Interlude 22 – The cornered Kurt

『If it goes on like this, the Baumeister territory will be hijacked by Wendelin!』 (Kurt)
 
Three months passed since that annoying Wendelin has moved his home base into our Baumeister territory.
Although he said at the beginning that he came to purify that Demon Forest of the victims of the expedition, who have turned undead, and to put their articles of the deceased in order, he reversed that statement right away and begun to free-load within the territory.
Furthermore, he ignores me, who is the next family head.
The fucker only negotiates with the old man and does as he pleases. Getting a license for the still undeveloped Savage Lands from the old man, he arbitrarily plants his own nest there.
With that mansion being something pointlessly extravagant, if you compare it to our main family’s mansion, he is at the same time making fun of the feudal lord.
In what kind of world are there idiots, who are relocating a more gorgeous mansion than the mansion of the feudal lord.
As expected, he protested to the old man because of that issue, but the old man’s wasn’t something sweet.
 
『I have been told that it’s for a limited time. Bear with it for a short while.』 (Artur)
 
Even so, the old man’s reply was cold.
Being a user of magic that can even kill a dragon, the old man yielded to the pressure of the excellent son-sama. (T/N: topic change)
I didn’t think there would be anything problems caused by the elderly, if he has grown this old.
 
『Isn’t the development of the territory advancing nicely? What are you gaining by complaining here?』 (Artur)
 
Certainly, the development of the territory is advancing.
But, that has absolutely nothing to do with us.
Currently Wendelin is spending half his time exploring that Demon Forest and the other half at the cultivation of new land in the Savage Lands.
He levels the land with outrageously powerful magic. Occasionally he removes obstacles such as rocks, that even have the height of hills.
He is creating neat square-shaped paddy fields, roads, irrigation channels, etc.  
Additionally, he is even transforming the soil of those paddy fields into something suitable for rice cultivation with magic.
 
『That guy! Wendelin is usurping the territory!』 (Kurt)
 
Usually it takes time to reclaim and cultivate farmland from scratch.
In the first place, the reclamation itself takes time.
Then, until the soil proves suitable to even grow crops there, it takes several years and if you do it poorly even a decade.
Although that’s the case, something like a degree of income from the first year…
I can’t think of anything but Wendelin making fun of us, who are honestly cultivating new land.
In these 3 months a vast paddy field with a network of irrigation channels has been spread in the Savage Lands bordering to our territory.
In a paddy field filled with water the rice-plants, which had been planted the other day, are growing nicely.
The immigration applicants, who gathered and are called servants by Wendelin, were trained in the care-taking of rice-plants by experienced male farmers, who were employed in the same way. They were concentrating on things like reinforcing the irrigation channels and the ridges between the rice fields.
 
『Sooner or later that special development ward will become our territory though.』 (Artur)
 
『Such promise! Do you really think that Wendelin will stick to it!?』 (Kurt)   
 
Wendelin named the cultivated land 『Special Development Ward』.
Currently the number of households is around 100. The population should have passed the number of 350 residents.
 
『It ended up becoming bigger than the main village!』 (Kurt)
 
『Even so, time is moving on. Though it is called the main village, things change such as the centre of the territory, if the scale of the territory expands.』 (Artur)
 
The old man is just satisfied by the size and population of the territory increasing.
However, such “just” is only something like the territory expanding.
Being out of the control of a feudal lord, it’s nothing more but a place of common people gathering.
For the sake of territory’s safety, it won’t do if we don’t rule it appropriately.
For that reason we are collecting taxes even if we are hated for it.
 
『Moreover, that lot ain’t paying any taxes!』 (Kurt)
 
『Not paying? Did you properly see the details of that agreement?』 (Artur)
 
Having been left out of the loop at the time of the agreement, it seems to have considerable statements.
According to the agreement with Wendelin, his earnings as adventurer seem to be linked to the income and expenditure of the Savage Lands development.
In other words, the total sum of the profits from hunting and gathering in the Demon Forest will be used for the Savage Lands development.
From the entire income and expenditure, 20% of the profit will be paid as tax.
Because it is a deliberately complex agreement, it makes sure that I won’t understand the details.
Without doubt that guy will dodge paying the taxes.
Therefore neither the old man nor Klaus are saying anything.
They only got angry.
 
『Father, he will definitely deceive us!』 (Kurt)
 
『That’s not possible. Klaus has checked it properly.』 (Artur)
 
Certainly, Klaus is a capable man for something like the crude calculation of money.
But I’m not able to trust someone like that guy in the current situation either.
If it’s that man, he won’t care in the least even if Wendelin becomes the Baumeister lord.
No, he is likely hoping for that to happen as it is preferable for him that way.
 
