Volume 4 Chapter 162: The Evil Transactions of the Central Market in Nolan City

The southern border of Gabriel Empire, the capital of the ex-Norlander Duchy, Nolan City. Initially, the city center was a general market; however, it had been converted into a slave market now. The conquering beastmen army captured the women and children and had negotiated terms to sell them to the slave dealers. This bustling market was as busy as any large scale market within the human empires.

 After speaking with “Scar”, Bella invited him to step out of the carriage. This old gentleman was willing to have in-depth conversations about important topics such as slaves and their training. Even though both of them had many topics in common that they could talk about, Bella still had to maintain her personal image in front of Elaine and Noreya. 

The witches that were being held captive in the carriage were trembling with fear after listening in to the old gentleman’s conversation. They were terrified that Bella would really sell them off to him. If they were subjected to the man’s humiliating methods, those witches would definitely be played with until they reached the brink of despair. 

“Who would have thought that each of you would be able to fetch at least one thousand gold coins? I am rather tempted to… stop shaking your heads; I’m just thinking about it. Well, now you should know better than to disobey me!”

Hearing that Bella was seriously considering to trade them away, those witches shook their heads frantically. Although they had black blindfolds on, Bella believed that behind each blindfold was a desperate plea. To prevent themselves from being sold, the witches quickly became more subservient. When Bella’s hands roamed all over their bodies, they did not struggle or resist like they used to.

“Bella, I knew you would… Don’t look at me like that! Is it possible that you’re trying to evaluate my price?”

“Noreya, come on. Don’t be ridiculous. I would never entertain such a thought.”

Bella pushed away the sinful desires in her heart. Earlier, she had gotten caught up in the excitement and had fully intended to evaluate Noreya to determine how much she would be worth in a sale. Based on her lovely appearance, Bella felt that she was priceless. As for Elaine, she did not even bother to try to come up with a price. Since they were both lovely young maidens, Elaine would be priceless as well. 

Other than “Scar”, there were many other slave dealers who had their eyes on the merchandise in Bella’s carriage. Along the way, she met with many others with aliases like “One-eye”, “One-hand”, and “Toxic Smoke”, etc. Somehow, the slave dealers seemed to use the strangest of nicknames.

Especially “Toxic Smoke”. He was a dashing youth and looked like the perfect gentleman. However, he had approached her to make a one for one exchange with his female elven slaves. He did not have any of his goods on hand, but he was willing to negotiate a preorder. Bella was sorely tempted by the terms of his exchange. In human literature, the elven race was often celebrated for its natural beauty. To be honest, Bella had never met an elf and did not know what they looked like.

Fortunately, Noreya and Elaine shot Bella a warning look in time, reminding this unscrupulous demon queen that she still had other pressing matters on hand. “Toxic Smoke” left his name card and walked away from Bella’s entourage of horse-led carriages with a hint of regret. Bella did not allow any of the slave merchants or dealers to “test” any of the slaves in her carriage. It caused quite a fair bit of unhappiness among them.

After hearing all the terms the various slave dealers had to offer, Bella gained a crucial piece of information. Word around the market was that the overall commander-in-chief of the beastmen army would be visiting this large-scale slave auction market. This would be the perfect opportunity to assassinate her. 

The ex-Norlander Duchy’s capital’s city center market, beastmen slave market. 

Initially, Bella’s carriages had been refused entry to the market. However, a few beastmen who appeared to be inspectors came up to her entourage and respectfully requested to take a look at her goods. After verifying that her merchandise was top quality, they finally allowed her to pass. Since this particular trade center was where the big bosses of the slave trade would gather, they had a reputation and quality to uphold. Any slave that was brought in had to meet the basic requirements in terms of appearances. 

Bella was worried that someone would swap out her slaves without her knowledge and did not leave her witches in the temporary storage area within the market. Countless other slave dealers watched with indignance in their eyes as she kept her witches, carriage and all, in the interdimensional ring on her finger. Living, breathing humans could not be stored within the ring; however, witches from the Dark Empire were technically neither living nor human. This meant they were not subjected to those restrictions.

