“Yes! That girl is the best!”
One such day, Mark suddenly stood up with a brimming smile. It was enough to think that it was awfully unnatural just to conceal one’s happy mood, even if this hot-tempered man could show much joy.
I didn’t want to be related to him in any way possible.
As I kept working a little far off while thinking so, “Hey!” said the angry voice that was hurled at me.
Seemed like I got pissed off by that as I was busy right now; I eventually turned my head as I thought about that.
“What is the matter?”
“That werecat, Meena. It’s been determined she’s a seer.”
I couldn’t understand for a moment what he was saying. “I see” was my half-hearted replyーー to be precise, I acted in a “seemingly behaved manner”.
To be honest, I was pretty upset because I had already guessed correctly what he was aiming at.
“This one will definitely sell high. Piling 100 gold coins will not be enough, she’s a goddamn seer…”
I vaguely heard his monologue of unrestrained words, I confirmed that Mark wasn’t really thinking calmly.
A seer slave in a slave shop was definitely a rare thing.
Anyway, there was great demand for them. Everyone likes the special ability of seers. However, seers with Unique Blessing were rare among seers. Furthermore, slave trade of seers was “Officially” prohibited so their rarity value was, even moreso, higher.
Him saying 100 gold coins was not enough was totally a fact. To explain the value in an easy-to-understand manner, a loaf of bread was 10 copper coins. And you could buy 1000 loaves of bread for a gold coin, so it could be said that a gold coin could be worth roughly 100,000 yen.
Considering that cheap slaves were traded for two gold coins, Meena, as a seer, was more than 50 times as valuable.
“Also the buyer has been determined as well. They will come tonight. This will really be a big job.”
“Is that so? It seems like they are in a hurry.”
“The buyer is quite an influential person. If I can close this deal, then I should start discussing about moving the shop to Oasis district.”
Mark wasn’t able to hide his excitement since he was prattling quickly. “Ah, I heard Meena was a seer by chance. It was a result of a consultation from Miroir’s guy. After that, bingo!” as he gloated.
Perhaps I should say that the moment I heard those words about Meena being a seer, I reflexively tensed up.
“So do you understand now? she’s a seer. Meena, that beastkin girl you took fancy in is actually a seer.”
“Ah? Seems like you’re doing well to act like it’s nothing.”
Mark suddenly grabbed my hair and moved me closer to his face. Because there was a great difference in height, it was painful when he lifted me by the hair.
“What do you feel when you know that the girl you like will be sold as an expensive slave? Tell me.”
“…Since it’s a tale that leads to the owner, I mean Master’s business opportunity, I am glad.”
“Huh? I don’t need your flattery, so tell me what you really think. … Look, you’re going to violate my command as your master if you keep it as a secret. Surely you’re thinking that this is vexing right?”
“Don’t act like you’re not affected. Even if Meena hides the fact that she is a seer, it will still be found out. ーYou two-faced son of a bitch!”
Mark seemed to enjoy himself as he kept talking while pounding my face. It was also very frustrating.
“Did you think you can keep it to yourself? I heard it a while ago when you both were talking about it. ーYour conversation that Meena was a seer.”
“And I also heard that both of you are planning to rebel against me as well.”
My face was edging towards Mark’s face until there was barely any distance left. I believed he was an immature jerk.
My interaction with Meena. It seems it was certain that Mark heard my conversation with Meena regarding the both of us looking for a way to free ourselves from Mark.
But, it was impossible that he heard that during that night. At that time, I carefully made sure that there was no one else around, and I was sure that there was no one.
I’m sure now that Mark heard from another conversation and not the one from that night.
“I’m really looking forward to your punishment. Don’t you know that insubordination against your master is punishable by death?”
“Concealing important information that a slave is a seer. That is insubordination. … There are too many reasons to punish you.”
But Mark suddenly released me as he laughed and said: “I am not a demon.” I immediately took distance from him as soon as I was free and became more cautious.
“I think I will give you, dipshit, a chance.”
“That’s right. There is no need to apologize if you show sincerity to me about this matter.”
“Sincerity you say?”
“In short, it’s money.”
At that moment, I had the urge to kill this man.
