Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi - Chapter 536: Justice Power
Chapter 536: Justice Power
「Aegir~ I’m coming in~」
I get the feeling Carla is calling me, but I’m too tired to get up and simply bury my face into a soft pillow and groan.
「Aegir, are you still sleeping~? Wait, Nonna what are you doing!?」
「As you can see, Aegir-sama is still resting. If you have nothing to do, go dance in the living room. Shoo shoo.」
Nonna’s voice accompanies the pillow shaking. I’m not able to gather my thoughts yet.
「What the hell are you doing tucking Aegir’s face between your tits? Are you trying to suffocate him!?」
「Don’t be stupid. Aegir-sama is sleeping peacefully on my breasts. Have a look at his calm sleeping face.」
I grab the soft pillow with both hands and cover my head with it as if trying to block out the noise.
「Afuun! Fufu, his head is completely between my cleavage. This is a prime example of what married couples do, a slumber of love. Nuisances should climb a tree in the courtyard.」
A hand combs through my hair and the warm sweaty pillow gently envelops my head.
「I’m not climbing anything! ……and actually, I heard Aegir went out late at night yesterday, so you lied!?」
「I don’t have any memories of that. I was drinking.」
With all that arguing, I begin becoming more alert.
Something hard brushes by my cheek, and when I put it in my mouth, a warm liquid comes out.
It is perfect to quench my thirst so I gladly drink more.
「Afuun! Aegir-sama, if you suck so much……aahn♪」
Arms tightly hug my head, but I continue drinking because I’m thirsty.
「Why are you doing lactating play so early in the morning? Wait, you’re actually lactating! Nonna, you haven’t stopped producing milk!?」
「I stopped a long time ago! ……however it comes out when I cum lots. I guess you can say it’s become a bit of habit.」
The warm sweet liquid doesn’t stop.
I am still half-asleep, but I feel like I have to keep drinking.
「What do you mean lots, how many times did you cum yesterday?」
「……once as soon as I entered the room when I got licked standing up, once in a sitting position after being carried to bed, once when pushed down directly after in the missionary position, and Aegir-sama also shot it here.」
It feels like the amount has increased.
「I came once in the cowgirl position when he was fondling my breasts, twice from behind after my hips gave out, then I was flipped around into the missionary position again……and he mounted me and from here I kept cumming until I lost count……」
The tip has also gotten bigger and harder to suck.
In addition, the flow is increasing to the point I can’t drink everything in time.
「Mu, this is Nonna’s nipple.」
「Ah! Don’t let go so suddenly! You sucked so much that it won’t stop!」
The first I saw when I woke up was an anguished Nonna squirting milk from both boobs.
Left with no choice, Carla and I each take one nipple into our mouths and start sucking.
「……so much! How many kilos are you squirting out!?」
「I’ve never measured it! It has never run out no matter how much I let my child drink.」
My stomach was filled just from Nonna’s milk.
I stand up naked, crack my neck and shoulder, and then open the window.
「What a beautiful morning. It’s been two weeks since Leopolt made a fool of himself.」
「Two weeks……feels long.」
Carla wipes her mouth and stands up too.
Nonna, after letting us drink as much milk as we want, sobs deliberately.
「It feels like something bothersome will happen soon.」
Nonna stops fake-crying and claps her hands, signalling her two maids, the tall slender and reliable Sally and the tiny plump and calm Maruru, to enter the room.
The two of them blush at the sight of my naked body, but bow once and quickly bring Nonna a change of clothes.
Oh, the back of Maruru’s hand touched my dick as she brushed past.
Feeling a little turned on, I turn to Carla, but she unfortunately refuses.
「I’m in the mood too. It’s just Adolph is searching for me, going around and checking room by room. He’ll definitely run into me if we start now. So tonight is reserved for me, okay?」
I knew it, something bothersome happened.
Nonna’s fussing about something half-naked, but the rest is just the two of them frolicking.
They can have more fun without me, so I’ll let Adolph find them.
The longer it takes, the more trouble it becomes after all.
I prepare myself and open the door.
The door hit someone.
I peek behind the door and see Celia on the ground rubbing her red nose.
「Sorry. Why are you crawling on the floor?」
「I was looking for Aegir-sama and following your scent……」
That’s what a dog does.
And you were able to accurately pick out this room, I don’t get how you do it.
「More importantly, there’s trouble! Something terrible happened!」
Celia also has a problem, huh?
「Lord Hardlett, a messenger arrived just now and I’m afraid I can’t make a judgement so I need to speak with you urgently.」
Myla comes running too.
All three matters are overlapping.
