In the end, Origa and Kasha said nothing to Hifumi, or rather, it was impossible for them to say it anything.
From the slaves’ point of view, it would be unreasonable to get their master involved for the sake of their revenge, so the two decided not to ask him.
Origa had sworn to become stronger and take revenge, following Hifumi’s relentless training energetically. Even though gaining power from Hifumi’s guidance seemed similar to relying on Hifumi’s power, it was different.
After dinner, when Hifumi returned to his room, Origa and Kasha had a discussion.
「 ….Certainly, as Origa said, depending on master one way or the other doesn’t feel right. 」
Falling back on the futon while relishing the feeling, Kasha agreed. A soft feeling is kind towards a tired body.
In retrospect, their current hotel was better than the ones they used to frequent as adventurers. In spite of being slaves, their living conditions had improved, Kasha smiled at the irony.
Being able to choose what to eat; how much to eat, is it thanks to the extreme practice that their figures were maintained? On the contrary, it feels like their figures had tightened.
「But if this continues, we’ll never get our revenge….. Master is kind, on getting an opportunity, he will listen to our request… though that’s what I think.. 」(Origa)
He is certainly kind. (Kasha)
He doesn’t hesitate to kill those hostile to him, regardless of their standing or authority. Conversely, he is kind to those he calls family, the two slaves can also live life without discomfort. There is neither abuse nor sexual assault.
Origa, sitting on the bed brushed her pale green hair. Combing her freshly-washed beautiful and lustrous hair, even Kasha of the same sex was charmed.
Generally slaves are lucky if they can occasionally bathe with cold water. We can wash our bodies everyday with hot water, can also buy and use everyday necessities.
Objectively seen, he’s a kind master, thought Origa.
「 But…. 」
Something caught in Kasha’s chest.
Not complaining the slightest and thankful for the good treatment, Kasha frankly admired Hifumi’s personality. Substantially different from those she encountered till now.
「 What’s wrong? 」
「 Iya~, it’s nothing. My weariness was easily relieved by resting while cleaning myself. 」
Kasha showed Origa a smile, who seemed to hold goodwill towards Hifumi, while worrying pointlessly.
「 It’s time for bed. We have to expect Master’s severe training starting tomorrow morning again. 」
「 You’re right. Have a good night. 」
「 Good night. 」
Somehow, her real worries lie in how not to hurt her best friend’s feelings, Kasha prayed in her heart.
The next day, Pajou, who was wearing a uniform, went to the dining room where three people were eating their breakfast.
「 There is a report on the Marquis from a few days ago, is that fine? 」
「 Yes. 」
「 Excuse me then. 」
Since Origa was sitting in front of Hifumi, Pajou naturally went to sit down on the vacant seat beside Hifumi.
Pajou quickly confirmed that the surrounding people will not overhear her, she pulled the chair silently.
「 A considerable number of documents in the Marquis’ mansion were been burnt by the fire. But the documents that I salvaged revealed a lot of information. They’re smugglers….. Actually, a trading company was established under a different name for that purpose. We are now investigating the premises of the trading company. 」
During these past few days, the 3rd Knight’s Corp and the Public Security Corp have been investigating together. they discovered a building a ways away from the commercial area of the royal capital,registered under this trading company. But when the combined force of both Corps entered the place, it was completely abandoned.
「 So why did you intentionally tell me this? 」
「 Because you were involved in this. Though the Marquis’ attempted murder was stopped, the money made from smuggling was used for political maneuvering within the Imperial Court. The Marquis’ son…… The knight that you killed during the audience with the King, was able to enter the Imperial Knights Corp at a young age. A position that brings them closer to the royal family, and used their wealth on the nobles to create a large faction. 」
To be acquainted with the royal family like that, “A young excellent knight with good family background, betrothed to the imperial princess” is what they were getting around to. If a problem in succession should arise, they’d appeal to the person sitting on the throne for a child, they really planned this for the long haul. Acknowledging it to that extent, there is a possibility to politically manipulate the maternal relatives of the royal family
Having their grand scheme with the King summoning the hero collapse as a result of killing the son, who is also knight. They aimed at taking revenge on Hifumi.
「 Hmm, if it’s like that, those within the high-ranking nobles must be dealt inconspicuously. Collect evidence from the officials to arrest them and be done with it. Announce publicly that the Marquis died from an illness, and the knight had an accident during training. 」
However, the investigation for anyone connected to the trading company have been pushed through, it has been discovered that the scale of the simple smuggling operation is a problem.
「 The amount of money involved is too big. They were able to secretly move goods of staggeringly huge value back and forth. To make matters worse, there is no information on the individuals that buys through the trading company. Furthermore thanks to the company, all the items sold have been settled already. The purchases seem to have influenced the founding of the trading company. 」
Thereupon, Pajou turned to Origa and Kasha.
「 Origa-san and Kasha-san isn’t it. Before becoming slaves, have you two done any work regarding a jewel called “Aqua Sapphire”? 」
To Pajou’s question, Origa’s body twitched.
Kasha looked sharply at Pajou.
「 …..Indeed, we received the task of transporting a jewel of such a name. However, that was merely by chance.」
「 Pajou, stop this roundabout behavior. 」
「 ……Understood. I will explain from the beginning. In addition, there is a request for adventurer Hifumi-san, from the Orsongrande kingdom. 」
Facing Hifumi, Pajou began to explain with an earnest gaze.
