A noble house had been demoted.
Their resource satellites had been confiscated by the Empire, and all their credibility as nobles was lost.
The Viscount-no, Baron Razel house was deemed as an inadequate place for training.
“–How did this happen?”
When the Banfield house was attacked by pirates, they were suspected of not sending relief aid intentionally.
Their only silver lining was that Liam had completely slaughtered the ambushers.
The remaining pirates in the territory were then easily able to be dealt with by Randolph.
More so than they imagined, the Empire went all-out with it’s investigation into the incident— which eventually led to the current situation.
The reason why they didn’t just completely crush the house was because it’d be troublesome for the Empire to suddenly have to rule over their territory.
In addition to that, they were already being punished in their own way.
The Peetak house they were affiliated with was almost confirmed to collapse, while the huge debts they carried would be pushed onto them.
The reason for that lies in the woman they married off to them, Katerina.
If Peter died, it’d be more than likely that Katerina would become the house’s next head.
It was possible for them to just abandon everything and run away, but then they’d be despised by all of the Peetak house’s relatives as the cause for its destruction.
They’d be looked at with cold eyes from then on within the Empire’s aristocratic society.
No matter what they did, Randolph couldn’t see a bright future in store for them.
On the other hand—
“All the businessmen ran away.”
The merchants who heard the news had abandoned them.
All the businessmen they had connections with suddenly started giving them the cold shoulder after the demotion. In the first place, their relationship wasn’t the best because of their connection to the pirates, so they all took this chance to jump ship.
The quick-minded subordinates all left in search of a new lord to serve as well.
All that remained were the inflexible ones.
Among them were the knights who were in charge of teaching Liam.
“What went wrong… just where did we go wrong?”
Randoph was falling into despair– and the guide was watching him.
He was standing right in front of him, but Randolph didn’t seem to notice anything.
“You’ve disappointed me Randolph, but thanks to your despair, I’m feeling a little better now. I will definitely take revenge on Liam using the power you’ve given me.”
Randolph, Peter and some others– their misfortunes brought a small amount of power back to the guide.
But it still wasn’t enough to make Liam unhappy.
The guide fell into deep thought,
“If things are going to be like this, then let’s just reveal everything to Liam.”
Liam’s grateful feelings were still being transmitted to him even this far away.
Without Randolph or Peter’s negative feelings, things would’ve been dangerous for him.
—if things had gone wrong, then he might’ve completely run out of power and disappeared.
He wished that they had fallen into an even deeper despair.
The guide really thought so.
“With your negative emotions empowering me, I will definitely send Liam into a living hell!”
As the guide disappeared, Randolph raised his face.
The change to his expression was small– but it had a bit of a refreshed feeling to it.
It was probably because the guide had absorbed his negative emotions.
“I need to work hard. If things are like this, then I just need to start all over again. First, let’s get in get into contact with my son, and then I’ll call Katerina after.”
He needed to make sure there was a future for his children.
Even without anyone’s help, Randolph was going to bring them back up.
◇ ◇ ◇
Peter, whose manhood had exploded, had a sullen expression on his face.
Katerina was by his side.
Lying down on his bed, Peter started to hollowly laugh.
“The great me was1— no, I was a fool.”
“You finally noticed?”
Katerina was amazed.
“You can go home Katerina. You can break off our engagement now. I’ll testify that we haven’t had a physical relationship, and make sure that you aren’t troubled by this.”
To the Peter that everyone had abandoned, Katerina started shaking her head.
“Nothing will change even if I leave. My father told me to go back, but I’m not going to. If I leave you alone, your house will be destroyed.”
“…Katerina, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Katerina had a frustrated expression on her face.
Even so, she was seriously thinking of ways to help manage the Peetak house.
“If the Peetak house bounces back even a little bit, then there’s bound to be someone who’ll appear to take the position of head. Once that happens, let’s throw this all away and retire together.”
“Okay, I’ll do my best.”
Peter was the same as Liam.
He had grown up without knowing a parent’s love.
Having abandoned him, his parents had fled to the imperial capital when he was young.
Peter was happy to have someone he could rely on for the first time in his life.
◇ ◇ ◇
The imperial capital.
After graduating from university, Tia was currently receiving training to become an official.
The training period spanned over two years, during which they’d be forced to do various odd-jobs.