「I am being attacked by Estelle, who believed the baseless rumor that Margrave spread! It’s unreasonable for me to be beaten by a woman claiming to be my fiancée for something I didn’t even do……」
Tristan, who has scratches all over his face, is simply complaining so I can save his issue for later.
I bought tea and books for you so let bygones be bygones.
「I’ve never seen that bitter green tea before, where did you buy it? These books are ones that I’ve wanted to read for a while now, and I was initially happy it was a long series, but you skipped volumes one and two while collecting volumes three through twenty, was that on purpose? I searched the entire city and couldn’t find them…… I know I’m going to regret it if I start from the third volume meaning I can’t even read this!」
I know nothing about tea or books.
I just picked up whatever the peddler presented and bought them.
Now then, I can see where this is going.
Leopolt’s going to come with the largest and most troublesome problem of them all.
I ready myself mentally and turn around.
Rita, who was carrying the laundry, was surprised by me suddenly turning to her.
「Mu, he’s not here.」
In the meantime I sneak a kiss and a pat on the bum before turning in the opposite direction.
Celia surprises Myla, who had cut in line, by groping her ass, making her let out a sexy moan unintentionally, which results in Myla getting angry and stretching Celia’s cheeks.
「He’s not here.」
It’s kind of a let down.
「Hardlett-sama, there you are!」
Adolph comes running with a mountain of documents in his arms high enough to obstruct his vision.
I’m not going to escape at this point so I let myself be caught.
「I have a myriad of things to report, from numbers we couldn’t calculate due to the confusion of reconstruction, tax collection at the beginning of the year, tax payments to the kingdom, grain, and other troubles, plus I have worries to consult with you! Please come!」
I turn around one more time as Adolph pulls me along.
Leopolt never came in the end.
「First of all, here are the tax collection documents from each town and village. Due to the war and reconstruction, we couldn’t get the numbers, but they finally took shape this past month.」
He drops a stack of papers in front of me, which I don’t understand, but there is a thin sheet attached that simplifies everything for me.
Head Tax 50 000 gold
Mine Tax 30 000 gold
Trade Tax 10 000 gold
Sale of Grain 0 gold
※Trade 160 000 gold
Earnings from the South 24 000 gold
Total Revenue 274 000 gold
Mansion Maintenance 10 000 gold
Guard Maintenance 10 000 gold
Army Wages 120 000 gold
Military Facilities and Other Expenses 14 000 gold
Domestic Affairs/Reconstruction 100 000 gold
Interest 24 000 gold
Total Expenses 274 000 gold
No matter how ill-informed I am about finance, I know something is wrong when the revenue and expenses match exactly.
Celia quietly draws her sword while Myla readies a box large enough to fit a head.
「Aaah, don’t do such scary things. I’ll explain. It’s a result of thinking without sleeping!」
Now that he mentions it, Polte, who is waiting beside Adolph, also has bags under her eyes and is nodding off.
「First the head tax, it’s natural that there is no increase with respect to the population. There is a limited number of places we can take from. Hardlett-sama is not suggesting we take from the villages burned down from war or from Rafen that participated in battle, right?」
Head tax is basically a fee for living in the area.
Tax is high in safe large cities protected by walls and guards, whereas the tax is cheaper in towns and villages where the risk of bandits and monsters appearing are greater.
Pioneer villages and other places in remote areas with a particularly high level of danger are often exempt.
In other words, it can be seen as a tax that the lord takes in exchange for providing safety to his people, and it does not make sense to take it from a town or village that has been thrown in the middle of war nor is it possible to take it from citizens who have been chased away from their houses by fire.
「A big factor for this result is the fact most of the entire region of Rafen is exempt. On the other hand, the reason we barely managed to secure an amount is because of the tax from the former Libatis region. Although they were occupied, there is no substantial damage and they can afford to pay. It is not our fault either so we don’t need to grant them an exemption.」
I understand the logic, but they might dispute it.
「Next, the mine tax……it has decreased drastically. Well, with the war finished, there is no need for arms or fortress construction anymore. In other words, the importance of steel has decreased significantly. Most of the current production is for the reconstruction of our own territory and the neighboring feudal lords.」
Claire also worked tirelessly. She is probably changing Lintbloom’s production.
「Trade is mainly done with the city states, but we can’t get back anymore. Even if we can trade with the Empire, it has to be done secretly, and the kingdom will likely monopolize trade with the Federation. All grain is being released in order to sustain living until next year’s harvest. We have absolutely no leeway to sell any grain.」
Thankfully, we have enough grain to not starve.
If we have to buy it from the city states or the Federation, I can see them overcharging us.
