This chapter heavily uses the terms 寄り親 and 寄り子 which would be “Yori oya” and “Yori mi/ko” in Romaji. I wasn’t able to find any appropriate English translation for these terms as they express a special Japanese relationship (at least that how it seems).
I dug around in the Internet for a while to try and find you guys a dictionary definition, so you can better understand the meaning of those words as they are crucial in this chapter. Since they were also used in the previous chapter, I will also be updating it later for consistency.
1.) The relation of master and servant, binding a person closely to a master so to speak imitating the way of parent-child relationship. Especially the daimyo’s in the Warring States period bound powerful military commanders to them acting as “oya”, making their local powerful clans in the countryside as their “mi” (yori ko) in order to form military structures.
2.) Edo period, the guarantor of an employee.
Using patron for yori oya and vassal for yori mi.
“Haa… I’m tired…” (Wendelin)
It was now evening and Erich-nii-san’s marriage announcement party had safely ended.
Including the bride, Erich-nii-san had received various words of congratulations and blessings from his friends and co-workers from the town hall. Erwin, Ina and Luise busied themselves with having a good time while mixing with the crowd.
“You had it rough. Viscount Mongérard was quite persistent, huh?” (Erwin)
“No, that person went around suppressing them. Thanks to that, it actually was not that bad.” (Wendelin)
If one were to speak of trouble, then certainly it would be about the fact of I was continuously, without a break, being surrounded by many participants during the ceremony.
At this time I finally understood the meaning behind Erich-nii-san’s apology…
The story of Burkhart-san and me defeating the ancient dragon took merely hours to spread a roughly accurate tale within the royal capital.
Burkhart-san, being aware that his own magic couldn’t defeat the ancient dragon, exerted himself to see to the matter of the defense of the magic airship while remaining on the ship himself. Having the ancient dragon be put to rest by cleansing it with my Holy magic, that could be called a fact up till there.
Sadly, people kept omitting different parts in order to save time with the argument 『The story was different』when recounting it with others who had also heard the story. As such, I kept getting handled like a new toy by the party participants in the end.
Certainly, they didn’t expect the one in the rumor about defeating an ancient dragon to be participating today in the marriage party they attended.
Furthermore, I was actually the bridegroom’s own little brother!
Some of the sharp-sighted fellows noticed it, and apparently quite a few nobles and merchants were scheming in order to try participate in the party just to contact me. Skilfully, without raising any strife, Rüdiger-san, Burkhart-san, and the patron of the Brandt family, Viscount Mongérard, took care of refusing their unreasonable petitions.
With a height of about 190 centimeters and a slender body with a white skin, Viscount Mongérard, who appeared to be about 40 years old, indeed had the countenance of a typical bureaucrat. Although it turned out that I took the leading part of the marriage announcement party of his precious vassal, which also caused me to feel as if I was being quite impolite, he periodically came and dispersed the latest group of people hanging onto me for longer than was polite.
Indeed, such attentive concern could be also seen as appropriate for a household serving as bureaucrats for generations.
“I am thankful towards Viscount Mongérard.” (Wendelin)
During the ceremony, the cruel fellows didn’t even turn their gaze towards the appearance of Erich-nii-san in his uniform and the bride in her dress they had painstakingly prepared for this occasion.
They continued to singularly talk to me.
Apart from retainer and servant candidates, there were children introduced to me in order to make an acquaintance, daughters were introduced to me where it was even fine for them to just be a concubine, and it turned even more extreme when they talked about suspicious investments and proposed loans.
Owing it to them, I was beginning to feel full of guilt towards Erich-nii-san.
However, while my side was troubled, Erwin’s group fully enjoyed blending in the crowd at that time, too. Seeing this, my guilt lessened quite a lot.
“You lot apparently had quite the fun.” (Wendelin)
“Well, yea.” (Erwin)
After the party concluded without any problems, I lay sprawled on top of the bed in the guest room that the Brandt household had prepared for me while talking with Erwin.
Erich-nii-san had arranged it for us so that we could stay in this room during our visit in the royal capital. Erwin and myself, as well as Ina and Luise, were each assigned a double room.
