Chapter 25 – The Duty of the Diete Aristocrat
The intense glimmer of light emitted by the Diete Star is trapped in a myriad of jewel boxes called the man-made power-generation satellite, and sent to the ground using a microwave power transmission system, and the surface of the capital planet Diros shines at night like the celestial stream.
918 years ago, a small light lit on a plot of the planet Diros eventually spread throughout the planet, shining a beautiful, life-filled star into space. Diros’ radiance was greatly reduced for a time, but it quickly regained its powerful light and continues to shine on the surface.
In the satellite orbit of the beautiful planet that twinned in the universe, a huge luxury liner was slowly orbiting, as if to entrust itself to the flow of stars.
The Future Arrow.
Hearing the name of the ship, many of Diete’s people stop and think about their history.
It is the name given to the first interstellar immigrant arrow shot into a new star system, following the arrows of independence the Monarchy had unleashed on Earth.
The maiden voyage of the released arrow was 400 years ago.
Over the course of 12 years, the arrow reached the Apollo system, 150 light-years away, with 1 billion royal citizens on board, and eventually became the cornerstone of the immigration of 28 billion people outside the Diete system.
The Future Arrow, with the purpose for which it was created, laid down its exhausted hull in the Apollo system.
Later, the Duke of Coesfeld, who served as the Commander of the immigrant fleet, took over the immigrant ship and rebuilt it with a new role after several modifications.
The new role is the narrative of the history of the Monarchy of Diete.
To never forget the history of Diete.
To make sure that the thoughts of the predecessors of the Monarchy of Diete are never broken.
Today, aristocrats, members of the House of Representatives on the Monarchy, and prominent figures from the Apollo star system gathered today on the ship that marked the history of the Monarchy.
Men and women of the upper-class in gorgeous costumes and wearing prestigious insignia were drinking from gleaming cups in various places of the social gathering. And among the attendees were Hart and Philine, who also wore a splendid insignia which was not inferior to those in attendance.
Philine, family representative of the Marquis of Carneus, who is an Apollo aristocrat, is participating with her gene donor, Viscount Hart Amakawa.
For Hart, this is part of the political consideration of balancing the scales that had tipped in favor of the Duke of Strani towards the Marquis of Carneus.
“Streaming a waterfall in outer space, the idea of a senior aristocrat is unimaginable.”
The total length is 22,000 meters. Looking up at the waterfall inside the massive immigrant ship, which could only be warped by Duke-class or higher high magic power holders, surpassing even the Monarchy’s first-class fortress ships, Hart’s eyes fluttered at the size of its scale.
“Please don’t look so nervous.”
With a chuckle, Philine took the Viscount, who had no fragment of dignity, like an older sister and brought him to the Marquis of Carneus.
In the House of Lords (Senate), one seat is allocated for every 100 million people. A Marquis household, who oversees a population of 800 million in their territory, would have 8 seats in the Senate.
The 90 senior aristocratic families with provinces also lend seats and territorial representatives to the 1410 general aristocrats, and subordinate them. This is a tradition born from the history of the Monarchy, where senior aristocrats became fleet commanders and general aristocrats became captains, fighting the Coalition and immigrating fleet.
“I was under the mistaken impression that a Viscount was of a certain standing, but coming to a place like this, I can’t help but feel that the wall between a Count and a Viscount is thick.”
Hart compared the Viscount’s insignia on his chest with the Marquis’ insignia worn by Philine.
A count is the acting king of a province entrusted with a territory with 200 million people.
A viscount is a resident who does not have a territory and is subject to the royal family or a senior aristocrat.
This absolute difference in power is the reason behind why the Digitalis did not receive any repercussions for tormenting children below the level of general aristocrats.
“Then, let’s give our greetings to some of them.”
After greeting the Carneus clan, Philine then began to pull Hart’s arm as she checked the positions of the attendees.
“You’ve been making a lot of rounds.”
“As the star systems have common interests, we hold these social gatherings on a regular basis. It is essential to greet houses of the same rank as Carneus or higher, so if Hart meets them first, it will make things a little easier next time.”
“I am a little relieved to hear that.”
In the Apollo system, there are only two families of equal or higher rank than the Marquis of Carneus, the Duke of Coesfeld and the Marquis of Zäckingen.
Since the heads of both families are participating this time, it is polite to approach the greeting from the Philine side.
Philine looked at both of them from a distance, and seeing that there was a line of greetings to the Duke of Coesfeld, she walked up to the Marquis of Zäckingen first.
