A month after the battle finished, the territory had finally started to calm down.
That’s not true, my subordinates were still busy.
But at least I was able to relax.
Inside of the mansion’s reception room, I was currently meeting with my Echigoya-no, Thomas.
“Thomas… if this is a joke it isn’t funny.”
“Hmm, but I thought I gave a fair price? Didn’t I?”
He was showing me his buying prices for the precious metals, antiques, and various other treasures I acquired.
The amount was so high it was laughable.
There were more digits displayed there than what I’ve ever seen in my life.
Everything I’ve saved up until now was just spare change in comparison. For example, if you used a ten-dollar bill, you wouldn’t really care about the few dimes you received as change, right? It gave off that kind of feeling. The amount of money was so large that I couldn’t really process it. It’d be more weird if I wasn’t so conscious of it.
“Nevermind, that was just something I wanted to try saying.”
“I see, but are you sure you’re okay with selling everything?”
I had sold off the majority of the precious metals and treasures I obtained.
The reason? It’s because I need money.
I was able to reduce the debt by a significant amount with this.
But even this much didn’t fully pay it off.
-How the hell did my family manage to spend this much money?
“But I didn’t sell everything? I still kept a few things, like this sword.”
When I presented the sword I had taken a liking to, Thomas made an impressed expression.
“You seem to have obtained a quite valuable blade.”
“Really? How so?”
I thought that it just cut a bit better than others, but it looks like it’s actually worth something.
“I’m not a specialist, so I don’t know the details. Do you want me to bring in an expert for an appraisal?”
“Oh yes, and the items you ordered will be delivered immediately.”
I had purchased medical equipment from Thomas recently.
Over the past month, I started arranging for various things to come together.
I was getting the treatment ready for the people we saved.
“Can I also leave the selection of doctors to you?”
“I will do my utmost to meet your expectations.”
It was really convenient to have an exclusive merchant contracted to me.
He could arrange connections with various people for me after all.
However, there’s no doubt that he’s making a huge profit off of my name.
I’m not angry though.
Thomas continued to speak,
“So when are you going to leave for the Imperial Capital?”
“I think I’ll go before I reach adulthood next year?”
In this universe, you were only considered an adult once you reached the age of fifty, and if you were a noble on top of that, things became far more troublesome.
I’d eventually have to leave for the Imperial Capital, where many days of training would be waiting for me.
I was required by law to attend an academy sponsored by the Empire.
Very troublesome indeed.
From here on, I thought that I’d be able to do many nefarious deeds as an evil lord, but it looks like I’ll be away for a while.
“I’ll make sure to be here for the ceremony, I’ll bring lots of ‘yellow candies’ then as well.”
“Echigoya merchants truly are the source of all evil!”
I really do love those who remember to bring me bribes.
◇ ◇ ◇
The Seventh Weapons Factory is a factory located on a former resource planet.
The resource planet had already been completely mined out, so they refurbished it to hold their facilities instead.
They produced weapons, but they did many other fields of work as well.
The research they do on the weapons of foreign powers is one of them.
Nias was thrilled because she was promoted to technology captain after the mass acquisition of pirate ships the Banfield house brought in.
“I wouldn’t have thought these were pirate ships, though they’re definitely not military ships. Once again, I have to say that remodeling armour is a lousy hobby.”
The junior workers were inspecting the ships that were brought in, and they seemed to be of the same opinion.
“What were they thinking, remodeling them to be this flashy? In any case, this is a big catch for us. We’ve received a large amount of materials.”
“But because I went and bought all these so recklessly, our budget is in dire straits. When will another large commission come in?”
Nias, who wanted Liam to buy more ships, was wondering what kind of colour scheme he would like.
Her subordinates started to laugh,
“Are you thinking about the colour scheme again?”
“Hey, why are you laughing? Why’re you people laughing at me?!”
“Who knows? Still, you brought in a really good customer.”
The Seventh Weapons Factory had quite the small budget, considering it’s constant losses in the Imperial Army’s recruitment inspections.
However, they had a reason why they overdid it and bought all the weapons and materials Liam acquired.
“Next time we won’t lose. If we can develop the next-generation of battleships, we’ll have a chance to make a comeback.”
“I can’t develop something like that that quickly.”
Fuming, Nias got up to continue her work while her subordinates watched over her with warm gazes.
◇ ◇ ◇
It was about a year later when I had finally arrived at the imperial capital for the awards ceremony.
I had heard that the capital was a hideous place, and it was true.
As to why- first off, picture something enveloped around an entire planet.
Now imagine that the ‘thing’ wrapped around the world was a giant metal sphere. It was something like that.
Apparently it was a device that regulated the whole planet.
It controlled everything down to the weather while doubling as a powerful wall in defense.
When I first saw it, I couldn’t help but think that whoever thought of it was a total fool.
