Volume 3 Chapter 34 Make a bet
These documents only had a small matter on them. They said that there were some villagers in the surrounding villages that wanted to work in the Stantine Duchy, so they were reporting it to Banta City ahead of time, keeping their identity as Banta City citizens.
There were some matters like this before, but Count Stagg didn’t care that much. He just authorized them according to the customs from before.
But seeing the same document again and again, Count Stagg suddenly had a strong sense of crisis in his heart.
After carefully thinking about it, he noticed why this strong sense of crisis had appeared.
The reason was very simple, it was related to the Banta City tax revenue problem that he had been worrying about.
Because the Frestech Chamber of Commerce left and the other companies following them, as well as the business department suddenly giving out free trade rights, this year’s Banta City tax revenue would return to the level of several years ago.
Losing the revenue that came from the large companies, it was equal to someone taking a large chunk of Banta City away.
And now, the citizens of Banta City were actually leaving Banta City. For a traditional noble like Count Stagg, this was basically shaking the foundations of Banta City.
When Count Stagg recalled the documents from a few days before, he found a shocking fact. The citizens that were leaving Banta City were actually normal farmers from the villages outside the city.
For Count Stagg that placed great importance on agriculture, these normal farmers were the foundation of Banta City.
One or ten farmers leaving wouldn’t affect anything, but if a hundred or even several hundred left, it would create a shocking effect.
Recalling the documents over the past few days, Count Stagg was shocked to find that in a short time, there had been close to a hundred peasant families that had put in their applications.
If this trend continued, wouldn’t Banta City’s foundations be shaken?
Thinking of this, Count Stagg looked at the document in his hand again and found that several villagers wanted to leave Banta City. They wanted to work in the Stantine Duchy, all of them were going to work on the land that the Frestech Chamber of Commerce had rented.
To put it in other words, they were changing from farming in Banta City to farming in the Stantine Duchy.
In the past documents, the other farmers had given the same reason. Thinking of the Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s recent actions, Count Stagg’s eyes turned cold as he gave a strong snort.
“That damn Xu Yi, you actually dare steal the most important old and experienced farmers from me. You want to dig a hole for me?”
Count Stagg thought about it before denying this application.
Although in theory he didn’t have this right, as the Banta City’s City Lord, he had many methods to force the normal farmers to stay.
When he finished replying to the document, there was a soft knock on the door to the office.
Based on the frequency, Count Stagg could tell that it was his trusted subordinate manager Chekhov, so he let him come in with a deep sounding reply.
After Chekhov came in, he gave a bow to Count Stagg, “Lord Count, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce’s chairman Xu is here for a meeting.”
Count Stagg was stunned, turning to look at the dark night outside.
Why did Xu Yi come for a meeting at this time?
Ten minutes later, Count Stagg saw Xu Yi in a small room in the City Lord Manor.
“Chairman Xu, it really is rare for you to visit this late at night.”
Now that the City Lord Manor had received the three thousand agricultural magic machines from the Frestech Chamber of Commerce and finished the fall harvest, Count Stagg’s attitude when meeting Xu Yi had greatly changed.
Xu Yi saw that after the first confrontation, Count Stagg always revealed a polite manner when meeting him and this time wasn’t an exception.
“Lord City Lord, I’m very sorry for bothering you this late.” Xu Yi said with a faint smile, “But I might set off for the Stantine Duchy in two days, so I wanted to discuss some things with the Lord City Lord ahead of time.”
Hearing the words “Stantine Duchy”, Count Stagg’s face sunk, “Very good, chairman Xu, since you took the initiative to raise the Stantine Duchy, I have something to ask you. Since your company has rented land in the Stantine Duchy, why don’t you employ local Stantine Duchy workers to help you develop it, why are you poaching our Banta City’s old and experienced farmers? Do you know how much impact this will have on our Batna City’s agricultural development?”
Xu Yi’s smile didn’t change, “I do know about this, so I specially came to discuss this with the Lord City Lord to solve this problem.”
“Solve this problem?” Count Stagg gave a cold snort, “You make it sound so easy. Do you know how important these old and experienced farmers are to Banta City? If you take them away, can you take responsibility for the crime of affecting our Banta City’s grain yield?”
“Of course I can’t take responsibility.” Xu Yi honestly said with a smile, “Grain production is a large matter in our Lampuri Kingdom, even if I am bold, I can’t do something like this. But Lord City, if I may, although grain yield is closely related to people, you don’t need this many people.”
Count Stagg knit his brows, “What? Are you here to sell me your theory of replacing manpower with magic machines?”
Xu Yi gave a shrug, “I don’t feel like there’s a problem with this theory. If with the help of magic machines, people can do more things, isn’t this a good thing?”
“Humph, magic machines are dead things in the end and people are living. There are many things that magic machines can’t replace that humans can do.”
Xu Yi revealed a faint smile. There were also many things that magic machines could do that humans couldn’t do.
