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Chapter 331

“The last competition was a tie.” The Prince explained. “Since the last event was a tie, I think it’s best if the winner of this event is the final winner.”

If he didn’t propose this method, either team would need to win the next two events in order to come out on top. Given our current path, it seemed just as likely each of us would win one, and then where would we be? By making this final event the end, it would lead to no sudden deaths. The prince seemed slightly disappointed by this. Perhaps he had something really enjoyable planned that he was now going to skip.

“I accept.” The Slave Master said after a thought.

“As do I…” I added.

I had honestly not known all the tricks the Slave Master had up his sleeve. I just didn’t want to torture my girls anymore with these tests. They were too difficult and two violent.

“This one is very easy. Slaves, all of you must come up on the stage. Yes… into the Bond Breaking formation.”

All of the girls made it up. Between healing and potions, everyone had recovered the majority of their strength, so all the girls were able to walk up with their backs strong.

“The nature of this last test is simple. I want to know what you want. Each of you must answer a question. Do you want to be a slave to your Master, or do you want to be free? Anyone who requests freedom, this Prince himself will pay the cost and make it happen myself! You are under no bonds, no requirements, and no restrictions. Your Master cannot hurt you here, or coerce you, or influence you with their skills. I want your honestly, direct and simple.”

As he explained the final test, Lord Tibult’s face began to turn white. However, the Slave Master seemed completely at ease, causing him to worry.

“You’re highness…” Lord Tibult tried to speak up.

“Deek has five followers, while you only have three. You could say he’s already disadvantaged here, wouldn’t you? That is, unless… Lord Tibult fears his slave’s loyalty?”

Lord Tibult lowered his head, unable to say anything about these final conditions.

“We’ll start with Deek’s team this time.” The Prince declared, first looking at the elf girl.

“Do you wish to be Deek’s slave, or freed?”

Faeyna smiled helplessly, “Of course, only in slavery do I feel I can be safe.”

“What if I could ensure your safety?” The prince asked. “Would you wish to have your freedom?”

She shook for a second. “Even if you promised…”

“I would hire you in my Palace, and give two elite guards to watch you at all times.” He declared.

“Hey… what’s the big idea?” I said, angrily.

The Prince seemed to have had my back from the beginning, but suddenly it almost felt like he wanted me to fail.

The Prince turned to me and shook his head. “I need to know the truth. Don’t you?”

I lowered my head. I felt frustrated, but in my heart, I knew he was right. This is what I wanted, right? I wanted to know if the girls really wanted to be with me. Up until now, my perks as a slave master had, even if subconsciously, caused them to lean towards me. Since I had been to this world, I had always worried if they truly cared for me. Now, I’d finally hear the answer.

“If my safety could be guaranteed,” Faeyna said hesitantly, then shooting me an apologetic look. “Then naturally, wouldn’t I choose freedom?”

Chapter 332

She said it. Like that, I lowered my head and bit my lip. I had expected as much, but it still felt a little like being slapped. Of course, Faeyna had been with me the least. We barely knew each other. Why would she be dedicated to me after only a few days. She was nice, but that niceness was simply what she felt she had to be as a slave toward their Master.

In the end, that was all it was. These girls treated me as they would a Master. I remember when I was ten, I had bought a puppy. That dog would jump on me, lick my face, and grow enormously happy whenever I was home. We had him for six months when one day I left the door open and he ran out. That dog never returned. That was a dog, bred for loyalty from a few weeks old being given to me. Effectively, we were the only family he had ever known, and he fled the second freedom presented itself. If I combined the collective time, I had known all the girls, it wouldn’t even come to six months. They also weren’t puppies, but people who really ought to be free.

In short, this was the outcome that would happen for all of them. As I spoke, a priest had actually stepped out on the stage. Faeyna gave me one last look, her expression conflicted, but then she kneeled in front of the priest. He put his hand on Faeyna, and a moment later…

{Faeyna is no longer your slave.}

It had worked. The formation really did allow him to bypass my mark and free my slaves. Now, every one of them was fit to leave me. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the faces of the other girls. My head was down and my hands were trembling. I don’t even know why I was so upset. This is what I wanted. I had taken those marks for those girls because I wanted them to live on their own.

