~ Chapter 105: The royal slave (Part 3) ~
“So I didn't mishear it.” I said and then closed my eyes to turn them back again into those of a human.
What in the name of all that's holy is the supposedly DEAD prince of Albeyater doing HERE?! I shouted in my mind.
When I opened my eyes, I looked at him with a furrowed brow and then turned my gaze towards the guard, who was completely immersed in annoying the living daylight out of the merchant. This could only mean bad things for me.
I have to finish this, and I wish to do this thing in such a way that will allow me to acquire the slavery rights over Coshun from this merchant. I thought and with this, I activated my 100 Luck.
Walking up to the two of them, I introduced myself in a polite tone of voice.
“Good day, fine gentlemen, my name is Alkelios Yatagai, can you happen to tell me what's the holdup? If there's a problem, maybe I can be of assistance? I am a man specialised in many diverse talents!” I bragged a bit.
“What?! I don't care who you are! Why are you interrupting me? I was trying to explain to this numbskull the importance of these documents that if ignored can very well lead to his head rolling down at his feet!” the merchant barked while waving his precious papers in the air.
“Kind merchant, I believe that this poor man may not be at fault. Maybe he knows not what he's doing?” I asked, trying to appeal to him.
“Oh, no no no! He definitely DOES know what he's doing! He's annoying ME!” the merchant shouted and pointed at the guard.
“Then please allow me to have a word with him, maybe I can persuade him?” I told him with a smile.
“Suit yourself! I was just thinking to take a break to catch my breath anyway!” he scoffed and crossed his arms at his chest as he walked away.
Now that I had his approval, I approached the guard, and with a smile on my face, I asked him.
“Hello there, kind gentleman!” I began to talk using a tone of voice that resembled that of a pompous lower noble that was trying to impress his superior.
“What do you want? If you are looking to get inside the town, maybe I should do a complete search on you and your friends there as well? Hm?” he smirked as he was already undressing Ildea and Risha with his eyes.
If Seryanna was here, I might have already killed this poor bastard, but since it was these two, I restrained myself.
“Oh, come on, I know that you are annoyed at the merchant over there, but there's no need to take it out on us, is there?”
He narrowed his eyes at me. At the very least, I caught his attention.
“At the end of the day, all of us desire something from our efforts. The question is what would be required to put you in a good mood? The merchant, after all, hasn't broken any law, has he?” I asked with the smile of a fox coaxing a hen to jump off the branch.
“Hm, you do have a point, but that bugger managed to annoy me with his high and mighty attitude.” the guard said rubbing his chin.
“Is that so? Then, what would be required to put you in a better mood?”
“Hm... How about if you get him to sell me that blond girl over there? She looks like a fine woman to have in the house, but I have only two silvers.” he smirked.
“Is that so?” I nodded. “Then let me see what I can do, but...” I stopped and then looked the guard in the eyes, a bit of my killing intent was aimed at him, which made him flinch “I do hope that you're not thinking about going back on this deal, mister guard.”
“No.” he shook his head, but from the way he held his hand on the hilt of his sword, his tensed body, and the gulp of empty air he took afterwards, I knew that he felt the difference in strength between the two of us.
It was a good thing he was perceptive to these things because the other guard, who was standing next to the gate, was yawning and picking his ear.
Walking over to the merchant, I greeted him with a smile and then began my persuasive negotiations.
“I'm afraid I learned the reason why he doesn't wish to let you in.” I said with a sigh and shook my head.
“Huh? What is it?” the merchant raised an eyebrow at me and then tossed a glare at the guard. “Does that rotten tomato sack want gold?” he asked.
“No. Nothing so simple.” I shook my head.
“What?” the merchant's interest was peaked by this.
“I'm afraid that his superior has something against... their kind.” and then I pointed at Coshun. “No one knows the exact reason, but he came to hate them terribly so. Although, I don't see why anyone would hate having a draconian around. They are sturdy and make perfect meat shields in a dungeon!” I declared with a smile.
“Is that so.” the merchant rubbed his chin.
“Well, that being said, you can't enter the town with him.” I shrugged my shoulders.
“That's outrageous! There must be something YOU can do about it!” he retorted and pointed at me.
