When we arrive at the office, Austin knocked on the door and called out.
“Claude, you all right? What happened?”
Immediately after calling out, the door opened and Claude apologized.
“Sorry for the noise. We just have guests……… it appears we have woken you up. Come here, Feli.”
Claude replied Austin and noticed me in his arms, so after presenting his arms I obediently let myself get carried and we entered the room where people were just as I thought.
I called to the people that surprised me for being there and Al.
“Al, welcome back. Long time no see. Chase, Bard-san, Roy-san, Lyle-san.”
“I’m back, Feli.”
“Long time no see…… hey, why are you here?”
It was Claude who answered Chase’s question.
“I will answer. I’m the Prime Minister of the Dianes Republic, Claude. I’m also Felice’s and Albert’s father. Here is my mansion.”
“Albert is my name. If I remained as Fearfal, my identity might get exposed after all.”
“Hee…… Prime Minister, you said!? How does one get the Prime Minister to be your father!”
“Captain, calm down please. What time do you think it is now?”
“That’s right, Captain. You must not cause trouble.”
“That’s right. Sorry for being noisy.”
“Y, you guys………”
I who heard Chase’s and other’s exchange opened my mouth wide absentmindedly.
“What’s the matter, Feli? Why do you look so stu…… why are you making such shocked expression?”
“Al, did you plan to gloss over it with that? Sorry for having a stupid face, okay! I was just surprised that Bard-san is talking normally!”
“Ah, that? It apparently depends on his frame of mind.”
“Frame of mind, you say?”
Just when I reaffirmed the reason, Austin reservedly spoke up.
“Hey…… I’m Austin. Are you Felice’s benefactors?”
“Sorry for not introducing ourselves earlier. I’m Chase from the Trust Kingdom.”
“I’m called Bard.”
“The word benefactor, it should be our line. If not for Felice, I would have already lost my family and friends.”
“I see…… by the way, what about those fellows lying over there?”
When Austin asked while pointing at Bhutan and others, Al answered him.
“They are the Empire’s people. It appears attacking the town using those magic tools was their mission.”
“These elves and beastmen are this pig’s (buta’s) slaves.”
“Captain, not a pig but Bhutan.”
“There’s not much difference anyway, isn’t it fine?”
(Uwaa…… he looks just like that. Names and natures do often agree.)
It’s probably wrong, there was no one in my mind to tsukkomi with that.
“Is that man the mastermind?”
“He’s not. The mastermind is…… umm……”
Chase hesitated to answer Claude’s question.
Seemingly guessing something, Claude looked at me.
“Feli, you should go to the bed and sleep. Tomorrow…… no, it’s already today. You’re planning to visit the Smith’s House, aren’t you?”
“Do that, Feli. If you make a mistake in magical power manipulation because of lack of sleep, I will punish you again?”
Seeing Al say so while grinning from ear to ear, my face turned pale and I nodded in hurry.
“I will sleep properly! It’s alright! I’m awfully sleepy after all!”
“That’s good then. Olivia, take Feli to her room and watch over her until she falls asleep”
I was startled by Olivia who suddenly appeared before the door without presence.
(That was startling!? I was wondering whether Al lost his mind.)
“Right now, you definitely thought something rude, didn’t you? Feli.”
“W, wha, what are you talking about? I was just startled by Olivia’s sudden appearance.”
(It’s the face of not being convinced!)
“I have received a call from Albert-sama not a long ago, so.”
Claude told Austin to go back to his room as well.
“Austin return too, there are things that need to be done today, and she will be lonely by herself.”
“Sorry about that. Be sure to call for me if you need something.”
“Yeah, got it.”
Claude turned around and asked about the mastermind.
“So, who is the mastermind?”
“You have returned her back to her room, so you must have guessed already, right?”
“…… It’s the Bailey House, huh.”
“Yes, it was said that they receive slaves as rewards for successfully accomplishing missions. Everything was recorded on this magic tool Fearfal lend us.”
Chase handed over the cuffs type magic tool to Claude.
“I will give you mine as well. There’s a recording of conversation between two people while installing the magic tool.”
After receiving the magic tool from Fearfal, Claude talked about the slaves.
“These slaves are most likely illegal slaves, aren’t they?”
“We won’t know until they confirm it themselves, but it’s probably so.”
“Say, in a case like this, what happens to the slaves?”
“In case of the death or arrest of the master, legal slaves would be either transferred or returned to the slave dealer. The regulation is to release the illegal slaves, but they can’t be released if the master is alive and the contract not cancelled.”
“Therefore, in the case of these four, they will stay as slaves unless this pig releases them.”
