After everything, we managed to leave the church without incident. On the way out, Carl appeared again.
“Oh, you’ve come to take Carmine away? This is for the best. Although her breasts are quite admirable, she has a bad personality. She hides them away in that armor. Not like the Archbishop, who puts it on display for every ma- geh!”
A book manages to slam into his face, and Carl passed out on the floor. The source of that book naturally came from the Archbishop herself, although where she found that book is anyone’s guess. This is apparently a common event, as the other Priests, Paladins, and acolytes all ignore it, passing by or even stepping over him if necessary, without a second look.
“You said you were close friends with the Princess?” I asked wryly.
She straightens proudly, her breasts bouncing. “The King sent her to learn under my care when she was younger. I taught her everything she knows. Why do you ask?”
“Oh, nothing… I just see the resemblance.”
Both women had a skill with throwing things at an incredible distance. It was clear who was the master and who was the student. Mary had taken Carl out twice now, while the Princess could barely discipline her brother.
We bid our farewells with the Archbishop, and a few eyes were more appreciative upon seeing us being close with their high clergy. Well, poor Terra still received looks of disdain and disgust. Over time, she had lowered her head, reached out, and grabbed the back of my shirt. She seemed to have sunk into herself, and over time, made no responses but to follow me silently while holding on pitifully.
When we finally exited the church, she stopped, and a tug on my shirt when I tried to keep going caused me to stop as well and I glanced back.
“M-master…” she responded, her voice shaky.
“Terra, you don’t need to worry about them. If we do end up in that other sect, it’ll become the exact opposite. Lydia and Shao will be looked down upon and you’ll be appreciated. As Mary already pointed out, I’m not a guy who gets caught up on that kind of thing.”
“Th-those stares… that hatred… the disappointment …”
“I’m so sorry that you had to face all of that…”
“Master… let’s have sex!” Terra finally raises her head, her eyes flashing with excitement.
“Eh?’ I look back to see that Terra is panting and her cheeks are flushed.
“I don’t know why, but I really want Master right now!”
“Ahhh… I see…”
It turned out that her trial through the church of big breasts had awakened a part of Terra that she didn’t understand. Unfortunately, I could see what was happening here. Terra’s life was marked with failure, from her death all the way to her failure to live up to being a guardian who protected her city. Therefore, all of those disdainful criticizing eyes seemed to awaken a subconscious desire to be punished.
Now, my poor little golem was turning into a pervert who likes these kinds of things. I give out a long sigh and then pat her on the head.
“Let’s just go home and we’ll see about it.”
I wasn’t sure this was a condition I could fix. Perhaps, I’d be able to contain it with proper measures.
“Also… while Master does it, can he spit on me?”
“Lord of Aberis!”
“The Hero of the Capital City!”
I hadn’t bothered to hide my face on the way back to the mansion. Even those that didn’t recognize me definitely recognized the girls who were fighting on stage that day. Whether it was the ditzy fairy who cleared the stage, the sexy Lydia who gave a striptease, or the defiant determination of Terra, every girl had a place in their hearts. The exception was Shao, but thankfully she had kept her face mostly covered and few seemed to connect her to the demon lord. Rather, it’d be stranger if they did think a demon lord was casually walking around next to the hero who defeated her.
As we left the main area and went into the richer neighborhood, those that called out decreased. In fact, the people who were walking around decreased completely. We were soon the only people on the street. Of course, this was the rich neighborhood, so we were within sight of guard posts. This was not a dangerous area of town by any means.
However, it did make it somewhat obvious when there were three people standing in front of the mansion. There were two large men, and then a smaller man in the middle. They looked incredibly shady, and I wondered a bit why the guards had even let them get this far into the neighborhood. Although to be fair, we lived on the outskirts, in the small mansion which once used to belong to our neighbors.
“Ah… Master!” Carmine suddenly called out when she noticed the men.
“What is it?” I asked, still eyeing the men suspiciously.
“You have a lot of money, right?”
“Huh?” I glanced over at Carmine. “What are you on about?”
“You’re rich, right? Your talk about not having disposable money, you were just joking! Right? Right?”
