~ Chapter 57: The downfall of a greedy merchant (Part 2) ~
The battle started, but Nanya just looked a bit pissed. I hoped she wasn’t going to win this battle before I had the chance to give her the signal. Fortunately, my fears were wrongly placed. She received the first punch face first and got thrown all the way to the edge of the ring, but wasn’t tossed out of it. With a smirk, she attacked the brute and landed a punch in his guts. The man coughed and took a step back. She then jumped up and roundhouse kicked him in the jaw, sending him tumbling on the ground.
“She is quite strong.” Deroak said as he rubbed his chin.
“Yes…” I said, while I put on a worried expression on my face, bottom lip pushed forward and cheeks contracted just a bit.
Please don’t kill him yet! Please don’t kill him yet! I kept praying him in my mind.
“How about we increase the bet a little?” he asked me.
“Pardon?” I raised an eyebrow and showed him a confused look.
“We raise the stakes a little bit… Another… fifty goldiettes maybe?” he grinned.
“No… I think not…” I shook my head and looked back at the ring.
Nanya kept on attacking him, then she pretended to be tired and received a punch to the face. Her landing was rough, but still inside the ring. Groatak ran at her and body slammed her, sending her near the edge of the ring. Nanya nearly fell out of it, but she noticed him charging and quickly rolled to the left to escape his clutches. She used a leg strike to the knee and a punch to the guts to bring the brute down on his knees, but it wasn’t enough to finish him off.
After about four minutes or so, the fight wasn’t progressing too much. For every punch the slave received, Nanya was countered with ten others.
It’s about time, I think… I thought and then looked back at Deroak.
“You were saying something about raising the bet?” I asked.
“Yes, do you still wish to bet a few more coins?” he asked me.
“Yes. I think I have a good chance of winning.” I nodded.
“Good! I will bet 100 goldiettes!” he grinned.
“Very well, I’ll double it!” I declared.
“Oh my, you are quite rich, aren’t you? Will you be able to pay, I wonder?” he asked with a smirk.
I got up and dropped a few gems on the table. “Yes.” I smirked.
The sparkling jewels caught the man’s attention and then looking back at Tamara understood how I was able to pay for her in the fictive story I told him. He picked up one of the jewels and analyzed it carefully.
“This is worth at least 36 goldiettes… Hm… How about 500 goldiettes?” he asked me with a grin.
“You are pushing it, aren’t you?” I asked.
“That’s how much I have in my coffers right now. And I also believe I have a fair chance of winning.” he smirked.
“Then how about 1000 goldiettes, and I toss in the nekatar too?” I doubled it.
The greedy merchant gulped, and to prove my words, I showed him another fistful of jewels. It wasn’t going up to the sum I promised, but it was enough to make him believe I had a way to pay for such a ridiculous bet.
“1000… that’s more than I could possibly pay, I’m afraid I can’t accept…” he shook his head and pulled back.
“Then, how about you do me a favor?” I asked him.
“A favor?” he raised an eyebrow.
“If I win, you give me all the gold in your coffers and promise to never deal in child slavery ever again! On your honor as a merchant!” I grinned.
“Something like that… Something like that would cripple my business…” he grumbled.
“Who buys children anyway?” I shrugged.
“Nobles… even commoners, anyone who wants playmates for their children or a child of their own. Others buy them as baits for dangerous monsters, pets, or even to train them into adult slaves specialized on certain jobs. Only mages buy them for experiments… If one knows the right client, one can buy and sell anything.” he declared.
It was true, that rule was applied even back on Earth, but some things were made illegal either because they were bad in general or because there were things which weren’t supposed to be traded off in any way, form, or manner.
“So, do we have a deal?” I asked him.
Deroak looked at me and then back at the jewels in front of him.
“It’s a deal. I don’t know why you would want me not to sell slave children anymore, but I will do it. If you win this bet, I swear it on my honor as a merchant that I will never again partake in such trades!” he nodded and then snapped his fingers.
