Echigoya1 merchants are the source of all evil…
Isn’t everyone familiar with this phrase?
When spoken, what comes to mind is the image of Echigoya in the past.
They were an extremely annoying group with their own story.
Putting that aside, I need one.
Before I can truly become an Evil Lord, I need my own ‘Echigoya.’
So let me introduce my purveyor.
The plump, bearded man who had the appearance of an evil merchant sitting in front of me was [Thomas Henfrey.]
After I had continued to maintain and develop my territory, he had approached me intending to do business.
He was a trader who dealt with goods between planets.
At first, I didn’t think there was a real need for traveling merchants in this time of outer space travel, but let me explain why I was wrong.
They fly between planets, not only those within the empire, but also to ones in other star countries to buy and sell goods.
They buy the resources and goods exclusively found in planets far away, and sell them in my territory.
The opposite is also true, but this man is different from the others who do business in my land.
He’s my house’s exclusive merchant.
In other words, he’s a very important merchant for my territory and the Banfield family.
While we were sitting down together in the reception room, I asked Thomas,
“Did you bring the yellow candies that I like?”
After wiping his sweat, Thomas presented to me a box filled to the brim with gold bars.
“Of course I have, please enjoy them, my lord.”
As I picked them up, the heavy weight in my hands brought a smile to my face.
“Echigoya merchants truly are the source of all evil!”
“No m’lord, my group is called the ‘Henfrey Chamber of Commerce,’ I’ve told you this multiple times already.”
As our usual greetings finished, I felt that he was truly an evil merchant worthy of me.
I needed corrupt merchants like Thomas by my side.
After receiving his bribe, I started listening to his request.
“So what do you need?”
“I’m planning to make a venture into some dangerous space, and I want you to lend me your fleet.”
He wanted me to lend my military to him as his guards.
I wondered what evil scheme he cooked up that required military force to finish.
That said, I think I can allow it as long as its profitable.
“Are you going to a dangerous place?”
“The destination itself isn’t dangerous, but there are many pirate bases en-route the journey there. There have been several reports of merchants getting attacked everyday.”
Space pirates are annoying.
They also had a few screws loose.
Some of them had collected various weapons over time, some were deserters who had fled from the army, and some were thieves who had run away after stealing military tech.
Sometimes they even found work as mercenaries due to their abundant battle experience.
They’re very annoying.
After turning my eyes toward Amagi, who was behind me, I could feel that she knew what I wanted to say.
“If it’s only for about three months, then we’ll be able to prepare a hundred ships immediately. If you require more than that, then some preparations will need to be made first.”
I smiled and turned back to Thomas.
“Or so she says, is that fine, Thomas?”
Thomas looked relieved, and gave a meaningful smile while looking a little embarrassed.
“Wow, I don’t know how I can repay you- no, I’ll make sure to prepare more yellow candies for you next time.”
“Of course, but more importantly- will we be able to turn a profit?”
If he hesitated here, then there’d be no point in lending my forces.
“That’s great! Amagi, begin the preparations immediately.”
Do your best to make me money, my Echigoya- no, my Henfrey Chamber of Commerce.
◇ ◇ ◇
The large transport ship used by Thomas was anchored at the spaceport.
After entering into orbit from the space elevator, Thomas was going through the zero gravity pathway to board his ship.
He was surrounded by subordinates and bodyguards as he carried his luggage.
One of his men opened their mouth while looking over the planet in the distance.
“The Banfield house’s territory sure has developed a lot recently. That young man sure is amazing to be able to do so much at his age.”
As Thomas did business, he always seemed to stop by the Banfield house’s territory in particular.
It wasn’t that amazing to be honest, but it was definitely a planet with an exponential level of growth in recent decades.
“He’s a little different from the aristocrats I’ve seen so far. He’s a little strange, but he’s a fine lord.”
Thomas thought the boy who always asked for ‘yellow candies’ was quite the virtuous ruler.
His surroundings didn’t deny this statement.
Though the men seemed to be a little confused,
“But why would he ask for gold? It isn’t a particularly scarce resource in his territory, is it?”
Thomas was also perplexed about this,
“I wonder that too, why gold? Well, it’s fine, I tried giving him mithril and magic gems before but he seemed dissatisfied. As I thought, gold really does make him the happiest.”
“Maybe he doesn’t know.”
The reason why Liam always asked for gold is because he considered gold to be valuable and expensive.
Why was gold expensive though? That’s because back on Earth there was only a limited supply of it.
In this universe it was still expensive, but there were even golden planets where it could be found in large quantities, so resources and metals more precious than gold existed out there.
Mithril is a classic example of this.
It was a kind of silver that carried holy power- it was considered to be far more valuable and precious than mere gold.
“No, he’s just a modest person.”
