~ Chapter 113: Farewells in Argos (Part 1) ~

[Ayuseya's point of view]

Keltaru, Neya, and Soleya received quite a shock when we told them that Illsy was a Godlike Dungeon Lord. Although it was a bit unpleasant, they still had trouble believing that I was his wife, or more like they couldn't accept it for some reason.

Honestly, I had expected a bit more from my former servants.

We stopped in what I believed to be a good spot and set up camp there. After we ate our fill, I cast a barrier around us and went to sleep. If anyone or anything got too close and touched it, I would be woken up. Of course, it also had the role of protecting us from attacks, but it wasn't as solid as Zoreya's barriers. Mine could still be broken by a Supreme, but anyone lower didn't really have a chance.

The following day, I was the first to wake up. A little bunny got too close to the barrier and began to scratch it with its little paws. It was so cute, I decided to turn it into my breakfast.

After we ate, we got in the car and drove towards Argos. During this time, we talked about our journey on Sorone and how we got to meet Tamara and Zoreya. If I told them what we went through on the Boss Island, I felt like they would start wondering if we were no longer mortals but maybe some sort of demigods. After all, what else would they think if we told them we spent six years battling legendary monsters and then literally removed the entire island as if it was just a simple pebble tossed out into the sea?

At one point, Keltaru asked “Mistress Ayuseya, if Illsyore removed the curse on my aunt Shanteya, does this mean he removed the curse from which you were rumored to have died from?”

“How much do you know about the Pleyades family curse?” I asked him before I answered.

“Not much, just that it was a curse that ran only in your family and it was impossible to dispel. Because of it, all the draconians born with it died young and weak.” he replied.

“It is indeed true that it is a curse that runs through the Pleyades family and those who carry it die at a very young age, barely managing to reach 30 years old. The rumored weakness is there as well. All the cursed individuals are unable to cast magic or train their bodies.” I explained.

“Then the part about it being impossible to dispel?” he asked.

“For most priests and even Apostles, it would be impossible to dispel. The conditions to remove it are also ridiculous. The deaths at a young age are part of it. However, it is not impossible for a Godlike Dungeon Lord like Illsyore.” I told him.

“Then, is this the reason why you agreed to be his wife?” he asked.

I laughed “Don't be silly, I ended up his wife as a result of a silly 'not not' joke, but the reason Illsy wants me by his side has nothing to do with my bloodline or social status. I love him as a man and he loves me as a woman. It's as simple as that.” I said with a smile.

“Keltaru, let it be. Her Highness is clearly in love with that man and as far as we've seen, he treats her far better than any draconian would have. Above all, he gave her the chance to be free of the chains the Council of Elders restrained her with.” Neya spoke up as she threw a sharp gaze at the el'doraw man, although I would prefer if they stopped thinking about me as the Pleyades Princess.

“She's right... Rather than this what I am wondering about right now is whether or not mistress is expecting a child as well?” Soleya asked as she looked at Shanteya's tummy.

“Unfortunately, I do not carry his child, but I do wonder who will be next? Hm?” I replied and showed Shanteya a small smile.

“I believe the question is 'when' rather than 'who'?” she giggled.

“That man plans to lay his hands on all of you? Well... powerful men do need to have an heir or two, but who is the legal wife?” Neya asked as she looked at Shanteya.

“Hm? Legal wife?” she asked tilting her head to the left.

“Yes, the woman who is recognized as wife number one? The woman whose children will be the heirs?” the draconian woman asked with a nod.

“Those things don't apply to us, my dear. Normally, a noble would have a legal wife and multiple concubines, but in our case, we are all sister-wives.” I explained.

“You used this term before, Mistress Ayuseya, but what does 'sister-wife' mean?” Keltaru asked.

“It means we are all equal in Illsyore's eyes. Neither of us takes the role of the first wife or the last wife, and we all hold equal rights to claim a part of his time and fortune.” I explained as simple as I could.

“We are like sisters who share the same husband in a manner of speaking?” Shanteya said.

“So there are no heirs?” asked Neya confused.

“We don't need any.” I replied with a giggle.

