Duke Daughter 57: Anxiety
… My head is spinning.
After being bombarded by so much information, I now have a headache. I massage my temples and pore over the documents.
After being notified of my excommunication from the Church, I gathered all the pertinent documents related to the rebuilding of one of the churches within my fief and gave them to Sebastian. The church had been so disheveled that it would have cost a fortune to have it repaired, so I purchased it at double the price and began efforts to rebuild a new one elsewhere. I had even consulted the Church before submitting the documentation required to have the church rebuilt. But before even conducting this process, I have made a visit to the Church but was refused at the doorway.
But, even after having jumped through all the necessary hoops, they have not rescinded the excommunication order.
“… How magnificently they’ve managed to sacrifice us for their own gain…”
“Yes. I used what connections we have to search for the priest who sold us the church building, but was unable to find him. I believe his affiliation with the Church has been severed and the letter Milady sent regarding the church’s demolition was ignored by the Church. I feel that… even if you possess the power of a duke, the Church will be able to limit the amount of information we can obtain. This will, no doubt, be a difficult investigation, Milady.” (Sebastian)
“Well, if we could find the priest of Kudan, we would be able to deal with this issue swiftly, but…”
I cannot just tell them to release all of the information we’ve gathered about the Church members. For Sebastian to regretfully say that he was unable to obtain information… I’m impressed that he was able to get this much information in such a short time, at all.
“How is our fief’s situation?”
“Although it has only been a few days since we were notified of the excommunication, anxiety amongst the people is rising rapidly.” (Sebastian)
“I thought as much. What about the merchants?” (Iris)
“There have been several merchants who have quit or suddenly taken a vacation. Fortunately, others who value their work more highly than reputation chose to remain, saying things like, ‘Work is much more important than some Church decree!’ We have been able to maintain our current level of production thanks to these devoted individuals.” (Sebastian)
It makes sense, I guess. For those who are unaware of the circumstances surrounding the demolished church, it would appear as though I demolished it without permission, and I would be someone who committed a crime against God.
It can’t be helped if some merchants quit or fled for their own safety.
“Trade has declined as well. The effect this situation has had on the fief is terrible.” (Sebastian)
The fief adjacent to ours just declared an increase in tariffs and trade restrictions to dampen our economy, requiring us to pay to sell within their fief and pay to cross their borders as well.
Because of these new regulations, businesses who are based in my fief are suffering heavy losses – just being based in my fief puts a business at a disadvantage. I have to solve this problem soon, or we will end up losing all the help we’ve received from various businesses.
Of course, this is also a problem for the Azura Conglomerate. I, who am the head of the conglomerate, have been officially deemed a sinner, and, now, people are wary of our products.
Additionally, we now have to pay increased taxes since we need to ship things directly to the capital.
Prior to my excommunication, I have not only received complaints from the nobility about the rising prices of our products, which I have attempted to assuage, but also from the common people.
There was also the issue of decreased sales of our products due to price increases caused by other companies poaching our store employees, especially from stores that are in the capital or experience a high amount of traffic. The loss of employees culminated in reduced production and our sales have declined from the resulting price increase.
That is why similar, if not the exact same, knock-off products had been cropping up in the markets. It wasn’t as if I didn’t anticipate that something like this would happen and prepare countermeasures, but with my excommunication, my preparations have been rendered useless. Now, since my excommunication has tarnished my brand’s image, people are more likely to buy these knock-offs from seemingly more reputable companies.
“… I look terrible …” (Iris)
I looked into a mirror in the study, and saw my appearance. The light from my eyes has disappeared. My hair is unkempt and my skin rough.
As someone who originally lived my previous life in Japan, I think that being excommunicated from the Church isn’t a big deal… But, in this world, the Church is a powerful organization.
The influence of the Church reaches far and wide.
There is also the absolute name and authority that is God; the power of the House of Armelia pales in comparison.
It is impossible for us to negotiate with the Church, as they are an organization that wields absolute power and have long seized the hearts of the people. Even reaching out to approach the Church is difficult, as I am now a “sinner”.
Because of my excommunication, the second prince’s faction has been taking this opportunity to harass my father incessantly, and any event that my mother was supposed to appear at has been cancelled or her invitation rescinded.
I try to look up.
Ow, My head hurts….If I try to stand I get dizzy.
It has only been a few days. Then again, it has been a few days.
I have gotten almost no sleep lately, as I have been trying to keep up with the developing circumstances and think of countermeasures which we would then discuss and alter to match the current situation.
This is a battle against time. I am growing quite impatient, and I have been under extreme duress every single day.
I look back down, and immediately felt that my vision would grow hazy if I tried to turn around.
Just a bit more… A little more, and then my preparations will be complete. Though, even with said preparations, I am doubtful that I will be able to overturn this situation. The anxiety dwelling in my heart keeps asking whether this is a good option or not. Shadows have started to creep into my mind. My opponent this time is too powerful. If I had more time to prepare, I could … No, even if I had predicted this, I would have had no other options.