Release that Witch Chapter 865
George blinked. For a moment, he couldn't believe his own ears.
Looking at Earl Tririver next to him, he saw that the Earl was bewildered too. At that moment, all the nobles' expressions resembled Guye's. The room was shocked into silence, so much so that you would have been able to hear a pin-drop in the room.
This... wasn't a part of the plan!
Could this mean that Roland Wimbledon has already persuaded Earl Delta?
He then looked at the Lord of Redwater City and his assumption was immediately dismissed. The Earl was no calmer than the others, and with his eyes wide open, he looked at the new king with disbelief. Obviously, he did not expect the new king to have this plan up his sleeve when he himself was the one who invited the guests over to the banquet.
To Delta, it was only routine to be attending the banquet in Lakeside Villa.
As was the same for the others.
This is just Roland's selfish move!
Is he... mad?
"I think most of you have noticed that the feudal system has severely hindered the flow and specialization of personnel, which in turn has restricted the development of our nation's productivity. Considering that Graycastle... and even the entire human race may soon fall into a major crisis, I have to make this tough decision, which is to take back all the land and power in your hands so that people in the Graycastle can work as one."
"Specialization of personnel? Productivity? Major crisis? What the hell is the guy talking about? Who understands those things?" George thought and swallowed hard.
Yet the new king seemed not to care about the nobles' opinions. He kept on talking as if there was no one present, "For the moment, I believe that this decision is both right and necessary. Take The Western Region and the Northern Region of Graycastle as examples: the disappearance of feudal nobles didn't cause chaos in the two regions but instead brought them order. The unified Neverwinter decrees, planning, and deployment of policies have propelled the city into the industrial age, with large factories taking over from household workshops as the workhorses of production. At the same time, a large amount of wealth has been created, and people who actively participated in this process have benefited greatly. These are undeniable facts, and I think you can all see it."
"With that said, I don't mean to eliminate the entire noble class. I just want to tell you that losing your manor and the title doesn't mean you'll lose everything. In this new system, you will gain better, more abundant opportunities. Imagine a cake the size of your palm. Although you might be able to barely satisfy your hunger if you swallow it all, if you were to enlarge that cake to the size of a table, you will have more than enough even if you only get a slice of it. Since this reform is beneficial to both you and your subjects, it shouldn't be hard to understand why we want to make it a comprehensive reform across the kingdom. Many of you must have heard of the reform, right?"
"Indeed, many nobles know what you're up to, but they didn't expect you to be so impatient." George thought quickly. After the initial shock, he gradually regained his composure. To his surprise, he found that this accident was not necessarily a bad thing, and it might even be favorable for him!
It was almost impossible to reach a consensus with the amount of nobles present. On the contrary, it would aggravate the preexisting conflicts between them and the new king. George was happy to see that the king's talk actually saved his effort to make himself look good in front of all those present. After all, compared with making his move after persuading the Redwater City Lord, what the new king did was too reckless. This could quickly push those who previously wanted to support Earl Delta to his side.
As expected, when the nobles came to their senses, one of them said, "Your Majesty... I'm not too familiar with the situation in the Western and Northern regions. Would Your Majesty be so inclined to give me a couple of days to decide?"
"Yes, this matter is of utmost importance and would decide the fate of my house. I can't make the decision on my own."
"Your Majesty, can you guarantee that each of us will get more wealth?"
"What if the reform fails? If we lose our lands, doesn't it mean that even the original small cake would be lost?
"Your policy must be wise and brilliant, but... I'm not a merchant, Your Majesty!"
"That's right. There we go," George gloated. The more questions they throw towards the new king, the more insightful he himself would appear. If Roland were unable to assure the nobles of his reformation plans, he would be stuck in quite an awkward spot.
Roland, however, kept his unwavering facial expression. After the crowd rambled on for a while, the King raised one hand and silenced the room. "You seem to be misunderstanding something—what I just said was not a suggestion but an order—did you think that you had any say in this to begin with?" His tone turned less friendly and colder. "I don't even need your consent. I'm fully aware of who'll stand on the wagon of progress and join me, and who'll act as the stubborn rocks blocking the wheels just to be crushed into dust."
"How... do you know that?" Earl Delta said with surprise.
A smile crept up Roland's face. "Because I can read minds."
"What... did you say?"
"When faced with things beyond your comprehension, it's normal to be suspicious." Roland turned over, signaled to Edith, then said, "In that case, I'll demonstrate it to you."
The Pearl of the Northern Region nodded. She smiled to the nobles and said, "His Majesty's ability can be easily proved. As long as you repeat every word that I say, you'll understand it instantly. No lie can escape the detection of His Majesty's mind reading. The Wimbledon's rule of Graycastle depends on the mastery of this ability. I want to make it clear that anyone who doesn't repeat after me will be considered as one of those rocks to be crushed."
"Nonsense! This is absolute nonsense. There's no such a thing as mind reading. It would have been more credible if a witch had said that." George Nery retorted in his heart. Wearing a God's Stone of Retaliation, he was not afraid of the bewitchment of any evil force.
He wanted to call for the other nobles to help him put a stop to this farce, but he found that many nobles in the crowd looked like they were going to go along with Edith's suggestion. Many believed that they would have nothing to lose even if they tried, so they were actually waiting for Edith to continue speaking. George was not sure whether they were waiting for the King to make a fool of himself or were afraid of openly offending the King.
Edith smiled. "Everybody, please listen carefully. The first sentence is—I completely agree with His Majesty's new policy, and I'm will willingly cooperate with the officials dispatched from Neverwinter."
The nobles repeated carelessly; a few even failed to hold their laughter, feeling that what they were doing was rather ridiculous.
"None of you are telling the truth." Roland gave his judgment. "Although a little regretful, it's actually understandable. If it were me, I guess I also wouldn't have easily believed in the king who had stayed at the border area of Graycastle the whole time. Please continue."
"Wait a minute... Something's wrong." George frowned. "Would any king accept this result so calmly?" Being the Lord of Rock Ridge himself, although he was aware that not every one of his subjects was sincerely obedient to him, he never would want to hear that right to his face. "Shouldn't he be embarrassed and annoyed? Why is Roland Wimbledon so calm?"
"The second sentence—Althought I don't understand what His Majesty wants to do, the feudal power isn't something I can't live without. I am willing to cooperate as long as the opportunities for me to acquire more wealth exists." Edith licked her lips and said in high spirit. "Please repeat after me word for word. Do make sure to speak clearly."