The Frontier Count and the New Guild Chief (Part 1)

Leave a comment



Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva


Hard footsteps were traversing the cobblestone floor, strenuously going back and forth.

“Aah, this is a disaster! My sweet Syltianna… She should have had her grand 11th birthday party in the Imperial Capital by now!!”

The mournful cry, one that seemed to bear all the tragedies of this world, echoed through the picturesque great hall of the Cultura Castle in Aulanthia county.

The owner of the castle—a Frontier Count, a great nobleman with authority comparable to a duke even within the imperial kingdom, and a lord of an autonomous domain half-independent from the state, whose status as a lord was absolute—Corrad Simon Aulanthia was much more of a thin man with a somewhat soft and unreliable profile, far from the stern persona one might imagine from his ostentatious title. He looked more like a good and honest person—an aristocrat who wore goodwill and discipline instead of dignity and grace for his cloak.

He was 49 years old. His six sons, ranging in age from 23 to 14, had all reached adulthood, so it wasn’t surprising for him to just retire and pass the reigns to his successor, and yet, for whatever reason…more precisely, because he was pressured to sit in his chair by those around him, he was somehow still working as the head of the household.

And this whatever reason, should it be put on a list, would appear as such:

  • His legal wife, Simonetta, had given him three children (the eldest daughter, the third daughter, and the third son), and they were part of the empire’s faction.
  • His first concubine, Eloise, was part of Cilento Imperial Family, so all five of her children (the second son, the second daughter, the fifth son, the fourth daughter, and the sixth daughter) were also obviously part of the imperial kingdom’s faction.
  • His second concubine, Patsy, was the eldest daughter of Count Beaton, a household he had a long history with, and she had given him three children (the eldest son, the fourth son, and the sixth son).
  • His third concubine, Clara, had passed away. She wasn’t of noble blood, but she was formerly the Shrine Maiden of the largest religion of the imperial kingdom, the Saintess’ Faith (and the kid she gave birth to was Syltianna, the fifth daughter).

The question of who should be given the reins of the household was a very heady one. The logical choice would be Simonetta’s child as she was his legal wife. However, not only that would lower his family’s status, the kid’s position as the third son and belonging to the empire’s faction meant he had a weak domestic and territorial support base.

Eloise’s child was strongly favored within the imperial family due to his imperial bloodline, but on the other hand, he would be highly unpopular within the county, as the whole territory strongly inclined towards autonomy. Not to mention, it might worsen the relations with the neighboring empire.

Being the eldest and of aristocratic lineage from an extended household, Patsy’s son was well received by the lords and old vassals, but that alone didn’t give him enough backing to ignore the legal wife and the imperial family.

Bottom line, all three stood on fair grounds, and no matter who succeeded, dissatisfaction could not be evaded. Damned if do, damned if don’t. Even a feudal lord could offend his people and light the fire of riot if he continued to rule with an iron grip. In the end, everybody, within and without, was watching out for everybody, steering clear from problems to maintain the status quo. A truly pathetic situation it was.

That was why, using the excuse that he was still sound in body and mind, Corrad was postponing the nomination of a successor. He ruled as a lower-middle class whose reign wasn’t exactly bad but neither was it good—which, to be honest, should make him quite a great monarch in such a peaceful era—and yet, he was now looking as if he had aged ten years in one fell swoop, his cheeks and eye sockets slumped and hollowed, as if his hard work of the past few days had taken its toll on him.

Normally, at this time of the year, he should be performing his official duties in Cilento Imperial Capital (mainly because he was so fed up with the power struggle in his domain that he refrained from returning), however, a week ago, he received a report that Syltianna, his fifth daughter, had disappeared en route to the capital.

Corrad the Frontier Count was distraught to the point of madness when he learned that his doted daughter had gone missing for a month by then, but he somehow managed to control himself and hurriedly completed his official duties—that alone took him six whole days—utilizing the 【Shift Portal】 that was located a day away from the Imperial Capital (it was set up at a distance so that nobody could directly come into the Imperial Capital) and teleported away to Cultura Castle just then, leaving everything behind in the capital.

What awaited him was the despairing additional report that Syltianna’s entourage had been wiped out and the corpses of the bandits, who were apparently the offenders of this case, were scattered around the scene.

Simonetta, the legal-wife, who had been watching her husband in a half-soulless state with a daunted look in her eyes, gently approached him, acting the part of a ‘virtuous wife worried about her husband,’ as she was aware that a third party was in the scene.

“Darling, worrying too much is bad for your health. This was a most unfortunate accident, indeed, but as far as I can tell, the guards and attendants weren’t at fault. It was a disaster that we could do nothing about. As someone who has the power, shouldn’t we take the initiative to improve the roads and take safety measures so that such a tragedy will never happen again?”

“…but, even so, Syltianna’s body hasn’t been found yet, right? …If so…then…” The frontier count held his forehead with one hand, his mouth moaning almost in a sob.
“In regards to that, we have new reports coming in from the Adventurers’ Guild.”
“What—?!”

After being prompted by the grand chamberlain, as if they had practiced it beforehand—which, probably, they really did—the most senior of the several men kneeling in the center of the hall, a bespectacled man in a tuxedo who seemed to be an accomplished, ambitious man, stepped forward, bowed, and opened his mouth.

“My deepest honor to meet you in person, your lordship. My name is Egmond Bayer, the newly appointed guild chief. I was dispatched from my home country in place of the former chief of the Cultura Adventurer’s Guild, who had been removed in light of the recent scandal. —And, while I couldn’t begin to imagine how much loss you’ve suffered, I am here today because we have learned some new revelations about the misfortune that has befallen your daughter.”

After eloquently introducing himself and curtly bowed, several men behind him—adventurers one must assume, judging by the variety of their weapons, equipment, and ages. The youngest, even looked like a child just coming of age—carried up something from the corner of the hall.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

(Please visit Re:Library to show the translators your appreciation!)

“—?” The frontier count squinted warily. At first glance, it appeared to be just a thick board—a door of some kind, perhaps, given that it had hinges and a handle. However, it was somewhat small to be the door of a house… Just as he pondered so, he noticed the crest on its surface, and a shock passed through his entire body as if he had been hit by lightning. “Is that—?!!”

“Yes. These men have found part of the carriage that lady Syltianna rode in,” Egmond answered with a humble, downcast look.

“…!”



References

Support Us

General Purpose

Patron Button

Subscribing to this Patreon page does not yield any reward. For more info, please refer to this page.

Project Gender Bender

Patron Button

Subscribing to this Patreon page will grant you early access. For more info, please refer to this page.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Gateway to Gender Bender Novels

%d bloggers like this: