Sa-san shouted in a subdued manner and the woman that was lying there rubbed her eyes sleepily.
Letting out a drowsy voice, Kawakita-san stretches.
When I was talking to her in the Water Temple, she was blonde, but now she is back to her actual hair color, black.
Her almond shaped eyes and her strong spirited image still hasn’t changed.
“Eh…Aya? What, so this is a dream, huh.” (Keiko)
“That’s not it! Keiko-chan, I really am Sasaki Aya! The real deal! I came to see you.” (Aya)
“Eh, no way! The real deal?!” (Keiko)
The eyes of Kawakita-san opened wide and she ran to where we were.
There’s a collar with complex ornaments on her neck.
(So that’s a slave contract collar, huh…) (Makoto)
The only ones who can take it off are a certain select few in the slave association.
The way of taking them off is apparently a secret of the highest level.
However, it is an extremely pricy magic tool, so it is only used for slaves that have worth.
(Fuji-yan told me that Kawakita-san is being treated as the most valuable slave in this time’s auction.) (Makoto)
She is an otherworlder and has the rare Skill of Grand Mage.
Moreover, she was a former classmate of the Light Hero, Sakurai-kun.
While at it, she is quite the beauty.
Nobles would most likely water in their mouth at the prospect of obtaining her.
“Hey, Aya, you were okay? You weren’t with us when we were transferred.” (Keiko)
“You see, I was thrown to a different place. Takatsuki-kun found me.” (Aya)
Kawakita-san looked over here at the words of Sa-san.
“Oh, Takatsuki? Hmm, the atmosphere around you has changed.” (Keiko)
“H-Hey there, it has been a while, Kawakita-san.” (Makoto)
Kawakita-san grinned when she noticed I was an acquaintance.
I wanted to greet her as cool as possible, but I ended up stuttering.
“Isn’t that a relief, Aya? You properly managed to grab the man you liked in this other world.” (Keiko)
“Wa wa, wait, Keiko-chan?!” (Aya)
“Y-You two, you are being too loud.” (Makoto)
This is not the time to be having a conversation like the ones you have in the classroom.
They immediately went silent.
“I will save you at once, Keiko-chan!” (Aya)
Sa-san returned to a low voice and made a fist.
“Ah, okay. Michio came before and said he would ‘save me’, but…” (Keiko)
Fujiwara Michio; the name of Fuji-yan.
He did say he was childhood friends with Kawakita-san, and from the way she calls him, they really must be close.
“Honestly speaking, me falling into slavery was my just desserts. The noble that’s apparently my buyer is quite the powerful authority, so…there’s no need to push yourself.” (Keiko)
Kawakita-san’s response was cold.
“N-No way! Being a slave is a no!” (Aya)
“Well, it is true that it would have been unthinkable in our time in Japan. When we came to this world, our classmates including me were treated pretty well, so it got in my head, you see. And so, I ended up getting hooked into gambling, and by the time I noticed, I was shouldering an unbelievable debt. And the result is as you can see.” (Keiko)
Kawakita-san laughs in self-deprecation.
(I see. So she ended up selling herself because of a debt…) (Makoto)
Fuji-yan omitted those details.
“Now that I think about it, what happened to your boyfriend, Okada-kun? Why isn’t he trying to save you?!” (Aya)
Sa-san changes the topic.
Right, I think she was together with Kitayama and Okada at the time in the Water Temple.
“Him? We broke up a long time ago. Cause you know, since the moment we came here, just because we are otherworlders, women would come to him as much as he wished, so he would cheat on me right in front of my face. What’s that about a harem?! All men who say that should die!” (Keiko)
Kawakita-san! You are too loud!
“Takatsuki seems to be the faithful type, so I think you should be okay, Aya, but you have to keep an eye on him properly, got it?” (Keiko)
Kawakita-san placed a hand on Sa-san’s shoulder, and advised her with serious eyes.
“Uhm…yeah, you are right~.” (Aya)
We came here worried about Kawakita-san, but for some reason Sa-san is the one being worried at.
And Sa-san averted her gaze as if feeling awkward.
I also did the same…
Kawakita-san furrowed her brows.
“Don’t tell me… Hey, Takatsuki, you are going out with only Aya, right?” (Keiko)
Woah, the eyes of Kawakita-san are scary!
“Actually, Takatsuki-kun has two girlfriends aside from me.” (Aya)
Sa-san went ahead and said it?!
Kawakita-san looks over here as if seeing something unbelievable.
“You are the same?! I was mistaken about you! I thought you were a faithful man!” (Keiko)
I never spoke to her at all in class though!
“Now now, Takatsuki-kun is doing his best as the Water Country’s Hero.” (Aya)
Sa-san made a weird follow-up.
“Are you saying it is okay to have many girlfriends as long as you are a Hero…?” (Keiko)
Yeah yeah, the reaction of Kawakita-san is normal.
Sakurai-kun is in a weird situation though.
“Or more like, Takatsuki has a low Status and questionable Skills, so he was left behind in the Water Temple, right? Are you serious about him being a Hero?” (Keiko)
“Well, a lot happened.” (Makoto)
I give a simple explanation to what has happened until now.
“Huuh, so that’s what happened…” (Keiko)
“Rough, right?” (Aya)
Kawakita-san sighs as if amazed by my story.
When she was told I had my whole body burned, used self-destruction magic, and had been petrified, she looked at me differently.
Sa-san explained this happily.
“I thought the only one within our classmates that was seriously fighting the Demon Lord was the group of Sakurai Ryosuke…” (Keiko)
“Sakurai-kun is a serious person after all…” (Aya)
Looks like our other classmates also see the place of Sakurai-kun as unique.
Well, you normally wouldn’t be able to do something troubling like saving a world after coming to an isekai after all.
“Oh well, got it. I leave Aya in your care, Takatsuki. Tell Michio that this was my own fault and not to force himself.” (Keiko)
It didn’t look like Kawakita-san was acting tough as she said this with a smile.
What a brave girl this is.
Looks like Sa-san hasn’t accepted this yet.
Also, I don’t plan on going back empty handed.
“Kawakita-san, trouble is apparently happening in the near future at the Fire Country. Depending on what it is, it might drag the slave market into it.” (Makoto)
I explained the vision of Furiae-san.
“…Many will die in the capital of the Fire Country? …Really?” (Keiko)
Looks like Kawakita-san also made an uneasy expression.
“The predictions of our Princess are never wrong.” (Makoto)
“I see… By the way, is that Princess person also a girlfriend of yours?” (Keiko)
The topic returned?
“It is okay, Keiko-chan. Fu-chan still isn’t Takatsuki-kun’s girlfriend.” (Aya)
“I see… So it is a matter of time, huh. Aya, do your best.” (Keiko)
“Yeah. But the girls around Takatsuki-kun are all cute, you know~.” (Aya)
“It is okay, Aya. You are cute too.” (Keiko)
“Wait, Sa-san and Kawakita-san?!” (Makoto)
Can you please not deviate from the conversation on your own and proceed the topic arbitrarily?
That direction is not good.
“And that’s how it is. There’s a high chance that it will be dangerous if you stay here, Kawakita-san.” (Makoto)
I forcefully return the train to its track.
“Even if you tell me that, I have this, so I can’t escape.” (Keiko)
She points at her slave collar.
“It is true that, as long as you have the slave collar, you won’t be able to move your body even if you want to escape, and even if you were to hide, your location can be pinpointed immediately, was it?” (Makoto)
This is knowledge I heard from someone else, but its effect should be mostly that.
Because of that, we can’t kidnap Kawakita-san anywhere.
“Uuh…we can’t do anything about it. If only we could know about what’s going to happen at least, we would be able to think up something… Can something be done, Takatsuki-kun?” (Aya)
“Well, the only choice we have is to ask the Princess to see the future again once she gets better…” (Makoto)
There’s a more certain method.
(Noah-sama, Eir-sama…) (Makoto)
I called them in my mind.
(Do you know what will happen in the Fire Country?) (Makoto)
There’s no response.
It is not like they always answer anyways.
I should try again later.
“Sa-san, I will investigate this later. It is dangerous to stay here for too long, so we should leave already.” (Makoto)
We have been talking for around 1 hour after all.
“Okay. Keiko-chan, we will come back again, okay?” (Aya)
Sa-san grabs the hand of Kawakita-san as if reluctant to part.
“Ah, right. There’s one thing, though I don’t know if there’s any relation, but…I heard something weird from the slave merchant.” (Keiko)
Looks like Kawakita-san remembered something as we were leaving.
“There’s apparently a group of people who have been buying cheap slaves enmasse. I say cheap, but it takes quite a bit of money to buy a slave and employ them, so even if they hide their names, it will eventually be known who’s the noble that bought them, but it seems like the identity of that bunch is completely unknown. That’s why the slave merchant said it was probably rich people who came from a foreign country, but…I saw it…” (Keiko)
Kawakita-san lowered her voice here.
