“Good grief, that household…” (Breithilde)
The next day I reported the result of yesterday’s marriage interview to Margrave Breithilde.
Even though I say that, it’s impossible to do such a thing as breaking it off anyway.
The only things we talked about are where and when the ceremony will be held.
As the details of the negotiations were decided by Friede-san, it became the main part of the matter I reported to him.
And naturally that has come out as well.
The case of the Baumeister main family not sending any messages about the possibility to become self-reliant and only withdrawing after having received support from the capital’s Baumeister household.
Regarding the support part, there is also the case of not returning even a single copper back to them.
“This will kept unmentioned?” (Wendelin)
“It’s the same as with Erich-san’s congratulatory gifts. Both facts won’t be officially announced.” (Breithilde)
As for the capital’s Baumeister household, they didn’t give a damn about the reimbursement since obtained an occupation which had the possibility of being inherited by the next generation.
Also, rather than the reimbursement, they thought it disagreeable to once again be sponged off because of contacting them.
“Since the support was only in name, there isn’t any debt, strictly speaking, right?” (Wendelin)
Even so, it is a matter of logic to returning the money especially as it has no interest, if they have a surplus due to advancing the development of the territory.
It is no exaggeration that this is only natural for a noble.
No, you could even say it is natural for a person.
“Because they obtained a valuable managerial position, they deserve better than having a helper go there to demand the reimbursement from that household, I am certain.” (Breithilde)
It is also troublesome to have someone go there to pass them a letter.
It is certain true that our home would say 『You can’t return something you don’t have』.
If they had such spare hands, even I would use them for the forest protection.
As it is a stable professional job, it brought them a stable livelihood for the next generation and the ones after.
“I am sure they haven’t returned the money anticipating this.” (Breithilde)
Only a small circle of fellow relatives knows about the money lending act. It will be like a crime of conscience if it isn’t returned.
They (Baumeister main house) didn’t realize that this might be called a kind of petty swindling.
The amount of money isn’t a small loan at all either.
“Also, they might have been called stingy after having obtained a valuable managerial position, right?” (Wendelin)
“Yes. Making an exaggerated fuss will invite guys, who try to make it a scandal.” (Breithilde)
With people talking about them being stingy towards their family, calls for dismissing them from their work might occur as they might sabotage the work of others.
How about the person succeeding their family?
As a result of not being worthy of obtaining a managerial position, I hear that there are many nobles turning into neets without batting an eyelid.
“Also, taking this into account, they haven’t said anything… ?” (Wendelin)
“It seemed to be agreeable in regards to the result.” (Breithilde)
The capital’s Baumeister household, not doing such a thing, works vigorously at their task of guarding the forests. As result they have become a prospering household as Knight family.
I end up thinking that it is fine if I follow the example of our home a bit.
“As for the ceremony, I will also attend it. Also…” (Breithilde)
To the last this will remain an absolute secret behind the scenes, but it appears to be no good to not reimburse the capital’s Baumeister household including consolation money for our home that hasn’t returned the support money.
“Although it is a secret, this affair is the reason for both families to sever connections with each other. Also, once again I have to prepare congratulatory gifts, huh… ?” (Breithilde)
At the time of Erich-nii-san’s marriage we have encountered the same problem.
If it’s Paul-nii-san, it has been arranged that Minister Edgar would act as his backer in founding an independent Knight household.
Of course it was necessary to present congratulatory gifts at the ceremony.
“All of it, I will…” (Wendelin)
“No, I will give them. However, I will pretend that it had been provided by Baron Baumeister.” (Breithilde)
I guess even Margrave Breithilde, as the most influential person in the south and as patron, has his pride.
He declared that he will pay for everything by himself.
“The entire costs will be entered in our account books as debt of the Baumeister head house.” (Breithilde)
Although it is uncertain what kind of sum it will become, I have no doubt that they will be confronted with reality. It should become a sum that will drive the Baumeister household into a predicament.
