“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.
“In order to give your father a good impression, it’s wrong for the dress’ color to be too flashy. Having said that, a dark color is no good either. How about light blue?” (Elise)
“Elise, what about the accessories?” (Ina)
Ina asked Elise which accessories she should pick from among the many choices.
Following the common sense of nobility, and yet coordinating her appearance in a way that she gives a good impression to the other party.
The one on whom you can rely at such times is Elise who has plenty of experience.
I’d like you to not expect something like that from me.
“As for the material, I think it would be best to go with silver as main cast. Something gaudy is no good, but cheap items are wrong too.” (Elise)
“What about an Alice band or a ribbon?”
“It’s not a good idea to hide her hair too much as we want to highlight her silver hair which is the same as her father’s.” (Elise)
“In that case, I will neatly comb it.” (Katharina)
“Please do, Katharina-san.” (Elise)
“I have become used to deal with hair as it’s a major difficulty every morning.” (Katharina)
Katharina begins to comb Philine’s hair with her own comb.
Her being so skilled at handling the comb is because her own hair explodes into bed hair every morning, forcing her to fix it herself.
“Elise-sama, what about her shoes?” (Wilma)
“Wilma-san, please polish the shoes so that they shine.” (Elise)
“Got it. It’s because you will be looked down upon by the other party, if you cut corners at your feet, right?” (Wilma)
“You did well to know about that.” (Elise)
Wilma starts to carefully polish the shoes with a cloth.
Elise praised Wilma for her unexpectedly extensive knowledge.
Since she’s the adopted daughter of Minister Edgar, it’s impossible for her to not know about it, but Wilma doesn’t have a strong image of being a noble lady.
“All that’s left are the manners, but I think it will be fine since she was taught the basics by Elise.”
If Philine’s manners were to be unacceptable at the long-awaited reunion, that might turn into a reason for her being rejected.
In order for that to not happen, Elise, a real noble lady, properly instructed Philine up until today.
“Come to think of it, Philine, did you grow again?” (Luise)
“Yes, Luise-sama. I became slightly taller.” (Philine)
“How enviable. Also, leave the sama away when talking with me. After all you’re going to become a noble lady.” (Luise)
Luise is my wife, so there would be almost no difference in social standing between them.
That’s why she warns her to only add san to her name.
“Okay, I understand, Luise-san.” (Philine)
“That’s okay. I guess the preparations are completely done then.” (Luise)
Like that Philine was dressed up by the female camp and afterwards transferred to the feudal lord’s residence of the Margrave Breithilde household through my 『Teleportation』.
Since we had arranged it in advance, we were immediately led into the parlor.
“But, I’m slightly anxious.” (Erwin)
“No, I mean, if it’s Philine, her mother’s social standing is low, right?” (Erwin)
As we are waiting for Margrave Breithilde’s appearance together with the dolled-up Philine, Erw suddenly starts to speak while looking worried.
“Leaving Margrave Breithilde-sama himself aside, I wonder whether his wives are going to be alright with this?” (Erwin)
“We spent time on negotiation in order for that very reason.” (Wendelin)
“You did, Wend?” (Erwin)
“Roderich did.” (Wendelin)
“Be that as it may, I still feel anxious…” (Erwin)
Erw is worrying that the wives might harass Philine by sarcastically saying things such as 『Milord has made a daughter at another place; is that really true?』 or 『Well, if the mother is a lowly commoner, it looks like the daughter will be the same』.
“Wend, you aren’t worried?” (Erwin)
“If I’m asked like that, it’s certainly…” (Wendelin)
It’s possible that she will be told by the wives and their children things such as 『Since we have been told so by His Lordship, we have no other choice but to welcome you into the Margrave Breithilde household』 or 『Do you get it? We are just providing for you out of pity!』
Once such imaginations start to fester in one’s mind, they end up spreading steadily.