「Profits from the south are the fruits of the labor done in Zwei Elfie. Some people found gemstone mines and forests with good quality oak from the ownerless land and exceptional individuals even found giant diamonds. We purchased them for 10 000 gold, but if we can sell them to high-ranking nobles in the Federation through official channels, we can likely double the price.」
「It was a desperate measure to utilize land that had lost its entire population to bugs, but it turned out to be a great success.」
「Moving on to expenses next, well there are essential costs and the interest payments, as well as the reconstruction which mobilizes all available citizens including women and children……so far everything mentioned is fine, but the problem is the military expense. Leopolt-san is stubbornly insisting on maintaining the personal army that no longer has any role beyond exterminating bandits. Things like cannons, catapults, chariots…… where will they be used?」
As I stay silent, Celia and Myla counter with “Aegir-sama will be underestimated if the army is small” and “the source of power of new nobles stem from military might” respectively, but I don’t agree with either statement.
Let’s change the subject.
「I understand the revenue and expense numbers. What concerns me more than the military is this.」
I tap my finger on the line with an asterisk next to the word trade.
This is clearly an outstanding sum and a convenient number that helps the revenue and expense to break-even.
「Well the official documents pertaining to this are subdivided into various items ranging from iron ore and building materials to black beast meat and debt……the one thing all of them have in common, they are essentially tied to smuggling gold.」
「Wasn’t a gold nugget secretly placed in the treasury every time it was transported?」
Celia lowers her voice to a whisper.
The way she puts both hands over her mouth is cute.
「Only a very minute amount, a mass not enough to raise suspicion every time it is moved. This on the other hand is the main channel. A vast amount of gold nuggets, under the name of artwork, is being transported to the city states. They then melt that gold……and use it to manufacture coins in their own nation’s currency. Afterward, they return 90% of that money to us to pay for the “art”.」
「They can earn a profit of 10% simply by continuing the production of gold coins……and the gold coins are shared by the entire continent, meaning they have the same value whether they have the mark of the Federation or the mark of Goldonia or the mark of a city state.」
The problem is that we’ll be in extremely big trouble if any one of them divulges this.
「There is no reason to leak the information considering how easy it is to profit from it. Even if they try to take advantage of the situation, all we have to do is adjust the percent of payment. It’s meaningless for them to swear allegiance to the kingdom of Goldonia. What do they gain by strangling a goose that lays golden eggs?」
Although……Adolph trails off unsettlingly.
「It was the day before yesterday. The wheels of a wagon transporting gold broke and turned over on the road. Fortunately, it happened in a deserted land between Lintbloom and Rafen so there were no witnesses…… but the worker, who normally should not look at the contents, saw the gold and had to be detained.」
「The things you’re doing are starting to sound like what Leopolt does.」
Adolph goes into a daze for a brief instant then slumps his shoulders in disappointment.
「Well, the worker was let go without incident. He was not at fault. Instead…… I believe the accident is deliberately planned. In fear of a similar accident occurring, the wagon was reinforced and inspected multiple times.」
「Are you saying the one who devised the plan is the kingdom?」
Adolph shakes his head.
「If the kingdom found out, they would have sent an information officer. The reason this kind of cheap trick was done is because the person doesn’t want to be discovered while at the same time showing us that they know what we are doing――」
Adolph brings himself close to me.
His expressionless face magnifying in size is not up to Leopolt’s standard but still creepy nonetheless.
「It has to be Claire-san.」
「I wonder about that.」
For now, let’s make sure the worker doesn’t say anything.
「That day? Mmm, the wagon flipped over and the cargo……that’s right! The steel building materials rolled out and it was a big mess. On top of that, I hit my head and neared the border of life and death for the first――」
「Umu, that’s enough.」
I cheerfully pat the worker on the shoulder and give him ten gold coins to compensate for his injury.
「T-this much!? For a lowly worker like me!?」
I keep patting his shoulder and give him an additional ten coins.
「The accident is due to my ineptitude. Please forgive me.」
「It was in fact our mistake for not realizing anything wrong with the wheel until it broke…… what a benevolent lord!」
That’s not the accident I’m referring to.
Beside me, Natia, Casie and Alice bow deeply to the man.
Through investigation, I found out that this worker’s hobbies are alcohol and gambling, that he made his wife work at a bar without paying her even at the age of thirty, and that he was a terrible person who was fired from his previous job for stealing money. Someone like him needs to be paid double if his mouth is to be kept shut.
This had to be done, but Adolph was against eliminating him.
