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Chapter 292

“Very well,” I sighed. “I’ll take her.”

“You will!” Figuro seemed startled for a second.

“Yeah? Why are you startled? You’re the one who offered her to me!”

“True… but, I’m sorry to say, I can’t lend her now with the promise of money later. Even if you put yourself and all four of your slaves… well… actually, that might about do it…” Figuro looked at the girls behind me while scratching his cheek thoughtfully.

“Hold your horses! I have the money,” I let out a sigh.

“2000 gold? Seriously?”

“Wait, if you didn’t believe I had the money, why wave her in front of me?” I demanded.

Figuro laughed, scratching the back of his neck. “She has been for sale for months now, and even the richest nobles in the Capitol won’t take her. Most nobles feel threatened by her. They don’t like having someone more skilled than them. We were going to have to end up sending her north to the Imperial Cloud Meadow. I really didn’t want this to happen, as they are notoriously bigoted. If you think Aberis is bad, the Imperial Cloud Meadow is strictly human. All non humans are slaves, period. She would assuredly be abused and her skill underutilized in an environment like that. As for you, I was hoping to encourage you to make a miracle, as you did with Lydia…”

“So, you thought to dangle something in front of my eyes and hoped I went to great lengths to pursue it?” I let out a noise of disapproval. “Just what kind of guy do you think I am?”

He bowed. “I apologize, that was completely inappropriate of me. However, if you have the capacity to afford her and are willing to pay, I am overjoyed. I will get the paperwork immediately. Perhaps, you should speak to her first. Ah… her name if Faenya, by the way.”

He turned and left the hallway, and I was left staring at my new purchase. She’d be the first slave I officially bought in this world.

“Hello, my name is Deek.” I bowed. “I know you likely expected better, but I hope you can serve me well.”

The girl put on a simple smile and curtsied in response. “I am Faenya. If you have the capacity to afford me, you likely are already an amazing man. Furthermore, Figuro speaks highly of you, and if you have his approval, then it is likely that you have earned it. How may I serve my new Master?”

“Ah… well, my operation is a little bit upstart. There is a small city that is technically outside of Aberis. Well, in a few days, we should be officially recognized. The city is made up of mostly freed slaves. I’d like to maintain that tradition. I need your help to clean out the Capitol of anyone who is worth their weight. I want craftsmen and those with useful jobs. If they have the capacity to teach those jobs to others, even better. Ideally, I’d like those that are likely to stay. It’d be nice to free them all eventually. If you can purchase relatives, children, and family, please do so. The elderly as well.”

“New slaves come into the capitol every day. I could indefinitely stay and purchase slaves.” Faenya responded helplessly. “Do you have a particular goal in mind?”

“I’m thinking of 1000 right now. It’d be nice to get a protective force to guard Chalm. At least 200 fighting men or women.”

“Based on what I’ve seen since I’ve gotten here, you’re looking at around 8000 gold to purchase everyone.”

“Seriously?” Although I planned to sell some of the stuff for money, it looked like I was nowhere close.

Chapter 293

Figuro returned a few minutes later. I introduced my current slaves to Faenya. She was very polite to each of them. Although she was supposedly around 18 in our years, she had a motherly aura around her that seemed to make the other girls look up to her. They all smiled at her and seemed to really like her. I could never understand what led them to hating some girls while liking others. It was truly a conundrum.

“I will provide the slavery stuff for free, so you don’t need to worry about using your… ahem… skill…” Figuro smiled wryly.

What? I didn’t like being nickel and dimed. Is that really such a problem? Well, at least Figuro understood me. Since those fees were being waved, I might as well do things as officially as possible. Well, I still used haggle as I handed over the money. However, he didn’t hand any back to me after I signed the paperwork, so I started to frown.

He noticed me frowning and then winked. “I’ll admit, I was a bit surprised when you haggled me down, naturally I responded by upselling you. The two abilities end up canceling each other out. Any knowledgeable trader or merchant isn’t so easily brought down in price. It does leave me wondering what job you have, or if you have a priest on retainer.”

