Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Chapter 60

“You should have let me work him over a bit.” The Guild Master frowned as we waited to sign the contract. “That ring is worth more than fifty gold coins, what kind of rotten deal is it that he gets the girl and the collateral!”

“Well, he didn’t take the fifty gold coins for now. You yourself said that paying it all would practically bankrupt Chalm.” I sighed. “Isn’t that why you didn’t just pay me the lump sum?”

“Geh!” The Guild Master put on a guilty expression after being caught. “We planned to discuss those issues after we bought her back.”

I shrugged. “Besides, he’s not a money exchanger or a pawn shop. He only deals in slaves and coin. The entire city of Chalm is short on coin at the moment. It isn’t because I lack the funds. My profits from the dungeon should cover the cost without issue. This is all just a technicality.”

“Still… since that’s the case, we should have…”

“Should have what? Risked losing Lydia?” I asked with a frown, causing Lydia, who was holding me tightly, to hold on even tighter. “He had no obligation to sell her back to me. I doubt a verbal agreement would hold water to the nobles of this world. He said it himself, she’s worth hundreds on auction. He could have taken any reason to end the transaction, and I could have done nothing except cry about how unfair it all is.

“His caravan had plans to leave in a few days. Since we lacked the funds, he could have just turned around and left while I desperately looked for someone to buy my goods. I accepted this deal in good faith. I refuse to play with Lydia’s life to save a few coins or execute some ridiculous notion of vengeance. I’m not some childish, prideful idiot. This is someone I care about on the line. Would you squabble over a few pennies to save your mother’s life?”

“Well said…” Figuro spoke, walking up. “You have a good head on your shoulders. Have you considered the mercantile business?”

“I’ve dabbled,” I spoke wryly, thinking back to my level 1 Merchant job.

Since our transaction was on hold, I’d like to level up the Merchant job and see if I could make this deal more in my favor. I could bring him down just with that Haggle skill, but once again, I wouldn’t bank Lydia’s life on it working. For all I knew, slavery went by different rules. After all, Slaver is a different job from the Merchant.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like I wasn’t upset that I ended up getting stuck with the bill, but Lydia was never mine in the first place. First, she was that noble’s, and then she was this slaver’s. Pretending I had some claim to her and that it wasn’t fair was just a wishful fantasy. Years of rejection had made me a bit of a pragmatist. Ignoring what could have been, if it came to how much I valued her, a hundred gold was nothing. I had obtained my current wealth after only a week in this world, and I didn’t feel it’d be long before I could obtain that amount again.

The Guild Master crossed his arms and scowled at Figuro. “I still feel like we’re getting the raw end of the deal here.”

“You can see it this way.” Figuro offered. “I’m lending Lydia out for one month. In exchange, I’m remaining here for one month in service to your town. After all, while I’m waiting for my payment, I’m not able to move my caravan and will have to conduct business long-distance. But that means you have an entire month with access to my slaves.”

“We don’t even want you around a week!” The Guild Master growled.

“That’s one month to potentially pay off debts…” Figuro sighed, then glanced over at the cage full of sick slaves. “All manner of debts.”

The Guild Master’s eyes brightened as he finally realized what Figuro was getting at. “That’s right! And with that fifty gold, we could free the whole lot!”

“Why do I have a feeling I’m going to be raising one hundred gold in the next month, not fifty?” I asked with a grimace.

 “Ah hah…” The Guild Master blushed, scratching the back of his head. “Of course, we can work something out, I think.”

“I’m… I’m sorry I cost Master so much,” Lydia whispered quietly, still holding me tight.

“No… it’s my fault.” I whispered to her, so no one else heard. “I should have left your job as a Commoner.”

Lydia shook her head. “It wouldn’t matter. This slaver is thorough and has a priest in his caravan. He was able to see all my jobs, including Thief!”

Using a priest to look at and change jobs was expensive for the common folk, but if it had to be done, it had to be done. However, if it’s something you needed to do regularly, it was probably cheaper to hire a priest directly. Like, a mechanic might be expensive for me to use, but a corporation could certainly keep a mechanic on the payroll. I was not sure if the slavers had to work something out with the church, or if priests could work independently from the church. It didn’t really matter to me.

I had suspected the slavers had a method of looking at jobs, which was why I didn’t kick myself too hard when I found out he raised her worth. The only way I could have not raised her worth was to not depend on her in the dungeon. However, I had needed her to escape that dungeon alive. If I saw it as a necessary tax for both of our lives, it indeed seemed like a small debt.

“Also…” Figuro added one last thing. “Don’t forget. You can’t free her as a slave until she’s paid off.”

We signed the necessary paperwork and finally headed back to town. Lydia wasn’t officially my slave yet, so the mark on her was still set to Figuro. Well, at least she was by my side now. That was truly what mattered to me.

Since I was in a better mood, the Adventurers I had become friends with wanted to celebrate. We drank a lot, and by the time I got Lydia back to my room, I was almost passed out. I fell asleep with her snuggling next to me. We didn’t even get to do anything else. Still, she had a smile on her face, I remembered falling asleep with her smiling over me.

Whatever came next, I knew I could handle it as long as I was with Lydia.

Chapter 61

“A mansion,” the Guild Master said, putting a sheet of paper down on the table.

It was the day after I got Lydia back. She was sitting next to me. She had eaten all the meat from her plate but didn’t have any interest in anything else. She still had one hand holding my shirt, as if she was afraid that if she let it go, I would disappear.

“A… what?” I asked, looking up from my own meal.

After a week in the dungeon and barely eating the last two days, I had lost a bit of weight. My clothing was hanging on me loosely now. We both planned to go to the seamstress after this.

“For defeating the dungeon.” The Guild Master announced.

