This is Yukkuri demasu...
Sorry, but RL can sometime hindering me from doing proper translation… Not that it stop me though…
I like Souma’s attitude after reading this chapter. He just becomes my new favorite male LN character (Satou from Desumachi is second place).
With no further ado, here the chapter.
Now go bother Larvyde-san for the new chapters.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t guarantee that I translate 100% correct....
So-Chintzy, Zone Q11 (third-read PF)
National Enrichment Arc
Chapter 4: Parnam Holiday F
The girl with the fox ears seemed to recognize me immediately.
「Yes, that’s why I said quiet down. Good grief, I don’t know how much do you understand, however if you say what you believe too much in this place, it might incur severe losses to this country.」(Souma)
「I-I am sorry. But, why are you in this pla-……! You surely not are coming here to arrest the rebellious Hal!? You’re wrong nodesu! Hal’s head is weak so rebellion is……」(Kaede)
She took it the wrong way and then while misunderstanding the situation, began to make excuses. Where did her analytic ability that she showed before go? Kaede frantically kept on arguing vehemently for Hulbert’s sake. It seemed that she…… loves Hulbert.
「Of course not. Since I have no interest in just one soldier.」(Souma)
「Th-then, what are you doing in this place?」(Kaede)
「Since I was suddenly asked to take a day off, I only came to take a look at Juna-san’s store.」
「Is-is that so?......」(Kaede)
Kaede immediately made a relieved expression.
As for Hulbert, he had been glaring in my direction for some time.
「You bastard, so you abruptly interrupted our conversation to threaten Kaede.」(Hulbert)
「U-um Hal? I wasn’t threatened, you know……」(Kaede)
「Annoying! Kaede, just be quiet!」(Hulbert)
Hulbert hit the desk with a bang and rose up with a menacing look and frightened Kaede.
「…… I think it was you who threatened her.」(Souma)
「I said shut up!」(Hulbert)
He reached out his hand to grab my collar,
But his hand stopped en route. From my point of view, I would have seen the sight of Hulbert who was immediately surrounded by three girls from my group.
Even though being surrounded by three beauties should have been a dreamy situation……. But I didn’t envy him a bit. At any rate, Liecia unsheathed her rapier from her waist and pointed its tip at Hulbert neck, Aisha (she didn’t bring her great sword since it’s a hindrance) grabbed his face with an Iron Claw grip, while Juna-san stood behind him with a smile while pressing a fruit knife against his back. Whoaa… the girls in my group have too high of a fighting strength.
「But, why Juna-san, too?」(Souma)
「Because this store prohibits all kinds of violent behavior. (*smile*)」(Juna)
As expected, faced with this situation, even the highly agitated Hulbert couldn’t help his sweat from gushing out. Without being able to move even a muscle he could only glare with a mortified expression from between the gaps of Aisha’s fingers.
「You bastard…… Let me go! Despite being a guy, you dare to hide behind a woman’s back」(Hulbert)
「Even if you said that to me, it seems that my job requires me to be protected. Or rather, I think it would be a problem if I went into a public space without any bodyguards.」(Souma)
When I said this, the girls in my group nodded in affirmative.
「If you already knew about this, I wish you wouldn’t poke your head into other people’s affairs and cause trouble.」(Liecia)
Liecia reprimanded me without pursuing it any further. Ah yes, I’m sorry. I’ll be more prudent.
Hulbert’s irritated scowl pierced me.
「……Bastard, who the hell are you?」(Hulbert)
「Fumu…… Then let me answer you with number six of the top historical drama lines that I want to say. 『(in Matsudaira Ken’s voice) Hulbert, hast thou failed to recognize mine face?』」(Souma)
「Why did you suddenly act so high and mighty?」(Liecia)
Liecia suddenly chopped into the conversation. Noo… Let me say it again.
Then Aisha was the one who spoke next instead of me.
「Hold your tongue! Don’t you recognize who this gentleman is?!」(Aisha)
Woah, that was just similar to the third top historical drama line that I want to say (by the way, the first position belongs to: if I was told 『Just you alone, what can you do?』, then I would turn it back with 『I’m not alone』), why did you have to say it!
