The guide was deep in thought.
While feeling nauseous from Liam’s gratitude, he seriously pondered what had happened to Liam’s deep seated grudges and hate.
-The reason being that Liam’s gratitude was worse than he expected.
It was at a strength that his body could no longer shrug off.
“Hmm, now how can I make him suffer? The thing is, he only keeps old butlers and androids around himself. With this, I can’t really deal any serious mental damage. If there was an actual human lady on the other hand, I’d be able to stimulate his previous life’s trauma.”
At first the guide thought he should meddle with Liam’s subordinates, but that was difficult now that Liam had already executed all the bureaucrats that were likely to be corrupted.
On the other hand, if he meddled too much, then things wouldn’t be that interesting anymore.
As a guide, he only wanted to set the opportunities for things. After that, he would just sit back and watch as an individual’s shallowness and incompetence ruined themselves.
It wasn’t his preference to get his own hands dirty.
So this was quite bothersome.
“He’s surprisingly serious. I thought that he’d been aiming to surround himself with beautiful women while indulging in carnal pleasures.”
Even though he said he was aiming to be an Evil Lord, all that he was doing was normal governance.
Did he forget his own purpose?
The guide watched Liam while having those thoughts.
Liam, who was finally alone in his office, began to squirm nervously.
After looking into his thoughts, it seems that Liam truly did have the intention to become an Evil Lord.
He could hear the voice of Liam’s heart.
(The territory has been developed, and the people finally have some breathing room. There’s no point in squeezing them dry before they’re even ready to be squeezed. You can’t squeeze out a dry rag after all.)
The guide was happy to hear this. “I see, he’s planning to raise his people up before dropping them down, like how I’m doing to him. I don’t hate this kind of development, it’s still something useable.”
Liam was thinking about various things while grinning.
(Should I try to gather the beautiful girls together first? If taking into account the population of my territory, there should be at least one or two beauties.)
The guide felt excited by Liam’s enthusiasm to take the things he wanted by force.
“This is fine, I can work with this. This is only a small setback. It doesn’t matter if he does things through brute force or with bribes and money, as long as he still gets to the same ending. No, better yet why don’t I prepare another adulterer to seduce his partner right after they confess their love? I’m sure Liam will have some great emotions then.”
As the guide wallowed in his delusions, Amagi entered into the office.
Liam’s focus immediately switched over to Amagi’s report.
The guide proceed to eavesdrop on their conversation.
“...we’re to receive some military personnel?”
“Yes, it looks like they’re going to send us some military officers who’re close to retirement for reserve duty. Please contact me if you decide to go through with this, and I’ll take care of the budgeting.”
The guide started to rub his chin as he listened.
“Hmm... from the military’s point of view, do they just want to reduce unuseable human resources?”
Apparently, the Empire seems to want some military personnel regulated to the frontier.
In response, the military took this chance to shove the useless people on reserve duty and other troublesome individuals onto the provincial nobles.
Liam made a frustrated expression.
“In other words, they’re dumping their garbage onto us?”
‘Though they are from the Empire’s main army, so many of them should be graduates from the military academy, making them both educated and trained. They should have some battle experience, so maybe we can assign them as instructors to train our private army?’
Using said thought process, Liam reluctantly gave his permission.
Upon hearing that, the guide’s mouth distorted into a smile and he began to laugh.
“Let’s set up the foundation for the future. It should be interesting to gather serious soldiers who won’t tolerate the rise of an evil lord.”
Even if they don’t revolt, it should be fine as long as they cause Liam trouble.
They were going to serve under Liam, a man who was planning to commit various atrocities as an despot afterall.
Surely the ethical soldiers would start a mutiny.
And once the people rise up, they’ll band together and execute Liam as a tyrant.
“With that said, let’s have all the honourable soldiers gather here.”
As the guide snapped his fingers, black smoke generated from his body before dispersing into the surroundings.
