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Once we got our kebabs, we make to a nearby park. Amazingly, this is one of the few places where the infiltration didn’t leave it destroyed in the aftermath. Some sort of playground is also there where children of different races are playing in it like any other day, as if the infiltration last night didn’t happen at all. I’m not usually good with kids and we may have gotten a few stares from them, but the sight of them enjoying themselves is very wholesome to witness.

There are also benches in the park, but since none are big enough to fit all three of us—given Erizora’s size—I decide for us to sit under one of the trees’ shade. The two of them take each side of me when they sit down.

“Mmmm~! Thish ish sho gooood!” Erizora exclaims after taking her first bite, eating out of one skewer in one hand while the other held the rest of the four I gave her.

“This has a nice level of spice in it. Wonder what kind of monster meat was used?”

“Maybe the Bear Moles you took down last night?” Ren guesses. “They all had to go somewhere.”

“True …” Actually, wonder what I could find out about these two with my new skill? Hey, Mr. Size Up, help me out here, will you? As if answering my internal call while I’m watching Ren eat, a new green screen appears in front of me.

[Name: Ren

Race: Werewolf

Class: Thief

Measurements: 162 cm in height [~5 ft, 3 in], 68 kg in weight [~150 lbs], the three sizes are 78C-72-80

HP: 764/764

MP: 431/431]

“…” I feel like I just saw something I shouldn’t have, but at the same time grateful to be blessed with such a skill. Ren seems so thin though, is she not given enough food while under Ms. Carmen’s watch? She should eat more to get a healthier weight. Still, C-cup, huh? That’s pretty good.

<“No fair! How come I didn’t get a skill like that?!”>

Circumstances. Now, for Erizora …

[Name: Erizora

Race: Ogre/Human

Class: Savage

Measurements: 228 cm in height [~7 ft, 6 in], 105 kg in weight [~231 lbs], the three sizes are 117L-81-95—]

<“HOLY SWEET MOTHERFUCKER OF THE QUEEN!”>

“PBBTH—GOHO GOHO GOHO!”

“Master! Are you all right?!” Erizora exclaims after I got so surprised that the piece of meat I was eating went down the wrong pipe. I was on the verge of choking.”

“Master! You know Water Magic, right?! Use ‘Create Water’!” Ren exclaims.

As I’m partially focused, I utter enough of the chant to create an unstable, dribbling amoeba of water in the air. I bring it close to me and try to drink as much out of it as I could while not minding the mess.

Crisis averted, I exasperated while holding a hand to my chest as Erizora pats my back.

“Oh, god …”

“What happened?!” Ren exclaims.

“I was just … surprised, and a piece went down the wrong tube,” I answer after getting my bearings.

“What got you so surprised?” Erizora asks.

“Nyra gave me a scare that caught me off-guard.”

“The one in the cursed tanto, right? Wonder what she said?” Ren asks.

“It’s … better that you don’t know.” I go back to eating the rest of my kebab not willing to continue the discussion any further, trying not to let my eyes stray to Erizora’s direction. The girls, getting the hint, went back to eating their own.

117 centimeters … L cup … is that the standard for Ogre women? No, that’s one hell of a surprise, but more importantly … she’s half human? I can get all female races like Lamias, but other demon races can interbreed with humans, too?

<“You got me. This is the first I’ve heard and seen such a spectacle. Though, that does explain her unique magical aura.”>

What do you mean?

<“The kin are identified more for their magical auras than physical traits, and they’re represented by different colors. We demons have maroon colored auras, humans have cyan, and demis have yellow ones. Megatits here is exhibiting the first two auras blending together. It’s the first I’ve ever seen in my time while being trapped in the tanto.”>

Now that you mention it, I remember seeing that while my Devil Eyes were activated … wait, so Pixies are classified as demons? What about Fairies?

<“They’re demis, and let me tell you that we’ve had the biggest beef with them waaaaaay back before I got trapped here. I wouldn’t be surprised that hasn’t changed over the thousand-plus years since I left if either of them still exist.”>

Huh … still, going back to Erizora, wonder if she’s trying to hide half of her race from others? I’ll respect her privacy.

