“Arnest, how’s the progress?” (Wendelin)
“Proceeding smoothly. The best being that there are no unnecessary nuisances.” (Arnest)
“Well, it’s impossible for nuisances to get in here.” (Wendelin)
The next day after we finished subjugating the wyverns and flying dragons I went to drop off food and sweets to Arnest and his assistants, who were in the middle of scientifically investigating the tunnel, but as usual he was going at his own pace.
Even as we were worrying what to do about the tunnel’s management, he only perceived it as an all-you-can-investigate because of the quietness inside the tunnel.
“Here you are, please go on.” (Elise)
“What an honor, for milady herself to go out of her way!”
Elise poured tea and passed it around, but all of them were nervous since they were young retainers of the Earl Baumeister House.
I guess it’s unavoidable, considering that she’s their lord’s wife.
“Here you go.”
“Oh, I feel much obliged.”
“Milady, a slightly lukewarm tea fits nicely for me.” (Arnest)
Because the scholar-nerd Arnest didn’t even give the slightest damn about such things, he calmly made a detailed request to Elise.
“It has become lukewarm. Take it.” (Elise)
“It is just right.” (Arnest)
“That’s great to hear.” (Elise)
Elise is no one who would mind Arnest’s impoliteness. After having poured tea for him many times in the past, she has grasped his preferences.
She quickly handed him his preferred lukewarm tea.
“This me, upon reflection…” (Arnest)
“Did you finally find out something new?”
“I am investigating this tunnel that had been built by ancient humans. Even as I imagine its long history, the descendants of those humans are unsightly quarreling over its ownership. This certainly must be what you call human nature.” (Arnest)
“Shut it.” (Wendelin)
Don’t friggin’ start suddenly talking about incomprehensible stuff.
“Should a demon talk about human matters?”
“Well, you have a point there.” (Arnest)
It’s not like I don’t want the Eulenberg House to manage it.
I don’t care if it’s the Margrave Breithilde House, or the Knight Eulenberg House. I just want them to quickly decide on the responsibilities so that we can open the tunnel.
“Nothing has been decided yet. Hence, until they do, you can freely investigate to your heart’s content.” (Wendelin)
“That is convenient. It would be great if they quarreled forever then.” (Arnest)
Talking with Arnest is really tiring.
On top of him being aloof on this matter, he occasionally blurts out stingy comments.
“Well then, Elise and I will return to the Eulenberg territory.” (Wendelin)
“Understood. Milady, I would like you to provide Mizuho tea next time. Sweets from Mizuho would be great as a side dish.” (Arnest)
“Okay, understood.” (Elise)
Going at his own pace as usual, Arnest made a detailed request for the next delivery, but Elise just agreed to it with a smile.
“Elise, it’s fine for you to refuse that guy’s selfishness.” (Wendelin)
“Isn’t it fine if it’s such a small request?” (Elise)
I suppose the cost-performance ratio isn’t all that bad as long as it means that he won’t escape thanks to the Mizuo tea and sweets.
In Elise’s case, I think she’s just too kind, though…
“Wend, how did it go?” (Erwin)
“As usual, he’s going at his own pace.” (Wendelin)
“I suppose, it’s not like that demon’s character is going to change all of a sudden.” (Erwin)
Erw showed his understanding.
After a short while we left through the exit on the Eulenberg territory’s side. We found Erw and the others preparing maroimo, which they had obtained from the residents.
Erw had a look at the progress of the baked sweet potato machine, which I ordered a magic tool artisan in Baulburg to build, before going on the dragon hunt.
There was no necessity for Elise and me to be guarded since the soldiers led by Thomas had been stationed at various locations inside the tunnel.
Rather than that, right now the baking condition of the stone-baked maroimo is much more important.
“Well, what should I think of that…?” (Erwin)
“But, you know, Erw. This is mostly a demand of our female camp.” (Wendelin)
It’s surely no good if the stone-baked maroimo are only half-baked or burned.
Since Elise, Haruka and the others are making sweets using the maroimo, watching the baking condition has become Erw’s duty.
“How about the all important response from His Majesty?” (Erwin)
“Who knows?” (Wendelin)
“『Who knows?』, he says…” (Erwin)
The adults, who seem to be the ones to decide, haven’t sent any messages as they apparently haven’t come to a conclusion yet.