I surprisingly found it rather hard to explain my relationship with Illsy and with his other wives. It wasn't something that was normally found in this world where it was normal to think about heirs and legal wives. That was why our words made these three knit their brows and show their confusion on their faces.

When I looked at myself together with Illsy, Shanteya, Nanya, Tamara, and Zoreya, I saw the ideal family of a husband with multiple wives. It was a relationship based on trust and love rather than the greed for money and the desire for a social status. What mattered in our family was how happy we were rather than how much we could gain, and I firmly believed it was the right type of attitude a family should have.

Unfortunately, the authority of nobility and the political power gained through it tended to corrupt this ideal and turn it into something akin to a competition between nobles in regard to who had the best trophy wives. Love and trust? For those fellows such things were a weakness, a waste of energy, or if the circumstances were right, then a useful weapon to use against their enemies. Political marriages were a must in all known kingdoms and if one was a Supreme born from a commoner family, then they tended to make a run for the most beautiful and wealthiest aristocrat they could find and marry her or him.

This being said, I could understand why Keltaru, Neya, and Soleya had trouble believing our words. Illsy being a ridiculously powerful and unique man was part of the reason, but it was also because we broke nearly all standard beliefs they had.

If this was a typical noble family, than we, the wives, would have plotted against each other and even went so far as thinking how to make Shanteya lose her pregnancy. Luckily, we weren't, and our concern was how to help her deliver safely.

When we reached the gates of Argos, we got out of the car to pay the fees, but because I wasn't human and none of us were, the guards took on a rather rude attitude suspecting us for having stolen the carriage and even thinking about confiscating it on those charges. This was clearly abuse of authority, but instead of letting this turn into a scene, I stored the MCV inside my Storage Crystal and then told the guards the following words:

“Only the owner can store this magic device. You who don't even know how to move it can't claim that we have stolen it now.” I told him.

“Then hand over the Storage Crystal!” one of the guards demanded.

“According to the Emperor's decree I cannot do so, after all, every citizen of this country or Teslov is allowed to have their own property and even hold a Storage Crystal. Taking it away would mean going against his Majesty's decree. Your act would then be considered by Paramanium's laws as an act of theft. Do you really wish to go down that road with me?” I asked as I showed them a cold smile.

“Tch!” he clicked his tongue and backed away.

“Jurra, just let them pass already. The line's getting bigger!” another guard called out to him.

“Tch! For non-humans to... this empire's laws need to change...” he mumbled to himself, but I didn't need super hearing to understand what he said.

I wonder who was the one who spread the foolish belief that humans are the most superior of all species? I thought as I paid the entry fee to the guards and entered the town

Argos was a settlement that grew around one of the former fortresses of the elves. Because this town was too far away from the border of the Empire, the fortress itself was never considered a strategic military point. The number of soldiers stationed here was rather small and besides bandits and monsters, they really had nothing else to fight. The lord of the town had exclusive access to the fortress, turning it into his very own palace. Outside its walls were the mansions of nobles and rich merchants, while the commoners spread their houses all the way to the secondary wall that surrounded it.

The streets themselves were messy and lacked proper management, forcing us to watch where we stepped and pray to the heavens that our noses wouldn't rot by the time we left this place. Unlike the draconians, the humans didn't bother building underground sewage systems in all of their cities and town. Argos was one of those unfortunate places.

Then again, Fellyore Academy had probably one of the most excellent sewage systems I had ever seen, except for Illsy's. It made me wonder at times why didn't every settlement use Merions to maintain theirs. If the little monsters ever surpassed a certain number, they could be hunted down or used as target practice for the guards and beginner ranged attackers like archers and mages.

We made our way through the streets of Argos until we reached a slave merchant's shop. It wasn't the worst establishment in the town, but it wasn't the best either. Upon entering, however, the merchant immediately thought all of us were slaves and asked who our master was.

“I am not a slave and neither is she. The other three, however, are. We've come here to do business. Now I wonder who does all the talking in this shop, money or politics?” I asked in a calm tone of voice.

“My apologies, I listen only to the sound of jiggling coins, but please do understand, most of your kind are seen either only at the border with Teslov or with a collar around their necks.” the middle-aged man explained while showing me a smile lacking several teeth.

