Just around that time, Gadillas and Restalion got permission to take out the magic tool. They took it with them, then returned to the dungeon with the guard knight who followed them.
Restalion, who would normally be a little behind him as an escort, was proudly walking next to Gadillas. But Gadillas didn’t care at all.
“Did you stop pretending?”
He seemed to have the consciousness of an escort as he looked sharply at the surroundings even with those words. Gadillas understood his intentions but didn’t answer, only letting his eyes settle on Restalion.
“After the appearance of the Divine Beast, no, after you became king, the country had begun to move rapidly. The difference was clear because the stagnation so far has been severe.”
“…what do you want to say?”
“If you weren’t pretending, you would have been more confused. Did you not want to disappoint the Divine Beast’s expectations?”
“You’re good at not showing your expressions other than to a limited number of vassals.”
Gadillas frowned at that teasing voice. His body began to emit a moody air, and the guard knight behind them was flustered, but Restalion didn’t move.
“Ever since that day, I noticed that you were pretending. And also the reason why. If you weren’t pretending, you might not have been alive until now.”
“But it’s also true that you repel many people even now.”
“Above all, it was a failure to get Latias up and running.”
“…it’s not my fault that my name is similar to him.”
Latias is also a candidate, the half-brother of Gadillas and Restalion. And Gadillas has long been hostile to Latias because of their similar-sounding names.
Gadillas and Latias were born two days apart, and although they had different mothers, they were given similar names for some reason. Because of that, Gadillas and Latias had been compared for a long time.
When he was young, Gadillas was very obedient. As a candidate for the next king, his excellence was particularly noticeable and made others vigilant. Latias wasn’t that bad, but he’s still inferior to Gadillas.
From an early age, Latias grew up being asked why he couldn’t do it as well as Gadillas, so he developed a strong complex against him.
After Gadillas’ mother died, Gadillas became lethargic and diminished in ability. Since it was discovered that her mother was a witch, despise filled the eyes of the people around him, and the expectations and vigilance went away.
It seemed like the people around him thought that Gadillas, who was still young, was crushed by what happened to his mother. But it seemed like Restalion wasn’t deceived.
That’s right. Gadillas intentionally hid his abilities.
As a result, the number of people trying to assassinate the previously thriving Gadillas sharply dropped. It never went to zero, but it had decreased considerably.
Latias seemed to think that he had surpassed Gadillas, and he grew up looking down on Gadillas, even neglecting to polish himself and falling into disrepair. And in front of Latias, who was full of confidence, Gadillas was chosen by Kuuga. What he thought at that time…there’s no need to think about it.
They hadn’t seen him since that time, but it’s easy to imagine that he’s aiming for Gadillas’ life.
“In the first place, an incompetent person wouldn’t have such a competent Prime Minister.”
“That was just Uros protecting me.”
“I think the people around you didn’t think so.”
Restalion didn’t think so.
He wanted to slap his mouth that didn’t know when to stop, but Gadillas managed to endure it when he remembered Kuuga’s evaluation of Restalion.
Restalion was confident in himself and that’s his usual attitude. He even thought he was suitable as the king, but it was Gadillas who was chosen. If he didn’t agree with that, his reason was not because Gadillas, who was said to have lost his ability, was selected.
No matter who was chosen, he wouldn’t deny the choice of the Divine Beast nor hold back his unconvinced feelings. This evaluation of Restalion was quite contradictory―― but it seemed he misinterpreted it.
Perhaps if the chosen one was really incompetent, Restalion wouldn’t admit it. This meant that Restalion was convinced of Gadillas’ abilities.
Although he had a high pride, he would admit to things he should admit to. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be adored by the knights.
Did Kuuga know that much, no, he couldn’t not know. So he accepted Restalion.
When he stared at Restalion’s face, the other man made a disgusted face.
“No, did you seriously proclaim yourself as one of the king’s vassals?”
“Quit the sarcasm!”
“Ah, no, sorry. I have no intention of doing that.”
Gadillas realized what he just said when he saw Restalion’s reaction, so Gadillas hurriedly apologized. Restalion saw such a Gadillas and distorted his face.
“…I think you’re being too careful. You don’t have to be as tense as you used to…the influence of the Divine Beast is terrifying.”
