The new potatoes spread throughout the Ashtaroth town.
They were hot and delicious, while also being easy to grow and strong against diseases. And so in the blink of an eye, more farmers were planting them. I knew that they would help enrich the town, but it was too early to relax.
I began work on a certain reform that I had been thinking about for awhile.
I wanted to solve the postal problem in Ashtaroth.
In fact, there was no postal system in this world.
Well, there were ways to send letters, but there was no organization that was in charge.
Adventurer’s Guilds and Merchant Guilds would handle it themselves and accept payment.
But there were no laws being enforced, and so there was nothing you could do if you paid but the letter was never delivered.
If you were a lord, then you could just send a servant to deliver it, but I wanted the town residents to also have a reliable service.
And so I made Robin Hood the postal service minister.
Toshizou was exasperated that I would put someone new in charge, but we lacked personnel. And since Toshizou was surprisingly happy-go-lucky, he was not suited to such detailed work. As for the Saint, that was not even worth considering.
Eve was already too busy for me to give her more work, and I had other jobs for Gottlieb.
“In other words, it was through a process of elimination.”
Said Robin. While it sounded bad, it was the truth. However, he did not look displeased.
“I learned something through traveling this continent, and that is how useful a postal system is. You can send letters to family and loved ones who live in a different town.”
I suppose that was something Robin could relate to, as he had been separated from his lover. And so he willingly accepted the post.
Of course, I would still do the important parts.
The first thing to do was to build a central post office in the center of the town.
In order to save money I would buy a wealthy merchant’s mansion and remodel it.
Once it is done, the town will be divided into twenty-six blocks, and an alphabet will be assigned to each one. Equally, there will be districts A to Z.
For instance, if Toshizou’s favorite brothel was in district H, it would be assigned a number like H9-21 according to the rules. 9 was the street and 21 was the lot.
A proclamation will be made and each building will receive a number and be registered with a mailman mark. Like this, even those humans and demons who could not read could still deliver the mail.
I decided to mainly hire soldiers who had been injured and could no longer fight. It could be their second career.
This decree was very popular with the retired soldiers, and helped earn us the reputation that if you joined the army, you would never be out of work.
And so capable soldiers gathered from the neighboring lands, and would enlist. Robin was sure to find the ones that were good with the bow. He was a lot more reliable than I had thought.
Now that the postal system and central post office were in place, we just had to make smaller post offices in the corners of the town.
As the offices would be small, and it was not heavy labor, this would be where the widows could work. I made women who had lost their husbands in war as postmasters, so they would not have to marry if they didn’t want to.
They were glad to accept these positions, and handled the mail swiftly. They were very enthusiastic and worked even harder than the men.
Eve was full of praise when she saw this.
“Very good, master. You not only solved the postal issue, but also increased the number of jobs for people.”
She added that I was more than a genius at this point.
“You exaggerate. And this postal reform has only just started. If it works well in Ashtaroth town, then the other towns in my domain will be next. I think I will start with Kong Ming’s town. And if the rest of the world adopts it one day, then we will be able to send letters across the world. But well, that might take several decades.”
“Even a great river starts with a single drop. In a few years, lovers will be sending each other letters in droves.”
“In that other world, there is a tradition of sending new years postcards. It might catch on here as well.”
I said, and then our minister, Robin Hood, arrived.
“Demon King. I had something to discuss with you regarding the postal system.”
“What? Is there trouble?”
“Yes. It’s very troublesome indeed.”
I asked, and Robin Hood told me with a serious expression.
“Apparently, someone threw the corpse of a horse behind the central post office.”
“Well, dead horses are not exactly rare.”
I didn’t say that. Because horses were the mascot of the Ashtaroth post office. All of our signs were in the shapes of horses.
The fact that such a symbolic animal corpse was thrown in might suggest that something was happening.
“Well, normally it would be interpreted as a form of harassment or a warning.”
“It is likely. Sadly, the horse’s head was cut off.”
“Their methods are like the mafia.”
But it was too early to jump to any conclusions about the culprits.
I decided to investigate.
After telling Robin to join me, I turned to Eve and Jeanne.
Between the two assistants, Eve was overwhelmingly more intelligent. But it was also possible that Jeanne’s free way of thinking could help in solving the case.
Besides, she would complain a lot more if I didn’t take her.
As I pondered over this, Robin took a coin out of his pocket.
“Demon King, use this when you can’t decide.”
“A coin toss, huh? Well, I suppose it is best.”
Instead of wasting brain cells thinking about it, it would be better to decide with a coin.
“Alright, Jeanne will take the goddess on the face, and Eve will be the witch on the back.”
“Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”
Robin asked jokingly. I grinned and then tossed the coin.
Robin caught it in the air and then opened his hand.
It showed the witch.
“Well, I guess Eve will be my Watson.”
I said, and Eve smiled.
As expected, Jeane began to complain about this, but I was able to persuade her.
I gave her reasons to stay, including the training of soldiers and reading of books. And in the end, I said that I would buy her a gift, and she finally agreed.
The idea of buying a souvenir from your own town was rather sad, but I suppose it would give me an idea of what was selling in Ashtaroth. At least, that was what I told myself.
Like this, the investigation team was formed.
The first thing to do was to head to the scene of the crime. And so we went to the central post office where the dead horse was thrown.
When we arrived, a bird demi-human came out while rubbing his hands togethers.
“Well, well, Lord Ashtaroth. What brings you to a place like this?”
While he came off as servile, a lot of birdfolk acted like merchants, and had such personalities.
“I heard that a dead horse was thrown into the backyard of the central post office.”
Upon hearing this, postmaster Oswalt flinched.
“…So even the Demon King has heard of it. You have very sharp ears.”
“Robin told me.”
“The minister… Then there is no point in hiding it. Yes, a dead horse was thrown behind the building this morning.”
“Harassment and intimidation. But was there any kind of message as well?”
“There was. On the wall. ‘Stop the mail.’”
“I see. And what measures have been taken?”
“We increased the security of this building, but not the smaller post offices…”
“Indeed. If you station security guards at each one, the price of postage will go up.”
“Yes. And you only just taught us how to decrease labor costs.”
“But if the workers are afraid of such threats, then their morale will be lowered. That could lead to the collapse of this whole operation. And so I must find out who is doing this. Can you take me to the scene of the crime?”
“I do not mind, but…”
He glanced over to Eve.
Should a lady really be shown a dead horse? Oswalt asked.
“There is no need to worry about that. Eve is the daughter of demons. She has courage. A mere dead horse won’t even warrant an eyebrow raise.”
“That is amazing. What a great woman.”
“You flatter me.”
Said Eve with a bow, and then the four of us headed to the back of the building.