Chapter 15: The Lady│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com
They arrived at the northernmost part of the area around noon.
When Serge and Angelique appeared, everyone stopped what they were doing and bowed deeply.
“This is Angelique, my wife.”
Serge introduced her, and everyone stared intently at Angelique. Then their attention was drawn to the gleaming carriage and the two magnificent white horses.
The village representative timidly opened his mouth to ask if it was about the tax increase.
When a lord marries, they often raise taxes. He seemed afraid to say so.
“No, it’s not that,” Serge replied, explaining that he had only come to inquire about the status of the estate.
Serge said that they had come to look at the soil and find out how it had been farmed in the past so that they could find the right crops for the land.
“Crops that are suitable for the land?”
“Yes, Angelique has learned a lot from her botany professor in the capital and wants to grow crops that are suitable for the soil and climate of Bourg, which will hopefully make our lives easier.”
“We didn’t come here to talk about taxes; but the more you harvest, the more taxes you pay, and that will help us, too.”
Angelique, who had been listening, inquired of Serge, “How much is the tax?”
“Currently, the tax rate is 5%.”
‘Five percent tax is not much.’
Angelique furrowed her brow.
Even the Montan family, which was known for its low taxes, levied a tax of 15 to 20%. Still, like Mrs. Cello’s husband, they would want to work there.
Bourg is poorer than she imagined. They can’t even afford to pay a tax increase.
But that is not enough. It is insufficient.
“The tax rate should be raised…” muttered Angelique, and Serge and the people jumped up.
“I knew it!” echoed through the audience.
“Just as I thought.”
“Of course you need money when you have a luxurious wife…” Murmured voices seemed to echo randomly in the space room.
Angelique spoke clearly and solemnly this time. “The tax rate must be raised. Of course, we will only raise it if there is a sufficient harvest.”
“But you still want to raise it.”
“You want to take advantage of us and spend the money as you wish.”
“That is not true.”
It’s a mistake to say that you can spend it however you want.
Angelique explained as she examined each of their faces individually.
“I want to use the taxes collected to improve the roads and cultivate the land. I want to build a hospital to take care of the sick, a kindergarten to take care of small children, and a food storage so we won’t go hungry in case of famine.”
There’s plenty of work to be done.
“But first we have to expand what we can grow here, but we can’t promise that we won’t raise them when the time comes; if I don’t say it now, I’d be lying.”
Taxes have to be raised. But it’s all for the common good.
When he called her name, she was startled.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”
“No, you’re right.”
Serge nodded solemnly. He addressed the audience quietly but clearly.
“I’ve been ignoring important things so far, and I’m causing a lot of trouble for everyone.”
“No, that’s not…”
“If you could lower taxes, we could…”
“Taxes are important. Actually, what I should have done with taxes is what Angelique just said.”
Serge continues, turning his clear blue eyes to each of his people.
“If the harvest is so big that you don’t have to worry about raising taxes, I will raise them and use the money to improve people’s lives.”
The people remained skeptical, but they affirmed, “We have no right to decide anyway.” If they are asked to pay, they have no choice but to pay.
Some of the lords of the land even wanted 40% of the national maximum.
Angelique sighs softly as she looks around at them and hangs her shoulders in resignation. There is nothing she can do now. They won’t get it right away.
Still, she couldn’t tell a lie that was pleasant to hear. But she was relieved that Serge understood and was willing to tell people himself.