Explaining the situation
When they’re returning to the boulder where Aki and Masato were hiding, they found them eyes sparkling when looking at Rio and Miharu that were coming towards them.
Just like that, they’re running toward Miharu to embrace her.
「Both of you, thank goodness …….. 」
Rio was a little relieved seeing them reunited safely.
「Thank you very much, Haruto-san」
Miharu represented the three of them to say their gratitude while bowing her head together with Aki and Masato.
「I’m glad that the three of you safely reunited」
Was Rio answer to them while waving his hand a little.
As his face naturally formed a smile.
「Then, the truth is that were gold coins added into your luggage」
While saying that, Rio presented their luggage.
The truth is that inside the heavy school bag was stuffed with more than fifty gold coins, which weight is around 3 kilograms.
「Y-Yes ……….. 」
Miharu receiving the bag with a puzzled face.
The gold coins was inside Miharu’s bag.
By the way, the 50 gold coins is the expected sum of profit that the slave merchant would get once he sold those three as slaves.
Though Rio didn’t know about it since he never bought a slave, this amount is not that high considering that the slave merchant was about to ruin someone’s life by turning them into slaves with illegal means.
The price of the slaves will vary greatly by their purpose, sex, and their abilities, the standard revenue is when the said slave is able to earn an income by employing them with a standard revenue*. [TLC* : 奴隷は用途、性別、能力によって値段が大きく異なるが、基本的にはその者を従業させて稼ぐことのできるであろう収入が目安となる。] (Impromptu Editor: I know nothing of Japanese, but I think it makes more sense to value a slave by the expected gain a brothel/place of work would get or by how much they would save by buying a slave instead of employing someone.).
A beautiful and healthy woman brimming with youth is greatly valued as a harlot even without many great abilities, on the contrary, the value of the men without any abilities is the worst.
Though Miharu and the others who were taken captive as slaves would become imperfect goods, because they can’t speak[in Strahl language], Miharu condition is exactly as required above[As a harlot], though the demand for Aki is still low due to her age.
Therefore, almost all of the gold coins are the price for Aki and Miharu, Masato’s price is almost to the point of serving as a bonus to buy the two of them.
「Erhm, this gold coins are？」
Miharu asked with a bewildered expression.
「I think it’s consolation money. Because the three of you just narrowly avoided becoming slaves ……. 」
It’s not that easy for Rio to answer her question.
Though kidnapping someone to turn them into a slave is an illegal act, in reality there’s a surprising amount of them without ever becoming an issue.
Moreover, the people who are being swindled to become slaves are mainly children and young women.
The incident this time is not something that rare in this world.
「N-No way …….. Slave」
Aki muttered as she receiving a shock.
That’s only natural.
Because for her, the existence known as a slave is something that is extremely rare.
Miharu was also shocked, but the impact is less than Aki since she heard about slaves from Rio a bit of time ago.
「Please explain to me what is this slave business？」
Among them, Masato is asked while tilting his head.
「You don’t know about them ？」
Aki stared at Masato with a shocked expression.
「Listen to me, slave is. ……Erm……」
Though she was trying to explain slaves to him, she was stumbling for words.
Even if she knows the meaning of that word, she didn’t know how to explain it.
Even Miharu showed a troubled face.
「To put it simply, they’re people that are being treated as an item」
Rio cut in and explained in their place.
「Being treated as an item？」
Even so, Makoto was still tilting his head with a puzzled expression as he can’t make an image from that explanation.
「I wonder if this can put it simply, the people are being traded like animals. The sold person must do whatever their buyer says」
Rio added that words to his explanation.
「W-Why must they do that！ Isn’t that like a pet! Does that mean we’re gonna become like that！ Why are they doing that！ ？ 」
As expected, as soon as he understood the meaning of that explanation, he shouted his resentment.
「Because having people do whatever you order is convenient」
Rio gave that simple answer without minding Masato’s age.
「What’s so enjoyable about listening to the order of such people ？ They’re not dolls！ 」
「Well, that’s depending on each person. Regardless whether it’s interesting or not, it’s more because it’s necessary to use such a person」
Rio answered with a bitter smile.
