~ Chapter 102: The village abandoned by all (Part 1) ~
[Illsyore's point of view]
Our encounter with the stereotypical idiot noble ended with him and his troops facing complete extermination at my hand. I practically could have killed them in countless different ways. If I really wanted to be cruel, I could have frozen their feet then walk up to them and peel the skin and muscles right off their skeletons. The pain, horror, and suffering resulting from this would have certainly been enough to give anyone a nightmare to last. However, scaring my slaves half to death wasn't something I wanted to do.
With a sigh escaping my lips, I looked at the smoking body of the foolish nobleman.
A feeble human... who took upon a foolish action against me. At the very least, now I know another course I need to add in my curriculum at the Academy: Equality of Life. I thought.
“A noble he may be, but if he doesn't understand what this means, he is better off dead.” I said and then looked back the slaves.
All of them were trembling, one even fainted when our eyes met. Several of them had already soiled themselves despite the best efforts of my wives to calm them down. The fear of Dungeons was something ingrained in their culture and dictated as never changing for the better.
Then again, with humans like the nobleman I just killed holding power over how newly found Dungeon should be treated, then certainly those fellows would have no other choice but to become like those rumors just so that they can stay alive.
Another thing I need to change... I thought.
Because I had just killed human beings, I felt a bit cold. My gaze was probably a bit scary, so I took advantage of this moment to speak my mind to these slaves of mine.
“Are you afraid?” I asked them in a low tone of voice.
The words barely rolled off of the tip of my tongue. It was... like I was trying to seduce someone.
I closed my eyes and looked up at the green foliage of the trees, covering the sky above me. A gentles breeze rustled the leafs. I let out a sigh and then slowly lowered my gaze upon them.
Fear... Despair... Lack of hope... These were the emotions I could read on their faces.
Me? I was in a half-drunk state... Everything was moving in slow motion for me.
“Illsy?” Ayuseya called out to me.
“I'm fine.” I replied closing my eyes.
With this, I released the dark fog covering my Dungeon Territory. I hadn't extended it beyond the edge of the farthest wall I had summoned to trap those men. Speaking of which, I took this opportunity to reabsorb it and turn the bodies of the deceased into pure Magic Energy. Once I was done, only their clothes, armors, and weapons remained. I absorbed those too and then walked over to where my slaves were gathered.
When they saw me approach them, I realized several of them were about to start begging for forgiveness. I wasn't in the mood to listen to their pathetic cries and begs for something... irrelevant.
“All of you will shut up for now. You can talk after I'm done talking.” I ordered them. Taking a deep breath in, I allowed my nerves to calm down and then spoke “My name is Illsyore Deus. I am a Godlike Dungeon Lord. If you believe my words or not, I don't care. I'm just going to tell you this. I bought you because I wanted to offer you the chance of becoming better... More so, the chance of one day hoping for your own future. I'm not going to kill you, but those who threaten my family, my students, or my possessions, will face my wrath.”
They looked at each other confused. Several of them swallowed their saliva, but the fear seemed to have subsided. No doubt they were thinking that since they were 'possessions' they were safe.
“Now, let me get one clear. I bought you, true, however, in my book you aren't possessions. All of you aren't my things and toys to play around with. You are all individuals with a bright future ahead and the chance to become something in this world. You all are my students at the Academy I'm going to build. Now, if you choose to stay and grab hold of this unique opportunity, I will allow you to attend the classes there. BUT, if you come to the conclusion that you DON'T wish to become students there, I will remove those slave collars and grant your freedom before I depart from this continent. That is all. My wives here will explain the rest.” I told them and then turned around.
“M-Mister Illsyore?” Wolf called out to me then.
I stopped and looked back at them.
To be honest, I was surprised that he wasn't frozen stiff in fear like the rest of them.
“Yes?” I replied.
“Thank you!” he made a bow in front of me.
His forehead was touching the ground.
“What for?” I asked blinking fast.
“For killing that noble. Thanks to you... my parents can rest easy now.” he told me.
“I see... Well, just remember, all those who act like him will ALWAYS get themselves killed one way or another.” I smiled.
“Yes... Erm, am I also considered a student?” he asked me.
“Do you want to be?” I tilted my head to the left.
“Erm...” he looked down.
“As I said, all of you are free to choose whether or not you take the opportunity I'm offering you or wish to strive on your own in this world.” I said.
“But I'm not one of your slaves. Do I need to become one?” he asked.
Blinking surprised, I looked at the child.
“Do I?” he asked again with a slight tremble in the tone of his voice.
“No! No! No!” I said shaking my head. “I'm planning on freeing those slaves, so what's the point of making you a slave? I don't like slavery in the first place! If you want to become a student at my Academy, just say so, and I'll let you. There's no need for anything as ridiculous as turning you into a slave!” I retorted.
“I-Is that so? Then... I want to become a student at your academy!” Wolf declared with a bright smile on his face.
