Here’s your tenth (and seventh bonus) Slave Harem chapter for the week. (This is one long week)
You guys aren’t letting me have a breather. (Well, I did have one yesterday)
This chapter was translated by airsblue and edited by me.
Expect the next chapter tomorrow.
Without further ado, enjoy the read.
Translated by airsblue
Edited by mranon
Somehow, the Duke is aware of my having the hots for Cassia.
Thinking back, the Duke has been excessively flaunting his relationship with Cassia a lot lately.
He really has figured it out?
“Since she is of noble birth, she has undertaken the ordeal to become a Wizard. She will be quite useful. And, if you do get a Wizard, Michio-dono, the day when you defeat a labyrinth will draw even closer.”
While I was sweating deep in thoughts, the Duke enlists the benefits of having Rutina.
He probably thinks that I am having trouble deciding if I should accept Rutina or not.
That’s right. At the moment, the focus is Rutina.
Should I have Rutina as my slave?
I would like to have Rutina, of course.
I do want to get her.
And make her my possession.
Not merely for the battle strength of my party, though.
I don’t know as to how much the battle strength of my party will increase if I get a Wizard.
There is already me, after all.
On the contrary, since he believes the battle strength of my party will increase if a Wizard joins us, it means the Duke doesn’t know I can use magic.
It is fortunate that the Duke hasn’t seen my using magic.
“Wouldn’t it be better for the Duke to keep her?”
I don’t understand as to why the Duke is being so expedient. It needs to be investigated.
First of all, even if he needs to go so far as to turn Rutina into a slave, there is no need for him to let go of her.
Even if he does, there is no need for him to give her to such a complete stranger as me.
“After overthrowing the Earl, would I keep his daughter who fell into slavery?”
He returns my question with his.
Enslaving the daughter of someone he ousted himself.
His reputation will get tarnished, certainly.
I can see where the Duke is coming from.
“It would indeed be bad.”
“It wouldn’t be that bad. Just that I and the members of my household are not allowed to. It applies to Cassia, too.”
Even Cassia isn’t allowed?
Since Cassia isn’t denying it when I look at her, it probably is true.
“Still, it doesn’t mean that it has to be me.”
“Being a noble daughter, she has a fiancé, of course; however, we cannot leave her in his care. If he enslaved someone who, until yesterday, was his fiancée, what sort of rumors would spread?”
It looks terrible in more than one ways.
Which would be better? Enslaving the daughter of someone you ousted or enslaving your ex-fiancée?
Well, it could work if they shared pure love.
“If she has a fiancé, doesn’t he has something to say?”
“The household of the Earl of Selmar will find a suitable candidate from within their family to be his fiancée. For them, it would be better than the daughter of a disinherited predecessor. Also, they have probably never met.”
They haven’t met yet?
Pure love story is out of question.
Such is the engagement of nobles, huh?
He won’t have any objection either, I guess.
“Is there no one else?”
“Since she has a fiancé, I cannot simply hand her to others. If they were inferior, her fiancé would lose face. The nobles and her own family are out of question. Furthermore, since I cannot hand her to a noble, I cannot hand her to other influential or ordinary commoners within her territory either.”
From the viewpoint of Rutina’s fiancé, it would be disgraceful for him if she were to become a slave of an acquainted noble.
As for the Duke, he cannot own Rutina. Also, he understands how difficult it would be to hand her to someone else.
However, am I not a commoner, too?
“You are right. It may certainly not be a bad choice to entrust her to Michio-sama.”
Cassia interjects such words.
Is that even possible?
I have received Cassia’s approval.
“I guess. Ordinary commoners have their own share of disadvantages compared to nobles. However, there will be fewer problems for an Adventurer who doesn’t belong to an order of knights. The reason being, they can freely run away from the territory. If I am not wrong, Michio-dono is a freeman.”
“A freeman has the direct appeal right granted by the Emperor. Although it is a nominal right, it is honored, nonetheless. Even if a noble tried to meddle with Michio-dono, over having her as a slave, you would be able to exercise the Emperor’s direct appeal right.”
