LDM – Chapter 12

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A Slave Called a Hug Pillow

 

The knight said he was going to destroy the core.
The statement was stifling.
Shivers ran through me as though my blood flowed in reverse.
The knight raised his sword in the monitor… then, swung it down.

“Gob!”
“Gobsuke!?”

Gobsuke rushed out into the master room. Rokuko and I couldn’t stop him.
That is, it may have been the instinct of a dungeon monster to avoid the core from being destroyed.

[Uwah-!? Kuh, that’s-!] [Gob-… ah…]

In the monitor, we could see Gobsuke jump out of the core and be cut down.
Gobsuke was cut in two, breathing his last breath.

[Dammit, the goblin got in the way… let’s go again…] [Oi, what are you doing!? This isn’t in our jurisdiction!]

The leader stopped the knight raising his sword over his head.

[Low class dungeons like this are controlled by the adventurer guild. Just a goblin came out, I heard that this is a bottom class dungeon.] [Oops, that’s right… my apologies.]

Stopped by his captain, the knight quickly lowered his sword.

[… Shit, even though I could become a Sage Knight by destroying a dungeon core…] [Though I get why you would want to destroy the core, it’s already been suppressed. Besides, if you could be acknowledged as a Sage Knight by subjugating bandits in a dungeon where there isn’t even a dungeon boss, the royal capital would be overflowing with them by now.] [Tch… well, just one goblin came out of the core when I said I’d destroy it, maybe it didn’t get enough power…] [Fool, I’m cutting your pay when we return.] [Eeh-! That’s-!] [Well, rather than gaining recognition as a Sage Knight with a dungeon where there isn’t even a dungeon boss, wouldn’t the opposite happen?] [… If anything, couldn’t you call Melon Vomit the boss? When you receive your Sage Knight name, do you want it to said like [Travelling to the Ordinary Cave, the Sage Knight that suppressed Melon Vomit]? After that, you’d be known as [Sage Knight of Melon Vomit] or [Sage Knight of the Ordinary Cave].] [Yeah, that sounds pretty bad… Haah, Ryui, Eijin, Thomas… I didn’t think three people would have been lost by something like a bandit extermination.] [Melon Vomit was a formidable enemy…]

Leaving out their losses, the mood became one of work completed.
Remembering that I hadn’t been breathing for a while now, I took a deep breath.
… I thought I was going to die.
After coming to this world, that was the first time I’ve seen the sign of death.
Thought I was going to crap myself… seriously, ya know? Craaaaap myself.

However, he had his mind on what he heard them say about Sage Knights destroying dungeon cores.

“U-uu… G-Gobsuke…”

Rokuko was crouched down, sobbing.
Having said that, the goblin was a companion we’d spent time together with for the past half month.
As for memories… yeah, but they’re just memories of eating bread together.
I wonder what kind of relationship Rokuko had with him while I was sleeping?

“Leave after giving back my portion of the [Bean Paste Roll]…”

Apparently it looks like Rokuko did the same as me.

“Gobsuke… repaid his debt splendidly. If he didn’t stop them, we’d be dead.”
“Uu, my [Bean Paste Roll]…”

No, she was probably meaning to say [Don’t leave me and die… idiot…].
I selected an assortment of six sweetened buns, presenting them to Rokuko.

“Here, [Bean Paste Rolls] to cheer you up.”
“Eh-really!? I’m cheered up, cheered up! Super cheered up!”

Rokuko was so lively it was to the point that I seriously almost saw an aura around her.
Ah, now that I think about it, this girl was always a brute that sent goblins against adventurers.

“What’s this!? Though it’s black on the inside it’s somehow delicious! Ah, but this one is tasty too–”

… Incidentally, I still had to teach her about [Jam Buns]…

 

*

 

The bandits’ corpses were gathered in the entrance room. It seemed that they would bring the knights’ corpses back home.
Though I honestly didn’t want to see their grotesqueness, I can’t look away so that I can catch the timing to turn them into delicious DP.
… Dousing the corpses with oil, they burned them… In the cave?
I get the feeling they don’t know anything about carbon dioxide stagnating in the air inside the dungeon in the first place. Even the bandits used torches for light as usual…

[Even a dungeon funeral is too luxurious for these guys.] [Did you douse them with oil properly? It’d be troublesome if they became ghouls later on.] [Yeah, it’s fine to just burn everything but their weapons yeah?] [That’s right. In they off chance they somehow survive, it’ll be troublesome if they have anything.]

