The Vampire Empress.
After the two of us finished our adorable bath session, we went downstairs to find Iona and Felice who were waiting. The two had a bit of strange glances which confused me as I tilted my head while asking, “Is there anything wrong, did something happen in the town?”
Her eyes looked at Ayaka which signaled that the discussion may not be best heard for children which is why I looked at my little cutie before placing her down as I showed a smile, “My dear, can you head back upstairs and wait for me in the room?”
Ayaka looked at me before asking, “Is Mama going to work? Can’t I watch?” with her puppy eyes which made me unconsciously look at Felice who shook her head causing me to sigh as I turned my attention back to my tranquilizer girl and kissed her forehead.
“Yes… I am heading off to work, we will let you watch once you grow older enough but for now, listen to me and head back upstairs. Okay?” I showed a wry smile before disappointment flooded her face, my heart was as if stabbed by poison as the little girl looked at me in the eye before gesturing me to come closer which I quickly followed.
All of a sudden, her little lips touched my forehead as she smiled, “I will follow what Mama says then, Ayaka will wait at her room. Love you, Mama!”
My heart was instantly flooded with warmth as I nodded before she slowly walked herself upstairs which we looked for a few moments before the sound of the door to our room closing echoed which signified she had entered her room as I turned my gaze towards Felice and the others.
“Do you have something to report that children isn’t allowed to listen in?”
In response, the two of them nodded as Felice stood up straight before answering, “We have received information from the knights who were in charge of retrieving information from the criminals mentioned yesterday.”
“Among them, two of the higher criminals were apparently hired by a noblewoman who they don’t recognize but they said they heard someone call the noblewoman as ‘Elliah’ which from our conclusion seems to be the second daughter of the Duchess of Irina who is rumored to have a deep crush with His Majesty.”
“The order they received was to create disorder within the town, but they apparently diverted after seeing a certain lady walking around on town and attacked her instead but was quickly caught by the knights who were on patrol,” she reported, “How will we proceed, my lady?”
I looked at her and nodded. It seems like the rumors that His Majesty had set are doing me more harm than any good, to be honest. Not to mention, since it was a royal decree, it couldn’t be dispersed which brings a headache to my head as I sighed.
“We will proceed as we planned yesterday. Bring all the criminals who have committed offensives that cannot be forgiven at all to the town’s center, make sure to lock down the entire town to prevent any children from leaving their houses for safety reasons.”
“Any family that tries to bring a child to the execution zone will have their ration reduced and tax increased once they start working, the execution will happen this afternoon which is a few hours from now. Make sure to execute all the orders I gave immediately,” I said before she saluted as she looked at Iona who nodded.
Iona took a step forward while Felice took one backward before the formerly shy girl took a deep breath as she reported, “This is a report from the knights and also the volunteer farmers who can work, the Planta Mana seeds have arrived and they are now implementing the plan where one Planta Mana would be planted every fifteen plants.”
“The plan was executed yesterday, and it seems like the seeds are sprouting after a day and as my lady had theorized, a bit of mana was being released from the plants. We also started planting other plants like Cabbiale (Cabbage) and Cawot (Carrot),” she spoke which made me nod unconsciously.
It seems like Plan Self-Sustaining Town is working as intended, though it surprises me to know that there are volunteer farmers who are already ready to work. I was expecting them to take a bit more time before they start volunteering but if they are already working then that is far better for me.
“How many seeds have been planted?” I looked at her in the eye.
“A total of 158 plants was planted yesterday out of the 2,850 plants or seeds that were delivered. A total of twenty-six volunteer farmers, mainly elderly used a total of twenty-eight tools with a total payment to all farmers being around forty silver coins,” she answered.
Forty silver coins are indeed above the average wage for a day but if that is what will entice them then we’ll let them go with that since 1.5 or 1.6 silver coins per volunteer person is pretty decent pay, not to mention, they are elderly people which means they either have people to take care.
“For the first thirty volunteer farmers, increase their pay to five silver coins per day for a month which will total to 4.5 gold coins from the town, after that month, reduce the pay to two and a half silver coins. This is a reward for them,” I ordered before looking out at the window, “Redirect any issues that they report straight to me as well. I want to hear the situation of the farmland as much as possible.”
After staring out of the window for a few moments, my gaze turned back towards Iona as I asked: “Are there any builders that are volunteering to work for the town right now?”
She immediately nodded before replying, “There are a total of fifteen volunteers who are willing to work immediately, once again, they are mainly elderly around the ages of forty to fifty, but they are persistent to work because of one reason, they want to revitalize the town again for the younger generation.”
“A survey conducted from the other knights have also shared a similar result, the elderly groups, mainly those who have grandchildren or children are persistent to start working as soon as possible because all of them trusts you, my lady,” she replied with a warm smile which was surprising from the formerly shy Iona.
I looked away a bit from the embarrassment of hearing that they trust me but quickly calmed myself down as I smiled, “If they have the resources to work immediately, then let them. It will be the same as the farmers as well, their pay will be at five silver coins per day for thirty volunteer workers.”
“The budget for the total worker pay for this month will be at fifty gold coins which are why utilize it wisely to motivate the citizens again. As for the knights who were working endlessly, let them rest. Does the Royal family pay all of you or are you all dependent on me after I took all of you in?” I asked.
Felice took helm and answered in Iona’s place, “Us knights are being paid by His Majesty, my lady. You don’t have to worry about paying us, our pay is far higher than any ordinary citizens which is why most of us are fine working this much.”
Her eyes looked determined which made me nod as I turned towards the sofa before saying, “Tell Kyle to design lodging houses for the knights and have it sent directly to someone who you think qualifies to become the head builder, make sure to pay Kyle around eighteen gold coins from the town’s balance.”
“After the lodging houses are built, move all the knights to live there for the entire duration of when they will be under me for free. Take it as my appreciation for their hard work, also make sure to find a few people who are qualified enough to be merchants to start selling products that we purchased on the other town.”
“We will start recirculation of currency of the town. Is there anything else to report?” I looked at them before all of them shook their heads which received another nod from me as I sat down on the couch comfortably, “Remind me when the execution will take place. I will personally wield the sword to do it.”
“As you wish, my lady!” they saluted before leaving together as I looked at the staircase where two cute golden eyes could be seen looking towards my direction, blinking several times as the person quickly realized that she was spotted and hid herself.
I chuckled before shouting, “Ayaka, come down here. You are one little mischievous child, not listening to my words!” in a soft voice as the sound of footsteps running down the stairs followed by a cute figure jumping towards me came to view.
My body immediately reacted and grabbed the little girl who looked at me with puppy eyes as she said, “Mama, please don’t be mad at Ayaka!” which looked incredibly adorable and hard to resist but mischievous little girls deserve some punishment.
I flicked her forehead before smiling, “How much did you hear?”
“Ayaka only heard about the farming parts… I want to see!” she said which made me sigh in relief. She didn’t hear anything that she doesn’t have to hear which is good, though I hope she is being honest with her answer… she could be hiding the fact that she heard everything which I am afraid would affect her in the future.
I kissed the little girl’s cheeks before scolding, “Next time, listen to me when I tell you to do something okay? I will bring you to the fields tomorrow but for now, you are grounded from leaving this place as punishment!”
“Mama, what is grounded?” she tilted her head.
“Do I have to explain that part…” I muttered with a sigh while smiling bitterly as my eyes continued to look at the adorable little girl in front of me as I started to scold her in a very gentle manner while also teaching her new words.
—Author Note: Dear me, Aya is becoming more of a motherly figure. I should make a Mother’s Day special version in the future when it is time for that, hehehe.