So, I’ve been left with two slaves to do what I please with no consequence for 36 hours as a token of their slave merchant’s gratitude for saving her and the other slaves from captivity. I could only imagine how expensive it is to redeem a virgin slave if they’re so highly valued, so for a slave merchant to provide two for me to do with absolutely free with no consequence, though it’s written in letter, I could already tell there’s more to what’s going on here that I or even Ren and Erizora here weren’t filled in on. Even with that aside, I couldn’t feel more conflicted of such a moral/ethical dilemma as I do right now.
I peek up to see Ren standing in front of me expectantly waiting for further orders in her two-piece slave rags. Glancing at Erizora’s as well while she’s still sitting in a fetal position at a corner in shame, I can see they might’ve changed out rags since the last ones were dirtied with blood. It also looks like they only did a bare minimum of cleaning on their own bodies before they started their watch over me while I was out.
For the time being, I quickly pull up the ‘Slaves’ page and find the settings Ren mentioned.
“… Here we go. I’ll set both of your ‘Control’ and ‘Confession’ settings to 0 and 1 respectively.”
Ren widens her eyes and even Erizora tilts her head up in shock.
“Is that … really okay with you, Master?” Ren asks.
“I’m already weirded out on this whole situation as it is and I’d rather not have a lot weighing in my mind. This way, while I know you can’t lie, you still have more of a choice to do what you want to do without this … magic, or whatever it is, restricting your movements. I’m not planning on having you two do anything extreme, but if there’s something you’re not comfortable doing or wish to share, just say so.”
“Um … all right. If that is what you wish, then we’ll follow through, Master,” Ren answers.
“All right, then. Now, if I may ask, you two were sleeping with me on my bed, right? Was there some purpose to that while you were looking after me?”
“O-Oh, uh …” Ren averts her gaze and blushes a little. “It’s true we slept with you, and while it could be part of our watch, we hoped you may have a more pleasant sleep if we each took a side—ah! Were we too forward with that?! Was that why you got up so startled?! Oh! We did have a chance to change and clean ourselves if you’re worried about cleanliness! We didn’t do anything else strange with you aside with that, so please don’t hate on us, Master!”
“No, no, as I said, I just had a bad dream, and both of you don’t have to address me every sentence, either. About cleanliness though, did you use soap?”
“… No. We only rinsed our hair and body out of any dirt and blood from the battles last night before changing into some clean rags and underwear … though I feel dirty again after realizing how forward it was sleeping with you.”
“I couldn’t feel any filthier than I do right now … I’m just a piece of rotten scum,” Erizora mumbles while tracing circles on the floor.
“We did have a slave that knew the [Clean] Null Spell to make things easier and not use up water, but she was just redeemed by a previous client recently.”
“As the name implies, it’s a kind of common Null Spell that cleans anything someone targets with magic. It makes things spotless enough to eat off of, and when you’re hit by it, it leaves a really refreshing, relaxing feeling.”
I think for a moment and come up with an idea to brighten the mood a little. “Hey, is this room soundproofed?”
“Yes, Lady Tephalia didn’t want to take chances, so she let you sleep in this guest room specialized to keep sound out. There’s a chord next to the bed that she said you can pull once you’re awake to call a handmaiden over.”
I look over to the side and indeed see a rope hanging from a hole in the ceiling, despite my slight annoyance of this lord assuming I’d do something to these girls as soon as I woke up. “Right … Ren, come here for a sec. You too, Erizora.”
I still can’t get used to getting addressed in sync like that. It just feels off, I think as the girls get close enough to me. “Hold still.” Deciding to try something, I hold my palms out towards them and focus on the kind of magic I want to cast at my targets.
They gasp in surprise as a disc of light with bubbles comes out and scroll down their forms from head to feet. The before and after the change was very distinguishable as they look brighter on the skin and rags. Their hair—plus fur and tail for Ren—look soft with just the right fluffiness once the spell finished.
“Wow! It’s been forever since I felt like this! I feel fantastic!” Ren exclaims.
“I feel I’ve been cleansed from the inside out … I’m reborn into a new woman!”
“To think Master knows [Clean] as well as [Storage] and used the former on us, his [temporary] slaves, he’s a kinder and greater man than I realized!”
““We are not worthy of your kindness, Master!”” they exclaim at once before prostrating again.
What is this, a paid advertisement on baptism? And how are they doing that in sync? Well, at least the mood’s getting better, let’s keep the ball rolling. I cast [Clean] on myself to get rid of any filth from last night that might have clung to me. Ren was right on one thing, I feel pretty refreshed, but as a Japanese man, nothing could beat the refreshing feeling from stepping out of a nice hot bath.