Mark seemed to know that I had hidden somewhere around three gold coins, despite being forced to work on unpaid labor.
Perhaps he didn’t know exactly where I hid it.
Therefore, he was trying to get that money from me this way.
I looked back on the hardship and saw how much effort it took me to earn those three gold coins. I had walked a lot, and I had sweated a lot. Because of that, I was able to earn barely three gold coins.
Was Mark not a demon for easily snatching that away from me?
“Listen well, Meena should be worth at least 100 gold coins. In other words, if you can prepare something that can be exchanged for 100 gold coins, I don’t have to think about selling her.”
“100 gold coins…”
“Don’t be discouraged, you have this whole day. Because the one who’s buying Meena will come tonight, it’s only a matter of preparing it by then. Do you understand?”
As he cheerfully laughed, Mark pushed me aside as he said “You’re in the way” as he went back to his tent. I could only do as much as seeing him off.
This whole day, or to be precise it was only half a day, the unreasonable words were burning in my ears.
As I heard the voice behind me, I realized that the owner of that voice would have listened to all of the previous discussion. I thought it was a bit uncomfortable.
“Did you hear all of that, Meena?”
“Yes, all of it. … I will be sold right?”
I could only see the shadow of Mina’s expression and could not read what she was thinking.
Anyway, I had to rush around and spend the rest of the day earning money.
There was no way I could earn 100 gold coins in a day. However, I should be able to make enough effort and bring it as close as possible to 100 gold coins.
The process of asset flipping, buying low and selling high, was more profitable to start with because it allowed for more profit as higher value luxury goods could be handled in line with increasing starting capital.
Besides, I always flipped it with emphasis on making a sale safely instead of making a profit. So if I did this seriously, it would be possible to make a substantial profit margin.
An example of a product with high-profit margin was alcohol.
The quality of alcohol wasn’t easy to determine with just eyes alone. Furthermore, there were plenty of people who wouldn’t understand the finer points even with taste. In other words, people did not have a discerning tongue to sufficiently determine a “good alcohol”.
Analyze Skill gave the most suitable solution to the world where almost no one could put a correct value.
First of all, it was impossible that I would choose an alcohol of poor quality. The real question was ‘how do I sell the thing?’. Like using a human slave to get close with any number of people, and tricking them saying something like “By my master’s command, this expertly appraised bottle of alcohol is to be bequeathed unto you.” Even pretending to be a rich nobleman’s personal attendant would be good.
If I bought and sold like this, I could turn in a tidy profit.
The result was three and a half gold coins in my pocket now.
Correction, I had bought a slave for two gold coins, so its one and a half gold coin and a slave.
I needed 96 and a half more to reach 100 gold coins. This was not enough.
“I told you already I’m not your master, Iris. Your master will be the big guy named Mark for one day only.”
“Is that so?”
However, I must pretend that I was doing the best of my effort so as “not to get suspected”. Regarding the one who I had bought, her name was Iris Harpya.
She was a female harpy with graceful appearance and sweet character. I think that to an aristocrat with strange tastes, she was as cute as Meena.
“I see that my master will be replaced soon.”
Add to that, Iris was looking at me with a face that I didn’t quite understand.
“Pardon my intrusion” I greeted. I walked into the tent for the high-class slaves.
“Welcome… Ara, who is the kid you are bringing along behind you?”
As soon as I entered, I was unaware that the harpy girl behind me stared in wonder as she saw Hetaira.
Of course, that’s how Lamias walked, my eyes stared in wonder as well, as I saw her lower half slithering forward.
“Ah. You mean this kid? She is Iris, Eris Harpya. This kid is a demon like you, Ms Hetaira. Although she is cute, she was only being sold for two gold coins, so I bought her. … Come on, Iris.”
“I am Iris.”
“Well, that’s just how she is.”
With Hetaira saying “Nice to meet you little Iris”, Iris replied in a terse response, “Same”.
“But isn’t two gold coins quite cheap?”
“ーー Yes, that’s right. With her arms, she can’t work.”
A new voice interrupted from behind Hetaira, curious at the unusual discussion.
Euphemia Skovfolk. Yuffy for short.
The owner of the voice who exuded intellect, but somehow sly, was a silver-haired elf.
