And so it took five days to reach the next town from Tsuia.
We’d been proceeding down the prairie road in a horse-drawn wagon. To the right was forests as far as the eye could see. To the left was much the same of mountains, mountains not a part of the Tsuia Mountain Range… Watching the unendingly similar scenery, I grew bored.
I couldn’t lay down even if I wanted to go have a nap, so I wasn’t even able to do that. Maybe I should’ve had at least one more wagon prepared for us?
“Hey, Ichika. What was the name of the town we’re heading to? Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever asked?”
“The next town’s Mikhan. The town’s in a meadow, so there’s tonsa sheep and stuff.”
“Sheep… I see, so lamb chops… shish kebabs…”
“Mostly wool, tonsa wool. Well guess there’s meat too. And they’re pretty behind Tsuia in most everythin’ else though, but they’re great at farmin’.”
“Man am I getting tired of the wagon’s movements.”
“Goshujin-sama, this is an aristocratic wagon on a flat road ya know? Normal wagons’d shake yer butt like no tomorrow, people who can’t get used to it just end up barfin’.”
“Motion sickness, huh… yeah, I’ll pass.”
“This wagon’s so amazin’ because of its anti-shakin’ manufacturin’.”
“Oooh, mind if I hop in to the conversation here, Kehma-san!?”
With that, Wataru started talking with Ichika.
“You know, there’s a suspension system on this wagon.”
“Heeeh, a suspension system… is that suspension system thing what’s causing there to be no shaking?
“… Yeah, it suppresses the back-and-forth rocking by having springs around the wheel area. The Hero Studio in the capital came up with the idea.”
Phew, that was close. Wataru’s still casually probing to see if I’m a hero, huh… I thought he’d given up.
“Come to think of it, what do you usually travel to our village with? A wagon? Or [Teleport]?”
“No no, there’s no way I could use something like [Teleport] so readily. I’d say only Haku-sama and her party could do something so crazy. I mean yeah, I wish I knew the spell, but the scroll’s crazy rare, so I generally use a horse. Once I get to Tsuia, I go the rest of the way on foot.”
… Is he saying he’s faster than a horse?
“… Huh? So that’s where it is now?”
“Ah, no. I rented it out to the adventurer guild. I said I didn’t mind as long as it was returned to a local guild.”
“How did you make your way to the village of Golen, Kehma-san? Oh, I suppose it was before it was a village, huh.”
“My legs, really.”
It was actually through a 1000 DP gacha summon though. Well, I guess I didn’t exactly use a vehicle, so saying I used my legs wasn’t wrong.
“I got brought in a slave transport wagon.”
“Oh yeah, Ichika-san, you do have the Pavueran accent, huh. Is that where it happened?”
“Mmm, I went a biiiiiiiit overboard in the capital… did stuff, fell inta debt, and got collared.”
“Oh, so you’re a debt slave? So couldn’t you buy yourself back if you used the reward we just got?”
“Wait, hold up, slaves can buy themselves back?”
“Eh? Kehma-san, you didn’t know? There are several kinds of slaves, debt slaves can even buy themselves back. Though since slaves are generally put to work with no pay, that rarely happens.”
“Ahhh, wait up. I’ve got a few circumstances, I’m not a debt slave. I don’t feel like stoppin’ bein’ Goshujin-sama’s slave anyway, not even a bit.”
S-So that’s how it was? I didn’t know. So there was the chance the dungeon’s secret could’ve leaked out if I bought a debt slave… that was close.
“Huh? Then what kind of slave are you, Ichika?”
“… A crime slave, I guess. Well…”
What the heck did you do?
“Remember how I told you I earned a ton a grudges? I was innocent, but I got set up.”
Come to think of it, didn’t she mention something about that?1
… Huh? Wait, then what kind of slave is Meat? It doesn’t sound like she’s a debt slave, so is she a criminal slave then? The bandits definitely did take her.
“She’s probably an illegal slave, thinkin’ about her history. Maybe some war slave, slaves that caught in war. There’s times when people kidnap kids to enslave too, but guess that just happens sometimes.”
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard how useful those war slaves are to adventurers. I’ve never used one, though.”
The war slaves used by adventurers as meat shields were generally the men. They get more by starting a war… the Raverio Empire is merciless.
