If you can spare some time, do visit the links above (by clicking on their names) since Ruman and Mana each have their own site. There are other novels to read there.
This is the end of the first arc. The next chapter will be the start of a new arc.
Arc 1 : Epilogue
The next day.
I got up at an early time in the morning.
Although my wounds were still sore, they didn’t hinder my movements.
When I looked out the window, I could see information brokers running around in a hurry.
That’s right, it seemed that it had gotten to the point that information experts had come to make a fuss even in the noble’s quarters.
They were yelling about yesterday’s incidents while handing out newspaper extras.
Strips of the newspaper were carried by the wind, reaching even the second floor of this mansion.
I picked them up and read the contents.
『Man from the Western lands, defeated in a duel against a fallen noble.』
『A miraculous victory obtained by the House of Din. Will the country be shaken by their unrestrained greed?』
『An unusual circumstance in which the king had approved of the demands after examining them.』
『It was found out that the House of Horgos had hired assassins. Could the attack on the King’s right-hand man also be the work of Lord Durf? Suspect in custody for investigation.』
『The House of Horgos’s revenue has plummeted due to the approval of the requests.』
Well, I guess it was as expected.
Since I had received the news about it yesterday, I wasn’t particularly surprised.
Those staying in the northern noble district—-
especially the nobles that depended on the Horgo’s household, should be gnashing their teeth in anger about now.
The majority of the nobles in the southern noble district here are against the upper nobilities.
In particular, the nobles who had been victims of the audacity of Horgo’s household in the imperial capital have an antipathy towards them.
That was why the people who were roaming around here wore cheerful looks on their faces.
I went downstairs to the first floor and made my way to the study room.
Wondering if Shadiverga had awakened already, I opened the door to find him inside just as expected.
「Good morning, father.」 (Regis)
「Oh, you’re already awake? I’ll be here until noon, so why don’t you prepare first before we head back?」 (Shadiverga)
After saying so, his gaze went back to the documents.
It looked as though he had a lot on his mind judging from the serious look on his face.
「Are you liquidating the territories received from the Horgos’s household? Looks like a complicated issue.」 (Regis)
「…Would you like to give it a try, Regis?」 (Shadiverga)
「Forget about it. It’s definitely too soon for me.」 (Regis)
Well, I had no intention to do it at all even after becoming an adult, though.
It didn’t seem to be the right job for someone like me who has no experience in handling domestic affairs.
Shadiverga hung his head dejectedly upon hearing my response.
He had an intense debate with the king and the attendant yesterday.
So, he must be worn out as well.
However, because of his tenacity in refusing to yield even a little, we acquired great results from the negotiation.
What Din’s household received from the Horgos’s household after the conclusion was made by the king were as follows:
『First: 90% of the gold mine and silver mine owned by the House of Horgos will be transferred to the House of Din.』
These mineral resources were an important source of income for the Horgos’s household.
However, because they had a monopolization on their other areas of income, they ruthlessly mined the area.
The mountain across the river was hard to manage, so it stayed with the Horgos family.
The reason was because, after taking the profit for the country into consideration, the remaining 10% would be better off left to the Horgos’s household to manage.
Well, we had still taken quite a lot from them.
So, they might not be able to make any movement for a while.
『Second: The House of Horgos’s territories—specifically 30% of the levelled terrain will be ceded to the House of Din.』
There was a huge change in the request here.
Even if we were to acquire many territories, it would be meaningless if we couldn’t govern them well.
Considering the limited workforce Din’s household has, we wouldn’t be able to manage that much land.
That was why we prioritized Din’s household’s territory and requested only the lands around us.
The decision-making rights in the territory would be entrusted to the Din’s household.
It would be too troublesome if the territory was too big, even for us, so the amount of territory we received was just right.
『Third: 50% of Horgos’s household’s property will be transferred to Din’s household.』
The property, in this case, refers to their personal assets and does not include the country’s funds.
The Horgos household had to cough up the money from their own savings because it would be an embarrassment if a significant household that governs the west countries suddenly collapsed. That was how this amount came to be.
That said, they had transferred the assets to us with extreme reluctance.
They were probably biting their handkerchiefs in anger at this time. (1)
By the way, it seemed that this money would be set aside to develop the newly obtained territories and resolve the inequality in the country.
Shadiverga was, at that moment, troubled with by the allocation of the funds for that.
It looked like it would be decided by noon.
