“Now then, the problem is Wendelin-kun’s fiancée …” (Breithilde)
He had bad luck as well, as Cardinal Hohenheim’s arrangements for his granddaughter to become Wendelin’s fiancée immediately followed .
Margrave Breithilde, having a feeling of being too late, fervently hastened the work of selecting a fiancée in his office.
In any case, I am Wendelin’s patron.
I thought it was natural that I would be the one to decide his fiancée.
Although there is no time left any more. Because of that Margrave Breithilde was in a severe hurry.
The capital was far away from southern area of the continent. Due to this extent of distance the current situation could be explained.
“However …” (Retainer)
The retainer, who brought the documents about the fiancée candidates to the office of Margrave Breithilde, wore a depressed facial expression.
The reason was because there was no girl of marriageable age amongst the descendants of Margrave Breithilde’s relatives.
They were completely lacking.
“Everyone’s marriageable daughters are already married.” (Retainer)
“Eh, is that so?” (Breithilde)
Certainly, since I remember attending their marriage ceremonies quite well, all the girls have ended up being wed.
“From the start, the candidates shouldn’t be too old, no? …” (Retainer)
Since it was a marriage between fellow nobles, the situation of deciding on a too old wife had to be avoided by all means.
The commoners wouldn’t be satisfied with that either, as male chauvinism existed and was something deeply rooted in this world.
Once in a while it happened that great nobles with superior peerage pushed mature woman, who remained unmarried, forcefully on lower-ranking nobles as wife.
But this method didn’t occur if it was a regular patron to vassal relationship. If that had been done to Wendelin, the appointed nobles of the central government would condemn it.
『The dragon-slaying hero together with a mature woman, of whom you don’t know whether or not she can give birth to any children? Good grief, that’s why it became a situation where the provincial nobles have women remaining unmarried.』 would be the apparent criticism.
“Well then, for now let’s set following as a condition: they have to be below 13 years old.” (Breithilde)
“Although, being the situation as it is …” (Retainer)
I heard that there are several very young girls amongst the branch families.
However, the oldest one is 4 years old (T/N: LOL!)
The bottom-most was just born last month.
Doing such things like pushing such children forcefully into an engagement will only give the greedy appointed nobles in the center an opportunity to strike at.
『At the time when he becomes an adult, his partner has to be an adult as well otherwise there is no point in that! Else they won’t be able to produce offspring!』 I fear that such a verbal attack would be the result.
In reality, there existed a great number or married couples with many years difference between the parties due to the political situation.
To put it simply, any reason would be fine as they aimed to find fault with Margrave Breithilde.
“My children … aren’t there only men!” (Breithilde)
“I guess.” (Retainer)
For some reason the children of the Margrave Breithilde main household had the tendency to only be male.
Though they were occasionally born at the branch families and their likes, the result still appeared to be the same.
Margrave Breithilde merely became speechless towards his own misfortune.
“That’s the reason why I extended the number of concubines to such an extent.” (Breithilde)
“Because of that even more boys were born in vain.” (Retainer) (T/N: That’s slapstick comedy, I tell ya, lol!)
Even though it was problematic if there weren’t any young men to succeed the house, it would likewise become troubling if one had to deal with too many of them.
As one would expect, it wasn’t feasible to drop the children of the Margrave’s main household to commoner status either.
“Let me adopt him!” (Breithilde)
“Even so, it will become fodder for criticism.” (Retainer)
『Adopting a child with no blood relation, he want’s to claim the title of being a relative to the dragon-slaying hero for himself, huh?』 For those greedy appointed nobles that is a very likely response, Margrave Breithilde judged.
“Those guys, in spite of us intending to adopt him without hesitation, they will lodge a complaint towards such a compassion.” (Breithilde)
“Well, in fact that’s because we only have few assets.” (Retainer)
Appointed nobles didn’t possess any territory.
Their economical strength likewise was far inferior to the one of equal nobles holding territory.
