Reborn as The Underdog First Prince Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 2

With a wry smile at their world of two, Todd turned to face Renge.

She was a stray…or rather, someone who was never originally meant to join them. Based on Todd’s knowledge from his past life, a person named Renge did not exist in the game. And Haruto’s character was much darker than the cheerful person before him now.

Haruto was supposed to be a sinister engineer with numerous subordinates in an underground lab. Todd had intended to recruit him in exchange for the prototype plans for the powered armor. But for some reason, Haruto readily agreed to defect after simply being headhunted. And his assistant, Renge Kujou, ended up coming along too.

The fact that the character Renge did not exist in the game likely meant she was someone who had died earlier in the story. Renge was probably fated to die during Yamata no Orochi’s revival. By pulling Haruto out ahead of time, Todd had likely altered her destiny.

Through his own efforts, Todd had arrived at the correct solution on his own.

He had invested nearly all his princely allowance into the project, so the development pace was considerably faster than in the game. At this rate, they would likely succeed in developing powered armor capable of defeating Yamata no Orochi in two years, even without the enhancement gear.

However, it is inevitable that Akitsushima will suffer considerable damage.

Unwilling to watch Akitsushima be laid to ruin, Todd intended to provide support against Yamata no Orochi if development progressed better than anticipated.

—Of course, he had other motives beyond mere altruism.

As long as Takeru had the potential to rule Akitsushima, it was best to avoid weakening his country for now.

“Anyway, I’m going too. When do you think we’ll depart, Your Highness?”

“Let’s see, preparations are complete, so once Raienbach selects some tight-lipped Royal Guards for us and gets approval from Father, we should be good to go.”

By the way, development had already been completely handed off to Haruto and the others.

Their positions were Technical Officers, officially direct subordinates of Todd.

The magical circuits they produced were far beyond what Todd could handle.

The intricate, sophisticated magical circuits relied heavily on intuition.

Based on the nature of the magical creatures used as materials and the wielder’s magical energy, fine tuning of the implemented circuits was necessary.

Taking all that into account, Todd had entrusted development of the powered suits to the two of them.

Other than testing the feel, the only thing he did was apply preservation and stasis magic in place of the two non-mages.

In addition to the leather Haruto had used for the enhancement gear, they were now increasingly incorporating organic materials like muscle fiber and skin.

Todd was sincerely relieved he had properly learned magic.

Currently, aside from Schlein, there is no one in the Royal Court Mage who has mastered Earth Magic up to the Second Tier.

Schlein, who was raised as a noble, would never touch monsters. So, if Todd couldn’t do it, all the materials from the ogres we caught in large quantities would have rotted away.

“By the way, the selection of the knights who will accompany us has already been completed. These three have agreed to the confidentiality agreement. We are categorizing it as a special covert mission, though.”

What Rienbach handed over was detailed information about the three members who would be traveling together this time. As per my previous request, they had arranged for two magic users and one non-magic user.

Although the development of various weapons that non-magic users could use had progressed, there was currently only Rienbach in their group who fit the criteria.

Therefore, they needed personnel with some level of skill, capable of handling weapons.

If they had combat data that they hadn’t collected before, it would be extremely helpful in deploying weapons to the soldiers in the future.

By the way, there was an attempt to collect data from Rienbach, who was said to be the kingdom’s strongest knight… but that idea was quickly discarded.

Someone as absurd as him, who could run on walls using enhanced armor, was completely unsuitable for collecting data on regular soldiers.

“The armors should be able to protect Your Highness if anything happens, so I’ll gladly accompany you and clear the way, even against a few dozen foes.”

“Rai shouldn’t kill people for a battle this small. So I won’t prepare a place for you to die—stay by my side until you die of old age.”

“…I see.”

Raienbach stared at Todd silently, at a loss for words.

Rather unusual for his normally stern expression, he looked dumbfounded.

After recovering from his stunned state like a pigeon that had been hit by a bean bag, Raienbach said,

“You have a way with people, Your Highness. Hmm… Maybe it’s about time I stepped down as Commander of the Royal Guard.”

“Become my personal knight instead? I’d prefer if Rai could help Edward out though.”

“Wouldn’t it be fastest if Your Highness became king? Then our research budget could also…”

“Mr. Haruto, you’re blurting out your true feelings.”

It seems Raienbach still hasn’t given up on making Todd the king.

In the past, he had looked down on Todd as just a child who enjoyed moving his body.

Of course he had hidden it behind the mask of an adult so Todd wouldn’t notice.

