~ Chapter 109: Keltaru's story (Part 3) ~
What's going to happen now? I wondered as I looked at the man with jade-green hair and then at Mistress Ayuseya.
“Huh? Wives?” I realized just then what this meant, and I looked at teacher Nanya.
“Ah, yes. That's Illsyore, the Dungeon Lord.” she pointed at him and shrugged as if it was nothing.
“Hiii!” Soleya freaked out when she heard this and trembled in fear.
For the moment, I remained calm, but even I could feel my pulse rising and my instincts telling me to run away from this man.
“Do not worry, he won't harm you. None of us will.” Mistress Ayuseya told me with a soft and gentle smile.
“Illsy~! I'm bored, nya~!” said a woman with a big chest and feline ears on top of her head.
She jumped on the Dungeon Lord's back and began to nibble on his neck.
Is she crazy?! I shouted in my mind.
“Ouch! Tamara! That hurts!” he complained and struggled to pull her off.
“Then why don't you go and find out what spices are being sold in this city?” Mistress Ayuseya suggested.
“Good job!” the Dungeon Lord made a thumbs up, while the woman clinging to his back perked her ears up.
“Hm~” she let go of him and then tilted her head to the left.
After a moment of thinking, she turned around and looked up at Illsyore, who was rubbing his neck.
“What?” he asked confused.
“Mate, give me money to spend!” she demanded.
Mate? Is she his wife as well? I wondered.
“Sigh... Here.” he replied and then gave her a small pouch of money filled to the brim with sparkling Gold Coins.
That's enough in there to buy another slave like me. I thought, but for some reason, I couldn't believe that Mistress Ayuseya had borrowed money from this fellow.
She was a Princess... or former Princess, it was natural that she had enough money for herself stashed away somewhere safe.
“Good! I'm going! Nya~!” the woman with feline ears declared with a smile and then jumped over the house next to the one where this weird carriage was parked.
“Huh?!” I blinked and made a fool's face as I witnessed this strange moment.
What a frightening jumping power she has! How powerful is she?! No... how powerful are they? I wondered as I looked back at the one called Illsyore and his wives.
“Now then!” he showed me a big smile and clapped his hands together, catching our attention “While we wait for her to come back, why don't you make yourself comfortable and tell us how you ended up in those chains.” he said as he materialize out of thin air a pair of chairs for me, Soleya, and Neya.
I humbly nodded and took a seat.
“Illsy, I will stand guard and keep an eye out for suspicious people.” said a beautiful human woman with stern gaze and long lush blond hair.
That emblem on her shield... is she a follower of Melkuth? I wondered.
“Alright, Zoreya. Savannah? Do you want to listen as well?” Illsyore asked the woman who was teaching something to a group of slaves.
Now that I looked around a little better, I could see that despite the weird carriage with no horses next to us, there were a lot of slaves here. A few of them wore armors and had a sword sheathed at their waist, but the collar around their necks gave away their status. They were all young, ranging between ages of ten to thirty as far as I could tell, but I could have been wrong.
What surprised me when I looked around was the fact that they all appeared to be well fed and healthy. Even their clothes were new, and none of them showed a sign of fear towards their masters.
If I didn't know what the collars around their neck meant, I would have definitely come to believe they were all just paid servants, friends, or followers of Illsyore. Still, this number was enough to begin the construction of a small village. Unless one was a wealthy merchant or a rich noble, it was going to lead to some financial trouble taking care of all of them.
Personally, I couldn't even see a reason why someone would need more than one or two slaves, even three was a bit too much. Four was overdoing it, and from five and above, I could only see them as useful in the case of working the fields or maintaining a business as slaves were the cheapest form of workforce available on the market.
The woman Illsyore called out to, Savannah, was a beauty just like Zoreya, but the air around her was a bit different. I had the strange feeling, though, that I had heard her name somewhere before, but I couldn't remember where. It was at very tip of my tongue. As for the blond woman named Zoreya, she gave off the feeling of an unmovable mountain, an unbeatable vanguard.
And her shield... is that Melkuth's crest? I thought as I looked at her, but I could have been wrong.
Even if she was a follower of the god of war, it didn't mean that she was of a high standing position within his temple. Maybe she was just someone who prayed for his protection? Many adventurers prayed to Melkuth and a lot more carried with them the symbol of their faiths, be it in him or another god.
“I would be interested to hear it as well, but is it possible to join in after I tell the children the way this city came to be?” Savannah replied in a polite tone of voice.
“Certainly! Actually, we'll listen to it as well!” he declared.
“Very well.” she nodded and showed him a polite smile.
