Fun Territory Defense of the Easy-Going Lord – Chapter 53
Village Name and the Wandering Old Man
As I waited in the guest room of the mansion, there was a knock at the door.
Espada answered on my behalf.
Arv answered on the other side of the door and opened it.
An elderly man appeared.
He was an old man with thinning hair in his head and a thin figure that lacked confidence.
He was not a wealthy man.
He probably came from another village.
I pointed to a chair on the other side of the desk, smiled, and motioned for him to sit down.
“Sit over there.”
I told him, and the old man fearfully took a shallow seat in the chair, mindful of his surroundings.
Well, I was the only one sitting on the sofa facing him, but Espada and Dee were standing behind me, and Camsin and Roe were standing in the corner behind the old man.
It was a somewhat intimidating interview.
“Oh, um, I thought I was in the village of Seat… but what is this strange town…?”
The old man’s puzzled question made us nod our heads.
“The village of Seat? Espada, do you know this place?”
Espada nodded with a clear face.
“I heard from the village chief that before this community was established, there used to be a people who called this place Seat.
Some people still call it Seat village because of the legacy of that name.”
This village had a name!
I almost complained out loud, but Espada responded, with a look saying, “What does it matter?”.
I was cheated.
Van, the innocent eight-year-old, had been fooled.
They kept quiet to make it Van village, these people.
I shudder at the terrible scheme that was going on under the surface, but I calmly continued.
“…At any rate, it seems that this village is definitely the village of Seat.
So, what is your business with this village?”
The old man widened his eyes as he looked around the room.
“Well, it has changed so much that I can hardly believe it… I haven’t been here since I was a child, but this…”
The old man said, still looking around.
The old man muttered, unable to believe the transformation of the village.
No good, he’s out of it and couldn’t hear me.
“So, what do you want!”
I asked again out loud, and the old man looked aghast and nodded.
“Yes, that’s right.
Well, we are from a neighboring village, and in the last few years the number of young people has been gradually decreasing… and now everyone has nothing to eat.
And yet, the lord says they need more taxes…”
Looking at the old man who looks down in frustration, I crossed my arms and groan.
“Depopulation? Maybe they went to the city to work and learned the city’s culture, and now they don’t want to go back to the countryside?”
As I mentioned this, the old man shook his head from side to side with a hint of anger in his eyes.
“The young men did not leave the village voluntarily.
They were taken to increase the number of soldiers for the war.”
“To increase the number of soldiers?”
I asked, and the old man looked up at me with a glare.
“The Count is preparing for a war.
But a village without workers cannot pay taxes.
The nobles aren’t concerned about lowly people like us.”
“Ah, you are talking about a village in Count Ferdinand’s domain.
Good to know.”
The old man’s brow wrinkled deeply as I replied.
“…You say it’s none of your business because we are talking about a different territory.”
The old man muttered regretfully, his clenched hands shaking slightly.
With a wave of one hand, I said, “No, no” denying the claim.
“You know, it’s my Father is already more than enough trouble for me to deal with.
Well, it’s going to be a bit difficult, but would you like to move all the villagers here?”
“What? You’re going to accept us?
The old man looked at me like a puppy in the rain when I suggested that we should move them here.
There was nothing cute about his reaction, though.
Well, if I care about the Count, I would not accept the villagers.
After all, it would be like taking away the count’s people from his territory, and it was like claiming that there was something wrong with the count’s territory.
It would definitely not look good.
“Well, I won’t blame you.”
But I chose not to mind.
The only thing that worried me was Father, who was hard to defy, and the king.
I’m sure they wouldn’t invade the marquis’ territory, so I’m just going to be an adult here and keep my mouth shut.
“For now, we’re tax-free until everyone can live properly.
We have food, and if you work hard for the village, we’ll build you a house.”
“Is, Is this an invitation to paradise…?”
The old man was so surprised by my words that he almost fell over.
His reaction was somewhat old-fashioned and quaint.
“So, how many people live in your village?”
I asked, and the old man tearfully answered.
“About three hundred inhabitants”
“…I could prepare each family, a single house, okay? Please don’t expect too much, though.”
“No, that is more than enough.
That would be a big help for us.
Yes, of course.
Would you like my granddaughter to be your servant? She’s three years old now, but she’s going to grow up to be pretty.”
“She is not a dog or a cat, so don’t offer your granddaughter to me so casually.”
I responded with a weak smile to the old man’s idea of a thank-you gift.
No, I know the culture of offering women and children to lords.
But it is usually a donation.
If you learn anecdotes about royalty and nobility in Japan and abroad, there would be many stories that would be unbelievable in modern Japan.
Well, I felt that people come and go among the nobles like a year-end gift, but there would be no end to it if I start to go too deep into it, so I’ll stop thinking about it there.
It’s a little late to be treating people’s lives and treatment so lightly.
If you asked me for more details, I would tell you that it takes two weeks by adult’s legs to get to the next village.
The reason why they came here instead of the town was because they thought that if they stayed in the count’s territory, they would surely be punished for the crime of not paying taxes.
“I will lend you some of my carriages.
I only have two horses, since I only have those that I own currently, is that all right?”
“No, no, no…! Thank you very much for providing us with a carriage! Back in the village, there are about ten head of cattle grazing in the pasture.
If we let them pull the carriages on the way back, the lord’s horses won’t get tired, and we’ll be able to…”
“Cattle? There are cattle? Dairy animals?”
I ask, interrupting the old man.
The old man’s eyes are black and white, but that’s not the point.
Because it’s a cow, a cow.
The old man nods, breaking out in a cold sweat, wondering if he said something wrong.
“Yes, that’s right.
The count’s domain is a grazing area.
That’s why there are cows in the village.
Our village is in the middle of nowhere, but the border guard knights come from the nearby fortress.
We always have at least a dozen cows when we deliver them every year.”
“A cow is born every year? Isn’t that great? How many cows?”
The old man was puzzled, but answered politely.
“We have five or six cows every year.
Cows usually grow up in a year.
The cows born that year are delivered the following year.
I thought all villages were similar…”
The old man said curiously.
I wondered if the cows were different from those on earth.
If the number of cattle could increase so stably and steadily in an environment like this remote village, I would love to see livestock farming in this village as well.
Let’s have everyone move in and have them increase the number of cattle.
I’ll send a request to Ortho-san and the others to escort you.”
Suddenly excited, I continued on with the conversation.
You must be tired, so you can rest in the village today.
Although you would be staying in the soldiers’ quarters, there is a place for you to rest and there will be food for everyone.”
The old man blinked and spoke.
“I am not the village chief.”
“Wait, you’re not the village chief?”
I slumped down on the sofa.
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