The captain and everyone else involved had seemed to forget that one hundred and fifty gold was a huge sum of money. If Cassy was right, that much cash could buy at least seven huge comfortable houses.
The big question is, WHY the businessmen willing to part away with that much gold for this relatively unknown orphan girl. He could imagine that a typical female slave could never amount to that much of gold, well, unless she was a beauty beyond reason complete with talent in a few domains.
Maybe someone like Amy in human form with less blue and pinkier skin. Who knows, a blue-skinned human girl even might be a thing. Amy would be awesome in a human form inside his head with her light blue skin. She would worth tens of gold without her domain known.
Cassy is pretty, but she's not that pretty. The girl couldn’t even grasp any essence even when he blew the essence onto her face.
“What is the usual cost for a single slave like her, Captain?” Kubo asked the man.
“A pretty girl at her age? A few silvers, the most-” the Captain swallowed his words as he caught on the fact. “You don't think-- fucking shit, this might be bigger than I thought,” the human Captain muttered to himself.
Kubo could almost hear the gears in the man’s brain beginning to turn. Buying her for the long run also didn’t make any sense as more girls like her would bring more money than her alone.
Only a drunk crazy man would buy a female slave with that much money while he could have a few more if not tens more just like her.
Cassandra is somehow worth more than that much gold, and not to mention, the trouble they had gone through. There must be a reason that only those businessmen knew as they had to have her ‘legally’ rather than using the usual shady practice. If they wanted, they could just kidnap her and sell her somewhere else. No one would be looking for a missing orphan girl.
If he had to guess, the businessmen didn’t dare to offend whoever they wanted to exchange Cassy for even more gold. The Captain had given it a short thought before he came closer to discuss in silence. He had made sure Cassy wasn’t paying any attention before he spoke.
“Can you hold on to her for a while?” he said. “Before you ask, I can’t take her back and postpone her case without raising suspicion or reaction. Do this and I’ll owe you a huge favor and maybe other important people too. I’ll need to talk to someone first, and it’s in our best interest that she had a good experience than a bad one, well, if you know what I mean.”
That was the last thing he said before Kubo groaned and reluctantly agreed.
Gaining favor from an honest captain was a big thing, not to mention maybe a random noble or something. The last thing the Captain needed was someone overwriting his decision and handed her over to the otherworld gangster group. Even Kubo would be blamed if he let that or anything nasty happen to her.
Somehow he had become involved in this one big pile of mess.
Lily had long left after bringing the Captain here and so he had no choice but to ask the girl to enter his room. Then again, the fewer people who know about this, the better. A big headache began to form as he took a sit on the bed while Cassy was on her knees.
Kubo sighed, “you said to those people something about swindling me and they used it against you, right?”
Cassy nodded while staring at the floor. Being a debt-slave because of your own mistake would be hard on anyone, not to mention a young girl.
And she is still so young and perky, Kubo shook that thought out of his mind. He blamed the young blood flowing in his veins.
“So, are there any rules about this… arrangement?”
She nodded again.
“What are they?”
Kubo closed his eyes and folded his leg, pretending to be pseudo-meditating when she looked up from the floor. He didn’t want to look at her pitiful face and feel pitiful for her. She had crossed the line two times in a day, but still, it seemed she had the luck of the devil.
“Th- the master is responsible for the s- slave’s safety, food, and clothing,” she started with a shaky voice, “the slave will have to obey any request from the master, e- even sex-” Cassy choked on her words.
Kubo sighed again, he felt like an old man all over again. “Don’t worry about that, I won’t take woman forcefully, even for a slave. Continue,” he ordered.
“The slave must not leave the master’s side for more than one-hundred steps or the choker will start to strangle her.”
“You mean that thing around your neck?”
Cassy nodded while her hand traced the leather choker around her neck. It looked harsh around the neck and there was even a red mark around the skin. She wore nothing but rags as her clothes might have been confiscated, and so, he had to buy her new clothes and maybe armor.
He admits that the girl deserved nothing but a few bitch-slaps, but Kubo rather not face any reaction from both the businessmen and the group of people she belonged to. He rather lost some gold, and swallow his pain and pride if that would save him from a troublesome future. Even a small nick on her skin might get the group behind her all riled up and demanding some sort of retribution.
