“Kaia… if you don’t come out, I’ll come in and get you!” Nerissa shouted in a sing-song teasing voice.
“This is bad…” Kaia’s eyes flashed with worry as she looked out of the cave.
I waved my hand, casting the White Mage spell Awaken, bringing the four humans back to consciousness. One of them appeared to be a youth, one of them was a middle-aged man, and the remaining two were women, one in her teens, and one much older. My eyes fell on the middle-aged man, who she had indicated was the human leader.
“Is what this woman saying true?” I asked, checking her story out before I reacted to it. “Is she helping you escape?”
The man blinked for a few minutes, but he seemed to be quick-witted and quickly grasped what was going on.
“It’s true. My name is Demetri, the leader of the Waterfield Rebellion.” He lowered his head. “I was betrayed by one of my own subordinates and captured. I’d have already lost my head, but the young Lady Kaia helped me escape. Please, let the rest of them go. They were just in the same cage as me. They’re not part of the rebellion at all.”
His words were filled with wisdom. He gave himself and Kaia up, yet pleaded for a small concession. However, something about Nerissa’s demeanor told me that such an action would have failed with her completely.
“I don’t know about the Waterfield Rebellion,” I responded, still watching him while my mind worked through everything carefully.
He winced. “To you all, it may not have even been a blip worthy of being named, but to us… it was our last hope.”
The younger woman started crying, and the youth put his arms around her shoulders, trying to calm her. It was clear this group had broken down into despair. It was hard watching this. On Faerith, I had yet to see a single Fey slave. I wondered if there was a reason behind that. Meanwhile, the Fey seemed to hold no qualms about making the lives of the humans they capture miserable. While we sat on our continent, fighting amongst each other, the Fey were over here, growing in power and subjugating the entire populace.
“I’m willing to help,” I said after a moment of silence.
The man, Demetri, looked up in surprise. Meanwhile, Kaia held her hands in front of her, a flash of hope in her eyes.
“With eight fighters instead of twenty, we might just be able to fight our way through. At least, the humans will be able to flee.”
“Make that nine.” Demetri stood up with a stiff back. “I will fight as well!”
“Demetri! If you get captured, then what was this all for?” Kaia shot back.
“You both seem to be misunderstanding something,” I spoke, breaking their touching scene apart in an instant.
The two spun to me in surprise. “Wh-what?”
“I said I would help. I didn’t say I would fight to the death.”
“Huh? How do you plan to help?”
“First, I have a caveat.” I sneered. “You all must become my slaves!”
Something important I had learned in the Twilight Dungeon is that you couldn’t trust anyone that wasn’t under your control. Perhaps that was a harsh lesson, but I had already felt like I lost too much in that dungeon. My bonds with all of my women had been severed, I had been left to die in a world of undead and demons. The Twilight princess had to give her life, and so did Xin. In the end, we only managed to survive by pure luck. Had I not unlocked interdimensional travel at that moment, I would already be dead.
Thus, my view of slavery had changed a great deal. I depended on these bonds. They helped me protect those I cared about, and restrain those that would give me trouble. This bond wasn’t even disadvantageous for those who took it. They’d be gifted with strength and experience boosts. They have me on their side, and if ever there was an emergency, I could come and help them. What was there not to love?
The knights guarding Kaia did not seem to feel this way. Suddenly, they all pulled out hidden daggers from under their armor and stood in front of her. Her mouth was open, her eyes wide in shock. Even Bernice seemed surprised, although both Garnet and Carmine took this as a matter of course.
“Y-you… you’re some kind of Slaver?” Kaia demanded angrily. “You want to enslave these humans after I’ve freed them?”
“You misunderstand.” I shook my head. “I intend to enslave you and your men as well.”
“Me? But… but… I’m Fey!” She seemed to say that like it explained everything.
Even though she was helping humans escape, it seems like she was still a bit haughty. It came with the territory. She was a princess, so how could she not think herself better than others.
“Can Fey’s not be enslaved?” I asked.
She gave me a strange look but still answered. “It’s not that a Fey can’t be enslaved, but we are extremely resistant. Someone would have to be many times more powerful to be able to force even a low-level Fey to be enslaved. If you don’t have the Slave Master job, then it is impossible.”
“So, that’s why…” I sighed at answering that dilemma. “However, it shouldn’t be a problem. I may not be able to enslave your Knights, but they follow you, so as long as I can place a bond on you.”
“How dare you!”
“We’ll do it.” Demetri’s voice broke in.
“Leader?” The human boy looked up in shock.
“The alternative is death. The longer we wait, the sooner that death will come. If this man has the power to enslave us and doesn’t fear repercussions from that woman out there, then he might just have the power to save us.”
“B-but… we’ll be slaves again!” The boy protested. “We’ll be no better off than we were.”
“Who says we need to be better off?” The man gave a defeated snort. “To be back where we started, even that could be considered a plus in this situation.”