She was the same kind of high-class slave as Hetaira, and appeared older than her real age of 15.
At Euphemia’s remark, a subtle mood was born at this place of four people (Actually there was one more high-class slave, her named was Nellyn).
According to her statement, those arms couldn’t do work. As Eris was a harpy, her arms were actually wings. In other words, she couldn’t do delicate manual work, and it was quite hard for her to carry things. Therefore, since there was limited work that Eris could do, as a slave they (the Harpies) were tend to be cheap.
In contrast to Yuffy, Hetaira followed up with a gentle rebuke.
“Yuffy. You are also one of the high-class slaves. Be mindful of what you say.”
“But, Hetaira. I could care less about this kid.”
Hetaira said not to worry about it, but actually Eris didn’t mind it at all as she only responded with “Hm”.
“Just because you took an attitude that you don’t mind doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t mind it. This place has words you need to fear. You better be careful.
“What do you think Nell?”
Yuffy suddenly tried to rope in another slave in the conversationーー a young siren by the name of Nellyn, who was idling at the edge of the tent, responded “Eh, that” in a startled manner.
Nellyn Serina. Nell for short.
I didn’t know because I hadn’t have much conversation with her, but I was sure Nell was a child that was not really good at talking to people.
She was always nervous and she jumped from topic to topic that was not connected.
Because she was also one of the high-class slaves you wouldn’t often see her alone by herself. The impression I got was that she was always near Yuffy and just stepped out of the conversation.
“Uhmm, I think, she’s cute.”
“No Nell, that’s not it… Nevermind.”
Yuffy was slightly disgusted. It seemed like she gave up continuing the discussion. The elf was twirling her fine silver hair with her fingers.
Instead of forcing the argument, she changed it by turning to me saying “Enough of that, let’s talk about that personal attendant over there”.
“You, buying a slave carelessly, how are you going to make 100 gold coins?”
That was a good question. Or more precisely, how did she know that I was trying to earn 100 gold coins for Mark? Perhaps it’s her nature to be concerned?
That’s what I thought so I answered her.
“It’s impossible for me to earn 100 gold coins.”
“But, I’m trying to show my sincerity instead.”
“Sincerity you say…”
For a moment Yuffy’s facial expression showed both bewilderment and disgust. “Is he going to make that kid the substitute?” she murmured.
I didn’t purposely gave a proper answer and evaded by saying “Come on. I have no other choice by showing my sincerity equivalent to 100 gold coins”.
Iris, on the other hand, didn’t react at all and only responded with an “Um”.
“But I can only imagine it. It’s not like buying a slave at this time will do you good. Even though she’s cute, she won’t be enough to replace Meena if it will be an aristocrat who loves attractive beasts…”
“You do have a point. For now, I won’t let Mark sell Meena for the time being and I will try hard to get involved.”
In the face of Yuffy going silent, there was a sense of disgust. It was probably from a cruel assumption that I was willing to substitute another slave in order to protect Meena.
Or it was a sense of disgust towards my declaration that substituting Iris was a grand show of sincerity.
Actually, I didn’t particularly intend to do such thing.
Even so, I was slightly worried at Iris being so thoroughly unresponsive all this time. This kid might have already gone beyond being expressionless and might not even be thinking about it, I suddenly thought something trivial like that.
In any case, there was no time left. “Anyway, it’s time for us to go” I informed them, and tried to leave that placeーー the high-class slave tent.
“Ah, waiー, wait a moment.”
I forcibly ended the discussion by saying “Well, Ms Hetaira, we will speak again soon. Let’s go, Iris.” and left that place.
I heard Yuffy say “You came all the way here to the high-class slave tent and for what…” behind me, but I ignored her.
The reason I went into the high-class slave tent was to meet Meena.
I thought that she was clearly in the high-class slave tent in preparation to be sold soon.
Before selling a high-class slave, a little preparation was required.
For example, grooming. No matter how good the original material was, her beauty would be ruined if the figure remained filthy. Especially for Meena who was a beastkin, her body must be washed thoroughly and it was necessary to trim the length of her fur to a presentable level.
The work was very troublesome, so I was expecting that I would be ordered to do it. It was quite time-consuming as the hair was all over her body, and the quality of hair was, unlike those of humans, so hard it was taxing to cut it.
