My name is Hermann von Benno Baumeister.
I’m a novice noble succeeding a certain hinterland territory.
However, although that territory might be in the sticks, a large-scale development of the adjoining Savage Lands has begun.
There are plans to connect a road to the Baumeister Earldom, which is close to the original Savage Lands. If that happens, the contact with the outside will increase as well. It will enliven my territory, which was completely isolated before.
But, the path up to here wasn’t easy at all.
Originally I was the second son.
The second son, born to a noble household, has always been reputed to be the spare of the eldest son.
While free-loading at home as adult, their marriage will be later than that of the eldest son, too.
And, there are many, who can’t marry, either.
At worst, if the succeeding eldest son is unable to produce children, the second son will remain for life in the provided room of the mansion.
In my childhood I didn’t know that.
The eldest son, Kurt, who was the heir, was by no means a bad person, although he was mediocre.
However, once he grew up, he gradually grasped the situation of the household and territory.
Given that Kurt was the heir, he was cherished. My treatment was considerably befitting.
As there was also a mistress, younger brothers and sisters were gradually multiplying, but their situation might have still been better.
My younger brothers, who were born by mother, who is the legal wife, were preparing to leave elsewhere since they couldn’t succeed the household anyway.
As red-bloods*, they would become village headmen or assist their elder brothers. For the younger sisters it would be fine as long as they married, even if it was a wealthy farmer. (*T/N: in contrast to the blue-bloods, aka nobles)
However, I was living in a room as Kurt’s spare.
I was given a private room more or less, but I couldn’t regard it as anything but a jail without bars.
That doesn’t mean that I particularly hated father or mother.
I just hated the established rules of the nobles.
It reached the point that I vented that resentment into my sword training.
And also into the training of the formed guard unit, which consisted of the second and third sons of farmers in a similar situation.
That guard unit was usually responsible for maintaining the public order.
In an emergency it would naturally become the core of the feudal army.
Even if I say that, criminals or such rarely appeared here since it was a remote countryside which had been isolated from other regions.
Even the feudal army shouldn’t have an opportunity to get a turn, if there wasn’t that previous expedition to the Demon Forest, which caused heavy losses, though I didn’t go there myself.
Besides, although it might be called a guard unit which acted to maintain the public order, they stopped the occasional brawls between fellow farmers, who got drunk on sake, or mediated violent matrimonial quarrels.
In this territory the guard unit was dispatched for incidents of that level.
It was a job, that finished with several people rushing on-site, listening to the arguments and splitting up the fellow related parties.
Also, there was the occasional subjugation of wild boars and bears, who lost their way into the fields, I guess?
Those were defeated in cooperation with the hunters, but there were many cases where the animals were driven away or defeated by the hunters before the guard unit came running.
There wasn’t a considerable amount of work for the guard unit.
Sometimes it was limited to gathering the unit members for training.
Be that as it may, the members had ordinary jobs, too.
A regulation for the amount of training had been decided more or less, but it was never obeyed.
As it didn’t make sense to abandon the fields in order to carry out the training according to the regulation, father, who is the previous feudal lord, carried out a large-scale reclamation saying that it was for the sake of increasing the tax revenue.
Given that reclamation was more important than training, I mainly helped out with that as well.
『Hermann, the place you are in charge of today is over there.』 (Artur)
Digging up the soil at the place designated by father, I chopped down hindering trees and uprooted their stumps from the ground with several people.
Removing large stones and blocks was quite the labor.
However, as the field, which was assigned today, had been properly prepared by the unit members, it was decided that Helge would receive it.
He was a third son, who was unable to succeed his home’s fields.
Therefore he couldn’t afford failures in this reclamation.
『Thank you, Hermann-sama.』 (Helge)
『Let’s not say such stuff to each other. If you didn’t remain in this territory, the already shabby guard unit would have become even more shabby.』 (Hermann)
『Hermann-sama, that’s a taboo word.』 (Helge)
We had a great laughter with the guard unit members, who were assisting in another reclamation.
As everyone was a second son and below, there were only people in the same circumstances. The method of laughing rather than sighing, even if it was masochistic, ended up comforting us emotionally.
『You have been paying a large amount of money as taxes. So, don’t hold back.』 (Hermann)
Helge, who became 20 years old this year, was a survivor of the Demon Forest expedition, although it was difficult to see that.
In those days he had just become an adult with 12 years, but he was recommended by his home, who thought it wouldn’t be a problem for him to die as he was the third son.
No, it was probably correct to call it getting rid of a nuisance.
There’s no difference between nobles and commoners in handling a problem like this.
To be frank, I’m believing that it was good for me, who was 18 years old at that time, to no be dispatched with the army.
Instead, the annihilation of the Junior Commander, who was my grand-uncle, and his three sons caused the currently icy relationship between the main family and the branch family.
It was obvious, once you looked, that the women had to help with the reclamation since there weren’t enough male helpers and subordinate warriors, serving the branch family.
They were following father’s order, but once in a while they were looking at father and Kurt with piercing gazes.
I became their target as well, however that was probably inevitable.
I’m still alive due to the sacrifice of grand-uncle’s group after all.
『Possessing that much money, there was also the option to go somewhere else. Seeing that it was taken away, you have to properly receive a field, Helge.』 (Hermann)
It wasn’t like Helge was particularly excelling in swordsmanship. His body was also short and slender.
