|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
The couple, Anicet and Milea, pointed at me as I entered their vision, flapping their lips as though they wanted to say something.
Considering that I definitely don’t look like an acquired commodity in this situation, I guess it’s just a natural reaction.
While they were brought here by a suspicious man, I’m currently sitting on an expensive-looking sofa, so it should be pretty obvious to see who’s being cordially welcomed between us.
「Good morning. Anicet-san, Milea-san.」
「Why are you in this sort of place……」
「Why? It’s because of you two, no? You were the ones that sold me to them, so what are you acting all flustered about? 」
Devoid of any emotions, I answered so. There’s no need to show any mercy, they were the ones that set us up in the first place.
My tone is the same as it was yesterday, but I suppose since my personality is completely different now, the two of them went completely silent.
Even though I went out of the way and brought them here to talk, they don’t seem to be interested in talking at all. Hence, I one-sidedly continued the conversation.
「While I didn’t particularly intend to ask for any gratitude, I didn’t expect to be sold by the people I saved.」
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Hearing my words, the couple grind their teeth for some reason.
It looks like they have something to say. After a while, Anicet squeezed out these words.
「We had no choice.」
「You had no choice, is it?」
「With the exception of selling you, there was no other way we could save our daughter. We had no other……」
Saying so, Anicet fell to the ground while placing his hands over his face.
「Would you mind explaining the details?」
As I asked, he lifted his head and looked at me as though begging for mercy.
「We are just ordinary merchants that own a small shop here in the capital. I believe that I’ve talked about this before, but we have a daughter.
But then, our daughter suddenly became ill. The illness was so lethal that it would’ve killed her if left unchecked and the cure for it costs an enormous amount of money.
Because of that, we borrowed money to buy the medicine and managed to cure her. However, our debt still remained.
Before we realized it, the money we owed turned into a huge sum. It was that sort of contract. If we couldn’t pay it back, we would need to hand over our daughter. We couldn’t bear seeing our now healthy daughter getting sold off……」
That’s why they sold us, it’s because we were conveniently there, it seems.
Well, as a parent, that might have been the right choice. Sacrificing anything for the sake of their own child.
I’m sure that children born into families like these would, in most cases, live happy lives and be grateful to their parents.
The money they loaned might have had a normally unthinkable interest rate. They might have even borrowed money from the malicious traders and such that Faneed is involved with. I have no idea how it would be according to the laws of this world but if it was in modern Japan, they would be considered victims here as well.
Besides, I can understand the feeling of sacrificing anything to save someone. After all, I would also sacrifice anyone if it was for Ciel’s sake, in my case.
Though, of course I constantly do my sorcery research so that I don’t end up in a situation that would force me to make that kind of decision.
Incidentally, I glanced at Faneed, stealthily asking for confirmation on whether what he said earlier was true. Since he answered with a nod, then this story should be roughly true enough I guess.
「I see. Then Faneed-san, shall we continue our discussion then?」
「What, was that enough already?」
「I’ve already heard what I’ve wanted to hear after all.」
Hearing that, Faneed smiled, seemingly looking interested, while the couple let out what looked like sighs of relief.
I’m not sure why they’re looking that relieved and all, but I guess they just interpreted my words in a way that’s convenient for them.
「By the way, I’d like to ask, but looking from the surface, what is the status of the inn I was staying at?」
「It’s a high-class inn approved by the nobles. Wealthy merchants and nobles going out incognito occasionally stay there too.
The room you were staying at was just special, to say the least.」
「Really, you never do know what’s going on behind the doors, don’t you?」
It’s reminding me of some certain duke somewhere. In both cases, I’ve already seen their darker sides first, so it’s somewhat relieving that we won’t be deceived by them again, I guess.
「In that case, please make it so that you don’t associate with me any more than this.
After all, both of us would be happier that way.」
「Besides that, please let me stay there free of charge during my stay in the capital. The cheapest room at the inn I was in would be good enough.」
「You just told me to not associate with you, didn’t you? If you stay there, then we’ll be associating with you to some extent, you know?」
Well yeah, but it should be different on the surface.
There’s probably a lot of people staying there without any knowledge of the other side of the inn after all.
「Even with that in consideration, please don’t associate with me.」
After all, it is an inn controlled by a person from the underground.
While it might not be to the same extent as yesterday’s, there could be eyes monitoring what we do. What I’m asking here from him is for none of these to be attached to us at all. Other than that, I’ll only borrow a room, so they can just leave me alone.
Perhaps understanding that, I received Faneed’s agreement.
「Beyond that, please don’t tell anyone about me. Naturally this also applies to your subordinates and everyone in this room other than me. If you don’t keep this promise, I’ll riot.
