Chapter 2

Saving the dog-eared girl from her circumstances (2)

TL: Konko
TLC: Marunikyu-sama
ED: Marunikyu-daimaou

[Oh, as expected from your work. It was the right choice getting your help. I really want to thank you, Rein.] (Leo)

Leo showed an unnaturally refreshing smile.

With his gold coloured hair, the young man gave the impression of a noble.
With just a glance of his well-ordered features, he’s capable of dyeing a considerable number of women’s faces red while also making a large number of men jealous and filled with animosity.

This time, the one to request me this job was him.

[The right choice — as if. Oi! I’ve never heard anything about taking a hostage.] (Rein)

I retaliate with a face full of displeasure.
Truthfully, I’m genuinely unhappy from the bottom of my heart so there’s no need for me to keep up an act.

[Is that it? Are the soldiers from your place all wooden log wearing armour? You even surround the hideout of the crucial target that you want to arrest, but still you’re considerate enough to allow him to escape with a hostage. Just what on earth are you doing?] (Rein)

The man whose wrist was cut off by me is the head of those thugs that operates an illegal slave market.
Since a while ago, the man has been screaming ‘it hurts, it hurts’ while being dragged away.
Well, healing magic can stop all kinds of bleeding so his life’s not really in danger.

It seemed that the following investigation, punishment such as death sentence awaits him hereafter — It isn’t my concern what happens afterwards.

The beastkin girl that became the man’s hostage has already been handed over to Leo’s group.
From what I can see, she doesn’t have any injuries — so I think she will be fine.

[It is definitely my mistake. Regarding this matter, I am really sorry about it.] (Leo)

Leo informed me that he really didn’t think that the situation would turn out this way.

The hideout of the slave trading organisation and the slave market are close to one another.
Large numbers of soldiers are moving around in a hurry, arresting all the personnel involved, and recording the testimonies of the people who were about to be sold as merchandise.

[…Moreover, from what I can see, didn’t you have sufficient number of people? The number is so significant that you could tightly surround this place, so wasn’t my help unnecessary?] (Rein)

It was just yesterday that Leo requested for assistance.

‘There are big fishes to catch, but our manpower is truly insufficient.
That’s why I want you to lend us your help.
What, you’ll just have to be on the lookout a little. I’m begging you.’

— that was the story.

I was unwilling.
The reason being that I hate working.
And because I just wanted to live leisurely.

However, I was forced to accept the request at the end of the day,
And the reason is that the money for me to live my life leisurely came from Leo, or rather his family.
In other words, my standing is too weak to refuse.

[I had you there just in case of something unexpected.] (Leo)

Leo continued the conversation while showing a slightly troubled smile.

[Because of the human-dragon war, the country became chaotic from within. Illegal organizations like these guys are steadily increasing their influence. If we do not pluck them from their roots, the situation will go out of our control.] (Leo)

Luckily, it is sufficient to remove the roots from this town — Perifania, just by capturing the slave trafficking organisation.
Leo judged that it is a good opportunity to give a blow and started putting his plans into motion.

[These are all sugar-coated words. It’s good getting rid of the root of evil. But that’s your job. — So, what reason do you have to specially enlist me who’d retired?] (Rein)
[That was my intention at first. I was thinking of capturing all of them by mobilizing the Perifania’s garrison troops but –] (Leo)

At this point, Leo’s smile is mixed with bitterness.

[It is regrettable but I’m unable to trust every single soldier.] (Leo)

I can understand where Leo is coming from.
There isn’t any problem just based on their abilities.
But, we couldn’t disregard the possibility of soldiers being involved with their organisation.

[Spies, right?] (Rein)
[That’s right. It is common for soldiers to be blinded by money and leak information. Records and reports confirmed that corruption in Perifunia seemed to have quite considerably progressed.] (Leo)

Of course, planning of the strategy was done with a minimum number of people and the content is kept confidential until the last moment… As long as you don’t know where the spies are lurking, no matter how well you control information, you can’t be sure how safe and secured it is.

[However, it was great fortune that you were in this town. I believe this is fate.] (Leo)
[… I see, it’s because I’m not from the military, huh.] (Rein)

I already don’t belong with any organisation.
On the contrary, I don’t keep in connection with anybody and live in solitary.
That’s why to Leo I’m a reliable pawn of his.

Later if you think back from the results, you can see this guy’s intention.

[You purposely open a small gap in the formation to make your plan imperfect and pass it to the soldiers. Then, you secretly assigned me to guard that place. It will be fine if my turn doesn’t appear. However, if those thugs escaped towards my direction, there is a likelihood of a spies leaking information. — Isn’t that right?] (Rein)
[As expected of Rein, your senses are sharp.] (Leo)

Leo opens his mouth a tiny bit.

[In addition, since there is almost no delay between the transmission of information and deployment and only the leader alone was able to escape with the precise route, we can infer that the leaked information only reached them barely on time. This became an important clue to predict the movement of the species affiliated with them.] (Leo)
[… You are the same as ever, being sly while having that refreshing look.] (Rein)
[I did it only because it is necessary. — Well, from capturing the slave trader to doing an investigation thoroughly. Cleaning up both from the outside and inside, it is like killing two birds with one stone.] (Leo)

And at that time, one soldier came up.

[Leopold-denka, all the people who were captured to be sold, are now under our protection– ] (Soldier A) {ED note: denka = your highness}

There was a figure standing completely blended into the darkness — He noticed my appearance for the first time.
Being startled, he opened his eyes wide.

[Ah, he is on our side. Continue with the report?] (Leo)
[– Understood. Er, let me see, they’re all under our protection. 4 men, 18 women, total of 22 people. We are still confirming each of their age and origin.] (Soldier A)
[I see. Thanks for your work.] (Leo)

Then, Leo continued thinking for a little.

[Regarding those people, set rest as their priority instead of questioning. First of all, ensure they have meals and shelter. The ones whose state of health is poor, have a doctor attend to them. We can wait till tomorrow to hear the their full story. — Ah, for those thugs doing the trafficking, it is fine to treat them a little violently.] (Leo)

I only enquire Leo after the soldier gave a salute and left.

[Come to think of it, how is that brat who was held hostage doing?] (Rein)
[Ah, the girl from the Canis Lupus wolf tribe? She is currently resting after having a doctor examine her. There isn’t any particular problem with her physical condition. — Are you worried?] (Leo)

I answered after a little pause.

[I’m only confirming the outcome of my work. If by any chance she received an injury, all my effort would’ve become wasted.] (Rein) {ED note: TSUN TSUN!} {T.L So not cute btw}
[Your typical answer. You really never change.] (Leo)

Leo smiled with amusement, but his smile disappear soon after.
[– Hey, Rein.] (Leo)
[Rejected.] (Rein)
[… I haven’t said a single thing yet though.] (Leo)
[I know what you are trying to say.] (Rein)
[Could you return and help me with my work?] (Leo)
[Rejected.] (Rein)

You see, it’s the same as what I expected.
I’ll never stand on the main stage again.
This is something I am firm with.

[I see. It can’t be helped. I can’t force you.] (Leo)

Suddenly shrugging his shoulder, Leo gave up easily.
It seems this fellow wasn’t being serious with inviting me.

[Well, I would like to thank you again for today. Thanks for helping, my best friend Reinhart — the dragon killing hero (Thousand dragon killer).] (Leo)
[…… Stop calling me with that title. The human-dragon war had already ended.] (Rein)

Then, I started moving my heels and left that place.
— And, I changed my mind and looked back.

[And, I’m not your best friend. I’m just your acquaintance. Please change that misconception.] (Rein)

Leo, unfazed, in return, replied with a silent smile.