Chapter 036 – Ojousama’s Decision
The port town which acts as the entrance to the Demon Continent.
This town is where the slave house is located, the one where I was sold to after being tricked by fake adventurers about a year ago.
I was surveying the streets while wearing hooded cloak.
A group of two blonde-haired young men appeared out of one of the inns.
It’s not that they visited the inn because they wanted to stay, but in order to check on the inn’s guests.
The other party were probably subordinates of the vampire clan’s head.
The person they were looking for — is undoubtedly Chrisse Gate Vlad-ojousama.
Chrisse-ojousama and I arrived here by walking from the woods behind the castle at night.
I had judged that it’s better for ojousama’s safety that she did not stay in the Demon Continent, but to go to some other continent.
Half a day away by coach.
Taking neither rest nor sleep, but only short breaks in between, I arrived at the town after a day, carrying ojousama in my arms.
When we got hungry we took some snacks left over from Karen’s surprise party.
Along the way, ojousama showed little reaction, and only hung her head.
Strange how in just one day the situation could become as different as heaven and earth.
We didn’t go find an inn once we arrived in town, but instead headed for the [Rano Slave House] where Master once bought me.
As I feared, the enemy’s hands are already working at the inn; and I barely managed to slip ojousama into the slave house.
After confirming the situation outside, I headed back to the slave house.
I went to the back of the house, and made eye contact with the head of guards.
He was the man with a skinhead and a twisted horn growing out of his forehead — Obukhov.
The entrance to the basement at the back of the house was protected and barricaded by him and his men.
I exchanged greetings with them and went down the stairs to the basement.
The fifth day since we ran from the castle.
Ojousama and I were currently in hiding in the basement of Rano slave house.
We’re hiding at the room in the basement where I lived about a year ago.
I believe the Vampire house’s heads won’t consider that we would be hiding in the basement of a slave house instead of an inn.
I slept in the vacant large room, but I had ojousama use a private room.
It’s not like they were hiding us out of goodwill either.
It does come with meals, but they made us pay an exorbitant amount as lodging fees.
We managed to pay somehow with the precious metal objects gathered from ojousama’s room.
But so long as we’re able to pay we can rest at ease.
Because as long as we pay there would be no need for them to betray us.
If they were to sell us out to the Vampire house even after receiving payment from us, they would be instantly branded as untrustworthy by the upper class who has connections to ojousama—not to mention Master.
A merchant won’t do something that would damage their credibility.
Without credibility one cannot do business—the words I heard a long time ago came back into mind.
I took the stairs from the basement to the top floor.
I headed for the reception room.
Inside the room there was “a leather sofa, a table made of insect shell, and a thick desk.”
There were no windows, but there were potted plants put in its stead and there was a scenic painting to dampen the stifling atmosphere.
There were also elegant furniture arranged in a well calculated manner.
There was a two-legged frog inside the room.
He was the owner of this Rano Slave House, Rano Merumeru.
He welcomed me with a friendly attitude completely unbefitting his appearance.
“Hiya Lute, how’s the town?”
“Guards are posted at the harbor and the inns and the town gates as usual. Nowadays they seem certain that we’re in this town so they’re running a thorough search. I wonder if they heard word about someone seeing me or something….”
When I looked at him he shrugged his shoulders.
“There’s only a few places where kids can go by walking from the Vlad house. Even I would expect you to head to another continent through this town. If you went to another harbor town they would have caught up with you after all. There’s just no way any of us would leak news about your presence”
“……I know, right.”
I tried baiting him, just in case.
I expected as much.
Which is why I hid in their blind spot and laid low in the basement of a slave house.
“Then, about the matter of smuggling us abroad, were you able to find a ship?”
“Of course, but there will naturally be a cost. You wanted to go to the Fairy-Human Continent, so for two people it will be about this much.”
“You must be kidding, right! No matter how much I work, I can’t pay that kind of money for two people!”
