I was now in my third year of elementary school.
Luckily, I was able to get permission for a short leave to visit the Seventh Weapons Factory.
I was visiting in order to check the progress of my request.
“…what are you doing?”
There were a bunch of people who were hugging and rubbing themselves against Avid.
Nias was among them, clinging onto it like a panda.
She didn’t seem to notice me when I called out to her.
“Oh my cute Avid, it was hard, wasn’t it? Mommy here is so proud of you.”
–Apparently, Avid’s renovation was harder than I thought.
It broke Nias.
Looking up at Avid, it didn’t look that different.
However, apparently both the frame and the armour were now completely made of rare metals.
It’s performance now greatly surpassed that of the current generation of machines.
–I was satisfied looking at the specs displayed in the catalog.
“I don’t like it.”
When I muttered that, Marie closed the distance between us in an instant and dropped to her knee.
“D-does something not satisfy you?”
Was she a ninja or something?
Well, it was fine.
“I should’ve sent over some gold as well. Black armour with silver lining looks nice, but I prefer gold.”
At that moment, Nias snapped into attention,
“Who is it?! Who dares to sully my child with the colours of their poor taste?!”
She said that my preferences sucked.
Marie stood up and drew one of the sword handles she had hanging off her waist.
Almost immediately, a blade had extended itself from said handle.
It was a storage-type weapon built for convenience.
“Nias, you’re an excellent engineer, so I’ll finish this with one swing in deference of your achievement of renovating Avid.”
Nias started screaming for me,
“GYAAAAAA!!! LORD LIAAAAAM!!!!”
Wasn’t her response similar to that of seeing a ghost?
“Nias, get away from Avid. Lord Liam’s personal machine will be stained with your blood otherwise.”
I told Marie, whose gaze had frozen over, to stand down because it looked like she was going to kill her.
“Nias, as an apology I’ll forget that you said those words just now, but the parts of Avid that are silver I want repainted gold.”
Nias’ eyes were filled with tears.
“I don’t want to!”
She immediately refused my request.
And as Marie began lifting up her sword in response, I stopped her so she could explain,
“The silver parts are connected to the inner frame. It’s all mythril. It’s the silver shine of something far more valuable than gold!”
“But I still like gold better. Better yet, let’s paint all the non-silver parts gold as well!”
“That’s why you have poor taste! Can’t you understand how brilliant this adamantium luster is?!”
The crests and patterns on Avid were all silver.
Nias refuted my desire to have them all repainted in gold.
–If it wasn’t her saying it, I would’ve had her head.
“If you paint over the mythril, the performance will drop! If I were to quantify it in numbers, the output would drop between two to five percent!”
…I was okay with that.
“That’s fine, just repaint it.”
“It wasn’t even painted in the first place! This black shine is the natural colour of adamantium! Ahh… my cute Avid is being tainted in another’s poor taste.”
Nias was crying as she clung to Avid.
Marie turned towards me,
“Lord Liam, do you want me to torture her?”
“She’s a pitiful girl, but I quite like her, so I’ll forgive this much. However, as punishment she’ll have to paint Avid herself, no matter how much she hates doing so.”
I ordered Nias, who was completely against my request, to paint Avid herself.
“Uwaaa~n, Lord Liam you idiiiiiooooooooot~!”
It was fun to watch Nias paint while crying, and after making a few more adjustments to Avid, I returned to elementary school a few days later.
◇ ◇ ◇
The elementary school while Liam was away.
Rosetta was summoned by one of the officials appointed to keep her family under watch.
“…do you want to participate in the tournament?”
The officials asked Rosetta, who looked completely worn down,
“We generously allowed you to attend elementary school. Why don’t you participate and make some memories?”
“As a daughter of the Claudia Ducal house, are you really going to avoid participating like a coward?”
“You can just borrow money to cover the rental fees. I’ll even introduce you to an acquaintance of mine for the loan.”
They knew that she’d only end up embarrassing herself.
While the lender would no doubt only give her high-interest loans.
Any decent person would never try to get involved with the Claudia house.
But she couldn’t decline.
This was because Rosetta couldn’t last any longer against the officials’ harassment.
Sometimes it would last for so long, that she wouldn’t be able to get any sleep for days on end.
While they themselves would torment her in rotation, so their burden was small.
“As expected of the next Duchess! In addition to yourself, the Berkley family’s Lord Derrick, and Liam– the boy who made a name for himself through pirate hunting, are participating this year as well! This will surely be an interesting event.”
Derrick’s name was called with the prefix of ‘Lord’, while Liam’s name was left alone– that was enough to understand their allegiance.
