Chapter 3 – First Battle
“What… What on earth is that?”
“Even though we’re this close to the village…a Scale Viper, isn’t that a C-rank monster!”
“Hey! Rescue me! I’m paying top coinage for all of you!”
“We’ll do as much as we can… but prepare yourselves for the worst in case we need to abandon the cargo and run away.”
“D-don’t be ridiculous, we have 40 rainbow ipomoeas!1 The cost…”
Heading towards the screams, by the time I had arrived… the battle had already reached its climax.
Backed up against the the two-horse wagon, three stood in front of a cowering, slightly plump man with their weapons drawn in order to protect him.
They faced off against what seemed to be over two meter long serpents. There were five to six, each with armor-like skin.
I called out to the closest one, asking the plump man, “Uhm… Would you like some assistance?”
“Woah!? Where did you pop out from… Well whatever, I’ll reward you! Quickly come save me!” he shouted, nodding in assent.
Mhm, a reward huh? Duly noted.
I activated Stealth and struck one from behind with Surprise Attack.
Oh, I hadn’t equipped my weapon yet. Ah whatever, it looked weak anyway.
Driving my blade-hand into its head made a satisfying sound as it landed, rolling off.
It seemed like Critical Strike was also applied.
“Where did you- No, who are you!?”
“Barehanded…? How on earth did you decapitate a Scale Viper barehanded!?”
I noted that though Stealth had faded as soon as I had begun my attack, for an enemy of this level, it should pose no problems.
Four snakes (a sturdy man was holding back the last one) seemed to have recognized me as a threat and had begun attacking me simultaneously, but they weren’t able to even lay a scratch on me. Must have been my Evasion skill doing work.
“Ah, it’ll be fine to leave these insects to me. You guys focus on protecting that large man over there.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! One against four… huh, you seem confident… Alright, I don’t know who are you are, but thanks! Quirley, look after Govack’s master! Get ready to cast healing spells!”
So their names were Govack, Quinn, and Quirley. That towering mass of muscle holding a greatsword must be Govack, the glamorous silver-haired woman encased in leather armor snugly fitting her body and wielding a shortsword must be Quinn, and lastly, the one garbed in a vibrant green manteau with chestnut hair must be Quirley.
“Yaaaa!!! Take this! Rock Cleave!!!”
”Bless us with good fortune! Minor Heal!”
As I beheaded the last one, the trio seemed to have finished dealing with theirs.
“Huff, huff, s-s-s-serves you right!”
“Haa, haa… despite being C-class, they had three attributes: ‘Rough’, ‘Evasive’, and ‘Paralysis Poison’ afterall…”
“Good work everyone, I couldn’t have done it alone. As for that girl… Wait, those corpses, don’t tell me you…?”
“No doubt, the girl who came to our rescue took out four by herself with ease.”
“Woah, unbelievable. And it seems they all were one-hit kills.”
“Such astonishing prowess… my apologies young lady, you’ve saved us.”
Their heartfelt words of praise and gratitude left me feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed… It was only due to obtaining this cheaty power, quite unlike their skills forged by risking their lives.
“You guys have done well! Guards! Stop dawdling, we’re heading out. We must deliver the goods before sundown.”
So the plump man was a merchant, and the other three who fought were being employed as guards.
“Ahhh, please wait a moment… The gem on their foreheads serves as proof of their subjugation. Let’s at least take those before leaving… Quirley, in the meantime, go to our driver and tend to her wounds.”
Huh? So they had a fifth with them. Following Quirley to the wagon, I saw the petite figure of a girl collapsed on the floor.
Ohh, cat ears and a tail. So extraordinarily adorable—her arm was practically ripped off from its base. How painful.
“Hmph, leave her! Her arm has already been destroyed. Even if we saved her, she can’t drive the cart with just one hand.”
“… She’s your slave.”
“That’s exactly why! That beastkin girl, unable to attend me at night, I can’t even sell her to a brothel… Only because she was cheap, I hired her to guard and take care of chores, but before I knew it, she’s already become disabled. What a waste of money.”
“Stop it Govack. Master Kosuinen, would you at least allow us to take her to town? Isn’t leaving her out here a bit excessive? It’d be bad for our reputation.”
“Hmph, I guess it can’t be helped.”
Quin was appealing to Kosuinen’s (lol) merchant sensibilities to persuade him. Good job!
Was there anything I could do for her? Even if we were to bring her to town, if she was just left there as is, she would eventually die anyways.
It would appear that even among slaves her value was pretty low, and now left with just one arm, it was unlikely she has too many prospects.
I called up my inventory screen to confirm what I had left over from Sengoku Online. If this can really be used, then… I gathered my resolve and called out to Kosuinen (lol).