Thus it’s impossible for us to make a move. In a certain way I’m immersing myself in the cooking research of maroimo since I can’t do anything about the situation anyway.
No, I mean it. My hands are really tied. It’s definitely not as if it’s my personal desire.
If the cooking methods for maroimo advance, the number of people that will become happy by enjoying them will increase.
This is definitely something you could call an achievement suitable for a high-ranking noble.
“I mean, it’s not like I can decide everything all by myself.” (Wendelin)
As I can’t escape my salaryman mindset, I’ve become accustomed to waiting for orders from above.
Surprisingly, deciding by myself makes me feel pressured.
There are cases where it’s better to leave the decisions to others.
Besides, the tunnel on Knight Eulenberg territory’s side isn’t in our possession anyway.
“Erw, are you going to give your opinion to His Majesty and Margrave Breithilde?” (Wendelin)
“As if I could!” (Erwin)
“Hence we are waiting for further orders here, but we should use our time wisely, shouldn’t we?” (Wendelin)
“That’s quite the convenient excuse you got there.” (Erwin)
“Erw-san, I made sweet jelly out of maroimo. Please have a taste.” (Haruka)
“Yahooo───! That looks really delicious, Wend. Let’s hurry up and eat.” (Erwin)
Even though he complained at the beginning, Erw delightfully chattered about sampling sweets as soon as Haruka brought her own, handmade sweets.
What a truly nice personality he has.
“Now, now, Elise and the others have also prepared test sweets made out of maroimo.” (Haruka)
As should probably be expected of a person from Mizuho, Haruka prepared sweet jelly with maroimo.
Even Japan had sweet potato paste. Thus it’s the maroimo version of it.
Elise and my other wives each are preparing test dishes that use maroimo.
The user-friendly outdoor cookware, which I had the craftsmen in Baulburg make for them besides the baked sweet potato machine, doesn’t seem to be bad.
“Dear, we’re done.” (Elise)
“Then, I guess all of us will have an afternoon snack and sample the various sweets.” (Wendelin)
At once I decide to have a fun snack time, taking out a table and chairs from my magic bag and lining them up.
Occasionally the residents of the Eulenberg territory looked our way, but nobles are always in the center of attention.
Even if it’s outdoors, we have to enjoy the tea and snacks elegantly.
“So you made a maroimo cake, Elise?” (Wendelin)
“Yes, I made it while capitalizing on the maroimo’s sweetness as much as possible.” (Elise)
I guess she has kneaded maroimo into the batter and cream.
It tastes like a Mont Blanc with a moderate sweetness.
“It goes well with tea and is quite delicious.” (Wendelin)
“It’s wonderful that it suits your taste.” (Elise)
Once I praise the taste of her cake, a smile blooms all over Elise’ face.
“Next is my turn, eh?” (Ina)
Ina made a pudding using maroimo.
“The vivid yellow of the maroimo’s main part looks delicious.” (Wendelin)
Once I had a taste, this was also very appetizing.
“Mine are cookies.” (Luise)
Luise made cookies while kneading maroimo into the dough.
“I see, cookies using maroimo. They got an unusual, springy texture despite being cookies. Nice.” (Erwin)
The pudding and cookies are very great. Erw eats them while looking completely satisfied.
“This is mine.” (Wilma)
“Ooh! Sweet potato cake?” (Erwin)
There are sweet potatoes in this world, so sweet potato cake exists as well.
Wilma prepared that with maroimo, but since she’s recently taking lessons from Elise how to make sweets, the end result looks very delicious.
“Wend-sama, here.” (Wilma)
“This is also quite wonderful.” (Wendelin)
Since there’s a fair variety of sweets today, Wilma apparently prepared the sweet potato cake without using sugar and fresh cream.
Being able to enjoy it as light snack even after having eaten several sweets is a big boon.
“I baked a pie.” (Katharina)
“You went all out, didn’t you?” (Wendelin)
“It’s the maroimo version of the Empire’s specialty, apple pie. You might as well call it potato pie, maroimo edition, though.” (Katharina)
In this world it’s hard to get your hands on apples unless you import them from the Empire as they are northern fruits.
That’s the reason why Katharina made a fake apple pie out of maroimo.
