It happened while I was still entangled between the pitiful girls.
When the guide suddenly appeared, he was painfully grasping at his chest.
Was he in a hurry or something?
“Liam… did you not notice?! I’m the reason why your enemies had gathered together!”
Apparently, the coalition between the Berkley fleet and my enemies within the military was all due to the guide.
“You’re the reason why my enemies made a united front?!”
“Exactly! Yet you still never realized it, not even after everything was already finished!”
Hearing that, I felt feelings of regret well up inside of me.
“…I’m sorry. I never noticed.”
“Well, it’s fine. However, now you know the truth, right?”
“Come on, it should be obvious! Who your true enemy is!”
My true enemy?
The guide was trying to tell me who my true enemy was.
In other words, there was someone out there who manipulated the Berkley family?
Don’t tell me, has this guy been protecting me from them this entire time…
“You, it can’t be!”
“So you finally understand!”
“Yes, I finally get it. Thank you so much.”
Of course the guide would be angry after having been run down so raggedly.
If I was busy protecting someone from their true enemy, I’d grow irritated if they never noticed either.
I’m sure that he’s gone through some tough times.
Looking at him closely, even his clothes seemed to be tattered.
All of this was because he was gathering my enemies for me.
He saw how troubled I was and set things up so I could finish it all in one battle.
“I thought it was weird seeing the Berkley family working together with the hostile military faction.”
Well, the only thing they had going for them was their numbers though.
I was actually surprised by how weak they were.
Were they betting everything on the secret weapon that came out at the end?
“N-no, I’m telling you–!”
But before the guide could say anything, I went ahead and expressed my thanks to him.
“There was the matter with Avid, as well as various other things. I’m seriously indebted to you. I’ll make sure to look into my true enemy as well, but for now– thank you oh so much!”
The guide really was a shy person.
This was probably because there weren’t that many people out there who could express their gratitude to him in the first place.
He was trembling in embarrassment even now.
“You don’t need to be so self conscious about it. Though honestly, it’s kind of cute.”
◇ ◇ ◇
The guide watched in horror as golden matchlock guns manifested behind Liam.
A large number of vintage guns were all pointing their muzzles in his direction.
Liam’s gratitude had combined with the gratitude various people had for him, turning into ammunition the guns used as they shot at the guide.
But Liam was unable to see it.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
The guide was unable to lay his hands on Liam directly.
Each encounter they’ve had so far, the tables have been turned against him.
Liam had grown that powerful.
(What the hell are you?! Even though I’ve worked so hard to make you miserable! You thank me every time– this guy, is he not taking pleasure in the unsightly figure I’m left in?!)
Liam– a person who was grateful no matter what, was an object of fear for the guide.
It was to the point that he was starting to wonder if he was doing this all on purpose.
(Does he actually know that his gratitude hurts me? N-no, that should be… impossible.)
As Liam approached him, bullets were fired one after another from the firearms.
Hitting their mark, black smoke spewed out from each new bullet wound.
“I HATE THIS!!!”
At that moment, a golden bullet filled with gratitude pierced through the guide’s body.
Unable to withstand anymore pain, the guide transformed his body into black smoke and escaped.
“H-hey, where are you going?! I’m still not done thankin– and he’s gone.”
With the guide’s disappearance, Nias and Eulisia began to move normally again.
“Lord Liam, please give me more funds!”
“I’ll follow you for the rest of my life!”
Liam– who was currently being hugged by the pitiful girls, was wondering if he was ever going to get the chance to properly thank the guide.
The dog was watching his figure from the corner of the room with a sad expression.
◇ ◇ ◇
Four years have passed since I got my official assignment.
Considering my future status, it was decided that the final rank I’d receive as I entered reserve duty would be that of a General.
This extraordinary advancement was justified through my various achievements, but there’s no doubt my bribes had a tremendous effect on it.
It was only four years.
This level of military status was only natural for a member of the nobility.
Incidentally, Tia was promoted to Brigadier General.
While Marie had become a Major.
And as the aide to myself, Eulisia was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
As a side note– Nias had risen to a Technology Major through my backing.
For some reason, when my name was mentioned as one’s patron– it was strangely easy to get consent for things. It made it troublesome to refuse them, so even the pitiful ones got promotions easier.
With that said, Wallace really disappointed me this time.
“Wallace, why are you entering reserve duty as a Captain?! What the hell were you doing?!”
As my underling, I was sure he’d become a Major, but he was stuck one class lower than what I expected.
He made a troubled expression.
“Well~ You see~”
“Why haven’t you been promoted?! I even gave out bribes for you!”
Wait, that’s wrong. They were seasonal greetings and donations.
