One year after graduating from elementary school.
In the Banfield estate, Rosetta was currently dressed in servant attire.
She was balancing a spherical device on her head while walking down a white line.
Her long blonde hair that was curled into ringlets was extra conspicuous as it clashed against the crimson maid outfit.
The expression of her’s that was usually tight and focused was unnaturally filled with nervousness.
Serena was instructing such a Rosetta.
She clapped her hands impatiently at her pupil’s slow pace.
“How long are you going to continue to walk that stiffly? Pick it up.”
Rosetta was currently Liam’s fiancée, but eventually she was going to be his wife.
Although her position was higher than Serena’s, right now she was nothing more than a student as she underwent training in the mansion.
Serena didn’t hold back at all, her language becoming more and more severe as the lessons went on.
Rosetta started to shed tears as she fell to the ground,
“I hate this!”
Serena looked at her with an amazed face,
“–How many times do I need to tell you this to understand? Rosetta, you need to undergo training to become a spouse suitable for Lord Liam.”
Rosetta wasn’t crying because of how harsh the training was.
How her life used to be was far worse compared to something like this.
Sure, there were many things she was pushed to learn, such as etiquette, but something of that scale could still be tolerated.
Normally that would be the case, but the actual problem with this situation was… Liam.
“I wanted to enter the academy together with Darling!”
Right now Liam was enrolled in the military academy.
He dragged Wallace along with him, despite his protests, and was currently away from the Banfield estate.
“When I finally got out of the education capsule, Darling had already enrolled into the academy without me!”
Serena calmly responded,
“A future duchess doesn’t require a military background. Rosetta, right now you need the ability to manage the household’s affairs.”
It was necessary for men of the aristocracy to receive qualifications as part of the military as well as an official, but such a thing wasn’t expected for the women. Some girls did get them as well, but that was the minority.
It’s wasn’t discrimination because they were female, it was simply because not many applied for both.
“I just wanted to be there for Darling…”
Seeing Rosetta’s tears, Serena was both impressed and amazed,
(That attitude full of motivation to work hard is good.)
By the time she graduated from the elementary school, Rosetta’s grades had actually risen to a moderate level.
While the education capsules did play a part in it, turning over her situation as the worst student was largely due to the effort she put in.
Serena had a good opinion of Rosetta. The thing is–
(She’s a rare type of lady among the nobility.)
There were many women who devoted themselves to their husbands, but it was uncommon to see one willing to attend the military academy with them.
After hearing about Rosetta’s plans to follow him to the academy, Liam said, “While Rosetta’s still in the education capsule, I’m going to enroll with Wallace” and ran away.
Serena took a small, but deep breath and turned her thoughts back to Rosetta’s education,
“Rosetta, nothing can be done even if you cry about it. If you want to become a lady suitable for Lord Liam, you need to pull yourself together.”
Hearing that, Rosetta stood up,
“I know. When Darling comes back, I’ll be sure to show him the appropriate figure for a duchess.”
“…that’s fine, but Lord Liam won’t be returning for a while now.”
“Huh? I-I thought the academy’s education only lasted for six years.”
Serena carefully explained the truth,
“Training begins immediately after graduation, and after two years of that, there’s a minimum four-year conscription in the army. Depending on where he’s assigned, at the soonest he won’t be back for another twelve years.”
“That can’t be~!”
Once again, Rosetta broke out in tears.
“In the meantime, you need to train abroad in another house.”
“I can’t see Darling for another twelve years…”
“…please listen to me.”
Normally, one would study abroad after they came of age, but there weren’t any places willing to accept a daughter of the Claudia house, so Rosetta still hasn’t received official bridal training to this day.
Since those who hadn’t gone through such guidance were looked down on in the aristocratic society, this needed to be fixed as soon as possible.
However, there were problems with this.
(–Now that we’re openly hostile with the Berkley family, we need to choose the house we send Rosetta to carefully to keep her safe.)
It was a situation where you couldn’t tell who was trustworthy enough to leave her with.
Serena was worried about Rosetta’s education.
◇ ◇ ◇
Baron Berkley’s estate.
It was a very nice and luxurious mansion.
Almost the size of a city, it didn’t look like something a baron would have.
Inside the office of such a building, the Berkley family’s boss, [Cashmiro] was currently smoking a cigar.
Blowing out a small tuft of white smoke, he turned his gaze towards the man sitting in front of him, trembling.
He was an aristocrat hostile to the Berkley family.
“It’s nothing personal, you’re just someone in the way of our family.”
As Cashmiro said so, his son’s around him broke out into grins.
All of them were barons.
The Berkley family was an organisation of barons.
However, while Cashmiro officially handed over large amounts of territory to them to make them independent, in truth, he himself was still the one in charge of everything.
While the sum total of their territory was comparable to that of a ducal house, they were also the strongest in the Empire.
It wasn’t just because of their domain.
The Berkley fleet itself was over a hundred thousand ships strong.
In addition to that, it could be said that all the pirates throughout the Empire were under Cashmiro’s control.
Aside from the stray one’s that didn’t follow anyone, Cashmiro was practically the boss of the Empire’s underworld.
