News sure travel fast in this town; it’s only been an hour at best and even people outside of the Adventurers’ Guild has already found out about it! It seems like there are some very efficient gossipers in town.
“Yes, that would be me.” (Gideon)
“Ah, you really are just a fine young man, aren’t you? Wahaha, please take a seat; The Bear Hut is more than willing to serve a guy like you some delicious grub!” (Bear-sized male)
I was brought to the cleanest and nicest table in the entire inn, as the bear-sized father served me with a pleasant grin on his face.
“So, what would you like to eat?”
“Anything that is meaty and filling, I’m rather hungry.” (Gideon)
“Alright then, I’ll get you a delicious grilled boar, and some freshly made mashed potatoes to start you up with! Be right back! Wahaha!”
As he walked away to deliver my order, he gave out a loud roaring laughter. Yet, none of the customers seemed to mind. In fact, some even laughed along with him. Looking at this scene and remembering the friendliness of the Adventures’ Guild, I can’t help but wonder about the past.
Is this how humans are really like in general? Before while I was still an Ogre, humans were nothing less than invaders of the demon continent, enemies that I have to destroy to protect my homeland. But looking at them now like this, they aren’t any different from us demons. Not to mention now that I’m a human; what am I supposed to do once I exact my revenge? Who should I pledge my allegiance to?
“Hey? Hey, are you still there? Your food is here!”
As I break out of my thoughts, I was hit with a delicious smell wafting from the table. It was filled with a large portion of grilled boar and mashed potatoes, which instantly whetted my appetite. Being already very hungry to begin with, I scoff the food down my throat.
“Whoa, you sure are a quick eater, aren’t you?”
I turned to look at the speaker, only to realize that the server was the cute young teenage girl that bombarded me with lots of questions previously.
“I am rather hungry after all. Normally, I’ll eat slower than this.” (Gideon)
“Ah, I see! Well, enjoy the food; there’s plenty more where that came from! My name is Cynthia, by the way. What’s yours, Ogre-slayer?” (Cynthia)
While speaking, the cute waitress girl of Bear Hut pulled out a chair and sat next to me. When I heard the title “Ogre-slayer”, I almost let out a look of disdain. After all, if I didn’t have a choice, I wouldn’t have given it eternal peace. If only I had a way to completely resurrect the Ogre…forget it, that’s power of the realm of Gods, not something that I have control over.
“My name is Gideon. Say, don’t you have work to do? Aren’t you afraid that your dad will knuckle you on the head again?”
After that title that Cynthia have given me, my impression of her had dropped quite a bit. I know it’s not really her fault, but still. Besides, I want to eat in peace.
“Hey, that’s mean! You should know better than to chase away a cute girl like me when she’s trying to strike a conversation with you, am I right?” (Cynthia)
And she’s calling herself cute. Ah well, since I’m not going to be eating my meal in peace, I might as well entertain her a little.
“Alright, alright, it’s my bad.” (Gideon)
“Heehee, that’s all right! So tell me, where did you come from? How did you manage to complete a D-rank quest all by yourself? How are you so strong, did you have some kind of special training? What kinds of food do you eat? What…” (Cynthia)
I screamed internally while she started to bombard me with more questions than I’ve ever heard in my entire life. While she started to list out an entire string of questions that I would never be able to answer quickly enough, I simply sighed as I continued to finish my meal while listening to her continuous flow of questions.
“Cynthia! Don’t just sit there, go and take orders from other customers!”
“Oh shoot, I spent too long talking! See you later, Gideon!” (Cynthia)
Before I could even reply, she has already jumped out of the chair while waving goodbye with a cheeky smile. With some peace and quiet finally, I finished up the remnants of the meal and went to the counter, where the bear-like man was currently at.
“Hey kid, sorry about our daughter. She is the curious sort, really quite a handful at times. Anyway, where are my manners; name’s Kraden. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” (Kraden)
“Ah, it’s nice to meet you too.” (Gideon)
“Alright then now that formalities are over with, the bill for your food is 40 Cobs. Would you be staying for a night or two?”