Though they said that, there wasn’t anything worth using left.
Just the bandits’ corpses and their bedding.
So that it would burn everything, they went outside the cave’s entrance before setting the fire. I was thankful for that, since after it burned out I could majestically capture the corpses.

[Alright, I’ll set the fire… Dance, flames—[Ignition].]

Ignition looked to be a magic that produced a fire to the level of a lighter from the fingertip. Igniting the oil fuse, the fire extended along it like a snake. The mountain of corpses inside the cave was wreathed in flames surprisingly quickly.

“Ah. Hey, is that dog eared slave girl alright?”

When I was reminded by Rokuko’s words, the fire snake burned through the wooden door, approaching the bed where the dog eared girl was hiding.
Her eyes like a dead fish reminded me of despair.
Maybe, even though the bandits were good, I get the feeling I won’t be able to sleep if I don’t save her here. Is it because she’s a child?
I’d be troubled if I had a nightmare… I’d lose out on sleep.

“… I wonder if she’ll become DP?”
“Cut it out. We’ll save her. Can’t you collect her?”
“Collect her huh? You’re going to go and help her now? The entrance room is a sea of fire you know? It’ll be burned out by the time you get there.”

It was like Rokuko said. Regardless of whether or not there were any intruders, you could only enter and exit from the dungeon core in the master room. And even if I left the dungeon core it was just a sea of fire. It was hopeless to just walk there.

“Besides, don’t you know that I can’t collect invaders? She isn’t an item.”

Hearing Rokuko’s words, it dawned on me.

“That’s it… an item. What did you just say, Rokuko?”
“Eh-?”

I spoke to Rokuko like I was persuading myself.

“Slaves are called tools. Items. In fact, I never saw those guys make any voluntary movements. Even after their owners, the bandits, died. In other words, slaves… are items, she just doesn’t have an owner now. Items of dead adventurers become the dungeon’s. Therefore, she already belongs to the dungeon. Right, Rokuko?”
“U-umm… even though they’re called items, they’re living things, having magical power…”
“Even if you called them living things, you can deploy demons directly from the dungeon core so long as there aren’t invaders. In other words, it’s possible to send and collect living things. In fact, couldn’t you collect the moldy bread? Isn’t mold a living thing? If that’s the case, you could probably collect a box with a mouse in it for example. So you should be able to collect living things like humans. It’s no good since there’s magical power? Even magic tools have magical power. Didn’t you collect the light magic tool? Therefore, there’s no reason you can’t collect THAT-!!”

I looked at the monitor and map. The fire spread to the bed, beginning to scorch the sheets.
The girl was shown as a red dot on the map, representing her as an intruder.
Shit, it’s still no good, I didn’t convince myself enough!

“A-a slave isn’t an item after all!”
“Then that isn’t even a slave! It’s a pillow! That is a pillow! A dog eared girl type of pillow! An item meant for men concealed under their beds!!”

That’s a pillow, a pillow, a pillow, a pillow, a pillow, a pillow, a pillow…
Imagine it. That is a hug pillow. A pillow that felt very good when you embraced it. Even playing with its dog ears would be amusing, and had the clothing option of adding knee-socks to it to caress and admire… ah, I should have been doing something like that.
Yeah, such an important hug pillow must not be burned.
Ah, I want to sleep using that pillow.
Maybe not having knee socks on its legs is also an option?
It would also be good to feel cold legs at times, rather than like a hot-water bottle. Speaking of hot-water bottles, the bandit boss used Rokuko’s core as a hot-water bottle huh? Ha ha ha.
Wait, I got a bit of topic.
Come to think of it, although there is an item called the heavenly pillow, I wonder if hug pillows are better than it?
… Ah, I remembered something unpleasant. Vomit Melon used it like that…
Though being used goods was a demerit, it won’t be a problem if I wash it thoroughly. Cleanup is really convenient. Can it wash hug pillows too?
Well then, if not I’ll just have to wash it thoroughly.

