Rest Assured

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"So that is what happened..." Aladdin said sympathetically, feeling sad for Alibaba.

'And having the palace treasury robbed probably hastened the depletion of this country's financial resources...' Hope thought with a frown. It must have been hard on Alibaba, bearing the burden of all this.

"Yeah..." Alibaba said glumly. "Then, next morning... 'The king has passed away.' Those were the first words I heard when I woke up. The cause of death was his illness, but the previous night's incident had certainly hastened its progression. I felt like I'd caused the death of the king..." Hope lowered her head sadly. She knew how that felt. Even Faith's expression softened when he had to pause for a moment. "Because I was scared, I fled Balbadd on that very day. And with that, the story of my time in Balbadd ends."

"I see... so that's how it is..." Sinbad mused quietly to himself with his ear on the end of the fluted cup that he had pressed to the wall to aid him in his successful attempt to listen in on the conversation taking place in the room on the other side. Having followed the twins when they went to check on Aladdin, he had managed to hear the whole conversation from beginning to end while Masrur kept guard. "I've heard that the previous king had an illegitimate child... so this is what happened."

"Hey, Sin. You know eavesdropping on another's conversation is a bad habit, right?" Ja'far scolded him in a low voice with a frown, even though he was kneeling down right beside the king with his own cup pressed to the wall.

"There's no other way," Sinbad said, keeping his voice to a whisper. "If I was to enter the room, 'Wonder Man Alibaba' would refuse to talk. And thanks to this, we were able to discover something extraordinary about those twins..." He never would have suspected they were from another world! It was inconceivable. He had seen and encountered many mysterious things in his time, but never anything like this... How could such a thing be possible? Even now he had trouble believing it. However, it did help explain a few things... He was also impressed that Hope had managed to escape capture by the Kou Empire alone without having to use her djinn. "Anyway, keep it down," he concluded, shushing his aide when Alibaba started to talk again.

"I headed south after I left Balbadd, and earned a small living at the city near the oasis," the runaway prince continued to explain. "I was happy passing my days without being bound. It was also around that time that I started to plan for 'dungeon diving', which I had wanted to do for a long time. I thought that maybe if I entered a dungeon and got hold of some treasure, I could make amends... Soon after that, I met you, Aladdin and Faith."

"..." Aladdin was quiet, waiting patiently for him to continue. But not Faith.

"Yeah, and we all know how that turned out," she chimed in with a smirk.

"After that you captured the 7th dungeon..." Morgiana said. "But, I still don't understand... If Cassim had betrayed you, then why did you still join his 'Fog Troupe'?"

"Seriously! If it was me, I would've kicked his ass, not join his club," Faith said dubiously, crossing her arms. Hope nodded in agreement, wondering if something else had happened. Alibaba looked down with a serious expression on his face.

"... Since I'd already captured a dungeon," he said, picking up where he left off, "I decided to return to Balbadd. I wanted to settle something before taking that first step into my new life, and carry out my promise with Aladdin... I wanted to return to the palace and reveal the truth about that incident. However... when I got here, I was appalled by the condition of Balbadd. You won't be able to tell from here, but the condition of Balbadd near the borders is too horrible to even look at. Entire streets filled with people suffering from hunger... What exactly had happened to this country? Then, I heard a rumor from someone. That there was a group of people who was actively opposing the country's military... and that they were actually... Cassim's 'Fog Troupe'!" To say that he was shocked would be an understatement. "I had kept myself from thinking about Cassim all this time. I didn't even want to think about the fact that someone who was as close as him had actually deceived me. But, after hearing that rumor, I decided that if I wanted to settle things, I'd have to find Cassim first! A rogue nearby immediately brought me to Cassim when I paid him..."

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