“Go to the announcer and tell him the rules of our bet changed. If I win, I get 1120 goldiettes, the fighters and a nekatar as slaves. If he wins, he will receive 620 goldiettes and my promise to never sell or buy slave children again.”
“Yes, master!” the servant nodded and then ran out of here.
“What was that for?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“Just making sure we both stick to our end of the bargain. We wouldn’t want either of us to just… run away like that, would we?” he smirked.
“Of course.” I nodded.
So he was planning to announce the bet during the last battle and force me to pay no matter what. Guess he won more than one bet like this… no wonder he approached me with this offer. I thought as I tossed him a cold gaze and then sat down.
When the servant arrived downstairs and told the announcer the merchant’s words, the fight was stopped for a moment. The man in white came forward and shouted loud enough for everyone there to hear him.
“My esteemed guests! It is time to announce the bet of the merchant and adventurer who sponsored this beautiful show today! If the adventurer wins, then he will receive 620 goldiettes and Deroak’s promise to never deal in child slavery again! If Deroak wins, then he will receive the three lovely women fighters we saw today and 1120 goldiettes! To make it a fair deal, he will receive a fourth slave as well, a nekatar! Now then… Fighters! You may continue AFTER I walk out of the ring!”
Clearing his throat, the announcer moved out of Nanya’s way.
“Tamara, come over here.” I told the kitten.
Letting out a mew, she walked next to me and sat there, allowing me to pet her gently.
I wonder if slavery in this kingdom takes the role of an orphanage as well? That’s messed up… I grumbled in my mind.
Nanya took a quick peek at me and when she saw Tamara there, she understood what she had to do. It was time to stop playing around.
“I should warn you though… Groatak was a former Godlike Adventurer who also lost a bet against me. Now, he is nothing but a tool I use to gain a few extra goldiettes.” he smirked.
“Is that so?” I ignored him and looked at the battle.
The slave was done playing around too, so he boosted himself with magic and charged at Nanya, but the one he was facing was a half demoness and half dungeon with all of her stats way past a Superior Godlike. To top it off, she had all of her gear on, while he had nothing on his person.
The battle was won the moment Nanya stepped into the ring.
She stood still and received the slave’s first attack. The demoness didn’t even flinch.
“Is that all?” she smirked.
The slave was surprised and so was Deroak.
This was it…
Nanya grabbed his hand and crushed it in her grip, shattering his Magic Armor and making him scream in pain. Smiling, she walked away from him and dusted off her clothes. Furious, the slave ran at her and tried to grab her from behind, but she vanished from his sight and reappeared behind him. Before he realized where she was, it was already too late. The moment he turned his head around, he was punched in the face so hard he had all of his teeth knocked out. With a palm to his chest, she broke his ribs and then grabbing him by the neck, she tossed out of the ring as if she was throwing a trash bag.
It was Groatak’s complete defeat. He was unconscious, out of the ring, and unable to fight even if he wanted to. The demoness was simply merciless.
Ouch… that had to hurt. I pitied the poor fellow.
“So, a bet’s a bet, right?” I smiled and looked back at Deroak.
His jaw was all the way to the ground unable to believe that something like that happened. It was absurd. He knew he would win, yet I completely wiped the floor with him.
“You… you tricked me.” he muttered.
“Nah, I simply made a bet with you, and you lost. Now, if you don’t pay up, everyone in town will know you’re not trustworthy. Your store will plummet in sales, and no one will ever buy a single thing from you or believe a word you say. So, what are you going to do?” I asked with a big grin on my face.
“Y-You’ll have the money by the end of the day…” he said looking down.
“And about that other part?” I asked.
“I’ll write a document stating I’m done with child slavery and hang it on my wall for all to see…” he said with barely any strength left in his voice.
“Thank you for your business, slave merchant Deroak! Hahaha!” I patted him on the back and walked out there together with Tamara after picking up my jewels and goldiettes from the table.
The feeling of winning against someone like him was great. My plan worked and through my effort and power, I managed to stop someone from buying and selling children. Too bad I couldn’t just kill him or make a law to stop this madness, but all in due time. I was immortal, I had all the time in the world as long as I didn’t remember the Darkness inside of me trying to pull down the ladder of my sanity.
