tty righteous for someone who kept making trouble in their past life.
“Anyhow, let’s check the content first.”
Melsa peered at the letter while pouring tea.
“But… It’s His Majesty the King’s letter, you know? If it’s Japan, it’s like the letter from the Emperor, you know? I have a lot of fear reading it…”
“Well that, if it’s the Tanaka family, we would put it on the altar and worship it once.”
(Altar would be further explained on the translator note at the end of the chapter.)
George had attained enlightenment from this impossible situation.
Great things must be first put on the altar and reported to the ancestors.
That being said, those placed on the Tanaka family’s altar were only report cards, diplomas, success reports, and the like.
“But, Stuart is pretty much a Count House, and we are nobles, so it is not supposed to be an impossible thing.”
Melsa said while serving the tea.
To Melsa, originally the youngest child out of 12 siblings of a Duke house, it’s not a shocking situation.
“Maybe Melsa has gotten used to it.
But still… I don’t have any good memories of the letter from the King.”
Last time, the letter that arrived from the King was an order to unify and govern over the fallen Pasotto and Langland territory.
It was nothing but a devil’s letter to a poverty-stricken noble who had just taken over the Lord’s title.
Owning extra lands with high monster appearance rates has more minus than plus, but they couldn’t go against the royal order.
“Then I will open it for you.”
Melsa took the letter from Leonard’s shaking hand and opened the seal indifferently.
“Mother, what is written on it?”
William went to Melsa’s side and peeked at the letter.
The letter’s content was words of praise for dealing with the local barrier hazard and the intention to give them a reward.
“Reward means we will receive something?”
George asked Melsa.
Leonard is of no help when concerning the royal family and nobility.
“Hmm, maybe, a rank promotion.”
Melsa answers while reading the lines.
“…what’s a rank promotion?”
With a serious face, Leonard asked Melsa.
Melsa sighed and looked to George.
“George, please tell him.”
“…eh, I don’t know… William, do you know?”
He glanced at William, seeking help.
“Rank promotion is when a noble’s rank is raised to a higher rank due to the noble’s achievements and merits, nii-sama…”
The letter mentioned that a reward will be bestowed to the Stuart House for their significant contribution in resolving the local barrier hazard.
And that reward given by the royal family is often a rank promotion.
“…which means we will become Stuart Marquis House?”
Melsa answered Emma’s question.
“Well, it’s likely Marquis Stuart.
As you have fought the slimes at the risk of your lives.”
Melsa stroked Emma.
Her cheek was still covered by Violet’s thread at this time.
“Eh… Then, after the rank promotion? what will happen to us, Mother?”
George, who still didn’t get the point, asked Melsa.
“Let’s see… First, our territory will expand.
The tax we receive will also increase, but those in the royal capital can think that we’re acting all important.
The marriage proposal will also increase, but it will also increase the balls, tea parties, and social opportunities.
Furthermore, if we become a Marquis House, we will be called for every New Year, harvest festivals, the royal family’s birthday festival, and so on.
And even those with a high ranking between the nobles in the royal castle will come to approach…”
The whole family’s face got worse and worse as they thought upon what Melsa’s said.
“I don’t need… any more territory… than this…”
Larger territories mean higher income, but it also means more responsibilities and troubles.
Leonard, who is already governing a unified three territories in the first place, is trembling again.
“…marriage proposal…, it’s still too early…”
William was fed up.
“Ball… If it’s a ball game…” *
(*T/N: A wordplay here.
舞踏会 butoukai = a dance, ball and 武闘会 butoukai = a fighting competition)
George held his head as he hates dances.
“Mother? Is this some kind of punishment game? Great aristocrats are fussy about etiquette… and in the first place, festivals are events with a lot of food stalls you can enjoy.”
Beef and potato stew
Saying that a festival without food stalls is the same as beef and potato stew without beef, Emma bulged her cheeks.
Rank promotion… The Stuart family has perceived it as a terrifying word and could only think of it as a punishment, not a reward.
“Ah, Father! Handling monsters is an extremely obvious thing to do for a borderland lord.
It’s not a thing that should be rewarded!”
William hinted at Leonard.
“That’s right! To counteract a local barrier hazard is one of a borderland lord’s jobs, so there is no need to thank us!”
George backed William’s idea.
“Father, it’s best to stay as we are now.
If we get any busier than this, we won’t be able to play with the cats, observe insects, and make Rose-sama‘s dresses.”
Emma argued vehemently.
While Melsa was dumbfounded by the siblings’ solidarity, Leonard has made a conclusion.
“Let’s refuse the rank promotion! We merely did the obvious thing, not deserving any reward.
Let’s do it like this!”
And so, based on the third Tanaka family meeting, they decided on refusing the King’s reward.
“Can you try talking it out with the Count to receive the reward?”
The King thinks that a meritorious deed should be given praise.
No one has contributed to the country this far in recent years.
The King brings the subject to the three siblings thinking that maybe the Count will give in from their persuasion.
“Your Majesty, just like what we have said earlier, we only did the natural thing to do.
It is not something to be rewarded of.”
“We only fulfilled our given duty.”
“I think the answer will not change even if we talk to Father.”
The three siblings express their refusal towards the reward in unison.
It was an impossible answer for all the nobles that the King knows.
Not just Count Stuart, even his children, too, are so modest without any greed.
If so, then at least…
“Well then, Emma-chan, would you like to get engaged with Edward?”
The King understands well his son’s feelings, and marrying into the royal family will bring as many benefits to the Stuart Count House as the reward.
‘What an excellent idea I think of,’ the King laughs contently.
Japanese people usually have a Buddhist altar inside their house where they placed memorial tablets, ash and picture of the deceased, incense burners, and candlesticks.
They would place offerings on the altar to ask for protection and guidance from the spirits of the ancestors.
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