“Won’t you demand reimbursement?” (Wendelin)
“There is no other way but to stay silent considering our predecessor’s crimes, right?” (Breithilde)
Either way, it was a problem of causing dust to whirl up, if you strike it. (T/N: Proverb meaning that if he demanded the money of the Knight Baumeister family, they would once again blame him and his family for the failed expedition to the Demon Forest)
Even so, it is nothing more than recording it in the account books since the instruction given by Margrave Breithilde is to not claim this reimbursement.
It had the potential to become a big bomb in the future.
“I believe this extent is good. By the way, will you enter the Martial Arts Tournament?” (Breithilde)
“It somehow seems to be compulsory for me…” (Wendelin)
If one is a noble, it apparently is common sense to at least once appear at the Martial Arts Tournament sponsored by the kingdom.
But as usual, our home is an exception.
“Has this been declared at the time I was appointed as noble of this country?” (Wendelin)
“It was the 『I shall wield My sword~』 part.” (Breithilde)
That is a metaphor, even if the main weapon on the battlefield is a bow or a spear. As for secret weapons of tactical and/or strategical magic class, a secret gentlemen’s agreement between both countries has been tied disallowing them to make those.
Nobles, who wield their sword magnificently, are revered.
Amongst all the current nobles, including me, it is a delicate matter how many of them can handle the sword properly.
“I also entered in my youth.” (Breithilde)
It was still before he inherited the peerage. It seems that he participated only once after all.
“How did it go?” (Wendelin)
“I lost utterly in the first round of the qualifiers. I am a man with minus ability in swordmanship.” (Breithilde)
Apparently he was a pupil that had only been told 『Please only make sure to not get injured during practice.』 by his sword teacher in his childhood.
Even I shouldn’t be that bad.
“Even though I lost in the first round of the qualifiers, it wasn’t a particular problem.” (Breithilde)
“Really? Isn’t Margrave Breithilde-sama a soldier?” (Wendelin)
“It isn’t like it is a problem even for a distinctive soldier.” (Breithilde)
As it is more or less a custom, you are only told to participate at least once.
And the results had no consequences for your career as soldier, but if your results were good, you would have an advantage at the assessment. It seems to open the way up until intermediate commander.
“If you want to rise to senior commander, there are various abilities necessary such as commanding and rear support.” (Breithilde)
A supreme commander cuts down his enemies with his superior sword technique.
Because it will be a loss if the battle progress reaches that point, the sword skill isn’t very important, it seems.
Rather, it is someone who gives precise commands, puts a large army in order and establishes the system of logistical support including supplies.
I am told that I won’t have a successful career, if I don’t pass the evaluation here in order to receive an assessment during the time of maneuvers.
“Is it fine to finish it before it starts even if I only have physical strength?” (Wendelin)
“Maa, that’s how it is.” (Breithilde)
Because, for a soldier, it is necessary to be skilled in leading military forces if they want to become remarkable.
Someone who is just a swordmanship master will at least end up as skilled platoon leader at the front, swordmanship instructor or a famous adventurer.
“Besides, won’t Baron Baumeister become a soldier?” (Breithilde)
“Well, then there won’t be any problem. Isn’t it fine to aim for breaking through the first round of the qualifiers then?” (Breithilde)
Although the motivation is slightly pathetic, it isn’t like I will become skilled in swordmanship by putting in effort from now on.
The thing Margrave Breithilde said was correct.
“As for Baron Baumeister, isn’t it alright since you have the magic that killed a dragon? I don’t even have that.” (Breithilde)
Moreover, the nobles of Baron rank and upwards don’t need to be masters at martial arts such as eccentric swordmanships.
Rather, that is undesirable as such people won’t be able to find employment in such situation for sure.
“If you are able to do anything, it is considered to be unpleasant. Also, it is a Martial Arts Tournament.” (Breithilde)
It is divided into divisions for swordmanship, spearmanship, archery and hand-to-hand combat techniques resembling unarmed fighting with a covering for the back of the hand and wrist, I got as explanation from Margrave Breithilde.
“Personally I belong into the bow category…” (Wendelin)
The distinguished masters of the kingdom and their likes weren’t conceited, but I felt like leaving behind the least objectionable results.
