Chapter 228 – Tax and Trouble

There are three kinds of taxes in Shashaato City.

Capitation tax, land tax, and port tax.

Capitation tax is a fixed tax for everyone regardless of their age.

The eligibility for paying this tax is that that person should be living in a house in Shashaato City. Travelers are not taxed.

For the homeless….they don’t have to pay or you could say that it is inapplicable to them.

The capitation tax last year for each person is six large copper coins.

Upon paying this, they can enjoy the services offered by Shashaato City.

Since everyone needs services from the government, there are a few people who don’t want to pay for it.

Land tax is the tax that one has to pay when buying or selling lands. The buyer will shoulder this tax.

The tax rate changes from time to time but it ranges from 10 – 20% of the land price.

It is a requirement to be up to date when it comes to land ownership.

The last one is port tax.

It is the tax that ships pay to Shashaato City Port.

The amount to be paid depends on the size of the ship.

After explaining the things above, did you notice it?

As long as you don’t buy and sell land, and don’t have a ship, the only tax you need to pay at Shashaato City is the capitation tax.

In other words, business profit doesn’t have tax.

Isn’t this too ridiculous to be true?

It is.

The root of the problem, the low literacy rate of this world.

Only people with a higher position on society need to read and write which means everyone else doesn’t have to.

Merchants seem to be literate but only a number of them. Only those who are working in big companies are literate but those who are working in small shops, especially the stall owners, are illiterate.

Right, it is not unusual.

If they can’t read or write, how do you expect them to make an account book for sales?

I can’t even answer my own question.

If you can’t make an account book, how do you know if your business is profiting or flopping?

Given that situation, how will the government tax them?

The budget of this city mainly comes from land tax and port tax so they are not eager to tax businesses.

Then, does this mean that big shops’ earnings are all for themselves?

That might seem so but that is not the case.

Though it doesn’t have the word “tax” in their names, there are things that can be considered as taxes.

Water service fee, disaster prevention fee, garbage processing fee, and sewer use fee.

Water service fee.

This city only has a few wells and they all have the same water source from the upper part of the city.

The water service fee is for administrative and maintenance expenses of the water service.

Disaster prevention fee.

When a fire breaks out in the city, it naturally needs to be put out.

The fee is for the medical bills of the people who helped out putting out the fire.

Garbage processing fee.

A long as a person lives somewhere, there will be garbage.

This fee is like the payment for those who will be employed to collect and get rid of the garbage.

Sewage use fee.

There’s a sewage system in the city and there is a specific place where there’s a pool of slimes that purified sewage water.

The fee is for administrative and maintenance expenses of the sewage.

By the way, the rich houses are required to purify their water first before draining them down to the sewage.

The four fees are collected depending on the users.

I thought that those should be already included in the budget of the city so they should be the one shouldering it but the words of the mayor make sense.

「Then, what will happen if something stopped those services due to administrative reasons?」

The government won’t lay hand on those four in order to prevent service interruption due to administrative reasons.

Instead of opposing, the people of the city approved it.

That happened several hundred years ago.

Presently, in order to be fair with everyone, to calculate the right amount of fee to be paid by each one, the merchant’s guild of Shashaato City is the one handling those.

The merchant’s guild will be the ones who’ll receive both payment and donations with regards to those four fees.

Since my store has several more stores in it, it has become complicated.

「Water service fee and garbage processing fee is paid in batches so it should be paid according to the amount used…..」

「The restrooms of this store has its own purification pool so the sewage fee shouldn’t change.」

「The problem is the disaster prevention fee.」

「Eh? But the amount to be charged is fixed regardless of how many things are there in the store. 」

「You didn’t pay for the stalls. Are you saying that the stalls should not pay disaster prevention fee because they are set up in this store? 」

「We initially thought of charging those who are using fires in their stalls. 」

Talking around me are the person from the merchant’s guild, Michael-san, Maron, Tito, and Randy.

Let’s leave this to those who understand it.

No, it’s not like I totally don’t get what they are saying, I just don’t know the customs.

Michael-san told me.

He said that if it’s not unfairly expensive, I should properly pay it.

Ah, Milford returned to target shooting.

It seems like he’s giving the mountain elves advice about the movement pattern of the targets.

I also want to join them but I can’t leave….

I’m useless here.

But I’m the person in charge.

It can’t be helped.

This is going to be a long talk, how about using a table?

「One last thing, contribution. 」

When the talk is at its end, the man from the merchant’s guild seriously looked at me and said that.

