Despite my stepmother’s bouts of insanity, I still couldn’t believe what she said.
“I see you’re hearing is going bad. The draft papers have been sent and the villagers of Tote will be going, so you need to leave immediately.”
“Wait, I’m only 12, you know?”
“There aren’t any age restrictions on soldiers. The current head is currently visiting a friend in the south to talk about managing the land, so he isn’t present at the moment. It goes greatly against my conscience to say this, but the Millard family only has you left.
There were rumors of countless undead heading south from the Giant Forest, Rudoa. The rumors that stated that this crisis would turn into an unprecedented calamity which would destroy the empire were so pervasive they had even reached the soldiers in the insignificant land of Millard.
My shitty stepmother has probably already noticed the money I’ve been saving up behind the scenes. Since my father, the current head, has yet to return, she’s probably thinking that she can acquire my inheritance by temporarily sending me off to war while also driving out an annoyance.
I could probably refuse. I mean, the Millard family had almost no right to coerce me as I would soon leave the family anyways. But refusing would mean large casualties from Tote and their administration would severely decline without me.
Still, I’d be an idiot to naively accept right now, so I’ll try to squeeze out as much as I can.
“I decline—I have no reason to.”
“Are you trying to sully the great name of Millard!?”
So it’s begun: another one of her outbursts about how it won’t go as I think.
“Where is this pride coming from?” I said. “This is the first time I’ve been recognized as a member of the family, you know.”
“I said we’re recognizing you!! Now follow my orders!”
Whatever. I’ve barely any memories of my past life, but I don’t think I was of the patient type.
“In just three months I won’t be a part of the family anymore, so why should I have to follow your orders?”
“Wha-!!?” she yelled as her jaw dropped to the ground.
“How dare you speak that way to your mother!!” Linda interjected, her face red with rage.
“My mother? Sorry, but you guys are no more than strangers to me. It’s actually really annoying that you’d lump me in with you buckets of shit when you can’t even empathize with other people’s pain. Don’t you dare say that again.”
Linda yelped as I flashed her a murderous glare and fell on her butt. How idiotic.
“It seems that you’ve misunderstood,” I continued, “but I’m only a part of this family until I turn 13 because of the head’s protective supervisory right.”
Until then, I don’t have the head’s permission to leave the family, and if I did so anyways he could report to Central and have them take me back by force. Naturally, nobody would do this and bring shame upon their family under normal circumstances.
However, based off his abnormal rejection before, my father definitely doesn’t want me to stray from his side and would definitely force me back. And there wouldn’t be much of a difference between sticking out to Central’s authorities and being chased as a criminal.
I had first thought my father’s obstinate response was because he had sensed I was saving up for some reason and had thought it was because I wanted to inherit his position.
But judging by how happy he was when I had temporarily left the mansion, he wouldn’t ask for me to stay once I turned 13. There were plenty other inconsistencies in his attitude towards me as well. To put it in other words, you could say I couldn’t read him.
“Then just leave now!!”
“Yeah, I think I’ll do that.” I stood up and began to leave when my stepmother yelled hysterically.
That’s right. In their point of view, they’ll lose a lot of advantages if I don’t depart for this war.
Firstly, if I were to decline here, my father would have to go in my place once he returned. And if he were to die in battle, Cliff would have to quit the Magic Knight Academy and take on the position of the next head.
Additionally, they should already have an idea, no matter slight, of how infatuated the villagers are with me. So if I didn’t go, the villagers would follow suit as there was no legal recourse if they didn’t join the war; I’ve thoroughly educated them in this matter after all.
Most of all, I would lose my inheritance if I died in the war. There weren’t wills of any sort in this world, and in general the inheritance of any kids under 13 that died would go right back to their guardian, who in this case would be the current head.
It’s only that there wasn’t any concept of a will, however, and it was possible to write a contract with the same terms beforehand.
Through Rainer’s introduction, I had already set up a contract with Margrave McBurn’s family, who were the masters of the Millard family, that on my death, 70% of my fortunes would be equally split between Satella, Judo, Carla, and Leroy, and the rest would be split between orphanages around the empire, churches, and directly to the empire.
I didn’t want Aqua to be dragged through any trials of succession rights, so I added the condition that she would receive my inheritance once she got married.
With so many people in the equation, even if my shitty stepmother cried wolf, the empire probably wouldn’t join hands with her. The empire would be receiving a vast amount of funds as well, after all.
And so, there wasn’t even a one in a million chance that she would get her hands on my inheritance.
“What?” I asked.
“State your terms,” my stepmother said.
“You are forbidden from participating in anything besides taxing the fields. This includes any new taxes as well as military service. Furthermore, you’ll return 10% of all taxes taken back to Tote in 30 years.”
“How unreasonable!” Linda gasped in exasperation.
“Unreasonable? Going to war is a matter of life or death, and Tote is single-handedly taking on that risk. Shouldn’t they be compensated at least a little for that?”
My stepmother went deep into thought, but quickly said, “I don’t mind then. Prepare to leave immediately.”
From how easily she accepted, my death was probably all but certain in her eyes.
“One of my merchant friends is actually nearby. Let’s write it down and hand it to a third party.”
“No such thing is necessary!!” She stood up and slammed the table, but I just threw a cold gaze in response.
“Then I’ll pretend this conversation never happened.”
“Are you saying you won’t trust me?”
What an unredeemable idiot.
“Are you to say that there was even a single instance where your actions could have led me to trust you?” I said.
She glared at me but reluctantly agreed in the end.
I teleported to Straheim, explained the circumstances to Ikose, and brought him back to the Millard estate. 
In the reception room, I wrote three contracts with Ikose as a witness—one for me, one for Ikose, and one for my stepmother.
My stepmother only knew Ikose as a merchant to trade with. She couldn’t possibly even dream that he would be the Commerce Guild’s branch leader-cum-Marquis. If she made things difficult it would come back to bite her.
Grey Millard, 12 years old, will now lead Tote’s villagers to war.
 Been bothering me for a while, but I don’t think I should translate it to mansion when they’re poor nobles, so I will be translating as estate from here on out. Might go back and edit previous chapters.