Chapter 113 – Reunion – Part two

Meeting up with other people can lead to arriving at very different times.
I guess that’s what happens when you don’t use watches.

After having breakfast, we leave the inn right away.
A lot of people are leaving at the same time too.

We advance leisurely through the street as people are setting up their stalls.
I can hear angry yells too, because the morning rush is an especially busy time.

We exit through the gate and stand where we won’t be in the way.
It doesn’t look like Leila and the others are here yet.
I don’t know where they’re staying, but if they had breakfast at around the same time we did, it should take some time for them to get here.
I think they’re staying relatively close to the western gate.

“Master, I think they’re here.”

Says Sera.
It’s still early, but there’s a lot of traffic.
Five merchant caravans leave while we wait.

Leila’s party seem to have mixed feelings when they see me.
It looked like Leila accepted it, but even though we left on good terms, things are still awkward because of what happened with Mia.

“We will bother others if we stand here, so you should complain while we walk.”

Don’t just assume I’m going to complain.
I start walking with an awkward smile on my face.

Mia is covering her face with her hood.
Is she embarrassed? Is she having trouble facing them?

“Let’s go then.”

Leila’s party starts moving after I give the signal for some reason.

We walk silently for a while.
There are wagons passing by, so no one says a word.

The mood feels heavy, and I can feel how nervous Mia is even though I can’t see her face through the hood.
Hikari and Sera on the other hand don’t seem to be feeling any different.

The scenery around us is peaceful, covered with wheat fields.

It can’t be helped.
It can’t be good for Mia psychologically to drag this out any longer, so I propose we take a break, and face the six girls.

“It’s been a while.”

They nod unconvincingly.

“Is the stampede over?”

“There was not much damage, except to the adventurers themselves.
The monsters pushed close to the holy city, but they lost steam against its defenses, and from there it felt like it naturally ended.”

So their rampage was settled?

Apparently there are some in the church and guild that say that since the monsters were being manipulated by a demon, the demon’s orders rescinded once the demon left, and the stampede came to a close.
Apparently normal stampedes don’t end until there’s nothing left once they get going.

“In the end, the situation resolved itself in six days.
We were cautious for a few more days after that, but there wasn’t really any noteworthy movement from the monsters.
But even though the damage was kept to a minimum, a different problem arose.”

“Yes, master.
Once word got out to believers and other people that the stampede wasn’t a big deal, they started complaining about Mia being killed.”

“One must wonder if the demon actually thought that far ahead, and controlled the scope of the stampede to drive anger towards the church.”

“I see.”

I get it, but I think they’re jumping to conclusions.
Isn’t it just a coincidence?

“Still, you got here pretty quickly.”

“We left about ten days after you did, but Yor’s father arranged for us to travel by wagon, and a fast one at that.
That shortened the time it took for us to get to the border quite a bit.”

Even though they were tired, she says.

“I see.
Well, I’m just glad to see you’re all doing well.
Now it’s my turn… Silence.”

I imagine four walls around us, and cast Silence.
I also make it so noise from here won’t leak, but we can still hear noise from outside the boundaries of the spell.
I feel like I’m getting good at using this spell because it’s been getting a lot of use lately.

We get a little further away from the main road just in case, because wagons pass by every once in a while.

“Mia might be in trouble if we leave it be for much longer.”

Leila and the rest of her party make dubious expressions when I say this, like they’re asking what I’m even talking about.

“This isn’t something I can talk about starting from the beginning, so I’ll just come out and say it.
Mia isn’t dead, she’s here.”

I turn around and push her back.

“It’s been a while, everyone.”

Mia greets them while pulling back her hood, feeling embarrassed and troubled by all this.
Incidentally, I told Mia last night that they thought she was dead.

“Eh? Miss Mia!”

Trisha is the one who’s most surprised.
The other five can’t even react, and look at Mia with dumbfounded expressions.

“W-what is the meaning of this!?”

Leila, being the oldest one I guess, is the first to shake off the shock.
Although I wish she didn’t grab me by the collar.
Her face is too close too.

Mia steps in and pulls her away.
Ou… Thanks.
But when I turn and look, her mouth is smiling but her eyes aren’t.
I’m going to have to explain…

“Let’s start from the beginning.
We learned of the demon’s plot later, but I learned from Dan that Mia’s life was in danger.
And so, I prepared a double and made it look like Mia died.”

“So who died instead of Mia?”

“An assassin out to kill Mia.
I think.”

It showed she was an assassin when I cast Appraisal.
She must’ve done something bad.

“I see.
Master, my father thought she was Miss Mia too.
How did you manage that?”

“All I can really say is that I used alchemy to make a disguise.
That fooled most people, and then I burned her so no one would discover the truth.
They would know for sure if they checked the body.”

“Then you should have just said that.”

“I wanted to tell Dan too, but the fewer people know the better.
At the very least, it’s possible that people might come after Mia if they find out she’s alive, right? And Dan is kind of soft-hearted, isn’t he? I don’t know what’s going on in the church, but I can picture him blurting out the secret because he feels he can’t go on letting people think she’s dead.”

They don’t argue with that.

I’m sure they’ve heard all about what happened in the holy city.

“And she’s technically my slave now, but there are reasons for that.
Yes, a lot happened.
I thought it was the best way to smuggle her out of the holy city…”

Who knew the whole slave contract process had such a loophole? Not that I’m complaining.

“And, well… Mia is all right, but we can’t tell anyone she’s a saint.
I’m telling you this because you’re going to stay in Majolica for a while.”

I say this while looking at Yor.

“I understand master.
I won’t tell my dad.”

She seems strangely convinced.
Did she picture in her mind what would happen if she told him? I’m trusting you, you know?


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