“If you thought that was amazing, check this out …”
As if I’m doing an improv magic show, I first demonstrated my use of [Portal] by poking Ren’s shoulder from behind and booping Erizora’s nose with my hand through this interdimensional hole. As if they weren’t surprised enough, they were speechless when I used Ren’s [Duplicate] Null Spell to make two dozen copies of lilies I saw in a vase that decorated this room. After splitting them into two bouquets, I gave both of them one each like some professional performer, and they went red in the face as they held them in their hands with much delicacy.
Uh oh, there it is again. I thought they looked cute before, but that stirring’s making me want to do more invasive stuff just from seeing how they are now. The feeling’s unusually strong and I wonder why I never felt like this back home before I died. I thought I’ve grown out of this ‘phase’ after I gave up attempting to go out with a cute girl. They were usually so scared of me that they would run and scream in fright when I’m in their sight. Sure, there were a few exceptions like Hyo-chan and Komi, but they were ‘special’ cases that only ended up as my friends.
I still regret never expressing how I felt about them when things got complicated … and they died off in an accident before everything was resolved.
Okay, getting a bit heavy here. Back to the present.
“Wow … wait, no, this is insane!” Ren suddenly exclaims after snapping out of some trance from receiving the bouquet of copied lilies. She gently sets it aside before turning to me. “Knowing four Null Spells is one thing, but for you to know [Duplicate] should be impossible! That’s a rare, personal Null Spell that I knew I was the only one that could do it! Nobody I knew heard of it before I told them, let alone do it! You didn’t even know I had that Null Spell until I … told you. The same goes for [Portal], and then there was [Clean] that I just told you about moments ago.”
“Master … can you use any Null Spell once you know the name and how it works?” Erizora asks.
“I guess. I’ve only figured it out myself during the battles last night after I experimented behind your backs. I would appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone.”
“U-Um … we are supposed to report our activities with our clients to Mistress Carmen after our times are up, but unless they’re planning something shady, she keeps everything discreet,” Erizora says.
“If it’s something you have to do, it can’t be helped, but still—”
“Of course! We’ll do everything we can to bring this secret to our graves!” Ren exclaims. “But if I may ask, are you—!”
Ren is interrupted by a few knocks on the door.
“I got it!” As if on instinct like a dog, Ren immediately went straight to the door and open it. I will the lily bouquet copies to disappear so there wouldn’t be any suspicions, but I felt a little crushed to see Erizora deflated from seeing hers gone.
“Ah, good morning, Ren, I thought I’d check in while passing by—oh! I see you are awake and looking healthy … am I perhaps interrupting something?”
Walking … or I should say ‘slithering’ into my room is a modestly dressed, mature-looking woman with long violet locks and matching scales that make up her snake body from the hips down. What also stands out are the pointy ears poking out of her hair, along with cyan eyes with pupils slit as a snake's and maybe almost any other reptile. Her dress is simple with baggy long sleeves while it contorts around her waist and then drapes as a skirt. The gold trimmings and accessories, especially the circlet, adds a regal air to her appearance. Outside in the hallway, I see three more snake-women of differing colored hair and scales with surprisingly minimal clothing, but they’re in a uniform-like design while their faces from the nose down are covered in a sort of veil that Arabian dancers would wear. Actually, I think the Lamias’ fashion, in general, seems to be from Arabian descent.
Noticing the names and bars above their heads thanks to my ‘Size Up’ skill, I know the purple one in the room is the same Tephalia that Ren and Erizora mentioned, while the girls out in the hall go by Ashe, Pasesi, and Salelia
“Mr. Jinma Kotori, was it? I was filled in on the circumstances between you and your temporary slaves, so I provided you with this room to let you unwind when you woke up. I hope I’m not intruding on something important,” Ms. Tephalia says.
“Ah, no, nothing like that was going on,” I say as I’m sliding off the bed. “And yes, I’m Jinma Kotori, but just Jinma is fine.”
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Jinma. I am Tephalia, and though I wish we were in better circumstances, allow me to formally welcome you to the city of Dondegarm that I govern as its lord. I dropped in and see if you’re well enough to join me for breakfast.”
At the mentioning of ‘breakfast,’ not just my stomach, but Ren’s and Erizora’s also growled, probably louder than mine, even. Their faces redden and hold they their stomachs in embarrassment.
“Breakfast sounds great. Can Ren and Erizora join us, too?”
All the girls in the room, even Ren and Erizora, stare at me like I was speaking crazy.
“… What? Did I say something strange?” I ask.
“Well … since they’re currently under your supervision, I would normally agree and have them be treated as guests as long as you’re fine with that, but there are some important matters regarding last night that we need to discuss in private over our meal.”
“Ah, I see. Can you at least make sure they’re well fed?”
Ms. Tephalia gives a gentle smile. “I will certainly see to that.” She then slithers out to the hallway and discusses something to the other three girls who may be her handmaidens.
I turn to Ren and Erizora. “All right, you two, it looks like I’ll be away for a bit. We’ll regroup and continue where we left off later.”
““Yes, Master,”” they answer before bowing.
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Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.
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