“The slave had taken the liquid of secrecy and can never be able to reveal any of the master’s secret even after the service ended unless told otherwise by the master.”
“Well, that is some good news,” Kubo lamented out loud, “to me at least, but I think I got the gist already. Are you hungry?”
Cassy shook her head while still staring at the floor. She might also hate him for pretending to be swindled by her, and so, he had to make sure.
“Do you hate me?” Kubo asked in a flat tone.
“No, master, this slave-”
“Lose the master-slave thing, this is an order. And answer truthfully.”
“I- I don’t know,” Cassy started to sob.
“How it turned out like this!” she yelled. “I’ve paid them, I fucking paid them with all the ridiculous interest! And still, and still, they won’t let me go!”
Because you have a huge mark on your back, Cassy, Kubo muttered inside his head. He could tell her about the fact, but what if it was a false alarm? He didn't want to give her that kind of hope that could destroy her if it wasn't true.
Cassy, who was kneeling on the floor, put her head on the floor before she let all her feelings out. She groaned miserably and cried her heart out on the floor. He didn’t stop her because honestly, he had no idea what to do. Kubo waited until she quieted down before he gave her the last order for the night. He didn’t want her to sleep on the floor like that.
“Go clean up and take a bath if you wanted to, change to the bathrobe and sleep anywhere you like. Don’t worry about me forcing myself on you. Despite what you might think, I’m not that desperate or couldn’t control myself. Ask Lily for another room if you have to. She wouldn’t be that stiff about it. It’s been a long day, so try not to disturb my sleep.”
Kubo laid on his back. It took her a few moments of hesitation before the sound of her standing up and moving around entered his ears. Cassy might have left the door open when the sound of water came from the bathroom. Kubo fell asleep right after that.
Cassandra had cried years of worth crying.
She had cried until she could no more, and she had stayed in the bathtub until the water became cold. Maybe she hadn’t asked to be born here, in the worst part of the world, and thrown away on the street. The life as an orphan had been harsh when she had to steal to fill her stomach, but she had the better part of it compared to the boys. Cassy hadn’t died on the street being beaten up by random angry people over a loaf of bread.
She might haven’t asked for what had happened before, but she had asked for this herself.
How foolish she had been, proud to tell those bastards that she had swindled a stupid lizard-folk. It was clear now that the men hadn’t been laughing with her. They had been laughing at her. At her damned foolishness.
This wasn’t the first time she had cheated others' money, but whatever she had done before was done for survival. She didn’t gloat about it, and like this time, she didn’t feel proud at all. Cassy knew that she had been played by the men, the leech of society when she finally had the time to think about it.
But that was after the engraved choker was placed around her neck. Now the girl called Cassy was a slave to the one who had started it all. She could claim it as his clever ruse to get her, but she knew for a fact that he had never wanted her. It was clear when the man didn’t even want to look at her once proud body.
His money might have saved her family from those men, but she was overwhelmed in anger when Teresa who had to shame herself and sacrifice her dignity for it. The worst thing that could've happened had happened and Cassy was angry at herself more than the man.
Teresa is like a mother to her. Learning that her own mother had to let a lizard-folk to violate her body just to keep his mouth shut was the very worst part of her life.
Cassy owes the woman her life. Teresa was the one who had taken Cassy off the street and took care of her until she could stand for herself. She had reported him with that reason inside her head while hoping her own crime forgotten along with it.
But at that time she didn't know the whole story. It turned out, Teresa had been lonely all this time, and had longed for a man to accompany her life. Cassy saw how miserable Teresa had been when she was told to stay away from him if she didn’t come clean with the other kids.
The woman didn't even have the strength to stand on her own after that.
Teresa’s hesitation to answer the Captain made sense now. Teresa had never intended for Kubo to be harmed, and she was willing to risk her life than losing him. Cassy had seen it herself as the woman threw herself in between him and a sword without any hesitation.
When they returned to the orphanage, Teresa had braved herself to explain it to everyone. It was already odd to see the strong woman become so weak, and it was even weirder when she became stronger because of what he said to her.
Love, sometimes, would drive people mad. Only now she understood that.
