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Chapter 103

After the Adventurer’s Guild joined us, the speed of retaking Old Chalm increased considerably. With Miki churning out Rosary powder, we were able to take one building at a time with ease. I made sure that everyone knew it was Miki’s alchemy skills that made this possible, and her position in the village was cemented. Fortunately, other Adventurer’s had other means of battling ghosts. It turned out while ghosts were immune to physical damage, magic was something that could harm them.

Spirit and mana were two different things, they clarified to me, and both could hurt ghosts. That meant that wolfgirl magician apprentice would be useful in fighting off the ghosts. Furthermore, I had more than enough coin at this point in order to buy her. Well, Lydia might be angry about it, but freeing slaves was a good deed, right?

While paying off my debt with Figuro, I asked about the girl, and he revealed that she was actually sold a few days ago. Beautiful women like her sold quickly, especially when they were that cheap. Had I known that… well, it probably wouldn’t have changed much. There was no crying over it. She was gone. It was just a curiosity; I wasn’t going to buy her. I respect Lydia and Miki too much, and they both make me happy.

“I hear you’re going to be taking the mansion soon.” Figuro spoke after he finished counting the coins, “You might want some more help on that.”

“Are you suggesting I hire more slaves?” I raised an eyebrow.

“Since our transaction is finished, my caravan will be heading out. We’ll be heading to the capital. I officially work for the slave union. It’s like the Adventuring Guild, but for slavers. That’s where the biggest Slave market is, and where I’ll go to build up my stock. A lot of criminals in the capital.”

“What about the slaves left in the caravans? Didn’t Chalm buy up everyone honest?”

Figuro shrugged. “It depends on how much you believe in second chances. Not all criminals are the worst of the worst. A few just fell on hard times.”

I suppose it doesn’t hurt to look. I guess I’d like someone good at magic. It’d be nice if they knew how to craft stuff too.”

“Craftsman, huh? In that case, you’re talking the fae races.”

“Fae?”

“Ah… do you know about the phylogeny of the species?”

“Probably not.” I frowned.

“Haha… that’s fine. It’s not something everyone learns about. Simply put, all the current races came from one of three primordial lines.”

“Is that like earth, water, sky?” I asked.

Figuro blinked and then smiled. “Ah… that’s a good guess, but actually… the three lines were body, mind, and spirit.”

“Oh…” I was trying to guess based on role-playing conventions, it looked like I had guessed in the wrong direction. “Isn’t that like physical, mana, and spiritual attacks?”

Figuro nodded. “You’re right, that’s kind of the point. Living beings are made up of three things, body, magic, and spirit. Thus… if you wish to kill something, you must target one of these three.”

“So, what does that have to do with this filo.. um…”

“Phylogeny of species?” Figuro nodded. “Well, every living thing does not need to have all three, body, magic, and spirit. In fact, many species outside of humans do not. The ghosts… for example, have no body, yet are considered a living entity.”

“What about zombies?”

“They have a body and are moved by mana, but a spirit attack would be useless.”

“Interesting…”

“Anyway, the original races were 3 primordial creatures. They were the creatures of mana, the faes. The creatures of spirit, the angels, and the creatures of body, the demons. Over time, the blood of the primordial races was diluted and crossbred. All modern creatures are said to descend from one of these primordials. Those that descend from faes are unusually strong in magic. They’re good at building and creating. There are the dwarves, the elves, the halflings, the fairies, the sidhe, and so on. Those of the body are mostly considered monsters. Goblins, minotaurs, vampires, orcs, and so on. Spirit beings are very rare. They actually tend to exist on another plane of existence from those with bodies. Except for things like ghosts and elementals, there are only a handful of spirit beings that interact with other living.”

“What does that mean about humans?” I asked.

“Human beings are said to be a perfect balance of all three. Demihumans have a bit more body and spirit, but only humans are considered the perfect mixture of all three. We are the perfect balance of destruction, creation, and aloofness don’t you think?”

“I see…” I responded, not sure how to react.

“How about we see those slaves, huh?”

