Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
Buying a Slave.
Having been kicked out of Eris’ hospital and now officially homeless, I’m at a loss. Eris is unyielding, and hanging around at the hospital entrance making an unsightly scene like a petulant child hasn’t changed her mind.
「What do I do now…」
My present concern is my future living expenses. The money I’ve deposited at the bank amounts to three months’ salary at Eris’ hospital. The sum total is 60,000 Zeni. Considering the prices of commodities in this world, that’s equivalent to about 600,000 Japanese yen?
By the way, that’s not much compared to the median salary. Generally, employing a healer at a hospital requires about 50,000 Zeni a month. And, I may be saying this myself, but my healing magic ability is outstanding for this world.
I realized this after I came here, but even on Earth where mana almost doesn’t exist, I seemed to be able to use a minor amount of healing magic already. That’s precisely why I was elevated to the position of the founder of a new religion. What happened when I, who was able to use healing magic from the beginning despite having basically no mana, came to this world that’s overflowing with mana? My mana-starved body greedily absorbed mana from my surroundings, and as a result came to store an incomprehensibly enormous amount of it. I’m able to make efficient use of healing magic thanks to my understanding of the human body based on modern knowledge, and as the founder of a new religion in Japan who garnered faith like a living god, I had an exceedingly high affinity with this world’s healing magic which “originates from the power of faith”.
Well, that’s all well and good, but right now I need to focus on the matter of my living expenses. At an average inn with no bath — Eris’ hospital didn’t have a bath either, though — a single night’s stay costs around 500 Zeni. A solid meal is 100 Zeni, or thereabouts. In brief, one day of living with three square meals and a roof over my head costs about 800 Zeni. Which means that with my current savings, after 75 days I’ll be flat broke. This is exceedingly unpleasant. Even if I try to work at a different hospital, there aren’t many places that would hire an otherworlder like me; a suspicious character who has never studied at any church. In that respect, Eris, who took me in when I had just arrived from another world, was a kind and deep-bosomed person. Although maybe she just saw my talent for healing magic and caught the whiff of money.
If I use my talent with healing magic to appeal to them then perhaps I’ll be picked up somewhere, but standing out too much wouldn’t be good either. As a healer with ability the likes of which has never been seen before, if I handle it poorly, some health-maniac aristocrat or whatever may conscript me against my will and keep me under house arrest. I have no power to resist something like that, and authority is a terrifying thing. I want to try my hardest not to get involved with it. Also, since this is another world and all, if at all possible I want to make a harem.
「Ah, it’s Shiki. Whatcha doing here at this time of day?」
As I’m having an early lunch at the tavern near the center of town that’s a popular hangout, the red-headed Boyish-chan from earlier calls out to me. Saying “D’ya mind?” she takes a seat next to me and orders.
「I got fired from the hospital, so I’m stress eating.」
I give her a sullen glare. Oh yeah, I gave her a discount but in the end I didn’t get to touch her boobs. Actually, she never even paid. Lemme rub em. Not like I can say that in a place like this though. Given that it’s a popular tavern, we have plenty of gruff-looking company around us. The second I groped a beautiful girl’s chest in here, I’d be surprised if these ruffians didn’t step in. I basically have zero combat ability. All I can do is heal. That’s why I don’t want to cause any trouble in a place like this.
「A-Ahaha. My condolences.」
Boyish-chan awkwardly averts her eyes. She must be self-conscious about shouldering part of the responsibility for my firing. Well, since Eris was so thoroughly prepared this time, the various things I did while peeping in on her swimming yesterday were likely the primary reason she was pushed past the limits of her patience, though.
「Oh yeah, I didn’t catch your name?」
I’ve met Boyish-chan a number of times over the past 3 months, but I don’t remember her ever introducing herself. I’m not sure how she even knows my name.
「Na-, e-ehhhh!! After I let you do all those things you don’t even remember my name!? Haven’t we known each other for three months!? Eh, y-you really don’t remember it!?」
「D-Don’t say something that might be misinterpreted, you’re gonna cause a scene. Besides, we haven’t interacted outside of giving medical treatment on a handful of days.」
「…I guess you’re right, huhhh.
…Ruruka, I’m Ruruka. Remember that, ‘kay?」
Is it that vexing for me not to remember her name? She’s sulking.
「Yeah, I won’t forget.」
Since you’re the devilish character who’s partly responsible for me getting fired. Really, what am I gonna do from now on? No matter how much cheap liquor I drink, no good ideas are coming to me. Sigh.
