Volume 1 Epilogue
It’s been forty-five years since I’ve recalled the memories of my past life.
I had finally become an adult in this world, but I couldn’t help but be dissatisfied with my appearance in the mirror.
“...am I really fifty years old?”
I still only looked like a thirteen year old, Earthwise.
I looked like I was still in my first year of junior high.
I’d surely grow taller from here on, but at the moment I still had the appearance of a child.
The surrounding servants were crying.
Brian in particular was bawling his eyes out.
“T-this Brian here never thought he’d live long enough to see Lord Liam grow into an adult!”
“Stop crying already. Amagi, what’s the plan for today?”
Amagi answered me with the same tone as usual,
“The coming of age ceremony will be held one hour from now. The main celebration will be at noon, but we also have an after-party planned for the evening.”
Brian wiped his tears and added on,
“By the way, tomorrow’s schedule is similarly packed from morning to evening as well.”
For the next month, it looks like things were going to get pretty busy.
“I don’t want to do all that!”
“Unfortunately, you have to.”
At Brian’s cold reply, Amagi followed up to scold me,
“Master, we have to hurry if we want to be there on time, you know you can’t just stay in your room all day.”
“...I understand, but don’t rush me.”
We left the room for the ceremony’s venue as I complained. You see, after I had returned from the capital, we immediately went to work on building the new estate.
The mansion that I splurged on was far bigger than I could’ve ever imagined.
If I were to compare it to something in my previous life, maybe it was the size of a small town?
I called in a famous architect and gave them an extraordinary budget.
As I thought about how we had to drive a vehicle to just get through the corridors, the true amount of money I wasted really dawned on me.
As I left the room, Christiana was there standing guard.
While wearing a uniform befitting of a female knight, she seemed to have been waiting for me.
“Lord Liam, you look truly dashing today.”
I looked over my sloppy uniform that she complimented.
Well, at least she knows how to flatter her superiors.
Still, what’s this feeling? I can’t help but feel like she’s watching me with an unsettling intensity.
...it’s probably just my imagination.
“Oh yeah, are you sure you’re okay to be working right now?”
According to the hospital’s report, she was someone who volunteered to become a knight after completing a tear-inducing level of rehabilitation in the short period on one year.
“There’s no problem, but I still have to leave the territory temporarily to get my official knight-license. It’s a pity that I won’t be able to serve by your side for a time.”
Christiana- Tia was a foreigner.
Therefore, she doesn’t have the qualifications to be a knight of the Empire.
She still needs to graduate from two different academies first to do so.
With training and conditioning added on to that, she probably won’t be able to return to service for more than thirty years.
“In any case, things will be busy for me after I become an adult, and it’s not like you’ll be gone forever so everything should be fine, right?”
The vehicle started moving after everyone sat down.
Relaxing on the luxurious seats, Tia spoke up,
“If it’s for Lord Liam’s sake, then I will always strive for the best results.”
“Well, as long as you’re fine with that.”
She seems to be strangely motivated, but in truth I only hired her for her appearance.
Apparently she used to be some famous knight in another country, but I appointed her as my knight because of how beautiful she was.
The most important thing for me was her appearance.
Bringing me one step closer to the ‘luxurious feast’ of my dreams.
Brian, who was still ignorant of my ambitions, expressed his admiration,
“We finally have some knights who have sworn fealty to Lord Liam, so we can rest assured that the house will be safe.”
All of the Banfield knights and aides of previous generations had abandoned us because of how low the house had fallen.
But recently, more knights have started pledging their loyalty to me after hearing about my successes.
I wasn’t that interested in it though, so I left it all to Amagi and Tia.
Though if they were a beautiful woman, I made sure to hire them.
We could finally see our destination in the distance, but it would still take us some time to get there.
“...we made it too big.”
I regretted building the estate so vast.
I did invest quite a bit into it, but this is more than I could’ve ever imagined.
Well, it is amazing to look at and it quite satisfies me.
But the mansion I lived in before was more than enough.
Everything was just made to be too grandiose.
You really can’t underestimate the technology of a universe that has already reached the space age.
It’s true that I wanted to give off a rich appeal by making something big, but this was just too much.
However, if I wanted to be considered an Evil Lord in the future, then I’d have to at least go this much overboard.
Villains are always supposed to live in big and flashy lairs after all.
◇ ◇ ◇
The ceremony venue.
The merchant- Thomas, couldn’t hide his surprise at the newly constructed estate.
“How do I put it, he has surprisingly good taste.”
Nias who was there went on to agree with Thomas’s opinion,
“It seems to focus on functionality so it has my seal of approval. I heard that it was somewhat egg-shaped, but it actually doesn’t look that bad.”
The coming of age ceremony had gathered a large amount people here.
Because the estate was also recently completed, it also worked as a chance to show off the new building.
From the populace’s point of view, Liam’s residence was actually built quite humbly.
Disregarding its size, it’s appearance was just really plain.
