Volume 6 Chapter 11. The Battleship, Decapitated
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After fleeing from the main planet of the Banfield Family, Baron Norden had returned to his territory to make preparations for his escape.
His family members were also terrified of what was to come, and his wife is questioning him with a shrill voice.
She is a beautiful woman, but she is very flashy.
“Is it true that Liam is back!?”
“Yes, it is. If we don’t run away quickly, we’ll be killed.”
From what he had heard, the space pirates that entered the Banfield Family’s territory were being annihilated by Liam’s private army which came back together with Liam’s return.
Baron Norden made a regretful expression.
“If only he hadn’t returned…”
As someone that had been born in a remote Baron family, he had always been looked down upon by the other imperial aristocrats.
Even at the Capital, he would be treated as a country bumpkin.
He wanted to lead a life full of luxury, but the planet that he inherited was in a terrible condition as his predecessors had taxed the citizens heavily so that they could support their own luxurious lifestyles.
In essence, his family was in the same situation as the previous Banfield Family.
It was only with Liam’s assistance that Baron Norden’s family became somewhat wealthier.
Liam had helped him develop his territory free of charge.
With the development of the territory’s infrastructures the tax revenue had increased, and naturally he taxed the people even more from then on.
He was such an incompetent lord that even Liam would have said “what an idiot” when he saw him.
“I only agreed to this because you said it would definitely be okay!”
“I didn’t think he’d come back either! What? Am I not even allowed to have this tiny bit of luxury?”
He had invited Isaac to the Banfield Family’s territory to profit from the situation.
Despite exploiting their citizens and making them suffer so that they could afford their lavish spending habits, they still believed that they were poor.
Just as they were preparing to escape, armed soldiers rushed into the room.
They’re the soldiers that belonged to Baron Norden’s private army.
“W-what is this!? We’re not ready yet. Pick us up afterwards when…”
Before he could finish voicing out his complaints his soldiers pulled the triggers without saying a word.
He and his wife were killed then and there, and the soldiers surrounded their dead bodies.
“Thought you two could escape by yourselves? As if.”
“We’ve suffered under them for countless years. It was worth waiting for this moment.”
“Should we hang their bodies at the square? I’m sure everyone would be delighted.”
Those that suffered from his reign had risen up upon learning that Baron Norden had turned against Liam.
Unless they had a legitimate reason, or someone to back them up, the Empire would have commanded Liam to burn down the entire planet if they had killed their lord.
They had been waiting for this opportunity for the longest time.
The one leading the soldiers stared at the two bodies on the ground.
“Deliver their bodies to the Banfield Family and let them know that we’re not hostile. Calm yourselves.”
More soldiers were coming in to drag out the corpses.
The Banfield Family’s fleet soon arrived at Baron Norden’s planet.
Tia had been assigned to Baron Norden’s territory, and she was reading a report inside her spaceship’s bridge.
Glancing at the information projected on the monitors around her, she immediately understood what was going on and sighed.
“The citizens that he terrorized struck him down the moment they learned that he was up against Lord Liam. I knew he was incompetent, but I didn’t think he’d die like this.”
Baron Norden’s private army had killed everyone in his family. This included his wife, his concubines, and even his children.
The people in his territory were wishing that the Banfield’s could take over and govern the planet in his stead.
A female knight standing beside her asked Tia what to do next.
“Killing a lord is considered felony. Shall we execute the soldiers that were involved? They seem ready for it too.”
It didn’t matter what the reason was. Killing their lord was a heavy crime.
However, Tia smiled.
When she reported what transpired to Liam, he seemed happy with Norden’s unsightly end.
Although she hadn’t delved into the details, Liam appeared to be satisfied.
“Thanks to them, I was able to make a great report to Lord Liam. Have the soldiers discharged and renamed before taking them to a different planet. On the official papers, I’ll just say that they were executed.”
The female knight looked somewhat exasperated as it would’ve taken her less time and effort to simply execute the soldiers.
“That’s quite a benevolent sentence considering the soldiers are fully expecting their execution.”
“They were able to please Lord Liam, so I’m just rewarding them. Now then… it’s a bit of a hassle, but we have to manage Baron Norden’s territory for a while.”
The fleet that had been dispatched was scheduled to temporarily take control of the Norden Family’s territory.
Tia was to act as the planet’s deputy lord until a substitute arrived.
It was easy to forget because of her disappointing behaviors, but Tia was an excellent knight.
The female knight looked bored as she checked the state of Baron Norden’s territory.
“A perfect example of an evil lord ruling over a rural area. It’s no wonder that he was hated by his citizens. If not for the Banfield Family’s assistance, the territory would’ve been in an even worse state.”
Tia glanced at the information about Baron Norden’s territory.
It was in such a terrible condition that it even started to feel somewhat refreshing to see.
The territory improved a bit with Liam’s support, but Norden had raised the tax immediately afterwards and tormented his people.
He was asking to be hated.
