Genjitsushugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki interlude 4
TN: The recovery people just got back to me about my hard drive. Said it was a lost cause. Platter scratches, apparently.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the chapter…
AN: Side story (But definitely not short)
This may be a little late, but I’ve decided on the currency units
Currency Unit 1G (Gorudo1) = ￥1
Bronze Coin = 1G
Copper Coin = 10G
Nickel2 Coin = 100G
Silver Coin = 500G
White Silver Coin = 1000G
Gold Coin = 10 000 G
Large Gold Coin = 50 000G
Platinum3 Coin = 100 000G
Large Platinum Coin = 1000 000G
Something like that, more or less
My name is Ginger Camille. 17 Years old. I live in the capital city of the Kingdom of Elfrieden (ah, it’s Kingdom of Friedonia now), working a store that deals in slaves. … yup, I’m a slave trader. Not really a respectable profession, huh? One where you have people selling and buying people. Then again, aside from the slaves who got to where they are from committing a crime, the majority were property slaves, who sold themselves because they lacked the money to feed themselves with or because they desperately needed the money for some reason or another. In a sense, you could say it’s one form of a safety net. … You have got to have thick nerves to stay in this business.
Me? I’m thin. Thin as cotton thread. I get pains in my stomach every day. The reason somebody like me became a slave trader in the first place was because my slave trader grandpa died. My parents had long departed for the next world already, and grandpa raised me all on his own, though he never made any mention of what he did for a living to his death. Literally, I only found out about the store and the slaves in his possession when the wake was over and I was sorting out the inheritance he left behind.
No way! This is way too much for me to handle! I have to hurry and sell them all off to some other slave trader and start a new line of business … or so I thought, but then I entered the store and saw the slaves that were practically my property, and I couldn’t say a word.
The slaves, my merchandise, were gathered there. The twenty or so of them stood there, from children to the middle-aged, of both genders and all sorts of races. They were all wearing simple, rough clothing, and looked at me with uneasy eyes. I wonder why the’re so afraid.
“Don’t you understand, Owner Sir”
One of them, a young girl with determined eyes stepped up to me. She was a little older than me, with a handsome look, triangular ears, and a thick, long, striped tail. She was a beautiful beastkin girl.
“… Mystic Tanuki-kin?”
She glared at me. As a human I wouldn’t know, but it seems that Tanuki-kin and Raccoon-kin hate to be mistaken for one another, perhaps because of their similar looks.
“S, sorry … and you are?”
“Excuse my rudeness. I’m Sandria, a slave”
“San-san then. Nice to meet you”
“Eh, … ah, yes”
I offered San-san my hand, and she shook it with widened eyes.
“Anyway, San-san. Why is everyone so gloomy here?”
“That is because Sir Owner’s grandfather died”
“You’re sad by grandpa’s passing even though you’re slaves?”
“Sadness … is part of it. Your grandfather treats his slaves better than the usual slave trader does”
According to San-san, every slave trader has their own peculiar ways of handling their slaves. Though because of the social safety net aspect, the country does forbid masters from acts of violence and sexual assault to their slaves (one can sell oneself for over twice the normal price by attaching the ‘sex permitted’ tag), but as to how much it is enforced, if at all, largely depended on the public order of the territory and the morals of the local lord.
For instance, if a young female slave were to be sexually assaulted by her noble master, reporting it could bring sanctions down on the noble, but even so, without any property of her own, the girl would end up in the hands of a slave trader to be sold to another master. In that case, they may consider that it might be better to just bear with it so long as their life was not in danger. As for male slaves, they were mostly sold for physical labor, and apart from those who collapsed from overwork, it was hard to prove any acts of abuse.
Such was the dark world of slave trade, and slave traders come in all kinds. There were still a lot of slave traders shrouded by dark rumors … like those who treat their slaves like animals, not even giving them enough ‘fodder’. Those who only allowed them to wear nothing else but a collar, not even a thin blanket for the cold nights. Those who let their slaves fall sick, and those who are specially contracted to nobles with peculiar fetishes (his Highness the current King disliked it so much that a lot of them were uncovered, but some still exist in the nooks and crannies of the provinces).
Among them, grandpa was someone who treated their slaves better. He gave them clothes, albeit rough. He never abused them and treated those of them who became ill. He also didn’t trade with the peculiar customers. Quite respectable for a slave trader.