Different from himself who’s accepting slavery as a norm, the seemingly bright Masato can’t just agree with the way of this world.
「Why, that’s ……….. 」
Masato muttered in a low voice.
He might experience difficulties explaining the swirling emotions within himself.
「Then, would we turn into slaves if Haruto-san didn’t find us ………. 」
Thereupon, Miharu who was listening quietly asked with a frightened expression.
「Really. Then, I’m glad that we’re safe now …….. 」
Aki said that while shaking on Miharu side.
It seems she was frightened when thinking about what would become of them if Rio had not come to save them.
「No, I didn’t do anything that’s worth mentioning」 [TL : Like slicing a man in half without leaving even an afterimage or more explanation which causing me to explain that it basically one-turn-kill?]
Because in the first place Rio thought that he had to save Aki.
Though the current situation changed way too much, his first motive wasn’t passing the level of curiosity and he didn’t think to delve too deeply into it.
「……. We’re truly saved thanks to Haruto-anchan*. Thank you very much! 」[TL : Older brother]
Maybe because he managed to compose/regain himself, Masato said his gratitude to Rio.
Though it seems awkward, his smile of gratitude was reflected on his face.
「Don’t worry, it’s nothing」
「No, if there’s no Haruto-anchan, I really can’t imagine what would become of us！ I’m truly scared of that」
「Yeah, you’re welcome then」
Rio answered with a smile to Masato who’s insisting on saying his gratitude.
「By the way, what are you saying since a while ago. That “Haruto-anchan” …….. 」
Aki asked Masato seemingly a bit pouting.
「EH? Ah, it’s nothing, I mean; Haruto-anchan seems older than me. It’s just normal right? 」
Without even that big a reason, Masato was somehow calling Rio “Haruto-anchan”.
「……. I see, but」
Aki muttered in dissatisfaction as if she’s unable to accept his answer.
Masato showed a puzzled face as he’s unable to understand her reaction.
「Aki-chan ……. 」
As if worrying about it, Miharu called her name.
Aki’s frown got more pronounced as she noticing that.
「I’m sorry ………. 」
She said her apologize with an unpleasant mood. [TL : Because her oXXXXXXn just NTRed]
Wondering who she was apologizing to.
Aki’s head slumped down as she’s unable to clear her ill feelings.
Rio is staring intently at Aki who’s fallen into such state. [TL : no way ……… he’s looking for another victim]
Feeling some sort of deja vu, though her surname is different, Rio thought of such possibility when he heard her name.
But, he’s convinced now.
Maybe Sendou Aki was Amakawa Haruto’s little sister.
The fact that she’s together with Miharu strengthened Rio’s though even more.
Different from Amakawa Haruto who left the house to go to the countryside following his father, his little sister, Amakawa Aki was left in that city with his mother. [TL : Fuh, another flag down]
Though he didn’t know whether they’re living in that house or not, if Aki was still in that city it’s not that strange for her to be with Miharu.
Though Haruto was always playing with Miharu, Aki was also playing with them most of the time.
Though he misidentified the current Aki due to her growth, Haruto unintentionally recalled his mother’s face when looking at her.
「I’m sorry. Haruto-san. For causing the atmosphere to become strange」
Aki apologized to Rio.
「Don’t worry, I don’t mind about it」
Just like that, Rio answered with a vague smile.
(Could it be —–. )
(NO, it’s not like it’s not possible)
(Could it be that Sendou Aki hates Amakawa Haruto) [TL : You will know the reason around 40 chapter later, so wait for that chapter or …………]
Rio was currently thinking of such a possibility when he looked at Aki’s state in front of him.
「Thank you very much」
Aki bowed while showing a little apologetic smile.
Looking at that Aki, though he felt his chest tightened, in their case, Rio is only someone they just met.
The current Rio isn’t Amakawa Haruto nor he has he ever met them.
Is he even the kind of person without delicacy who’ll bluntly poke his nose into someone’s delicate spot?
