As soon as I returned to Aricalen, Rodo hugged me.
I waited for a while but his hold didn’t loosen.
(The mission is roughly over, so we just have to go home, it should be fine now, right?)
As I rubbed my face against his chest, I found that the arm hugging me weakened and one hand stroked my head.
(I’ve finished my work, so it’s okay to be naughty right?)
All the injured have been healed and the criminals have been caught…
It’s now okay to be spoiled by Rodo.
…there are people around, but Rodo didn’t look like he’s letting me go.
King Aricalen didn’t say anything either.
If there’s anything else, he should discuss it with other countries.
I slowly hooked my arm around Rodo’s neck. Rodo understood just with that…and lightly lifted me.
His face came closer.
As I rubbed against his cheeks, he happily smiled.
Forcing such a cute Rodo to obey…those guys are crazy.
This world easily judged sins.
If the perpetrator was caught like this time, they’d be judged on the same day.
It’s almost impossible to spend a lifetime in prison like I just said.
Moreover, there’s no money paid to sinners.
In other words, they’d just starve to death if there’s no one to support them.
If a person was unable to work due to a limb defect after a battle, their spouse or family might take care of them.
However, it’s difficult for sinners to find such a supporter in this cold and harsh world.
Most people don’t want to get involved with sinners. Moreover, if the crime was confirmed, the death penalty would be meted out if it’s a felony, which cut off any familial relationship.
It seems like there’s also no warmth to be given to those who were exiled from the country.
That’s why I set the deadline as “five days”.
King Aricalen also said, “there’s no food to be given to sinners.”
If they’re put in prison, they’d have to be fed even with something inferior.
I suppose there’s no such thing as “wasted money” here.
“This time, we caused you a lot of trouble. I would like to apologize for taking your time to wipe out the fools in our country, not to mention healing the injured. The reward will be decided in consultation with the King of Marihect, will that be fine?”
King Aricalen has a high-handed attitude when we first met, but he didn’t have that atmosphere anymore.
For the time being, I live in Marihect, so it’s fine to throw that kind of thing to His Majesty, the Marihect King.
Rodo isn’t good at such political talks…or rather, he didn’t care, so if he thought it’s a hassle, he’d cut off ties with the whole country.
They live in Marihect now, but my parents-in-law seemed to have been from a different country a long time ago.
They didn’t intend to permanently live in Marihect, but mother-in-law just happened to get pregnant so they settled down here.
Once they settled down, it became a hassle to move, so it continued to this day.
And now, they’re saying they would go to wherever I wanted to go.
“Ko, let’s go home.”
We don’t have to stay in Aricalen anymore.
It might have become a war if the country itself was involved, but this time, it was caused by that Chancellor.
Roughly speaking, it’d be the responsibility of the country, but since the King directly apologized to me, I didn’t care this time.
We’re now going back to Marihect and to the castle to report, so I should talk to His Majesty at that time.
…I should have talked to him before returning, but at that time, I thought I have to report everything.
So I only told him how they’d be treated.
The ride home passed uneventfully.
Riding Sig with Rodo, I’m just in Rodo’s arms.
When I leaned against Rodo, he’d stroke my head with a happy face.
And the hug becomes stronger if I sneak up to spoil him.
According to Rodo, it’s not possible to subdue an Akinist with a subordinate collar.
I heard that it’s because they’re a race where neither magic nor physical attacks were effective, but that’s not absolute.
What if I could make something that would subordinate even an Akinist──?
Why is he not worried?
There are no “absolutes” in life.
You don’t know what’s going to happen even if you’re fine today.
It seems necessary to investigate the mechanism of the subordinate collar in detail.
…but I’ve never seen it in Marihect.
Did His Majesty abolish the use of collars?
Let’s ask that when we get home.
As soon as we arrived at Marihect, I was often called out.
Many were children who hadn’t been humanized yet.
To see animals speaking is a strange sight for me at all times.
“Ko! Welcome back!”
I’m glad they said welcome back so, in reply, I waved my hand.
…for some reason, they only talked to me.
Is it because Rodo doesn’t reply?
It takes courage to talk to people who don’t reply.
After passing Uriesto, which was adjacent to Eri, we entered Seidask.
The number of people was quite large because this is the castle town.
Kalzen also has a quieter image compared to Seidask.
As expected, is it easier for monsters to appear in places rich in nature?
The place where the Third Corps, which was said to be the most powerful, is stationed has its safety ensured even if they’re dispatched to other towns and countries. As expected, the Third Corps all have strong members.
“…Rodo? Are we not going to the castle?”
We passed the road heading to the castle, so I looked up in a hurry, but I just got a nod.
“What about the report?”
“? Isn’t it already over? There’s no need to anymore.”
Did you just decide that the report was over?
You’re too uninterested.
“I have something to talk to His Majesty.”
Rodo turned his face as if to say, “Is there still something?”
Is it a hassle to go to the castle?
Do you hate it that much?
Even when I looked at my parents-in-law for help, they had the same expression as Rodo.
I guess they didn’t even intend to go to report.
Looking at everyone in the Third Corps, they also have suspicious expressions.
Did they think that we didn’t need to report because I already talked to His Majesty?
…but I didn’t report earlier.
“Let’s go to the castle?”
But there’s something that can’t be put off, so I can’t just say, “Yes, you’re right.”
“…what do you want to talk about with His Majesty?”
“A lot of things.”
“…is it about the reward from Aricalen? It takes time for both countries to come to terms, you know?”
“I know that. I’m not talking about that.”
I don’t care about the reward.
It’s not like I’m troubled with money.
There’s something more important than that.
“I can go alone. …I might not be home for a while because I have something to investigate, but please wait.”
“Wait!! What do you mean by not going home!?”
I was held tightly before I could escape from his arms.
“As I said, I have something to investigate. I’d like to get information from His Majesty and investigate in detail. Maybe I’ll be staying at the Tower of Sarez for a while.”
I don’t know what jurisdiction the subordinate collar would be.
I think it’s under a magician’s authority because it blocks magic and suppresses actions.
“…isn’t it all over? Is there anything you’re still worried about?”
“Hn? It has nothing to do with Aricalen. Though they did motivate me to want to investigate.”
Rodo looked dissatisfied, perhaps not convinced.
I think he wanted us to go home and relax together.
I also want to do that if that would solve things.
…but if there’s an anxiety factor, I don’t think it’s too late to get rid of it.
“What I want to find out is about the subordinate collar. It doesn’t seem to work on Rodo, but it’s worth investigating. More powerful things might be made in the future. That possibility is not zero. So I want the means to unlock any collar.”
The possibility of doing that might not be high.
But I want to do as much as I can.
It’s too late to regret if Rodo had a collar in the future.
“I want to eliminate any harm against Rodo, even if only slightly. …for my sake.”
I don’t think I’ll forgive anyone who put Rodo in such a situation.
[Retaliation for attacks on your partner, especially for mates, is not a felony.] With the common sense of this world, I might do terrible things.
I won’t be able to forgive myself in that case and I think I’m already mentally abnormal.
Then, I should prevent such a future.
I should do my best to avoid such a future.
So I need to find out about the subordinate collar.
Considering Rodo, it seemed necessary to check the collar that seals magical power.
Because if I were in that situation, Rodo would kill his opponent.
I’ve heard before that he could “destroy half a country”.
…unlike me, Rodo didn’t seem mentally ill even if he killed someone.