The next day I woke unable to breathe.
“Mmm…mmm!” I was covered with heavy things and they were definitely killing me.
In fact, I couldn’t hear very well either. It was like my entire world was plunged into a dark abyss. That abyss was dark and hot, and it smelled like a girl. Wait, what?
“Eh, Master?” A sleepy Celeste lifted her chest and I finally let in a gasp for breath.
During the night, she had shrunk to fairy size, and then seemingly returned to her current size while she was sleeping. The result was that my face was smashed between her large breasts. It was seriously scary. I thought I would die for a moment.
However, after scolding her, Miki and Celeste seemed happy for some reason. I couldn’t figure out why they took delight in me speaking ill of Celeste’s breasts. As for Lydia, she seemed uncertain and kept touching her chest like she was wondering if she could get rid of it. Celeste also seemed really depressed. I didn’t want the girls to get any wrong idea so I complimented Lydia.
“You’re beautiful the way you are, Lydia.” I said, “You’re all beautiful just as you are… ahh…”
The girls all pounced on me and wouldn’t let me up as they held me. It was another hour before we ended up getting dressed. Before we could head to the common room, there was a knock on the door. It was one of the maids. She had brought up breakfast. However, strangely, she had only brought up food for one. Since I didn’t want to eat without the girls, I couldn’t accept it. The maid seemed disappointed, but she’d be fine.
After that, we went down to the common room. The common rooms of inns in fantasy were supposedly good sources of information. All you had to do was open your ears and people would drop useful exposition for you. Well, that was in games, I didn’t think that real inns were quite like that. After ordering food for everyone, which I insisted on paying for even though the innkeeper still wanted to repay us further for protecting his inn, I decided to listen to the nearby tables.
“The competition was canceled today, a lot of people are pissed…”
No, I already knew that, and I don’t want to hear about how people I don’t know are angry at me for things that are out of control. That makes me sad. I listened to another table.
“You see the table behind us with the four cute girls? They say that Deek guy is a womanizer and buys women. I heard he even tricks other Adventurers into giving him their slaves if he fancies-“
That was even worse! Why did I have to cause so many waves in the Capital! This is completely unreasonable. I tried my luck by listening to one last table.
“Did you hear about the Widow’s Dungeon. They say they’ve finally broken to the final boss. Given how inaccessible the dungeon is, the King put a large gold bounty on anyone who can defeat it! Well, there is supposedly a group of men who are putting together a raid. They want at least four Adventuring teams to run a raid on the monster. It’s supposedly good money.”
“And risk your life in the dungeon? Only a Dungeon Diver plays with his life like that. I’ll stay on the surface, thank you very much.”
Bingo. I heard some interesting information. It looks like inns were good sources of information after all. Well, it wasn’t like I could do anything right now. It was time to go to the Slavers Guild as I planned.
With the Map ability, finding any place in the city became a cinch. I quickly navigated us to the Slavers Guild. Handling slavery for the entire country of Aberis, the Slavers Guild was naturally a very large place. It had to house likely hundreds of slaves at a time, and there were numerous laws set up to protect slaves. Even though Aberis accepted slavery, it wasn’t so bad that anyone off the street could be grabbed and made a slave.
All slaves were a result of either being criminals, owing money, volunteering, or being born into it. Those were the only conditions in which someone could be considered a slave. Lydia was born into the slave trade, while Miki volunteered for it. Although, I could see how volunteering was a slippery slope. It was easy to coerce someone into slavery. Supposedly, the slave traders assured that someone was put into slavery in sound mind and body and openly volunteered for it, but there were situations like with Celeste or Terra where that wasn’t so simple.
In fact, I did have a worry when it came to these girls because neither was turned into a slave legitimately. Although Terra’s status is probably more like a pet, I’d rather she be acknowledged like the human soul and appearance that she possesses. When it comes to Celeste, she too is more closely associated with monsters than humans. This is why fairies could be forcefully enslaved, although I heard the laws had changed and magical creatures could no longer be forced into slavery.
We ended up having to walk up a lot of steps and there were large columns that reminded me of Romanesque architecture. I eventually made it to the top and I was surprised that I wasn’t out of breath. The main courtyard was under the canopy, but it was completely open. There were several slave auctions going on. The slaves were placed in carts, not unlike the ones I saw Figuro using. We continued on a few steps before I realized that this might be traumatic for the girls.