“How regrettable. It is indispensable for the heir and head of a noble household to participate in the swordmanship division without exceptions.” (Breithilde)
It seems to always be the swordmanship division since nobles are 『I shall wield My sword~』.
“It can’t be helped. I will give it a try since I have nothing to lose anyway… (Wait. If I can strengthen myself with various spells…)” (Wendelin)
“Ah, I should tell you. The usage of mana or magic is prohibited for all divisions. To the last it is tournament for the sake of watching genuine techniques.” (Breithilde)
My last hope made a sound of crumbling due to Margrave Breithilde’s words.
“The Martial Arts Tournament, huh? I entered it once in the old days.” (Armstrong)
After excusing myself at Margrave Breithilde’s location, I have returned to the mansion in the capital by teleportation magic. Armstrong-doushi was gracefully drinking maté tea there while stuffing his cheeks with cookies.
In reality, this person is often eating them since he is fond of sweets despite it being contrary to his appearance.
And, with him on that seat, the topic of the Martial Arts Tournament appears.
“The magic ban means that it will be difficult for me.” (Wendelin)
“The majority of people can’t use magic.” (Armstrong)
Given that it is a tournament to watch the true ability and experience, it seems that magic and mana aren’t brought in there.
If doushi makes a serious effort, any swordsmanship master will end up being crushed with a snap as well.
“But, there are also vague parts within the rules.” (Armstrong)
There are many whose mana quantity is ordinary or nothing more than a little bit. But there are also people existing who use that mana to skillfully add power to their physical abilities and such.
Even so, given that such ability is partially instinctive, it will be complicated to suddenly tell them that they can’t use it.
Since even the spent mana amount is low, such people are tolerated.
“The judges will measure the mana capacity and if they confirm the usage of mana capacity exceeding the amount of an average ordinary person, they will be disqualified.” (Armstrong)
“What a troublesome matter.” (Wendelin)
We will end up being disqualified if we only use just a little bit mana.
“Only pure swordsmanship, huh? I will lose in the first round of the qualifiers.” (Wendelin)
If they luckily pair me up with a similar noble, who participates for the memory, I might win.
But, as for the other professional soldiers participating regularly, the knights attached to knight orders including the Royal Knight Order and young people spending all their time tempering themselves strictly every day as apprentices…
Besides, there will also a great number of those wanting to gain fame, retired adventurers and ronins appear.
Only 128 will be able to pass the qualifiers.
It was a harsh tournament where you won’t break through the qualifiers if you don’t win against at least seven opponents.
“Adventurers and ronins will enter it with a lot of fighting spirit.” (Armstrong)
If you achieve high results, it will be easier to be noticed by scouts from the nobles.
They will work as guards and battle-ready forces for a few feudal lord troops.
In this war-less period, it might also be the only chance to serve a noble household as stranger.
“By the way, how did it go for doushi?” (Wendelin)
“Umu. I also got stuck with appearing as swordsman following my father’s words…” (Armstrong)
It seems doushi is weak at swordsmanship as well. But since he has power, he lasted until the fourth round of the qualifiers.
“That’s amazing. Fourth round of the qualifiers…” (Wendelin)
“Certainly, the fourth round was terrible.” (Armstrong)
Furthermore, right then, Erich-nii-san’s group, who was preparing our mansion for the wedding, make their appearance too.
Paul-nii-san and Helmut-nii-san currently spent every day busily with the goal of being adopted and the marriage ceremony.
“Isn’t even fourth round great?”
“Wend, I was defeated at the second round of the qualifiers.” (Erich)
At the time he had just become a junior governmental official. Rüdiger-san, who was at that time just his superior, told him to participate with the words 『Because it’s obligatory』.
“The opponent in the first round was an heir of a certain Earl household. That part saved me as well.” (Erich)
It seems he won because the noble bonbon was horribly weak. (T/N: Bonbon is a pampered, clueless young man from a rich family)
Certainly, I didn’t know if Erich-nii-san’s skill in swordsmanship might be worse than even my own.
“By the way, what about Paul-nii-san?” (Wendelin)
“I lasted up to the third round.” (Paul)
“For me it was tournament luck as well. That was…” (Paul)
It appears his opponents were apprentice guard members, just like him, and a noble’s heir.