However, those who were expected to rise up in the future were assigned to appropriate departments where they received preferential treatment.
Tia was one of them.
When she entered the government office in a suit, she could see the heir of the Razel house in work clothes.
He was being scolded by his superiors.
“Hey, newbie! Is saying the same thing over and over again the only thing you can do?!”
“Sorry, I’m so sorry.”
“Are you not interested in this kind of work?!”
“That’s not… true.”
“What’s wrong?! Except for those in the star department, all you heirs of noble houses are useless. If you keep this up for two more years, do you really think you’ll be ready for your position?!”
“No, I definitely wouldn’t.”
“Even people like you aren’t allowed to escape from this. For your two years of training, you’re going to be cleaning the toilets.”
His head was lowered, and his hands were clenched.
The Razel house had been demoted, and as a result their son wasn’t placed in the star department.
Instead, he was silently doing janitor jobs.
That department wasn’t a place that noble house heirs were usually assigned.
Even so, he was working seriously.
(…well, even if I don’t say anything, I hope he does his best.)
If she said something here, it’d mean that she had forgiven the Razel house that had ill-treated Liam, but the serious figure the guy gave off even made Tia slightly sympathetic.
(Let’s see, two years of training, then four more years of practice– and then the military academy? Between the university and the academy, I wonder which one Lord Liam will choose.)
For this, she decided she had to change.
Tia was working hard for Liam’s future.
◇ ◇ ◇
There was a strong backlash against the lord.
For the last few years, I’ve been struggling against foolish insurgents who’ve been crying out for their rights and freedoms.
But their rights and freedoms were mine!
They had no freedoms or rights!
“Why are they so adamant about having whatever hairstyle they want?!”
I hit the desk in my office as I made plans to send out the military to various places.
Fortunately for them, they were just propaganda parades where they’d walk around showing off what hairstyles I deemed appropriate.
However, the soldiers weren’t motivated.
Some of them were even saying, “That hairstyle looks good.”
Don’t screw with me!
I’ll never accept such a hairstyle!
I don’t care how many years it takes! I’ll force them into using the hairstyles I want instead of that stupid tornado cut!
“The territory sure is peaceful.”
I was stunned by Amagi’s comment.
“How can that be?! The people are rising up against me!”
When I told the broadcast stations “Isn’t this banned?”, they told me, “There aren’t any laws that regulate hairstyles.”
Whose side were they supposed to be on?! I was the ruling power here!
You’ve got to be kidding me!
When I tried to make the laws by force, the officials told me, “That’s a bit much.”
Then they’d start to lecture me that deciding which hairstyles were good, and which were bad was a useless venture to spend my time on.
I knew that… I knew that but-!
You guys, why do you care so much about your hairstyles?!
Was it that?! Was this their retaliation to the tax increase?! It had to be that!
“More importantly, it looks like the fourth team has arrived at the pioneer planet safely. Development seems to be going better than expected. The tax increase made by Master seems to have made large contributions towards that result.”
“The hairstyle problem is more important! I hate it! People with tornado hairstyles are showing up everywhere!”
Before I enrolled into elementary school, I was definitely going to stop that hairstyle!
◇ ◇ ◇
The head maid was giving a report to the prime minister.
“—and that’s the situation. Everything seems to be calm except for the military demonstrations.”
“I understand his pain enough that even I feel hurt from this.”
After hearing about Liam’s current situation, the prime minister grew sympathetic.
“In any case, the time for him to enroll into elementary school is approaching.”
“As a count, he shouldn’t have any problems, but I’ve heard that there’s been quite a few problem-children enrolling these days.”
Elementary schools also had their problems.
The prime minister had high hopes for Liam, who was like a shining light in the rise of the Empire’s corruption.
“By the way, I heard he bought a fortress-class from the Seventh Weapons Factory. It looks like he’s building up his forces, is there a reason?”
The head maid answered,
“We’re using it as a temporary defensive base for the pioneer areas. It’ll take several years to prepare a full-fledged base, so we’re using it like this until then.”
“I see. So that’s the reason why? I thought it was something like that.”
◇ ◇ ◇
The noble children were being taken care of in Liam’s residence.
Although they were living in the mansion, they were being strictly treated as servants during their three years of training.
