“After a long time I can finally return to my life as adventurer and noble.” (Wendelin)
“Wend, you should change that to a life as noble and adventurer.”
Two weeks after both countries signed the peace treaty.
After officially receiving our reward from Peter, giving a final report to His Majesty and finishing the victory party while being surrounded by many nobles, we finally returned to the Baumeister Earldom.
“But, why did the royal army hold a victory party? I mean, the royal army…” (Erwin)
“Erw, stop there.” (Wendelin)
The fact that the advance unit of the royal army unsightly lost to Duke Nürnberg mustn’t be spoken of any longer.
That’s because it’s a matter of honor for the nation.
You can’t say that it’s in exchange, but the Kingdom’s and the royal army’s dignity was preserved by us playing a very active part in the civil war, and Christophe and Philip also putting in great efforts after joining up with us later on.
That fact is important.
“Everyone has been awaiting us.”
Once we arrived in front of the mansion, we were greeted by Roderich and many of the retainers below him. It’s been decided that I will carry out just a little work as noble, such as public works within the territory and investigations of the 『Demon Forest』 after today.
However, in this one year and a bit the Baumeister Earldom has greatly grown as well.
Baulburg has expanded, too. Several guild branches and cities, where adventurers gather, have been built within the vicinity of the Demon Forest. With those as bases, many adventurers gather and collect plenty of materials through hunting and harvesting.
And, selling those to the outside benefits the Baumeister Earldom.
The profit is invested into the development again.
The development of large-scaled farmland, farm villages for the farmers, and the roads also proceeded at a quick pace.
All of these events are completely managed by Roderich, the household manager of the Earl Baumeister family.
Erich-nii-san helped out in protecting the fief against the strange nobles, but even Roderich by himself should have been able to somehow work around it.
In other words…
“I suddenly came up with it, but it doesn’t really matter even if Roderich acts as the feudal lord, does it?” (Wendelin)
“Wend…you have no right to say that…” (Erwin)
I certainly didn’t expect to be chided by Erw.
“…Wend, that won’t work.” (Erich)
I tried to bring up the previous topic with Erich-nii-san, but his answer was “no” as well.
Even Roderich, who’s standing next to him, nods.
“Why, Erich-nii-san?” (Wendelin)
“The development of the Baumeister Earldom is quick, but that’s owed to the foundation works you did in advance, Wend.” (Erich)
After those finished, Roderich was able to develop the territory with good efficiency.
That means the construction works in Baulburg advanced as planned, even while I was away from home.
“It’s just as Erich-sama says. Once it comes to starting on new reclamation, we will have to rely on you, Milord, as public works adventurer once again. Besides, to the bitter end the current me is only trusted as household manager who was entrusted full authority by you, Milord. Even if I were to declare 『Do as you’re told since I’m your new feudal lord!』, I would probably be ignored by everyone.” (Roderich)
“I see.” (Wendelin)
I guess that means I have to once again begin with construction work to create temporary protections against wild animals, to build roads, to set up flood-control-works and to level wasteland.
“Please accept it obediently, in contrast to before.” (Roderich)
“It’s because I was really worked to the bone during the civil war. Or rather, I never refused your requests, Roderich.” (Wendelin)
Although I might have openly shown my displeasure when he requested my help.
If it’s just helping in the construction of an encampment or the development of a city for the sake of pacifying it, I have already gotten used to it.
“I see. Milord, you are excellent even as combat engineer.” (Roderich)
“He might simply be scared of making enemies.” (Erich)
Erich-nii-san, I’m not a human that likes to increase his enemies, but…
“Besides, the accomplishments of your group have already spread widely, Wend. You are probably the most dignified, or rather the most feared noble in the Kingdom at the moment.” (Erich)
Although it had been a civil war in a neighboring country, we played a very active part by participating in a real war, different from the disputes over here, where deaths are normally avoided as much as possible.
That fact has become the biggest reason for me being regarded with respect by the Kingdom’s nobles.
“It’s because nobles fear and honor those who win in war.”
“On the other hand you will run into various hardships if you lose though.”
I guess the one whose reputation hit rock bottom after losing is the former Margrave Breithilde who caused his feudal army to be annihilated in the Demon Forest.
However, the present family head regained that reputation with the large-scaled dispute against the Margrave Browig household.
“It seems possible that the Marquis Läger household, which got crushingly defeated in such unsightly manner, will lose its hereditary government position.”
After stubbornly advocating a troop dispatch, the royal army has suffered heavy losses.
In the end it looks like the whole household is a culmination of chaos due to the family head having died in action. At this rate it seems also possible that they will lose their turn at holding the post of Minister of Military and Naval Affairs.
“Conversely, the Browig brothers, who unified the remnants of the defeated army and played a big role in the civil war, have a good reputation in the royal palace.”