“(Going by her appearance, she looks as if she’d be bad at cooking, but…)” (Erwin)
Certainly, Katharina was a serious person that might give others such a first impression, but I know that she’s able to do most things by herself since she’s saving for the revival of her home.
However, because it’s not very noble-like to cook, she doesn’t show it to outsiders often.
“The maroimo in the pie is really soft, fluffy and delicious. This is quite the dish, I must say.” (Wendelin)
“Indeed, the capital’s cooks might copy this.” (Elise)
Elise praised Katharina’s pie, too.
“It’s just a simple arrangement.” (Katharina)
Even while saying something like that, Katharina wasn’t all that unhappy about being praised by everyone.
“Last is Haruka’s sweet maroimo jelly…”
“I also made kinton1.” (Haruka)
It truly feels like she’s going down the path of Japanese confectionery.
In this world it’s correct to call it Mizuho-styled, but since Haruka also poured Mizuho tea, I was able to enjoy a Japanese-like snack time.
“As expected of you, Haruka. Another serving, please.” (Erwin)
“Yes, please.” (Haruka)
Even though he had already eaten various dishes until now, Erw requested another serving of jelly and kinton.
I guess that’s what you’d call him being able to eat as much as he likes as long as it’s been made by Haruka?
We enjoyed many maroimo desserts like this, but…
“The cookies and pudding were delicious, but…”
“The cake made by Elise was also great, but…”
“The kinton and jelly prepared by Haruka was wonderful, however…”
“But, what surpasses all of those is…”
“The stone-baked maroimo…” (Katharina)
“In case of great ingredients, there are times where simple cooking methods capitalizing on the ingredient’s own flavor are more delicious than making elaborate dishes.”
“I learned a simple truth here.”
After the meal we talked about which maroimo dessert was delicious, but, in the end we reached the conclusion that stone-baking the maroimo in the sweet potato baking machine was the best way to prepare them.
I also agree with that view.
Though I believe that the cookies, pudding, kinton and jelly are plenty appetizing as well.
“Then it means the championship goes to the stone-baked maroimo.”
Thus we decided on the most delicious maroimo dessert with the majority vote of the female camp.
“Or rather, we haven’t made any progress except in regards to maroimo cooking methods.” (Erwin)
“That alone is pretty good, I think.” (Wendelin)
Erw tried to complain, or rather express his dissatisfaction, but I consider this to be a very important step.
“No, what does that tell about you as a noble?” (Erwin)
“Humans can’t live without food, right!? The tunnel’s ownership will change in a few decades or at most several hundred years, but supreme cooking methods turn into culture which people will remember for many thousands or tens of thousands years!” (Wendelin)
I really nailed this one.
Maybe that sentence will be handed down as analect of Earl Baumeister in the future.
“In the first place, we don’t have any influence on the political situation.” (Wendelin)
Since it’s not about my territory, it’s something that has to be settled by those concerned.
“Well, I can’t talk back if you put it like that, but is the situation making any progress?” (Erwin)
“No, not at all.”
“…Huh? Burkhart-san?” (Wendelin)
At that point, Burkhart-san suddenly showed up.
It’s surprising for him to have come to the Eulenberg territory by himself without relying on my 『Teleportation』.
“Rather, the troublesome matters might have actually increased.” (Burkhart)
“Troublesome matters?” (Ina)
“Yeah, have a look Ina-jou-chan.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san held something like a big amount of pamphlets in both hands. They seem to be formal marriage interview photos.
“Burkhart-san, are you going to increase the number of wives?”
“It’s not me. Those are for Veith Frank von Eulenberg.” (Burkhart)
“Already, eh…?” (Wendelin)
“Wend, what’s this about?”
Even I could make an educated guess here.
In other words, for some reason the information about the Eulenberg territory has been leaked, and nobles, who plan to offer their daughters or sisters to Veith-san for a political marriage, appeared.
“Who leaked it?”
“Information like this just gets exposed, you know? Everyone might be the perpetrator.” (Burkhart)
“I guess it doesn’t matter…”
In the end, the marriage photos arrived at the Eulenberg household.
It’s not like we are going to decide anyway.
I suppose, for starters we’re going to head to the Eulenberg household.
As soon as we arrived, Burkhart-san greeted Lord Eulenberg, telling him that he’s on an errand from Margrave Breithilde, and handed him the bundle of marriage photos.