But it seems his thinking changed after bringing in Haruto and seeing the great progress in enhancement gear development, and trying on the enhancement gear himself.

Learning that all of Todd’s past eccentric actions were meant to create this must have completely overturned Raienbach’s evaluation.

And Haruto was telling him to become king so they could get a firmer budget. Human relationships were such a pain.

Todd wanted the freedom to move around and had to do so. Even becoming king would bring far more demerits for him.

Plus reshuffling the royal order now would become an unnecessary source of discord.

This was something he hadn’t told anyone yet, but Todd intended to relinquish his succession rights after subjugating the mountain tribes.

And he planned to receive those mountain ranges as his territory and casually establish a new house.

“…I’ve said it many times, but I won’t become king. Weapons are made and battles fought not by kings. So Rai, please help Edward out, even from now on.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”


With a nod, Raienbach turned on his heel and returned to the palace.

Rai was already past his peak at over forty years old now.

When he said he was considering stepping down soon as Commander of the Knights, it was likely no lie.

It was precisely because he had started entrusting work to the younger knights that he could come here like this.

“Ahhh, I hope His Majesty grants approval soon. I can’t wait to see my Shiranui mow down enemies in a flash!”

“Hey now, that’s disrespectful.”

As if in response to Haruto’s prayer, King Rynsgaya IV’s approval came three days later.

Under the classified operation codename [Thunderbolt], the mission was approved.

The official operation was to reduce the military force of the mountain tribes living in the Enethya Mountain Range, and test their developed armaments.

—But of course, Todd had no intention of ending it at that.

His goal was to gain control of the mountain range itself and all the mountain tribes living there within about half a year.

And kill Tottila to eliminate any lingering troubles.

Todd’s body, which should have been resolved…was faintly trembling.

The night before their departure, Todd was unable to sleep.

No matter how much he squeezed his eyes shut or tossed and turned in bed, drowsiness simply wouldn’t come.

Since coming to this world, Todd had done all kinds of things.

Or rather, it might be better to say he had wreaked all kinds of havoc.

Failures had been overwhelmingly more common, but there were a few successes too.

Using his knowledge from his past life, he had succeeded in poaching talent and developing armaments.

Thanks to that, he now had the Shiranui reinforced armor, which was close to the strongest armament currently available.

But no matter how powerful the weaponry, Todd had no actual combat experience against other people.

All he had done was train himself, get beaten up by Raienbach, and subjugate orcs.

He should have gotten some experience with subjugating bandits or something beforehand. But it was too late for regrets now.

Departure was imminent tomorrow.

His mind was sharp but he couldn’t fall asleep.

The unpleasantly long night was torn apart by a knock knock at the door.

Bringing his consciousness back to reality, Todd wiped his eyes and sat up.

“Big brother, are you still awake?”

“Yeah…come in.”

It was Edward.

Now ten years old, his beautiful boyish features were even more refined.

Illuminated by the candlelight, his side profile was as beautiful as the statue an artist summoned to the palace had sculpted not long ago.

Despite their relationship in the game revolving around the dispute over succession rights, Todd and Edward remained as close as ever.

Todd believed the biggest factor was that he had already dropped out of the succession race.

He had already been abandoned by their mother the queen, and was essentially in a state of neglect no matter what he did.

The king would also let him be unless giving a mild rebuke, acquiescing to anything Todd did.

Todd currently lived out of the old storehouse discreetly situated in the backyard of the palace, immersing himself in research, yet no one said anything to him about it.

But living in the storehouse was still less than ideal in many ways.

Therefore Todd still slept in his own bedroom at night.

To the many nobles, Todd was bad debt who had strayed from the path himself.

As a result, almost no one tried to support him, and the majority opinion now was that Edward would succeed the king.

“You’re setting out east to the Enethya Mountain Range tomorrow, I heard it’s an inspection…”

“That’s right. The current situation with the frequent raids isn’t good. I hope we can resolve it through negotiation…”

“Are you planning to fight? With just the few people to avoid leaving evidence of mobilizing troops.”

With his parents watching, opportunities to meet openly with Edward had decreased year by year.

On top of Todd himself spending much time on development and research.

Although abandoned as royalty, he had almost no free time.

(This isn’t good…he’s clearly noticed.)

While the official pretext was an inspection, it seems Edward could guess what Todd was trying to do.

Aside from Todd himself, there was only Raienbach, Renge, three Royal Guards, so just five combat personnel.

Yet Edward seemed to expect combat rather than scouting or inspection with such few numbers, surprising Todd.

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