『Fourth: Rebuild Edgar-shi’s magic shop.』
This request was approved as is.
It seemed that the cost to rebuild the shop and replace the destroyed goods would be fully reimbursed.
I was initially worried about what I should do if they didn’t provide full compensation for this, though.
At any rate, Edgar should be ‘healed’ by this.
Financially, that is.
While I was recounting yesterday’s incidents, the entrance to the mansion opened.
Walkins, the super servant, came in.
She must have headed out somewhere just now.
She was indeed a hard worker, considering how early in the morning it was.
「Welcome back, Walkins.」 (Regis)
「Good morning, Regis-sama.」 (Walkins)
「Did you go somewhere?」 (Regis)
「Yes. I was buying various things from the morning market.」 (Walkins)
Various things, was it?
The bag Walkins was carrying seemed to be jam-packed with various dangerous-looking items, resembling bars.
「What are you using those for?」 (Regis)
「I’ll be using them for ‘excavation’.」 (Walkins)
「And where are you going to excavate?」 (Regis)
「Mainly places like the library. I thought of destroying all the trap doors and little devices there.」 (Walkins)
At that moment, I could hear Shadiverga sneezing from the study room.
He sure had a hard time. It was a never-ending, vicious cycle.
It seemed that Sefina’s instruction was still in effect.
I have to be careful so I wouldn’t get caught up in it.
I felt bad for Shadiverga, but all I could do was wish him all the best so he could come back alive.
「It was troubling just now, you know. When I was walking around the northern district, I was reviled by the resident nobles, who called me an ‘ignoramus with no common sense’.」 (Walkins)
「… That’s unforgivable. Should I launch a sneak attack on them later?」 (Regis)
To me, besmirching Walkins was equivalent to committing an act of blasphemy against the Goddess.
I resolved to ensure that the nobles would never say such a thing again.
While I was carefully formulating a plan for revenge, Walkins shook her head.
「You don’t need to do that. Although, it was unexpected for the king to approve of such unreasonable demands.」 (Walkins)
「It was the other way round. The king had approved of them precisely because they are unreasonable.」 (Regis)
Walkins tilted her head upon hearing my words.
It might be because what I said was contradicting.
However, I wasn’t wrong.
Breaking the unwritten rule that ‘only one request is allowed’ was worth it.
Although, thanks to that, we were labelled as ‘greedy fallen nobles with no common sense’.
They should’ve added more idiomatic expressions to it since it’s still not as good.
Though, every time they do so might cause Shadiverga’s stress to accumulate.
「If I were to behave meekly like how a fallen noble would, and make a realistic request, like demanding for only 5% of their gold and silver mine, it would be fulfilled instantly and that would be the end of it. It is possible that the king would like to reduce the power of the nobles staying in the northern side as well since their behaviour was getting worse lately. So, when we made all these unreasonable demands, he was able to take the opportunity――」 (Regis)
「…Was it because of the supplementary points in the dueling rule? That the approval of the requests will be left to the king’s discretion? So, the king had also taken the opportunity to weaken the influence of the Horgos’s household who was rampaging in the imperial capital by distributing the power to a weaker noble family, like Din’s household.」 (Walkins)
「Well, in a word, the circumstances has become our ally this time.」 (Regis)
I came up with this method when I first found out about the northern noble district.
If it goes well, I will be able to rob Horgos’s household of their power. That was what I thought.
It was unexpected that it had succeeded splendidly.
With this, the house of Horgos would not throw their weight around like last time anymore.
「Oh right, we’ll probably be here until noon, so it might be better for us to get ready first.」 (Regis)
「I comprehend. Then I shall go make the preparations.」 (Walkins)
Walkins went upstairs.
She is cute, as always.
Her cuteness is overflowing with every action.
Stop beating so fast, my heart.
That’s right. As for what happened to Durf and the rest after that….
Firstly, the Stalin brothers’ lives were no longer in danger after receiving prompt treatment.
However, they suffered from extraordinary injuries following such a huge failure.
It was possible that they would not be able to carry out any further assassinations.
Following the two cases of crimes that they had committed previously, the country had placed restrictions on them.
These two cases were the assassination attempt on Shadiverga, and the attack on the king’s right-hand man.
Judging from the offences they had committed, I wasn’t sure if they would be able to leave the prison alive.
Incidentally, the one who received the ‘Worst Injuries Award’ this time was unexpectedly Durf.
His whole body was badly burned.