“Although you are theoretically a retainer, you didn’t come to help me either.” (Wendelin)
“As of yet it’s only on paper, and I haven’t receive any wages yet either.” (Erwin)
“Since that is a sound argument, there is nothing I can retort to.” (Wendelin)
Erwin’s group had become retainers in name. This was all in order to avoid having annoying job seekers swarm me.
For now there was no one but my party members, who shared the same ambition as me to become adventurers.
After we retired from being adventurers, the plan was that they would become true retainers accompanying me.
“However, it will become difficult for you from here on, Wend.” (Erwin)
“Leaving the royal capital…” (Wendelin)
“Since you can’t do anything about that, how about you have your fill of sightseeing of the capital during your summer vacation?” (Burkhart)
Suddenly there was a knock on the door and it was opened. Burkhart-san stood there. Most likely he had heard our conversation about the various topics.
Unexpectedly this kind of statement was said.
“Eh? We can’t do anything about that?” (Wendelin)
“Ah, after this, the struggling of the boy will begin. Thanks to that, I will be taking care of you while in the capital as well. Though it’s fine as it is an easy job.” (Burkhart)
Suddenly subjugating an ancient dragon, receiving a medal in a conferring of decorations, which hadn’t been rewarded for more than 200 years, honoring this achievement and being appointed to the rank of associate baron as a young man.
Moreover, this young man attained an enormous wealth by selling the bones and the magic core of the ancient dragon he had defeated.
In such case, there could be only one thing that the nobles of this kingdom, who only cared about wealth and the authority to rule, would think of.
“The strive to become your retainers, wives, or concubines is only the beginning of it all. To start with, this case will become a competition.” (Burkhart)
“Who will make him their vassal, isn’t it?” (Erwin)
“Ohh! Erwin-bou’s unexpected wisdom has come around.” (Burkhart)
“I am slightly hurt here…” (Erwin)
“Sorry, sorry. With this you should understand the reason why I will stay at the boy’s1 side, right?” (Burkhart)
Patron and vassal.
Summarizing this system in a single comment, this was the real aim of the aristocratic community.
From the knight peerage to the dukes, as they were all appointed to their peerage by the royal family, they likewise serve the royal family.
If we assume that this is the official stance, the economic strength of a single village stems from the collected taxes and the military strength comes from the dozens who can be mobilized in a knight peerage. Such a territory can be compared to a small country in regards to its economic strength, but the earls and dukes at the border, which can mobilize over 10’000 soldiers, are in no way the same situation though.
This might be part of the real intention.
Even so, there are too many knight peerages, associate barons and etcetera, for the kingdom to control. Thus the central government leaves the management to the local high-ranking nobles.
With the kingdom having such a motive, this system has continued its function since the establishment of the kingdom.
The patron of my home, the Baumeister household, naturally is the margrave of Breithilde.
The reason is that the margrave household of Breithilde gathered in the southern part of the kingdom, and thus for such reason many normal nobles, governing over their own territories from nearby places, gathered around them. It was also normal for the nobles in office at the central government to gather since the official positions were inheritable.
Actually, there are many like the Brandt family, which has inherited the job related to financial affairs for many generations. Viscount Mongérard was the vassal of Finance Minister Rückner and thus served as his trusted retainer.
“But, it’s strange. In case of Wend’s patron, wouldn’t the margrave of Breithilde have priority?” (Erwin)
“If you consider things normally, that is true, but there are people who don’t think so . Furthermore, by their own conclusion, this way of thinking is not wrong.” (Burkhart)
Simply put, I am a vassal to the margrave of Breithilde as I am coming from the Baumeister household. At the present time I am aiming to become an adventurer and thus attending the prep school that is also located in the territory of the margraviate of Breithilde.
After graduation, the southern area, which contains the territory of the margraviate, will become my area of activity. Thus, thinking about it normally, the margrave of Breithilde naturally has the privilege to take me in as their vassal.
“In reality, my master had decided to employ the boy before he was swarmed. Due to the interference by that shrewd king, the boy was raised to a direct retainer instead.” (Burkhart)
Thus, since I am a noble of the kingdom as associate baron, in the same way as the margrave of Breithilde, it would not be possible for me to become a retainer of the margrave.