They were corrupt officials close to the Pirate Nobles.
(Are they going to laugh at me when I get injured during the match?)
The tournament was a dangerous event.
There were even times when fatalities had occurred.
In such an event, anybody would laugh at an idiot willing to participate with an outdated model.
Rosetta’s spirit was already broken.
(Or rather, I just want the match to end quickly.)
Then the official hammered the final nail in the coffin,
“Oh yeah~ that’s right. It’s better if you don’t get any strange ideas. Apparently Count Banfield is thinking about marrying you, but the moment he finds out about your house’s debt, he’ll run away just like everyone else. Oh I know, why don’t you try bearing Liam’s child? If a person who’s widely known to hate him like yourself prostrates before him, he’ll probably comply. If that’s all you’re aiming for, we’ll gladly take care of negotiations in your stead.”
It was a line said knowing of her hatred towards Liam.
Rosetta had already given up.
“…do whatever you want.”
◇ ◇ ◇
Liam wasn’t the only one preparing for the tournament.
Approaching the planet the elementary school was located– was a pirate fleet.
Hundreds of pirate ships were gathered together by Derrick.
However, with only this many they weren’t willing to attack Liam.
“Is it just us?”
The pirates were anxious about ruining Derrick’s mood.
“Lord Derrick, are we r-really going to be fighting Pirate Hunter Liam?”
“No matter how big of a reward you offer, I’m not attacking that guy.”
“Even well-known pirate fleets never stood a chance against him.”
To those who were getting weak-kneed, Derrick snapped his fingers.
Bright lights suddenly turned on in response, and illuminated in the hangar behind him was a new model of mobile knight.
The pirates exclaimed in awe.
“This is the new model built at the First Weapons Factory. I forcefully commissioned it of them. We’ll be using this to kill that bastard Liam.”
Derrick’s strategy was–
“It’s an elementary school tournament, and if you’re entering you can only bring one mobile knight with you. On the day of the tournament, you’ll drop down from the atmosphere into the event venue and surround Liam. You don’t need to worry about any nuisances interfering. The officials that watch over the Claudia house will be giving us their support.”
For the officials who enjoyed tormenting the Claudia house, an engagement with Liam couldn’t be allowed.
So they decided to lend Derrick a hand.
Derrick was frustrated.
From his last attack on Liam, he still hasn’t been able to get ‘that’ back.
‘That’ was lost in the Banfield house’s territory, so it’d be impossible to retrieve as long as their fleet was in the way.
“The one that will kill Liam– will be me.”
At the elementary school, he was so scared that he couldn’t leave the dormitory anymore.
The rest of the students of the second school building were the same.
They couldn’t oppress the students of the other buildings anymore.
Because on the off chance that they met Liam— that’d be the end of them.
If it was how things used to be, then they’d be able to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.
But now they were living in fear of Liam.
“…make sure to kill Liam. As long as you surround him with the new model while you’re attacking, then he’s nothing to fear.”
He was only a little stronger than the normal person.
As long as you surrounded him as you attacked, he was nothing.
Derrick said that again as if to convince himself, all while biting his thumbnail.
(Yes, it’s going to be okay. They might look like mobile knights used by pirates, but they’re brand new, expensive models. I’ll definitely kill that Liam bastard with this!)
◇ ◇ ◇
The first school building of the elementary school.
Kurt and Wallace were talking in the men’s washroom.
“Me? No, I won’t be participating.”
The topic was the upcoming tournament.
“Don’t you have a swordsmanship license? Aren’t you strong enough?”
Kurt, the heir of the Baron Exner house, didn’t intend to participate in the tournament.
“There aren’t any aircrafts available for me to take from home, and even if I rented one out, I still wouldn’t stand a chance against Liam.”
“I guess your home also has its own problems, huh?”
“Things are actually a bit better now that we’ve rented ships from him.”
Thanks to Liam’s support, his territory was flourishing.
However, that was only to a certain extent.
Kurt couldn’t afford to be luxurious.
Wallace had a worried expression on his face,
“Hey, is there absolutely no way for me to stop Liam? If the Berkley family’s Derrick enters as well, then he’s definitely going to kill him and start a war.”
But Kurt told Wallace that it was impossible,
“Liam doesn’t change his mind that easily. Plus, he’s had his eye on Derrick for a while now. So… he was probably going to do it later anyway.”
“But his opponent is the Pirate Noble! They have a lot of allies outside of their family!”
They had a large number of comrades, especially within the nobility.