“But it doesn’t sound like he’s treating you all that well from what I heard?”
“Still, it’s enough for us slaves. At least we wouldn’t have to worry about anything strange happening to us. … but, we don’t know what’s going to become of us now”
“While he was alive, sir owner’s grandfather always mentions how he didn’t want you to take over this work. He believed it’s too heavy for his timid and gentle grandson”
Grandpa … is that why you never mentioned this job to me? Were you hiding it, thinking that it would hurt my conscience? San-san continued.
“But in that case, then us slaves will all end up being sold away, and there’s no slave trader who’d want to buy this many all together. We will end up being separated, without considering that some of us may be spouses or siblings. There isn’t even any guarantee that the slave traders we will be sold to will be a decent person like sir owner’s grandfather”
“That is …”
“Also, some of us have children. His Highness King Soma has banned children under thirteen years old from getting enslaved, so there are no child slaves, but if the buyers only wanted the parents, the children will have to be sent to an orphanage. This is why everyone is sad at sir owner’s grandfather’s passing”
So, not because that grandpa died, but because they are worried for their own circumstances … or something. I’m not a slave, so I won’t understand what they’re going through, but probably, not having hope for a bright future is much more painful than I could imagine.
As I fell silent, San-san handed me a certain object. A whip intended for use on horses. What’s this for, I thought, then San-san turned her back towards me and slowly took off her clothes. Once she was clad in nothing but a single piece of underwear (she wasn’t wearing a bra) and rolled up her clothes to hide her front, she dropped to her knees as if in repentance. Her slender back and fluffy tail was exposed in front of my eyes.
“H, h h hold on San-san!? What are you doing!?”
“This slave was impertinent to say such things. I thought that punishment was due”
“It’s improper for a slave to speak like that to the owner. I cannot complain if I were killed or tortured or sold to the worst buyer. I still prefer if I weren’t, though, so if you would please forgive me with just whipping me in front of everyone”
“Don’t worry. That whip is a special item. It causes pain on the victim without leaving a mark. You won’t be lowering my sale price”
“That’s not what I’m talking about!”
I tossed the whip away and stepped in front of San-san. I then crouched to meet her eyes.
“San-san, are you the kind of pervert who likes getting whipped?”
“… That, wasn’t my intention”
“Then why did you speak like that even though you knew you were going to be beaten for it?”
I tried to speak as gently as possible to her. San-san cast her face down, but even though I can’t see her eyes behind her bangs, she was obviously breaking into sobs from the sound of her voice.
“I … thought … even if the shop closes … at least … could find buyers … so the families could stay together …”
“Is your family somewhere in there, San-san?”
San-san shook her head. She still did this even so. I looked over the slaves. I saw a woman holding her child to her chest while looking at me uneasily. I saw a pair of seventeen-something year old girls who looked like sisters holding hands. The willful-looking one (big sister?) gripping the other’s (little sister?) hand tightly for moral support. San-san did something so dangerous for their sakes.
“San-san, you care for your friends, don’t you”
“Can you put your clothes on for now?”
“Just put it on already”
With a little bit of pressure in my words, San-san timidly put her clothes on. Then I happened to catch a glimpse of something jiggly that was well shaped so I turned my face away at full force. After giving San-san some time to compose herself I addressed the slaves.
“I understand what you’re going through, but I still don’t intend to continue running this store. Being a slave trader is way too much for me”
“That said, I think I’m going to keep it running for as long as until I can sell off everyone here. Of course, I won’t be selling you to any strange buyers, I will personally take responsibility for the background checks. I’ll also try to keep families together as much as I can”
If I were a rich man, I would’ve released them all and closed the shop. Right now however, I don’t have the financial strength for that. … still, I wanted to do what I could. Hearing what I had to say, the slaves began to look relieved, and I gave the dumbfounded San-san a smile.
“This is the best I can do. Is it satisfactory?”
“… More than I could ask. You are too kind, sir owner”
“Can’t we do something about that title? My name is Ginger Camille”
“Understood, master Ginger”
San-san and I then exchanged a handshake.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Hoy there laddie. Nice slave ye got there”
“How much ye got ‘er for? Are ye actually a big shot lad?”
“Ah, um … thanks …”
Returning the merchant slang thrown at us with a forced smile, San-san and I continued walking through the capital’s streets, carrying groceries. The groceries were mostly food, soap, and fresh cloth to make some new clothes with. It should be obvious at this point, that these were meant for the slaves.
