Before deciding whether or not to give the order, I go to the criminal slave to ask him why he left the meat.
When I go outside, I see the man staring at the plate in front of him, still in the same condition as when I had stolen a glimpse of him through the second window.
Despite his stern appearance, he reminds me of a young child, and I feel my fear of the man fade away.
Well, there is no use for me to stare at him here, so I go up to him and talk to him.
The guy looks up in response to my voice, but as soon as he recognizes me, he gets out of his seat.
"Whoa!? I don't give orders! I won't do anything! Please calm down!"
I'm so scared that I throw my hands above my head to show that I don't mean any harm, and I say a bunch of words like that while sitting up on my haunches.
"I, you, won't, hurt, chair, sit down, let's talk."
I was so nervous that I sounded like a caveman talking, but I just sat down on the seat across from him and the man sat back down in his chair fearfully.
I don't know how to start a conversation at a time like this.
And it was stupid of me to try to start a conversation without any preparation, even though I'm a poor communicator.
"Ah, it's a good day, isn't it? The weather is― it's cloudy, yes."
No such thing as a good day in front of a criminal slave.
And the next thing I know, I'm talking about the weather.
It was stupid of me to think of putting in a preamble or a natural flow.
Before digging a grave by doing something I'm not used to, let's get straight to the point.
"Then, I'm going to ask you directly, do you hate meat?"
No answer, well, I knew that.
There was no way a man who had killed a noble and his servants would answer a simple question without an order from the noble.
But, I couldn't think of any other solution as long as I couldn't find out the reason, so I was thinking that I had no choice but to give him an order as a contractor, knowing that I would be hated by him.
However, the man who had been keeping silence slowly shook his head from side to side.
"What? Does that mean you don't like meat?"
I asked him again, and he shook his head.
He seems to be willing to answer my question, though he is not willing to talk.
But okay, if it means he doesn't hate meat, then I'm relieved―
"No, it's not good!"
I almost felt relieved, but then I was asked why he left the meat yesterday.
"Well, by the way, what did you left the meat today? And is it okay if it was something other than meat?"
When I ask this, the man lifts up a deep plate that was supposed to contain soup and shows me its contents.
The soup and other ingredients such as vegetables were still there, but only the meat was left at the bottom of the plate.
"You don't eat meat even though you don't dislike it? Oh, is it because of religious reasons or something?"
I know little about religion in this world, but I thought I might have done something wrong if that was the case, but he shook his head and denied it.
"Hmm... Why then?"
I asked him, but he remained silent and did not seem to open his mouth.
It seemed that the question had to be one that could be answered with a "yes" or "no" answer.
The point is, I have to ask the question in the same way as the situation puzzle in the horizontal thinking quiz, and guess the answer from the answer to arrive at the answer.
"Is there anything you can't eat except meat?"
"If meat is the only thing you can't eat, then you can't tell me if you are allergic to... Well, let's see, does eating meat make you feel sick?"
"You get sick, you mean like a rash or something?"
"No, then, is it a physical problem?"
"Hmm, so it's more of a mental illness, or is it just that you can't eat? Are you okay with looking at them?"
"Well, you're not so good at it, but you don't mind at least looking at it, I see... yes."
Noooo, I don't get itttt!
I don't understand how eating meat can make him mentally unwell.
I can understand if it's because he doesn't like raw smell that he feels sick when he eats it, but he says he doesn't dislike meat, and from the pause at the last question, I guess he has a little trouble seeing it, but I wonder if it's because he can't accept it physiologically or something.
But if that's the case, it seems to be an affirmative answer to the question whether he dislikes it or not, so he doesn't dislike it but he can't accept it physiologically? What does that mean?
I guess I haven't asked enough questions yet, so let's change the question a little.
"From your reaction earlier, it seems that you have a little bit of a problem with looking at meat, but is it only if it looks like meat? For example, are you okay with looking at dead animals?"
"Not even animal corpses?"
If he can't look at dead animals, does that mean he doesn't really want to hunt?
Let's put hunting aside for the moment and move on to the next question.
"Well, do you think you can eat it if you don't know it's meat? For example, minced and mixed with other ingredients to hide it."
"――! (Boom, boom, boom!)"
What? That was a very strong rejection.
"Does that mean even if it's hidden, it's not good?"
"Hmm? So you don't like minced meat?"
Apparently, mincing is not good, so I wonder why he is making mince by crushing animal body parts, but let's put that aside for the time being.
But whatever it may look like, the way he is trying to convey his intention by shaking his head desperately is kind of cute.
I wonder if it might be an aristocrat, but it doesn't mean that he doesn't dislike me?
"Um, do you perhaps not dislike me?"
There was a meaningful pause, wasn't there?
No one would answer "I don't like you" when asked such a question, and no one would have such a clear feeling of liking or disliking to a person whom he/she has almost met for the first time.
I was wrong in the way I asked the question, and I should have chosen the question in such a way that the other person can easily answer honestly.
"So, do you like to communicate with people in this way?"
"Well, do you hate to talk?"
"Hmm? Then why don't you talk now?"
The pure question spilled out of my mouth, but I continued to ask the question, because I knew that I would not get an answer unless it was a yes-or-no question.
"Well, do you mind if I talk to you?"
Good, I would have been a little shocked if he said he didn't want to talk with me because of me.
"Do you prefer to talk with me?"
Oh, no, I'm about to cry because I'm so happy... I mean, this can't be right.
"Are you saying you can't talk?"
I didn't expect him to be unable to speak in the first place when I thought he was stubbornly refusing to speak even though he answered my questions.
"Is it because of your injury or something?"
"If it's not an injury, maybe it's a mental problem too?"
The fact that he neither confirms nor denies the answer suggests that he doesn't really know what I'm talking about.
Well, there seems to be some kind of unavoidable situation, including the fact that he can't eat meat, but I don't think I'll be able to reach the answer anytime soon.
But instead, I have an idea.
"Okay, I'm sorry to take up your time, but you can leave the meat as it is, since I'll tell Diana."
I guess it's not right to force him to eat it.
If it was just a matter of likes and dislikes, I would have ordered him to eat it, but if there was some complicated reason, it was a different story.
If he can't talk, I'll have to intervene and do something about it.
I turn my heel back to the mansion to persuade Diana, feeling more motivated than ever.
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