There’s no point to charity.
I, Liam Sera Banfield, the current head of the Banfield Count house, was currently dealing with a man in the reception room of a mansion that was built far larger than it needed to be.
“You want me to become one of your patrons?”
The man in a suit was an executive of the ‘Planet Restoration Activist Group’.
The activity in question being the restoration of destroyed planets.
They were a group that did their best to help planets that were artificially destroyed and couldn’t sustain themselves anymore.
“Yes, we want your sponsorship for our projects.”
He was a man that seemed to be enthusiastic about charity.
Continuing on, he went on to explain about how many planets have actually been ravaged to me.
“There are many planets that have been devastated by wars and pirate attacks. Is it truly okay to leave them as they are? Many of their residents have been forced to become refugees. We want you to help prepare housing and asylum for them in your territory.”
It was a wonderful concept.
“That definitely is an admirable ideal to push for. I’m thoroughly impressed.”
The man’s expression lit up, probably assuming I’d accept.
“The restoration of ruined planets– that is quite the wonderful ideal, but I won’t be your patron.”
I leaned back into the sofa and grinned at the man.
But its charity? –those are nothing but annoyances to me.
“Go ahead and help as many people as you want, but don’t get me involved. I’m not interested in supporting any of your activities.”
In my previous life, I always used to put my spare change in donation boxes.
‘If this is really going to help someone in need’, is the mindset I had back then.
However, during my previous life’s darkest times there were so many moments where even the smallest amount of change would save my neck.
But no one helped me.
I donated a lot for others, but no one was there for me when I was the person suffering.
That’s why I understand.
—there’s no point in the self-satisfaction born from doing charitable things.
“I hate people like you. At most, you’re only helping others to stroke your own ego.”
To my words, the man started to shake with a red face.
“A-are those really the words of the noble said to be a virtuous ruler?! I had high hopes for you!”
“You can go ahead and do what you want, but I don’t have any obligation to send aid. Also, when have I ever referred to myself as something like that?”
“The people in your territory think of you as one! You’re a virtuous ruler to them, but in reality you’re like this?! You’re not qualified to be their lord!”
Was this person an idiot?
“That’s their misunderstanding, and in any case, that’s quite the impudent attitude you’ve been taking for a while now.”
When I narrowed my eyes, the man started to break out in cold sweat.
“I-if you lay a hand on me, the high-nobles that I’ve built connections with won’t stay silent!”
Apparently there were high-nobles that were enthusiastic about contributing to charity.
The pamphlet the man gave me included the names of multiple prestigious aristocrats I’ve heard of before.
It wouldn’t be unusual for a generous nobleman to contribute to a cause this just.
But I wasn’t one.
“Do you think I’d care if you brought up another noble’s name here? This is my territory, and this is a planet I rule over.”
No matter what house he’s built connections with, that doesn’t give him the right to barge into my land and start preaching to me.
At most, he can file a complaint.
Many nobles didn’t hold human life as something valuable.
For us, lives were nothing more than numbers on a report.
“Help as many people as you like. I won’t stop you, but I’m not going to support you either. End of discussion. Understood?”
After being intimidated, the man quickly left the room after grabbing the pamphlet.
As I laughed at his retreating figure, Amagi, who was standing behind me, started frowning.
“Master, what was with that attitude?”
Whenever Amagi admonished me, for some reason it always hurt more.
I started making excuses,
“D-don’t be mad. I just don’t like charity, but if you want me to I’ll become a patron right away! They can have as much money as they want!”
I had an unlimited amount of funds because of the alchemy box.
The alchemy box was an amazing device that could transmute any piece of garbage into solid gold if I wished.
Thanks to that, I now had an inexhaustible supply of treasure.
But even in such a situation, I didn’t want to contribute to charities.
“Do you really hate charity?”
Amagi seemed a bit confused by this.
“Of course I do.”
Even though I answered immediately, Amagi didn’t seem convinced.
“What is it?”
“No, it’s just that we’ve been running charities under your name this entire time. I didn’t think you hated it.”
Amagi went on to talk about all the charitable work I’ve supposedly sponsored.
“To secure pioneer planets, we’ve bought out and restored previously destroyed ones. In addition to that, we’ve been accepting refugees to help populate them.”
