Here is 26, and a new companion story in the series is up next in the queue. ^.^
[Then, let’s practice the first battle. Please tell me what kind of weapon you want to use. I will give it to you if I have one.]
Cloud raises his hand.
[I want to use a sword.]
He seems a little embarrassed while talking. Even though the effect of <Fear> has already faded, his attitude is the same as before.
[In fact, I have a dream of being an adventurer and fighting monsters with a sword. Well, I gave it up when I became slave…]
I’m sure it’s hard to be an adventurer after having been a slave. If someone want a slave who can fight, they will buy a battle slave, and only a whimsical master would purposefully train a non-combat slave for combat. Well, there is one here.
However,”want to be adventurer”…… I have to make sure he don’t have too much of a sense of justice like Yurika had. Should I ask him to be sure?
[Cloud, for example……]
I tell him about the incident in the Torte Forest and the request from the village chief. When I’m finished, I ask him, “What are you going to do?”. Cloud thinks for a while before answering.
[… That’s right. In my case, I would refuse that request.]
[Because the condition of the request is too uncertain, the reward is bad, and there is no objective to complete, either. Because many of the details are omitted during the discussion, we don’t even know what we’ll be facing. It is possible that we will discover the incident too late, and it causes more damage than we can handle…]
Yeah. He gets perfect marks from me. His line of thought is the same as mine. I don’t think he will be killed like Yurika……
[Was my answer all right?]
His voice is a little uneasy.
[Yeah, no problem at all. It is a good answer. By the way, what would you do if I’m there and told you to not to accept the request?]
[Eh? Of course, you refused the request. It isn’t possible to ignore Master’s opinion.]
An immediate answer. Yep, I don’t think he will be like Yurika. Should I make Cloud as the leader of the sub-party?
[Oh, right. About your weapon. Take this.]
I take a “one-handed iron sword” from the item box and give it to him. I also give him a little <Sword Mastery> skill. The skills I gave them a little while ago are <Body Reinforced> and <Detection>. I plan to give them <Martial Arts> skills along with the weapons.
[I-Is it okay for me to use something like this!?]
[Yeah, it isn’t being used right now. I think you can use it effectively.]
[Th-Thank you very much.]
Because Maria and I are the only people who use swords (Sera uses a great sword.), and I have frozen oranges while Maria has a Treasure Sword of Everlasting Darkness, giving him a “one-handed iron sword” isn’t a problem.
I give weapons to the other slaves. I put those weapons on table and then let them choose. Those weapons were what we found in thieves’ hideout, and there was quite a variety there. But Yuria’s weapon of choice is a whip. It is quite suited to her royalty. “Oh, that is Mio’s role,” I think in secret. Because I don’t have <Whip> skill, I give her a dagger as a sub-weapon.
I planned to give them magic, too, but because this is their first fight, I want them to remember it. It isn’t too late to let them fight from the distance after that.
I distributed a lot of items to them, but unfortunately, I don’t have enough protective gear for them all. I have to prepare those in the next town.
Well then, preparation is complete.
[Next is a meal!]
You can’t fight with an empty stomach.
Cloud is dumbfounded. Others also have the same expression. I asked the original members to prepare them with telepathy. So Mio, Maria and Sera were preparing the food in kitchen “Room” while we were in the middle of choosing weapon.
[Aren’t we going to fight? We already choose our weapons…]
[No, I’m going to let you eat first. Practice will start once everyone has a short rest after the meal.]
It seems they didn’t know they would have a meal first. They didn’t expected to do that before doing something like fighting.
Mio came out of carriage with food in her hands and put it on the table that I used for the weapon selection process.
[Oh, my! Sorry for the wait… This is Napolitan, Mio’s speciality!]
I can put delicious food from <Inventory> on the table easily, but it is too unpleasant to lose those spare dishes every time we have new slave. Pasta-type food is easy to prepare. According to Mio, pasta can be made easily when you are alone and don’t have time. And in this world, there is something similar with pasta in this country. But it isn’t called Napolitan……
Since almost all of the slaves are children, the food is well-received. Well.. that is to say, it is the “carrot” from the “carrot and the stick”.
The large plate that contained a large amount of Napolitan was put on the table by Mio and Sera. The smell of tomato ketchup fills the area.
Adell, Knot, Coco, Sicily and Roro’s stomach are growling. Of course, I checked them with <System Window>.
[You are going to have something more or less than this, but there is no need to worry. You should eat to your heart’s content.]
As I said this, Sakura, Dora, Mio and Sera distribute small plates and forks. Maria doesn’t come here because she is preparing a dessert.