“Wow, we got lots of nice cloth now, didn’t we. Such a nice store, that ‘Silver Deer number Two’. And the owner’s such a dandy, he didn’t even flinch when he heard they were going to be made into new clothes for slaves. He even sold us a lot for cheap”
“It was really fortunate of us”
“Ah … sorry to make you carry so many things San-san”
“You don’t need to be so considerate to your slaves. Order me anything you like”
San-san said as much with a straight face. She was a little taller than me and walked with her head high, giving her a look so dignified you can’t tell she’s a slave. Was she actually high-born or something?
“Still, the shop is nothing but the slaves and the owner. What am I supposed to do here”
“We slaves will completely obey so long as the collar is on us. Being made to work, is normal”
“Rather … why are you giving us so much food and new clothes, master Ginger. Weren’t you supposed to be selling us off?”
“… between something clean and something dirty. Which one do you think is going to be valued more?”
“Well … the clean ones, I think …”
“Right? This is just like that”
It feels a bit weird to be talking about people like they were things, but being treated as property is what being a slave means. So I thought, at least I can treat them like cherished things. I know that it’s just sophistry, but I wanted to do what I could do now.
“A clean slave with good complexion and nice clothes would give off the feeling of luxury. I thought it’ll ward off buyers who only wanted laborers”
“…A business depends on its sales. I don’t know what to say about that attitude”
“Like I said, I’m not cut out for this slave-trading stuff!”
“Really? I think you might unexpectedly make a good slave trader, though?”
“That’s not what you just said a few seconds ago!!”
“Just a slave’s musings. Please pay it no mind”
San-san then gave me an impish smile. Damn, she’s definitely making fun of me.
“If my words anger you there’s the whip…”
“I’m not whipping anyone!”
◇ ◇ ◇
Several days later.
“Alright everybody. Let’s start with our threes tables. Three, go!”
“”” Three by one is three. Three by two is six. Three by three is nine… “””
At my command the slaves began chorusing the three times table. Next to them, some other slaves were practising writing each with a scrap plank and a wet brush. Paper and ink are expensive, so we just went with these. I actually wanted to use paper and ink, but I don’t have the money for that. As I was deep in thought …
“… what are we doing this time?”
San-san, who just got back from the errand I gave her, said that to me with a dirty look.
“Hm? I thought I wanted to teach everyone to write and calculate”
“…… what for?”
“Well I’ve been thinking … tools, you see, are more prized when they have value-added attachments, right? So I thought, what’s a value-added attachment for a person? Ah it’s this~”
There are people who think slaves are meant to be used until they break. It’s an extreme argument, but it’s true that slaves who can only do menial labor had no other avenues of use. So I said, what about slaves that can write or calculate? Now, if someone with the education for those somehow fell to slavery, they would sell for higher than the ordinary slave, and they have a wider range of uses than one who can only do menial labor. They can even be a shopkeeper’s assistant, or a noble’s servant or secretary.
That’s why I thought it would be better to teach these slaves to write and calculate, but that would be inefficient. Education takes time, which adds up to their maintenance costs. Also, most people who came into a slave trader’s shop wanted menial laborers, only a few would want educated slaves. It would have been meaningless to educate too many just to have them be left on the shelves, as it were, or sold as menial labor slaves.
But then I thought, all that has nothing to do with my situation. I have no intent on going along on this business. It’ll be enough if I can just sell these people to the best buyers they can get, even if I had to dig into the savings grandpa left a little.
“Luckily, grandpa had educated me properly, so I can at least teach you guys. You want to join too, San-san?”
“… I’m alright. I came from a merchant family, so I know writing and arithmetics”
A merchant family … and the fact that she became a slave means …
“Um … do you mind if I ask?”
“Not at all. It’s nothing much, just a merchant who was cheated, had to carry a large debt, and had to sell one of his daughters to protect his family and business”
“Nothing much she says …”
“It’s a common story. This kind of misfortune … could have happened to anyone”
Now matter how prosperous the country, how good the government, nor how safe the society, a person’s ill will won’t simply go away. Such things happen in no small numbers, and that she “just happen to” have gotten caught in one, so San-san coldly explained, as if she had resigned herself to her fate.
“Well, since I have the skills as well, should I help out with teaching?”