However, by being skilled with the bow and furthermore having a robust body, he had stamina. And above all that, he had a strong spirit.
He, who was treated as underling due to his age, worked as messenger in the expeditionary force.
On the surface they should have an equal status, but when the Baumeister feudal army and the Breithilde feudal army merged, there was naturally no way for it to be that simple.
For the previous Margrave Breithilde grand-uncle’s group was the retainers of his retainer.
A large gap gradually formed between the two armies thanks to Margrave Breithilde treating them as retainers.
Grand-uncle kept the Baumeister feudal army a bit away from the feudal army of Margrave Breithilde.
It was probably because there were problems in their treatment, but maybe he predicted their fate to a certain extent.
Because more than 20 people of that small force survived, I have no doubt that he was likely preparing for the failure of the expedition.
However, the option to escape with few victims was no viable.
It was likely that it would become a problem in the future, if the Baumeister feudal army had almost no victims while the Breithilde feudal army got annihilated.
Especially, seeing that our supply route for goods such as salt was in the hands of the Margrave Breithilde household, it wouldn’t do with only them escaping.
Even so, he wanted to let the young men escape as much as possible.
All of the 20 survivors were youngsters ranging from 12 years to early twenties.
It was the best outcome grand-uncle was able to leave behind with his sphere of influence.
He risked his own life and the lives of his sons.
However, it was cruel for father’s evaluation.
『He parted with valuable residents without resistance』 and such.
Even so, father had the position of feudal lord.
On the surface it was necessary for him to reprimand grand-uncle, who lost 80% of the war potential.
『Certainly, it’s just as father says.』 (Kurt)
Following up on father, my elder brother, Kurt, criticized grand-uncle, too.
As Kurt was a mediocre man, it was only natural for him to make such statement since he was properly listening to what father told him.
But, with that brief comment I noticed Kurt’s lack of military talent.
At the same time I didn’t miss father’s instant expression of disappointment.
Father likely wanted Kurt to praise grand-uncle.
Since he was the feudal lord, he wasn’t able to praise grand-uncle, who lost the majority of our war potential.
However, if the succeeding son praised grand-uncle for returning as many young men as he could, it would have been possible to somewhat alleviate the anger of people of the branch family.
Although I wasn’t that intelligent, I at least understood this much.
Be that as it may, Kurt didn’t realize that.
Father likely felt dejected in his heart.
Such things should be arranged ahead of time, was the only thing I could think.
『Putting that aside, we have to thank those who were able to come back.』 (Hermann)
I considered it butting in, but I proposed that father should directly call out to the people, who were able to return.
Such concern couldn’t be expected of Kurt at any rate.
Lacking manpower due to the expeditionary force, it was only me, who was regularly patrolling by leading the still remaining inhabitants, but it was also necessary to rebuke and properly correct the group I was leading, if they made a mistake. They had to at least know what to not do, if they wanted to be praised and achieve accomplishments.
They had survived the hell, which cost us 80% of our military forces.
Rewarding their efforts, it was necessary for father to give them days off and rewards, even if it was only for their feelings.
『Certainly, that’s necessary.』 (Artur)
Father consented with my opinion.
And it actually took place, but maybe the plan to put me into the branch family might have been polished at that time.
『Holidays and such are unnecessary. Rather, it would be better to make them work in cultivating new land to allow them to forget that hell.』 (Kurt)
Kurt had such opinion, however once I considered that standpoint, it wasn’t like his view was wrong either.
With all of the surviving young men being second sons and below, they were in no position to succeed a family in reality.
Given that those, who no one would mind dying either, luckily came back, he probably judged that their manpower should be immediately used.
It was probably a necessary decision for the sake of the territory’s growth, but his way of thinking was owed to the fact that he had the position of eldest son.
Although I could comprehend it, I wasn’t pleased with it on an emotional level.
And, although the young men were able to come back, the majority of them had collapsed mentally.
During grand-uncle’s absence I read books in father’s study thinking it was necessary to study as it was an activity on the level of a patrol unit with several people, but within the books there was a description about mind sickness due to war.
If you go through a too bitter experience on the battlefield, there will be people, whose mind becomes sick and who will become useless as soldiers.
According to their story, a large army of monsters came for a night attack.
Thanks to that, they reached the point of even becoming afraid of the night’s darkness and the mysterious sounds, which occur then.
Since the male help of grand-uncle’s family was completely gone, I wasn’t able to do anything but a sham patrol by leading a few guards around for a while.
I had hope for them, who had actual combat experience, but it was probably impossible to invite them as they were in such state.
『I will be alright.』 (Helge)
However, luckily it resulted in several young men, who had a strong mind, to participate in the guard unit.
The one who was especially solid among them was the previously introduced Helge.
Grand-uncle had appointed Helge as messenger to stay in touch with the Breithilde feudal army.
For the sake of clearing the dangerous mood between the two armies, even if only a bit, he sent the youngest.
And that attempt was slightly successful.
The leaders of the Breithilde feudal army were as high-handed as usual, but with Helge, whose parents were in the same generation as the soldiers, regularly coming for communication, the soldiers apparently were affectionate towards him.
