Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi

Ofuro Ashitsubo

Chapter 528: Should Overturn the Board II

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Chapter 528: Should Overturn the Board II

House Schmidt – Banquet Hall (G.o.d Dragon Room)

「Ariba Midoreselle-dono, 12th head of the Midoreselle baron family, is making his entrance!」

The name of a n.o.ble unknown to me is announced.

Meanwhile, I am being asked to wait at the front door.

「We were the ones who arrived first. Supposing the order was reversed, it would be natural to give us priority based on rank. This must be another form of hara.s.sment.」

Sekrit says and grins, causing me to unconsciously smile as well.

「How fussy.」

If Nonna was here, she would already be red in the face and fuming.

I’m glad I had her wait separately.

「Isn’t it my turn next? There isn’t anyone else behind me.」

When I step forward, a servant of the Schmidt family politely bows to me.

「Preparations to welcome Hardlett-dono are not complete. If I could ask you to please wait a bit longer……」

I turn to the smirking Sekrit, the trembling Kuu, and the panting Felteris, and smile. I guess I’ll have them wait here a little more.

「Now don’t say that. I’m hungry. You can at least let me pa.s.s first.」

「Wai-!? Eh?」

I push the servant aside, open the door and raise my voice.

「First generation of the Hardlett margrave family, myself, I am now entering!!」

The smiles of some n.o.bles, who are giggling because they know I am the only one being asked to wait, suddenly freeze.

This G.o.d dragon room is one size larger than the banquet hall in my mansion and the number of partic.i.p.ants including the women is approximately 200.

High-ranking individuals are accompanied by their escorts, but they are not wearing armor and only have a ceremonial dagger on their hip.

I see merely eight knights acting as security for the hall who are dressed in formal wear and are equipped with just a thin saber.

If a fight breaks out, they won’t stop me from running.

「Gosh, it’s cold outside. Let me warm myself up first.」

I say loudly as I take two gla.s.ses from a server boy and gulp down their contents, then grab a piece of meat from the table and tear off the entire chunk in one go with my mouth before returning empty gla.s.ses and a bone to the tray.

「Fuu, I’m revived.」

n.o.bles stare dumbfoundedly and their faces warp in disgust at my savage behavior.

I showed no form of manners or respect.

Such a display would be frowned upon even in a rundown bar.

But if I stand out this much, it can’t be said that they realized too late.

Sure enough, a tense-looking Mr. Pot-……Reval comes over.

The invitation came from him so he has to greet me, whether he wants to or not, otherwise it would be rude to the other n.o.bles.

「Well well, if it isn’t Hardlett-dono! I’m impressed you fearlessly accepted by invitation. As expected of the courage possessed by someone of low birth.」

Reval’s face is twitching and his speech is disturbed.

He is also the kind of person who is weak to provocation. I feel a slight affinity to him.

Reval sees n.o.body by my side and acts surprised.

「Oya? I heard your wife came with you……though it appears she is not here. Don’t tell me she is no longer fond of you, that would be horrible.」

His follower piles on.

「Someone of Margrave Hardlett’s status should have at least one or two attendants or your status will fall. I will say it’s admirable that you humbled yourself, thinking that having the same status as the Schmidt family is excessive……」

「Although if you lower your head too much, people will think of you as an ignorant oaf. Please be careful. Look, you have a b.u.t.ton in the wrong place.」

Here comes the fault-finding.

Thanks for pointing out the b.u.t.ton.

「I have attendants. They just ate too much for lunch and went to s.h.i.+t-……I mean, went to the restroom.」

A n.o.ble wife wearing heavy makeup is surely glaring at me.

The other n.o.bles can’t hide their gazes that look at me like I’m an idiot either.

At the perfect timing, Yakov, Christoph, and Mack stomp in, making no efforts to silence their footsteps.

「General, we ran late――!!」

「Sorry boss, forgive me.」

「My bad, boss.」

I turn to face the three.

「You d.a.m.n fools!」

I shout and kick Yakov.

He tumbles on the floor, crashes into the wall and groans.

「I told you to call me feudal lord! Don’t embarra.s.s me!」

The entire contemptful atmosphere freezes.