Lying about his history, falsifying his very existence, since it’s already too late to change it for now as it’ll gain one-sided judgement but, it won’t be fair if he’s inquiring about that matter if he didn’t even say that he is Amakawa Haruto himself.
But, it might add fuel into the fire if he said that he’s Amakawa Haruto at this point.
（What should I say ……….. ）
RIo also made a little preparation for his feeling when he and Miharu were going back towards Aki and Masato’s hiding place.
(Currently the matter about Miharu and the others takes the maximum priority, my history isn’t that of Haruto, it seems I need to think about what will happen to them after this)
For this reason, he decided to leave them for some time to settle their feelings and by that time he’ll tell Miharu about his previous life.
Anyhow, the subject of the conversation is the detail.
He shouldn’t cause them confusion by giving too much unnecessary information mixed with his own feeling at this stage, because his feelings are just too heavy therefore, it’s more preferable to hear their situation after their heart calmed down.
But, the situation coming toward him became more complex.
He wants to move faster to confirm Seria’s safety, and he currently didn’t think of abandoning his revenge.
（No ………. in the end nothing will change. Right now I have to explain to Mii-chan’s about their situation. I need to have them accept their current situation after they’ve calmed down. But, the matters that I have to consider have only increased by little）
After deciding that.
「………. Then should we move to the main subject?」
Rio stared at Miharu’s eyes while smiling when saying that.
Postponing the matter about the gold coins inside the bag for the time being.
(Since it’s slowly becoming dark, I need to tell them what I should tell them in this place)
「I think your first worry is about where’s the place that you’re currently in right now. Though I already explained to Aki-chan and Masato-kun, this place isn’t earth」
This explanation is mainly for Miharu.
This time, Miharu strangely thought about the matter of why Rio can speak Japanese.
「 …….. Uhm, Can’t we goes back to earth ？」
Aki asked with anxious face.
It might be natural to have that question.
Rio expected that kind of question to come.
But, Rio was unable to answer it.
Rio knows that it’s almost impossible to answer that.
(But, is it okay to tell her just like that.)
The current situation is that even for Rio who has superior information than the human race regarding spirit arts and magic even within Seirei no Tami village, there’s too many point that can’t be explained.
Though it’s impossible to do it with spirit arts because of the intervention toward mana and odo manipulation in extremely complicated matters like space and time, the Seirei no Tami succeeded in that area with magic.
Even though they can move from the tip of the continent to the other side by using transfer crystal that was loaded with transfer magic, it’s still impossible for crossing over worlds.
No, though it’s possible in theory by setting the coordinate, no one know how to set the coordinate in another world.
Even if for example they managed to set the coordinate, the feasibility is extremely low when thinking about the amount of odo needed cross the boundary of the world.
「Sorry. Though it’s not like it’s impossible, I think it’s extremely hard to do that …….. 」 [TL : Truck magic sure is convenient]
Rio answered, after being worried about such things.
「That …….. 」
Aki expression dyed in despair.
No, Aki isn’t the only one.
Even Miharu and Masato received that much impact.
「But, the chance isn’t zero, because I think that this event did not happen naturally, if we can determine the cause of this event. Even though the possibility is low but ….. 」
Rio added to his explanation without looking at Miharu’s despairing expression.
(I wonder who caused today’s event?)
Since it occurred in the Strahl region, all human are suspects.
Though as far as Rio knows, human tribe has yet to reach the stage where they can put the time and space magic in practical use.
Rio didn’t feel that it would reach the level of practical use within the few years of his absent from Strahl region.
That’s why he concluded that it might be possible if it’s due to the artifacts from the Demon-God War era.
He might be able to discover something if he can clarify the magic engraved into that artifact.
Though the magic equation engraved into the artifact have way too many complicated mysteries.
Though there’s many substitute class artifact spirit tools being made by Seirei no Tami who have far more advanced knowledge about magic than the human tribe, even those couldn’t classified as artifact class item. [TL : Okay this is a bit explanation about magic. Magic for human is derived from the magic formation that they got from Seirei no Tami or artifact which then inscribed into their soul[this is the main reason why the majority of human in Strahl can’t use spirit arts like the human in Yagumo]. Spirit arts is direct manipulation of Odo which need more complicated training but will become more practical at later stage[it need much more time and difficult to master but more practical in combat]. in short it’s just like the difference between manual and automatic car]
Setting that aside, if they can clarify the cause, the possibilities of them finding the artifact itself is extremely low.