『For you it’s a disaster as well. You were dragged into a competition of obstinacy between fellow authorities.』
『I don’t mind since it will becoming horsemanship training, if I’m working as messenger.』 (Helge)
『You have a great character. Since we grilled meat of monsters, we hunted, go back after eating some of it.』
『Thank you.』 (Helge)
『Youngsters have to eat their fill without holding back.』
He was favored by the lower soldiers with such feelings.
And then that fateful day came.
As Helge was heading into the direction of the Breithilde feudal army’s encampment to carry out his messenger duty, they gave a certain something to Helge.
『We probably won’t be able to return alive. Boy, you have to survive at any cost. We will give you this.』
He didn’t quite understand anything, but he received several monster fangs.
And he was successful in escaping alongside others from the Demon Forest due to handling his horse skilfully thanks to his messenger duty.
Together with the other survivors they barely managed to reach the Baumeister territory one way or another, but after that he was assaulted by the blaming feelings in his chest.
Father collected the taxes from them, including Helge, who survived at great pains.
Because they were given a reward by Margrave Breithilde in addition to going to hunt at the time they entered the Demon Forest, they paid it with the coins they possessed.
『Father, that’s probably crude, as one would expect.』 (Hermann)
『It might be as you say, but even so, the law is the law.』 (Artur)
However, even the reward, they had, was substantially reduced to zero.
『Besides, it’s probably not almost all money they have on hand…』 (Artur)
Certainly, it was as father said.
He might have taken the tax as planned since father definitely understood it as well.
Everyone of the surviving group was second son and below.
As according to his conjecture of their treatment at their homes, the majority of the money, they earned by risking their lives, was snatched away.
Especially Helge, as the received monsters fangs would become ingredients for high-priced medicine, those were immediately bought by the merchant group, who had money, for 200.000 cents.
Even so, the money, Helge received from his parents, was mere 1000 cents.
The money, he earned by putting his life on the line, was completely exploited by his home.
『(It’s a story, which is really sickening).』 (Hermann)
Be that as it may, this is the reality of an agricultural community in the countryside.
Given that it is important for the continuation of the family, second sons and below aren’t considered as anything but mountain grapes, which you squeeze for their juice.
Recently the number of young people leaving the Baumeister territory together with the merchant group was increasing, but I was able to understand their feelings.
Even father was considering this to not be a good thing.
However, too radical measures would shake his reign in the territory.
If there was something like a rebellion in such isolated territory, the Baumeister territory would suffer fatal damage. That’s probably why he was trying to promote the encouragement for reclamation as much as possible to allow the second sons and below to stand on their own feet.
I didn’t believe that the eldest son, Kurt, noticed father’s forethought though.
If it was from his point of view, it was likely the level of perception that the tax yield would increase, if the arable lands expanded.
『Hermann, you will enter the branch family as son-in-law.』 (Artur)
At the time when I heard that story from father, my realization was no more than 『Will it be less objectionable because it’s now, I wonder?』
Completing the first stage of the large-scale reclamation, it was the time when Kurt’s wife was finally decided.
I was told to work in the position of Junior Commander by being adopted into the branch family.
With the failure of the expedition, the military forces of the Baumeister feudal army still hadn’t recovered.
In the case of an emergency it was our duty to fight with all young men, but reserve soldiers, who would keep training, were also necessary to a certain degree.
Even so, while I was looking for possibilities in the books in the study, the 20 second sons and below, in name only, went through the trouble by learning through imitation from me.
One of the few results was Helge becoming my right-hand man by accumulating experience.
Although I felt sorry for troubling them with hardships in addition to the farm work on the fields, which were reclaimed just recently, the me at that time had no other way to entertain them.
For Kurt, who had realized his secure position through being surrounded by the heirs of wealthy farmers and craftsmen from the same generation, such hardships were likely unnecessary.
Moreover, it seemed like Kurt was jealous of my military talent.
At the time I heard that story, I ended up laughing as it was far too ridiculous.
Certainly, I was the most proficient in swordsmanship within the territory. I didn’t believe I would lose in archery to the hunter group either.
If it was a vigilante corps and a certain extent of a guard unit, I would probably be able to command them more skilfully than father and Kurt.
But, what about it?
While it may be true that I was the best in such isolated, rural territory, there should exist as many skilled guys as there were stars in the sky, who were more skilled than me, once you went outside.
Kurt’s jealousy was nothing but false accusation in my view.
Afterwards his jealousy vanished at the same time when I was adopted into the branch family.
He was probably relived because his rival became the head of the branch family.
He was a truly happy-go-lucky next family head.
For someone like me the branch family was a bed of thorns.
Being adopted into the branch family as groom ended up getting delayed since father waited for Marlene, who is the direct granddaughter of granduncle, to become an adult.
Actually, once I was adopted, I was baffled by the attitude of my wife, Marlene.
From the branch family’s point of view the main family was apparently recognised as having killed granduncle’s group in a plan to hijack the branch family.
I didn’t know what father was thinking, but it would have been fine, if he had at least dispatched only me as well.
The appearance of Marlene was lovely. There was nothing I wanted to complain about given that I was able to marry her.
Once she had taken an attitude of 『It can’t be helped since it’s for the sake of making a child』 in the first night, even I was bothered.