“There is a mountain next to the tournament. Unexpectedly a number of participants were seeded. Amongst them was the successor of a Baron household.” (Paul)
Even so it doesn’t change the fact of him breaking through the second round.
Me, Erich-nii-san and Helmut-nii-san gazed at Paul-nii-san with a look of respect.
“As expected of our Baumeister household, the level is frightfully low…” (Erich)
In addition, our parents haven’t trained us zealously as it is done in great military families and such. Apparently that’s the reason.
“I will mention it as reference, but I was defeated at the second round as well. My opponent in the first round was a guard like me who was far weaker than I.” (Helmut)
And it looks like Helmut-nii-san passed the first round.
I felt a little bit of pressure.
“What should I say. It’s a story that doesn’t make your heart-throb at all. I want to pass the first round…” (Wendelin)
“If I had moved up to the third round like Paul-nii-san, it would have been a big deal. But in reality I was at that level.” (Helmut)
Reaching this easily the main round and attaining the championship in the final round, that’s like a hero from some saga.
Such thing isn’t that easy.
For me such scenario is impossible to begin with.
“I have understood it at the time of seeing such people like veteran adventurers. Even those guys lost quickly in a flash. In the first place, appearing in the main round is a miracle.” (Paul)
Moreover, even such master becomes powerless against the violence of numbers.
It was also the biggest reason why such talented people only hope to not be placed at the front of the army.
“Even if you consider us brothers to be at such level, haven’t Erwin, Ina-jou and Luise-jou taken lessons?” (Helmut)
“If it’s Erwin, I think he will be able to advance up to the fifth round of the qualifiers. But it also depends on his tournament luck.” (Erich)
It looks like it is necessary to pass the fourth round of the qualifiers to catch the noble’s attention.
Saying it on the contrary, it might become hopeless if you don’t pass that threshold, Paul-nii-san says.
“I wonder whether it won’t be a good merit for the Wend’s rising Baron household? If the junior commander, Erwin, leaves disappointing results behind, the application rush might intensify again.” (Erich)
I should be able to use a long-standing junior retainer of such degree.
Rather than obtaining results, there is the possibility of some among the employment seeking lot to push for it.
“But aren’t they only strong at swordsmanship then?” (Wendelin)
“Ah, it is dangerous to only place such people close to oneself.” (Erich)
I also couldn’t imagine something like a future where I would be stabbed to death with a sword just after having them employed due hostile nobles instigating those rounins, excelling at swordsmanship, to become assassins.
“Anyway, it will be unacceptable if Erw doesn’t work hard.” (Erich)
And then we talked for a while afterwards.
I went outside, after my three elder brothers decided to go home, seeing them off and saw Erw eagerly practicing his swordmanship in the garden.
“It’s because the tournament is close. The goal is to break through the fifth round of the qualifiers, around that? Will you pass the first round, Wend?” (Erwin)
“Yes, at least one victory.” (Wendelin)
While watching Erw’s practise, I am telling him about Erich-nii-san’s words and Erw suddenly raises his voice.
“I am aiming to pass the qualifiers!” (Erwin)
Judging from the point of Erw receiving lessons from Warren-san belonging to the Royal Knight Order, it seems essential for him to achieve good results in this tournament.
“What a lofty goal…” (Wendelin)
“Even Ina is practicing earnestly. Luise does so as well.” (Erwin)
With the nature of fighting only using techniques without being strengthened by magic, the tournament has become a tall hurdle for Ina and Luise too.
In those two’s case I also have a feeling that they don’t particularly need to go to far in order to obtain good results.
“I have to win.” (Erwin)
“Is that so… ?” (Wendelin)
We will send encouragements to Erw, who is frantically swinging his word, in our mind.
“However, the wall of the first round…” (Wendelin)
“It will be fine if Wend has tournament luck.” (Erich)
“Right, that’s the only way.” (Wendelin)
Although Erich-nii-san’s statement could also be interpreted as quite the impoliteness towards me, I didn’t mind it at all since it was the truth.
And then the opening day of the Martial Arts Tournament has arrived.