Chapter 146 – Delfina’s Past (Part 3) ~ The 1 Kre Slave
Traditionally in Aegina, most “slaves for the third time” are sold for 1 Kre.
Slaves are considered as luxury fortune, and their Masters would not let them go unless a considerable or grave thing has happened. By repeating that twice, the slaves sold out for the third time are branded as incompetent, and there is almost no one who would buy them even for the low price of 1 Kre.
Delfina was not branded as an incompetent, but she is in a situation where it would have been better if she would have been.
She had two Masters dying, and was seen as a plague which drove their Houses into inexistence.
Because of that, she was unable to be sold even as a 1-Kre-slave.
She was left behind while the others were bought one next to the other.
She continued to be left behind.
「Hey, have you heard? They’re saying that tomorrow, this room will be『cleaned』up」
At the afternoon of that day, one slave suddenly said that.
Delfina who have shrunk into the corner waiting for her new Master raised her head and looked towards that conversation.
Three middle-aged female slaves gathered, and spoke like they are having an idle gossip.
「Cleaned up? Isn’t that a good thing?」
「Well, this room is really bad after all. It would be great if they’d let us wash ourselves while their at it」
「What are you saying? It’s not that kind of cleaning」
The slave who mentioned the rumor whispered to the other two.
「Eh〜, no way!」
「That isn’t cleaning, that’s disposal」
「They’re saying that『cleaning』is correct. Those 1 Kre slaves that won’t get sold, they’re less than trash because money is needed to pay for their food, so they’re regularly『cleaning』them up」
「T-Then, if we were not sold today?」
「We’re going to get……disposed of?」
「Everyone in here……one, two, three……all 31 of us」
It was a narrow room that they were packed in from the start. Their conversation was easily overheard, and other slaves started to join the conversation.
Delfina did not join them. She just listened to their conversation in the corner of the room while embracing her knees.
With just that conversation, she completely understood. It was originally a simple thing.
Cheap slaves that are sold by the lot. Just letting them eat to live would cost a lot of money.
Even if they were bought at a giveaway price, it would be a deficit after making them eat for a week.
And, they are just going to be “disposed of” before that.
「B-But, isn’t that good too? We’re going to be released after all. Though it’s true that finding a new job starting from here is difficult……」
A timid slave in her twenties said. The middle-aged slaves who brought the rumors scoffed at her.
「You, you’re an idiot huh. There’s no way that we’ll be released. If they do that, 1 Kre slaves wouldn’t be sold even more, because people would find those released slaves」
「T-Then, disposed of means?」
「We’re going to get killed」
It was not only the timid slave who screamed. Several others did as well.
It just means that the ones thinking that getting cleaned up is equal to getting released are that many.
From then on, it was a big chorus of screams and prayers.
Delfina only continued to embrace her knees, and did not think of anything.
In the afternoon of that day, the door of the jam-packed room opened.
Two men appeared from that door.
One is the man who manages this place, the one on the side of selling slaves.
The other one, he looks like a hoodlum no matter how you look at him. He was clearly someone who’s running errands for someone else.
「One, two, three……31 of them in total. Hurry up and choose」
「Yeah. For the meantime, here’s 30 Kre. Count them while I’m choosing」
The man handed over a cloth bag and entered inside the room.
「He said 30 Kre」
「30 of us are going to be bought?」
「Then, I might get bought too」
The slaves who were making a commotion of being disposed of started murmuring with some hope.
30 of 31 people being bought means, they would be bought unless something they do something very grave, and they would not be disposed of.
The man who is on the buying side looked at the slaves one by one.
And finally, he stood in front of Delfina, and stared at her face after bending down.
「Have you decided?」
The man who finished counting the money asked from outside the room.
「Yeah. I’ll take everyone other than this brat」
「You don’t like her?」
「Yeah, she looks gloomy. Looks ominous too」
「You got it. That one’s a plague who made two of her Masters die」
「He! Told ya」
「Hey you allーーget out of the room other than that girl」
The slaves scrambled out of the room.
Since the topic about getting『cleaned』was brought up, the slaves felt like that room was a place that releases the smell of『death』.
The probably wanted to get out of there as fast as possible.
The 30 of them left, and lastly, the man left as well.
The seller looked inside the room, looked at Delfina, and looked at the buyer.
