26 is in the oven, and here is 25.
Oh! One of those temporary slaves woke up.
[Eh? Am I still alive?]
It seems he was prepared to die. He is twelve years old, and the oldest of the group.
[You woke up. How are you feeling?]
The boy looks at me, apparently frightened.
[Yes, there is no problem. Apart from that, who are you? You aren’t one of those thieves, are you?]
This boy is really polite.
[Me? We are adventurers. We exterminated this hideout and found you, so we healed you guys.]
[Is that so? Thank you very much for that.]
He bows. His name isn’t shown in his status because I don’t know his name.
[By the way, what is your name? And why are you here?] I ask.
The boy is at a loss for words at the moment. You don’t need to say if you don’t want. Well, I guess it is hard for slaves to say it.
[My name is Cloud. We are… slaves.] the boy finally replies. [The slaver dealer was killed by those thieves, and we were brought here as loot.]
[Is there something you want to say?]
[No, the fact that they brought us here is good enough, considering what they could have done to us. As for the girls, they didn’t put their hands on them. We are nothing but children…]
Hmm, strange. I think thieves normally put their hands on the woman they get immediately… Come to think of it… they only looked at Sera and didn’t look at Maria at all…
In that area, they are better than those pervert nobles. Well, it is really strange to compare thieves with nobles in the first place…
[We were to be kept here. They had no plans to sell us nor to let us do anything. They were just going to leave us here to die.]
[I see.] I reply. [I guess that is why you are about to die from hunger.]
[By the way… what did you do to us?] Cloud asks. [Our empty stomachs have been mysteriously filled…]
[I gave you some food.] I say. [Although it was just a small amount, it was enough to fill your stomachs.]
I gave a vague explanation, so they won’t question us later. It might look strange, and although this energy pill is small, it is filled with lots of nutrition.
[T-To use something that expensive for us…] Cloud stammers.
Oh! He interprets this slightly different from us. His face looks shocked as he sees this.
Two girls wake up. One of them is a human, and other is a beast man. Dog ears? Since her hair is slightly dark, is she a golden retriever? Nah, it is just a simple idea.
A: That’s right.
No, it wasn’t a question…
Like that boy, those girls are looking around, very confused.
[We defeated those thieves and saved you. Okay?] I say.
I explain everything in single phrase. Cloud already woke up, so he doesn’t deny what I said.
[What will happen to us now?]
the human girl asks anxiously.
[We are temporary slaves… objects. Since you defeated those thieves, we belong to you…]
[Why don’t you become free since both the slave dealer and the thieves are gone!?] I ask.
The dog-ear girl shouts. I have a plan to increase the number of slave to raise the amount of fighting power we have, but I don’t have any plans to force these children to do it.
To be honest, I bought Mio, Maria and Sera because of their situations, but I don’t plan to buy any more.
[Well, I have no intention of forcing you, at all…] I reply.
As I said this, the dog-ear girl becomes visibly relieved, as well as both Cloud and the another girl, too. However Cloud’s expression suddenly clouds.
[But we can’t be free if nobody claims us.]
The expression of two girls become the same.
[There is a temporary slave crest on our body.] Cloud starts to explain. [We have to go to the slave market to remove this. However, I don’t think temporary slaves like us want to go to slave market. We will surely be bound and treated like a commodity on the spot.]
Oh, Cloud is very smart.
[Even if they agree to help, removing the slave crests will still cost money, and we don’t have money. If we run away while we still have the slave crest, where should we go? Do you think we will survive outside like this? I don’t think worthless children like us could live honestly.]
As he said that, the face of those girls become cloudier.
[A-About that… Hey, we are begging this older brother…]
[Do you think we have anything valuable enough to compensate a group of adventurers with enough power to wipe out those thieves? And how are we going to live honestly after that?]
It becomes impossible for dog-ear girl to say anything. I can guarantee their lives and give them various favors if they were to become my slaves, but I have no reason not to help them.
I’m not that heartless. I think I still have some way to help them without exposing our power.
These children woke up, one by one, after hearing Cloud’s voice.
[We defeated those thieves and saved you. Okay?] (Spec: Same as above.)
I explained the situation with “copy and paste”, and each of them had similar reactions.
[We don’t mind to becoming slaves for adventurer big brother and the others, as long as our lives are guaranteed.]
Cloud finishes speaking. In my opinion, it isn’t the best choice. All of the slaves I have aren’t average people. I still think there has to be another way to get out of this situation without them becoming slaves.
[How should I put it? We can’t return to home… There is no work for us, and there is no way we could survive… Yep, it is impossible. We have no choice but to give up our freedom. At least we’ll still live…]
As for the dog-ear girl who demanded freedom, her heart is broken after she heard Cloud’s explanation. Her eyes are like those of an abandoned puppy. Since she is a dog-type beast man, she might become obedient if she selects her master once. Isn’t Maria a cat? Well… I don’t really know.
