Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 77

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Mightiest Melee Magician

All Power Magician Episode 077

For the wicked, the rod is the remedy.

“What are your plans?”

“If you wish to see my face that badly, I plan to show it to you in person.”

“No. There is no need for you to step in for such matters. Leave it to me and go.”

My father’s character is such that he cannot handle harsh affairs.

At most, he would report to the royal family and ask for measures to be taken.

However, how much concern would there be for incidents occurring in a small city estate in the southernmost reach?

Because of lack of power.

Because of lack of money.

They dare to touch us because we do not have the capacity to solve problems on our own.

But now, things are different.

“Grain, wheat, sweet potatoes. They are all main products of our estate. However, if we do not receive fair value for them, it’s the estate’s people who will wither.”

“Therefore, I will go myself. Three days should be sufficient.”

Although presently, I’m nothing more than the young lord who returned home for the vacation.

I will change that.

By whatever means necessary.

It was the following afternoon that I received tacit permission from my father.

Steward Begains brought me a sturdy saddle, chewable jerkies, and water to carry with me.

“You got in big trouble with the lord yesterday. He wondered why you had to be informed about such an issue as soon as you arrived.”

“You have done what was necessary, Steward.”

“Yes. You are of age to know such affairs. Of course, this is what I think, but the lord has a different view. You are still a student, and it would not be right to hinder your future with such trivial matters.”

Always seeing only the cleanest.

Living only by doing clean work, I know we cannot always have that luxury.

But the worries of all parents for their children are different.

As I smiled silently, Steward Begains looked at me earnestly then spoke.

“Yesterday, you said that with each passing moment, it’s the estate’s people who suffer most, right?”

“Yes…?”

“No, most of the estate’s people are oblivious to such situations. Losses in Monjo are covered out of the lord’s personal funds. In fact, it’s the lord himself who is truly withering.”

Father…

He has been covering all the losses?

“Please, do not misunderstand the lord. He has been personally confronting the issues, requesting inspections from the royal family…. Aside from war, he truly has tried everything.”

“…I see.”

I felt ashamed.

I had never doubted my father.

Yet, there was an unconscious thought behind my resolve to do what my father couldn’t…

Why endure losses without taking action?

Why just bear it?

There must have been times when I felt frustrated by this aspect of my father.

However, Father was moving within his capacity.

And no one cared more for the estate’s people than my father.

I took a small box from my bag.

“Could you deliver this to my father, in my stead?”

“What is this?”

“It’s 10,000 gold.”

“What…?”

Steward Begains was taken aback by the unexpected large sum as he took the box.

“How on earth did you come to possess such a large amount…?”

“This is the prize money from winning the great tournament. I hope it can be used where it is needed most in our estate.”

“If it’s for a needed place…”

“You know better than me, so I trust you’ll use it wisely. Personally, it would be good to establish conditions in our estate to prevent situations like the present one from arising.”

“Autonomy…. For instance?”

Methods for our estate to achieve self-sustainability.

The priority is a wealth of work and an abundance of people in the estate.

For that, the land must also expand.

Money, manpower, land.

Only after these fundamental conditions are established, money can circulate internally.

Creating an environment for self-sustainability requires astronomical investment, but smaller investments can also be utilized immediately.

“Let’s start with the land.”

“Land?”

Begains was startled because, even though 10,000 gold is a significant sum,

it is nowhere near enough to purchase land for expanding an estate.

“It will be difficult. Land outside estate ownership is nearly impossible to buy, not only because of the high prices but also because no one wishes to sell.”

Of course, like Begains, I did not intend to ‘purchase’ the land normally.

“We’ll just take it.”

“What? You don’t mean… a conquest, do you?”

“Yes. Conquering the longstanding nuisances to our estate, the Wolf Hills to the southeast, and the Mudmen-held Plains of Prosperity. If we reclaim both, we’re set.”

Steward Begains gave an incredulous look.

Understandable.

If such ‘territory expansion’ through conquest were easy, why hasn’t it been done before?

Furthermore, there isn’t sufficient military force at the southernmost kingdom to conduct a monster purge.

The royal family has little to no interest in dispatching troops.

This has been the fundamental issue, unresolved despite the pain from monsters for a long time.

Why would a wise man like you propose this?

I could see such sentiment in Begains’s eyes, but it was fleeting.

“Do you have a plan?”

“Not yet.”

