Hello, this is Jun. Since the christmas and new years period is usually a very busy period for many people, including our new editor Rumanshi, I’ve decided to edit this chapter to make up for the time there was no chapter released. From now on, things should go in a timely fashion.
~~Enjoy the chapter!
Chapter 37 National interests and the Orphaned Slaves
When I look at the direction of that voice, I see an armored figure of a woman standing there showing a gentle smile. Have she come running all the way here? She is somewhat out of breath. She is about 20 years old with fairly long blonde hair. Her weapon must be the rapier worn on her waist.
[Co-commander. Why are you here!?]
The self-important knight lets out a surprised voice.
[That much is natural. It is the same reason you have in coming to this village.]
[Err, yes. That may be so, but wasn’t you coming here after preparing for relief supplies the plan?]
[That was my intenion. I heard of you departing ahead of me, that’s why I came chasing you with great rush, you see. Because of that I wasn’t able to amass the supplies. What a waste.]
The voice of the woman is gentle, but the self-important knight is sweating profusely when I look his way.
[That said, there is something I would like to ask. Why are you putting out that sort of demand towards the adventurers who have come to this village’s rescue?]
[That- That is for the sake of obtaining the monster corpses for investigation purposes……]
[Then why, oh why are you trying to do something like extortion without paying them an adequate compensation?]
[We-well, that is……]
That self-important knight is at a loss for word. That was unjustified no matter how you think about it, which is why words couldn’t come out.
[Another point I’d like to bring up. Why are the subordinates you’ve taken with you nothing but knights specialized in removing monster stones, I wonder?]
Now I get the reason he tried to drive us out. So it means the reason he tried to confiscate the corpses is connected to a single point. In other word, he must be planning to embezzle the magic stones and force the responsibility of the embezzlement to us. But this is quite the poor plan.
[*sigh*, it is so simple to predict what you’re thinking, but that will absolutely not turn out successfully. That plan of yours that is……]
She says so with a confident tone of voice.
[W-What do you……]
[It’s something you would understand if you think about it a little. These adventurers have come here upon receiving Kastal’s request.]
[How did they do that?]
That self-important knight showed a stupid face.
[It takes two weeks by carriage from Kastal royal capital to this place. Even though there is that much distance, they received the request. From. The. Country. Unless they have a method of high-speed travel or the means of long range communication like our country’s conversational stone, they won’t be able to do this request.]
Oh, the conversational stone they are talking about is that telecommunications magic item we were explained about which is difficult to use except in Estia.
[Above all, the emergency communication towards Kastal was conducted towards the royal family. In other words, those adventurers have a not so insignificant connection with Kastal’s royal family.]
Now that he’s told that much, the self-important knight becomes ghastly pale.
[Well then, my apologies for keeping you waiting. Adventurer-san, would you be so kind as to tell me your name?]
[Thank you very much. Jin-san, Maria-san. I, Elincia shall humbly take over the conversation from now.]
After saying that, Elincia approaches our way. In the middle of it, the self-important knight swiftly stands up and brandishes his sword towards her. Hey, you know, it’s bad being short-tempered.
Elincia takes a glance at that self-important knight and before the sword is even swung down, she pierces his eyeball with her rapier. That self-important knight falls down like that. Well, it should be instant death I guess.
In an instant Elincia reaped the life of the self-important knight and then approaches us like nothing happened.
[I’m terribly sorry about this. A person of the knight’s order has made a serious blunder. I have disposed of him as you can see, so please forgive us somehow.]
Elincia bows politely. Our side is honestly drawing away from her and her actions. She is also making a calm expression like nothing happened……
[Is this fine? What you’ve done that is……]
[Yes, he has been acting on his own until now. Even if he didn’t start attacking, I would have him die as an apology.]
This woman, she really is quite merciless.
[I would be happy if you forget all of the things that dead knight had told you.]
[I see. I was told to get out of this village, so we were thinking about preparing for that……]
[Telling you to leave is preposterous. Please, why don’t you take your time here?]
[Alright. I will take up on your offer.]
[Well then, I will head towards the village. How about you, Jin-san?]
[I lost my reason to go to my carriage, so let me go with you.]
Together we go back to the village. Knights who come here afterwards are reprimanding the knights already here. It seems that they were trying to strip off the magic stones of the monsters we didn’t defeat.
[Please be at ease. They will be disposed of afterwards.]
No, I didn’t tell you to go that far. But I also have no obligation to repeal it.
[And so this time, can I really leave this to you?]
