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Chapter 6: Baron Arnold

“Tina, we’ll arrive at the main village soon. Hold on tight!”

“Yes, Kurt-sama!”

I went to the main village by riding a horse, galloping all the way. It’s not like there’s no carriage, but riding the horse directly is faster and less tiring for the horse. It is one of the only two horses in the settlers’ village. I must treat it well.

There’s Tina behind me, hugging me tightly and circling her hand around my waist. I believe I didn’t just imagine her rubbing her cheeks on my back once in a while. Really, what a pampered child.

In this pace, it should take no time to arrive at our destination.

Just as the noon passed, we’ve finally arrived at the main village where the mansion of Baron Arnold resides. The mansion is two-story building made from brick, elegant and completely not betraying the family’s poor condition. As I step inside the house, the servants greet me. Most of them are old women who already has difficulties in doing field works.

Employing them is for the sake of utilizing the cost of the food from people who’s lost their physical strength, too harsh to make them work on the field.

Tina appears smaller behind me. She doesn’t have many good memories about this mansion, if there’s any at all. I made small greetings to them before making my way through in the mansion, arriving at the front of Father’s office in the second floor. I knocked lightly.

“It’s Kurt. I’ve come to report the reclamation progress.”


Opening the door according to Father’s voice, I enter the room. Tina stays right in front of the door.

“Dear Father, it has been a while.”

“You’ve come a long way, Kurt.”

Father was sitting on a solid looking chair, showing a calm expression. He had a huge stature from years of tempering, but his eyes carried brilliant intelligence at the same time. I respect Father greatly. He does have his stubborn parts, but he’s a feudal lord adored by his people.

With a smiling face, I walk before stopping in front of him, handing over the report. Father receives the document, spreading the papers on the table, going through each one of them.

“Hm, the reclamation is doing well and splendidly. To think that it’s merely three years to pay this much tax. Even if I were to do it, I need five years or more to reach this point. This year, the money from aiding the reclamation and the tax collected come gradually, but from this part, it’ll be a surplus from next year. I’m quite surprised.”

“It’s because the workers are working hard.”

“It is difficult to pull out the motivation from people, much less with this small budget. You’ve done a good job, disregarding the fact that the fief’s people can’t get rewards. Then, guiding them until they show the willingness to work and make a great effort at that is more difficult. Kurt, you’re an excellent son. Under your hands, the Arnold family should become greater and more prosperous.”

“You’re not doubting this report?”

“There are some doubts, obviously. It’s all right to tell you now; actually there’s someone observing your village. That report is perfectly consistent with yours. The observer highly praises you. Not only you’re competent, your personality is also excellent, the ideal village head that the people adores. Your report for me also doesn’t have excess nor deficiency; it’s concise and precise. I value this highly.”

Father praises me without restrain. I can’t feel joyous from those words, because I could feel that they have the continuation.

“And those are precisely why it’s regrettable. ... that I couldn’t let you succeed as the feudal lord. If only you were born to some other family than the house of Arnold.”

Yes. In me, the talent that Arnold family wishes for the most is not existent.

“Father, the one who will succeed the feudal lord is not yet decided. The selection ceremony is next week.”

In the ceremony next week, who’ll become the feudal lord between me and my brother Jörg will be decided.

“You’re right. Jörg still hasn’t inherited the title yet. My mistake.”

The probability is exceedingly low. Albeit so, I never ceased to aim for that.

“Kurt, there’s something I have to tell you. Tomorrow, the marquis will come to the land you reclaimed for an inspection. Be prepared.”

“And what is the reason?”

“Your place is the newest village, yet it brings the most outcome. It is most suitable for an inspection.”

The marquisate is a great aristocrat who gathers every nobility from this area, including Arnold family. They come periodically to their subordinate aristocrat’s territory to confirm their progress. Father’s main part is the development of new farmland. In that light, my settler’s village should be favorable.

“And also, Kurt. You’ve worked hard until now. After the selection ceremony, come and return to the main village. It’s no longer important to take care of that village.”

“Wha–!? What did you mean by that?”

“In this round of inspection, I will tell the Marquess that your pioneering village was built by Jörg, because Jörg is closer to be the next feudal lord. I want to give the impression on the next feudal lord’s excellence. If I present that village, he would remember Jörg better in auspicious light. It’s also about time that Jörg begins having a work experience. With his abilities, it would be improbable to start a pioneering village from step one, but if the village is on the track, it’s convenient and should become a good experience for him.”

Red color blinds my eyes from boiling anger. When I realized, I already slammed both of my hands with all my strength.

“Don’t joke with me, what about your promise?! Up until now, just what do you think I’ve been feeling!? How far I’ve piled up my efforts for the sake of building that village!!!?”

I raised my voice in anger towards my father for the first time since I was born.

“You promised me three years! You told me I could only put into work the remaining people in each village, reclaiming and turning a wasteland into a worthy village! In return, even if I don’t inherit the title, I could stay as the village head in this fief! Father, you agreed to this!”

