The name of the noble who is applying pressure on Road-san is a baron from Guardia called Gilbert.
The mastermind unexpectedly became apparent. I went to the store where Road-san usually buys ingredients, and when I asked the shop assistant, he answered me. Plainly.
The person in the shop didn’t want to do it, but『I couldn’t go against a noble. I’m really sorry to Road-san』he said.
「Oi! Those kids!!」
I was loitering around the shopping street and thinking “What to do?” about Baron Gilbert. All of sudden, a man shouts from behind me.
Allen and Elena got startled and hid behind me.
「Do you need something from the children?」
「Those fellows are my goods!」
…… What is this guy in the middle of the road talking?
When I appraised him, his occupation is Slave Trader. Slaves may be goods for a slave trader, but does he walk down the street and point at people making them his goods? How rude!
From his behavior, he must be the slave trader who was attacked near the Gaya Forest. He’s the one who must have ran away while using Allen and Elena as a decoy.
Though I heard they were half destroyed, this fellow was all right. What a lucky guy!
Rather, he still was in this town…… no, is it different? Has he been attacked on the way to his base?
Well, where this guy’s base is at, is unrelated to me, though.
「These children are my younger siblings. Could you please stop saying such rude things?」
「There’s no way I would mistake such distinctive kids! I will have you return them to me」
They are not slaves, they have names which are Allen and Elena, and in the first place, speaking about “returning” them is funny.
Even if what the slave trader says is true, it’s also true that he “threw them away” while using as a decoy. He has no right to claim himself as their owner. It’s only a false charge.
「Could you stop joking around?」
「Shut up! Hand them over at once!!」
I want to smash him up immediately.
But, if I do that here, he would definitely make an even bigger fuss of it.
I desperately suppress my impulse because I understand that it’s a bad move.
「Oi, what is this fuss!」
The town patrol seems to have noticed the uproar.
The curious spectators have gathered around us.
「Just at the right time. It’s a thief! This fellow has stolen my goods! Please arrest him!!」
The guards alternate their gazes between the slave trader and me.
「…… Is that the truth?」
「No, I did not do such thing」
Since the patrolling guard asked, I flatly denied it.
But you see~, a person who stole something wouldn’t usually obediently confess『I stole it』, wouldn’t he? Did you make a mistake in the confirmation method?
Well, if I was arrested without being asked first, it would be a poor mistaken arrest.
「Have you heard what goods that person said I stole from him? And by looking at this situation, do you really think it’s true?」
「……… What are the stolen goods?」
The curious onlookers look with disgust at the uselessly screaming slave trader. Allen and Elena clung to me, hiding even further.
The patrolling guards look at the frightened children hiding behind me and then look with dubious gazes at the slave trader. From the 3rd person view, it must seem like the slave trader has picked a fight with me. Actually, that’s true.
「Where’s the proof? Please show the proof that these children are your shop’s slaves. I will say it before hand, but these children don’t have a slave crest, you know?」
A crest is engraved on the bodies of slaves with Contract Magic which makes the slaves not being able to defy their master. If it’s not there, it means that Allen and Elena are not slaves.
Children who escaped on their own would have a crest carved on their bodies.
It costs money to apply Contract Magic. It’s this fellow’s fault for being a miser.
“The slave trade”, the trade of people is authorized in this country. And there are two kinds of slaves. Crime slaves and Debt slaves.
Crime slaves, as the name suggests are people who committed a crime. They are forcibly sent to mines where they have to do manual labor while strictly monitored.
The other one, Debt slaves are people who couldn’t return borrowed money and those who sold themselves. If they can pay off their principal, they will be released.
They are used as a work force, but their human rights are guaranteed. Therefore, there’s an obligation to provide meals and minimum necessities of life.
But, owners who treat them like products, not following the responsibility to protect them, and make them do criminal acts are never ceasing. This trader is one of those.
The patrolling guards and the curious onlookers realize that and look at the slave trader with cold eyes.
「If it’s the shop assistant of my shop, he can provide the proof!」
「If you tell that to your shop assistant, it will become an order. It won’t be a proof」
It’s easy making things convenient for yourself.
Rather, this must be a daily routine for this fellow.
「Even if it’s truth that these children resemble the children from your shop, it’s not restricted only to these children, right? You are a criminal who kidnaps children. Weren’t the children slaves in your shop actually kidnapped?」
The patrols and the onlookers hold their breath at my words. I hear『Surely not』from here and there.
With the interaction so far, it has become “It wouldn’t be strange if true”.
「Let us hear more detailed story back at the station」
「What have you said!?」
The patrol restricts the slave trader and drags him off.
「I would like to hear your side of the story too, but……」
「I don’t want to go to the same place as the trader. The children are frightened」
I didn’t feel the obligation to go to the station with the guards, so I refused. The patrol guard seemed to understand and didn’t force me to go.
But, I told him my name in case something comes up.
The patrol leaves, the onlookers scatter, I hold Allen and Elena in my arms and immediately leave the place.
「Everything’s all right. I will be with you as long as Allen and Elena want to stay by my side」
When I reassure Allen and Elena who are full of anxiety, they cling in my arms even stronger.
After gathering information again, I have learned more things.
I have heard from the curious onlookers I have asked『With the noble backing him up, he does as he pleases』or『Recently influential』, although on the level of rumors, the people at the shopping street knew quite a bit.
That slave trader――his Gist Company is supported by Baron Gilbert behind the scenes. The very same person who pressured the『Gold Wheat’s Shop』.
Again!? I almost tsukkomi’d in a loud voice.
Baron Gilbert apparently came to this town in order to purchase slaves.
Moreover, aren’t they talking about “children twins”?
Baron Gilbert apparently came to this town thinking he would be able to obtain them and then flew into a rage when he didn’t found them at the store. I heard that from the people who passed by the store.
That’s why the fuss from a while ago.
Because the children that he used to save himself suddenly appeared in front of him, he was going to obtain them whatever it takes.
It seems that those fellows are opponents who I have to crush with all my strength.