They were also being educated, but what happened to those who weren’t going to advance to elementary school like Liam?
–the answer was simple.
They’d continue to spend time in Liam’s territory.
Universities were being built, so they stayed to study in the school of their choice.
Two girls who had already spent three years in the mansion were walking around the university grounds in plain clothes.
“Wow~ The Count sure is generous. He even covered our tuition and living expenses.”
Their tuition fees were exempted.
Allowances were even given to them, but if it wasn’t enough, they’d start working part-time jobs or ask for more from their parents.
“We wouldn’t be able to play around as much back home either.”
In their territories there weren’t any universities built.
Compared to its surrounding area, Liam’s territory was exceptionally developed.
The reason why the minor lords let their children study abroad was because they wanted them to learn from Liam’s already fully established territory.
“I don’t really want to go back home~”
One of the girls then turned to smile at her lamenting friend,
“Then you just need to marry a local and then move here.”
The lamenting girl glared at her friend,
“That sounds fine~ I want to keep relaxing here for a least a decade.”
“Don’t give up! I’m sure that you’ll find someone among the knights you’ll take a fancy to.”
The girls looked like they were really having fun.
The same could be said for the men.
All of them continued to study at the university while experiencing lives full of love and youth.
◇ ◇ ◇
I was furious that I was about to enter elementary school.
The reason being-
Picking up a fashion magazine, the hairstyle on the cover had evolved even further instead of disappearing. I was running out of time.
Brian commented on it,
“Lord Liam, if you make a bad law, it’s only natural that you’ll meet opposition.”
“I’ll crush it thoroughly!”
I didn’t think that they would go this far to make me angry.
I wonder if this was their retaliation in response to me having Amagi raise their taxes to the limit.
If that was the case– no, either way it would be necessary for me to let them know who’s on top here.
“Are you sure you don’t want to just give up?”
“As if I’ll give up! I’ll make them regret the day they rebelled against me– the person in power!”
“But the people seem to still be enjoying themselves.”
“Then I definitely can’t forgive them!”
It’s okay for me to take from my people, but I definitely mustn’t be taken from.
I’ll have to use the corruption I’ve installed as an evil lord for this.
“If this is how it’s going to be, then I’ll send out the knights and force them all to have haircu-”
While I was speaking, I couldn’t help but notice that Brian seemed a little strange.
He wasn’t moving at all, as if time had stopped.
This feeling– yes, I knew what this was.
When I looked around, I found a slightly tired-looking guide, just like before.
He was sitting on his suitcase with his legs folded.
A top hat was deeply worn on his head to the point where I couldn’t see his eyes.
However, the crescent moon-like smile on his face was clear to see.
“Long time no see, Liam.”
The guide spread out his hands.
“I really wanted to see you, but I couldn’t meet you until today.”
To the happy looking guide, I wanted to convey a few words of thanks,
“I actually wanted to see you too. I needed to do so in order to than–”
The guide brought his index finger to his mouth in a gesture for me to keep silent,
“Let me go first Liam. I have a lot I want to say.”
After standing up, the guide started to talk to me in a light tone,
“Didn’t you think that it was funny?”
“Various things, but if I were to choose a recent topic, it’d be the Razel house. Liam, haven’t you ever wondered why you were treated in such a way there?”
The guide who suddenly started shouting apologised, saying it was “rude of him” before continuing.
“Liam, in actuality it was you who was supposed to have Peter’s treatment. It was your chance to meet with the Razel house’s daughter and build a connection with a powerful house. It was that sort of setting.”
“—you’re kidding me.”
As I opened my eyes in surprise, the guide spread out his hands and started to laugh,
“So why did Peter take away everything that was supposed to be for you? It’s because there was someone moving behind the scenes.”
“Behind the scenes?”
The bowing guide directed a smile my way as he looked up.
“It was always me.”
As I started thinking over the truth revealed to me,
“I-it was all-”
“It wasn’t Peter who took everything away from you! You lost everything because of me! That’s how it is Liam! You were being deceived!”
Brian(； ・`ω・´) “W…what?!”
- Peter has been referring to himself as ‘oresama(俺様)’ this entire time, I didn’t directly translate it though because ‘The great me’ is just plain awkward to use in English. I only brought it back here because it directly correlates to what he says next, in which he starts referring to himself normally.
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com