Chapter 51: Bridal Studies
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What is the foundation of a noble house’s rise to greatness?

There were many answers to this question, but if one really had to choose an answer, it would undoubtedly be wise governance. How well a fiefdom fared would directly affect a noble house’s base of power.

A noble house could be blessed with talented offspring, but it would be futile if it had no money to hire the best instructors to nurture their talents. Building connections with other nobles also required money, be it purchasing dresses or keeping up appearances. Even a powerful army had to be maintained atop a pile of money.

All of this was financed by the taxes earned by the fiefdom, which was in turn related to the workforce.

If the governance is inept, the standard of living of the people will fall, reducing productivity. If the governance is tyrannical, the people will migrate to other lands. If the governance is excellent, foreign talent will consider settling down in the fiefdom.

It was with such considerations that the Sorofyas used the growth of population as one of the indicators to measure how qualified a lord was.

But how could the Sorofyas measure a fiefdom’s population? After all, it couldn’t possibly do a headcount of every single person in a territory. How inefficient would that method be?

The Sorofyas’ approach toward this matter was to make an estimation through the flow of goods of one of the necessities in everyday life—salt.

Humans cannot live without salt; this was a physiological need. This was especially so in this era of menial labor. Those who under consume salt would find themselves feeling lethargic and lacking in strength.

“The Elric Fiefdom doesn’t produce salt, which means that they have to acquire all of it through merchants. As such, we’re confident about the accuracy of the figures we have. Any discrepancy in the results should be minimal. In our analysis, we found that the amount of salt bought by the Elric Fiefdom has been going up slowly over the past few decades, similar to some of the more stable fiefdoms around.

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Novel Notes

LTBE will be ending on 25th December. There'll be one update a day till then! Thank you for reading this book despite the irregular schedule!
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Fang Chen, a disgraced war god who was crippled as a martial artist, stumbled upon a powerful cultivator, who is impressed by his talent and offers to take him in as a personal disciple. However, he turns down the latter's offer to protect his country. 
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