000 Pursuit of Perpetuity pt.2

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 As such, we made our way to the Brolsenul slave market.

 It might be called the corner of a street but it was a raving trade zone in the royal capital of the world. It wasn’t that I had no opinions of it as a former modern Japanese, but that was that, and if there was nothing to force my hand, I should be able to tolerate it to that extent. All hail the principle of letting the sleeping dogs lie.


 “So, young master. What kind of slave do you desire?”


 The subordinate tasked by father to act as my bodyguard and to look after me spoke with ostentatious bravado.
 He was given the name of first generation knight and was a former commoner, so it seems. I’m not close with him and do not know much about him though. Even though we may not be well acquainted with the commoners, I still have some limited knowledge of it. This was what it means to have a world view.

 The look on his eyes while staring at the price tag on silver collars worn by the slaves were coloured more strongly by pity than of scorn. This was likely because they were of a lower strata comparatively. Nevertheless, the look of contempt could never be erased, that much I can perceive from how he looks at the slaves of the commoners (though they are of close social strata).


 “Mm, I want someone who would serve as a study material for my education on vassals…...if possible, someone who is young and close in age would be nice. I am also eyeing the possibility of having the slave as my helper so it would be even better if the slave has foundations in magic.”


 Ignoring the convenience for him, I stated my requirements and standards from start to end. Alchemy was both a study and a type of magic at the same time. It would not be worth considering anyone without a minimum level of magic ability. On a side note, I am able to manipulate magic. I could somewhat use flame magic to the extent of playing with fire and could also heal small wounds.


 “Eh? Something like being pretty and all, isn’t any of that part of your scope?”


 “With that included, won’t that increase the price?”


 Additionally, having that kind of enjoyment at my age would be too early. Well, having a pretty and cute appearance might be good for my mood but throwing a large amount of money for that purpose was absurd.


 “While you are at it, I’ll like to see them according to their prices, starting with the cheapest.”


 A slave of a young age would be cheap as long as it was not an anomaly. A child of a similar age that I have requested should be relatively concentrated in the marketplace.


 “Oh?”


 The attendant replied and switched to a business-like expression. (TN: Not sure about this. 返事をする従者も、顔つきを事務的なそれに変える。) Fine by me. What he might be thinking of now was of no concern to me. Doing what I have to do and not doing what I don’t need to do was all I should be concerned about.

 Thinking with zero charm of a child, I scanned through the slaves.
 The products were mainly, as I have thought, the children of peasants, whose parents had sold. For a society with a undeveloped agricultural industry, just a single blizzard or drought could put most of the peasantry in a dilemma. Even without any natural disasters, as long as there was a foolish lord who levied heavy taxes, their circumstances would never recover. With these conditions and the added fact that there were families who bore babies unreservedly like mice, whenever the situation turns for the worst, they would sell the children whom they are unable to provide for. …...This country, Alcael Kingdom, should be relatively blessed in terms of food security compared to other countries and yet, why was there this many peasants facing such destitute? No doubt their hardship was proportional to the idiocy of the group lording above them. People like the head of my family huh.

 Back to the topic. In the second group, there were many criminals. The Itousera continent was medieval-like but civilisation here was at about the level during the Renaissance period. There was no such advanced thing like a prison. At least, I do know that there was no such facility in which commoners would be housed after being arrested. Criminals who committed a small crime would be detained in a cell temporarily upon being captured, and would subsequently be asked to pay a fine. Those who were unable to pay for their fines or who had committed large crimes would fall into the shackles of slavehood. And there were those who face immediate execution after committing unpardonable atrocities. There were cases of powerful aristocrats or high ranking clergymen being allowed to retire at the borders —a euphemism for soft detention— but well, they were the exceptions. Would it be alright to buy slaves that were former criminals? That was what was in my mind, but there was that. A spell to force the slaves into submission to prevent rebellion had already been activated on them. The result of which was the silver collar that they wearing on their necks. As expected of this fantasy world, as long as there was magic, nothing was out of question.

 And, the minority among the slaves were the demi-humans, elves and dwarves. That’s right, demi-humans. There were other living beings with intelligence in this world. Apart from these human-like races who tend to live long, there were also talking dragons but I have not seen those yet. They were statistically rare and it was also a pain to capture them. Naturally, even if they were circulating in the market, their prices would be exorbitantly high. Honestly, it wasn’t something that could be purchased with the allowance of a child from a Count Family. To make matters worst, the loyalty of these races as slaves were low owing to the wall between races. Also, the elves had a natural gift in the arcane arts and there were fears that they could undo the spell that forces their obedience. It would be romantic but given my circumstances, they were definitely not within consideration.

