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Chapter 21 – Concubine
This world currently adopted a split inheritance system, but before that, it was the eldest son inheritance system. The system shift was probably to prevent vassals from gaining power, but if one looked at history, it was also likely to reduce the risk of the discontinuation of a family line.
In the early days of the Carling Empire, the split inheritance system itself was actually prohibited. Most aristocrats hated the idea to begin with. However, considering that it was the era when the eldest son could suddenly perish before the succession, or said son failed to produce an heir, or some other uncertain factor that could have caused the discontinuation of the family line, families gradually began to demand the adoption of a split inheritance system.
When it came to the families who had long been entrusted with territories by the emperor, it was desirable to prepare a second son and beyond to ensure the continuation of the family line. In short, the eldest son inheritance system was considered unstable because there were cases when the other heirs made attempts on the eldest son’s life. In the end, there was no choice but to wait for society to mature.
Anyway, the split inheritance system led to the division of the family lines. In doing so, when a family line was discontinued, families could then bypass the issue of passing the territory off to someone completely unrelated.
Even so, despite the split inheritance system, the main territory was still passed down to the eldest son. This could be said of the Klaus family’s county, the heart of the duchy, and of the Schult family. The title of Duke can’t be divided either, so it would still be inherited by the eldest son.
It was undeniable that it caused conflict among siblings, but surprisingly, there were cases when they cooperated with each other. Perhaps there was a silver lining after all? But if I were to do it, once I gained enough power of my own, I would switch it back to the eldest son inheritance system. In the first place, if someone had three concubines and a main wife to boot, it was very unlikely for a family to fail to conceive a son.
“Wake up… oh, your eyes really are dead.”
When I brought Cornelia to my room, I patted her cheek, but she didn’t react at all. It really felt like I was talking to a corpse. Hey, wasn’t her mental strength a little too weak? To be this stunned after her brother’s betrayal whom she thought was her sole ally… She even had to apologize to me, who didn’t have any allies to begin with.
After a while, she started to cry, so it seemed like she wasn’t completely dead. She really was just emotionally unstable.
“…Just hurry up. Do whatever you want with me, already.”
“Nah, I’m not looking for that. Do you really think you have that kind of worth with that chest of yours?”
Cornelia had resignedly said that I could do what I wanted, but I would do it with Linde-san first, so she wasn’t really needed. Why did I make her my concubine, then? Simply put, I just needed to fill the slot and have a competent person work at my disposal. Those slots were exclusive to women, so it was quite inconvenient, not even including the three-person limit.
At the mention of her chest, Cornelia immediately covered herself with her arms. She seemed to have recovered some life when she glared at me, but I wasn’t scared of a swordswoman who didn’t even have her sword. Considering her brother’s position, she was supposed to sell her favor to me instead, but perhaps she wasn’t mature enough yet? With a brother like that and herself being only 16, it couldn’t be helped.
“What’s with that? You sought after my power, not my onii-sama’s?”
“I would rather have Hans as a steward. He was a mercenary, so he should be good at managing supplies and accounting for the mercenary group, right? It’s probably why he was the vice chief. Because of his experience, I hired him.”
“…What about me?”
“…I guess you’ll be assisting my fiancée?”
“You have a fiancée?!”
“There’s no way an independent, nearly-of-age aristocrat would not have a fiancée. Just how ignorant are you? Also, the next time you talk to me that way, I’ll cut off your already-lacking breasts.”
I jokingly said she would be my bride’s assistant, but having a commander with night vision characteristics would greatly increase the success rate of night raids. When I personally confirmed her characteristics, Cornelia said she could see about 30 meters ahead in total darkness, so it was quite an absurd capability. It wasn’t directly related to combat ability, so people in this world rated it as weak and would let their guard down, but it was a rare characteristic that only a few people had, so I considered myself lucky to secure such a person.
…Also, Cornelia could actually be quite cute. I told her that she had a flat chest and lacked breasts, but that was in comparison to Linde-san. Even when she lay down, the swell was actually quite visible. I was a man after all, and I was just entering the age where my libido reached its peak, so it couldn’t be helped. All these considered, the fact that she was my concubine allowed me to secure a capable vassal who would have difficulty betraying me, which was a great advantage overall.
After a bit more conversation, Cornelia had completely recovered from her listlessness. After she took stock of her situation, she concluded that it wasn’t as bad as she expected. Being a concubine of a count could be considered the win of a lifetime from a commoner’s perspective. In her current position, she would have to work under me for free for the rest of her life, but it seemed like she didn’t think that far ahead yet.
With this, Cornelia becoming my concubine was no longer a problem for the time being. But Linde-san would soon arrive in Fentz county. A man was allowed to marry up to four women, but that didn’t guarantee a good relationship between the legal wife and the concubines. More often than not, they didn’t have a good relationship, and they could possibly try to kill each other if things went bad.
First impressions were important, so how should I introduce Cornelia to Linde-san? I doubt that this would cause a broken engagement, but if things went badly, Linde-san might use her monstrous strength to tear my body, and Cornelia’s, in half.
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