「You are in the presence of the most august, the 24th Elfrieden King (Temporary), His Majesty Souma!」(Aisha)
*Blam* I heard BGM playing, but that was just in my own imagination.
For the time being, I lightly hit the head of this disappointing dark elf.
「Your voice is too loud. Hadn’t I said I’m travelling incognito?」(Souma)
「Ah……Fo-Forgive me, Your Majesty.」(Aisha)
「Your Majesty?...... So, you can’t possibly the King?」(Hulbert)
Hulbert only just now seemed to be surprised. I think that in this place, the only one who didn’t know was just him, so he was quite a dolt. For now, if the rapier + iron claw + knife that surrounded him weren’t withdrawn, the talk couldn’t continue, so I asked everyone to stand down. But Aisha and the rest seemed to be openly displeased.
I turned my gaze to Hulbert who seemed to be relieved and began asking him.
「Well then, Hulbert Magna, do you intend to attack me?」(Souma)
Hulbert averted his eyes. Hey, does this mean he resigned?
「Can I think of that as the consensus opinion from the Magna House?」(Souma)
「Wha-! My old man had nothing to do with this!」(Hulbert)
「Is he really unrelated? Leaving aside the soldiers that should have abide to my rules, the ones who rebel against me and hold the rank of noble will be judged under the law. They even clearly showed the spirit of rebellion. In that case, it can be considered as 『High Treason』…… It’s a grave crime. At the very least, all the third degree relatives will be executed.」(Souma)
Hulbert became speechless. But, I was just throwing some hard reality in his face.
「That is……that is too much……」(Hulbert)
「Even if I say this, don’t have a grudge against me. This is what the law of this country decided after all. I want to reform the law that punishes the even innocent babies, but alas, the current conditions have tied my hands from doing this. Maybe if the Three Dukes cooperated with me, then I could make the reforms. However, since I can’t revise it, then if they were judged under it, I would have no other way to express it other than that they reaped what they had sowed.」(Souma)
「Hulbert Magna, you were born under the distinguished noble Magna House. That’s why if you go to the Three Dukes’ side and the Three Dukes raise a rebellion, then if I win, I will execute all your third degree relatives. After all, that’s what the law had established, so I can’t do anything about it, right?」(Souma)
I was emphasizing that I was just making judgment following the letters of the law and I would not be just my personal lynching.
Machiavelli had said:
『If you asked between the Nobles and the People which one was easier to gain support from, then the answer is the People. After all what the People requested were only 「Protection」 from the Nobles’s「Oppresion」. However, to protect the People means antagonizing the Nobles, and they might turn their blade against the Ruler. That’s why a Wise King would create a judicial branch, that restrained the Nobles with law and gain the support from the People, also avoiding the enmity of the Nobles since it wasn’t the ruler himself that gave out the judgment.』
(Excerpt from De Principatibus Chapter IX (first half) and Chapter XIX (last half))
……It might sounds like a sophistry, but this was the Reality.
「Then, let’s think what would happen if the Three Dukes win.」(Souma)
「! Th-That’s right! If we win then there will be no problem!」(Hulbert)
「In that case, what will happen to this girl?」(Souma)
I put my hand on Kaede’s shoulder. Hulbert’s face then turned pale.
「You don’t mean that you will take Kaede as a hostage?!」(Hulbert)
「It isn’t about that you know. It’s just that this girl belongs to the Royal Army. If the Three Dukes raise a rebellion, then she will be on “my side” and be sent to the front lines. In other words, she will become your enemy.」(Souma)
Then I looked directly at Kaede.
「By the way, what is your relationship with Hulbert?」(Souma)
「Chi-Childhood friend nanodesu.」(Kaede)
「Childhood friend…….is it?」(Souma)
It wasn’t just “only childhood friend”. Since the beginning, from their speech and conduct, I could see a glimpse of their mutual feelings. Well, I wasn’t that insensitive to point it out loud in this place. There was also nothing to gain from it.