But he didn’t come to discuss this problem with Count Stagg. He thought for a bit before saying, “Lord City Lord, no matter what, I think that you should admit that without the help of the agricultural magic machines, our Lampuri Kingdom’s grain yield wouldn’t have increased this much, right?”
Count Stagg was silent.
No one could deny that the agricultural magic machines had helped raise the grain yield of the Lampuri Kingdom, even the conservative faction led by the Stagg Family couldn’t deny this because they were one of the greatest beneficiaries.
Just based on this, although Xu Yi and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce supported her highness Seveni, it was the reason why they could stay safe.
“Of course, I didn’t come this time to take credit from the Lord City Lord. I want to tell you the reason why our Frestech Chamber of Commerce is bringing the Banta City farmers to the Stantine Duchy.” Xu Yi said.
Count Stagg looked at Xu Yi before giving a slight nod, “Speak.”
Xu YI gave a sigh. He thought that even if Count Stagg was against himself and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, when it was related to Banta City and his interests, he would still be willing to listen to his suggestions.
“Lord City Lord, I think that you’re worried that by bringing Banta City farmers to the Stantine Duchy, it will affect the grain yield of Banta City, right?” Xu Yi asked.
“Nonsense!” Count Stagg said with a cold snort, “Banta City’s farmers are limited and if you take some away, it would be strange if it wasn’t affected!”
Xu Yi revealed a confident smile, “I feel that the Lord City Lord doesn’t need to be this worried. First, we are currently planning to recruit no more than two thousand people from Banta City. I think that compared to the over forty thousand farmers outside Banta City, it isn’t considered much, right?”
“Only two thousand people?” Count Stagg was surprised, “Didn’t your Frestech Chamber of Commerce rent over a hundred thousand hectares from the Stantine Duchy? How is two thousand people enough?”
“According to our contract with the Stantine Duchy, we have to recruit no less than five thousand local workers.”
Count Stagg slightly knit his brows, “Even with five thousand people, isn’t this not enough? It’s over a hundred thousand hectares. According to my estimates, you could barely have enough with ten thousand people.”
Xu Yi shook his head, “Lord City Lord, to be honest, the people of the Stantine Duchy are a bit…..lazy. So I’m not counting on the five thousand people to be of any help because their abilities will be worse than the two thousand people we recruited from Banta City.”
Count Stagg gave a soft and proud snort, “The Stantine Duchy’s people are very lazy, I know this. Your company is insisting on investing in a place like that, you’re already skilled if you don’t lose money.”
“Many thanks for the Lord City Lord’s concern.” Xu Yi said with a faint smile, “Lord City Lord, what I want to say is that for this hundred thousand hectares of land, according to me estimates, just the two thousand people from Banta City would be enough.”
“This is impossible!” Count Stagg firmly said, “Our Stagg Family has several hundred years of experience with farming, we understand this better than you. According to my experience, you need at least ten thousand people for a hundred thousand hectares of land. Just two thousand people? You don’t even need to consider it!”
Xu Yi revealed a faint smile and suddenly said, “Then Lord City Lord, how about we make a bet?”
Count Stagg revealed a vigilant look, “What bet?”
“If our Frestech Chamber of Commerce can’t open this land with just these two thousand people, then our company will return these two thousand people to Banta City and pay the corresponding compensation to them. At the same time, we’ll pay the City Lord Manor five hundred thousand gold coins as compensation for decreasing Banta City’s grain yield. What does the Lord City Lord think?”
Count Stagg looked at Xu Yi in a daze, “Are you serious?”
“I’m very serious.” Xu Yi nodded, “If the Lord City Lord doesn’t believe me, I can sign a contract on behalf of the Frestech Chamber of Commerce and the City Lord Manor.”
Count Stagg looked at Xu Yi in a bewildered look and asked, “How can you consider it reclaimed? What is standard for this?”
“It’s very simple, what decides whether it is reclaimed or not is the grain yield. The Stantine Duchy is suited for rice paddies, so we’ll use the standard of two times the output from Karma City to decide this. The hundred hectares of land should produce around two hundred thousand tons. If it is lower than this number, it’ll be considered my loss.”
“You really want to do this?” Count Stagg looked at the serious Xu Yi with a look of disbelief.
To him, it wasn’t easy to open up a hundred thousand hectares of land and Xu Yi wanted to accomplish this mammoth task with just two thousand people, this was simply impossible.
Of course, this didn’t matter to Count Stagg. After thinking about it, he asked Xu Yi, “Then what if you accomplish this task?”
“That means I win and I hope the City Lord Manor will agree to my request.” Xu Yi said.
“What request?” Count Stagg asked in a curious voice.
This Xu Yi knew that he was targeting him and the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, but he came here to discuss him agreeing to a request. Did his brain burn out?
“This request is actually beneficial to Banta City. It’s like this…..”