The home of the Berkley family.
Cashmiro was standing in front of a soldier.
“…you’ve showed me your plans. They’re amazing, but you need to make major reforms to defeat the Banfield house.”
The soldier was Dolph, who was promoted to a Major.
He was assigned to an empty post where he wasn’t expected to do anything, but that gave him all the time he needed to ponder how he could defeat Liam and pull ahead in life.
And now he was meeting with Cashmiro.
Their encounter was of pure chance.
And with that, Dolph was now devoting all of his body and soul into this strategy.
“Taking what you proposed at face value, it’s not enough. Realistically speaking, with the amount of time and funds available to us, we still have potential for more, the current plans will only hold us back.”
“…is it even possible for us to replace the entire fleet while reorganising our command structure? Also, I’ve never heard of anyone creating an armada solely out of ships specialised in close and medium range combat.”
Dolph pulled up a holographic image.
The Banfield house’s fleet was projected there.
The appearance of them one-sidedly slaughtering a pirate fleet was a horrifying sight.
“The strength of the Banfield house lies in the high quality of their equipment and personnel.”
“Is it impossible to overcome this with numbers?”
“While they may only have a hundred thousand ships at most, if they break through even a single point, both sides will end up taking massive damage. In the worst case scenario even our command structure will collapse, and once that occurs we’ve already practically lost.”
Then Dolph presented his strategy.
“We’ll let them charge at us, and then we’ll intercept them with precise countermeasures. That’s why we’ll focus on procuring ships for short and medium range combat.”
To defeat the Banfield house’s fleet, Dolph suggested creating another armada over a hundred thousand strong that had almost no practical application in a standard fight.
However, Cashmiro held Dolph’s opinion in high regard.
(Each and every single one of them, they all said that as long as we had equal numbers matching the brat, we’d win. But this guy here… I’ve never seen anyone more driven than this kid.)
Cashmiro tried asking a question,
“And what would you suppose we’d do if the enemy decided to fight normally in this situation?”
“We’d certainly be in danger, but an all out assault is the winning strategy of the Banfield house. It’d be very difficult for them to change their battle habits that they’ve developed over several decades.”
Cashimiro also understood this.
They were people who’ve aggressively hunted pirates for many years now.
Certainly, their assault tactics have become a sort of art to them.
Their formations never broke, and their soldiers seemed to know no fear.
They had grown dependent on aggressive strategies as a guarantee for victory.
(This guy… he’s the only one who understands that.)
Dolph broke into a fervent spiel,
“All the ships need to be replaced, and the personnel will need to be retrained for this operation! While this will take an enormous amount of time and money, they are necessary expenses to win! That’s just how highly I evaluate the enemy! We can’t underestimate the Banfield house!”
Just to defeat Liam, the Berkley fleet will be reformed into an immovable armada.
They’d become weak in a normal battle, but they’d never lose against an aggressive enemy.
All the soldiers Cashimiro met with so far had said they’d win as long as they had equal numbers, but he knew that wasn’t enough.
“…but will we make it in time? I’ve heard that the Banfield house is also increasing their armaments.”
“We definitely can. No, I’ll make it so we do! We need to immediately start gathering as many ships as possible!”
Affected by Dolph’s enthusiasm, Cashmiro made his resolve.
“That sounds fine, let’s do it.”
“Thank you so much! In that case, I want you to gather the pirates as well.”
For this battle, Dolph decided they needed to put pressure on Liam’s allies.
This was to prevent him from receiving reinforcements.
“There are rumours that Liam has formed a regular fleet, and I’ve confirmed them to be true. He seems to be planning to have it used as his trump card.”
A regular fleet holding tens of thousands of ships.
Hearing that, Cashmiro decided that pirates probably wouldn’t be able to do anything against it.
“…I know that there are people in the army who don’t like the Banfield brat. It might not be a bad idea to gather them up as well.”
“Oh, that would be perfect!”
Many patrol fleets controlled by the nobility were disbanded.
If their remains were collected, they’d no doubt reach a force in the tens of thousands themselves.
And Cashmiro had friends outside of the military as well.
Merchant houses– and even the first and second weapon factories had pledged their aid to him.
“Dolph, if I gather the soldiers for you, can you organise them into a fleet?”
“It’s possible, but I don’t think they’ll be that useful. If anything, we can use them as decoys.”
Dolph didn’t have any expectations for the newcomers scrounged up at the last minute.
Cashmiro was the same.
“Contact the weapon factories and have them properly equipped anyways.”
“Are you sure? The cost of this won’t be small, and those soldiers tend to complain if their treatment is even a little unsatisfactory.”
While Dolph said that it wasn’t worth spending money on them, Cashmiro said that the budget shouldn’t be worried about.
“I don’t care! If I’m going to do this, then I’m going to do this thoroughly! Even if it costs a bit, it doesn’t matter as long as it works towards wearing down that brat even the smallest amount more.”
With that said, Cashmiro still had one more card to perfect his countermeasures.
“Now let’s feed the pirates to the Banfield house.”
