I was running from the Yandere Rose and the incensed Claudia.
I was desperate.
I don’t have any choice but to keep on running.
But, even though this world has magic, the technology level is only around that of medieval Europe. In other words, this ship isn’t that large. Not long after I started running, I had reached the very bottom of the ship and was now in the cargo hold.
“W-Where can I hide!?”
I looked around at the cargo hold desperately trying to find somewhere to hide.
“ –hnn~? Nn –!”
Suddenly, I could hear several small moans. When I looked around the cargo hold, I could tell the voice was coming from within some of the luggage.
“…is…is someone there?”
I timidly removed the cloth that was covering whatever was making this noise. Underneath it — there was a small cage. And inside, there were five girls chained together wearing tattered clothing.
“Umm…a-are you slaves?”
Right. Lang is a slave dealer so he must be taking these slaves to sell outside of the island. Thinking this, I tried to put the cloth back over the cage.
The girls all started making noise at the same time.
“…umm, are you trying to say something?”
Once I asked this, all of them started vigorously shaking their heads up and down.
They clearly have something to say…but what should I do? They’re all technically the property of Lang so I don’t know if I should remove their gags without his permission….
“You’re all slaves, right?”
They all shook their heads no immediately. If that’s the case — I was then reminded of what Sylphy told me. She told me that there have been a lot of kidnappings lately.
“By chance, were you all kidnapped…?”
They all acknowledged that this was the case. I put my hands through the bars of the cage and removed the gag on the dog-eared girl in the front.
“Help us! We were kidnapped by some strange people!”
“That’s…of course I want to help you if that’s true, but do you have any proof?”
“…umm, my name is Lana. I’m a D rank adventurer, but I can’t prove that to you. They took my plate, umm…I was asked by the Guild to investigate the recent kidnappings.”
She knows about the recent kidnappings. She could obviously just be lying about being a guild member, but…I don’t think she is.
“…Yuzuki onii-san, have you finally stopped running?”
“…was I finally able to corner you, Master?”
I could hear the voices of Rose and Claudia. When I turned around, I was glad to see them standing there.
“We need to call a temporary truce. These girls have been kidnapped — “
“Yuzuki onii-san, are you trying to fool me again?”
“Oh, Master, do you need to be punished for playing with a girl’s heart?”
“Absolutely not! I’m being serious!”
“ — what’s all this commotion down here?”
Suddenly, another set of footsteps could be heard approaching us from the opposite side of the cargo hold. Behind Rose, a number of men, including Lang, appeared from the entrance of the cargo hold.
“What are you all doing here? This place is off limits to anyone who isn’t a member of the crew.”
“Ah, I’m sorry about this. Once I capture Yuzuki onii-san, I’ll leave right away.”
Rose immediately transitioned into her ‘daughter of the Countess’ mode.
“All of you, move away from there this instant!”
Lang did say he hired this ship and it’s crew. If they really were kidnapped, there’s no chance he’s not involved.
The moment Lang said this, a large man walked towards me and prepared to attack. The moment I noticed this, I pulled my long sword out from within my item box and started to slash at the man’s stomach.
Lang shouted this.
I stopped my attack and looked in his direction and saw two men moving behind Claudia and Rose.
“What are you doing!?”
“Eh, eh, what’s happening!?”
Rose let out a voice filled with anger while Claudia sounded confused. The two men forced daggers against their necks and forced them to remain silent.
“Yuzuki-san, please don’t move from there.”
Lang looked at me with a vulgar smile on his face.
“…are you the one that kidnapped these girls?”
“Yes, I am the one that took them. After all, I am a slave trader. I have to do what I can to keep my inventory up.”
Lang said this as if we were talking about products, not people.
“You kidnapped these people!? You’re only allowed to sell people as slaves when they’ve committed a crime or when they or their family sold them to you. You’re not allowed to treat someone you’ve kidnapped as your property!”