All the snickering and whispering also stops.

This is obviously an act.

I kicked Yakov in such a way that would deal no damage and would lift him up into the air, plus he also jumped.

「What an absolutely vulgar subordinate.」

「Hiii!」

I change my tone and turn back around with a beaming smile.

「Was there any other impoliteness?」

「T-the necktie of your follower――」

I kick Christoph in a similar way.

He slides across the floor, but goes further than I expected and b.u.mps into the leg of a table.

Forgive me, that was an accident.

「Hahaha, what a problematic guy.」

When I smile at them, Reval and his follower take a few steps backward, and a young n.o.ble lady bursts into tears when she coincidentally makes eye contact with me.

n.o.body else says anything further.

This is a method of threatening that thugs use, but based on how petrified the follower is, it seems to have an effect.

In the first place, this dinner party is a farce.

No matter what I did, they were going to gossip about me and my people behind my back, saying how this is bad and that is bad, and then come to the conclusion that new n.o.bles are no good and they are correct.

In that case, I just have to start trouble before they discuss etiquette and the like.

They won’t acknowledge me no matter what so I’ll just dominate the room and scare them to avoid the hostility.

Of course I’d be a hoodlum if I did only that, so I thought of another move.

「You guys can go back to the carriage.」

「’Kay! By the way boss, what should we do with this girl we picked up on the way?」

Mack is holding up Zillia.

「You guys can do whatever you want. I’ll be having a taste too so don’t break her.」

「Waah……why am I playing this role……I’m not letting anyone except Christoph mount me, you hear!」

I reply like a bandit and then turn back to the n.o.bles with a smile.

n.o.body dares to say anything.

While Christoph and the others are playing, the girls enter.

And then the guy without courage to mess with me heads over to them.

「Oh my, the madam is quite lucky. I hear you fell in love with her at a questionable position……eh?」

Nonna isn’t here.

Only Kuu, Sekrit and Felteris are here.

「E-eerr, I am not Nonna-sama, my name is Kuu. I am the daughter of Mel, a concubine of Aegir-san……-sama.」

「The daughter of a concubine? Well aren’t you……aah, you’re a child from the previous marriage.」

「Ara ara, you’re as beautiful as a prost.i.tute. Tee hee.」

It isn’t scandalous for a great n.o.ble to have concubines.

However, it’s a different story if that concubine has children from a previous marriage.

Not to mention, tonight Kuu is dressed in a s.e.xy outfit on the border of what’s acceptable in high-cla.s.s society.

「A child from a previous marriage ……ara ara, my my.」

「You must be in such a tough position.」

Ladies with heavy makeup and worthless n.o.bles grin, looking at her as if they’re thinking of how to cook her.

I obviously didn’t bring Kuu here so she can be ridiculed.

Now Kuu, time to use the trump card.

「I-I am also receiving Aegir-san’s affection!!」

「Affection……? Eh? Being a child from another marriage is one thing…… but aren’t you his daughter?」

Good, they swallowed it up.

Kuu has turned red and looks like she can spit fire.

I walk over to Kuu, hug her from behind and kiss her.

「Eeh, isn’t she beautiful? Her mother isn’t the youngest, but she’s beautiful――」

「I’m telling mom.」

I clear my throat.

「Her mother is beautiful in her own way. Anyways, I look forward to loving her night after night.」

「Such immorality……she may not be blood-related, but sleeping with you daughter is an unforgivable act!」

I hug Sekrit while the lady in heavy makeup trembles in fear.

「This woman was formerly an enemy, but as you can see, she is a fine woman, and so I welcomed her into my house.」

Sekrit is also dressed in a rather suggestive outfit, and lets out an erotic sigh before licking my chin.

「Yes, I am your property. I resisted and lost an arm, but I don’t regret it.」

Sekrit uses her non-prosthetic arm to stroke my chest.

Wait, that’s not in the script.

You’re supposed to hug me back as a woman who has fallen for me.

「H-he tore off your arm and forced you to become his woman!?」

「Hieee……」

The lady turns pale and the young lady faints due to anemia.

Whatever, I can’t stop her now.

