While there was some interest shown for the Orc slave who had showed prowess in the battle, this was just one slave among many. There were dozens of slave pits scattered about and this was just an ordinary one like all the others. Such a slave would not necessarily garner a lot of interest among wealthy buyers. Those with considerable wealth would not usually be looking for slaves among the slave pits.
There was the occasional diamond in the rough, but for the majority of potential buyers the arenas were where they would spend most of their time and money. There were some offers to purchase the slave but Aleks’s offer of a thousand gold Ducats shut them up quickly. This was enough to purchase an elite battle slave, spending so much on a slave from the pits seemed ludicrous. To Aleks it didn’t matter, he just wanted the slave because he liked what he saw in his eyes.
The slave was dragged out of the pit by some of the merchant’s guards and brought before Aleks in chains. The Orc attempted to fight back but instead took a beating by the guards who were greater in number and wearing basic armor. The slave merchant was visibly ecstatic and didn’t care about the Orc’s resistance, instead hurrying the guards to bring the slave over to Aleks. He never thought he would be able to obtain such a high price for a cheap slave he happened to pick up out on the Steppes. Not to mention the slave had been giving him a headache due to its stubbornness.
“Your eyes are truly keen to be able to pick out such a talent! These other fools don’t have half your wisdom. Only a prestigious young master such as yourself is worthy of buying this ferocious and powerful Orc. Look at his bulging muscles and fierce fangs.”
The merchant said while prodding the slave with a stick. He began to flatter Aleks unceasingly. His words oozed honey and he heaped praise upon praise.
Ugh, his saliva is spewing everywhere. If he gets any on my master I will gut him like a pig!
Lenia wanted to lash out but held her tongue. She really wanted to slap the fat and greasy merchant with her gauntleted hand.
“Lenia, pay the man his gold.” Alek’s motioned towards her.
The Orc had stopped his resistance after getting beaten and chained but he stared at Aleks’ fiercely, refusing to lower his eyes even for a moment. Aleks didn’t mind though and only smiled while nodding his head, pleased with the Orc’s behavior.
After handing over the Orc slave, the merchant had some final words for Aleks, “The chains restrict his strength while linked and you won’t have to worry about him attacking you while they are on his wrists. What happens after you take off the chains is your responsibility. I recommend training him well before you let him loose otherwise you might regret it. You could also of course take him to a magic caster and have his consciousness restricted. He will become very docile towards you then and see you as master, but that comes with an additional price. There a number of shops in Kordusk with magic casters capable of using such magic.”
“I understand, I will take it from here.”
The merchant nodded, smiling once more and rubbed his oily hands together, “If you ever have need of more slaves, I will sell you the very best of my stock!”
“En.. Let’s go. Lenia, bring the Orc.”
Lenia grabbed the Orc’s chains and pulled gently in order to nudge the slave to move, but the Orc attempted to resist by pulling back. This caused Lenia to give the Orc a hard slap across the face sending the Orc reeling. Her power was vastly superior to the Orc, but she didn’t use her full strength. It was enough to knock the Orc off his feet and bust open his lip causing blood to trickle down.
“Get up. Resist again and I won’t be so gentle next time.
The Orc was shocked by her strength as he rubbed the blood off his lip and thought, That’s gentle!?
Even the slave merchant who was observing them, his guards, and the other onlookers were surprised by how strong she was. All of those present were Intermediate beings at best. None of them could see through her strength at all. They had literally just watched a mesmerizingly beautiful and somewhat dainty looking young woman, knock a large and bulky Orc a head and a half her size off his feet. Even though she wore heavy armor, it was fit tight to her petite form and couldn’t hide her much smaller frame in comparison.
Their glances soon fell on Aleks who bore the appearance of a handsome young master but was not especially muscular or radiating any aura of power they could tell. They could only wonder if this seemingly rich and scholarly young looking man was also hiding an abnormal strength.
They both look so young, can’t be much past twenty and yet they are already so strong, The slave merchant admired inwardly with a sigh.
“Enough playing, hurry now. We still have one more slave to purchase before we return to the hotel.” Aleks said without bothering to look back at the crowd.
He didn’t stop or slow down to wait for Lenia and kept walking at a steady gait. Lenia gave the Orc slave one last look of warning which caused the Orc to flinch. He picked himself up quickly and didn’t even bother brushing the dirt off his body. Lenia grabbed the chain once more and led the Orc without any more complaint from him. They quickly picked up their pace to catch up to Aleks who was walking as if he had no cares in the world or as if no one else existed but him.
He didn’t care for the eyes that occasionally landed on their group or the cunning glances occasionally thrown at them from questionable individuals looking for potential marks. He saw these people as not much more than ants. They posed no threat to him and their lives were not worth taking note of. Although it might seem he stood out too much due to his luxurious form fitting robes and handsomely clean appearance, this was in fact part of the role he had chosen to play. If anything, a young lord was expected to act in such a way and the more they paid attention to the facade, the more mysterious he would appear.
Of course, normally he wouldn’t care to put on such a show, but it was currently necessary. Not for the nameless trash and random two-bit ruffian that made this area their territory, but for that pair of unseen eyes that lingered on him from somewhere in the shadows. Those eyes had followed him to this place ever since he left the city. Who they belonged to, he had no way to know at this time. However, there was definitely someone who was interested in his movements.
It’s times like this when it would be quite useful to have a subordinate with a rogue type class. It’s time I saw to that, and since I also need a proper maid for appearances, why not combine the two?
His current strength was too greatly lacking. There were many useful classes out there and he would eventually need to balance out his party better, but at the current time there was a limit to the subordinates he could create. A dedicated healer was out of the question, they required divinity in order to cast their spells and he was not yet a god. It was impossible for him to create a cleric type class because of his incompatibility with the gods. Only when he himself ascended would it be possible to create them.
As for a magic caster, it was also an impossible choice at this time. The reason being, he had to make due with building his force from slaves. A slave that was capable of using magic would be the most high end of luxury merchandise and these types of slaves could only be won at auction. The price would end up being absolutely exorbitant. At the least, the price for one magic caster at auction would exceed ten thousand gold Ducats. He still had an army to build and couldn’t afford such luxuries. If he were to suddenly appear with a subordinate who was a powerful magic caster without participating in one of these auctions, the chance of being found out at this point was too high.
Even though I am not a magic caster myself, my abilities can at least serve as a stop gap for now so it isn’t absolutely necessary to acquire a magic caster just yet.
Also, he had already had Brock contract an A-rank adventurer party which would make up for the absence of such party members, but adventurers couldn’t be used willingly like his own subordinates and slaves. There were certain protections they enjoyed and they would only be useful later in his expedition for exploring ruins or dangerous locations where monsters resided. They certainly wouldn’t fight in any battles for him. He also had to consider the amount of ‘Soul Potential’ available, his future upgrade plans for Lenia, and of course having an ample pool of SP to use his exorbitant abilities. He had an inkling of the danger he would encounter once he reached the Orgren Steppes, but he needed to be careful. Any slip ups could mean the end of his ambitions and his revenge.
One step at a time. I just need to be patient and steadily build up my power base. For now, I have Lenia, Brock.. and this Orc. Next, a maid who will act as my eyes and ears when necessary. I can worry about others later.