[Yes, please leave it to me. I may not have brought much supplies with me since I came here in a hurry, but the knights who will come later should have properly prepared them.]
[That’s great then. To be honest, I was uneasy about leaving it to those guys.]
A: It’s because they worked hard in searching for the magic stones prior to taking over the guard duty you see.
They really are beyond help.
[I guess you would be. I tried to quickly dispatch a number of people for guard duty and the relief supplies subsequently, but to think they would head this way as the guard duty was…… No, it is the carelessness of my supervision isn’t it? I have truly caused you endless trouble.]
[Well, even if you say that now, what’s done is done. More importantly is the talk of the future.]
[Yes, I’ve currently let the others establish a temporary emergency headquarters, so we will continue our conversation there……]
The newly arrived knights have been preparing a temporary tent. There is also a table prepared inside the tent. I sit at the chair that was prepared for us.
[Well then, shall we continue our conversation?]
[First off, please explain the situation. Oh, it is fine not to talk about the high speed movement or long distance communication I mentioned before. It’s not something we can talk openly about and it’s a topic concerning the top positions of a country after all.]
I’m thankful for that. Or perhaps I should say she is very good in dealing with this kind of situation.
[Right, when we arrived at this town, there were about ten B rank monsters and thirty lower rank monsters. Do you need an accurate breakdown of the monsters?]
[No, this is sufficient.]
[Alright. Our party has 14 people and we moved in pairs during the extermination. We split into two groups; one group went towards the center from the outside and the other group from the center to the outside, so we shouldn’t have missed anything. We collected the monsters we brought down on the spot and left behind the rest of them.]
Elincia puts my statements on paper.
[After the extermination, we carried out fire fighting and relief work. The B rank monsters started fire after all, since they possess fire attribute. As for relief work, we applied recovery magic to seriously injured people. There seems to have been no more deaths since we arrived.]
[It’s because you can use recovery magic, right?]
[After that, we were on standby waiting vigilantly so no monsters will come. Also, the surviving villagers went out and recovered the deceased villagers.]
[Is that everything?]
With that, Elincia stops her hand.
[I’m glad. Killing that knight earlier that is.]
Again she’s saying some dangerous things.
[I have no complains about their treatment. You are adventurers who with skills and connections to the higher ups of Kastal. Showing any more discourteousness to such adventurers will affect our national interests.]
I sigh. She is a gentle girl if you only look at her but regretfully, her actions are beyond disturbing.
[I have understood what happened here. Our side shall take over the guard duty. And regarding the monster corpses, we will buy them at a reasonable price, no we will add a bonus as inconvenience fee. Although I say that, we cannot pay with what we have on hand, so we will do the payment in town. For now we will accept a few monsters.]
At least this is a more honest response than that of the dead knight.
[You don’t have to pay the bonus. Can’t I buy the permits to enter this country’s dungeon instead?]
[Is it truly fine with just that? It would be …… impossible in this village, but you could usually acquire them in any town.]
Yeah, but the cards issued on a knight’s recommendation are superior, right?]
Alta got me this information. A certificate different from an adventurer’s guild card, the “Dungeon card” is needed to enter the dungeon. I can have them issued at an ordinary town but if you have the recommendation of a knight, you can have them issue a slightly superior “Dungeon card” according to that information.
If you have a superior dungeon card, you don’t need to pay to enter the dungeon. It is troublesome to pay money every time and with that we don’t have to worry about that.
[Yes, that is correct. I understand, please let me make the recommendation for several people’s dungeon cards.]
Saying that, Elincia takes out a high quality envelope from her luggage and writes something as she murmurs. I’m guessing that’s probably the letter of recommendation.
[Please keep this with you. It should be enough with just this if you go to the nearby town. It will still take some time to verify if you go to a more distant town though……]
[No, that is fine. Thanks.]
[No, I’m really glad to be of service.]
I was getting worried about how get my hands on that. Getting them through Sakuya is overdoing it…… Well, it’s not like the entrance fee is that high you know, it’s just that, you know, you end up wanting a special edition if there is one, right? It has no demerit either unlike the S rank guild card……
[Oh, that’s right. I should hand over those monsters…… Is this place good?]
[Yes, please put them on that sheet.]
There is a blue sheet like thing nearby and the monster’s corpse are collected there. I put the Fire Fang’s corpse in one of the corners.
[So this is the Fire Fang from the reports……]
[Oh, there are also Flare Tails.]
[Those are without a doubt advanced dungeon monster.]
