the Lord?”

“Well, yes. Even though I’m looking like this, in the end, I’m still a royal. Before I moved to Terra, I got a gift almost every day, and nowadays I still got them frequently …”

“Since you lived in Terra?”

“That’s right It’s easy to understand why…”

It was the product of nobility self-interest, to make a strong connection. Especially when Erika was a member of the Royal Family, it was obvious that she would receive a huge amount of gifts. After all, she was the daughter of the King that one day might succeed the throne. To curry some favor, giving a gift was never disadvantages.

… However, what would happen if one abandon then throne and get a Duke position. Certainly, Duke position was very high. However, no matter how high it was, it was still a vassal position. Even if she was the daughter of the former King, and the eldest daughter as well, the Duke position make her just like the others aristocrats.

“Not to mention, the territory I get for my position is this Terra. Even I have no memories of receiving gift these last few years.”

For the nobility, if there’s no profit then they were not interested. For them, it would be a waste of money if they didn’t receive something back for the gifts.

“… That some fast attitude change they had…”

“Rather it feels comfortable since I got here you know? Having such a burden being lifted off from me, I felt refreshed.”

I see. There was such a way of thinking too.

“But still… Is it okay for us to sell all of the items here?”

“Sure. Please do, clean it up for me. -”

Following Erika’s words, Kota nodded his head. Many people regarding selling assets as something difficult due to sentiment value, but in reality, selling unnecessary assets during an emergency was never difficult. This may sound unrelated but, seller and price, for example, a real estate, depending on how one sell it, even an unused building could be sold like a hot cake.

“… I’m sure we’re going to succeed… ”

There was only one reason why a sale could fail. And that reason was that the management itself didn’t want to let it go.

Many managers tend to think that both, the company and its assets as their own. – Saying that they won’t sell the assents even if they died, and eventually, the company ‘dies’.

“The most difficult thing when selling assets is that most owner themselves didn’t want to let the assets go. If there was no attachment to the goods, the sale would be easy. Next is about the market…”

“Emily.”

“Yes. Regarding the paintings, we could use the recent sales data for reference. As for jewelry, we could leave it to the jewelry appraisers. As for the stuffed animal… Well, we might be able to sell it dirt cheap.”

While saying that she looked at Kota as if he was a trash. Such a gaze from a beauty would be a reward for particular people but Kota was a normal person which make him felt chill down his spine instead.

“Emm… Emily-san, are you mad at me?”

“… No. There’s no way that I would be angry toward a guest such as, Matsushiro… -Sama…”

“… Just now, you seem to hesitate to say my name though?”

“… Of course not.”

“Really? I’m sure it was though?”

“It was just your imagination.”

With Emily cold attitude, Kota decides to give up pursuing more. It was a waste of time and more than anything, Kota’s spirit had its limit as well.

“… I have the mental strength of a tofu after all…”

No one heard Kota’s muttering while sighing.

———————————————————–

“Well, for the time being, we should be able to manage with this much in hand capital.”

They start the discussion while drinking some tea made by Emily.

“Though we still don’t know how much money we could get… I guess we could get a lot with all of this?”

“Since I don’t have an artistic sense, I will leave it to the expert…”

Kota artistic sense was minimal. Even at school, he could only get 10 points when it comes to art.

“Fufufufu. Leave that to me.”

Erika smiled while saying that words. To that smiling face, Kota tried to clear his throat to erase his embarrassment.

“T-Then I will leave it to you. N-Next is, let’s decide our future policy…”

After selling assets. The money we could use to spend increased. And to reduce future greed, one needs to start discussing next issue. And proposition…

“I will leave that to you. After all, I would just be ended up increasing the deficits again…”

Erika said those words while inflating her cheek. It seems like she still hurt after Kota said to her that it was unbelievable for her to keep planting crops despite the sea breeze.

“Please don’t sulk, you’re not a child after all.”

“I’m not sulking. After all, I’m not a child. Ah! Did you think I’m a child?”

“That’s what I call sulking… Oh well, fine, let us leave it at that. First, let’s think about the direction Terra should take.”

“Direction?”

“Yes.”

Saying that Kota sips some tea.

“The easiest way would be ‘imitate the successful one.’ In this Flame Kingdom, which city has the biggest economic success?”

Toward Kota’s question, Erika stares toward the distance.

“let’s see… The first one would be the capital city, Larcia?”

“Why?”

“Why you say… Isn’t that obvious? It is the royal capital, the place where the ruler lives, that’s why economic activity gathered there.”

“I see, How about the other city?”

“Next would be… Titan, I guess? The city is a tourist destination where a lot of old ruins and castle are located. Because there are a lot of tourists, the inn is always full.”

“I see, the tourist resource went there huh? Next?”

“Next…”

“It’s Laura, no?”

In response to Erika who was at lost for words, Emily answered in her stead.

“Laura was called the city of gambling. It was said that in a single night a huge amount of money move inside that city, many billionaires rises and fall overnight in that city. It is the most popular city in the flame kingdom, and of course, money would follow with that…”

“…Thank you.”

“No need, I said that not for Matsushiro-sama after all. I only said that for Erika-sama’s sake.”