So Natia suggested that he just had to forget about what happened and created a special memory loss drug in three hours, Alice used a new magic she apparently learned recently that wasn’t her usual fire magic, and Casie fiddled around his head for insurance……
「His memories were successfully replaced, but his personality was completely altered.」
On his way back home, the man pleasantly greets someone he encounters along the street.
Judging by the bewildered reaction of the other person, he was probably not the kind of guy to say hello.
There was a small commotion when he got home, but the man eventually came out hugging a woman.
「From now on, I will work hard and provide for you! I won’t cheat anymore and I’ll stop gambling and drinking! I’ve realized what’s most important is you, my wife…… aah, everything is clear now. It’s almost like I drank a miracle potion and had a spell cast on me and like someone tampered with my mind!」
The wife went from being confused to being in tears and hugged the man.
「My dear…… I believed in you! I knew one day……one day you would have a change of heart!!」
「And they lived happily ever after, I guess.」
Everybody is happy.
And all is right in the world. Yep.
I’ll have to ask Claire what her reasons are some other time.
「My issue is also important!!」
Celia grabs me……rather, she clings to my chest.
My cheeks involuntarily relax because of how cute she is, but I tighten up seeing how serious Celia is.
「There’s a disturbance in Libatis!」
One Week Later. Richemott.
After receiving urgent news that the citizens of Richemott and the neighboring towns were revolting and causing an uproar, I rushed to the city accompanied by the escort squad and my personal army.
「I actually wanted to leave it to Leopolt.」
He should have received the news before Celia, yet he didn’t move and said it shouldn’t be prioritized over other problems.
I could have ordered them to be subjugated, but Adolph objected to the idea, saying it would be excessively harsh treatment to the citizens, so I had no choice but to come myself with him and Celia.
I arrive at Richemott and sure enough, there is a riot.
「No head tax! Tax should only be taken from the rich!」
「We reject the governor imposed on us! We, the citizens of Richemott, will choose a representative!」
「No increase to food prices! Raise our wages!」
Citizens are lined up in disorderly rows from the main road to the highways, screaming all sorts of demands.
The number of people easily surpasses several thousands……maybe even ten thousand.
Each individual is protesting about something, but when yelling together, all their voices mix and become an indistinguishable roar.
The domestic affairs official who was entrusted to manage Richemott, whose name I forgot, stands in the center of the city on the balcony of the former assembly hall shouting back to the citizens, but is quickly overwhelmed by the difference in numbers and forced back inside the building.
The deployed guards are also just standing in front of the entrance of the building.
I don’t think a few dozen soldiers can do anything to control this many people.
A small smile creeps on my face as I observe the entirety of the situation on horseback.
「This isn’t as bad as a rebellion. If anything, it’s more like a direct petition.」
There is no fire rising up from the city, and the people have surrounded the governor and guards, but they are hitting anybody or smashing any property. It should be easy to do if they wanted to, given the number of people though……
「Regardless, this kind of uproar is unforgivable in Aegir-sama’s territory! If we spill the blood of two or three of them, they’ll sc-――aabhbh, my hair!」
I ruffle Celia’s hair to put a stop to her dangerous thoughts.
「They are accustomed to Libatis’s unique system. It will take time for them to become familiar with our system. They have not used any violence yet. We should avoid restraining them with physical force at all costs.」
Adolph, who values the people, cautions us.
「I don’t want to kill unnecessarily either. Especially if there are women and children among them.」
I’m not simply being lenient.
If we do as Celia says and beat up two or three people, and the people end up scattering, there’s a possibility they may riot for real.
「Then we’ll have to talk to them. Isn’t that your domain?」
Adolph averts his eyes when I speak to him.
「Err, of course I want to meet with the representative, but under the circumstances……」
Everybody is fussing about something different that I don’t know who the representative is.
A portion of them are so excited that all they can do is curse and shout.
I guess it may be hard for Adolph to deal with, being someone who can’t handle fighting.
「It can’t be helped.」
I spur Schwartz forward and ride into a line of people.
Not everybody will hear me even if I yell and try to quiet them down.
I need to do something with more impact.
I inhale deeply and signal Celia to poke me in the side.
The roar that seems to travel endlessly through the crowd causes those in my immediate vicinity to collapse, those a short distance away to cover their ears, a horse a considerable distance away to stand up on its hind legs, and a stray dog to run with its tail between its legs.
In an instant, all the commotion ceases and everyone’s eyes turn to me.
「I am the feudal lord, Aegir Hardlett. If you have something to say, say it to me.」
Celia simultaneously sends a signal with her eyes, ordering mounted spearmen from my personal army and the escort squad to flood in and guard against potential rash behavior.
Unlike the soldiers guarding the building equipped with thin leather armor and a single thin spear, the arrival of an army donning plate armor and wielding lances and crossbows was enough to push the populace several steps backwards.