“According to the will of the Emperor, draconians and el'doraws have the right to move freely within the borders of this Empire unless they are accused of some crime or fall into debt.” I said.

“That is true, but nonetheless, the amount of free draconians and el'doraws pales in comparison to those enslaved.” he nodded to himself and then looked behind me “So, are you going to sell those three?”

“No.” I shook my head. “I'm here to pay for their freedom.” I replied.

“It will cost you though.” he pointed out.

“Not a problem.” I nodded.

Unlike Illsy' easy method of getting rid of the slavery collars, the standard method went first through writing three copies of a release document before actually getting rid of the collars. Each copy would have to hold the stamp of approval from the slave merchant. One remained with the original holder of the slave's contract, one was given to the Lord of the city or town where the release took place, and the last copy was sent to the capital for safekeeping.

The good part about this method was that the slave in question could not be enslaved again through illegal means. When a merchant sold a freed slave, he had to send a copy of the contract to the capital and when the illegality was discovered, the merchant would be the one enslaved for breaking the Empire's laws. Of course, this didn't mean there weren't exceptions or black markets which thrived on the misery of others.

For each slave I freed, I had to pay five gold coins. It was a lot of money for most people, but for us, it was pocket change.

After paying, I asked the merchant if he knew of a draconian slave that went by the name Marcelle Ollera. I also told him that I was interested in purchasing her.

Although he didn't have her among his current merchandise, he sent his two apprentices to the other slave shops in town to ask around for the whereabouts of this slave. While I waited, I decided to look through his wares and see if he had any that fit Illsy's requirements. Unfortunately, while there were some who looked promising, they were all either bent on revenge or too mentally disturbed to fit our needs. I even told them they could be given the chance for a better life if they gave up on their revenge, they refused.

Their hearts was painted in black and their paths were set. They didn't want to accept anything else other than the fire of revenge, which would end up burning them as well.

When the merchant's apprentices returned, they whispered to him what they found out.

“This slave you spoke of, I found her, but...” he said to me and then rubbed his fingers together. “It will cost you...” he showed us a smile.

“How much?” I asked squinting my eyes at him.

“On gold coin.” he said.

“Ayuseya, I've had enough of this. We can find her ourselves.” Shanteya told me as she got up from her seat.

“Greed has its limits.” I told the merchant, and I got up as well.

“You won't find her like this, you know?” he said.

“Oh? And why is that?” I asked.

“The merchant who owns her is an acquaintance of mine, a former apprentice. If I put in a good word, he will sell her to you, but otherwise, she's a slave reserved only for nobility. I heard she even has the skills of a top maid, which raises her value by a lot!” he pointed out.

I looked at him and then at Shanteya. I nodded.

“One gold coin.” she said as she tossed him the money.

“A pleasure doing business with you, madame!” he said with smirk as he picked up the coin and tossed it in his purse. “Now then, the slave who goes by the name Marcelle Ollera can be found in the possession of one Anthony Buckart. He's a slave merchant who learned his trade under my supervision, and you'll find him at his shop located two stores past the tailor at the end of this street. Tell him that Roygar Venadez sent you as a customer for his special wares. Do this and you should have no problems acquiring your merchandise.”

“I will.” I said and then we left his shop.

This man asked for a lot of money for that little bit of information. I could have chosen not to pay and instead threaten him with my power, but I preferred to avoid violence when it wasn't needed. Besides, like this I could complete my transaction in peace without getting in trouble with the guards or other suspicious individuals. They wouldn't have really caused me a problem, but they would have delayed me more than I would have liked. I had no reason to stay in this city more than I had to.

There was another reason I didn't want to cause trouble here, which was Keltaru. This merchant ultimately held the documents which proved he had gained his freedom, and there was also the matter of him staying in this city while he learned the basics of being an adventurer. This meant that if I made any new enemies here, then once I was gone, they were going to take their revenge on the el'doraw man.

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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Something like this?
Ayseya -> politics and law
Shanteya -> cover ops
Zoreya -> defense
Nanya -> adventurer stuff & misc
Tamara -> food
Ilsy -> mascot


“The following day, I was the first to wake up. A little bunny got too close to the barrier and began to scratch it with its little paws. It was so cute, I decided to turn it into my breakfast.”

Best Part EVER