I was surprised to learn that I was already doing the exact same things as the Planet Restoration Activist Group.
“No, you see– that’s for expanding my territory, not for charity.”
“That might be true, but we’re also providing infrastructure for the smaller lords that live nearby. We’re not just doing things that only benefit our territory.”
We’ve been assisting them.
No, that was because they all started crying for me to help them.
These were the people who were going to become my future henchmen– at least that’s what I thought.
“—I’m just lending a hand to the people who wag their tails subserviently to me.”
“There are also various other activities–”
Apparently, I was spending a lot of money on things I didn’t even know about.
I couldn’t exactly get a refund now.
“That’s not all either.”
“There’s the treatment we’ve been providing for those who suffered at the hands of pirates. The cost of human resources, the facilities, and everything else is at a ridiculous amount.”
“I-is that so?”
I was only thinking about securing talented people to help fulfill my ambitions of feasting on life’s delicacies.
For that end goal, I’ve been rescuing the beautiful women that were held prisoner by pirates.
If one appeared that caught my eye, I was planning to have her as a mistress, otherwise I just sent them to live out their lives in my territory. This was done assuming that the girls eventually born from such women would no doubt be beautiful as well.
I didn’t care if they had gone through cosmetic surgery, but I preferred natural products over artificial ones.
It was only natural for evil lords to waste enormous amounts of money to make their dreams come true.
But unfortunately, even with all the funding I’ve sent, no particularly eye-catching beauties have appeared.
One of my knight candidates– Tia, was pretty talented and beautiful, but she was kind of disappointing.
With that said, there was still no beauties that I’ve taken an interest in.
–Amagi was an exception though.
“But I heard that those that we sent to help out at Kurt’s territory a while ago came back better trained than before. It wasn’t a waste. It’s not charity because it was for the benefit of my own territory in the end.”
Amagi seemed to have accepted my answer,
“Well, let’s leave things at that.”
That’s right– I’m a man who never contributes to charities.
Everything has been done for my personal goals and needs.
So this definitely wasn’t charity.
“Master, the next visit is a greeting from the new representative from the Third Weapons Factory.”
“Huh? What happened to Eulisia?”
Apparently the Third Weapons Factory representative was changed.
So now the disappointing girl– Eulisia, was no longer in charge of selling to me.
“She seems to have re-enrolled into the military academy to redo her training.”
There were schools that provided re-education for soldiers that haven’t been enlisted for a long time.
But Eulisia was still on active duty.
I didn’t think there was any reason for her to go back into training.
“I don’t know why, but she already is, so the new staff in charge of you is here to give their greetings.”
The disappointing woman had disappeared.
I felt a little regret at that– well, if the next girl was also disappointing, I guess there wouldn’t be any real change.
“Still, there sure are a lot of visits recently.”
“They want to get these meetings in before you leave for elementary school. After you enroll, you won’t have any real time for them anymore.”
The elementary school where the children of nobility attended.
It was a preparatory school that got us ready for either the university or the military academy that came afterwards.
From my perspective, it was something close to Earth’s highschools.
However, the elementary school was located on a different planet than the Empire’s imperial capital.
Although the elementary school worked on a dormitory system, there was still too many students that enrolled there, so it was more like they built an entire city around it for lodging.
Only the children of aristocrats were allowed to attend.
It was a school built solely for the nobility.
“–Amagi, have you prepared the bribe?”
I wasn’t really looking forward to enrolling in such a school, so I went on to confirm that Amagi finished the preparations I wanted.
“If you’re talking about the donations, we’ve already sent them quite the fortune.”
“Yes, I’m looking forward to this.”
There wasn’t an admission fee to the elementary school, but to keep face, large noble families were expected to donate a certain amount.
However, those who sent over larger donations were bound to be given preferential treatment throughout their enrollment.
“Let’s see how they entertain me for the next six years.”
The power of money was amazing.
For the next six years, they’d be forced to give me a fun elementary school life to respect the bribes I’ve sent them.
This was all for the preferential treatment.
Amagi was smiling,
“Master sure looks like he’s having fun.”
◇ ◇ ◇
The Banfield Estate.
The head maid’s room.
[Serena], the head maid that worked there, was currently in a video call with an old man whose image was projected into the air.
The other party was the imperial prime minister.