「Whaaat? You just sighed.」
「I’m just wondering what I’m gonna do now that I’m out of a job.」
「Hmmm, why not try becoming an adventurer or something?」
「Adventurer, huh. I can’t use anything but healing magic, you know?」
「Yeah, I think that’s asking too much if you’re on your own, but won’t it work out if you form a party? I’m pretty sure there’s a demand for healers? If I didn’t have my own party I’d go with you, y’know.」
「Is there no way I could join your party?」
「Ahaha, my party has a pretty uptight girl in it, so…」
A girls-only party, huh? I really want to join, though. And given that Ruruka is often showing up at the hospital, she probably doesn’t have a healer. Is it no good? If I were Ruruka there’s no way I would introduce a habitual sexual harasser to my friends, especially if they’re girls.
「Hmmm, won’t it be hard for a newbie adventurer to find partners? I’m not proud of this, but I don’t exactly have many friends or acquaintances.」
In the first place it’s only been 3 months since I came to this world. I don’t have anyone I can depend on.
「Wah, that looks yummy! Well, I’m sure it’ll work out, good luuuck.」
How careless. Looks like her attention has shifted to the food that was just delivered. I can’t expect anything out of her anymore.
Sigh, what am I going to do from now on?
I finish my meal and aimlessly wander around, at which point I come across a side street off of the main street where a crowd has gathered.
In the middle of it there are men and women wearing thin sheets of cloth lined up in a row.
It’s a slave market. There are slaves in this world. Because they committed crimes, or they ran up debt, or they wanted to go on living even if they had to give up their freedom. There are various reasons for becoming a slave, but they’re basically handled the same way. The master guarantees the slave’s bare necessities. The slave unconditionally obeys the master’s orders. If they don’t, a magical seal known as a slave crest activates, forcing them to comply.
That’s it, how about I become an adventurer by forming a slave party? If it’s a slave, I don’t have to worry about being backstabbed inside the labyrinth, and I can take all the earnings. The question of whether I can trust my partner is hugely important as a healer who has almost no combat potential. I just might have hit upon a great idea.
I take a look, and there are various races. Every one of them is wearing a single filthy sheet like a poncho, but there are dog ears and elf ears, and their ages range anywhere from 10ish up to 40ish. But man, they’re all expensive. Even the cheapest 40-something human auntie is 200,000 Zeni. An elf slave that’s good-looking, and moreover has combat experience as a wizard, is over 4 million Zeni. You could build a house with that kind of money.
The amount of Zeni in my possession is 60 thousand and change. No matter how I look at it, I can’t afford one.
I’m reluctant, but I should give up. There’s nothing I can do if I don’t have the means. But the second I decide to turn around and go find an inn for the night, a 50,000 Zeni price tag enters my field of view.
Over there is a young girl of about 12 years. The first thing that catches my attention is her face. There’s a huge wound on it like she got caught by a monster or something, and with the exception of her mouth it’s all ruined. Looks like she’s completely lost her sight in both eyes. The color of her skin is a pale brown, about the shade of a tan? Her hair is a dull gray, and an elf ear is poking out from the side of it. Only one side. Perhaps she can’t eat very well, but her figure is too thin. I get the impression that if I leave this dark elf girl alone, she’ll die.
Just from a quick inspection, she’s missing both eyes, her nose, and one of her ears. It’d probably take quite a pile of money to heal them. To heal missing body parts, especially eyes, requires bishop- or archbishop-class healing magic from the church. Even if she doesn’t get healed, a slave that can’t see wouldn’t be very useful, and I’m not sure anyone would want her as a pet either since her face is all smashed up. It makes me wonder why she’s even up for sale.
I activate Appraisal, and find something very interesting in her status.
Name: Yuel Race: Dark Elf Possessed Skills: Dagger Arts
She has a Dagger Arts skill.
A skill holder. Skills vary widely, but the highest-grade ones guarantee you enough ability to take on several lowest-class monsters at the same time, that’s how skills work in this world. She might not have much power since she’s still a child, but dark elves are a nimble race. I bet she could get by with a fighting style that makes use of her agile movements to dance around her opponents.
「Hey man, I want that dark elf kid over there.」
「That dark elf? Errr, Yuel, I think it was. That one’s eyes are totally shot, you okay with that?」
「Really! Oh boy, am I glad to sell that one. Thought I was gonna have to dispose of it. That’ll be 50,000 Zeni, so how would you like to pay?」
「By bank card.」
I place my bank card over the slave merchant’s. Then I visualize a 50,000 Zeni payment. Bank cards, magic items that can transfer money according to the owner’s wishes, are used by most people. They enable to you deposit and withdraw funds freely, like electronic currency where you can make transactions with nothing but a card.
The slave merchant retrieves the dark elf. Is her gait unsteady because she can’t see out of her eyes, or else because she’s malnourished? Maybe a little of both?
The slave merchant takes the magic-imbued seal he’s carrying, sprinkles a drop of my blood onto it, and lightly presses it it against Yuel’s shoulder.