“Oh! It’s you again! It was quite the spectacle! You’re a strong one! You have my thanks. What do you say, rather than those three fools, how about I hire you as my company’s personal guard?”
“Ahaha, my apologies, but I’m a little busy with other things at the moment… But as I was saying.”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“You had mentioned a reward previously if memory serves?”
“Huh? Ahh, I did… did I?”
His face stiffened.
“You, had, mentioned, it, didn’t, you?”
“Ahhhhh, I said that didn’t I! But I’m still in the middle of transporting goods, so I don’t have any spare change at the moment.”
“Worry not. I do not require money, however, would you entrust that girl to me?”
“That girl? You mean the beastkin girl? You’re satisfied with that?”
“Indeed, however I would prefer to avoid a dispute over ownership, so I expect a formal transfer. Are we in agreement?”
“Ahhh, if it’s just that then… Nellie! Come here!”
Under Quirley-san care, the cat-eared Nellie-chan had already stopped bleeding.
Her white, shoulder-length hair was dyed in blood. Just looking at it was hard to bear.
“Listen carefully, this lady here is saying that she’s willing to buy someone as useless as you. Ensure that you devote yourself entirely.”
Gulping, Nellie-chan nodded.
“Then let us begin binding the transfer contract… Please place your hand on the beastkin’s collar.”
“That’s sufficient. Now that I think about it, I didn’t get the chance to hear your name.”
“It’s Shino Kagura.”
I briefly thought about using an alias, but considering this is a formal ritual, I changed my mind and gave my real name to ensure it proceeded smoothly.
“Alright, I’ll now begin the transfer procedures.”
Kosuinen also placed his hand on Nellie-chan’s collar.
“God of Contracts, Promys, I call you. I, Kosuinen, a merchant from Secovytch and owner of the slave Nellie, hereby transfer my ownership to Shino Kagura-dono with no fees attached. Shino Kagura and Slave Nellie, do you acknowledge this?”
As if in response, bright light began to shine from the center of Nellie’s collar. What was the meaning of this?
“I acknowledge it.”
As I was staring blankly at that light, I heard Nellie-chan’s voice.
I see, so this is an ‘official transfer.’
In that’s the case, then I probably should say something as well. The two also seemed to be expecting something.
“Excellent. With that we’ve concluded the transfer procedures. You may now treat Nellie as you please.”
“How could you say that? How could you think to do anything but fawn all over her.”
My response resounded clearly while I gazed at the light as it slowly began to fade.
“Such a bewitchingly fluffy tail! And these blissfully cushy ears! How could one not shower her in love!?”
“W-well, don’t they say to each his own?”
Kosuinen was taken aback by my brazen outburst towards that one-armed beastkin girl.
“Shino-dono was it? Thank you so much for, well for everything you’ve done so far. My name is Govack. I’m a level 18 warrior.”
With short blond hair and carrying a greatsword at his back, Govack introduced himself, offering his hand for a handshake.
His thanks probably also included gratitude for having taken responsibility of Nellie. A good person unbecoming of his grim expression.
Hmm? He said level 18 right? So this world has a leveling system? First it was magic, now there’s levelling, this place really is the world of an RPG.
“My name is Quinn,” she spoke up. “I’m a level 15 ranger. Allow me to also express my thanks Shino-san.”
Silvered haired, glamorous, and with leather armor that fit her to a tee, she saluted with her shortsword.
Ah~ Now that I was focused on her, she truly was gorgeous. This person. Even as a woman I felt light-headed.
“While I don’t have any money, for now at least, let me offer you this as a token of my gratitude.”
Quinn-san wrapped both arms around me and lightly kissed my ear as she hugged me.
Oh my god! This was too much for a backwater lass like me. What am I doing running down this yuri route!
She giggled and said, “You’re so cute when you’re embarrassed.”
“Uh, uhm, thank you very much. My name is Quirley. I’m a level 13 healer.”
The chestnut haired girl garbed in a vibrant green manteau, Quirley, quickly snuggled up onto me and turned her gaze up towards me, her eyes full of respect.
If Quinn-san were a luscious red rose, then Quirley would be an immaculate white chrysanthemum. Though her appeal was of a separate type, Quirley was incredibly adorable.
If it weren’t for her ears, even Nellie would be a human beauty. Were all the girls here so charming by default?
So does that mean by this world’s standards my appearance would basically be the same level as weeds? How depressing.
“Uhh… my name is Nellie. I’m a level 1 basic slave. I’ll be in your care from now on… Goushujin-sama.”
“Kagura Shino… though perhaps here it’s more accurate to introduce myself as Shino Kagura. Kunoichi. My level is a secret.”