Even at a low estimation, there’s probably more than 30 photos in that bundle.
“Umm…Earl Baumeister-sama?” (Eulenberg)
“What should I do?” (Eulenberg)
“Even if you ask me…” (Wendelin)
There’s no way that I can decide for him.
Given that these are marriage photos sent to the Eulenberg family, Lord Eulenberg himself must make the decision.
Burkhart-san, who saw his timid-looking expression, averted his face in my direction and sighed.
“(Earl-sama, is this old man going to be alright?)” (Burkhart)
“(I can’t guarantee that.)” (Wendelin)
“I think it’s probably fine to to decide whether you accept or don’t accept them after referencing to the marriages of the Eulenberg family heads so far.” (Elise)
Elise gives an extremely reasonable reply, but that doesn’t cause Lord Eulenberg to lose his anxious expression.
“The Eulenberg household is a vassal of the Margrave Breithilde household, isn’t it?”
“(Considering that, it didn’t seem as if Margrave Breithilde really knew about them…)” (Wendelin)
I think even the Knight Baumeister household remained in Margrave Breithilde’s memory more prominently, despite likewise being located in the sticks.
Well, that’s probably because he couldn’t forget as he had to shoulder the debt and send merchants over thanks to his predecessor.
It’s only natural that Margrave Breithilde remembered the Knight Baumeister household, which caused troubles in the past and then got inconvenienced plentifully.
This might also be called, standing out in a bad way.
“(The Eulenberg territory might not have entered master’s perception if not for this time’s case.)” (Burkhart)
There’s no way that they would be able to cause troubles or damage to others with a small noble territory adjoining to the Greater League Mountain Range that possesses a population of 300 people.
Since they lived really quietly while doing very ordinary farm work everyday, I think the busy Margrave Breithilde didn’t remember since he didn’t get involved with them.
“But, they are a noble household, so there should have been marriage mediations and such, no?”
“That’s…so far we never tied marriage bonds with other noble families.” (Eulenberg)
“Eh───!? Something like that is possible?” (Wendelin)
Even the former Knight Baumeister household was troubled with the coming of age because it would be the time to welcome a bride, but the Eulenberg household never did that according to its lord’s words.
I was slightly surprised.
“From where did you get the brides then?”
“There are only few noble households, which know of our Eulenberg household. Since we’re also busy working on the fields, we don’t have the leeway to go depend on others. Mostly it’s been the daughters of merchants in the neighboring cities or daughters of the village headman inside our territory.”
“You felt at ease with that…?”
“There was no one blaming us for it…”
Ina and Luise can’t hide their surprise due to the Eulenberg household being so disconnected from the common sense of nobility.
Normally, if the heir of the first wife doesn’t take the daughter of a noble family as bride, it should turn into a problem for nobles, but since there are no nobles that know of the Eulenberg territory, there was no one to identify it as problem.
“(The very definition of stealth nobles, aren’t they…)” (Wendelin)
A certain Crown Prince gives the same impression, though…
“Wend-sama, we should first ask whether Veith-sama has a fiancée.” (Wilma)
“So, is there anyone?”
Being told so by Wilma, I tried asking whether there’s already a fiancée for Veith-san, the party concerned here.
“There is.” (Veith)
“So there is…?”
Veith-san should have already passed the age of 20, thus it’s probably no wonder for him to at least have a fiancée.
“Yes! She’s the daughter of this village’s headman and my childhood friend…”
At just that timing, that fiancée plunged into the room.
Her age is probably around 16.
Her attire is like that of commoners, but she’s a fairly sweet girl.
“Oh, Marita? What’s wrong?” (Eulenberg)
“Umm…I heard from dad Veith-sama is going to have a formal marriage interview with a noble’s daughter.” (Marita)
“No, it hasn’t been decided yet that he will…”
“However, it ain’t as if it’s that easy to refuse. I’ll act sportsmanlike and step aside.” (Marita) (T/N: She speaks in Aomori dialect)
The girl called Marita declared that she wouldn’t become Veith-san’s wife.
Although I believe it depends on the noble daughter that will become the legal wife whether it’s truly necessary for her to back out, considering it normally, it’s impossible for Marita, who’s no noble, to become Veith-san’s legal wife.
