The Vampire Empress.
The carriage ride only took twenty minutes before we reached the nearest town; it was a decent-sized town that was a bit smaller than the Kaloria which by itself is massive for a town though; unlike Kaloria, the town was booming with people and merchants. There were a wide array of stalls over at the sides, selling barbeque and all those street foods which is enviable.
Amidst my sightseeing, the window to the driver’s seat opened as Felice’s voice questioned, “Where do you want to head first, my lady?”
“If possible, I want to purchase a large supply of wood, food like vegetables and meat as well as equipment for the town. We also want to hire some architects here, maybe around three of them who will work on renovating the houses and inns,” I replied while leaning my head to my left.
There was a lot we had to purchase in large bulks, and it definitely would be costly but if we wanted to boot the town back up then we really need these resources, otherwise, most jobs that the citizens can take would be rendered useless.
“Do you want to split up and look for the merchants that were mentioned by Father, my lady?” she suggested.
“If you are okay with splitting up then that is fine with me. I can protect myself and Ayaka better than you could protect yourself, after all,” I said before she chuckled, “Anyhow, it’s better if we split up since we want to reach the town before nighttime.”
“You can go search for the wood, food, and meat as well as seeds for farmers. I will go buy Ayaka some clothes and look for architects and equipment we can sell. You can also look for anything that could help rebuild the town if you like and place a bulk order that will be delivered to the town.”
To be honest… I am receiving a headache from thinking of everything that will be needed by the town. If possible, I wanted the citizens to gather the resources themselves especially the carpenters, woodcutters, and whatever they are called since there is an abundant amount of trees a little bit away from the town.
As for the farmers, we only need to supply them with water, equipment, and seeds which should be more than enough as Planta Mana would act as a pesticide by itself. That means in reality, we only have to focus on jobs that really cannot afford to gather resources themselves like tailors, etc. but then it would be unfair for the jobs that could gather resources since they would have to work harder.
“I take it back; don’t search for merchants that sell wood instead focus your efforts on seeds, food, and materials that are needed for a lot of jobs like tailors which needs threads and needles; dough and portable ovens for bakers, and anything that you find will be necessary for jobs that are critical to bringing the town’s function back alive,” I said.
“How many portable ovens are you planning on purchasing, my lady? They are decently expensive at five gold coins per oven, if our budget is around ten platinum coins then it may be nothing but if we are planning on keeping emergency funding then we would have to limit ourselves to five platinum coins,” Felice asked.
“You can take two-thousand five-hundred gold coins with you and I will take an equal amount. Spend it as much as you can for anything you deem necessary, don’t worry about emergency funding since that funding will be spent anyway,” I replied with a smile.
“As you wish, my lady,” she responded.
Turning my attention back to Ayaka who was listening attentively; she was a smart girl from as far as I can tell, she always listens to our conversations as much as she can and tries to comprehend whatever we say which can be seen from her constant frowning.
“What have you learned, Ayaka?” I looked at the little girl who turned towards me with a little bit of hesitation.
“Hmm…” she frowned before answering, “Mama is thinking about letting others work!”
“Yes, that is exactly what I am thinking,” I patted the cute girl’s head as she danced her head around, “But you are missing a few details, Ayaka. What I am planning is to let the people who can gather resources do it themselves while offering them an incentive to do so.”
“This allows us to save more money and help recirculate currency on the town which is critical to bringing back the town’s vitality,” I explained before she tilted her head with confusion which looked adorable as I flicked her forehead with a bright smile, “You will learn about that in the future.”
After some time, we soon reached a spot where we could park our carriage. Felice escorted us out of the carriage as usual before we paid the owner of the spot a gold coin to watch over the carriage, which was a bit excessive, but it was well-needed since we need a carriage to return.
“We will meet here at the second bell’s chime, is that fine with you?” I looked at Felice who nodded, “I will be heading off with Ayaka first, take care on your way. Make sure to be attentive to the money since we can’t afford to lose it.”
In response, she saluted before the two of us left in different directions. I went towards the right where my first objective was waiting. It was a tiny wooden building with a sign that said “Builder’s Hall” which is what I wanted.
My first objective was to find people who are willing to help us create several house designs that we will use for the town since the design of the current houses on the town is pretty outdated while rebuilding them will be costly, in exchange, the citizen’s satisfaction would be high which is what we want.
Entering inside, the gazes of the people immediately pinned towards me as I looked around the place which looked to be like a tavern but there were receptionists waiting. Moving towards one of the receptionists who was a beautiful brown-haired lady, I was immediately asked, “Hello there, is there anything you need?”
“I would like to hire three architects to work on at least ten house design plans. My initial offering will be at ten gold coins per design that I will approve,” I replied before more gazes pinned towards us with most of them listening as much as they can.
“Three architects and ten house design plans for a total of ten gold coins per. Do you want the houses to be luxurious or do you want a simple house design?” the lady asked.
“I want one that is useable by common people, affordable to build at a large scale, and also comfortable for the people who will live inside,” I answered before she wrote all the details down, nodding.
The lady then handed the note over to another receptionist who started processing the details over at some kind of magic device. You could tell it was a magic device as mana was emitting from it, and not long after, the note was handed back to the receptionist who looked at me with a smile.
“We currently have around ten architects available who can do your work but before that, do you have any identification that we can use to verify and identify you?” she asked.
