"Mr. Nilsi, is there something troubling you?
The next day, Mr. Lan and I went to see Nilsi. I thought Mr. Ran would be a little more distant in his questioning, but instead he asked out of the blue.
Nilusi was sitting on a bench, looking up at the sky as if he was thinking about something, and Ran and I sat beside him.
What's ...... this all of a sudden?
Nilusi opened his mouth bluntly.
"It's because you're acting strange. We're all concerned about you.
"...... Mr. Nilsi, if you have a problem, I can help you.
I opened my mouth following Ran's words, and he sighed.
Did I meddle? Was I annoying him? I'm not sure what to say.
"...... Don't look at me like that. It's not that I'm sighing at Lerunda.
So why are you making that face?
Lan is ...... Why are you being so gushy? ......
Why? Because I'm curious and because I'm worried.
I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do it. I wonder if she was embarrassed by the fact that I was worried about her.
Nilsi, we are friends who live together in this village. It's only natural to be worried when one of us is in trouble, isn't it?
"You're right, Ran. ....... I want to help you, Nilshi.
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...... This village has calmed down a lot, hasn't it?
Yes, it has. Yes, it has.
...... At first I thought it would be a mess, but with the help of the elves and Lan and the others, the village is coming along. We're getting new people, and the last time we had a genie back.
"Yes. That's good.
Yeah. Lerunda's right, it's a good thing. ...... It's just that now that I'm finally settled and have this new life in place, I can't help but think about it.
Nilusi broke off with a pained expression. Then he said.
I'm wondering what's going on with those people who were captured by the humans.
Nilsi's village was attacked by humans. And Nilsi and the others managed to escape. And Athos died. We fled because we were in danger of being attacked again by the Migga kingdom.
We fled, and here I am, settled. But while I'm living in peace, I'm sure they're having a hard time. I've been thinking about them while I've been on the run, meeting elves, killing demons, settling my village in a new land, but lately, as my village has settled down, I've been thinking about them more and more.
People I've never met, the cat beastmen. The cat-beastmen I've never met, the ones who are now captured and enslaved. How horrible it would be if someone I cared about, like Gaius or Ran, were deprived of their freedom and had to go through that. How sad it would be.
I didn't know what to say in response to Nilshi's words.
Those who are slaves, trapped in the grip of a huge entity called a country.
To be honest, I don't understand what it means to be a slave. It makes me sad that there is such a thing as slavery when there is a possibility that we can communicate and understand each other. I couldn't simply say, "Let's get it back. I was eleven years old, and I knew it would be difficult.
"...... I know I don't have the strength to fight against my country. I know it's not a good idea to ask for help, even if the village is on the right track. In fact, I know that now that the village is doing well, it's better to try to make it grow and not put effort into anything else. --But even though I know that in my head, I still want to go and help.
Nilsi clenched her fists as she said she wanted to help.
I couldn't find the right words to say to her. I wanted to help Nilsi, and I was the one who asked her. What should I say? What would be the best thing to say? I couldn't figure it out.
While I was hesitating, Ran-san opened her mouth. She wasn't as upset as I was. Mr. Ran continued in a quiet tone.
"You want to help the cat beasts. You want to help the cat-beasts. If you want to free the enslaved beings, you can buy them with money. If you're going to use force, you might as well force their release.
What's with the surprised look on your face? I'm only thinking about it because you said you wanted to help. What can I do to help him?
"...... Aren't you angry?
Why would I be angry?
...... that you're saying this when you're doing so well in your new place and it's so important now. I thought that would be the end of it, that it would be impossible.
You have to think about it and decide if it's impossible. If you've tried and tried and tried and tried and you can't do it, then maybe you can't help it, but I'm not going to say you can't do it before you try. You've been saying that since the moment you met it. You wanted to help if you could. Then I'll push you to do it as a friend. Of course. Back then, all we could do was run. We chose to flee and find a new place. But things are different now.
Nilshi and I both listened to Ran's words in silence.
We have more friends now. The new place has managed to get off the ground. It's true that it's important to know what's going to happen to this village. But if our friends are suffering, we can try to reduce their suffering. Whether or not we can really help is a decision to be made together, and we may choose not to help. But we can talk about what we can do to help, and we can take some action. So I won't dismiss your wish as impossible. You may have been afraid to talk to us about it because you thought that we would disapprove, but you can rely on your friends more. We are all friends living in the village together like this.
Ran-san said with straight eyes and straight words. Nilsi looked stunned and then burst into tears at his words.
I couldn't help but raise my voice in surprise, and Ms. Ran put her finger to her mouth and made a sighing gesture. I stroked Nilsi's head as she began to cry quietly. I also imitated Mr. Lan and stroked Nilsi's head. ...... I was slightly attracted to her ears, but I wouldn't touch them at a time like this.
After a while, Nilsi's tears stopped and she said, "...... Thanks," and looked away shyly.
---The Girl and the Strange Man 2
The girl went with the woman to talk to him. Then she found out what he was thinking.