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ITDO - Chapter 71 - He Who Changed Dragon City (2)

Old John walked out of the house after saying goodbye to his wife and children.

The morning sun beat down the fragrant earth, and the chirping of birds gave the air a delicate vibrancy. 

“Morning Old John.”

“Hey, John. Heard you were transferred to the noble district to work? Is it true that the lord gives more flour and meat to those who work there?”

“I heard that the supervisors there are all elves. Hey, are they really as beautiful as the rumors say?”

“I’ve seen some elves before, and they are really indescribably beautiful regardless of their gender.”

Old John’s neighbors poured out in droves to meet him. Although their clothes were of poor quality and showed signs of obvious wear and tear, their faces glowed with radiance. And their expressions lacked the haggardness of most commoners.

Old John smiled as he greeted his neighbors.

Dragon City was indeed different from the past. The biggest impression that old John had was that it was a lot cleaner.

The streets used to be full of litter and smelled of rot and decay. This was the norm for most cities in San Soliel, and those who lived in the slums had it even worse. Comparatively speaking, nobles’ estates were quite pleasant.

However, after the great Lord Galakrond became their city lord, his first order was for the citizens to clean up the area a hundred meters around their living spaces. He did not demand that there be no trash, but that it absolutely had to be tidy. He also placed a ban on public defecation and urination outside of assigned spaces. Violators of these laws would be charged light fines, and in more serious cases, would be whipped. The city lord also declared that all commoners must bathe at least once a week.

Although the people’s daily habits had been restricted by these harsh laws, they were submissive in nature. As long as they could continue living, they would not find it difficult to comply. Moreover, they felt that their lord was quite generous. People who did not comply with his regulations were better off dead.

Dragon City did not lack water resources. It was located in the middle of the San Soliel Mountain Range with an underground river flowing through the city. This was enough to meet the needs of the city.

Given the medieval level of social development, frequent bathing was not a social norm. The vast majority of citizens failed to bathe even once a year. This wasn’t because they disliked cleaning themselves, but because the rigors of their lives meant they could barely find the time for such luxuries.

But under the strict orders of their new lord, everyone began to clean up and organize the work. Some people even joked privately that the lord might be an elf due to his penchant for cleanliness.

At first, because they were already used to having filth in their environment, cleaning made little sense to the citizens. Nevertheless, they complied with their lord’s instructions. Soon, Old John found that the cleanup seemed to have a positive effect on everyone’s psyche. At the very least, everyone was in a happier mood when smelling the fresh air instead of feces. 

During the day, men who could work were called in to do manual labor to rebuild the city, while the women were tasked with cleaning the environment. In other cities, this was an impossible way to divide labor as it would mean half of the population was not producing food. Given the low productivity of each farmer, it was easy to see why this was undesirable. If such a policy was implemented, not only would the population of the territory starve, but the lords would gradually become poorer and lose their territories.

But the sacred dragon thought differently. He did not care about the loss of labor, and he made sure that the citizens transformed the city in line with his grand design. He was liberal with the wheat and meat under his control. And for the residents who were mostly used to eating bitter black bread, their present circumstances were almost heavenly.

With such clear benefits for complying with his administration, only idiots would choose to slack off.

But there were always such people. In fact, Old John soon came across them on his way to work.

Walking through one of the city squares, he saw a dozen or so people surrounded by soldiers. The prisoners were naked and kneeling on the ground. They wailed and begged for mercy as the infantry cracked whips at them and drew blood with each strike.

The soldiers were the remnants of the forces that fled Central City when Louie had attacked. Most of the elite forces had been wiped out by Louie’s flames, but a few divisions managed to escape total annihilation. Unfortunately, they were fairly weak compared to their martyred counterparts. Nevertheless, they were familiar with the city. And while they would no longer have any place in the new army, they functioned well enough as overseers of internal order. The current whipping was merely an extension of their duties.

Though such means were crass and perhaps even immoral when judged with a 21st Century mindset, Louie was not about to change his mind on their use. 

This was a completely different place and time. If someone tried to explain the concept of human rights to even the lowliest commoner who stood to gain the most from them, they would simply be laughed off like fools. While Louie could be just, stern, and munificent, those were simply traits he adopted for his own ends. He did not govern for the sake of the city’s residents, but for his and his alone. He would not hesitate to kill those who threatened the order of his territory. And he claimed the right to personally decide on the life and death of each and every citizen.

Those saintly protagonists from web novels shouldn't even be alive if their situation was more realistic. They would simply be killed off before their stories got anywhere!

“Look at them, it’s no wonder that they are poor. The lord is so generous and great. By just investing in labor, we get to enjoy food that only nobles could eat and fill our stomachs. These people actually dared resort to theft and trickery to pretend to work; all in the name of cheating food and drinks out of the lord.”

“For sure. I used to pity one of them when I saw him in the slums, but now, it seems that such people do not deserve even the slightest bit of it.”

“It’s a waste of food to keep them alive. They might as well be killed.”

Under the curses and malice of the nearby onlookers, the slackers were gradually beaten to death. A soldier walked over to check the slacker’s breathing, and seeing that the person was dead, he waved his hands to beckon the other soldiers. They carried the body of the dead slackers outside the city and burned it in a great fire.

In this chaotic age, the lands were filled with numerous instances of great warmth and cruelty.

The crowd quickly dispersed as they headed to tend to their responsibilities.

The entire Dragon City was now buzzing with activity. Major construction sites were set up, and infrastructure was rapidly established.

As a transmigrator from Earth, Louie felt that his subjects were easy to dupe. Simply by feeding them some white bread and meat he could gain their devotion and utmost loyalty. It was a perfect source of free labor.

Moreover, while they were working, they kept saying praises to Louie. This was simply unimaginable in modern society.

Louie clearly knew that the economic foundation was determined by the construction of infrastructure. As long as there was a good foundation, the future of the city would be able to take off like a dragon!

He would transform Dragon City into something he was proud of!

OneWithTheWorld's Notes:

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Written by 青之月; Green Moon. Translated by OneWithTheWorld. Edited by TheDeadApostle.