“Honestly, I feel like the bar to return to being a civilian after being enslaved is just too high. It’s to the point that I think it’s impossible outside of just being a contract slave.”
“What’s a contract slave?”
“They’re slaves with pre-determined terms and conditions to their being a slave. Stuff like lover contracts, yeah?”
He then went on to talk about how there were various sorts of them, all depending on the conditions like how long it would last, what their reward would be, what would happen once the master died, etcetera.
Hmm, setting aside Ichika, maybe I should change Meat into one of these contract slave things?
But well, it’s not really an inconvenience right now, so I guess it’s fine…? It’d be a dead giveaway to the slave trader if I put something like [Don’t talk about the dungeon] into the contract, and I don’t know how effective it would be if I obfuscated my meaning. I guess I could get Haku-san’s help, but asking her for anything is straight up frightening.
“Actually, Kehma-san, you have slaves. Shouldn’t you know more about this stuff than me? Didn’t you get an explanation about all this when you purchased Ichika-san?”
“… Right back at you, did you just look into all that for getting a night slave or something?”
“No—I mean—um, that wasn’t it. I figured it would be a good idea to know this kind of stuff as an S-Rank adventurer, so I looked into, err, common sense?”
“I won’t tell Nerune.”
“… Why do I feel like I have to say thanks even though I’m not guilty here? Thank you.”
Still though, there’s a ton of types of slaves…
I glanced at Meat. Rokuko was holding her and playing with her ears and tail. Yuri! Yuri! Yuri!
Then I looked over to pleasant scene of Roppu and Shikina—no, Shikina’s face gave off more of a feeling of wild perversion. Like [Guheheheh…].
My eyes met with Meat’s. Meat generally didn’t have an expressive face, but she looked troubled. Like she didn’t know what she should do here.
… Yeah, personal contact is important. Good luck.
“Hey, there’s some monsters out here, small fries. What’s the plan? Kill ’em?”
Just then, Gozoh, who’d been keeping watch next to the coachman, spoke.
Hearing that, Wataru quickly moved to the driving area.
“Yeah, they’re small fry alright. Let’s kill them for the sake of keeping public roads safe. Oh, I guess it’s also a good chance for a bathroom break?”
“Oh? Have fun, Meat.”
“I’ll go too then, I need the bathroom break. Gozoh, could you stop the wagon?”
It somehow turned into us taking a bathroom break even though monsters appeared.
I guess what appeared were on the level of goblins or something, then?
“They’re just ordinary orcs, Kehma-san. Five of them. Definitely small fry.”
Wataru spoke calmly, but were those really small fry? I guess a Hero would just see them like that, but still.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen orcs. How strong are they?”
“Speaking in terms of subjugation difficulty, they’re a bit easier than iron golems. A party of novice adventurers might choose to run from them, but with us, they’d need over a hundred easily. I mean, we could probably take on a dragon.”
I see, so then Meat should be able to take them out herself. Still though, Wataru could take a hundred of them on? Wow.
“As expected of you, Wataru-sensei! Master, I would like to go as well!”
“… Stay here.”
“But why!? Is this not the perfect chance to see how much strong I have grown!?”
This no-good elf has a horrible compatibility against humanoid monsters. And come on, they’re orcs. It’s obvious what’d end up happening if this elf went off against orcs.
“Kehma-san. Would you like us to try leaving just one to you all? I’ll help out if it appears dangerous.”
Hmm… I guess it’d be good training?
“Alright, sure then. Meat, you up for it?”
“Yessss! We’re gettin’ some orc skewers tonight! My belly’s already rumblin’!”
Wait, Ichika, you’d eat orc? But it’s a bipedal, human-shaped pig? … Wait, come to think of it, this world eats minotaur and the like, huh. I guess they’d eat orcs too.
According to Wataru, it tastes like pork. Ichika said it was even better than boar meat. I even started getting a bit hungry after listening to them.
By the way, Shikina lost big time to the orc. Wataru helped her out and kept anything else from happening, but she really was useless.
I mean, she was all pigeon-toed and fidgety the moment she stood in front of the thing. I couldn’t see her face from where I stood, but I bet her face was flushed red. Freaking elf with an orc fetish.
… We do have a certain goblin-fetishist, though. I can’t really say anything about Shikina…