I muster a quiet voice charged with a sense of intimidation.
「If you’re willing to cause this much of a ruckus, you must have something to say. Go on, say it.」
A brief silence follows, but eventually one courageous individual yells out, which encourages others to speak out one by one.
When I strike the ground with the Dual Crater, the citizens scream and step backwards again.
「I won’t understand if you tell me once. One at a time, no, send out a representative.」
After arguing and coming to a compromise, one person is pushed forward.
So they hadn’t decided on a representative. And they probably didn’t want to come out together because they were all afraid of me.
「If only Jim was here. He was well-informed about the character of Libatis.」
He unfortunately went on vacation prior to the disturbance.
He was talking about divorcing his wife so I didn’t want to keep him.
Then I make eye contact with the grumbling representative.
It was Jim.
After an unpleasant silence, I draw my sword in a long smooth motion.
He has quite the guts to take a vacation and then start a revolt.
「Wait! If we talk about it, you’ll find justice……no, I’m already……not justice……」
When Jim slumps his shoulders, a sexy voluptuous blonde-haired woman grabs his arm……it was Suzy.
Solana is also standing behind them awkwardly.
「The Libatis defectors are all rebelling! Let’s take them out!」
Adolph stops Celia, who pulls out her sword, from behind.
He gets kicked down in two seconds.
「……before laying out conditions, I’ll listen to what you have to say.」
Jim suddenly howls.
「That scared me! Don’t do that!」
It wasn’t actually a roar or a howl, it was sobbing.
Excluding the nonsensical phrases of “not justice” and “lost freedom” mixed in occasionally, his situation can be summarized thusly:
『He had been living separately with his wife Eileen ever since South Yuguria used seductive techniques on him.』
『His wife also discovered his relationship with Suzy and announced she would divorce him.』
『His house and fortune were taken as consolation, and the next day, his wife already started living together with another young man.』
『Mayhem ensued during his depression and he participated without thinking.』
I get where he’s coming from now, but there is something I’m curious about.
「I thought Suzy was my lover.」
Suzy holds up one hand and apologies cutely.
「Aegir-san doesn’t really pay attention to me. How should I put this, while power and money are important, the most important part is for a couple to love each other, you know? Jim-san, who had sex with me everyday and gave me allowances was better in that regard, I guess?」
I don’t have much of a comeback to the point about attention.
I knew from the beginning that Suzy would fuck around anywhere, but hearing her say it openly makes me feel sick.
Celia is groping my crotch for some reason.
I’ll talk to Jim and Suzy later, for now just tell me your terms as the representative of the people.
『One: Instead of a governor, an election will be held to choose a representative for the city.』
『Two: Abolish the head tax. Tax will be based on the income of individuals or stores, and the multiplier will be decided by the representative.』
『Third: Lower the price of food.』
「How does that sound?」
I ask for Adolph’s opinion just in case.
「……an election which rejects the idea of a governor concerns the fundamentals of the monarchy and of the feudal system. The abolishment of head tax can be done by the feudal lord’s authority, but do you know how much time and work it will take to ascertain the income of every family? Food prices are on the rise because there is a shortage of food. By lowering the price, are you suggesting we give out food for free?」
I stare at Jim.
「Did you think we could actually do this?」
「……I owe Hardlett-dono a debt of gratitude and a debt of honor. I also consider myself a good friend of yours.」
Jim gazes downward.
「The freedom we once held up in Libatis, that was the foundation of my soul and my friend’s soul, our meaning in life. No matter how ungrateful or foolish people tell us we are, we won’t give it up. Freedom is what all the citizens and the late Brian――」
That was not something I could stomach.
I’m not referring to the freedom crap Jim is spouting.
I think it’s ridiculous, but I’m not going to ridicule it.
It’s fine for him to live protecting his deceased friend’s ideals.
I won’t do that, but I don’t think those kinds of guys are unpleasant.
「What I can’t stand is-」
I dismount Schwartz and punch Jim right in the nose as he lifts his face.
His toned muscular body flies in an arc, evoking a scream from the citizens and Solana.
「Why are you looking down? Why aren’t you staring me in the eye and telling me boldly?」
I approach the fallen Jim with long strides.
「Wa-, wa-! Wait, wait! If you’re mad at me, I’ll apologize. Sorry, I’ll accept the punishment too, so please have mercy. Okay?」
I gently shake Suzy off my arm and jerk my chin with as kind of a face as possible to tell her to go away.
That’s a different problem.
I pick up Jim by the collar as blood drips from his nose, and slam him on the ground again.