“(Being forced to work as servant in the mansion together with the maids, or only being given cold leftovers once everyone finished eating…)” (Wendelin)
If it was an old Japanese drama, she would probably be forced to eat assorted rice with a single daikon leaf, and clean in the cold while getting frostbite on her hands.
“(Uwaah, it’s really scary because it’s possible.)” (Erwin)
Hearing about my imagination, Erw frowns.
“(Or something like harassing her by showing her dust after tracing a finger along the windows’ frames and then telling her that the cleaning isn’t finished yet.)” (Wendelin)
“(That sounds probable.)” (Erwin)
Since Philine is next to us, we continue whispering so quietly that she can’t hear us.
If she would be put into such circumstances, I would regret it, thinking that it would have been better to not have allowed them to meet.
“(He’s a high-ranking nobles, so I want to believe that something like that won’t happen, but putting it the other way around, even if Philine is harassed, he can’t blame anyone, can he?)” (Wendelin)
“(That might certainly be true…)” (Erwin)
The scenery of Philine being harassed by the wives and children of Margrave Breithilde gradually turned into clear pictures inside my and Erw’s head.
“(Uuh…won’t Philine be happier if we actually don’t allow her to meet with him?)” (Wendelin)
Feelings of regret start to build up within my heart.
What am I going to do if that comes true?
I’m indebted to Margrave Breithilde, but that’s no reason for overlooking something like that.
There’s also the option of being asked by village headmen, who wish to open up this child’s future.
Even Elise and the other girls would take care of her quite affectionately as she’s like a little sister to them.
We could also take care of her by ourselves and allow her to freely choose her own life once she becomes an adult.
As I’m pondering about those things, someone tugged my sleeve.
When I checked who it was, I looked into ELise’s slightly pale face.
“What’s wrong, Elise?” (Wendelin)
“Umm…behind you…” (Elise)
“Behind me?” (Wendelin)
Once I turned around after being told so by Elise, a beautiful, dressed-up woman, who seems to be around 30 and whom I remember, stood there.
She’s become slightly older, but she’s still a staggering beauty.
“Oh my, Earl Baumeister-sama, you are excelling my husband in literary talent by leaps.”
“Ahahahaha…It’s been a while.” (Wendelin)
Elise should have tried to stop the conversation between me and Erw.
After all that person actually stood there, just as we imagined that Philine will be harassed.
I don’t meet her often and since her social standing was higher than mine in the past, I unconsciously fall back into my former way of speaking.
“It’s a memory of a story you read in the past?”
“Indeed, we previously read such story in a book. Right, Erw?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, I also read a book for a change.” (Erwin)
Erw and I eagerly try to gloss over our previous improper words. We have to somehow patch things up as we treated the first wife of Margrave Breithilde as malicious hag who will harass Philine.
While laughing unnaturally, we continue with our strenuous efforts to cover for our previous words.
“I see, a story from the past, you say? This girl is Philine, right?”
“I am glad to meet you. I’m called Philine.”
Philine greeted Margravine Breithilde in accordance with etiquette.
As expected of Elise, I guess she displayed her talent even as a manner teacher.
“Earl Baumeister-sama, we have caused you many troubles.”
“No, I just brought her along while returning from the Empire.” (Wendelin)
As there’s also the previous slip-up, I humbled myself by saying that I haven’t done anything outstanding.
“You did bring her back from the Empire that was in the middle of a civil war. I have no words to express my gratitude. It looks like Elise and the others took good care of her as well.”
Margravine Breithilde extended her polite thanks to Elise and the others, too.
Then she stares into Philine’s face, and picked up her hair to check it out.
“Your eyes resemble my husband. There’s no doubt about the hair’s color either. Including myself, my husband has six wives, but all of the children are only boys. A girl is cute after all.”
Margravine Breithilde seems to like Philine.
On the surface at least, though.
“Earl Baumeister-sama, please have a peace of mind. Since this girl will become your wife, we won’t make her work hard like a servant, have her wear rags or give her food scraps to eat.”