Chapter 104

Like before, I was given a lineup of boys and girls. I tried to be impartial with my selection, but I admitted that my eyes wandered over to the girl’s side a bit more than I wanted it to. Figuro went through each person, one at a time. The prices ranged anywhere from 1 gold coin to 50 gold coins. Some of them were truly very tempting, but this still felt like the last of his stock. Most of these people were guilty of some pretty severe crimes, even on the female side of things.

“I’m sorry, I’m just not seeing what I want.” I finally admitted.

“There is one girl I think you might be interested in.” Figuro finally added. “But she’s a very special case.”

“Who is that?” I asked, looking around.

“I don’t have her with me. She is actually in the capital city.”

“Then why bring her up?”

“Hmm… perhaps it’s because I saw how you’ve been with the other two girls, and I’m interested in seeing you take care of her as well.”

“What job does she have?” I asked.

“Well, that’s the thing.” Figuro shrugged helplessly. “She doesn’t have one.”

I blinked. “How is that possible?”

“That’s exactly why I’m interested in you meeting her. She may be a spirit or elemental. However, she won’t tell anyone about her origins. She will actually be auctioned off in two months in the capital.”

“Two months!”

Figuro raised his hand apologetically. “That’s why I didn’t start with her. However, if you’re in the capital city, you may want to visit her. Ah… the King also set one more restriction. The person who bids on her has to be a noble.”

“Now you’re really screwing with me!”

Figuro smiled. “I think in two month’s time, Old Chalm will be reclaimed. Those people are going to look towards you to lead them.”

“Yeah… but what does that have to do with lordship?”

“You would become the lord of Chalm, yes?” Figuro cocked his head. “From Hero to Lord in only a few months. I was right about you, but I never imagined you’d climb so quickly.”

“I think you’re jumping ahead there…” I said doubtfully, “I have no desire to be some lord.”

Figuro shrugged. “Want it or not, Old Chalm has no sovereign nation. As soon as news reaches the capital, you’ll be offered a lordship in exchange for allowing yourselves to be annexed. Given the citizen’s feelings on the nation, I think you’d want to say yes.”

“Yeah… I guess…”

“Just think about it.” Figuro patted my shoulder. “Let us finish up for the day. Since you have not brought Lydia here, is my assumption that you will take care of the slave ownership yourself.”

“Yeah… I’ll just use Slave Taker. Is that okay?”

Figuro’s mouth twitched but he nodded. “As I said, I’m a pretty open man. Removing and putting on slave tattoos is a painful process, but it seems like simply changing ownership is less painful. Plus, for you, it is cheaper.

I hid a grimace. That was really the only reason I did it. I didn’t want Figuro to upsell me on that kind of stuff.

“Ah… actually, while I have you, what does the slave tattoo do anyway?”

Figuro blinked and shook his head. “Only you could be able to take a slave away, but not even know what it entails.”

“S-sorry…”

“Naw, do not fret. I just find the world strange sometimes.” Figuro shrugged. “The answer is simple. The slave tattoos demand obedience. Besides allowing you to track your slaves. It also allows you to order them and know they will carry out the task.”

“If I can do this anyway, what’s the point of the Slave Order skill.”

Figuro’s expression really did slip this time. “My… some of your questions can definitely take me off guard. The simple answer is that Slave Order is absolute. There is a bit of wiggle room when it comes to ordering. For example, if you ordered a slave to kill themselves, they could refuse. That actually goes all around. If someone was morally opposed to killing, and you demanded it of them, they could refuse… although it would be uncomfortable. The same could go with sex. A woman who was repulsed by a man may refuse sex even under a slave order if her repulsion was high enough. That’s why our questionnaires are important. A woman forced to have sex by the slave mark is radically different than a woman who is willing.”

“So, Slave Order just makes it stronger?”

“Not just stronger, impossible to refuse. If someone refuses to follow through, the order will literally make them. If you had to order a slave to do something that they couldn’t hesitate with, that’s where a Slave Order comes into play. It’s very rare someone has that skill, and even rarer they’d use it.”

Slave order was exactly like I predicted, something I planned to never use.

Chapter 105

“You mentioned tracking the slaves, is this a skill?” I asked.

Figuro blinked, and then slapped his head. “Ah… that’s right. I never gave you the pendants!”

“Huh?”

