There are many dealers at the curse-slave market.
Right now, I was about to buy, no, ‘contract’ a slave from one of them…
I don’t know the slavery system of this world very well, which is different from slavery on Earth.
When someone with a ‘curse’ serves in a contract for 5 years, that ‘curse’ will be dispelled.
Because of that, people who wish to have their curse removed contact a dealer to form an ‘attendance contract’ with someone like me who needs a curse-slave. Then, after 5 years of servitude, the ‘curse’ is removed.
I don’t know very much about the ‘curse,’ but I at least understood the system.
In other words, a curse-slave dealer could be considered something like an employment agency in Japan, I suppose. The person registered is called a ‘curse-slave.’ A contractor is like a client, or the company the person is being dispatched to.
Well, in that sense, it seems rather normal. But I’m curious about the expression ‘slave.’ Why use such a bad term…?
The dealer recommended to me 3 curse-slaves.
The 1st person was a handsome and strong-willed type of man. 20 gold coins.
The 2nd person was a cat-eared beastman boy without a left arm. 5 gold coins.
The 3rd person was a slender type? With a handsome face and long bangs. 9 gold coins.
“Just to confirm…are there no female curse-slaves?”
“Ah, so you’d prefer women after all.”
“Sorry, you looked nervous so I was just joking to lighten the mood. I apologize if I made you feel uncomfortable. Also, I do have women in my store, so my bad.”
The old man apologized quite downheartedly.
Rather, he had been trying to make me feel more relaxed with a joke…Are old men making dirty jokes a global language or something? It’s tiring.
“Female escorts are more expensive. Moreover, there are some idiotic adventurers who mistake their parties as harems.”
Now then, what should I do? To be honest, I’m not used to being with men, so I was thinking of getting a woman…However, looking at this street, there weren’t many women.
When it comes to the three in front of me…no, the first handsome man is over my budget so I have choose out of the other two…I can contract with the beastman and the man that’s cheap for an unknown reason.
Thinking about the future…First I’d have to get through the ‘Lost Forest’ to my house. On the way, I’d need someone to fight monsters, with me in charge of support. In that case…wouldn’t lacking an arm be too dangerous?
“Well, I do understand a girl wanting a woman. By the way lass, are you related to House Melditi? You were talking with Clef-sama and Alfred-sama before, right?”
While I was pondering about what I should do, Clef-san and Alfred-san’s names were brought up.
Well…I was talking to them, but…is he also acquaintances with them? When I continued to look at him with a puzzled expression, he started explaining.
“Those two are famous people—there’s nobody in this country who doesn’t know them. When you said that you were going to get a curse-slave, Clef-sama was glaring all around the area. I could see that you were important to them.”
“Eh! I never knew…! Really?”
“Yeah. So I didn’t bring any dangerous slaves near you, haha! Besides, curse-slave contracts are formed with magic so there’s no danger to the master. If you don’t like your curse-slave, you can return them within 3 days.”
So I had received Clef-san’s assistance even without knowing…! I’d have to thank him the next time I met him…!
After vowing so in my heart, I turned around to the beastman boy. But, a return period…? Perhaps it’s something like a cooling-off period.
“Return within 3 days…what does that mean?”
“Aah, so you don’t know the curse-slave system very well. After a dealer sells a curse-slave to a customer, there is the obligation to provide the customer a 3 days refund period. With this, if the contracted curse-slave is not to your liking, you can get back the money you spent on contracting if you return the curse-slave to the place you purchased from. However, if the curse-slave’s condition is not the same when returning them, you won’t get back the same amount. Of course, this applies to my store too. So most people buy in bulk when it comes to curse-slaves. It was the same with Clef-sama too! Because you can get a refund! Haha! Ah, but if you do it 3 times in a row, you’ll get blacklisted so be careful.”
So such a system existed. Then, contrary to negative impression slavery has, is it okay to think that there is a decent system in place here? If the same condition of the curse-slave is required as when bought, that would mean no additional wounds. Hmm~…this is hard to decide.