This is why he and his family were called the Pirate Nobles.
There were many among the nobility who joined hands with Cashmiro, but conversely, there were also many who opposed him like the man in front of him.
Before Cashmiro’s eyes, the man in front of him yelled out,
“Don’t screw with me! You’re the ones who pressured my territory by attacking us with pirates!”
Cashmiro puffed his cigar,
“All I wanted was for you to obediently hand over your territory and title. Can’t you understand the feelings of a parent who wants their son to grow independently?”
“You destroyed my house for something like that?! Moreover, you even murdered my family… you pirates ar- AAHHHHH!!!”
When the aristocrat stood up and tried to attack Cashmiro, the sons immediately gunned him down.
As the man dropped to the ground, his blood spilled throughout the floor.
“–you’re nothing but trash. The Banfield house will kill you all…”
Ignoring the nobleman’s last words, Cashmiro threw away his cigar and stepped on it.
“What a stupid man. If he just followed us, there wouldn’t have been any need to take his life.”
One of the sons called out to Cashmiro,
“Hey old man, does this mean that I’m a baron now?”
“Hmm? Ahh, sure. However, the territory will ultimately be controlled by me.”
“Yes! Now I’m a family executive as well!”
Although the son was happy, Cashmiro didn’t even know his name, or even what number he was.
With that said, he wasn’t afraid of betrayal because they were blood.
“–Now then, our inventory of elixirs have almost been exhausted. I want to wither a planet to replenish it, but which one should we use?”
That’s when another son suggested a candidate,
“I know a good planet. In truth, the ruling house there has a daughter I’m interested in, but they refused me because they didn’t want to be involved with the pirate nobles. I want to destroy their world as revenge.”
At the request of the slender son who was messing with his hair, Cashmiro easily decided to kill people, animals, and even entire planets to create elixirs.
“We don’t need such a useless connection anyway. We’ll destroy them right away.”
“Understood. However, I’d like to spare their daughter if possible. I want to make her my mistress.”
“Do whatever you want.”
Planetary Development Equipment– the Berkley family’s strength originated from multiple devices made from ancient technology.
They were machines that terraformed planets and adjusted them into places suitable to live in.
However, if you changed the way you used it, you could absorb all the life from the world and its inhabitants, creating elixirs instead.
Through this method, the Berkley family prepared a large quantity of elixirs and established themselves in the Empire.
Thinking about how killing people and planets were small sacrifices to further his ambitions, Cashmiro looked down at the nobleman’s body,
“…more importantly, what’s the current situation with the Banfield house?”
There was an aristocrat who was openly hostile to the Berkley family.
–Liam Sera Banfield.
Cashmiro’s sons looked at each other, reluctant to speak up.
“Give me the report already.”
When Cashmiro said so, one of his son’s that was sporting a beard stepped forward,
“…we’ve hired and sent assassins to his house, all of them enthusiastic about the job, but they’ve all failed.”
A fight had been sold and assassins were sent.
However, all of them were killed.
“They’re surprisingly tough. Well, they’ll at least feel pressured if we keep sending them like this.”
One of the son’s with a calm demeanour advised Cashmiro that they should stop the assassination attempts,
“Father, that Liam brat just recently entered the academy. If we keep sending assassins like this, we might end up angering the imperial army.”
“So what then? Are you saying we should just watch the situation from the sidelines? No, noble society is all about appearances. We’ll be looked down on if we let this be!”
To Cashmiro’s words, the son suggested an alternative to the assassination,
“…father, the Banfield house is currently in debt.”
“You mean the debts left by the previous heads? What about them?”
“They borrowed from companies connected to our house. I’d like to try collecting it by force, even if we have to get slightly aggressive about it.”
Cashmiro felt a little worried after hearing that idea.
(If we forcibly collect the debt from someone who’s already seriously paying it off… the trust in our front company will plummet.)
In order to grasp the weaknesses of rival businesses and other houses, they were also involved in the financial industry.
The amount of revenue they earned from it was nothing to laugh at, so he wanted to avoid losing credibility there if possible.
However, if they just continued to send assassins to Liam and repeated their mistakes, the houses that despised the Berkley family might see this as a sign of weakness and start to become more active.
(Even if we come out at a loss, it’s all useless unless we kill that brat.)
Liam, who had established himself as a pirate hunter, was a hostile noble from Cashmiro’s perspective.
If such a person rose in noble society, the strength of the houses who held ill will towards him would increase, making things more troublesome.
(…if I don’t take care of this now, will we be eaten first?)
Many houses held grudges against the Berkley family, so Cashmiro wanted to finish this before Liam officially completed his training.
“That’s fine. We’ll spread rumours about the Banfield’s imminent collapse and their inability to pay off their debts. The other money lenders will rush to collect their dues in haste.”
The target was changed from Liam as an individual to the Banfield house as a whole.
The plans to crush a high-noble were now in full swing.
Brian(´；ω；｀) “It’s painful. Not just this Brian here, but even Lord Liam himself didn’t get to make an appearance this time, this is… painful.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com