I did my best in Village Five.
After receiving the apologies of the influential people of Village Five, I attended the village council.
I managed to get through using the words and poses I practiced.
To be honest, in just one day, I feel like my heart is about to break.
And I had to do it for three days.
The only one that’s healing my heart is Hitoe, Youko’s daughter.
When she’s at Big Tree Village, she usually sleeps on the back of the cows on the ranch, rides on the back of a kuro, and fights with goats.
However, during the cold winter, she stays either in my mansion or Senna’s house.
She stays at Senna’s house because she’s been on good terms with Sette, Senna’s daughter.
She’s also on good terms with Senna and you can see her riding Senna’s shoulder on her fox form from time to time.
I’m currently wondering how I could get her on my shoulder.
Hitoe accompanied me to Village Five.
Ruincia suggested that.
She said that if the people of Village Five see me getting along with Youko’s daughter, they will conclude that the relationship between me and Youko is very good.
Because of that, when in Village Five, Hitoe is always in her little girl form.
If she’s in her fox form, they wouldn’t know that she’s Youko’s daughter.
There’s also a plan to have Alfred and the others accompany me but it will be postponed until some other time because they might make my presence dimmer.
I inspected each facility in Village Five.
After that, just like on the first day, guests greeted me while I was holding Hitoe.
In a big hall, I’m sitting on a chair three steps higher than the ground.
I greeted the guests like that.
The guests who are going to greet me are waiting in line. They will wait for their names to be called before appearing before me to greet me.
Though I said before me, the guests are quite far because I’m sitting in a place three steps higher.
If the voices are not loud enough, conversation will not be established.
I have a servant who speaks loud for me. However, the guest has to do his best to make his voice louder but still has to feel like he’s only normally speaking and not shouting.
That’s quite difficult.
But having a loud speaker for me has meaning.
It is to prevent me from saying something irresponsible and have the guests unable to inject me with strange things.
What strange things? In simpler terms, they will do something irritating or try to gain my sympathy.
That might be the case but so far, the only thing the guests have done is not get home after their turn is over and still wait here. I still haven’t heard anything irritating or weird.
Ruincia told me to not let my guard down because they will do everything to get my attention.
I thought she was exaggerating but I was surprised when there were people who praised me loudly and those who sell themselves loudly.
Ruincia told me to forget the face of those rude people but I already remember them.
It looks like I’m so easy.
Among the guests, there’s only one group that made me talk aloud.
Goroun Company’s Michael-san, his son Maron, and their guard Milford.
When they heard that I will go to Village Five, they came in a hurry from Shashaato City.
I never thought that Michael-san’s group would meet me like this but it seems like this is an important public event.
「Our Goroun Company will pay 200 gold coins and 20,000 silver coins to village chief.」
And to surprise the public too.
That money, although they say pay, it is more of an investment.
If you want to do something in Village Five, that amount of money will gain you preferential treatment.
They are telling the other merchants that the Goroun Company is treated differently because they are paying this much money.
If they are dissatisfied with the preferential treatment of the Goroun Company, they can only pay more.
A merchant is a merchant after all.
However, I’d be more pleased if they paid me with seafood rather than money.
I will leave the paid money to Goroun Company.
In short, the money only moved in the account book.
I was glad to see that they brought six wagons worth of seafood. Don’t worry.
I’ll pay for it.
By the way, the other guests also paid money and things when they appeared before me.
They also gave good things but the Goroun Company’s payment is still the best.
What should I do with the money I received?
Also, the sword, jewels, fabrics, etc.
I know that I’m free to do what I want but I still consulted Ruincia.
They are good gifts so it would be a good idea to put them in the vault of Youko’s mansion?
I see, let’s do that.
Youko’s mansion’s vault is empty.
Was there nothing for you to keep?
I asked Youko.
「I did not receive any money or item so I have nothing to keep.」
I should have done that too.
「Village chief, the reason why I didn’t receive any money or items is because I can’t take responsibility for what I’ll receive. If it’s you, there’s no problem.」
「What do you mean?」
「The people of Village Five are paying taxes. Other than that, those who give money and items will be asking for compensation like status, honor, and preferential treatment. I can’t give them that but village chief will be able to. 」
「If it’s status, honor, or preferential treatment, I think Youko can take care of it too, right?」
「I’m in a position where I can be dismissed by village chief with just a word. I can’t be irresponsible.」
「I won’t dismiss you though.」
「Only village chief can say that. I can finally take a rest from those who are trying to give me money and items. Until now, I’ve been in trouble because they didn’t know who to build a connection with.」
「Basically, the villagers of Village Five are made up of people who have drifted from other places. The more blessed Village Five is compared to other places, the more desperate they will be in order not to be kicked out. However, we take nothing from them other than taxes. Those who are in power can show their value with the power they’re granted with but those who don’t….」
「The matter with the children the other day. That happened in the place where I am ruling. I’m sorry.」
「You have apologized many times already. Don’t worry about it.」
「Then, I will apologize no more. Good luck with your last day.」
I plan on staying at Village Five for another day.
Tomorrow, while checking the activities of guards, I’ll visit the ranch at the foot of the mountain.
Maa, there shouldn’t be a problem with that.
By the way, are Hakuren, Hiichirou, and Guraru, who have gone to Doraim’s nest, alright?