That night, I slept by the fire, finally drying myself off. We had only ridden for another hour… but I was covered in slime juice and we were still concerned that more monsters might attack. It was chilly, and by the time we stopped, I was shivering very uncomfortably. The prince didn’t have another change of clothing, but he promised me that as soon as we got into the outskirts of the next town, he would personally buy me a dress and a bath at an inn before we entered the castle.
He also implied he’d make sure no one knew about the things we had experienced. It appeared that what happened in the woods, stayed in the woods. I considered making a move at that point, he could certainly warm me up better than the fire, but part of me decided that it wasn’t the right time, especially considering the fact I was covered in dried slime juice.
I asked him about the slime, and he informed me that slimes had a magic core that kept them together. He defeated it by striking the core while avoiding my body. Apparently, if I had known about the core, I could have reached out and simply crushed it in my hand. It was why slimes were not considered considerable threats to humans. Unless they were magma, poisonous, or in some way caustic, slimes were quite weak. And the stronger slimes typically resided in very inhospitable dungeons anyway, and would never show up on the surface. The big issue with slimes was the mess. He didn’t make any comments about a history of slimes raping women, and I decided there was no normal way to bring it up so I let it pass.
“Still,” he added. “I have never seen them go crazy like that. I’d swear someone released a monster attractant on us.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. I was surprised too.”
I decided ignorance was the best policy here. The monsters weren’t attacking now, and that was what was important. However, the prince still insisted on staying up and keeping watch. Not really considering his lack of sleep, I quickly snuggled next to the fire in one of the blankets he had kept nearby and went to sleep myself.
The next day, we continued to make progress unperturbed. At this point, my cramping had stopped, and I began to regain my vigor. I also managed to gain some experience while we were on the road. Regrettably, I did not have a toy, unless the saddle counted. That’s right, I masturbated on the horse while we were riding. I was sitting behind the prince and while I pressed my face up against his back, my fingers worked their magic. My Conceal had improved considerably at this point. Either he didn’t suspect a thing, or he was being way too polite.
I suspected the former because I decided to do it a second time, and as I came, I squeezed on his side, getting a nice feel of his yummy abs.
“Is there something wrong?” He asked.
As I casually slid my hand out of my pants, I lied, “Sorry, I thought I was going to fall off for a second.”
“Oh… well, be careful, hold me with both hands.”
“Yes, sir.” My eyes twinkled as I reached out and grabbed his other side with my hand still dirty with my womanhood.
The cat-and-mouse game we were playing that he wasn’t even aware of was starting to turn me on, and I was starting to think of doing even more absurd sexual things just behind him when he suddenly spoke up and broke my poorly made plans.
“Ah, we reached the farmlands, we’ll hit a small village shortly and then we should reach the city by evening.
As we trotted forward, we emerged from the forest into an area that clearly looked cultivated. I couldn’t tell what more than half of the things being grown here were, but I recognized farmland at least. As we headed down the road, more people started showing up, many of them smiling and waving as the prince passed by. It was enough people that even I wasn’t comfortable with my Conceal enough to get away with doing naughty things behind the prince.
Instead, I grinned and bared it, simply waving and smiling back to anyone who met my gaze. I certainly didn’t look like a princess in the prince’s garb, and my hair had spent literally two days in a barn and then was drenched in slime gunk. I probably looked more like a straggly adventurer. The prince didn’t look that much better. The boars had managed to rip his shirt in a couple of places, and at the very least, he looked like he had been in a fight. Certainly, no one had called him out as a prince or lord, and we both kept things simple.
“This is a fairly big village. A lot of commerce comes through here. Just stick close to me.”
“Yes, I will,” I said, snuggling up closer to his back.
He didn’t stiffen like he once might have. In the last two days of riding, he seemed to have grown used to me snuggling up against his back as we rode. No matter how much I knew he was conscious of my boobs pressed against his back, he never openly reacted to it, so I continued to do it until my boobs just felt more comfortable against his back, then it was just second nature. The third prince probably wouldn’t be happy if we kept doing that, so I’d need to stop when we reached the castle.