The Prince looked at my haggard expression hesitantly, “I will… send you 3000 gold later. I’m offering a bit more in consolation. I’m sorry, my friend.”

I looked up as his hand rested on my shoulder. In the box just over his shoulder, the Princess was at the edge, looking down at me. For some reason, she was crying when she looked at me. It was the oddest thing. The prince turned to Lydia, and I lowered my head again, defeated.

“Lydia, do you wish to be free or a slave to Deek?”

“I… can be free?” Her words stung, and for a second I thought I might pass out.

“Mm… just say the word, and I will remove the slavery mark.”

“I’m sorry…” Lydia said slowly.

I closed my eyes. So, It was that after all. In the end, this was a good thing. I had to remain strong.

“You don’t need to be.” The Prince said gently, gesturing to the priest to come over.”

“You’re wrong!” Lydia declared, her expression turning angry.

The Prince blinked. “I’m sorry?”

“You said… I could be free or be Deek’s Slave. That’s a contradiction! There is only one freedom for me, and that’s by Deek’s side!” Lydia declared with such certainty that I couldn’t help but look up in shock.

She wore a fierce expression on her face. In fact, all four remaining slaves had furious expressions. Rather than joy or happiness at the thought of freedom, they were angry.

The Prince scratched his cheek awkwardly. “Ah… you can still travel by his side if you were free?”

“What does that matter? Of course, I would follow Master regardless. That is a given! However, you wish to take the bond I have with him away!” Lydia shot him an accusatory look.

“Y-yeah!” Miki suddenly said, although her voice was much softer than Lydia’s roar. “My connection with Deek brings me strength and happiness. Because of my bond, I can smile every day! It is because I can always feel Master and know his love! How dare you try to take that away from me!”

“Master is Master!” Celeste burst into tears, “If Master isn’t Master, then Celeste wouldn’t be Celeste!”

As always, what Celeste said was either incredibly profound or completely nonsensical.

“Mm… Master is like a rising sun.” Terra declared. “If I wasn’t his, then I wouldn’t qualify to be by his side! Only when I am 100% Masters, in body, mind, and soul… only then can I show my true power! He brings out the best in me, in all of us. That’s why he will always be my Master!”

Under the assault of four angry women, the Prince didn’t know what to say. He was completely shocked as they cried and berated him. Even the crowd was starting to turn on him.

“Eliana, do it!” Lydia bellows.

There is a whistling of air and then a shoe pelts Prince Aberis in the back of the head. He spins to look up at his sister. She’s crying openly too!

“Wh-what did I do?” He said desperately trying to figure out what happened.

“S-stupid brother!” Eliana declared angrily.

Why did she suddenly completely change her mind? Women were truly something even a man of men like Prince Aberis couldn’t figure out.

As for me, I was just as stunned. “Girls… I thought… with you free…”

“And you!” Four angry glares suddenly locked on me and I gave a squeak.

“Wh-what?”

“You keep declaring you want to free us!” Lydia said.

“Did I ask to be freed!”

“If Master isn’t Master, then Celeste wouldn’t be Celeste!”

“Yes, Celeste, you already said that.” Terra patted her on the head, which made Celeste happy even though she had forgotten what they were talking about.

“You… you want to be with me?”

“Forever!” Miki snapped tearfully.

“Your slaves!” Terra declared.

“Eliana!”

Another whistling sound came, and a shoe suddenly hit my face. Those things were really painful. That was the only thought left as four women dogpiled me. Naturally, my preconceived notions were obliterated. Even a guy as dense as me got the hint. Crying, I hugged all of them in my arms.

“I won’t let any of you go, ever!”

“Hmph!” The Slave Master snorted, cutting into the mood. “That depends on if you win!”

Chapter 333

“My elf slave has been snatched away. Lord Tibult, I am not pleased.” The arrogant Slave Master said.

Lord Tibult shook for a second and waved his hands. “It’s the law! I can’t do anything about it!”

The Slave Master spat, “Aberis and your puny laws. If you think you can keep me from my slave, let it be known I know many powerful people in the Imperial Cloud Meadow.”

