THE RISE OF A SLAVE GIRL - Season 1 Episode 63
“Ah… I forgot; I can’t read this world’s language.” I sighed, putting the book to the side. “Lydia?”
She shook her head. “I’m sorry, Master, I never learned to read.”
Well, she was born and raised as a slave, so that wasn’t surprising. For me, I had grown so used to reading in my old world, that I hadn’t considered it when I asked for some reference materials from the adventurer’s guild.
First, we had stopped at the general goods and restocked on supplies. I had avoided spending any money by skillfully trading in supplies. Since everything I sold got a 20% increase and everything, I bought a 30% decrease, I was actually able to get all of the supplies I needed simply by selling off the stuff that I didn’t need. Things like the lanterns and water jugs were no longer needed as I could cast magic to create those things myself. Support class had some advantages.
Upon reaching the Adventurer’s Guild, my desire was to find out more about jobs and skills. It’d be really nice to know what kind of stuff Lydia had. Unfortunately, I couldn’t read this language and neither could Lydia, so the books were useless. Of course, the adventurers nearby were happy to tell me about their jobs, but most didn’t know anything outside their own job, and many surprisingly didn’t even know what their own jobs offered, only learning what they called the critical skills. Those were the best skills that truly changed how they fought.
As a result of these kinds of questions, I knew that Lydia had three different forms of special attacks, and a handful of status boosts that helped her as a Swordsman. As for my jobs, which no one here shared, I’d still only see what skills I had as I got them.
“Here it is…” A map was dropped on my table by the secretary.
Since I had been promoted to the town hero, she had grown significantly more polite with me. It appeared like she was the town historian as well as the person who set up quests and missions. I had asked her for a map of Old Chalm, which is what she now put on my table.
“So, it is a lot bigger than Chalm,” I said, noticing its size was about twice as big.
“Yes, Old Chalm was truly a city on the frontier. It sat just outside the border of the Aberis Kingdom and the country of Dioshin, in the wildlands.” The secretary answered. “That was before the land became cursed.”
“Really?” I asked. “I thought it had something to do with the fact they were freeing Aberis slaves illegally.”
The secretary nodded. “Some think it was Aberis that cursed the city in retaliation. Specifically, the Karr family, who lived in the mansion at the edge of town.”
“What happened?” I asked.
The secretary looked off distantly. “It was about fifteen years ago. Our town had established a means of helping slaves escape from Aberis, and then we smuggled them into Dioshin. You see, most animalkin slaves are originally from Dioshin. They were kidnapped, abducted or tricked into slavery. We simply… stole them back.
“However, this was starting to upset the country of Aberis, and they were growing angrier by the day. It was getting to the point they were going to send soldiers to attack our city. We were stronger then, but not strong enough to fight off even a single legion of Aberis’ army. The only reason they hadn’t attacked us sooner was because of Dioshin. Sending so many troops to the front lines would certainly cause an incident and possibly incite war.
“Our leader back then was a philanthropist of the Karr family. They were the ones that mounted many of the operations to free slaves. Then… the problems started to crop up.”
“Problems?” I asked.
“It started in the mansion. Maids would see things. Animals would get sick. Slowly, the Karr family grew introverted. Eventually, they started to ignore the world outside their mansion. Even as Aberis was starting to mobilize their armies, and the people banged on the door for their guidance, we were met with silence. That was when the ghosts came. One night in the middle of summer, they began to flood out of the mansion, and we were forced to flee.”
The secretary’s eyes grew watery. “I remember that night. I was just a toddler, but I remember my mother’s frantic breaths as she held me against her chest and ran. We abandoned almost everything. I remember the wails of the ghosts as they chased us from our homes. Many died that night to help us flee, including my father.”
As she spoke, Lydia squeezed my arm tighter and tighter, shaking slightly.
“I’m… sorry…” I tried to offer a bit of sympathy.
She shook her head. “It was a long time ago. However, many are still haunted by that night. We fled to the Dioshin border. However, some had grown sick and ill from the ghosts spiritual attacks, and the Dioshin are a superstitious lot. They feared letting us in would let the curse spread, and so we were refused by those we thought were our allies. So… we came to Aberis. When we needed it most, they opened their borders. They sent out a group of priests that cleansed the curses and spiritual diseases and then erected a barrier over Old Chalm. Then they let us re-establish our city in their border.
“Aberis Kingdom may have corrupt nobles and many laws to despise, but we never forgot their kindness. It is this reason that we follow their laws and only buy and free slaves legally now. A few believe that Aberis set the whole thing up and started the curse. I don’t believe that. I think they saved us.”
I nodded after hearing her story. “You speak of cursed land… did you guys perhaps consider…”
“A dungeon?” The secretary smirked weakly. “Well, it’d have to be, doesn’t it? Except that no one has ever seen the entrance. The priests only sealed the place away. They didn’t look very hard for an entrance.”
“The entrance must be in the mansion.” I deduced.
She nodded. “No one has entered that mansion since the day the ghosts started to escape it. It would certainly be strange for a dungeon to spontaneously open in a person’s residence, but no one knows what happened to the Karr family. It’s a mystery to this day. The city has remained closed and no spirits have bothered us in the last fifteen years. Those strong enough to enter the city are too traumatized to ever go back. They remember fleeing in the night.
“Just remember one thing, Deek. If there is a dungeon there, it has been sealed for fifteen years. It isn’t like the undead dungeon, which was newly grown. This one will be deep, dangerous, and high level.”
“Fortunately, you do not need to enter the dungeon to fulfil the request of the mission.”
“Mission?” I asked.
“This time, we will do things by the books. You will be paid for your services. You are to enter the abandoned mansion. Any loot you find is your own. You are to find out the fate of the Karr family and report. This is a scouting mission for the moment, no more. Of course, once the curse is ended, then the mansion is yours to keep. Either way, you will be paid 100 gold coins for your services.”
“This is our way of apologizing for cutting you short in the past.”
“If you could afford one hundred coins…” I sounded doubtful.
She held up her hand. “As much as it looks like our city is poor, this is merely because you came at a bad time near the end of a bad fiscal year. Once the merchant comes, we’ll be able to sell our goods and replenish our coin. At that time, we wish to repay our debt to you. No one wants to see Lydia return to a life of slavery. I know Chalm has taken advantage of your goodwill, but the people of Chalm have noticed all the sacrifices you have made for us, and we will do whatever we need to help you, as you have done for us.”