Hmm…since I don’t have a residence as of now, I might as well get a long-term temporarily shelter over my head. The daughter of hers is quite a downside, but I’m too lazy to find another place and this IS the inn that is nearest to the Adventurers’ Guild.
“I’ll like to get a room for a month, and include necessities such as food and water in the bill for me. I might stay longer than that, so I’ll play for the month after as well, as a deposit.” (Gideon)
“A whole month for you it is! Heck, for being so generous and straightforward, I’ll even waive the shared bathing fee! In total, it will come up to 80 Silv for the two months’ worth of stay. Are you agreeable to that?” (Kraden)
“Sure. I accept the price.” (Gideon)
I lifted my arm and tapped Kraden’s ring with my own. The black card appears, and the numbers that indicate the amount of money I own started to decrease by 80 Silv. After the numbers stopped moving, the black card disappears and the transaction is complete.
“Alright, your room is 205 on the second floor, have a nice rest!” (Kraden)
Kraden tossed the room key over to me, which I promptly caught. Then, I walked up the stairs and into my room. To my surprise, it was actually quite a pleasant looking room, which a comfortable looking bed and all the furniture you’ll expect in a inn – a drawer for clothes, table and chairs, and even a storage box for adventurers to keep their things in.
Not that it is big enough to fit my Greataxe in. I’ll just place it on the table.
After I’ve sorted out my stuff, I quickly went for a bathe. After all, I’m extremely dirty and sweaty and I want to quickly rest up after this. A good, quick rest will make sure that I’ll be at 100% for my next quest.
I walked to the end of the corridor, and took a good long soak to relax my muscles before going back into my room and finally getting the rest I deserved.
Needless to say, I was so relaxed that I slept away the entire day and night.
Time passed by as I continuously did quest after quest. Every day it would be the same pattern of waking up, eating, heading to the Adventurers’ Guild to get a combat-based quest, completing said quest, collecting my reward and going back to the inn for dinner before heading back to sleep.
For two whole weeks, that was how I lived my life. Doing nothing but quests and coming back every day successfully completing the quest, this has given me a reputation not just within the Adventurers’ Guild, but also in the entire town. Of course, in-between my daily routines I do go around town, mostly to collect information and such.
Being known to many as the [Golden Rookie], most people were kind enough to provide me with all sorts of information. It looks like the whole fame thing wasn’t useless after all. In this period of time, I’ve learnt quite a few things.
The first one is that slave trading is something that is within the grey zone. No one really talks about it openly, but it is there and everyone knows about it. However, it isn’t a crime to own slaves, based on the reasoning that there would be people who want to sell themselves for various reasons, such as to pay off debts owing to others.
With this kind of unlawfulness in place, obviously slave trading areas will exist in some form or another. There isn’t any inside the town, but there is one in a form of huge barn-like building just outside of town.
From what I’ve heard, their main modus operandi is kidnapping and selling. Since I consider them to be scums, to trade and sell their own kind and other races, I have decided to use some of these scumbags as my target experiments for my curse.
After two full weeks of non-stop questing and hunting down of monsters and bandits, I decided to head down to the slave market for the first time in my human life.
…What, of course I had slaves when I was an Ogre Lord; it was fair game – survival of the fittest. Not to mention that I treated all of them very well. At least, I have never beaten any of my slaves…to death.
After stepping out of my room after a good night’s rest, I head down for breakfast as per usual. Most of the people in the inn’s tavern would usually extend a friendly greeting to me as I walk down the stairs.
“Why, good morning, Gideon! As usual, will it be bread and soup for you?” (Kraden)
“Yes, thank you.” (Gideon)
After a short exchange of words, I took my seat at my usual spot. Somehow, no one had ever tried to sit there after the first time I took that seat, I wonder why?
Before long, Cynthia came over with the food, skilfully holding a bowl of wild mushroom soup and a basket of fresh made bread while walking in a decently fast pace.
