I was chatting with Wallace in the academy’s cafeteria.
This was my third year, and I had already grown accustomed to living here.
“Yes, I was talking to my brother who had left the palace as well. He had chosen to live as a soldier, but was denied enlistment into the one of the main fleets and was sent to a patrol one instead.”
It was strange to think that the imperial army would refuse a member of the royal family, but I guess that had to do with his own rank as a royal. Just like how Wallace used to be, he was probably another prince with no backing or little right to inherit the throne.
Most of the main fleets wouldn’t accept such a person because of the various troubles that followed them.
“If he became the commander of a patrol fleet, he should’ve been given at the very least a few hundred ships to control. That doesn’t sound so bad.”
When I said so, Wallace had a very subtle change to his expression,
“The problem is that he was given the garbage that everyone else threw away. My brother [Cedric] was sent a tiny fleet of thirty outdated ships. He seems to have fallen into depression after being assigned to an area that was practically empty space.”
“Then isn’t it fine if he just stays on board his ship? It sounds like easy work where he can just relax without doing anything.”
“Inside of a narrow and outdated vessel, there’s no way he could relax. He told me that he doesn’t know what he’s working for anymore, and that all the soldiers assigned to him were rotten.”
Was this part of the military’s biased relocation of human resources?
If I were to compare them to a company… would they be like a group of useless employees you pushed away but couldn’t fire?
It looks like the number of useless patrol fleets were increasing, and all the soldiers stationed at them were growing complacent.
…were they idiots?
“How’d this situation even come to be?”
Wallace explained to me the reason while poking his mushy meal with a fork.
“The higher-ups in the military wanted a place to dump their rivals. This isn’t just any normal relegation, it was a move made to actively break their spirits. Other than that– they just wanted a place they could push off the nobility.”
“There are a lot of people among the aristocracy who like to take advantage of their peerage. In the army, it’d be fatal to have such people rise to power, so they assign them as commanders of patrol fleets instead. Thanks to that, the number of them has explosively increased, and since it’s too expensive to reorganise them, they’re pretty much left alone.”
“I thought it would’ve been harder to keep up their maintenance.”
“If you hand over bare minimum of supplies, things will somehow work out in the practically empty environment. Besides, they still needed to have something stationed there. It definitely wouldn’t be funny to have pirates set up a base in empty space.”
So in short, a lot of complicated situations stacked together to create the current situation full of useless expenditures?
…no, this isn’t that bad actually.
“That’s an interesting story.”
“They caught your attention? But Liam, you’re practically guaranteed to be assigned to the main army.”
“I don’t really want to enlist there though.”
Just thinking about them gave me headaches.
‘Come join our fleet!’– and so forth. They’ve been badgering me from all over to recruit me.
There were many different places to be assigned in the main army, some of which were along the borders, while others were based in rural areas.
For the imperial capital, there was always three fleets stationed there to defend it, where the elites even among the main army were gathered.
The imperial guards had invited me to join them, but they didn’t really interest me at all.
I don’t like being given orders from others, so wouldn’t being the commander of a patrol fleet be the best?
“I’ve decided! I want a patrol fleet!”
“…Liam, are you an idiot?”
“Did you not listen to me at all?! My brother was forced into that position and now he’s crying out that he’d rather die. I was stunned when I learned about his assignment. All of his ships are outdated, and the environment he’s based in is bad, do you really want to spend four years in such a place?”
Wallace didn’t know anything.
It might be that way for others, but I was rich.
Naturally, I was going to invest in my fleet myself.
“I can just buy the ships and other things to fix those problems. If I prepare a luxury passenger ship for myself, then it’ll practically turn into a vacation.”
“…the military would never fund such a thing.”
“Of course they wouldn’t, I’d supply the funding for it myself.”
“I’ll provide the money to buy the ships.”
“No but… if you’re the only one using a luxury vessel, then you’ll antagonise your surroundings, Liam.”
“Don’t worry about it. All I need to do is replace their ships as well. Though, I guess it’d be too late for that if I started right after I’m assigned… Okay, let’s prepare a fleet suitable for myself immediately.”
“…huh? You’re really going through with this?”
“Of course I am. Tia will be graduating from the academy next year, so I’ll get her to prepare my fleet.”
I’ll even make bribes to guarantee I get the destination I want.
My assignment will be chosen by myself!
To disregard the army’s invitations, while preparing my own fleet– this is exactly how an evil lord should act!
At the thought that not even the military could stand against the power of money– my heart was full.
“I’ve met many kinds of nobles in my life, but I’ve never seen anyone like you, Liam.”
“So I’m the first in the Empire? That’s fine. Let’s give Tia the order as soon as possible.”
◇ ◇ ◇
The communication room.
The person Tia was talking to was her former boss, the prime minister.
“…many aristocrats prepare their own ships. Some of them even prepare their own fleets, but this is the first time for a case like the Count’s to appear.”
It seems not even the prime minister could hide his surprise.
Tia spoke with confidence to his reaction,
“We’ve fixed one of the Empire’s problems, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”
“I can only see demerits for the Count using his own resources for this, and to replace the obsolete equipment and retrain the useless human resources of a patrol fleet… the costs will no doubt be immense.”
“Lord Liam ordered me to ‘prepare a fleet suitable for him’ after all. He provided the budget for it himself, so there’s no problem there.”
Liam told her to prepare a patrol fleet for him, but to Tia, only a fleet the size of a regular one would be worthy of him.
Since they had the funds to afford it, she decided to gather the useless patrol fleets together and combine them to the size of a normal one.
She was currently asking for permission from the prime minister for this.
The higher-ups of the military weren’t likely to give her it because they didn’t understand how beneficial this would be for the Empire’s financial situation.