Thus, conducting themselves with the political influence of the central government and their official positions, they eternally competed with such big provincial nobles such as Margrave Breithilde.
“By the way, master. There is still the case of Anita-sama …” (Retainer)
“How did you end up bringing up this story here?” (Breithilde)
Anita was an unmarried woman exceeding the age of 40 who was the younger sister of the previous Margrave Breithilde. (E: A Wild Spinster has appeared!)
Until this very day she was a woman living quietly and comfortably free from worldly cares at the Margrave Breithilde’s residence.
If it were the Heisei era of Japan, her social status as woman would be treated as domestic maid.
Since she was Margrave Breithilde’s aunt using strong words on her wasn’t possible either. The topic about her becoming someone’s wife also was troublesome.
If possible you didn’t want to breach that subject in her presence.
Because she knew of the various incidents in her own childhood, at least she was aware that she was difficult to deal with.
“Some of the retainers have the opinion that she should marry into the Baron Baumeister household only for its title …” (Retainer)
Among this lot were many who treated the home of the Baumeister Knight household as poor and stupid.
They judged that for such an upstart a woman well past her prime, who remained unmarried, was adequate.
“Aren’t those guys useless as usual? …” (Breithilde)
Doing such a thing, will probably cause great joy for the appointed nobles in the center.
『You, the patron of Baron Baumeister, are picking a fight with him, aren’t you! It will be necessary to deal with firmly. Let’s end this with changing the patron』.
A patron forcefully pushing an over 40 years old wife on his 12 years old vassal.
In the Patron/Vassal relationship, if one side were to be overly insincere, something like cancelling it would be possible too.
After examination the side of the lower nobles management organisation would immediately change the patron once they discovered a compatible relationship. It was normal for the central government to not say anything at all to such procedure.
“Baron Baumeister is pretty stubborn for his age. There is also Erich-san at the royal capital.” (Retainer)
It wouldn’t be permitted to do something very ridiculous.
Rather than choosing a worthless proposal caused by envy by his stupid retainers, Margrave Breithilde should work towards a direction of pleasing Erich and Wendelin.
“(Those guys are … even if they caused some scandal, it would be thwarted right away anyway!)” (Breithilde)
“By the way, what will you do about the matter of the fiancée candidates?” (Retainer)
“Having as close relation as possible, there is nothing but adopting him, isn’t that right?” (Breithilde)
This concern was also resolved without problems the next day when the details about Wendelin’s legal wife were transmitted by Burkhart.
For Magrave Breithilde’s work it was a terrible result.
“It’s fine now. Because I will lead the heir sprouting forth from Baron Baumeister’s marriage.” (Breithilde)
She was the granddaughter of Viscount Hohenheim who also was a Cardinal, the niece of the royal palace’s Royal Head Magician Armstrong-doushi and she was acknowledged by His Majesty.
Since it was futile to try finding any faults, Margrave Breithilde completely changed his way of thinking.
After all a noble was an ever-changing creature which thought several decades ahead.
“However, being a related party, what should I say. The marriage between royalty and nobles is a troublesome thing.” (Helmut)
“In my case, I think it is also fine to be branch royalty. Thanks to Elise, I guess I should be grateful to have obtained an excellent step nephew.” (Armstrong)
“That girl is beautiful and also possess a fine disposition. I think she is very suitable to Baron Baumeister with having that special part of her despite being this young.” (T/N: He talks about her monster boobs)
“Although I don’t know whether it due to her family’s disposition, she definitely has that part.” (Armstrong)
Just at the same time, in a room within the royal palace.
Being in one of his few private rooms, the king expressed his own true opinion. Helmut the 37th had a private talk with his friend Armstrong-doushi while drinking wine.
Inside the room there were only those two.
There were really few allowed into this room.
As for men, it merely was the two princes and Armstrong-doushi.
Armstrong-doushi had received such things as education together with Helmut the 37th since their time as children. They also had a relation to occasionally sneak out from the palace to go play in the city.