The head maid, who Brian recommended to serve the Banfield house, was actually a spy the prime minister planted to keep watch over Liam.
“Tell me about the exorbitant donation he’s made to the elementary school.”
“Yes, all the staff at the elementary school are having headaches over it. What’s the meaning of this?”
“It’s not unusual for nobles to give donations before enrollment.”
“If it was just any noble house, then it would be on the preface of giving preferential treatment for their children. That’s what the staff there is used to, but this is The Pirate Hunter Liam we’re talking about here. They don’t know what to make of this.”
The head maid understood what the prime minister was trying to say.
“—don’t the staff at the elementary school know how much of a pure and just person Lord Liam is?”
“Oh they know, and that’s the problem. Apparently the donation is too large and they don’t know what to make of it. Can you give us any insight into this?”
“That’s easy. Lord Liam doesn’t want special treatment at the elementary school, he just wants a solid educational environment.”
The prime minister seemed convinced by that explanation, saying, “Is that so?”
The head maid recalled what Liam had asked her about elementary school.
“He was really interested in the fact that the elementary school compensated for its lack of budget through donations. I’m sure that he was lamenting the fact that many nobles took advantage of this and sent in donations under the pretense of receiving preferential treatment. He probably sent the donation in to cancel those out.”
Only the high-nobles got treated well.
The head maid was sure she knew Liam’s opinion on this,
“Such an environment isn’t what Lord Liam wants.”
“To be so young, yet to have such strong morals, I’m once again astounded by him. Is the situation in the mansion proceeding as usual?”
“Yes. He does physical training in the morning, followed by his studies and his work on political affairs later on in the day. He still needs to work on his manners regarding his speech, but there’s nothing else of real interest.”
“He’s a little too worldly for his age. So there’s really nothing interesting to report at all? To be honest, it’d still be fine if he played around a bit more.”
The head maid started to laugh at that comment,
“Do you want him to follow in a certain someone’s example and have him start seducing palace maids?”
“…I was still young at that time. Still, I wonder if the Count will make such stories?”
The prime minister who deflected the conversation back to Liam seemed a little embarrassed.
The head made looked troubled,
“Both Brian and I are concerned about this, he doesn’t seem to have any interest in laying his hands on the girls at all. He’s serious to the point that we’re troubled by it.”
Liam didn’t seem tempted by any of the house maids or noble daughters who came for bridal training.
This could be said to be the only real problem he had.
“As usual, he’s a little too serious.”
“If by any chance he gets a girlfriend while he’s studying abroad, we’re thinking of accepting her as his wife even if her status doesn’t quite match up.”
“…I don’t want him to have a relationship with a house that’ll bring trouble. Have you considered an arranged marriage?”
“The Banfield house has been doing quite badly until this generation, putting Lord Liam’s personal reputation aside, the house is still renowned as quite untrustworthy. Other houses are still hesitant in making a connection with such a risk.”
Liam’s father and grandfather’s reputations were so bad that other houses refused to even set up the marriage interviews.
If you put Liam’s individual credit aside and only considered the house as a whole, it was only natural not to trust them.
Who knew when Liam would change his mind and follow in his predecessor’s footsteps?
With that, there were many houses that wanted to watch over the situation until his training was completed.
In this universe, those who had only lived for five decades were only valued to that extent.
If he had a track record spanning at least a century long, there’d be matchmaking requests flooding in constantly.
That was how bad Liam’s father and grandfather’s reputations were.
“I understand. I would’ve hesitated too, but that’s why I sent you over there.”
Whether they should leave him alone or crush him— that’s what Serena was sent there to find out.
The prime minister was a little anxious,
“Marriage may be one problem, but the fact that the prince is enrolling in the same year is another. I want you to warn the Count about him, tell him to be cautious.”
Serena, who recalled that had a subtle change to her expression,
“The prince– you mean his highness Wallace? Don’t tell me that person and Lord Liam will be classmates.”
One of the imperial princes, [Wallace Noah Albalate], was scheduled to enter elementary school at the same time as Liam.
Brian(´；ω；｀) “It’s painful. It’s really painful. It’s so painful that Lord Liam forgot all about the charity work he’s done, but what’s most painful of all is that… I didn’t get a chance to appear this time.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com