“The Emperor’s direct appeal right?”
Does such a right exist?
However, it gives the vibes of Sakura Sogoro, so I’ll pass.
He was executed for directly appealing to the Shogun against the feudal domain’s tyranny.
Oh well. Since it is a right here, I won’t be executed for appealing, at least.
But how does the Duke know that I am a freeman?
Did he research to that extent?
I did show my Intelligence Card once to the Earl of Selmar’s subordinate knight. I wouldn’t be surprised if he checked it later.
Or, maybe Gozer concluded that when I had a duel in front of him?
“Even if such a case were brought up with the Emperor, they would rather decide in favor of the noble than an unknown freeman.”
I don’t know the Emperor nor does he know me.
The Duke, too, knows that very well.
Because it isn’t known to the public, is it a trap?
“In other words, it is possible for a noble to have something to say.”
“It is necessary as just a pretext warrant. Such a thing won’t happen for it is equivalent to picking a fight with the household of the Duke of Harz.”
Because it is the Duke’s decision, no one will object.
A power that could oppose the Duke of Harz would have no relation to this matter in the first place.
When the time comes, the Emperor’s direct appeal right will act as a deterrent.
Besides, if the matter is brought up, I will test as to how much of an acquaintance I am to that hentai Emperor.
This conversation has grown unnecessarily long.
“As for the condition of entrusting her to you, I would like Michio-dono to defeat a labyrinth. I would like you to become a noble as soon as possible. When someone newly becomes a noble, they cannot tell right from left. However, with a former noble’s daughter, you won’t have to face such a situation. If you like, you can force all the bothersome tasks on her.”
The Duke adds a strange condition.
The usual push for nobility, huh?
It is troublesome.
More than that, will it be fine to force her?
“To me, he is the enemy of my father. I cannot bring myself to join him.”
Forcing her doesn’t seem possible.
No, maybe Rutina’s mind has already been pushed to the brink?
“Still, it is better, Rutina. You will be able to live freely.”
“Ane-sama.” (TN: Elder sister)
“It would be harsh there even for me. Still, it wouldn’t be as harsh as fatal hostility from elves.”
It doesn’t look like the Duke has an ulterior motive in rejecting her.
And, it looks like I will be in his faction if I become a noble.
“I don’t think it would be as such.”
“Is Michio-dono aware of the Lords’ Assembly?”
I have heard to some extent.
In an assembly, the more people you have in your faction, the better, right?
If every decision is based on majority vote, it will of course be better to have more people.
Whichever world you go to, you will always find some form of parliament.
“Politics is power, power is numbers, isn’t it?”
“Ho, you do know, huh?”
Politics is power, power in numbers, numbers is money; is what I wanted to add.
In this world, however, I don’t have to be bought with money like in Japan.
There is no need to use money for elections here.
“What if I don’t move according to your expectations?”
“If a person whom I personally recommended to the Empire Liberation Society defeated a labyrinth and became a noble, he would belong to my faction in the eyes of other nobles.”
I try to threaten him a little but he threatens me back.
If you recommend someone to the Empire Liberation Society, you become their guardian, it seems.
If you find someone with potential and recommend them to the Empire Liberation Society, they receive support from the Empire Liberation Society and defeat a labyrinth; consequently, you gain yourself an affirmative vote of a backbencher.
That he recommend me to the Empire Liberation Society, did he foresee this?
He is unexpectedly a politician.
First of all, even if I became a noble, the freedom of my actions would be considerably restricted.
Whatever I did, it would be taken as if I moved per the Duke’s instruction.
If I did something idiotic, I would be considered a separate entity.
Second, it would be impossible for me and Rutina to revolt against the Duke.
If I did, I will be treated as a traitor by everyone.
If I tried to form an alliance in the assembly, they might not trust me due to betrayal.
Even if I went my own way, I would never be able to break away from the Duke no matter how many years passed.
Most of the nobles who belong to the Duke’s faction likely carry the same risk.
That may be the extent of tolerable limit as a duke.
