“Behave, Sheena!” Tanya picked the girl from the couch, scolding her as she looked at me before turning towards Sheena as she sighed, “You should stop scaring our lady, if you keep scaring her, who knows when her head will crack from falling to the floor…”
Are you scolding her or are you insulting me… my head is sturdier than any rock you can find, for sure—wait that’s not the point of this!
“Eeeh, my lady is scared of me…?!” she looked at me with shock as I nodded unconsciously before she started crying out loud like a child, hugging herself as she mumbled, “I must be a demon… how could the almighty pure Princess hate me?!”
A bit of surprise ran throughout me as I impulsively stood up and walked up to her, patting her head as I said, “I don’t hate you though, that was just a joke!” before she turned around and looked at me with tears on her eyes.
“My laddyyy!” she screamed while squishing me super tight, it was then where I understood why my body really feared her… her squish was so tight that I felt like I was about to suffocate from the lack of oxygen, to think that someone could hug this tightly…!
“Stap—h!” I tried to push her away before Tanya smacked her in the head, causing her to immediately go unconscious as a sigh of relief escaped from my mouth, “To think that it is possible to suffocate to death from a hug—how scary…”
“You can ignore her, my lady… we’ll teach her some more manners later, anyhow, your clothes should be here now. Do you want to change into new clothes now?” Tanya looked at me with a smile as she grabbed the bag from Sheena’s back and opened it, revealing dozens of beautiful and simplistic dresses.
There were no overly complex designs on the dresses, though there wasn’t a single piece of pants on the bag which I guess is because of an unspoken rule in the kingdom where noble ladies must wear dresses on most occasions which is kind of a trashy rule which stemmed from the ancient times of the kingdom from what my memory serves me.
“I’ll wear the simplest white dress you can find, as for the other ones, you can store them in the bag for now since we’ll be moving to the former noble’s manor here which shouldn’t be far away from here. Also, have you assigned the leaders for each job position?” I asked before she nodded, taking out a piece of paper as she handed it to me.
The piece of paper contained a list of names with their job position which involves carpenters, lumberjacks, farmers, and several other jobs.
It wasn’t a large list, only around six people, Tanya seemed to have only selected leaders for the jobs that will be necessary for the revival of the town, which was reasonable, after all, there are hundreds to thousands of possible jobs you can take.
“This many people is enough, we can then form the Workers Council with this many people,” I said before Tanya looked at me confused.
“What does a Workers Council do, my lady?” she inquired.
“Well, the Workers Council will be a non-profit council that will oversee the minimum wage and wages of all jobs. They will also be involved in assisting small and large businesses in recruiting workers, they will also handle any complaints against businesses that infringe the rights of workers and fine them appropriately,” I answered which made her intrigued.
“That sounds like an interesting concept, my lady. Do you want me to call the leaders here or do you have another thing in mind?” she asked before I looked at the dress on her hand with a wry smile.
“Well, I want you to call them after I finished changing into my new clothes since my current one is pretty stinky…” I answered, “Anyhow, I also want to ask for information from the leader of the guards and Faron over the security here… I feel like there is something sinister happening that we can’t see.”
“Anyhow, let’s head up to the room on the second floor and get ourselves dressed up, shall we?” I looked at Tanya who nodded the same, she hasn’t changed clothes as well because of my impulsive actions which I am guilty of.
The two of us immediately went up to the second floor where we realized immediately that Tanya’s clothes weren’t brought by Sheena which complicated everything as Tanya had no clothes to wear, feeling guilty, I instead forced her a few of my dresses which she rejected at first until I blasted her with the ‘order’ card which basically forced her to accept them.
And after twenty minutes, the two of us were finally out in our new and fresh clothes. Tanya wore a simple black dress that I actually liked, it was a beautiful yet simple dress which managed to bring out the beauty on her meanwhile I wore a plain white dress which didn’t hinder much with my movement while also not degrading my beautiful body’s charm even a little bit.
