As for trust…it wasn’t something you gained overnight–and Beretta had gained more than enough of Ramiris’s trust over the last few decades.
It just so happened that she had been susceptible to Veldora’s tricks on this occasion.
Had it only been Beretta and Ramiris here, Beretta would not have had as hard a time.
But Veldora was here too.
And that was the biggest reason for Beretta’s misfortune.
Beretta watched as Ramiris hungrily stuffed the okonomiyaki into her mouth. He sighed once again.
Then he switched gears and talked to her.
“Lord Ramiris. Please calm down and listen to me. If you continue with this, you will become an accomplice to Veldora’s crimes.”
Ramiris froze in surprise.
Beretta tried to continue on with his warning, but…
“Hehehe. Ramiris, don’t you worry. You already are an accomplice!”
“You can’t make any excuses now that you have taken a bite of the okonomiyaki. We must now walk on the same bloody road!!”
Veldora said with a laugh.
“Lord Veldora, this is no time to laugh. Please stop involving Lord Ramiris in such things.”
“Kaa-ahahahaha! Don’t worry, Beretta. I am not stupid. I have this all thought out.”
I wished you wouldn’t think of so many things, thought Beretta.
He was sure that whatever it was that Veldora was thinking, it would not be good.
Still, Veldora did not listen.
He just laughed, ‘Ka-hahahaha!’ and continued to cook his okonomiyaki and trade them in for parts that the children had brought.
“–Hey, you. What are you doing!!”
Just then, Sharma, who had finally caught up with Ramiris and Beretta, looked at Veldora and shouted.
Next to her, Rindo stood with a shocked expression as he looked at the grill.
Hey, hey. Said Zaza as he sighed.
Beretta knew all too well what they were feeling, but he did not know what to do.
However, Veldora did not look like he cared at all…
“Oh! Do you want some too? I intend to stay here for a while, so there is no need to act so reservedly!”
He said with a blinding smile.
“Now, now wait a minute. What is this you are giving the children…!?”
“Ho-how outrageous. It was one thing for us to have to do it, but to force children to have to suffer as well…?”
Sharma and the others were furious.
However, just like he had been with Beretta a moment ago, Veldora just laughed without a hint of remorse.
“I don’t see any problem. From what I hear, this ‘city’ has natural ingredients, no?”
“–That is only a rumor. We do not know about what happens inside of the city. However, we have heard stories when we were children…”
“But, well, unlike the food production plants outside of the city, the security seems to be very tight there. It would not be too surprising if they had ‘real’ ingredients that were not synthetic.”
Hmm. Veldora nodded.
This enemy that the resistance fought–the Mechanized Empire of Almsbine–he had heard much of them during their last conversation.
But Veldora did not think of such difficult matters such as, which of the two sides was in the right.
He just heard the fact of it and accepted it.
Enemies should be crushed, but this Empire wasn’t exactly an enemy to Veldora.
But they weren’t allies either.
If there was food there, then they should share it with the resistance. That was the idea that flashed in Veldora’s mind. And he did not stop to consider their reasons for a second.
In any case, it was pointless to even expect Veldora to care about their circumstances.
“Is that not right? So we should just take it by force.”
“Are you stupid!?”
Zaza and Sharma shouted at the same time.
Just like the most recent incident, they could attack a food production plant that had the weakest security and still lose men.
As for attacking the ‘city’ itself with all of its tight security, it was practically suicide.
“Ka-hahahaha! What a joke. You cannot think like that and then expect the children to have hope, can you?”
Veldora said as he looked at the young faces that surrounded him.
Then he turned serious and continued.
“I have an idea. I want to show these children that the world is full of wonderful things. This food that changes flavor is not bad in itself, but it is not enough to satisfy the heart. You have to know the heights and then want it. I believe that it is that pursuit that is noble!”
“That will only make the Empire furious. In a way, they overlook us. But they will start showing their true power if we push any further.”
“Indeed. While we call ourselves the resistance, we do not really have the power to overthrow the Empire. Even if we could unite all of the districts, it would still not be enough to take one city…”
The three of them rejected Veldora’s words.
And they were right, judging by the known facts.
Even if the resistance went out in full force, they would be easily rounded up by the city’s defense troops.
They had worked so hard up until now so that did not happen, so it was no wonder that they didn’t agree with Veldora.
“Soft!! You’re too soft! Wasn’t there once a time of prosperity? Don’t you want to get that back? Do you really want these children to have to walk down that same road of despair as you!?”
They all became quiet at this argument, which seemed serious at a glance.
Veldora himself thought that he had said something rather good, and he looked smug.
As he looked around with a satisfied face, Ramiris asked him hesitantly.
“Bu-but, master. This okonomiyaki is delicious, and the children are happy. But what will you do if they don’t have this kind of food in the city? They might know what true despair is then, you know? Beretta is right. I don’t want to get involved and then get in trouble over it…”
Ramiris did not know what to do and her eyes constantly shifted around.
She was afraid that doing something without permission now would just make a bigger mess.
Beretta’s words had made her realize that she was getting too involved.
And while Ramiris was usually the carefree type, this was finally taking things a little too far.
It was here that Veldora suddenly smiled and laughed.