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Chapter 133

I equipped Slave Master and then took over Lydia’s Slave status. It went rather smoothly. I pushed mana into her and shortly after, it was done. She hugged me, her melon’s pressing against my arm. Afterward, having her so close made me self-conscious, so pulling some of the water from the water basin, I started to clean myself as well. Meanwhile, Lydia was grinning like a cat sitting beside me, her tail wagging happily.

[Lydia is now your slave.}

“Finally… Hehe, I’m truly Master’s woman.” Lydia responded excitedly.

“Mm… Master’s second.” Miki giggled.

“Geh!” Lydia shot Miki a tearful look. “I’m first! I was first!”

You’re number two!” Miki sniffed.

“Ah… about that…” I sighed while washing my body carefully, prompting two sets of sharp eyes to land on me. “N-never mind!”

The look in the girl’s eyes were scary. I suddenly decided immediately it was better to not say anything about making Celeste a slave at the moment. In fact, I mentioned her down there, but they didn’t even know she was a woman. Well, I’ll take care of that when it comes to it.

“M-master…” Lydia blushed while eying my body, making me feel like covering myself with my shirt again. “You’re looking very handsome these days.”

“Eh?” I raised an eyebrow. “I’ve been in a dungeon for the last few weeks, that’s impossible.”

Miki nodded her head. “You’re really lean and muscular now. Plus, you give off an air of manliness, it’s really… ah… s-s-sexy…”

Miki turned away, also blushing. It was clear Lydia had rubbed off on her the last few weeks. Her being able to say something like I looked sexy was clearly Lydia’s work. Both girls loved me and hadn’t seen me for a while. Plus, they had been in a dungeon for over a week themselves. Likely, their standards on handsome were very low right now. I could look like a troll and they’d probably find me handsome right after I fed and clothed them.

We spoke for a while longer. I showed them how to register on the kiosk. Neither girl could teleport anywhere else in the dungeon since they hadn’t registered at any of the other kiosks, but they were excited by learning about this possibility.

“Ah… on that note, did you guys see a library on the first floor? I skipped it.”

The two girls looked at each other and then nodded. “Y-yes… we saw it.”

“Did you by chance look at the mural? I’d like to know what it showed. Perhaps it will help me somehow.”

“Ah… I did look at it… it’s kind of confusing.” Lydia admitted.

Miki shrugged. “It had to do with the destruction of Chalm. Some woman cursed the inhabitants of the mansion, and led to the ghosts taking over the mansion.”

“Some woman?” I asked in surprise, “Just some woman? Not Karr? I mean, a nobleman?”

Miki shook her head. “Not a man. It was a woman… oh… but she wasn’t human.”

“R-really?”

Miki nodded. “She had… um… wings on her back. They were wings like a bat. And her black eyes were filled with rage. It was a scary mural. I didn’t like sleeping there.”

“Ah… thanks…” I smiled, but deep down it left me feeling a bit confused.

Lydia nodded, confirming that they both saw the same thing. It was possible that their interpretation was different from what I would have seen. However, I only had their testimonials to go on. Going to the fifth floor and working my way up would take a lot of time, and I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to learn any more than what they said.

“I suppose it’s about time that we leave.” I sighed.

“No!” The two girls threw themselves at me again.

I patted their heads and reassured them. We stayed like that for as long as I could allow. I couldn’t breath easy until they were all safe, Celeste included. I didn’t know when she was added to that list, but now she was just as important to me as these two girls in my arms.

Chapter 134

After a spending a few more hours chatting and discussing things, we needed to move on. Although the closest I could get to the 19th floor was the 15th and it could still take a day to get there, so I wasn’t worried that a few hours would make a difference. We finally strapped up and armored up. The three of us went down together to battle the Shrieking Wraith.

It appeared again as expected and I helped the girls defeat it this time. Its weakness was spirit fire, and there were three of us. Using Miki’s power, this fight was considerably easier than the previous one. I wished I could bottle spirit fire. Miki said there were ways to do it, but the bottles were pricy and we certainly didn’t have any in this dungeon.

As for the boss, it took hours to defeat it last time. This one was knocked out in under fifteen minutes. I almost felt like crying. Lydia’s quick attack movements were amazing, and compared to Celeste’s lazy air dodges she truly seemed like an unstoppable feline. I was able to hit it with circles of spirit fire and my weapon and found that if Lydia used her combination skill to add spirit fire to a sword, she could hand it to me and the blade would remain enhanced. In that way, even I could do massive damage.

The only surprising thing was that after I found that the drop was two items. This turned out to be the wraithbane again. If my guess was right, bosses dropped an abnormally good item, like a magic item or a super rare ingredient, when they were defeated for the first time. After that, they resort to something more standard like an ingredient.

As for the second item, it was clearly food. I realized I had left cook equipped. I had been fighting without the basic swordsmanship skill. I hadn’t even noticed. When it comes to slashing a monster, the skill wasn’t difficult to pick up. This confirmed that at least for some skills, you could actually replicate a skill’s abilities without technically having the skill equipped. I suspected this with cooking, because you could cook really well without having the cook skill. The basic cook skill, filled in weaknesses. However, if you studied carefully, you could use the basic cook skill to learn basic cooking without the skill.

In other words, I got basic swordsmanship and thus had the knowledge of using a sword pushed into my head, but weeks of using that sword and depending on that knowledge had ingrained some of the forms into my head, and at least for fighting a basic monster, I could function at a level without the skill. On the other hand, if I was fighting another swordsman and had to parry, I hadn’t practiced that, and would likely loose without the skill equipped. It was that kind of thing.