When Claude explained about the slaves, Chase spat out while looking at Bhutan.
The expressions of Bard, Roy, and Lyle were also dark.
Among that, Fearfal asked after thinking for a bit.
“The contract can’t be canceled unless it’s done canceled by the master?”
“The slave contract can be canceled by the slave dealer’s skill if you have the contract itself, but I don’t believe these people have the contracts. They are most likely restrained by these collars, but it’s dangerous to forcibly break them.”
“The slaves of the Empire don’t have contracts. Everyone I saw before had on of those collars.”
“I see …… Say, if this collar could be broken without any risks, would it cause a ruckus after all?”
“If there’s such a thing, the illegal slaves would kick up a fuss. You know about something?”
“Ah~ Look, at the time I was captured at the Bailey House, I was wearing this collar and was bound by chains, but Feli broke both the collar and chains.”
“Wha!? Is that the truth!”
“Captain, let’s ask Felice to free them.”
“That’s…… no good, Lyle.”
“Why! Do you have any other method, Roy?”
“Calm down, Lyle. If we ask Felice, she will surely ask for the circumstances. If she hears about the Bailey House at that time, you have to think about her feelings.”
“Vice-Captain Bard…… I understand.”
When Lyle dropped his shoulders, Claude who was silent opened his mouth.
“You guys really worry about and cherish Feli.”
When Chase and others looked at Claude, what they saw wasn’t the serious expression from before, but a relaxed, gentle smile of a father.
However, his expression immediately turned back and he denied Chase’s and co.’s worries.
“You don’t have to worry about Feli. That child has already noticed after all. Isn’t that right, Al?”
When Chase and others looked at Fearfal, he nodded to Claude’s words.
“Un. She knows. She knows that this was done by the Bailey House and she also knows that you were worried about her.”
“The reason I send Feli back to her room and the reason she obediently returned is that she promised to meet some people.”
“Come to think of it, the first time I had an honest talk with her, I was astonished how bright she was. After that, for a number of reasons, I have never questioned it again.”
“We also were shocked by the knowledge and way of thinking when we talked with her, we thought it was impossible for a child of her age. Even when talking about the Bailey House, she calmly talked about what happened.”
“No matter what you say to Feli or how you treat her, her feelings won’t get hurt at that time, but she will immediately think that nothing can be done, and deals with it in her mind as it was only a natural thing to happen.”
“But, even if she deals with it in her mind, her heart would still get hurt, right? Is that really all right?”
“It’s not like it’s all right…… she herself isn’t aware of it though. But you see, it’s only little by little, but I think she’s recovering now. She receives familial love from Otousama, Okaasama, and the people of the mansion, and she has the friendship of Austin and others. Of course, the thoughts of you guys are also helping her.”
“You…… what about you?”
“As for me…… I wonder? It’s both “familial love” and “friendship,” but it’s not only that. I have told you so before, but Felice is the most important and the only one for me, I want to cherish her. But…… I won’t forgive myself if I’m not the most important and the only one for Felice too…… I also have such thoughts. It’s weird, isn’t it?”
When Fearfal let out his heartfelt thoughts, Chase and others were lost for words.
“Don’t worry Al, those feelings are of a deep affection. It’s nothing strange.”
“No…… that’s true.”
“Is that so? Alright then!”
“Nonono, I think it would be better to properly think about it”
Roy stopped Chase who was worried about Felice and tried to make Fearfal think about it and talked to him in a low voice.
“Captain, it would be better to not meddle in.”
“That’s right. You will get hurt if you get in the way, ya know?”
“About this, if you let it out in the open, it would get complicated.”
“No, I mean she’s only four years old, you know?”
“Captain, did you forget? He’s a Ryuu.”
“How slow~ When it comes to Ryuu?”
“It’s a mate.”
“What!? …… I see now. That’s why Claude-dono said it like that.”
“He’s not aware of it himself yet, so it would be better not to say unnecessary things.”
When the meeting? came to an end, Fearfal was asking Claude what to do with Bhutan and others.
“What are we going to do with these fellows, Otousama?”
“There’s jail in the basement, so let’s carry them there. I will prepare a room for the slaves. It would be better to stand the watch though.”
“We will watch over them.”
“Is that fine?”
“Yes, we have been only tailing and on the lookout this time, so please let us do it.”
“Then, I will leave it to you.”
After transporting Bhutan and his subordinates to the jail and preparing the room for the slaves, Chase and others were transferred back to the inn in order to vacate their room.
Just when they were ready, Fearfal carried the slaves to the room without dispelling his magic, so everyone decided to take a nap.