Most of this kind of work was pushed to me, the personal attendant. So I thought it would be me this time as well.
I reported to the owner’s tent by saying “I have returned”.
As soon as I entered, Mark said while grinning “Why were you late?”, I was able to vaguely guessed at the situation.
“… Forgive me for being late.”
“Don’t worry about it. Because I was enjoying myself with that beastkin seer while you were gone. Right?”
Behind Mark, I witnessed the naked Meena coming out in shame, and I felt a surge of unpleasantness.
It almost felt like the mood after they did the deed, but it’s probably just a figure of speech. If the slave was a seer, she was more valuable being a virgin, so he shouldn’t have raised his hands to her.
Or so I thought.
“Since it would be impossible for you to earn 100 gold coins, I just set the value lower.”
“… My goodness.”
“Ha? Are you at a loss for words? This brat is a coward. I thought this would make you angry.”
I was agitated but I ignored it. It’s unpleasant to in in vain, were the word I kept to myself.
It was probably just a joke to mock me. Because there was no merit to deflower Meena, a seer of the beastkin.
On the other hand, if I got enraged and jumped on Mark, that would just be handing him a reason to lambast me. He’d attack me and yell something like “What’re you trying to pull, you piece of shit?! As punishment, I’m revoking the ‘goodwill’ I’ve shown you!”
I should act cool here.
“Master Mark. I am deeply sorry. This Toshiki had exerted great effort but didn’t reach the amount of 100 gold coins, therefore I had prepared a token of sincerity for you. … Please look at her, and come this way.”
“Hmp. That harpy behind you? She’s certainly of a high quality, but not enough for 100 gold coins.”
As I tried to show off Iris, I was immediately cut-off. “If you are going to search, search for someone worth several gold coins. Perhaps because you only have a few gold coins that this the best you can search for”. I felt like clicking my tongue at Mark’s ’reliable and discerning eye’.
“Her body is good, healthy too. To quickly raise her value as a slave by arranging to groom her, spraying some perfume, dressing her up with some fine clothes, and so on. Her value would probably raise to about 10 gold coins. … Although these were the basics of slave trading, it seemed you have been practising well.”
“Besides, Why is this harpy holding an alcohol? Is that wine? ーーI see, It seems like a serf from somewhere around here said [It was a memento of my great grandfather, but we didn’t have enough money] and gave it away at a discounted price.”
“It is one of my sincerity.”
“It is. Totaling everything would be around 20 gold coins.”
The market price was slightly higher than, in my opinion, his conservative assessment which was 25 gold coins. I was surprised at the reasonable accuracy.
If Mark was an idiot, it might be possible to trick him that everything was 100 gold coins, but… Again this brute would not be unprepared.
“Too bad you hoarded it. I’m going to… confiscate them.”
“… Eh, um.”
Maybe because I was thinking such things that I didn’t immediately understand what Mark meant, so I regrettably asked again.
“I’m saying I’m confiscating them, idiot.”
“But there is nothing!”
A single blow. From the fist that was delivered from the gigantic body, my foot left the ground momentarily and my body bent into a shape of a bow. I was unable to breath for a moment.
If my reaction to step back was slow, I might have gotten some broken bones. A groan passed from my lips as I was barely able to endure.
“I originally thought about killing you for the crime of insubordination, you stupid piece of shit!”
“It’s just natural, right? If a slave was insubordinate against their master, it was only natural to be punished with death… However, if the slave crest was working properly, you would have been assailed with intense pain that you would die the moment you thought of rebelling against your master!”
I endured Mark, who was continuing to talk while not stopping at beating me, but I was getting desperate.
“But, killing is no fun. If I just kill you right now, I won’t be able to collect the money you had hidden, and it’s necessary for you not to die now since I still have a use for you.”
“Whーat did you say?”
“It seems that some fool had raised an allegation of tax evasion on me, I have been charged with tax evasion now from the merchant guild.”
When Mark emphasized “some idiot” he hits me.
Yes, that was me. I informed the Merchant Guild and they became suspicious about Mark’s tax evasion. And now the Merchant Guild was starting to discover Mark’s tax evasion.