『Can you trust him!?』 (Kurt)
 
『In that case, check it yourself.』 (Artur)
 
『…』 (Kurt) (T/N: Sucks to be an illiterate, huh?)
 
It’s impossible for me to do that.
I haven’t received such education. It was you, who told me that such things weren’t necessary for those with blue blood.
 
『Do you want to entrust it to the village headmen of the other villages?』 (Artur)
 
There’s no way I’m able to do that either.
That lot had difficulty in understanding my decision of collecting the iron from the articles of the deceased for the growth of the territory.
Tattling to Wendelin, they are nuisances.
 
『Those people are probably traitors!』 (Kurt)
 
There was the point about Wendelin being responsible for the odd jobs within the territory within the agreement with that old man.
I had an unpleasant premonition, but that has turned into reality.
 
『Elise-sama, recently the state of my body is fine as well.』
 
『That’s great.』 (Elise)
 
At the time the priest of our territory hurt his hips and couldn’t move, Wendelin sent his fiancée as substitute.
As granddaughter of a corrupt priest in the capital, she is a woman, who indeed looked like a holy woman.
With her tits, which are big for her age, she’s a bitch, who seduced Wendelin.
Healing the fief’s population with her prided healing magic, she was in the middle of earnestly sucking up to them.
I considered whether to get rid of her since she’s a nuisance, but since there would be a lot opposition by the fief’s population due to her healing magic, there’s no choice but to hold back here.
Good grief, it’s an annoying story.
 
『Then, we will transfer our residence in the direction of the special development ward.』 (Kurt)
 
『Isn’t the other side capable of cultivating rice? It will be fine, if we are also able to do it sooner or later…』 (Artur)
 
Following the takeover of the church, there was also the matter of making a move on the redevelopment within the territory.
After all, he wouldn’t reach out his hands towards the main village, but if it’s the other villages, they will pro-actively assist in this.
Organizing the divisions of fields by transforming and dividing the hilly areas, woods and rocky areas into parts and establishing new branch irrigation channels, the resident’s houses would be relocated to locations close to their fields.
So far our territory concentrated its effort into cultivating new fields for around 100 years.
Rather than the influence of our efforts, the cultivated land ended up irregular because of the difficulty of the terrain and obstacles. The fief’s population was given new fields in remote areas since it was impossible close-by.
There were many, various problems.
During one day they are tending the field in front of their houses and take care of the new field, which is around one hour by foot away.
That Wendelin resolved such inconveniences.
Their farmlands are now properly in the vicinity of their houses.
Moreover, in order to make it easy to use agricultural equipment and animals for farming purposes, he adjusted the land with magic so that they have turned into square fields.
 
『That moron!』 (Kurt)
 
Something like adjusting the land as we are in the middle of harvesting our grown-up, precious wheat.
Without the intention to help with the harvesting at the actual site, he unfolded a strange spectacle there.
 
『This wheat field will be transferred here, including the soil.』 (Wendelin)
 
『Thank you, Wendelin-sama.』
 
『It’s my job.』 (Wendelin)
 
That asshole doesn’t influence our nurtured wheat at all.
Does he transform the vicinity into a field little by little? He moved the wheat, including the soil, to another field floating all of it through the air.
 
『Alyama. Isn’t this the work of a god?』
 
『Are the wheat seedlings, which were moved to the new field close-by alright?』
 
『As you moved them together with the soil, there ain’t any problems. For wheat planted during winter, transplanting the wheat to a new, wider field is a joyous occasion too.』
 
『I will improve the fertile ground to some degree as well, but make sure to carefully look after it for 2~3 years.』 (Wendelin)
 
『It’s alright since I have experience. Although I suffered for several years by cultivating land from the scratch, magic is definitely a handy thing.』
 
I’m told that Wendelin received this job from the village headmen. He finished the land readjustment and cultivation of new land for the two villages in around a week.
As result the inhabitants of the two villages have ended up surpassing the average inhabitant of the main village in the size of their fields.
In addition, removing big trees and stones, which hindered the cultivation, the fields have been leveled even including hills, where I don’t know long it would have taken to flatten them. Creating a farm road for convenient transport, even the irrigation channels have been extended so that watering becomes easier.
 
『Father!』 (Kurt)
 
『If the fields of the fief’s population increase and the farm work gets easier as well, the tax yields will rise as well. So you still have some complaints?』 (Artur)
 
I went to complain to the old man, but as usual he doesn’t do anything by himself.
That bastard is plotting to split this territory apart, so why doesn’t the old man realize that?
 