The orphanage was in quiet contemplation before the officers came knocking. Cassy was taken away with the hard evidence pointing at her. It was the recording of her voice saying she had tricked her current master’s money.
“Kubo is a rare breed,” Jaar had claimed. “The likes of you or me would never able to kill or even compared to him,” the lizard-folk had told her when he allowed her to shoot at Kubo.
“The old lizard is right in all account,” Cassy murmured while looking at him sleeping on the bed.
He’s handsome and smart, Cassy said inside. I’m lucky to have him as my master rather than those men. If they got their hands on me, I wouldn’t sleep tonight without being…
Suddenly, the laid arm on the bed looked really comfortable to sleep on. She inched closer and sat on the bed.
Other than the tail at his back, her master looked completely normal over-sized man. There were a few of those over-sized men in the human world, and they were known to have giant-blood in them. Other than that, they had wives and kids just like any other humans. Most of them worked in the military or a private Delver, and there were a few worked on the fields. At least, that was the story she heard from the travelers who came to this city.
Oh, how she wished to be born in a big beautiful city. Maybe she would be the only baby girl in a happy and rich family, but those were only possible her dreams.
Cassy placed her head down on his arm. She took a deep breath as she accepted her fate, and before long, she fell asleep.
Kubo woke up with a half-naked woman in her bathrobe on his chest, and his hand was groping her plump ass. At first, he wasn’t sure who was the brown hair before last night’s events came back to him.
“Right, Cassy,” he mumbled. “I need a cold bath.”
Cassy complained in her sleep as he slipped out, but it seemed she was having a good rest for the night. He righted her bathrobe, covering back the exposed breast under the robe sleeve, and it felt like his married life all over again.
He had to feed her, clothe her and keep her safe. She had to lend an ear to him and spread her legs whenever he asked, well, if she was in the mood. He might not be the best husband in the world but that was the marriage he had known.
At least, most of it. Flawed as it may be.
After returning home from work exhausted, he used to sleep early and wake three or four in the morning. It had become a habit and this time was no different. He went to the bathroom and knocked a few times, and he waited for an answer but nothing came back from the inside.
Kubo knew that no one would be awake dead in the morning, but he had to make sure that he wouldn’t have any cliche bathroom ‘accidents’. Without paying much attention, he walked in and went straight to the tub only to see the back of a long blond hair.
“Come in, join me, the water is still warm,” Lily said without looking at him.
Kubo shrugged to nobody and walked towards the small pool before he entered the bathtub. Lily was chest-deep in the bubbling water that reminded him of the jacuzzi bath, but he didn’t know the tub could do this. A pleasurable groan escaped his mouth as he lowered himself into the water. His tail enjoyed it too as it swarmed in the water like a snake would when he turned to his back.
“That felt good, thanks,” Kubo muttered.
“Not a problem, it’s kind of lonely bathing alone,” she replied with a naughty chuckle.
Moments went on in silence as they enjoyed the water brushing against their skin or scales. Kubo also had to make sure his tail didn’t accidentally invade her space. Lily was kind enough to share the bath with him, and so he wouldn’t intrude her more than that. She already involved with another woman, that little fact had kept him calm inside.
“Say, did you, you know, ‘tasted’ her last night?” Lily asked.
Kubo chuckled. “No, she was crying. I couldn’t have… never mind.”
Kubo closed his eyes when he heard splashes of water, the sound told him that Lily was leaving the bathtub. Wet steps walked right in front of his face and towards the other side of the door before the door opened and closed. Kubo was about to turn and breathe in relief before the door opened again.
Did she forget something? Mused Kubo before the water splashed twice as they join him. The door to his room was opened next before the water splashed for the third time for the night. He ignored all of that as he didn’t want to have any crazy idea.
But the fourth splash forced his eyes to open wide. The familiar woman put her hands around him before he could say anything.
She shushed him with a finger, “I’ve told the kids and apparently I don’t even care if they don’t understand.”
“A gold coin for an inn stay is an overpay,” said Nana, “so it comes with extra special services.”
“I’ve seen males pleasuring three women at one time,” added Lily, “surely you can do better.”
“It’s better you than those monsters in human skin,” Cassy said, “you left me alone and cold on the bed.”
The girls surrounded him as he tried to back up.
And then he woke up.