“Here you go, Gideon! Here’s your bread and soup, enjoy your meal! Oh, and are you going for some other quest today also? What kind of quest would it be? Don’t push yourself so hard, you might fall sick or something! Are you going to fight more monsters again? Did you see any interesting things while you are outside on the fields or in the woods? Oh, and have you climbed any mountains yet-”
As usual, every day she’ll have a mountain-load of questions for me. Sheesh, doesn’t she get tired from all the talking? As usual, her dad will call her to stop slacking and she’ll dash off before I can answer any of her questions.
Well, not like I want to answer any of the questions, though. It is in fact, best if I keep an arm’s distance from everyone else; lest they get caught up in my curse needlessly.
After all, she is a pleasant human being, even if she’s really annoying with all her questions.
After the delicious breakfast of bread and thick soup, I went to visit the slave market. Upon reaching the entrance, a shifty-looking guy stops me at my path.
“Hey, who goes there…wait, hey you are that [Golden Rookie] guy, Gideon!” (Shifty-looking male)
Glad to see that my reputation is spreading beyond even the town. This positive fame of mine is really helping me in more ways than one.
“Yeah, that’s me all right. I heard that this slave market cost 20 Silv to enter, no?” (Gideon)
“Yes, but of course we aren’t going to charge the [Golden Rookie]! Just your presence in our small and humble market place is good enough as a reward for us!”
Wow, this guy sure has a way with words. Even I’m feeling flattered from what he said.
“No, no that wouldn’t be according to protocol, would it? Come, raise your arm. I’ll pay you 30 Silv; take the extra as your break-time expenses.” (Gideon)
“I-I thank you for your generosity, Gideon, sir!”
Despite being almost twice older than me, the shifty-looking male is bowing and being servitude to a fourteen year old human me…ah, this feels like old times, the respect I had when I was part of the Six Pillars.
After entering the farm, the atmosphere is what I had expected; depressing but rowdy. It was obvious that most of the slaves here are “stolen goods”, seeing more children than adults.
After walking around the place a few times, I’ve decided on three targets – a sadistic female who took pleasure in beating up her slaves; a slave buyer who initiated a conversation with me and the shifty eyed male outside guarding the slave market.
My experiment lasted for merely three short days, but during those three days the results have shown themselves very clearly.
For the shifty-eyed male, I gave him one Silv every day when I went to the slave market. Needless to say, he treated me as though as I was his ancestor, with upmost politeness and even admiration. However, I never tried to talk to him much and kept him at a distance. The result is that nothing happened to him, which was in a way, a good thing.
As for the slave buyer, I approached him every day to engage in a conversational topic. Since he loved to talk about demons, I had plenty of materials to talk about and was easily able to be friendly with him. It was during the fourth day that he didn’t turn up, which got me suspicious. I asked the shifty-eyed male do to me a favour and find out what happened. Turns out, he was extremely unlucky that day, as he tripped, fell down and knocked down a cabinet. That cabinet turned out to be filled with all his silverware and crockery, which smashed all onto him. Luckily, he survived with only some bruises and a few cuts.
The last one is the sadistic female. As for her, I tried to get her to fall in love with me. Given my reputation and the amount of money I have on me, it wasn’t the hardest thing in the world to do. However, I didn’t put in any true emotions into this pseudo-relationship and after three days, nothing had happened to her as well, despite her overwhelming clinginess and interest in me.
With this, I’ve confirmed that only if I start investing any amount of feelings into any kind of relationship, even if it friendship or family love, the curse will have a proportionate increase in severity.
As for that annoying woman, I invited her out for a midnight tryst, and ended her life that very night, scattering her into bits and pieces with a single blow enhanced with [Burst Stream]. There wasn’t even a need for a burial.
After all, loose ends have to be tied up. I can’t have scum like her bugging me all day just because of my experiment. Even if the slave market gets suspicious of me, they wouldn’t dare to make a move due to my strong reputation.
Satisfied with my findings, I then returned back to the Bear Hut to clean myself from the blood splatters.
Author : Kiribou