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Chapter 157 A new system
“Yes, it’s me. What has happened, why are you so shocked? Did I arrive at an inopportune moment?”
Dean’s face clouded over at the thought.
“No, not at all. P-please, sit down. I had something I wanted to talk to you about. Ah, tea…”
I couldn’t really say that I was just thinking about him, so I shook his words off and invited him to sit.
But because I was too nervous even my speech shuddered.
Since I realized how I felt, hadn’t this been happening a lot…
“When I came into the room I said hello to Miss Tanya and told her to bring tea for two here, so don’t worry about it. Back on topic: milady, has something been going on here?”
“No…I was just thinking about something…”
I didn’t know how to respond, so my voice stuttered quite a bit.
Perhaps I was just being awkward…in short, I wished that Tanya would hurry up and come back.
I don’t know if she sensed my thoughts, but Tanya entered the room with tea in hand soon after.
Sipping on the vanilla tea that she had made for me, my heart began to calm down.
“Thank you for coming here. I said so just now, but I’ve been thinking about something. You showed up exactly at the right time for something I wanted to talk to you about, so I was a bit shocked…apologies that I let you see me in such a flustered, unbecoming state. Plus, I still haven’t thanked you for the gifts you gave me earlier…”
I closed the lid on my own heart, choosing words with the utmost calmness.
When I sealed up my heart, I could talk to him just like I always had.
I needed to pretend that I remained untouched by all this. Under no circumstances could he see how I felt.
If anyone found out, I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him any more.
Because of my affection, I chose to seal my emotions away.
“No, in terms of giving thanks…all I did was what I wanted to do. I’m also sorry for barging in on you like this. I was in the area handling other issues and recalled that I was still troubled by how this whole incident was handled, so I decided to come over. I should have contacted you beforehand.”
“No, it’s actually a great help to me that you’re here. No need to apologize. So what I wanted to talk to you about was…”
I immediately started talking to him about the plan that I was figuring out in my mind.
What I had been thinking about were insurance and security measures.
I’d talked it over with Dean in the past as well.
As I puzzled out the pieces, I kept compiling more and more documents on the topic. In that process of repetition, I eventually came up with the document on my desk.
About when insurance measures came into effect, there’s one saying that it emerged from the middle ages, a traditional way of helping one another in the community.
If one was injured and unable to work, then family income would drop. This could heavily impact a family’s livelihood, and would end up reducing morale.
Of course, the best case scenario was that no accidents occurred at all. But if there was a backup plan for when they did happen, then workers would be able to work with more peace of mind.
The fact that workers would develop a stronger sense of belonging toward the territory was also an added benefit.
If we were going to enact a policy like this, it couldn’t just be limited to construction workers. All the citizens on this land should be entitled to enjoy its benefits.
“The policy you were talking about beforehand? Is the timing right now?”
“Yes. Beforehand when we talked about it, it wasn’t the priority on the list of things we needed to change. But now that everything else has moved to the next step…more importantly, we need it in our current situation. Of course, the territory will also distribute grants. Thankfully someone cut out the wasteful parts in our budget, so we could spare enough money for it. On the other hand…this is how citizens should help each other. Everyone helping everyone else…that’s what matters.”
“Interesting.” Dean’s eyes shimmered as he laughed.
It was the same kind of resounding laugh he had let out when he steamrolled everyone in the financial department in an argument.
“But at the same time, this is difficult. If we’re going to ask everyone for money, then we need to guarantee fairness. Before we propose this policy to all the officials, we need to make clear guidelines. First of all is the proper amount to tax the people.”
“We’ve talked this over beforehand too. I feel like if we can operate on a progressive taxation system it would be best.”
“True. Now that we’ve cleaned up our registry and no longer tax based on amount of people, we could account for all the income of a family, I think your idea is actionable.”
“Then there’s the factor of how much we can use this policy within methods of healing and drug use.”
“Could we talk to an expert in the field? It’s good that we have plenty of knowledgeable folks within the territory.”
“True. It would most likely be worthwhile to talk to the principal of the academy…Medicine in our territory has been progressing in flying jumps in our territory, so we need to maintain periodic check-ins.”
“Yes. As for healing methods, I think that the most common type should be within the realm of insurance, while better services and treatment should be paid for by the individual if they’re willing to pay for it. If we allow insurance to cover everything, then sooner or later there will be flaws in the policy.”
“Until now each hospital has determined their own prices for treatment. Now we need to unify them.”
“That’s also something to talk to the principal about.”
As the topic progressed, I began to get excited.
“We need to establish a clear pathway of payment for each doctor. Let’s try out that idea we talked about concerning establishing a guild for healthcare providers.”
When our conversation was reaching a fever pitch, Tanya’s cool voice piped up.
“Milady, it’s about time to meet with the merchants’ guild. What are your plans?”
Because of how animated I had gotten when talking things over with Dida, I had forgotten the time.
“Then I’ll also go to confirm the post-event steps for that incident, and to the financial department to check how much remains from the budget reduction. Plus, we need to see how the citizenship cleanup has been going.”
“Of course. Thanks.”
“I’ll also ask the principal’s opinion as well. Although nothing’s set in stone yet, it’s good to give him a heads up.”
After that, I switched my mode of thinking and headed out to the conference room.
“You look quite happy, milady.”
I turned around, trembling slightly at her words.
“Huh? W-what are you saying, Tanya. I-I haven’t…”
Because of what she said, my calm mind was beginning to boil over again.
“I think…that you’re at your happiest when thinking on behalf of the people, thinking of policies that will propel us forward.”
Ah, I see…I sighed in relief inwardly.
“Yes. Because, I…love this territory.”
So much had happened. When bounding over those obstacles, I began to gain self-awareness.
I was proud of my blood, my heritage, and I loved this territory.
That was why I was happy. Even if it meant sealing my feelings away.
Because I really loved this place, that took me in when I had lost everything…and the people who lived here.