Changed purple-haired to violet-haired.
3-3. At the Slave Market
Satou's here. There's this so called uncanny relationship, even though I didn't want to, we meet again.
It seems to be fate.
The slave market occupies around 200-300 meter in diameter of the square, bonfires are lighted every 20 meter away.
Just like in a festival, several slender pillar of woods stood, they're connected with string tied with innumerable thin metal plates which glitters from reflection of the lights from magic. If this wasn't a slave market, this fantastical feeling would have been perfect for dates...
A rope is stretched in the place that looks to be the center of the auction.
The slaves auction hasn't been started yet, but several musicians on the stage are playing a tune that feels obscene.
We don't enter the square, and just walk along the square's street while sightseeing it.
Dono? I don't know anyone who call me...
It was the slave trader whom we saved from the spider on the labyrinth, Nidoren-shi. Coming out from a small tent across the the slaves carriage, he's coming here. Girls, who are chained together, are lined up on top of the carriage.
"The slaves on that carriage are the exhibit for auction today. There are are those who have arithmetic and secretary skills among them, how about hiring one, Satou-dono? Since they are all properly educated, they're all virgins, but I can guarantee that no one will refuse for the night time."
Oops, rather than thinking the irony, I have other business.
"I'm sorry, but I must make our slaves here go through formal procedure first before thinking of new one..."
"Oya? Do ou want to sell them? If so, please do use our firm! If it's now, you can exchange for beautiful virgin slaves! How about it!"
He sure pushes hard. I don't have the slightest intention though.
...Not one bit, so please don't hold my sleeves while looking up so anxious. I brush Pochi's and Tama's head briskly. I can't see behind, but I can feel Liza being nervous.
"I've said this before, but I don't have any intention to sell them."
Yes, I do want to release them though.
Pochi and Tama relaxes their grip on the robe.
"Is that so, that's regrettable. Then what kind of procedures do you want? It's not about releasing the slaves, isn't it?"
"Since we're still on temporary contract, I thought of doing official one. Do you know the place where the procedure can be done?"
"If it's that then I can do it. Since I have a subordinate who have the [Contract] skill."
"Then, could you do it?"
We're invited inside Nidoren-shi's tent and offered chairs. He instruct a subordinate man to prepare for contract.
Since the document's content are already fixed, we only need to write the master and slaves name to complete.
"Then, please write your name here. The slaves name are not written, so please put their thumb marks using this ink."
I sign at the place the man directed. The fixed text's lines are [To whom the slaves belong],[Slaves can't injure their master],[Slaves follow their master's order],[Slaves are to maintain their own body], just 4 of those. It's like the three principles of robot, although the last two order are reversed.
When we finish writing the written contract, the contract ritual begins.
"■■■■■■■■■■■ ■■■ ■■■■ ■■■■■■■■ Contract!"
What did... he?! Is this magic?
After the last (Command Words) is uttered, the documents burnt and from the ashes a blue light wraps me and Liza in a halo then twinkles for 2,3 times and disappears.
When I look at the man's stat, he certainly has [Contract] on his skill column.
Maybe it's a skill that has only one magic?
>[Contract Skill Acquired]
Alright, let's try if this skill is usable later.
"With this, the slave contract is complete. If you wish, you can confirm the contract on the simplified Yamato stone on the auction center."
After the contract for the three is complete, I wanted to pay the fee, but it seemed that it's Nidoren-shi's authority, so he asked me to wait. Come to think of it, he came out when the first ritual begun. He seem to be back immediately, he sure is busy.
"Thank you, could I ask you something for a bit?"
"Yes, what would that be?"
"Is it rare for a person to release slaves?"
"Right, putting aside the general slaves who have their sentences time decided, I have never seen people who release lower slaves. I've heard story of people releasing slaves who have worked for years, but I have never seen it in person."
Is it that rare?
"It's possible to release them then?"
"Yes it's possible. Except for criminal or war criminal slaves. For those kinds, only state official or senior noble who are allowed to."
"For releasing, is it the same as the contract earlier?"
"That's right. I've done releasing general slaves several times before. With the [Contract] skill earlier, it's possible to annul the contract too."
Since we're here already, should I release the beastkin girls too now?
I can just employ them if they hope for it after the release.
"Master, it's presumptuous of me, but allow me to intrude on the conversation."
Liza who was lowering her head in silent while listening to us begins to talk, I wonder if Pochi and Tama were nervous with the ritual, they're sleeping while hugging Liza's legs.
"It's okay, what is it?"
"If it's no trouble for master, then please don't release us if possible."
She's saying slowly and clearly.
Are you an esper!
Or rather, why doesn't she want to be released? Isn't it better to be free?
"Certainly, in this earl's territory, Beastkin and Lizardkin can't exist unless they are slaves. If they're seen by the army then they would be exiled, there's also a high possibility of getting lynched to dead."