This woman held a degree of elegance similar to that of Mistress Ayuseya, but it was far more... motherly?
“Children, as I was saying, this city was not one constructed by the humans who live in Paramanium but by ancient elves who once prospered on these lands. A long long time ago, their Kingdom was known as one of the richest on the continent, unfortunately, it was too small to sustain a high population and a powerful army. As such, many neighboring forces tried to conquer them.” she began her story, but unlike many of the teachers who taught me history, the tone of her voice and the way she articulated the words caught my attention.
It was like listening to a story about brave heroes as told by a very good bard rather than a history lesson given by a boring old man who glanced at the cleavage of his students.
[Somewhere far far away...]
“ACHOOO!” I sneezed again.
“Tuby! There's the exit! Once we're out of this cave system, we'll destroy these spiders!” shouted Yandrea, who was now princess-carrying me.
Ah~ such a shame. A man of my age to be carried like this by a beautiful woman like her... Actually, it wasn't that bad, her breasts felt amazing as they pressed against me!
“Ufufu~” I smiled.
“Tuby... Your face is creepy.” Yandrea said, and in that moment, the great mage known as Tuberculus received a fatal blow to his fragile heart...
Ah~ The words of one's wife can be more dangerous than an army of blood-thirsty giant spiders... I thought.
[Back to Keltaru's point of view]
“When Paramanium was but a Kingdom and not an Empire, they allied themselves with the elves. Under the pretext of 'allies', they gained access to their Dungeons, which granted the elves their vast riches, and then destroyed them one by one. When none was left, the Kingdom's might began to weaken and soon the Paramanium Kingdom turned their swords against their former allies. In the span of a couple of years, they completely conquered the elves and forced them to flee or were exiled to the Allasn and Sorone continents.” Savannah said while pointing at a map she drew on the ground.
“You're telling me that my people once roamed these lands freely?” an elf asked.
“Yes.” she nodded in reply “But this was a very long time ago, when wars were as frequent as the rumors about the mishaps of powerful nobles. However, because of the strict politics of the Paramanium of that time, most elves were exiled. Some historians actually claim that a lot of them were just left to die or hunted down like animals. However, the still high number of elves present in the empire is a proof against these claims.” she explained.
“So Polis was one of their cities?” Illsyore asked.
“It was their capital actually. As you can see, some buildings and part of the walls still retain the old architecture. They stick out from the rest because of their age and excellent craftsmanship.” she pointed at one of the stores next to us.
Unlike the others, the building was only two stories tall but made with chiseled marble that was sculpted on the outside surface, forming a patter of calm flowing ocean waves.
“Interesting.” said Illsyore.
As I listened to the little history lesson of this city, I noticed the look in the children's eyes and the way those with collars around their necks behaved around those who were supposed to be their masters. Unlike those found in the cages at the slave dealers or the ones dragged by a leash on the city's streets, they held a smile on their lips and a ray of hope and curiosity in their eyes. They didn't look like slaves at all but rather just like...
The students back at Fellyore Magic Academy... I thought.
My time back there was short, but it was enough to leave a lasting impression on me. The people of both noble and commoner heritage were mixed around, but they didn't really care about it. Actually, it was a place where the students themselves didn't want to be bothered with things like nobility and peerage. Of course, not everyone was like that, there were exceptions, but they were a minority.
Thanks to the teachers and all those who supported such a school life free of the chains of nobility, we could smile and laugh together. Still, before this idea, this way of life, could spread or become something more, it was destroyed the very moment Dankyun set foot on the Fellyore Magic Academy's grounds.
Now, after so many years have passed, I was once again getting that nostalgic feeling that place gave me. It was pleasant and peaceful, but it wasn't something meant to last. It could never become a reality.
This was what I believed... This was what I thought...
“Keltaru?” Mistress Ayuseya called out my name, and I was awoken from my moment of reverie.
“Yes?” I replied with a confused look on my face.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked me.
“Erm...” I looked down “I was remembering the time we spent at Fellyore, before Dankyun, before... this.” I said and touched the leather collar around my neck.
“Savannah, can you tell the children a story or something?” Illsyore asked.
The blond woman took a peek at me and then nodded in reply.
After they moved away from us, Illsyore told me “Can you tell us your story now?” he asked.
“There's not much to tell though...” I let out a sigh.
“Then let me help.” Soleya said with smile as she placed her hand on my shoulder.
I took a quick glance at her and then looked down at the ground.
“Where do I even begin?” I said.
“How about from the moment when we escaped from Fellyore Magic Academy through the underground tunnel?” Soleya suggested.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
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