「Hey, you’d like to get that as well? You bought 30 at once. I’ll give you that as a service」
「Hah, idiot. Why the heck do you think I’m buying 1 Kre slaves. Of course it’s to mess them up with low costs. Who’d pay money to increase the number of the dead」
「You don’t mind even if it increased by one right?」
「I can tell what your aim is. You don’t want to pay money for『cleaning』right?」
「Alright, alright. Hurry up and take those 30 with you」
「He! I’ll come again」
The door closed, and Delfina was left alone.
The room that was narrow and packed earlier suddenly became full of space.
Delfina looked around the room with blank eyes.
As midnight approached, the door opened once again.
This time, there was only one. It was only the seller.
「Stand up, get out of the room」
The nature of absolute obedience as a slave made Delfina stand up.
She stood up, walked, and left the room.
「Really, what a troublesome thing you are. Tch, hurry up and walk」
There was the sound of the door being closed, and Delfina was kicked on her butt.
She staggered, but started to walk just like she was ordered to.
「……where are we going?」
「Haa? It’s in a good place, a great place. A dream-like place where you won’t even feel pain」
「Yeah, that’s right. Damn it, why the heck am I……」
The man continued to dribble down complaints.
「Am I going to get killed?」
「Yeah, that’s right」
He answered with a more and more annoyed tone. He even stopped hiding it.
「Really, why the heck we’re you left alone unbought. It would’ve been better if lots of you remained or all of you got bought」
While walking, Delfina started to think.
Her rusty head that she had not used when she was serving under her Master who was a knight started to work after a long time.
Why am I going to get killed? Because I was not bought, because I’m a 1 Kre slave.
Why was I not sold? Why is it 1 Kre? Why did I become a slave?
Taken to a place where people seldom visit, a place where weeds are growing up to the waist, the man suddenly took out a knife from his pocket.
Looking closely, there were several white bones on the ground.
It was “that” kind of place.
Bones and knife.
The smell of death approached Delfina.
「Don’t resist, I’ll put you out of misery at once」
Naturally, Delfina ran away.
On the verge of death, she desperately ran away.
「You won’t get away. This is that kind of place」
Although annoyed, the man chased after calmly.
Delfina desperately ran. She continued to run, run, and run.
Suddenly, she stumbled to something and fell to the ground.
She stumbled to the ground face first. She endured the pain and looked at what tripped her.
It was a skeleton.
Something was stuck in that skeleton.
Similar, but rustier than the knife that the man held.
And while she thought of that, the man caught up to her. The man held a knife on one hand, and made Delfina stand up by grabbing her hair with the other.
「Stand up nowーーughuh!!」
She instinctively grabbed the knife and stabbed the man.
The rusty knife pierced into the man’s body after some resistance.
The man looked at the knife that was stabbed into his own body unbelievably.
Delfina ran away. She pushed off the man’s body and ran away.
Along the way, she tripped on a skeleton and stumbled on the ground, but she did not mind it and desperately ran away.
I’ll die if I don’t run now, I don’t wanna die.
She ran away with only that in mind.
The ground suddenly disappeared, and a sudden fall attacked Delfina.
Because of the weeds growing up to her waist, she was unable to see the cliff in front of her.
Delfina fell rolling down that cliff.
When her consciousness returned, she saw the white moon hanging up in the sky.
She felt pain from all over her body, but because of that, she felt that she was alive.
Her body would not move, but instead, her head did its job well.
Her brain that was released after a long time regained its sharpness, and started to ask『why』towards everything.
Why did I fall, why is this happening to me, why am I living such a life.
『Why』towards everything that she could think of. She thought of many, many things, and finally, her thoughtsーーit gathered to “why is this happening to me?”.
Because I was not bought for 1 Kre.
Because my Masters died in succession.
Because I entrusted my own life to others after being sold as a slave.
Why did it become like that, why.
「Because……I do not have money」
The answer that came up from all of those questions, it’s because I do not have money.
The fourteen years of my life, most of the problems would have been solved “if I had money”.
「If I only have money」
She whispered in delirium.
And, her thoughts fell into its place.
It fell into “if I only have money“.
Just like her Master had once told her, she threw a『why』towards that, but it did not change.
「If I only have money」
She whispered once again. It sounded to her as if it was the truth.
Delfina Lanmari, 14-years-old.
「If only have money」
It was the instant the girl who shall be called “Homers(money monger)” was born spiritually.