Chapter 76: Empress’s Proposal
The girl was standing dumbfounded beside us, looking slightly frightened as well.
I’m sure she’s scared that she might have offended me, on top of not understanding what Shirley and I are saying.
“Don’t worry. I’m complimenting you.”
“More importantly, what’s your name?”
“My name is Kate.”
“Kate. What’s your last name?”
“I don’t have one.”
It is not uncommon for commoners to not have a last name.
If you go to remote areas, there is no such thing as a last name, and you are more likely to be referred to as someone from a certain house.
This “house” is usually the name of the patriarch of the family.
For example, in my case, my eldest son would be referred to as Sem-san from Noah’s house.
Whenever there is no other way to call me, and I need to use my family name, I use my father’s name as my family name.
However, there is also a custom that there is no concept of surnames from the beginning, and the names of the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather are listed in a row behind.
Most people who have a first name that also resembles a name have one of these two patterns.
It’s such a common story that I didn’t bother to go into it.
For now, I’m more interested in Kate herself.
The door was roughly thrown open, revealing the village chief and several villagers.
All of them had sour looks on their faces.
“What are you doing here?”
“Get out of this village right now!”
Was it anger, or was it because they had always been like that?
The chief said while trembling
“Rude! You guys don’t know what you’re doing–“
I held up my hand in front of Shirley, who was getting upset and stopped her.
“All right, let’s get out of here. Come on, Shirley, Kate.”
“Wait, leave that girl behind.”
“She may have incurred the wrath of the gods. Kate will stay, in case of emergency.”
“What are you saying! You saw how that monster was defeated!”
Shirley, who had finally become angry, turned red and yelled at the village chief.
“The gods will not die for something like that.”
“That’s right, that’s right.”
“What if the resurrected God gets angry?”
“Leave the girl!”
As I called her name and gave a look, Shirley understood what I meant and walked out of the house.
The chief and the villagers, who had come here to detain Kate, did not deter Shirley from going out on her own.
Shirley went outside and gave a signal shot.
We parted ways, but I, the emperor, have not returned to the royal palace.
Sheryl and the others, of course, were waiting nearby.
A few minutes later, dodododo—-the sound of thudding footsteps approached us.
“W-What’s going on?”
The village head was startled.
Then another villager came running in.
“Oh my God, Chief! Soldiers, lots of real soldiers, they’re here.”
The village chief was even more astonished and could not swallow the situation.
In the midst of all this, Sheryl came in.
Sheryl, dressed in her knightly attire, rushed into the house and knelt in front of me.
“You wanted to see me, Your Majesty the Emperor?”
The chief and all the villagers were speechless.
“You are in presence of His Majesty, and your heads are high!”
Shirley, who came back late, shouted angrily.
The villagers looked at me and the soldiers who had surrounded the house – or rather, the village itself – in turn, and then knelt down to me.
The villagers looked at each other and then at me.
The village chief fell to his knees, shaking from fear.
“It’s a journey hiding my status, no crime is committed by challenging me.”
I’ve been the Minister of Justice, which is the law of the Empire, and I have no intention of breaking it.
“Y-Yess–thank you very much.”
I changed my tone.
At the same time, I made slight intimidation with Leviathan.
The temperature in the room dropped nearly ten degrees in an instant, causing the villagers to shudder as they knelt in unison.
“I will not tolerate private punishment outside the law.”
“T-That’s not true!”
“We had no choice!”
“D-Disobeying the God Kala will result in the destruction of the village.”
“God Kala, huh? A monster like that, it is understandable that they would be frightened and follow him. Then I will give you one chance.”
The villagers, who had all fallen to their knees at once, looked up quickly.
They looked as if they had found hope.
I looked at them with cold eyes and pointed my hand at Kate, who was kneeling beside me but looking stunned.
“……eh? Ah, yes!!”
“Do you forgive this village?”
“You are the victim of all this, so to speak. If you say you forgive them, I will allow it.”
Kate looked at the villagers.
The villagers also looked at Kate with clinging eyes, but…
“I cannot forgive them.”
She gritted her teeth and squeezed out a single word.
“Because no one helped me when I needed it.”
“Even when I was about to leave—.”
The villagers trying to speak up were pressured.
This has nothing to do with the “Kala God” directly.
I have already said that if Kate accuses them of that, they can’t say anything back.
“It’s decided. Shirley.”
“This village will never be exempt from taxes. Tell that to the local governor.”
She gave me an incomprehensible look, but Shirley still faithfully carried out my orders.
It was the same for the villagers.
It seems like a punishment, but at the same time it doesn’t, and everyone has a puzzled look on their face when they hear it.
