I was walking down a little back street in the market. This is where people can make contracts with curse-slaves…popularly called the <Curse-Slave Market>, a place for professional dealers.
Some were in prison-like cells, while others were sitting with the shopkeeper like normal people.
Also…I heard that curse-slaves are sold at other places than this street. While I was walking down the street, I had overheard someone talking about that. Apparently, there’s a place with higher grade curse-slaves called the <Curse-Slave Trading Post>. It seems that mostly nobles buy from there.
“Anyhow… there are a lot of curse-slaves.”
I stopped walking and looked back at the road I came through.
I was trying to get a grasp of the prices, and found that they were cheaper than I expected. The cheapest curse-slave had many injuries and cost 7 gold coins.
I didn’t really see an upper limit, but I think it should be about 20 gold coins on average? 4 months worth of living expenses…just that is enough to buy a person. No, to be exact, for a contract of 5 years.
Even if it’s only 5 years, people’s lives were never exchanged like this back in Japan. Even though it’s a curse-slave, I have a hesitance in buying…contracting…a slave.
What should I do?
For now, I have 10 gold coins. If I intend to form a contract…I can get a cheap curse-slave. But to contract a curse slave…I wonder if that means I will be binding someone to me in the name of a contract.
Just what was my identity as Kusunoki Hinami and as a Japanese person? Is it helping Hana? Helping my parents? Earning money? Not dying? Living…?
For me, ‘living with a smile’ has always been the goal.
So, to that extent, what do I need to accomplish that…?
A stable life.
A healthy body without illness.
Time to pursue hobbies.
I can smile because of Hana… because my family is staying safe…
Hana is living the precious life that god helped to save.
Because of that, ‘paying back god for all his help’…that is my identity now.
First, I’ll take a deep breath. For now, I will be forming a contract with a curse-slave.
The moment I had steeled my heart and was about to step foot into the curse-slave market again, I heard voices coming from behind. A clear higher voice and a lower pressure voice.
I think my resolve shook a little from those, but I felt glad to hear familiar sounds so anxiety disappeared a bit from my heart.
Why are they here? I thought, but from their appearances, I realized they were working. They both were wearing proper knightly attire.
I wonder if they were on patrol…? No, if it’s patrol, I guess people like the soldier who talked to me would do that.
“Why are you at the curse-slave market? What happened to Thia?”
“Well, she seems to have had some urgent business.”
“Some urgent business even though there’s Hinami?…I see, it’s that guy.”
Having something on his mind, Alfred-san let out a heavy sigh. Behind him, Clef-san also had a troubled face. I wonder what it could be. That guy…?
Noticing that I had a question mark above my head, Alfred-san answered me, “Her fiancé.”
So Thia-chan has a fiancé…! No, well…I wonder if that’s normal for nobles. It doesn’t have much to do with me who only ever went to work and had no boyfriends in Japan…
So then, did Thia-chan go to meet her fiancé? Hmm, then it can’t be helped that it was urgent business.
“Sorry, Hinami. Her fiancé is a duke…so Thia can’t reject him forcefully.”
“Eh! She didn’t go there happily?”
“I wonder. I…don’t like that guy.”
Oh, isn’t this an extreme sister complex? He’s jealous, right? Alfred-san might be even worse than me.
More importantly, I’m worried about Thia-chan. I don’t know what kind of person her fiancé is… but if he’s calling Thia-chan using his position and not through mutual love, then I don’t like him…I’ll try asking next time. Because, we’re friends…!
“Could it be that Hinami-dono is planning on going back alone? I had thought that you would stay with Thia, so I had not prepared…I’m sorry.”
“N-No…! Please don’t worry about that!”
“A child should not hesitate to let herself be spoiled once in a while. Or could it be that because you lived alone in the forest so long, it’s easy to get back home…is that it?”
“No no I don’t know how to get back at all! Ah…”
My true thoughts accidentally spilled out. How embarrassing…Clef-san grinned and apologized,
“Sorry that my child forcefully brought you here.”
By the way he was observing me, it looks like he understood why I was here. That I’m here to buy a slave for escort purposes since I can’t return on my own.