『Wendelin is driving a wedge between the main village and the other two villages!』 (Kurt)
 
『Kurt… You…』 (Artur) 
 
『No…』 (Kurt)
 
Continuing on, I unintentionally said the taboo words.
In this territory there is a confrontation between the main village and the other two villages.
However, the handed-down tradition by generations of feudal lords is that one mustn’t speak about this publicly.
 
『Anyway! Wendelin is dangerous!』 (Kurt)
 
Besides redeveloping the two villages, that shithead, with the special development ward, he made the former inhabitants, who left the territory previously, make a U-turn as people with hope. (T/N: Meaning, he gave those who left the Baumeister territory hope for a better future with the ward)
In addition, even the inhabitant’s children like the third and fourth sons began to cultivate rice after changing their residence.
 
『The population of the two villages has decreased! The tax yields from the poll tax will drop!』 (Kurt)
 
They were people, who are insignificant, but it should still cause a decrease either way.
Moreover, the destination of their move, the special development ward, is able to subtract the involved expenses from their profits.
They were helping Wendelin with tax evasion.
 
『Father, you are too soft! Since someone like Wendelin is earning this much income, it will be fine, if we exploit him by squeezing him out!』 (Kurt)
 
We can’t miss this chance.
We will save money here and carry out an independent development of the Savage Lands.
It’s already no good to permit the development by outsiders like Wendelin any longer.
 
『Why is it necessary to do something like exploiting Wendelin?』 (Artur)
 
『What’s so bad about extorting money from some place?』 (Kurt)
 
『Currently Wendelin is developing in a special ward, but did you calculate how much money it would take us to do that?』 (Artur)
 
『It will be for free with Wendelin’s magic though!』 (Kurt)
 
『Kurt, are you an idiot?』 (Artur)
 
『Who’s an idiot!?』 (Kurt)
 
Fucking around with me. I glare at the old man.
 
『Certainly, the costs for the reclamation will likely be that of a meal for Wendelin. But, there will be other expenses as well.』 (Artur)
 
The old man starts to babble about something annoying.
 
『He has given the job of bringing a large amount of houses, although second-hand, from the capital to a magician, who is specialized in relocation. I hear that gentleman is a renown expert in relocation magic while also being an appointed Baron.』 (Artur)
 
Naturally Wendelin has been paying for that commission’s expenses.
In addition, there are the wages for the experienced male farmers, who were scouted from the territory of Margrave Breithilde, and the buying expenses for things like farming tools necessary to begin the rice cultivation.
There was also talk about the immigration applicants receiving wages in their first year.
 
『Did you understand? Kurt, even if it becomes a slight decrease now, that special ward will become ours, if we wait some years. Its inhabitants will become our fief’s population as well. In the first place, there isn’t anything like a decrease in income. Have you properly been looking at the reports?』 (Artur)
 
He is belittling me again.
Even I have been glancing through the report concerning tax yields at the very least.
Even if you deduct the expenses of the special development ward, the sales of our territory’s first shop are increasing and there’s also the profit from selling the spoils, obtained during the exploration of the Demon Forest, in Breitburg.
Those are facts supplying us with around 600.000 cents in about three months.
However, only this much isn’t enough.
Or rather, Wendelin is a rich person to that degree.
By his authority as feudal lord, it will be fine, if the old man collects around half of the total assets that asshole is stashing away.
If it’s this much, it will be possible for even us to develop the Savage Lands.
 
『Anyway! It’s alright to exploit even more from Wendelin. With father being the top of this Baumeister territory, even His Majesty won’t be able to meddle within this territory!』 (Kurt)
 
『Calm your anger a bit.』 (Artur)
 
Although people were earnestly worrying about the future of the Baumeister territory, the essential old man was in this pathetic state.
No, it means that either way would be fine for the old man as long as this territory continues. He doesn’t care whether Wendelin or me become the next successor.
 
『I will follow my own path!』 (Kurt)
 
『Do as you like.』 (Artur 
 
I can’t rely on the old man anymore.
On the contrary, he is also a potential enemy for me.
As that’s the case, there’s no point in me listening to something like the old man’s opinion anymore either.
 
『Where are you going, Kurt?』 (Artur)
 
『Today is the day of the meeting.』 (Kurt)
 
In the Baumeister territory there is occasionally something similar to a meeting for listening to opinions of the fief’s population held.
Several representatives from each of the three villages will make their appearance there.
In addition to that there was also the meeting, which could only be attended by important people of the main village.
Officially it has been arranged that the three villages are equal.
But in reality, the old man, grandfather as well as his predecessor have opened an extra meeting. They didn’t stop deciding matters after properly listening to the opinions of those, who are their base of support.
At any rate, they are existences, who are strongly approving the rule of the Baumeister household.
 
