Of course, the reason I had bet a cold 1000 gold was because I wanted him to give me no reason to refuse the bet. Lydia alone could be worth 300 gold, so naturally, I needed to bet more than she was worth. On top of that, if he chose to refuse my bet, he was indirectly saying that he valued this slave more than 1000 gold. That was a statement he wasn’t prepared to make, especially in front of his jealous sister.
As for worries that this would cause jealous eyes to fall on me, I didn’t really buy that. There were plenty of rich men in this competition, and the ultimate goal of lordship already suggested that people had a certain degree of available money. Furthermore, we’re a group fighting in a competition. We’re already displaying we have the capacity to fight and defend the money we have… unless I lose. In which case, it’d be Trembling Demonheart’s problem, not mine.
That wasn’t to say I planned to go into the battle without any kind of defense. I reset my dungeon points. I have eighteen in total. One went to Reset, and 6 went to giving me 3 jobs. There was a ten-point skill known simply as Haste. It had to be like Celeste’s Haste, but where hers blew through mana and could only be maintained for a few moments, my version of Haste would be a permanent part of my body until I chose to unequip it.
With a speed increase like that, I was confident I could definitely beat this guy. I had seen him fighting alongside his sister, so I generally knew how strong he was. As long as I was careful, my level of Hero should be sufficient to take him out. To date, I had only shown my spells, so no one knew me to be a Swordsman. He probably thought I was a Mage too, so he’d try to close the distance quickly. I would take that mistake to my advantage.
“Fine! Then let us begin this dual!” The guy said. “My slave Dysdia versus 1000 gold coins. The loser also forfeits the match!”
I nodded, only then noticing I was receiving some stares from my girls. “What is it?”
“Master… shouldn’t be so lecherous…” Lydia said, looking away and blushing.
“Just because she had big boobs, that doesn’t mean anything!” Miki responded defensively.
“It’s not what it looks like! Don’t you remember the old lady who runs the alchemy shop back in Chalm?”
I nodded. “I thought to recruit some slaves with useful skills to help with the building of Chalm. The mayor himself said if there was anyone with any magical abilities, that Chalm could use them. I’m doing this for the city! I swear!”
Even though I said that the girls were all giving me doubtful looks. I was already a guy lucky enough to have four beautiful women who wanted to be around me. How could I want for anything? The fact she had big boobs had nothing to do with it. I certainly didn’t imagine going to buy herbs every day and getting to watch her boobs shake as she works that mortar and pestle! Those thoughts never occurred to me at all!
While I was busy worrying about how the girls were thinking of me, the one-on-one duel against this incestuous brother had apparently started.
It could have been an instant knockout, but I had Haste equipped and it appeared to not simply affect my body, but my mind worked far faster too. He had barely made a few steps when the world around me seemed to slow. This Haste thing was kind of cool, but I was really worried about it. It’d be one of those things where excessive speed eventually led to my brain snapping and me unable to handle the mundane speed of real life.
Perhaps, I’d put Haste to rest after I was done defeating this guy. With my Hero job and Moderate Swordsmanship, I was about as good as I needed to be. Our swords collided, and it quickly became apparent that he was probably an Advanced Swordsman, but in a fight like this, variables that simple were rarely what decided a match. My boost in Haste made all of his movements appear sluggish, and even if he did wield the blade more efficiently than I did, he couldn’t account for my speed.
The fight felt like it took about three minutes, but when I considered my mind was in haste, it was probably closer to thirty seconds. His sword flew to the side, and he could only helplessly raise his hand to my sword. The crowds naturally went wild. As for me, I reset my skills and got rid of Haste. It was very effective, but as I said, I didn’t like the feel of being permanently hasted. It left me feeling like it might leave trauma down the road.
“You won…” He said helplessly, falling to his knees.
I made the gold return to my ring with the wave of a hand. This was another form of discouragement. An interspatial ring couldn’t be broken into easily. This would discourage most people from trying to attack me if the other reasons weren’t good enough.
Their team retreated and they gave up. There were a few ‘boos’ that our duel was unsatisfying, but I was quickly coming to realize that in the world of entertainment, there was always going to be some guy unsatisfied no matter what you did. In which case, I decided to just do what I wanted and enjoy the ride. The brother and sister were honest and chose to settle their debt without any conflict. They signed over the paperwork and gave the woman over to me instantly.
“You will be Master from now on.” The big sister bowed politely.
“Hehe… I’ll be taking care of you from now on…” Noticing some looks from the girls, I coughed and wiped my mouth. “Rather, all of Chalm will do so.”
I opened a portal directly to Chalm and wasted one of my dungeon points for the day. Giving her the signed documents, and instructions, Dysdia stepped right on through. I hoped that she could become the old lady alchemist’s protégé. I know she had wanted Miki to follow in her footsteps, but as someone who was part of my group, this just couldn’t be the case. I wasn’t willing to lose Miki enough that she had time to learn all that growing and horticulture. Becoming a perfect alchemist is likely a lifelong pursuit. Or… if you have 5X experience and mobs to level on, probably something I could show the girls, given enough time.
Once I had sent the big sister back to Chalm. I started looking forward to the next competition. If there were any other slaves, I’d try to free them in a similar manner.
There were five more group battles. One of them involved another duel where I freed some slaves. At this point, my identity as someone from Chalm got out. Chalm was apparently a well-known city for their way of emancipating slaves. As soon as this got out, the crowd’s opinion of me flipped one-eighty. A lot of people were still confused about why I had four slaves, but they had seen me place my 1000 gold bet twice.
This was a staggering amount of money for most commoners and it made an effect on the crowds. Now, in everyone’s mind, I was putting everything on the line to free a few slaves at the time. It came off as heroic and impressive. Even the Dragonmight crew came up to me and apologized for misunderstanding my intentions.
Of course, not everyone was completely happy with my results. Those that lost a slave, particularly from the second group, were quite unhappy. They actually lost two slaves. They were a pair of twin girls who were wielding hammers. Well, they were magicians, but they seemed pretty strong.
“Why is master only freeing women?” Terra asked innocently.
“Ah? You’re imagining things!” I declared, “If there were men that had useful skills to bring to Chalm, naturally I would recruit them as well.”
I got looks and I was doubted. I was really just wanting top quality people to be part of my new city. Those big muscular beefy slave men were probably filled with testosterone. They’d bring violence, rape, and crime to my innocent city! I was merely being practical!
None of the battles were that difficult. I heard from a few that my particular bracket was rather weak this year. At least, when it came to group fighting, we had dominated our section. However, it sounded like things were going to get a lot more dangerous come tomorrow.
“Since you have won all of your fights today, you will continue on to the next battle.” A representative came around and spoke to us, and then handed us a ticket. “This will allow you to enter the dance tonight.”
‘Actually, I don’t really want to-“
“It’s mandatory!” The man added before I could reject it.
The man noticed my discomfort and shrugged. “I heard that the dance will be quite something. Although the king is busy, the prince will be there. So will the lord overseeing this entire competition, Lord Tibult.”
That name sounded strangely familiar to me. It was probably just a coincidence. I got the last bit of information form the guy and then waved to get the girl’s attention.
“Come on, it looks like we’re going to need to buy some clothing. I’ll need something dressed for this banquet, and I might as well get you girls some city dresses too.”
The stuff made in Chalm is fine, but I had seen some nicer cuts here. I guess I’d buy the girls some nice dresses for the night. They all seemed very happy about that.