As I was agonizing over it, the old man started explaining about the curse-slaves.
“His name is Shin. Apparently the village he was living in got attacked by bandits. For now, he can wield a knife with his right hand. However, he won’t be very good at defending.”
Seeing my gaze pointing towards the beastman, the old man had started explaining.
What a traumatic event…Shin-kun’s life that makes my troubles pale in comparison.
I could really feel that it’s different from Japan over here.
“So, with your budget, are these two are alright with you?”
“Yes…that’s right. Also…I want to go to the Lost Forest.”
“Aah… the one near here? That one’s pretty shallow so I think either of them would do. By the way, this one here’s quite good with the staff. His name is Ikuru. However…he can’t see with his left eye, and his right isn’t very good either.”
So that was why his gaze didn’t have much focus.
His eyes, which were losing their light, seemed as though there was a haze over them. However, somewhere, somehow, my gaze was drawn to them.
“Your eyes…will they not get better?”
I gently sat down in front of the cage and asked Ikuru-san.
He lifted his head slightly and looked at me. Then he opened his mouth and answered.
“The doctor…said that it would never heal. My right eye can still see, but it will also slowly lose sight.”
It seems like a full recovery can’t be hoped for.
It would be great if he could be cured using potions, but then again, he probably would have already been healed if that were the case…so it’s probably not possible. It doesn’t look like he has any other injuries…maybe it’s from a disease of sorts? Thinking of that, I suddenly thought about Hana…I wonder if she’s healthy? It looked like Hana was happy in the photo I received from god that time…Aah, no good, I’m starting to cry.
There was Ikuru-san, who is almost blind, and Shin-kun who can. I reached my hand out to Ikuru-san.
“It might be tough with your eyesight, but if it’s alright with you…will you come with me?”
“…! I can barely see with my right eye, and sometime later I’ll become completely blind though…? You’ll still form a contract with me?”
“Yes, is that no good…?”
“There’s no way that’s bad, lass. Let’s form the contract quickly.”
While I was talking with Ikuru-san, the dealer suddenly butted in. Certainly, the dealer stands to lose if I change my find from Ikuru-san’s vague answer.
I took out 9 gold coins from my rucksack and handed it over to the old man.
“I properly received 90,000 Rill. Now then, we’ll be forming the curse-slave contract, so lend me your ID. Also, I’ll need your left hand.”
I didn’t think I’d need my ID.
The man placed the ID on some sort of box-like device…a magic tool? On top of that, I was told to place my left hand, so I quietly followed the order. Furthermore, only Ikuru-san’s left hand was out of the cage and then placed on the device. Then the device shined and Ikuru-san’s left hand…no, his left pinky finger, also shone.
“Okay, with this, the contract is complete. Do you want to hear an explanation, lass?”
“Alright. Just now, with your ID, the information that Ikuru is a curse-slave was engraved. With this, he is now formally your curse-slave. A curse-slave is controlled through the crest on the left pinky finger which is connected to the master. Simply said, a curse-slave can’t attack their master, and if <Order> is recited while saying something to the curse-slave, it’s impossible to refuse it. If refused, a great pain shoots up through the body. However, this ‘order’ can only be used 3 times, so please don’t forget that.”
“Ehhh…that’s too scary.”
“It’s just a safety device. On Ikuru’s pinky finger, there should be a crest that formed from your magic and his magic mixing together. Try checking it.”
The old man took Ikuru-san’s hand and showed it to me. When I took a look at his left pinky finger, there was a crest formed like a ring. It was a small flower in full bloom, with grasses surrounding it as if to protect it.
“The curse-slave crest is affected by the contractor and the curse-slave, so there are many forms. Normally, it’s just a simple single-shaded line, but if there are wave patterns or other shapes it means that the compatibility is good. In t hat case, the contractor’s magic is transferred through that crest so that the curse-slave can power up…”
“It’s like a flower garland…cute.”
While he was explaining about the curse-slave crest, I let out an honest exclamation. Alerted at my voice, the old man and Ikuru-san’s attention was focused on the finger. Without saying anything, while looking at the pinky finger, a rather awkward silence continued. A while later, the old man spoke up first.