“Therefore, if that someone uses that unaccounted money, there won’t be any problem. … Do you understand? Not only did that personal attendant of mine harbored insubordination against me, he was also involved in embezzlement.”
“The purchase of 20 gold coins this time is the irrefutable proof of embezzlement. … It’s ironic, you produced yourself the evidence of your crime. Thank you.”
That meant Mark was trying to escape by pushing the crime onto me. It was not that Mark was trying to evade taxes, but the unclear flow of funds written in his accounting book was due to the embezzlement of his personal attendant. That seemed to be what he was portraying.
Ironically, my “sincerity”, which had increased in value to about 20 gold coins was likely to be regarded as the smoking gun evidence for embezzlement. As you can see in this condition, a mere personal attendant had no reason to buy something like this. It’s an upsetting narrative.
Incidentally, one of the obligations of a merchant in Oasis District was “Payment of taxes to the ruling lord through the Merchant Guild”, not doing so was the worst crime you could commit, punishable by death. However, if it became unintentional because of embezzlement by a personal attendant or the like, the responsibility was now on the personal attendant.
In other words, I would be tried by the worst law and might die.
No, I would certainly be killed. Because it was not only the 20 gold coins in the present, but he would probably cover all the tax evasions that he did up to now and push it onto me as embezzlement. It would probably be hundreds of gold coins in total. If it were that huge amount, it would be easy to imagine that my head would roll.
“It’s about time the customer will arrive. … You’re out of time, Toshiki.”
“Waiー, please wait!”
“Hmph, thinking about how you can lighten your crime? … Oi! You, the green harpy! Be sure to tie him down so he won’t move!”
I couldn’t take action as he spat out the words “Oi, let’s go Meena” and he lead Meena to the tent that the business transaction would take place. There was nothing I could do except seeing them off. Don’t screw around, at least dress her up, and don’t touch her with such a vulgar face. I couldn’t do anything while thinking those things.
Meena looked back momentarily, and I understood that face that seemed like she’s going to do something with painful reluctance.
It’s going to be all right.
That was what those eyes were eloquently saying while the face showed anxiety.
As if worrying about me, Iris, who was left together with me, looked into me. What’s the current situation, what should we do, I talk about those things but she looked like she didn’t pay any attention, she looked restless, she timidly stared at me as if thinking ’This person probably got hit because of me’.
“Ah, It’s okay, don’t worry about it” I stood up while saying those words. However, I might collapse along the way, so Iris was supporting me.
“… Still, you should take a rest.”
“No, I’m okay. Thank you for your support. Leaving that aside Iris…”
“Is everything okay on your end? Is the plan… moving along completely?”
“… Um. It is okay.”
Only a short time had passed since I bought her, but it was getting easier to distinguish Iris’ somewhat blunt tone. This was an affirmation to leave everything to her.
After that, I could only believe in Meena’s words.
“Welcome, venerable Aurelius. Please, let’s talk about it in the conference tent.”
“Hmm, I’m counting on you then, Mark.”
In front of Mark, who was smiling so that he would let you think he was behaving cordially, stood an old man.
The venerable Aurelius. According to the information given by the Analyze Skill, he was the chief of the Adventurer’s Guild branch in Oasis District for 70 years… He was a menacing old man working nearby.
His small body could be seen as the remnant of what probably used to be tall and slender when he had been young that had gradually declined. Nowhere carelessness could be seen in his sharp eyes. Everyone knew that the venerable Aurelius was still in good health.
Aurelius had presently come to this slave shop with two guards as his escorts.
Perhaps this man was the aforementioned customer.
“Hmm. That girl is the one we talked about, Meena Serianslope.”
Aurelius was trying to confirm while rubbing his beard.
“Hmm, based on the information I got from a sly informant, she is a beastkin seer.”
Calling out Meena to stand in front of Aurelius to explain her strengths, Mark triumphantly mentioned that “She is good at dancing”.
Aurelius showed great interest at the explanation.
I, on the other hand, was watching, hiding from the shadows. It was still not the time.
I was just watching and doing nothing at the transaction being done before me.