「What do you mean Brian’s dying wish? You just got carried away and joined the disturbance. Don’t attach a virtuous reason to what you did, it’s unsightly.」
Jim cowers on the ground without showing any resistance.
It’s hard to believe a single blow would flatten him considering his stamina. He just doesn’t have any intention of getting up.
I don’t have any need to talk to a guy like that or listen to his requests.
「Aah, what a mess……」
Celia and Adolph can be heard in the distance.
I proceed to give an order to my personal army.
「Negotiations have broken down. All troops get into position for suppression. You may cut down anyone who resists.」
It may not make sense to the soldiers but orders are orders.
All the soldiers ready their lances and wind up their crossbows.
The residents scream and curse, while Solana and Suzy rush to help them run.
Jim said something.
「I can’t hear you if you mumble.」
I ignore him and raise my hand.
If I swing this hand down, the army will spring into action.
「I’ll protect……freedom……for sure this time……give the people……the free people……」
Jim gets up and stands in front of me.
His eyes fix unfalteringly on me.
「Don’t point your sword at the people!!」
I catch the powerful strike with my left hand and counter with a punch to his stomach.
My unrestrained blow sends Jim sliding backward with a groan.
But he doesn’t fall. He doesn’t drop to his knees or cough up gastric juices.
「My homeland is already gone! I owe a debt to Hardlett-dono I can’t repay! However, I believe in freedom! For the sake of my late friend, the sake of my native land, and most importantly the people who live here today, I will not take a single step backwards!」
Jim stands before me and my army with his arms spread apart.
Of course he is unarmed, but his hands are balled into fists as if he is holding an invisible weapon.
Although he should be somewhat shorter than me, he appears to exceed two meters.
Even though I raise my Dual Crater, Jim doesn’t quiver in the slightest and glares back without any hesitation in his eyes.
I don’t sense murderous intent or hostility in those eyes.
But they tell me of his unwillingness to yield.
「Then use those feelings to try and defeat me. I’ll only be using my fists.」
I unfasten my Dual Crater and toss it to Celia.
Celia reacts in time to catch it, but the weight of the sword pushes her into Adolph, knocking him down to the ground along with her.
「If you win, I’ll listen to your demands. If I win, I will rule over you strictly. Show me how strong your convictions are.」
I pretend I didn’t hear Celia and Adolph.
「My goodness. He’s making decisions like a caveman!」
「How can you decide on politics without discussion or an election, I don’t get it……」
「But at this rate, we’ll be killed by the army……」
The citizens are just as bewildered.
I give Jim, who is similarly confused, a punch to the face.
His forehead is cut and blood flies out.
But Jim’s well-trained body won’t fall from that.
Having resolved himself, Jim unleashes a kick to my solar plexus.
I comfortably block the attack with both arms, although my body slides back.
Jim’s fist possesses a considerable amount of power.
It would hurt if it lands cleanly even by a stroke of luck.
「It’s regrettably slow though.」
I catch his large swinging strike with my left hand and counter with three consecutive punches with my right to his jaw, his solar plexus, and abdomen.。
As Jim wobbles, my left hand lands squarely on his cheek.
「A direct hit……」
A citizen screams as Jim’s body leans over to one side――
「――you can do it.」
The small voice came from a three year old child in the arms of his mother.
Jim plants his foot firmly on the ground and stays standing.
「I will protect the freedom of the future!」
A hook catches my face as I lean forward to pursue another attack.
The impact is strong enough to knock me out for a split second and cut in the inside of my mouth.
「I can’t believe Aegir-sama took a direct hit……」
I shake my head and spit out the blood in my mouth.
「Fu, fufu. So you didn’t topple.」
I didn’t hold back.
The last blow was powerful enough that I thought it would kill him.
It’s laughable that a cheer from a single child helped him endure the blow.
「He’s fighting……for us? D-do your best, Jim! Fight for freedom!!」
「Fight, Jim! Let us see your justice!」
「Go for it Jim! Beat down the wicked lord!!」
「Everyone is waiting for your victory!」
The citizens, who were dumbfounded by the sudden fist fight, gradually grasp the situation and begin to support Jim in unison.
Even Suzy and Solana are on his side.
Tens of thousands of cheers encourage Jim from behind.
I am totally the villain, but as long as I have Celia standing on Schwartz and desperately cheering for me, I’m happy.
A fierce back and forth would follow.
Sounds of our fists colliding, muscles getting hit, and bones creaking would ring out.
Neither Jim nor I back down.
However the number of my punches gradually increases and Jim’s footing becomes unsteady.
I was simply stronger than him.
What’s important in a fist fight are muscles, skill, and speed.