It’d be great if I could give San-san hope, too, though it might be difficult for a slave I keenly thought as I watched San-san teach the younger slaves.
◇ ◇ ◇
… With all that said, the slaves’ sales were … unfavorable. In fact, I couldn’t sell a single one. Hahaha … what’s going on here …
“I thought we had customers, why aren’t we selling?”
San-san asked. Well, yes, we had people coming in who are interested in buying our slaves. However … from what I gleaned from talking to them, I couldn’t possibly sell anyone to them.
“… you see, I’m pretty confident in my ‘eyes that look through people'”
“So according to master Ginger’s eyes, those people are hopeless?”
“They all considered slaves as disposable tools. One does not simply hide the filth in one’s heart, no matter how polite one tries to act”
“Is that so …”
“I promised that everyone will get a trustworthy buyer. I had to be careful”
“… If you keep on doing this, you’re going to end up being a slave from the debt too, though?”
“That would be troubling … but grandpa used to say about trade, ‘The lull will pass, the currents will suddenly change. So keep at it and never give up, wait for the chance and don’t miss it, catch it when it passes by'”
Which is why even now, even though it’s hard, I was waiting for my chance so I don’t miss it when it comes.
“You know, it’s strange …. If it’s with master Ginger, I feel like I could have hope, even though I’m only a slave”
San-san said with a gentle smile. It’ll be alright, the chance will come. Let’s keep on believing and waiting.
Then one day, that chance came all too suddenly.
◇ ◇ ◇
One morning, I went to open the store as usual when …
“Excuse me! Do you have slaves who could write and do arithmetics?”
“We need one ASAP! Just name your price!”
“Us too! If you have anything you particularly want just say it!”
A large crowd was trying to push their way into the store. They all looked like big shots. Some of them were servants to some masters, but a lot of nobles and knights also came themselves to look to purchase. San-san and I were struck dumb.
“Um … Our slaves all could read and write and do arithmetics …”
“Please, by any means sell them to us!”
“I was here first! My territory needs them!”
“P, please calm down! Just what is going on here!?”
While San-san and the rest of the slaves prepared tea for all of them, I asked to hear about the situation. It looks like it all began when that young King changed the evaluation metrics for the noble and knight rankings. His Highness Soma Kazuya. He took the throne handed to him by the former King Alberto, defeated the rebellious Dukes, smashed the invading armies of Amidonia, and even assimilated their country. Within the country he continues to gain allies and throw down opponents, building up a stable power base for himself even now.
That King suddenly came out and said, “From now on the metrics for evaluating knights and nobles for promotion or demotion will have an added point of whether they could manage their territory or not. Have a nice day~” (Though I don’t think he would’ve worded it so frankly like that). The ones most in trouble were those who didn’t concern themselves with their territories but simply left someone to do it in their stead. The bureaucratic nobles came down to the capital believing participation in politics to be the way up, while the knights believed the way up was through gaining merit in battle. Therefore, the moment their territory management came to be questioned, they hurriedly looked for superior bureaucrats and people who could work under them.
All the bureaucrats wanted were people who could read and write and do arithmetics, but in this day and age, it was rare to find someone who could do both. Both of those require education, and people who had received an education (or conversely, people who consider education a necessity) are limited to the upper ranks of society. Merchants could, but they have their businesses to tend, and if they don’t gain benefits that correspond to their profits they can’t be hired. That means there was a truly limited pool of people that could be promoted to local bureaucrats.
So the lowborns who desperately educated themselves believing that it would one day come in handy were the first ones to be called out to. However, these talented people went to be hired by powerful nobles and knights who could offer them better recompense. The ones most in trouble were the lower-ranked nobles and knights. They wanted personnel, but they couldn’t offer anything worth their while. Thus they looked toward slaves. Slaves come from all walks of life. There must be some of them who could read and write or do arithmetics, even if they would be more expensive than usual.
With that in mind, the nobles and knights rushed to the slave shops. The large slave stocks were soon sold out of their slaves who could read and write, so they turned to the small and medium slave shops next. That was how they ended up in my store.