「With this, the slave contract is complete. Please be advised that we do not accept returns.」
The slave merchant leaves Yuel behind and quickly takes off. It sounded like he meant that all she can do is sit around and eat with no hope of being sold, so I better not change my mind.
「I am known as Yuel. Pleased to make your acquaintance.」
The dark elf girl introduces herself facing in the wrong direction. Looks like she really can’t see.
「Yeah, how do you do. I’m Shiki. First off, why don’t we go to an inn?」
For 2000 Zeni I buy her one set each of female undergarments and used clothes, plus some cheap shoes, then we enter a luxury inn that has a bath in each room.
Rooms with attached baths are often used for that sort of purpose. If it’s a couple, well, that’s usually the goal. And I’m bringing along a not-very-aged girl with a smashed face. No matter how you look at it, I can only be seen as a dangerous man with unique tastes, and furthermore rather extreme ones. That’s a misunderstanding.
Enduring the gaze of the Onee-san, I fork over the high price of 2000 Zeni for one night and two meals, and we enter the room. I don’t have the money for double or twin or anything, so of course it’s a single room. First, I need to get off all the dirt and filth that’s clinging to her.
「We’re gonna take a bath first. Okay?」
「Yes, thank you very much for purchasing me. I have no experience, but I will do my best to service Master adequately.」
Incidentally, this is the first thing she’s said since her self-introduction. She was completely silent on the way to the inn. Though that might’ve been unavoidable since she couldn’t see what was going on around her and had no idea what I was up to either.
Even so, that proposal just now was dangerous. If you ask me what I prefer, I like big boobs, and I’m no lolicon, but her earlier words sent a shiver down my spine. I wonder if this feeling is immorality? For a second I thought I was gonna smirk like a corrupt nobleman.
Be cool. Stay calm.
Even with my tiny, opportunistic conscience, I would definitely feel guilty for doing something to a kid of this age. Besides, I can’t get excited with those horrible wounds on her face. Or rather, I don’t have a taste for lolis in the first place.
「N-No, your treatment comes first.」
「Treatment, is it?」
Whether she’s surprised or bewildered, I can’t read her expression. Although it might be more accurate to say that rather than it being unreadable, she doesn’t have one in the first place. Yeah, I should really get around to healing her.
「Yeah, don’t open your eyes right away. EX Heal.」
I feel my mana rapidly flow out. EX Heal is the highest-ranked spell of single-target recovery magic. As you might expect for EX Heal, I can actually feel my mana decreasing. And, right before my eyes, Yuel’s eyes, nose, and ear rapidly regenerate.
「Eh? Ah, eh? Uwahhh!」
「Ahhhhh, didn’t I tell you not to open your eyes? You won’t be able to see for a while, so keep them closed and wait right there. I’ll come back once I get our meals.」
Leaving Yuel behind temporarily, I grab some sandwiches at the dining hall on the first floor. Oh hey, they’re free. That’s a high-class inn for you. Well, this place’s rates are high enough to cover sandwiches for dozens of people, though.
When I return to the room, Yuel isn’t there. Eh, no way, did she run away?
No wait, I can hear a sobbing voice from the direction of the dressing room.
She didn’t run away. Thank goodness. If the young girl was spotted running off by that front-desk Onee-san, I can’t imagine the look I would get the next time we met.
When I check the dressing room, Yuel is there, standing in front of the mirror and skillfully patting her face over and over as she looks into the mirror, sobbing.
「My eyes… are there… my nose, my ears are there… uwahhhh」
「Oh, looks like you can see already. C’mere, I got some food.」
「Nh, that voice, a-are you my Master?」
「The very same, ain’t I handsome?」
In a flash, Yuel embraces me.
「Yes, so very cool. Cooler than anyone I’ve ever seen!」
S-Sure. How do I react to a reply like that? Or was it because she’s my slave?
「T-Thank you very much. You… healed my face. I thought I was I was going to die just like that back there because of it.」
The face looking up at me is all soggy with tears. Well, in this world there’s no safety net like Japan’s public assistance. You could call the slavery system a safety net of a sort, but still, a slave with no eyesight wouldn’t know when they might stop getting fed and starve to death. Thinking about this girl, even my relatively heartless self can’t help but feel sympathy for her.
「It’s okay, you’re okay now. Look, wanna eat a sandwich? I have some water too.」
「Sniff, yesh, thank you very much. Thank you, so much.」
Yuel begins to voraciously devour the sandwich. Perhaps the slave trader had already stopped feeding her. I guess that means she was left in a corner to rot and die as a useless item when I bought her. That treatment seems cruel, but that may just be how slaves are dealt with. It’s forbidden in this country to needlessly take the life of a slave, but it’s something to the degree where so long as the slave doesn’t actually die, there’s no problem. In addition, if it’s your own slave, outside of brazenly killing them in the presence of the public, anything goes. The implication of the law is to not spill blood in public places, and to not do anything barbaric. In the event that a slave were to grow weak and die unnoticed, it likely wouldn’t even be investigated.