The amount of money Rano cited was outrageous
You could build a small house with that kind of money
He stroked his frog head.
“Every continent is fussy about illegal immigrants nowadays. Besides, even if you say we’re helping the Vlad house, we’re still clearly making enemies of the Vampire house. For that I think this amount of money is appropriate, no?”
Despite his friendly tone and attitude he’s totally taking advantage of us.
As expected from a merchant who handles slaves.
But there’s just no way ojousama and I could just go out in the open and follow the normal procedures for getting into another continent.
I can already see us getting found by the Vampire house’s lackeys in the middle of doing that.
So, there’s no way other than something illegal like smuggling.
“If not the Fairy Human Continent, then I can get you to the neighboring Dragon Continent for this much.”
“Dragon Continent, huh……”
With a timing that seemed like he’d been aiming for it all along, Rano presented a compromise.
If it’s the Dragon Continent the money would barely be enough.
The continent next to the Demon Continent, the Dragon Continent.
It’s located where the number  was on a clockface.
If we were to cross the border and go to the Dragon Continent, it would lower the chances that the Vampire house could lay their hands on us.
(If I go to the Dragon Continent and become an adventurer or do manual labor for money, I think I could manage to support ojousama…. Or maybe I could let ojousama go to the Fairy Human Continent by herself… nah.)
It’s too reckless to send the former hikikomori ojousama, who is blind to the ways of the world, all alone to Hod town in the Aljio region where Elle-sensei lives.
There’s a very high chance that she’ll get tricked and get sold back to the Demon Continent as a slave like I was.
Then, if the head of the Vampire house were to buy ojousama as a slave, she’d be in a terrible state. Therefore, the plan to send ojousama alone to the Fairy Human Continent is rejected.
I told him what I’d carefully considered.
“….. well then, passage for two to the Dragon Continent, please.”
“I’ll arrange it as soon as the price is paid.”
“As a service, please use the funds left over in our current account to cover the remaining fees.”
“Well, if it’s just that much…”
I finished the negotiations with Rano.
He put on a very merchant-like smile.
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Rano and I went down the basement for a moment.
That was because I left ojousama in charge of the funds.
I knocked on the door to the room where she was.
Ojousama was sitting on the bed hugging her knees, with her face buried in her arms.
She had been feeling down like this ever since we slipped out of the mansion.
It wasn’t unreasonable.
Not even one night had passed, and a fun surprise party had turned into her parents getting captured as prisoners.
The fact that she herself was being pursued didn’t make things any better.
She didn’t even have the time to calm her heart.
That she would eat her meals was a relief, at least.
“Ojousama, I’m sorry to disturb your rest. I wish to report our plans from now on.”
In order to give ojousama some peace of mind, I explained my plans.
I told her that I was planning on the two of us going to the Dragon Continent.
Once we crossed the country’s border, the Vampire main house certainly wouldn’t come after us, and our safety can be guaranteed, I stressed.
I thought that with this, she would calm down a bit and I hope maybe she would cheer up
“For that reason I will need ojousama to release the funds you’re holding…. will that be alright?”
However, Ojousama composedly tore up the plan I put forth.
Ojousama raised her face.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen her face.
Her eyes was red from crying, her cheeks were a bit thin.
The color of her skin was bad, and her hair had also lost its sheen.
Her slim limbs looked like they had became thinner.
[I’m not going to the Dragon Continent]
Ojousama wrote in her usual mini blackboard, rejecting my proposal.
As a whole, she had became weaker.
It was a matter of course.
The little girl who had been raised with delicate care had suddenly been thrust into a situation where her future is uncertain. Of course she would weaken.
And yet only the glint in ojousama’s eyes did not become weak.
In fact it is shining, it’s burning hotter than the sun.
Ojousama wrote on her mini blackboard.
[I’m not running away. Lute-oniichan, let’s fight to save father and mother! Let’s fight to the bitter end!]
Ojousama had shifted into a strange gear.