The Seventh Weapons Factory.
Nias was currently on duty as she weightlessly floated through space in her uniform.
It looked like she was flying, but she suddenly stopped after moving to a certain place.
In front of her was a fortress-class space battleship over two thousand meters long.
“Hey, why haven’t we sold it yet? I thought there were talks with the imperial army commissioning them.”
To Nias’ angry tone, her subordinate made an excuse.
“The Third Weapons Factory stole a march on us. They just recently revealed a new fortress-class ship.”
“And that’s why we’re better than them. Compared to our model that we’ve been improving on for the past two decades, they can’t even reach our levels of performance.”
It was rare for the Seventh Weapons Factory; who specialised in performance, maintainability, and efficiency, to actively focus on design.
However, because of that they constantly lost to the more popular Third Weapons Factory.
The subordinate made a troubled expression,
“Isn’t this your responsibility? If we can’t sell this, then the dock will continue to be occupied, and unfortunately we don’t have the funds to pay for that. You’ll get in trouble with our superiors again.”
The fortress-class was far more expensive than super-class battleships.
If the Empire didn’t buy it, then there weren’t that many places that they could sell them at.
It’s not like they could sell them to other countries.
It was possible to sell them to imperial nobles, but only houses that the Empire had given permission to could legally purchase them.
As Nias pondered this, the only place that came to mind that she could conceivably sell it to would be the Banfield house.
However, Liam was currently in training.
It wouldn’t be good to intrude on his studies just to make a sale.
But she was on a time limit.
“H-how about I slip into a party hosted at his place of training? I believe it was Viscount Razel’s house? Are we in business with them?”
After asking for confirmation from her subordinates, they immediately started to check,
“Let’s see… they seem to have bought some normal military models that we created two decades ago, but since then it looks like they’ve been procuring products from the other weapon factories.”
“If they had the money, I wish they’d buy our newer models.”
“Unfortunately, there aren’t that many places that can actually afford our new models, even the Banfield house has a limit to what they can purchase. Hmm… the next party that the viscount has invited us to would be… this one.”
With that, it’d be possible for Nias to attend as a representative of the Seventh Weapons Factory.
It was a party for the graduating children who had completed their training.
“Well, we haven’t lost yet! Even if representatives from the other weapon factories will be there, I’ll definitely be the one to make the sale!”
“You have to, or else we’re finished.”
Nias was visibly distressed.
“If we can’t free up the dock here, we’ll be completely behind schedule.”
They couldn’t dismantle the ship.
Leaving it outside wasn’t an option either.
Nias had no choice but to sell it.
◇ ◇ ◇
After listening to that story about people’s manhoods exploding– I took my training seriously from then on.
To be honest I wanted to ‘play around’ a bit, but I was afraid of what could happen if I did.
Thanks to that, I had arrived at my third year of training before I even noticed.
“Before I realised it, we’re already almost finished.”
Our three years of training was about to end– the last one having been spent living in fear of explosions.
Damn, this is all because that stupid viscount wasn’t taking care of his territory properly.
Don’t leave such dangerous STDs running amok in your domain!
I swore to myself that the moment I returned home, I was going to launch a general health inspection throughout my territory.
It was too terrifying to live in a land where people couldn’t even ‘play around’ without fear.
“So you say, but we still have to participate in the martial arts showcase before our training is officially finished.”
“Ahh… There was that, wasn’t there?”
On the day before we were scheduled to leave, there would be large matches that the soon-to-be graduates had to participate in.
However, they would all be fixed so that the noble children given preferential treatment would win.
They even gave instructions to us on how to lose.
“I’m not happy with how the viscount does things. I hate stuck-up rich people.”
I used to think that I was pretty rich, but I guess there’s always someone better than you in the universe.
Compared to the houses whose history and territory had been built up over countless generations, my house was apparently nothing.
The results were something I just had to accept.
But I couldn’t.
“In my case, I can’t let people underestimate a license holder of my school, so I’d be troubled if I lost.”
“Same here, but since Peter has the same license as me, I should be fine.”
“Is that so?”
Kurt and Peter were both swordsmen of the Arend school.