“What now, master?” asked Tamara.
“Now, I’m probably going to get either a hug or beating from Nanya, Ayuseya, and Shanteya…”
“Why are you smiling for then?”
“I don’t know, I’m just happy I managed to punish somehow that evil bastard who hurt you like that, Tamara.” I patted the kitten on the head, and she let out a soft mew.
“Thank you, master.”
[A certain royal guard’s point of view]
Today, the prince decided to go see a battle at the coliseum. If no one was in the mood to fight, we, the royal guards, were supposed to step into the ring and amuse him through our blood and tears. I had confidence in my sword, but I was also the prince’s most trusted and strongest guard. I was certain he wouldn’t dare to send me in there, but even my comrades were lucky. Someone else was fighting when we arrived.
“A draconian woman… she looks… ugly.” he declared. “I hope she loses, if not go and kill her.” he told me.
“Yes, your highness, but draconians are not our enemies right now and…” he glared at me, and I stopped “As you wish…”
My prince remained my prince no matter how selfish he was sometimes.
Luckily for her, she didn’t win.
“Such a fool! I knew draconians were weak! An el’doraw defeated her! HA! Suits her just right! Ugly fool!” he smirked and leaned back on his chair.
A servant brought him some fruits to eat while we waited for the next battle.
This time, an el’doraw woman faced a human.
“Hm? Is she strong, Dragnov?” he asked me.
“I don’t know, your highness… Until you cross blades with your enemy, you can never tell how strong they may be.” I nodded.
“If she wins, I’ll merry her to you.” he grinned.
“Your highness, please don’t joke like this.”
“Tch, you’re no fun.” he grumbled.
This man, although he was 24 this year, was the second prince of this country. His older brother was quite different from him, but unfortunately, he was currently away from the capital. This meant the younger brother had all the power to dictate over us, and we couldn’t do anything to stop him.
The el’doraw lost and then a beautiful blond woman came into the ring.
“WOW! She’s beautiful!” declared the prince, captivated by her the moment he laid his eyes upon her.
The battle started, but she didn’t seem to be doing so well. The man, a former adventurer, held the upper hand through pure strength.
“What’s happening?” asked the prince when the announcer came forward and declared the value of the bet.
“If she loses, go and buy her for me immediately!” he ordered me.
“As you wish, your highness.” I bowed to him.
Our kingdom wasn’t very rich in minerals, but we had slaves. Most of our workforce and economy relied on slave dealers, so bets such as this one were a very good opportunity to gain money from foreign adventurers. Or at the very least, I believed the fellow who bet against the notorious Deroak was a foreigner. No one in the capital would dare make such an absurd deal with this man. He never lost a bet ever since he first participated in this coliseum with his slaves.
Alas, I came to be wrong. Deroak lost. Goratak was pummeled to the ground by the blond beauty, and everyone barely understood what happened with how fast the battle ended.
For ten long minutes, the prince didn’t say a single word to me.
“Yes, your highness!” I knelt down.
“Bring me that woman… No, the man who made the bet against the merchant owns her, so… yes. Bring me that nekatar. You can rough her up, but don’t kill her. This will possibly play out in two ways, either he will bring the blond to me willingly or try to run away and leave her behind. If he does either, I will get her. Perfect!” he laughed.
“Yes, your highness.” I bowed my head and escorted him out of there.
This plan was absurd, ridiculous even. He could simply buy her from him or set him up in such a way that he became an outlaw. As a result, we could freely hunt him down and take the slaves away from him. Even better, he could simply order him to offer her up. He was the prince who along with his older brother ruled over the kingdom after the death of their late father. They were allowed to do as they pleased here. To ask us to go kidnap them… this was nothing more than a twisted game of a spoiled, tyrannical prince, but if word got out of these thoughts of mine, my head would roll before my wife’s feet.
I already felt sorry for the poor nekatar… she wasn’t going to survive this.
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