Chapter 99 – Turmoil in the holy city – Part nineteen


Says Hikari quietly, and I nod.

We’re being followed.
I can see someone on Map not too close but not too far.

“Let’s turn left here.
It’s kind of a detour, but let’s bait them.”

I grab Mia’s hand and run, with Hikari right behind us.

We head to an empty back alley, and Hikari erases her presence and slips into one of its side roads, while Mia and I keep running straight forward.

The moment we entered the back alley, our pursuer also sped up, and right after we pass the point where Hikari is waiting, I stop and turn around.

I’m looking directly at our pursuer now, and it appears to be a girl about the same height as Mia.
Her eyes look vacant, but she has a nasty smile on her face.

“What do you want?”

“Hm… I wonder…”

Is she making fun of me with that slow tone of voice? No, calm down.

“You’ve been following us for a while, haven’t you?”

Hikari then sneaks behind her.

The girl jumps one step forward and pulls out a knife.

“I’m sorry.
I don’t have a problem with you or anything, but you’re going to have to leave the girl and go.”

That smile on her face intensifies, and in a second she goes from moving sluggishly to coming at us.

I can’t let this go on for long.
Making a lot of noise is going to attract people.

I’m counting on you…

I extend my hand towards the knife.
The girl grins at first, but that’s quickly replaced by surprise.

It hurts.
It really does, but Pain Reduction is working well as always.

So what happened? I stopped her knife with the palm of my hand.
It pierced right through it.

I clench my hand, grab the girl so she can’t get away, and hit her in the pit of the stomach with my left hand loaded with magic energy.

The girl can’t escape that impact, and bends forward, falling limply.

“W-what are you doing?”

Mia yells in surprise, but I turn around and gesture for her to be quiet.

Hikari then approaches the girl and restrains her with one arm behind her back, while I pull out the knife, cast Appraisal again, and then Heal on my hand.

“Master, that’s too much.
Don’t forget I’m here too.”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her that mad.

I just wanted to get this over quickly before it caused a ruckus.
We have to hurry.”

I take the girl in my arms to take her with us.
It looks like Mia has something to say about that, but she only opens her mouth, and doesn’t actually say anything.

Something wicked crosses my mind.
But weighing it on the scales of life, even I’m surprised by how little I hesitate.
What matters is Mia.

This detour means it takes us longer to reach the Howler slaver company.
When we do get there, we see Drett going all over the place giving out instructions.
Sera is standing to the side, and walks over to us when she sees us.

“Master, Mister Drett is going to take refuge outside the city.”

Says Sera, and Drett also walks over to us.

“If it isn’t Mister Sora.
I just received your message.
You will be evacuating the city too, right?”

“That was the plan… But I have some business to take care of, so I’ll be staying.
Can we talk in the back?”

“Very well.
Please wait a second.”

Drett gives out some more instructions, and we head to the room used for negotiations.

“First, I know this is unreasonable, so you can say no if you want.”

I can’t pretend it’s not dangerous.
I wouldn’t normally care about an evil businessman, but considering how he acted about Sera’s circumstances, and how his brother Drekk treated me, I want to be honest with him too.

Then again, it could all be an act to make it easier to do business.

“This girl is Mia, the saint.
I want to help her escape.”

“So… You’re telling me to become an enemy of the Holy Kingdom of Frieren?”

Am I? I guess the head of the church is like the king here, so that’s what it means to go against him.

I look at Mia, and nod.

“I see…”

He’s looking up.
It’s probably too much to ask.

When he faces me again, his usual smile is gone, and is replaced by a scarily serious expression.

“I am also a businessman.
What would I have to gain, if your wish were to come true?”

“It takes at least five days to get to the next town, and you don’t have the food supply to keep all the slaves fed in the meantime, right? First, I will provide that.”

“I see.
But don’t you think it would be good to have a driver and guards, just in case?”

He’s right.

“Sera and Hikari will be going as guards.
With the stampede happening, you never know what might happen on the road.
At the very least, you know how capable Sera is, right?”

“I guess I do, but…”

Is he indecisive? Then let’s go for one more push.

“I’m giving you an item bag to keep the food.
Of course, you can have it for free when this is over.”

I take food from the Item Box, and shift it to an item bag.
He has about twenty slaves total, right? I’m giving him enough food to last ten days, if they don’t go crazy with it.

“And if the gatekeepers find out about Mia, just push through.
You can say I forced you to.
Sera, if Mia is discovered, go wild and run away with her.
But your life comes first, got it?”

I give him the item bag.
He’s about to take it, hesitates, but then ends up taking it.

I figured he was going to demand more, but no.

He really does come across like too nice of a person.
Why is someone like him even a slaver? Maybe it’s my bias talking again.

But I want to work out some tricks to lessen the risk.”

I look at Mia and hesitate to propose what I’m thinking, but end up doing it.

“Mia, I’m sorry, but can you form a slave contract?”

I say, knowing she can’t really refuse.

Slaves don’t have to present their identification when entering or exiting a town.

“And I know this is a bad thing to ask a girl, but cut your hair.”

She has beautiful blonde hair flowing down to her back, but it attracts too much attention, so I have to ask her to cut it.

She doesn’t hesitate to say yes to both proposals.


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