This time I’ll go on a rampage in full power without holding anything back.」
「Okay, okay. I’ll agree to those terms.」
Faneed lifted his hands and waved them as he accepted our demands.
We frankly have more than enough money, so I imagine that we can pay the room charges without any issue, but receiving nothing from them would probably be uncomfortable for his side.
On the other hand, if we’re given cash or items, there’s no telling if there’s a catch to them. I’ll politely refuse being tricked into receiving money and being oddly suspected for it as a result. That’s exactly the so-called stolen royal artifact given as a collateral thing. For ordinary people like us, even without it being royal artifacts, being given stolen goods is already troublesome enough.
「So, what do we do about these two?」
Faneed signalled to the merchant couple.
「What about it? Can I dispose of them myself?」
「Wait a second, please wait!」
While the dispose part was naturally just a joke, Anicet suddenly perked up even though I was talking to Faneed.
He even lounged his body towards us, but as Faneed’s subordinate held him down, he couldn’t come near.
In contrast, Faneed didn’t show any hint of surprise at all, so he had likely already anticipated me replying that way.
「What is it?」
「Weren’t you going to save us?」
Seeing Anicet’s shock, I nearly let out a sigh. As I thought, they did misunderstand us.
How can I say this, is he actually fit to be a merchant?
After all, they went outside town without any escorts, carelessly asked a hunter about their Job, and even insisted that they could let us stay in a high-class inn for free while they themselves were wearing shabby clothes. I see, it makes sense that they’d be tricked into making that debt.
It’s just my guess, but the thing about their daughter, them having to hand her over if they can’t pay their debts, was likely already indicated in the contract to begin with. If that was the case, then they practically sold their own daughter anyways, so as for me, there’s absolutely no room for sympathy.
「Why should I have to save you?」
「These guys, they’re scoundrels, you know?」
「Scoundrels we are.」
Looking at Faneed, he even nods in agreement. It seems like he’s aware of how he’s wicked himself.
「But aren’t you two also scoundrels that planned to sell me?」
「But, we, our daughter…….」
「Even if it was to save your daughter, scoundrels are still scoundrels, aren’t they? Your daughter and I have no connection after all. And even if we did, it’s not any reason for me to be sold at all.
What you’ve done was kidnapping a bystander to sell them for your daughter’s sake, nothing more, nothing less.」
Perhaps left speechless by my words, Anicet could only scowl at me.
『Well then, have you heard everything you wanted Ciel?』
『Yes. So people can get this selfish for someone’s sake, huh.』
『That might be inevitable. This is an extreme example but if I were to die if you don’t kill 100 passerbys, what would you do Ciel?』
『I see. In this case, these people had no luck then. Also, they didn’t have enough strength, I suppose?』
『That’s true. They might have been especially unlucky.』
The example of me dying was a bit problematic if I say so myself, but regardless of that, that way of looking at it certainly does make sense as well. If ever the victim of this incident was someone else that had a weak social standing like us, they would have been successfully drugged and abducted, resulting in the merchant couple likely getting a happy life with their daughter instead.
But to their misfortune, to their disappointment, they attempted to sell us.
「You, if only you weren’t there, we would’ve had enough money!」
Perhaps because I went silent—I was talking to Ciel—Anicet spat out those words.
Was that the reason that they didn’t have any escorts then? After earning just barely more than enough to pay the debt off, they forced the journey without any escorts.
It’s like I’m the villain for asking for the reward. Well, so what then?
「T-that’s right. If you don’t save us, we’re going to spread information about you.
You want us to keep quiet, don’t you?」
「That’s non-negotiable. After all, I’ve agreed to keep the lady’s promise with everyone in this room.
In addition to your settlements, it looks like we’ll have to educate you two so that you don’t talk about our lady here as well.」
「In that case, I’ll leave the rest to you.」
Since it should be fine to leave things to them, I stood up to exit the room.
「I’ve already informed the inn, so just introduce yourself as Blan at the reception desk.」
「Understood. Well then, I hope we don’t see each other ever again.」
When did he even have the time to inform them though?
Ignoring the audible voices of spite coming from behind us, I exited the building.
Before I noticed it, it’s already nearly noon. Still, would it be alright to go through the inn to get back to the public street?
Even if it isn’t, I don’t really know any other way back, so I headed back to the inn using the hidden passage-like area.
『For now, let’s switch once we reach the inn, okay?』
『Right, understood. By the way, Ain?』
『What is it?』
『What’s going to happen to the couple and their child?』
Ciel asked me so, but I’m not really knowledgeable about the underworld, so I don’t have a definite answer.
If she’s fine with my speculations, then I do have some ideas in mind though.