Surprisingly, the girls were still hungry for more kebabs, even Erizora after having four, but they didn’t say it outright after I asked them. Since their ‘Confessions’ are set at 1, they couldn’t lie, so they just went silent instead of being honest.

Maybe they’re being modest and were told not to be demanding since they’re slaves? I wonder if they’d actually tell me their measurements if I ordered them to instead of looking into them myself.

Feeling a little guilty of that and looking into their very personal information without their knowing, I went ahead and got four more kebabs—three of which are for Erizora—from the stall for them, despite their protest. I was satisfied after eating one, so I didn’t get any more for myself. I also got us some kind of fruit water at a shop Sarud directed me to while I waited for fresh kebabs to be prepared.

Curious, I ask Ren how she knew about a spell like ‘Create Water’ to help me ease my choking earlier. It’s the fundamental spell in Water Magic that uses very little MP and serves as a ‘test’ to see if one is capable of using that attribute magic. There’s one for each of the other five attributes as well and Ren demonstrated her capability of using ‘Terra Magic’ by casting ‘Create Sand,’ which makes sand appear on her palm. Apparently, this was how Ren got that same sand to blind the Lamias when she and Erizora tried to rescue me. It’s actually rather incredible how capable she is, a Werewolf of the Thief class able to cast Terra Magic and possessing a rare Null Spell. I imagine she must fetch a high price to buy as a slave.

Deciding to test it out, I cast ‘Create Sand’ as well with success and little effort.

[You have now learned ‘Terra Magic’ LV 1!]

Shock appears on Erizora’s and Ren’s faces, with the latter being so shocked that she almost dropped her skewer. Ren stares ahead with dead fish eyes.

“Fire, Water, Storm, Curse, Holy, and now Terra … Master’s able to do all of them … the one redeeming quality I have to be useful to Master, gone, blown away in the wind like the sand on my palm … so, too, does the meaning of my existence,” Ren drones.

“Ren! What are you talking about?! Snap out of it!”

She’s still listless despite my yelling.

“Erizora! Can’t you do something?!”

“I-I don’t know! It’s like she regressed to the state she was when she first started living with the Todoka family as their slave, if not worse than before!”

<“Jinma, there’s only one thing you must do with her when she’s like this,”> Nyra urges.

Wait, what do you mean?

<“These are drastic measures. To snap her out of it, this must be done.”>

… You mean this?

I do the first thing that comes to mind: get behind Ren while minding her tail, reach out …

And pet Ren’s fluffy wolf ears as I read in a pet training book once.

Mofu mofu mofu.

I could see a shiver run up Ren’s spine while she arches her back, and soon enough, her tail starts wagging ecstatically.

“Mrrrrrr~♥.” Ren lets out a satisfied, contented growl of pleasure in her throat while she practically melts at my touch.

[You have now learned ‘Petting’ LV 3!]

Wow, this turned out way better than I thought.

<“I was expecting you to reach under her top and cop a feel of her C-cup breasts to surprise her out of it but this is entertaining in its own way.”>

What kind of guy do you make of me to get that out of your vague hinting?

<“It always worked for me back home!”>

Ren profusely apologized with a flustered face when she came to her senses and I let her off easy. I got a nice treat out of it anyway, so all things were good. Still, Ren brought up a good point earlier. I don’t know how often one being able to use all six of the magic attributes and a number of null spells comes around in this world. I’ll surely draw a lot of unwanted attention to myself if I use magic carelessly, so I made a mental note to limit its use while telling the girls not to speak a word about it to anyone.

I then let them take a couple more minutes to get their fills while I try to come up with the right questions to ask them about the situation.

“You two … you both knew what you were getting into when you volunteered to stay at my bedside,” I start while looking straight ahead. Their eating noises get quieter. “Ms. Tephalia told me a little of what happened before you barged in. I’m not gonna force you to spill everything just by changing your ‘Confession’ settings to max, but I want you to be honest with me. Why would you risk your lives like that? What were you two hoping to gain whether or not things worked out after I woke up?”

“Well … I do owe you my life for saving me when I was held hostage,” Ren says. “And you helped me set Mistress Carmen and my friends free before we began the resistance. I felt I owe you so much that …” Ren pauses and tries to think of her next words before turning to me. “Before I continue, may I ask something of you first, Master?”