It was a simple, well-designed house created by a renowned architect.
While many nobles went on to build strange houses, Liam’s house seems to have been built with an emphasis on functionality.
Certainly it was large, but that was something given for the lord’s personal mansion.
The structure itself was very polite and calming.
“Finally, a residence fit for a Count has arrived, or maybe this is only result justifiable now that everything has bounced back? Or should I say that this is a Lord Liam-like development? He still hasn’t changed despite all the rewards he’s received, and here I thought he was going to build an estate of solid-gold or something.”
“I heard he invested quite a fortune into it, but I have to say that I admire his decision to pursue functionality over form.”
Both Thomas and Nias were impressed with the residence.
Nias shrugged her shoulders, looking around at the surroundings,
“In any case, it looks like this has become quite the big deal, even representatives from the other weapons factories are here.”
The majority of the participants were the locals.
Officers and decorated soldiers were in attendance too.
Other than that, there was a multitude of merchants, many of them being agents from the imperial weapons factories.
‘I can do a lot of business here,’ or ‘I can buy a lot of products here,’- there were many people in attendance with those mindsets.
Thomas dropped his shoulders,
“On the other hand, there are quite a few anxious-looking nobles as well.”
The Banfield house did send out invitations to the nearby lords, but there were even nobles participating from far-away territories.
Nias exasperatedly said it couldn’t be helped,
“To the nobles in the surrounding area, this is the birth of a strong and powerful house. Or maybe the correct term would be resurrection?”
Many aristocrats engaged in serious battles from small skirmishes to full out wars with other houses.
From the point of view from the surrounding lords, the newfound strength of the Banfield house was something to be wary of.
Conversely, some nobles welcomed the rise of a new power.
Those were the weak lords who couldn’t develop their own territory themselves.
They wanted to build a connection with Liam.
“I don’t know how I feel about all the poor nobles flocking around though....”
Some nobles found fault and grew jealous, while others grew sympathetic and became kind.
But no doubt all of them were here because of Liam.
Nias was indifferent,
“Even for the Empire, it’s impossible for complete control of the frontier. The smaller provincial lords have no choice but to rely on the more powerful ones.”
The ceremony had begun while the two of them were chatting.
The crowd grew tense as they waited for Liam to arrive.
Thomas let out a somewhat-worried laugh.
“Even though he’s actually a really kind person, the rumours about him still have everyone on edge.”
“That can’t be...”
The lord who swore to reform the territory after being forced to reign when his parents abandoned him as a child.
The guardian of the people who wouldn’t allow unscrupulous bureaucrats to oppress his citizens.
A person who was fierce and tough, but was definitely a ruler you could rely on.
In addition to that, he was a virtuous ruler who invested the majority of all taxes for the development of the territory.
From the perspective of the Empire, he was the ideal lord who faithfully paid his taxes.
He did all of this, while at the same time struggling with the serious debt pushed onto him.
Even though the Banfield house didn’t have a lot of credibility, Liam had credibility.
There were already many officials and soldiers who were ready to give their lives for Liam.
The only thing he was currently lacking were vassals- more specifically, knights.
Liam had finally appeared, and by his side was the figure of a new knight.
Thomas stroked his jaw,
“That’s Christiana. Although I heard that she was going to be Lord Liam’s first knight and officer, she actually seems quite capable.”
“Oh? She wasn’t appointed due to her appearance?”
“I won’t deny that it was probably a factor, but among the many knights I’ve seen, even I can tell that she’s special. She has a good aura or something about her that makes her different. Even the brightness of her eyes is enough to distinguish how different she is from the norm.”
Because she was also a person Liam had given special treatment to, Tia was also attracting attention.
Thomas recalled a bit of gossip,
“There’s actually a rumour going around that she’s actually the ‘Princess Knight.’ You know, the one from that country destroyed by Goaz?”
“That famous person? Are you sure? I heard that the real one was supposed to be a lot older than that.”
“Well, it’s only a rumour. If it was true though, then that means that the virtuous Lord Liam had appointed someone quite amazing to be his first vassal.”
If they knew the truth though, they’d probably be scared.
The only reason why he focused on developing the territory was because he couldn’t oppress his people while they had nothing.
He only did the purge because the corrupted officials made him angry.
His only motive to fight on the front lines against the pirates was because he thought the war was rigged in his favour.
Paying off his taxes and debts was just the manifestation of serious person he used to be in his previous life.
He only hired Tia because of how beautiful and loyal she was.
There weren’t any deep meanings to his actions, he had just overheard that Tia seemed to be talented.
He was acting with the intent to be a selfish villain.
The ceremony continued on in earnest.
Thomas started to tear up after seeing Liam’s impressive appearance as an adult.
“I’m glad that I chose to serve him. I knew that he wasn’t crazy.”
Nias agreed with Thomas, albeit for a slightly different reason,
“Our factory has finally secured a good customer. I hope that Lord Liam will continue to do his best and rise up in life. And if he buys our products while he’s at it, then I won’t have any complaints.”