“Um … alright, I understand the situation. I will have my conditions decided on by interview”
Thus I interviewed each prospective buyer in turn, one at a time. I put more weight on the treatments the slave will receive after purchase rather than the purchase price. Several of the nobles said ‘we want to appoint them to a post, so we don’t mind releasing them from slavery,’ so I prioritized them. I avoided selling to the ones that seem to have ill will, and tried to keep families together as much as possible. The mother with the young child was bought by a female knight who begged in tears saying ‘I’ll release you from slavery! Bring your child, I don’t mind! Please, please come with me to my land!’
The biggest surprise was the sisters. There was a young noble who took a liking to them, and not only did he grant them their freedom, he asked for both their hands in marriage. That noble seemed to have came from quite a large house.
“Weren’t you looking for a bureaucrat or helper?”
“That too, but I was entranced by their beauty and minds. Our house has a lot of circumstances so we couldn’t take anyone from another house as wives. It would be more reassuring for His Highness if we took a commoner as wives. Also, considering my appointment after this, I don’t think any noble is going to come and offer their daughter to marry”
This noble was called Piltory Saracen, the young Head of the rather large house of Saracen. He was a hot-headed young man, and had character as good as his looks. I wondered why such a gentleman would want a slave, but it probably has something to do with that situation or appointment he mentioned.
“Um, if it’s dangerous it’s a bit …”
“Don’t worry. If they accept to be my wife, I will put my life on the line to protect them. They’re not going to die, at least not as long as I live!”
“Haah … okay, let’s ask what they think for now”
Then I introduced Lord Piltory and the sisters to each other. It seems the sisters also took a liking to this young man. He’s a good looking and kind young man, a real gem, condition-wise he’s exceptional. As for where he’s headed, it was the Grand Chaos Empire (seems like he was entrusted with some negotiations or something). That made the two flinch a little, but still, they ended up deciding to go with him. … well, he didn’t seem to be a bad man, so if they agreed to it then all is well.
◇ ◇ ◇
The older sister was called Anzu, and the younger Shiho. The story of the sister slaves becoming noble wives become one of the two top hit cinderella stories, along with the story of the Fox Princess ‘Tomoe-Hime’. In the story, Ginger Camille took the part of the fairy godmother4. Moreover, due to his androgynous appearance, he was depicted as a female slave trader. The person himself, upon hearing this, trembled in shame and shouted …
“What’s wrong with a guy named Camille! I’m a man! A MAN!”
… or not.
◇ ◇ ◇
After that, I attached a lot of conditions regarding the slaves’ treatment, yet every day buyers would flock to me, and within a few days, the only slave left to me was San-san alone. The reason San-san was left behind was because she was my assistant. I couldn’t possibly have handled that many people all own my own. I was glad that I had San-san by my side. Of course, there were a lot of people who came to San-san and offered her conditions not inferior to the one Anzu and Shiho got, but San-san herself rejected them, saying
“I want to stay and assist master Ginger until everyone else had been sold off”
I ended up getting too comfortable on that intent of hers. One day before we opened up the store, I was sitting on the counter, looking at San-san who was preparing tea.
“San-san is …”
“What’s wrong master Ginger?”
“… uhh … it’s nothing”
San-san, who worked in shade and in sun for my sake. There’s no way I wasn’t going to have any thoughts for her. Luckily, I have quite a bit of money now that I’ve sold everyone off. I thought, I could grant San-san‘s freedom and the two of us could start a new business together.
… but a better caretaker might come along for San-san*. There’s no saying for sure that whatever new business I get into would be a success, it might be better for San-san that way …*
While deep in thought, the door which was supposed to be hanging a ‘closed’ sign was roughly opened. What’s going on, I thought, then a young man walked in.
“Please. Won’t you sell me that slave?”
The man was dressed like a foreign traveller. His head covered by a deep sandogasa 5, and was wearing a travel coat … judging from that, he seemed to be from the Nine Headed Dragon Isles.
“Um, we’re still not open yet …”
“Oh, please excuse me. I was charmed by your raccoon-kin slave and couldn’t help myself. Will you please somehow sell her to me? Of course, I’m prepared to pay more than you ask for her. I’ll even grant her freedom afterwards”
“How much are we talking about?”
San-san started negotiating on her own. She gave me a smile.
“Master Ginger did so much for us slaves. I’m the only one left now. So as my last service to you, I wish to be sold as highly priced as possible, the extra money will be for master, as capital for you to start your new business with”
“Hold on, what are you saying!”
Was San-san … thinking like that all this time? The foreign young man then laid down a small pouch on the table with a thud.
