~ Chapter 56: The annoying merchant (Part 2) ~
This fellow is annoying, but if he is the same type of scumbag I know from Earth, then he surely won’t care about anything. I mean, he’s selling child slaves! It can’t be worse than this! I better just leave this place and try to think of a way to stop this madness… I’ll make my Academy into the forefront to fight against this sort of thing. I thought while looking in his uncaring eyes.
“Then I will inform you of what the Guild told us to tell you, and that is the fact that you won’t be allowed to post any more quests there without employing an adventurer to properly scale its difficulty.” I said coldly.
“I don’t care.” he shrugged.
“Then we have nothing further to discuss! We’ll be going now.” I announced and then turned around to leave.
As I placed my hand on the door knob, the merchant shouted.
I cringed my teeth and looked back at him.
“What?” I asked.
“How much for the blond woman?” he asked.
I was dumbfounded.
“Say what now?”
“How much for the human woman with blond hair. If you sell her to me, I’ll give you erm… 35 goldiettes! How about it? That’s a very good price, you know?” he grinned.
Is he serious? Is this guy serious? I asked myself.
Even then we were all surprised and simply shocked by his words. Not only did he saw Nanya as a woman I could simply trade off like some used coat, but he was also seeing her as my slave. I didn’t know which was worse. Even with the slave contract between me and Shanteya, I still couldn’t consider her as my slave. The moment she asked for it, I would release her, but this man saw release as a waste of profit.
“She is not for sale.” I replied.
“40 goldiettes!” he raised the price.
I tried to keep myself from punching him.
“I’m not selling her… I can’t in the first place…” I muttered those last words and then looked at the person in question.
She was boiling with anger. If I didn’t hit the merchant, she would, and her punch would literally send this entire building flying.
“Then I challenge you to an arena game!” he declared.
“A what now?” I raised an eyebrow at him.
“One of your slaves versus one of mine, winner keeps all and gets the blond!” he smirked greedily.
There was no end to this man. Law or not, I seriously wanted to punch him in the face, but then something even better crossed my mind. The thought was a bit evil, and I could feel myself smirking on the inside. It was as if I wasn’t the one who thought of such things, but it didn’t scare me, it made me eager with anticipation.
“Sir, you are betting too little for too much. I stand to lose my most precious ‘item’, and you lose nothing.” saying that word made my heart twist in pain and disgust.
“I hear you, then how about I pay you 40 goldiettes if I lose?” he asked.
“40 goldiettes? That’s a lot of money…” I said and rubbed my chin as I looked back at Nanya, the girls were a bit confused by my words, but with a single wink, I let them know that I had a plan.
Nanya puffed and crossed her arms at her chest, while Ayuseya sighed.
“My most powerful slave against yours, you say?” I asked.
“Yes! It’s a one in a lifetime offer! With so much money, you could do a lot of things! Think of it as an… investment.” he showed me a merchant’s smile, while I appeared to be indecisive.
“Then how about we make it more interesting then? Your women against my slaves. Win three times, and I will concede. What do you think?” Deroak asked with a smirk.
Ah, the old trick of making me fight against his weakest at first, then slowly raising the value of the bet until the end, when I will be fighting against his strongest and crushed in utter defeat. Well, two can play at this game! I thought.
“I don’t know…” I looked down.
“Come one, mister adventurer, I can see that what you were mad about earlier was the fact that I didn’t properly assess the danger of my quest, but I will make sure that something like this will never happen again! But now, it’s just a bit of fun, right? A little betting never harmed anyone, did it?” he asked rubbing his hands together.
If I wasn’t someone who saw this sort of character in other stories and games before, I could have fallen for his trick. At first, he only seemed to be really interested in Nanya, but underneath his sneaky smile, his plan was most likely to leave me penniless. As to why, that could be easily explained by the fact that I had the nerve to come here and tell him off. He was a merchant, so if he smelled like I had money and noticed I wasn’t willing to buy his ‘merchandise’, then he would try through some other means to strip me of my gold. Well, even if I lost, I could still take back the girls, but seriously though, who could defeat them?
I let him wait for a bit, appearing as though I was seriously thinking about my circumstances and whether or not it was worth the risk. Meanwhile, the girls kept quiet and waited calmly for this conversation to end. The most worried of them all appeared to be little Tamara. I just hoped she wasn’t thinking I was going to sell her back.
“Three wins you say?” I asked.
“Yes! Your slaves only needs to win three times!” he declared.
“There is a problem though…” I said.
“A problem? What sort?” he asked furrowing his brow.
“I only have one slave, the blond and draconian are my followers, but if needed be, they will give up their freedom for me. Hm, what to do?” I acted as though I was in a bit of a pinch.
The reason I said this was to eliminate the situation afterwards where he would declare the bet invalid because I sent out a non-slave.
“I see, mister adventurer must have his circumstances as well, but do not worry, as long as they are willing to be sold afterwards, we can proceed with our little deal. So three wins accumulated from any of your… companions, and I will concede, but if I win, I get all three of them and your gear.” he smirked.
Thus, the true face of the rascal showed itself.
“And what do I get?” I asked raising an eyebrow at him.