“Hmm, I see. … However, there was no proof that she is a seer. Especially given this cute little girl’s favorable association with the beastkin, it’s quite plausible this little minx is just a fraud”.
“There is nothing to believe about that honorable one. Anyhow, there is a law in Oasis that we should not intentionally sell seers as a slave, therefore there is no confirmation that we can submit as proof, honorable one.”
“Therefore, if possible, you could say that the seer was bought at my shop by the venerable Aurelius was only by chance.”
“However, since there is no proof, I cannot pay you the money at the moment.”
Aurelius shook his head and looked Mark with eyes that were trying to say ‘You should verify that this slave is a genuine seer’. But Mark was dealing with it calmly.
Before Hetaria, who was standing beside Mark, could react, he ordered her “Please wait a moment. ーOi, Hetaira. Bring Toshiki and choose a random slave. And bring some slave contracts afterwards.
“This seer, Meena, apparently seems to possess the ability to bypass the constraints of the slave contract to an extent. Although she seems to unable to invalidate her own slave crest.”
“Oh? She can make the slave crest lose effectiveness?”
Mark continued with “Yes, it is as you said”.
Of course, that was a lie. There was no such ability in Meena. She doesn’t have that ability, but it was true that Meena was a seer.
“As long as the magical power of the slave contract is validー that is, as long as there is no physical damage, a slave with a normal slave crest will be permanently a slave. They cannot disobey their master. They can’t do what the Master had forbidden. They will be tormented by extreme pain if they disobey. ーBut she seems to have the ability to mitigate the pain delivered by the slave crest.”
“Hmm, go on.”
“I will now bring two slaves before you. Both contracts are present and the slave crest is tattooed on their backs as is. However, one of them is blessed by the seer, while the other one doesn’t have the blessings. ーAs a test, I want the venerable Aurelius to sign a slave contract with both slaves, I’m sure you will clearly see that one of them will not be affected by the punishment magic.”
Mark was smugly smiling at his proposal, but the details were deplorable. In other words, aside from me, wouldn’t the other slave that was chosen randomly for this will suffer pointlessly?
I also have heard that the pain induced by the slave crest was unimaginable.
Perhaps punishment magic will not take long, but even then, it was not a pain that can be compared to something like ‘a bleeding flesh wound’.
“Hmm. Let’s do it your way then.”
But, Aurelius carelessly agreed to it, the discussion had been generally settled.
With this, one of the pitiable slaves would be chosen as a sacrifice to suffer the pain.
It was decided so absurdly fast, I unexpectedly found myself wondering if I went senile for a moment.
So should I make a move or not? It was that moment when I heard a voice that came from Hetaira saying “Come out” to me who was hiding. Apparently, it seemed that she discovered I was hiding here.
As I hesitatingly showed myself, I looked at Mark who was looking at me in contempt on the way I stealthily sneaked and eavesdropped on them.
Oh well, some pity should be shown due to my current appearance. Since I was tied by ropes. Even so, lurking in the dark and eavesdropping was the worst behavior you could do here.
As I saw it, Aurelius looked at me and was sarcastically smiling.
“Here they are, Master. I had brought a slave named Kane and Toshiki. I had also had here in my hands both of their contracts.”
“Good, you’ve done well Hetaira. We can now start the demonstration. ー Kane, Toshiki, leave your upper body bare and sit side by side here.”
Both of us were calledー Me and the other guy, the sacrificial slave who was made to be compared to me. Both of us were half-naked sitting side-by-side between Aurelius and Mark.
I guess they are going to carry the punishment magic to us.
Especially the lizardman slave next to me, Kane should absolutely prepare for what was about to come. Because it was decided that he will suffer pain from the slave crest.
Aurelius and Mark both exchanged signing the contract in front of one another. Perhaps this was the transfer of ownership.
“With this, the ownership of these two slaves has been transferred to the venerable Aurelius from me. By all means, please verify the contract and the slave crest tattooed on the body of these slaves are authentic.”
“Hmm. The contract seems to be genuine. The slave crest too seems to be real at first glance.”
“Yes, so how is it?”
“I still have some concerns, whether the names on the contract matches them… So, do they match? What I mean is are these contracts the legal contracts of these two?”