Once she ensured that her witches had settled in, Bella, along with Noreya and Elaine, entered this unique slave market. The ladies for sale in this particular market were clearly of a much higher quality than those being sold out on the street. Most of them were gorgeous young maidens who were lively and fresh as older slaves would only be sold outside of the market. 

The only thing that the beauties who were being held captive allowed to wear was a thin white dress made out of translucent chiffon material. It clung to their bodies and displayed every curve to the buyers. Their hands and feet were bound behind them with heavy metal chains. Every girl had an expression of pure horror on their faces while looking at their “fellows” who were walking around in this bustling market.  

Each girl was forcibly gagged using a specially made soft metal, preventing them from screaming or seeking help from the passersby. The only thing they could do was to look out in despair at the slave merchants and dealers who smirked and leered at them from head to toe. However, the slave dealers did not touch any of the slaves. To be exact, they did not want to touch any of these “top quality” merchandise in case they affected its value. 

Based on the information that “Scar” and the other slave merchants had given, the beautiful young maidens in this slave market had been handpicked as the cream of the crop. Each of them would fetch their merchant at least one hundred gold coins. The white chiffon dress that they wore was a symbol of their status as well as to inform potential buyers that they were “top quality”.

Bella saw that there were more than a dozen beautiful young maidens on “special display” on the slave market’s central stage. Those girls were almost naked and were not even given a translucent chiffon dress. Instead, they wore specially made undergarments with cut-outs and a few gemstones. Those gemstones barely covered their intimate parts.

The chains that bound their hands were made from gold and were extremely expensive to manufacture. Each girl was manipulated into all sorts of humiliating positions that were aimed at enticing potential buyers. They did not dare to move a muscle. If they did, their intimate areas would be revealed to the slave dealers who were standing below the stage as the gemstones barely managed to conceal anything at all.

The wolfmen guards that were looking after them did not feel a hint of pity for the girls at all. From time to time, they would even walk up to them and force the girls to change their position and to continue with their presentation. If the girls refused to comply, the guards would remove the last things that preserved any semblance of their dignity. The expression on the girls’ faces was filled with despair and humiliation as the small gold ball gag in their dainty little mouths prevented them from trying to commit suicide as an escape.

Other than the beautiful young ladies, the stage was filled with piles of gold coins and jewelry, as well. Their snow-white figures against such a backdrop of glistening jewels and treasures looked like a naked display of the beastmen’s spoils of battle. 

After listening to the chatter from the various slave dealers around her, Bella found out that the beautiful maidens and treasures on the stage were actually not for sale. This particular stage was actually meant for the beastmen army to display and flaunt the spoils of war. The riches and treasures had been collected from the homes within the various duchies that the beastmen had conquered. As for the beautiful young maidens, they must have been the young ladies from the lords’ houses.

Giving the girls on stage another cursory glance, Bella found a few vaguely familiar faces. However, there was one particular girl who caught her eye: Emily, Bella’s nemesis, and Duke Brandon’s daughter. This beautiful maiden with long flowing locks of baby-blue hair had been placed right in the front, full of shame. Tear stains filled her delicate face. 

Bella had seen Miss Emily of Duke Brandon’s family from the duchy next door. It was when she had first taken over as the lord of the Sarnia Duchy. Emily was a student of an elite school in the southern part of the Gabriel Empire, the Kerklav Academy. It was one of the top twelve schools in the human empires and was on the same level as the Frederica Academy, which Bella had seen before. 

The Kerklav Academy focused mainly on swordsmanship. Their classes had ended a few days earlier than the Olsylvia Academy. It was likely that Emily was making her way home to the duchy but did not expect it to be invaded by beastmen. That scoundrel! Bella had no other words for Duke Brandon, who had run for his life without even bringing his daughter along.