“What is it?”

“What are you planning to do after everything’s settled? Your ‘prior engagements’ and other things while you’re here?”

“Well, I definitely want to know what’s going on with me having my ‘special eyes,’” I say while pointing to them. “I want to find someone who can help explain to me what they are and how to control them. I never knew I had such powers until last night, and I couldn’t get them to come again while I was venting steam earlier. I just want to know why I even have these so I can calm down these uneasy feelings about them. That aside though … I want to live. I want to visit and explore many places around Padimon, around this world, as much as I can, doing things I couldn’t do in my previous home that I can never go back to no matter how much I want to.

“I guess you could say I want to do exactly what the ‘adventurer’ job does in its name: go on adventures, and when I feel I’ve done enough, I’d like to find a nice home to live and come back to after a day of honest work, whether it be adventuring or some other occupation is still up to debate.”

“So … almost always on the move between locations?” Ren asks.

“Yeah. I could probably stay in one place from a couple days to a week before traveling to the next area, taking advantage of whatever they each have to offer as I can. Plus, I have [Portal], so I can go back to those places anytime once I visit them … I could see Ms. Tephalia whenever I want, too,” I mutter the last one to myself. The more I talked, the more I was thinking of benefits I didn’t consider while I was by myself.

<“Oooh~, interested in charming the head snake lady, are we~?”>

… Maybe. I mean, if she shows that much of an interest in me, why shouldn’t I try? Never gone on real dates with girls back home before, anyway, so why not start now? She did take my first kiss.

<“See, now this is why I like you. You’re actually honest with yourself. Unlike you, aside from the very rare special occasions, we Pixies were never allowed out of our village, so even if I wanted to meet someone new, I couldn’t. As long as I’m with you, I could see all kinds of people, as well as all the actions, if you catch my drift~.”>

… As long as you’re quiet, I guess I would not mind you watching it.

<“Others would just think I’m a regular dagger. You realize just knowing what I really am and doing at the time while you’re going at it like rabbits make the experience all the kinkier, right?”>

I’m not gonna bother worrying about it since we did that a while ago.

“… To be honest, Master, I had something of a motive for staying with you.”

I lost track of how long I was talking to Nyra in my head that I nearly jumped from Ren’s comment.

“That’s really my main reason for volunteering to be at your side for a short time, along with repaying you for saving my life. Please allow me to express my sincerest apologies for holding this out from you,” Ren says before setting aside her finished kebab on the grass and prostrate herself in front of me. “Eri only came along out of worry for me, so please don’t put any blame on her.”

“R-Ren—!”

I hold up a hand towards Erizora to stop her while keeping my eyes on Ren. “I know there was a lot of craziness going on, so I appreciate you opening up about this now. If you can, please tell me your intentions.”

“Yes, Master.” Ren then sits up attentively in seiza. “I’ve actually been looking for some form of protection from someone for some time. Protection from a group who goes by the ‘Chaos Barrage.’ You could say they’re similar to the White Rapture we fought last night; a group mainly consisting of demons bent to enslave, or even eradicate the entire human and demi races … my older brother, along with my previous pack of the White Werewolves is among them.”

“…”

“It’s complicated, but he and the rest of my previous pack joined in for reasons our parents and myself wouldn’t accept. So, I ran away at the first opportunity, but Big Brother and the rest want to capture me mainly for my personal Null Spell. Have you wondered what it could do to this country’s currency?”

“… Yeah, I can see how that can lead to something bad.”

Forget counterfeiting, Padimon’s economy would go into chaos if spells like ‘[Duplicate]’ are used for the wrong reasons.

“At some point, I ran into Mistress Carmen’s father, and when I told him my situation, we settled on a deal that led me to become a slave.”

“Why would becoming a slave solve your problem?”