In the first place the biggest mystery is the fact that the Miharu that disappeared in the opening day of their first year in high school was summoned to this place.
Though that incident about several people disappearing was being treated as passed away, it was put aside as trifling news to enliven society.
The current Miharu was still in her high school year.
In short, the disappearance of Miharu is because she is being summoned to this world.
But, in that case, it’s causing another question to surface.
Why Haruto who died way later than Miharu’s disappearance arrived first in this world?.
Though there’s a difference between reincarnations and summoning, theirs is something in it that caused the gap in chronological order.
(I don’t understand at all)
So many complicated matters tangling in his head.
After exhaling a little as if to spit his fatigue, Rio staring at Miharu’s.
「Because I’ll give my cooperation as much as possible」
After saying that.
He’s truly annoyed with himself who can’t do anything but give such consolation words.
If Miharu said that she wants to return to earth no matter what —.
Will he give his cooperation to return her to earth?.
Or will he try his best to keep Miharu who wants to return to earth?.
Rio was thinking of such question.
「…… Thank you very much」
Miharu answering to Rio’s speech with the best smile she can make.
Aki and Masato had yet to recover from the shock.
「Anyway, should we think about what you will do from now on」
After all that smiling as if being in awkward situation, Rio spoke to Miharu.
Miharu answered with a smile.
「First is, I think that you already understand that the public order in this world is extremely lousy. It’s impossible for you guys who can’t even communicate with its inhabitants to survive on your own」
Though his way of speaking became extremely harsh, Rio told them without hiding it.
The sign of tensed state is extremely visible on Miharu face.
Maybe because they’re hearing about their current situation, Aki and Masato also lend their ears to hear Rio’s words.
「But, please be at ease. Because I’ll protect you as long as you’re following one rule and swear to protect. It is my condition」
While he thinks that it doesn’t matter even if he must protect them unconditionally, are his true feelings.
But, based on the current situation, Rio has to set a rule for them to protect.
「Ru …….. Le？」
Miharu asked with timid voice. [TL : You, become my slave]
「Yes. From now on, you cannot reveal about my personal information to a third party without my approval. But, in case that it’ll harm you, you don’t need to mind about leaking it. Can you agree with that? 」[TL : Ask for Miharu hand in marriage you bachelor-for-life-to-be]
Rio saying his condition without even showing a riled up state.
「……. Are you okay with that？」
Miharu answered as if bewildered by his rule.
In that situation, essentially Miharu’s responsibilities are nothing.
When judging from Miharu point of view, it’s not something half-hearted to put three strange people together under his protection.
At least, even if he’s the same Japanese who also lived in earth, she think that he won’t easily give his approval.
For this reason, Miharu was bewildered when he unexpectedly presented such a light rule.
「Yes. Your trouble regarding the life necessities of three people will be taken care of by me if you vow upon your words to give your compliance. I will even teach you the necessary things that you need to survive in this world」
That was the best thing she could ask for.
Because for Miharu, that’s truly the best she could ask for.
But, doing that may be too much of a burden for Rio.
Though Miharu didn’t have any choice other than cling to Rio, she couldn’t even apologize for being a burden since he was indispensable for them to survive.
But, it was the truth that the current Miharu was unable to do anything.
「Understood. I swear to protect that rule. Someday, I definitely will return the favor that I get from Haruto-san. That’s why, please somehow protect us. Please」
Miharu was bowing her head deeply while strongly vowing in her heart to return this favor someday.
Absolutely, completely, she bowed her head.
Aki and Masato also following after Miharu, bowing their head while saying 「Please take care of us」 to Rio.
「Understood. Please raise your heads」
He saying that while smiling lightly.