[I-Is it really okay? We are slaves…]
[Don’t worry. This is just a prior investment. On the other hand, you have to work hard from now on, right?]
The slaves look really happy. Well, it is a very cheap investment, especially considering what I’m going to receive from them. Good food really is an effective weapon against slaves, after all.
[Say “Itadakimasu” before eating and “Gochisousama” when finished eating. That is our rule. You may eat now.]
Everyone starts to dig in before I’m done with the speech. They take food from the large plate and pile it onto their small plates. Then, they proceed to eat it in a very lively manner. Oh! Dora and Sera are somewhat jealous.
<<Do you want to eat some, too??>>
<<No, this is for those children. Our standpoint is different, even if we join them…>>
<<When Dora eats, everyone’s share will be reduced.>>
It seems those two have already taken that into consideration. So, please stop making that face. You should tell Mio if you want to eat, too. I mean, doesn’t Sera already know how to make it?
The Napolitan disappeared faster than I thought it would. I guess the energy pill (considerably lighter) wasn’t enough, after all. What? I should increase the amount of nourishment in the energy pill? That was an emergency measure because I didn’t have any measurements about that.
Maria’s dessert arrives just in time. It is fruit sherbet. It is easily made because we can cool it down with magic. (I still can’t do it by myself.)
[Sorry to keep you waiting.]
Maria removes the large empty plate and replaces it with plate of sherbet.
The slaves who see this are half pleased and half puzzled.
[Is it really okay? Don’t we have to do anything yet? We might be useless, too. Right?]
Coco says with a tone of voice that’s riddled with anxiety.
If you can fight, that’s good enough in my book. Only the people who can’t do anything at all are useless to me. For some reason, I haven’t come across anyone who is useless, at all. With my special power, I can help them find an area of expertise by trial and error.
[Shouldn’t you work harder?]
Other slaves nod, too.
[Then, that is good enough. You are going to fight soon, after all. We should talk about it seriously later. It will melt if you don’t eat soon. I will eat it instead if you don’t want any.]
The slaves immediately take some sherbet and eat it with happy faces. I wait for them to finish before I gather everyone…
The eyes of the slaves become lively again. Like most humans, their mood improves when their stomachs are filled. More effective than when they were starving.
After they are done with the meal, I let them chat to deepen the relationships.
The time for the “carrot and the stick” has ended. Now, it is time for work.
[Well then, the short rest after our meal has ended. Let’s start the training soon.]
[First, let’s form group of four people. Eight people is too much for a single party. I will balance the party with weapons as best as I can.]
Because they are amateurs, I decide the parties by their weapons.
– Cloud: Sword and shield
– Adel: Spear
– Coco: Dual daggers
– Roro: Great sword
– Iris: Sword and shield
– Sicily: Spear
– Knot: Hammer
– Yuria: Whip and dagger
Because we have two parties, we have to divide into two parties to take care of them, as well. Sera, Dora and I are taking care of the first party while Maria, Mio and Sakura are taking care of the other one. Our leader are just Maria and I since Sakura and Dora don’t have enough killing experience and we use average age to assign each slave to a party.
Since I don’t want to talk about <Engage Link>, we leave the thieves hideout and go to another meeting place to start training. We let them fight low-ranked monsters like goblins. If stronger enemies appear, we will help them. It is a little bit irresponsible, but I plan not to act until it is necessary. I want them to have a room for improvement.
After being taught how to fight and other basic knowledge, they are divided into the two parties as planned. First, I will let them fight one goblin at a time. Maria, Mio and Sera will take care other monsters that are too difficult for them. I heard from Maria that the other party is the same.
One of my concerns is that the one who said “couldn’t fight” is now being put in charge of the battle. Of course, if they have something better than fighting, I will give them a priority for that. I personally want Knot to become a master blacksmith. The person in question also uses a hammer as a weapon, too, so it isn’t a bad choice.
We let them fight for a while. Did I tell them to return to the meeting point before sunset?
[That is enough for today. Let’s return to camp.]
Maria’s team had already returned and started preparing for dinner by the time my team returned. I heard some of new slaves decide to help with preparing the food, too. However, they’ll only help since I don’t have any plans to give them any <Cooking> skill yet…
The first day of training is done. There was a little problem, but nobody was seriously injured. Some of them also leveled up, too. I think I will let them do a coordinated training while we are traveling tomorrow. Since we have more people than we can fit in the carriage, I have to make new room for slaves.
