The Bewilderment of the Sacrificial Second Princess ~ Married Into the Enemy Country as a Hostage Princess, but Was Strangely Welcomed With Open Arms~ – Chapter 9
Chapter 9: Lord Balk
I knocked on the door of the impressive office and was granted entry. Lord Balk greeted me with a calm voice.
He was a man of average looks, with a tanned complexion and silver hair tied back in a ponytail. His broad shoulders and chest gave him a knightly appearance, but his demeanor as he perused documents while wearing a monocle was more bureaucratic. He must be around five years older than me.
I wasn’t sure if he was a military officer or a civilian official, but he was the person I would be working with from today. I would find out more about him later.
“Good day, Lord Balk. My name is Claire and I’ll be working with you from today. It’s nice to meet you.”
“…! I apologize for my lack of etiquette. I am Count Partnum Balk.”
Even though he was engrossed in his work, he quickly turned to face me upon hearing my introduction. He looked at me in surprise and then introduced himself sincerely.
I would be working closely with him from now on, so I gave him a friendly smile (as much as I could muster) and headed over to where the civil servants worked with him.
Today and tomorrow would be spent on inspections, as this was a vast country after all.
“Do you have any knowledge of this country’s tax system?”
“Yes, I’ve gone through the documents in my home country and there does not appear to be any problems, so I would like to see the work directly.”
The tax revenue from the Baratonia Kingdom had increased and was sent to the Faithnum Empire, along with copies of the local accounts. To ensure proper financial management, officials from the Faithnum Empire were sent to provide guidance.
Now, the taxes can be managed locally and don’t need to be sent to the Faithnum Empire.
Upon being shown a room, I immediately realized that drastic reforms were necessary.
First of all, the departments were not properly separated. The same people were responsible for both the population registry and trade revenue, and there was a shortage of personnel.
Since the Baratonia Kingdom was annexed by the previous Faithnum King a few generations ago, the language and numbering system are still that of the Faithnum Empire.
In the workspace, the cries and shouts of the officials echoed. Due to the lack of paper, they were using a mix of wooden tablets and parchment, and each desk was cluttered with disorganized documents. The shelves were also overflowing with wooden tablets…
(I can’t tolerate this!)
“Everyone, stop working right now!”
My shout brought the officials to a halt and they turned to look at me.
This is…bad. There are too many issues. Hold on, I said to inspect all departments, but are the other departments in similar states…?
As I mentally calculated the departments and personnel that needed immediate attention, I instructed the officials in front of me to “halt regular operations for a month” and “catalog materials by year and month and compile a list of any missing items.” I emphasized the importance of tidying up first and foremost.
The officials exchanged glances, looking skeptical. “Can we really halt work for a month?” they asked. However, upon seeing Lord Balk’s face, they were taken aback and quickly replied, “Understood.” They then set to work organizing their materials.
At the tax department, I also instructed the officials to rearrange their desks into three separate sections, then I moved on to the next department.