In the third wind week of Water Star (湫星) in the year 2212 of Grygys, I celebrated my fifteenth birthday.
I used to celebrate it only with my family members, but this year, as an adult, I invited my close friends and relatives to the party.
Even though it is a bit awkward to be an adult, various people come to my place to congratulate me because I am the main character of the party.
Almost all of them are people who are superior to me and who seem to have something in their heart.
I can't help but feel sick to my stomach at the thought that from today I will have to participate in such a grievous quarrel among aristocrats.
Anyway, I made it through the party without any problem since my father was always with me.
That night, I was summoned by my father to his study.
"Neil, do you know why I called you here?"
Dirac Atmiras, my father, asked me with a mysterious look on his face.
I guessed that he was going to ask me to help him with his work from tomorrow, since I had come of age today.
"Are you asking me to help father with business from tomorrow?"
"No, not really."
If it's not.
Then what is it?
Is he talking about being a nobleman and having self-confidence?
"How much do you think you've contributed to the Atmiras family since you were born?"
"Uhh... so-so, I guess.
My answer makes him explode with emotion and he stands up, banging his desk.
"You're always like that! No matter how much you accomplish, you always lack confidence! Do you know how much your ideas have enriched the Atmiras family and our empire?"
My father's idea was to use my modern knowledge, and I, who had not yet discovered my 'cheat ability', tried the so-called knowledge cheat to see if there was anything I could do.
However, in other worlds, the laws of physics may be different, and it often didn't work, or I often created something different from what I had in the first place.
Nevertheless, some results were achieved, and the unprecedented viewpoints were evaluated as excellent, and the reputation of the Count Atmiras was so well known in the empire that it is safe to say that the Count Atmiras was ranked first by far among the counts in the same rank.
If asked why I am not confident about my contribution, it is because I have only modern knowledge and have not come up with it from scratch by myself.
Besides, my nerves are not so thick that I can talk about other people's knowledge as if it were my own, and it is impossible for me to have confidence in it.
Besides, this kind of knowledge will eventually run out if I keep spouting it.
And since I can no longer cheat with my knowledge, unless I find some other advantage that is unique to me, I can never be confident of being an aristocrat.
"Your reputation is so high in the Empire that it is rumored that in your generation, our Count Atmiras will rise to the rank of Duke. So why do you remain so weak?"
"What do you mean by 'why'?"
I'm not sure if it's fair to say that I was born this way.
I was born weak-minded, but I inherited it from my previous life, so I couldn't do anything about it.
The only way to improve this is to find my unique strength, but if it were easy to find such a strength, there would be no trouble at all.
"No matter how good you are, you can easily be taken advantage of with that kind of attitude."
"But then, Father, I'm not a good candidate for nobility. If you're going to pass the family heir, it should be to Kurtis."
"Kurtis is no good. He's your little brother and he's even less suited to the gut than you are. You know that, don't you?"
Yes, I have a younger brother named Kurtis, three years younger than me, but Kurtis is a very gentle soul who does not know how to doubt people and is therefore even less qualified than I am to survive in the aristocratic society.
I also have another sister, but unfortunately, the aristocracy is a male-dominated society and women are basically not allowed to take over the head of the family, so I couldn't count on her from the beginning.
"That's why, in order to give you confidence as a nobleman, I'm going to entrust you with the development of a certain territory."
"What? Do you mean father doesn't help me?"
"Of course, only yourself will be in charge of the settlement."
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
"I can't do that! What are you asking your newly grown son to do?"
"You're not a grown son. You're an adult now, just like me. What will you do when the Emperor gives you his orders? Don't tell me that you're going to be like you are now, complaining that you can't do it?"
"If you think like that, you'll be at ease with the ordeal I'm about to put you through. I'm not going to punish you for your failure."
"Huh? No punishment?"
"This development project is just to give you confidence. I don't blame you if you fail."
I was a bit scared when he told me that he would suddenly put me in charge of the development, but if I don't have to be afraid of failure, there is no reason why I shouldn't take on the challenge.
"For the time being, I will give you one full-time servant (従者) and 30 laborers. I will provide you with the bare necessities too. If there's anything else you want, you'll get it yourselves. Is that clear?"
"...I understand, I'll give it a try.
That's how I ended up settling a certain territory.
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