I mean, I made sure to take care of my army.
I bought favours from the regular fleets usings my funds, applied for additional supplies for the domestic affairs game I played at my station, and I even contributed to the renewal of the military’s equipment by purchasing their old ships.
With those achievements behind me, I had asked for Wallace’s promotion, and yet this is the result?!
“Don’t you know how ashamed I am as your patron?!”
“N-no, you see, there wasn’t anywhere for me to play an active role in! All I did was supervise a construction site on the surface!”
“But as a noble you should’ve been promoted anyway!”
“Maybe it’s because I’m part of the royal family?”
Seriously… even this guy’s brother– Cedric, was promoted to a General.
Wallace joined his hands behind his head.
“In the first place, once we go into reserve duty our military classes become meaningless. Don’t they just entitle us to a bit more money annually?”
Though as the head of a house, I wasn’t going to be paid that.
Not that I needed it in the first place.
“I did all of that for the future. I just didn’t want to stand out too much.”
“If you were constantly saying things like that, wasn’t that the reason why you never got promoted?”
Wallace turned his gaze away from me, so I was probably right.
However, it was true that I never delegated any real work to him.
So I’ll let things slide this time.
“Well, it’s fine. We’re going to be entering the Imperial University next year anyway.”
“That’s right! Ahh~ my long awaited campus life is about to begin! Everyday we’ll go to mixers, play around and have fun!”
…was it okay for a member of the royal family to be like this?
I mean, I already have a fiancée– was it really appropriate for me to join mixers?
At times like this, I feel like it’d be better to plan your life out.
Looking at Eulisia only strengthened this conviction.
“Lord Liam! You’re renting out a famous hotel in the imperial capital, right? Please get me a room too!”
Towards the pitiful girl who asked me that with sparkling eyes, I shook my head.
“…do whatever you want.”
“Woohoo! I’m now one step closer to my dream life!”
Looking at Eulisia, Wallace was amazed,
“I thought she was a serious soldier, but she’s actually just like any other girl, and she’s even really pretty on top of that.”
More or less, that was all true.
I didn’t have any problems with her serving by my side.
“Ahh~ I’ll swim in the hotel’s pool in the morning, go shopping around noon, and then have an elegant moment to myself in a café afterwards!”
–I felt nothing but regret when I saw her caught up in delusions.
Wallace called out to me,
“Putting all that aside, have you told Rosetta about her yet?”
I still had to tell my fiancée about her.
…what was this? Why was my chest so heavy?
“Liam, are you really okay with this?”
“With what? Having mistresses or lovers? I was always planning to build a harem, so I don’t see any problems.”
“Huh, really? Wait no, I was talking about something else. What are you going to do about the Berkley territory?”
After wiping out the Berkley family, I had taken away their property as my spoils.
Up until there things were still fine, but the problem was that there were too many planets there for me to control.
When I tried to manage them, Amagi told me, “There are various worlds there that weren’t within reach of our capital.”
If I were to describe it as an image, my territory now looked like an enclave.
I thought it didn’t matter since we could just warp, but surprisingly, distance still mattered.
Plus, a large number of the planets there were desolate and ruined.
Those guys had destroyed their worlds in mass to produce elixirs.
While they were nice to have, if you asked me if I was willing to sacrifice a planet for one, I’d only be able to reply, “Hmm…”
So I sold the territory I didn’t need to the Empire.
I kept a bit for myself of course, but everything else was pawned off.
Also, I was able to collect a bunch of the items that I wanted.
Planetary development equipment– the Berkley family had a lot of them, and I already had plans to put them into use in the future.
Let’s place them on some fortress-class ships and have them redevelop some ruined planets.
There also seemed to be a lot of people selling elixirs now.
While I was selling rare metals to merchants, I saw that elixirs were in circulation and immediately bought them on the spot.
–There were also the guide’s words that I had to consider though.
My true enemy.
Surely they were something on a scale the Berkley family couldn’t compare to.
If I was going to fight them, then I definitely needed more power than what I had now.
Also, it was troublesome protecting an enclave.
Since that’s how it was going to be, it’d be better to just get rid of it from the beginning.
“It’s such a waste though, can’t you just give it to me instead?”
“If you’re fine with an underdeveloped planet, I can give you something right away.”
“No thanks, I’d prefer a somewhat developed world. Even if it’s only a planet you developed in your spare time, I won’t complain.”
–at my assigned station, I played a real life game of domestic affairs and actually developed the place more than expected.
There were a bunch of merchants who wanted to open stores there, so I left the details to Thomas, and now the populace of that place was steadily growing.