“Haa… fresh clothes are indeed best!” I said before she giggled as we walked downstairs where Faron, Lia, and Raeliana were waiting together with Sheena who was still knocked out from Tanya’s hit. She was snoring a bit which was kind of annoying.
“I will call the leaders of the jobs, my lady… it may take a few moments,” Tanya said as I nodded before she immediately left outside as I sat down on the couch with a wry smile.
The three of them had exhausted expressions on their eyes which made me confused but then I remembered the three of them were out distributing bread to the citizens and immediately understood why they were exhausted.
“You three did well, how was the distribution… did anything go wrong?” I asked before the three of them shook their heads.
“There was a little mishap where someone tried to get another piece of bread after a little while but that was immediately prevented, there were also a few who tried to skip the line, but they were all intimidated by Lia and Faron and lined up properly… so there wasn’t really anything that went wrong,” Raeliana answered.
“Right, how much do the three of you know about the situation in the town in terms of security?” I asked before all of them looked at Faron.
“Only Faron understands the situation for the security here, milady since he was the one who was looking after the guards while you were away,” Raeliana answered as Lia who was silent as ever nodded the same.
“Well, what kind of news do you want to hear first, Princess? Do you want to hear the bad one or the good one?” Faron asked while he looked up at the roof with an exhausted expression which earned him a smack from Lia.
“I’d rather hear the bad one first,” I answered before he showed a bitter smile before he took out a parchment, handing it to me as I opened it and took a quick glance over it. They were names of people and their age which confused me, “What’s with this list?”
“That’s a tiny part of the list of people who went missing on the town within a year ago, we suspect that they were kidnapped by some slave trader somewhere which is an occupation that will get you an immediate execution in the kingdom, not to mention, most of the kidnapped were males which means they are most likely used as a worker slave…” he replied which somehow triggered something inside of me.
Like a click of a switch, I could feel the mana inside of my body fuming with anger. The parchment immediately turned into ashes, anger was slowly rising onto me as I asked, “Do you have any information on where they are mainly getting kidnapped from?”
“As much as I want to investigate, we currently lack the resources to search for clues, Princess… I am trying to get the security of the town to stabilize as soon as possible, once the situation there is stable then we will commence a large-scale investigation,” he replied as I took a heavy sigh and nodded.
I rested my back on the couch while looking out of the window with an exhausted sigh, “How about the good news, are there any?”
“There is one; after the distribution of food and that one public speech, the guards seem to be more motivated to take up work. From what I heard, all of them seems to be hopeful that the town may reclaim its former glory back and with the little speech you gave, they seem to be incredibly happy to know that they are going to receive wages again…” he replied.
Wages huh—though they may receive wages, there is currently no market for them to use their money on… well, at least until we manage to revive the public market here. The temporary solution I thought of is by selling the meat we purchased for a low price and also some vegetables but that’s pretty much it.
“Raeliana, how should we approach the market and money recirculation issue. I am thinking of providing all jobs at least the minimum wage for two months while also purchasing at least ten percent of their harvests for a minimum price, allowing them to sell their harvests or products to other people and thereby slowly reviving the market… would that work?” I looked at Raeliana and asked.
“I think it would be better to ask the representatives of the workers for their opinions, milady since they are the ones who understand their situation more,” Raeliana answered which made sense, the representatives or leaders are people who should have worked their jobs for a certain amount of time.
“I guess we’ll have to wait for Tanya to come back then…” I showed a bitter smile before turning my attention towards Lia who had her eyes closed, sleeping silently like she always was. I wonder if she fell asleep while we were discussing, “Let her sleep… she must have been tired.”
After some time, Tanya soon came back bringing with her six different people, one female, and five males.
Each of them had their unique appearances like for example, one man who was the representative for blacksmiths had super large muscles and was bald with several tiny hammers on his belt.
Another man had a scar on his left cheek with scary eyes that matched his red hair and a sword that allowed me to know he was the representative for the guards.
The woman who I suspect to be the representative for tailors had a complex handkerchief on her hand that fitted her long black hair, a man with a straw hat that looked to be the representative for farmers was pretty average.
