Randolph read the report he received while shaking.
What was written there was the total opposite of the initial investigation.
“So… the data for the Peetak and the Banfield houses were switched?”
Other than Liam and Peter’s names and faces, everything written in their reports was swapped.
It was unbelievable.
Such a thing was impossible.
How could a mistake like this ever transpire?
He pondered this for a while before shaking his head,
“I need to immediately notify the pirates of the cancellation of the plan.”
It was already around the time for the battle to start.
If it was too late, then he’d have to immediately cut all ties with the pirates, while sending over the Razel house’s fleet for relief aid in hopes of selling a favour.
That’s what he decided, but soon after-
A call came in from his panicking subordinates, saying that the pirates had suffered a crushing defeat.
The Peetak house had lost most of their fleet as well, and were now seeking refuge at his viscount house.
“T-that’s no good! Send them away immediately!”
“The thing is, the Peetak house is currently connected to us through marriage, we can’t refuse them because of our military alliance.”
They had signed a number of treaties at the same time as the engagement, but that seems to have backfired on them.
Randoph started grasping at his head.
“This can’t be. Something like this just can’t-”
That’s when another call came in, this time from his daughter Katerina.
At first he was thinking about how he didn’t have the time to deal with her, but his legs started to tremble after hearing her report.
“I’m in the territory of the Peetak house right now, but something’s wrong! It’s completely different from the report, this place hasn’t even been remotely developed at all! On top of that, debt collectors are pushing for us to repay the Peetak house’s debt. Peter’s parents are apparently in the imperial capital, but when I tried calling them to ask them about this, they just gave terrible responses!”
‘We’ll leave our considerable debt to you.’
The Peetak house’s response was bad, but to force a viscount house to take care of a count’s debt was just cruel.
It’d be tough even for the Razel house, who earned quite a bit.
Randolph, who didn’t want to hear anymore, told Katerina to continue,
“Peter… has an STD.”
After hearing such a thing, everything went dark before Randolph’s eyes.
◇ ◇ ◇
It’s been three months since I left the Razel house, and now I’ve finally returned home.
Those three months in between were spent hunting pirates in Baron Exner’s territory.
The Baron’s territory was amazing.
You could really tell it was the kind of land that they squeezed to the last minute.
It wasn’t as bad as the Banfield territory ruled by my predecessors, but the land really gave off the feeling of being ruled over by someone who was faithful to the basics of being an evil lord.
While I was in their care, I got to enjoy playing with Kurt while my fleet actively hunted down the pirates.
Apparently Baron Exner had a daughter, and he told me that I should take care of her once she reached a certain age.
In other words, he’s accepted me as a fellow evil lord.
But she wasn’t mature enough yet, so it’d be a while before she could come to my house for bridal training.
—Well, that was the end of that.
“It’s nice to finally meet you, Lord Liam.”
An old lady with a straight back had greeted me.
“You’re the new head maid?”
As soon as I returned to the territory, she went out of her way to welcome me as a form of courtesy.
When she helped me change clothes, she didn’t show any discomfort at all.
Apparently, she was the new hire that was going to be in charge of teaching manners and etiquette, she was really loud and annoying to listen to.
“Did you need something from me?”
“I’d like to ask you a few things about the place you went to for training. From Lord Liam’s perspective, what kind of place was Viscount Razel’s house?”
Well, it should be fine to speak honestly to the head maid that I was going to be in the care of.
“They were nothing special. Well, I guess they were a good place to learn at, sort of.”
Serious and just– they were a house that was the complete opposite of my own.
There were a lot of good things about them, but they were a house I couldn’t get along with when looking at the big picture.
No, it’d be impossible to get along.
We were completely incompatible.
Compared to them, how about Baron Exner?
He was the ideal evil lord.
The house that he lead was one I definitely wanted to build a connection with.
“…it was tough, wasn’t it?”
The head maid had a surprised face.
“Well, we’re not going to be associating with them anymore, so I guess everything’s water under the bridge.”
“You’re not considering revenge?”
…revenge? Oh, as in response to their treatment of me?
Well, I was angry, but if there weren’t serious people like them around, then the Empire would be likely to collapse.
“Like I said, I’d rather just avoid getting involved with them from now on.”
She seemed to be muttering something, but I couldn’t hear her.