“…oh? And who are you to be telling me this?”
“I am Rose Brad! The daughter of the Countess that rules over this island! Now that you understand that, you must release us at once! If you choose not to, I’ll make sure that you’re punished in the most painful way possible!”
She spoke in a dignified manner. Lang’s only response was to laugh at her.
“Why are you laughing!?”
“Ah, well, I was just thinking how great my luck must be. To think that both of the targets that I had finally given up on would fall into my lap like this…it was completely unexpected.”
“Prey you gave up on…you can’t mean!?”
Rose opened her eyes wide.
“Have you finally realized? The people that attacked your carriage were sent by me. But, of course, I didn’t leave any evidence to link them back to me.”
“…I see. You’re the mastermind behind the recent attacks in the Brad family’s territory. On the honour of the Brad family name, I won’t let you get away with this any longer!”
“And how do you suppose you’ll stop me?”
“My knight escort is on this ship. Don’t even think it will be possible for you to escape them!”
“Oh my, thank you for letting me know. Not only can we take both of you hostage, I’ll also be able to increase my inventory even more.”
“Kuh, who do you think you are!? You think I’ll let you!?”
Rose tried to struggle against the man holding her, but she couldn’t do much to break free of the man’s grasp.
I changed my focus to Lang.
“I want to ask you one thing….”
“And what could that be?”
“Just now you said you gave up on two targets, right? But Claudia was already your slave, are you trying to say….”
“Oh, you noticed. You’re quite sharp. Yes, it was I that started the fire in the slaver’s shop that Claudia was first held in. I had planned to take her away from that bastard, but…sadly things didn’t go exactly how I planned.”
Exactly as he planned? Is he talking about Claudia’s curse? He must’ve planned on removing her burns once he bought her.
“But why did you want Claudia so badly?”
“That’s because…even if you clearly have little chance of escaping, I’m under no obligation to reveal everything to you.”
I was hoping he’d be just as stupid as most villains and reveal his entire plan to me.
…it can’t be helped. I can’t question him now while those two are being held hostage. I need to figure out a way for us to escape this situation before I can find out what he’s planning.
“Do you think I’ll let a man like you continue living in the Brad family’s territory!?”
Rose suddenly began to form a magic circle beneath her feet — but
“Did you really think I’d let you!?”
“Ah — !”
The man restraining Rose violently twisted her arms and cancelled out her magic. The man holding her began to laugh as he saw her face distorted in pain.
“Kuku, this blonde girl is something else. She smells amazing.”
“This girl here is quite impressive herself. Where did you get such bold clothing?”
The man holding Rose ran his nose along her neck and breathed in deep. While the man restraining Claudia was staring straight down her exposed cleavage.
“Stop! If you do anything to them I’ll kill you all!”
I couldn’t hold myself back and yelled this at them, but —
“That’s right. The only person that can do perverted things to me is Yuzuki onii-san.”
“It’s the same for me. Only my Master is allowed to touch me in perverted ways.”
Their responses troubled me.
“Umm…just now, that’s not really what I was talking about…a-anyway, I won’t allow you to do anything to them.”
The two men restraining Rose and Claudia got angry when it seemed like we were ignoring them.
“Who does this little brat think he is!? How do you think you’d be able to please these women when you’re still just a kid?”
“Like I said, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m telling you to release them!”
“You just keep boasting about how you were able to do whatever you please to these girls! While it’s been so long since I’ve even touched a woman! I’ll kill you right now! If you try to resist, I’ll kill these girls!”
It seems they’ve both reached their boiling points.
Obviously, they don’t know that Rose cut off my arms and legs before basically raping me, but…I feel like even if I were to tell them that they wouldn’t change their minds.
More importantly, I need to avoid angering them any further.
No matter what happens, I can’t have them killed. If they’re both killed at the same time, I won’t be able to do anything about it.
I need to calm them down and speak with them rationally.
Although, I said that….
