After calming her mother down, Ms. Lili pulled out my IEB from the MIB to show proof of me being a Champion. Once that’s been cleared up, many minutes passed, and before I knew it, I’m sitting at the table with this unique mother-daughter family over dinner … still cocooned to ensure I won’t escape. Despite my infamy back on Earth, I had a few female friends, one of which who goes by Hyoko Ishima, or ‘Hyo-chan’ to me. I’ve had a meal or two with her family when I was young. Those were a bit awkward at times, but even those were better than right now as I’m being held captive.
Even if I were to escape somehow, there are many other people from the demon race who’ll most likely be suspicious of a lone human passing by and try to capture me for questioning, then things would get a lot more chaotic from there.
It hasn’t even been a full day since I’ve arrived in this world, and I’ve already got into a fight with a ‘strong’ Toxic Troll before finding out later I might be in one of the worst places possible for a human to wake up in. Even if I’m being held captive, I just want to take a break from the excitement. This seems to be the place for that at the time being.
“So, Jinma, since you’re a you-know-what, my daughter has probably already explained to you about what will happen, yes?” the mother, who she introduced herself as Ms. Raize, asks while Ms. Lili feeds me the stew we were having since I couldn’t move my arms. Even though the meat was made from the monsters she previously caught, it’s rather delicious.
“About how she’ll take me to the Demon King as ordered to all her subjects to do should they come across a Champion, right?”
“Right. I don’t know how aware you are with the relationship between the humans and demons, but even though we’ve come to a sort of peace treaty along with the demis, we’re still wary of each other, with some hating more of one kind than the other, to an extent that they wouldn’t hesitate to kill at first sight. Despite that, while our city is nearest to the Human-Kin’s Territory, we’ve gotten along to the extent of making trades between here and there. We even have a regular human slave merchant visitor who sells and rents slaves to the people here who need housework done, help raise children, or help with quests assigned from the adventurer’s guild, so you can be assured that we’re decent; however, I’m sure hell would break loose if anyone knows what you really are.”
Wait, what was that about slaves?
“Lili here works as a tailoress at the capital, so she’ll definitely find a way to transport you there safely without getting much attention,” Ms. Raize continues. “Once she takes you to the Demon King, you won’t have to worry. If you’re like the few other Champions who’ve been brought to her, she’ll let you go and head back to the Human-Kin’s Territory out of the great compassion and mercy in her benevolent heart.”
“So, she’s a good ruler among the demons, huh?” I ask between spoons of food Ms. Lili feeds me.
“Oh, yes, fair among all and delivers just punishment to wrongdoers, human, demi, demon, and all. With you being so complacent despite where you are now, I’m sure she’ll see you as a good enough person to let you off with a fair warning. You can do whatever you want with my daughter and the reward money she’ll receive after that.”
“Mom! I told you we aren’t like that! We just met today!”
“Is uh … finding a mate really big for you guys?” I ask.
“It is for us Arachne since we’re one of the few demon races that consist entirely of girls. We need human men to be able to reproduce. That’s why having a slave merchant bringing male slaves to sell is such a miracle around these parts. It’s a shame I can’t afford one for myself.”
“Ah, and from what you were telling Ms. Lili earlier, Arachne … kidnapped human men in the past?”
“Centuries ago, yes, but then the peace treaty between the three Kin happened and it’s been a lot harder for us to reel in human men since then. Somehow, it’s easier for the Lamias to find mates to seduce while the Harpies can be rather free-spirited to not let the rules weigh them down. It was a miracle I even got Lili out of a drunken one-night stand.”
“Mom!” Ms. Lili yells with a flushed face.
“That’s why I was so happy for her to have found you, and that was before she told me you were like ‘that.’ They’ve made great achievements over the courses of history, with some being the first to actually get along with people outside of the human race. Even if it was an accident, I thought she snagged herself a good one, and you’re just so cute all wrapped in a cocoon. It reminds me of when Lili was still but a baby.”
“Anyway, since you get along well with Lili, I’m sure you’ll be a big help to her shop with your skills as a … what are your class and title again?”
“Oh, right, you never told me what they were in your introduction,” Ms. Lili points out. “You only mentioned you were a traveler, but there isn’t a title that’s similar to that other than an adventurer, and I didn’t see an ID like that on you.”
“Class and title …” Going by what I could gather from the few times I saw my status, classes are fighting styles such as mage, fighter, and the like. Titles, while there might be more than one for a person to hold depending on what achievements they’ve made, there are some such as ‘adventurer’ or ‘merchant’ that sound like occupations or jobs.
The only titles I have that name me something are ‘Seeker of Knowledge,’ ‘Natural-Born Brawler,’ and ‘Formidable Underdog.’ I can’t even show the last one of the three no matter how much I want to. Since I’m left with no other option, I decide to tell them what I can.
“Well, I’m a Brawler, and I really don’t have a job like an adventurer or merchant. ‘Traveler’ was really the best I could tell her when we met.”
The table is met with an uncomfortable silence.
“Well, I think our guest had enough food and drink for the time being. Lili, why don’t you take him to your room and help set up a place to sleep,” Ms. Raize says.
“Huh? But there’s half a bowl of stew left—”
“Get him to sleep, Lili.”
“… Yes, Mom.”
“Jinma, we’ll discuss how you’ll head out with Lili to the capital over breakfast tomorrow.”
“Uh … okay? Goodnight.”
Ms. Raize didn’t say anything back by the time Ms. Lili starts taking me up the stairs of this two-story, cobwebbed home of theirs.
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Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.
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