On the throne, the young emperor’s face was cold and his eyes were dark. Below the steps, the administrator bowed and gave advice, neither humble nor overbearing.
After a long time, Xu Sili’s lips twitched. He looked at Wen Jishan, who was respectful on the surface but was somehow arranging him inwardly and said, “You said the mercenary town isn’t an important place… Administrator, do you really think this?”
Wen Jishan frowned. He easily noticed the change in the little emperor. Previously, this person would never dare to talk to him like this.
However, he never took the little emperor to heart. In Wen Jishan’s opinion, even the oldest prince and second princess weren’t worthy of the throne. In this empire, he only admired Si Sheng.
It was a pity that Si Sheng had a rigid brain.
He didn’t know if it was true loyalty to the emperor, a patriotic heart or other difficulties. Obviously with Si Sheng’s strength, it would only take a matter of minutes if he wanted to overthrow the emperor.
What’s more, Wen Jishan really didn’t see any respect in Lord Si Sheng toward the Roland royal family.
Nevertheless, he never rebelled. He even overturned the beast wave many times. It could be said that if there was no Si Sheng, the Roland Empire would’ve been wiped out in that beast wave three years ago.
Si Sheng was extremely powerful but also a mystery. In many cases, Wen Jishan couldn’t understand his thoughts.
Wen Jishan noticed the change in the little emperor and felt a bit of surprise, but not much shock.
This young man was still a bit too immature. In terms of aura and a cold face, who could compare to Si Sheng, the number one powerhouse of the empire? Yet Wen Jishan had worked with him for so long.
Thinking this way, Wen Jishan continued to bow and answered calmly, “Your Majesty, it is indeed like that.”
The mercenary town truly wasn’t an important place!
“Bullshit! Xu Sili let out coarse words as he watched the other person calmly. It wasn’t until this moment that he noticed the favorability label on top of Wen Jishan’s head.
The favorability was even lower than that of Si Sheng! Xu Sili suspected that if his popular support rate went below 50%, this guy would definitely be the first to jump out and rebel.
He narrowed his eyes. Those who could be used by him were talents. Those who couldn’t be used by him weren’t much better than trash. At the very least, trash wasn’t capable of making trouble!
At this moment, Xu Sili’s gaze toward Wen Jishan changed. He was very happy but now he didn’t want to see this person.
Sure enough, Li Zhecheng was good. At the very least, he was loyal!
Wen Jishan heard the words and his expression slightly changed. He endured it and finally maintained etiquette. “Why does Your Majesty say so?”
The little emperor was scolding him! Just now, he felt the young man had a kingly temperament but it seemed he had been blind.
Xu Sili stared at him, showing no signs of weakness.
“The mercenary town is on the road that leads from the outside city defenses to the inner city. It is the node that connects the inside and outside. No matter whether you are going to the front lines or coming back from the front lines, you must pass through the mercenary town. How can you say that it isn’t an important place?”
Xu Sili’s eyes slightly narrowed.
“I’m not just talking about the geographical location. Let’s talk about the population composition of the mercenary town. I would like to ask you, who are the mercenaries?”
He didn’t give Wen Jishan a chance to speak and continued, “They are ordinary people. None of them are elementalists! Yet they are still fighting at the front lines, licking blood from the edge of their knives and fighting with interstellar beasts. They use their experience and their skills while risking their lives! It is true that they are doing it for the high bounty but you can’t deny that they are also guarding the empire. They are an indispensable force for the empire to fight against interstellar beasts! Administrator, you dare say that they aren’t important?”
Wen Jishan looked up at the emperor, his face solemn as he answered in a deep voice, “Your Majesty, the army also consists of ordinary people!”
The elementalists might be basically conscripted by the army but that simply wasn’t enough. Out of the one million front line troops, the elementalists made up only a few thousand.
This was also the accumulation of a long time. It was because the Elementalist Academy could only send hundreds of one star elementalists to the front lines every year and in the beast wave before, many elementalists died in battle. There were only so many left.
Xu Sili sneered.
“Then you mean, let these mercenaries be enlisted again? Let’s not forget the fact that most of them originally retired from the front lines but if they are recalled to the army, can the empire afford it?”
It was an army of one million but they were scattered around the five main cities, so each city had around 200,000 troops.
The Roland Empire had a population of over 90 million and there were 30 million alone in the Imperial City. There was no shortage of manpower if they really wanted to conscript soldiers.
But… they couldn’t afford it!
The army was a state machine but it was also a gold swallowing beast. The army accounted for 50% of Roland’s annual financial expenditure! If there was another enlistment, the nation’s economy would collapse.
Fortunately, today’s frontline war wasn’t so urgent.
After the beast wave three years ago, the roads between the main cities were occupied by various interstellar beasts. These interstellar beasts were basically between one and four stars in strength.
They rarely attacked human cities because the remaining five main cities were protected by large magic circles.
It was only possible for the magic circles to break if there was another beast wave and they were hit by the impact of the herd.
Therefore, the current frontline war mainly focused on clearing out the interstellar beasts and opening up the roads to the major cities as soon as possible.
There would still be danger encountering three or four star beasts but it wasn’t a big deal to retreat to the magic circles and start a guerrilla warfare.