“B-becoming a slave…” Kaia’s eyes looked distant.
“My lady, you have already done all you can for us.” Demetri sighed. “It seems like running into this person was just the fate of our human race. I will not force your hand for you. Perhaps, if he can truly help us escape, you can avoid retaliation from your sister.”
While he was saying such things, I had already placed a slave seal on the three others. They didn’t put up a resistance. Rather, they looked defeated already. However, when my Slave Mastery started to take effect, their eyes blinked as a new source of strength flowed into them. The boy even looked up at me with a bit of idolization in his eyes. I didn’t want to influence him in such a way, but it wasn’t like we had time.
“Fine! I’ll do it!” Kaia cried out. “I won’t leave you all to this man!”
“My lady!” One of the guards said.
“No… it’s fine. Enslave me! But if you fail to protect us, then we will all die together!”
I didn’t give Kaia much mind as she stood there with her cheeks puffed out angrily. Instead, I put my hand on Demetri’s forehead and bonded him. I wanted to inform him that everything was going to be alright, and I did this just to make sure I wasn’t going to be backstabbed, but frankly, Kaia irked me. I had a feeling if she found out I was human; she would stop engaging me on the same level and start treating me like I was beneath her. The prejudice inside Feys ran deep, or maybe it was just me.
The first three humans were predictably weak. They were roughly at the same level as the typical people of Chalm. With my status boosts, they might be at the level of a city guard. Mind you, that was just with stats. There was also a complete lack of training or fighting jobs to consider. The only one who seemed strong was Demetri. His level was about that of an elite guard here. Elite guards on the Faerie Plain were a bit stronger than the Elite Guards from Aberis. That might not be true in the bigger countries, but I didn’t have enough experience to know.
Mind you, this was all just from looking roughly at levels and guessing. Unless I fought them, I’d have no clue how strong they were. I finally moved up to Kaia. She seemed stand-offish at first, and her guards seemed to be fighting the urge to cut me down. Finally, she gritted her teeth and brought out her arm, not letting me touch her head. It didn’t matter to me. I grabbed her arm and bonded her. Compared to the others, it used a lot more mana, but I managed to force it through all the same. Her body shivered as she was bound to me. Perhaps, she thought I was lying when I said I could do it. After all, not everyone had the Slave Master job.
While we were doing this, Nerissa was waiting outside patiently. It seemed like she couldn’t easily knock down the barrier. She had to wait for it to die out naturally. However, she held confidence. If she knew I was in here, she wouldn’t act so confident.
“How long will your barrier hold?” I asked Kaia.
She shot me a glare. “Two days.”
“Then, that’s two days they can wait for no reason.”
I held up a hand and started opening a Portal. Once the familiar blue pool opened, Kaia’s mouth fell open.
“Y-You’re a Blue Mage? A Blue Mage… and a Slave Master?” Her voice was very high as she spoke.
It turned out she was very knowledgeable about those jobs, and also what they meant. It seemed like the Fey’s had a much better knowledge of the job system than humans did. Perhaps, it was native to this world, where humans and other invaders only adopted it. Maybe, that was why they couldn’t see the status?
“We’ll go through and ride. I can make more Portals, and we’ll eventually be so far they’ll never catch up.” I responded.
With my bonds on them, I could tell they didn’t have any tracking on them. So, even one jump should be enough that she’d never find us.
“Thank you, Master.” Demetri bowed, taking the first step through the Portal to show his trust in me to the rest of the group.
The others looked at each other and stepped through one at a time. The guards went before Kaia. She stopped right before stepping through.
“If you betray us…” She didn’t say anything else as she stepped through.
Soon, I was the last person in the cave. Taking one last look at Nerissa, I took a step and then froze. Suddenly, I could feel something. It was a bond stirring inside, starting to form but not. I could feel it, and I seemed to recognize it. The miasma of it had a somewhat familiar feel to it! I gritted my teeth, staring between the Portal and the fluctuating bond. I felt like I’d lose it if I didn’t strike now. With a curse, I shut the Portal and began to put all of my power into Slave Taker. The bond started to form. It was wisps at first, but it slowly congealed until I could feel a bond, faint and distant, but there.
I had done it! I could feel her! However, how could I talk to her? Slave Communication didn’t work at that distance. My eyes danced across the abilities until an idea exploded in my mind. Didn’t summons have a ridiculous distance? People could even be summoned from other worlds. It seemed like bringing someone to you was far easier than ripping holes in space or sending thoughts.
In my excitement, I threw out my hand and began the summoning. “Slave Summon!”
I poured all of my mana into it, holding nothing back. I only had one chance at this. I felt like that was true. At first, I feared it wouldn’t work, but then the body started to coalesce. In a few moments, Elaya had appeared in front of me, as dark and beautiful as she had ever been. Her eyes widened as she looked at me, but I only felt a mixture of pain and joy at seeing her.
“Hello, Elaya. It’s been a while. Where are my women?”