“Weeend, she did hear it…” (Erwin)
“(Shut up!) Ahaha, there’s the slightest chance that I would consider you, madam, capable of doing something like that.” (Wendelin)
Seeing as I decided to go with a cover-up once, it’s wrong to not follow up on it until the bitter end.
“That’s certainly true, isn’t it? So, can I take it as you accepting to take Philine as wife once she becomes an adult?”
“Yes, of course.” (Wendelin)
Now that it has come to this, I have no other option but to keep glossing things over while smiling.
And, it would be wrong to object to matter of Philine becoming my wife in the future.
Huh? Wait, Philine as my wife?
Why? When did that happen?
Elise and the other girls look at me, who brought calamity upon myself, with fed-up expressions, but I took a defiant attitude that I had expected that to happen anyway.
At any rate, as expected of the first wife of a high-ranking noble…I was completely outwitted.
“Philine, call me stepmother, okay?”
“Okay, stepmother-sama. So, what about father?” (Philine)
“Since he’s currently talking with your other stepmothers for a bit, you will have to wait for a bit longer.”
Although she calls it talking, I can imagine most of what’s going on.
“(Just as you are thinking, Earl Baumeister-sama, they are just roasting him a bit for not seeing any problems with irresponsibly sowing seeds on other fields.)”
Margravine Breithilde spreads the folding fan in her hand, brings her mouth close to my ear and whispers so that it can’t be heard by the others.
“(There’s no problem with him making children at other places. Especially since it’s a long-awaited girl. The problem is the fact that he neglected her without taking care of her in any way. Haven’t you heard that it has even been leaked to Earl Schultz-sama and his retinue? It’s a terrible disgrace for our house. Even though something like a diary and a talentless, self-written poetry collection can’t be exchanged into a single cent…)”
She probably heard about it being leaked to Earl Schultz and his retinue from Burkhart-san. He hasn’t shown up today, but I wonder why?
Margrave Breithilde has been harshly criticized, but it’s a fact that a noble of his caliber neglected a child he made somewhere else until that child turned 10.
If you consider his reputation in society, that’s probably something that makes his wives, who take care of the house, lament.
“(I looked at the collection of poems, but I’m pretty sure that my husband is the only one to write such terrible poems.)”
That’s what we thought as well. I have no doubt that even my level of writing is still better than his.
Margrave Breithilde has received quite good ratings as a book critics.
Even though he’s capable of objectively criticizing the works of others, his own poems are inferior to those of a five-year-old child. That seems to be assessment by his wives and retainers.
Since it’s pitiful, they apparently haven’t told him that directly though.
“(However, since this time they are really terrible, we gave him the warning, 『Next time we will publicize your poetry collections!』)”
Publicizing those poems…if I were the writer, I would consider suicide.
“Philine, what do you think about your father’s poems?”
“I think that he has written them very honestly.” (Philine)
Philine’s assessment is correct in a certain way. After all that it’s a fact that they have been written with a stupid level of honesty.
Since he persists in writing like that, his evaluation as poet seems doubtful.
Maybe that evaluation will be overturned in a few thousand years and he will be regarded as genius poet…I don’t believe in that though.
I think a miracle would be necessary for that to happen.
“You are a very gentle child, aren’t you? Was your mother’s education good?”
Margravine Breithilde apparently has no reservations towards Philine.
Her attitude of accepting her in delight doesn’t fall apart.
“(Earl Baumeister-sama, I know that you are worried, but Philine is a girl, so…)”
Philine’s existence won’t affect the position of the eldest son, who was born by the first wife and who might become the next Margrave Breithilde.
Rather, there’s value in taking care of her since she can be used for a political marriage and doesn’t even pose any threat as rival.
Those are quite pragmatic reasons, and it’s an irony that I can trust in that because of that pragmatism.
It looks like I have completely become part of noble society.
“I suppose it would be pathetic to make you wait any longer for my husband.”
It appears that Margrave Breithilde has been forced to delay the meeting with Philine.
Probably that’s one of his punishments though.