He had transformed from old playmate to childhood friend by now.
“The origin of Baron Baumeister is being the eighth son of a Knight household. There are many fellows who would stammer in front of a royal daughter.” (Helmut)
“And yet, despite you can say that it is like that, isn’t that person …” (Armstrong)
For nobles marrying this was a problem lurking in the shadows no matter what.
Whether or not they would be able to balance their status.
But, that didn’t mean that the requirements were always suitable for everyone with a nice timing.
Wasn’t the outcome that there also were too many unmarried woman having become too old if you restricted the discussion to royalty and high-ranking nobles? Thus, they ended up increasing in numbers.
Also one of the requirements could be called raising assets. That had become the main reason why the number of such women was increasing.
It was hopeless. Since those unmarried women had to be supported until death for sure, the amount of those mentioned ojousan’s increase at top of the households in the end.
Putting them up for adoption into households of lower family status and marrying from there, such an option existed as well. But if the other party didn’t want to adopt them, it became difficult.
As a result, the royal family also had several mature, unmarried women.
“Anneliese-san (T/N: >> Annerize <<) is 35 years old, Diana is 29 years old, Helmine (T/N: >> Herumine <<) is 27 years old and Hildegard (T/N: >> Hirutegaruto <<) is 25 years old. Baron Baumeister possesses assets, too. “Why don’t you push them forcefully onto him?”, there is also such an opinion. As one would expect, I had to restrain myself to not yell at them in a thundering voice …” (Helmut)
“In my case, I would seek asylum in the Holy Empire Urquhart.” (Armstrong)
“Me too, if my position were to be the same, huh?” (Helmut)
Since those unmarried women were of royalty, there were many selfish, strong-willed, spendthrift women amongst them.
Even Armstrong-doushi ended up planning to immediately decline.
“Also, as I see it, it doesn’t seem to be mere harassment.” (Helmut)
For royalty those unmarried women caused the household to fall.
Normally thinking, it could be said that for nobles the highest reward was certainly their prestige.
But, looking at the true state of affairs, you couldn’t see nothing but vicious harassment.
“Without even knowing whether or not a child can be born, their only cause is to dry out the Baron’s assets.” (Helmut)
Before that, due to the overwhelming social status and the difference in age, they would probably completely dominate their husband.
No, in the case of the dragon-slaying hero, it might backlash into becoming a fight as well.
“Likewise, those fellows proposing this, are aiming for that, don’t you agree?” (Armstrong)
Although merely 12 years old, he became a hero defeating 2 dragons and obtained the rank of Baron.
Those assets were something you couldn’t disregard either.
Since their opponent was a magician holding tremendous power, although they wouldn’t openly use harassment to compete with him, they were planning to apply such entangling moves to chip away his strength.
Although that behavior was natural for them, there were many who also considered these circumstances as 『Nobles can only be called animals …』.
“Good grief, every last of them …” (Helmut)
In this way, once someone excellent appeared, those below him came out and tried to pick a fight using stupid disturbances.
Just how many nuisances were caused hindering the growth of the capital due to those reasons?
『If only I could dispatch them to the battlefield to thin out their numbers.』 Helmut the 37th ended up thinking.
“However, as it stands now the boy has amassed too much money.” (Armstrong)
“Don’t worry about it.” (Helmut)
There wasn’t any indication of doing something like wasting the money either as he had also donated a large amount of money to the church.
Although it might be seen as pointless expenses at first glance, there were also many cases of kings having the carpet pulled from under them due to making light of the church. After considering such incidents, 10 platinum coins weren’t a futile investment.
Even the Cardinal Hohenheim had admired him by saying 『Despite being a child, he has parts that you shouldn’t underestimate』.
Going by the report, Cardinal Hohenheim might have done this by himself as flattery play for that Elise though.
So, completely overestimating him would only be due to the misunderstanding mental belief of an unpopular man.
“Don’t worry? To such thing …” (Armstrong)
‘Didn’t he plan to assign territory to him in the future?’ Armstrong ended up asking himself.