Today’s dinner is stew in a large pot along with some bread. Mio gave this as the reason: it is too much to cook for this many people. Well, that can’t be helped since this is type of food that can be cooked in large quantities.
[Master, can we be of any help?]
Cloud, who was nearby during the meal, asks.
[What do you mean?]
[Yes, Master is far stronger than us, right?]
[Well, I guess.]
During today’s training, I showed my combat prowess once, and all of the new slaves were speechless. Honestly, though, I just got a little worked up.
[Master is so strong… We don’t know why you are letting us fight. We think there is some intention. Are we act according to your intention?]
I see… He is worried because he is fighting without intention. Well, it isn’t something to awkward to ask.
[I have an intention: to have you guys act on your own.]
[Eh? Are you going to throw us away!?]
Coco suddenly shouts sorrowfully. For a dog-type beastman, is it a serious matter to be abandoned by one’s master?
A: Yeah, really important.
[It is different. I have no intention of throwing you guys away.]
[What do you mean?]
[It is one of my secrets. The more monsters we defeat, the stronger I become. Because my power is applied to slaves as well, I want to make party that can act separately from us and defeat monsters, too. It is inefficient to have one large party.]
[Do you want us to do that? Then… Could you tell us about the future plans?]
He is quite forceful. No, it isn’t wrong for him to hear about his future.
The other new slaves are becoming interested, too.
[Yes, I can. First, I will let you guys register as adventurers.]
Cloud suddenly shouts with a cheerful voice.
[Then, I will let you act separately by accepting a subjugate request at the guild which should also raise your guild ranking.]
[Why is “raise guild rank” our purpose?]
[There are two reasons for this. The first is to have a chance to fight strong monsters at higher-level ranks. As I said before, I will become stronger when the defeated enemy is strong. Another one is to use your status as adventurers.]
[What do you mean?]
[I plan to increase the number of slaves from now on. And they have to fight like you. At that time, you might become a senior member of the guild, and it will become easier for new slaves to grow and reach higher ranks.]
Cloud was lost in thought.
[Can I ask two question?]
[What are they?]
[First, are you planning to make a clan?]
[That is the short version of it.]
Clan. It is a group of adventurers that is bigger than a party. It is the same as a guild in games. However, there is already an adventurer’s guild here, so it can’t be called by that name. It can be called a faction or an army corps. Same as adventurer’s rank, “clan” also has rank, too, but we’ll leave those details for later.
In short, “be my slave” is one of the conditions to join my clan and train newcomers to subjugate monsters.
[Establish the clan, train new slaves and expand war potential. Those are the basics.]
[I see. I think I have an overview of the plan.]
This guy is a great leader, after all.
[I think Cloud is going to be a good clan leader… Do you have a different opinion? You don’t need to be hesitant.]
I talk to the other slaves. Even though it is my own idea, I’m not the one who will manage the clan, so you can discard that idea if you don’t like it.
[I think Cloud is good.]
[I think he is the most suitable.]
[Cloud is reliable. He encouraged us to not give up until the end when we were at the thieves’ hideout.]
No other opinions. They all trust Cloud.
[What do you think, Cloud?]
[Understood. I might be inexperienced, but I will do my best.]
All of the new slaves applaud.
[I have to say, though, that I’m a little worried because all of the new members are just children. We might need to have an experienced adventurer as an adviser.]
[And all of them are slave, too…]
Sakura starts talking.
[It is easy to employ slaves the most. Weren’t you saying that when we were at Erudia?]
[Well, all the children here are good children, and it is dangerous to choose something that dangerous…]
[Is that so? Our power is too great, so how are we going to tell someone not in our party?]
Because I can restrict their action with the slave crests and <Engage Link>.
But why do I threaten them? It is to create hierarchical relationships.
But why did I threaten Mio? It is a hobby.
[I’m sorry. Could I ask the second question?]
[Oh, what is it?]
[If you are going to make a clan, why did you let me become a leader? Master can work as a clan leader and raise your adventurer rank at the same time…]
[I won’t. I will stop at a C rank and evade all forced requests and nominated requests. Something like a clan is troublesome and restrain us, and we want to travel freely. So I plan to let you make a base in some town.]
[Well… Could you let us become B-ranked or higher?]
[Of course. You will become stronger if you defeat monsters with my power. You’re still weak now, but soon you will become B-ranked. No… it is even possible for you to become an S-ranked adventurer.]
