Sophia became my adopted sister, and now we were returning to the Grances mansion.
However, we will not be living there. I would rather stay in a more familiar place. In the first place, the wooden part of the mansion is burnt. So, the mansion is not in a state for people to be living.
That’s why we were now sitting in the living room of the guest house.
We were meeting to decide on the actions needed to completely reform the domestic affairs of the Grances territory.
“Let’s start with the problems currently affecting the Grances territory.”
I stop my words there and look at each of the people in attendance.
First, there’s Claire, the temporary head of the family. Then, there’s Milli and Michelle acting as our assistants.
Alice, with her knowledge from another world, and Sophia….is the healing officer? Currently, she’s hiding behind my back. (TN: I think healing officer is an MMO term.)
I told her it was fine to hide — but Sophia seems to be slowly opening up to the other members here. It’s probably due to the carriage ride lasting several hours, and the other members were chatting a little the entire time.
Anyway, first things first, today’s agenda.
“Problems we’re facing now, first off, is the drop in production of food. This has led to several families being forced to sell their children to reduce the number of mouths they have to feed. Then, about the part of the mansion that has been burned down and the servants that were forced to leave. Finally….the influenza outbreak.”
I cut my words there and asked Claire for her report on the measures taken to increase food production.
“Regarding the drop in food production, because otouto-kun provided a solution, we’re currently waiting to find out the results. I already know of the basic countermeasures of influenza…..but is there nothing else that can be done?”
The part of the house the servants lived is in pretty bad shape, so I’d like to do something if possible….but there are too many people, so it’s impossible to do anything immediately.
As for medicine, I feel it’s impossible to create anything like that.
“If we keep the infected people relaxed in a good environment and keep them well fed and rested that will be enough to treat the disease.”
“So you’re saying, if we solve the issue of influenza, this will also solve the food shortage?”
Even though the food shortage has been a common issue, it seems the influenza outbreak had been a rare occurrence. So, not every food shortage has been caused by an outbreak of a disease.
I’ve heard that trade with foreign countries has recently become popular, so I think that is the main cause, but I also think that a decline in the amount of food produced each year has led to these food shortages.
“Well then…Next is protection of the servants. There are people already negotiating with them, but, at least for now, we have confirmed the safety of everyone.”
“Ah, is that so!? Then, please continue the negotiations.”
That’s good. That was something I was very concerned about. If any of the missing servants had died, it truly would have been horrible.
“Now, about the mansion that has been burned. The wooden sections have been completely burned, but the stone foundation is fine. So, if we repair the mansion, it will be livable.”
“I see. Then, please, start the repairs. Though, I don’t plan on living there.”
“That place has a lot of bad memories for me. Besides — that building represents this territory, it feels strange to live there. So, I’m thinking about building a mansion of my own.”
“Wait a minute, otouto-kun? The territory is suffering from a food shortage. How do you plan to justify the head of the family building such a luxury for himself?”
Claire’s tone is rather disapproving. Michelle is also looking at me with disgusted eyes.
But, Alice and Milli were listening to me calmly. These two probably understand what I’m thinking.
“Milli, why aren’t you angry?”
When I asked Milli to explain for me, she showed a big smile.
“I already decided. No matter what, I’ll believe that Leon is doing the right thing.”
“….Eh, is that your reason?”
“Yes. I said before, I’m always on Leon’s side.”
“….Ah, right, thank you. But, still Milli, I do make mistakes. So, it’s best if you think for yourself if what I’m doing is right…..”
“You’re right. That’s why I decided to think for myself and believe in Leon.”
No, that’s completely different than what I said.
I give up….though, I’m glad that she trusts me so much. We’ve only just met again after such a long time, I feel that Milli has become an over-fond parent.
Well I was unable to call her mother for a long time, because we have been separated for the last few years. It’s only natural that I’d want to act like a child with her……right?
Anyway, it seems like Milli really doesn’t understand what I’m planning.
I turn my gaze to Alice.
Alice is a reincarnator just like me. She has traveled all over this world, she surely understands my thinking in this.
“Alice, please explain to everyone.”
“Right, everyone’s thinking the same thing, right? What Leon said is completely wrong.”
“I’m joking. It was just a joke, so please stop crying.”
“I wasn’t crying. Please, explain it to them properly.”
I stare at Alice with scornful eyes and Alice just shrugged her shoulders at me. No, that should be my reaction.
“To avoid future food shortages, the best solution is to increase the amount of food harvested each year. However, we can’t do this immediately, and so, we can’t help everyone right away, right?”
“Because it takes time for these crops to grow with the new countermeasures, right?”
“Yep, it’s exactly as Claire said.”
Alice gave a friendly smile towards Claire.
Until recently Alice had called Claire, “Claire-sama.” It seems that once Alice was freed from slavery, they started getting along more.
Though, for some reason, I have a bad feeling……It’s a good thing that my sister from this world and my sister from my previous life are getting along……right?
“Now then, based on what’s been said, I have a question for everyone. What would you do if you had no bread to eat?”
“Even if you ask what we’d do……we don’t know the answer.”