「We’ll take a bath once you’re done eating.」
「Yes, Master is my savior. To the best of my ability, I will wholeheartedly service you.」
Wrong. That’s not it. Although I must admit, Yuel’s healed face is well-featured to the point that I would have no problem calling her a beautiful girl. It’s enough to surprise me a little. But it’s at least 3… no, 4 years too early for that.
「Ahh, Yuel-san. That’s not what I had in mind when I bought you. I bought you so we could explore the labyrinth together.」
「The labyrinth? Master is an adventurer? I thought for sure that you were a high-ranking priest, though.」
「Ah, you see, I can use healing magic, but I’m not actually a priest. What’s more, today I got fired from the hospital I was working at so I’m jobless now. I had just decided to become an adventurer when I saw you, Yuel. You can use daggers, right?」
「Is that so. Err, indeed I have a dagger skill, but how did you…?」
「From the way your muscles are built.」
Actually, I was blessed with an Appraisal skill, so that has nothing to do with it, and Yuel is emaciated so she doesn’t really have muscle tone in the first place–
「To think that you could tell just from a glance, as expected of Master. Incredible!」
Yuel gives me an innocent look of reverence.
Being flattered by a girl feels great.
「I’m thinking of entering the labyrinth first thing tomorrow morning, so I’ll be counting on you.」
I don’t have much more than 5,900 Zeni on hand. That amount of money would disappear in 3 days at this inn. Yuel is emaciated, but so long as I give her plenty to eat today and tomorrow morning, if I cast healing magic she should be able to move normally. I don’t intend to overdo it, but exercise is important for building muscle.
「Yes, please leave the fighting to me. I will protect Master with my life!」
She’s extremely fired up.
「Well then, time for a bath.」
「Y-Yes. I-It’s my first time, so, um, please be gentle.」
No, I’m telling you, that’s not it.
Without anything particularly eventful happening, I wash Yuel and change her into the clothes I bought for her. When we leave the bath, she asks me things like “You really aren’t going to…?” and “So I’m not appealing enough after all?”, but I can’t possibly follow through on that. Plus I’m not a lolicon.
After that, when it’s time for our meal, Yuel eats with gusto. She easily goes through as much as two or three adults. I visit the dining hall on the first floor to get her snacks so many times that the staff think I’m overeating and tell me to stop. My Engel coefficient seems to have climbed steeply, but with Yuel crying tears of joy and exclaiming “delicious, so delicious” as she chomps down the food, I can’t possibly tell her to stop. Even so, she still seems unsatisfied, so in the end we leave the inn and have a second meal at the tavern where we ate lunch. My remaining Zeni is now a little over 5,700.
Leaving the tavern, we go to a weapon store to buy weapons for Yuel. Yuel is awfully serious about choosing, and finally she settles on two 20cm-long iron knives. Together they come to 5,000 Zeni. I’m left with barely 700 Zeni.
We return to the inn, and after another meal I climb into bed.
Yuel lies down on the floor.
「No, wait, wait, it’s fine for you to get into bed, Yuel. You’re small, so there’s still room.」
As you’d expect, I’d feel guilty getting into bed myself and making a girl sleep on the floor.
「Um, is it alright? I, well, don’t have any charm and all.」
Lowering her gaze, she hangs her head in shame.
Should I have said something to follow up after not putting my hands on her? I did say it’s because she’s a child, but apparently she didn’t understand. What should I do?
Button A: “Yuel is a charming woman.”
Isn’t it strange not to put your hands on a beautiful slave?
Button B: “I already think of Yuel as family.”
How could you possibly think of someone as family on the same day you met them? Besides, for someone in her circumstances, the word “family” is complicated. She might be delighted, but the possibility of it being a horrible land mine is rather high too.
「Ahh, err, that’s a little, look. Yuel is cute, but you’re still a child. But in three of four years I’m sure you’ll become a fine lady. When you do I’ll have you sleep with me even if you hate it. For now, you can get used to sleeping in the same bed.」
「Three years… is it? Yes, I understand. I’ll look forward to it with pleasure!」
No, that’s not it. Yuel wouldn’t get up off the floor. I just wanted her to sleep in a bed so I went with a future promise, that’s all.
Oh well. I temporarily get out of bed and lift Yuel up.
Picking Yuel up when she’s not even 140cm (TN: 4’7″) tall is an easy victory.
Ignoring Yuel’s surprise, I transport her to bed in that manner.
Then, using Yuel as a body pillow, I pull up the covers and go to sleep. There’s not much of a sexual feeling, but as a kid her body temperature is nice and warm.
I should have done this from the beginning.