So she decided to contact the prime minister who was aware of these circumstances instead.
“…when you leave for the army, the fleet will still be working in the Empire. For that reason, we’ll prepare an officer to act as commander in name.”
“‘In name?’ Are you worried about leaving Lord Liam in command?”
“He’s too young, and the same goes for you as well. Just giving you the rank after you’re officially assigned to your position won’t be enough, and if we forcibly promote you two, then the higher-ups in the military will undoubtedly start to complain. Don’t worry though, he might be the commander on paper, but you’ll still be the ones in power.”
Tia fell into thought.
(The returns don’t justify these conditions, but everything he said was true…)
“This truly was a wonderful proposal. The Empire can solve two of its biggest problems in an instant.”
When the call finished, Tia could feel herself growing excited.
“As it is now, the fleet isn’t suitable for Lord Liam– in just two years, I need to gather the useless patrol fleets and retrain all their personnel. I also need to prepare the new ships… I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it in time.”
Although Tia often acted pathetically, her abilities were real.
“A fleet suitable for Lord Liam… I will give my all for this assignment.”
Yes, she was ecstatically squirming with her hands on her cheeks… but her ability was real.
◇ ◇ ◇
While Liam and others were starting to move at the academy.
There was also movement in the Berkley family.
Cashmiro was frustrated with the reports that were coming in one after another.
They’ve been in an economic war with Liam for a few years now, but things weren’t looking good.
The reason was simple, the problem was that it still hadn’t finished.
“What is he?! What the hell is that brat?!”
Planetary development equipment– to produce elixirs for this war, Cashmiro had used these devices to destroy multiple worlds already.
Despite this, he had heard rumours that Liam recently made heavy investments into the military.
Even though he was currently in conflict with the Berkley family, he still had the financial leeway to make these purchases.
“How many elixirs have we already released for this?! To be able to keep up with us even then… no, does he have one as well?”
It was almost unthinkable for Liam to have one of the devices.
But if he did, then it was highly likely that he recovered the planetary development device that Derrick had lost.
If he had that in his possession, then it was certainly possible for him to keep up against the family.
…no, even if he did, Cashmiro was certain that he wouldn’t have been able to use the device correctly. It just looked like some kind of weird sphere after all.
And even if he somehow managed to make it work on top of all that, since the Berkley family had multiple of such devices, they still had the advantage in the end.
The problem was they didn’t know how much longer this situation would last until they could destroy them financially.
This was an opponent they shouldn’t have chosen to fight economically.
“We’ll definitely be able to crush him given the time, but at what cost?”
The amount of time, resources, and finances used so far was nothing to laugh at.
Seeing that, Cashmiro decided he needed to end this futile war already.
–they couldn’t afford to fight with Liam this way any longer.
“I’m done with the tricks. If we don’t move to crush him seriously, he’ll finish us off first.”
The young and talented Liam.
His remaining lifespan was different from Cashmiro, and there was no doubt he’d grow into a troublesome existence if they left him alone.
Could his sons beat him? –As he made a call, that scenario was impossible no matter how Cashmiro thought about it.
“–get in contact with the army and gather professionals for a war against Liam.”
“War?! Aren’t you being too hasty, father?!”
“You idiot! If we don’t crush him now, the Berkley family will be destroyed by him! Just shut up and follow my orders! Gather soldiers who can win against the Banfield house! Anyone is fine, as long as they can help us beat down that brat– then I’ll welcome them with open arms!”
Cashmiro was seriously afraid of Liam, and danger he represented.
The guide was silently watching over this development.
He noticed Cashmiro’s strong interest in Liam and approached him.
The guide started applauding.
“You’re wonderful, Cashmiro. You’ve accurately judged what kind of a threat Liam posed.”
More than anything else, the guide loved Cashmiro’s superior military force that Liam’s couldn’t compare to.
He had more than a hundred thousand ships, and that wasn’t even counting the allied nobles and pirates under his command.
Gathered together he had a force in the hundreds of thousands.
On the other hand, Liam’s army didn’t even reach fifty thousand ships, even if he was increasing his forces at the moment.
This was because he was already satisfied with the thirty thousand strong fleet he’s had until just recently.
He had grown arrogant after his consecutive wins, so this was the time to crush him.
“Liam… your carelessness will be your downfall.”
On top of that, Liam would practically be fighting alone due to his lack of allies.
“Cashmiro– you can win this. I’ll do my best to support you as well.”
Black smoke was emitted from the guide, which then clung to Cashmiro’s body.
Looking at his figure, the guide spread his arms in delight.
“From now on, all those who wish to defeat Liam will naturally gather around you! The darkness of the Empire will rally at your call to kill him! Consolidate them together as your power!”
He had manipulated things to easily assemble Liam’s enemies.
This will increase Cashmiro’s allies, further widening their staggering difference in strength.
Before the quantity that even the quality of Liam’s forces couldn’t handle, the guide relished in the thoughts of what kind of agonising death was in store for him.
“I’ve even prepared seeds of revenge as fail safes. I don’t know if Yasushi will make it in time, but I also have that woman ready.”
The woman who burned with a grudge against Liam– [Eulisia Morisille].
“One day, I’ll put her by Liam’s side. Having him get stabbed by that woman is another interesting way to finish this.”
Regardless of the situation, he would definitely die.
The guide felt an inexplicable sense of happiness.
“I think– no, I know that I’ve finally driven Liam to a corner!”
A powerful enemy was about to appear before Liam.
Painful-man(´；ω；｀) “It’s painful. Seeing Lord Liam take a leisurely post… is painful.”
Marie( ゜∀゜) “Since the first volume of ‘The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs’ comic is on sale, check it out!”
Painful-man(´；ω；｀) “Having extra people in the afterword… is also painful.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com