Even during the time of eating, I was plainly treated as unwanted guest.
As expected, even I would end up mentally strained by that, however I was saved by an unexpected person.
I have many siblings.
Even with only the children born by my mother, the legal wife, there’s the third son Paul, the fourth son Helmut and the fifth son Erich.
And, being the youngest boy, the eighth son, Wendelin.
They were daily running about preparing to leave to the capital as they couldn’t succeed the household anyway.
For me, who spent his teens as spare to be ready just in case, it was very enviable.
『Instead, we will be on our own.』 (Paul)
Paul said so, but even so I was jealous of them being able to leave elsewhere.
I had no lingering affections towards being a noble or such. I wouldn’t be a noble anymore at the moment I became the head of the branch family anyway.
Even at that point in time I had the dream to leave to the outside world and try becoming an adventurer or such like Paul, if possible.
『I have no other choice but to leave and go travelling. In all honesty, I have no attachment to this place either though.』 (Paul)
Although he was able to succeed in the future, Kurt discovered a new target for his jealousy.
It was the fifth son, Erich.
That guy was a man, making you believe that it was a mistake in itself for him having been born into the Baumeister household.
Great looks, unmatchable archery skills, even for me, and an outstandingly excellent intellect.
Of course his popularity with the fief’s population was high.
And naturally it reached a point that they deemed him to be appropriate as next feudal lord.
I didn’t believe that this territory would have any dealings with other feudal lords, but it would be better for the feudal lord to have a dignified appearance, since he’s the face of the territory.
Even in regards to ability Erich outclassed Kurt by far.
Kurt’s jealousy was a matter of course, however that vanished with the declaration that Erich would leave the territory in the future.
And in the end an even more outrageous younger brother appeared.
It was the eighth son, Wendelin.
At the beginning this child also read books and such from an age of 3 years and I thought he was a similar type as Erich.
However, gradually he displayed his talent in magic.
For a child, which has talent in magic, to appear in this hinterland territory was close to a miracle.
Father immediately took countermeasures.
Those ended up being complete non-interference.
Although father told him to make sure to not contribute to the territory as much as possible, he made overwhelming contributions with stuff like meat and supplies.
Even at the time, when I was still at home, the stuff we received to eat often was the meat of helmeted guinea fowl.
It was freely provided by Wendelin.
From morning until evening he probably carried out special training in magic.
Occasionally it reached the point of him focussing on his magic training to the degree of spending the night somewhere else.
Naturally the flames of jealousy flared up within Kurt once again.
From my point of view, I wanted to strongly advise him to study, if he had so much spare time.
And although it was mainly directed at him, I believed that Wendelin had a good character.
Without considering someone like Kurt, he did as he liked due to his independence.
『(Once I looked at Wendelin, everything seemed absurd.)』 (Hermann)
I was adopted into the branch family according to father’s and Kurt’s intention and even my wife had reservations towards me.
I was fed up with such life.
Certainly I was the second son of the main family, but I had already become a former second son.
Currently, as head of the branch family it was necessary to work for father and Kurt as retainer, but there was no necessity to obey in other matters.
Several days after the day, I decided to do so, I attended a certain meeting.
This meeting was for listening to the opinions of those in the main village, which is a gathering of those who immigrated in the early days.
They were taken into consideration because they were the feudal lord’s support base.
However, if this was always done, the guys from the other villages naturally wouldn’t find that amusing.
It was necessary to resolve that in the future, however at that time I was in a position of speaking about those benefits on behalf of others as head of the branch family.
『We want to request of you to reduce the irresponsible labour.』 (Hermann)
Even without that, the branch family had few men.
For that reason even the women of the branch family had to help in the reclamation work.
There are several subordinate warriors in the branch family as well, but they usually spend a busy life as farmers.
They were at their limit with the help they could provide to us.
『For that reason we sent the male helper, Hermann, though.』 (Kurt)
『There are limits with it just being me.』 (Hermann)
Kurt didn’t think anything of me but being one of his henchmen after all.
Since he sent that henchman to the branch family, he didn’t consider the branch family as anything else but an usable tool.
Indeed, once analysed calmly, something like a stable reign of the Baumeister territory with priority on the main village was no more than a house built on sand.
Father and the village headman, Klaus, sensed the impeding danger, but they didn’t find an innovative solution. Kurt didn’t even notice that danger.
『(In a certain meaning that’s enviable, huh…?) Thanks to the labour, the amount of manufactured honey liquor has gone down.』 (Hermann)
The branch families occupation was traditional apiculture and the production of honey liquor by making use of that.
Even so, by expediting an increase of work in an extreme labour shortage, the production output fell.
『Also, I want you to pay the bills for the honey liquor.』 (Hermann)
Alcohol was precious in this territory.
The harvest of wheat increased, but since father frowned, if it was made into alcohol, only a small amount of home-made ale was created at most.
Therefore, the honey liquor, made by the branch family, was collected and distributed to the fief’s population, but the branch family was displeased because the payment of the bills was delayed.
That was why my position became a bed of thorns.
『We will pay sooner or later.』
『Is that so? Well, then we will suspend the supply of honey liquor until the payment is completed. It fits well as we don’t have enough manpower anyway. I request the settlement of the debts, which have piled up until now, as well.』 (Hermann)
For some reason Kurt got enraged.
