In A Different World With A Smartphone - Chapter 196
Arc 22: If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Chapter 196: The Slave Merchant, and Coming Home in the Morning
Raising the loud sounds of explosion, the foundation of the main mast was blown off. At first, it naturally made creaking sounds before it started to collapse. It then flatly fell down with a powerful force. Those who were standing on the deck started panicking. That response was expected due to them seeing the mast falling into the sea from the deck.
「Wha-what just happened！？」
「I don't know! An explosion has suddenly...!」
The slave merchant named Javel jumps out of the door leading to the deck. I then descend onto the bow of the ship and expose my figure under the moonlight.
「I'm His Majesty The Sovereign King of Brunhild, Mochizuki Touya」
I understand everyone present on the deck has their breaths taken away. The slave merchant's eyes are swimming around restlessly while standing among them. He looks unbecomingly flustered. It seems he's becoming aware that he's doing something bad here by himself.
「This island is the territory of Brunhild. I've come to ask you to stop your arbitrary trade 」
「A-arbitrary trade ?!」
「Do not play dumb with me. I know that you kidnap rookie adventurers from the dungeons and try to sell them as slaves」
The slave merchant is having a cramp on his mouth. Cold sweat is pouring down from his forehead further increasing his suspicious behavior.
「Truth be hold, our country is a small one and we haven't clearly established things like laws and punishments yet, you see. We didn't have such bad people there. At most, it's the travelers who are acting violently on our streets. That's why I'm reflecting on the current situation today」
It wouldn't end with just Ropp's group being sold off as slaves if I hadn't gone to the dungeon with Rin at that time. A lot more victims would have likely appeared afterward. More than that, we might have not even become aware of those affairs.
I understand that punishment is the deterrent for crimes, but is it due to me bidding farewell to that tepid life? I cannot deny that I have been slightly thinking that [I still wouldn't go that far]. It's because I've come across Yumina's magic eyes that there aren't any fundamentally bad people around us thus far.
However, the crimes should be punished in their own ways and there's a need to explicitly point that out.
I suppose I better think of those quickly. For now, should I ask for them to be created after I've checked the laws in Belfast as well?
Various people started mingling with each other and unexpected incidents even started to appear a lot after the dungeons had been discovered. Do I have no choice but to deal with them separately? But first things first. I should resolve the situation before me.
Hmm? I can see four boats distancing themselves from the ship. Has Ropp's group escaped already? I guess I don't need to hold back now.
「Kuu, The Sovereign King shouldn't have been in this place! You guys, finish him!」
The three battle slaves unsheathe their curved blades and come slashing at me after the slave merchant Javel gives a command.
All three people loudly fell down on the deck together. The curved blades that they've just released became stuck into the deck itself.
They try to stand up, but they fall down on the same spot again. Mmn? I wonder, is the effect of [Slip] seems to last longer than before? I feel that it was rather short back then... Is this increase also an effect of [divinity] perhaps?
「Wha-what are you doing!? Quit messing around and dispose of him quickly!」
The slaves start grasping their heads with their hands in pain after hearing Javel's scream. He is causing them pain through the [Collar of Subordination].
I fire a single shot using Brynhildr at the feet of Javel. The slave trader is blown off with a small burst which had the weak [Explosion] being invoked by me.
The fatty Javel, having been unsightly thrown at the deck, draws back with blood running from his nose.
「F-forgive me! It's only an impulse that.... !」
「Suppose that you, with that so-called ’’impulse’’ of yours, have been degrading people who didn't even commit any crime into slaves, and have been treating others as prey only for the sake of gaining profits as if it's a natural thing to do, is there any point to forgive you? 」
「Do you even believe that those people you've made into slaves are going to save you?」
I don't know what this person did before but he shouldn't be a decent guy seeing what he has been doing.
Is it futile to even speak to him? I change the bullets loaded in Brynhildr into paralysis ones and shoot them into the slave merchant.
Javel stops moving after raising a strange shriek.
I shoot the slipping battle slaves with paralysis bullet as well. Probably, they are only being made to obey, but I feel that their crime will change accordingly depending on whether they are unwilling or are helping this guy with pleasure. They are even more troublesome than Javel. I will leave them for now since I can't possibly judge whether it's fine to release them from being slaves.