I also realized something that caught me off guard. I had cook equipped, which means I didn’t have charm equipped. I can’t tell what job I have equipped. There is no clear inventory screen that tells me. I just switch skills and physically tell the difference. For example, I have more mana with white mage, and more stamina with hero. So, when the girls were eyeing, I had assumed I had charm up on me. I checked my notebook twice. There was no charm up for my cooking job. That means… the girls were checking me out despite not having increased charm.

Ah… that was right, I had slave affinity attached. It makes slaves like me more. Lydia started noticing me after I officially made her a slave. That explains everything. No, I’m not making excuses. I’m a pragmatist. Girls don’t check a guy like me out. Lydia and Miki may like me because I saved their lives, but I had no illusions I was handsome, even if I lost weight, both girls were way out of my league. Deep down, I knew that I didn’t really deserve their affection.

Anyway, with the collect skill equipped, a food seemed to always be left behind. This one was called a Light Tuna and it specifically improved endurance. I purified and preserved the food, took out a knife, cut it into long sashimi strips, and then handed half of them to the girls.

“Keep your endurance up and reach me as safely as possible.” I said, tossing back my hair which was getting a bit long now.

I should probably tie it in a pony tail, but I felt that looked a little girly. Well, I didn’t have a beard, but my face was a bit gristly now, so it’s possible I could rock the ponytail look. The girls looked at me with wide watery eyes. It was clear they didn’t want to part. Once I freed them, I hoped they’d still have feelings for me, but I shielded a part of my heart just in case they found me repulsive once they no longer were bound by slavery.

While having such thoughts, I shared my supplies with them and made sure they were ready to take on the dungeon now. This independence would be good for the pair. I kept the storage ring and gave them my backpack. They had enough food, water, and water of life to last for a few weeks.  

We said goodbye and hugged closely. This was not the same as last time. They were both my slaves and I accepted them in my party too. I could swap with one of them at any time and keep up the communications. I even demonstrated it to them before they were reassured. I promised to “swap” once a night with Miki so that I could report. Why Miki? Because Lydia was still uneasy around ghosts, and would freak out if left alone.

Like that, the girls went down to the 11th floor, and I went up to the 9th. As the door shut behind me, I touched the kiosk and teleported to the 15th floor. With my heart feeling refreshed and my course clear, I started the trek back to Celeste.

Chapter 135

Upon reaching level fifteen, I began my solo trek back down to level 19. I realized as I went that I had perhaps been taking Celeste a bit for granted. Her wind attacks had been extremely useful, and they kept the monsters at bay while I could dish out damage with exorcism spells and an occasional quick attack. It had worked splendidly for us, but without her, or any of the girls for that matter, I felt like I was fighting with one arm behind my back.

I reencountered the Bounding Yokai. Like before, it was a pain in the ass. I eventually decided to just floor it to the 16th floor rather than try to continue to battle it. I was interested in seeing what kind of ingredient it dropped now that the first-time bonus had been dropped, but I didn’t want to waste any more time. I continued to work my way down, and as I did so, my levels increased satisfactorily.

{Hero has increased to level 15.}

{Moderate Swordsmanship has been unlocked.}

In an instant, I gained the ability to handle my sword a lot better. I would never be as fast as Lydia though, so I still took hits. Fortunately, I was a white mage, and white mages had a high resistance to ghost attacks, which were more spiritual and less physical. I managed to reach level 17 before it became nighttime. Casting all the safety spells I could, I did a switch with Miki as I promised.

My body suddenly appeared. I was lying in bedrolls, and Lydia was on top of me with a lewd expression on her face. Furthermore, her hand was in my groin region. Her eyes widened at the same time as my own.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

I had switched bodies with Miki, that meant that at this moment, Miki had been in this position under Lydia immediately before I swapped them. What were they seriously doing?

“N-othing!” Lydia leaped off me, and then blinked, muttering under her breath. “It was just training. Miki always gets so shy. She didn’t couldn’t even muster up the courage to ask Master for ‘that’ before we parted.”

“Huh? Did Miki want something from me?”

“N-nevermind!” Lydia shook her head and then jumped back on me in the same way she had just been on Miki, her hand boldly going to the same place. “Since Master is alone, perhaps master should have me?”

“Ah? But Miki isn’t here?”

“Tsk. I know… that’s why I took care of her first…”

“Lydia!” I bopped her on the head. “Quit being lewd. You’re cuter when you don’t try so hard.”

She rubbed her head and moaned pitifully. “S-sorry, Master, it’s just been a long time. I never thought about it much, but after we did it, suddenly I find myself thinking about it more and more.”

“Ah… actually, now that you mention it, I just obtained a job skill along those lines. I’ve kind of been ignoring it, but it might facilitate those kinds of things in the future.”

“A new job?” Lydia cocked her head. “Any new skills?”

“Actually, I never equipped it to check.” I laughed. “I suppose it can’t hurt to try it out.”

{Pervert is now equipped.}

{Insatiable Appetite has now been unlocked.}

I froze.

“Master, are you okay?” Lydia asked, noticing my lack of action.

My head turned to her, and then a creepy smile formed on my face.

“M-master?”

I leaped on the tiger. Pervert was a scary job. There was a saying that fit the situation. When you ride a tiger, there is no safe way to get off. It was something like that. Lewd animalistic noises filled the dungeon level. Even the ghosts were too afraid to investigate.

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