Can you really know that with a trained eye?
A : She seems to know doesn’t she? Her status should make it apparent don’t you think?
<Sword Mastery LV5> <Shield Mastery LV2> <Wind Magic LV2> <Body Reinforced LV4> <Dungeon Adaptation LV2>
Could it be that it’s from the skill <Dungeon Adaptation>? So you can also add them to people …… Wait, uhh? It doesn’t look like I add them to me though?
A: There is a condition to adding the skill.
A: First hint, it is decided before birth whether or not one can possess <Dungeon Adaptation> and it will be attached to them the moment they are born. Second hint, <Dungeon Adaptation> is attached to those born in the dungeon. Third hint, the dungeon is filled with many dim places and monsters, so there is a feeling of tension.
Oh, okay. I kind of get it. ……But, that’s quite the topic for scandals.
A: For this reason I used this hint style.
Does that mean Elincia too?
A: Well, that is what it means.
[Is there something the matter?]
[No, it’s nothing.]
[I see. This is your payment.]
I receive the bag and verify the contents.
[Jin-san, your business here is more or less done, but what will you be doing now?]
[Let’s see. It’s still odd times, so we’re plan to stay in this village for a night and then travel to a nearby town tomorrow.]
[I see. In that case, please come to Lilia city, our base. It is the big city in this area, I can recommend going there.
[Yeah, I’ll consider it.]
I exit the temporary tent and return to the carriage. Since the carriage carrying our supplies turned up before it’s night, I helped Mio and the others with the cooking and cooked and distribute the rice to the villagers.
The next day, when I was thinking about greeting Elincia and Rona before departure, they were fortunately inside the tent carrying a conversation.
[……Isn’t there anything you can do about this?]
[That would be impossible don’t you agree. City cannot afford that either.]
Somehow the mood doesn’t seem all that good.
[Morning. What’s wrong?]
[Oh, Jin-san. Good morning.]
[Good morning. Err, we are discussing a little about the future of this village.]
[What is it about?]
[To put it simply, there are too many orphans.]
As mentioned earlier, many of the people who can fight like adventurers etc. are either dead or bearing severe injuries for the sake of holding back the monsters. On the other hand, women and children suffered less damage. The result of that left many orphans behind.
[You have an orphanage or something, right?]
As far as I can see in the map, there doesn’t seem to be any in this village though……
[There aren’t any in this village. I could raise a few in my house, the village chief’s house, but it is impossible to take them all in.]
[There is no space in the city’s orphanage even if we go there. For better or worse, this country is supported by the dungeon. The troubles of explorers dying and leaving behind orphans will not go away. There should be no cities with an orphanage that can afford taking them.]
If they can’t be raised in a village or an orphanage then……, I can’t really see a pleasant future for them.
[It’s a situation where I would have liked it for men at the prime of their life to live for the sake of national interests even if they have to use children as a decoy.]
[Y-You don’t need to go that far as saying that!]
Rona raises her voice.
[Looking at the conclusion, doesn’t this village have a bit of a rough situation from having their balance in villagers collapsed?]
[That may be so, but the people who could fight even a little tried to protect the women and children! I don’t want to think that their deeds were wrong!]
Elincia is showing like she’s pondering a little about it.
[You are right. I may have gone a little too far. I apologize. It’s not good to look at the result alone. If Jin-san hadn’t arrived that early, it would have been the correct decision after all. Assuming this is an exception, it would be unreasonable to do something that would be criticized under normal circumstances after all.]
Eh? You mean it was my fault? Reading that expression of mine, Elincia supplements.
[Oh, it’s not Jin-san’s fault. If Jin-san didn’t come, the damage will certainly become larger. In that case, I expect only a few people who have hidden well can survive after all.]
[Yes, I understand that usually they could’ve also been completely wiped out……]
Yeah, I don’t think the remaining villagers can work it out.
[Regardless of whether or not you fought, it doesn’t change the village’s situation at this point of time. The biggest crisis is gone but we still need a lot of manpower to restore. However, there is currently nearly no manpower in this village.]
The way Elincia is saying it is a little too harsh, but it’s still a fact that the partial sex ratio in the deceased is leaving this village in a tough position.
[Although compensation will come from the country, they can’t afford the livelihood of all orphans. Boys who could work even a little would be fine in one way or another, but we have no choice but to sell the girls who has no strength as slaves I guess.]
