Release that Witch Chapter 570
In a sense, there was no solution to this problem.
The reason lay in the fact that the total amount of grain was limited. After the Months of Demons, the circulating grain in the kingdom would enter a state of shortage. Grain prices would definitely soar, and there would be none to be found in the market. The grain shortage could not be relieved until the new wheat was harvested. Autumn was the season in which grain was most frequently traded. After that, when the Months of Demons began, the situation would just worsen again.
Of course, the grain transactions were usually among businessmen and nobles. As for those penniless refugees and Rats, they would have to get through the winter with an empty stomach regardless the amount of wheat present.
According to Barov's years' worth of experience as an assistant minister, businessmen in the major cities were waiting for the ears of wheat to mature. Before that, they were unlikely to sell the grains at hand in large amounts. What remained in their hands might be enough to feed a few thousands of people, but never for ten thousands of people.
"Since we can't find more resources, we need to tighten the consumption.
"Cut the city's grain supply and reduce each person's quota for daily purchase. Change the subjects' diet from bread to oatmeal, and keep it that way till the day of bumper harvest. Those are the possible suggestions that Edith is going to make.
"Then I can refute her suggestions for the following reasons: they're against His Majesty's grain promises; they're contrary to the kingdom's intrinsic values; they might cause food panic and so on.
"Judging by Edith's expression, and reading the list with her eyebrows raised, I know she must feel it troublesome.
"It won't be long before she asks for my advice."
Thinking of this, Barov could not help but touch his beard. The so-called 'taking the whole situation into account' not only meant that the minister needed to be skilled and experienced in governmental affairs, but also needed to clearly know about the characteristics of the city. For example, when he was in King's City, he could recite the prices of the Alchemist Workshop's specialties, and the amount of Silver City's monthly silver ore shipment without hesitation. All those numbers could not be remembered in a short time.
The characteristic of City of Neverwinter was the witches.
Barov knew a green-haired woman called Leaf in the Witch Union who could make the wheat grow at an inconceivable rate. If not caring about the maintenance of the land, she could make the wheat ready for reaping within one day, and the ears they produced were not something that Golden Ones could compare to.
In other words, they only needed to ask her to manage a piece of wheat field for rapid production, and then the grain shortage could be easily solved.
Of course, he also knew that His Majesty had asked Leaf to control Misty Forest in the west, so as to build the early warning defensive line against demons. Given the emergence of such enemies, it needed several years, and so it would not matter much if Leaf took two to three months off.
But there was no way that Edith could know that information.
Even if she was super talented and took part in managing the Northern Region affairs since adulthood, there was no way that she could clearly know the city which was completely strange to her half a month ago, not to mention to know the abilities of each witch.
Also, she could not understand why the office of the Ministry of Education was adjacent to the archives, why the Minister of Education often appeared in the archives and had the authority to look at all the documents.
After a long while, Edith put down the list and slightly smirked.
"Actually, it's not a big deal."
"Em..." Barov nodded, then startled. "What?"
"Before the development of Deepvalley Town, most of the land in the Northern Region wasn't fit for wheat plantation. In every spring, grain shortage used to be very severe in this area, so the local lord set eyes on the Eastern Region and Kingdom of Dawn."
"You mean..." He suddenly realized something.
"Since they couldn't grow enough nor purchase any, the only choice left for them was to rob," Edith said with an easy tone. "Isn't it exactly the situation we're in? His Majesty's army is attacking Fallen Dragon Ridge. I heard Countess Spear's brother won over a lot of the local nobles in order to resist her. Is that right? Now that we have both the reasons and the means, we should directly go there and kill them one by one. Guess how many gold royals and grain is hidden in their basements."
"There's only a grain shortage because the amount circulating is too few. As a matter of fact, most of the grain output in the kingdom has been divided and taken by the nobles. They use that grain to control the freemen and farmers in their domains, and to earn many gold royals in a lean year." She did not talk fast, but yet her voice gave Barov a chill. "If we rake over Fallen Dragon Ridge, I think the problem of ten thousands of people's food will naturally be solved. If not, there are several cities in the Southeast Region awaiting His Majesty's ransack.
"But they're all nobles..." Barov shut his mouth before finishing talking. "That's right... After His Majesty took over the Southern Territory, they stopped being nobles. As long as we act fast enough, the captured grain will be able to refill the granary of City of Neverwinter."
Besides, different from King's City, Fallen Dragon Ridge has completely fallen into His Majesty's control, which is also the crucial pass on the way to the Southern Territory. By then, not only will the City Hall send people to assist Countess Spear to establish a new government, but the inner city will also adopt the laws, urban planning, and education system of City of Neverwinter.
What confused Barov was how Edith could accept His Majesty's will of eliminating the nobles so quickly. Even for himself, it would take a much longer time to get used to wholeheartedly supporting His Majesty's orders... let alone her who was the successor to the Duke of the Northern Region.
Edith returned to the Foreign Affairs Building. Pushing open the door, she saw Cole crouching on the desk and flipping through a thin book.
"Um... I bought it from the convenience market. It looks like a picture book but it has stories. It's very interesting." The brother looked up. "You look happy."
"Do I?" Edith asked.
"In City of Evernight, you rarely smiled like this," Cole said, smirking. "Are we really not going back?"
"Only temporarily. Until father replies, His Majesty should allow you to return to the Northern Region." Edith sat down in front of him, closed the book to look at its cover and saw the words printed "The Witch Diaries".
"What about you then?"
"I'm going to stay here."
"Why?" Cold asked in bewilderment. "Is the City Hall that interesting?"
"What's interesting isn't the City Hall, but Roland Wimbledon's City Hall." She corrected him, smilingly. "Do you know how I got things done in City of Evernight?"
"You only had to tell father and it was done."
"More or less. I just gave an order, and then naturally there would be people who did it for me. When I think back to it, they did that not because of me, but because of my identity. They knew father would follow my suggestions... Of course, this only worked in the Kant Family's manor," Edith said with great enthusiasm, "but here, my identity not only doesn't help but rather hampers. There is barely any noble in the City Hall, and no one actually cares whether I'm the daughter of the Duke of the Northern Region. Everybody is relying on his or her own capabilities. Do you understand what I mean?"
Cole shook his head.
"People are willing to listen to you, not because who you are, but because what you're capable of. This rule applies even out of your manor. His Majesty is right about one thing: Feudalism seems to give the nobles great power, but it also set an upper limit for their power. Judging from the current situation, His Majesty is totally capable of enlarging his domain into the entire continent, then the City Hall will turn into a huge institution, and its prefecture will expand into every corner of Graycastle. As long as you're recognized in this organization, this entire kingdom might just operate based on one word you said. So, why would I settle for that small manor?