67 End of Matter
None here managed to capture me moving.
CLANK! Sound of swords hitting the hard ground resounded.
Damo seemed to have imagined me getting cut up, he had a smug triumphant look on his face.
But before he could even realize I wasn't there anymore, his mouth opened wide as he froze up.
The elves also looked shocked and stopped moving.
The elf whose sword I took stared quizzically at the nonexistent sword in her hand.
I repeat my demand on Damo to progress this stalemate.
"Mind rescinding your command on them? Otherwise you might have to say goodbye to this world, see?"
He finally realized the sword pointed over his throat.
But apparently he couldn't accept this reality as he started mumbling, 'this can't be, no way, inconceivable' without replying back.
I got a bit annoyed but endured it and asked him again.
I could see myself having the same reaction so I sympathized a bit.
"Will you do it, or will you not? Which is it?"
He finally spoke like his throat clogged up.
"Fine! C-come back!"
Once silence ruled the place again, I asked another question. As nonchalant as possible, like asking something I don't know of.
"You see, I've just left the countryside yesterday, I've no clue left from right. So, what are these girls?"
Apparently the tone was too unnatural for the mood right now, nobody replied back.
Looks like they couldn't comprehend how to answer that.
The elves have never uttered a word from the beginning so they're exceptions.
Therefore, I turned to the best candidate here, Eltros.
"Oy, Eltros, huh? Do you hear me? Ooy. Can you tell me?"
Eltros reacted at me suddenly calling his name and replied while standing in attention.
"They are elves. Demi-humans who have been living in the Great Forest before the empire."
"And what are those collars? How did they get to have those on them and arrive here?"
"T-those are magical devices that seal their voices and enslave them! I heard they sent an expedition near the elven settlement and managed to capture them by luck."
"Oy! You bastaaaard! Who gave you permission to speak that!"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"You're not allowed to talk without my permission. I don't mind killing you right away if you can't wait though?"
I stabbed the tip of my sword a bit, but the jelly-like sensation of the fat feels gross.
His throat is so bloated you can't even tell where the neck is, I'm actually surprised he hasn't kicked the bucket under the weight already.
But the person in question quiet down after feeling the pain and the blood.
I threw another question to check. Having a mutual understanding is important in this world. You need a detailed explanation that leaves no room for misunderstanding or misinterpretations even if it means asking persistently.
Hearsays aren't enough. Yet I shouldn't take too long here either.
Gotta be concise and precise.
"So in short, these girls bear no fault on their own, yeah? They were brought here and enslaved by force. Kidnapped. Is that correct? OK?"
"Oo? Kay...? Ah, eh, erm, that... will be correct."
"Enslaved... How do those collars work again? How do you remove them? I'd like to free them, see?"
The word magic device has a suspicious ring to it, but I'm guessing it just makes the wearer unable to remove the collar. This is when Damo speaks up in protest.
"What did you say? You bastard, how much money did you think I spent to catch them!?"
A flash of light ran through before Damo could finish. 'Blech' something fell down with that sound, he slowly put his hands on his throat.
"Hia! B-bloodddd! I-I'll dieeee! S-someone, save me....!"
The sight of a a lump of fat flopping around from seeing his own blood was too much, I turned away. Perhaps I should just [Unfat] it entirely to make him stop moving.
"Shut up. Be quiet. You won't die from losing a bit of flesh. You're making a racket. Quit moving around. Or what, you wanna die?"
Damo stopped moving when he realized how little blood comes out of his neck.
The reason why I haven't killed him is because there's a chance those collars can't be removed if he dies.
Fantasy-like development, magical collar devices, mana. I can't make a hasty decision with so many unknown factors still.
However, Eltros gave an explanation that dispelled all that.
"Those collars cannot be removed. If you attempt to, mana of the person trying to remove the collar, and the wearer's mana will interfere with one another and cause an explosion. Naturally, the enslaved cannot remove their own collar either. Even if you gave the order to."
(...Oh? Interfere? This must be... that, right?)
"So, you girls. Would you like to kill this man if your collars are removed?"
"Bastard! Don't be outrageous!"
I kicked the annoyingly persistent pig on the stomach to quiet him down. I'm gonna treat him as a pig now that I'm done with him.
'Wait, that's rude to pigs', I thought that as I looked at the girls while ignoring the knocked out lump of fat.
The six elves are looking back straight at me with bafflement in their eyes.
They don't understand how I could suggest that right after getting told the collars are unremovable.
Standard of fantasy, it's clear these girls intend to kill Damo themselves from their enraged expressions.
But even if they had the answers already, the collars remained an obstacle, they could not even nod.
"Those collars cannot be removed. They can be rewritten with a new magic if the owner dies, but the enslavement remains. And it costs a huge amount of money."
Eltros gave an additional tidbit from the sideline, a cold hard one.
Nevertheless, I keep staring at them without sighing or brushing it off. What matters most is their own will.
I shouldn't force them. Sexual harassment is completely off limit. Of course I'd put up a defensive line.
They seemed to have relented at my unbending stare as they looked at each other to confirm each other's will before finally nodded.
"OK. Then, mind if I touch it? Eltros. Will these collars react just from a touch?"
He seemed to have gotten used getting asked, he quickly replied.
As expected. Might as well use this guy as a wikipedia replacement from now on.
"The attached magic gem will shine blue, yellow, and red in order. Once it has turned red, trying to forcefully remove it will activate the mechanism."
"You heard him, it's not gonna explode right away, want to give a try?"
One elf bravely stepped forward. With a tragic look on her face as if accepting death.
She's the elf whose sword I took. Judging from the mood, she must be their leader.
"Get caught up in explosion you! Die! Die die die!"
'Clack', the collar got removed along with that sound. Felt like I heard an 'Eh?' too there.
Two, three, four, five, six, all of them got their collars removed.
"But how!? Just how'd you bastard do it!?"
I gave the sword back while ignoring the yelping bug.
The six looked dumbfounded at first, but my action became the signal, one by one they walked up to Damo in anger.
"This cannot be... Stop, you lot! Who do you think I am..."
Disregarding the plea, each of them started cutting up the lump of fat as they please.
"Guhyaa! Stop ittt! Help! Help... he! No! ...Ugu..."
They were bent on making him suffer thoroughly, I couldn't bear to watch or listen to it.
As I looked away from the wailing, I spoke to Eltros.
"And now let's get back to that room to talk about the future."