= ”false ”>

I’m told it’s even more noticeable if I walk through the backstreets.
Some work as carriers in the dungeon, but only a fraction of them manage to find such work.

“So what should be done about those two?”

Asks Mia, who is standing behind me all of a sudden.
Hikari and Sera aren’t here, so I guess she returned on her own.

“There’s nothing that can be done.
We’re not wealthy enough to take them in or support them.
All we can do is see if the feudal lord or nobles do something about it.”

Even if he gave them leftovers, it’s not like he can do that every single day.
And once they get a taste for it, they’ll be here asking for more all the time.

It sounds like he feels guilty, even though it’s not really his fault.
I sense that he wishes he could help.

I guess Mia is picking up on that too, because she apologizes for her harsh tone earlier.

“What do you want to do, Mia?”


I’m sure she wants to help.
It’s clear as day, but she knows she can’t help everyone on her own.
Even if she did something for the two in front of us, there are many more in the same situation.

Mia bites her lip hard out of frustration.
It looks like it hurts.

“What’s wrong, master?”

Hikari and Sera are back too.
It looks like they bought soup.
Both have bowls in her hands, with steam rising from them.

I take one from each, and turn to Mia.

“Mia, what do you want to do?”

“I want to reach out to them if I can.”

“…Then take these.”

I hand her the soup and tell her to go.

Hikari looks confused, and then notices the two girls.
Sera also notices them, but doesn’t say anything.
It’s not like she doesn’t feel anything, it’s probably more like she’s holding her tongue because she’s a slave.

“Are you sure about that, young man?”

“I don’t know, but I can’t pretend I don’t see them.
And it’s fine, it’s just two.”

“I thought you were going to say ‘just leave it to me’ or something like that.”

“I’m just a poor merchant.
Oh, and give me two more.”

I ask for two more skewers, and he says these ones are on the house.
Who are you to talk, old man?

I turn around to see Hikari bringing one girl… Along with another little girl.

“I can give you a job.
Do you want to work? If you do, I can provide you with a place to live and hot meals.”

I feel shady, like I’m about to kidnap them or something.
Like I’m luring them with the meat in the skewers.
They look wary, maybe because I look extra suspicious with the mask on.

They look back and forth between Mia and the skewers, and after Mia smiles, they hesitantly take the meat.

They immediately dig into them and eat them frantically.
It actually looks kind of dangerous, like they’re going to start choking at any moment.

“So, what do you intend to do, master?”

Asks Sera.

“Rent a house and have them take care of it… Can they do it?”

They’re smaller than Hikari.

“Depends on if they’re up for it.
They’re struggling to survive, so I’m sure they’ll give it their all towards anything.”

I look at Sera, and she gets embarrassed and turns away for some reason.
Is she speaking from experience?


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