It felt like I was doing something embarrassing, so I stared at the ground, avoiding his gaze. I feel like a child that was caught doing something bad.
Clef-san patted my head and said, “It’s alright.”
“There are a lot of people forming contracts with curse-slaves for escort. Rather, it’s a natural thing. Thia’s escort, Kiruto, is also a curse-slave.”
“Ah, well, most people of the general class don’t, but nobles or adventurers make these contracts rather often.”
I couldn’t believe it when I heard the explanation from the guild, but I could when it was from Clef-san. I wonder if this is what they call the dignity of a knight…?
Rather, Kiruto-kun was a curse-slave. I had no idea… thought it was true that he was sticking close to Thia-chan and didn’t speak when Thia-chan and I were talking. An obedient attendant… that was all I had thought at the time.
“I am a knight, so I can tell at a glance that Hinami-dono is not suited for combat.”
“For now, if you want to keep living in the forest but go back and forth to the city, it would be a good idea to get an escort. If not, then living in the city should be good. Hinami-dono is still a child…it would be less dangerous here than in the forest.”
It’s a secret that I thought people wouldn’t have to be a knight to recognize, as I looked at my arms that lacked muscles.
For the time being…my living environment is the key point. However, I cannot abandon the forest house, because it is the precious house god gave to me. Also, I had grown attached to it after living there for 2 years. In addition, it was comfortable and cute. After that, I don’t have any complaints as long as I have the right ingredients.
“Well…I do want a house in the city…but the house I’m living in is important to me, so I can’t let it go.”
“I see. Then it would be best to form a contract with a curse-slave for escort purposes. Traveling through the forest alone is dangerous.”
“That’s true. Thank you for your advice.”
Thanks to Clef-san’s kind words, the guilt I had been feeling about getting a curse-slave had decreased. He’s a warm person like my father, so it was a little embarrassing.
“Hinami…you can’t fight? I thought you were someone amazing because you were living alone in the Lost Forest…”
“Alfred-san…what did you see me as? I am living in the forest…but I’m a normal girl.”
“Ah—come to think of it, you were scared of Schtrein too.”
I was an elegant name I had never heard before…That’s was what I was thinking, but it seems that it was the dragon I had ridden to get here. So its name was Schtrein…I feel like I lost to a dragon on names. No, it’s gotta just be in my head.
“Hinami, I’ll fly you home on Schtrein.”
I flinched from what should be a nice offer from Alfred. Seeing my complicated expression of happiness and anxiety, Alfred-san grinned.
“Ah, you can’t ride because Schtrein is scary… huh.”
It’s troubling, but it is as he said so I really couldn’t argue. No…I do want to ride the dragon and return swiftly…! I want to return to my house in the forest. Then once I settle down and acquire more points, I want to come back to the city, sell potions, and buy a house…!
Let’s say that I was returned home…Then how would I come back to the city next time…?
“Hey, Al. Treat women gently.”
“I know…I’m joking Hinami. Sorry.”
Looking at me who was troubled, Clef-san scolded Alfred-san. Alfred-san obediently accepted and apologized to me. They really are nobles…most boys that age wouldn’t be so polite…!
“On closer thought, I…after getting home, I won’t be able to get back to the city on my own.”
Looks like the both of them did not think about that, as their voices overlapped. Like father, like son, a perfect harmony. Alfred pondered with a troubled expression and sent glances at me.
“I can send you home today, but even still, I can’t go back to get you, you know?”
“No no no, I know that…!”
“But Thia does like Hinami, so it’ll be sad if we can’t meet again.”
I feel that Alfred-san has really started to worry.
But…that means I was accepted as Thia-chan’s friend, so I’m happy. But then…I’ll need a slave to get to the city. I looked at the slave market. I met these two here, so I felt slightly anxious.
Ahh, what should I do? Should I really…buy a slave?
“Then, Hinami, how will you return?”
“Ah…no, I’ll contract a curse-slave and get escorted there. Frankly, the dragon is quite scary.”
“I see. That might be good for Hinami-dono.”