The village… as he called it, looked more like a city. It had its own city wall and everything. I mean, compared to a city from my world, everything was incredibly crowded. The streets were smaller, only needing to be large enough for a carriage. There were people walking around numerous buildings. None of the buildings reached over two stories, and they seemed to be built of stone, thatch, or whatever was available at the time. It certainly gave off the vibe of a middle-aged city.
“Let’s go to an inn. You can get cleaned up and I’ll get you a dress.”
I nodded behind his back and didn’t say anything as we trotted up to the city gates. The gates were open and there seemed to be no form of checking as we passed by. A guard simply waved us along and we kept moving forward. I had thought we might have to have some identification, but it turned out that identification was only necessary if you were transporting goods.
I was finally in my first city in another world, and my excitement was palpable. It was the regular kind of excitement for once, the same kind of excitement you’d have visiting another country for the first time. All I wanted to do was go exploring. First, I’d go to a jewelry shop and unload the goods I had swiped from the orcs. Using my newfound fortune, I would hit up the armor and weapons shops, buy the best I could afford. Maybe I could get something better than I could afford, a few sexual favors covering the gap. Then, the adventurer’s guild, the place that holds the hopes and dreams of every gamer who ever found himself stuck in another world!
But… I couldn’t do any of that. I was a princess now. Fortunately, the prince was in front of me and couldn’t see the wide-eyed wonderment on my face. However, the city did give me a few disappointments as well. Elves, dwarves, and beastmen all existed in this world, but there was not a single one in this village. I was expecting the city to be full of all kinds of strange monster-like humans.
When I asked the fourth prince this, he barked a laugh. “You certainly have some strange ideas about Nidia. I can’t imagine your country is much more diverse?”
“Oh, ah. Yeah, I guess not…” I mumbled, trying to cover up yet another slip of mine.
“You’d probably have to go to the demon continent to see that kind of diversity. A lot of humans don’t see elves, dwarves, and beast-men as much better than them… so they keep to themselves. There is an elf village a few days travel from the castle, it’s a popular tourist attraction… that is… um… might not be suitable for a princess.”
His voice dwindled at the end there, and I gave him a questioning look. “What about an elf village would be inappropriate for a princess?”
He winced at that question. “That is… err… I’ve heard their celebrations are quite… um… scandalous. Elves are considered… erm… sexually unrepressed… and…”
“Oh, there are some beastmen right there!” I interrupted his train of thought excitedly.
There they were, it was a large-shouldered man with cat ears on his head. Oh, he even had a tail. And there was a dwarf! And an elf. It was like a parade of demi-humans, all up on stage. They seemed to be wearing fairly baggy plain clothing, I wondered if they were in a show.
The prince made a noise. “Tsk, it’s best if we move on. That’s not something for a princess either.”
I leveled an annoyed glare at his back, he certainly had one too many opinions on what a “princess” should be exposed to. Then, I glanced back at the parade of people coming up on stage, and I let out a gasp. A second later, I slid off the side of the horse and started running towards the stage, dodging through the crowd of people.
“W-Wait! Pr–Ah Cornelia! Ah, damn it!” The prince was cursing at my sudden outburst, but I ignored him.
Instead, I was focused on the person who just went up on the stage. She had long blond hair, which was a bit straggly. Her form was so small that she bordered on delicate, with smooth white skin without any hair. She had very small breasts, to the point of being flat, and she might have the appearance of a young child if not for a certain amount of maturity seen in her face. Her face was expressionless as always, hiding the darkness she had experienced deep within her. She also had pointy ears, the trademarks of an elf.
“Min!” I called out as I pushed through the crowd.
My first foray into lesbianism, and the girl who had shared a portion of my month of hell, Min was standing up on the stage next to numerous other various demi-humans. I had already reached the stage by the time my eyes started to focus on the things that were important. Specifically, everyone up on the stage was in chains, Min included. Each one also had an odd collar wrapped tightly around their necks.
“Min!” I called out again.
This time Min heard me. Her eyes went to mine and there was a flash of recognition, but then she looked away as if she didn’t want to see me.
“Min…” This time I said her name much quieter.
“Woman, you’re getting too close to the merchandise, stand back.” A brutish man grabbed me and pushed me back.