『There are also many not pleased with Wendelin among the inhabitants of the main village. If I can get their approval, it should also be possible to make that asshole pay more taxes.』 (Kurt)
 
While thinking this, I hurriedly headed towards the house of Eckhart, where the meeting will be held.
 
 
 ◆◇◆◇◆
 
 
“The number of people is few.”
 
“Everyone is busy with work…”
 
Leaving alone the old man, where it’s futile no matter what I say, I turn up at the scheduled meeting, which will be held at Eckhart’s house.
It has been decided that this meeting will be kept a secret from the lot of the other villages.
The reason is that the three villages have to officially be on equal terms.
It’s a chance for us of the Baumeister family to openly give only the lot from the main village the chance to state their opinions in advance.
Usually something like that would invite opposition from the other two villages.
However, something like the existence of this meeting is known to the outside for a long time already.
 
“Nevertheless, aren’t we far too few?”
 
Originally there are around 20 people of the main village permitted to attend this meeting.
Wealthy farmers, possessing vast farmlands, and craftsmen, who monopolized the profits and market within the Baumeister territory until now.
It’s regrettable, but that traitorous Hermann, who is the head of the lesser retainer households, and several of the lesser retainers have been approved to attend as well.
Even so, the total number of those, who came to attend today’s meeting, is 8.
It ended up becoming less than half.
 
“Dirk, the leather craftsman? Ingo, the clothing and accessories tailor? Lukas, the carpenter?” (Kurt)
 
“That is…”
 
As I look at the participants, it became only the blacksmith Eckhart attending from the group of craftsmen, who strongly supported me being inaugurated as next family head until now.
Once I asked for the reason, Eckhart begins to reluctantly explain.
 
“It seems they have suspended their businesses for a while…” (Eckhart)
 
“Haa? Suspended their businesses?” (Kurt)
 
“Yea…” (Eckhart)
 
According to Eckhart’s explanation, they were in a situation of being open, but having no customers, as Wendelin’s newly opened shop stole their clients.
Deceived by that bastard’s temptation, they apparently decided to quit being craftsmen.
Surely, even seen from my view, you can’t call the skills of the craftsmen of this territory good by any standard.
However, they are still better than amateurs doing it. It’s not like their crafts are particularly unusable either.
First off, they were influential supporters of me.
It was a calculating relationship in favor of profits, but conversely they are easy existences because they will support me as long as they can profit from it.
This opinion was not only mine, but was completely the same for the generation of my father and his father.
They are absent from this important meeting.
Because I have been told that they are closed now, I was nothing but simply surprised.
 
“There’s no way for such stupid story to be true!” (Kurt)
 
“It’s the same for me as well in the last 3 months here though. There’s almost no business…” (Eckhart)
 
With Wendelin selling stocked items from Breitburg and the capital, they apparently ended up completely having no customers anymore.
You can say that it’s only natural as Wendelin’s merchandise is slightly cheaper and has better quality, but after all I couldn’t simply overlook this.
The crime of Wendelin, making our industry obsolete, is very grave.
 
“In the end it will lower our tax revenue! It is definitely Wendelin spurring on this unfaithful bunch to speed up the decline of this Baumeister territory!” (Kurt)
 
“Lord, that is…”
 
Although it is related to hollowing out our industry, I can tell that Wendelin lent them a hand in that.
 
“What is it?”
 
“Yes. Actually…”
 
At the time they were worrying that their customers and sales became almost zero, Wendelin apparently came and proposed to them 『How about sending your sons to study something else?』
 
“In the end they saw that there’s no chance to win, even if they keep competing. There’s talk that craftsmen, who can make items capable of opposing the product from outside, are expected to start new workshops within the territory.”
 
Wendelin, using his connections, sent the youths of the craftsmen as disciples to workshops in Breitburg and the capital.
And, the youths, who would have their independence acknowledged after the end of their training in the future, will begin a fresh business in the workshops, preserved by their parents.
He apparently brought up such plan.
 
“What will he do about the currently active craftsmen?”
 
“It looks like they will live by cultivating rice.”
 
Considering their ages, there are difficult sides to it, but you can’t say that it is meaningless for them to study from now on.
However, it should be easy for training results to appear if it’s the still young folks.
Accordingly, while preserving the equipment of the closed workshops, they earn their food by living through growing rice on cultivated land.
 
“Eckhart. You are…” (Kurt)
 
“I have…” (Eckhart)
 
He isn’t just cornering the craftsmen, he is also leading them to a prepared way out.
Obviously Wendelin had been corrupted by the rotten nobles of the central government in the capital. It was a disgusting trick.
Only the blacksmith Eckhart hasn’t participated in this, but the previous guys have folded after meeting Wendelin directly.
Therefore, he likely has been thinking he won’t be forgiven.
Given such sequence of events, he is an easy-to-use man without me needing to worry about him betraying me even if he’s here.
 