Something like the branch family imposing demands on the main family was probably considered as incorrigible arrogance by him.
Also, this was what I was thinking,
Father and Kurt had the duty to govern this territory in stability, but that didn’t mean that they were free to do whatever they wanted.
No matter how much manpower they lacked, if they only made the branch family do the unreasonable, that would only result in them becoming anti-main family.
『(Did you plan to sacrifice me as well!?)』 (Hermann)
Gradually I boiled with anger within my mind.
Why had only I, among the siblings of the Baumeister household, to suffer like this?
Although I might be unable to become a noble, I was envious of Paul, Helmut and Erich.
They would go living in the outside world, without being imprisoned in this fenced-in, shit-like, rural territory.
Who appeared next in my mind was the one, who was allowed to freely act in order to prevent an inheritance dispute.
But, Wendelin was called the lazy eighth son by the fief’s population.
Although he was still very young, Wendelin was acting to his own heart’s satisfaction.
That was also because he had talent in magic, but even if it was gossiped “What is he thinking!?” by his surroundings, he truly lived as he pleased.
The face of Wendelin, who went out early in the morning everyday and came back in the evening, didn’t seem to have a shred of grief or doubt.
I didn’t talk with him overly much.
With our ages being far apart from the start and since the me at that time had the position as head of the branch family, Kurt would likely be over-sensitive just by us talking.
If I and Wendelin joined up, Kurt’s status would be stolen.
It was a kind of wild fantasy, but it was also possible that Kurt would believe in it, if he had strong suspicions.
『At any rate, I want you to accept the previous terms.』 (Hermann)
Even if I wasn’t at Wendelin’s level, I should walk my own path.
Father and Kurt were already people from another family and I was the head of the branch family.
Since that’s the case, I had to consider how to get the most gains for the branch family.
『The reclamation has completed the first stage. We will pay the accumulated debts.』 (Artur)
『Our side has caused problems due to the reclamation project. It’s only natural to pay, I believe.』 (Artur)
In the end father would apparently pay the bills with such reasoning.
For the people of the branch family back then father didn’t even deserve their trust anymore, though, I guess.
And Kurt apparently believed that it wasn’t necessary to pay or something like that.
In my opinion Kurt would be able to manage somehow or another, if he had plenty of money as noble.
However, what did he plan to do by making the branch family into an enemy?
『(Currently the combination of father and Kurt is somehow restraining the conservatives of the main village and the territory is at peace, but…)』 (Hermann)
Due to the discord with the branch family, which stemmed from the Demon Forest expedition, there was backlash towards the old people of the conservative class by the young people in the main village, too.
The remaining two villages were at a level of following father and Kurt as it couldn’t be helped since they were the feudal lords.
This territory had become shaky in around hundred years after its establishment.
『(If something is stabbed with a single needle, this territory will probably explode).』 (Hermann)
And that would become the fall of father and Kurt as leaders of this territory.
『(It might be my delusion, but…)』 (Hermann)
After this meeting I was finally approved of by the people of the branch family, it seems.
Since my wife became wife-like, this was probably a lucky break as well.
Kurt’s face turned sullen, but that guy couldn’t win in physical strength against me anyway.
And several years elapsed, however what came afterwards had been already explained many times.
Father retired, I became the head of this Baumeister territory, Paul had a territory allocated to him as well and lastly, Wendelin became an Earl and was given the majority of the Savage Lands.
It will probably be better to not talk about Kurt’s matter anymore.
That guy blew himself up by not following into the future of the Baumeister territory, which would be to open up towards relations with the outside.
That’s how it is.
“Oi, Klaus. As expected, this is just too foolish.” (Hermann)
I, who became the 5th generation’s family head of the Knight Baumeister territory after a certain incident, summoned the village headman of the main village, Klaus.
Father and Kurt had recognised the abilities of this man called Klaus, but I doubted his motives within my mind.
Besides, he was affected by the deaths of his son and the fiancé of his daughter, however the truth behind that has already been clarified.
Indeed, I think he won’t do something like scheming the change of the feudal lord behind the scenes anymore.
As Wendelin doesn’t distrust him in that area either, he remained as village headman of the main village.
He, who had desired a change of feudal lord as village headman, has begun to interact with other territories. The neighbouring territories of Paul and Wendelin were currently in the middle of a development rush.
It has reached the point that my territory is visited by merchants from outside as well. The cultivated land has also increased. And the production of honey liquor, which is our special product, has started to be supported by the capital’s merchants, who were introduced by Wendelin.
With an increase in new residents, there are now 5 villages. My territory is busy with things like the reclamation of the Savage Lands and the reception of new immigrants.
On the whole it was entirely good things, but in fact one troubling problem occurred.
“Walter’s and Karl’s behaviour is intolerable. Do something about it.” (Hermann)
Klaus is an excellent man, who has been acknowledged by father, me and my brothers.
But, he has a flaw as well.
That’s in educating children, no, he probably failed in the education of his grandchildren because they are the children of his daughter.
Although I have been watching father getting terribly sabotaged by Kurt, I have now called Klaus because I’m getting sabotaged by his grandchildren.
He seems to somehow pamper them partially since they are his grandchildren and not his children.