I commanded Sheryl that there was nothing more to say, and sent them away.
The three of us left in the house were me sitting, with Shirley and Kate standing.
“Your Majesty, …… are you sure that was a good idea, with that?”
“Don’t you understand?”
“There are two main reasons why taxes are exempted in our empire. One is when a natural disaster strikes.”
“The other is the Empire’s main per capita tax, which you are exempted from if you are over 60 years old.”
When she heard that much, Shirley finally had an idea.
The majority of the taxes the empire takes from its people are per capita taxes.
And the poll tax, which you are legally required to pay for the rest of your life, can be waived if you apply for it after you reach 60.
“And we can even do this – not recognize deaths due to illness or accident.”
“As long as the family register remains, the per capita tax remains even if the person is actually dead.”
“I used to be the Minister of Justice. And I know a lot of ways to make people suffer, even when it’s legal.”
“That’s brilliant, sir!”
After smiling at Shirley, I turned to Kate, who was still puzzled.
“That’s how it is. The village will suffer slowly from now on. That should do it for now.”
“Uuuuh, thank you very much. …… Thank you very much. ……”
I don’t know if it’s relief or tears of joy, but it’s the kind of tears that make you feel like you’ve got an overflow of something you’ve been holding in.
“…… Okay, let’s go back to the capital.”
“Are you sure it’s time?”
“Yeah, we got the treasure. It was a good harvest.”
And so I returned to the capital, taking Kate with me.
A few days later, I was in my room at night in the royal palace.
While I was reading a book, there was a knock at the door.
When I answered it, Empress Audrey and her sister, the consort Anya, came in with her.
They came in front of me and bowed in the manner of noble ladies.
“Is something up, you two?”
“It’s late, sire so I thought you might want to get some sleep.”
“You have an early day tomorrow, don’t you?”
Audrey, who has become more mature since giving birth to Sem, and Anya, who, in contrast, has not lost her youthfulness.
I like the contrast between the two of them when they are standing side by side, it seems to bring out the charm of each other.
“I’ll read some more and then go to bed.”
“You’ve been reading late every day, haven’t you?”
“Yes, I do. Most of the knowledge is in books. If you read a lot, you can see the essence of things. The basis of knowledge is reading.”
“You already know so much, but you still read? That’s amazing, Your Majesty.”
“Fu. By the way, you didn’t come here to talk about that, did you?”
I said so as I looked at Audrey.
In the evening, Empress and Consorts do not usually visit the Emperor.
The Emperor picks them and the eunuchs deliver them.
This is the chain of connection between the Emperor and his ladies.
Because they neglected to do so, it means that there is something to it.
“As expected, Your Majesty — Your Majesty has no plans to increase the number of consorts?”
A little surprised, I put down my book and gazed straight at Audrey.
“Is something wrong?”
“I’ve thought about it a lot since becoming Empress, and my views have changed. I can’t imagine being an Emperor with only one consort.”
You can say that it’s just an appearance, but if the aristocrat – the Emperor, who is the apex of the aristocracy – can’t appear elegant, it’s no use.
“Even Dustin has more than ten consorts.”[TN: If you are wondering why I am not using the word concubine because concubines are not considered wives and are in the lower social hierarchy while consorts are the wives and also in higher social hierarchy]
“That guy, huh”
The Tenth Prince, Dustin.
He has the most blood from his father, and at the young age of 22, he already has a double-digit number of consorts.
“And it’s not just for the sake of appearances. His Majesty should have more consorts and give hope to the women of the world. I think that is the duty of the Emperor.”
Women have a very narrow career path. To ” climb up the ladder”, women usually aim to become the wife or consort of a nobleman.
The aristocracy is also a discipline of the Emperor.
If the Emperor does not have many consorts, the aristocrats cannot afford to have more.
Certainly, only having one, Anya, is still too few, but I can’t argue with that.”
I thought about it for a while.
“Okay, then have the consort – no, the consort selection.”
“Yes. Once a year, I want you to select a woman of beauty and talent from all over the Empire. The woman who excels will become the consort.”
Audrey stared at me for a while.
Eventually, she thought of something and realized it.
“Just like the selection of knights?”
“That’s exactly what I mean.”
“I see. …… You were aiming for that level. …… I’m impressed.”
Rather, Audrey, as expected, you noticed my objective in an instant.
“Eh? Sister, what are you talking about?”
Try sponsoring chapters(6$ a chapter for Noble Reincarnation) on –>Ko-fi<— if you are interested
Join me on –>discord<– to get update notifications and release schedules.