Claire tilts her head and looks puzzled.
“….If there is no bread, I wish I could eat sweets.”
Sophia softly muttered this behind my back.
Sophia, I’d be killed If I were to say that now.
There is also a belief in my previous life, that Marie-sama said something similar to this. Though, I think it would be bad to just say that outright.
Well if my expectations are correct, then Alice’s answer is also too cruel.
“Leon, what is the answer?”
“If you have no bread to eat, then all you have to do is buy some with money, do you understand?”
“Well, that makes sense. Could you explain more?”
I was thinking about letting Alice explain, but it seems she’s unsure as well. I’m not very good at explaining…but it seems like there’s no choice.
“The food shortage is only impacting the Grances territory and its surrounding areas. Which means, if you have money you can buy food.”
However, in this world trade between different territories isn’t commonplace. Even with money, it will be difficult for the people to obtain food.
Well, we should be able to fix that part.
“I understand your thinking, but…..it doesn’t make sense. This would require everyone to have money.”
“Exactly, Claire is correct. Which brings us back to what we were originally talking about. We will create jobs for the people by building the mansion and paying them for it. At least this way the people can afford to buy food.”
“I see, that’s why you said you wanted to build a new mansion.”
“Yep, and if the people began to generate excess wealth other businesses will begin to thrive.”
This is the main reason, but the old mansion really was an inconvenient place to live. The buildings of this world are really difficult to live in compared to the buildings of Japan.
“In addition to the reclamation jobs, I think we can create various other jobs, such as the production of new crops and developing iron products. With the food aid, we will be fine for a while.”
That still leaves one problem….and I look at Michelle.
Michelle’s face looks very serious. It’s probably because the matter of the children sold into slavery has yet to be discussed.
I want to do something, but I can’t think of any solution.
If they were sold for the purpose of reducing the number of mouths to feed, they should be small children that aren’t able to work. Dozens of children like this, some work they can do for a long time….work?
As I was lost in thought, my eyes met with Alice.
“Hey, Leon, to do all of those jobs you mentioned earlier, we’re really lacking in qualified people, right?”
“Eh, so are you saying we should hire people?”
“That’s not it. Do you think it’s best to go from each town or village, explaining to each individual person how to avoid repeated cultivation damage, how to avoid diseases, or how to use new farming tools?”
“Ah, right….it would be rather difficult to properly explain everything to every village and town. It would make more sense to gather people together and give them a proper education.”
Alice looked at the ground and showed a gentle smile. Apparently, she had been trying to give me a small hint. No, not at all small.
“Claire, buy the children that were sold into slavery.”
“Sure, I don’t mind, but….is that really okay? I’m sure they will only sell them at an increased price.”
“It’s fine. Spread word that I will be gathering a lot of children at the end of the year. Initially we’ll only be covering their living expenses, but in the future they will be paid a salary. Any families considering selling their children should try to hold off until the end of the year.”
If you were to sell your children to slavers, you’d only receive a small immediate payment. However, if you were to leave your child in the care of the Grances family, you can expect to see a new source of income in the future.
And either way results in less mouths to feed.
If their situation isn’t too dire, they should definitely choose the latter. And if we provide them with food, they should never be that desperate.
With this, the issue of children being sold into slavery should be solved.
“If you do not take care of the children at the end of the year, you will be blamed for everything.”
“I will definitely gather them, so it’s fine.”
“Gather….what are you going to do with so many children?”
“I will start a school, a place where they can learn specialized knowledge. Once they’re old enough, I will send them out to various places in the Grances territory so they can begin working.”
“Learn specialized knowledge at school….considering the children are all around the same age as otouto-kun….hmm? Then there shouldn’t be any problem.”
“Please calm down, Leon-sama is definitely not normal for his age, Claire-sama.”
“Ah, that’s true. A normal child is more unreliable.”
“He’s definitely a bad representation of a child.”
Who’s bad? Or should I say, why is Michelle looking at me like that? It’s a little shocking.
And Sophia, stop saying, “Onii-chan is unusual,” over and over behind me. Compared to Alice I’m just a regular person.
“I understand your concerns, but it is easier for young children to retain knowledge. It will be fine. I only plan on teaching them reading, writing, basic math and some form of specialized knowledge.”
In addition, the children of this world mature earlier than those of Japan. To be honest, I think the severe environment of this world is the cause of this.
So, I believe if they work hard for a year they should be able to manage.
“Well, if otouto-kun says it will be okay, it must be true…but, what exactly is the specialized knowledge you plan on teaching?”
“Well, first off, I plan to teach them basic countermeasures against repeated cultivation damage. As well as flood control, construction, and how to make fertilizer. I also plan to teach them other, more advanced techniques such as: medical, new clothing and accessories, new ways of making clothing, cooking, and finally more advanced smithing techniques.”
“…..Umm, I don’t quite believe it, but….you’re saying you know of new, advanced techniques for everything you just mentioned?”
“Hmm~……well, yeah. Maybe, I just have a different view of the world than everyone else?”
“….See, I told you. Hey, Michelle, what do you think I should do? Otouto-kun is too amazing, I don’t even know where to start with him.”