I stumbled back into the crowd, and the push would have sent me to the ground except that I collided with a particularly sturdy person, who caught me in their arms. I regained my balance and tried to run back towards the brutish man although I couldn’t say if I had planned to attack him or just try to dodge past him.
Before I could though, the arms of the man behind me wrapped around me and stopped me from moving forward. I turned around, ready to punch whoever was holding me back when my eyes focused on Devon. I stopped abruptly, my senses somewhat returning.
“What are you doing?” He asked. “This is a slave auction. They’re showing the… the people. Soon they’ll start the bidding.”
“M-min… they have Min!” I said.
The prince stared at me in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“That girl, the girl on stage. She’s mine!”
I don’t know why those particular words came out. I was probably trying to say she was my friend, but I was a bit caught in the moment. I had said the words loudly enough that everyone in the immediate area heard. Min’s eyes seemed to widen, but strangely, they narrowed into a pleased look. Meanwhile, the slaveholder on the stage waved his hands exaggeratively before jumping down from the stage. He walked towards us with the bulky guard in tow.
“Yo-you… need to keep your woman silent!” He barked. “We run a legitimate business here. We purchased this demi-human fair and square.”
The prince was just trying to keep up. “What? That elf on the stage? I.. didn’t know that you owned a slave. So, you lost her when the carriage was attacked?”
The prince seemed to jump to the conclusion that I was asserting ownership over her. He looked somewhat disappointed at the idea I owned a slave. As a person from a world where slavery was considered immoral, I saw his issues, and it earned him a few more brownie points in my mind.
But I was a princess, so I guess it wasn’t impossible I owned a slave. I quickly weighed the cost of pushing forward the lie or coming up with a new one. The truth was certainly out of the question.
“No… not that… she’s um… a servant… of sorts…” I lost some steam there, my Deception skill not really coming out with strength.
As Min heard this, the pleased look on her face disappeared and turned expressionless once again.
“You can’t be serious.” The slave trader laughed. “As if we’d believe…”
“Well, let’s ask her,” the prince said. “Do you know this woman?”
Without a second beat, Min spoke up, “Mm… I’m her woman.”
I noticed the odd wording of that, but the two men didn’t seem to notice.
Meanwhile, the civility on the slave trader’s face was quickly melting. “You can’t possibly expect me to believe a slave. Or you for that matter. I don’t appreciate people threatening my business, or making up ludicrous stories. I’d ask the pair of you… what is it, adventurers, to leave. We won’t have a problem, will we?”
The man nodded to his side and the large man stepped forward, attempting to usher the pair of us. The prince looked down at me, but I was busy staring at Min with worry in my eyes. After a second, he let out a sigh. Casually, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a card. I recognized the card, it was a guild card like the one Nova had me bleed on. Except this one was real and had an insignia of two swords crossing over a gray background, which Nova had told me was the royal insignia.
“Perhaps… we can come to some kind of arrangement,” he said.
The slave trader recognized the card immediately. He jerked suddenly as if he had been shocked and then put on an ingratiating smile completely unlike the angry expression he had a moment prior. He slapped the guard’s arm and kept slapping until the man backed up a few feet behind. Then he came forward while rubbing his hands.
“M-m-my apologies. I didn’t realize you were royalty. I hope you can excuse my earlier rudeness, in all fairness, you look like you could use a seamstress, although I apologize for not seeing the fine cut of your wear.”
“Er… yes… we were on our way to freshen up, but then my… companion noticed her friend. I trust her absolutely, so you can understand why we felt the need to present ourselves. If I recall, the king has made it illegal to enslave demi-humans who haven’t been convicted of a crime.”
“Of course… as I said, I run a clean business here. I purchased her from the stockade a town over. She was caught stealing food from a farmer. She created such a commotion that she made the farmer knock over a lantern and the whole barn burned to the ground. I have the paperwork here. I purchased her at great expense to myself, she has substantial debts that must be paid.”
He had snapped his fingers, and a man came up, putting a piece of paper in his hand, which he then handed to the prince. Devon looked through the paper and after a moment looked back up at me. I was following along with the conversation well enough. It seemed like Min had escaped and was pilfering food. That can’t be that expensive in the end, right? I gave him a pleading look. He sighed again before turning back to the slave trader.
“How much is this debt?”