The rest seem to be convinced when they hear Cloud’s explanation and look at me. However, some of them seem to feel despair and resignation as if they just want to give up.
[Jin-sama, are you going to have those children become subordinates as slaves?] Maria asks.
There is a lot of explanation that needs to be done for them to understand, so I will let someone else do it. (Mio is better at this). However, I need to confirm everything with my companions first.
[What do you think?] I ask. [I want to hear everyone’s opinion.]
I have no plan for dealing with this situation, so I have to ask for everybody’s opinion.
[I’m fine with your decision. I have no objection if Jin-kun wants to take on more subordinates.]
[I don’t care, either. I will support Jin-sama’s choice.]
Those two are in complete agreement with me. They say what I expected.
<<Subordinates~? Companions~? The more is better~>>
Dora agrees. It is trivial, but Dora’s opinion is really important for my decision.
[I agree, so I vote to add more subordinates. Even if they are young, I think they can do a lot of things.]
Hmm, I never thought Sera would have that opinion. Perhaps, it was because they were starved like her.
[I oppose it. They don’t have default skill, and I’m certain that my presence will become thinner and thinner…]
No, you don’t have to worry about that, Mio. Your character is outstanding enough. I don’t know anybody else like you, except Cloud perhaps.
[Are you worried about that?]
[That is a matter of life and death! What if I was forgotten by my master, and he stopped providing me energy pills?]
[I oppose, too!]
I give myself a face palm.
[Don’t you have any pride in what you say?]
[Pride doesn’t fill my stomach! I don’t need something like that if I need to fill my stomach. You could say I dropped it on the ground when I was at slave market.]
She has no pride at all. It seems slave market completely took away the pride of this former high-class young lady.
[I won’t change your treatment, even if the number of subordinates increases. And as for character, Mio is already fine. So, what is your opinion of taking on new subordinates?]
[In that case, I don’t have any problems.]
[If I can still be a main character, I have no objection, either.]
If their circumstances don’t change, they won’t have a problem. Why did you worry about that?
So I decide to add those children as my subordinates.
[It is settled. I will be your master.]
[Thank you very much. Should we go to town and make it official at the slave market?]
Cloud asked after seeing the outcome of the event.
[No, I have <Slave Art>. We can do it here.]
[Master can use <Slave Art>. With the power to defeat those thieves, mysterious food, and now you can use <Slave Art>, you are amazing.]
Cloud becomes surprised.
[Well, our adventurer’s rank is quite low because we just registered recently. However, we are confident in our abilities. Well then, please show me your slave crest.]
As I told him, Cloud turns around and shows the slave crest on his back. Since he has no pants, his ass is totally exposed. Well, I don’t care about that… But first, why does he gladly show his rear?
But it is easy to turn up their clothes. It seems he has no pride or shame. Is slavery that harsh?
A: Yes. Both pride and shame are gradually reduced. A lot of people throw that away just to stay alive.
[Let’s register one by one. Sakura and others, please prepare a better clothes for them. The males could take my spares, but for the girls… I guess Mio and Maria’s cheap clothes are good enough.]
[I could fix it with <Housework> and <Sewing>.]
Mio is reliable. Maria is also good enough.
I cut the tip of my finger with a knife, and then I use <Slave Art> to register them, one by one. Oh, and because I’m starting with the males, I guess it is needless to say to turn their rear here.
Let’s get down to business after the slave contracts are finished.
[Mio! Come here!]
[All right, all right, as usual.]
Mio is in charge of the explanation. Hey, you want to have a stand-out character, right?
That’s right. I must tell her with telepathy.
<<Mio, don’t give them too much explanation.>>
<<Eh? Why don’t we tell them everything?>>
<<There are a lot of people this time. I don’t know what they are going to do, even if they are bounded with slave crest. We have a lot of secrets. Telling them about our skills is okay, but we should hide the facts that we’re summoned people and that we have special power.>>
<<Wait a minute… Okay, I will try.>>
<<I will leave it in your care.>>
And Mio starts to explain, as usual.
She just explains the outline of it.
– Our main objective is sightseeing.
– We gather useful subordinates at the same time.
– We have a lot of ability that need to be concealed.
– I can take another person’s power.
– We have a lot of ability, but we’re not going to tell them yet.
For now, let’s confirm the status of the slaves. They don’t have many skills.
Let’s start with the boys.
Age: 12 Race: Human
Note: Really calm. Slim boy. Hair: Blue
Age: 11 Race: Human
Note: A boy who has been looking frightening the whole time. Hair: Green
Age: 10 Race: Dwarf
Note: A really small boy. Hair: Brown
Next is the girls’ side.
