「Damn it… I let my guard down because I was alone. I never would have expected that I would end up like this! Pad you bastard!… You knew that I couldn’t run away if I accepted, why is it that you introduced me to someone who seems so unreliable… Ah, this is the end. This is absolutely the end. Although it is already to end like this, please exempt me from being eaten by demons~」
Driving the wagon with a really disappointed face and endlessly dissing Pad-san while ignoring me and was with a crying face was a middle aged man. Even if my skills may look nonexistent I am still confident of handling this job you know.
「Can you please stop crying. Let me tell you some interesting stories to kill time. It is about the life of existences called 『 Fairies 』the a scholar from the past investigated. So are you interested? 」
「Are you an idiot? What are you sprouting now you weird brat!? 」
One hour later
「Everyone likes banquets you know, whatever kind of celebration it is, whatever kind of day they would call it, they would stupidly drink until morning and would end up vomiting rainbows from their mouth. 」
「Ahahahahaha!! What’s with that! Are they supposed to be a degraded tribe of dwarves!! 」
Well aren’t you enjoying now. It seems like fairies for humans now are like legendary beings or part of the legends by itself. I am telling the truth you know, but it seems that he is just doubting it and not listening at all.
「And well, you know, fairies like playing pretend… Well playing around is something they love after all, but in the case of role playing, it is decided by what they wished for, and they seriously take that role. 」
「What do you mean by that? 」
「For example, the role of Queen will be something like part of that game and they will even train a lot and for a long time for that, even to the point of reaching 300 or more levels. 」
「Seriously something like that would be scary for a human to confront!! Gwahahahaha!! 」
Another hour later
「Have you calmed down a bit now? 」
「Ah…… Sorry bout that young lady… I have recovered from that somehow… 」
Alba-san, who’s now holding his abdomen in pain, has recovered from having a blue face, and has stopped trembling from laughing too much. Right now it’s probably good to ask about that.
「Alba-san, I have seen for the first time beastmen in this country and in this town but why are they all slaves? 」
「Ah? You didn’t know about that. You see several years ago a coalition was formed to destroy the beastman country. It is said that most of the beastmen that were caught was divided evenly by the countries that participated on the war and was all turned into slaves. 」
「Why was it destroyed? 」
「Sorry but for us who from the bottom, we don’t really know of the circumstances from the higher-ups, but I have heard that quite a lot of aristocrats and royalties have hated beastmen, but I don’t really think it would be a reason for them to actually destroy that country… 」
That sure is full of suspiciousness since the reason itself was not clear and was not conveyed to the people. It seems like I can narrow this down to the people whom I can hand over the letter of testania-san. Even if I made a mistake, I must not hand it over to a person who’s only a human supremacist.
「Is there any country that slavery was not adopted? 」
「There are of course, there’s a country that faces the ocean called Malta if you are heading west. It will be the first one you will encounter, with a calm climate and a beautiful city, but they are not openly accepting outsiders because it’s a closed country, everyone that was born there is quite envied. 」
「Heeh……oops! Stop the horses!! 」
「Just do it for now!! 」
I sensed several magic reactions from the front. I then confirmed that Arena is placed on Alba-san’s shoulder and moved to the front of the carriage.
(This reaction is… from a human and with this speed it’s probably approaching by horse because they overlap.)
And then, the figures appeared, men whose outfits were definitely not something you call well dressed.
「Oh no… Are those probably thieves? 」
「Seems like it, the numbers are 6 horses and 13 people. 」
「Do you still have the leeway to be counting them!? Just run away! Ojou-chan! What will you do if you are caught… 」
「What about the escort mission, and they are already have arrived.」
The advanced team stops at a distance of 10 meters from us. It seems that they wanted to confirm our fighting power over here, but well they seem to be delighted since I’m the only one here alone.
「All Haval adventurers shouldn’t have come out because of the red dragon subjugation… Yet what’s that, a girl and is that an woman adventurer? Anyway hand over the Revenant Ores! 」
I looked at the status of the bandit that was talking.
Basil (38) Lv.43
Skill: Swordsmanship (C +) Lockpicking (C-) Fire Attribute Magic (D)
I saw the title field for the first time. That kind of system was also implemented. Does that give any corrections? Also, if you look at his overall stats its quite on the higher side, is that person probably a former adventurer?
「Ahh no…… that person is 『The Fierce』Basil. Seriously, this time just run away! That fellow was a former C Rank Adventurer who was from Haval before! 」
「Hah, if you know something like that you also know that? I won’t let you escape you know. 」
And then 7 more thieves came. It seems like that person was their boss. His level is almost twice as much as the other members.
「I wonder if it’s alright for us to attack? Well then I’ll clean this up fast. 」
I pressed my hand on the ground and cast a spell. Basil tried to interrupt me by casting a short cast spell the moment he noticed it.
「I won’t let you! Come and burn my enemy, Fire Ball!!」
Eh, what’s with that naming? Did you really need to announce a skill name and chant like that? Well I didn’t know about that. And then there were three fireballs that approached me, I am currently pushing my hands on the ground. If that keeps going as it is, it will definitely hit me directly, well not like that would work though.
