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Chapter 2

Underling

It’s been three months since elementary school started.

 

That’s when I noticed.

 

—wasn’t this place a bit strange?

 

I was pondering about how weird this place was as I rested in my dormitory room.

 

“…elementary school is too easy. I didn’t even need to send a donation. No, wasn’t it necessary so I wouldn’t be targeted by Professor John?”

 

In any case, he’s a strict teacher, but he never got mad at me.

 

Other than that though, he just treated me the same as all the other students.

 

Get up in the morning, finish a light exercise, study through the lessons, practice martial arts, and then come back to the dormitory to sleep at night.

 

Everyone else was still complaining about it, but personally, it was so easy that I was starting to feel a bit anxious.

 

In the first place, classes were a breeze. I had already studied most of these topics in the education capsule.

 

Physical training on the other hand could only be considered a preparatory exercise to my strengthened body, it always left me feeling dissatisfied.

 

—I wasn’t expecting this.

 

“This can’t be. It’s too easy to the point that I’m worried if this is actually okay.”

 

It’s important for me as an evil lord to have a trained body.

 

‘There’s no point to violence in reality.’

 

‘You only need a good education to be successful in society.’

 

All such stories were lies.

 

Certainly, violence could be considered useless to a normal society. 

 

But I learned how important brutality actually was in my previous life.

 

The bad guys use violence, while good people could only cower in fear of them.

 

Violence was another form of power.

 

Even though I trained myself in order to obtain that power, my abilities would no doubt rust in this lukewarm environment.

 

“No good. This is no good. I was sure that they’d start the actual training after three months but there’s been so sign of change at all.”

 

At first I thought they were waiting for us to grow used to the training, but even after all this time the contents of said training hadn’t changed much at all.

 

The amount of change could be compared to the size of a single strand of hair.

 

What was I supposed to do about this?

 

That’s when I suddenly got a call from home.

 

The caller was Brian.

 

…why couldn’t it have been Amagi instead?

 

As I lay on the bed and answered the call, what appeared was the image of Brian, crying like usual.

 

“Lord Liam, you promised me that you’d call us regularly!”

 

Isn’t he a bit too overprotective?

 

“Don’t cry just because I forgot to contact you on schedule… or did something happen?”

 

“No, things are going well here. I’m actually more concerned about you.”

 

Does he not trust me?

 

“There’s no problems on my end either.”

 

“That’s good to hear. Oh, and the head maid is worried. Can you tell me what your relationship with prince Wallace currently is?”

 

“Wallace? Ahh… that guy. Well, I

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guess we get along?”

 

“…huh?”

 

Brian was stunned.

 

Prince Wallace had quite the troublesome background.

 

That was one of the reasons why the surroundings always tried to keep their distance from him, but considering the individual himself, people also avoided him because of his personality problems.

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

The next day in the cafeteria.

 

The first years were finally starting to get used to life at the elementary school.

 

In the cafeteria, everyone had already stared to gather in their groups.

 

Personally, I was still with Kurt, my fellow evil lord.

 

“Brian is constantly calling me and won’t stop asking about how my school life is going.”

 

“Isn’t he your butler? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him regularly checking up on you.”

 

“I don’t have anything to say, life here is just plain boring. The most interesting thing I could talk about is how I still haven’t found a way to sneak out of here.”

 

I’ve been inspecting the high walls built around the school grounds in hope of finding a way out that I could use to play around in the city.

 

If I wanted to play outside during the holidays, an escape route was necessary.

 

This was a problem that could be solved by simply bribing the gatekeeper, but I’ve been looking for an escape route because I had too much free time on my hands.

 

“Liam, I really can’t tell if you’re a serious person or not.”

 

“If you look at things on the outside, I’m pretty much as serious as you are.”

 

“I-is that so?”

 

Just from that little bit of praise, the serious-based evil lord Kurt seems to have grown embarrassed.

 

I turned back to my meal.

 

Most of the menu items served in the cafeteria were nutritious meals.

 

They weren’t bad, I enjoyed them.

 

But they were painful compared to the luxurious meals I used to have daily.

 

That’s when I heard a loud voice echo out from another table.

 

–it was Wallace.

 

“Hey, why don’t we eat our meals together?”

 

Smiling, he put his food tray down on the table a group of girls were sitting at and forcibly secured a seat.

 

“By the way, are any of your houses searching for a son-in-law to take over as head? Or have any of you broken off from your parent’s house to become independent, looking for a groom?”

 

The girls’ gazes started swimming at his lack of subtlety,

 

“I’m the second daughter of my house.”