Contribution, it is basically support money for the merchant’s guild.

It is paid per unit and one unit is one silver coin. When a store reaches a certain size, it will pay for it.

I already heard about it even before we open our store in Shashaato so I’m not surprised at all.

Michael-san intercepts him.

「Hold on. According to the custom, a store less than one-year-old is exempted from the contribution. 」

「That’s right, however, they’ve seen to have gained a lot of profit already…. 」

「That might be the case but it is still out of the question to exempt them from the custom. In any case, what is your demand?」

「I think so too but….I’m sorry. I’m just following the higher up. I’m here to ask for 1000 units if possible.」

1000 units….in short, 1000 silver coins. Isn’t that 1,000,000 medium copper coins?

「So you’re here….because of an order from a higher-up?」

「Yes, a higher up.」

「I see.」

It seems like Michael-san and the man from the merchant’s guild came to an understanding but I don’t get what they’re talking about at all.

I seek help from Maron.

「Eehto, the present merchant’s guild will not clash with the Goroun Company. The higher-ups of the merchant’s guild are subordinates that father dispatched.」

Though the old Goroun Company can be considered a powerful entity of Shashaato City, the Goroun Company of today can even represent the whole city.

Since this store is connected with the Goroun Company, it means that the higher up that guy is mentioning is someone other than the merchant’s guild.

「The governor of this city….Governor Ifrus? He’s the one behind this?」

「No, Governor Ifrus is an honorable man. He wouldn’t do something like this. In this case….it might be one of those nobles.」

「A noble.」

That reminds me, there are nobles in this society.

In other words, a certain noble is trying to extort our store with 1 million medium copper coins.

…….

No matter how I think about it, that person is definitely not friendly.

So, is this person from the merchant’s guild a collaborator?

「Ah, h-hey , hold on. Maybe he is being threatened.」

Maron said that he wanted to see what cards the man from the merchant’s guild has.

The person from the merchant’s guild pulled his left sleeve with his right hand.

Many times.

It seems like a signal for calling for help.

「Milford is already gathering our men.」

Eh?

Milford is at the shooting ran….he’s gone before I noticed it.

I see.

He standing up is like a signal to demand for back up.

I wonder if I call for the high elves and the mountain elves.

That reminds me, where is Gulf?

…….

Gulf arrested someone in our store.

「Maron, that guy Gulf arrested, do you know who he is?」

「Eh? That….I really don’t know but judging from his clothes, he looks like a noble.」

Right.

I think so too.

The man from the merchant’s guild noticed him too.

「…….ano, that person」

Is that man an enemy?

I waved to Gulf and signaled him to bring the noble he arrested to us.

I had the noble be tied with a rope and sit on the floor.

「Outrageous! Do you think you can get away for treating me like this!」

「Michael-san, given this situation, can I attack him?」

「You can’t.」

「How about demanding for compensation? 」

「Though he has malicious intent, so far he only demanded for contribution and has not harmed you yet…. 」

「Does this means that he can get away with it? 」

「Unfortunately…. 」

It seems like I won’t be able to counterattack.

「Don’t ignore me! 」

The noble is a young man.

He looks like he is in his early twenties.

He’s wearing black clothes and has horns on his left and right parts of his head.

Ah, the horns on his head are like fashion accessories since I can remove them.

「You, return my horn! I can’t permit to be rudely imitated!」

A petty person.

No matter how you look at him, he’s a petty person.

Now I’m starting to doubt if this guy is really a noble.

However, according to the man from the merchant’s guild, this guy is a noble from a venerable lineage.

「He’s someone from Viscount Albatross’ house. He is a real noble that is registered in the demon king’s kingdom.」

A noble….

To be honest, I’m troubled with how to respond.

Though I don’t really care how angry he gets, I’ll be troubled if Michael-san’s group will be implicated because of me.

I just opened the store too.

In addition, I’m troubled if there will be any effect in Big Tree Village.

「How about let’s forget about this matter?」

I proposed a very Japanese-like suggestion but it was turned down.

「Don’t joke around. Your end is near! This is what you get from defying me!」

No, I don’t remember defying you in particular.

The reason Gulf arrested him is because he harassed a customer who’s enjoying his food….

「Shut up! I am a noble! Someone higher than you!」

I can only sigh to what he’s saying.

Ah, even Michael-san’s group are sighing in an obvious manner.

For the time being, let’s look for someone who has an idea of what to do.

……..