「Well, as a childhood friend, then your “affection” to her is above average, right? Then if the Three Dukes’ side wins, what do you think will happen to her?」(Souma)
「What will happen…… Nothing will happen.」(Hulbert)
「We are currently talking if the Three Dukes side win. Let’s just say that I was attacked and the one who cut off my head was you.」(Souma)
「Humph! Then, surely I will be promoted and become successful.」(Hulbert)
「……That might be true, then what do you think will happen to Kaede at that time? Amongst the defeated soldiers, there is a cute girl. Then, what do you know about “The things a victorious soldier will do”….. Since you were once on active duty, you can easily imagine it, right?」(Souma)
When I pointed this out, Hulbert’s face became visibly paler.
Perhaps he was imagining “those” scenes. After the war concluded, the winner would oftentimes trample the loser. Plunders, arsons, rapes, massacres…… To let these acts of brutalities be overlooked to such an extent, war was similar to an intoxicating narcotic.
Hulbert then shook off his hesitation and began rebutting.
「Duke Carmine thoroughly led his troops! They won’t do such barbarous acts!」(Hulbert)
「I don’t really knew about the Army’s internal situations, however the troops that are currently in Carmine Duchy isn’t a formal Army, since there are the idiots who are raising rebellions. After I seized their assets after investigating their corruption, those fellows have nowhere to go. If they lose, what awaits them is summary execution and familial extinction. That’s why they flung away all their funds and employed a large amount of mercenaries from Zem.」(Souma)
The Mercenary Nation Zem.
A medium sized nation located west of Amidonia, north of Torgis, originally it was a country that employed a mercenary captain named Zem. However, with his own quick wits, he overthrew the country and founded a nation of mercenaries. The country was advocating its 『Permanent Neutrality』, however, its chief economy revolved around dispatching mercenaries to many nations. To sum it up in other words 「If they are demanded, they can send their whole country as mercenaries」. Because those mercenaries were exceptionally strong, rather than making them into an enemy, all nations made mercenary contracts with them instead and gained them as an ally.
「That can’t be possible! The Royal Army also employs mercenaries amongst its ranks! So if the Three Dukes also employed mercenaries, then won’t it become friendly fire!?」(Hulbert)
「Ah, it won’t happen. Since the Royal Army had canceled their contract of employment quite some time ago.」(Souma)
Since this was a good opportunity, let’s talk about this country’s military’s organization.
The total military force of this country was about 100,000 men strong. It was organized further into:
The Army led by Duke George Carmine: 40,000
The Navy led by Duke Excel Walter: 10,000
The Air Force led by Duke Castor Vargas: 2,000
(However, it was said that one Wyvern Knight was equal to 100 foot soldiers.)
Although the Air Force was organized so that every soldier held a Knight peerage at the least (It was usually composed of a team of 『1 Wyvern + 1 or 2 soldiers』 that will be referred together as the singular unit of 『Wyvern Knight』) the Army and the Navy were mostly composed of career soldier. They always practice day and night in the Three Dukes’ territory, and they received their pay that was provided by the Three Dukes’ territory. It could be said that to support them, that the Three Dukes gave many privileges to them, like rights for self-autonomy or tax exemption for their field harvests.
Then, the last 40,000 belonged to the Royal Army, however their structure was complicated. The Royal Guards and the soldiers of the Royal Army under the direct command of the king were a career soldiers. Then, they were also added to the private armies of the nobles beside the Three Dukes (they didn’t have privileges like the Three Dukes). Lastly the mercenary troops, which were employed from Mercenary Nation Zem under the command of the Royal Army, however this contract had already been annulled.
For the Royal Army to have fewer soldiers than the Three Dukes was the result of the doctrine of this country.
This country was a nation originally born from the mingling of different races. For that reason, since the King came from the humans that had the larger population, to protect the other races’ privileges, it was decided that the leader of the Army, Navy and Air Force would be selected from other races. This system was established so that if a tyrant assumed the throne and began oppressing the other races, then the Three Dukes’ armies that surpassed the Royal Army in number could expulse him. On the contrary, it was also a system that if even one of the Three Dukes attempted to usurp the throne with just the help of one other Duke, it was possible for the King to subdue him.