The remaining sailors on the deck have also been paralyzed rendering them unfit for battle.
「Search. Is there still anyone inside the ship? 」
『Searching... Search Finished. The number of people onboard is three. All are paralyzed and have collapsed』
Fumu. They must've been defeated when Ropp's group was escaping. In that case, these should be all of them, right? A total of 20 people. It seems half of them are slaves.
Are? That reminds me, where is the snaggleteeth which brought Ropp's group here?
I've heard a small shriek from the shore so I try looking at that area with [Long Sense]. Upon doing that, I could see snaggleteeth collapsed while raising some smoke, and Rin waving her small hand while facing this direction. That snaggleteeth might have escaped at some point. It seems Rin has brought him down though.
Ropp's group has disembarked as well and are going towards where Rin is. Shall I now put things in order here?
I transfer every single person aboard this ship to the beach while looking at the fellows from the knight order coming from the forest.
I take the slave merchant Javel, his underlings, sailors, and battle slaves to the knight order after having all of them tied up. For now, we should leave them inside the underground jail. I should consult about this matter with Kousaka-san later.
「It looks like everything is in order」
「Though there is still a lot of follow-up work remaining」
I respond to Rin while descending onto the beach and looking back at the slaver's ship. That reminds me, what should I do with that slave merchant's ship? Would it be fine to confiscate it in favor of the country? Though I wouldn't likely be able to sell it as is, seeing as I've completely destroyed its mast.
「A~ano, Your Majesty! The kidnapped adventurers are all okay!」
Ropp comes reporting to me, but I'm more or less aware of the situation since I've been seeing everything through the house mouse. I cast [Recovery] on the adventurers who've lost their strength, move them to [Silver Moon] with everyone else, and rent them rooms. I guess it may be one of the apologies I would've to make.
I intentionally give Ropp's group about 10 potions as thanks for helping out. It also won't be futile for them to just hold onto them.
I then bid farewell to everyone after having decided that conducting the detailed questioning will be done the another day.
After this, I go to the adventurer's guild, speak to Rerisha-san about details of this incident, and ask her to reissue the guild cards of the rookie adventures who were being treated as dead.
「We, as with the guild, also regret about this current incident. In the end, the guild is only a mediator for clients and we can't punish adventurers. It's not possible for us to officially do anything beyond cutting all transactions with people whose qualifications as adventurers have been revoked」
「This talk is only between us. The shadow corps attached to the guild may move in cases where it's judged that harm has been done to the guild. They might've been dispatched here if His Majesty didn't take measures this time」
The guild's shadow corps, eh? Don't tell me they are similar to an assassination guild of some sort. I've just heard something quite scary. The adventurer's guild exists around the world. It's said that there are several guild masters like Rerisha-san that governs it, but one of them is apparently the leader. That person doesn't seem to want to be involved very often though.
I've entrusted the follow-up of those adventurers who have been caught to the guild for the time being. Both Rin and I then leave that place.
It has gotten really late, all right. I take out the smartphone, turn it on, and look at the time. Uwaa, hasn't a lot of time already passed by since midnight?
I'm getting quite hungry, but I can't possibly ask Clare-san to make something this late at night. Shall I go eat outside then? I do have some grilled skewers and other things in [Storage]. Besides, the guild bar is just right next door.
「What's Rin going to do? I could treat you if you want」
「Right, shall I take you up on your honorable offer then? I haven't been able to eat outside lately」
I enter the guild's bar next door while taking along Rin and Pola. There might be people there who know me, so I cover myself with a coat and hood just in case.
The interior has been made considerably spacious. There is an open table for four people further inside, so we sit down there for now.
I order a set of fried chicken with herbs and a fruit juice since I can't drink alcohol. Rin, on the other hand, orders pasta, green salad and just a little bit of wine.
Before long, the waitress brings the food, and we begin eating it as if we're greedily devouring it since we aren't able to endure the hunger any longer. The food is adequately delicious. If we're talking about the visiting the town's center, I've eaten a lot of times at [Silver Moon], but this type of food is quite good as well.