“Such a splendid crest…it’s the first time I’ve ever seen one like this.”
“Usually, there’s just one line for the crest. A slight curve would be considered lucky. Lass and Ikuru’s compatibility can only be thought of as fateful, not just lucky.”
“I-Is that so…?”
“Ah. As a final note…providing the minimum amount of food, clothing, and shelter is enough for a curse-slave. However, if there’s any harsh treatment, the curse-slave can sue you, so be careful. Also, after 5 years, the curse-slave contract expires so don’t forget that. At that time, please go to a proper office instead of a dealer like me. Because it can be done, there are many times where a curse-slave will go there on their own after the 5 years are up.”
If there’s any cruel treatment, I could be sued…Right, if there’s such a system in place, then I feel a bit better.
I looked at Ikuru-san’s pinky finger again.
Indeed, there was a cute crest like a garland. The dealer said that it’s the first time he saw something like it, so I guess it really is rare.
Even though I’m quite weak, I guess I get really great results for things like these…making potions, cultivating plants…those and now the curse-slave crest this time.
Anyhow, should I just think of myself as lucky?
Afterwards, Ikuru-san was brought out of the cage and we left the curse-slave market.
“Now then…I’m Kusunoki Hinami. Please take care of me, Ikuru-san.”
“Thank you…Also, I am a curse-slave, so please call me ‘Ikuru’ without any honorifics.”
“Eh…but I’m younger?”
“You are my master.”
While I walked a step ahead, he followed behind me quietly.
To be honest, I was quite nervous. Because I was planning on buying a female curse-slave. Now it feels like there’s an idol next to me.
Right, at times like these, food is the best…! After I walked a bit, there was a restaurant about 3 meters away. I told Ikuru that we should eat and entered the store.
In the wooden building, there were large windows. The bright place was lively with a lot of people.
“Now then, what should we eat?…Eh??”
What kind of phenomenon is this? Ikuru was standing behind me, not moving.
When I turned around with a troubled expression on my face, Ikuru had a question mark on his face.
“Ikuru…we’re going to eat, aren’t you going to sit down?”
“I…I am your curse-slave. Sharing a table would be unthinkable.”
“…Won’t you please sit down?”
Maybe because I felt a bit irritated, my voice got somewhat lower.
But are curse-slaves not supposed to share their tables with their masters? Such a rule can go eat shit! Perhaps sensing that I was on edge, Ikuru looked apologetic.
“Ah… sorry. I lived alone in the forest, so I don’t have much common sense.”
While thinking about what I should do, I asked for an order of today’s recommended menu for 2 people. Then he also made a surprised face. Is ordering food for Ikuru surprising as well…?
I’m not regretting it, but it seems like curse-slaves aren’t directly taken care of. Seeing Ikuru’s reaction, it doesn’t seem like curse-slaves get very good treatment. In that case, I think that I won’t be able to comply with the common way of the curse-slave system…I want to treat him normally. I wonder if that’s the mentality from being a modern Japanese?
“First…I want to have a proper talk with Ikuru.”
“What might it be?”
“Well, I did purchase you and formed a contract…but I probably won’t be treating you like how you see curse-slaves normally get treated. In any case…I don’t really get what the common sense is, like not sitting or eating together…things like that.”
“Also, that tone. If anything…isn’t the way you spoke inside the cage your normal way of talking. I’d like for you to speak like that.”
“…Is that, an order?”
“No. It’s a request!”
It feels like Ikuru is drawing back a bit from my glare, but I can’t give this up. Rather, I have to push him until he agrees…! A silent battle continued for a while. 1 minute…3 minutes…5 minutes…Ikuru finally gave up. It’s my victory…!!
“Alright, I’ll do as my master says.”
“No matter how much you stare at me like that, this is the limit.”
I really wanted him to drop the honorific, but it seems like that was the limit for Ikuru, as a curse-slave, so I quietly pulled back. Compared to before, the method was forceful, but there was still some progress. I will go with positive thinking.
