~ Chapter 2: The slobbering canine (Part 1) ~
[Leonidas' point of view]
And here I was... again, at the Waser Slave Market.
Normally, you wouldn't find children like me walking around this place and checking out the slaves unless they were accompanied by an adult. In my case, I had Timothy to act as one. Zor Nya Nyan, although she was 28, she was far too much of the group's mascot to be considered a responsible adult. Cormina and Lindus could have been my guardians as well, however, nothing could beat Timothy, the silver fox in a butler suit.
The noble parents who allowed their children to have a slave contracted directly to them were rare and few. Therefore, when people saw me walking around with Timothy and the gang, they naturally assumed that they were contracted to my parents and followed me under strict orders. Thus, depending on the situation they could also act as my legal guardians.
Now, the only reason why I bothered coming all the way here instead of jumping on the very first carriage to Briston was because I saw a glimpse of Sapherya's Divine Light coming from somewhere around here. Unfortunately, I had no idea who or what had triggered it. All I could do was walk around and pray that I would stumble upon them sooner or later.
“Any plans, Young Master?” Timothy asked.
“I wish! Let's just walk around and see what we can find.” I told him.
If Sapherya had given me some sort of tracking or radar system to compliment the beacon of light, then maybe I could actually find my target much faster. Then again, even I knew that was asking too much. The next step would have been to actually have the goddess take my hand like a toddler and then walk over to that person.
Yeah, maybe just a beacon of light isn't too bad, after all. It's still a challenge to find them even when I just got a glimpse of it... I thought as I cast a glance at the many slaves paraded on the stages built in front of the shops like brand goods in a mall on Earth.
None of them shimmered from the Divine Light.
In general, slave markets were secluded areas within a town or city, where all the entrances were guarded to keep slaves from running away and unwanted individuals from entering. Children were part of the latter. They could only get inside when they were under the supervision of a guardian, but as I came to learn, this wasn't a law set to protect the children themselves as much as it was to protect the precious slaves from them.
Those over-energetic rascals would see it as an exciting adventure to go around and discover the most interesting slave here. They would rattle the cages of those whom they thought were weak or try to annoy the more dangerous ones, putting not only themselves but also the slaves in danger. After all, there was no way for the slave to fight back, but if the children happened to open their cage, they wouldn't hesitate to make a run for it.
Children, in their immaturity, would often end up tormenting their family's slaves or those of other people. Meanwhile, the slaves, who more than often were ordered never to attack anyone would find themselves unable to retaliate or even defend themselves, resulting in their injuries, and at times... death.
Because of this, my own slaves received only one order, and that was to not kill without my express order. In rest, they could do and act as they pleased. This meant that they were free to protect themselves from the attacks of others and beat them to a pulp if needed be. I wasn't going to let anyone mess around with them or even be restrictive with their freedom. If at any point in time they wanted to be freed of this bond, I was willing to do it.
After all, all of them came to me with Sapherya's intent to actually save them from a fate worse than death.
This reminded me that back when I acquired Zor Nya Nyan, she wasn't as opened or eager to get in trouble as she was now. The nekatarian was actually quite shy and timid until she became accustomed to me and everyone else in our group. She would often stay in a corner and wait there until she was told to do something. In the end, she warmed up to us after we learned that she responded well to bribes of fish and sweets.
Despite her antics, Zor Nya Nyan was happier like this, but she had yet to find a place for herself in this world, but in time she would. For now, I acted as her leash that kept her from getting in trouble or enslaved again.
Because of my rather introvert behavior at the Waser Academy, there was a point when my slaves ended up as the target of bullying by some of the other children, however, this stopped before I was even able to raise a question about it. I didn't bother to look into it either if it didn't cause me or my slaves any trouble.
I found it normal to treat my slaves as hired help rather than some sort of item I owned as others did, which was probably why I ended up getting a lot of weird stares from the people around me.
Unfortunately, that was the normal way of thinking within Lukrentia Kingdom, but I had no idea if it was the same outside as well. Rather than being a criminal who was serving his sentence, the moment a slave collar was put around your neck, you would become an item, a commodity. Thus, depending on how the slaves were meant to be sold, they would be displayed here in the slave market in various ways.
Warriors fit for battles had to show off their bulging muscles or perform some sort of feat of strength to appeal to a potential master. Artists were forced to perform live, and mages were made to cast some simple showy spells. The only ones who weren't up here on the front stages were those meant to work in the mines or act as meat shields for adventurers. Sex slaves and those deemed to be too dangerous to be placed up in front were also placed together with them far in the back, in the storeroom.
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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