From the view of father it might be relieving for Klaus to be a human as well, but for me they are no more than the prime cause for instability generated in the territory once again.
It was necessary to deal with it immediately.
“I’m sorry. I have reprimanded them many times, but…” (Klaus)
That there wasn’t the excellent village headman, but nothing more than a gentle grandfather, who simply apologizes for his grandchildren.
“I’ve heard that they are even inciting the young people. Klaus, you do know what will happen, if you don’t reign them in properly, don’t you?” (Hermann)
The beginning of the problems has started because of the treatment towards Klaus after that incident.
Father had retired and moved to Paul’s territory, but Klaus had no reason to retire and remained as the one responsible for financial affairs and as a village headman of the Knight Baumeister territory’s main village.
In a part of the territory voices were raised for Klaus to retire as well since he carried out political incitement, but the current Baumeister territory lacked capable personnel.
Seeing that there is no substitute for him, I have no choice but having him continue his work without change.
Father and my other brothers are likely thinking that Klaus has already returned to his position as normal village headman and is working as such.
Since I thought so as well, I left him alone.
In reality he returned as excellent village headman, who does his job silently.
With an age of over 60 years, he himself has apparently already decided to retire in several years.
It has reached the point that he is gradually entrusting the work of the main village’s headman to his grandchild Walter, who is the eldest son of Leila. He has been gathering and training candidates from other villages for tasks like tax collection, too.
He has become an old man, who completely lacked resentment and ambitions. He is silently endeavouring in his job.
Half the group of the other villages believes that to be eerie and the other half regards that favourably.
For the lot from the villages, which were freshly established, he is no more than a kind grandfather, who thoroughly teaches the job to the next generation because they don’t know about the circumstances of the former Klaus.
The lot of the other villages, who have lived here since before, is apparently thinking 『What is he planning this time?』
However, given that he is releasing his monopoly on the tax collection task, they are getting taught by him obediently, at least on the surface.
Klaus obtained a monopoly on the tax collection task after he presented his daughter Leila as mistress to father.
At least that’s what those from the other villages are thinking.
Therefore I wanted everyone to have the impression that this favour will disappear once Klaus retires.
Klaus shared that opinion as well.
The reason is that “main village” has already become nothing more but a name.
By now there are 2 other villages, which were built by the residents who immigrated just recently. The village headmen over there are chosen by them.
After I became the feudal lord, the meeting, which was held to listen to the opinions of the fief’s population though it was previously limited to the main village, was attended by representative from all villages.
With the development being far from over, the number of villages will gradually increase and complete strangers will be chosen as village headmen by them.
Even at the current time the influence of the main village has decreased quite a bit.
Besides, in relation to the efficiency of ruling, if the development of the Savage Lands advances even more, we will be moving the location of the Baumeister household’s main residence.
Once that happens, the main village will likely be called capital village.
This was the flow of time. Klaus doesn’t seem to have any complaints either.
『I will grow old and die while watching the growth of the Baumeister territory as is.』 (Klaus)
Some time ago Klaus leaked in a whisper as if talking to himself.
However, a problem has occurred from another direction.
It was Klaus’ grandchildren, Walter and Karl, who have become half brothers to me.
『I want Karl to become the village headman of another village.』
Right when I became feudal lord, Walter and Karl came along and started with such petition.
Moreover, as it was an ill-natured affair, both of them were accompanied by Leila-san and I was asked by her as well.
『(Father, I curse you…)』 (Hermann)
Leila-san didn’t follow father at the time he moved to Paul’s territory after his retirement.
Even though Leila-san became father’s mistress, she didn’t live in the same house as him to begin with. Her responsibility was to give birth to children.
She hasn’t divorced him or anything, but she probably hated something like a secluded life and meeting my mother, the legal wife.
Therefore she remained with us, however by no means did I expect her to make a political petition at this point.
『Don’t ask unreasonable things.』 (Hermann)
It was impossible if you consider our relation with the two other villages, which were here since before.
Besides, they believe the current change to be desirable and are supporting me as new feudal lord.
If I pushed the younger brother from a different mother, Karl, onto them as village headman out of personal interest, there’s no doubt that they will oppose it strongly.
Given that they have no offences like falsifying the taxes or such either, there isn’t even any basis to dismiss the current village headmen.
『Although there aren’t kind of crimes, you are trying to take the village headmen’s places by dismissal.』
『There are the villages of the immigrants, right?』
Even so, that’s impossible.
The new immigrant group is deciding their new village headman by themselves.
It’s not like they are defying me, who is their feudal lord, either. It will likely become a problem, if I suddenly dismiss their village headman and send in Karl.
『There are plans to establish a new village again. I will entrust the position of village headman of that place to you. Wendelin has rushed it to some degree, but a few small finishing touches and I will have you lead those, who came immigrating. I will dispatch personnel and Norbert as help from my side as well.』 (Hermann)
Norbert was the husband of Agnes, who is my half-sister.
『Also, I will entrust the management of the shop, left behind by Wendelin, to Reiner.』 (Hermann)
Right after Wendelin became an Earl, he finished the short lifetime of that development special ward.
That mansion, which became the border to the Savage Lands, was relocated to the city, which carried the name Baulburg, and afterwards everything was assigned to me.