To only take such small bribes in exchange for the multitude of benefits that came with being the Banfield house’s exclusive merchant.
He felt tears coming to his eyes at the thought.
After a little bit more walking, they had finally arrived at the ship.
“He really is trying his best.”
Thomas looked back at the spaceport.
The newly built port was well equipped with the latest facilities for use, it was a great boon for merchants.
“I heard that he was investing the majority of the taxes he’s received, and it seems to be true. It’s quite amazing how much he accomplished while still so young. If the Banfield house wasn’t in so much debt, just how amazing would this place be by now?”
As Thomas finished muttering these words, he turned his eyes back to his men.
“This deal is more dangerous than our usual commissions, but it’s essential for the Banfield house. Let’s earn a lot of money, and contribute to them as the merchants we are.”
This deal was truly important for the Banfield’s, but Thomas wasn’t doing it for the house itself.
Thomas was going this far because he wanted to help Liam.
—He wasn’t actually an evil merchant.
◇ ◇ ◇
It’s hard to predict what the future will be like.
In my previous life’s childhood, I’d dream about flying cars in the distant future as technology developed.
But after I grew up, my common sense let me know that flying cars weren’t something I should expect to happen.
Even though I now live in an intergalactic empire, the skyscraper view that could be seen from a luxury hotel wasn’t that different from my last life.
Actually, it was developing farther than the big city I lived in before.
Even though there were many high-rise buildings, it didn’t feel crowded.
Not to mention the rich nature that was around us, there were many undeveloped lands.
“My territory has barely developed at all…”
As I complained, Amagi, who was nearby, corrected me.
“Master, compared to when you first took over, this territory has grown quite significantly. It’s actually developing at a rate that most people would doubt to be true if they saw the data.”
“But those are just numbers, and that wasn’t what I meant. I was talking about something different, about how terrible my people’s fashion sense is.”
I had tried to walk around the area before, and I was completely shocked by what I saw.
People had started to spend more money recently.
So it’s only natural that I’d be able to see cute girls out shopping, right?
But that was completely wrong.
You see, in my current incarnation, I found myself liking girls with a more modest fashion sense.
Even though I was looking for a girl with a prim and proper feeling, everyone was dressed like gyarus2 or gothic lolitas!3 I can’t find myself attracted to them because they’re not my type!
“We haven’t had any progress there at all.”
“It may be good to introduce fashion courses. We can use the premise of ‘this is something that appeals to the lord’s tastes.’”
In the first place, fashion culture was different from planet to planet.
They may all have the common point called ‘The Empire’ behind them, but they were still all different.
Some planets advocated my ideals, but there were also many of them whose fashion culture just looked weird in my eyes.
“How am I supposed to change this anyways? Should I start bringing in fashion designers and start investing in aesthetic fields? Nothing will happen if I just leave this alone.”
Despite the trends in casual fashion, in the beaches of my territory the prevailing swimsuits used were the kinds that were like full-length tights.
As if I’ll let such a stupid situation be! There’s no way I’ll admit to ruling over such a place.
“Let’s bring in some models and celebrities! If the people look at a beautiful person, they’ll definitely be influenced!”
Amagi had a somewhat perplexed face on while I started talking about the various plans I had in mind.
This maid android was quite expressive.
“Unfortunately, we’re still in heavy debt. Tax revenues have increased along with the development, but in turn the repayment amounts are rising as well.”
The massive debt held by the Banfield house.
I can’t do a lot of things that I want to just because of this.
A spaceship flew through the sky when I turned towards the window.
Just when did I get used to such futuristic sights?
Certainly, it’s slowly been changing ever since I took control at the age of five, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly lonely.
◇ ◇ ◇
The door to another dimension opened.
When the guide returned to this universe and confirmed the present conditions, he almost swore.
“…at this rate he’s not going to do anything.”
The guide thought that Liam would be indulging himself by now, but he hasn’t laid his hands on any women or drunken a single drop of alcohol.
He didn’t drink liquor in regards to his physical age.
He also avoided women because of his past trauma, and due to the fact that none of them were to his liking.
So before he realized it, he was just working as a good lord normally.
“This is disappointing. I thought this might happen, but I still feel slightly betrayed. Why are you being such a virtuous lord when you were aiming to become an evil one?”
Also, he’s been living a frugal life with little luxuries because he still had the economic sense of his past life.
Even worse, he was okay with his life as it was.
A part of his mind was even subconsciously sending feelings of gratitude to the guide.
And even worse than that was Liam’s popularity among the people, and the gratitude they emitted towards him.
This was all so revolting for the guide.
Stomachaches, headaches, nausea, and dizziness- the guide could endure all of it, but he’d still prefer to avoid it if possible.
If was okay for Liam to be grateful.