 What I am looking out for would be the slaves that I mentioned second, the former criminals…...or more accurately put, its analogues. Due to domestic squabbles or suspicions of rebellion, an entire family might be crushed and to avoid the implications of such, there are children that have fallen to the ranks of slaves. This means that there was a possibility that a slave that has been conveniently educated to a certain extent existed in the market.  I would be able to spare the effort of teaching the basics; my desire for such a slave was such that my hands would come out from my throat.

 In fact, if it was the child of an aristocrat, there was a greater likelihood that the slave could use magic.
 The roots of magic. These were determined innately, and so, to some extent, magic could be inherited from parent to child. Above that, magic requires chanting and skill to be used so children have to be taught properly to use magic. This was fundamentally a trait of the high society. Besides that, in Itousera, science was undeveloped and thus the main choice of weapons were swords and magic. It would be disastrous if the populace starts a revolution and therefore, people talented in magic and important texts for magic acquisition were strictly regulated by the noble class. Utility men that might be called adventurers might have magicians among them but these people were probably bound to the wills of aristocrats or were fallen aristocrats.

 These thoughts ran through my mind, as I checked the slaves one by one in the order of price.
 Their levels of magic comprehension can be estimated from the amount of magic they discharge in the air. Similarly, there were tricks that could be used to hide these discharges but if there were slaves who possessed such a skill, their prices would be markedly higher too. Would the seller deceive me so as to reduce their prices? Any respectable vendor wouldn’t do that. Nobody would wear both home clothes bought at a bargain sale and a branded suit at the same time. If it was really made cheap, it would be because there was an expectation for a favour to be returned later on. For me to sell my personal belongings and assets would mean that I must be in a scenario where I had been driven into a corner, but I would still follow my principles of selling as high a price as I could.

 Yep, I do not sense anyone like that among them. Slaves who possess magic really do number few. Same goes for slaves that have received education. No choice here, I have to try another shop with products of a higher grade.
 That was when I felt it.


 “......Oh?”


 I could feel something attracting me. A rather fine quality of magical aura. Though it was certainly a feeble sensation, it was quite refined. Still, the attraction was in no way weak. As far as I know, the quality of magic was usually proportional to the quantity of magic. It was considerably rare to feel this excellent quality of magic yet meagre quantities of it.

 Could it be that the source of it, was dying? I have always secluded myself and focused on research, and so far, the people I have met were all healthy people. I hardly had any experience with people gasping for survival who were on the brink of death. All the more people with such scarce quality of magic. I have witnessed countless scenes of slaves being killed after incurring the rage of father or brother, but these victims never did possess any roots of magic. At any rate, the way brother killed without any hesitation was indeed testimony as to how slaves were not treated as humans.
 Anyhow, with the possibility that I have found myself a bargain, I looked towards where the magic was being emitted from.


 “This one’s condition is kinda severe…...”


 Towards where my line of sight lay, the male attendant spoke in a muffled voice.
 Indeed, this slave was in a tragic state.
 That slave was probably a young girl. Comparing her physical body to mine, she was one or two years younger than me I suppose.

 There were vestiges of her long black hair being combed but, currently it was in a dishevelled state. Judging from her well-built body and the whiteness of her skin, I could only imagine that before she descended to such a level, she was living in a reasonably well environment. However, that only makes it a greater tragedy.

 Had she been badly beaten up repeatedly? Every spot from her eyes to her nose was swelling. I had to make a deduction at her gender, and use the word ‘probably’ because of her battered condition. This must resemble nothing like her original appearance. The crude slave clothing, a simple attire consisting of a large piece of cloth with a hole in the middle for the head, on her can only be described as a jute bag full of holes. Taking a closer look, there was dried blood and dirty black filth on the region between her thighs. It may be because of the lacerations on her lower body that she was unable to stand. Before falling into the market, this must have been the state she has been after being violently used by the previous seller for enjoyment. How could one break a person whose age remained in the single digits to such an extent? It was world which I fail to comprehend.

 Truly a terrible lack of self-control. Had she been sold when she was still pretty, she would have been worth a sizable amount of money.
 I took a glimpse at her price tag.


 “......How expensive.”


 I unintentionally muttered.
 The price written was a price that just reached what I would call expensive based on the budget I received. It shouldn’t be the price to a person who was barely even breathing and slowly losing to death.

 Given that she possesses a rare and excellent quality of magic, there was no choice about it but at the very least, it would have been better if she had received some treatment. If that had been done, I am sure she can be displayed on the second grade shops. No, if she was in her healthy state, her magic quantity should return back to normal levels and just that alone, it wouldn’t be strange if she fetched the highest price today.
 Well, a slave market isn’t a magician service office. Even if the shop vendors knew the amount of magic one has, they would not be able to be able to understand the true degree of it. I can sense their lack of effort in the trade but all the more I have no duty and intention of demanding improvements.