「Well then, let’s do a short introduction again. In this case I should be the first one. …….. Though I told you that my name is Haruto, to tell the truth, that’s my alias due to my circumstances. My real name is Rio. My age is 16」 [TL : No one asking for your age, you wizard inside]
Rio told them his real name in this world.
That’s because he thinks that he had to show his best courtesies to them right now.
Miharu’s looking at him with dumbfounded face after knowing the fact that he’s using alias.
「Ehm, sorry for the confusion. Though it’s okay to call me by both names in a place where there are no other people, after this, when you call my name in the outside, please call me Haruto」
Rio was bowing his head a little while saying that.
「Uhm, understood. Well then, since it will cause confusion, is it okay if all of us to keep calling you Haruto-san for the time being？ 」
Miharu answered since she’s already used to call him Haruto.
Rio smiling lightly as he’s replying to her.
Though if it’s from Rio, he’s extremely aware to the fact that he’s RIo, there’s no difference between himself and Haruto.
To be honest, he’s truly happy that Miharu called him by that name.
「Then, it’s my turn right. My name is Ayase Miharu. My age is also 16. Nice to meet you」
Miharu also introduced herself to Rio again.
「Then me too ――」
In addition, Aki and Masato also introduced themselves to Rio afterward.
「Then, please treat me well from now on」
Rio said that while looking at the three.
「Well then, though there’s still more to talk about, it’s already become quite dark. Let’s move to a quiet place to rest our bodies. I’ll take my house now」
Darkness was already enveloping their surroundings.
Remaining in this place for too long will only cause them to become even more gloomy.
「EH? Ho ……….. use ? Taking out? 」
Aki asked as if bewildered.
Where is there such a house in the rocky area with basically nothing.
Even Miharu and Masato also have a similar reaction to her as they’re looking at their surrounding in confusion.
「Please wait for a while」
Rio moved a little farther from that place while smiling wryly at their reaction.
After finding a suitable location, he put his hand on the ground, manipulating the earth with spirit arts to stabilizing the ground by cutting the roots.
After confirming that he’s already stabilized the place for the house —-.
「Discharge[Release]」 [TL : The “Release” here using kanji [解放], while the “Discharge” is the furigana written in katakana[ディスチャージ]]
After reciting the aria.
Thereupon, a gigantic whirlpool swirled in front of Rio.
He can put in items that he didn’t need to bring within the item box.
And then, the item that is being stowed can be taken out on whichever place is near the holder.
A house isn’t an exception to that rule.
During the preparation for this journey, Rio made a house for journey purpose.
And that was the rock house that was created by combining many rocks that, despite naturally blended with its surrounding, is durable.
It’s spirit tool was loaded with magical barrier for perception inhibition, inscribed on the building itself, when someone other than the registered residents enter within 500 meters distance from the house, they’ll feel strangely uncomfortable within the barrier the instant they enter.
If the one who’s entering is a spirit arts user with high mana and odo perception who can see odo, though they’ll notice a barrier magic that was covering the surrounding with the rock house at its center, there’s no valid magic for crime prevention related to living creatures.
But, when considering that the trespasser consciousness will be cut off after they’re crossing the 500 meters radius, even if they’re entering the barrier since that effect will be decreasing rapidly, he also needs to choose a suitable place for his house.
By the way, the effect of the spirit tool can be switched to “ON” or “OFF” at any time, currently the barrier is switched to “OFF”.
Also, except for the barrier for the perception inhibition, just how many magic inscribed on the building. (Impromptu Editor: I don’t get it, are there more magic inscribed or not?)
「W-What the heck, is that ……. ？」
Though she couldn’t see very well in the darkness, Aki muttered in astonishment when she saw a gigantic rock suddenly appear out of nowhere.
The mass of the gigantic rock that appeared before Rio has more than 20 meters length at its longest parts.
Miharu and Masato were also dumbfounded, Rio just smiled wryly seeing their reaction.
「This is the house in which you’ll live from now on. Though it appears to be an ordinary gigantic rock, the inside is extremely beautiful. The entrance is this way」
While saying that, Rio quickly walked toward the entrance of the house.
The three just looked with perplexed faces at his back.