Not only did they skillfully compensate for the disgrace caused by Marquis Läger, but they were also highly estimated as great commanders by the upper echelon of the imperial army.
It seems almost set in stone that they will be given hereditary positions and a rise in peerage, albeit limited to appointed nobility.
I thought that he was awfully well-informed about the happenings in the royal palace, but now that I think of it, Erich-nii-san belongs to the faction of Finance Minister Rückner.
It’s probably information he has obtained from there.
“So the reputation fluctuates extremely depending on the outcome of a single battle…?”
“That’s owed to the nobles’ way of thinking that it’s significant to be strong in battle. For that reason there are no nobles who openly meddle with the Baumeister Earldom. That also made it very easy for me.” (Erich)
“Erich-sama, let me express my deepest gratitude for you helping out in various ways.” (Roderich)
“Roderich, you are truly an excellent household, you know? Even my house would gladly welcome you, but with the scale of my household, there’s not as much work.” (Erich)
Given that Erich-nii-san is an appointed noble, there’s less work to do in his household than in that of landed nobility.
Or rather, the professional duties are mostly carried out by the nobles themselves. Since the retainers distribute the roles as assistants, there’s little work to entrust to a household manager.
“I think I will return to the capital in a bit. But you were burdened with several troublesome matters, weren’t you?” (Erich)
“I really can’t hide anything from you, Erich-nii-san…” (Wendelin)
The things I was burdened with in this civil war. First off, I guess it’s taking care of Therese.
However, I think that Peter and others are relieved that I’m going to look after her. The Kingdom hasn’t said anything either.
As she has only brought along a single maid and since she’s not in contact with the Duke Philip household either, it looks like they regard her as 『Person who’s already finished』.
In addition, the fact of her being a woman plays yet another big role in this.
The royal palace seems to harbor the idea, 『She’s a clever person, who displayed her abilities as prince elector, but after all’s said and done, she’s a woman』. It appears as if they regard her as spoils of war that I have received.
It’s an opinion that would trigger a feminist to go on the barricades.
However, there are basically no such people in this world.
“I guess she was a remarkable character as Duchess. I can certainly sense such an aura from her. She’s quite the beauty.” (Erich)
Since Erich-nii-san’s judgment of women is rather strict, even if he looks like this, I believe there’s no mistake in Therese being a beauty.
It looks like my assessment of her isn’t wrong.
“A mansion close to Milord’s residence has been bought. She will live there in peace. For caution’s sake we will attach personnel to guard and monitor her, but mostly it will be for guarding.” (Roderich)
Since it will be the responsibility of the Earl Baumeister household if something happens to her, Roderich apparently moved smartly in advance. After all there’s also no guarantee that there won’t be any nobles that attack her in order to harass me.
With his splendid foresight, I believe that it’s great for me to have him made my household manager.
“Therese-sama isn’t that much of a burden. On the other hand, Philine-sama sure is.” (Roderich)
Currently she lives in the mansion, too.
That’s because it’s impossible to allow her to immediately meet with her father, Margrave Breithilde.
It often happens that illegitimate children of high-ranking nobles cause a big uproar. There’s also a lot of swindling going on.
First our retainer will explain the situation to the Margrave Breithilde household while at the same time showing the evidence. Even if the other side acknowledged that, it’s not like a reunion will be that easy to accomplish.
Since the other party is a high-ranking noble, it’s a must to decide the place and time, as well as to add a program to the meeting.
Philine has to prepare, too.
Since Philine was brought up as the daughter of a commoner, it’s necessary for her to learn manners and the appropriate preparation of attires as noble lady.
The main parts will be taken care of by the Margrave Breithilde household, but to avoid her acting unsightly during the reunion, Elise and the others educated her in the basics.
“Milord, what about Philine-sama’s manners as noble?” (Roderich)
“I entrusted that part to Elise, so I think it will be alright.” (Wendelin)
Since Elise is a real noble lady, her manners are perfect. It should be fine to leave this matter to her.
“I guess there’s no need for worry if she’s being educated by Elise-sama.” (Roderich)
“Rather, Wend’s side might be more questionable.” (Erwin)
“Do you really have the leeway to talk about others, Erw?” (Wendelin)
Alongside being the unwanted child of a Knight household, his home is an insignificant household in the countryside. Something like education in manners was virtually nonexistent.
“It’s just as Erwin says. Milord, I expect that you will become an increasingly important person for the Kingdom from now on. Since the opportunities for you to make a public appearance will probably increase as well, you have to receive a genuine education in manners. I shall arrange a teacher at once.” (Roderich)
Roderic decided that on his own accord, but come to think of it, I’m an Earl. I guess I cannot afford to not know formal manners.
That Erw, to spout unnecessary stuff…
“What a disaster. Wend, do your best.” (Erwin)
Thinking that it’s somebody else’s problem, aren’t you encouraging me here quite casually?