“Is that a threat?” The Prince’s expression grew serious as he overheard the conversation while I was still sandwiched under several girls.

“Hmph… let’s get this competition over with!” The Slave Master said instead. “After seeing this idiot child claim himself to be a Master of Slaves while making a mockery of everything we do, I have a bit of competitive spirit. I’d like to crush him.”

The girls all got off of me, finally letting me up. They were glaring angrily at the man now.

“You think any of the girls will agree to stay with you?” I responded bitterly.

“Hmph… Unlike you, these slaves are bound to me in ways more than just a slave mark. Only a fool depends only on a mark like that. They will make the right decision.”

“Very well, since it has come to this.” The prince sighed. “Then, Carmine, do you want slavery or freedom?”

Carmine’s eyes shot to the Slave Master, her body shook, and then she lowered her head. “Slavery.”

“Oh, come on! He’s coercing her somehow!” I declared.

“You love to condemn me for cheating!” He sniffed. “How about you ask her for a reason?”

The Prince looked at Carmine, who panicked for a moment before saying. “Since… the church rejected me, my life has no meaning. I am… a worthless slave… that is the only fate I deserve.”

Her words were bitter, and the Prince’s frown grew.

“You must tell the truth. I will be able to protect you.” He spoke quietly.

She gave the Slave Master one last look of fear that didn’t fit the Carmine I knew and then said. “Thank you, but I will remain a slave…”

“I will always remain by my sister’s side.” Salicia looked angry, “If she is a slave, so am I!”

He turned to the last girl, Shao, who was trembling as she looked down. “I will protect you. Just say the words.”

“I…”

“Tell him you’re worthless!” The Slave Master smiled cruelly. “Tell him you deserve to be a slave.”

“Shut up!” The Prince snarled, truly angry.

“Brother… this can’t be allowed, he’s cheating!”

“Hmph! How? Doesn’t your formula eliminate all bonds?” He shrugged.

“I… I… I want to be free!” She screamed out, “Her eyes closing shut tightly. “Please save me from these monsters! Please!”

“You… bitch!” The Slave Master snarled.

“Another tie!” Lord Tibult responded bitterly.

“No, you lost.” The Prince’s previously jovial expression was gone.

“The Slave Master glared at him. “What are you saying? We each lost one!”

“Deek had five, 80% of his slaves remained with him. You had 3, 66.6% of your slaves remained with you. Deek wins!” The Prince explained, his dark expression was unchanging. “Release your slaves.”

“You… cheated me!” He cried out.

He had acted like having more people in this competition was a setback that only benefitted Lord Tibult, but in reality, having more slaves to lose meant I had more slaves to gain! In the end, but going by ratio, the prince had given me a victory. I felt an intense wave of relief. As that happened, the priest walked up to Shao to remove her collar.

“Y-you promised me you’d win!” Lord Tibult responded defiantly.

As flushed as his face was, the Slave Master looked far angrier.

“You don’t know who you’re messing with!” He snarled. “You think this is over!”

“You’re done!” The Prince declared. “Get him out of here! Get the Slave Marks off those slaves!”

“Hehehehe…. Hahahaha!” The Slave Master started laughing. “Why would I ever allow you to take what is mine!”

“Guards!”

Two men grabbed the laughing man, but a second later, he spoke. “I am a true slave master. And If I can’t have my slaves… then no one can!”

“No!” Carmine screamed, leaping towards him.

A glowing tattoo around her neck suddenly brightened.

“You bastard!” Salicia screamed, the same tattoo appearing a second later.

The priest was a moment from putting his hand on Shao went a tattoo around her neck glowed too. The three women started screaming as if their hearts were being torn out.

“Brother, what’s happening!” Eliana cried out.

“It’s a Death Mark!” The Prince screamed.

“Hehehehe…” The Slave Master laughed as even Lord Tibult turned white, “I always win! Death Marks are permanent! You won’t even be able to resurrect them! Hahaha…”

After the screaming continued for a solid moment, Carmine struck the floor, her eyes open, but no light within them. She was dead. A few moments later, Salicia similarly crashed to the floor dead. Other than the screaming the only other sound filling the arena was the maniacal laughter of the Slave Master.

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