“So, what’s the reason for the low attendance of the wealthy farmers then?” (Kurt)
 
“Yes…”
 
But then again, rather than the lot of wealthy farmers being absent, there isn’t anyone you can call wealthy farmer anymore.
With the exception of the main village, as the expansion and redistribution of farm land is advancing, they were demoted to small farmers in scale instead.
 
“(I’m aware of those guy’s intention…)” (Kurt)
 
Changing their loyalties to Wendelin, they likely hope for land readjustment and cultivation of new land for the main village.
Also, in farmer families with many children the existence of children, who can’t inherit a plot of land, became a problem.
Since there was a large amount of grown-up men killed during the expedition, it was good that the old man encouraged an increase in giving birth to compensate for that.
Now there are too many children. There isn’t enough farm land as this practice was already kept up for 10 years.
After the expedition, at the time when Wendelin was around 3 years old, father personally went to stand at the vanguard of cultivating new farm land.
By cultivating new land in a situation, where the number of breadwinners had been decreased, his popularity fell sharply, but even so, the expansion of farm land has been a success.
Increasing the amount of harvested wheat, the money and goods, obtained from the merchant group, also increased.
However, accordingly a single problem also sprang forth.
In the territory, excluding the Savage Lands, there was already no place left to cultivate new land anymore.
Also, if he had stayed behind, Wendelin could have at least done something about it with magic.
There’s nothing but land, which is covered all over with obstacles, and land, which is difficult to level.
In the end it becomes troublesome to do farm work on crooked fields as their nature is to have been forcefully reclaimed.
The clumsiness of allocation is bringing forth a reality, you can’t even laugh at, where there are inhabitants, who take one hour on foot to go to their new fields for farm work.
All plots of land in the vicinity of the villages can’t be reclaimed any further.
Since the Savage Lands, where there are easily reclaimable plains, is infested with bears, wolves and wild boars, it should be difficult to cultivate new land, not even mentioning maintaining the fields, if you don’t provide guards.
Although we didn’t get involved for this reason, Wendelin resolved these concerns in approximately 3 months.
He ended up settling everything with magic.
 
“Well then, this Baumeister territory has been plunged into a crisis, but…” (Kurt)
 
It’s obvious that even the participants, who came, are wavering whether to already switch sides to Wendelin within in their minds. They listened to my speech with a feeling of not being interested.
For these guys it would be more convenient, if Wendelin usurped this Baumeister territory instead.
 
“(Hermann hasn’t come as well, huh… ?)” (Kurt)    
 
Hermann, who previously always turned up at the meetings, is now absent, too.
Even if he came, since he’s now moving as Wendelin’s underling, there would be no reason to permit his participation.
Besides, even beforehand, Hermann opposed the discrimination in treatment of the three villages.
It was nothing more but an immature opinion without seeing the reality of this Baumeister territory, but his supporters among the young generation of the main village are remembering their terrible hardships.
 
“Umm… Kurt-sama.”
 
“What?” (Kurt)
 
“This time, especially from us…”
 
In spite of harshly demanding favorable treatment towards the main village until now, they have now become likely troubled that these things will be exposed to Wendelin.
Wendelin is putting priority on villages besides the main village, which is in contrast to our policy so far.
Or rather, he is plainly aiming at shaking up my supporters.
And, after I was forcefully taken down, the main village’s treatment should become equal as well.
In that situation the intention is for the lot of the main village to feel gratitude towards Wendelin even if they are only treated equally.
 
“(That fucking brat!)” (Kurt)
 
And then the meeting of the gathered sympathizers of the main village has ended after around 10 minutes.
Although I have heard favorable opinions towards a stable rule to some extent, they are already starting to arrange their betrayal just because they saw Wendelin’s magic.
After all, that’s likely how former, lowly slum residents are.
Given that I’m irritated, I’m walking towards the forest in the back of the main family’s mansion to cool my anger.
Now that I think about, this is the place, where Wendelin’s meddling started.  
Entering the forest at the still young age of around 7 years, he raised unbelievable accomplishments as child there.
Everyday he hunted prey like wild boars and helmeted guinea fowls and brought back mountain grapes, yam, edible wild plants, firewood, etc.
Father and mother were delighted, but for me it felt like nothing more but him butting in after all.
 
“That fucking brat! It would have been better, if he had died at that time!” (Kurt)
 
That time is the time when he went to investigate ancient ruins three months ago and all contact was lost for around a week.
At that time a messenger of a noble called Rückner or such came from the capital.
Because he reported it in a really suggestive manner, I ended up being pointlessly delighted for a short time, I recall.
Even now I occasionally get angry remembering that.
 
