Was she surprised by my sudden touch?Frillite opened her eyes wide.
Because of her cool personality, she always had an expression that was hard to see through, so even I was curious.
‘Is it that surprising?’
Can’t I even do a little shoulder-to-shoulder with a fellow Hero? Ouch, isn’t that a little too harsh?
“Friend..? Is this person Frillite-sama’s close friend?”
The commander of the border guards, who had a hardened expression on his face, asked Frillite.
Frillite didn’t give him a glance.
She looked at me with puzzlement reflecting in her eyes and opened her mouth.
“Haha! You sure are one of a kind.
Have you even forgotten my name? It’s James.
She gave me a strange look for a moment as I interrupted her hastily and came up with a pseudonym.
But soon she nodded her head lightly as if she understood something.
“Yeah, long time no see, James.
What did you come here for?”
“My goodness, don’t ask.
I have been through a lot.
It will take quite a long time to talk about all that here.
Let’s chat over drinks later.
Rather, there’s something more interesting I want to talk to you about…”
I deliberately dragged at the end of my tone and took a glance on the guard commander’s face.
Unsurprisingly, he was rigidly shaking his head with a pale blue complexion.
In his desperate eyes, I could feel his willingness to restore everything to its original state if I let him go for this once.
It’s too late, bud.
I kindly grinned at him and explained to Frillite about my suspicion of embezzlement from the part of this greedy sucker.
As the story progressed, Frillite’s expression changed minimally from time to time.
When the explanation got over, she looked at the carts, the orcs, and the commander of the border guards and opened her mouth.
“Commander, what I heard, is that true?”
Frillite’s voice was innately a little less shriller than that of ordinary women.
Now that voice was deeply boiling in subdued anger.
It was not a surprise that not only the commander of the guards, but also the other guards tensed up.
Swallowing his saliva, the commander of the guards began to pretend to be subservient.
“No, that’s not true, Frillite-sama.
There seems to be some misunderstanding.”
“Misunderstanding? What you mean to say is that Cl… hm, my friend lied to me?”
“No, not that…”
“Hey there, Mr.
Frillite didn’t even spare a glance to the guard commander and called Lugar, who was near the carts.
Lugar pointed at himself.
“Are you calling me?”
“It doesn’t matter, whichever orc can speak the Imperial language, come over here.”
Lugar frowned at the tone that was close to a command.
After all, he is also the head of an orc tribe.
It doesn’t feel pleasant to be ordered by a unknown human.
“Brother, we just have some questions to ask.
Give us a minute.”
After hearing my words, Lugar relaxed his expression and walked over to our side.
On the other hand, Frillite narrowed her brow.
“The orc you called and I are sworn brothers.”
“…what the hell happened? How did you became brothers with an orc?”
“Shh, I’ll tell you later.
Now is not the time.”
I pointed at Lugar, who was approaching us, gesturing with my chin.
To that, Frillite sighed deeply and muttered.
“I have too many questions to ask.”
Lugar asked Frillite, looking at her.
“Why did you call me, human?”
“I have some things to ask.
You gave the guard commander 500,000 gold and demanded food supplies worth the price.
Am I right?”
“And the guard commander gave you seven carts of grain and seventeen cattles in return for 500,000 gold.
Is that correct?”
The commander of the guards tried to intervene, but Lugar responded quickly.
“So, is the food supplies worth 500,000 gold?”
“That’s what I heard.”
“Okay, thank you for answering my questions.
You may return to your position.”
Lugar’s eyebrows twitched slightly, it looked as if he was going to unfurl the axe tied to his belt the next moment, but fortunately he went back to his tribesmen without saying an extra word.
He’s not a stupid orc either, so he probably got a good grasp of what was happening.
“Do you have anything more to say, Commander?”
Frillite’s frigid cold eyes were shot at the commander of the guards.
The commander trembled like a prey eyed by a predator.
“But, that, I…”
“As the commander knows, there is only one reason the Empire sells food supplies to the orcs.
That is to prevent starving orcs from crossing the border and plundering the people of the Empire.”
Frillite took a step towards the guard commander.
Naturally, I relaxed my arm, and she looked down coldly at the commander, who bent down on his knees.
“However, you, an officer of the Empire, broke the strict national laws of the Empire in order to satisfy your personal self-interest.