I could already only see the dog eared girl as a hug pillow.
Glancing at the map, rather than the red dot of an intruder, there was a green dot indicating an item.

“Alright, it’s a hug pillow. Collect it.”

In conclusion, she could do it.

 

*

 

“Eeeeeh… H-how were you able to collect her!? She was an intruder, the master room—”
“Huh? I just collected a hug pillow. Rather, Rokuko, don’t absorb the corpses before the fire burns out. Wait a while after it finishes, a knight might come by to make sure.”

Ah, a bit of its hair got burned. Wasting such precious black hair. Well, it has an auto-restoration function so cutting a bit of it off should be fine. Maybe short is good too… Woah, there’s some white stuff stuck in it. Seriously Melon Vomit, clean up when you’re done.

“Eh-, i-is that right… No, no no. Wait a moment. If intruders can’t be brought into the core, it isn’t funny she was collected!”
“What are you talking about? Isn’t it natural that a hug pillow, therefore an item, could be brought in?”
“Y-yeah… I get the feeling that works…”

And so, I used Cleanup on the hug pillow.
As the foam characteristic to the Cleanup magic went from top to bottom on the hug pillow, it completely cleaned it off–

“Uoh-!?”

–and it let out a cute sound.
…Oh, I remembered. Right, I collected a dog eared slave girl.
Phew, I almost didn’t come back after my self-suggestion…

“G-good, I’m back. Right, somehow, I collected her…”
“Ah, you’re bad? Then I demand an explanation!”
“Ah, that’s easy… It’s because I could.”

I thought I couldn’t do it so I convinced myself. Magic is a free and irresponsible thing… though now I’m tired.

“You saw it right? You can collect slaves.”
“That’s right… I can collect slaves…”

Yeah, it’s better to have Rokuko think that.
… Well, what do I do with this dog eared girl? For now, should I really make her a hug pillow…?

“By the way, what’s this one’s name? It’d be hard to refer to her without one.”
“Ah, that’s right… Your name? Or maybe your nickname? What is it?”
“Eh…. ah… … Meat… is what I’m called, Goshujin-sama.”

Though her reaction was a little dull, she answered properly.
For the time being, I laid down for the day, taking out sweet rolls and a futon and pillow combo with DP, having her rest.
Though she didn’t move at first, she obediently ate the sweet rolls when ordered and laid down, sleeping on the futon.
For information on how to treat Meat it might be good if the group of knights returned.
Above that, it’s better that the knights don’t meddle.

 

*

 

In the end, the group of knights confirmed that the bandits’ corpses burned sufficiently before returning.
As expected, I slept through the whole thing.
After that, they returned to their camp without doing anything in particular. Yeah, I think it would have been amazing if they’d just slaughtered the bandits to eat their roasted meat. Truly.
Turning the corpses into DP wasn’t a problem, it also became a significant influx.
With this, our savings are totaled at—14504 DP.

“Amazing… this is the first time I’ve seen so much DP.”

Right now, when compared with our DP savings so far it was a small fortune.
However, the bandits aren’t here anymore, so our income decreased.
Gobsuke isn’t here anymore… but in exchange I have a dog eared slave and have to support it.
With three meals a day, assuming that sweet roll assortments and beverages are served… that’s a consumption of 15 DP per day.
And the income from the core was just 10 DP. It seemed that the dog eared slave earned 0 DP even when left alone since it was collected as an item. Or maybe it isn’t strong enough to collect DP from to start with…
Well, that being the case, I’ll cut her meals to two a day to make it stabilize… no, in order for adventurers to not expect anything when they come, I need to take out a goblin. There would be a deficit. Could I sleep soundly in a situation like this? No, I couldn’t sleep. I’m a coward, so I can’t endure my savings being gradually decreased.

So, I who cannot endure a deficit management style, will have to fundamentally change the [Ordinary Cave]’s nature.
… Haah, I don’t want to work.

 


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