“Humph! I must not rely on someone like such central noble.” (Kurt)
 
“That’s not right either.”
 
“Who’s there!?” (Kurt)
 
As I turned my head since I suddenly heard a voice from behind, the man, who previously brought the letter following the command of the aforementioned Baron Rückner, stood there.
I was told that he was an adventurer, who often received requests from Baron Rückner, but he was a pale, eerie man giving off a feeling of gloominess.
 
“It’s been a while.” (Kurt)
 
“Sorry for the false information before.”  
 
Wondering what kind of reaction I should show, I have decided to try replying with rejection first.
 
“I’m sorry. But, I only delivered the letter upon the order of my client.”
 
“I wonder whether that’s really true. Sounds suspicious to me.” (Kurt)
 
It was ambiguous how close he is to Baron Rückner, but since he especially came even as far as this remote place, he should enjoy considerable trust.
There was also the possibility of him being a retainer protégée, who’s lying about being an adventurer.
 
“I’m a free adventurer. As I have confidence in having some ability, I’m someone earning my income with these kinds of jobs as I’m able to keep a secret.”
 
Since he has come by himself from the capital until this remote area crossing the mountain range, it is likely that he has considerable confidence in his stamina and strength.
 
“So, what’s your business?” (Kurt)
 
“Ah, right. Time is valuable for both of us.”
 
As he says so, this gloomy adventurer presents an old, small, wooden box to me.
 
“This is?” (Kurt)
 
“Yes. This is a tool that will be useful for assassinating Baron Baumeister.”
 
“…” (Kurt)
 
“I remember you saying that time is precious, but to put it simple, Baron Rückner sells this to you as favor. It means that you will be able to break through the crisis, you are currently in, by assassinating Baron Baumeister with this.”  
 
This late in the game there’s no need to say something like the crisis, I’m currently in.
With the erosion within the territory by Wendelin, the inhabitants, who are still supporting me now, have become extremely few.
All of them were shaved off by Wendelin’s magic and assets.
In the end even my old man sided with Wendelin.
Going by the old man’s words, it’s for the sake of the territory’s growth, but I have realized it.
He likely doesn’t plan to have me succeed as next family head anymore.
The reason is simple. The old man has the standpoint of having the duty to let the territory prosper as family head of the Baumeister household.
For this reason he also has the resolve to discard me, who is the eldest son.
Surely he will be 『heartbroken』, however there should be less damage by simply discarding me.
For a lizard it will be painful, if it cuts off its tail, but it will forget such pain right away.
But, that doesn’t mean that the state of the cut-off tail is unbearable.
Therefore it is indispensable for me to obtain a plan to recover from my dire situation and get rid of Wendelin.
 
“Are you doubting it?”
 
“Yea, you are shady.” (Kurt)
 
“I can imagine, but if we don’t cooperate as allies here, we will be both cornered.”
 
“Both?” (Kurt)
 
“Yes. Baron Rückner is in a great pinch as well.”
 
The gloomy adventurer explains the crisis of Baron Rückner to me.
 
“If the development of the Savage Lands is carried out led by Baron Baumeister, it will be a disaster.”
 
In the capital it has already become a rumor between the nobles that they want to join in on the development of the Savage Lands once I have been quickly removed.
 
“My position?” (Kurt)
 
“Please listen without getting angry. Someone like the heir of a rural territory, who didn’t have any contact with the central government until now, will be treated as less than dust, if you compare it with the profit of a new development.”
 
“Don’t say…” (Kurt)
 
The huge Savage Lands and Wendelin, who holds an enormous amount of assets.
If you put these two together, the development of the Savage Lands will advance in one go. Above all, Wendelin has only few retainer protégées.
Thus they (the nobles) will send in people like their excess relatives and the children of their retainers as potential vassals.
Given that materials will be ordered from outside at the beginning for work like development constructions, the merchants and companies, who have friendly ties with nobles as well, want to receive these orders.
Dealing with materials like those necessary for development and selecting people, who will come from outside to work at the constructions, even the trade concessions should become a big success.
 
“That means that all of the nobles are at least desperate.”
 
From the point of view of such noble bunch, I’m completely treated as someone who already died.
Rather, alive I will be a nuisance.
 
“Even your client is probably busy to secure concessions.” (Kurt)
 
“That’s impossible.”
 
No matter how much Baron Rückner struggles, he and his faction won’t get any concessions for the Savage Lands development.
Those in a leader-like position regarding this Savage Lands development are Margrave Breithilde and Finance Minister Rückner, who is also the elder brother of Baron Rückner.
For Baron Rückner, who is on bad terms with his elder brother, it is planned to not let a single cent flow his way, the gloomy adventurer explained.
 