Such arrangements might have worked out well if this was a peaceful era. However, currently with Demon King’s Territory making its appearance, this was the age of strife where each country looked for a chance to get at each other. For the system with such disconnected decision makers, they might not be able to make any responses to an emergency situation. In reality, in spite of the fact that I wanted to continue with my reforms, the Three Dukes’ opposition would give me many hardships.
So, let’s return to the matter of me annulling the contract for the mercenaries.
「Wait a moment, what do you mean by cancelling the mercenaries’ contract!?」(Liecia)
「Ah…… Now that you mention it, it looks like I hadn’t said anything about it.」(Souma)
I made a wry smile at the Liecia who became more surprised than Hulbert and yelled at me.
「Just like what I said. Mercenaries that only live for gold couldn’t be of any use.」(Souma)
Machiavelli had said, 『You cannot depend an army mixed with mercenaries.』. According to him,
『Since mercenaries are connected by the profits, if they are presented with a greater profit, they might easily turn their side against you. Even if there was a battle, rather than their employer, they would guard themselves more, so you couldn’t expect loyalty or the like from them in the beginning. If the mercenaries are incompetent, then there would be no meaning in employing them, and if the mercenaries are competent, then they might use their wits to rob you of your position.』
(Excerpt from De Principatibus Chapter XII)
In fantasy novels or RPGs, it was oftentimes that the occupation of the main protagonist character was introduced as 『Mercenary』, however an actual mercenary’s line of work was greatly different from those fantasy images. After all, these guys earn their living in the battlefield. It was a work where they have no loyalty to neither a nation nor a ruler, they could switch sides after calculating loss and gain. If they lost the war, they would flee immediately, and if they won the war, they could rampage around. Although their maintenance cost may be cheaper than a standing army with same number, but in the long term, there was nothing but a minus.
「We have no surplus money to pay such a useless bunch with gold, after all.」(Souma)
「That’s why, by contracting the mercenaries we can get the security guarantee from Zem, you know!」(Liecia)
「It is surely a dangerous diplomatic position. However, wasn’t it Liecia who said 『Even if we wager 1000 pounds of gold for national defense, we wouldn’t even give even one hair for tribute.』? Since Zem is different from the Empire, they have no capabilities to personally invade us. So there is no meaning to giving them tribute.」(Souma)
Well, for this reason the mercenaries might take revenge by employing themselves to the Three Dukes’ side.
I then looked directly at Hulbert.
「So those bloodthirsty mercenaries are in the Three Dukes’ camp. Do you think they are going to leave a girl, like Kaede-chan, from a defeated army alone? The mercenaries would torment Kaede-chan, and after she had served her purpose, they would kill her. At that time, what kind of feeling will you have I wonder…」(Souma)
Hulbert wavered. Such an indecisive attitude gradually roused my anger.
「Hadn’t you said that you will take my neck!? Didn’t you want to sing out your victory!? Even when en route for this, you might find out that your childhood friend will tragically become a corpse after been completely played with by several men!?」(Souma)
I was shouting at him, and Hulbert collapsed and put both of his hands on the table.
He couldn’t make any reply and his mouth was sewn up shut. Kaede-chan looked at his appearance with a worried look. Seeing her like this….. I more or less recovered my composure.
「Hulbert Magna. The decision you choose today will only lead you to a dead end. If I win, you will be executed. If the Three Dukes win then Kaede-chan will…… might not meet a peaceful end. This is a great gamble you can only do once in your lifetime, at least choose which table where your future is placed.」(Souma)
「Think about it thoroughly, before you do something rash. What do you really want? For what reason? For whose sake? Look around you and then think.」(Souma)
「For what……For who……」(Hulbert)
Hulbert looked around him.
There was Kaede-chan that was looking at him with eyes full of worry. Both of them looked at each other without saying anything, but Hulbert had an expression as if an evil spirit had been exorcised from him.
…… What will happen next would be for them to decide personally.
「Sorry Juna-san, for causing a disturbance in your business. We also need to leave.」
In the end, I apologized to Juna-san for the raucousness, however she calmly shook her head.
「There is no need for it. Your majesty’s words have already been etched inside my heart.」(Juna)
Then with an elegant bow, she saw us off.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Hey Souma, I wanted to ask you something.」(Liecia)
「Hm? About what?」(Souma)
Inside the coach that was returning to the Royal Castle, Liecia who was sitting beside me began asking me.