 “Let’s go, young master. These kids are so pathetic they shouldn’t even make the cut.”


 The male attendant lightly pulled on my sleeves.
 I shook him off.


 “Wait a moment.”


 Ignoring my attendant who gasped, I leaned to the side of her.
 I made another inspection on her and as I had deduced, her hands show no trace of labour. Her right wrist appeared to be fractured having been grabbed strongly on it but otherwise, her palm was beautiful.

 Her barefooted feet had been grazed by the stone bed but the shape of her nails were intact. The tip of her feet and her ankles had not been in contact with the bed and so, were unhurt. She must have been using shoes or socks before being sold.

 All this points to her being a child raised in a well-to-do household. Either her family has met with ruin or she was kidnapped, ending up in this slave market.
 In other words, she was likely the candidate I was looking for — a child who has received education to a certain level.
 …...I brooded over this for a short interval.

 First of all, she was near my age, so father would find her a suitable subject matter to train me in using retainers.
 On another note, she was what I was looking for, a child who has probably received a fair amount of education.
 And…...her magic was top-tiered.

 To put it bluntly, if we include the possibility that she might be an outstanding talent in the future, this doesn’t seem expensive at all. It was actually a bargain sale which placed the price within my reach.
 The only problem here was that she was a defective good that might die anytime soon.

 Was she really a good buy? If I could bring her home and she survives, that would be a cause for celebration. Still, if the worst came to be, there was a possibility that I would have wasted the entirety of next month’s allowance in purchasing a dead corpse. What would I do if that happened? After doing such a dumb thing, being remonstrated by father would seem like an overly optimistic scenario. If I was unlucky, I would no longer be entrusted with large amounts of money and it was highly likely that my allowance in the coming months would be reduced.

 Was there any other way this could play out? …...Nothing else especially.
 It goes without saying that my standing would decline sharply. Father would probably show less affection towards me. However, what of that? The real issue is that father has been showering excessive care for me and might make me the next successor. If that happens, it would be inevitable for a clash to occur between brother and I. Even if I won against him, I would have to pursue a career in politics as the head of a Count Family and would have to abandon my research. No, in the worst case, the authorities might use domestic quarrel as an excuse to crush us.

 With that in consideration, more or less losing points now would be within the range of making an investment for the future. It should be okay to rely on brother who was sincerely motivated to take on the role as family head. As long as I can receive a certain extent of financial support and can continue to conduct my experiments to achieve immortality, I am satisfied.The only inconvenience of buying a dying slave, in fact, one who next to death’s door, might be that the temporarily halting of my research. In any case, I have already reached the limits of what I can do alone for my research. If that actually occurs, all I have to do is to save up money while thinking of it as a long break that the gods are giving me.

 If I missed, I would be back to zero; but if I hit the mark, I would profit. Thinking of it that way does make it look like I was buying a lottery ticket.
 I could manage injuries somehow or another so I would heal this girl’s injuries and give her another chance at life. Elder brother’s position as the successor would be secured with the failures of his rival, so father should be able to tell who is really appropriate to be a successor. Let’s just deal with whatever that happens later!


 “Alright. This child, I’m buying her.”


 “Young master!?”


 The male attendant following me opened his eyes wide in exaggeration. “I cannot believe this,” was plastered all over of his face. A typical and normal reaction.
 Ignoring that, I peered into the face of the young girl who was cowering. I disregarded the acrid odour invading my nostrils. Having experience of handling chemical compounds when brewing medication, I have already gotten used to this level of stinkiness.


 “What is your name?”


 “............”


 The young girl with a swollen face, mumbled something inaudibly. Did she give her name as instructed or did she hurl some vulgarities in a fit, or was she just muttering incoherently? I could not make an accurate assessment on that.


 “Well, I will hear it next time when you are able to reply. Therefore, hmm…...could you bring me to someone whom I can discuss this purchase to?”


 She brought me to the person as I had asked of her. The deal was brokered within two replies from the slave vendor even though he gave a suspicious look throughout.
 Well, it must be because she was a slave that had one foot in the grave and was not a slave that most people would give a second look to. He must be thinking, “this child must be rather dimwitted no matter how inexperienced he is”.








  ――With that, I managed to procure her.
 I did not know what kind of meaning she might bring from hereon.
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3 comments

  1. Thanks for the translation of this chapter. Really looking forward on how this progress ^_^

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  2. Thanks for the chapters! I like MCs like this

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  3. Looking good. Thanks for the translations~

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