Upon the signal of his wife, Margrave Breithilde enters the room.
“My daughteeer—!” (Amadeus)
Missing his usual calmness, Margrave Breithilde rushes over to Philine in a hurry.
It looks like he wanted to see the face of his daughter quite a bit.
“My husband, it’s great that Earl Baumeister-sama brought her back from the Empire, isn’t it?”
“Earl Baumeister, you have my utmost gratitude.” (Amadeus)
Margrave Breithilde thanks me while shedding tears.
However, he’s showing a desperation at a level I couldn’t imagine from his usual behavior.
“Philine, I’m your dad.” (Amadeus)
“Nice to meet you, father. I’m called Philine.”
“What a splendid greeting!” (Amadeus)
Margrave Breithilde got all excited by himself due to Philine’s greeting.
It’s likely triggered by him being a doting parent.
However, just because of a normal greeting…I wonder, am I going to become like that as well while raising a child?
“Philine, I’m terribly sorry for not having been able to meet you even once until now. I heard that your mother…Lila passed away…” (Amadeus)
“Yes, but I still have you, father.” (Philine)
“Yes, please be relieved. I won’t allow any inconveniences to trouble you from now on ever again, Philine.” (Amadeus)
He seems to dote on his daughter very much. Somehow Margrave Breithilde acts too frantically.
Due to his overbearing behavior, even Elise seemed to draw back a bit.
“My husband, this girl will be married into Earl Baumeister-sama’s family once she grows into an adult.”
It looks like his wife wanted to say that to give him a peace of mind, but for some reason Margrave Breithilde looked as if this world was about to end.
“Even if you say 『Eh?』…”
“Philine is still 10 years old. Can’t such talks wait for later?” (Amadeus)
“Still 10 years old, you say…didn’t you already decide a fiancée for my Siegurd at that age?”
Siegurd is Margrave Breithilde’s eldest son.
I have heard that he’s still 12 years old, but if it’s the eldest son of such a high-ranking noble like Margrave Breithilde, it’s not unusual for a fiancée to be decided during his childhood.
“Isn’t Siegurd a man…? Philine is a girl, so…” (Amadeus)
“Isn’t that the same? You are too overprotective of her just after meeting her for the first time! If you are going to act like this, then take proper responsibility from the very start!”
“I’m sorry!” (Amadeus)
His wife snaps due to Margrave Breithilde’s attitude. Since it was too frightening, we retreated quickly.
Philine also leaves the room while being taken along by the other wives.
They probably considered it bad for her education to watch the rest.
“How very scary…once it comes to the wife of a high-ranking noble… I will get some soothing from the gentle Haruka-san once we get back…” (Erwin)
Watching the madam shouting at Margrave Breithilde, Erw escaped reality by himself.
Let’s get healed by Elise and the others afterwards, too.
“Ina-san, Luise-san, was Margravine Breithilde such a frightening person?”
“Usually she’s a gentle person.” (Ina)
“That was Margrave Breithilde’s fault.” (Luise)
Certainly, I think there are few people who can stay calm after hearing 『There’s an illegitimate child of your husband and she’s already 10 years old.』
“You can say that for sure.” (Katharina)
Katharina revealed a consenting expression towards Ina’s and Luise’s opinion.
“Doesn’t the scary part once angered resemble Elise-san?”
“Eh? Am I that scary?” (Elise)
I wonder? I never made her so angry.
“Leaving that aside, it was decided that Philine will be married to Wend-sama.” (Wilma)
I remember now that it was pointed out by Wilma.
I ended up leaving the room without denying the madam’s proposal to have her married into my family at all.
“The circumstances might change in five years…”
“Wend-sama, there’s almost no chance for that to happen.” (Wilma)
“Well, yeah…” (Wendelin)
Even so, I decide to escape reality for now.
After all there were plenty other problems awaiting me.
I returned to my mansion while believing that it’s fine for me having helped with the emotional reunion of parent and child for the moment.