To begin with, I will probably need a lot of help from the Duke at first.
And, at the same time, I will be taught as to how things work in the Duke’s faction.
I wonder if I will be able to manage it.
“In the first place, will I be able to defeat a labyrinth?”
“If a Wizard joins your party, it will not be a problem. Of course I am not telling you to do it right now.”
The Duke hasn’t seen my using magic, after all.
Also, since there is already someone in my party who can use magic, it wouldn’t get as strong as Duke thinks it will even if a Wizard joined.
We must be able to reach the 50th floor, at least.
It is quite difficult.
Frankly speaking, I don’t want to become a noble.
If I became a noble, it would only add to my troubles.
There is also the risk of their investigating my birthplace.
I don’t want more troubles.
But I want Rutina.
I want to obtain this beautiful elf that resembles Cassia.
This dignified and elegant lady. I want her.
Honestly, Rutina can be my three bowls of rice. (TN: Must be some proverb. I know this note didn’t help much)
Right now, this chance is hanging in front of me.
Should I sell my soul to the devil or not?
Actually, who says it is the devil?
Since I didn’t want to become a noble anyway, there would be no reason for me to mind being a backbencher if I were to become one.
Besides, I have no issue with being considered part of the Duke’s faction.
Also, I can push all the bothersome tasks to Rutina.
I have the approval of the faction’s leader, after all.
“I, too, would like to ask of you. Please accept Rutina.”
I have received Cassia’s approval, too.
I have to accept her, no?
Have I ever declined any request from Cassia thus far?
If there were a problem, my information might reach the Duke and Cassia through Rutina.
However, since Rutina seems to have hostile intentions toward the Duke, it should be fine.
And, even if it weren’t fine, I could remove her from the party and have her stay at home.
Her level is low anyway.
Rutina can partake only in household activities.
If it is inside the house, I can expect great performance of her.
I’d like to ask outstanding performance of her.
It won’t end unless I accept.
If my information leaked to Cassia and the Duke, there would always be the option to silence the Duke.
However, I couldn’t possibly kill Cassia.
I would have to silence her with something else.
“Ooh, as expected of Michio-dono. Just as I expected.”
I don’t want you to expect anything of me.
“I can have a peace of mind now.”
Or rather, isn’t it complicated for Cassia to be thanking me for taking Rutina in as a slave?
It isn’t envy.
However, is such a reaction appropriate?
“Let’s see. I would like Michio-dono to be her owner for at least two years.”
“Two years; or rather, pay her tax for two years, at least.”
Ah, I see.
So, it was like that, huh?
Of course that was it.
How could I misunderstand.
Although she has become a slave, it isn’t like she has become a sex slave.
There is no excuse for me to do as I please with her.
Although I have her, it isn’t like she is my possession.
She is only temporarily under my custody.
I will have to protect her since she is under my custody.
In order to remove her legitimate succession name, she has to be turned into a slave and released immediately.
That is why it was easy for Cassia.
Why two years? Because the tax in the very first year of slavery differs.
That she is a slave now, her tax will have to be paid.
Is it required as a formality?
“Wouldn’t it be better to release her immediately.”
“It could be seen as rigged if that were the case.”
“Would there be a problem if it were seen as such?”
“This is a message to all the nobles who have been neglecting their duties, particularly here. I cannot deny that there is an air of tension amongst the elven nobility. It was precisely this air that led the Earl of Selmar to leave the advancement of labyrinth subjugation alone.”
Punishing a crime to set an example for others, huh?
“And, because of that, I cannot release her unless I pay a 10,000 Nars tax.”
“As for releasing her, it is up to Michio-dono whether you want to or not. As far as I am concerned, I will ask of you the favor of releasing her.”
“There is no obligation to release her?”
“Of course. I hope you be strict with her. If she proves troubling, I wouldn’t care if you sold her to another party.“
It doesn’t look like she has to be released immediately.
I have no idea whether Rutina likes me or not.
And, it doesn’t look like I can ask her.
The fait accompli strategy will be effective, I guess.