“I also live in the capital while being an insignificant, appointed noble. I was taught manners with my father-in-law as intermediary. Wend, you will be fine once you get used to it.” (Erich)
“Right, right, it will be all fine as long as you get accustomed to it.” (Erwin)
“Erwin-kun, do your best as well.” (Erich)
“Eh? Me?” (Erwin)
Being suddenly told 『You do your best as well』 by Erich-nii-san, Erw looked dumbfounded.
“That’s only natural. Since you are Wend’s guard, there will be many occasions where you will encounter people in high positions, Erwin-kun. The frequency of you attending official ceremonies will grow, too. After all you’re the chief retainer of a high-ranking noble.” (Erich)
Erw couldn’t retort with anything against Erich-nii-san’s sound arguments.
“Isn’t that great, Erw? After all it will be fine once you get used to it.” (Wendelin)
“You, it’s quite obvious that you’re happy for me having been dragged into it as well, you know…?” (Erwin)
“What are you saying, Erw!? I’m not such an intolerant man. Let’s learn the appropriate manners for our social positions together?” (Wendelin)
If I can’t get out of it, I won’t hesitate to drag others down with me.
“Weren’t we talking about Philine’s manners…?”
Erw felt depressed, probably wondering 『Why me too?』
“Milord, Erwin, I will prepare the best lecturer for you.” (Roderich)
“Hahaha…how delightful…” (Wendelin)
For a while after that, manner education was added to mine and Erw’s schedule, but as it unfortunately was different from magic and swordsmanship, it turned into quite a chore as it was fairly difficult to remember.
“The reunion ceremony was tomorrow, wasn’t it?”
“Ceremony, you say…?”
“After all high-ranking nobles exaggerate everything. Even calling it a ceremony might be permissible.”
I think it was a way of speaking befitting Erich-nii-san, who always watches Finance Minister Rückner.
Treating the deeply emotional reunion with his daughter as a ceremony; I thought life was hard for a high-ranking noble.
“The preparatory meetings with the Margrave Breithilde household about the matter of Philine-sama were laborious, but it has taken less time and effort compared to the personage we have to take care of from now on.” (Roderich)
As for the personage, who’s more troublesome than Philine, it’s about a certain demon.
“This me is currently busy with sorting my data.” (Arnest)
Since he can’t appear publicly, Arnest had become an inhabitant of the deepest room in the mansion.
As Roderich prepared the room, it’s probably no issue since it’s furnished as high-class guest room appropriate for entertaining a guest of honor. The meals are satisfactorily dishes according to the policy of the Earl Baumeister household. He has also been told to speak up if there’s anything he requires.
He’s unable to go outside as he’s under surveillance, but the person himself doesn’t seem all that disturbed about it while being surrounded by huge amounts of books and documents inside his room.
“What a typical scholar. You often run into such people at the academy.”
Erich-nii-san categorized Arnest as the same kind of person as the scholars hanging out at the academy.
“We can’t be careless, it’s not like he’s going to escape all of a sudden, is he?”
“Mmh? Are you an acquaintance of Earl Baumeister?”
Noticing our presence, Arnest addressed Erich-nii-san whom he’s meeting for the first time.
“The elder brother who’s said to capitalize on the fame of his younger brother, that’s who I am.” (Erich)
“You…it looks like you could come far if you become a scholar.” (Arnest)
“If I had been born into a rich family, I might have become one.” (Erich)
“Certainly, humans and demons need money for studying.” (Arnest)
Arnest seems to like Erich-nii-san. Sure, if it’s Erich-nii-san, he would be capable of becoming a scholar.
“Earl Baumeister, do you have some business with me? This me is busy with drawing up a report about the underground ruins located in the Nürnberg Dukedom. Because I put priority on the tasks requested by Duke Nürnberg before coming here, I had little time to spend on the report.” (Arnest)
Roderich became speechless due to to Arnest’s overbearing way of speaking. After all he talks as if he feels no guilt, which is unbelievable for a person who contributed to the Empire’s civil war by providing Duke Nürnberg with magic tools.
“If you worry about me escaping, you do not have to. There is a group of almost untouched historic ruins in the Baumeister Earldom. I wonder how much time it will take to investigate all of them. This me will never leave until that is finished.” (Arnest)
“Just make sure to stay obedient for a while.” (Wendelin)
“Drawing up the report will take time, so I have absolutely no problem with that.” (Arnest)
Since he stopped responding to our questions beyond this as he immersed himself in his work, we left the room.
“That’s how it is.”
“I see. I guess that’s the reason why he isn’t affiliated with any nation…?”
Roderich grasped the character of the person called Arnest. The only thing that drives him on is his thirst for knowledge. If it’s for that goal, there’s a danger that he will ignore any common sense and morals.