The Marquis de Zäckingen is a middle-age man who has half consumed his life span, which has been prolonged by age-stagnation technology.
His bangs are flowing back like a lion, and his face features have a strong expression reminiscent of a long-nosed goblin.
Hart guessed that he might be maintaining a body trained in the military because of his tall, muscular and sturdy physique, and his flamboyantly colored ceremonial uniform also had the insignia of a retired Lieutenant General…
The Marquis is older than Philine’s father, but no successor has been determined yet. However, he is known to have many mistresses, and he is accompanied this time by a young and beautiful woman.
“Greetings Your Excellency, The Marquis of Zäckingen. I am Philine, granddaughter of the Marquis of Carneus.”
As Philine greeted him gracefully, the Marquis of Zäckingen turned around and smiled with his big mouth.
“Oh, Miss Philine of the Marquis Carneus. It’s been a few months since I’ve seen you. I hear you’ve made another splash, haven’t you? Must have procured a lot of resources from Earth. If our ancestors were to hear of it, they would carry the best casks out of the brewery and hold a grand feast in celebration. Inheriting the thoughts of our ancestors, Zäckingen will praise you. You’ve done so well! Excellent! Very impressive! Lady Philine is a model of the Monarchy Aristocracy!”
The Marquis, with his glass raised high, gave a grand congratulatory speech.
To the jovial Marquis of Zäckingen, Philine returned a wry smile
“To beg your pardon, Your Excellency. However, I am only an operating assistant of the fortress. I would like to introduce the person who actually operates the fortress. This is Mr. Hart, the Viscount of Amakawa, Major General of the Royal Army, and Commander of Fortress Kerviel.”
Hart, who was introduced, stepped forward and gave a bow to Marquis Zäckingen before giving his name.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Marquis. I am Viscount Hart Amakawa, the title was conferred to me only a year ago. My father is the Baron of Hiragi and my mother of Baron Melendez. I have been fortunate enough to be able to participate in this prestigious event.”
When Hart greeted him, the Marquis of Zäckingen turned to Hart with a big smile on his goblin-nosed face.
“I’m Arthur, the Marquis of Zäckingen, who is entrusted by the Monarchy with the Marquis peerage and a portion of the Apollo system. I’m very familiar with the illustrious Viscount. Welcome to our gathering of Apollo system aristocracy. You are, of course, most welcome. The Lord is a very fine Monarchy Aristocrat, worthy of his title!”
The Marquis praised Hart as a famous person, and he is aware of what he meant.
First, a reporter of a surprise attack operation by the Coalition of Humanity.
Second, first to be conferred a peerage for his distinguished war service since the independence of the Monarchy.
Third, the owner of all shares of the sole Spirit Crystal company.
Fourthly, a high magic power holder who can operate a super massive fortress.
Fifth, he dropped 9 enemy fortresses in the Loki Star System Battle.
Sixth, he single-handedly defeated half of the enemy in the Capital planet defense battle.
The career of thwarting the fabrication of a legitimate pretext for the war by the Coalition and preventing the destruction of the Capital planet is well known to humankind.
However, as the information is through the media, and not all the details of the personality that transformed Philine into a cat-eared maid are known.
“Thank you. Marquis Zäckingen. I am also proud to serve as a member of the Monarchy’s aristocracy.”
When Hart thanked him, Zäckingen nodded vigorously, with his mouth hanging wide.
“Do not be so modest. I’m willing to write a letter of recommendation for the Viscount’s promotion to the rank of Count. I am only self-conscious because the management of the territory may be a nuisance, but if you need a recommendation, please let me know. I have also served in the Royal Army. I understand the greatness of the valor that The Lord has established in more detail than other aristocrats or the media.”
To the Marquis, who laughed fearlessly, Hart replied after glancing at Zäckingen’s insignia.
“Thank you very much. Your Excellency is also a retired Lieutenant General.”
Zäckingen began gaily speaking after pressing his chest to show off his insignia.
“I was in the position to succeed the Marquis, but went to the Military Academy in defiance of my father. As an aristocrat, your mission is to protect the royal citizens. So why not go to the Military Academy? After that, I thought aristocrats can’t fulfill their mission if they lose to the general public, and I took it upon myself to make my way up to Fleet Commander!”
Hart was stunned by Zäckingen’s bravery in his younger days.
“Before the war, I heard that the quota for Generals was very strict, and it was quite difficult to rise through the ranks. I think it’s quite an achievement to have risen to Commander of the fleet before you inherited the peerage.”