Taking out the vouch emblem as well as the identification card that idiot ruler handed me which was a beautiful tiny crown with a rose emblem, I handed them over to the receptionist whose eyes widened a bit before she paled.
“Please forgive my insolence, Your Majesty!” the receptionist immediately stood up and bowed while returning the emblems which surprised me, “I will immediately process your request as best as we could.”
My surprise came from the ‘Your Majesty’ part which should only be used when the ‘King’ or the ‘Queen’ is standing before you but for some reason, I’ve been hearing myself being called that a lot, which kind of gives me shivers as I smell something fishy with the emblem but oh well, it’s better to use this opportunity to grab us some high-quality service.
“You don’t have to rush, please tell them to have the designs delivered to the Town of Kaloria though if you don’t mind, can you please show me some samples of the candidates?” I asked before she nodded without hesitation, rushing towards a cabinet as she scrambled around.
After a minute of scrambling, she soon came back with a lot of scrolls which shocked me as I opened them one by one before beautiful sketches of buildings that spanned from restaurants to even simple blacksmiths came into sight.
Some were worse than others, some had too extravagant designs which was already out of my list. After looking through fifteen samples, I soon opened three at the same time before a super simple design that looks similar to modern houses came to view.
Two of the designs focused on simplicity and efficiency according to the notes and from the looks of it, they did very well on that part; the third one focused on efficiency and comfort which was perfect as the materials being used wasn’t expensive and from the design, you could tell it would do well.
“Who made this?” I looked at the receptionist, “I want to hire this person at a rate of fifteen gold coins per design.”
Pointing towards a different two samples which looked simple and efficient enough, “I also want to hire the designers of those two at a rate of twelve gold coins per design. All three of them fit my criteria perfectly.”
Taking the samples I pointed, the receptionist took a few glances before communicating with other receptionists near her as she looked back at me with a professional smile, “We have called the designers of the samples you selected, Your Majesty. They should arrive anytime soon.”
A few minutes after she spoke, the door opened as a beautiful man dressed in a simple black shirt and white pants arrived followed by two ladies who looked to be twins; the two ladies had their hair tied in a ponytail as they wore jeans and a simple shirt.
“These three are the designers of the samples you have seen, Your Majesty. The first three samples that you selected were designed by those two ladies over there while the rest were designed by the man,” the receptionist said.
Interesting, that means the three samples that I selected first were designed by twins who submitted them under a single person while the others were one-handedly made by a man who looked like a noble that was under incognito.
“Do you mind introducing yourselves first?” I looked at them who all looked a bit surprised but nodded as the twins took a step first.
“Greetings, I am Aitsuki and this is my elder sister, Mitsuki. The two of us came from a commoner family but we can read, write and draw,” the younger-looking one of the twins said as I turned my attention towards the man who had this noble atmosphere around him that looked to be concealed as hard as he could.
The man took a step before bowing down elegantly as he said, “I am Kyle, someone from the south. Please forgive my speech a bit as I am not used to talking formally.”
“You don’t have to mind about your speech. Aitsuki, Mitsuki, and Kyle, is that correct? I will be hiring all three of you at different rates based on how much I have determined your samples were worth. Aitsuki and Nana will be offered fifteen gold coins per design while Kyle will receive twelve gold coins, this offer is negotiable,” I said before the twins looked at each other with a frown.
After a few moments of deciding, the twins spoke first with a determined look: “We want eighteen gold coins per design instead…”
“That’s fine for me since the designs on the samples were indeed worth at least that much, as for you?” I looked at Kyle who was still pondering.
“Is it possible for mine to be increased to sixteen gold coins?” he asked.
“That’s fine,” I responded, “Then I will take it as the three of you are willing to work under me, right?”
All three of them nodded as I turned my attention back towards the receptionist who was smiling professionally, “I will pay ahead of time, 160 gold coins for Kyle and 180 gold coins for the twins which don’t include the cost for living on the town.”
“I want to bring them to the town as well since that is the only way for them to work on what is best for the town which means I will also be adding in thirty gold coins for each of them which would total to four hundred and thirty gold coins, is that correct?”
In response, the receptionist nodded as I handed over the exact amount which she then counted through another machine before handing over the note with the signature of the shop and also the emblem of the shop.
“You are free to take them with you, Your Majesty. We will hand over the rewards once the transaction is completed as for the cost of living, the guild will add ten gold coins per month as well since it is part of the benefit for our employees.”
It seems like employees are being treated well in this world which is nice since ten gold coins for simply living in another town to work per month is a lot. The average wage of a worker here is around three hundred bronze coins while the minimum wage is around two hundred bronze coins per day which means they are earning around 6 silver coins per month.
“The three of you can pack your stuff and meet me at the carriage parking place next to this building at the second bell. I will wait there,” I said before all three of them nodded with the twins showing excitement on their faces.
After saying that, I walked out of the building with Ayaka who was still listening attentively over at our conversation before out of the blue, a loud growl echoed coming from her which surprised me, “Are you perhaps hungry?”
She looked away embarrassed but nodded which looked super adorable.
“Then, let’s celebrate our first objective’s success with a meal, shall we?” I kissed the cute little girl’s cheeks before she nodded happily as the two of us looked around for restaurants, stopping at several of them and enjoyed a few meals.