Chapter 200 “usual practices”
Although we all know this already, but when the Duke refuses to meet anyone and hides himself inside the manor, it is for the best that none disturbs him. After all, he is a magician and mages doesn’t like to be disturbed when they are indulging themselves in magic.
What’s more, even Marde – the one closest to Du Wei – can vaguely feel the young master is grumpier in recent days.
Indeed, Du Wei is upset!
The construction for the new city is going well and he never needed to worry about the administration side; nevertheless, his mood continues to worsen day by day because he is waiting for someone.
That Green-robed Gandalf promised to come find him after three months! Yet, half a year had already elapsed and not a shred of news was heard from him.
Seeing autumn is already drawing to a close and winter is about to be here, Du Wei is starting to think the old guy was playing him.
At this point, Du Wei thinks his strength has come to a bottleneck. Considering his current level of power and control, he can confidently say that he is at the sixth rank in magic. With a wide range of magical spells at his disposal, Du Wei’s strength is not to be taken lightly.
If he were to be re-assessed right now, Du Wei is certain he can achieve a sixth rank badge from the union without any underhanded moves.
And now, if it was purely a competition of magical strength, Gargamel is no longer a match for Du Wei.
However, Du Wei has found that this is all that he can do. After all, secretly learning the spells donated by the mages in the academy can only get him so far. He needed a real mentor, a mentor that can guide further along the path of magic. At the very least, this person needs to be an old fella that is versed in the theories behind magic.
Gargamel should have been the one to take up this post, but fate likes to mess with people because this mouse is only an expert in transformation magic. As for poor little Vivian, this girl with the qualification of an eighth level magician can’t even speak properly without stuttering, so she is also out of the question.
In desperation, Du Wei focused more of his time in magic experiments. For example: he studied the mithril replacement formula gifted to him by Old Alley over and over again, but the only reward he got was a giant headache. In the end, it was Seth the big headed wand guy that ended making some progress. When Du Wei pulled out the ‘flying broom’ blue print, this big headed Seth was extremely interested. Using the same amount of time as Du Wei, Seth nearly succeeded in his experiment.
But after two test runs, poor Seth ended up breaking a leg.
Du Wei knows that the establishment of a new city is just the beginning. He needed to urgently strengthen his own power. Those without power in the Northwest cannot survive and others will eventually come to make trouble for him.
Du Wei’s thinking is not wrong because the troublesome person has finally arrived.
Under normal circumstances, none would dare disturb Du Wei, especially when Du Wei’s mood is terrible.
But on the noon of this day, Marde still went into Du Wei’s study room and interrupted the young master’s reading session – he was memorizing all of recipes gifted to him by Alley.
“young master.” Marde blinked his eyes in anticipation.
Although Du Wei is already a Duke, this old servant of his still calls him young master unlike everyone else that uses “lord”.
“Young Master, there’s someone here to see you.”
Du Wei frowned as he looked up: “Did a problem arise in the immigration process? Did those guys raise another strange condition like last time?”
“It’s not that.” Marde shakes his head: “The one that came is someone from the Northwestern army.”
Du Wei became stunned for a bit as he put the stuff down.
A member of the Northwestern Army?
He himself has already arrived in the Northwest for many months, but they have never actively sought him out and neither will he be making deals with these warlords.
So what is going on with today?
In the greeting hall, Du Wei met up with the member of the Northwestern Army.
The person is a middle-aged officer. From his appearances, this person should be a general.
Under the Empire’s military system, those in the position to command are already touching the senior military level. For an infantry regiment, the standard is 4,000 people while the cavalry regiment is 3,000 people.
Generally speaking, four regiments put together equal a whole division and the leader of a division is commanded by a General. Back in the coup at the capital, the commander of the second division is General Jean Claude.
Lowest – Brigadier General
Second lowest – Major General
Third highest – Lieutenant General
Highest – General
The empire’s general ranking is divided into four types. For someone like Jean Claude, his ranking is only that of the first rank, brigadier general. Even so, this is already considered very high despite being at the bottom of the barrel.
Longbottom himself is also a general of a Calvary division consisting of 20,000 riders, but his status is worlds apart from Jean Claude’s. After all, the Northwest is far away from civilized society, so it can never be compared to those in the capital where powerful figures resided. The official name for these generals like Longbottom is “Major Generals.”
Du Wei is not unfamiliar with these terms, especially when he found out the founding emperor is just like him from another world.
Further up is the head of the army that actually stands in the front line. For this group of generals, they are usually with the title of Lieutenant General. There are exceptions such as Du Wei’s father. Though Raymond have never actually commanded an entire army, but his experience in leading a expeditionary fleet makes him qualified to be called a Lieutenant General.
Going even further up is the top generals. Generally speaking, these people are not directly responsible for the commanding a army division or corp. Basically, they are the old veterans that did not wish to stay in the front lines. By hanging the title of General on their names, they will stay in the capital and become one of the commanding figures in the high command.