Due to this, the current frontline army of 200,000 was enough to protect the Imperial City. Any more and it would be a burden!
Wen Jishan was the administrator and he naturally knew this truth. Therefore, it was absolutely impossible for these veterans to be recalled to the front lines. It was their personal choice to become mercenaries and continue to fight. The empire didn’t need to pay anything extra for them.
He had wanted to say, ‘If we need to allocate funds to improve their welfare because mercenaries are ordinary people who are still fighting, what about the soldiers on the front lines? Aren’t they in more danger? Don’t they need more benefits?’
Now the little emperor’s words blocked him.
It was because he knew that there were some mercenaries who actually weren’t old enough to retire. It was just that the nation couldn’t afford them and could only force some people to discharge.
These people often became the main force of a mercenary group.
If they didn’t have the experience of fighting on the front lines, how could they dare to use the body of an ordinary person to fight against an interstellar beast with at least half a star of fighting power? Still, it wasn’t any fun to put it out in the open like this.
At the same time, he was also secretly frightened. How did this little emperor suddenly know so much? Wasn’t he previously someone who wasn’t diligent and was an incapable ruler who couldn’t distinguish between the five main crops?
Was it all an act before?
Wen Jishan thought about it for a moment before saying, “This servant knows that Your Majesty is kind and sympathetic to these veterans, but this servant thinks the limited resources should be used in places where it is more needed.”
“Oh, where is it more needed?” Xu Sili sneered again. “Do you mean the inner city?”
“Yes, for the past two years, this administrator has managed the inner city very well. The other four main cities might be far away but I think they shouldn’t be too bad under my remote control.”
Wen Jishan might look humble on the surface but he was actually a proud person inside. He couldn’t help feeling a bit complacent.
Yes, he had only been in office for two years but his achievements were real. He was an ordinary person who couldn’t go into battle to kill the enemy but his contribution to Roland was no less than anyone else!
“However, that isn’t enough.”
The young man’s soft voice was heard, making Wen Jishan become startled before he frowned.
There was a touch of doubt in the eyes behind the glasses. Where was it not enough? Who could do more and do better than him?
“Yes, not enough.”
Xu Sili stared at him and declared in a resolute and decisive manner, “In terms of the Imperial City alone, there are more than 35 million people of which the inner city accounts for only 3 million! These 3 million people are really rich but what about the other 32 million people? How many of them are still struggling for food and clothing?”
Wen Jishan’s expression was slightly green. He felt that this young emperor was deliberately making things difficult for him.
He had only been in office for two years. It was great that he was able to make the inner city like this. Yet according to the emperor’s meaning, he wanted to make everyone rich?
Was this possible? First of all, those nobles wouldn’t cooperate!
In addition, his words just now didn’t have the meaning the emperor implied. He felt that if he wanted to improve the welfare of the mercenaries, it was better to give them more equipment. How useful could it be to renovate and rebuild a small town?
Most of the people who lived in the small town were family members of the mercenaries. They didn’t necessarily need a good house to live in and the living allowances were basically the same. He never expected that the little emperor would despise him! It was also in front of Si Sheng and Li Zhecheng!
No matter how good Wen Jishan was at acting, he was a bit annoyed right now.
“Your Majesty, this servant only has a bit of talent and I really can’t take care of everyone in just two years!”
He gritted his teeth and especially emphasized the words ‘just two years.’
“Since you know you aren’t capable enough, be humble!”
Xu Sili stared down at him and spoke in a sincere and earnest tone.
“Chief Wen, if you are haughty and don’t show initiative, you won’t go far. The empire still needs you. This emperor hopes you won’t make such mistakes again in the future.”
Wen Jishan’s face was green. The little emperor took advantage of this flaw to step directly on him!
His eyes narrowed and he instinctively glanced at Si Sheng. However, Si Sheng wasn’t looking at him but at the little emperor. There seemed to be a flash of light in his gray-blue eyes.
Didn’t Si Sheng think the little emperor was too much?
The little emperor could step on Wen Jishan like this. Then one day, he would also step on Si Sheng! At that time, would Si Sheng be able to bear it? Would he support the royal family as usual?
Wen Jishan gritted his teeth and glanced back at the little emperor. He endured it, neither angry nor admitting to it.
What a joke! How could his achievements be offset with a few words from the emperor?
“It seems that Chief Wen isn’t convinced.”
Xu Sili’s mouth twitched. “Am I wrong? You think it is unwise to allocate funds to renovate and rebuild the town, but who told you that I want to allocate funds?”
Wen Jishan was startled. How could the town be rebuilt without funding?
Did he want the local residents to do it? Was he fooling around? How could it be rebuilt without money and personnel?
“The Elementalist Academy is solely responsible for the reconstruction of the town,” Xu Sili spoke lightly. “Dean Justin is in charge of this matter. He took the initiative to issue a military order to this emperor. If the reconstruction plan isn’t completed in half a month, he will ask for the financial subsidies of the elementalists to be cut by 50%.”
Wen Jishan sucked in a breath.
My god, this was a direct ‘My god!’
When did the little emperor hook up with the dean of the Elementalist Academy? No, this wasn’t like hooking up!
Decreasing the financial subsidies by 50%, was Justin crazy to mention this?
Bonus ko-fi chapter