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Other than Emily, the other girls who had been selected for display were the young mistresses of the various lords from the nearby duchies and were all students of the Kerklav Academy as well. As swordswomen, they must have put up quite a fight while they were being captured as the girls had all been cuffed at their wrists and ankles.

There was no hint of arrogance to be found in Emily anymore. Bella recalled that this young swordswoman despised Duchess Bellina when they had met during the nobles’ banquet as she had bought her title. When Bella attempted to greet her, she had rejected it, pulling a face. The other young mistresses in the neighboring duchies had followed Emily’s example and looked down on Duchess Bellina as well. 

By now, Emily already had her haughtiness forced out of her by the beastmen’s psychological torture. Fortunately, the beastmen had a unique sense of beauty, and the young maidens’ slender figures did not tempt them at all. They did not think that there were any differences between them and the human males. In addition, the size was an issue as well, and thus, the beastmen soldiers had not violated their female prisoners at all. 

To Emily and the other girls, their fellow humans posed more danger to them than anyone else, especially those seedy, perverted slave dealers. Their status as the young mistresses of the duke families could not save them at all. Instead, it put them in more danger. Since their duchies had been destroyed, they were no different from the princesses from the perished nations in history. 

Many of those slave dealers were even insane enough to trade princesses, let alone the young mistresses of the duke families. As long as they had been sold off to places that were far enough from their homes, no one would ever know that they were young mistresses at all. By then, they would be relegated to be the playthings of some noble’s personal depraved collection. Who knows, maybe knowing their status would lead to even more excitement. 

Amid her despair, Emily discovered three black-robed witches in the crowd. Her attempt to take her own life had been thwarted by those witches. Instead, she was sent here to be humiliated. She could not help but feel frightened. As she looked around the crowd, she locked eyes with Bella’s own sky-blue irises.

Emily had a direct view of Bella’s teasing gaze. Although she had looked down upon Duchess Bellina before, it was purely due to her dubious noble status and had nothing to do with Bella as a person. In no time at all, Emily knew precisely who Bella was. 

Emily disregarded any history she had with Bella and looked at her with desperate pleading eyes. She hoped with all her heart that Duchess Bellina, who had mysteriously appeared, could save her from this hellhole. Even if Bella were really a slave dealer in the end, Emily would be resigned to her fate. Regardless, being in Bella’s hands would be much better than falling into the hands of the beastmen or any other slave dealer!

“That chest… mmm, those legs… tsk tsk, young mistresses from the duke families are different after all. I wish I could buy them all, take them home, and play with them to my heart’s content!”

“Look at that pretty little mouth; how good would those feel on your… seriously, those beastmen are missing out on so much goodness. Well, they are beastmen, after all.”

“The goods in this market are all top quality. What a pity that these merchandises are only up for display today and are only available for the trade tomorrow. I can’t take it anymore; I’m so pent up. I’m going outside to the second-hand market to get some playthings and release some of my desires!”

Bella stood among the slave traders, eavesdropping on their conversations as she bit back the urge to join in the discussion. As for Emily’s plea for help, Bella pretended to pay no mind to it. This caused streams of tears to flow down Emily’s cheeks. If not for the fact that she might end up exposing herself to the crowd, she would have already dropped to her knees to beg Bella for her help. 

“Bella, do you really not intend to…”

“Noreya, that young mistress Emily had always looked down on me. Let’s leave her there to cool off for a bit. Later on, when we save her, she will know how to repay the favor!”

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“Oh, Bella, how more naughty can you get? I have no opinions on this matter anyway. If you don’t mind, I can make her into…”

“Elaine, your thoughts are far too dangerous. Quickly, hold on to…”

Emily stared at Bella, who was chatting nonchalantly off stage and was filled with panic. Fine, I was wrong, alright? If Bella were to turn to leave, she would definitely faint from hopelessness.

Luckily, Bella was familiar with how girls thought and did not walk away. Instead, she shifted to a different place where she could get a better view of Emily and the other girls in compromising positions. At this point, Emily was at a loss. What’s there to look at? We’re all girls! The expression on Bella’s face was no different from the slave-dealers around her. Could she be one of them too?

