I didn’t agree to come to her place because I was a stellar gentleman. Rather, I was really interested in seeing what kind of condition humans lived in this world. If I was going to accomplish anything, I needed to understand this world better. Well, their place can’t be any worse than mine.
At least, that’s what I wanted to say, but after traveling three alleys over, I stopped at a pile of trash. I saw various female species. There had been a creature with cat ears and a tail. What was obviously an elf? There were several more humans. There was also a race with gold skin and red eyes. I didn’t recognize them at all. Everyone was just lying around with dejected looks on their faces. Most of the girls were very skinny, their faces gaunt and their appearance sickly.
A few seemed to be preying on others, trying to cutpurses or otherwise steal the limited things others had. If you failed to steal from a demon, death was the most likely outcome. So, many chose to steal from each other.
When the young girl pushed away some discarded cloth, I realized there was actually a space built within the trash. I seriously didn’t want to go inside, but I closed my nostrils and dived in anyway. I had already eaten half of the rolls on the way, so it was fine.
There was a small alcove which continued on under the building. Surprisingly, it was a lot warmer under here. I realized, this was because this was a space under a building, and right under the stove of the inhabitants above. It looked like humanity literally lived in under the demons and in their trash. I heard coughing before I saw a woman covered in blankets.
“Mom! I’m home!” The girl called out, excitedly running to her mother.
“Diane… I told you… don’t go out…” A groggy woman said weakly. “I said I’ll be able to go out and hunt for food tomorrow.”
“It’s fine, mom, I have five whole rolls!” She looked at me, a sudden fear on her face, but when I tossed her the bag, her expression instantly improved. “That will be enough to feed us for a week!”
She literally dropped the rolls out of the bag and right on to her mom’s filthy sheets.
The mother looked down, with shock in her eyes. “H-honey… you can only get rolls from demons. We have no money… h-how?”
A guilty look spread over the girl named Diane’s face. At this point, I chose to step forward. Well, a step was a loose term, as the only way to move around was crawling, but I at least held out my hand.
“I gave them to her,” I said.
It was only when she heard my voice that her eyes turned and she saw a demon in her home. Her face turned even whiter than it normally was and she let out a gasp.
“H-honey! A demon!” She was clearly terrified, perhaps thinking I came to torture or kill her and her mother.
“You don’t need to worry.” I said, “I’m not here to hurt you. Rather, I just wanted to ask you a few questions. For that, the rolls are on me.”
When she had sat up, several of the rolls had fallen on the dirt floor. I wouldn’t eat them even if she gave them back at this point.
“Questions… is it?” The mother started to relax slightly. “I can… answer to the best of my ability.”
Now that she had turned to face me, I could get a better look at the woman. She was gaunt just like everyone else. Pail, sickly, and deathly white. However, if you could look past that, she would have been a beautiful woman when healthy. She had a large chest and wide hips. She was blonde with blue eyes too. She was getting on in years, looking almost in her forties, but in better times she would have been a hotty.
Her daughter similarly had blonde hair and blue eyes. Her hair was done up in pigtails, and I could see the resemblance between the mother and daughter. However, the daughter had yet to develop down there. Well, she was still young. If she ate well, they’d probably develop quite nicely. Well, clearly food was the issue here.
“What is your name?” I decided to ask first, keeping it simple.
“My name is Elizabeth, and this is my daughter, Diane.”
“How long ago did the demons win the war?”
She looked away with a bitter expression, “You’d know that as well as any…”
“I’m asking the questions,” I said, trying to sound imposing even though I was on my hands and knees.
“Ah!” She let out a cry of fear. “That’s… ten years ago. I was pregnant with her when our walls were breached and they slaughtered everyone who picked up a sword.”
“They didn’t touch anyone who didn’t?”
She bit her lip. “Even I don’t know why. They’d cut down anyone who tried to fight, but as for women, children, infirmed, and elderly, they ignored us. As long as we stayed out of there way, they wouldn’t hurt us. As soon as we tried to fight back, we were slaughtered mercilessly.”
“So, they don’t feed you and you can’t work, right?”
She lowered her head. “Of course…”
“Then, how did you survive the last ten years.”
“Scrounging from their trash.” She said, not even blinking. “We occasionally make hunting parties. But, in the last ten years since the demons took over, the monsters outside the city have grown more powerful and dangerous. That’s how the last of the men fell. Even women tried to make hunting parties, but it’s 50/50 whether they come back alive. Even less come back with anything edible.”
“You’ve never tried to talk to the demons?”
“Of course, we’ve tried!” She said, her voice angry. “But the demons… they won’t… listen… they don’t see value… in…”
Suddenly, she collapsed back on the bed, her eyes closing.
“Mom!” Diane yelled out, grabbing her mother and shaking her.
“Dia- cough… cough… I…” She weakly said.
Looking down at my hands, I considered everything the woman had said. It matched mostly what the goddess has told me. Demons moved in, took all of their stuff, and the humans were basically just ignored.
I grabbed a roll, and then shoved it into the coughing woman’s mouth. Her Diane turned to me with tearful eyes.
“A roll is too much for mom! I have to mix it with water, or she’ll get very sick!”
I ignored her, instead, meeting the woman’s eyes. She seemed to detect something in the way I was looking at her, as she stopped coughing and was instead staring at me expressionlessly.
“Do you want to live?” I asked.
She reached to remove the roll from her mouth.
“Just nod,” I said.
“Do you want your child to have a better life?”
She nodded even more emphatically.
“If I can give this to you, will you obey me? Do whatever I want? You will do degrading things. You will use your body. However, by using your body, I will give you something you don’t have. A future. If you agree, then bite into the roll and swallow.”
To my surprise, she did just as I commanded without hesitation, With only a single chew, she swallowed, although she had a look of pain on her face as if nothing that large had gone down her throat in years.
“I had already been degraded to a point of no return, if you can even give my daughter food for a week, you can do whatever you want to me.”
“I do not have food,” I said.
She looked down, her expression turning bitter. “I see…”
“Instead. I have a way.” I reached out and touched her head. “Will you follow me?”
Elizabeth is now your minion. You have 1/1 minions.
Minion Level: 1