Age: 12 Race: Beast Man (Dog)
Note: Golden-retriever-type beast girl. She has a lot of hair, and it’s really long. She’s the one who wants freedom. Hair: Gold
Age: 11 Race: Human
Note: A girl who woke up together with Coco. Has shoulder-length hair. Always sticks to the back of Koko. Hair: Brown
Age: 11 Race: Human
Note: The first girl who removed her clothes when I asked them to show their slave crests. Has a braid on the both sides of her head. It is easy to confuse her name with Coco. Hair: Red
Age: 10 Race: Human
Note: A sleepy-headed girl. Her hair reaches the ground like Midori. I mean, their character are almost the same. Hair: Green
Huh? Why are the girls’ notes longer? Isn’t it natural? It is really sad to explain men’s characteristics in long sentences.
Oh, that’s right. There is one interesting girl, but her skills aren’t that interesting.
Race: High Elf
Skills: <Spirit Art LV10> <Spirit Magic LV10> <Eternal Youth LV->
Title: Elven Princess Shrine maiden, Royal family (Elf), Amnesia.
Note: She has the appearance of a ten-year-old girl. Her hair length is a little longer than her shoulders. Although she looks dirty now, she is clearly a really beautiful girl. Hair: Sliver
Sorry. I lied. She has a strong character. All of her race, age, skills and titles aren’t simple.
<<One amazing girl is being mixed in here.>>
<<Why are there these kinds of slaves in this place?>>
Everyone seems to worry about it, too.
A 392-year-old High-Elf. A High Elf is the highest kind of elf, and you could say it is the elf’s ancestor. However, their birthrate is really low. It seems that a child between pure-blooded elves has a chance to become a High-Elf in every 100 to 1,000 years. So she is super rare.
I heard their life span is longer than elf, too. They can live for several thousand years. Her age of 392 years might be considered young, according to their standards. It seems a High Elf won’t die of old age due to <Eternal Youth>, their unique race skill. So… What is the cause of death in several thousand years?
A: For half, the cause is suicide, and the other half are killed.
Yeah, the first cause of death for ageless people (from our investigation) is suicide. Well, it is lucky that it isn’t an <Immortal> skill.
Art> and <Spirit Magic>. I heard that an elf has a slower learning rate than humans. Of course, if an elf has the same learning rate as human, they would be the strongest race due to their long life span. However, she is already at this level. I’m sure she has considerable talent. And that means that the skill I took from that curling hair woman is totally useless.
As for her title. She is V.I.P. in every aspect. Hey, aren’t shrine maiden princess and the royal family’s position really high? Wait! Am I collecting princesses? Well, I don’t need a princess from Erudia. So change.
[Wh-What!? We haven’t given you an explanation yet!]
My mouth slipped. Coco raises her voice in surprise. Yeah, when I look at status, I see a lot of personal data.
[It is one of my powers. Of course, I have to conceal this.]
I left the explanation to Mio a little while ago, but this is the first time I’ve made her manage a lot of people at once. Consequently, I don’t know whether they really get it. It would be bad if they oppose me, so I should let them know who is in charge. I use <Threat> and <Ambition>. I feel a little resistance when those skills are activated.
[If our secrets were to be exposed, I will make you regret that you were born.]
-Jororororo- (Spec: Bathroom malfunction.)
Eight puddles were made.
These two skills are really effective at threatening someone. Just staring into their eyes makes their knees shake, and then they collapse on the floor. Even someone as calm as Cloud is in the same state.
So I will give an explanation of this synergistic skill:
<Threat> + <Ambition> = <Fear>
I stop using <Fear> once all of the slaves are sitting down.
By the way… Because of <System Window>, I can choose who will receive <Fear> status, and this means that I can target individuals. Only eight new slaves have <Fear> status. Because it will be really pitiful to let Dora be affected by it. Oops! Mio has <Fear> status.
Mio makes a strange noise.
<<Mio?~ What’s wrong?~>>
Dora asks her, but she gets no response.
Even her telepathic voice sounds like she is about to cry. What’s wrong?
<<What’s wrong? What happened? Did you see something?>>
Mio becomes silent, and she is shaking restlessly, for some reason. I try to approach her to confirm what’s happening, but it is too much for her. So I stay nearby.
I look at those slaves and continue my speech.
[Well then, new slaves, can you keep our secret?]
All of them nod desperately. Of course, I could still see some fear in their eyes.
Oh, well… I don’t think anybody is going to oppose me after I threaten them like this. I need to make our hierarchical relationship clear first.
[And Coco, please explain more about this amnesia girl.]
I urge her to explain Yuria, the high elf’s situation.
[Y-Yes. This girl has amnesia. I don’t know what happened before she became a temporary slave. I was picked up recently, so I don’t really know her situation, at all.]
Coco is trembling a little while explaining. Her ears turn down.