However, it also means that he’s a useful man, as long as you keep the reins tight on him, since he’s capable.
“The ruins in the Baumeister Earldom, huh? Most of them are really untouched.”
We had to do our very best to develop it up to this point from its original state of being an uninhabited land. Meaning, there was no time to do something like a scientific investigation.
One of the few exceptions is probably the underground ruin in the Demon Forest.
“So, is the probability for him to escape from here really low as long as we give him candy?” (Roderich)
“I believe there’s no risk of him escaping.” (Erich)
Erich-nii-san denied Roderich’s suspicions.
“That’s because he’s very smart. Certainly, as demon he has an amount of mana that surpasses that of Wend. But different from before, when he cooperated with Duke Nürnberg, there’s now no one who would shield him.” (Erich)
“The Empire has become his enemy, hasn’t it?”
I brought him along in secret, but there’s no way that Peter hasn’t noticed that.
Even the Kingdom can’t leave him alone as he’s a dangerous element.
No matter how powerful the magic he’s capable of might be, only death awaits him if he’s hunted by several high-ranking magicians.
“He has said that he will stay low, so I think that it should be fine for now.”
As he will be granted permission to excavate underground ruins, if he waits for a while, he should become a lot more obedient.
“Good that the Empire hasn’t said anything.”
“He’s my reward after all.” (Wendelin)
Even if the Empire guaranteed Arnest’s safety, they would have no other choice than executing him since he’s a major war criminal.
There would be many people who would feel gratified over his death, but it’s not like it would turn into some kind of benefit for the Empire.
They considered it to be more profitable to hand over Arnest to me as reward.
If Arnest discovers something in the Baumeister Earldom, that alone will already be a profit for us.
“So the rewards were a bit lacking…? The Empire’s emperor is a stubborn man.”
It’s just as Roderich says. I can’t believe that he’s in the same generation as I am.
“There’s a great number of unexplored underground ruins in the Baumeister Earldom. Those will allow us to easily recover a little decrease in rewards.”
“I grasped the situation. I think it’s fine to let the matter with the demon rest for now. Rather than that, we have to take care of the matter with Philine-sama.” (Roderich)
That makes sense.
Philine hasn’t committed any crimes, but only the reunion with her father is already causing this many problems.
Preparatory meetings for details such as when they are going to meet are necessary. This is owed to the circumstances in the Margrave Breithilde household.
Because an illegitimate child has suddenly appeared, they have to ask the wives of Margrave Breithilde about their opinion. Since there’s the concern that it might affect the children’s ranking order, it has become necessary to carefully negotiate behind closed doors with influential vassals and distant relatives of the wives and children.
“That’s not our job, but we were told by the other side, 『Please wait a bit longer』,” Roderich explained the current state of affairs.
“It can’t be helped. In any case, it will be hopeless, if we don’t teach basic manners to Philine.” (Wendelin)
At the moment Elise is in charge of that part. I guess it’s no problem even if we are kept waiting for a little while.
“It’s quite a bind, isn’t it?” (Erich)
“Erich-nii-san, you are going to help…aren’t you…?” (Wendelin)
Different from the case with the territorial development, it’s actually helping to reunite Margrave Breithilde with his illegitimate child, so…
There’s no basis for getting him to help out. I guess it would be wrong to get him involved in this.
“I will simply stick to the stance that I don’t know anything about this matter. After all it will become a hassle if it seems as if I know about the circumstances.” (Erich)
It looks like it would become troublesome because pointless approaches by nobles, who are on bad terms with Margrave Breithilde, would only increase once Erich-nii-san returned to the capital.
“Hence, you will only hear from me to do your best…” (Erich)
“Makes sense…” (Wendelin)
“Milord, I’m in charge of the negotiations, but…”
Anyway, for now I have to allow Philine to meet with Margrave Breithilde.
For that reason, I…no, Roderich will continue negotiating with the Margrave Breithilde household while suffering.
“Umm, he’s a liberal arts person, I think?” (Wendelin)
“Dear, if you put it like that, it will be difficult for Philine-san to understand. It means that he’s a gentle person.” (Elise)
“(Would a gentle person neglect his own daughter in such a way?)” (Erwin)
“(Those are exactly my thoughts, but you mustn’t say that loudly.)” (Wendelin)
With the end of the troublesome negotiations, it has finally reached the stage where Philine and Margrave Breithilde are going to meet today.
I feel like it would have been fine if they had met normally, but just because he’s called a high-ranking noble, it has triggered various issues.
Since Philine’s side needed preparation too, we are the same in that aspect, but nobles are truly annoying.
I have to be careful as well.
Elise and the others are dressing up Philine while chatting noisily in front of me, who’s harboring such thoughts.
——————— End of Part 1 ———————–