◇ ◇ ◇
It was the prime minister that the head maid contacted after she returned to her quarters.
In an Empire where anti-aging technology had advanced by a great deal, it was quite rare to see both the head maid and the prime minister, two people who chose to look old.
“It’s been a long time, prime minister.”
“I’ve been looking forward to your report. So what kind of person is the Banfield kid in your eyes?”
The head maid, who originally worked for the imperial palace, had quite the close relationship with the prime minister.
It was a relationship born from knowing each other ever since their youths.
“He’s the perfect example of the ideal imperial noble.”
“Is that so?”
From the prime minister’s point of view, he was a good child who did his best to save his debt-riddled territory.
The head maid had the same opinion, but she wouldn’t say it out loud.
“He has quite the character about him. It was almost as if I was looking at your younger self.”
Apparently, he was just like the prime minister who quickly climbed the ranks in the palace during his youth. When she said that, the minister started smiling,
“I see, so he got lucky then?”
Sometimes, there were people born with incredible luck.
They were existences that lived as if they were chosen by something— as the population suddenly increased, it was only natural for several of such people to appear in the same era.
“It wasn’t just luck. He’s quite mature for his age. Maybe Viscount Razel’s house actually had a good teacher among them, because it doesn’t look like any re-training is necessary.”
“Hmm… there’s been a lot of bad rumours about that house lately. Did you hear about how the count was attacked near their territory?”
“They ended up having to deal with an armada of normal pirates, and the Peetak house’s fleet who claimed to be pirates.”
“He’s quite courageous despite his age.”
Knowing how the Peetak house operated, the prime minister understood the situation and easily dismissed their claim as pirates.
“Are you going to do anything about this?”
“A foolish young nobleman who doesn’t know the harshness of reality needs to be disciplined. For this, the Empire will start a thorough investigation into the situation.”
It was decided that the pirate raid and the other shady things about this situation would be investigated in earnest.
“Still, is the viscount an idiot? What the hell was he thinking when he chose to support the Peetak house over the Banfield house?”
Marriage between the Razel and Peetak houses.
The prime minister could only tilt his head in confusion at the idea.
No matter how he thought about it, they were definitely the wrong choice to partner with.
Since they were practically crippling themselves, he decided now would be the most opportune time to start an investigation.
The prime minister told the head maid,
“Keep watch over him for a while. He’ll probably become one of the pillars that’ll support the future empire.”
“Oh? You sure do have high expectations for him.”
“Only because there are fools everywhere else. Speaking of which, I heard an interesting story recently. Why don’t you pass it on to your present master?”
Once the call finished, the head maid decided to convey to Liam the information she heard from the prime minister.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Lord Liam! This Brian here was so worried that I couldn’t sleep at night!”
“No, you’re old so you need to get enough sleep.”
When I returned to the mansion, Brian started to cry like usual.
I turned to Amagi,
“He’s lying. His sleeping time has been reduced, but not to the point of impeding his health.”
—This guy, was he ever actually worried about me?
Brian asked me,
“B-by the way, Lord Liam— I heard that you did a lot of things at the viscount’s, were you able to harvest many fruits from your training?”
There were a few, but there wasn’t many.
“Well, I made a friend, does that count?”
“Oh! Lord Liam has made a friend! This Brian here is ecstatic! Did you invite them over?”
Why was he so happy about me making friends?
Even I had a few frien– wait a minute.
Now that I thought about it, I didn’t.
Evil lords usually don’t, right?
Though… I guess that might be wrong, because I know that some villains create groups.
Great villains always have a bunch of henchmen following them.
“Master, regarding our future policies-”
Because I was asked by Amagi, I decided that now was the time to announce the changes I’ve been thinking about for a while.
“Before any of that, I’d like to create an entertainment district.”
Amagi sighed, “Is that so?”
I was enthusiastic despite her weak reaction.
“Creating a place to relieve stress is important, but STDs and the like are no good. They’re too dangerous. Let’s prepare a safe environment to play around in that’s thoroughly managed. We’ll use my pocket money as the budget.”
The budgeting for this year is already finished, so we have to use my personal funds.
—was it enough? Recently, I can’t help but feel like my sense of money has gone awry.
“Understood, but before that– may I ask why you purchased more battleships? Even then, why a fortress-class battleship, something that’s too much for us to handle at the moment?”