The adventurers are all laughing, making noise, drinking, and enjoying themselves throughout the bar. It seems that even this bar started prospering after the dungeons had been discovered. Its atmosphere is hard to dislike, though drunkards are still as bad as it gets.
We, having finished eating, leave the bar. It's already two past midnight when I confirm the time. Most of the shops are now closing down at this late hour. There is also nothing sort of a pleasure district in Brunhild as well. The nights in this country are relatively quiet.
It seems that propositions stating that we should build the establishments like brothels and casinos like in other capitals have come to Naito-ossan from the merchants, but I will leave that to him. I myself think that it's fine if none of those places are present though. Those places won't ever be welcomed if they become bothersome.
Naturally, it'll be necessary to keep a watchful eye so that injustice or greedy businesses won't take place. It wouldn't be a joke if Brunhild becomes a breeding ground for evil before we're even aware of it.
I'm told that there are some places where slaves are put to work in brothels in the Sandora Kingdom...
「Is it futile to hope that any sort of slavery is abolished...?」
「You know, I think it'll more or less disappear if you crush the Sandora Kingdom, I think?」
「No-no, I didn't mean it like that」
I retort to what Rin said. Is she drunk? Her face is a little red.
I hear it's true that slavery is disappearing even if things appear as they are currently. There were great countries like Sandora and Yuuron who accepted slavery until recently, so I think it should be a good thing that one of those almost stopped existing.
The people in Yuuron weren't ruling slaves with the [Collar of Subordination]. It looks like the slaves there weren't handled as cruelly as in other places due to how the slavery contract had been built upon.
「You see, the Sandora Kingdom is a country built by the chief of a pretty small tribe who was by slaves and who was able to defeat the other tribes living in the desert. Their first king was apparently called [The Slave King]」
The slave king, huh? It feels as if he himself was a slave, isn't it? Or could it be that he really was a slave originally? If that's true, then it would have been nice of him if he abolished slavery after the country was founded.
I suppose removing it would be hard when I think of how deeply the influence of slavery is rooted in that country.
Rin and I walk on the road to the castle because she wants to feel the night wind. Four people from the knight order were guarding the castle gates at the time when we'd arrived there. They demanded us to introduce ourselves and set up their spears after discovering us through the darkness, but they immediately lowered those with a relieved looks when they had understood who we are.
We enter the castle after thanking them for their hard work. Ripple, who is an ’’artifact creature’’ and who's acting as the security camera for the interior of our castle, jumps out from the picture decorating the wall as we arrive at the entrance hall.
「Master! It's an emergency! Danger is approaching masters' body! Quickly prepare your... Aaah, I'm already too late... 」
「What-what, what the heck happened?」
Ripple made a cramped smile and her face quickly became pale just when I was thinking why was she panicking and saying so many things. She then vanished on her spot as if she was never there after leaving behind [May you be fortunate in war]. What's that? What's with this panic?
「Welcome home, Touya-san. You are quite late, aren't you?」
「Aah, Yumina. I'm... home...」
My voice reflectively becomes smaller as I look up at the voice greeting me from up the stairs.
Yumina, Rue, Elsie, Lindsey, Yae, and Hilda are over there standing in full force and are gazing down on us. I wonder, wouldn't it be a full gathering of my fiancees if Suu was with them?
Every one of them is smiling, but their eyes are not. Huh? Aren't they looking angry...?
「Uh, Uhm.... What's wrong?」 (Touya)
「We have a small matter to discuss. This way, please. Ah, you're included too Rin-san」 (Yumina)
「Eh? Ah, okay」(Rin)
Rin answers even though it feels as if she doesn't understand why. Yae and Hilda descend the stairs and seize me from both sides. Hey? What's this? This treatment of [taking] me doesn't seem to match what has been said, is it?!
「Excuse me, Touya-sama. That's what has been decided based on the facts」 (Hilda)
「Well-well-well, Touya-dono. Resign yourself」(Yae)
「No-no-no! What's with this talk?!」 (Touya)
A lot of question marks[?!?!?!?!] start to appear inside my head one after another while I'm being dragged by these two people.
Ah-anoo... Hey, what have I done this time... ?