In order to not cause any succession order disputes for the children that will be born, I think it would be the common sense for her to enter as concubine after the legal wife’s child was born.
“Marita, didn’t we make that promise in our childhood? To marry and govern this meager Eulenberg territory together.” (Veith)
“Marita, did you forget about that promise?” (Veith)
“Nay. Even now I remember how you proposed to the four years old me saying, 『I want you to become my bride』, Veith-sama.” (Marita)
“Someone like the daughter of another noble isn’t needed in the Eulenberg territory! The only one I want to marry is you, Marita!” (Veith)
The two, who started a conversation that could have been out of a soap opera, tightly hugged each other on the spot.
Burkhart-san dons an expression asking, 『Something like that works?』, and Erw seems to share the same opinion.
However, for some reason the group around Elise is deeply moved, saying 『We saw something very nice』.
There might be a difference between men and women on this.
Especially Ina likes such love stories.
“Veith-san, even in regards to the customs of the Eulenberg territory so far, there are no issues.” (Elise)
Unexpectedly Elise, who seems like she would speak about the etiquette of nobles at the foremost at such times, expresses her support for the two here.
It seems she prioritized their feelings after seeing the pure love between childhood friends from nearby.
“Yeah! You just have to decline all the formal marriage meetings!”
“Ignoring greedy nobles, who suddenly brought up the marriage topic after the matter with the tunnel was exposed, is the best option!”
“Bringing up that topic through Margrave Breithilde is cowardly. You should fight.”
“Indeed! In the end it’s you who decides, Veith-san. Your integrity as man has been called into question!” (Katharina)
“Even in Mizuho there are precedents where the will of the people concerned averted political marriages! Please do your best!” (Haruka)
“Everyo───ne, ple───ase consider it calmly.” (Erwin)
Erw tried to hold back Elise and the others who got all psyched up on their own accord, but it didn’t have much of an effect.
Since he surely didn’t expect the serious Elise, Ina, and even Haruka to end up approving, he apparently couldn’t come up with any words to persuade the female camp.
Unintentionally I also became open-mouthed at the female camp completely agreeing with Veith-san’s and Marita’s marriage.
“Wend, you have to stop them. You’re their husband.” (Erwin)
“True, I will make a powerful cut here.” (Wendelin)
“Oohh! For a change you’re going to oppose your wives!?” (Erwin)
“Erw-kun, I’m Earl Baumeister.” (Wendelin)
Good grief, for even Elise, who’s the young lady of a high-ranking noble, to allow herself to be swept along by her emotions.
Being Earl Baumeister, I have to guide this heir in front of me, who doesn’t stick to the customs of nobility, on the right path.
That’s what I decided, but I ended up receiving an unexpected counterattack here.
“Wend, you demon!” (Luise)
Luise, I’m no demon, you know? I’m an ordinary, gentle husband, am I not?
“Luise, say what you want.” (Wendelin)
Usually nobles arrogantly explain the difference in reasoning and common sense of nobility to others.
Today I will preach the path of nobility to the eldest son of the Eulenberg household.
“Listen up, okay Veith-dono?” (Wendelin)
“Earl Baumeister-sama.” (Veith)
Veith-san, who apparently resolved himself, confronts me while Marita hides behind him.
His eyes, which showed that he has something he ought to protect, expressed his will to not pull back at all, even if the other party is me.
The other side was obviously cool, but I’m a high-ranking noble. At times I have to play the thankless role of acting as a villain.
It’s definitely not as if I’m jealous of Veith-san’s normalfag life.
“Listen up, okay Veith-dono?” (Wendelin)
“Let me hear it.” (Veith)
“Something like free love is no more than a selfish wish for a noble.” (Wendelin)
“However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, no matter what.” (Veith)
“Indeed. However, if you consider the current situation of the Eulenberg territory, it’s next to impossible.” (Wendelin)
Seeing as they can’t handle the tunnel’s management by themselves, he has no option but to obediently accept a noble’s daughter, even if it’s the daughter of a greedy noble, and get his wife’s home to help him out.
“No, I won’t choose that path.” (Veith)
“What are you going to do then?” (Wendelin)
“I will be fine as long as I can get married to Marita, and continue cultivating maroimo! If you’re able to provide an alternative territory, we will live there.” (Veith)
“Veith-sama. You finished the field’s soil on the slope at long last. You must not give up on that for my sake.” (Marita)
The resolve of the onee-chan called Marita is very upright, but I think the fields they cultivated until now will disappear. If it comes to opening the tunnel, the fields must be removed for the construction work after all.