Such as Du Wei’s father, Earl Raymond became a General right after his time in commanding the expedition fleet as a Lieutenant General.
The highest of them all is naturally a Marshal, but this title is nothing but an empty shell.
However, the empire did not have a Marshal at the moment. This title is only reserved for those that achieve great military merits. Considering the fact that the continent is at peace right now, the likelihood of an event occurring that could warrant such an honor is unlikely.
And the war in the Northwest back then is only a local conflict. As for the battles out at sea in the Southeast, it is nothing but bullying so what merit is there to earn?
Though in history, there did appear some real Marshal’s like the ancestor of the Rowling Household.
While now, this Marshal position sought after by every army soldier is still up for grabs.
“Dear Duke.” This General of the Northwestern Army standing before Du Wei politely introduced himself: “I am the commanding officer of the thirteenth division in the Northwestern Army, Totoro.”
First impression Du Wei had towards this self-proclaimed Totoro is not very good.
Even though he wore a military uniform and was equipped with a sword, the guy’s body didn’t carry the temperament of a military personal . What’s more, the uniform on this guy looked like it was about to rip apart at any time due to his sheer size.
It would be better to call him an obese rich man than to call him a military officer based off of the fat hanging on his face and the excessive paleness from his skin.
How can this person actually be a General?
But after Du Wei finished listening to the guy’s introduction, he finally understood.
This so-called “Northwest Army’s 13 Division” is not a regular army. He already had some intel on the opposition, so he knew the 13th division is merely a front for the logistic department in the Northwestern Army. Simply put, this Totoro in front of him is nothing but a logistic officer.
Du Wei immediately paid attention because he can vaguely guess what the guy’s intentions are for coming.
“General Totoro, please sit.” Du Wei points towards a chair in the room.
What came next is series of roundabout words and through this, Du Wei is certain this Totoro is an old veteran at this stuff. The compliments included: Du Wei is a boy genius, the speed he built the city is beyond amazing, and his power as a magician is unparalleled.
Regarding his ass kissing, Du Wei would of course take it all in. After drinking a few cups of tea, Totoro finally got to the main point for his visit.
“Your dukeship, other than bringing the Army head’s greeting, I am also here today to ask you for a little help.”
Du Wei smiled: “General Totoro, please speak.”
The fat man ponders for a moment before smiling: “autumn has already passed, in accordance with the decree, when can our Northwestern Army come extract our military supplies?”
They are here for money.
Du Wei sneered a bit inside.
“Your dukeship, you should be aware that in accordance with the Decree, the Northwestern Army’s supplies are redeployed from the local governments revenue. In accordance with established practices, after each quarter’s revenue is reported, our Northwestern Army will accept our share…. Haha, you should know already that being a soldier is not easy. In order to protect the empire’s frontier, we also need to eat. I’m sure you would understand this since you are from a military family yourself.”
Du Wei quietly nodded: “Oh, then i like to know how much are you taking?”
The truth is Du Wei is very familiar with this decree by now, so his question is intentional.
“40%.” Totoro smiled as he puts up four fingers: “In accordance with long-standing practices, our Northwest army needs to extract 40% of the tax revenues.”
Du Wei picked his eyebrows: “40%? General Totoro, you are kidding me. The Interim order only stated that the Northwestern army can take 20%.”
Totoro smiled so hard that his fat was hanging off his cheeks: “My lord, you only just came to the northwest so you didn’t know this. Normally, 20% is the right amount, but when fall comes around, the Northwestern Army would take 40%, this is already a long time practice.”
After a pause, Totoro explained without waiting for Du Wei’s question: “Once fall is over is when the year comes to an end. As a reward for the soldiers effort each year, the military would give them a bonus as a way to raise their spirit. Therefore, the annual autumn budget is doubled.”
The truth is Du Wei is well aware of all this, he is simply playing dumb. After a moment in though, he showed a generous face: “
“In that case, I naturally cannot break the rules here. The boys are fighting for us at the border; so of course we can’t treat them badly. General Toroto, wait here while I have my deputies report the revenue to me.”
Bullshit, you want to give bonuses and want me to pay? Hell no!
Though Du Wei was sneering inside, he still sent for Philip.
In the meantime while they waited for Philip’s arrival, Du Wei casually asked a few things about the Northwestern army.
It turns out that extracting the military funds wasn’t always this difficult. If it was before, Totoro only needed to send someone over to say a few words, but Du Wei is after all a Duke, so it was for the best that he personally came instead. Even if this is the Northwest, a duke is still a duke, not someone he wanted to offend if he can avoid it.
He thought this new lord would be an idiot like the previous two, but after hearing Du Wei’s quick acceptance, his nerve became relaxed.
Humph, after all, a teenager is only a kid, so what if he’s a duke? This is the Northwest, even if the emperor himself came, he would still need to give the Northwestern Army some face!
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