Thomas narrowed his eyes,
“I think your factory wouldn’t be in such a tough situation if you just cared about the designs and interiors a little bit more. If you only pursue performance and functionality, it’s only a given other areas would be inconvenience.”
Nias pretended that she couldn’t hear Thomas’ words and continued to enjoy the ceremony.
◇ ◇ ◇
—One month after the ceremony.
I was currently troubled over a question.
“...hey, am I living in luxury?”
It was Brian who responded to my question,
“Well, I can’t really say in comparison to other noble houses, but from the viewpoint of your predecessors, you’re definitely living the frugal life.”
We were in my office.
I sprawled myself over my desk and looked around.
...huh? Wasn’t this luxurious? It’s luxurious, isn’t it? But something’s still wrong, the money in my bank account hasn’t decreased in the slightest.
There hasn’t been a single change in the digits no matter how much I spend.
“I’m living... frugally?”
“Yes, you’ve been living quite humbly. If you think about your position, it should be fine to indulge yourself a bit more.”
In the first place I’m supposed to be a Count.
But I didn’t even know what the living standards of Counts were.
At the moment, I’d do things like have live music played from an orchestra while I had my meals.
I just tried to imitate the rich meal scenes that I’ve witnessed before.
That’s why I also built this large mansion.
I even commissioned a pool that I could enter at anytime, twenty-four hours a day. It wasn’t just any kind of pool either, it was a complete leisure facility that had a lazy river and wave pool.
The day that construction was finished, I played around swimming in the opposite direction the lazy river flowed.
I even had a hot spring built into the bathroom!
This had to be luxurious!
I couldn’t understand the values of this world.
“Brian... what is luxury?”
“No, I’d be troubled to answer even if you asked me...”
Brian turned to Amagi as if asking for help.
“In my records, there’s the head of a certain house that made an entire plant into his private space. He seems to have created an entire touristic planet for himself.”
“Why would do that?”
To prepare a tourist spot for himself... What’s he supposed to do with it on the days that he’s not there?
At the very least, let customers in.
It doesn’t make any sense!
Amagi corrected my misconception,
“Is this the kind of luxury that Master is looking for? In the first place, it’s wrong to ask for the meaning of luxury. What you currently have is luxurious, I’m certain of it, but everyone’s definition of it is different. If you consider Master’s character, then it seems that luxury in the true sense wouldn’t make you happy at all.”
“There’s no way it wouldn’t! I’ll show you luxury! As long as I have money, then I can do anything!”
Brian started to smile.
He looked at me with a somewhat-warm gaze.
Amagi followed up, seeing how troubled I was over this,
“Why don’t you try studying abroad in luxury then?”
“An exchange student program? But aren’t I already going to the academy for the nobility soon?”
“No, not to the noble academy, but one built for the populace. By learning more about the imperial capital and other houses, you can broaden your views of the universe. It’s something that’s unnecessary for a lord and can be considered a luxury.”
Is it something like studying abroad and playing around in a foreign country?
Can it really be considered luxurious to let others trifle with my money?
Though from the viewpoint of nobility, there’s no real point in for the lords to learn the wisdom of the people.
As long as everyone they ruled over just followed them silently, there wasn’t any real reason to study abroad.
With that said, Brian agreed,
“I think this is a splendid idea. I mentioned this before, but Lord Liam, the territory of the Banfield house is still developing. It’s still a premature land that still has a lot of things to learn, such as art and fashion. So it would be quite luxurious to go off and study these unnecessary fields for a while.”
I remembered while listening to Brian,
“I see, so that’s why I should go and study abroad!”
The reason why I couldn’t get myself to pick up women was because I couldn’t get over their terrible fashion sense.
None of them could pull my heartstrings.
But if I learned about the rest of the universe, maybe my perception of them could get a little better.
I still thought it was wrong to go swimming in full-body swimsuits.
And I can still remember shedding tears the day I heard that it was currently vogue to wear hats with small umbrellas sticking out of them in my territory.
In addition to that, art and fashion aren’t considered fields that you need to learn to survive.
If your life was currently in danger, they’d definitely be fields of study to look down on.
So certainly, it’d definitely be considered luxuries to study those things.
“Make the arrangements immediately.”
Amagi quickly began the preparations,
“For now, let’s plan out Lord Liam’s budget. If you want to leave as soon as possible, then they’re recruiting applicants to study abroad in the next fiscal year.”
“That’s great! I’ll live the most luxurious life ever!”
I ignored Brian who was currently wiping his tears,
“Studying abroad in order to learn the perspective of his people... As expected of Lord Liam.”
He was currently saying something but I couldn’t hear him very well.
In any case, let’s spend more money! Lots and lots of money!
This is definitely luxurious.
Evil lords are supposed to live indulgent lives like this after all!
I wanted to spend money on things that gave off that feeling.
My aim is to become an evil lord that everyone fears!
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