“As would be expected of such a person like you.” (Helmut)
Assigning territory to him will allow that place to be developed extensively.
It is also a fact that he has plenty of funds for that.
Helmut the 37th thought about it in such manner.
“Be that as it may, the baron is still only 12 years old. Becoming impatient will be the wrong way of handling it. After him gaining experience by becoming an adult, it won’t be too late either. But …” (Helmut)
Not only myself, what are the other high-ranking nobles and cabinet ministers planning?
Depending on the circumstances, we may have to move up the plans too.
Although he was the king, it was difficult for him to control the important nobles.
“Margrave Breithilde and the likes, I have a gut feeling that they are plotting something.” (Armstrong)
To Armstrong-doushi, even if he only looked at the employed Burkhart, he considered his master, Margrave Breithilde, to be a troublesome existence.
Nevertheless, given that he had to deal with those sly appointed nobles of the center, he considered the issues with Maargrave Breithilde to still be more preferable.
“I guess he will have to deal with an undeveloped area?” (Helmut)
It would be an impossible area if no one were to be able arriving there. There were only very few who managed to cross that great mountain range, thus the success of the (Knight) Baumeister household in regards to the situation of that area was mostly just on paper.
“But why do you leave the ownership of the that household as it is?” (Armstrong)
“Now that I think about it, since neglecting the duty of development is a crime, I could confiscate that territory.” (Helmut)
For more than one hundred years up until now they neglected to develop the territory.
The government officials of the central government thought that confiscating everything, apart from the region suitable for a Knight household, would just end up causing problems.
Because they might continue the development project sooner or later, it was less troublesome to leave it as it was for the moment.
And that was the outcome of it.
“Furthermore, there is also Baron Baumeister’s existence.” (Helmut)
It was also possible to use the hand of ordering a division of territory for Baron Baumeister.
At that time, rather than the main family, it could be anticipated that the situation would develop into the branch family possessing an overwhelmingly vast territory.
In the long history of the kingdom such a reversal in the power relationship between the main and branch families for the likes of noble’s households wasn’t that unusual either.
It could also be said that a thing like that happening to the Baumeister household was purely by chance too.
“An excellent portable shrine was completed¹, you might consider it like that too. But, the baron is still a child. Though it was a grave wrongdoing to force him into the dragon subjugation, spending time normally, like he is currently, is necessary as well.” (Helmut)
Additionally to that.
While it might only be true that he was an excellent magician, it didn’t imply that he would become and carry himself as an excellent noble for that reason.
Why were Burkhart and his immediate close friend, who struggled together with him through the hardships of the world of the adventurer business, appointed to responsible posts?
It was because they had accumulated that much experience.
“Indeed. He is enrolled as student at the adventurer’s prep school.” (Armstrong)
“Armstrong, therefore I hope you won’t show him off too much.” (Helmut)
“I will use great effort to the best of my abilities.” (Armstrong)
Nevertheless, even such Helmut the 37th requested for Armstrong-doushi to handle things without making waves in such manner.
Seeing it like this, it was a befitting situation for Helmut the 37th to be laughing at it.
“Alfred, Burkhart-dono and me, I wonder how he will live his life after being forged as pupil by the three of us. I am looking forward to that very much.” (Armstrong)
While saying this, Armstrong-doushi drank up the ordinary filled glass of wine in one gulp.
¹ Originally I thought it was some proverb but Connor S. pointed out that it is likely a metaphor. After reading his argumentation I tend to think it is right as it does fit with the context.
A portable shrine is one that you can take with you. Even when you move around, it can be used wherever you want it to be used. They were comparing our Baron to a LITERAL portable shrine. What they mean is that he is a Baron WITHOUT a territory; no roots to hold him in place at the moment. The perfect, ready-to-go “Portable Governor” is already complete. Plop him down wherever you need a governor, no promotions needed. If they already have a Baron, might as well give HIM a territory that they want developed, since he already has the promotion.