Originally, Border Town had a very simple chart of income and expenditure. Their line of income came from ore mining and trade with precious stones. This line of income was in the hands of the Longsong Stronghold. The output of the North Slope Mine was directly exchanged for wheat or bread, without any taxes, and the exchange of resources was presided over by the stronghold. Described in simpler terms, the North Slope Mine was a joint-stock item of the Longsong Stronghold nobility. Those nobles stationed in the border town could be seen as the custodians of the shareholders, their fiefs were mostly in the east of the stronghold. They came here only for a limited time, and there would be different people each year.
In fact, Border Town had less than 30 years of history. Compared with the nearly two hundred years of Longsong Stronghold, it was simply a newborn baby. Duke Ryan had only intended to establish an outpost here to get an early warning in case an evil beast invasion began. He had never expected that the pioneers who discovered a mine rich with mineral resources in the Northern Mountain Slope would just settle there, practically making a small municipality, named Border Town.
In order to prevent stealing, the Duke did not accept manpower sent by the other nobles. Instead,he employed the local residents. Even criminals became miners, and food was prorated based on the output of ore each home provided.
The stronghold would just provide some food and commissioned employers throughout the year. The stronghold only paid a fixed amount of money, it wasn’t based on the mining output. Of the two thousand inhabitants of Border Town, more than half of them were in the mining services.
Another line was the town’s other industries – the blacksmith’s shop, tavern, textile shop and so on. From them, Border Town usually received a modest amount of revenue throughout the year, but it was quite difficult to have money left over by the end of it. The appointed Lord didn’t govern Border Town seriously, since Roland was sent there from Graycastle. Instead, he had decided to stay in the stronghold, without returning to Border Town.
As a result, when Roland wanted to hire someone to repair the walls, he could only pay them from his own pocket. If it was the fourth prince from before, he would have certainly never done it. But the current Roland, as long as he gained a firm foothold in this Border Town, even if he had to spend all his property, it would still be worth it. Anyway, after the ore trade would no longer be settled with food, the town’s income would still be no more than a drizzle.
The only question was if Longsong Stronghold was willing to give up their monopoly of trade with Border Town – this would be similar to entering a tiger’s den to seize food, but the inventory data provided by Barov indicated that the mining efficiency was low and the transportation of ore was inefficient and inconvenient. In fact, the value of the annual output of ore mining was more than 1000 gold royals, but for the entire stronghold that was only a drop of water in the bucket. The only ones benefiting from this were the partners of the investing aristocracy.
In consideration of the long-term development of Border Town, this line of income must be recovered. Roland’s mind was clear on the fact that even if these people could fully recover their investment from the last ten years and longer, they would still not easily let it go. While mosquitoes were small, they were still meat. Besides, this was a seedling that could be useful to make money by reprehensible means. Previously, he was willing to give the investors certain benefits and compensation such as purchasing for half the price and such. However, the case of selling a full ship of ore for only half a ship of cereal, this kind of incident was not allowed to happen again.
Trouble came now that the stronghold and Border town were divided into two separate territories. Because of the King’s order to fight for the throne, the 4th prince was left in solitude. How would a normal aristocratic or royal member ever be here? Of course they would take all of this land for themselves.
Selling minerals and jewelry in exchange for food and bread? I am afraid that the prince’s eyes only can see gold royals.
If it was himself, he would do it. To helplessly watch as one’s own territory output is exchanged for only food… The ambassador was afraid that nobody would accept this situation. In addition, the products didn’t have to go to the stronghold. Most of the nobility forgets the fact that the Chishui River didn’t end at the Longsong Stronghold. He could sell the ore at market price in Willow Town, in Fallen Dragon Ridge, or even in Redwater City, then take people from their cities as new refugees – it was nothing more than a little further down the river.
What could the Longsong Stronghold do then? Block the river, and cut off the prince and his party? It would simply be a defiance of the royal family of Graycastle! Everyone knew that the 4th prince was least likely to become the king, but without a doubt, it would still not be good to defy him because he was still of the king’s blood.