Because it was a famous swordsmanship style, it had a lot of students.
Though, I guess having so many came with its own problems.
“Since we’re from the same school, there’s no problem as long as I lose to another license holder.”
“Is Peter as strong as you?”
“…no, I don’t think he is. I heard that Peter procured his license in exchange for money.”
I’ve heard that the famous swordsmanship schools would sell their licenses to people with high social status.
Those people would act as a form of advertisement, and their vassals were more likely to enroll into the school as well.
Though in my case, since there really wasn’t anyone who taught the One-Flash, each practitioner of the school had to truly master the style before getting their license.
“I guess the students of famous swordsmanship schools also have it hard.”
“Even my father, who only became a lord after receiving his license, had to pay a large sum of money to them.”
After hearing that, I couldn’t help but marvel at how noble Master Yasushi truly was.
To not even consider taking disciples and passing the school of the One-Flash to the next generation, it was only natural that he got so angry at me.
In any case, what was I supposed to do about the matches?
Should I just decline participation altogether?
Though I don’t think there’s any need to worry.
Since Peter came from a house ruled by a virtuous lord, would they really just buy him a license with money? Wasn’t he the kind of person who practiced useless things like heroism and such? So shouldn’t he at least be a little strong?
—As I thought, he was truly someone I couldn’t get along with.
◇ ◇ ◇
I’ve lived in Viscount Razel’s house for three years now, but even that was longer than the time that I had spent with my parents.
As I pondered this, I had mixed feelings well up inside me while I cleaned up the garden— not. As a side note, I could see Peter out on a walk with his arm linked together with Katerina.
And as they passed by me,
“Hey, penniless trash.”
“Peter, don’t bully the poor thing.”
The piece of shit that laughed at me while apologising was none other than– Katerina.
Since we were still repaying the debt left by my parents and grandparents, technically my house could still be considered poor.
While it was possible to repay it all in bulk, Amagi said it would attract some unneeded attention and that we should just repay it normally.
That’s why I could still be discriminated at as a poor man.
“Do you need something from me?”
Peter started to laugh,
“I just thought I should do some charity work for the poor for once. Come, I’ll bring you over to the casino I frequent.”
Apparently, he came to invite me to hang out during his spare time.
What an idiot. He was playing around in a casino run in a territory that didn’t manage it’s entertainment district well.
I’d rather earn my money normally rather than gamble for it in a casino anyways.
“Please allow me to decline.”
As I politely refused, Peter’s face distorted in anger,
“To refuse my generous invitation! Y-you uncouth bastard, this is why I hate the poor!”
Without warning, Peter suddenly lunged towards me in an attack. But after I dodged him, he tripped and ended up writhing in pain as he hit his head.
“Peter, are you okay?!”
As Katerina ran over and held him up, Peter started to glare at me.
“You’ll regret this, I’ll report you to the viscount!”
“But wasn’t this all your fault?”
What the hell was he talking about?
Ignoring his tantrum, I went back to continue my cleaning.
◇ ◇ ◇
The guide watched the dispute between Liam and Peter from the roof of the mansion.
“…he’s definitely out of the question.”
He had been moving around to exact his revenge on Liam, but so far nothing had been successful.
The main reason being that there was no one here that could beat Liam.
Not even Kurt could win against a serious Liam.
“Time just keeps on passing without me being able to do anything. Am I really okay with this?”
Even if he wanted to do something, he didn’t have the power to do so.
But in order to efficiently make Liam unhappy, he had to use his power.
“The band of pirates who are targeting Liam this time are smaller and weaker than Goaz’s fleet. I can’t rely on just them.”
Even if he was able to find people strong enough nearby, there wasn’t any real reason for them to attack Liam unless he could mess with the situation.
“This isn’t enough. It’s not enough at all. What should I do?”
The guide was troubled today as well with the situation out of his control.
The white light that was curiously observing the guide’s back suddenly departed for who knows where.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Damn it! That bastard, why isn’t he here yet?!”
The leader of the pirates slammed his fist down on the table.
After getting information on Liam, he had made various preparations for their revenge, but the person in question didn’t even show up.