The guide then took off his hat before opening the door between dimensions.
“Even when I’m doing things like this, you’re still sending feelings of gratitude to me. Makes me want to hurl. I’ll be gone for a little while Liam, so make sure to put on a spectacular show for me the next time I come here.”
He decided to leave a little earlier than planned because Liam’s gratitude was disgusting.
And so the guide left the world as it was.
◇ ◇ ◇
I was about to reach my mid-forties.
It was around the time where you’d normally start having a mid-life crisis.
But in this world, people of this age were just about to be recognised as adults.
I had continued to live a normal life.
I lived normally, worked normally, studied normally and trained normally.
I was preparing for a disaster to strike.
Or rather, I felt that it was weird that I haven’t suffered at all in this life.
As I was just about to finish my days work, Amagi gave me a new report.
“–Master, [Nias Karin], the technology lieutenant of the seventh weapons factory is looking to meet with you. It seems like she wants to confirm Avid’s condition.”
The intelligent beauty technology lieutenant that had an amazing body.
“Why so suddenly?”
“The inspection on Avid is probably an excuse. Their main goal seems to be the sale of weapons from their factory.”
The Empire sure was a rough place.
It was just too large. It was impossible for them to micro-manage every little thing.
While its true that the factories were run by the Empire, it seems that nobles were still allowed to purchase weapons from them for their personal needs.
Normally, you wouldn’t be able to buy such things, or at least they’d put restrictions.
But their conditions were too loose.
And so, it was relatively easy to purchase arsenals.
“Can we even afford something like this given our financial situation? They’re probably going to try to sell us a new battleship or something.”
Between a new car and a used car which can we afford? –it was something like that.
At present, the majority of the ships used by the Banfield house are one generation old. While the main aircrafts were built with the lowest specs possible to keep down the prices.
It was all I needed though, so I wasn’t complaining.
“I’d rather sell something to the imperial army rather than buy something from them.”
“The seventh weapons factory is insinuated to have quite advanced technology while having problematic designs. Which only increases the price since its based on the specs, in turn, it seems they have a delicate reputation in the Empire. Conversely, the third weapons factory is quite well balanced in both performance and design, making it one of the more popular factories.”
Is that so? It doesn’t have anything to do with me, so I didn’t really care.
I decided it should be fine to at least see her, so I gave my reply and started towards the reception room.
◇ ◇ ◇
Nias was already waiting for me by the time I entered the reception room.
Today she wasn’t in her usual uniform, this one had a skirt.
-The length of the skirt was abnormally short.
Perhaps noticing my line of sight, Amagi started muttering, “That skirt is in violation of the Imperial Army’s dress code.”
After sitting down on the sofa across from Nias I could understand why.
I could see her underwear from this angle.
After I finished my greetings, Nias began to talk,
“You’ve really made it big, I was wrong about you, my lord.”
“That’s fine and all, but what did you really come here for?”
She was complimenting me, but I didn’t feel like I’ve become that big of a deal yet.
Was it just lip service?
“Yes, I was thinking about checking on Avid’s condition because there were many engineers who were curious about what had happened to that child-”
I could see her thigh-gap every now and then from the inside of her skirt.
“Cut the crap, I hear you wanted to sell something to me?”
The territory was more developed than it used to be, and tax revenue was increasing.
Knowing that much, various people had already come to me seeking to seek out trade deals.
One of them was Nias.
Nias’ expression suddenly turned serious. She then started operating a tablet-like object, from which a stereoscopic image suddenly displayed itself around me.
“I’m here to ask you to purchase battleships and weapons built by the seventh weapons factory.”
The 3D images of the battleships floating around me showcased how they took up less space while being more powerful than the previous generation.
Their prices were unbelievable.
This wasn’t on the level of a new car, it was a whole new meaning of the word ‘expensive.’
“Aren’t these more expensive than the standard prices?”