“To begin with, with a relationship of opposing his elder brother, Minister Rückner, he also neglected Baron Baumeister…”
 
At the time all contact with Wendelin was lost during the ancient ruins investigation, he has spread the rumor that Baron Baumeister died.
This is the reason why he ended up being disliked by Wendelin himself as well as Margrave Breithilde, who is his patron.
 
“Even though you tell me this, he reaps what he sows.” (Kurt)
 
Baron Rückner has been the director of financial auditing in the central government.
Surely he has confidence in his own intellect.
As result, he has been washed away by Wendelin’s magic and assets just like me.
 
“If he fails to obtain concessions for the Savage Lands development after I was forcefully taken down, it will also become impossible to maintain his faction. My condolences.” (Kurt)
 
For me it was uncertain what might happen tomorrow, but Baron Rückner will receive punishment for sending a suggestive letter to people and leading them around by the nose.
Even in this hopeless situation, my wishes were gratified a bit.
 
“I understand your feelings, but it won’t change our future, if we make fools out of each other by competing who is in a lower position.”
 
“I do know that.” (Kurt)
 
Even if you don’t tell me something like that, I’m aware of it.
As it is now, I will definitely be sent to the church after having been disinherited.
Similar to the duke, who dueled with Wendelin before, it should turn into a situation of being under house arrest until my death and spending day after day in spurious belief.
I would rather die than lead such life.
 
“In other words, as move to reverse this dire situation, I’m to use the item in that box to assassinate Wendelin, succeeding his assets and rights to develop the Savage Lands. Is that what you mean?” (Kurt)
 
“Yes. As you’ve said.”
 
“However, are the contents of this small box really enough?” (Kurt)
 
“This is a magic tool excavated from an ancient ruin.”
 
It is small, but its effects seem to be tremendous.
I’m not sure since I’m not well-informed about these things, but rather than getting ruined by sitting around, it might be better to bet on this.
 
“I will take my chance with it.” (Kurt)
 
At the current rate even a not-amusing future like no one attending next month’s meeting of the main village is likely.
In that case, it’s also alright to try betting on something like this magic tool to kill the main culprit, Wendelin.
 
“So, how much do you want for it?” (Kurt)
 
It’s not the season of gifts either. It’s unlikely for a noble to send this thing free of charge to another noble.
Rather, telling me something like it’s free will only make it more suspicious.
 
“I’ve been told by my client that the fee is for you to treat him favorably for the concessions in the future.”
 
“I see. He wants permanent concessions rather than temporary money, huh?” (Kurt)
 
Besides, there’s also the reason that this way it is easier to divide it among the nobles, who are taking part in his faction.
 
“Acknowledged. So, how do you use this magic tool?” (Kurt)
 
For a while after that I received an explanation from the gloomy adventurer how to use the magic tool in the old box.
Certainly, this might have the potential to assassinate Wendelin.
 
“By its appearance you can’t see it as anything but simple ocarina though.” (Kurt)
 
“Even so, it’s a powerful magic tool. With the things you summon with this, the death anniversary of Baron Baumeister will be near.”
 
Within my mind floats the pathetic sight of Wendelin being killed.
If that bastard dies, I will use his assets to lead the development of the Savage Lands.
The only forte of the nobles of the central government is their pride and plotting, but they will come bowing their heads to beg for the concessions.
They will completely be like beggars.
You can even say that it’s a truly delightful future.
 
“Since things are things, please use it in a place where there aren’t too many people.”
 
“In three days Wendelin will go deep inside the Savage Lands for an inspection. I will use it at that time.” (Kurt)
 
“Understood. I will tell my client that.”
 
As he leaves those words at the end, the gloomy adventurer vanishes into the depths of the forest.
And, I, who was left behind, subdued laughing out lout due to my feelings of joy welling up, while I continued to stare at a certain old ocarina in my hands.

 


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39 thoughts on “Interlude 22 – The cornered Kurt

    1. Well, I’m not going to justify his behaviour, but imagine your family, friends, acquaintances and everyone else around you turned hostile. Or let’s say, you think they are your enemies. What would you do then? 🙂

      1. Wait…

        He had no good feelings for anyone in the family, ‘cept maybe his father ,mother and wife.
        … Friends? Who? He had ‘enemies’ and subordinates
        Acquaintances? Same as above
        Enemies? Everyone not obeying his every whim.

