Steel, Guns, and the Industrial Party in Another World - C.266: Stirring

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The revelry—or perhaps more aptly, the chaos—continued until evening. Only after everyone was exhausted did the area around Faber Village finally quiet down.

Though physically tired, everyone’s spirits remained high, as each person had found many valuable items.

They gathered in the large house of the Baden family, showing off their finds of the day. Plans were made to rest for a while before returning to their respective villages.

In the crowd, only Kevin had taken nothing, his mind clouded with worry. He gathered a few of the villagers with higher standing to discuss their situation.

He shared his concerns: their looting spree in Faber Village would surely not go unpunished by the lord.

The mood amongst them cooled as if doused with cold water, their previous fervor instantly fading.

When resentment builds beyond a certain threshold, impulsiveness can overpower reason, leading to actions they wouldn’t normally dare. However, they had forgotten that a higher power, maintaining the order of Alda, though oppressive, still existed.

Someone whispered hesitantly, “But… wasn’t it Baden who erred first? He even killed one of ours. Several hit by the stone slings never woke up again.”

Kevin shook his head, “But clearly, our ‘crimes’ are more severe. The lord will surely punish us first.”

He harbored resentment, wondering why the villagers had been so impulsive, why they couldn’t have been more rational.

During the chaos, Kevin had considered fleeing to Port Fran to report to the town hall and request the mayor to send help to restore order. But after much thought, he stayed, waiting for everyone to calm down before finding a solution together.

“Ha ha, Kevin, my boy, what ‘crimes’? You’re making it sound too serious,” interrupted a voice.

From the side, a shifty-eyed man approached. Kevin’s frown deepened upon recognizing him: Biso, a good-for-nothing idler from the village.

“It was the landlord Baden who first imposed heavy taxes behind the lord’s back, driving us to desperation. That’s why we acted irrationally. Besides, so many of us were involved. Haven’t you heard the saying, ‘The law does not punish the many’?”

Kevin pointed out seriously, “The current lord is a forceful man, as evident from his overcoming various difficulties to eradicate the pirates.”

Biso wagged his finger, “Even if he wants to pursue it, what can he do to us? Hang us all? Or send us to forced labor? We represent the labor force of several villages. If he takes us away, what will happen to the elderly, women, and children left in our villages? Will he take care of them?”

The crowd turned to Biso, his words seemingly making some sense.

Proudly, Biso continued, “Would the lord want to tarnish his reputation for a ruthless landlord? How would the minstrels sing of him—villagers rise against an oppressive landlord, yet the count indiscriminately hangs all the rebels?”

People nodded in agreement; despite his usual laziness and wandering, Biso had accrued quite some insight.

His words significantly eased their fears for their own lives.

Just as they began to relax, Biso’s tone turned serious, “But, the gains of today will surely be confiscated and returned to Baden, or… end up in the lord’s own pocket.”

This remark made everyone instinctively clutch their pockets tighter.

“No one’s taking the treasures from my bag!” someone immediately bellowed.

They were truly terrified of poverty, so much so that they were ready to risk their lives to protect their newfound wealth.

Kevin held his forehead, sensing the looming trouble.

Indeed, Biso, with a wave of his fist, said, “Folks, why don’t we ‘negotiate’ with the lord! The ill-gotten wealth of the Baden family, amassed from our hard-earned labor, rightfully belongs to us. It was originally stolen from us by Baden, and now we’re merely taking back what’s ours.”

“Enough!” Kevin rebuked angrily. “What do we have to negotiate with the lord? He can summon an army against us!”

“Kevin, you’re too cowardly!” Biso retorted righteously. “We are many and strong, and we’ve seized a large cache of weapons from the Baden family. We are an army ourselves and have the right to ‘negotiate’ with the lord.”

“Have you forgotten how the pirates in the Northwest Bay were annihilated?”

“Do you still remember the old pirate chief, Edward? He was a terror to all lords in the Northwest.”

Ignoring Kevin, Biso continued, now addressing the crowd that had gathered around them. “How did Edward’s pirates instill fear in the lords? The secret was ‘unity.’ They bound themselves into one force, gaining power far beyond any individual. After Edward disappeared, the pirates fell apart, which led to their defeat.”

“My fellow villagers! We’ve gathered people from several villages. If we unite, the lord can’t touch us. He will have to accept our demands and allow us to keep this wealth that rightfully belongs to us.”

“Look, the fall of Baden has already proven our strength. Even such a powerful landlord could not withstand our united force!”

Biso’s words reignited the fire in everyone’s hearts. Indeed, the once-mighty Baden, who seemed invincible, turned into a fleeing dog under their combined force.

The lord? Isn’t he just a bigger landlord?

These villagers, who had only roamed around their villages and at most visited Port Fran, had no real understanding of the size of a count’s domain, its population, or the size of the lord’s army.

They could only speculate based on the most powerful force they had seen—the Baden family.

Having easily driven away landlord Baden, they thought that if the lord refused their demands and sent his troops, it might be more challenging to drive them away, as the lord was presumably more formidable than Baden.

Thus, the villagers began to chant: “Unite! Negotiate with the lord!”

In Alda, due to the absence of knights with villages as their fiefs, the rural farmers lacked a direct experience of the lord’s power. Their obedience to the lord’s decrees stemmed more from generational habit.

In other domains, such an incident as in Faber Village would be unlikely, as any gathering of villagers would be suppressed by the knights residing in their village, preventing any collaboration among multiple villages.

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