Your illegal actions could have put the people of the Empire at risk.
Do you admit?”
“Oh, no, no! I never did.
Today was just a mistake…”
“If you can’t admit our crimes on your own, I will make you.
Guards! Arrest this man right now!”
The two guards, who were patrolling, at Frilite’s call, came to their senses and came running towards us and grabbed the guard commander by his arms.
“Uh, h-huh?? Hey, you guys! What are you doing!?”
“I’m sorry, sir.
We have to follow the Hero’s orders.”
“No, these guys… that, Hero-sama.
Calm down for a moment and please listen to me…”
“Where’s the vice-commander?”
“Yes? Y, Yes! W, here madam!”
Maybe, because he was worried that he will be implicated in this too, the face of the vice-commander of the guards who was called up was death pale.
However, Frillite did not hold him accountable.
“The guard commander is to be brought to trial in accordance to the laws of the Empire, for he refuses to admit his mistakes.
And the trial should be a thorough and fair one under the name of Perdiac Ducal family.
Do you understand?”
“Yes, yes, of course!”
“It’s good that you do.
During the trial, the vacant position of commander of the border guards will be temporarily filled by you.
And if the guard commander is convicted guilty, the position of guard commander will be taken over by you.”
The eyes of the vice-commander of the guards widened.
He must have thought that he would be held accountable along with the guard commander, but he was surprised to hear Frillite’s words that came out to be way different from what he had expected.
If the commander of the guards was convicted guilty, there’s no way he will be left unpunished, so it’s tantamount to saying that he, the vice-commander will be the one to fill this empty position.
The face of the vice-commander, who understood the hidden meaning, gradually began to fill up with joy.
On the other hand, the guard commander’s face was cramped with despair.
It’s unfair! Unfair! I’m not the only one who takes the money! That guy, that guy a-and that guy too, they did it too!”
“If we knock down the bookshelf inside the guard commander’s office, there is a hidden safe.
All the property that the commander has embezzled is hidden there.”
It was the moment when the vice-commander of the guards pointed his finger at the guard commander.
And going with the flow, the vice-commander blew up the position of the safe at a speed that could be considered almost simultaneous.
Operation Pitfall The Teammates, the last move of the guard commander, also failed.
In the end, the commander of the guards screamed horribly as he was dragged away by the guards.
Frillite then told the new interim guard commander what he had to do.
—confiscate the property embezzled by the former guard commander.
—provide testimony at trial.
—provision of the food supplies to commensurate with the amount prepared by the orcs, etc.
While she was explaining, I walked up to Lugar and explained what had happened so far.
After hearing the story, Lugar promised to hide from his tribe about the misappropriation done by the Empire’s officer.
If he tells others, the orcs’ animosity towards the humans will only increase, and then the future food trade may become more difficult.
What did the chief’s brother say?
– Some human did an error, brought less food.
My brother said that if we wait for a little while longer, they will bring us four times the amount we just got.
– F, Four times?! Chief! That, isn’t our tribe rich now?!
– Even if we are not rich, we might be able to live quite decently.
– Wow, wow! Let’s go back and have a banquet right away! It will be a bigger banquet than ever before!
– What banquet? No matter how much food we have, if we waste it like that, it will be depleted soon.
These will be saved.
– What?! Chief, I didn’t see you that way, when was it that you became like a miser orc?
– Your meat will be confiscated for the next month.
– Chief is a great warrior.
– Chief…? Say something…
Seeing them so innocently happy, it seems like I took the right decision.
There will be no more scams in the future, so it’ll be fine.
It was when I was eagerly looking forward to my journey.
Presumably she had finished talking with the temporary guard commander, Frillite called me over.
I approached her.
“Are you done with your business over there?”
“I guess so?”
“Where? To a nearby town.”
“…you want to go together?”
Frillite narrowed her eyes.
“…are you planning to run away again like last time?”
“Run? When did I… ah.”
The day that Frillite came to pay for our drinks at the Imperial Capital.
She asked me to meet again the next day for a talk when we both got a little sober.
But the very next day I ditched the capital as soon as I woke up.
“At that time, there was a situation.”
Even if I told the truth, Frillite’s narrowed eyes did not seem to believe.
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