“Are you girls okay? You don’t have to enter if you don’t want to.” I turned back to them.
Miki shook her head. “I was never a slave for long. I was only ever familiar with Figuro and he was always kind to me, so this kind of thing doesn’t bother me.
When Celeste and Terra, who had never been on a slave block, also shook their heads, my eyes naturally fell on Lydia. Of the girls, she wore the most uncomfortable looking coming into the slave block. Unlike the others, she had been a slave her entire life and had to deal with all manner of slaveholders. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lydia herself had been in this very courtyard at some point during her life. This might even be where Lord Tibult would have purchased her.
Lydia slowly shook her head. “It is alright, Master. I will stay by your side. Although this place brings back some unpleasant memories, it was those memories that ultimately led me to Master, so I am happy I am here.”
She gave me a reassuring smile which made my heart melt after that. After we were done here, I’d buy the girls ice cream. Did ice cream exist in this world? I wasn’t sure. First, I’d make sure this world had ice cream, then, I’d get the girls some. Hmmm… I might need to invent ice cream.
There was a long row of desks that were manned by people that appeared to be the place where I could get information. I walked up to a free one and nodded to the man behind the counter.
“Hey, I’m in need of registering two slaves. I was also wondering if I could get a consultation with a Slave Master or someone knowledgeable about slave seals.”
The guy behind the counter sneered. “You think a Slave Master would come out to see just anyone? If you want to buy a slave, there are auctions all around you, as long as you have the coin.”
“Um… no, as I said, I need to register slaves I already have,” I said uncertainly over the guy’s glare.
“You’re speaking nonsense.” He sniffed. “No slave traders are allowed to function in this country without the permission of the Slavers Guild. If you have a slave bonded to you, this meant you had to have a Slave Trader or Slave Master involved to perform the magic. If you did, they should have properly submitted the paperwork for you. If you feel the paperwork has not been properly submitted, then please let me know who the Slave Trader was you acquired your slave from and I will submit a request for you. If the slave mark does not designate you as the slave owner, then please bring the original slave owner. If they are dead and did not leave a clause to release the slaves upon death, then the slaves default to the property of the guild and we will take care of them accordingly.”
The guy was like a steam engine, not giving me a single chance to butt in. I was feeling very irritated at this point. I just wanted someone to fill out the paperwork, and this guy was so convinced he was right.
“Look, I have two slaves. They weren’t purchased. They are slaves to me. They do have a mark. Can you just help me compile some paperwork for them?”
“How were these slaves passed on to you without the intervention of a slave trader?” He demanded.
He was scowling now, and I noticed him wave to two guards. They took steps forward toward us while holding his swords. The girls felt the change in the mood too. Lydia touched her sword nervously, and Terra looked ready to chew rocks. The man was giving me a severe look, demanding an explanation. I was told by Figuro not to reveal my slave taker ability or the fact I had the Slave Master job to anyone. The Slaver’s Guild is definitely the last place I’d want to have this information.
On the other hand, I couldn’t think of a single way to justify the two girls. How could I explain to them that one of the girls was enslaved by her mother and then taken in a dungeon by me? Perhaps, by showing the control rod, I could at least explain Terra. However, would they accept her as a registered human being? They may deny that status and she may end up being considered a pet. Getting her past this registration was an important part of giving her an identity.
“Um… I…” I couldn’t really come up with anything to say.
“Deek! It’s great to see you again!” A voice called out down the hall.
The guards stopped their advance and the secretary covered his angry expression when he saw a slave trader approaching. It was none other than Figuro himself. I could only let out a breath of relief.
“Figuro, you’re here after all,” I said, trying to alert him to my predicament by shifting my eyes between the guards and my girls.
Figuro, being quick with his eyes, immediately gave a nod and turned to the information guy. “You don’t need to worry. This is a trusted client. I’ll be handling his account personally.”
“Y-yes, sir!” The man almost bowed.
I thought Figuro was just a traveling slave trader, but he apparently had a bit of respect here. Just who was he?
“Come on, Deek, we have much to talk about.” Figuro saved me from a potentially dangerous situation.