385 Entry Check
Naturally they took us for an inspection at the gate. We were brought to a spacious interrogation room.
The ladies were taken to another room, probably exclusive for women? If they blurt something out and get themselves arrested, that's that then I'm cutting my ties.
The underling got searched too. By a super scary looking old man guard, every nook and cranny of his body. At least it didn't turn into the classic development of that old man being into men or something.
"Don't you have to search me too? I don't have anything to do but wait here."
"We have received a directive regarding you directly from His Majesty the King..."
This angered me a bit. Don't tell me they've got an arrest warrant on me. Did that princess break her promise, that thought swirled for a moment.
But when I pressed on the detail, the gatekeeper said the directive was about how they are absolutely barred from prying on me which confused him too.
This must be the handiwork of that prime minister for them to find out that I've come back here in short order. I suppose the speed of which this got carried out reflects how effective my threat back then?
The ladies came back in the meantime. Underling was done too.
"If all four of you wish to enter the kingdom, each one has to pay one silver coin. It's free of charge if you have a pass or ID. But seeing as all of you refuse to divulge your identity, we have to take this precaution. On the other hand, we are willing to let you pass as you have not done anything wrong. As such, we have to charge you extra as a safety measure. You may pay if you find this term acceptable."
I thought that was well done. Didn't know they had proper regulations for this.
Was also surprised the ladies managed to keep to themselves.
Also, this gatekeeper is probably only this polite thanks to my Second Class Pass.
"So hey, I'll be these ladies' guarantor, can't you lower that fee? I won't ask you to make it free, just the normal amount is fine. Also, this man is that lady's slave. He's safe, can't you lower the fee for him as well?"
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I pointed at the underling's collar to show him being Linda's slave.
They must have found out about it anyway during the search. But not the owner.
"...I have to confirm it first. Do you mind waiting a bit?"
The gatekeeper hesitated for a moment before replying. I nodded.
He then left the interrogation room.
Silence passed as we waited. Nobody said anything.
"...Um? I won't ask about your identity, but can you at least tell me how come you get this kind of treatment?"
Linda sounded perplexed at the unusual treatment given to us.
She must have connected it being due to me. She couldn't contain her curiosity and asked.
"There's a lot of things in this world better left unsaid. Think of this as one such things."
I grinned suggestively. I was just pulling her leg but Linda took it differently it seemed.
Her face gradually went pale before lapsing into silence. It might have finally sunk in with her the kind of mess she's been dragged into.
As Linda quieted down, the door quietly opened followed by the gatekeeper coming in.
"You are exempt from entry fee. You may now pass... Well then, ahem. Welcome to the kingdom."