Not knowing how my level in Sengoku Online interacts with this world’s levelling system, I decided to gloss over the details as I introduced myself.
“Indeed, if one were known for being a high level, I can imagine that you’d be flooded with job requests and overall it’d just be a hassle. We won’t pressure you on that front. But a kunoichi huh? I’ve never heard of such a class. Quinn, have you?”
“It’s also a first for me. But judging from the battle earlier, it seems to be a class that focuses on speed and technique yet a superior class above a light clad warrior. Perhaps it’s a hidden class.”
… Another term I hadn’t heard of before. A superior class? Was she referring to jobs? Perhaps it’s similar to an RPG’s job change system.
“Yeah I guess so.”
I gave a noncommittal answer. Afterwards I’ll be sure to question Nellie-chan.
“Anyways, what are we to do about Nellie’s condition?” I hastily tried to change the topic.
“… My apologies, this is the best treatment I can do, anymore than that is…” Quirely said on the verge of tears.
“Ah, that’s right! I happen to have some really effective medicine on me this time around, but I’m not sure if it’ll make any difference…” I said.
Why was everyone staring at me looking so surprised? Especially Kosuinen.
“To use something so expensive on a slave… medicine that could restore a lost body part!?”
“Well like I said, I’m not sure it’ll have any effect.”
My mistake, was it abnormal to use medicine on slaves?
When looking through my inventory, I spotted some pills I had made while on my healer while stocking up and took a few out.
Panaceaic pills, cure all abnormal effects.
Recovery pills, completely revitalize one’s stamina.
Restoration pills, recover lost body parts (only one per use).
They all were purchasable from a store at quite the price, but thanks to my kunoichi’s gathering skills and healer’s crafting, they cost me little outside of the labor.
The one who introduced themselves as the world’s caretaker had said that they had tried their best to imitate Sengoku Online, so in that case…
“Right, drink this.”
Making a motion to appear as if I had taken it out of my pouch, I placed one of each tablet into Nellie’s left hand.
“Ah, ahh! I can’t accept such expensive medicine!”
“… Neil, aren’t you my slave?”
“Then be quiet and drink it. I am not one to skimp out on looking after the things I own.”
Finally accepting it, Nellie drank all three pills.
The effect took place quickly and was quite apparent.
Nellie whole began to shine brightly, and one by one, all of her bruises began to disappear.
“Ahh, it’s so hot! Goushujin-samaaaaa.”
E-everything was going to be fine, right? Wasn’t she reacting a little too strongly? Perhaps she would calm down a bit if I hugged her.
“Don’t worry Nellie, everything is going to be alright.”
I hugged her and gently patted her back.
Once the light had faded, I made sure that Nellie had settled down when…
The skin on Nellie’s right arm had been restored to its glossy, lovely self.
“… Isn’t this kinda amazing…! To have such a tremendous effect, as to be expected of an elixir level item.”
“…Indeed, if you were to sell this, you’d be rich in an instant. Nevermind basic slaves, even a first class sex slave would in reach.”
“You’re making me lose confidence,” Nellie whimpered.
I was surprised at the guards’ words. To think that medicine in this world would be that valuable. Although it might have seemed like I wouldn’t be troubled for income, I didn’t really want to stand out too much, so I decided to leave it as a last resort.
“Nellie, are you alright? Does anything feel out of place?”
“Y-yes Goshujin-sama, there doesn’t seem to be…” she voiced out slowly.
The dumbfounded Nellie was looking at her new arm.
“Goshujin-sama, it feels a bit strange now. I can now see the flow of mana more clearly than before.. I’m not even suppose to have much mana to begin with, but now it’s like it’s overflowing.”
Hmm? A side-effect of the medicine? I thought to myself when I heard the ding of receiving a message.
‘You are now serving as an outlet for the mana of the world, thus even an innocent well intentioned hug will bestow mana, in other words, the capacity for magic. Please proceed prudently.’
Geez, I thought you said you wouldn’t contact me ever again… Oh, so Nellie’s condition wasn’t the medicine but my fault!
Nellie-san, your teary eyes are so seductive.
“Goshujin-sama, I vow to devote my entire life to you! Even if the slave contract is dissolved, this life and body belongs to you…”
Nellie bent down to her knees and kissed the top of my foot.
“Y-you don’t have to do such things… but well, I am unknowledgeable when it comes to this continent, so I’d be happy if you’d let me depend on you for many things.”
I took Nellie’s hand and helped her stand.
“Of course! Goshujin-sama, please feel free to ask anything of me!”
I shall keep it a secret that her frank declaration had set my heart ablaze.