However, if we assume that His Majesty made me a noble with such a hidden agenda, then His Majesty apparently is an extremely shrewd person after all.
“Even if the boy became a vassal of someone, His Majesty wouldn’t say anything in particular. However, in the off chance that an emergency occurs, at that time the royal family would have the priority in ordering him.” (Burkhart)
Other than following the orders of the patron, I would also have to follow the orders of the royal family as they are my masters.
Well, I guess that is just natural.
“Well then, given that situation, has margrave-sama of Breithilde decided to become his patron?” (Erwin)
“On the contrary, there is no reason for such a conclusion.” (Burkhart)
First of all, it seems there will be difficulties in dealing with the nobles in office as I have no territory of my own.
“In the same way as the boy, there have been many examples of people obtaining achievements and getting a similar conferring of decoration in the past.” (Burkhart)
Because their achievements were great, they received the annual salary of nobles and were bestowed the right of succession for their descendants.
But, there was no territory handed over alongside and neither were they given any kind of official position.
Although it was necessary to visit the royal capital once a year in order to receive their annual salary, they were basically free to do whatever they wanted for the rest of the time.
They were in the same position as I am now. As a matter of fact, it seems that quite a number of such people actually exist.
“If there is territory, there will be an intermediate-ranked noble with big influence in the local area, just like the margrave-sama of Breithilde. Those are important nobles who gather the smaller nobles under their control with no means for them to escape, as there is hardly any other choice left for those smaller nobles.” (Burkhart)
There was a knock on the door. This time it was Erich-nii-san, who had changed into casual wear after the party ended, appeared in the doorway.
“However, doesn’t this narrow down his options?” (Erwin)
“If I were to tell my position on this, wouldn’t you want to become the vassal of Marquis Rückner if it was possible?” (Erich)
“Huh? You mean like Viscount Mongérard?” (Wendelin)
“The patron of Viscount Mongérard is Marquis Rückner, isn’t he?” (Erwin)
This is the complicated part of the patron/vassal system. Viscount Mongérard is the patron of the Brandt household and at the same time he is the vassal of Marquis Rückner.
Thus it might be easier to understand if one were to call the Brandt household the vassal’s vassal(T/N: yori mago, see explanation at beginning of page to understand) of Marquis Rückner. As one would expect though, there is no such designation such as “yori mago.”
“It’s Marquis Rückner, isn’t it?” (Wendelin)
“Wend ought to have met him during the audience with His Majesty, the person who holds the position of Finance Minister.” (Erich)
“Ah, the guy who tried to be stingy with the sales of the bones and magic core… Oops, that was a slip of tongue.” (Wendelin)
“Maa, that gentleman is… However, the Finance Minister certainly has a variety of difficulties to deal with.” (Erich)
“After all the budget isn’t inexhaustible. If His Majesty would mention these stingy words, his popularity with the people and nobles would also drop. Thus, it is sometimes the Finance Minister’s job to say those disagreeable things instead of His Majesty.” (Burkhart)
The outcry to bargain on the price of those bones during the audience had such an ulterior motive, Burkhart-san explained.
Because the Finance Minister tried to lower the price of the bones, he was disliked by me. And there, His Majesty intervenes in order to salvage the situation in my favor. (ED: Yes, you were played by the King, Wend.)
As thanks from His Majesty, the excess budget from the cost of the magic core was given to the Finance Minister for circulating it to other projects that were suffering a budget shortage.
It seems to be a complete give-and-take relationship.
“The Marquis is an outstanding statesman as he doesn’t abuse his authority, nor does he increase his own fortune illegally. He also has the deep trust of His Majesty.”
“Although this is quite wonderful to learn, I am quite full of all the politic matters these past days.2 ” (Wendelin) (T/N: We are too, you know?) (ED: Politics are evil.)
Honestly, no matter how much magic you use, it’s still not possible to make all these troublesome matters go away.
Just like in my previous life where there was this troublesome matter called human relationships.
“And thus the talk has returned to its beginning. Boy, do you want to become the vassal of my master?” (Burkhart)
“In the present situation, there is no other choice.” (Wendelin)
Currently I am a scholarship student at the adventurer prep school managed by the margrave of Breithilde located in Breitburg.