His ribs had punctured his lungs, and it seemed that several of his internal organs were damaged.
There were various places that suffered complex fractures as well, and parts that couldn’t be mended even after treatment.
It seemed that when the request was approved, Durf had to be carried out on a stretcher to meet Shadiverga.
At that time, Shadiverga’s face had apparently reminded Durf of me, so he trembled and ended up fainting upon the encounter.
My face doesn’t really resemble Shadiverga’s.
However, if Durf had wound up in that state even after looking at Shadiverga, it made me wonder what his reaction will be when I see him again.
Well, by the looks of it, he would probably never get himself involved with Din’s household ever again.
That is something that I’d be thankful for.
Din’s household had profited a lot from the battle in the kingdom this time.
I was somehow able to make use of this opportunity to break free from our fallen noble state.
Nevertheless, the majority of the upper-stratum was occupied by corrupted nobles, so it would still take us a long time to reach it.
I guess the incident this time served as a foothold in our goal.
There is no point thinking too far ahead into the future.
What’s important now is to fill my tummy.
I went upstairs to have my breakfast.
Come now, let me have it!
It is torture time.
The carriage carrying Din’s family departed from the kingdom at high speed.
Incidentally, the moment I got into the carriage, I couldn’t stop trembling.
That reminds me, I had poked fun at Shadiverga before, saying that his pale face was ocean blue at that time.
I’d like to apologize for that. I am reflecting on it.
That is because my complexion currently isn’t as bad as that.
It is of a mulberry colour, close to indigo.
Shadiverga and Walkins were sitting on either side of me, rubbing my back.
「…You’re seriously susceptible to motion sickness.」 (Shadiverga)
「Frail-looking Regis-sama is wonderful, too.」 (Walkins)
「Y-You guys are noisy. Please don’t make it worse.」 (Regis)
If you shake the carriage any more than this, everything is going to be covered with the contents of my stomach.
Are you all fine with that?
I have absolute confidence in my patience and endurance.
But I am prone to motion sickness since my previous life.
Once I boarded a train, I would turn into a ‘demonic sprinkler man’.
I also got dizzy when I cycled at full speed before, and ended up getting into an accident at an accident-prone S-shaped turn.
I had rammed into a trailer and suffered from serious injuries that took me three months to make a complete recovery in the aforementioned accident.
However, regardless of how much pain I could endure, I was still killed by a single steel frame.
Well, anyway motion sickness is my greatest enemy.
「But Regis, you’ve become quite strong. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw you defeating an assassin like him.」 (Shadiverga)
「What? You thought I would lose, father?」 (Regis)
「N-No, I didn’t mean that. It’s just that, that overwhelming strength you’ve displayed was like Sefina when she’s at her peak…」 (Shadiverga)
Come to think of it, Sefina was a noble who had made her name in swordsmanship and magic.
If it weren’t for her body’s condition, she would probably be the country’s pride for her outstanding skills even now.
Even though she got caught up in a power struggle in the end, her individual skills were still amazing.
But Shadiverga, that was a silly thing to say.
「Of course. I am planning to go magic academy in the imperial capital.」 (Regis)
A silly sound escaped his throat upon hearing my words.
That reminds me, I had not mentioned the things about Sefina’s cure to him.
Shadiverga’s face stiffened when he found out that I was planning to go to the magic academy.
「You want to go to the magic academy?」 (Shadiverga)
「That’s right. Is there a problem?」 (Regis)
「Walkins, did you hear what Regis said?」 (Shadiverga)
「I heard it perfectly.」 (Walkins)
「Then, what about the discrimination in social status—」 (Shadiverga)
「Shadiverga-sama will be able to do something about it, right?」 (Walkins)
As soon as Shadiverga brought up the critical point, Walkins interjected with a question that Shadiverga could not refuse.
Shadiverga could only nod as he broke out in cold sweat.
「…T-That’s right. If Regis wants to go, then I’ll try to do my best about it.」 (Shadiverga)
It seemed that my goal to enter the magic academy would have various obstructions.
That wasn’t something that I have heard of before, so should I look it up later?
Shadiverga seemed to be greatly perplexed, probably because he was just entrusted with another new task.
「…Then, I guess I have no choice but to ask that person. It feels unpleasant, though. That person had betrayed me before the last time.」 (Shadiverga)
Now, who was he talking about?
It was hard to tell since Shadiverga has strange personal connections.
However, judging from this atmosphere, it was likely that this person was the key to the problem.
