I was grateful for their words, but taking them too seriously would cause me to puff up with pride.
So I accepted about half of it.
“With so many more people here now, you will make more in taxes as well.”
“Yes, that is true.”
I looked at Eve. She pulled out some paper.
She had predicted that this subject would arise and was prepared.
That was my maid for you.
I said as much to her, and her cheeks flushed a little.
Then she coughed and read out a forecast for this period’s taxes.
Gottlieb listened to this with wonder.
“It is more than twenty times that of our old home.”
Yes, that was amazing. I would be able to strengthen my army with so much funds.
“Master. You will finally be able to make that army of humans that you have been planning.”
Eve said with a smile.
“Yes. I can now hire human mercenaries and give them weapons.”
“You will of course, allow us dwarves to make these weapons?”
I nodded and said I had every intention of doing just that. And so we quickly went about hiring human mercenaries.
It was not as if I hadn’t hired any before, but it was at a very small scale, due to a lack of funds.
However, that was no longer a problem.
We would not see the money for at least half a year, but with a city so big, we would also be able to borrow from human merchants.
They were all such sharp-eyed creatures.
They would not balk at the idea of lending to a Demon Lord who was expanding.
And so I had Eve procure the required funds and then set up billboards around the city.
Toshizou Hijikata looked at them and said in a low voice.
“Are you not being a little stingy?”
“It is eighty percent of what most mercenaries make, but I see no problem with it.”
People tend to believe that mercenaries go where the money is, but such mercenaries were already hired by the wealthy countries or Demon Kings.
I could not outbid them even if I wanted to.
The only thing I could offer them was ‘insurance.’
“Insurance for when they die or are injured. They will be granted a sum of money when they are injured and unable to fight. If they are killed in battle, their families will be paid. With such an incentive, even weak soldiers will fight bravely.”
“I see. So you have thought this through then.”
Toshizou was oddly satisfied with this. Then he added, ‘the Shinsengumi should have done the same,’ and laughed.
It was an honor to be praised like this by the demon vice-commander.
And my plan seemed to have worked. For while the people that came were not the strongest, they were all serious and looked to be of patient disposition.
I put Hijikata in charge of commanding and training them, so I could watch from afar.
I had actually wanted to be more involved, but Eve stopped me.
“The Ashtaroth Army will fail to grow if you insist on doing everything yourself, Master.”
Yes, that was true.
Gottlieb had said something similar. And so I left the training of the soldiers to my two strong generals, Toshizou and Jeanne.