“My older brother is my house’s heir.”

“I’m about to get a little brother soon.”

 

The third girl… was she saying that her house didn’t have a male heir at the moment?

 

But Wallace seemed to have accepted their explanations,

 

“Oh, that’s quite a shame. Please excuse me.”

 

After suddenly standing up, Wallace left to go and speak to the next girl he spotted.

 

“You over there! What’s your family’s take on getting a new son-in-law?”

 

Looking at Wallace, I couldn’t help but think–

 

“–he definitely isn’t what I thought a prince would be like.”

 

Wallace, who had completely destroyed my image of princes, continued to try and pick-up girls.

 

Currently, he was speaking to a girl from the first school building.

 

“His Highness Wallace also has his own circumstances.”

 

“What’s his story?”

 

Kurt went on to explain to me about what paths were left to the excess princes.

 

“To be honest, all the princes after the hundredth don’t seem to be treated that well. If it’s up to the thirtieth, then they still seem to have proper backing, but otherwise I hear that they’re treated worse than lower nobility.”

 

“The princes also have it hard, huh?”

 

“They don’t have any choice other than to marry into another house. If they don’t do anything, then they’d eventually be forced to become civil officials or military officers. Some of them have gotten jobs in other fields, but his Highness Wallace doesn’t seem to be that type.”

 

There were many royals who became active in different fields, such as the arts.

 

But Wallace chose independence.

 

“It looks like he wants to become his own master.”

 

“Is becoming self-reliant really that difficult? Can’t he just have the Empire support him until then?”

 

“Independence isn’t that easy to obtain. Even more so for someone who doesn’t have backing like him. He can’t do this alone, and his Highness understands that.”

 

–was this really okay for an imperial prince?

 

To gain independence through picking up girls– I could only laugh at such a thing.

 

When I looked at Wallace, he was currently picking up his tray to leave. I guess he was unsuccessful today as well. 

 

Apparently a few of the girls had been approached by him twice, or even thrice, and they were growing more troubled on how to deal with him.

 

I called out to Wallace, who was drooping his shoulders,

 

“Hey Wallace, come over here for a bit.”

 

Wallace turned to look in my direction before speaking,

 

“What do you want? I don’t have a hobby of flirting with men.”

 

At that comment, Kurt face seemed to flush a little.

 

He looked irritated,

 

“Liam, why’d you call out to him?!”

 

I laughed as I answered Kurt, who was losing his patience,

 

“Because he seems interesting. Hey Wallace, just hear me out. I’m not interested in your body.”

 

Reluctantly, Wallace drudged his way over to our table.

 

“You’re pretty rude. I thought you were honour students, but you have quite the foul mouths about you.”

 

This guy was an idiot after all.

 

He seriously seemed to think that we were honour students.

 

Well, Kurt was a serious person at first glance, so maybe he is one?

 

“At least we’re better than a failed skirt-chaser.”

 

“Ugh… damn it!”

 

Wallace furrowed his brows, he looked like he wanted to say something, but couldn’t think of anything at the moment.

 

“Sh-shut up. I’m doing this for my future, that’s why I’m pushing so hard despite the shame it brings me.”

 

“You sure can endure a lot of it. Is this fun for you?”

 

“…back in the inner palace, there weren’t that many chances to interact with girls. At most there’d be my mother and her maids, or my father’s concubines, the rest being my blood-related sisters.”

 

He seems to have gone through a lot.

 

But Kurt recalled,

 

“Wait, but then shouldn’t have the maids been okay?”

 

When he said that, Wallace turned away,

 

“…they served the mothers, not me. Also my mother didn’t allow me to lay my hands on them.”

 

“Do you want to be independent that badly?”

 

When I asked, Wallace shouted, “OF COURSE I DO!”

 

Although the surrounding gazes started to gather on us, I didn’t really care.

 

Rosetta passed by us then.

 

However, Wallace didn’t even glance towards her.

 

“Huh? You’re not going to try for Rosetta?”

 

To my question, Wallace answered,

 

“–that woman can’t provide for me.”

 

…how is this guy able to say such embarrassing lines so confidently?

 

“In the first place, my goal is to be independent.”

 

“Why independence?”

 

Wallace seems to want to be a person that’s completely self-reliant,

 

“It can be as a court noble or a provincial one, but I want to be living under my own strength. You might not know this, but having the status of a prince is actually really inconvenient.”

 

“You can’t really call yourself independent if you’re relying on others to gain that status.”

 

“I know that! But that’s my only option here. If I tried to become an officer or a soldier, all that would be waiting for me is a life of slaughter.”