Among that is the shop, which is selling various items. I decided to leave the management of it to Rainer, the husband of Korona, who’s also a half-sister of mine.
『(It came after all…)』 (Hermann)
In fact their petition was something that father, Wendelin and me perfectly anticipated.
They are my half brothers and younger sisters and Wendelin’s half brothers and elder sisters.
Although all of the brothers from the legal wife have become nobles, the red-blooded them, whose mother is the mistress, haven’t received many benefits.
This is why it’s natural for dissatisfaction to appear.
『(However, Leila-san has appeared at this point, huh…?)』 (Hermann)
In my opinion she is also someone, who ended up having her life toyed with thanks to the power relationship within the territory.
Losing her fiancée in her youth, she became father’s mistress.
It’s likely not really funny for mother either. From the start she has been living in Klaus’ mansion together with the children, she bore, with the reason of her social standing being different.
So far she appeared in public rarely. Honestly, it’s at a level that it was surprising for her to come together with Walter and Karl for making a petition.
Her holding her own children very dear is probably also a reason why father ended up leaving the territory.
『(This woman is as beautiful as ever).』 (Hermann)
Although she’s already past 40 years old, she still doesn’t look as anything but around 30.
Father had likely made her his mistress for the sake of reinforcing his ruling system, but there should have been side benefits as well.
『Thank you very much.』 (Leila)
Leila-san bowed together with Walter and Karl and excused herself from my location.
The petition at this time and its contents are in range with my assumptions.
Even father has deemed it necessary to make him village headman or make an under-the-table pay-off to some extent.
Wendelin said 『Wouldn’t it be better to split off territory somewhere?』 though.
This was prevented by father and me as expected.
Wendelin isn’t dumb either, but he has some naive parts.
I believe it to be evil, but it will become a big problem, if we make our red-blooded half sisters and brothers into nobles.
The nobles of the central government will probably kick up a fuss. A large crowd of idiots, who want to become nobles, will come rushing saying “We are your father’s children, so acknowledge us.”
It will be fine, if I leave it to my children, who would be born by my wives, once the number of branch families increased in a foreseeable future.
“I did compromise adequately, didn’t I?” (Hermann)
Walter will become the village headman of this main village. Karl will become the village headman of a village in a newly developed area, too.
Naturally I will give him enough assistance. The husbands of my half sisters have been considered properly too.
And yet Walter and Karl still seem to be unhappy.
No, they ended up getting carried away, once they got this compromise under-the-table.
『Currently I don’t go beyond being a village headman, but in the future it’s very likely for me to be allocated a territory! I will become a noble!』
Rumours came flowing in that they have formed a ruling party by gathering the young people within the territory while saying that.
“Klaus, did you properly explain it to them?” (Hermann)
“That is, because Wendelin-sama became an Earl in one generation, they might have a misunderstanding…” (Klaus)
Wendelin was born with blue blood, but if he had no talent in magic, his children would have undoubtedly fallen to commoner status after his death.
Although he had such circumstances, he became an Earl at an age of 15 years.
Since Wendelin is seen as noble, who suddenly rose in society to a higher position, by Walter’s group, they seem to be thinking that it’s very likely for them to become nobles as they have half blue blood as well.
Given that all of his elder brothers from the same mother received peerage and territory, they believe that they can be promoted as his elder half brothers.
“Anyway, stop them! Do you want to get even your grandchildren killed?” (Hermann)
“Yes, I will definitely…” (Klaus)
Occasionally there are people, who become nobles by successfully developing uninhibited backward regions, among former merchants and commoners.
Since such people don’t have ancestral retainers, they have no choice but to form a retainer group from among their commoner friends and family.
Given that retainers are existences similar to half nobles, they believe they will be given territory as nobles as their are further up in rank.
“Do something about it right away! Don’t you understand that it’s pointless even if I stick up for them?” (Hermann)
“That is, of course…” (Klaus)
Since we have been entangled in the profits of the large-scale Savage Lands development, there is a possibility that imprudent speech and conduct will incur the anger of His Majesty and the big nobles.
Even Kurt, who was the original heir, ended up being a target for removal once he caught their attention.
They will dispose of someone like Walter’s group without any kind of hesitation.
“Walter’s group is half connected by blood with Wendelin. Therefore, they are too foolish!” (Hermann)
It’s not unlikely for a person similar to a second Baron Rückner to appear.
They will manipulate from behind the scenes by agitating Walter’s group.
You couldn’t say that there are no nobles scheming such plans.
“Among Wendelin’s new retainers there are many with strong pipes to the central government.” (Hermann)
There are third sons and below as well as many illegitimate children of cabinet ministers and big nobles.
Something like an existence, which sabotages a rising Earl household which accepted such people, will clearly be disposed as if swatting an annoying fly.
“By all means, I will restrain them.” (Klaus)
“Klaus, the way things are going, can’t you tell them father-like things?” (Hermann)
“It’s because they are my grandchildren. I’m troubled because it something else than with my children.” (Klaus)
He has surely pulled back one level in the parts requiring a stern education.
I remembered the saying 『A grandfather’s child is cheaper than 3 cent』, I saw in some book.
“At any rate, I leave it to you.” (Hermann)
One week after I gave a warning to Klaus, as expected, he moved actively. I didn’t hear any rumours about their moves.