“Even so, Liam will never show mercy towards pirates.”
Wallace was worried,
“I can’t cut off my patron, but he’s too virtuous… damn it, why can’t I ever catch a break?”
His life was full of problems while he was a royal, but even after finding a patron, nothing had changed.
◇ ◇ ◇
The Banfield estate.
Invited there was current Duchess of the Claudia house and her predecessor.
With no servants to assist them, they were the only ones invited to Liam’s mansion.
They were greeted by the butler Brian– as well as the various knights and servants around him.
“We’ve been waiting for you… but who are the people that you brought along?”
Brian smiled as he looked at the imperial officials standing behind them.
“Just consider us the Claudia house’s escorts. You don’t need to worry about us.”
That’s what they said, but they directed sharp gazes towards Brian.
They didn’t seem very friendly.
Serena was silently watching them.
While they were moving to the reception room, they decided to split them up because those officials were undoubtedly the supervisors.
“Brian, I’ll lead the officials away.”
When Serena told him so, Brian nodded,
“I wanted the Duchess and her predecessor to meet with a person of the same-sex, but I understand. Leave negotiations to me.”
Brian was willing to do anything so this engagement would go through.
◇ ◇ ◇
The reception room.
The current Duchess– Rosetta’s mother, was supporting her predecessor, whose complexion had become haggard.
Brian rushed over to the predecessor,
“A-are you alright? I’ll call a doctor right away.”
However, the predecessor shook her head,
“It’s already too late. All I want to do now… is to use the rest of this life for my granddaughter.”
The predecessor’s body had been weakened after enduring poor living conditions in a harsh environment for a long time.
“…Sir Brian, we’d like to decline the engagement proposal.”
“C-can you please tell me why? Lord Liam is serious about this.”
“And that’s exactly why. The Claudia house is very happy to have such kindness directed towards us, but it’s not just the debt that we’d be forcing upon the Banfield house. Did you not notice those officials who called themselves our escorts? They are… people who exist just to torture us, we can’t push that onto you.”
For countless generations, they were the people who used the late emperor’s command as justification to do whatever they wanted.
They were merciless, and committed various atrocious acts since there was no one there to stop them.
Other people’s suffering brought them joy– that’s the kind of men they were.
The current head– the Duchess bowed deeply,
“At the very least, we’ll accept Sir Liam’s sentiments. For this kindness that you’ve shown us, the Claudia house thanks you.”
Brian started to cry after hearing about their circumstances.
(Lord Liam wanted to help these people. This Brian here is proud of how kind he’s grown.)
Brian wiped his tears with a handkerchief,
“…I refuse your refusal.”
When the two looked at him in surprise, he hurriedly added on,
“It’s Lord Liam’s desire to receive Lady Rosetta as his wife, so this Brian here will never give up!”
The predecessor shook her head,
“It’s useless. They’d never allow such a thing. This order that’s lasted for over two thousand years carries much weight to it.”
‘It’s the command of the late Emperor.’
They’ve continued torturing them for two millennia using this as justification.
Nobody thought it would ever stop.
–It just couldn’t be helped.
“Lord Liam wouldn’t falter at such a thing, and we already have permission from the Empire! The Banfield house is more than willing to carry both the sins and the debts of the your house! As members of a Ducal house, are you still dissatisfied with this?!”
Brian’s words didn’t reach the two whose spirits had been broken.
Even so, he still desperately tried to persuade them for Liam.
◇ ◇ ◇
A separate room.
Serena was talking to the supervisors.
“We already have permission for this engagement. Your job ends here.”
The officials sitting on the sofa put their feet up on the table– taking a vulgar attitude.
“That doesn’t matter. We’re working under the orders of the late Emperor. Even if their titles change a little, we’ll still continue our work. We’ll just have to monitor the Banfield house instead.”
After two millennia, their organisation had grown deep and wide.
They were a troublesome group.
“…so you’re saying you’ll become hostile towards the Banfield house?”
One of the officials responded,
“In the first place, marriage is impossible. That Liam brat went too far. The darkness of the Empire will swallow him.”
Serena’s eyes narrowed,
“After messing with Lord Liam, do you really think you’ll be able to walk away scot-free?”
“He’s just a single kid that’s a little stronger than the norm.”
Seeing their attitude, Serena understood,
(Having to deal with people like this… the prime minister has it hard.)
Serena’s shadow wiggled slightly as she thought so.
Inside of it were two red eyes, which were carefully watching the officials.
Brian(´；ω；｀) “Seeing Lord Liam have Lord Alistair’s legacy painted gold is painful…”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com