I wasn’t joking, but I also didn’t want this woman to know how much money I had. That wasn’t the important thing. Who were these people waiting on us? She seemed to recognize them.
“I don’t know what you’re on about? Why are there people waiting in front of my house?”
“They must have heard that you came to town. They are probably waiting to… co…t mo…” The last part was so mumbled and low that I could barely hear her.
“What was that?”
“C-collect money!” she responded in a hoarse whisper.
“What are you talking about? You were turned into a slave! Your debt was settled. I also just settled your debt with the Church. So…”
She looked nearly in tears. “Didn’t I already explain? That damn elf wouldn’t give me any coins? How was I going to buy things? So, I took out some loans… or twelve… in Master’s name!”
She waved her hands defensively. “None of them were for very much! Just fifty coins here, a few coins there.”
I rubbed my temples, immediately regretting bringing her back from the church. “Just tell me, how much money do you owe these people?”
“Not that much… only 2 or 3…”
“Hundred!” I shouted out, causing the men to finally notice us.
“Ah… no Master…” she looked down guiltily. “Thousand. Three thousand gold.”
“You…” As I was glaring at her angrily, the three men walked over to us.
The men looked intimidating, but they weren’t acting aggressively yet. As for me, I was already sweating at the thought of spending 3000 gold coins. It had only been weeks! Clearly, her condition was spiraling out of control!
“I can’t help it!’ Carmine cried as she looked at the sour look on my face. “Being trapped with Sister brought it out of me! It’s really Master’s fault for forcing me to live with her even though he knew how I felt!”
“Errr…” I couldn’t really argue with that.
It didn’t really matter. What was done was done. Now, we had this 3000 gold debt that we had to take care of.
“Should we just kill them?” I whispered quietly under my breath.
The girls with animal ears naturally heard me. Lydia touched her sword as if to say that I should just give the order. As for Miki, she grabbed my arm and shook her head.
“The Loan Guild may not be as widespread and well known as the Slaver’s Guild, but they provide the slavers with a large portion of their slaves. They are about the 5th largest organization in Aberis, only being beaten out by the Adventuring Guild, the slavers, the Church, and the royal family,” Miki explained.
“Even the loan sharks have a guild?” I felt like crying.
“They take their debt very seriously. They’re not above burning down buildings or taking out kneecaps. Even if someone is stronger than them, they wouldn’t dare cross the Loan Guild. Their actions are considered barbaric by some, but they are effective for a reason.”
I could only nod with a numb feeling in my mind. In short, I couldn’t afford to offend these people. Even if they couldn’t threaten my life, they could burn down my mansion or in some other ways cause me trouble. I might argue that giving loans to a slave in the first place was a bad move, but in Aberis, slaves were allowed to use money and represent their Masters. If you had to do everything yourself, it defeated the purpose of using a slave. The responsibility falls on the master to properly control their slaves. Thus, in the Loan Guild’s eyes, I was responsible for the ridiculous debt she acquired.
“How much of the 3000 gold do you have left?” I demanded.
“It was only a 1000 gold loan, the rest is interest, Master…”
“What the hell is with that interest rate?”
“They said I was a liability having already failed to pay off a debt and needing to be sold off to slavery once already!”
“They were right!” I yelled and then sighed. “Okay… how much of the 1000 gold coins have you kept?”
“Any of it?”
She shook her head, now actually crying. “It wasn’t my fault! The Capital City is expensive! Just my storage ring cost 50 gold. My armor and weapons have several magical enchantments, that cost 500 gold to have it made, fitted, and then enchanted.”
“Made from scratch! Why?”
“Please, Master, you wouldn’t expect me to put on armor someone else wore and wasn’t fitted perfectly to me? Right?” Carmine sniffed at the thought and then continued, “Plus, the guy who carried it back to the mansion wanted a few gold coins…”
“Wait, why did you need someone to carry it back if you had the storage ring?”
“Doesn’t Master know it’s bad luck to store new armor in a storage ring before you wear it for the first time?”
My hand slapped my face. I felt like I wanted to strangle someone. It was about that time that the three men finally made it to where we were standing and arguing in the street.
“So, where’s my money?” the short man said.