“Technically, you never agreed to defeat the dungeon for the fifty gold pieces. If we go by the mission you were on and your performance, you’ve earned five gold pieces.” The mayor explained, dropping a small pouch on the table next to my food.

“Oi… only five?”

“Six, I threw in your monthly salary as the hero too” The mayor coughed. “Sorry… you know our financial situation. We’d like to free as many slaves as we can. Just those that are crimeless or sick, we won’t go overboard.”

“You guys are seriously putting me in a tough spot,” I said, frowning.

I knew the items I had on me were valuable, but I wasn’t confident it was to the level of 100 gold coins.

“Of course, you’re our city’s benefactor.” The Guild Master explained. “That’s why we want to gift you a mansion.”

I frowned. “I really would prefer just to head to the capital city and sell some goods to earn my money.”

Plus, once I made a visit to the capital, I could portal back and forth. This kind of situation would never happen again.

“The journey by horse is almost three weeks. You’d be very hard-pressed to make it back by your one-month deadline!” The mayor protested.

“That’s not really an issue for me,” I responded.

“P-plus!” The mayor waved his hands excitedly. “The mansion belonged to a former lord. Inside it, there was supposed to be a treasure. Real treasure. Gold. At least 800 coins! Enough to buy out the slave caravan entirely!”

I let out a sigh, taking the bait. “Okay… where is this mansion? I don’t see one in this village.”

“Ten miles west of here, in the ruins of Old Chalm!”

“Thank you both for the lovely chat. I’ll be going then…”

“Wait!” The two called out. “If you help reclaim Old Chalm, not only will you become exceptionally rich, but there is a possibility to become a new lord!

“Didn’t you say Old Chalm was a ghost town?” I demanded.

“You told him?” The Mayor cried, shooting the Guild Master a look.

“Ah… that… the ghost problem isn’t that bad…”

“Ghosts? Real ghosts? The village is haunted too?” I sputtered in disbelief.

The two men looked at each other and then put on identical pleading looks. “Yes… the mansion and surrounding city may have been overtaken by spirits and paranormal monsters, but you made short work of our undead problem. You’re like a battle priest, right? You should be able to take out the ghosts with ease!”

I didn’t know if that was true. Ghosts were dead, not undead. I had a feeling healing and other such spells wouldn’t do squat against poltergeists. That was where Priests and White Mages started to differ, it seemed.

“Master…” Lydia pulled on my shirt, causing me to glance at her.

“If this is about earning money, I will go with Master wherever.”

‘Yeah… but… the capital…”

“Don’t worry,” the Mayor declared. “The merchant caravans will arrive in a few weeks. At that time, we’ll be able to bring more coins into the city and buy your items. I promise, your money will be there.”

I glanced between Lydia and the two men. Finally, I gave out a sigh.

“Old Chalm… it is.”

Chapter 62

“M-master… this clothing…” Lydia was looking over at me with teary eyes.

“What, do you not like it?”

Lydia shook her head, her ears almost flapping. “Not at all! Rather, this clothing is much too nice for someone like me.”

“Lydia… you’re worth any cost to me,” I responded. 

Lydia turned bright red, and it took the seamstress three times addressing her before she finally paid attention and lifted her arm as instructed. While I was waiting in my stupor, I wasn’t completely useless. I had gone to the seamstress and ordered her a couple of outfits. I said they were for a girl, but I didn’t specify a slave. She didn’t know Lydia’s size, but she came back with an assortment of outfits for me and was now taking the measurements. Lydia was doing the best she could as the seamstress commented on her nice bone structure.

“I wish you had mentioned earlier that she is a Swordsman.” The seamstress said. “Unlike you, she’d do well to have some leather armor. She is fast and flexible, so I wouldn’t go for anything metal, but a decent beast hide would outdo anything I could do with clothing.”

“Is that so?” I laughed awkwardly, scratching the back of my head.

Just because I was a mage, why did I have to have less defense? Well, I had other jobs too. I could have White Mage and Hero equipped at the same time. Since that was the case, I was interested in leather armor as well.

After some negotiation back and forth, I finally spent 2 gold coins on armor and clothing. She would contact the leatherworker herself and sort all these things out. It cost a bit more, but I didn’t like negotiating all that much. I mean, I still had Haggle and my hero status, so I got a 30% discount on this. It originally would have been 3 gold coins. 

{Merchant has increased to level 2.}

{Upsell has been unlocked.}

Upsell, huh? Well, if haggle allows me to talk down the price, then Upsell would allow me to increase it. That meant, when I sold items, I could probably sell them for a bit more.

It’d take a day for the leatherwork and stitching to be completed. I still took an outfit that didn’t fit her perfectly. Lydia was in the shop wearing a purple blouse and skirt with a split down the middle for riding a horse. She looked very cute in it, but it hadn’t been modified for her tail like the others would be, so she blushed as it rid a bit low on her back.

“Wait… your robe has also been finished. As promised.” I nearly left without the most expensive addition.

I was depending on selling this as a last resort if all else failed. Well, it was thirty gold coins in value. It was made of Shadow Rabbit fur and it would supposedly allow a person to move faster and hide easier. It was black in color when it was finished, which was odd because I recalled the rabbits being brown.

I reached out and draped it around Lydia’s shoulders. She started to panic.

“M-m-master! This is way too extravagant.”

“I give this to you because it has to be you,” I said, not letting her hand it back. “You’re going to be protecting me from now on, alright?”

Lydia blushed. “Y-yes, Master.”

With the cloak on, Lydia had black fur across her back. She now looked part tiger and part panther. The effect was very adorable. I just had one more thing I needed to do before we headed out to Old Chalm. I wasn’t too worried about heading there later in the day. I had Portal to return us once I had been there once, and I had Return to take us home. Travel in this world was pretty convenient for someone like me.

Previous | Table of Contents | Next