I could only smile wryly. “I apologize.”

I had never bought a slave from him before. Miki was given freely and the cost was the resurrection spell to the priest. When it came to Lydia, the town came together and paid my fee before I could even attempt to use the ability. So, this was the first time the pair of exchanged any money. As it turned out, Figuro had a skill that countered my own, so getting discounts from him was impossible. I felt like I had done something bad.

Figuro just waved it off. “Any good merchant always tries to haggle. It’s really how we make profits. It’s actually not uncommon for merchants to buy things at their value. In that case, that 20% is our only profit. Naturally, small store owners, seamstresses, blacksmiths, and these guys don’t have a merchant job, so they can’t block haggling, but any true merchant usually would, and if he doesn’t, it’s because he already marked things up 20% expecting you to haggle with him.”

It seemed like the world of mercantile was far more insidious than I had originally thought. It wasn’t so easy to just abuse my haggling and become rich, especially if I was going to deal with the merchant guild. I’m glad I learned this from Figuro rather than embarrassing myself against the experts. There might even be an advanced upsell and I’d find myself getting taken advantage of. Actually, there was a third-tier dungeon ability called Bargain that sounded like a higher-level version. Perhaps it’d get me 50% off. It was too late to use it on Figuro though, and he might even have the higher-level version of Upsell. I should be happy he didn’t use it on me. Or did he?

I definitely handed him two thousand gold, but maybe he hadn’t asked for two thousand originally. Man, these skills really screwed with your brain. What is real anymore?

I didn’t have time to fall into an existential crisis, half the day was over and I had one more project, perhaps the most important things that dictated our future. After the mark was transferred over, I gained a new slave, and then bid my farewell.

Chapter 294

{Faeyna has become your slave.

Class: Management

Job: Head Maid (Slave) LVL 32

Unlocked Jobs: Cook (LVL 10), Maid (LVL 50), Manager (LVL 15), Governess (LVL 18), Basic Magician (LVL 20)

Race: Elf}

While none of her jobs were combat-related, she actually gave me a run for my money when it came to her levels. Lydia, Miki and I had a long way to go. Admittedly, she had 50-60 years to gain those levels, but it still left me feeling a bit weak. For my age, I was probably above average, and considering we were still pretty young, it was probably impressive when compared to seasoned warriors, but I could still have dreams of being the strongest.

After everything was done, I turned to leave the slave market. Faeyna would be traveling with us for today.  I wanted to make sure she knew where everything was. However, after that, I would cut her loose on her own. I’d give her what little money I could get selling everything, and then we’d start needing to fundraise for Chalm and sending people home to help with the reconstruction. I really was starting to feel like a diplomat, dealing with the aristocracy while thinking of the well-being of a place a distance away.

As I reached the door, Figuro grabbed my sleeve. I turned back and he had an uncertain expression on his face. He looked just a tad bit worried.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I hope you understand, I am not permitted to speak with you about previous slave sales or the like,” Figuro explained.

“Um… okay?”

“I just need to warn you. You mentioned your competition with Lord Tibult today. All I can say is that you should be careful. He visited the slave market recently, and if you expect him to be in the same shape he was when you met him in Chalm, you may find yourself surprised. The man will not play fairly, I can guarantee you that.”

I nodded and patted his hand. “I’ll be careful.”

He nodded uncertainly, but still let me go. The six of us walked out of the slave market. My party was actually growing a bit excessive here. It would be nice if we won that mansion. Well, those problems would be resolved tomorrow after the competition. Either I’d be returning to Chalm or I’d become a noble.

After getting down the long stairway that led up to the white-columned plaza, I opened up my map and started looking through it for the next place we needed to go. If my timing was correct, we didn’t have too much longer. Dropping the map, I checked my ring and winced. Without haggle, I really did have a piddling amount of money left. It would be barely enough to last the next few days.

“Master, where do we go now?” Lydia asked, becoming impatient as I seemingly gaze off into space.

I look back at her and smile. “It’s time we come up with a way of bringing in money.”

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