 

Kurt had a face on that said he didn’t know what to say,

 

“I guess his Highness also has his fair share of troubles.”

 

“That’s right. If you understand that, why don’t you consider becoming my patron?”

 

“Oh, that’s a bit… sorry, but I’ll have to refuse.”

 

“Why?!”

 

Kurt wasn’t nice enough of a person to become the patron of a useless prince.

 

The thing is, he was a really interesting prince.

 

His struggles to become self-reliant were amusing to watch.

 

I called out to Wallace,

 

“Why haven’t you entered the house of a minor lord or officer then?”

 

He looked troubled,

 

“Personally, I’d be okay with that, but I’m still a prince. The palace won’t allow me to. They’re requiring me to enter into a certain social caste, something at least of the baron rank or higher. Maybe it’d be possible if they were the ruler of a pioneer planet, but otherwise, the palace wouldn’t permit it.”

 

With so many options to choose from, I could feel myself growing more excited.

 

Wasn’t this really interesting?

 

“If that’s how it is, then I’ll become your patron.”

 

“Liam?!”

 

Kurt tried to stop me, but I ignored him and spoke to Wallace,

 

“The Banfield Count house will support you. If you’re going to rule over part of the frontier, then I’ll lend you a hand with your independence.”

 

A stunned Wallace stood up and fixed his uniform,

 

“Thank you so much!”

 

Wallace, who raised his arms and voice looked really stupid.

 

A comical person like him was really fun to watch.

 

“Liam, you need to think this through. It’s not that easy to become the prince’s backer.”

 

Kurt tried to persuade me, but I couldn’t take back the words I’ve already spoke.

 

It was already done.

 

It wasn’t because I felt sympathetic for him, nor was I impressed with his efforts.

 

I just wanted to help him out because he was interesting.

 

Above all else, now an imperial prince was going to be my underling.

 

Doesn’t that make for a really amusing story?

 

“I’ve already succeeded as Count. My word is the decision of the Banfield house. So there’s no problems there.”

 

“No, but-!”

 

I turned to Wallace, who looked worried,

 

“I keep my promises. I’ll support your independence. Are you okay with being a minor lord?”

 

“O-of course I am! Anything is better than the cramped life I’ve lived in the inner palace! As a feudal lord, even a minor peerage is fine! I just want to live with my own strength.”

 

Simple enough.

 

“Leave it to me. I’ll prepare a territory for you after our training ends.”

 

Kurt looked amazed as he held his face in his right hand,

 

“Liam, I seriously can’t understand you.”

 

All I was doing was helping a single prince become self-reliant.

 

Kurt was worrying too much about it.

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

The imperial capital.

 

Rumours about Wallace had reached the prime minister who was working at the palace.

 

His subordinate presented him with a report,

 

“Count Banfield has named himself at the his Highness Wallace’s guardian.”

 

“…what?”

 

The minister stopped his stands, unable to comprehend what his subordinate was saying.

 

“Apparently the Count has declared that he’d become the patron of his Highness Wallace.”

 

He was abandoning his status as a royal.

 

Currently, he was in the process of abdicating his right to inherit the throne.

 

Liam had sworn to support Wallace’s independence in the future.

 

But there wasn’t any merit to Liam becoming his backer.

 

It was practically impossible for him to pay back this favour.

 

Almost no aristocrats would even consider becoming his patron.

 

“This must be another of the Count’s whims.”

 

“But at the very least, this will allow one prince to safely become self-reliant.”

 

“It’s not easy being a pioneer, but he should be able to do it with the Count’s backing. If we leave this alone, no problems should appear in the future– though, what was he aiming for?”

 

The prime minister was reading too deeply into this.

 

This was the result of his overestimation of Liam, who was extremely exceptional for his age.

 

(Disregarding the Count himself, the Banfield house is still renowned as untrustworthy. Is he doing this to show how he’s contributing to the Empire?)

 

Could that be the reason why he chose to support Wallace, an individual who was neither poison nor medicine?

 

If that was the case, then the prime minister could see how Liam would benefit from this.

 

(It’s not easy overwriting the stigma that lasted for two whole generations, but this can be the first step in gaining some trust in noble society.)

 

If Wallace was able to safely succeed, then Liam would be able to have the Banfield house seen as more trustworthy among the aristocrats.

 

The prime minister was convinced that was the reason why, and was excitedly waiting for the results in anticipation.

Brian(´;ω;`) “It’s painful. Lord Liam secretly becoming the patron of the prince without consulting us is painful. Lord Liam! Please take our opinions into consideration before doing things like this!”


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