In regards to skill, Jim’s knowledge of an orthodox martial arts gives him a slight advantage over me.
But I have the upper hand in terms of muscle mass and I am overwhelmingly faster.
「You did well to last this long.」
The match is only this close because Jim wouldn’t let himself fall.
No matter how many blows I rain on him, he won’t go down if I don’t hit his vitals.
「Go! You’re hurting him!!」
「Everyone is on your side, Jim! Fight, Jim!」
Each time the citizens shout, Jim stops staggering and his eyes regain their focus.
「You’re like a zombie.」
「You’re wrong. This is what justice is.」
I expected him to say, “this is the power of love” or “this is the power of everyone’s support”.
Things become incomprehensible because you said justice.
Jim’s gaze shifts in the middle of battle and finds a burnt flag of former Libatis held by an old lady.
「Here I come. This is a punch containing all my strength!!」
Jim pulls back his right arm and throws his entire weight behind the punch aimed at my face.
I cross my arms tightly in front of my face and brace myself in preparation to defend.
The fist that should have been completely blocked breaks through my guard.
My crossed arms are forcefully pushed apart and his heavy punch slams into my chest.
The wind is knocked out of my lungs.
I don’t know how long it’s been since my body curled up on its own from being punched.
Still, this is all……as expected.
It was a little more effective than I thought, that’s it.
I halt my breathing and lift my gaze.
Jim is basically standing on one foot after uncorking that massive punch.
I ball my right hand into a fist and send it at his defenseless chin.
My punch makes a sharp crack and points Jim’s face upward.
That was a beautiful uppercut.
Jim’s blazing eyes roll to the back of his head, and his limbs go limp.
I knock him out perfectly, ignoring guts or anything else that’s keeping him on his feet.
The people cry out as Jim slowly crumbles to the ground――
A young woman’s voice brings the light back to Jim’s eyes.
His floppy limbs regain their strength, and Jim is able to stabilize himself.
「Hey hey, you’re kidding me.」
He was completely out.
You’re starting to scare me a bit.
「Eileen, didn’t you go on a trip with a new man……? Oh, so you came back!?」
「I was looking for an inn when the trip was canceled due to the disturbance.」
Jim sheds large tears.
「I didn’t make a mistake in choosing to fight! Now that Eileen is back, I have nothing to fear!! Here I go, Hardlett-dono, this is the final blow.」
Jim charges at me with a beaming smile.
He’s really creepy, but I can’t return his sentiment.
I have to prepare myself for a strike more powerful than the one I had just received.
No matter how hard he tries to hold on with feelings alone, his body should be a wreck.
If I survive his attack and land one more blow, it will be the end.
I enter a stance which allows me to respond by either defending or evading.
Now, will he come with a hook, a straight, or an uppercut?
Jim uses a running start and leaps into the air, charging at me with his entire body.
「Hey, I said only fists!」
I wasn’t expecting this at all.
The range of his attack is too wide for me to dodge and the weight of his attack is too heavy for me to block.
In the end, Jim’s chest knocks me off my feet and the both of us fall on the ground.
I hit my head in the process, which causes me to see stars.
「H-he’s down. The feudal lord has fallen!」
「Jim won! Our Jim won!」
「Freedom has won! Justice has won!!」
Cheers shake the city of Richemott.
「Hardlett-dono. I admit that I lost in terms of power. Even now, I don’t believe I won.」
「That’s because you broke the rules.」
Jim subtly nods repeatedly and honors me with a respectful bow.
Hey, are you listening?
That last move you did wasn’t a punch.
And to defeat the other person, you have to render them unconscious, not physically knock them to the ground.
「All you people, hear me out! If Hardlett-dono wanted to crush freedom, he could have done so at any time. But he gave me a chance by challenging me to a duel that doesn’t benefit him!」
I acted purely because I was annoyed by your attitude and not for any other reason.
「This is what he said! Freedom is not something given, it is something that you earn by fighting and winning! It isn’t something shouted lightly, but it is something claimed with appropriate determination and courage! Therefore Hardlett=dono is also a champion of freedom!!」
「No, I’m not.」
The loud cheers continue without anybody listening to me.
The people call out Jim’s name and my name again and again.
Jim then suddenly stops moving.
Appearing by brushing aside the jubilant citizens is――
The wounded Jim runs.
Eileen abandons her lover and also runs.
Both of them embrace each other and exchange a passionate kiss.
The cheers born from the couple’s display of affection swell to resemble an explosion.
A love song is sung in a near screaming tone and flowers are scattered.
「It would be uncool if I make a fuss over a foul play in this atmosphere, right?」
Whatever, do what you want.