“Any of my three slaves, goldiettes, or anythings else of similar value.” he smirked.
“Hm, how many goldiettes?” he asked.
“100!” he declared and pointed a finger up at the ceiling.
“Too little, give me more.” I fought back.
“120, but not even a copperette more!”
He furrowed his brow at me and then looked over at the girls behind me.
“150 and you throw in the nekatar as well.” he smirked.
“120 it is then.” I wasn’t willing to add Tamara on the table.
“Hm, is she that valuable to you?” Deroak asked surprised.
“Yes. I got her for 210 goldiettes.” I lied.
“Two… Two hundred and ten?!” he acted quite surprised, but his eyes were sparkling with curiosity and greed.
“Yes.” I nodded “She is a special kind of nekatar who can find the quickest way through a labyrinth to the core of the dungeon.” I lied again.
“Indeed, with such a skill… the price would explain it. Did you get her at an auction house?” he asked after a moment.
“Yes, but not in this country.” I replied, lying again.
“I understand, it can’t be helped then… I will agree to the 120 goldiettes!” he nodded.
Of course, with this I sparked both his curiosity and greed. The man would probably try to plot a way to get his sneaky little hands on my cat, but that was just part of my plan as well. If he was a merchant from Earth, he would have sniffed out the scam or demanded some sort of proof, but this guy didn’t even think about it.
“Then, when will they battle and what are the conditions for winning?” I asked.
“They will fight at the coliseum, where we will set up a ring. The first fighter to fall out of the ring or lose consciousness will be declared defeated. If any of our fighters kill their opponent, it will be our immediate loss.” he nodded.
“You wouldn’t want to lose your merchandise, would you?” I commented.
“Of course! What point is there to fight like this if I would lose more than I would gain?” he shook his head.
Indeed, with me losing a fighter, his win cut would be considerably smaller. With him losing, he would have to give up more than he initially bargained for.
It actually sounded like a fair deal when you thought about it, but the fact that I was waging my beloved wives and friends like some chip at a casino left a very bitter and unpleasant taste in my mouth. Still, this was probably going to be the only chance I had to punish this bastard for what he did to Tamara, at least from a legal point of view. If I ever were to catch this guy outside of the town, I would kill him.
Yes, I would kill him… I thought to myself while looking back at him.
My mind at this point was calm and relaxed as if taking the life of another was supposed to be a normal thing. When thinking back at Dankyun, I didn’t want to kill him back then, I didn’t want to dirty my hands with his blood, but now it felt like it would be the right thing to do. Actually, if I were to meet that draconian again, I wouldn’t have any trouble killing him.
To be frank, I didn’t even realize how messed up and unnatural of me it was at that time… That cold and relax state of mind when thinking about taking the life of another was not ME.
“Illsy?” Nanya pulled me out of my thoughts.
We were standing outside of the slave merchant’s shop and preparing to head towards the coliseum. The deal was made and even if it was only in verbal form, it was enough for the people here. Going back on it would be the same as losing.
“Yes?” I replied and started walking towards the coliseum.
“What was that all about?” Nanya asked me with a raised eyebrow.
“I can’t beat him up. I can’t kill him in the city. I can’t buy his slaves because it would result in him running off to get more… What I can do is pull him into a trap of his own kind and bleed him dry of goldiettes.” I let out a sigh.
“Indeed, a great loss in profit would hinder his business for a long time, maybe even force to reduce the prices of his slaves and empty his stock to recover. Played right, this sort of thing could cause him to lose absolutely everything.” Ayuseya said.
“Well, I didn’t think that far ahead, I just wanted to get my revenge on him for what he did to Tamara.” I petted the nekatar’s furry head.
“Master won’t sell Tamara, will he?” she asked with a purr and upturned eyes.
“Of course not! But when we are at the coliseum, I will pretend as though I will sell you back. It’s a trick to force him to put more goldiettes on the table before I take them all.” I smiled gently.
“Master is sneaky.” she giggled.
“Yes, and quite skilled in many things…” Ayuseya said with a purr as she kissed my cheek.
“Well, what’s the plan?” Nanya shrugged.
“Ayuseya goes first, wins two battles then gets herself defeated. Make it appear as if you are barely able to put up a fight against your enemy.” I explained.
“I understand. We just need to pretend to be weak.” the draconian princess giggled.
“I don’t like pretending to be weak.” the demoness squinted her eyes at me.
“Just this one time, please?” I asked of her.
“Ugh… fine.” she didn’t like this one bit.
“After Ayuseya is defeated, Shanteya will be the next one to enter the ring. You will lose the battle, but…”
“Pretend to be weak and force myself to struggle against my opponent. I got it.” she nodded.
“Good, the it will be Nanya’s turn.” she glared at me “You will take a few blows while I try to convince the merchant to cough up more coins. Put on a good show for the act and keep an eye on Tamara, if she is standing in front of me, it means the show has to continue, if she is standing next to me, then defeat your enemy without killing him. How does that sound?” I asked with a smirk.
“Sneaky.” she grinned.
“I will not let you down, Master.” Shanteya made a small bow.
“Me neither, my husband.” Ayuseya giggled.
“Good!” I laughed.
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