The representative for the lumberjacks and carpenter looked a bit similar to the blacksmith but he wore a shirt instead of a coat… I could tell at first glance he was the lumberjacks because of the tiny axes on his belt.
I wonder if it was common for them to bring a tiny version of their tools on their belt, those tools do look cute though, and made it easier to know what their occupations were. There was also another person that differed from all of them, a person that looked to be a butler.
“We greet the lady of the Windsor family,” all of them kneeled to which I gestured them to stand up with a smile.
“How about we introduce ourselves one by one, shall we?” I said before all of them nodded simultaneously as the first man who was the representative for the blacksmiths stood up and placed his arm on his chest.
“I am Justa, one of the former leading blacksmiths of the town with twenty years of experience,” he said before the next person followed—the representative for the guards.
“Herald, the captain of the guards for a decade,” the guard said in a straightforward manner.
“Greetings to the lady, I am Xia; the owner of the Leaves Tailor shop,” the tailor elegantly introduced herself, bowing a bit with her dress.
“Krane, a lumberjack and a carpenter,” the lumberjack said.
“Ay, I am Yora! The oldest farmer!” the representative for the farmers said with enthusiasm that was unmatched by others which made me giggle a bit as I looked at the odd person who wore a butler suit with wrinkles on him.
“Kora, a former merchant, formerly a butler of a noble family and someone who has experienced multiple jobs at one point in life,” he said which surprised me greatly.
Most people on the other kingdom may not know but there is a requirement on this kingdom which required butlers to have experience in much expertise for at least two years before he or she can be qualified as a butler.
“I have one question since you are a butler, you have should much expertise correct?” I asked before he nodded as I stared at him in the eye, “Which job are you representing for… I don’t think I’ve seen you on the list that was provided to me.”
“Right—I forgot to write which part he is representing, apologies for that my lady but he is the representative for all the other jobs that are not listed here because he has experience and influence on twenty different jobs…” Tanya said which brought out all the shock inside of me.
I immediately turned around with my hand on my head before asking again, “Twenty jobs… wait, you sure this is not some kind of scheme? What are you doing in this town if you have that many job experiences, and how did you even end up being fired from a noble family with that resume?!”
“Not to mention, the kingdom would be more than happy to pay you gold coins a month… even the butler at the ducal family only has ten jobs he has worked on…” I smiled bitterly before he took out a recommendation letter from the former noble family he worked which was the ‘Alicia’ family, a fairly medium-sized noble family that had a pretty turbulent time where they had to fire a lot of their servants.
“I have lived a fairly luxurious life in my time before, young miss, and that was enough for me… now that I have grown older and seen more things, I wish to lend a hand to the people and let them experience a comfortable life…” he answered while staring into me in the eye, determined.
My senses were telling me that he wasn’t lying a single bit, I wonder if he has seen something tragic that happened to the people that made him this way. If my memory serves me correctly, there was one incident before the Alicia family started firing servants… it was an incident that claimed the lives of a thousand people on their fief and led to the arrest of a lot of people—I wonder if that is what changed him.
“I am not suspicious of you, don’t get me wrong but for someone with that high of a resume, it sounds pretty weird but if you are willing to follow me in the path of rebuilding this town then I won’t intervene… are you sure you want to work under me?” I asked before he nodded.
“Young miss has given the people on this land hope that their lives will return back to normal, even spending her entire money on feeding the people here, if that isn’t someone worthy for me to work under then no one else will be…” he answered.
I felt a bit more surprised to hear that word of me spending the entire gold coins the Duchess gave me has already spread around… I wonder if that also caused the people here to change their view of me, that might be another factor.
“Anyway, enough of that talk…” I smiled before looking at each and every one of them in the eye as I stood up, “From forward, all of you will be representing your fellow people as members of the Workers Council… each decision you make from now on will affect the lives of many. Are you all ready to take that responsibility?”
“Yes!” all of them shouted at the same time as I nodded, satisfied.
“Now, let us commence the first meeting of the worker’s council—”