“There’s also the fact that they’re better ships. They’re different from the mass-produced ships that only display the minimum specs required, so of course the price is higher.”
For just one of these new ships, I’d be able to purchase three to five second-hand ships.
I didn’t feel any need to buy any separately.
While Amagi was examining the video she added,
“When buying goods from the Empire’s weapon factories we also need to pay taxes, these aren’t the tax-included prices.”
I glared at Nias, and she turned away while giving a troubled laugh.
“T-that may be so, but I can guarantee their performance! The latest models have been improved in various ways. For example, this cruiser! More knight can be docked there than ever before, and its specs as a battleship are-”
In short, what they were trying to sell to me was the latest version of the conventional models.
Certainly, their capabilities were great but-
“Why didn’t you sell them to the imperial army?”
“...we lost the trial so they decided to commission another factory.”
Because competition in an intergalactic empire was fierce, it seems that each fleet has the right to decide which factory they want to buy from.
So they constantly hold inspections as tests.
However, it looks like the seventh weapons factory lost all the inspections and wasn’t chosen by any of them.
Amagi calmly asked,
“Are there any problems besides performance?”
Nias looked like she was about to cry.
“They’re both easy to produce and maintain as well! However they’re smaller than before, and we were rejected because they didn’t like the design- they said that they had cheap interiors.”
Certainly, nobles do tend to hold appearances as a high priority.
Although there were ordinary people in the upper ranks of the army, there was an overwhelmingly higher number of nobles.
So when given the choice of design, as long as the performance difference wasn’t that noticeable, of course they’d choose the one that appealed to them more.
If I was in the same position I’d choose the cheaper one with a better design as well. I mean, there’s no real difference in specs.
Though from time to time you there do seem to be eccentrics who only focus on either design or performance. I’m not really one of them but-
If I had to say which was more important, I’d definitely say performance was little better.
“S-so how about it, my lord? Two-hundred! No, even one-hundred is fine! You can take out a loan, so why not consider purchasing it?”
It seems like the seventh weapons factory is desperate now, they probably didn’t expect to lose the trials.
“Amagi, can you show me the battleships of the other factories?”
“As you wish.”
Around Amagi, the battleships from the other weapon factories were displayed in reduced 3D images.
Compared to the ships built at the other factories, the ones of the seventh weapons factory truly were weapons! They gave off quite the burly feeling.
However, there was also something about them that set off red flags in my head. I had a bad feeling about them, and I didn’t like it.
The ships of the other factories had the same basic structure and had more refined designs.
It was obvious.
This was a loss.
Certainly their specs were good, but they just looked straight up awful.
In comparison, the battleships of the third weapons factory were especially cool.
“Amagi, isn’t this fine? Let’s buy this ship.”
“Master, that’s a flagship-class battleship, we need the permission of the Empire to buy those, and the Banfields don’t have that right.”
It looks like I’m not allowed to buy anything of the flagship-class that’s over two thousand meters long.
I guess I didn’t have a choice but to buy a battleship that was smaller than a thousand meters.
The reasons being- the taxes that should’ve been paid to the empire have been late until just recently.
I finally had enough leeway to pay them, but the empire’s response was cold.
Even if I did try to get a permit, its likely I’d have to pay for all the taxes that have been missed, first.
“In that case, why don’t we go with this one? It’s cooler than what we have now.”
I pointed at an eight-hundred meter class, it was a bit small, but I thought it’d be a good purchase.
“I’ll get you in touch with them right away.”
While I was having that conversation in front of Nias, her voice rose up shrilly in response.
“Please wait for one moment! I’m really in trouble here!”
“Why’d you give up on design?”
“Its because performance is more important!”
“If the difference in specs isn’t that different, then of course I’d choose the one with the better design. The interiors are also pretty cheesy-looking, or rather they give off a malicious feeling.”
Without cutting corners, they’re just plain bad.
“That’s because maintenance will become more difficult!”