From the spaceport, we rode the elevator down to ground level, and once we finally reached the surface, we were greeted by a concrete jungle- not. The imperial capital wasn’t built of concrete, there were grey buildings everywhere, but they weren’t made of cement.
It was a planet of machines.
In any case, there were skyscrapers everywhere, fitting for a planet whose total population was in the hundreds of billions.
It’s no wonder why people thought this place was ugly.
If someone asked me if I wanted to live here, I’d fervently deny it.
On the day of the ceremony.
Two couples had approached me.
Both pairs consisted of people who looked like they were still in their twenties, Earth-wise.
I was busy checking out the clothing I was supposed to wear in the waiting room, so I was quite wary of the sudden intruders.
One of the men smiled at me,
“It’s been a long time, Liam.”
“…who are you?”
After I said that, the waiting room was suddenly wrapped in a very awkward atmosphere.
The man continued on with a somewhat crooked smile,
“O-oh, I guess that makes sense. It has been quite a long time since we’ve seen each other, or is it that I just look too old?”
“No, really, who are you?”
I was wondering if it was one of those self-proclaimed relatives that would suddenly appear around famous people. I’ve heard instances of that happening in my past life.
Though in my previous life all my close relatives had abandoned me…
When you’re down on your luck they’ll avoid you like the plague, and when you’re living it good, they’ll gather like moths to a flame.
These people are probably like that as well.
I couldn’t help but feel like I’ve seen them somewhere before, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it.
All four of them had complex expressions on their faces as I tilted my head in wonder.
I turned to Amagi,
“Amagi, do you know who they are?”
“Master, these are your parents in front of you, and behind them are your grandparents.”
–my parents? Come to think of it, those people did exist, didn’t they?
They were pitiful people who were deprived of both their status and their territor- no, wait. These people… didn’t they push their debt onto me?
I could feel my anger flaring up.
My father– Cliff, forced out a cough.
“It looks like you finally remember. Even if we haven’t seen each other in more than forty years, for you to not recognise our faces. I’m a little shocked as a father.”
No, it’s because I can’t remember you doing anything even remotely fatherly.
My mother– Darcy, started to laugh,
“Oh Liam, stop joking around, and speaking of jokes, you’re still using the android that I bought you all those years ago? You know you’re not supposed to bring those things into the palace, right?”
…what the hell is she saying?
The man and woman who were apparently my grandparents went on to agree with her,
“This is the first time we’ve met, but it makes me sad to see my grandchild bring an android to the palace. You’re practically an adult, so you should throw it away already.”
“Yes, you’ll bring shame to the Banfield house like this.”
The grandparents that I’ve just met for the first time look like they’re supposed to be in their twenties, so I can’t help but feel like this is all some kind of joke.
But it was considered normal in this universe.
As anti-aging technology advanced, more and more people were able to retain their youthful appearance even after they grew old.
Amagi lowered her head and tried to leave,
“I will stand by in a separate room.”
“Ignore them. Stay by my side. Now then, what do you want from me?”
My parents and grandparents presented their request for me, ignoring my agitation.
“We’ve heard that you’ll be receiving some considerable rewards soon, and you should have some power over where those accolades go, right? You see, we’ve run into a little bit of debt over here as well…”
“Life in the imperial capital costs a lot of money. If you can afford it, we’d appreciate it if you could raise the amount of money you send us annually.”
Living life in the imperial capital is expensive, so they want me to send them more funds.
It felt like they were children asking their parents to increase their allowance.
The positions were reversed, though.
“I’ve already purchased a considerable amount from merchants, so I’m counting on you to cover the payments.”
“Your grandmother here is so happy to have such a good grandchild.”
My grandparents added on selfishly.
As I thought about how they were the cause of the territory’s decline, I felt incredible resentment towards them.
It’s my money.
It’s my territory.
It has nothing to do with you people!
“Amagi, once we return home, we’re cutting them off.”
“But Liam,1 these are your parents!”
“I don’t care.”
In the first place, the only people I considered my parents were the father and mother of my previous life.
I don’t know these people.
In any case, it was wrong of them to try and appeal to my sense of ‘familial love.’
–because I’m the villain here.
While in the presence of the palace’s ladies in waiting, I had publicly denounced my family.
In the room that was once again surrounded in an awkward air, I turned to Amagi,
“Will their debt have to be paid by me?”
“I don’t think you do, but you might get a visit from an angry merchant or debt collector, Lord Liam.”
“…that’ll be annoying.”
The people around me gasped at my words.
Amagi made a proposal,
“We should probably reconsider the amount currently being sent, and break all connections from here on. Master’s name will be damaged otherwise.”
I’d like to erase this connection as soon as possible, but it looks like it’ll take a while.
“Prepare the documents immediately.”
◇ ◇ ◇
Outside the ceremony venue.
There was a man tiredly walking with one hand against the wall,
It was the guide.
“This is all his fault… this is all because of Liam.”
His voice was weak and barely leaked out of his mouth.
