Chapter 22: The Mystery of Fate│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com
During the months of touring the territory, it became clear that, surprisingly. Angelique found that Serge was well-liked by his people.
Angelique thought it’s quite good.
Why would he do so little administration, even delegating tax collection to the town chief and local nobles?
Angelique was perplexed and approached the people.
“Does Serge make a good lord?”
The answer was emphatic, “Yes, he is.”
They only had one response.
“What do you find appealing about him?”
Angelique was taken aback by the response.
Bourg has long been a neglected territory in the frontier by the Duchy of Barnier.
It had none of the benefits of a dukedom, but was subject to the same taxes as other estates, and tax collectors of abandoned lands are notoriously untrustworthy.
The Duchy of Barnier’s regular tax rate is 20%, which is not high in comparison to other noble estates, but tax collectors have been raising the tax rate and taking money from taxpayers.
Serge arrived in Bourg two years ago and immediately noticed this; he tracked down and fired the delinquent tax collectors.
He became a lord the following year and reduced the tax rate to one-fifth.
Serge is said to have made a promise to the Duke of Barnier in exchange for the title and lands of the Count of Voltaire.
(TL: To those who’s confused, Count of Voltaire is the title Serge inherited from his mother’s side and Bourg is like capital.)
The people told her that they didn’t know the specifics, but that he had most likely sacrificed himself in order to become a lord.
Serge has appointed town leaders and local nobles as tax collectors.
“The Lord is excellent.”
“The Lady is also good.”
When they said they were blessed, Angelique thanked them with mixed feelings.
It revealed to her that Serge wasn’t sitting around doing nothing.
Even if he had not improved the people’s lives in the harsh conditions of the land, he had assisted them in getting out of their difficult situation.
Angelique said to Serge after hearing what everyone had to say:
“How come you didn’t say anything?”
“What do you mean?”
“That you, as lord, were considering everyone.”
Angelique became a little angry as a result of this.
“But It’s true, I was too preoccupied with dragons and not enough with my administration duties. I thought you were right.”
The barrenness of the land is unavoidable.
The weather is harsh.
They can only hope to keep as much of what they have harvested as possible.
“That’s all I could think about, so I really thought about your way of thinking and doing things. The fact that you are here is a great blessing for the people of Bourg.”
Serge smiled as he drew Angelique into a hug.
“How fortunate I am that the woman my father forced me to marry is such a lovely lady.”
“Your father forced you into it?”
“Yes, for my father to buy the king’s favor.”
That’s what it’s like to be a noble.
They were told not to think of themselves as free to marry whomever they wanted, but rather as pawns in the family.
“And yet I married you.”
Angelique is in the same boat.
She believed that love was out of the question.
“Fate is a strange thing. I was angry when I was falsely accused and my engagement was terminated without my knowledge, but I’m so happy now.”
Even though there will be many more challenges ahead, she thanks God and the flow of destiny.
Even if there is still a lot of work to be done.
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