“Oh… of course, I’d be happy to give the royal family the chance to bid first. I could recoup my losses with just 300 gold coins.”
“300 gold…” The prince said too loudly and then caught himself and shot the man an annoyed look. “You could buy ten slaves for that price.”
“Oh yes… of course, but you see, this woman here is a young elf woman. Elves are very popular right now. Very sensual. If I put her on auction, I could easily make 300 gold. Many men dream of owning an elf girl to please them. Plus, she’s a virgin, that alone doubles her price.”
I gave him a glare. I knew as a personal fact that she was not a virgin. That was a bald-faced lie. Well… I mean, I ate her out, I never put anything in her. But goblins undoubtedly raped her. Then again, their dicks were so small… maybe they never broke her hymen? I mean… it’d be possible that it was intact. Either way, the seller probably wouldn’t be too happy if I spread the truth, that her vagina was used as a goblin congo line… except that I couldn’t say that. Not here, as a princess, trying to recover her servant. Also, without Mental Fortitude like me, Min probably wouldn’t appreciate airing her dirty secrets.
That’s when the small strongbox I had taken from the pigman popped into my mind. Without a thought, I pulled out the box and flipped it open.
“Would this cover it?” I asked.
When the slave trader’s eyes fell on the box full of gems and various other coins, they flashed with greed and then he gave a big smile. “Ah, so you can pay. Let’s go in the back and finish the paperwork, shall we?”
He ushered the prince and me into the back of a tent. The prince had a surprised look on his face, and when I gave him a questioning look, he returned a wry smile.
An appraiser, or should I say a person with the appraise skill came out and began moving through the items. Afterward, he gave us the total. I had two necklaces and a bracelet that was appraised at 30 coins each, another 60 gold coins worth of currency, a ruby that was appraised at 20 gold coins, and an enchanted ring that shockingly went for 110 gold by itself. That came to 280 gold.
“That is a shame, and you were so close.”
I gave the prince my most desperate beg, and he grimaced, pulling into a pouch at his side and counting out the last 20 coins. The slave trader smiled like a cat, but we filled out the paperwork, and the slave ownership was transferred to me.
It apparently involved chanting something while touching the collar. I asked him to just free her and remove the collar. The slave trader looked at the prince questionably once I said this. It seemed like he didn’t like dealing with a woman, but I sided with the borderline sexism for the moment to focus on what was important.
The prince leaned to me and whispered. “While I wouldn’t say it’s mandatory, it’s considered bad practice to free slaves as soon as you buy them. Most are criminals, so it’s considered standard that they remain in the collar for at least a year. It would… look bad for the royal family if we didn’t follow custom.”
I grudgingly gave a nod, and the smile returned to the slave trader’s face. A moment later, they brought Min into the tent. She was one of the first faces I had seen in this world, and thus I had grown attached to her. As soon as I saw her, I raced up to her and threw her into a hug. I held her tightly in my arms, and a moment later tears started to fall down my face. I was just being silly at this point, yet I couldn’t understand why I was so happy right now.
“I’m glad I found you…” I said.
I gave her a kiss too. Just one on the cheek, although I wanted to princess kiss her too to make sure she had no lingering status effects, I resisted for the moment. Making sure she was perfectly healed with cat’s meow might come on a little strong, so that might take a little finesse first. When I pulled away, I was shocked to see Min’s face was completely red. She had never shown much expression, so the obvious look of embarrassment came as a shock to me.
Min seemed to mutter something under her breath. It was so light I could barely hear it, but it sounded like “so you did care for me this much…”
“From now on, you’re going to stay with me, is that okay?” I asked her.
Min nodded after a moment. Even my increased skills in Conceal and Deception couldn’t show any expression on her face, but I’d like to think she had the hint of a smile on her lips. Still holding onto Min like I was afraid she’d disappear if I stopped touching her, I looked back at the prince.
He had a strange smile on his face, and then after a second, he said, “You really aren’t like I expected.”
I gave him a questioning look, but he didn’t respond. After another twenty minutes, we finished the ceremony, and I left the tent while holding Min’s hand, Prince Devon in tow. This was the first good thing to happen to me since we made it to this world. I hope this was a sign of things to come.