Like Cloud, all of the new slaves don’t believe this. The expressions on the older members’ faces indicate that they already know this. I think Maria, Sera and I are considered S-ranked by now. Of course, by Saladin’s standard…
[Do you doubt Jin-sama’s word? He is the one who gave us the ability to go from half-dead slaves to being able to fight against monsters. Just that alone is too easy, right?]
Maria shows her faith.
[N-No, Maria-senpai. I didn’t mean that…]
[Then, what? Do you think Jin-sama “might lie” or something?]
[I used an improper word. I’m very sorry…]
[Jin-sama, I’m sorry for being rude.]
Maria backs away after that was said. All slaves, including Cloud, are trembling. This isn’t unlike the <Fear> skill, she didn’t use <Ambition> nor <Intimidate>, at all. She is the scariest, after all. (Not my problem.)
[Well, I didn’t lie about making you an S-rank adventurer. Of course, a lot of effort is needed, and not betraying me.]
Well, I can use this to make them work harder…
[I know you want this from us: To support Master’s travels and to become Master’s war potential, right?]
[Yeah, it is fine to know just that. Any questions?]
[No. I will do my best not to disappoint Master.]
All of the other new slaves also agree.
[Yeah, I want to be adventurer. I guess this is not too far removed from my purpose.]
[Err, for me, I want to be a master blacksmith.]
Knot (a Dwarf) raises his hand. Well… I saw a lot of hints that you want to be blacksmith. You are a dwarf, and your weapon of choice is a hammer…
[I don’t mind. But you have to be an adventurer for a while. It is impossible right now because we don’t have home base…]
[That isn’t a problem. Unlike Cloud, my dream is to become a master blacksmith. As you know, it is the characteristic of dwarf race… But I had to give up that dream when I became a slave… This is the only chance I have.]
[Understood. When the time comes, I will leave it to you.]
Knot answers cheerfully. A master blacksmith would be very useful for me, and a dwarf master blacksmith is really something out of a fantasy.
[E-Err… I know your plan, but… please take me with you, too.]
[Ah! Roro, too. I want to be near Master.]
Coco and Roro want to follow me.
[It is lonely! While we are at the home base, you are going out to travel, right? I’d hate to rarely see you!]
Coco tells me with all her might.
Roro also has the same reason.
[I’m going to see you very often at the home base during our travels.]
[Eh, how? During your travels?]
[Well, it is my secret power…]
[That secret power is too powerful!]
Well, you are right.
[Anyway, that won’t be a problem. However, I’m still lonely. So, please hold me…]
[Ugh! That is outrageous for you to be saying that right now.]
[Hey, you can sit on my knee.]
[D-Don’t treat me like a child!]
Ah, while Coco is being embarrassed Dora went to sit on my knee.
Oh, Mio is sidling up to my other knee.
She suddenly sits on my knee as she said. Mio just groans, mortified.
[Master doesn’t allow Roro to follow… I understand. Roro will wait at base.]
When Roro murmurs that, she didn’t sits on my knee, but sits besides me with her body glued on mine. Mio sits on the other side and does the same thing.
Being surrounded by young girls and a little girl… It is hot.
By the way, Cloud and Knot just look at this scene and smile awkwardly, and the sherbet that was served during the dinner has all melted during this trivial talk.
Only what has changed is listed below.
Skill: <Recovery Magic LV4 (up)>
Equipment: Soul blade – Incomplete.
Equipment: Ruby staff.
Equipment: Monk’s battle staff, Steel shield.
Equipment: Fairy short bow.
Skill : <Assassination LV5 (new)> <Loyalty LV3 (up)>
Equipment: Greatsword, Partisan, Kite Shield.
The skills below are what all members (including Dora and excluding all new slaves and following monsters) have.
Note: If the value is different, it will be listed separately.
<Sword Mastery> <Spear Mastery> <Blunt Mastery> <Shield Mastery> <Bow Mastery> <Throw Mastery> <Hidden Device Mastery> <Unarmed Mastery> <Axe Mastery> <Riding Mastery>
<Fire Magic> <Water Magic> <Wind Magic> <Earth Magic> <Lightning Magic> <Ice Magic> <Light Magic> <Dark Magic> <Recovery Magic> <Living Magic> <Original spell>[Revival] [Room] [Warp] [Portal] [Energy Pill]
<HP Regeneration> <MP Regeneration> <Detection> <Nighteye> <Search> <Mind’s eye> <Awakening> <Tough> <Steadfast> <Confusion Resistance LV5> <Paralysis Resistance LV5> <Poison Resistance LV5> <Abnormal Status Resistance LV3> <Fire Resistance LV3> <Ice Resistance LV3>
~fin Slave Army & Party Organization