Listening to Pajou’s explanation and telling her they would reply to the request the next day, Hifumi, Origa and Kasha gathered in Origa and Kasha’s room.
「 So, this matter about this “Aqua Sapphire” is the source of your debts, and the reason you are slaves. 」
「 Yes… 」
After listening to Pajou’s explanation Origa had a brooding expression on her face. Sitting next to her, Kasha grasped Origa’s shoulder, eyes downcast. The details of the Knight Corps’ investigation were told to them.
Origa and Kasha had received a request to safely transport “Aqua Sapphire”, an expensive jewel among the nobles from a craftsman. Since there were a large number of adventurers who wanted the request, in order to travel comfortably to other towns and sightsee, the guild did a recommendation.
The Aqua Sapphire is a speciality of Orsongrande’s, and without the Royal family’s permission, it is forbidden to carry it outside the country. Because of it’s extraordinarily high price, from the time it is collected, processed and then sold, reporting its whereabouts is essential. Ordinary thieves do not aim for it since selling it outside the country is not easy, as it can be easily traced.
Origa and Kasha were carrying the Aqua Sapphire to the destination town with their documents being verified by soldiers at various stops along the highway, over the period of some days. The client was supposed to be at the destination town according to the craftsman.
However, upon entering the town and checking the artisan’s wooden box, there was no Aqua Sapphire inside.
Naturally, the client was angry and Origa and Kasha had to pay compensation, but it was not an amount an ordinary adventurer could pay.The payment deadline passed, and they ended up as slaves.
「 The moment it was decided that we would be slaves, the client was laughing unpleasantly.At that moment, we realised…. 」
Kasha sighed, letting out a self-mocking laugh.
「 The client at that time, a guy called Beirevura seemed to be a representative of the firm related to the Marquis. 」
It was said that the destination town was managed by a viscount affiliated with the Marquis’ faction. Most likely, the soldiers received orders from the Marquis to extract the Aqua Sapphire at a checkpoint while entering the town. If multiple soldiers were accomplices, then it could not be helped.
According to the information, it was a very simple trap to set up. Origa and Kasha were caught magnificently.
The documents recovered from the Marquis’s home confirmed that the Marquis’ company was going to take the missing Aqua Sapphire to Vichy. It was here that Origa and Kasha’s names came up.
「 In short, a crime was fabricated for the missing jewel, which was taken out of the country behind the scenes. 」
Beirevura was going to Vichy using the permit with the Marquis’ signature on it. The Knight Corps network extended only until the Vichy border, and they could not act beyond without possibly antagonizing the other country, so any result was dubious at best.
「 And I can unexpectedly help this country since I have permission to leave, and work there as an adventurer. 」
The contents of the request that Pajou brought was to find Beirevura in Vichy, and investigate the other party associated with this scheme.
Originally, someone from the Knights should go, but there is no way to explain a knight coming from another country. If it’s Hifumi, it is possible since it is not uncommon for adventurers to cross borders for work. Even though he has a peerage, that title is not used in other countries.
This was requested to the guild, and they nominated HIfumi, who understood that it was an appeal from the country without any tricks.
「 Well then, what to do. 」
On that note, the incident involving Strauss of Horant momentarily came to mind, but was left aside as it was not as important as the Vichy situation.
Unable to decide where to go, Hifumi thought of this opportunity as a good chance to explore Vichy.
The kingdom will prepare a horse and carriage. He wanted to fight other people as well, not just ones from Orsongrande.
「 For the two of you, it’s an opportunity for revenge, how about it? 」
When Hifumi asked the question, Origa, who had fallen silent at the beginning, sitting on the floor bowed her head.
「 Master, please forgive me for saying such a selfish thing. If it is possible, the chance to take revenge….」
Not waiting for Hifumi’s reaction, Origa began to talk as though a dam had burst.
「 At that time, if I had not rushed Kasha and confirmed the contents of the box properly…. Because of me, Kasha got dragged in. I have never forgotten that moment. Receiving weapons from master, being instructed in fighting, practising, all thanks to master. To compensate, even if master kills me, I will not regret it. So please let me take revenge. 」
「 Origa, you still cared about that thing…. I never regretted pairing with you! I have never held you as responsible for what happened that time….. 」
Seeing Origa crying her eyes out, Kasha was unable to hold back her own tears.
To Kasha sitting on the floor and earnestly asking while lowering her head, Hifumi said
「 Origa, tell me clearly. 」
「 This is my revenge. Without it, everything is meaningless.」
「 It is …..our revenge, Origa. 」
「 Kasha….. 」
「 Hmm….. Well then, shall we go? To Vichy. 」
Towards the master’s decision, Origa lowered her head again, but to the next words, their eyes became dots.
「 Personal battles stack up good experience. 」
「 Ee? Experience…? 」
Seeing the bewildered Origa, Hifumi stood up and laughed.
「 Put simply, the culprits causing trouble for my slaves are the ones pulling the strings. Others will come to try and kill you to tie up loose ends. Feel free to kill them without reserve. 」
「 For a hidden investigation to go smoothly, causing a disturbance…… 」
Kasha inadvertently retorted.
「 In one week, I will drive in the basics of personal combat. Origa, review the use of the shuriken and magic carefully. I will also coach Kasha very strictly. Also, we have to prepare for travel, we’ll be very busy!」
Hifumi left the room first to start preparing, the two watching him leave in blank amazement.