Because of the situation with Goaz, the guide had used a majority of his power and had to escape to another dimension.
He was currently being afflicted by Liam’s gratitude, which was getting stronger every day.
“Just how did he defeat Goaz? He should’ve been uncuttable. Why was he able to find that sword at that time?”
Originally, it should’ve been impossible for Liam to obtain it.
The guide was like this not only because he used too much of his power, but also because Liam’s gratitude was draining what little he had left.
“I won’t forgive him. I will never forgive him.”
With clenched teeth, the guide headed towards the room Liam’s parents and grandparents were at.
The guide limped brazenly through the palace, but no one noticed him.
Once he finally reached the room, he found four people scowling at electronic documents.
“This is all because you didn’t raise him well!”
“Don’t screw with me! This has nothing to do with me!”
The documents that Liam had Amagi prepare said that they must never be involved with them again instead of increasing the amount of funds sent.
Both Liam’s parents and grandparents were only thinking of parasitizing money from their descendant’s newfound fame.
To say it clearly, they were trash.
With four such people in front of him, the guide started to smile despite the pain,
“…I can use these four. From ancient times, there have always been power struggles within families in monarchic societies. Liam, your family will deprive you of everything. Your family will be your downfall.”
Black smoke emanated from the guide and enveloped the four.
The guide who couldn’t check Liam’s situation only had a few options available to him.
He was that weak now.
Liam’s grandfather suddenly brightened up,
“That’s it, let’s go through the lord changing procedure again. Then everything that Liam has built up will be mine.”
The grandmother clapped her hands in joy,
“That’s a wonderful idea. I’ll ask for a favour from an acquaintance in the palace so we can proceed immediately.”
Cliff was also smiling,
“Let’s also prepare a new heir. Liam is already useless to us.”
Darcy had an expression on her face that seemed to say it couldn’t be helped.
“Well, if it’ll get us more money and territory, then I’ll cooperate. So what do we do about Liam?”
Cliff darkly smiled,
“Once we have the money, we’ll start hiring assassins and the like. We shouldn’t do it right after the ceremony though. We’ll have Liam quietly disappear after everything dies down.”
Listening in on the four’s conversation, the guide was satisfied.
Then, right after he disappeared from the room.
Manifesting into one of the room’s corners- a small light escaped through the door.
◇ ◇ ◇
Amagi stood by in a separate room as Liam attended the award ceremony.
The Empire was a country cold towards androids.
Amagi understood that it was impossible for her to attend the ceremony, and waited in the prepared room.
That’s when she saw something strange.
There was a small light floating in front of the door.
The light disappeared through the door as Amagi approached.
Scanning the room’s insides, she could detect four biological reactions.
It was Liam’s parents and grandparents.
She touched the door and listened in on their conversation.
“What should we put as the reason for the transfer?”
“It doesn’t matter, having an android by his side is inappropriate for an imperial aristocrat. The moment they hear of this, the palace will consider the transfer immediately.”
“In that case, as for the assassination arrangements-”
“The perfect time to do so would be-”
Amagi, who had listened in to the four’s conversation, immediately left the palace grounds.
In her thoughts,
(It would probably be best if I left Master as soon as possible.)
Liam’s reputation was damaged just with her being by his side.
To Amagi who realized that- she couldn’t help but feel disgusted with herself.
◇ ◇ ◇
The ceremony venue was outside!
With bright sunlight and a clear blue sky, it was the perfect weather for it.
Unbelievably, it was all artificial.
And beneath this perfect weather and temperature, I was currently kneeling in front of the Emperor.
The Emperor was standing a bit of a distance away, and I couldn’t really hear him.
Luckily, everything that his majesty said was broadcasted through the huge stereo projected in the middle of the sky.
It was a very long ceremony where they asked me many things, and after answering all of them, I received the medal.There were many nobles present in the surrounding area.
An uncountable amount of them!
I couldn’t help but wonder if there were too many.
And so the ceremony proceeded with its solemn atmosphere, finally ending with a word of thanks.
What I was waiting for though, were the parties that seemed to happen everyday.
If you asked around, there always seemed to be a big party held somewhere on a daily basis.
-as an Evil Lord, isn’t it my duty to slack off and play around? I thought as much as I participated in as many as possible.
As long as they invited me first, I didn’t have to pay a participation fee.
I spent everyday hectically in the Imperial Capital, though Amagi always seemed to be busy with something and couldn’t join me.
She didn’t tell me what she was doing, and whenever I asked she always just responded with, “Don’t worry about it, please go ahead and enjoy yourself.”
Well, as long as she said everything is fine, then things should be okay. Thinking that, I headed towards another party today as well.
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com
- Amagi calls Liam by his given name here, as well as ‘Lord Liam’ a few lines down instead of the usual ‘Master.’ I don’t know if this was just the author’s typo or if it was made to juxtapose the difference in what Amagi calls him during intense moments or not, since she immediately switches back right after.