THE RISE OF A SLAVE GIRL - Season 1 Episode 60
“You should have let me work him over a bit.” The Guild Master frowned as we waited to sign the contract. “That ring is worth more than fifty gold coins, what kind of rotten deal is it that he gets the girl and the collateral!”
“Well, he didn’t take the fifty gold coins for now. You yourself said that paying it all would practically bankrupt Chalm.” I sighed. “Isn’t that why you didn’t just pay me the lump sum?”
“Geh!” The Guild Master put on a guilty expression after being caught. “We planned to discuss those issues after we bought her back.”
I shrugged. “Besides, he’s not a money exchanger or a pawn shop. He only deals in slaves and coin. The entire city of Chalm is short on coin at the moment. It isn’t because I lack the funds. My profits from the dungeon should cover the cost without issue. This is all just a technicality.”
“Still… since that’s the case, we should have…”
“Should have what? Risked losing Lydia?” I asked with a frown, causing Lydia, who was holding me tightly, to hold on even tighter. “He had no obligation to sell her back to me. I doubt a verbal agreement would hold water to the nobles of this world. He said it himself, she’s worth hundreds on auction. He could have taken any reason to end the transaction, and I could have done nothing except cry about how unfair it all is.
“His caravan had plans to leave in a few days. Since we lacked the funds, he could have just turned around and left while I desperately looked for someone to buy my goods. I accepted this deal in good faith. I refuse to play with Lydia’s life to save a few coins or execute some ridiculous notion of vengeance. I’m not some childish, prideful idiot. This is someone I care about on the line. Would you squabble over a few pennies to save your mother’s life?”
“Well said…” Figuro spoke, walking up. “You have a good head on your shoulders. Have you considered the mercantile business?”
“I’ve dabbled,” I spoke wryly, thinking back to my level 1 Merchant job.
Since our transaction was on hold, I’d like to level up the Merchant job and see if I could make this deal more in my favor. I could bring him down just with that Haggle skill, but once again, I wouldn’t bank Lydia’s life on it working. For all I knew, slavery went by different rules. After all, Slaver is a different job from the Merchant.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like I wasn’t upset that I ended up getting stuck with the bill, but Lydia was never mine in the first place. First, she was that noble’s, and then she was this slaver’s. Pretending I had some claim to her and that it wasn’t fair was just a wishful fantasy. Years of rejection had made me a bit of a pragmatist. Ignoring what could have been, if it came to how much I valued her, a hundred gold was nothing. I had obtained my current wealth after only a week in this world, and I didn’t feel it’d be long before I could obtain that amount again.
The Guild Master crossed his arms and scowled at Figuro. “I still feel like we’re getting the raw end of the deal here.”
“You can see it this way.” Figuro offered. “I’m lending Lydia out for one month. In exchange, I’m remaining here for one month in service to your town. After all, while I’m waiting for my payment, I’m not able to move my caravan and will have to conduct business long-distance. But that means you have an entire month with access to my slaves.”
“We don’t even want you around a week!” The Guild Master growled.
“That’s one month to potentially pay off debts…” Figuro sighed, then glanced over at the cage full of sick slaves. “All manner of debts.”
The Guild Master’s eyes brightened as he finally realized what Figuro was getting at. “That’s right! And with that fifty gold, we could free the whole lot!”
“Why do I have a feeling I’m going to be raising one hundred gold in the next month, not fifty?” I asked with a grimace.
“Ah hah…” The Guild Master blushed, scratching the back of his head. “Of course, we can work something out, I think.”
“I’m… I’m sorry I cost Master so much,” Lydia whispered quietly, still holding me tight.
“No… it’s my fault.” I whispered to her, so no one else heard. “I should have left your job as a Commoner.”
Lydia shook her head. “It wouldn’t matter. This slaver is thorough and has a priest in his caravan. He was able to see all my jobs, including Thief!”
Using a priest to look at and change jobs was expensive for the common folk, but if it had to be done, it had to be done. However, if it’s something you needed to do regularly, it was probably cheaper to hire a priest directly. Like, a mechanic might be expensive for me to use, but a corporation could certainly keep a mechanic on the payroll. I was not sure if the slavers had to work something out with the church, or if priests could work independently from the church. It didn’t really matter to me.
I had suspected the slavers had a method of looking at jobs, which was why I didn’t kick myself too hard when I found out he raised her worth. The only way I could have not raised her worth was to not depend on her in the dungeon. However, I had needed her to escape that dungeon alive. If I saw it as a necessary tax for both of our lives, it indeed seemed like a small debt.
“Also…” Figuro added one last thing. “Don’t forget. You can’t free her as a slave until she’s paid off.”
We signed the necessary paperwork and finally headed back to town. Lydia wasn’t officially my slave yet, so the mark on her was still set to Figuro. Well, at least she was by my side now. That was truly what mattered to me.
Since I was in a better mood, the Adventurers I had become friends with wanted to celebrate. We drank a lot, and by the time I got Lydia back to my room, I was almost passed out. I fell asleep with her snuggling next to me. We didn’t even get to do anything else. Still, she had a smile on her face, I remembered falling asleep with her smiling over me.
Whatever came next, I knew I could handle it as long as I was with Lydia.