「Wash them away, water wall!!」
With my other free hand that was not placed on the ground, I created a huge water wall and erased the fireballs in just a moment. Basil then runs quickly towards me without stopping and while closing in his dagger and his men started surrounding me. Well if you think about it normally I will be like an easy target after all, but that is definitely a big mistake.
「Why did you come close? 」
In the remaining few steps that Basil’s dagger was about to reach my head, everyone but the carriage sunk into the 『Quagmire』. They have shown a face where written on it was like they don’t know what exactly happened, I wonder if it’s alright for them to stay like that?
「Why is there a quagmire here!? I’m sinking too fast! 」
「Damn it… You, what did you do!!」
Why do I have to tell my enemies about my tricks? It is too troublesome to speak about that. Well for the time being, all of them were perfectly buried until their necks, then to solidify the soil. And so this is the perfect way to catch them.
「Jou-chan, this is… what exactly did you do? 」
Alba-san also asked. It seems that there’s no danger anymore.
「Well, you see, from the start I used a wall of water right, and then I mixed that water with the soil to create mud and after that all the enemies that entered the field where it reached were sunk into the mud. Then I hardened it after burying them till it reached their necks, and that’s the completion.」
There isn’t really a need to fight seriously. Normally, Ranged attacks would be the most powerful way to attack if there are a lot of enemies, well if the enemies are powerful the results would be different, even on earth that is normally Right. That old movie was a great reference.
「Even so, did you do such a large scale spell alone? Not to mention even preventing Basil’s attack from reaching you. Jou-chan, you are actually really strong… 」
I take out Basil and everyone that was buried in the ground. Since the soil that was encasing their bodies still remained, it became something like a rolling pin.
「Ah. Those thieves can be sold as slaves. Normally the one who caught them has those rights. But well if we bring them along, it will difficult to return in just a day you know? 」
Certainly, if you let these walk, it won’t be fast, and we won’t be able to reach our destination in time…
「Then shall we bring the detained bunch in the iron carriage? As long as I’m around solidifying, they won’t be able to escape from that earth magic. That way we would arrive within a day right? 」
Alba-san nodded while looking quite nervous and troubled. Well, such reaction is quite understandable given that I’m placing them over his precious merchandize, but at this moment I want to convince him that he won’t be regret it even for a minute or a second.
As the talk was settled, I quickly rolled all of the bandits on the iron carriage and securely tied them up with ropes. Then connect the six captured horses to the carriage and made them move it.
A few hours later, we arrived at a small lake which has often been used as a relay point, so we took a break and have our lunch there. Alba-san has given me dried potato and dried meat, and a cup of water taken from the lake. It was really like one on a journey presenting such food.
「I don’t usually give such service of sharing my meals with others. Jou-chan on the other hand is a special case you know? 」
「It is an honor for me to receive it. I’ll gratefully accept it. 」
Both of them have a rather chewy texture, letting chewing sounds come out as I continue to bite into the food. The taste is a little bit salty but it was quite tasty.
「There are also black breads available, but I won’t be eating those at the moment, they are only set as last resort meals. 」
「Why do you consider it like that? 」
「Here, check it for yourself. 」
He took out something from his bag, why is it colored almost black? It was bread which almost colored black. When you squeeze it, it doesn’t bend, and if you hit it to something hard it responds with a kon kon sound.
「It is the bread that I talked about. Don’t mistake it for something else. This on itself is quite filled with plenty nutrition wise. You can live for atleast 3 days when eating just a single one. 」
We were talking while eating. We heard the sound of grumbling stomachs from the iron carriage. Alba-san looked kind of gloomy hearing that sound.
「Geez… You thieves just can’t stay silent at all can’t you!! Keep it down will ya!! 」
「Don’t say something so unreasonable!! 」
Basil cries back, but because of hunger he didn’t seem that energetic, his colleagues also cried along with him. Because they are currently bound and can’t move, their complexion looks a little bad.
「I’ll look over them for a bit. 」
「Eh? Oi jou-chan!?」
I walk towards the iron carriage and approached Basil and his group. Everyone was enclosed in stone so it looked kind of cramped.
「Oh, little lady, what business do you have with us.」
「Can you tell me the reason why you became a bandit? 」
「Hah?…Ah, I will answer you. But I wish for you to offer us food and water. 」
Basil tried provoking me by his suggestion, and then I took out something from my back pack to shut him out.
「Wha, Oi, what’s that ridiculously tasty looking meat…」
「Grilled Orc Meat, because there’s a lot and I can’t finish it alone I’m probably willing to give you a bite, that is if you start speaking up to kill some time.」
Alba-san’s eyes were staring at my back.
「I won’t allow thieves eat something better than my own!? No, not that, where did you take that out from!?」
「From something on my back… as for the method of how it’s done… that’s a secret. Do you want some? 」
The men both nodded hastily. And so, the Orc Meat was distributed immediately.
While being shaken by the carriage, I was listening to the story of Basil. Because he was not able to move, in order to eat I released only the part covering his arms, that way, any plans of escaping would be dissolved. I wonder if he had not eaten anything this good for quite some time now.