After graduation I had planned to operate in the vicinity of Breitburg using the city as base of operations. It doesn’t make sense to become the vassal of another noble at this point.
“Although it isn’t favorable for Erich-nii-san…” (Wendelin)
I told him that I wouldn’t become the vassal of Marquis Rückner.
“There is no particular need to worry about that. The idea was only to the degree that he’d have been lucky if he was to get you, so Marquis Rückner won’t mind it either.” (Erich)
Even if the Marquis Rückner household held the position of Finance Minister as heritage, I wasn’t going to risk such foolery as making an enemy out of the Breithilde margraviate household that managed the entire southern part of the kingdom.
Moreover I am the biological little brother of Erich-nii-san who is a vassal himself.
That is already more than sufficient as connecting relationship. Any more than that might very likely be considered to be greedy as well.
“Really, you can’t help but get a stomach ache2 with that noble’s behavior…” (Wendelin)
“The seed of rice has been already planted for several thousand years.3 I have the same degree of difficulties as I stand at the entrance to this world as well. Being pushed like this, haven’t you already entered this world a little bit as well, Wend?” (Erich)
As the new head of the Brandt household, Erich-nii-san has the position of vassal of the vassal to Marquis Rückner. Luckily he has left a big impression on Marquis Rückner in this matter during this time.
Furthermore, Erich-nii-san is frighteningly clever.
Perhaps he will be appointed to a responsible and trusted post by Marquis Rückner in the future.
“If Erich-dono has a successful career, the impression of his close little brother will improve as well. When this happens, Erich-dono will very likely be able to request various things of the boy.” (Burkhart)
“Huh? What would he want to request of me?” (Wendelin)
“I don’t know if it will be in ten years or even later, but that fellow Armstrong (T/N: >> Amusutorongo <<) might become aware of your circumstances and the Palkenia (T/N: >> Parukenia <<) Grasslands problem might start to move, I guess …” (Burkhart)
I wasn’t aware of that person who is called Armstrong. If he is a noble, it won’t probably be any decent experience, I began to think in the end. (ED: Who else is stuck with the image of a blond, blue-eyed guy who likes showing his over-sized pecs?)
If possible, I didn’t want to get involved with him.
“I have no clue where the Palkenia Grasslands can be found, but I am a minor. Lately, although I guess it shouldn’t really be a surprise, I have been dragged into weird power struggles between nobles which usually invites misfortune. For the remaining vacation I plan to enjoy myself with normal activities such as sightseeing of the capital, shopping, and indulging myself in eating high-quality food.” (Wendelin)
“But, boy. These things are things that cannot be done without companions. Moreover, sightseeing and shopping, are matters naturally reserved for only girlfriends for some odd reason so to speak.” (Burkhart)
“Ina and Lusie aren’t really my lovers or wives though…” (Wendelin)
For the remainder of my vacation, I want to go sightseeing famous places in this vast capital, choose some goods to purchase, and go around eating delicious things…
But by no means did I want to hear complaints from Ina and Luise such as 『You have neglected me for several days!』since I wouldn’t be able to think of an apology for that. I am pretty confident that I can enjoy sightseeing by only myself just fine.
“Because I will keep them company with my wife…” (Erich)
As one would expect, Erich-nii-san, who will already be 23 years old this year and has also married, apparently stopped using “boku” to address himself. (T/N: Erich used “watashi” when he just spoke.)
And yet, will he still return to his old way when he is talking with me?
Once in a while there is a “boku” mixed in.
“Eh? Is it fine?” (Wendelin)
“I took three days off. I will guide them so they can enjoy themselves.” (Erich)
At last the marriage party has finished without any incidents. I decided, with solid determination, that from tomorrow onwards I will fully enjoy my regular summer vacation!
1 The author writes the plural of Boy aka meaning all 4 of them, but the one needing the protection is Wendelin alone, so I opted for singular here.
2 “The stomach is full” is what’s written here. I guess that’s an idiom saying that he had enough of the topic.
3 Another idiom, basically saying it’s a behavior pattern that has established itself over a long time.