The moment Aurelius doubted if the name matches the contract, one of his escorts whispered to him. Perhaps, that escort had verified if the name genuinely matched using Analyze Skill (I actually used Analyze Skill on the two escorts and one of them has Analyze Skill).
Aurelius composedly nod at the information he heard from his escort, “I have the confirmation now” he said while he smiled broadly.
“Well then, please hand them down the punishment magic. Only one of them should have a reaction.”
“… Um, Mark.”
“What is it?”
“In the event that it does what it’s supposed to, what will you do?”
“What do you mean by if it does what it’s supposed to? ーOh, don’t you worry about that. These slaves were already needing to be punished for their bad attitude, so there is no need for sympathy.”
“… Oh well. Both of you. Kane and Toshiki was it? Both of you just suffer for a moment. [Torture].”
Instantly, the lizardman next to me called Kane, his slave crest glowed and he writhed on the ground. He made a sound, as if the air had been squeezed out of his lungs, and bent backwards, desperately clawing at his chest
The activation of the slave crest immediately stopped, but Kane’s suffering didn’t stop.
Kane was scratching at his chest so much that it broke his skin, it was when he was bleeding that he stopped scratching himself. He was gasping as if the sounds were coming from the back of his throat, he seemed to be in real pain if he was breathing with such noise.
Meanwhile, I didn’t feel anything.
It was obvious I was not Mark’s slave, to begin with.
“It is indeed as you said, Toshiki’s slave crest didn’t glow. But it is no doubt that this guy’s slave crest and the contract is genuine, and the name matches what was written on the contract but he isn’t suffering.”
Aurelius was nodding as if he was comprehending with “I see, I see” and was pondering quietly. On the other hand, Mark seems to be in high spirits, impatiently urging Aurelius to give his verdict.
“How about it?”
“Certainly, it is impossible to forge a slave crest and contract with such precision. Moreover, my retainers also reported the account of [This one named Mitsuji Toshiki, aceeds the terms of the contract]. ーーI don’t see the slave crest effect’s being invalidated as a mere trick.”
“Yes. It is as you said. Perhaps it’s the ability of the seer.”
“Hmm. I see.”
Having said that, “It all finally makes sense”, the venerable Aurelius uttered to no one other than himself. The embittered smile on his face seemed to wonder what could possibly be done with him alone.
“I now understand your story, Mark. As for the condition you set in exchange for selling the seer to me, you mentioned a permit for opening a shop in Oasis district and me putting in a good word against the alleged tax evasion, right? I don’t know what you are scheming on the second one…”
“Yes. If you would like to buy the beastkin seer, Meena, I would like to you to accommodate my request if possible.”
“Hmm. Selling a seer, pushing the crime of tax evasion to the personal attendant, and the owner himself is bribing me to get a license for opening a shop in Oasis district. … You are a clever and impertinent merchant.”
“Surely you jest. The slave that I’m trying to sell just happened to be a beasktin seer and the allegations of tax evasion are due to my personal attendant, Toshiki, embezzling the money of my shop. Also, what I am doing with you is just a business instead of bribery. My business achievements were evaluated by chance and someone recommended me, so it is only natural that I want to open a shop in the Oasis district.”
The smiling Mark weaved his shamelessness and calm demeanour together like a song, and to be honest, it was exceedingly unpleasant for me.
As it was right now, Meena would be sold away to Aurelius. And in return, Mark would gain the right to open a shop in Oasis district, and I would be guilty of the crime of embezzling the money of the shop.
The venerable Aurelius was an influential person that could command that. Even if I complained that I was innocent to everyone around, they would believe in the venerable Aurelius, not me.
In other words, Mark would be the sole winner.
“I thank you for your consideration.”
Beaming with a smile of joy, Mark respectfully bowed his head.
“ーー Seize him!”
The venerable Aurelius suddenly bellowed. At the same time, his two escorts pinned Mark to the ground.
It was too sudden for Mark to resist. He was thrown to the ground and his arms were restrained in an instant.
He was having an expression of not knowing what’s what.
But on the other hand, I ‘understood’ everything.
“Sorry to make you wait, our honorable visitor from afar. No, it should be Toshiki.”
While untying the rope tied to my body, the venerable Aurelius looked at me with a smile.