“Yeah... Sure.” I scratched my left cheek.
That smile of his was refreshing. Seeing only fear, hate, or horror on the faces of those who looked at me was getting tiring. I couldn't wait until I destroyed all of those ridiculous beliefs regarding Dungeons.
With the matter of the nobleman taken care off, I summoned a big outdoor bath for the slaves use. A big wooden wall was summoned in the middle to separate the male area from the female area. I also arranged a pair of new, fresh clothes for them to wear after they got out. However, before they got in, I went on and healed any of their injuries just like I did with the first batch. Zoreya and Ayuseya helped me out with this, while Tamara and Nanya prepared the meal. Shanteya had the role of answering any questions they had regarding what I just said and what was going to happen to them.
Somehow, when these new slaves heard they were going to be healed, washed, dressed, and fed, not only were they surprised, they downright didn't believe it.
The day ended with all of us having a good meal and then sleeping in a cozy bed.
When we woke up, I made a roll call for the slaves. Once I saw that all of them were here and accounted for. I explained to them once more who and what I was, then what was going to happen to them, trying to point out as much as I could the fact that they had both the right and freedom to choose between going off on their own or staying with me to learn at my Academy.
After our breakfast, we got into the MCV, which gained a new attachment in the back. Now it looked like a train with two cars. Our next destination was going to be the Ils Village, located up in the mountains. At the speed we were going, we were bound to reach it sometime in the following six hours. The roads were a bit tricky around these parts, going up in a serpentine and presenting lots of holes and bumps.
About three hours into our drive, the car got stuck...
“Wait here, I need to pull it out of this mud hole.” I grumbled as I got out.
Back on Earth, I would have been forced to call a tow truck... or a tank. This road was so bad, even a monster truck would have had trouble on it. Hm, I had a feeling Truck-kun wouldn't have had that much trouble though if there was some unfortunate soul ready to be sent off to the afterlife.
Luckily for me, I had enough grip and strength in these arms of mine to rip an actual tank in half, so pulling this MCV out of the mud wasn't that hard.
“If this road is so bad, I can't help but wonder how the people in Ils village receive their supplies, if they do at all...” said Ayuseya in a worried tone of voice.
“Yeah, we're lucky we're traveling with this MCV, which is designed for a bumpy road, but I can't see a carriage being fine.” I said shaking my head.
“A road like this would discourage any merchant.” pointed out Nanya.
“By my estimates, it would take at least a week for a normal carriage to reach Ils village.” said Zoreya.
“A whole week?” I asked surprised.
“Yes.” she nodded.
“At this rate, it would be wiser to take a detour through Aura, the capital of Paramanium rather than travel through Ils.” said Ayuseya.
“What for?” I asked a bit curious.
“Kantor is the town we're going to after passing through Ils village, but to the North of it is Aura, the capital. As a merchant, I would rather take the detour through the capital in order to reach Kantor rather than risk getting attacked by bandits on my way towards Ils.” she explained.
“Sounds logical enough, but wouldn't this mean the people in Ils are going to have trouble with their supplies?” I asked.
“Nya~ They have. I was told in the market that the last merchant to reach Ils Village was last year.” said Tamara as she looked up from Shanteya's lap.
The el'doraw was gently petting her.
“I guess they will be surprised then...” I said scratching my right cheek.
“Yes.” Ayuseya nodded.
So far, we were on schedule. I planned on reaching Ilia Port City sometime during the following week. On our way there, the only stops we were going to make were going to be Kantor, Polis, and Nasat. This meant that I would end up buying a total of maybe 50-60 slaves by the time we set sail for the location of the Academy.
Of course, it wasn't a path set in stone, but from my point of view it was the ideal one. If we really wanted to get there fast, the best option would have been on Ayuseya's back or by... running. We were Over Supremes, it wasn't wise to underestimate our speed.
Still, this whole thing with Ils had me a bit worried. If the people there were suffering or were already dead, then was it better to simply go around it and avoid it altogether? Or was it wiser to stop there and offer a helping hand? Were they worth it?
Such thoughts crossed my mind as both my human side and Dungeon side were a bit at odds with each other when it came to what I should do. In the end, I decided it was wiser to simply wait and see rather than make plans for a hypothetical case I didn't know all the variables to.
For lunch, we stopped near the edge of a cliff, which I reinforced with my Dungeon Building Skills and turned into a good spot for camping with a nice view of the mountains and the forest down below. In the future, it was going to be an awesome tourist spot. Therefore, I carved my name into a big rock there: Illsyore's Cliff.
For some reason, my wives sighed when I did this.
Tamara cooked us some good deer steak hunted by Nanya in the nearby forest. Seeing the tasty meat, the slaves at first believed that they were only allowed to savor the scent and look at us eat. Their delight when they were told to sit at the table and dig in was refreshing, especially the big smiles on the children's faces. The little ones were the most pleased out of all of them.
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