「And this one is a woman I picked up in the forest.」

「I know, you fiend. You want me to do it in front of all these people, right?」

Felteris lets out a frustrated “kuh” and sticks her hand in her underwear.

I also told you just to snuggle against me like a wh.o.r.e, I didn’t say anything about masturbating.

「How horrible, she’s been trained like an animal.」

「Doing that regardless of time and place……it’s too late. She’s been turned into a s.e.x slave.」

「What kind of tricks did he use……gulp.」

The n.o.ble wives look at me with disdain and the girls look at me with pity.

Their initial sarcasm toward Nonna is no longer present.

Her birthplace is trivial compared to knowing that I sleep with a child of a previous marriage, learning I will tear off a woman’s arm to make them mine, and discovering I trained a girl to m.a.s.t.u.r.b.a.t.e in public.

「Sorry. I’ll do whatever you ask later.」

I whisper to the three girls.

「Mm, a picnic with mom and my sisters. n.o.body else.」

Kuu is fond of her family like Mel.

「Join me in the ceremonial s.h.i.+p launching. And not a word about it to anyone or I’ll kill you.」

I’m not sure what that means, but sure.

「You want me to defecate while masturbating in the streets!? Kuh, I won’t allow you to take away my honor as an elf so easily!」

Felteris doesn’t waver at all.

If she wants to do it, then fine, I’ll watch.

「It’s time you stop belittling my family’s dinner party!!」

Reval bellows. So he’s taking this route?

He shakes free from his followers and approaches me violently.

「Ormud-dono! You must not engage directly! That person is backed by the military commissioner!」

「Shut up!」

Reval takes the table knife and throws it at me.

Someone nearby screams.

I don’t know if it was his skill or if it was a coincidence, but the knife flies straight at my face.

I open my mouth like I’m dumbfounded――――

And I catch the knife with my teeth.

A few seconds later, I bite down and shatter the silver knife.

Of course, I don’t forget to smile.

Reval steps backward, trips on the table and falls.

「Hahaha, did your hand slip?」

I lean forward and peek at Reval’s face.

「T-that’s right, my hand slipped!!」

Reval grabs a steaming bowl of soup on the table and hurls it at my head.

The boiling liquid spreads all over my face.

Spectators gasp and shriek in shock, and n.o.bles who don’t want to get involved prepare to flee.

After remaining still for a moment, I smile once again.

「What happened last time, I guess this makes us even.」

I bring my face close enough to his face that our noses touch.

「Uu……ah……」

Reval’s eyes frantically dart around as he tries to find the words to say.

His follower is watching from ten steps away and doesn’t have the courage to intervene.

「Catching a knife with his mouth……and breaking it.」

「That was boiling soup too. He’s not human!」

「The war demon rumor is true. My house won’t concern itself with Hardlett anymore! Having multiple lives won’t be enough!」

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「My house too! I will stick with the governmental affairs commissioner, but I will not oppose the Hardlett family! Not with that monster!」

She began to lash out at followers.

I thought it would end with a sarcastic remark, but once she involves herself with someone, she continually berates them with her shrill voice.

She doesn’t listen to the opinions of the other person and says whatever she wants.

「Mistry-dono is at it again……」

「Because of her circ.u.mstances, I feel sorry for her, but I’m getting sick of how often this happens.」

「I can ask the Schmidt family what they can do about this. But I hear the head is also having a tough time.」

Nearby n.o.bles watch helplessly.

Eventually, the young lady makes her way to me.

「Here’s a face I haven’t seen before. Your name?」

I hold back Nonna as soon as she becomes enraged by the sn.o.bbish att.i.tude.

「I am called Hardlett. I was invited by Reval-dono.」

I was able to maintain a natural smile this entire time.

As expected, it’s easy when talking to a woman.

I’ll ignore Nonna’s piercing gaze for now.

「Hardlett? Aah, the upstart n.o.ble. I thought you were a subspecies of barbarians, but you can dress decently if you try, huh?」

I can almost hear the veins popping on Nonna’s temple.

「Such harsh criticism. If you don’t mind, I’d like to know your name too.」

I will behave modestly to the end.