Huh? How in the blazes did he came to that conclusion?! But fine... this actually works for me. I thought to myself and then with a weak cough, I asked him “If I'm not mistaken, you wish to stay more than a day or two in Mathias, right?”
“Of course! I planned to set up shop here for the next week and sell at least half of my current merchandise!” he barked and then let out dejected sigh “And here I thought my lizard slave will be the sale of the week! What rotten luck!” he cried.
“If that's true, then I might just have an idea on how you could turn up this whole mess into a profitable business for the both us.”
“Profitable you say?” he raised an eyebrow at me.
The glimmer of greed sparkled in his brown eyes.
“Yes.” I nodded “I happened to be in need of a new meat shield. If you look at my party, you can see that there's no one left to fulfil that job.” I pointed back at my friends.
The merchant glanced at them and rubbed his beard. “A bit skinny they are, true.” he nodded and then looked back at me “What do you suggest then?”
“Well, the guard over there happens to fancy the blonde woman over there.” I pointed at the slave with long dirty blonde hair, a thin waist, and B cup breasts. “Is she a fighter as well?” I asked as I looked at her thick arms and legs.
“Yes. She was an adventurer until a week ago. Her friend sold her for having messed up their hunt, which resulted in the death of three of her teammates.” he explained.
“That's terrible. But here's what we'll do, I'll buy the blonde woman and the draconian from you right now. You make the slave contract for the woman to the guard over there and the draconian to me. I won't stay more than a day in Mathias, so this won't upset the superior of that good man. This way, if the guard happens to fancy the woman a bit more than usual, we can both gain a bit of something from him in the future. Like information or maybe easy passage on a busy day?” I winked at him.
“Oh! That's a good idea, especially since you are paying for the two of them! But why would you spend so much coin on this business?” he asked tossing me a suspicious glance.
“Does the coin whisper the name of the pocket it doesn't want to go in?” I asked.
“What? No? Just let me say one thing.” he narrowed his eyes at me. “My gut tells me that there's something fishy going on here, but a gold coin is still a gold coin! Especially when it comes from a generous customer.” he smirked.
“Then let's talk business, shall we?” I said and then urged him to move to the side of the road, where we could talk in more privacy.
About half an hour later, 175 gold coins vanished from my pocket. Coshun was terribly expensive, while the woman was worth only 25 coins. While she didn't seem all that happy that she got sold off to the guard, I wished her good luck in her life and advised the guard on treating her as though she wasn't a slave if he ever planned on winning her heart.
To be fair, I didn't feel like there was any need for me to meddle in their affairs. Most of what I told the merchant was a blatant lie. It's possible he suspected a part of this, but as long as I got that slave contract of Coshun, it didn't really matter to me.
In the end, this dragon was the adopted son of my friend, Elliessara Seyendraugher. How could I possibly turn a blind eye to his predicament and move on as though nothing had happened?
“So, in the end, you bought a slave.” Kalderan told me as we were walking down the main road of Mathias, looking for an inn where we could stay for the night.
“Yup!” I said with a smile on my lips as I was looking at the written contract in my hands, the proof of my ownership over the draconian Coshun.
“What for?” Ildea asked curiously.
“I'll tell you once we reach the inn. There are too many ears here.” I replied and then looked towards a group of civilians who cast a gaze of suspicion our way.
“Whatever...” Kalderan muttered and increased his steps.
“Wait up!” Risha called out to him as she followed closely behind.
Ildea kept looking Coshun with curious eyes, while the big dragon was ignoring her completely. His expression was like a carefully chiselled rock, unchanging no matter how many years passed by. It warded off anyone who was weaker than him, and for the most part that included almost any human who happened to cross his path. There was not even one spec of desire to interact with them, mostly because he didn't like them.
Who could blame him? After all, Coshun spent the last 42 years in chains, jumping from one slave master to another, retaining his will and desire to fight, the last drops of pride as a Seyendraugher he had left.
But maybe this was exactly what caught the curiosity of the young princess. She was scanning him from head to toe and appeared to be curious in his tail and wings as she kept touching them. Coshun, on the other hand, wasn't showing any reaction to her pestering actions.