Unable to argue, Gadillas gently diverted his gaze from Restalion.
“Also, you love the Divine Beast too much.”
“You keep trying to touch him when you have the chance, and there are times when the Divine Beast looked like a mother with a problem child.”
Gadillas groaned…but he couldn’t argue.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
When Gadillas came back, he saw Kuuga’s cheeks were slightly red, and Uros with a raised brow as if he saw something interesting.
“Did something happen?”
When Kuuga looked at Gadillas awkwardly, Gadillas and Restalion looked at him in confusion. Both were empty handed. When he thought about it and looked closely, he saw the guard knight behind them holding the magic tool with both hands.
Seeing that the guard knight’s hands were occupied, he wanted to give his opinion for a moment, but then realized that the escort here was Restalion, so he stopped. If he looked at Restalion’s body, it could be seen that he’s more than appropriate for the job.
“No, we just talked a little about the future.”
When he answered Gadillas’ question with part of the truth, he got a teasing look from Uros, but he ignored it.
Gadillas looked at Kuuga and Uros’ interaction a little strangely, but muttered, “okay” before turning his gaze to the prison cells. He realized that he should ask Uros later, since he couldn’t ask Kuuga, who didn’t want to talk about it.
“Then, let’s release them.”
The others made an angry face when Gadillas opened the prison doors with a natural expression. Like it’s only a matter of course.
Gadillas, who was pushed away by the guard knights and Restalion, was made to stand next to Kuuga with a stern look. While Kuuga told Gadillas how he wanted them to be taught, Restalion began to remove the slavery magic in turns with the guard knight.
As he watched the situation, Gadillas’ hand suddenly touched Kuuga’s back. The hand went down and grabbed the tail loosely, then rubbed it.
Surprised, Kuuga looked at Gadillas but his eyes were on the prison area. He’s acting like he needed healing, but it’s more like a molestation. Should I be more careful? Kuuga was seriously worried.
“Oi, it’s over. Did we miss someone?”
It seemed like the releasing of slavery magic was over while he was being worried. Called out by Restalion, Kuuga turned his gaze to the prison.
He couldn’t see the spirit of darkness anymore. It seemed like everyone had been released properly.
“It should be fine.”
Restalion turned to the prison. Then knelt down on the spot, so that he could look them in the eye since they were sitting.
“When and who enslaved you?”
The man he asked was the man whom Kuuga first spoke to. Kuuga understood his intentions. That man was probably chosen because he seemed to be in the best condition.
The man glared at Restalion like he did with Kuuga. He seemed to have a strong hatred for those who cast the slave magic on himself, so he opened his mouth obediently while clicking his tongue.
“The interrogation officer.”
“What!? No way!”
“Hn-… certainly, he shouldn’t have cross-examined them alone. Ahh, can the guard knights grab the record clerks?”
“Wait! That’s not what my “no way” means! What’s the matter with you!”
Restalion shouted with the meaning of “you shouldn’t be doing that!” but Gadillas interpreted it as “the interrogator shouldn’t be alone when casting slavery magic on someone”.
Seeing the exchange between the two, Kuuga folded his arms and nodded while saying, “hmm”.
“Gadi basically thinks that people will betray him.”
Gadillas and Kuuga were side by side, and Restalion looked at them nodding and folding their arms in agreement.
“…no, don’t be proud of knowing that… then, did you think that I’ll betray you, too?”
“I don’t think so. Because you’re recommended by Kuuga.”
“That’s not it, Gadi. Restalion is that type that would declare “I betrayed you” when betraying someone, so he’s okay.”
“Ahh, is that so?”
“Eh, wai-, oi…”
“I guess I didn’t tell you that much. By the way, I think he will also tell you the reason for his betrayal.”
“Hoh. That’s fine then.”
“S-stop it! Don’t evaluate me…!”
“…what’s with these guys…”
When Restalion shouted those negative words, the man slightly became vigilant but when he saw the exchanges between Kuuga and the others, he dropped his shoulders as if he lost strength.
Uros was paralyzed at this scene where the topic derailed and didn’t go anywhere, while Kuuga and Gadillas silently watched over them.