Looking more and more desperate, Nias started to take off her coat jacket.
The underpants that I could see through her white shirt gave off the feeling of somebody that had been working hard for a long time.
Wasn’t that a matching set?
Nias seemed to be emphasising her chest with her arms.
Looking at that, I remembered the extravagant increase of unfamiliar underwear that was kept in my wife’s drawers.
As I dropped my shoulders, Nias looked like she was about to cry,
“Why are you so disappointed?! Weren’t you ogling my chest the last time I came?!”
“Yeah, I did, but I’m not really feeling it anymore.”
Even though my wife constantly refused to spice up our night life, for some reason, she seemed to be getting an increasing amount of flashy and skimpy underwear.
—those were the first signs that I started to think that she was having an affair.
Opening her white shirt to expose more cleavage, Nias even started to make poses in order to appeal to me.
The person in question was seriously embarrassed and completely flushed red.
“Wow Nias, you must really want to make this sale.”
She gave an awkward smile while clumsily doing something that just barely passed as a pose.
Something did come to mind after seeing a cool beauty force herself to do something that she absolutely wasn’t used to.
—it was that she looked, really, really, pitiful.
“I understand, I’ll buy it. You said you needed me to purchase two hundred ships?”
“If possible, I’d appreciate it if you could buy three hundred!”
The number from before had increased!
Wasn’t she being a bit too shrewd?
She was like the universe’s most disappointing venus flytrap.
“Can we afford it, Amagi?”
Amagi immediately did the calculations and confirmed,
“We can do it if we reduce the number of ships scheduled to be purchased. In the long run this isn’t a waste, so it should be okay to invest in them.”
When I turned back to look at Nias, she had already clasped her hands together in happiness.
“I understand. I’ll buy it, we can change the design ourselves anyway. We can just throw covers or whatever for the exterior, and while it might cost a bit more, the interiors can be renovated.”
Now that she had regained her composure, Nias pushed up her glasses slightly with her fingertips to correct their position.
“There’s no point in the design.”
“You really should at least do the bare minimum, or else you’ll never win an inspection.”
Reminded of how they had continued to lose the inspections, Nias dropped her shoulder and started hugging her knees on top of the table she was now sitting on.
I can see your underwear again, so can you stop already? Stop sitting on my table.
Amagi had an exasperated look on her face,
“It looks like she’s the kind of person who’s generally disappointing except when they’re working.”
She was beautiful, but she was a pitiful kind of beauty.
In the end, I finished this bit of business and left the details to Amagi, eventually leaving the room more tired than I thought I’d be.
◇ ◇ ◇
Brian was walking down the mansion corridor.
There he could overhear someone engrossed in a conversation.
(Is that the visitor, Nias?)
He thought it was rude to eavesdrop, but he felt that Nias, who was making a secret call to someone was suspicious.
When he listened in,
“How about it? I was able to get him to buy three hundred units.”
Apparently, she was conversing with some youth from the seventh weapons factory.
“But it’s also with a commission to alter the design, right? The top brass is going to be angry.”
“There wasn’t any other choice, he wouldn’t buy anything otherwise!”
The younger voice sounded slightly appalled,
“In any case, I can’t believe a straight-laced worker like you was actually able to charm a deal like this out. Did you have something to blackmail him with?”
“It’s nothing like that, he’s completely obsessed with me. I was able to wear him down with my seduction skills today as well.”
“M-maybe. Definitely. I saw it with my own eyes.”
“If that’s the case, then you should’ve sold him more.”
“I’m not that mean, there was no need to. Rather, why aren’t you being nicer to me? I just completed a business deal with my charms!”
“You only sold three hundred units, right? We were hoping for double that amount.”
“I did my best!”
The atmosphere was subtle, but Brian was shocked,
(Lord Liam is stuck in a honey trap!)
Brian couldn’t help but feel uneasy about Liam, who had just made a large purchase from a venus fly trap.
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