“As you know, I’m naïve about world affairs. I don’t know how much money goes into it. I just thought, using 10,000 gold to hire mercenaries for the purge and then collaborating with the estate’s people to cultivate the land, lending it to other estate residents at lower rates could lead to substantial earnings.”

Investment.

Then reinvestment.

“Hmm…”

Reflecting on my words, Begains swallowed hard and started to brainstorm.

His conclusion was.

“…It’s not completely impossible. No, if mercenaries can be hired at a fair price, it might be doable.”

Finding even the slightest possibility.

I gave Steward Begains a sly smile.

“Please, discuss the details with my father.”

“Will you participate in the conquest?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm… I wonder if the lord will oppose.”

“No. I will be needed. Absolutely.”

This is arrogance.

No.

The confidence of a new generation magician who won the grand tournament.

A competent magician can be worth hundreds of soldiers.

Convinced by my words, Steward Begains nodded readily.

“Yes. I seem to have worried needlessly.”

“Then, I will depart for Monjo now. I trust you with the rest.”

“Yes. Ah, to be sure. The lord asked me to convey this message to you.”

“What is it?”

“Excessive violence is not allowed.”

Hmm…

That will be difficult to adhere to.

With a shrug, I said.

“I wish it were so.”

♦ ♦ ♦

The trading city of Monjo.

This city lies within half a day’s travel by horse from the Ardel Estate.

It is the largest estate in the southernmost region of the kingdom, where all goods from nearby areas converge.

In other words, it’s a place we must pass through to sell goods, like it or not.

However, the lord of Monjo, Vilcos Monjo, is a noble who reportedly bought his title with money earned from usury, as untrustworthy as they come.

The complete opposite of my father.

Regrettably, most of the kingdom’s nobility is of this ilk.

In other words.

“It means I can be hard-hearted if necessary.”

Violence, when necessary, won’t be withheld.

Admittedly, the ‘vacation oath’ I led as the student representative on the stage still weighed on my mind.

Well, as long as I don’t use magic, right?

As soon as I entered Monjo, I sought out the largest, most extravagant mansion.

“Who goes there?”

The four guards blocking my way inquired rudely, to which I responded.

“I am Ruin Ardel, the junior lord of House Ardel. Is the lord present?”

But the answer was artless.

“Huh? Ardel? Again?”

I did not expect to be treated with high regard as a noble.

After all, being from a relatively remote southern area, it’s hardly surprising that my name was not recognized.

However, even after hearing ‘Ardel,’ to respond with such disrespect…

Father.

I apologize.

It seems I won’t be able to keep the promise I made to you.

As I dismounted, I asked.

“I won’t ask twice. Your answer?”

“Well, I have to check first. I don’t know if the lord is in… Hey, runt! Go inside and check if he’s there.”

“Huh? The lord is in, though.”

“Tch! Quit your nonsense and go ask. There’s another uninvited guest from Ardel, right? Different person, same problem.”

“Ah, yeah… Right.”

From the way they spoke, it wasn’t the first time my father had come here.

And obviously, they had treated my father the same way they were treating me now.

As the youngest guard entered the mansion, I was left with the remaining three.

“Just wait a sec. If he’s there, we’ll let you in. But don’t get your hopes up. The boss doesn’t like to rehash the same talk.”

“Hey! It’s ‘lord’ now, not boss!”

“Ah, true, true, my bad. Force of habit… Heh heh.”

Their insolence was persistent, as they continued picking their noses, and I could no longer contain my embarrassment.

Simple: being a mere ‘academy student,’ I wouldn’t have reacted this strongly.

But I was here as the ‘junior lord of House Ardel.’

Now.

Why should I silently endure this ‘shame’ in front of these common thugs?

There is no reason.

In fact.

“If I let it slide here, our family’s honor would be utterly tarnished, right?”

“…Huh? What did you just say?”

“Nothing important.”

Raising my fist, I declared.

“Just, time to take a beating.”

“Brothers! Bros!”

The same guard who’d gone inside to check on the lord’s presence rushed frantically back out.

“The boss said if it’s the lord of Ardel, send him away; but if it’s the junior lord, welcome him in at once… Gasp! Eek!”

And then.

As the estate’s front door opened to let him out, the sight that greeted the youngest guard made him gasp and stagger backward.

“What on earth happened here…”

His ‘brothers.’

The three guards had collapsed on the ground, unconscious, and the man standing leisurely amidst them was…

The junior lord of Ardel who’d arrived moments earlier.

Ruin Ardel.

He looked at the guard indifferently and said.

“Tell your lord to come out, right now.”

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