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From that day onwards, Ritone secluded himself inside the study.
As he realized the main problems that occur inside the Shylock’s territory.

「First of all, the source of the conflicts permeates society as a whole.」

The actual Rostania Kingdom, being the only powerhouse in the continent, only supported economic activities within its own borders.
In other words, this is like the Edo era, where they had a policy of national isolation, and because the hero solved the dispute with the Demon King, there was peace for a long time, causing the economy to decline.

「The social standing of the aristocracy seems to be set in stone mostly… 」

The king, queen and prince/princess stand at the peak of the aristocracy, followed by the knights, plebeians, merchants, and finally, slaves; that’s how the country ranks all the social standings inside the kingdom.
In addition, the merchants were being underestimated because they don’t contribute to manufacturing goods.

「However, all the gold has been accumulated by those of the merchant rank, and it’s causing a problem. The reason falls mainly on the barley, which is the staple food in this world, making it the base of our economy.」

Even the value of a territory is represented by how many people you are able to support with barley. For example, the Shylock House is able to sustain 2.5 million people, so it’s considered as one of the top Houses of the aristocracy.

「It’s like the economy is based on feudalism, huh… But the times are changing and the economy is switching over to an economy based on monetary currency (mercantilism). The era where you only needed to harvest barley is over, but it seems that the nobles and knights haven’t realized it yet.」

The merchants, who understood about the importance of currency economics, are increasing in rank, and making fools of the nobles. And to accomplish revenge over the nobles, they make loans with high-interest and squeeze money out of them.

「To our fortune, Great-grandfather was able to predict such an outcome. He stopped relying on barley as the sole source of income, and shifted his focus as loan sharks to reorganize the territory. However, this led to resentment from the nobles… 」

At the moment, because Eagle, the minister of financial affairs, is the current heir of the house, no one has gone against our family publicly. However, the moment he dies, they will be persecuting our House.

「To prevent all this, it is essential that I alternate between the carrot and the stick. For starters, I’m going to start with these guys.」

Ritone reaffirmed his resolution as he looked at the list of nobles who had became unable to pay their debts.

 

Ritone went to his own storehouse, where the summoned garbage was being stored.

Among them were a large quantity of PET bottles, empty cans, dirty stuffed toys, cast-off articles of clothing, cardboard, tires and some broken bicycles.

「Among these, which one do you think will sell well?」

「Let’s see. Without a doubt, I believe that clothes are the best choice. It’s hard to believe that clothes of such quality are being wasted. Also, the style is superb.」

One of the young maids picked up and put on a shirt that says 「Carnivorous species」 and expressed her opinion.
Clothes made of synthetic fibers are way lighter and more durable than those made of cotton.

「Well then, I will have to ask you to do the laundry and patch-up the clothes that are tattered.」

「As you wish.」

Leaving the task to the maids, Ritone sent an envoy to the nobles that are unable to pay their debts.
One week later, inside the Shylock’s reception hall, there were nobles with pale faces.

「I was told that the young master of the Shylock House wants to talk about the debts, but have you heard anything about it?」

「No, we haven’t heard anything either.」

The nobles were talking among themselves. Most of the present nobles were nobles of lower rank like Iron or Tin rank nobility.
Unable to pay their loans, they are way past their deadline, making them unable to calm down.

After they were kept waiting for a while, a little boy entered the room.

「Everybody, it is a pleasure to meet you. I’m the heir of the Shylock House, Ritone Shylock. Regarding your debts, the head of the Shylock family, Eagle Shylock, has decided to hand me full authority over these matters.」

With a mild gesture, Ritone made a greeting.

The nobles, seeing that Eagle hasn’t come forth, began to relax.

(If it’s just a little kid, I can easily fool him about our debts.)
(If I marry this kid to my daughter, the debt would disappear.)

With that in mind, the nobles started to try to curry his favor.

「Is that so, I’m the Iron-rank noble Fashar, at your service. Being so young and so reliable, the future of the Shylock House is highly secured, isn’t it?」

「How smart are you! Our daughter is of the same age as you, how about paying a visit to our house later?」

All of them saw Ritone with greedy eyes, as if they were wolves looking at a piece of steak.


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