I hold Celia, who is desperately insisting there was foul play, under my right arm as I watch Jim kiss his ex-wife……no, his wife, hold Suzy under my left arm and take my leave.
「What are you going to do? You can’t accept those terms.」
Adolph says with an expression that is fearful of the consequences.
I answer as I load the two girls on Schwartz.
「It’s your job to figure out a good solution.」
I don’t think so.
「How can you say that?」
「An election is about choosing the most popular guy, right? Then-」
I point at Jim who is still kissing in the middle of the crowd.
「They’ll choose him.」
Jim and I fought magnificently, but I never felt any animosity or killing intent.
He was considerate to me, making sure I wasn’t shamed in his final speech.
It’s not like he truly believes what he said in his speech, right?
You should be able to find a realistic compromise with Jim.
「But I can’t accept that Aegir-sama lost. There will be disorder among the soldiers!」
I feel like I’ve been losing a lot of fights lately, including the one I intentionally lost to Seika.
I’ve got to make up for that somehow.
「Umm, what’s going to happen to me? Am I going to be loaned out to your subordinate?」
As Suzy sweats, Celia hisses from the opposite side.
「I lost my lover, lost because of foul play, and I’m going to make a nasty promise, it is my utter defeat. That’s why, as punishment for cheating, you’re going to take all of my jealousy with every single hole in your body. No contraception, of course.」
「Geh, I’m fine with doing that, but please, I don’t want to get pregnant.」
And so, I set off from Richemott with a hand on Suzy’s ass and a hand on Celia’s ass.
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 26 years old. Winter.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. Mountain Legend.
Friend of the Dwarves. Friend of the King of Aless. Dragon Slayer Hero.
Elf Mediator. Sex King of White City. Mad Demon God. Poison Resistance (strong). Counselor (temporary).
Appears in the present story:
Celia (claiming foul play), Nonna (erupting breasts), Carla (milking)
Jim (freedom’s victory), Eileen (remarriage), Solana (awkward), Suzy (abducted)
Adolph (super difficult challenge), Leopolt (absent)
Mel (concubine), Kuu (daughter-in-law), Ruu (daughter-in-law)
Pipi (at peace), Mireille (weight training), Melissa (concubine), Maria (concubine), Miti (concubine), Catherine (recollecting about the past)
Gretel (dog concubine), Sofia (lover), Leah (lover), Casie (fiddling around with the brain)
Rita (head maid lover), Yoguri (lover), Alice (failed)
Mother: Marceline (lover), Daughters: Eldest – Stephanie (lover), Second – Bridget (lover), Youngest – Felicie (lover), Claudia (swimming in the cold), Clara (crying) Adela (pro lover), Annette (lover), Dorothea (capital orphanage), Sally (lady’s maid), Maruru (lady’s maid), Benel (slight reaction)
Myla (baron), Irijina (knight), Sekrit (senses something), Natia (memory loss drug), Polte (sleepless new year’s), Tristan (received a beating), Head-helmina (senses something)
T-99 (maintenance), Marta (secretary), Yularen (forest elf boss), Ijaris (black elf boss)
Baroness Rukino Escaote (governor), Rukue (her daughter), Seika (her son?)
Luna (knight) ← Rafaella (place of rest), Christoph (eating mandarins in front of a fireplace), Zillia (eating mandarins in front of a fireplace)
Guigue (new year drinking), Sebastian (butler), Kroll (new year woman), Yakov (knight, laughing), Mack (knight escort), Altair (new year event), Remia (new year event)
Ivanna (naval construction), Cedric (sisterly love), Martory (tribute), Mistry (tribute)
Piris (stable period), Busco (low-life), Gildress (manly mochi), Andrei (lolicon)
Celestina (demand), Monica (messenger), Dingus and Rinuga (direct appeal), Claire (plot), Laurie (rage)
Schwartz (free), Lammy (nothing), Mirumi (lots of eggs), Alraune (luxuriant growth), Brynhildr (going to the capital)
Smoothie (parenting), Pochi (giant lizard), Child lizard (meditation), Felteris (swimming in the cold)
Total: 365 000
Rafen: 47 000, Lintbloom: 8 000
Richemott (former Libatis): 34 000, Zwei Elfie: 2900
Personnel: Infantry: 800, Archers: 200, Cavalry: 500, Escort: 30
Armaments: Cannons: 30, Large Cannons: 15, Dwarven Cannons: 15, Field Artillery: 10, Chariots: 30
Assets: -240 500 gold
Sexual Partners: 818
Children who have been born: 71 + 567 (++)
Current Location: Richemott