Aisha acted as the coachman, so inside the coach was only us two.
「About the thing happened then: You was persuading Hulbert, right? It was unexpected since you said that you won’t pardon those rebelling and you were somewhat serious.」(Liecia)
「……Since he still hasn’t officially rebelled against me. If he still rebels after this, then there will be no forgiveness.」(Souma)
「You are surprisingly kind.」(Liecia)
「Be kind to your friend, be stern to your enemy…… That is a king that can be supported by the people. That’s why it doesn’t mean that I like to act stern. The less enemies the better.」(Souma)
「Like what I thought…… You really are kind.」(Liecia)
*plop* Liecia put her head on my shoulder.
「Souma, don’t overwork yourself.」(Liecia)
「Ahahaha, that’s true」(Liecia)
「But, I will need to work harder for only for a little bit more.」(Souma)
◇ ◇ ◇
When I arrived accompanied by Liecia and Aisha as the bodyguard at the audience room, there were three people already kneeling down. One of them, a middle aged man, was in front of the others and on his bowed head, streaks of white hair could be seen. From his figure clad in armor, it was safe to surmise that he had a long service in the military. Beside him were the two people that I had met yesterday, Kaede Foxia and Hulbert Magna. By the way, the man who bowed down his head ahead of these two people was the father of Hulbert, Glaive Magna.
「The three of you may raise your heads.」(Souma)
「「Yes, Your Majesty.」」(Kaede)(Hulbert)
Hulbert and Kaede raised their heads. But my stare was fixed on Hulbert’s face. After all, it was because there were so many marks from being hit on his face. His cheeks were swollen and his eyes were circled with blue. Because it wasn’t there yesterday, then his injuries might have been inflicted after we parted ways with him.
「……I see your face has become handsomer.」(Souma)
「Ugh……Yes, Your Majesty!」(Hulbert)
Although he had a vexed expression, he didn’t show any hostile attitudes like he did yesterday. I wonder what had happened after we left. Then I called out to Glaive that still bowed down his head.
「Glaive Magna, you may raise your head.」(Souma)
「I humbly, humbly wished for Your Majesty’s clemency for the recklessness of my son!」(Glaive)
He replied with a sorrowful tone. His forehead nailed down the floor. Although I didn’t really understand the way he was sitting on the floor in a one knee up posture; maybe this was similar to a dogeza in Japan.
「The recklessness you mentioned, does it relate to yesterday’s affairs?」(Souma)
「Yes, Your Majesty! I had heard the details from Kaede-dono. Nonetheless, he showed a conduct unbecoming of his professional duty, not only he had sent slander against Your Majesty repeatedly, moreover he even inexcusably asserted to participate in the Three Dukes’ rebellion!...... However my son is still inexperienced and he has been referred to as one with an inadequate head. If Your Majesty has taken an offence by his conducts, please redirect that anger towards me who had neglected to adequately educate him!」(Glaive)
……Hmm…… What a lengthy speech. So what he said was 『Since I will receive the punishment, please spare my son’s life.』 But in the first place, I didn’t get angry at all.
「Yesterday I was travelling incognito, so I had no intention to take it as serious matters. After all, from what I have seen, he had received an appropriate punishment.」(Souma)
「Yes, Your Majesty! Your words are too good for me.」(Glaive)
Lord Magna apologized by prostrating. Hulbert and Kaede also hurriedly bowed down once more.
I didn’t get angry or anything, so to be apologized to was a bit too much…… and then Glaive raised his head.
「Thereupon Your Majesty, please pardon me for performing another impolite action.」(Glaive)
「……What is it?」(Souma)
「This is… If it is possible, it would be better if the talk couldn’t be heard by many people……」(Glaive)
So, a secret discussion? It was beyond doubt something similar to a historical drama.
Dismissing everyone in the room, there was only me, Liecia, Aisha, Hakuya, Glaive, Hulbert and Kaede remaining. Although it seemed improper to let Aisha into these secret talks, she had to stay behind as my bodyguard. If the secret talk was just a deception and the real objective was to assassinate me, then it was expected that she could deal with it as well.