He never left the premises of the mansion, so the pirates couldn’t even touch him.
“Boss, if we leave things as they are, then he’ll just return back to his home after his training finishes. That brat Liam’s home planet isn’t part of our territory.”
If he gets away, they wouldn’t be able to chase him anymore.
Without giving up, the pirates desperately started to think of what cards they could still play.
As for the boss,
“…I’ll get in touch with that bastard Randolph.”
“A-are you sure that’s okay? Didn’t he tell us to only contact him in emergencies?”
“This is an emergency! If we give up here, we’ll be looked down on by the other pirate fleets and they might attack us.”
His subordinates then quickly scattered about to make the call, and after a while, the figure of Randolph projected itself in front of the boss.
“What’s the matter?”
Randolph seemed unhappy with the boss’ sudden call.
“My lord, I actually have a problem that I need to talk to you about.”
◇ ◇ ◇
“–what do you think?”
In his office.
Randolph frowned as he listened to the pirate’s story.
“So to summarise, you want to attack one of the nobles that I currently have under my care, correct?”
This would damage the reputation of his house if he let this go through.
Even though the pirates understood this fact, they didn’t really seem to care.
“My lord, we have a reputation to uphold. In order to keep the other pirate fleets who would bring destruction to your territory away, it’s necessary to punish all the fools who would dare insult us.”
They had to destroy anything that would cause others to look down on them.
Pirates also had it hard in their own way.
“To protect my house’s honour, can I have you wait for a while?”
“I understand. With that said— do we have your permission to attack him before he returns home?”
Listening to the request, the viscount started rubbing his jaw.
(It’s not worth protecting the Banfield house if it means angering these brutes.)
“…just do it outside of my territory.”
“As you wish, but you will cooperate with us, right?”
“I can’t afford to send out my fleet, but I may be able to delay our response to their request for reinforcements.”
The pirates laughed while grinning. A response of true neutrality, one that guaranteed that the viscount wouldn’t impede them was enough.
“That’ll do. We’ve already secured an ally willing to help us for the sake of your territory’s safety.”
“And who might that be?”
“Lord Peter of the Peetak house.”
Randolph started to glare at them, but the pirates ignored him.
(I heard that he had a dispute with the Banfield house’s brat, but I didn’t think he’d go this far.)
Peter and Katerina had reported to Randolph different things.
Peter said that he was assaulted, but Katerina later told him that he just fell.
(He’s truly incompetent, but I can’t lose his favour here and lose the chance of connecting our houses through marriage.)
The misunderstood size of the Peetak house that Randolph saw was very attractive.
If they joined together, there was no doubt of the great benefits his viscount house could reap.
Therefore, he was quite troubled when he heard this information.
“–The Peetak house’s personal fleet won’t be participating. Only pirates will be. Understood?”
Although not explicitly said, he was implying that the Peetak house should impersonate pirates.
The pirates seemed to understand though.
“I understand, my lord. ‘Only pirates’ will be attacking the Banfield house. As long your house doesn’t intervene, we’ll thoroughly beat them down without leaving any trace of your involvement.”
“There shouldn’t be any problem if the Banfield house’s heir disappears. Even if he’s killed by pirates, the Empire shouldn’t have a real reason to investigate the matter.”
He didn’t think they would launch a full-scale investigation for a house that insignificant.
As long as he told the Empire the end-results, everything should wrap up smoothly with none the wiser.
Randolph was sure of this.
“Just don’t leave behind any evidence.”
Once the call finished, Randolph returned to his work.
He was confirming the participants who would be attending the party held for the graduating children this year.
“Thanks to the participation of the Peetak house, it looks like this year’s party is going to be bigger than usual.”
Randolph made a impressed expression as he looked over the large number of attendees.
There were many houses coming that he wanted to build connections with.
As well as merchant company heads, weapon factory representatives, and so forth.
“Compared to them, it truly was a failure to accept someone from the Banfield house.”
Brian (｀；ω；´) “…it’s painful. It’s painful knowing that I can’t do anything about this.”
Tia(# ゜言゜) “…seconded.”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com