Walter’s group seems to be silently preparing to immigrate to the next pioneered village and to work as next village headman.
“Good grief, for now I feel relieved.” (Hermann)
Recently the number of people, who visit the Baumeister territory, increased.
There weren’t many merchants, but instead the number of adventurers has grown.
They apparently came to investigate whether they can hunt the wyvrens and flying dragons living in the northern mountain range.
“It looks like they are considering the establishment of a adventurer’s guild branch. The raw materials of dragons are expensive after all.” (Hermann)
If it turns out well, we can hope for employment for the fief’s population in facilities for dismantling dragons and for taxes from the guild and the adventurers.
It might also be possible to invite workshops, which process raw materials, and such.
“I see, that’s a good story.”
Klaus, who brought along several of those adventurer representatives, and me talked about the bright future of this territory.
However, immediately after that I have been plunged into an abyss of despair.
Those adventurers suddenly thrust swords at me.
Next, sounds of arguing and voices of quarrelling between people from outside are audible.
“Oy, Klaus!” (Hermann)
“I wish for you to not resist too much. Severely injured people and accidental deaths will decrease the population of this territory.” (Klaus)
Klaus answered my question in his usual calm tone.
Furthermore, he hadn’t swords thrust at him by the adventurers.
“Klaus, you…” (Hermann)
“Hermann-sama, please stay obedient. This isn’t a rebellion. Thinking about the future of this Baumeister territory, we will do a direct petitioning with the long-standing sympathisers here.” (Klaus)
A short time later my wife, my two children, the servants, the subordinate warriors and my retainers are gathered in this room with swords thrust at them by Walter, Karl and the adventurers.
“Walter and Karl, too, eh? That’s no wonder though.” (Hermann)
In the first place, they are also the group, who made a fuss to be made into nobles.
The quietness in this place for around one week was because they prepared this rebellion.
“By no means did I expect you, Klaus, to take part in such conduct.” (Hermann)
Putting aside Walter and Karl, who were misguided in their education by Klaus, I never expected the person himself to join in on such foolish deed.
Having continued to employ Klaus, who wasn’t trusted much by father, conversely he did something unnecessary since I thought he wouldn’t do such stupid thing given how smart he is.
“Hermann-sama, do you believe that I do something like this without any chance for success?” (Klaus)
“Well, now. Can’t you please explain it in a way that a foolish feudal lord like me can understand it as well?” (Hermann)
“Please look outside the window.” (Klaus)
Doing as told by Klaus, I can see around ten-odd adventurers and young residents, who were likely approved by Walter and Karl, surrounding the mansion, installing a wooden wall or carrying in supplies like food and bows into the mansion.
“You strengthened your war potential by hiring adventurers as merchants?” (Hermann)
No, Klaus shouldn’t be convinced of his prospects of victory in this battle with having obtained at most ten-odd reinforcements.
Currently magic airships are periodically operating in the Savage Lands.
If they use those, Wendelin, Margrave Breithilde and even the troops from the royal capital could be deployed right away, if it’s a military force of around several hundreds.
Even if they installed walls around this mansion, to a degree like hair grows in a family of wealthy farmers, it will likely be impossible to defend this place in the first place,
“Did you take us hostage as safety precaution?” (Hermann)
No, that’s not it either.
For better or worse, I’m unimportant as noble as well.
Just because I was taken hostage, it’s unlikely for them being able to declare that they want Wendelin to accept their demands.
Although I want him to save my wife and children if possible, there are several relatives, who can become the new feudal lord even if my family gets annihilated here.
It will be fine if we are burned to death all together for the sake of severing future anxieties.
“(The reason why Klaus moved is…)” (Hermann)
Once I begin to probe the situation in the surroundings in order to pursue the truth, even if it’s only for a bit, I felt a sense of discomfort from the reinforcing adventurers.
“(They are commanding too much…)” (Hermann)
Adventurer is an occupation renown for its wide range, from best to worse, regarding human nature.
If you say that there is a group among them, who earns even more than nobles and who has character to the degree of using that money for charity, there will also be many folks, who are bandits or beggars.
Once I wondered whether they would rummage through this mansion for booty after having occupied it, the several representatives, who were brought along by Klaus, are briskly preparing for a defensive battle using even Walter’s and Karl’s group.
Their movements were completely like soldiers.
“(Are they some noble’s retainers?)” (Hermann)
For an instant I remember the younger brother of Finance Minister Rückner, who provided the magic tool to Kurt, but they shouldn’t be that man’s retainers.
For the sake of getting rid of the adventurer, who gave the magic tool to Kurt, in the northern mountain range, around four of that man’s retainers entered the mountain range from the side of Magraviate Breithilde, however two of them died in the process of attacking that adventurer.
One heavily wounded died on his descent. The remaining one was captured by the subordinates of Margrave Breithilde in a totally exhausted state.
There shouldn’t be any other guys besides them.
“(If that’s the case, from which household are they?)” (Hermann)
The more I think about it, the less I know the answer to it.
“(Since it has already turned out like this, there is no other choice but having Wendelin do something about it, huh…?) Oy, would you at least let me go to the toilet for a piss?” (Hermann)
“That of course. We will also be troubled, if you leak here.” (Klaus)
I became defiant and chose to be obediently confined here together with my family and retainers.