「Well, the minimum age requirement for the admission is 15, right? What I can do now is to improve my magic foundation as much as possible.」 (Regis)
「True. Walkins here will do her best to support you, too.」 (Walkins)
「Yeah. For now, leave the admission problem to me. Let’s each do what we can do.」 (Shadiverga)
Oh, it was surprising that he could say something nice occasionally.
I applauded him.
At that moment, I felt the carriage rise up lightly.
It seemed that we have just entered the wasteland.
The shaking of the carriage became intense all of a sudden, causing the sensory receptors inside my body to scream.
「…Guo, this is bad. I can’t hold it, anymo—」 (Regis)
This won’t do. I will definitely throw up at this rate.
The moment I tried to open the window in a hurry, Walkins grasped my head.
She then pulled me and buried my head in her chest.
That action of hers was so sudden that I became completely paralysed.
「…W-Walkins? This is bad. Please get away from me. At this rate, I’ll—」 (Regis)
Before I could finish my sentence, Walkins tightened her hug.
It seemed as though I could hear the sound of her embrace.
As a result, my face was buried deep in her chest.
Due to the feelings of nervousness and surprise that came forth, coupled with the sweet smell coming from her body, not only had my sense of balance crashed, but all of my sense of reason seemed to have crashed as well.
It was no good.
The shock I received was too much that my nausea…
「…is gone.」 (Regis)
「Are you feeling better now, Regis-sama?」 (Walkins)
When I buried my face in Walkins’s chest, I felt better all of a sudden.
The sense of discomfort that was raging inside me disappeared all at once.
It was replaced by the sweet smell coming from Walkins’s body
My physical condition returned to normal instantly.
「…Did you use some kind of magic?」 (Regis)
「Nope. Regis-sama has a head shaking habit. In addition to that, you’re also prone to motion sickness, so it’s natural that you’ll feel nauseated.」 (Walkins)
Do I have such a habit?
I hadn’t noticed it.
Although, it was indeed true that I didn’t feel sick anymore once I kept my head rigid like this.
It could also be that this sense of comfort had overpowered my feeling of nausea.
「I noticed it the last time during our parrying practice.」 (Walkins)
「T-That’s an amazing observation skill…」 (Regis)
At any rate, I was no longer tormented by motion sickness.
I cast a side-glance at the landscape rushing by outside the window.
I couldn’t admire the spectacular sceneries outside a while ago, but I can do so now.
There were giant rocks around that resemble the Ayers Rocks in the wasteland.
The humble plants that grew there shined brightly as they reflected the sunlight.
Beautiful. Just the sight of it cleansed my heart.
In addition to that, the softness of Walkins’s body against my face was so comforting that everything felt heavenly.
So, a carriage trip can be fun, too.
As I nodded to myself, feeling convinced of it, I heard a disturbing sound beside me.
「…Uup, it’s no good. I get motion sickness easily, too.」 (Shadiverga)
Shadiverga looked at us pleadingly, as though he was on the verge of tears.
He was able to endure it well during our trip to the imperial capital, though.
Was it because of his exhaustion this time?
He sent Walkins a pleading look, as if he was asking her for help.
What? So Shadiverga wants Walkins’s help with that, too?
Then why don’t you ask the servant sitting at the back of the carriage to help?
Since that servant’s a man, he should be able to help secure Shadiverga’s head properly with his thick chest.
Before I could tell Shadiverga that, Walkins answered him in a cold tone of voice.
「Ah, I don’t want to. This spot is reserved only for Regis-sama.」 (Walkins)
「Did I even ask you for it?!」 (Shadiverga)
「You’re noisy. Open the window and vomit outside, or please just swallow them back.」 (Walkins)
「What’s with the difference in treatment?! …Au, I can’t hold it in anymore.」 (Shadiverga)
Shadiverga could not endure it any longer and threw up out the window.
How should I put it… There are many wasteland areas in the western part of the kingdom.
The local nobles will have a very tough time just travelling to the kingdom.
In the end, our positions seemed to have switched completely, unlike during our earlier trip. Shadiverga suffered a number of times before reaching our destination.
Alright. I will wear a cast to secure my neck from now on before riding in a carriage.
Otherwise, I will definitely die.
I made that vow in my heart as I looked at the painful expression on Shadiverga’s face.
-End of first arc-
(1) A commonly seen trope in anime to show how upset the characters are. Something like this