“I understand now, Claire-sama. Dare I say, his very existence is amazing.”
……Don’t talk about someone like they aren’t even here. Are you trying to make me cry?
Well, since I do have memories from my previous life, Michelle’s words aren’t wrong.
“For now, Alice and I will begin preparing our lessons and gather what we need to begin teaching. So, the question now is what to do for the next year.”
“You’re planning on doing something else before educating the children?”
“Yes. The children will not finish their education by the time we next begin planting the fields. So, it would be a waste to do nothing in the meantime. For now, I will try to teach basic countermeasures to the farmers.”
Then, the next harvest will hopefully be better than the last.
Also, by doing this, the farmers would have already seen some results. So, they should be more accepting of the children when I send them out to various villages.
There should be no disadvantage for doing this.
First of all, we will teach the minimum required knowledge to skilled employees and send them out to villages before the fields are next planted. This will improve the next harvest a little. Then, over the next year, we will educate the children to help out the territory in the future.
After that, I plan on opening a real school for children in the Grances territory.
“Well then, first of all, where will the school be built?”
“How about we repair the mansion that burned down? The foundation is still in good condition, so it can be repaired quickly. I also think the location is good because it’s in the center of town.”
“I’m sorry, Claire. Considering any future plans, I need to think on a bigger scale.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we have plans to build a school building and mansion. Then, there’s new fields with canals. After that, paved roads throughout the town and a sewer system connecting the various production facilities.”
After I laid out all of my future plans, Claire looked at me, stunned.
“Are you planning on remodeling the entire town? Doing this will require a considerable amount of money and workforce.”
“We don’t need to complete everything right away. If we are only able to build a school building and fields within a year, that will be enough. I plan on creating a city that will be a model for future cities to be based on.”
“An entire city? Hey, are we going to have enough money?”
“I don’t know the exact costs, but….we have the money being paid to us from the Sfir family. With the other sources of revenue, we should be fine for many years.”
“Hmm…..With the compensation from them and any tax revenue we should be able to manage….Is there anything else we may have to worry about paying for?”
“For now everything should be covered. As long as the food support we are buying is not cut off, we should be fine.”
Even though things may be tight at first, as long as my knowledge of agriculture is correct, the amount of food harvested from each farm should increase over the years. This will lead to the tax revenue also increasing and we will have plenty of money.
I know that using the knowledge from my previous life will produce results — because I can predict this, I also know that we will receive more revenue in the future, so it’s possible for me to make these decisions now.
“Alright, I understand, but where do you plan on building then? Maybe near the river where there is a lot of flat land?”
“I’m thinking about building everything in the Muhle Plains.”
About an hour north on a horse-drawn carriage from here, there is an area with mountains, forests, and rivers. It is the best land in our territory. The area is an amazing place, and it’s honestly strange that there is no town there already.
“Muhle Plains, huh? Well…..that does seem like a good place.”
“Okay, then it’s decided. Alice and I will work with craftsmen to come up with blueprints for the buildings and farmlands, and Claire can begin finding engineers.”
“I understand, I’ll make the arrangements soon.”
“Yep, I’m counting on you.”
“Just leave it to your onee-chan.”
Claire said this as she left the room. I then turned my eyes to Michelle.
“Michelle, buy the children that were sold into slavery. We will also need adults to help out at first, so recruit any of the servants that wish to help, any servants that help will also be paid extra.”
“How many people do you think you will need?”
“At least ten people. Recruit more if possible. In the meantime, I will make a list of seeds and livestock that need to be purchased from the country.”
At first….we will mainly plant crops that grow quickly. After some time has passed, we will begin planting crops that produce more luxury items, such as sugarcane — and so, I think of things we need to buy,
“Then, I will begin finding servants that wish to help.”
“Okay, I’m counting on you.”
As Michelle leaves to start on her task, I turned to Milli.
“I’m sorry, but can I ask you for something Milli?”
“Of course, please don’t hesitate to ask me for anything.”
“Thank you. We plan to teach the children basic knowledge like reading and writing. So, we will also be teaching you more specialized knowledge to help teach the children later on.”
“Say no more. I’ll be sure to live up to your expectations.”
“Thanks, I believe in you.”
Then…..I turned my eyes to Sophia who had been hiding behind me. For now, it will be hard to ask Sophia for anything.
Even so, I can’t just exclude her entirely…..let’s see.
“Sophia, do you want to learn things from Milli like the other children?”
Sophia timidly looks at Milli.
“Yes. She’s my mother, you know that she is very kind, right?”
“Umm….if Sophia learns from Milli-san will Leon onii-chan be happy?”
“Yep, if Sophia can learn a lot it will be a great help.”
“I understand. Sophia will study her best and learn a lot!”
“That’s good. Then, do your best.”
I say that and stroke Sophia’s head. Sophia showed a small smile.
We’ve now decided on our future plans, we will teach all kind of new techniques to the people of the Grances territory.
And Alice and I will begin to teach the children everything we know. Our domestic affairs cheat would be the beginning of a revolution in the Grances territory.