After the morning training,
and after comforting a depressed Dan, I was on my way to my father’s office.
The four-year-old’s body was
relentless in its need for rest, and a nap, due in part to the rigorous
training. But there was something I wanted to talk about while there was still
time, so I forced myself to visit my father.
My father and Nicholas, the
office manager, were in the office, but as I entered, my father must have
guessed what I was up to because he told Nicholas that he had something to talk
with me about and left us alone.
“I need to speak to you,
father. I would like to talk to you about how we can make this village and Lockhart
Territory a better place.” (Zack)
My father nodded, then took me
in his arms and sat me down in a chair too high for a child to sit in.
“I don’t know much about
the current situation of the village. First, I want to see what is going on.
May I have permission to walk freely through the village?” (Zack)
I had only left the compound
The first time was last summer
when I went to a lake called Black Pond in the south with my family. The second
time was only when I went to the village temple on the day of the harvest
festival in the fall.
And both of those times,
because of the large number of children, wagons were used and I was not allowed
to look around freely.
I know that I can play in a
safe site covered with walls for my son’s safety, but I thought it was too
overprotective. Well, if you think about it normally, this site is large enough
for children aged 3 or 4 years old, and if you just play, you won’t be dissatisfied,
so it may not be so overprotective.
“I don’t know… if it’s
possible to do that freely maybe with a bit of difficulty. Let me think about
it for a bit.” (Matt)
In response to my father’s
reluctance, I ask him if there is any danger if the son of the Lord walks
through the village.
“The people of the
village are a good-natured lot, and no one would think of harming my son. But
this village is close to the forest. We don’t know when the monsters will appear.
We don’t have the manpower to send someone to escort you… ” (Matt)
As for me, I don’t like the
idea of someone else getting someone hurt for my sake.
“Then, how about Father’s
inspection then? How about also introducing, me, your second son?” (Zack)
My father thought for a moment
and then agreed to allow me to accompany him.
“The day after tomorrow
morning, we will go around the village. Nicholas and I will show you around the
My father smiles at me, and
with a mischievous grin on his face, he asks me what I want to do.
“You have some plan,
don’t you? Can you just tell me a little bit about it?” (Matt)
He looks a little disappointed
when I tell him, “I haven’t quite worked out a plan yet.”
“We’re going with
Nicholas. I figured I’d better make it look like I’m the one who thought of it.”
(What, you were thinking right
too, father? I thought you were just trying to look good to Nicholas. Well,
what are we going to do something about it…) (Zack)
“I need to confirm a few
things with father.” (Zack)
“What do you want to
know?” He cheerfully asked back.
“About the status of the population
of this village. I just want to know the mortality rate of children, especially
the really young ones.” (Zack)
“Population with an orb
registry… I should be able to figure it out…” (Matt)
An orb is a magical device
like an identification card, but they don’t seem to maintain demographics and
don’t seem to know the exact number of people.
How are the taxes in our
territory determined in the first place?
“I see… how do you determine
the tax in the first place?” (Zack)
“The area of the fields,
the number of livestock. As for craftsmen, they are not taxed.” (Matt)
Since it is not a per capita
tax, it does not appear to help with controlling the population.
The reason artisans are not
taxed is that my grandfather invited them, and normally they are taxed on their
“First we need to do a
survey of the population.” (Zack)
My father couldn’t understand so
he stared and asked, “Why?”
“If we know how the
population changes each year, we can determine trends in the workforce and
consumption. If we know how the population is changing, we can figure out why
it is decreasing, and if it is increasing, we can figure out if we need new
fields, how much forest we need to clear, and so on. And if there are more
people, of course, there will be more goods to consume, so we will also have to
attract merchants.” (Zack)
“I see. You mentioned
child mortality, why did you?” (Matt)
“Suppose the population
of the village stays the same for a long time, and 50 children are born a year.
And suppose that 30% of the children, 15 children a year, die. If we can reduce
that death rate by a third, or down to 10%, the population will increase at the
rate of ten children per year, so that in ten years the population will
increase by one hundred children. And that is the young generation that will be
giving birth to children in the future.” (Zack)
“A hundred people in ten
years. I see. I understand the logic, but it is not easy to protect small
children from illness. If someone can take care of them like in this house, but
in a poor farmhouse, a slightly older child, a child about your age, is already
taking care of an even younger child.” (Matt)
I was honestly surprised that
my father, as a lord, had a proper grasp of the situation.
(I thought he’d be laxer, but
I was surprised he was keeping such a close eye on things.) (Zack)
“I don’t know, I haven’t
seen it yet, but I have a plan to increase food production and decrease infant
mortality at the same time.” (Matt)
My father stood up in surprise
at my words.
“Is that true! Such an improbable
I nailed it so that he
wouldn’t be just a weak supporter.
“I’m not sure if my plan is
feasible or not until I see it. Anyway, I would need to check the situation in
the village first…” (Zack)
I persuade my excited father
to make an appointment to visit the blacksmith, the woodworker, and the
When Nicholas returned, I left
and dragged my tired body to the hall where my companions were taking a nap.
(I managed to find a way to go
to the village, but what is it like? Father said he’d have Nicholas check out
the population too, but I wondered if it would be okay… Also, having a kid’s
body is hard enough… I get tired easily and I cannot work too hard…) (Zack)
I went straight to Mel and the
others’ side and started napping as I lay down.
After the nap, I decided to
educate Mel and the others.
I didn’t intend to do anything
too difficult, just to get them to learn their letters in the garden.
I played a game with the
alphabet—draw circles on the ground and write the letters of the alphabet in them.
I begin the game by throwing stones at them in alphabetical order.
“First one is A. What’s
Of the three of them, Sharon
answers “B” in a small voice.
With a look of satisfaction on
her face, I asked, “Well, which one is B?” She pointed to the letter
(Sharon already remembered the
letter. When did this happen?) (Zack)
I was surprised and patted
Sharon on the head and praised her with all my might, “That’s great,
Then Mel, who had a burning
rivalry with Sharon, started asking me questions one after another, and even
Dan got caught up and joined in.
The strategy seemed to have
worked, and I managed to get them interested in writing.
I was going to raise the
literacy rate in this village.
As expected, all the squires
could read, but most of the peasants could not.
However, this village is
relatively affluent, and people have a certain amount of leeway in their lives.
I wanted to allocate that leeway to education.
Although I do not believe that
everything will improve with education, if literacy rates increase, written
communication of experience will be possible, and productivity will increase.
Furthermore, if they could learn the four basic arithmetic operations,
production management would improve dramatically.
The problem is that
transportation is not convenient, but as long as production is improved, the
flow of people will be possible. Then we can create special products, or use
tax revenues to pave roads.
(I’m getting a little ahead of
myself, but education is necessary. Security is good, so if we focus on
sanitation, education, and new industries, this village will surely grow…) (Zack)
I haven’t decided whether I
will stay in the village or go on a journey.
Even if I stay in the village,
the next lord is my brother Rod, so I have to find a place for myself. If I am
going to look for a place to stay, I think it would be fun to travel the world.
Either way, there is no doubt
that this will be my hometown.
I also want to develop the
village of Rathmore and repay my parents and grandfather for taking me in. Then
I want to do what I can.
I was just an average
It sounds nice to be a
designer, but all I was doing was putting various parts together, and without a
computer, I couldn’t do anything.
I don’t know how much of my
half-baked knowledge would be useful, but I would do what I could to the best
of my ability. That was it.
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