This is just a precaution against an unknown subject, not because I have ulterior motives.

「Huh? You don’t know my name? No, you’re lying, you must have heard about my reputation and are pretending not to know. You’re the same as the other men. If you don’t want to a.s.sociate with me, just say so! I’m sure you think I――」

She rapidly talks on without pause, but I genuinely don’t know.

This is quite troublesome.

I notice that the traditional n.o.bles are looking at me somewhat warmly now that I am a target of her tirade.

They must also have been through a similar situation countless times.

I was bombarded with her storm of words for easily over five minutes and all I could learn from the incoherent babbling was the name Mistry.

I offer her a gla.s.s when she is tired and runs out of words to say.

「Well Miss Mistry. To celebrate our meeting, shall we have a toast?」

Mistry stares at me dubiously when asked and smacks the gla.s.s out of my hand.

Naturally the gla.s.s shatters and my feet get wet from its contents.

Surrounding n.o.bles cover their eyes and sigh like they knew this would happen, and Nonna’s increasing anger starts to make her b.o.o.bs sway.

「No. I hate macho and savage men like you. Disgusting, you make me want to throw up.」

I didn’t do anything and she’s already exuding hostile energy.

I lower my shoulder and take Mistry’s hand.

「What are you doing!? Insolent man!!」

She slaps my cheek hard, but I don’t let it bother me.

It is in fact the spectators who scream.

No need to worry, I won’t retaliate against a woman.

「You should not strike a gla.s.s with such a delicate hand. You would get terribly hurt from the fragments.」

I check to see if she suffered any wounds before kneeling in apology for my rudeness while still holding her hand.

「May I?」

「……」

I take a lack of rejection as permission and lightly kiss the back of her hand.

「Alright, if you’ll excuse me.」

I smile again and turn my back to Mistry.

「Boo……」

「Boo.」

I pat the pouting Nonna and Celia as I reflect on the sensation of Mistry’s hand.

「She’s deathly skinny. Also the wounds on her arm are all self-inflicted. If someone cut her, they would enter from that direction.」

「There must be a reason. I will investigate.」

I nod to the well-dressed Leopolt.

She probably wouldn’t tell me if I asked anyways.

「I guess it’s time to sneak away.」

I call the servant who is completely exhausted by the chain of troubles.

「Sorry, Celia here has eaten too much and her stomach will overflow from the top and bottom at any moment. We’ll be going now, so please arrange an inn for us.」

「You’re so mean!」

And so, it seemed like the chronicles of my visit to the Schmidt family were over.

――Late at night.

The girls have fallen asleep and I am having a drink at a cheap tavern with Yakov, Christoph, and Mack.

「Che. I got excited when I heard it was a dinner party at a distinguished family, but I couldn’t drink a single cup.」

Christoph complains.

「You should have known from the start. Besides, all you would have drank from that place is bad stuff.」

I tilt back an entire bottle and drink straight from it.

「Impressive General. I can’t lose.」

Yakov follows suit.

「Kyaa! Touching requires a separate fee!」

Mack squeezes the a.s.s of a dark-skinned employee and receives a slap in return.

To apologize, silver coins are slipped into her cleavage, granting him permission to touch all he wants.

With how seedy this place is, n.o.body would think the Hardlett family would be here.

Or so I thought.

「――may I sit next to you?」

A hooded female lowers herself in the seat adjacent to me.

「Sure.」

The meaning of sitting beside a man in a cheap bar doesn’t have to be explained.

I gently place my hand on top of the woman’s hand and stop.

That’s because I remember this overly thin hand.

「I never thought you’d be drinking in such a shabby place. Give me back the time I spent running to the bars for n.o.bles.」

The woman pulls back her hood.

As I suspected, the unforgettable face belongs to Miss Mistry.

「I’ve developed an interest in you.」

Mistry says as she grabs the bottle I’ve partially drank from and takes a few swigs, then frowns from how awful it tastes.

I fix my collar to look a little more presentable.

「You want to f.u.c.k me, don’t you?」

I nod without hesitation at the words I didn’t expect to come from the lips of a lady of a distinguished n.o.ble family.

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