“He's strooong~!” she said in a tone of awe.
“Well, yeah...” I replied and then let out a sigh.
It took us around twenty minutes or so to find an inn with enough free rooms for all six of us. The women were to sleep in their own room, while us men bunked up in another one. Before we headed off to explore the town and check in with the local Adventurers Guild, we gathered inside the men's room to give an explanation on why I bought a slave.
“We're waiting.” said Kalderan as he crossed his arms at his chest and raised an eyebrow at me.
With a cough to clear my throat, I took a step forward and began my explanation.
“First of all, allow me to introduce you to Coshun Seyendraugher, one of the many Princes of Albeyater Kingdom.”
This line alone was enough to make them understand that the dragon who stood before them was an important political figure, but I could see that all of them were wondering the same thing: Why was he here and as slave of all things?
So, I answered them before they even tried to ask.
“Four decades ago, when the humans invaded Albeyater Kingdom, they attacked an area that is now know as Scar Battlefield. There, the Brekkar Army met them head on and defeated them in a couple of days. The defeat of the human invaders was as swift as was their initial attack. During that commotion, there were many dragons and dragonesses who were captured and brought back to the Human Continent as war slaves.” I explained.
“That reminds, me there was an influx of draconian slaves back then, but I didn't know it was because of the invasion. Unfortunately, I didn't study that much about it. I always regarded it as one of the many battles mentioned in our thick history books.” said Ildea as she looked at him with curious eyes.
“But isn't a prince an important political figure? How come they didn't use him as a pawn or asked for some sort of reward for returning him?” Kalderan asked.
“Because... well, they didn't believe he was actually part of the royal family of Albeyater. Coshun is an adopted child of the King and Queen there, so his scales, as you can see, are dark-brown and not gold.” I explained.
“But weren't yours gold?” Ildea asked immediately.
“I have a few golden scales as well, but those were the result of my transformation from an Earthling to a half-human half-dragon.” I explained.
“So basically, this guy is the actual dragon who was presumed to be dead decades ago, right?” Kalderan asked pointing at him.
I nodded “Basically, yes. Returning him will earn us some good points with Feryumstark. Maybe he won't be too harsh on me for missing from the court for three years now!” I laughed.
Coshun furrowed his brown when he heard the name of his father. With what he knew so far, he had no idea that I was acquainted with the good king, which led me to the second part of this meeting.
“Now, I think I should explain why I know all of this.” I told him and showed him a smile.
From within my [Black Hole] I pulled out the Ring of Denial. Tamara recognized the item from back when I freed her and waved her tail in the air while her little furry ears twitched two times.
“Now to do this...” I said and placed the ring around Coshun's neck. “Stand still. I'll get rid of the collar now and then I'll explain how I know your father.” I told him in Eastern Draconian.
The Ring of Denial was the item I made with my godlike blacksmithing skill to counter the effects of Tamara's slave collar. It could technically be used for any other similar item. It could even work to remove the enchants cast upon a metal pipe or a barrel of preserved food.
Although for Coshun and Ildea this thing was a big mystery, everyone else here was familiar with it. As to whether I found it to be dangerous for them to learn of it or not, I wanted to believe that being as transparent as I could about my intentions with them would prove more useful on the long run than trying to make up a lie about it. Trust in any relationship was gained when you made the first step.
Besides, it wasn't as though if they found one thing or another about me was that big of a deal. Any country with a good enough information network could find out.
Just like it happened when I used the ring on Tamara, the item shrunk to the size of the collar and attached itself to the material. The spells to remove the enchants on it were cast and then I slowly pulled on the ring, increasing its diameter and dragging the collar with it until it snapped.
Once it was done, I removed the collar and placed the Ring of Denial back in the [Black Hole].
With a knee on the ground and a hand on my chest, I bowed to Coshun and then said:
“My name is Alkelios Yatagai Draketerus, the husband of Seryanna Draketerus, the current Duchess of the Draketerus territories. I serve directly under her Majesty Queen Elliessara Seyendraugher and his Majesty King Feryumstark Seyendraugher. Prince Coshun Seyendraugher, it will be my honor to escort you back to the Albeyater Kingdom.”
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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