I refused Alfred-san’s very kind offer and resolved to form a contract with a curse-slave. Clef-san’s approval was also a reason. Buying a curse-slave doesn’t mean getting despised or that there would be moral qualms…he took care of such fears. In truth, it’s not ‘buying’ but rather ‘contracting,’ so it’s basically like getting a part-timer in Japan…no, I guess it’s still different.
Right, I cant’ treat a curse-slave like a slave that could be sold and bought. I won’t become someone who uses people like tools…
Yeah, it’s alright. The curse-slaves here are different from the slaves on earth.
“Now then, we have to go. Sorry, Hinami-dono. We haven’t given you much. If you can, please visit as again.”
“Yes. Thank you, Clef-san.”
“If there are any problems, please tell me. Hinami is Thia’s saviour and friend, so I’ll gladly help you.”
I said goodbye to the two of them and saw them off.
These kind people, Thia-chan’s family, were the first people I met in this world.
But to be honest, I was glad that the first people I met were such nice people…! Even so, I can’t help but get nervous in front of them because I’m not used to aristocrats. I wonder what the rest are like…Right, well, with forms of speech they use, I can’t go against it and feel like I’ll get overwhelmied…
Well, Japanese people don’t really come out strong. It can’t be helped…! Probably
I mustered up my courage again and set foot towards the curse-slave market.
“Um…I’d like to form a contract with a curse-slave.”
“Hmm? You, young lady?”
I looked around and talked to a curse-slave trader. The curse-slaves were all in cages, so I don’t think the trader treats them well. However, I only have 10 gold coins. If I return home and sell potions, I think I can make more, but I wouldn’t be able to return home right now so that’s not an option. For the other curse-slave traders who treat their curse-slaves well, 10 gold coins wouldn ‘t be enough.
The curse-slave trader I chose had the prices ranging from 5 gold coins at the lowest…to 23 gold coins at the highest. Compared to other curse-slave traders it was quite cheap. But to that end…the curse-slaves were wounded and some of their eyes were blank.
“What the curse-slave for? Young lady, you’re…a little over 10? In that case, I think a sex curse-slave is too early for you! Haha!”
“Eh! Seriously? Sorry, sorry. As an apology let me show you the finest sex curse-slave…”
“No! I want an escort!”
How long is this person going to tease me…!?
The bulky curse-slave trader smiled at me. It looks like there are some positive people in the business…
And then, the sex curse-slave he recommended…Uuh, so there are people who buy curse-slaves for such…purposes. The hurdle is too high for a person like me with no experience. I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear that.
“I’m joking! Don’t get angry, young lady! If it’s an escort you need, you’ll want some strength. This one, this one…and how about this one?”
After saying that, the old man pointed at 3 curse-slaves.
The first was…a man looking to be in his late teens. His unkempt blue hair reached his shoulders. His facial features were well-organized, so he was probably handsome. He was glaring at me a little…I feel like. The price was 20 gold coins.
The second was…a beastman? He was a boy with cat ears. Probably around my age or maybe younger…or so he looked like. The two ears protruding from his short-cut hair were brown, and it felt like they would be nice to touch. He was still a young boy, so the word cute might fit him better. However…he didn’t have a left arm. Perhaps because of that, he only cost 5 gold coins.
Finally…there was another handsome person. The first one was larger, but this person was thin and elegant. His disheveled yellow-green hair was parted to the right, his long fringe completely covering his left eye. Perhaps he seemed a bit listless because I couldn’t tell where his eye was looking at. The price is…9 gold coins?
That…isn’t the third person cheap?
He does have both arms…and I don’t see any wounds. And he doesn’t look too bad either. So why wouldn’t he be in the good category…?
Now then…what should I do?
In front of me were 3 curse-slaves in the cages. My pounding heart sounded like whispers in my ears, controlling me. I would choose and form a contract with one of them. It was something that would normally have been something unimaginable in my previous life.
But I had already decided to live on in this world.
I firmly stared into the eyes of the 3 curse-slaves.
One thought on “Chapter 11: The Curse Slave Market part 1”
Wait… she have more than 10 coins, right?
Hina received the compensation for saving Thia, inside the bag should have some more coins, I guess? I imagine at lease something like 15 or so golden coins.