「The number of people has decreased. So, what is this talk about?」(Souma)
「Yes. The subject of this talk is……」(Glaive)
Glaive began to talk in depth.
Then, after hearing the contents of the talk, Hulbert opened his eyes widely, Kaede hung her head down and grasped her fist tightly, Hakuya closed his eyes, Aisha was nervous seeing everyone’s expression…...Liecia didn’t say anything and was nearly expressionless while her body stiffened. It was just, that lines of tears formed down her cheeks.
Speaking of me, I had a complex feeling. Anger, shock, resignation, sorrow, resentment…… Inside my chest, these emotions jumbled up, but I tried not to let them overwhelm me. Then as much as possible, I spoke out in a calm and even manner so that these emotions couldn’t be perceived by others.
「By telling me this story, what do you expect from me?」(Souma)
「Nothing, Your Majesty. It is just I only desired for Your Majesty to be aware of it.」(Glaive)
「……This is heavy.」(Souma)
Then I stood up and gave a decree to Kaede and Hulbert.
「Royal Army Affiliated Magician Kaede Foxia. Your insight is too good for just being only a magician, moreover it is dangerous. I appoint you as a staff officer under Commander Ludwin of the Royal Guard Knights.」(Souma)
「Eh, what, yes Your Majesty!」(Kaede)
「Hulbert Magna of the Army. I command you to transfer to the Royal Army.」(Souma)
「!? Do you mean that I’ll be in the Royal Army?」(Hulbert)
「That’s right. Support her as the adjutant to Kaede. Her position is essentially the number 2 in the Royal Army. Since she is still a young woman, she is liable to be looked down upon by her subordinates. If that happens, it is your job to keep them in line. Isn’t this good for you?」(Souma)
「……Yes, Your Majesty!」(Hulbert)
Thus a new young officer joined the Royal Army.
However there was no joy in his heart at becoming a new part of the force.
Pushing his vehement emotions, from his clenched mouth he only gave three words of his true feelings.
「That stupid bastard!」
What the hell happened that made Souma feel resentment?
What plan that Souma had in his sleeve for the Three Dukes?
Read at larvyde site!
See you guys next month in 5C!
 Teme てめ in case you don’t know. Teme is a very rude way to call another person.
 In professional wrestling, this refer to a grip that involves the attacker gripping the top of the head of the opponent with one hand and squeezing the tips of their fingers into the opponent's skull, thereby applying five different points of pressure. Also known as “Clawhold”. Just click “Von Erich” and “Iron Claw” in YouTube will net you a huge video catch.
 Jidaigeki. Usually a drama/action series taking up in Heian, Sengoku or Tokugawa Shogunate era.
 One of the most famous male actor in Japan. Known for his role as Tokugawa Yoshimune in Abarenbo Shogun
 In Japanese, Souma use Yo 余 a formal first person pronoun, usually used by Royalty or Nobles in Japanese pop media. Also this line is from TV Series: Abarenbou Shogun… I try to search for this specific scene in Youtube… alas… It’s like searching for a stripped kitten in LOLCat pictures…
 High treason is treason against the state. In UK, it is the crime of disloyalty to the Crown.
 ゲオルグ＝カーマイン Georugu Kaamain
 エクセル＝ウォルター Ekuseru Worutaa
 カストール＝バルガス Kasutoru Barugasu
 Career soldier: Different from a conscript, career soldiers are people who choose to serve in the military until they retire. The so called professional army.
 Unlike games where recruiting mercenaries was expensive rather than recruiting normal unit (I see you Total War!), actual mercenary cost is cheaper since there is no cost that was needed to supply and to train the new recruits or give veteran or retirement benefits.
 It’s an idiom for “Great Amount of Money”
 グレイヴ Guraivu. Either it Grave (ɡreɪv) or Glaive (ɡleɪv). Glaive sounds cooler I think. [Other name candidate: Griff [ɡrɪf]. or Greffe [ɡʁɛf]])
 Dogeza. Ultimate Japanese weapon. Use with precautions.
 Glaive ends most of his sentence with degozaimasu. This is a very polite formal form to end a sentence in Japanese. And what with the very formal choice of words… geez…