It was the vow made a long time ago. I understood that I probably wouldn’t be the feudal lord. If I couldn’t be the feudal lord, the remaining options were to aid my brother or leave the fief. I declined both. It would distance myself from my dream to be the best pastry chef in the world.

That’s why, I chose the path to become a village head, leading one village and paying tax to the feudal lord. I would turn the village rich, make ingredients for sweets, sell special sweets product. Then with the money I gain, I would collect and buy various ingredients, making even more sweets and pastries, building up my wealth until finally I would make the best pastry in the world.

For that reason, I increased the village’s wealth, even starting beekeeping. I also make preparations for various other things. Even so, once my village gets confiscated, all of my efforts will turn into nothing.

“I certainly made that kind of promise. However, you’re overdoing it, Kurt. Since you’ve made it that far, there’s no move I won’t take. That village is too attractive to throw away.”

“For that kind of reason!?”

“If you’re frustrated, you should become the feudal lord. Since you can’t, of course I play this move instead. Your village doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to the Feudal Lord from the Baron house of Arnold.”

Even though the talk was just over, Father had already turned around. I’m gripping my fist until my knuckles turn white.

“Father, do reconsider. I couldn’t think of a case where Jörg is able to lead that village. The only thing I see is bankruptcy.”

“It’s impossible if he’s alone. That’s what an ordinary person is. I’ll protect him. If he fails, it’s good enough that he can learn from it.”

“...Please excuse me.”

“In the afternoon, come to the courtyard. The pre-ceremonial match will become the last one today. Kurt, win it if you don’t want to lose your village. I’m repeating myself, but you could’ve just become the feudal lord.”

...and that’s the exact thing I couldn’t do! Those are the words I swallow back down from my throat. Clinging further is useless now. I turn and leave this place behind as I feel despair.

The moment I exited the door, Tina ran up to me. Could she have guessed something from looking at my face? She just grasps my hand tight without saying anything. It heals my irritable heart a little bit. There’s still a bit of time before afternoon. I need some fresh outdoor air.

While thinking so, I walk to exit the manor. Then my eyes met with someone I dislike. ...Jörg, my younger brother. Average height, average build. White skin. I can’t see him as someone who trains regularly.

He’s a good for nothing who flaunts around his parents’ influence in the main village, which is considerably more prosperous than most villages in Arnold fief.

“Brother, have you heard about it?”

“About what.”

“About handing over the village you built to me. It sounds like an okay village. Since I’ll manage it directly, it will become even better.”

I’m seething with an urge to kill from his words. Tina who has been walking by my side steps forward.

“That village was built by Kurt-sama’s hands! To hand it over to someone like you...!” Tina’s voice rises up in anger. For my sake, she gets even angrier than me. I feel happy from that.

“Heeeh. This girl is cute. So that shabby-looking brat turns up into this, huh?” Jörg’s hand tilts up Tina’s chin. Tina’s expression turns into a glare.

“You’ve piqued my interest. I’ll raise you. Together with the village, I’m taking this girl. I can’t stomach the fact that it’s a second hand from my brother, but I’ll tolerate that.”


“Why are you so mad? Be joyful. I’ll let you live a luxury more than my brother can give. I’ll buy you fashionable outfits from the city. I can even get my hands on some sweets.”

“...What a dull person. I couldn’t see how you measure up to be Kurt-sama’s brother.”

Tina wards off Jörg’s hand. Jörg looks angry and raises his fist. I protect Tina and catch the thrown fist.

“Mind your manners, Jörg. Hitting someone who rejects you is unsightly.”

“What’s this, Brother? You’re opposing me, the feudal lord? No matter how I treat my people is my own business.”

“Already playing the lording part? It’s not decided yet.”

“It’s already decided. You should have understood. Oh well, today’s match will make you realize that if anything.”

“Even so, the selection ceremony is next week. Just do this afterwards.”

“I agree. Then, once I become the feudal lord, I’ll enjoy this aplenty.”

Jörg passes through after making that threat. He probably would go back to his own room.

“I have another correction. Tina isn’t a thing. She’s a human being. Even after you’ve become the feudal lord, don’t think you could act as you wish.”

“It’s a noble’s privilege to treat human as toys. You’re so formal, Brother.”

That guy is no good. He can’t become the feudal lord. Grabbing Tina’s hand, I exit the mansion. Her hand is shivering.

“Forgive me, Tina.”

“It’s not something you should apologize for, Kurt-sama. He’s the jerk.”

“I’m happy that you say that way. And also, thank you for being angry on my behalf. I feel like you’ve saved me a little.”

Tina’s words are dangerous, but that made me happy. No matter what happens, I want to protect her and that village. I feel that from the bottom of my heart.

The afternoon match is not just a match. It’s said to be a rehearsal of the selection ceremony. I brought in my fighting spirit now more than ever.

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