“Unlike most other slave merchants, his daughter runs an extension that moves to different locations periodically. As long as I stayed and worked close to her, I’d have fewer chances of running into the Chaos Barrage. Of course, I couldn’t stay with them forever. With what I’m capable of, someone is bound to want to redeem me, and as part of the ‘Slave’s Silver Lining Act,’ I only have 10 months from the beginning of my enslavement to have a choice of who I could have as my Master, and after that, I’d have to go with them at what I’m currently priced in the market, whether I like it or not. It’s been 9 months since then, and I’ve trained myself in what I could to be too valuable for most to redeem me. We slaves do have a criterion that potential owners must meet in order to redeem us at lower prices, however.”

“And for you, one of them is having a Master who’s almost always on the move,” I say, having an idea to where this was going, to which Ren nods.

“I know I’d be asking a lot out of my protector for watching over me from the Chaos Barrage. That’s why me being their slave works out. In exchange for looking after me for as long as they could, I’d do whatever they ask me to do. Fight monsters for them, do laborious chores … relieve their sexual urges, and then some. You have fulfilled almost everything in my criterion when I volunteered to watch over you, and I bet Mistress Carmen knew of my intentions. That’s why she and Lady Tephalia made the agreement to lend me to you as a free, temporary slave offering Gold-Level Services for 36 hours.”

“But you were warned that you might lose your life if you were near me thanks to the curse’s side-effects. Things could’ve gone a lot worse than the way they are right now.”

“You are certainly right on that, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still owe you my life for saving me. Whether it be through being ravaged or being killed, anything is better than being held captive by the Chaos Barrage and using my Null Spell for bad things. Other than that, I’ll take whatever was given to me—”

“No, you shouldn’t!” I yell while stabbing my finished skewer in the ground, scaring her and Erizora, as well as a few passersby, I imagine, but I didn’t care what they were seeing. “You have as much right to choose how you want to live as anyone else! You shouldn’t ‘settle’ for what was given to you if you aren’t satisfied with it! That’s the main reason why you trained up to this point since your enslavement, isn’t it?! To be strong enough to fight for what you truly want?!

“And even if you were okay with throwing your life away, what about the friends you’ve made like Erizora?! What about me?! If you already knew I’d be under the curse’s side-effects, you think I want to kill the first person I woke up to when they never deserved it?! You think I want to force myself on a beautiful, nonconsenting woman when they should be saving that special moment with the one person they truly love?! I would never forgive myself for that!”

“M-Master …”

I take a deep breath and heave a deep sigh to try and calm down before putting both my hands on her shoulders, looking right into her golden-yellow eyes. “Tell me, Ren. Tell me what it is you truly want to do with yourself and your life. I don’t care how selfish they may sound to you, just tell me your true feelings.”

Ren’s eyes start welling up as the cool mask she tries to wear begins to crack. “I-I … I want to live. I want to live happily in a pack, a family where we would support each other, to love and be loved. It may never be the same as my old one, but I … I just don’t want to feel so alone anymore. Is that … too much to ask?”

“Ren …” Erizora mutters while Ren tries to fight back the tears, but fails spectacularly. Her eyes are shut tight and tears streak down her cheeks as she chokes on her sobs.

Without thinking, I wrap my arms around Ren’s shoulders and pull her into an embrace. I could feel her body shudder from the sudden surprise, but I stroke her hair with care.

“No, Ren, it’s not. That’s a very precious thing to have, and it suits a precious girl like you,” I whisper with as much care as I put in my tone.

“Master …” Ren wraps her arms around me and continues to sob into my shoulder while I comfort her.

It seems she and I are on a similar boat right now. We’re both trying to come to terms with losing someone dear to us. The circumstances may be different, but I can sympathize with her, at least.

Just recalling the faces I’ll never see again back home, those who’ve been with Mom and I since my birth and so on, without even getting a chance to say good-bye, it took every bit of my restraint to keep myself from breaking down in front of the girls. This is not the time, I think to myself. Let this one use you for support for the time being and you can handle your personal matters on your own time.

<“Idiot …”>

I thought I heard Nyra say something, but I might just be hearing things again.

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Orange_Rain

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Bio: Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.

I not only like to read novels of many kinds, but I also like to write them. The stories published here will be in webnovel.com as well, so if you can, I'd appreciate it if you could support me on both platforms. I also like to read any professional critiques people may have on my works in order for me to become a better writer.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you'll enjoy what I have in store.

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