        1. In other words, a psychopath? ^^
          But then again, if you were in the same situation…
          I’m a partial sociopath, so I wouldn’t particularly mind as long as they leave me alone, but I don’t think I should conclude the same for everyone else here. ^^

      2. Well if you are a person you wants to raise tax to the roof and have underling who monopolize the market with low quality goods, i think he deserves it

  1. Hmm… I can’t decide which of the following descriptions he fits best :

    1 Narcissist
    2 Idiot
    3 Moron
    4 Naivety Incarnated
    5 Braindead
    6 ‘God’s gift to mankind’
    7 Imbecile
    8 Immature
    9 Childish
    10 Too dumb to live for long
    11 Best Puppet
    12 Still alive being a miracle
    13 All of the above

    1. some parinoid mental illness of some kind
      from what i can see he might be really smart if you compare it to the degree of education he got as a child(was it close to none or less?)
      putting a clever undereducated parinode person in a corner will force his hand big time and he will grasp for straws.

      my opinion of him is not good but he is inteligent compared to his education but he would have done a somewhat good job off building the savage lands if not for his kid brother being the better choise(but hey he has 21Centry knowlege and MP to waste a dragon making him a cheat) but cheats are always the better choise.
      my guess is that Kurt could have done a more then great job had he gotten all the education he would need to run the place and time as he lacks empathy and that can be good in a leader as they look at all equally(as in not themself) and atleast if they have the courage to push forward

      1. It’s not like Kurt wasn’t inteligent, but Wendelin received orders to taunt and disturb Kurt on purpose. What central govern wanted the most was exactly for Kurt to lose his mind and give them a justification to put Wendelin in his place. They even dispached the royal mage to protect him, knowing that some assassination plot was going to happen

      1. The only education he received is only ordering people and haughtiness though…
        *he even questioning the king’s authority there…

  2. Lately i feeling a pity to such character . It same like tomoki from tsuki ga michibik they have many worries if someone more appealing than them self. Kurt afraid if wendelin official interruption robe his future as head of territory. Unfortunately kurt is lack of education, so his sight are short than his father that knowing something from his experiences.

    1. It also sounds like he is kind of lazy and does not trust anybody. Since he will not help in the development of the land and focus on making the main village rich he does not have to worry about the villages to create and new power to appose him.

  3. ╔══╦╗────╔╗───╔═╗──────  ∧_∧
    ╚╗╔╣╚╦═╦═╣║╔═╗║║╠═╦═╦╦╗ ( ・∀・)
    ─║║║╦║╬║║║╚╝╔╝║║║╩╣╬║║║  ノ つつ
    ─║║║║║║║║║╔╗╚╗╚╩╩═╣╔╩═╝⊂、 ノ   
    ─╚╝╚╩╩╩╩╩╩╝╚═╝────╚╝───  し’
    ╔╦╗────────╔═╗──────╔╦╗──────
    ║╩╠═╦═╦═╦╦╗║║╠═╦═╦╦╗║║╠═╦═╦╦╗
    ║╦║╬║╬║╬║║║║║║╩╣╬║║║╠╗║╩╣╬║╔╝
    ╚╩╩╩╣╔╣╔╬╗║╚╩╩═╣╔╩═╝╚═╩═╩╩╩╝─
    ────╚╝╚╝╚═╝────╚╝────────────

  4. I hope one of the future intermissions is from the Father’s POV. In a way he’s the fulcrum of everything that’s happened. Hearing his thoughts on things would definitely be interesting.

  5. Thanks for the chapter. Kurt should just try to get Wend. on tax evasion (I am joking with this). So he could take him down like Al Capone (Still joking).

    1. tax evasion? would that not mean that Kurt needs to watch all Wends and his companions back all the time in the savaged lands out with the monsters else wend just tele them out after a kill to awoid detection, with Kurts combat abiletys that is impossible to say the least as wend cant protact him if shit really hits the fan(guessing that is the reason he would dodge that with) so if wend really wanted to dodge he could as he has teleport.

      not to mention his total assest he has now and he still dont know what to do with and his agreement with the lord/his father

  6. Got to admit there more depth on Artur Baumeister the hikikomori knight, he got impeccable judgement and insight than one expected for backwater knight. Despite this, is his failure in Kurt upbringing (arrogant, selfish, greedy, and illiterate) is the main part of the problem.
    In Artur’s defense in this arc, he did his best to advise Kurt, had Kurt heed his dad advise, no matter what Wend do, Kurt will take the place as Baumeister next head and collect taxes from newly developed area and live comfortably. Lucky for Wend, Kurt self-destructed.
    I can’t help to notice that Baron Ruckner has mentioned a number of times in these two interludes 21-22. Likely, a reckoning with this arc mastermind soon perhaps?

  7. How much more awesome would this story have been if that guy was the Happy Mask Salesman and he just gave Kurt Majora’s Mask?

  8. Thanks 4 the chapter!

    Well, at least he’s not as bad as some other villains out there. I don’t have the urge to floss my brain after reading his POV.

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