“This pouch contains ten large gold and fifty gold coins. Will that be satisfactory?”
Ten large gold and fifty gold … a million G!? The average slave goes for one to two hundred G, and he offered such a large amount just like that!? … something’s strange. His actions say that he’s a rich man that solves problems with the power of money, but the young man himself didn’t give off that kind of feeling. On the other hand, he didn’t seem like he was really enamored with San-san like Lord Piltory was with the sisters. Rather … his attention was all on me.
“That would be satisfactory”
“Stop negotiating on your own already!”
I stood up, picked up the pouch and shoved it back at the young man.
“I beg your pardon, but she’s not for sale. I wanted to have her work for me when I start my new business”
“Master Ginger …”
“Sorry San-san. You might have been happier if I sold you to this person. He seems like someone powerful, too”
But I couldn’t. I started to feel like … San-san was being taken away from me. That was how much I felt I didn’t want to lose San-san.
“But out of my own selfishness, I refuse to part with you”
“Master Ginger … to say, something, so bold …”
Said San-san, tearing up. She then stepped up to me and bowed.
“Please, allow me … to stay by master Ginger’s side …”
“Yes, of course”
I gently took San-san in my embrace. After some time passed, we finally remembered that we’ve been ignoring the foreigner. Looking at him, he seemed to be uncomfortable, smiling a wry smile. I released San-san and bowed to him.
“I, I beg your pardon!”
“No, well … I’m sorry too. I thought I’d try doing that as a test, but I never expected that I’d be walking right into a love story like this”
A test? So I wasn’t wrong when I thought I was being scrutinized? Then from behind the young man, a pretty little girl appeared and entered the store.
“See? He’s an interesting lad, like Sebastian said, aye?”
“Definitely. There sure are all kinds of people in the world. For someone like this to be hidden in such a place. This is why I can never stop looking for people”
The young man took off his sandogasa. I’ve seen his face before … on the Royal Broadcast!!”
“Y, Your Highness!?”
The person here now was the young King of the country, His Highness Soma Kazuya, and the young girl next to him was the former Princess of Amidonia, Princess Roroa, whose engagement with His Highness was announced on the broadcast the other day! San-san and I hurriedly fell to our knees, but His Highness stopped us, saying, ‘I’ll have none of that!’
“I’m here clandestinely, after all. No need to be so formal. Yep … ‘clandestinely’. I always wanted to try saying that word”
“Um, Your Highness … what is your business here …”
Still with jumbled thoughts, I asked the question, and His Highness grinned.
“I heard about your reputation. You gave your slaves an education and sold them so that they could have the best circumstances possible, didn’t you? The capital’s slave traders are now copying what you did and began educating their slaves”
“Y, yeah …”
“… You don’t seem like you understood how big the implications of what you did here is”
Well, this kind of person is good, too, I suppose, his Highness nodded.
“By imparting skills on the socially disadvantaged you have improved their living situations. As a result, slaves became freed from slavery. This is something that Lady Maria and I at the top couldn’t have done even if we wanted to, you know, yet you, a man on the field, managed to pull it off”
“Not at all … I was only … desperately, trying to protect the people close to me …”
“And a person who managed to do that is exactly the kind I wanted”
His Highness then put both his hands on the counter.
“I am now planning to nationalize the domestic slave trade. Slave traders will be civil servants, and I will establish proper examinations. That will make it easier to manage. Beyond that, I wanted to have work training to impart skills on slaves so they won’t simply be menial labor. At the same time, I wanted to set up an Employment Service Center to prevent people from becoming slaves”
“That is …”
“Yes. The exact thing that you’ve been doing, the country will now do”
That is amazing! That means a lot of people like San-san will be saved. His highness then offered me his hand.
“And I want to appoint you as the first generation chief of the work training office”
“Yes, you, who thought up and actually put it into practice. You will be the most appropriate man for this. I’ll give the money in the pouch earlier as your reserve fund. Free the girl with it. Do you think you two could do the job?”
I looked towards San-san. San-san nodded with a smile on her face, and the words came back to me.
“‘The lull will pass, the currents will suddenly change. So keep at it and never give up, wait for the chance and don’t miss it, catch it when it passes by‘”
… yes, that’s right. San-san, grandpa. This is that chance. I nodded back to San-san and took the hand His Highness offered.
“I’ll do it! Your Highness, please let me do it!”