[I knew it, so that’s all we can do……]
[At the very least I think that’s the measure this village can take with the nearby town. It’s not like the knight’s order can stay here forever and it would be troubling if the mininimum restoration isn’t done here as soon as possible. No matter how one looks at it, we cannot afford putting in any effort in the orphan problem.]
It looks like Elincia has the principle to mercilessly discard the minority and the powerless in exchange for keeping the majority alive. Like that self-important knight and the orphans…… On the other hand, she doesn’t seem to forget taking consideration for people of interests like me or in Elincia’s words, a party that can become a national interest.
I don’t hate people who make up their minds that far. She doesn’t sell half-baked flatteries and it feels like like she’s declaring “Since you can become beneficial to us, I shall take a good care of you”. Ah, well, I do feel it is a little too harsh though……
……Ah, I strayed from the topic. First of all, my thoughts after hearing their conversation.
Isn’t this…a chance?
[Suppose you’re going to sell them as slaves, I can also buy them, you know?]
Rona raises her voice in surprise. Elincia shows a joyful look on her face and talks to me.
[Is that really fine with you? Being able to do so would certainly save us from this emergency, but……]
[Yeah, even though I appear like this, I own a quite a lot of slaves after all. It won’t change much if I get several more.]
[……In that case, may I ask you please? Currently, there are seven orphan girls.]
Looks like Rona have also prepared herself. It won’t be a problem at all if it’s about seven people I guess.
Alta, please tell me this country’s market price on slaves.
A: Children are cheap because there are many orphans in this country. five thousand gold is more than enough for one.
[Let me buy them all. let me pay 200,000g for them.]
[Is that really fine? It seems considerably more expensive than the market price though?]
[It’s fine. Please consider the extra as reconstruction funds.]
[Understood. Let us have them put the slave crests in the city.
[No that’s fine, I can use slavery techniques. I would make the villagers my slave even for an instant after all, so Rona and Elincia, may I ask you to introduce me to them?]
There seems to be an implicit rule, no, something like manners to prefer a person in an official position to attend, unless you’re forcibly making slaves against their will like slave hunting. It means that you’re appealing that you’re not forcing them against their will.
[You are quite versatile aren’t you Jin-san. I understand. I will take them here when I persuaded them, so please wait for a moment.]
Saying that, Rona left the tent. Her expression isn’t good. It is natural since she’s going to tell those orphans who just lost their parents to become slaves. And I’m really a savage for buying them. But still, I can take whatever measures I have in mind after all, like taking them to Kastal’s orphanage or giving them work instead of making them slaves etc……
Ah, right, I should tell everyone I’ll be late.
<<I will be little late.>>
<<Did something happen?>>
<<I’ve decided to buy the orphans as slaves. I’ll be doing various things like putting a slave crest on them, so it will take quite some time.>>
<<So you’re getting more again. I understand. Feel free to take your time.>>
<<Come back soon~>>
Sakura-san. You’re already accepting it without any explanation again aren’t you.
Short while later, Rona comes lead girls of various ages. The oldest is 11 years old and the youngest is 5 years old. Yeah, just as planned.
[Everyone, this is Jin-san, the one who will become your Master. Give him your greetings.]
As Rona says that, the oldest girl steps forward. The other children all have a similar gloomy expression. Well, that is natural.
[Sir. We shall become your slaves. We shall work hard, so please take care of us.]
She says and lowers her head. In addition to that, the other children also lowers their heads.
[Got it. I’m counting on you.]
As I said that, the girls take off their clothes and show me their back. One by one I engrave a slave crest on them. And like that I put my blood to finish the official contract.
Those seven girls have safely become my slaves.
A: Congratulations. With this, two Heroes have become your subordinate.
That’s how it is in short. This time’s orphans have a child with the title of Hero in their midst. I thought it is impossible to make them a subordinate since she wasn’t originally a slave. Am I lucky or is the Hero unlucky…? Perhaps both I guess.
Gender : Female
Age : 11
Race : Human
Skill : <Seal LV10> <Dungeon Adaptation LV1 (Inactive)>
Title : Jin’s slave, Hero of the Humans
Cynthia has a purple waist-length ponytail-style hair.
She also has the shrewd <Dungeon Adaptation> skill, this is a better find than I imagined. Oh, there are three more children with <Dungeon Adaptation>, but I’ll omit the details right now.
[Well then, here’s your payment.]
I say and I hand over 300,000g to Rona.
[Thank you very much. ……This is clearly more than 200,000g though……]
[Please consider it as reconstruction funds.]
[……Okay. Thank you very much.]
You have to splurge on tipping when you are in a good mood right?