Ancestor-san raises his hand.

「How about bringing him here?」

What are you up to?

「Ano, who are you going to bring?」

The man from the merchant’s guild, who doesn’t know who ancestor-san is, speaks.

He might have thought that we have a backer.

「The best person who can deal with this situation.」

「The best person who can deal with this situation? Ah, governor-sama?」

「Someone more powerful than that. He can decide what will happen.」

Who is it?

Could it be a person from Big Tree Village?

「Oh, then, apologies for the trouble and take care.」

「In fact, I already brought him. Yes, he’s behind you.」

Eh?

The demon king is standing behind the man from the merchant’s guild.

「I was working….」

This is not a negotiation.

This is purely rule by authority.

The man from the Albatross family fully surrendered.

As for his purpose, money.

He threatened the man from the merchant’s guild to force us to give contribution to pocket it in the end.

Their plan is to make trouble in the store that suddenly pops out out of nowhere to force them to give contribution.

「This is the first time I did something like this. I’m sorry. I did it on a whim. Please forgive me.」

The man from the Albatross family is apologizing with every effort but the demon king refuses.

「You’re really good. I personally put a no interference notice for this store and you still tried to lay your hand on it. It looks like you’re not putting me in your eyes.」

I didn’t know that this store is being protected by the demon king.

「This will also be a crime of Viscount Albatross. Start thinking on how to apologize.」

「Wha, tha, ah」

I can’t interfere.

I actually tried to say something but I was stopped by Michael-san.

「We are in a public place and there are a lot of citizens of the demon king’s kingdom, it will damage the demon king’s reputation if you were to say something against his will.」

Right.

Even though we are in my store, this is located at the demon king’s kingdom.

「Does that mean that if I’m to call out to him, I should call him “your majesty”?」

「Hahaha, we are in the demon king’s kingdom, demon king-sama is the rightful way to address him.」

So that’s an honorific title.

Demon king-sama is walking back and forth while thinking about the punishment for the man from the Albatross Family.

He is thinking about it too much, is there something wrong?

I think he has taken a lot of time already.

What is the demon king doing?

No, I should patiently wait.

He sometimes sends some meaningful glances at ancestor-san.

Whenever he receives those glances, ancestor-san laughs.

Ah, he noticed my glance.

「Please wait.」

Ancestor-san raises his hand and steps forward.

「Ah, someone from Korin religion.」

「Haha, punishing a person who committed crime is natural however, it will be bad for the country if one is to be severely punished and ended up dead. How about punishing him that doesn’t seem to be a punishment but will make him suffer for a long time?」

「Certainly, do you have any idea?」

「Yes. Please leave him to the church of the Korin religion in this city. I think it will be a punishment that will make him suffer for a long time.」

「I see…. Indeed. Don’t let him go.」

「Hahaha」

When ancestor-san bows in the end, the peanut gallery claps their hands.

What is this?

I feel like I just watched a drama.

The reason is ancestor-san’s smooth acting.

Demon king is good too.

He’s really dignified.

Maa, does this mean that this farce is settled?

The biggest victim is the man from the merchant’s guild that was threatened by the man from the Albatross family.

「He was taken advantage of because he’s vulnerable. If he is really a straight man, no matter what kind of threats he receives, he will not yield.」

Michael-san is strict.

Despite of it being only an attempt, the man from the merchant’s guild was penalized.

If the man from the merchant’s guild is not the biggest victim….

Maybe it is the group of guards gathered by Milford.

Though it was already over, they still ran all the way here.

Moreover, they were surprised to see the demon king.

Thank you for your hard work.

Though it was a wasted effort, I’ll still treat you with curry since you have come here with much effort.

I might be in your care in the future.

Ah, the demon king too.

I’m sorry for bothering you this time.

Though it is ancestor-san who bothered you.

「By the way ancestor-san, what are you planning to do with him?」

「Yeah, what should I do with him?」

「Eh?」

「To be honest, the demon king was troubled too. He cannot go unpunished but if he is severely punished, the Albatross family will bear a grudge against him.」

「Is that house that influential?」

「They are nobles that don’t have their own territory but they have blood relatives everywhere.」

That really sounds trouble.

「Maa, since this matter was thrown to Korin religion, let’s just punish him some other time.」

「Is that alright?」

「It is what the present demon king has judged. It can’t be defied.」

Ancestor-san said that while laughing.

The biggest victim might be the church of the Korin religion in Shashaato City that will keep him.


 

 

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