“It is true, slave location skills exist, but that doesn’t help anyone who doesn’t have that job. For most slave owners, we assign them a special necklace. When you put mana in it, it will show you the direction of your slave. It’s supposed to be done as part of the slave mark ceremony, except that you keep skipping those!”

I let out a cough. “Is that to say you will charge for the pendants?”

Figuro let out a laugh. “You really don’t like paying any extra fees, do you?”

I shrugged. “I just want to keep things reasonable.”

“Well, regrettably, the necklaces will cost something. They will also require a drop of their blood to activate them. At that point, you should be able to track down either slave without issue.”

I shook my head. “Forget it. I don’t mean that because of the money, rather, I have a feeling it won’t be that useful for me.”

I trusted my girls and didn’t think they would run away. In Old Chalm, the thought of either of them becoming lost or stolen seemed unlikely. Rather, I figured I’d be getting a skill to track them soon enough, so it really didn’t matter much to me either way.

Figuro sighed, pulling out the small necklace with a little ruby on the end and then plopping it in my hand. “Just take it, I have a feeling given your luck, that you may find yourself needing it.”

I frowned, not quite sure how to respond. What did he mean by that? Sure, it was true that the roughly 1 month I had been in this world had been pretty crazy. I had become a hero, got trapped in a dungeon, saved a slave girl, destroyed the dungeon, bought another slave, self-exiled myself from a city, and then fought to reclaim a new city. I also died once. Well, all of that had come in order. It was simply what happened.

I pocketed the neckless without worrying about it. I wouldn’t turn away free stuff anyway. He only gave me one. Probably he hoped I would like it and then buy the other. Still a businessman through and through. I shrugged and put it out of my mind. Picking up my backpack, I readied myself for my next stop.

“Where are you heading now?” Figuro asked with interest.

“Ah, I’m going to Chalm,” I said, hitting my backpack. “Our armors have all taken some damage and the shops have decided to remain open in New Chalm until Old Chalm is a bit more stable regarding ghosts. They don’t want to risk all their goods getting destroyed, so I have to head there to place my orders.”

I was a bit eager too. Both Miki and Lydia had come with me on my last trip to Chalm, and they had placed the orders for new clothing. I was going to pick them up today. As to what the girls were doing today, Miki was still doing alchemy to keep up with the demand for Rosary powder, and Lydia was moving our stuff to a new home.

The herbalist who owned the place had finally shown up to reclaim their home. It wasn’t so bad. They were very generous, offering us all the alchemy ingredients we needed to retake old Chalm from both this store’s stock and her original store. She also didn’t know alchemy herself, and thus gave us her grandmother’s old books. In the end, we ended up moving into a bigger place that was closer to the city center. We confirmed this time that the owner was dead and a deed was written up. This would be my second property after the mansion was reobtained.

“Good luck, my friend.” Figuro bowed.  “When you get to the capital city, just tell them my name and they’ll let you into the slave markets.”

I smiled wryly and answered politely. He was so certain that I would want another slave. I was already happy with the slaves I had. Rather, they wouldn’t be my slaves much longer. I planned to release them. Once the mansion was mine, I would have no need for slaves. At that point, I’d let them go. That was the agreement I had made with the pair. They didn’t seem thrilled about it, but they had agreed.

I hefted up my bag with a groan. It was really heavy with the leathers in it. I sighed thinking about the trip back to Chalm. I already used my portal to get there. Did I want to use my other points up? Wait… that’s right, I was going to Chalm since it was safe again. I could just use return now. I may be a bit skinnier now, but that didn’t mean I liked the idea of trekking a few miles with a heavy backpack. One thing fantasy stories always skipped over was how much walking you had to do!

With a sigh of relief, I waved one last goodbye to Figuro and then used Return. My vision instantly changed. But rather than the familiar town square and the fountain, I was suddenly indoors. I was standing in a hallway. Looking around, I had no clue where I was.

{You have entered Karr’s Dungeon. Destroy the lore to break the curse, or complete the lore for extra dungeon points and a blessing!}

That’s when reality set in. I had given up my hero status for Chalm and only regained it in Old Chalm. My return skill must have changed locations! If that was true, then that meant that this place was… the mansion of Old Chalm! I had teleported myself right into the middle of ghost central.

“Uh… oh…”

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