[Do you have amnesia? Can you give me details?]
I stand in front of Yuria, squat down and stare into her eyes before asking the question. Since I have <System Window>, it is hard to lie at point-blank range.
[Y-Yes. Except for when I woke up a little while ago, I don’t have any memories before that. I was confused, and I became a temporary slave before I noticed.]
It seems she isn’t lying. I don’t feel any intelligence of someone who has lived almost four hundred years, at all. Her eyes are exactly like those of a child. I don’t think her status is wrong, but… I just want to make sure.
[Where were you picked up?]
[I don’t know. I have been confused for a long time, and my memory during that time is really vague.]
Should I ask Help-sensei? No, it is already okay. That was the past, and now she is my slave.
[Well, you can tell me if you remember something. For now, though, you are my slave. Okay?]
[Y-Yes, I have no problem. And I won’t expose the secret. Absolutely, Absolutely won’t…]
It seems I threatened her too much. She trembles so hard when I stare at her at point-blank range.
What will happen if I use <Fear> with an opponent with weak will? Won’t they become disabled? That alone makes this synergistic skill very strong.
[Okay, I get it. You won’t expose our secret. Let’s change clothes for now. Err… Let’s use “Clean” first.]
<Life Magic>’s “Clean” is the magic that removes all dirt from the target. It doesn’t make their rag clothes clean, but it is enough to clean their body.
I divide the job of cleaning all new slaves with “Clean” between everyone. Mio just secretly turns a blind eye to how my “Clean” magic works.
After that, I let them change into some clothes which were prepared by Mio and Maria. It is might a little too late, but I make partitions with earth magic for men and women.
The changing is done normally. They were cheap clothes, but they’re still better than nothing.
Does “Clean” magic turn Yuria into a beautiful girl? Well… I don’t want to judge a girl of her age like that. Other people have surprising “before and after” appearances, too. I think it will be more troublesome if Yuria doesn’t cover her face. Including her past, too.
[Then, let’s talk again. Fighting monsters will be your main job.]
[A-Are you going to use us as decoys?]
Cloud is trembling while saying that. Other slaves are frightened, too.
Oh, I guess they misunderstand. Come to think of it, Konoe Town doesn’t have a slave market because there are a lot of cases in which adventurers use slaves as decoys. So it’s a scandal for them to set up a shop in an adventurer’s town.
[Huh? Didn’t Mio tell you before? I can take power from others, and then I’ll give you power with which to fight.]
[C-Can you do something like that?]
Coco hears what I say. It isn’t something that’s easy to believe. Well, it can’t be helped. I must show I actually can.
[Yeah, I can. I will let you fight once we leave this place. If you guys don’t want to fight, I will assign you to another job.]
I have a lot of ways to make slaves work. As their number increases, so do the possibilities, too.
Since no one said they are no good at fighting, we decide to leave the thieves’ hideout. I don’t show <Inventory>, but I will tell them about it later.
We go outside and gather in front of the carriage. Those slaves are surprised to see that adventurers like us have a carriage.
[Well then, I will give you a power. I will have you enter carriage one by one. Please keep what you see inside a secret. Understood?]
Everyone answers so desperately. Are they that scared?
By the way, there is no deep meaning for the carriage. I just want to change the scenery.
They enter carriage one by one, and I put my hand on their forehead and give them the ability. Doesn’t it look real? Although, it is possible to do this remotely with <Engage Link>…
I finish giving all members their abilities without any trouble. Status details? I leave them out because it is troublesome. I won’t let them fight with us, anyway.
I will let those slaves become a sub-party. I give them powers to fight against monsters and to be able to use <Give and Take> from <Engage Link>. The status of defeated enemies will flow to me, after all. Of course, I won’t let them work themselves to death and get killed. I will also give some of the status to the one who defeated that enemy.
Since they are my slaves, fighting with monsters is unavoidable. However, it is useless to have strong people in one party. My special power is really convenient for establishing sub-parties.
By the way… Slaves who don’t want to fight will have production skills, and I’ll let them work in that area. We can open up a shop and make money from that.
Isn’t it bad to take a commission from them? Well, it is a proper way to make slaves work.
[I have a feeling I’m filled with power somehow.]
[My body is so light! Completely different from earlier.]
[Is that an animal over there? I can sense it so clearly!]
[Yeah, as expected!]
The slaves’ reactions are great. Of course, this is just a small bit of my ability, but for those slaves, it was like their combat efficiency increased ten times.
I have to put out the carrot, so there is no need for the stick right now.
By the way, I took Yuria’s skill and her status, too, because they are a lot higher than that of an average slave. I just set her skill to level 1, so it doesn’t become unnatural. I will gradually give the rest back to her.
Now, the new slaves are in the mood… and ready… I’m going to start educating them.
~~Fin A Slave Army and a High-Elf