Atelier Tanaka Volume 4 Chapter 6 part3
Slave Sister[Sophia-chan’s point of view]
This unfortunate maid is spending the day in the downtown area of the North District.
It’s now been one month since I started managing over Dragon City, and today was supposed to be my first day off in all that time. I just wanted to spend all day sleeping in my room.
But, for some reason, I’m in the northern area of the city.
And this reason is none other than Drill-sama.
“This city grows more lively with each day that passes. Don’t you agree?”
“Y-Yes, it sure does!”
I don’t really know what we’re doing here. I was relaxing in my room when Drill-sama burst in and demanded I follow her. I didn’t want to go, but it’s not like I can refuse the demands of a noble.
I’m not exactly sure why she keeps visiting me day after day, but I suppose it has to do with the fact that the demon that accompanies her has been gone for several days now and she has too much free time.
I thought things might be peaceful without that demon here, but it turns out it’s the exact opposite. With everyone that usually occupies her time gone, she now has her entire day free to spend with me.
“What is that building? I don’t think it was there the other day.”
She spotted something else that caught her eye.
I followed Drill-sama’s brisk pace while keeping my eyes on the ground.
We finally reached our destination which turned out to be a slave shop.
“Hmm, I wonder how long this store has been here. It’s got me curious.”
It was a large four story building.
The front doors were massive and made entirely of metal. They were impressive to witness, but their real purpose is keeping the products contained. I haven’t been comfortable around places like this since I was young. For a commoner like me, a slave isn’t just a simple product but a potential outcome to my life.
“Hey, do you want to take a look inside?”
“Eh? Umm, I-I’m not su–”
“Come on! Let’s go!”
She grabbed my arm and started dragging me to the store.
Drill-sama is stronger than expected. She’s supposedly the same age as Ester-sama despite her body being more mature. She must have spent hours training every day for her to be so strong. It’s honestly impressive to see someone so attractive choosing to improve themselves rather than rely solely on their appearance.
We entered the store and were greeted by a man in his forties.
“Oh, dear customers, please come in.”
When Drill-sama and I first entered, this man was standing in the centre of the room giving orders to the other employees. Based on his actions and how he greeted us, he must be the manager.
Also, he must be that slaver that visited Tanaka-san.
“We came to see the slaves!”
Drill-sama spoke without any hesitation.
She gets straight to business without even offering a greeting.
As expected of a noble.
“Thank you for your patronage. If you’ll just follow me, I’ll gladly show you around.”
He didn’t seem to mind and quickly got to business as well.
I noticed a curious glance from the slaver when we first entered and it’s possible he recognized me, but he said nothing. Obviously, he chose to focus his attention on the noble rather than a simple maid like me.
We exited the entrance hall down a long hallway.
This hallway eventually opened up into a wider room with cells lining every inch of the wall.
These cages were used to house the slaver’s merchandise.
It reminded me of a prison but these cells were a little larger. This was the first time I’d ever seen slaves put on display like this.
“Does anything catch your eye? They’re all slaves that I’m proud to present.”
The manager looked at Drill-sama with a broad smile.
Naturally, my eyes turned to the slaves he mentioned.
We were the only customers in the store. The slaves all begin to move once they noticed our visit as if they were windmills that were being stirred by a strong wind.
Drill-sama glanced at the slaves lining the walls as if she were looking for a new dress. As expected of a noble.
On the other hand, I was feeling uneasy.
The reason for this being that all of the slaves were muscular young men. They had many diverse features and many were quite cool. Some were even completely naked as they stood pressed against the bars.
Do the slaves and the manager think that Drill-sama and I came to look for a night partner? That’s not good. But I’d be lying if I said the idea of a group of attractive men desiring me didn’t appeal to me somewhat.
“What do you think?”
The manager stared at her with a smile while Drill-sama replied nonchalantly.
I suddenly noticed something unique in one of the cells. Through the bars I could see a small cage fit for a wild animal. It only came up to my stomach and looked as if it would be too cramped to fit a human.
What could be inside of such a cage?
“Ara, did something catch your eye?”
“N-No, it’s nothing like that….”
Several weeks ago, Sophie-chan presented two slave girls as presents to Tanaka-san.
They were both in the cage. It was difficult for either of them to stand and the older one was embracing the younger. I could see them occasionally tremble under the intense stares of the other slaves.
The expression on their faces suddenly changed when our eyes met. Both the older and younger one stared at me as if they remembered me. We even ate together once before so it’s safe to assume they would know my face.
But neither of them said a thing.
They both opened their mouths to say something but, after a moment of hesitation, they closed their mouths and remained silent. This must be how most slaves behave, I’m sure of it. Whenever they speak out of turn, their words would be met by the crack of a whip. This would persist until the slaves were left with no feelings other than fear.
And their training as a slave would be complete.
Is there anything I can do?
There’s no chance two young girls are going to be sold to be used for manual labour. They’ll most likely be sold to a noble family to be used however that noble pleases. I remember Sophie-sama said they were both virgins. I’m sure they must cost a lot.
“Do you know those two?”
“N-No, not at all….”
Drill-sama looked down at the two young girls as if she were deciding if the two slaves were worth purchasing.
What is she thinking?
I have a bad feeling about this.
“Will you agree to become my maid if I purchase them?”
The voice of Drill-sama echoed throughout the room. Naturally, the two young girls heard these words as well. I could see them starting to tremble in the cage and the sound of the rattling of the metal reverberating.
This isn’t good. She’s just getting their hopes up so she can cause them even more despair. Oh, that’s right, she’s a sadist.
I glanced down at the slave girls to see them staring up at him. However, as soon as our eyes met, I turned away. It’s common knowledge that one’s eyes can say things their mouths are unwilling to.
Ah, it’s so painful seeing them like this.
As I am now, I could probably save these two from slavery. This fact makes the decision even more difficult. If I knew there was nothing I could do, I could just give up on the idea.
“What will you do?”
Drill-sama asked one more.
Please, stop this.
I’m weak when it comes to people trying to rush me. If she pushes me so much I think I’ll end up making a rash decision. I think she knows this as well.
My mouth started moving before I even knew what I was saying.
“I-I’ll buy them!”
“Ara, you’ve finally made up your mind. I’m happy to hear it.”
“No, that’s not what I meant. I-I-I’ll buy them myself!’
“…what do you mean?”
Drill-sama looked surprised.
This was only natural. Slaves are expensive commodities. Normally, they’re not something a commoner or a simple maid would be able to afford. If an average commoner were to sell everything they owned, they’d still be unable to afford one.
There’s the upfront cost of a slave, then there’s the need to feed, clothe, and shelter them. I’ve heard that there are many instances of slaves being treated much worse which saves the owner money.
The manager spoke directly to me for the first time.
He had the same smile on his face, but he was now glancing back and forth between Drill-sama and me. Perhaps he’s now unsure about the relationship between us.
But, I’m the one buying them, not Drill-sama.
“I-I’m going to buy them! I have the money!”
This is where I can finally use the one hundred gold I got from the King.
But I don’t have it with me.
I’ll have to go back to Kalis as soon as possible in order to get it.