[Ah, Jin-san. Could I have a moment with you?]
[What is it?]
Elincia called me to the edges of the tent.
She handed me an envelope similar to that time with the dungeon card.
[It is a letter of introduction to Lilia’s slave market. That place is known to have an assortment of good quality slave care products. If you have this, you can get in smoothly I imagine. If it’s unnecessary then it doesn’t matter if you discard it……]
[……I will gratefully accept it.]
Elincia-san. You seem to be willing to do anything for benefits I see. To prepare something like this in a short time……. Also, I’m really surprised Elincia has a connection with a slave market, moreover that kind of slave market. Yep, I won’t ask for the details, okay
[Is there something the matter?]
[No, it is nothing.]
[That’s right, it is nothing.]
Rona asks us, so we replied with “It is nothing”. Yeah, nothing at all.
[I see. And so, what will you be doing with the girls?]
Saying so, she displays the girls that have become slaves.
[Right, several will join us in dungeon exploration and the rest will be sent to my base. Through a secret method, you see.]
[Dungeon exploration! Secret method?]
It seems Rona is a little confused and doesn’t seem to understand what I mean. Those girls also seems to be frightened.
[Oh, don’t worry. I’m not saying I’ll be using them as a decoy or something. I’m just saying I’ll provide them with the power to fight. Having the power to slay monsters isn’t something to be worrying about you know.]
When I say so, I see flames lighting up in the eyes of several girls. So there are also kids who dislike getting beaten up. It’s exactly ones possessing the nice <Dungeon Adaptation>. Yep, it’s the best that they seem to be worthwhile to train.
And Elincia doesn’t ask anything. She seems to know that a lot of powerful adventurers who don’t want to be asked about them. Truly an appropate response.
[Sir, will you really make me strong nodesu?]
The one Hero Cynthia comes asking.
[Yep, if that’s what you want.]
[Then, I want to become stronger nodesu! So I will be unbeatable by monsters, no, by any enemies.]
She is appealing with a serious expression. She’s a Hero so I’ve decided to make her fight, but it is a happy miscalculation that the person herself says so with this eagerness.
[That all depends on your effort. Those who don’t do anything won’t obtain any power.]
[Yes, I will nanodesu!]
As if in agreement to Cynthia, the other two girls possessing <Dungeon Adaptation> steps forward.
[[U-Uhm……, we will also fight.]]
[Got it. You want to become strong too right?]
They said at the same time. Their appearance resemble quite a lot, so they are probably twins I’m guessing.
A: That is right.
Gender : Female
Age : 10
Race : Human
Skill : <Sword Mastery LV1> <Dungeon Adaptation LV1>
Title : Jin’s slave
Gender : Female
Age : 10
Race : Human
Skill : <Spear Mastery LV1> <Dungeon Adaptation LV1>
Title : Jin’s slave
The girl with short blue hair is Sora and the girl with long red hair is Karen. They naturally have one point in a combat skill and above all, they are twins. If I say twins, I wonder if they could some synchronized technique first of all. It’s a coordinated teamplay without letting out a voice! ……That’s OK with telepathic communication. Huh?
[The rest will become apprentice maids at my base, are you okay with that?]
[Yes, please take care of us.]
Again the oldest kid bows her head and the rest follows her. Well, I don’t intend to take them by force and It should be plenty if we have three people for the dungeon exploration for starters.
[Rona, Elincia, I’m done here. I actually came here to give my farewell, but we ended up having a long talk……]
[So that’s why you were here. I’m glad we started talking about this before Jin-san departed.]
[That is so, isn’t it. Jin-san, thank you for your help in anything and everything.]
[Well, don’t mind it. More importantly, what will be hard for this village is what happens from now on. Please do your best.]
At that time, Elincia raises her hand.
[Jin-san, where will you be going next?]
[You’re asking that after you invited us so grandly? Of course, we’ve settled for Lilia.]
[Is that so. I’m happy to hear that.]
Elincia smiles slightly. No, by no means was I captivated by their slave market. I’m going there because it’s nearby and large and it’s the town where I can get the dungeon cards with Elincia’s letter of recommendation. ……No good. It becomes less persuasive the more excuses I make.
A: That is right.
Well, I will be troubled even if you take out a fixed phrase……
[Well then, let us meet again in Lilia city if we have the chance.]
Saying so, I leave the tent.
I guess we can capture the dungeon with ease with this. Eh? I have Map you say? No, Map and dungeons have a bit of a bad compatibility with each other you know……