“Yuzuki onii-san, I’d never allow such unpopular men to lay a hand on me. Don’t worry about me and kill them already!”
“She’s right, Master! I don’t like being touched by any man that isn’t my Master. I don’t care what happens to me, so just take care of them!”
…neither of them are helping.
Both of these men looked incensed after hearing these cruel words from two beautiful girls.
“Both of you just calm down. Why are you acting like we could so easily end all of their lives right here and now? Don’t you feel bad for him? Do you understand, Yuzuki-kun?”
The two men nodded towards Lang and they all looked at me…even though I hated it, I had to nod and basically admit that he was in complete control of our lives right now.
“Now that we’re both on the same page, you should try to calm down a bit. I can’t let you two do whatever you please to those two girls, but if you work hard for me you’ll have enough money to afford a slave of your own.”
…is he trying to calm them down as well? I think that may have been the final thing they needed to take their minds off Rose and Claudia.
“Buy a slave…it would be like an all-you-can-eat buffet…*gulp*”
Yep, that did it.
“Now then, will you surrender, Yuzuki-kun?”
“…and if I refuse?”
“Then I won’t be able to guarantee your safety or the safety of those girls.”
If we were to escape, it would be revealed that he’s the mastermind behind all of the kidnappings on Gran Island. He’d do anything to ensure we keep our mouths shut.
Due to my Feminist ability, I wasn’t able to fight back against Rose, but that doesn’t apply to this situation. Lang and his two enforcers are all men.
If I carefully consider my options here, I should be able to get us out of this situation.
…should I use Thunderburst to disable everyone? It should only affect hostiles, but…those two men are holding on to Rose and Claudia.
If it was just an electrical shock I don’t think it would be directly transferred from the men to Rose and Claudia. However, Thunderburst is magical. The only reason I’m not damaged by it is that I’m in the centre of the spell.
It should be okay though…just to be sure, I checked the details of the skill once more. It said, “The spell will only deal damage to creatures within range that consider the user hostile or that the user considers hostile.”
— It won’t hurt anyone Yuzuki-kun considers to be an ally. This popped up in my log window.
Medea-nee…she’s watching me like normal.
Anyway, if that’s the case, I don’t need to be worried. I can knock them all out right away.
“Tell me, will you surrender? If you do, I guarantee you won’t be killed on this ship. On top of that, I’ll make sure that I sell you off to someone that will treat you well enough.”
“…I’d rather we not end up as slaves.”
Now, I should go over my strategy before I actually try to attack them.
If I use Thunderburst with the added power of Goddess Medea’s Blessing, I should be able to take them all out, but…the magic formation would be a dead giveaway.
It would take approximately ten seconds to be ready to cast Thunderburst. During that time there’d be a very obvious, bright and glowing magic circle beneath my feet. The second I try to use any magic, they’ll know.
I wish there was a way around it…wait, what about No Chant?
In exchange for being able to use magic without saying anything, the time it takes to cast magic is increased. That’s completely useless in a situation like this.
But — based off all other skills I’ve ranked up past rank E, the skills will become even more useful, not just more powerful, the higher their rank is. Considering that, it should be possible…I looked at the details for No Chant.
At rank E, the light of the magic circle darkens to the point that it would hardly be visible during the daytime.
Right now, we’re at the bottom of the ship. However, it’s not completely dark due to a magic crystal that’s being used to provide a good amount of light. It’s not light enough that the dimmed magic circle wouldn’t be visible at all, but if I’m able to distract them I think I could get away with using magic.
And the SP cost is — 400. Since I never used the SP I got for killing those five bosses, I instantly ranked up No Chant to E.
I don’t want to kill them, but I’m also not going to hold back at all. I silently activated Goddess Medea’s Blessing.
And, while still conversing with Lang, I began to cast Thunderburst….
System Message: Magic cannot be used due to the effects of the ‘Feminist’ skill.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.