“There were devilkin mixed within the people that were coming here recently. Moreover, devilkin from an evil god religion. I am a mage, so I can tell the difference between the mana of a Goddess Religion believer, and an Evil God Religion believer to a certain extent.” (Keiko)
“I see. That’s impressive, Keiko-chan!” (Aya)
“Devilkin and Evil God religion must mean…that church, huh…” (Makoto)
The Water Country, the Sun Country, Wood Country, and even here, huh.
“It had been bothering me while I was listening to Aya and Takatsuki’s story. There’s some sort of Snake Church doing evil stuff in the shadows, right? Moreover, according to your story, they are mostly devilkin. Is this information useful?” (Keiko)
“Thanks, Kawakita-san. Your information helps out a lot.” (Makoto)
I thank her and pull Sa-san who was reluctant to leave, and exit the tent.
There’s still a bit of time before dawn.
I was being grabbed by Sa-san (in harpy form) and we were flying in the sky.
“Hey, Takatsuki-kun, what do you think of what Keiko-chan said?” (Aya)
“The Snake Church is buying a lot of slaves. The normal possibility is that they are trying to use the slaves to cause a revolt.” (Makoto)
“But that’s the same move as in the Sun Country.” (Aya)
In the Sun Country, they stirred up the class discrimination that the beastkin received to cause a revolt.
This time they will use slaves to cause a revolt in the Fire Country?
“But if we are talking about slaves, the ones with high combat power are expensive in the Fire Country.” (Aya)
“Also, it seems like they get better treatment the higher the price they are.” (Makoto)
After staying for a few days in this country, we were beginning to understand how it works.
In this country, the strong are mightier.
And so, even if they are called slaves, combat slaves are more like personal employees.
Well, their freedom is limited to a certain degree though.
The combat slaves themselves also say muscle-brained stuff like ‘I don’t care as long as I eat a belly full and can fight’ and that’s how the country runs.
The nobles would use the military power to have them fight in areas with high monster density, and would dispatch them to locations where there’s bandits or low public order to earn money.
By the way, their VIP customers are apparently the Water Country of Rozes.
The soldiers of Rozes aren’t that strong after all…
Mainly their Designated Hero…
“I don’t think there’s any point for the Snake Church to be buying a lot of weak slaves though.” (Aya)
Well, just in case, I will tell Princess Sofia and Fuji-yan.
“Let’s return to the inn now.” (Makoto)
“Yeah, about that, do you still have a bit of time?” (Aya)
Sa-san was flying in the opposite direction of the inn, outside the walls of the capital.
We advanced through the desert, and we landed at a random place.
The sky was beginning to grow light, but the surroundings were still dark.
“Now, let’s continue our date.” (Aya)
Sa-san had returned to her human form, and wrapped her arm around my neck.
It made my heart skip a beat.
“See, we are alone. As far as the eye can see.” (Aya)
“True. Being alone in the desert feels as if we are the only two people in the whole world—” (Makoto)
I was about to say more, but a loud alarm rang in my head.
The eyes of Sa-san changed after seeing my expression.
Sa-san and I feel a gaze from behind.
At the place where Sa-san and I turned to look at the same time…
There were around a hundred big ashen colored lizard-like beings looking over here.
…Licking their lips.
“W-What’s that?!” (Aya)
“A-A Sand Dragon!!” (Makoto)
It can camouflage itself in the sand with its scales, and it is hard to tell the difference from afar.
Even though it camouflages itself, it has an abnormally high battle power.
Violent carnivorous dragons that have many inhabit the Fire Country.
Could this be a Sand Dragon nest?
The closest Sand Dragon jumped at us.
“Aah, geez! Getting in our way!” (Aya)
Shouting an irritated voice, Sa-san raised her fist and faced it.
That’s a dragon!
Moreover, a pretty strong one at that—is what I was going to say, but…
The Sand Dragon was punched around its chin, and it spun for more than 10 times in the air for around 100 meters.
The other Sand Dragons following its flying path with their eyes was a bit cute.
(You kidding me?!) (Makoto)
That was as strong as the Earth Dragon we met in Laberintos though?!
Seeing their brethren defeated, they raised their voices in anger and attacked us all at once.
“Sa-san! Let’s r—” (Makoto)
“Takatsuki-kun, stay behind me!” (Aya)
What’s with this reliable back.
In this desert where there’s no Water Spirits, I was being protected like Princess Peach.
Just a few hours after, all the Sand Dragons were subjugated!