While we were talking, the dishes arrived. Looks like today’s lunch is a stir-fry of chicken and vegetables. Yesterday, I could have meat for the first time after 2 years, and now I can have meat again today—such happiness.
As the two of us enjoyed the meal, I explained my future plans to Ikuru. When I explained that I needed an escort to get back home, he looked exasperated. Yeah, I felt a bit sorry for some reason.
After the meal, Ikuru and I headed to the weapons store on the street.
Of course, it was to buy something for Ikuru.
When I entered the store with a sword motif sign, I ended up shouting in surprise from the splendor. Because, going into a weapons store like this wouldn’t be a normal experience for me.
On the wall, there were swords, staffs, and even bows and arrows. There were many expensive-looking swords hanging on the walls like decorations, while cheap ones or ordinary-looking ones were in boxes on the floor.
I headed straight to the wall with the staffs. Ikuru followed behind and looked at the staffs with serious eyes. The prices were…the cheapest was 1,500 Rill. The expensive ones were up high out of my reach, but it seems that I can buy one at up to about 10,000 Rill.
“Ikuru, do you prefer staffs as a weapon?”
“Yes, I’d like a staff please.”
“I don’t know which one is good, so will you pick, Ikuru? The budget’s about 10,000 Rill.”
When I told him the budget, Ikuru held staffs in his hand checked them. To be honest, they all look the same to me, but I wonder if they were all different to Ikuru. All I could see is that the designs seemed different.
Feeling relieved that I could finally return, I watched Ikuru’s back as he picked a weapon. Or rather, I still don’t feel like I actually made a curse-slave contract. In any case…let’s just go at things slowly, at my own pace.
As I was nodding to myself, Ikuru held up a staff and turned around to me.
“Did you decide on one?”
“Yes. I’d like this one please.”
The staff Ikuru chose was 7,000 Rill.
I don’t know if he chose so that he wouldn’t be using up the budget or if he really liked the staff. Still, I felt happy that Ikuru chose it on his own. Well, it was because I couldn’t…but let’s not think about that.
After I paid and we went outside, the sun was already setting.
“Hinami-sama…It’s dangerous at night, so I think it’s better to set off from the city tomorrow morning…”
“Ah, yes…! I forgot that it would take more than half a day to get home…”
By the way, today’s shopping:
Potato fries = 100 Rill
Contracting with Ikuru = 90,000 Rill
Meals for 2 people = 300 Rill
A weapon = 7,000 Rill
Total 97,400 Rill
Remainder 3,600 Rill
While feeling a bit anxious at the amount of money I had left, Ikuru and I started walking to find a place to stay.
Wait a minute. A place to stay…? Yes, a place to stay. The problem with that is…! If Ikuru is my curse-slave…he’ll be living with me…!?”
R-Right…! Stupid stupid stupid! I’m so stupid!! Why didn’t I realize such an important thing…!? That’s right, it’s not like he’s some kind of genie that only comes out when called on…
Ahhh…Oh no. Now I’ve done it. Even though there’s a return period for refunding, if I do that, I’d become the worst kind of person who treats Ikuru like a thing. I don’t want that…So then, I’ll just have to poise myself and live with him…Fortunately, I can get another room, so it should be alright.
And such a handsome man like this…I can’t imagine him doing anything to me. Yeah, it should be alright.
Even so…walking in silence is painful.
No, well, I’ve never really walked with a man before, so I’m nervous! Plus, Ikuru is handsome…and we’ll also be living together. Even though I felt slightly gloomy, I managed to find a building with a sign with a picture of a house. It’s probably an inn.
“Ikuru! Let’s go in there.”
It was a slightly large, cute brick building by the main street. That’s right, alleyway and backstreet inns or things like that are normally scary after all…or so I thought as someone who does not know this world Letisreel very well.
Because, even though it’s a strange unknown system with things like slums and ‘curses,’ it’s still a world with slaves at the end of the day, right? So I think it’s best to put safety first in the inn…! Definitely!!