Right then and there, a large group of wolf knights walked in. They were dressed in light armor and were obviously of a higher rank than a regular wolf knight. The wolfman in the lead—or wolf-lady to be exact—caught Bella’s eye.

In the previous world, Bella was quite familiar with kemonomimi. This wolf-lady was rather easy on the eyes. Based on human standards, she was definitely a beauty. She had snow-white hair that reached her waist and a pair of alert wolf ears atop her head. She looked like one of those girls in cosplay at a comic convention back then.

The wolf-lady had the most gorgeous electric-blue irises that were similar to a typical wolf and a smoking hot body, which not even light armor could hide. Bella could feel the startling power emanating from her muscles. There was an absolute wild beauty to this wolf young maiden that was different from the humans, and it triggered an insane urge in Bella to dominate her.

The worst thing was that her color was similar to a human’s: a clear pale skin. Compared to the wolf knights by her side, she looked even more human. There were two types of beastmen—full and demi-beastmen. The full beastmen did not have any distinct human features. At most, they would walk on two feet.  

This wolf-lady was a demi-beastman and had some human characteristics. Based on her hair color, she was definitely wolfman royalty—the white wolves. However, according to the beastmen’s strange sense of beauty, this wolf-lady was definitely “ugly”. Basically, any demi-beastmen that looked like a human would be considered ugly, as well.

No matter how Bella looked at her, such beauty was definitely hard to come by and was considered to be a “wild delicacy” in her book. She had nothing to say about the beastmen’s ideas of beauty. There was no demand for such kemonomimi within the slave markets throughout the human empires. It was not a matter of price; it was because the humans valued the noble blood purity above all else. 

The humans looked down on the beastmen bloodline. If anyone were to play with such ladies, it would be a matter of bad taste. Without any human nobility to purchase them, these goods could not be moved at all. As for the regular people, it was either due to a lack of money or the fear of their kinks being reported. Those humans who took in beastmen would be considered “fornicating with the beastmen” and would be prosecuted based on an act of treason. 

Of course, this was a front for the human nobility’s hypocrisy. According to the information from the slave-dealers, female elven slaves were extremely hard to come by. When the supply was low, those nobles would spare no expense in purchasing them for their own perverted fancies. Since both were slaves from other races, the trading of female elven slaves was seen as a “high class” interest, but the sale of kemonomimi was treason against the state? 

Forget it. These gentlemen who were only interested in playing with elves would never understand the intrigue behind the kemonomimi… Bella took a peek at the wolf-lady’s back and did not find a tail, which took a bit of getting used to. It was unprofessional of a cosplayer to leave the house without a full set of props. What a joke!

“Dear guests, we have a slight change in our program today. The trade fair will be closed temporarily. Please proceed outside the market to continue with your shopping! When the trade fair reopens, I will arrange for my staff to inform everyone.”

The White Wolf Princess Tania knew how to speak the human language. The demi-beastmen’s talent for learning human languages was absolutely astounding. There was a possibility that it was due to the human bloodline. Princess Tania did not care for such dirty trades. In fact, she found it distasteful. Even though she felt a little sorry for those human girls, it would not be suitable for her to show any of it.

According to the demon race, feelings of pity for humans were thought of as “corruption,” while the beastmen viewed it as a presentation of “weakness”. The only reason why the female slaves had their white chiffon dresses and the bejeweled undergarments was the behest of Princess Tania. It had taken them a while before the slave market had complied with her requests.

The high-level command of the beastmen collective army had requested for them to be stripped bare and to be naked when left on display, just like the slaves being sold outside the market. The White Wolf Princess Tania had taken into consideration that these young maidens were probably “inexperienced in the worldly ways”. That was why she had resisted the pressures from her superiors and insisted that the girls have some fundamental rights to their privacy. 

- my thoughts:
So, it seems there was a mixup with the names between Elena Ivy and Elaine. We are looking into it to be sure. Thanks.
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