“He was the complete opposite of Lord Liam. Let us show our Lord’s majesty to the inhabitants of this planet. If Lord Liam were to witness the state of this desolate planet, he’ll surely want to do something about it.”
Tia decided to be serious in ruling over the planet that had been exploited by the evil lord, believing that Liam would have done the same if he was in her shoes.
Rosetta hugs me the moment she returns to the mansion, and I silently accept her hug.
It would be in bad taste to avoid her seeing how much she’s crying, not to mention that Amagi is nearby.
If I avoid Rosetta’s hug now, there’s no doubt that Amagi would scold me later on.
“I see that you’re as energetic as ever.”
Rosetta separates from me and wipes the tears from her face before telling me how worried she was while I was away.
“I was really sad when Darling suddenly disappeared. I’ve also come to understand how important Darling’s presence is to the territory. I-I wasn’t able to do anything. I’m disappointed at myself for being so powerless without Darling.”
But of course; if you were to start poking you nose into matters about the territory, I’d be pissed.
It’s out of the question to give Rosetta any real form of authority since she’d be a big obstacle if she has the power to do whatever she wants in the territory.
If I must entrust someone, it would be one of my loyal subordinates, not Rosetta.
“Don’t mind it too much. That said, I’ll form a group of personal guards to protect you in case something like this happens again in the future.”
“T-there’s no need for that. Having personal guards around is too much of a luxury.”
It’s indeed an extravagance, but it’s something that must be done.
She must have the ability to defend herself against someone like Marie so that a similar situation doesn’t occur again.
“It’s for your protection.”
Rosetta seems to be moved by my words, but she’s misunderstanding something.
Assigning personal guards to protect her might seem to go against my policy, but that’s not really the case here.
In fact, I’m doing this to limit the extent of Rosetta’s authority within the territory.
She’d only be able to be command the members of her personal guard.
It would be a real headache if she begins to take matters related to the territory into her own hands.
She’s too nice of a human, so she might stop me from tormenting my citizens in the future if I leave her alone.
I’m setting the limit to how much say she has over the matters of the territory so that she doesn’t sway the officials and the military officers later on.
In other words, I’m planning ahead of time. I’m NOT trying to be nice to her, or anything of that nature.
“Rosetta, I’ll prepare an outstanding group of personal guards for you.”
“T-that so? But will I be able to handle them properly?”
“No need to worry, you can use them however you want.”
I was initially disappointed by how easy a woman she turned out to be, but I’ve recently come to a realization that she’s the type of person that best fits an evil lord.
Since she’s such an easy woman, I can roll her around on the palm of my hand.
I order Amagi to prepare Rosetta’s personal guards.
“Amagi, prepare a group of personal guards for Rosetta. Prepare a battleship for her as well. It’ll be hers from now on.”
Rosetta appears to be quite happy over the fact that she’s being assigned personal guards.
“A battleship that I can use freely whenever I want to. What a luxury. But what should I do with it when I’m not aboard?”
She seems to think it’s a waste of resources.
Her mindset really reeks of poverty.
“Do whatever you like with it. You can decide what to do with it when it’s not being used.”
“Really? Then I’ll take my time and think of something. Oh, and I heard that Darling’s getting a pet. What kind of pet are you getting?”
I see, so Rosetta hasn’t been told about Chino yet.
“I’ll introduce her in due time. She’s currently at the hospital undergoing quarantine and receiving various health checks.”
“I look forward to meeting her.”
Rosetta must be imagining a dog or something.
She’s definitely in for a surprise.
Well then, I guess it’s time for me to do some actual work.
It’s time to punish my citizens.
I’m giving orders to my subordinates inside my office.
Since we’ve just gone through a purge the subordinates are behaving exceptionally well.
It’s nice to see that they’re on edge.
Ciel, who’s under Rosetta’s care, enters the room.
Since I’m hard at work right now, I give her a nod.
While watching Ciel prepare my tea, I hand out instructions to my officials.
“Yeah, show those delusional idiots in my territory about my true nature.”
“Understood. But will it be alright talking about Lord Liam’s activities at the Capital? They all seem to be about parties.”
“Just do it.”
Knowing that the official will follow my order, I hang up the call and move on to the next official.
At that moment, Ciel directs a look of disdain at me.
She’s not even trying to hide it anymore.
What an amusing girl she is.
I ignore her and continue giving instructions to the next official.
“So, how’s ‘that’ matter progressing?”
“Regarding the tax increase; if we were to increase the tax for no reason, we’ll receive some backlash. This is especially true since there’s no need to raise the tax in the first place based on the financial situation of the Banfield Family.”
“I’ll be the one to decide whether it’s necessary or not, but you’re right. We need to give them a reason.”
Think back me! What was the most annoying thing about tax increases in my previous life?
Although there were many, but if I must choose one… it would be social welfare.
Since it’s a valid reason we couldn’t protest strongly against it, but nothing in particular really improved after the tax increase.