Because eventually, the guide was going to throw Liam away to the deepest pits of despair and show him hell.
That said, the guide couldn’t allow things to continue to progress as they were.
If left unchecked, then Liam’s life would end with him remembered as a great ruler.
“This is disappointing. I would’ve been happy if all of this was just on the surface, only a lie.”
The people would build up resentment against the tyrant Liam.
The soldiers would revolt.
The beautiful girls he gathered would try to murder him- the guide wanted to see such scenes.
However, the people regarded him highly as both a good person and ruler due to his humble lifestyle and previous incarnation’s values.
The soldiers were loyal and would accept doing anything under the thought process of “If it’s for the lord’s sake.”
And lastly, there weren’t any ladies surrounding him at all. It was impossible to manipulate human relationships to stimulate his past traumas.
Was he really aiming to become an evil lord?
The guide had had enough, it was time to throw away the disappointing Liam.
“At the very least, let’s burn up the territory he worked so hard to build up. Let’s see… Ah! There are some convenient space pirates here.”
Black smoke started emitting from the annoyed guide, as he melted into his surroundings.
He started speaking sorrowfully,
“At least bring me some entertainment at the very end, Liam. Until then, enjoy the view that you’ve created.”
◇ ◇ ◇
On a planet far, far away from the Banfield territory.
Multiple missiles were hitting the planet, making one big explosion after another.
The surface was burned to ashes.
Behind it all was a single pirate who laughed in his insanity as the literal world burned in front of him.
Commander of a pirate fleet more than 30,000 ships strong, was the pirate known as [Goaz]. He was a savage-looking man, sporting a full beard and a bruised head.
He was a giant of swollen muscles.
Goaz’s mouth was arched in a wide smile.
He drank from the bottle held in his left hand as he watched the moment that an uncountable amount of lives disappeared.
“It’s always moments like this when booze tastes the best, right?!”
The pirates who feared Goaz laughed in affirmation.
Though one of them squeaked out a question.
“Boss, did we have to go this far?”
In response, Goaz put his abnormally large hand on the questioning pirate’s head.
Some of the pirates in the vicinity averted their eyes, others watched on with expressions that said, ‘what an idiot.’
“Who allowed you to give me your opinion? Don’t get in the way of my fun.”
“Wait! Boss, pleas-!”
The subordinate’s head was crushed in Goaz’s grip instantly.
His hand was washed by some of the other goons immediately afterwards.
As the men began to clear the body and started cleaning, Goaz continued to watch the planet he had just destroyed on the ship’s monitor.
There was a golden box carefully gripped in his clean right hand.
He kept the box with the unique pattern and crest on his person at all times.
Usually, he just carried it in a special holster.
He stroked the box over and over again, as if it were about to disappear into thin air.
“It was an easy job this time as well.”
One after another, he had decimated planets and had taken many lives.
This man was a true villain.
Goaz himself was particularly infamous, having huge bounties placed on his head.
If someone could somehow defeat Goaz and his pirates, then they’d earn an amount of money impossible to spend even if they just goofed around for a lifetime.
He was the very definition of dangerous.
One of Goaz’s deputy officers called out to him.
“We made a killing this time as well. So, what are you going to do with that lady now? Have you found a replacement yet, now that she’s just about broken?”
The teeth in that smile were yellow and filthy.
“True, I have played with her for a long time, so hopefully I can find some new toys soon.”
The deputy officer smiled back.
“As someone who became the Boss’ toy, its amazing she was able to keep her sense of self that long. In any case, should I chart out our next destination?”
Immediately after Goaz started to ponder this question, black smoke started to coil around him.
It was only for an instant, if you blinked you wouldn’t have even seen it.
“Come to think of it, there was a territory that became prosperous recently. I think it was ruled by a brat named Banfield? I heard he was a virtuous ruler, some hard working lord in a backwater planet.”
The deputy officer recalled the rumors.
“Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot recently, so our next prey is the Banfield territory?”
Goaz feared no nobles.
After all, Goaz had an immense amount of resources.
“What makes things fun is to break people worth breaking, and it’s been a while since we’ve gone after anyone that could end my boredom.”
The deputy officer replied,
“Then it’s confirmed, our next prey is the Banfield brat.”
Goaz licked his lips.
“I’ll do my best to thoroughly break that kid.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com
- Echigoya (越後屋) is an international department store chain with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, though they’re under a new name now: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsukoshi
- Gyaru-style is a description of either men but mostly women who follow many types of Japanese street fashion that originated in the 1970s. It’s… very unique, you can search it up yourself.
- Lolita (ロリータ・ファッション) is a fashion subculture in Japan that is highly influenced by Victorian and Edwardian children’s clothing and styles. Think of like an old goth-doll but a person is wearing the clothes instead of a toy.