…Somehow I failed to tell them about it, I guess.
“Marita, if I have ten years, I can bring up the soil to the same level again. There might be some residents who won’t follow me to the new territory. I think it will be a poorer livelihood than now, but you’re going to accompany me, right?” (Veith)
“Thanks, Marita.” (Veith)
“Veith-sama, it’s also my happiness.” (Marita)
Veith-san and Marita embraced each other. Elise and the other girls applauded without holding back.
Once I look, I see that Burkhart-san has suddenly switched sides to to the female camp without me being aware of it. He’s applauding together with them while donning an innocent look.
Betraying me after assessing the state of affairs, what a cruel old man.
“I’m deeply moved by your resolve, Veith-san. I will also persuade my lord as much as I can.” (Erwin)
And then even Erw, who’s dominated by Haruka, swiftly betrayed me, and instead said that he will persuade me.
Are you that scared of your wife?
What was the deal with your initial attitude then!
Doesn’t that make me completely look like the bad guy here!?
Yeah, I guess I’m a villain…
It looks like it has been decided that I will be a loner in this matter, but I’m a man who experienced being alone during my childhood.
I won’t twist my reasoning as Earl Baumeister.
“Dear, I think it doesn’t matter even if noble customs are not upheld occasionally.” (Elise)
Elise, that 『occasionally』, I have a problem with that ambiguous reason…
“Yeah! Don’t you think those two are pitiable?” (Ina)
For even Ina to have become emotional…
“Wend, you insensitive boor.” (Luise)
“Wend-sama, cruel!” (Wilma)
I’m being one-sidedly condemned by Luise and Wilma.
“Doesn’t the reputation and authority as Earl Baumeister exist exactly for times like these!?” (Katharina)
“Indeed! Since you have authority due to your achievements in suppressing the civil war, let’s push our way through with your power here, milord!” (Haruka)
Katharina and Haruka as well, huh?
“Earl-sama, I just went with the flow, okay?” (Burkhart)
“Burkhart-san, double-crossing me here is sly…” (Wendelin)
“I always stand on the side of the women.” (Burkhart)
Burkhart-san averts his eyes from me while whistling.
“Milord, what makes you dissatisfied?” (Erwin)
Suddenly that Erw sharply stabbed at something located in the innermost depths of my heart.
Sure, I did have the outward stance of protecting the customs of nobility.
But, there was an aspect I disliked even beyond that.
“A younger childhood friend…” (Wendelin)
“Eh? What? Wend?”
“Something like promising a marriage during childhood, it’s my punishment for such an enviable guy!” (Wendelin)
I expose my feelings.
Having a childhood friend of the opposite sex, and moreover promising to marry her; that’s a situation befitting of stories and movies. Are you guys some normalfags or what? I lay my anger bare.
“Even someone like me!” (Wendelin)
Although I hadn’t a single friend and was a loner in my childhood as Wendelin.
And even in my previous life, there didn’t appear any female childhood friend, no matter how deep I dig in my memories.
What I find there are only memories with male friends.
There’s not even a cute girl to be found in those memories!
“Ba───h! I guess I will just complete my childhood friend research while I’m researching maroimo! Damn it! Even I ! Even I!” (Wendelin)
I wonder what it is? This anger without outlet that wells up from deep inside me?
I end up thinking that I have to prevent the marriage of this couple, no matter what.
Yes, it’s an 『Ordeal for Normalfags!』
“Sorry, our lord occasionally gets those weird fits.”
“Please don’t worry about it, okay? Usually he’s normal, but sometimes he becomes strange.”
The shout of my soul from the bottom of my heart was called worthless by Erw and Burkhart-san.
“Burkhart-san, you have to hand over that bundle of marriage partner photos!”
“I was just told by master to take these with me for the time being, and otherwise to respect Veith-dono’s will, even if he doesn’t choose anyone in particular.” (Burkhart)
“Veith-dono, there might be a pretty girl among them.”
“Wend, that’s not something that should be said here.”
But, with my use of force being obstructed by Erw and Burkhart-san, even I gradually ended up supporting the marriage of those two.