I remember questioning what the hell they’re doing with the increased taxes after seeing the news speak of corrupt officials and whatnot.
“Then tell them that it’s for social welfare. It’s important to improve public aid, right?”
“Understood. We’ll make arrangements in that direction.”
Ciel, who couldn’t stand it anymore, decides speak up when the call ends.
It’s not something that a maid should be doing, but I allow her to speak since I want to tease her.
“You’re raising the tax, not because you have to, but because you want to? And now you’re looking for a reason to do that? You’re mistaking the means to an end!”
She’s absolutely right.
It’s fascinating that an evil lord like Baron Exner could have a good-natured daughter like Ciel.
Despite having the blood of an evil lord flowing through her veins, she’s denouncing the existence of an evil lord.
“But I’m not? I’m raising the tax because I want to see the people suffer. I really don’t care about the reason for doing it.”
Ciel’s eyes enlarges after hearing my words.
Then, she makes a satisfied expression.
“You’ve finally revealed your true self. I knew that you weren’t the wise lord that everyone claimed that you are.”
Her tone abruptly changes.
She’s dropped all pretense now that she’s learned of my true nature.
Yes, and that’s how she should be.
“It’s those idiots that are misunderstanding my intentions. That said, you’re quite wise to see through my acts. Here, let me praise you.”
“Don’t raise the tax. It’ll make the citizens suffer. Did you forget what happened to Baron Norden? He and his family members met a horrible end at the hands of their citizens.”
Is she talking about that fool who was killed by his own people?
Yes, that really was a masterpiece.
However, that has nothing to do with me.
“He was a buffoon, and that’s all there was to it. I can do things correctly.”
Doing just enough to leave them neither dead nor alive—that’s how a proper evil lord should exploit their citizens.
If they can’t, it just means they’re a fool.
“You’re right, but don’t.”
“Too bad. This is my territory to begin with. What’s wrong with me doing whatever I want?”
“Please, don’t torment the people of your territory.”
They’re not even her own people, yet she’s showing concern for them.
From this, I can tell that I’ve made a wonderful pick.
Yes, she’s the type of woman that I’ve been waiting for!
“Your wish isn’t worth granting. After all, I want to see my citizens suffering in pain.”
There’s no need to smooth things over with her.
Baron Exner, her father, and Kurt, her older brother, are both on my side. Even if Ciel were to cause a commotion, I wouldn’t be harmed in any way.
“You’re the worst. You’re really the worst lord out there!”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
This is it! I was waiting for this kind of woman to show up.
I mistakenly took in an easy woman like Rosetta, but I never thought Ciel would possess a spirit of steel.
She can complain all she wants about what I do, but she can’t stop me because of her lack of authority.
Going against me is the only thing that she can do.
I’m delighted to learn that such a talent was close by.
She’s truly my blue bird of happiness.
“You’re deceiving everyone around you. This isn’t right!”
“It’s the world that’s messed up, not me. Without power no one will trust what you say. Now, if you’re done with your work here, return to your workplace.”
I want to continue teasing her, but I’ve got some work to do as well.
I’ll be showing my citizens the images and videos of me partying at the Capital.
I’ll show them what I’ve been doing with their money before raising the tax.
Ignorant citizens of mine, you will learn to rue the day that you decided to humiliate me with the child making demo.
Ciel leaves the room with tears in her eyes, perhaps because she’s frustrated by how powerless she is.
After she leaves, Kukuri’s face emerges from my shadow.
“Lord Liam, will this be alright?”
Kukuri will probably kill Ciel secretly if he’s left alone, so I give him a stern warning.
“She’s Baron Exner’s beloved daughter, so don’t make a move against her. It’s also fun teasing her, make sure to help her out if she’s in trouble.”
“Please don’t fool around too much.”
With what happened to Kunai, a lot must be going through Kukuri’s mind.
“Ciel’s a favorite of mine. This much should still be fine. So, what’s the problem? You didn’t come out just to ask for permission to assassinate Ciel, right?”
“There is something that I believe Lord Liam should know. I’ve received word that both Christina and Marie took some of Lord Liam’s genes. Here… it’s these.”
It seems like they’ve taken the test tubes that contain my genetics.
“Kukuri, you’ve worked hard for me. I’ll prepare a reward for you.”
I’m grateful to have such a hard-working subordinate.
“Lord Liam, how are you planning on dealing with them?”
“I will be punishing them myself.”
What were they planning to do with my genes?
Well, I can sort of guess.
Anyway, I’ll have them come before me so that I can punish them.
“Kukuri, preparing a successor without my permission is inexcusable, don’t you think?”
“It is as you say.”
They should be going about inside the territory right now.
I’ll call them back and teach them how heavy a sin it is to prepare a child without my permission.
Wakagi-chan (゜∀゜): “I know what’s about to happen! Even if he raises the tax…”
Brian (´；ω；｀): “The strange plant is trying to spoil the plot. It’s painful.”