Well, part of the reason why was probably because it was under the Empire’s direct control, nearby another one of their cities.
It was only natural for it to develop that fast.
“I’m not promising anything, but I’ll see what I can do.”
“I have high expectations for you.”
–again, this guy was supposed to be my underling.
It was also necessary for me to increase the number of my allies in the future.
The guide left before telling me who my true enemy was– but because it was him, I’m sure he had a reason for that.
For now, let’s just concentrate on accumulating my power.
“So, what do you plan to do next? Are you going straight to the imperial capital?”
At Wallace’s inquiry, I answered honestly,
“I’ll be returning to the territory. I have something I need to do there.”
“Oh, in that case I’ll go to the imperial capital firs–”
“You’re coming too!”
I decided to go back home with Wallace.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Ahh~ there’s no place like home!”
Greeting me with open arms was Brian– who was crying, of course.
“Lord Liam, you’ve grown quite splendidly. This Brian here can’t stop shedding tears.”
“Can you even see me in that state?”
This guy always seemed to be crying.
Turning towards Amagi, she seemed to be the same as usual.
“Amagi, I assume there’s nothing wrong?”
“Yes, since all of our damages were caused by military actions, we were ridiculously compensated as an apology.”
It looks like some damages came out after all.
“I see. Make sure to give the soldiers preferential treatment, they’re my precious forces.”
“As you wish.”
After wiping his tears, Brian started asking me about Rosetta,
“Lord Liam, putting that all aside, I heard you welcomed a potential candidate for a mistress? Where might she and Lady Rosetta be?”
“…I left them behind.”
“But why?! Lord Liam, do you know how excited I was to hear that you were finally developing an interest in women?!”
He thought I didn’t have an interest in women? That’s surprising.
Brian wanted me to come back with Rosetta and Eulisia, but they were both enjoying their hotel life.
For Rosetta… it was kind of painful seeing her in person, so I left her alone.
And in any case, all Eulisia did was withdraw as my aide, she wasn’t a candidate for a mistress.
She was too pitiful to even consider that.
But since Brian would surely become annoying if I told him, I decided to change the subject.
“Oh yeah~ hey Brian, do you know that this is?”
I brought out a device shaped like a heart.
Curious, Brian started observing it with interest.
“Now this is rare. A [Machine Heart]– it’s an ancient artifact said to able to breath life into lifeless machines.”
Turning towards Amagi, I immediately pushed the artifact into her chest.
It truly was an amazing bosom, it sunk in just as much as I pushed, but that was it.
In the end, all that action did was make Amagi to turn cold eyes my way.
“What are you doing?”
“Well, I thought I would bring you to life.”
“Its a fake. You can’t find ancient artifacts that easily.”
“I-is that so? That’s too bad, I would’ve been really happy if you could’ve been given life.”
“…that’s obviously impossible.”
When Amagi said that, she looked a little sad.
Brian turned towards me,
“T-that’s right, I heard you bought multiple fortress-class ships recently! Lord Liam, you shouldn’t go buying battleships like toys.”
“It’s fine. I’ll be turning them into temporary bases for pioneer planets.”
“What?! You’re really going to develop more?!”
“Of course I am.”
I’ll load up the planetary development equipment I recently received onto them and continue further development for the territory.
It was necessary to make preparations for when the true enemy appears.
Right now was the time to accumulate my power.
“I’ve decided that now’s the time to build up my strength. Amagi, I’m planning to develop the territory further, so please write up a new plan.”
However, Amagi’s response was different from what I expected,
“About that, I’m actually going to resign from my management position soon.”
“We’ve already nurtured the human resources required. Even without my input, the territory will develop on its own with AI support.”
“I-is that so?”
“So now I’ll be able to support you personally, Master.”
Brian went on to explain to me Amagi’s future plans,
“Lord Liam, as soon as the transfer is over, Amagi will leave for the imperial capital to resume her duty as your caretaker, but if everything goes smoothly, she might even leave here with you.”
I felt unimaginably relieved when I heard that.
“What, so that was it? Okay! Let’s have a flashy welcome for your arrival, Amagi!”
“No, it’s fine.”
I felt a little lonely at Amagi’s refusal.
“R-really? Then a normal greeting… will that be okay?”
“Yes. In any case, my kind isn’t exactly welcome in the Empire.”
Hearing Amagi say that a flashy welcome wouldn’t suit her, I felt a little sad.
Brian(´・ω・｀) “Lady Rosetta is the fiancée, while Lady Eulisia pulled out of the military to only become a candidate for a mistress or lover role… that’s painful. The current situation as it is, the harem won’t be achieved any time soon… that’s also painful.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com