Such cold lines that make Kota wanted to cry. –

“… Anyway, up until now, I’ve only heard about those three cities. If we imitate them, we should be able to develop the territory relatively easy. After all, they are already successful. However….”

“Its impossible isn’t it?”

“Yes. First of all, Larcia. It is this kingdom capital city, the center of political and economic activity. But looking from another perspective, the city prosperous because it is the heart.”

And the opposite also applies.

“Next would be Titan. This one is impossible to imitate as well. The tourism industry has a lot of variants, but it is impossible to create one without any tourism attraction.”

The so-called sightseeing spot was necessary for any tourism industries, such as hot-springs, historical buildings, mountains, so on and so forth. Very rarely, the tourism industry could appear because of a strong brand image, but that probably was as low as a lottery.

“Next would be Laura but…”

Saying that I averted my gaze.

“Laura is also impossible”

“I guess so…”

“Do you know why?”

“Because it is written in the book. “the only city that was allowed for public gambling within the Flame Kingdom” no?”

“… That’s right.”

In the first place, a country could become a gambling country if one allowed gambling anywhere. As for bad or good, that depends on individual views.

‘.. More or less, if I asked Her Majesty, we might be able to get her permission to do that you know? Though it would be impossible on a grand scale, if we do it secretly, I believe she would overlook it a bit.”

“Let us not go there. Unlicensed gambling establishment, the public order would turn bad instead. Just because we could make a profit, we can do anything recklessly…”

It was the Lord duty to create a place where a citizen could live with a peace of mind. The country is the people.

“… If that the case then, isn’t this impossible?”

“It’s impossible to ‘copying’ I guess? Then, we could only do one thing. And that is to create something new.”

“Even if you say that to create something new is…”

Erika knitted her eyebrows while looking troubled. Beautiful girl will always look beautiful no matter what they do… Well, that aside,

“… It’s impossible…”

“… Given up already?”

“But, it’s the truth no? If it was that easy I would’ve done it already…”

It was because she could not think about new things that the financial situation had gone this bad.

“But, we already manage to secure fund no? What we have to do is to increase it. For example, Terra is a city along the sea. How about we make a commercial port here?”

“… How are we going to make a commercial port?”

“For example, this is just an idea okay?”

Commercial port usually used as a trade destination, or as a hub. It would be totally useless if the territory had no consumers and producers.

“… On the contrary, how much should we aim?”

“How much? What do you mean?”

“The targeted earnings, in other words, profits. How much profit do you want as a target? For now, the biggest earning Terra have is from tax revenues. right?”

He asks that for confirmation. He thought that she would answer him with a nod. However, the answer was actually outside his expectation because she shook her head sideways.

“… Huh?”

“The biggest income is debt…”

“… Debt, is it?”

“Yes… Whether or not we could call it income is a bit vague but… The biggest revenue the territory get was debts from the nation…”

“… Municipal bonds huh? That is…”

Municipal bonds, that is the so-called regional bonds, issued by the local government. There were various reason why such bonds being issued but…

“It was to cover the deficits huh?”

“… At first, that was the reason. But now, I borrow money to return the borrowed money…”

In other words. repayment deficits funds.

“That is the most stupid pattern isn’t there?”

Funds to repay debt usually come from profits. Speaking about Terra, it should be paid for by using tax revenues.

“Refinance for repayment… Err, I won’t say it is completely bad but… One should only do it when the future outlook stands to some extent… If you keep refinancing by using debt over and over again then…”

It would become harder just to pay the interest…

“Is it impossible to pay those with tax revenue? For example, raising theta rate for one year? How much tax are you taking right now?”

“For each adult, 15 years of age or older, 100 white gold coins per year. Children have to pay 50. Business entities would be 2,000 a year.”

“… Huh?”

“… What? is it too high? I think it is lower than the others though? For example, Larcia is a lot higher than ours but—”

Kota raised his hand to stop Erika. No that was not it. When he meant taxes, whether or not the tax rate was high, as for cheap or not it didn’t matter to him. –

“… Emm… Did you use, a poll tax?”

“Poll tax?”

“Yes. In other words, how many per person should pay?”

“That’s right, why?”

Erika looking at Kota as if he was asking the obvious.

“Is that applied everywhere?”

“Well, the amount would be different in every city but, yes…”

“… I see…”

Kota slowly nods after hearing Erika’s answer. Although he smiled, his heart could not…

“…What’s wrong? Do you have any good plan?”

“… Well, let see… One comes to mind.”

“Is that so? So, what is your ide- eh?”

“Like I said, one did come into mind. Regardless whether or not it would succeed I don’t know… But it should be worth seeing…”

“I-Is that really true? Isn’t that amazing then?! What is it? What is the way?”

Kota smiled at the frolicking Erika.

“Let us quit…”

“…Huh?”

“Let us quit taking taxes…”

… He declared something unthinkable.

Economic Knowledge 3

Margaret Thatcher.

Great Britain first female prime minister. A politician whose good and bad sides divided equally. She was known as the Iron Lady for her policies, but one of the reasons why she lost her seat as prime minister was because she tried to introduce the poll tax. Regardless you’re rich or poor, as long you lived there, you will pay the same amount of taxes.

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