When I opened the door, the old lady there heartily said, “Welcome!”
Oops, the appearance of the inn had been so cute that I was a little surprised to get such a hearty greeting.
“Are you staying overnight?”
“Yes. We’d like to stay a night, how much is it?”
“2,000 Rill a night, including breakfast.”
“It’s a bit expensive here by the main street. The ones in the alleyways will cost only 500 Rill. Of course, I can’t vouch for their safety…what will you do?”
Hmm… even if she asks me what I want to do, I only have 3,600 Rill with me. There’s enough money only for me. Maybe I’ll have to give up and find another place. I only have money from potions…wait? That’s right! I had the money from Clef-san.
I took the bag out of my sack and opened it. I thought it’d be rude to check it right after receiving it, so I had kept it in my bag. There were 5 gold coins…50,000 Rill. Uh, this…isn’t this too much?
But still…returning something I had already received would be rude too, so I’ll gladly use it.
Current amount of money: 3,600 Rill
Clef-san’s reward money: 50,000 Rill
Total: 53,600 Rill
“No, I’d like enough for 2 people please.”
“Alright, thank you. Is it okay to have a double room? There are 2 beds there.”
“Um, I’m fine with a curse-slave room?”
“Wait, you’re a curse-slave? A curse-slave room costs 200 Rill per person.”
A curse-slave room…? I wonder what that is.
However, what I do know is that the place was probably no good. Because 200 Rill is way too cheap. It’s only 1/10 of my room price, you know?
“No, I’d a room for each of us please…!”
“Oh, really? Alright. Then that will be 4,000 Rill.”
I ignored Ikuru’s words and paid the lady money for 2 people. I didn’t mind Ikuru’s strange gaze.
I received the change and the room keys.
“The rooms are at the corner of the 2nd floor. If there’s anything you need, come to the front.”
“Yes. Thank you very much.”
I became excited at the idea of staying at an inn of a different world and headed to the 2nd floor. The 1st floor was brick, but the 2nd floor used mainly wood. The scent of wood was pleasant.
We arrived at our rooms, and then I pondered about what to do next. Whether to talk more with Ikuru, or to sleep now because I’m tired. But to be honest, I was mentally fatigued from forming the contract…okay, then sleep it is.
“I’m a bit tired, so I’m going to sleep now. Ikuru, please get plenty of rest in your room, okay?”
“Let’s talk a lot tomorrow! Good night, Ikuru.”
“Yes. Good night, Hinami-sama.”
I waved to Ikuru, who was still speaking somewhat politely, and went to my room. There was a wooden table, a chair and a bed. There weren’t many things, but it was a clean and tidy room. There was a reason why it was expensive!
For the time being…before taking a bath, I’ll write a bit in the exchange diary. Because I’m confident that I’ll fall asleep it I get too cozy.
Turning over the pages of the exchange diary, I was thrilled to see some new additions.
[Current points: 31,190]
[Exchange Diary] 3
[Compounding a restorative (potion): low] 1
[Compounding a restorative (potion): mid] 2
[Compounding a restorative (potion): high] 3
[Compounding a restorative (potion): special] 5
[Hunting a monster: D] 5
[Hunting a monster: C] 10
[Hunting a monster: B] 20
[Hunting a monster: A] 50
[Hunting a monster: S] 100
[Hunting a monster: The Demon Lord] ∞ (Infinite)
New! [Extinction of the ‘curse’] 1,000,000,000
[Other: special] Adequate points depending on the situation.
T/N: Here are pictures of Ikuru and the curse-slave crest!
2 thoughts on “Chapter 12: The Curse Slave Market part 2”
Oh? Oya? I just read some Fate’s reference? Huhum… entrusting.
Ehh? Just 5 coins? tte… from where did the “rills” monetary count came from? I thought that was just coins… I think I miss read the explaination.
Also… just now that I noticed about points gaining system… they are basically world contribution rewards where potion = healing someone, and subjugation = purge the “evil”? Yeah, something like that. Hinami is faded to become a saint.