Chapter 135 – Cruz the Ruler
Then we all returned with Timi back to the manor.
The assessor, of course, was pinched in Timi’s fingernails all the way.
The assessor was crying, but he was the ones that made the citizens of the region cry first.
As Cruz grabbed and tossed the guy into a cell, she called over to the assistant,
「Call ALL the assessors, please.」
「I’ll do so right now.」
「Bring me the tax assessment books.」
It took 2 to 3 hours for them all to arrive.
As this went on, Cruz looked through the region’s laws and documents. I have never seen her be so serious before.
On the other hand, Shiggy was clinging onto the human Timi, with her beak buried into Timi’s cleavage.
「Shiggy, what is it?」
Shiggy seems to have missed Timi very much.
And Timi seemed to be very happy to be held by Shiggy.
「It might be because Shiggy got to see you fly.」
「Really? Then I’ll always fly for you, Shiggy!」
Timi fed Shiggy a tea cake.
It was rare to see Shiggy eat anything from anyone other than me.
Well, I guess it’s because she technically is an aunt.
Three hours later, the other three assessors arrived.
In Cruz’ territory, there were four assessors, including the one in jail.
They all looked quite nervous.
The assistant stood beside the assessors with a serious face.
「The reason we called you here is…」
As he was talking, Cruz stood.
「I am Cruz Conradine, your ruler.」
It was a serious and severe tone that I had never heard a goofball like her use before.
Almost something like hostility, you could feel the pressure.
It felt like the pressure she exuded when she had her sword out and was chopping off heads.
The three assessors mumbled to themselves and bowed over and over.
「I’ve already dismissed one assessor.」
The assessors all looked stunned and gazed at one another.
I knew they wanted to ask why, but none of them did. They simply whispered to themselves.
They seemed lost in the pressure that Cruz was giving off.
「The assessor was sentenced to 10 years in prison and his property was confiscated.」
「…marquis…Miss…may I ask you one thing?」
One of the assessors opened his mouth, probably having to gather a lot of courage to do so. His hands and voice were shaking.
He was a serious man, about as old as me.
「What was the charge?」
「Unauthorized tax rates. Incorrect tax survey assessment. Unjustly deprived residents of their property.」
Cruz looked over the assessors.
Then, she told them clearly.
「I will not forgive one infraction. I will not accept improper treatment of my citizens」
「…we…would never do such a thing. We perform our duties properly.」
「I hope so. Let me see your tax survey books.」
The assessors started to mumble to each other.
They finally began to understand why Cruz wanted their survey books.
「I think this is your last opportunity to confess your crimes, if you have them. If I review your books and find something illegal, it won’t end with you just being removed. You’ll go to jail.」
An assessor was going to say something, but Cruz waved him off.
Then the assessor really started to become frustrated.
「If necessary, I can get this dragon to take me to all your lands directly.」
「And since my little niece here likes to fly, I can go from one tip of the territory to the other in 30 minutes.」
Shiggy sang happily without realizing the serious nature of the conversation.
The assessors seemed confused about the dragon part, looking around.
But, upon seeing Timi holding a small dragon, they noticed Timi wasn’t an ordinary person.
Then the assessors began to confess their crimes.
I really began to see Cruz in a new light – as a serious ruler of a small kingdom.
Many of the charges that they confessed to could be dismissed.
Grading fields too highly. Estimating too much of a harvest. Exactly what I thought they’d say.
「You better be sure that next time, this won’t be forgiven.」
Cruz said, and all three apologized.
It seemed that Cruz wasn’t going to fire them, though.
「Prepare auditors and make them someone you can trust completely from the capital.」
These assessors were chosen from local leaders.
There was a risk that hiring auditors here would result in a bad audit.
Again, Cruz was right, and I didn’t expect her intelligent decision.
「Yes, what is it, ma’am?」
「I said make it so that the tax rate isn’t a burden on the people, but I didn’t issue an edict, right?」
「Yes, I have instructed them to lower the tax rate.」
However, the edict wasn’t followed.
In fact, these assessors had made a mockery of the tax system under the assistant and Cruz.
「30% is the upper limit.」
「And do not all the field surveys to go too high for harvest.」
After she had given her order, we then returned back to Mulg.
Timi returned to her form and flew over us slowly.
Then Vi-Vi said to Cruz,
「Cruz. You really are a dependable girl.」
Cruz took a paper out of her pocket.
Something was written in small letters.
「Luka wrote down what I should do. That’s why I remembered.」
「What? So Luka thought this up?」
「Yeah! It’s too hard for me to think this stuff up! I read what Luka wrote, then the stuff the assistant showed me, and the tax survey books, and then figured out what to say.」
Cruz spoke humbly, but I thought her response was perfect.
Maybe she isn’t that dumb.
Luka had just given Cruz several big policies to employ.
High tax rates and assessments must be normalized. If they apologize for it, forgive them.
Prepare auditors from the capital.
Exactly the things that Cruz had said.
That seemed to have been the policy.
「Even so, great job, Cruz! You looked like an aristocrat!」
「Yeah, I just tried to imitate how Luka and you act, Al.」
「I get Luka, but how is that like me?」
「It is! Because I’m usually nervous so I wanted to act cool like you!」
Seems like she’s learning and growing bit by bit.
「I reflected on it. If a ruler isn’t good, the kingdom is no good.」
「From now on we need to survey the kingdom ourselves.」
「Come with me, Al!」
「If I’m free…」
I was happy to see that Cruz would be a good ruler, after all…