I turned my eyes away from Amagi.
“You know about our current military plans, right?”
When I stayed silent, Amagi proceeded to chew me out,
“We can’t prepare the crew right now, we’ll have to train them from scratch. Do you understand how much the maintenance costs will be?”
“…it’s because I wanted it.”
I couldn’t say that I bought it because I was excited by Nias’ sportswear.
“You need to be careful. Thanks to that, we’ve been requested to buy ships of equal rank from the other weapon factories one after another. The imperial army has even gotten in contact with us in hopes that we purchase their older models.”
The weapon factories were pressuring us to buy their products.
While the military contacted us in hopes that we’d purchase the extra assets they didn’t need anymore.
‘Because you could afford a fortress-class, you have a lot of funds, right?’– seems to be the premise they’re approaching us with.
But If we refused them both, various problems might ensue in the future.
“If that’s the case, let’s buy a few and distribute them out. Let’s give some to Baron Exner.”
“Nothing good will come out of giving things away for free.”
Brian threw me a lifeline while Amagi was still scolding me,
“Oh, then why don’t we rent them out to the neighboring lords? By giving them some strength to defend themselves, the current burden we have could be reduced slightly.”
Currently, it was our Banfield house that was maintaining security of the local area.
I see, that’s a good plan.
We could even earn rental fees while we’re at it.
“Okay, then let’s get in contact with the military then. The older models we purchase from them will be rented out to the neighboring lords, while the new ones will be used here at home. Problem solved.”
“That doesn’t solve our initial problem of not knowing what to do with the fortress-class.”
While we chatted, the head maid approached me,
“Lord Liam, I have a report,”
◇ ◇ ◇
—Peter’s manhood had exploded.
I started laughing like crazy after hearing the news.
The head maid informed me that the Peetak house was currently in chaos.
However, the story of Peter- the cause of it all, was more interesting than the main subject of the report itself.
He played around too much and got an STD.
“You shouldn’t laugh, it’s disrespectful.”
I was currently enjoying Amagi’s lap-pillow in my bedroom. As my laugh finally started to die down, I was completely out of breath.
After coughing for a bit, I took a deep breath and calmed myself down.
“Ahh~ I needed that.”
“Master, what the head maid was trying to convey was-”
“Their house is in chaos, I know. There’s nothing you can do but laugh at it.”
In the Peetak house, Peter, their only heir, was unable to create a successor.
For that crazy reason, the house was currently in turmoil over who the next head was going to be.
Even though he was so serious, his house had broken apart and was now in chaos— as I thought, there’s no point in being serious.
“I’m sure he got it from Katerina. It truly is useless to be a serious person. I can’t help but feel sorry for Peter, who was forced to be with such a terrible woman.”
“Getting it from his fiancee is definitely a possibility, but there hasn’t been any confirmation that they’ve been in a physical relationship yet.”
Amagi continued on, “Even so, it’ll be hard for Katerina to get married from now on.”
She’d be in hell if she stayed with Peter, and she’d be in hell if she left him.
Because now she’ll be rumoured to have an STD.
“As a side note, it looks like the Henfrey company lent a lot of money to the Peetak house. They’re apparently greatly in the red now.”
Did they approach the Peetak house with the intention to scam them?
Well, I’d be troubled if they got crushed, so I’ll give them some support.
They’re my important Echigoya after all.
While enjoying the lap pillow, I looked up towards Amagi’s mountains.
“Oh yes, Master– what’s that pendant you have there?”
“This? It’s something I picked up during a mining operation.”
Brian, who originally was an adventurer told me, “It’s a souvenir based off of a mysterious artifact that was said to protect its wearer from all poisons.”
Apparently it was a necklace that gave immunity to poisoning, though it was only a replica of the real thing.
“You want it?”
“Master should hold on to it. Though it might be fake, keep it as a reminder that you’re in a position that’s susceptible to being poisoned.”
She was telling me to stay wary.
“Nowadays, poisons can easily be found through inspections.”
“You shouldn’t grow negligent.”
Because it was easy to check, it was rare for nobles to be poisoned in recent times.
But since I thought it felt lucky, I left it around my neck.
It was made of my favourite gold after all.
Brian(*´ω｀) “Even if we don’t do anything, our enemies will destroy themselves. This is all because of the good deeds Lord Liam does everyday.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com