『First of all, the daughter probably would be sold.』
『So, just as initially planned then.』
『The merchant couple would have their throats broken and fingers severed…… Or maybe not. To be honest, I don’t actually know.』
As for taking responsibility in the underworld, cutting a finger off is all my shabby imagination can think of. It’s depressing.
Other than that, I’ve also thought of being packed in concrete and thrown in the ocean, or being sent to a tuna ship and all, but I don’t think that both of those can apply to this world.
『So there are things that Ain doesn’t know about.』
『I’m ignorant about society’s underworld after all. Despite how I seem, I was just a common civilian, you know?』
『Ain being a civilian feels weird too.』
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Using the term commoner might have been fine, but that term wasn’t really used much during my life in Japan.
Anyway, I was just an ordinary person back when I was alive.
『It only seems that way because I was somewhat grown up.
When you reach the same age as when I was still alive, I’m sure that you’d understand how much of a child I am.』
『Then I’ll leave it at that.』
I switched with Ciel, who was in high spirits for some reason, and we headed to the reception desk.
But unlike yesterday, the person in charge today was a tall handsome young man.
「Blan. I was told I can borrow a room.」
「Blan-sama, right. We’ve been informed about you.
We would like to apologise for the trouble we have caused earlier.」
「Hurry up and lead me to the room.」
「Understood. Then please follow me.」
The young man left his reception work and Ciel then followed behind him.
Before long, we were led to a room on the third floor that seemed about three times as large as a normal room, if I’m not wrong.
The spacious room had a large bathroom as well and a bed one size larger than our previous one.
「This room is big.」
「This is our best room after all.」
After that short reply, Ciel received the room key and went inside the expensive looking room.
Heya~! Our princesses just got a room upgrade~! Also, the merchant couple… BTW, the to their disappointment part, touche Ain. And the term misfortune might seem a bit familiar to some people, hmmmmmmm~
Ain was absolutely scary mode in this chapter, which is quite nice. That nonchalant joking about disposing them was good. And of course, AinCiel flirting~ Just a bit, but it’s nice. Teacher Ain answering her student’s questions, while in other parts, group presenter Ain asking questions for quiet kid Ciel, both equally cute. The background noise isn’t cute though, lol. Also, Ciel’s reaction to Ain saying that she’s not really that out of reach was cute, smug Ciel’s signature “I’ll leave it at that.” lol. That’s my interpretation of that at least, lol. Other than that, Ain’s cliched yakuza punishments were funny.
On the other hand, Faneed. Oh Faneed. You’re such a great guy. “Scoundrels we are”, lol. It’s probably just my limited video game knowledge, but Faneed honestly felt like a Persona 5 Social link in this whole exchange, lol. Probably just the gallant villain aura I’m sensing from him, though it’s just my opinion. Also, Ain casually saying she’ll riot was funny, honestly. And Faneed’s reaction was great, yup, don’t do it girl, my hands are up, the white flag’s a flyin’, you win. Just shows once again that he has a very good assessment of the situation for what information they have on hand.
Now, on the other third metaphorical hand, our merchant couple. Naivety man. That’s all I can say. Also, ego. One thing in common with these two and B-boi from before is that they all think of themselves as the protagonists, the center of a story. Brass really pushed the sick sister card as a heroic backstory but never acted heroic in a true sense, only focusing on the cool part of being the hero, being strong. Meanwhile, the merchant couple, or more specifically Anicet, really pushed the “we didn’t want to do it, it wasn’t our fault” card, and were on the way to their dramatic happy ending of having just barely enough money to pay and finally paying.
Contrast them with another scoundrel here, Faneed. Unlike the three peeps, Faneed is first of all, a realist. He had a lot of bodyguards hidden during the discussion and did as much background check as he could prior to that, resulting to the number of kidnappers being a lot for a supposedly drugged girl. The merchant couple might have been desperate, but they we’re too naive and were completely unprepared for everything. The debt might have not needed immediate paying, they could’ve told our princess about their situation and might have gotten off with less payment or even a delayed payment of the reward, Ain might have gotten moved but reluctant to help, while it might have gotten Ciel’s interest in a different way. B-boi was impulsive and refused to listen. Big Daddy F here is emotive, yes, but barely impulsive and had a proper talk. The merchants had shabby clothes but looked like good people, while Faneed here is hella gaudy with his clothes and looked like an intimidating lump of muscle. Etc. But yeah, the guy’s a bad guy, but he’s not a *bad* guy, I guess, lol.
Anyway, using the brain in random things like this is fun and a really nice exercise, lol. I can’t say I’m absolutely sure of what I’m saying but the brain stretching was fun.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!