“My career was most useful in the Battle of Diete. I am a Marquis and retired Lieutenant General. I scolded the aristocratic children who were straggling left and right, and made them follow the army during the defense. I was able to hold off the oncoming enemy to a reasonable degree. That was one of the best moments of my life.”
Zäckingen looked pleased and sighed with delight at the battle he had recounted.
“So someone like Your Excellency protected our rear, didn’t you? As an active member of the royal military, I would like to express my gratitude to your Excellency.”
“Oh. I am ready to die at any time for the Monarchy. However, having experience in the military, I was blind to many things that could happen with the invasion force of which His Royal Highness the Crown Prince is the overall commander.”
While shaking his head, Zäckingen swallowed the words he was about to spit out.
“I believe everyone who claims to be a Monarchy aristocrat should attend the Military Academy. It’s the duty of the royalty and aristocracy to fight the Coalition, and if you learn everything at the Military Academy, the army will not have to babysit them.”
Hart nodded to Zäckingen, who calmly expressed his theory, because he could not find any difference.
“In any case, I am very pleased that the future Marquis of Carneus and her partner, the Lord, are the ideal aristocrats I envisioned. I am very proud as an Apollo system aristocrat. I look forward to the lord’s continued success. Good health to you.”
“Thank you very much. Your Excellency, Marquis Zäckingen “
Zäckingen held out his right hand, and Hart shook it.
As soon as the meeting was over, Zäckingen, with one hand raised, walked away with his mistress at his back.
Pulled into his opponent’s pace, Hart exhaled lightly after Zäckingen walked away.
“He was quite an impactful person.”
“He has that kind of personality.”
Seeing Philine chuckle, Hart summarized his impressions, “Seeing is believing”.
After greeting Zäckingen, they then headed towards the Duke of Coesfeld.
Coesfeld is the host of the social gathering and the highest Duke in attendance. For Hart, who is a participant and a Viscount, he is an indispensable person to give a greeting to.
Perhaps the Duke of Coesfeld and the Marquis of Carneus were also blood-related, as the Duke and Philine had the same silver hair.
If you liken Coesfeld’s face to an animal, is it a silver fox? Hart thought.
An old silver fox quietly observing the surroundings without panicking. After having such an impression, Hart greeted him in the same way as he did with Zäckingen, but the Duke was quick to take the initiative.
“I heard that the Viscount had decided to become Miss Philine’s gene donor first from among the 1,500 aristocratic young ladies. I wonder if Miss Philine is Viscount’s preference.”
Asked by Coesfeld, Hart turned his gaze to the neighboring Philine, before affirming.
“I don’t know much about complimenting women, and I don’t have the confidence to properly express them. She’s as beautiful as a fairy. Gorgeous silver hair flowing like clear water, well-proportioned features, and a slender, lovely figure. I think she is a woman who is too good for me.”
It seems to have been a good expression for Hart, and Philine’s face broke into a smile.
“I see. By the way, it was announced that the Viscount’s magic power value exceeds 30,000, surpassing His Royal Highness the Sovereign’s grandson, who was once touted as the highest peak in the country, but it is actually more than 90,000, if estimated by the total length of Fortress Kerviel.”
“The detailed figures are confidential.”
Hart’s magic power value was classified, but if you look at the total length of Fortress Kerviel, it is obvious that the magic power value is 90,000 or more.
Hart did not dare to deny it because it was no longer an open secret and the other party was also a Duke.
Coesfeld nods twice and expresses his view of Hart’s magic power value.
“Then, the magic inheritance to the child of the Viscount would be Duke-class even if it is an average value, if the other party is equivalent to a viscount. Royal-class if equivalent to a count. Even a 48,000-meter-long defense fortress can be operated for interstellar travel if you can get a hit within two times.”
“Hopefully, it will be more than 0.9 times the average value.”
Each aristocrat places great importance on magic because there is a minimum value set for the inheritance of the title, and if it is not met, the peerage will be lowered. Rather, it is no exaggeration to say that it is of the utmost importance.
Why is the Duke of Coesfeld interested in Hart’s magic power value? Hart, who was having such a conversation, thought.
“The Viscount’s parents have drawn great success.”
“Yes. My parents were the second son and eldest daughter of Baron households, and they were both Baron-class magic power holders. No one in the family could have imagined that the grandchild would have had such magic power.”
“I hear that the Viscount’s older brother also drew 1.8 times as much magic as a Count, surpassing the Count’s standard by more than 1000. The Hiragi genes are now attracting attention. It seems that several aristocratic families have approached him for marriage.”
The Monarchy conducted various investigations into Hart’s high magical powers.