“You’ll feed them?”
“Yes, we’ll make them fight more than ever to ensure they stick to assault tactics. I want to maintain the situation where there isn’t even the slightest of doubts that aggressive maneuvers will bring them victory.”
Dolph felt chills run up his spine as he listened to Cashmiro easily laugh about forsaking the pirates.
“…no, this could work. This will bring us another step closer to winning.”
It wasn’t just the pirates. Merchants, weapon factories, and the military– Cashmiro had decided to involve all of them in the war against the Banfield house.
And watching all of this from the beginning while applauding was the guide.
“…perfect. Both of you are doing your best to defeat Liam, so I’ll give you all the support you’ll need from the shadows.”
◇ ◇ ◇
When I arrived at my designated patrol fleet, what was waiting for me were several regular sized armadas instead.
The sight seen from the bridge of a super-class battleship over three thousand meters long was a tremendous fleet consisting of innumerable ships.
Battleships were lined up as far as the eye could see.
My holographic image was projected into outer space as a ceremony to welcome my official assignment.
At my side was Eulisia, who was designated to support me as my aide, and Marie, who had just returned from the special forces.
Wallace was also here as back-up personnel for the bridge.
“Special staff officer, thanks for appointing me as captain of this ship! Thank you so much!”
—A big-faced man with bristled short hair was expressing his gratitude towards me.
He was the recently promoted brigadier general [Cedric Noah Albalate].
I appointed him as the captain for the flagship I boarded.
After my recent promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, I was given a unique position of ‘Special Staff Officer’.
By the way, Cedric was Wallace’s half-brother.
However, he was just another of the hundreds of princes without backing.
Wallace was amazed,
“Are you seriously happy enough to cry?”
“Of course I am! You have no idea how unfulfilling it is to patrol the universe for no reason! Actually, how the hell are you the one to have found such an excellent patron?!”
Cedric started strangling Wallace’s neck in envy.
“I give, I GIVE!!!”
Tia entered into the noisy bridge with another officer.
“Lord Liam, I’ve brought the commander.”
He was a man who looked like he was in his forties.
So he must actually be of a pretty old age.
With current anti-aging technology, having a middle-aged appearance was like proof of longevity.
“I’ll be in your care, commander.”
The other party was smiling.
“I never would’ve expected to be put in charge of the famous Count of all people. Well, I’ll make sure to do my part.”
Flattery didn’t seem to have much effect on this man, but to have been entrusted with a fleet of this size, he must have the skills appropriate for his position.
–Let’s do our best not to make this guy an enemy.
I’ve recently learned that I shouldn’t pick fights with troublesome people.
–like the Berkley family.
They were really annoying.
Tia went on to tell me about our future plans.
“Lord Liam, tomorrow we’ll be leading the fleet to patrol around the frontier base.”
“The frontier base?”
“Yes, think of it as something similar to introducing yourself while also ensuring the safety of our route.”
With such a large fleet, were we really going to scout out how safe our path was?
Normally these things would be done with smaller fleets, so it’d be a bit of a waste to do so on this scale.
“Why don’t we disperse our forces while moving towards our destination. Yes, let’s turn this into a competition. We’ll go there first and give rewards to those who arrive after solving the pirate problems in the local areas.”
Since I wasn’t going to take this position seriously, I was going to turn it into a game for my amusement– Tia seemed a bit disappointed though.
“Lord Liam, this is a chance to show off your dignified figure! Such a fleet operation is–”
However, there was a person who sent me a lifeboat.
It was Marie.
“Oh, are you refuting Lord Liam’s orders? Are you sure that’s fine? Even I can tell that there’s no point in moving a fleet of this size all together.”
“It would also serve as training for when we do need to move on this scale. Not that you would understand that.”
“Even if that’s true, it’d be better to consolidate once we’re actually at our destination. It’s such a shame seeing our head knight be so inflexible.”
Cedric started whispering to Wallace while they quarreled,
“Your patron’s knights… isn’t the atmosphere between them somewhat strained?”
“They’re always like this, you’ll get used to it soon.”
Wallace was laughing, but seeing my head and deputy knight fighting wasn’t funny to me at all.
Eulisia made a suggestion,
“Lieutenant Colonel, are you sure you want to turn this into a competition before we even reached our station?”
I was ignoring the commanding officer’s position and making decisions on my own.
But when I looked towards the commander, he shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s not like we have any urgent business to attend to, so I don’t see any problems.”
It was a bit bigger than I expected, but it was still the fleet I prepared myself, so it should be fine to use it as I like.
“Yes, let’s make this into a competition. Defeating pirates will get them points. Large scale fleets will be worth ten, and I’ll even prepare rewards depending on the scores.”
Those were my thoughts on the game that was about to begin– and a few days later, the major generals I gathered seemed excited when I explained the rules to them.
As for myself? I got to watch everyone compete against each other from the sidelines as an evil lord.
◇ ◇ ◇
I led three thousand ships to the goal point– well, a certain planet.
It was directly under the Empire’s control and was designated as a world still under development.