「If I weren’t mistaken, according to the merchants of Haval I was considered as a former adventurer from that place, but I was also once sold as a slave. Because of that I wasn’t able to return to the city and ended up becoming a thief. 」
「Why become a slave? 」
「It was because of a request, it was from a Noble, but then I failed that request… It was an attack from thieves just like what I do now. In the middle of the escorting the Noble heading towards the kingdom we were attacked. Some of my companions left me behind while others died, everything else was taken, and as a penalty for that I was turned into a slave because I cannot reimburse what was taken. After that I was somehow able to escape prison and ended up as to what I am doing now. 」
In other words, It was not because he have sinned and turned into a slave but because of being useless I guess.
「Did you dislike becoming a slave?」
「Ah, yeah… I used to be pure in the old days, but because I wasn’t sure who will buy me or realized what I will end up like if bought brought misery to my everyday life. But as I became a thief, at first it is good, but now I just feel tired and exhausted. 」
「Have you gotten used to it? 」
「Somehow, I already have.」
Listening closely to his story… what to say… well I did sympathize at first as he ended up being, but in the end he is still just a criminal. All of that was just to earn income for his benefit.
「I guess you will end up as a slave again, but I guess you can that you did your best.」
「I guess, I finally did get something good to eat, I won’t let go to waste anymore… 」
Well, I will kind of regret it if I wrap him up again. With this as excuse he probably won’t try and cut off my neck I guess.
「Well, that’s how it is, by the way Basil. You were a slave before right, and will be a slave again as expected, but can you tell me about slaves, specifically the difference in treatment between Human and Beastman slaves. 」
「Haaa, why’d you want hear about that? 」
Yup, that’s right. That’s the reason why I offered you the Orc Meat in the first place so speak up.
「Let’s see, for humans the basic for men would be as labor force for mining, and sometimes as adventurers, just having underwear should be good enough, for women mostly end up in service jobs. They will be educated from the start and would end up as maids or something of lower status. There is also a high possibly of taking them along to dangerous areas if the slave is strong. In the case of beastmen, most male is brought because they have high physical talents. The women on the other hand were bought as pets. There is no way for them to be left to handle chores, but they might also be useful in adventuring. 」
Are they properly divided depending on use? I guess some still end up good but they also don’t hesitate to drop their state really poorly. Ah this Irritates me. Did they somehow notice my dissatisfaction? The thieves faces were all turning pale. A sorry, did I somehow show it on my face? It’s because they are still for sale… Even if…
「The Beastmen sure have it hard…」
「That’s because there were a subjugated country, you can’t help it even if you voiced out something about it. Every country holds validity in accrediting it. That ridiculous consent is already a common story. We, the humans didn’t really care about it. 」
「Why do you dislike it so much?」
Is this the limits? As for the information I was able to draw out, the beastmen is being treated far lower than any human being, but I wonder if it’s alright to judge the country with just that. I thank Alba-san after hearing all of that.
「Jou-chan, you surely are a strange one… everything about you is strange.」
「What about you with that strange magic, or taking out food from your back, or offering food give to the thieves? And even about still not showing your face hiding behind that robe? 」
「Everything is a secret. I haven’t shown my face to anybody since before.」
I haven’t even showed it to Pad-san so I’m still relieved. Well I don’t want many people to remember my face after all. There is probably a high possibility that it would stand out just from that. It doesn’t really mean that I can’t show it. It’s just sort of my rule not to.
「Hmm, Hmm, I wonder how long until we arrive, it is almost evening.」
「If there’s not other bothersome circumstances to hinder us then we will probably return almost close to the sun sets. It will be delivered quickly since the other side knows that we will be arriving today. 」
「Is that so, Then we will just have to stay alert until then. 」
And an hour after the sun began to set we can finally see the lights of the town. The towns seems to be called Canaria.
When we arrived at the front gate, a lot of people can be seen from the inside. When all of them noticed us, everyone was in great cheers. Apparently it looked like everyone have been there waiting. Alba-san also has a cheerful face.
「You are Alba-san right? I have been waiting since this morning. Can you please show us you’re Identification Card so we can verify it quickly. 」
Because Alba-san showed his Merchant’s Guild ID I also took out mine and show it.
「Let’s see, eh F Rank? Ne Jou-chan, have you taken this escort request alone? Isn’t that too dangerous? 」
「Haval at the moment is in the middle of doing dragon subjugation and why there aren’t any adventurers around, so an acquaintance of mine arranged for it. She also caught thieves and they are over here so can you also pick them up? 」
「Oh, and before I forget, please hand all the rewards to this Jou-chan here.」
Alba-san’s follow up was also accepted, although they can’t seem to believe it and was giving off suspicious stares, the processing was finished without trouble. Even after remover the earth prison, Basil and his gang didn’t rampage and thus finishing the process quickly.
Request completed, and temporary income has also been acquired. Good work to Arena too.
「Arena~… hoohoo hoohoo hoohoo wei!」
「Ah om momom momom!! 」
「Candy~ is it good?」
Today’s rewards are candy balls made of world trees honey x6 pieces.