"Yes, furthermore, my tribe is no more, and just like you've heard back then, Pochi and Tama are in similar circumstance."
They can try to rely on their tribes, but for people who have no relatives, they will be treated lower than slaves.
I'm glad that Pochi and Tama are sleeping.
Seemingly to break the heavy atmosphere, Nidoren-shi brings 5 girls in.
The five of them are quite the foreign beauty. They are all wearing thin clothes stopping at the knee. Since it's quite thin, the breast area is transparent.
"Have you finished your contract? Please take a look at them for now."
"Before that, I'd like to pay the fee for the contracts if possible?"
Let's just quickly pay the fee and go home.
"No no, since I was kindly rescued from the labyrinth by you, there is no such thing as service fee. Of course, since that wouldn't be enough, I'll give you 30% discount for the slaves."
Kuh, he made the first move. Giving small benefit first to make you easier to talk into next time, it's the same solicitation technique from some shady new religion.
Since it wasn't possible to refuse, it has been decided for Nidoren-shi to introduce slaves in rotation.
Since I'd doze off if I'm just listening to him, I decided to practice appraisal skill on this occasion. Appraisal is an always-active skill but I need to think [I want to know] or [I want to appraise] while looking at an object, then the result of appraisal will come into my mind.
Since the detail would be displayed on the AR no matter what I do, I turn off other indicators beside radar.
During the rotation of two set of 10 people, I was just half-heartedly replying to give proper responses.
Still, their appeal point were nothing but virgin or their skills, why is that? Do the people of this country love virgin that much?
"Are you tired? Please bear it for a little more, the next one is the last."
So he says while bringing the next set, a black-haired oriental-looking beautiful girl from several days before is mixed among the six girls.
I see, so he brings the best for the last, truly a skilled merchant.
The others are... there. The violet-haired little girl with dangerous-sounding title is there too. Furthermore she looks here. She's really giving a hard look here.
Not matching her gaze, I look at the other girls. A blond freckled 15 years old girl with disgruntled look, a tall brown-haired woman who looks to be in her twenties with oval-shaped face, and a dull blond less-than 10 years old little girl that looks too thin. A braided red-haired 15 years old who looks like a plain literature girl.
A lot of them looks inferior to the 10 before them. Do they have some kind of special skills?
When I try to look with appraisal, the freckles girl has [Negotiation], the oval-faced woman has [Sex Technique], the thin little girl has no skill, and the braid girl has [Collecting].
While I'm at it, the violet-haired little girl has no skill, and the black-haired girl has [Etiquette].
What kind of line up is this?
"They are all may have inferior looks, but they will work hard for their master."
While saying that, Nidoren-shi explain about them one by one. Subjectively, does he think the black-haired san to be plain too?
"How about it? I could give you 6 set for the price of 3 gold coins if it's now!"
Nidoren-shi is hard at work promoting them. No matter how you look at it, that's too cheap. That mean each is worth two and a half silver coins.
"It's been decided that those who doesn't sell well for today and tomorrow will be brought to the caravan heading to mining city."
Hearing the words of Nidoren-shi, the unmotivated slave girls rustle behind me. The panic begin when I look behind.
Shifting the clothes on the shoulder to expose the breast, rolling the skirt, taking strange pose, everyone tries to appeal with various method. The only two who didn't change are the violet-haired and the black-haired girls. The violet-haired little girl is staring intently like always, while the black haired-girl is downcast.
When the slave girls understand that their appeal isn't working on me, they give up one by one.
Just as Nidoren-shi instruct them to withdraw, the violet-haired little girl regain herself.
"Master! Master thinks that since you have those excellence demi-human slaves you don't need other slave, aren't you?"
"That's right, I don't need other slave."
Particularly, I don't want to buy you who have such trouble-sounding title. Absolutely!
"However, those girls are demi-human."
"That's exactly right, but I'm not dissatisfied with that you know?"
"Yes, just by looking at them, I understand that they're cherished. That's why! Please purchase me."
I don't understand the reasoning.
"Demi-human are shirked in this city. If you only have those girls as slaves then you wouldn't even receive a bread if you make them go shopping."
I see, I didn't think about that before.
However, I don't have to buy slaves just for chores, I'd just ask the maid at the inn. Yep, don't need it after all.
"If I was there, I'd do chores in place of those girls! The price is reasonable too, so please by all means, purchase me."
The violet-haired little girl look up for appeal. Hair that has been cut to shoulder-length, moist violet-colored iris, thin small lips, trembling small shoulders. If I'm into little girl, then I probably wouldn't hold up.
...I guess I'll buy?
Even though I'm not into little girl, I thought that she's charming. No wait, I don't need it, do I?
But, I feel like I absolutely have to buy her.
Then I purchased the violet-haired little girl (Arisa), and per her recommendation, I also bought the black-haired girl (Lulu).
Despite still questioning myself, I become the master of the two slave girls in addition to the beastkin girls.