The atmosphere around the people competing for the reward seemed to change when we started, so I wonder when they’ll arrive?
Currently, I was sitting in a luxurious seat on the ship’s bridge while swishing around the drink inside the glass I held.
“I’m bored. Wallace, do something.”
“Huh, what are you asking me to do? I’m sorry, but I’ve already run out of material.”
I’ve already made this unreasonable request to Wallace dozens of times.
He doesn’t seem to have any more good ideas.
We’ve spent the last few days just waiting in this desolate place– and now I’m bored.
“There’s too much free time.”
I thought I’d be fine just relaxing on a luxury cruise ship.
And certainly, this vessel’s facilities were substantial, even to the point of possessing a small shopping mall.
There were many non-combatants here, and even some chain stores were opening up shops.
It was crowded with crew members that were on break or holidays, turning the ship into its own mini-colony.
But… what was the point of me playing around in such a place?
I’ve honestly spent most of my free time in my room.
My days have been spent with me just swinging my sword around in training.
“Cedric, do an impression of something.”
“That’s impossible my lord– I’ve already used up all my materials as well, and even then, most of the celebrities I’ve done are people you didn’t even know.”
Cedric seemed to be out of good ideas as well.
I’ve exhausted all my measures to alleviate my boredom.
Then Marie made a suggestion,
“Then why don’t you start developing this planet? The soldiers will be able to work, and there’s also the supply fleets that are bound to meet with us before our allies arrive. So why don’t we try to build a simple spaceport for them?”
Just because I was free, was I really going to start playing a real-life colony development game? …I guess I was.
“Okay, let’s do it. Now what should we do for the design?”
Eulisia made a proposal,
“Lord Liam, there are pioneers on the surface. If you start supporting them, it will be easy for us to get the cooperation of the residents when we use this place as a relay station in the future.”
To be honest, I wasn’t that interested in the original residents, but I’ll lend them a hand since I have the time to do so.
For my territory, I left a lot of things to Amagi since she knew what was best for our future income, but it should be fun to do things on my own for once.
Even if I messed up and failed, it was still only the Empire’s territory in the end.
So there was no problem there.
“Okay, let’s start changing things on the surface then. Wallace, I’m going to start building facilities down there, so I’m appointing you as the site manager.”
I decided to have the distressed Wallace go down to the surface and start the construction for a government office building.
“Yes, let’s make it a huge building that’ll really give off a ‘BANG’ impact when seen.”
Because doing things like this was a good way to waste money.
Let’s build it with an emphasis on design.
Tia was looking at me with her hands clasped together.
Her eyes seemed to be shining.
“That sounds amazing, Lord Liam.”
Considering how I was treating the residents as toys for a game, I didn’t think I was doing anything worth complimenting.
Well, it was only natural for evil lords to trample over others.
I’ll just develop this place however I want.
◇ ◇ ◇
–Liam’s fleet destroyed another local pirate armada.
Such a topic was spreading half a year after he was officially assigned.
The prime minister’s eyes went wide after reading the contents of the report.
Subordinates had been dispatched to investigate how powerful Liam’s forces were.
Spies were planted as workers in the fleet.
And the majority of them all sung his praise.
One of his subordinates made a relieved expression,
“It seems they were having a competition to see who could hunt the most pirates, but more important than that is the developments they’ve started for the planet they’re assigned to. We’ve left that place alone for so long because the costs weren’t worth it, so this is something to celebrate.”
There was a planet where Liam’s competing fleets were assigned to consolidate at.
And Liam seemed to have made various improvements there while he waited for them.
Now that there was a spaceport there– albeit a simple one, the planet was likely to develop further in the future.
In fact, it already seems like merchants are gathering there in hopes of conducting business with Liam.
As for the planet’s surface–
“Hmm… so he prioritised the construction of the necessary facilities first? He has good judgement.”
There weren’t any facilities built on the ground in the first place, so the residents would be grateful no matter where they were built.
Though they seemed to be built with an emphasis on design, that much was still reasonable.
(I’ll give him about eighty points. If he gains a bit more experience, then he’ll surely able to reach even greater heights– it’s easy to forget because of all the news about his military feats, but the Count’s original fame came from his skill in domestic affairs.)
Originally, he was highly regarded for how he revitalised his desolate territory, but recently the only news to come out about him seems to be on his pirate hunts.
With how the situation would seem to improve even if he left it unattended, the prime minister inadvertently felt a smile creep up on him.
However– he wasn’t the type to believe in others that easily.
“With achievements like this, even the army wouldn’t be able to complain. I should have the count promoted to colonel. I’ll even give him a medal.”
“Are you sure?”
“Something of this level is still cheap. By next year, should I have him promoted to brigadier general? I want him to at least be a lieutenant general before he leaves the military.”
(Well, if this isn’t enough to please him, should I give him something else?)
Brian(´・ω・) “Lord Liam seems to have become a legend of sorts for playing an active part in domestic affairs and the military, but its painful how he doesn’t seem to have realised that himself.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com