Chapter 220 Within the territory (part 2)
“Excuse me. I’m here with a report.”
With a knock on the door, an official entered the office. I interrupted my own train of thought and switched into a different gear.
“Sorry to call you over while you’re busy…concerning the acceptance of immigrants, I wanted to confirm some details with you. First of all, how has the documentation for their citizenship come along?”
“It’s about 80% complete right now.”
“And occupational preparations?”
“We’ve inquired about their own intentions and did our best to give them the jobs they wanted. Because we started work on this at the same time as their documentation, it’s also 80% complete…they’re eager to finish laying the foundation for a life here, so most are in a good mood.”
We didn’t dole out handouts. At most we let them become part of our land. In the end, they would have to run their own lives–that was our policy.
“Seems like no big issues have occurred then. Hopefully things can be accelerated. But please also remember not to neglect communication with each individual.”
“Of course. Because of how quickly everything is coming along, I wanted to finish the preparations for living quarters alongside their occupations. What are your thoughts on the matter? Although I think that a temporary living situation is good for the moment, most of them are still unsettled when it comes to actual dwellings.”
“True. It would be difficult to proceed without taking care of that.”
Duke Armenia’s territory had quite the spread of different climates due to geographical differences.
For example, there were ports in the east. The fishing industries flourished there, and it was also becoming prosperous due to trade recently.
On the other hand, the western regions were mountainous, with a thriving woods industry. They’ve also been opening up tourism and hot springs over there.
Certain occupations only exist in specific areas, so it was best for us to consider their jobs before settling them down in more permanent homes.
“How many among the immigrants have money and wish to purchase housing?”
“Between ten or twenty percent.”
“Ah, that’s more than I imagined.”
The ability to purchase real estate with cash meant that they must come with significant enough savings that they could retain a portion of it even during catastrophic events.
That meant they moved to foreign lands mostly because they could no longer stand the behavior of their own territory leaders and the broken nature of the system itself.
…Of course, natural disasters played a big role in pushing them out as well.
“Have we already held sessions to explain the specifics of our territory?”
Those were meant to be training sessions for would-be immigrants, with rundowns of our policies, system, and a breakdown of the specific areas.
“Yes. After all, we’re quite unusual compared to other territories, even if it’s something that we already take for granted at this point.”
For example, paper currency, our bank and educational systems, taxation.
Unlike other territories, our policies are more of a gesture of independent function. I still remember how confused others looked when hearing about our policies for the first time.
Even the people of this territory had to gradually grow accustomed to these policies over time.
If we tried to enforce them all at once, I’m sure many citizens would react the same way many of those immigrants reacted to their own leaders.
…Still, we weren’t able to attract talent in policy all at once, so this was only a hypothesis for now.
“All that aside. Now that we’ve held an explanation session they should understand our territory. From now on it’ll just be a matter of one on one negotiation…if some of them can purchase property with the cash they have on them, we have no reason to continue interfering with their business either…Onto the next topic. How has the distribution of food gone?”
“It’s complete. The department of agriculture has prepared for future distributions as well.”
The agriculture department was a department newly established right before I headed to the capital. The members included several officials recommended from the finances, human affairs, and construction department, in addition to several academically talented individuals from the academy.
Their job was exactly what it sounded like: to look after grains, one of the main resources of our territory.
More specifically, there was the matter of preparing backup food, in addition to estimating and supervising the production of various grains. If someone went wrong, they would coordinate and resolve the issues with the help of other departments.
After the whole incident with Prince Edward, I came to terms with the importance of agricultural policies and established the department.
“I see. Afterwards I’ll go and confirm directly with the department itself. There are other things we need to coordinate as well…”
“I imagined you would want to do so, so I’ve already taken the liberty of informing them. They’ll be sending a representative over shortly.”
How far all the officials had grown…I couldn’t help but feel moved.
Right now, he could guess what I might think and act accordingly.
Their growth made me quite happy. Thinking back on the experience along the way, I couldn’t help but feel grateful to have them.
If I were going into details of the past…they had also gone through plenty of trials and tribulations since my term started as substitute territory leader.
To encourage reform, I encouraged them to be creative rather than mechanical in their work.
Instead of being trapped within pre-existing notions of government, I wanted them to take initiative and act on their own ideas for the best outcome.
It was a difficult path…one they would need to pave themselves.
I prayed for the ability to feel my way forward in the darkness, and they responded to this prayer. We’d reached the point when we could function in a productive way when they got involved in my chaotic controversy.
Of course, I didn’t come to the eye of the tornado willingly.
No matter what my intentions, however, the riot influenced all matters throughout the territory and all officials had to deal with its results.
In the end we were forced to use our limited personnel to strive for the optimal outcome.
If I were a subordinate in that situation, I could only curse my fortune.
Even so, they managed to stick to their guns and bear through the whole ordeal.
Now they were weathered professionals.
I could even say proudly that even in the palace, there might not be officials as talented as they were.
These officials were a luxury to have.
I shook my head with a smile at his concern.
“Finally, I want you to tell me about all potential conflict between original residents and immigrants. I’ve read the police reports, but I’d like as many perspectives as possible.”
“I haven’t seen any signs…in fact, I’d say that everyone has accepted the immigrants with enthusiasm.”
“That really is…”
Honestly, I was somewhat surprised.
Originally I was of the mindset that some conflict was inevitable.
Humans were always prone to exhibiting a cruel side.
Even if they see someone asking for help, many choose to ignore them to maintain their own lifestyle. If those seeking help approach anyways, they might even be attacked out of defensiveness.
It was the scenario that I worried most and feared most…
“Please excuse me for speaking out of turn. If the current citizens of this territory were also subject to poverty and despair, there’s no telling what could happen. But our current system and abundance of food is enough for the people to trust in a bright future…More importantly, you are the one at the helm. I’m sure mostly everyone has similar thoughts.”
“…I need to come up with the right kind of results to repay everyone’s faith in me.”