His parents were asked if there was a trick to producing a high magic powered individual, and his brother was also made to undergo the same magical power test that Hart was subjected to. Hart felt sorry for his family on the matter.
Although, having several aristocratic offers for marriage may be fortunate for his brother.
As a general aristocrat whose survival is threatened by magical power, they may ask to adopt a son-in-law.
If the family you’re approaching gets a son-in-law from another aristocratic family, you’ll owe them, but if the other party is a Baron, there is no need to send any of the descendants instead. In addition, because both parents in the Hiragi family are from baronial households, it is not a bad family background for a general aristocrat household to welcome a son-in-law by adoption.
“As for my brother, I have no particular opinion, as it is his decision. However, I don’t think there was anything special about the Hiragi family. If the clan had such techniques, the Baron of Hiragi would have high magical power. Even my grandfathers were amazed at my magic power value.”
Convinced by Hart’s argument, Coesfeld nodded with an understanding.
“By the way, Viscount Amakawa. I don’t like to gamble. If there’s a sure way to win, I will choose it. How about you, Viscount?”
“I’m a military man, so I’ll take what I can get.”
When Coesfeld shook his head twice and operated the information terminal on his arm to send data to Hart. When Hart glanced at the contents, it was personal data of several people.
Personal data is a kind of resume used by aristocrats when considering marriage.
“These are young ladies with a connection to our Duke’s family. I was going to send it to Miss Philine in case she expressed an inclination. Because they are relatives, who have mixed their blood several times, they should not be too far removed from the Viscount’s taste. Of course, I have the consent of both them and their parents.”
“Your Excellency, I am not comfortable with this in my presence.”
Now that the Duke’s intentions were finally clear, Philine, who had been quietly watching the conversation, filed a complaint.
However, the Duke, instead of showing signs of apprehension, told Philine the circumstances.
“To be considerate, the Viscount was confined to the dormitory of the Military Academy or in the fortress on military service. He is a newcomer and has no family connections. His estate is gone, and his mansion was destroyed in the war. There was no other opportunity to pass the personal data except today.”
“The Duke families are all descendants of former royalty who split from the royal family. Our family, entrusted with starships and the future generations to come by the people suffering from colonial rule, are dedicated to the people. In exchange for tremendous power we have been offered, we will spare no effort to fulfill our duty.”
Coesfeld pointed to the hull of the Future Arrow, which is projected at the top of the venue.
“This ship once reached the Apollo system with a billion people on board. It’s exactly the same number of people burned down in the Capital planet Defense. The same thing happened to the Future Arrow, an immigrant ship, that was destroyed halfway through the migration, killing off a billion people.”
The successor to the Coesfeld family, who once served as the fleet leader of the Future Arrow, kept his gaze on the Future Arrow as he continued to speak.
“The magic power of the young lady of the Marquis Carneus is Duke-class. She served in the defense of the Capital planet, dropped hundreds of enemies and saved hundreds of millions of royal citizens from being burned down. If Viscount Amakawa can have one child with a young lady of Viscount rank, hundreds of millions of people will not be burned to death.”
Quietly clenching his fist, Coesfeld felt like he was scrambling desperately to help the crew members move from the wrecked, sinking Future Arrow to another ship.
“I saw charred people dragged out of the hypocenter. The young child, who was held by his charred mother until she died, saying he wanted water, and died at the end. A billion people killed could be zero the next time they attack, if the Viscount has about three children.”
The scene of the rescue operation for the war victims passed through Hart’s mind.
After a 439-year natural truce, the Monarchy and the Coalition both have a surplus of funds and resources. If they wanted, a fleet of 1 million ships or 100 fortresses could be built.
Due to the unavailability of magic powered individuals to operate either side’s magic engines, the current situation is that they are half-destroying or conquering each other’s planet while grinding away at each other with tens of thousands of ships and a few fortresses.
If there was one more mobile fortress in the defensive battle, the death toll in the capital would have decreased by more than 100 million. With 10, it may not have been possible for the enemy army to reach the Capital planet.
Hart couldn’t find a word to hang on the back of Coesfeld, who was looking up at the Future Arrow.
“All the aristocratic young ladies I sent the data to have lived affluently on the property entrusted by the royal people. I reminded them that they would have to waive their rights if they dislike their duties, but they chose to fulfill said responsibilities. If they are not the Viscount’s liking, you can tell me. At such time, I will search for other ladies to the best of my abilities. As a Duke of the Monarchy, I will spare no effort in protecting the royal people. I will run around as much as I can.”
The stern eyes of the old fox turned and quietly looked down at Hart.