040 Moonchild p.1


Translator: yAmi

Proofread: Archerbob :)

What awaited all of us after settling the long list of issues at the capital was more work.

The supervision and taxation of the wheat harvest, the inspection of the mines and the negotiation with the mining market and manufacturing of their potion, a new product...Just from my official duties as the provincial lord, there were mountains of projects to plan and approve. Victor and my other retainers, who were left to take care of Marlan temporarily, were all too happy to push the responsibilities back to me. What a heartless bunch. I am injured too, y’know.

I had been complaining for some time, but was replied nonchalantly with this.

“What are you saying? Surely you have already used the secret potion to recover?”

How was I found out? I have kept the recovery of my chest wound a secret and had strictly forbidden Uni and others from talking about it.

It had to be Laubert. Laubert must have leaked it. Damn you, Jean-Jacques Laubert! That cold blooded bastard!

“Please stop putting all the blame on me. In the first place, all your retainers know that there are people who would not let your Excellency stay injured if the wounds are treatable.”

...I was lost for words. Indeed, there were people who would not delay treatment and let me work in pain. Additionally, being barred from exercising meant that my fitness would deteriorate and if my goal was to live as long as possible, I should be treated. Those who were familiar with my personality should have long seen through my guise. A certain crafty old man and a certain oversensitive brother that is.

As such, my plan to immerse myself in research while faking my injury came to a halt. I, Tullius Shernan Oubeniel, would from now on, be working hard openly and privately.

So, the most crucial private issue that I am working on was this.

“Ugh...I-I, what am I――”

“Good morning, Margrave Doldran. How are you feeling?”

I greeted the noble who just woke up from anesthesia as respectfully as I could.

He was Margrave Doldran. Since the borders were vast and difficult to govern, he was given authority and special privileges that were normally given to marquises, making him a powerful noble. From this background of his, he gave the impression that he was a bigshot in the decentralist faction. In truth, he was mostly neutral and was independent from any factions.

Anyways, he had strong military authority. He would much rather give his undivided attention in pacifying the southwest borders than be caught in political strife and asked to provide military support. According to Victor and others, he was a rare breed of upright nobles.

Well, that was before he was brought into Marlan and was sedated.

“How do you feel after the surgery? Vision blurry or headaches? Ah and ―― what do you think of me?”

He had received the brainwashing procedure to help me build my faction.

“Hm, I don’t feel bad at all. Rather, my usual headaches are gone.”

“Yes. I took the opportunity to fix some ailments in your body too.”

Specifically, I was referring to his alcohol damaged liver and stress weakened stomach. Brown had an imposing stature with refined body and thick beard and gave the impression that he was a healthy man, but it looks like he was not able to avoid the responsibilities and anxiety associated with his position. A quick inspection revealed many parts of his body aging. It would be a waste to have him die prematurely after spending the effort to brainwash him so I did him a favour.

As an alchemist, it was possible to cultivate organs to use for transplant. It has been part of my expertise ever since I treated Uni’s injuries 11 years ago. This was nothing compared to the difficulty of reconstructing a person’s personality or ensuring that a brainwashing would not cause a mental breakdown.

Well then, what about that other aspect?

“I see, your skills are beyond my expectations. Your kindness cannot be free right? Since you are asking me what I think of you, it must be related to the compensation you are seeking?”

“Indeed. I had operated on your brain to make your Excellency to act accordingly as I say. Regarding that, how do you feel?”

He sharpened his gaze and tried to put strength into standing up.

“...Strange. I felt that my hands were tied and the moment I tried to move them, I didn't feel like doing so anymore and lost my strength. I should be angry if you had casted some black magic on me though―”

“Hm, seems like the surgery was a success. All that is left to be done is to put you under further observation and conduct additional treatments for any aftereffects. It is okay for you to return back to your territory, but please let me know if you do not feel well.”

“Hmph, shamelessly ordering me as your please.”

He laid on the bed again and smirked boldly.

Seeing that I noticed his smirk, he deepened his grin. The Margrave has an interesting personality. His boldness and flexibility was rare. Most other nobles go pale in fright once they realise they could not oppose me. There was even a large sized man who bawled his eyes out. If he could stay firm and not lose his composure, then it was easier for me.

“You were said to be one heck of a guy by the Kingdom’s noble. Lavallee, the old fox, had sent me a letter to tell me not to go near you.”

“Eh? Really? The Marquis is so bothersome...”

The old man always brought about a depressing atmosphere. Though, he was wrong on how I would play my hand. It was Drei’s job to sneak into the Margrave’s meeting with other nobles and lure the Margrave to the surgery. Of course, the nobles were my puppets on strings, made to perform and not leave clues. Hence, trying to be cautious around me did not pose an issue.

Well, considering that I have been keeping watch on the old man, he does not have that many approaches against me.

“I will have ways of sending my instructions to you in the future, so just return back and wait for them.”

“Ah, understood. ...Rather than waste time and struggle against you, I should just accept the situation of being your pawn and gain whatever benefits there are I guess.”

Yup. Truly a great answer. Pointlessly struggling was not good. Having a positive outlook and being true to one's desires while not brooding over small losses was a good way of living.

“I am very grateful for the Margrave's understanding. I am not too fond of using pawns like disposables, so I have prepared several benefits for those that align with me. I am an alchemist, so you may leave the provision of convenient tools to me. I am able to provide weapons, armour, medicine and perhaps even limbs. Well then, to start things――”

I clapped my hands and Uni and a M-series who were waiting outside came into the room.

“My apologies. I have brought M-22.”

“――This is one of my prided slave. Feel free to take her with you and use her.”

“I am M-22, Lucie. Please feel free to order me, Sir Margrave.”

Margrave Doldran grunted at the female slave he was suddenly given.

“So this little girl is my bell? How odd for a bell on the collar.”

I could only laugh faintly as I replied.

He was right. There was no doctor who could evaluate a patient’s state with just 2 or 3 visits so there was no way I could claim the brainwashing was successful with our short question and answering. That’s why I was sending a slave to keep a lookout. If he ever takes suspicious actions, this girl would report back immediately.

The Margrave scrutinised M-22 and sighed.

“Fine. Looks like she is not just good for being a bell. As you say, I shall use her as much as I want.”

This man was exemplary. He was able to tell M-22 was not just any slave from a cursory glance. This was good evidence that he was from a military family taking care of the Kingdom’s borders. In fact, a noble like Victor with a good eye would have been able to assess the quality of the equipment he wore.

In any case, if Margrave Doldran does not betray me, it seems he would really be a useful pawn.

“This girl knows the way back. Your other servants that were also brought to Marlan should be joining you soon.”


He looked annoyed but left together with M-22. He must believe his servants were also brainwashed. Naturally, that was the case too.

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