In the end, they decided to stay a week in Ogre Village.
Ria’s wounds were healed, and they needed time for her to recover to proper form.
And Gig would be travelling together with the party.
The Ogre King’s farewell gift was a letter for an influential person in Labyrinth City, including a katana he’d gotten in the labyrinth to Ria.
“When I challenged it in my youth with five comrades, we were able to get through nine floors. The other five ended up dying.”
He had no choice but to give up on advancing and went home with the equipment and treasure he’d gotten.
Still, it seems they’d identified the ninth floor’s Lord, but even so judged that it was impossible.
“It was a hydra.”
A thing said to defeat heroes. Still, that’s only the ninth floor. Though it seems to end at the tenth floor, as for what’s stronger than a hydra… only dragons come to mind.
Since we were able to learn various things, we unexpectedly spent a significant amount of time there.
The trip advanced smoothly. Even if monsters came out, mainly using Serge’s magic, they were just delicious experience points.
Though Ria enjoyed herself with Matsukaze, Matzukaze could kill things with a hoof if it was just goblins.
“Matsukaze’s level went up…”
Serge was probably surprised that a horse’s level increased.
On the other side of the gently sloping hills, we saw Labyrinth City.
“Ooh~, so big~”
Serge uttered a voice of admiration. The population of Labyrinth City was approximately one hundred thousand. Half of them were explorers.
It had huge castle walls like Anise to stop outside invasions and was also prepared for monsters that overflow from the labyrinth. Though it seems that something like that has never actually happened yet.
When going inside you had to pay a toll of one silver coin per person. You could feel the confusion and fierce heat.
Setting Serge aside, the tension was high. The party went to the address of the person they were referred to.
Heading towards the north side of town, the crowd gradually thinned. On the other hand, their attire became ordinary.
And buildings on the way were obviously extravagant. Arriving at the address, it was mansion that occupied the entire block.
“Gig’s Jii-chan has an amazing acquaintance~”
Although Labyrinth City was an independent city that didn’t belong to a country, the person the Ogre King introduced was someone called the mayor.
“I’m happy that Matsukaze will be carefree.”
Though Ria said something so easygoing, Carlos stood as the representative of cold sweat.
As a knight of a large country, it was easy to see the leader.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Klaus, working as the mayor of this town.”
“Knight of the Casalia Kingdom, first corps, Carlos Rushen.”
He turned his hand towards Ria behind him.
“I this is my reinforcement…”
“I’m Ryuke Riana Crystal Casalia. While in this town, I’ll be going as Riana Crystal.”
Klaus looked at her face for a moment.
“… Again with the jokes.”
“It is a capital crime to misrepresent yourself as Casalia royalty. Though it is so unreasonable it wouldn’t be believed, that’s how it is.”
Carlos said so expressionlessly.
Klaus turned towards Ria, blinked several times and began to speak.
“Well well… During your stay, I’ll have the privilege of giving the best hospitality.”
“I’m grateful. Since we’re planning on going into the labyrinth, I ask you to care for our horses in the meantime.”
Klaus’ face hardened in surprise.
“Yeah. Our purpose in coming here is to train.”
For the time being, Carlos and Gig were training in the garrison.
Lulu also went to serve as the one to give treatment. I was concerned that Carlos would get injured on purpose.
Ria and Serge set out to go sightseeing in the town together.
Serge said he wanted some kind of magic book, and Ria’s goal was to look for a weapon.
“This really is fantasy huh. I didn’t think there’d be a town in this rural area, I’m a bit impressed.”
“Anise is more of a city. I’ll show you around when we go back.”
Chatting while shopping around, Serge obtained various magic books that he’d been looking for.
Though Ria didn’t buy any katanas, she did buy some throwing daggers.
“As expected, there’s no choice but to tell the process of making a Japanese sword to a dwarf huh?”
“Nee-chan, you know how to make Japanese swords?”
“Though I never did it myself, I know the method. Well, there’ll probably be something lost in the process of me explaining it.”
After that, Ria began to talk about how to make Japanese swords. Though he was a bit amazed, Serge chimed in some words.
They bought meat skewers at a street stall and ate while walking. The two people walked to the plaza eating festival nori, seeing it by chance. [TN: Nori = Seaweed. No clue what festival nori is, though.]
“A slave city? Though Casalia also has slavery, it was done diligently…”
Criminal slaves, meaning debt slaves, still had some human rights. Casalia was such a country.
However, the slaves in Shashmeer weren’t treated like humans. They were treated like items.
Slaves covered in dust, covered in blood, dressed in scraps, were up on the stage.
For the two with modern Japanese values, it was hard to face.
“Is Casalia like this too?”
“No, Casalia diligently decides the prices of slaves. It doesn’t do things like auctions, and they are paid salaries too. If they are badly injured, it would be treated like an injury generally would be.”
A manly battle slave. A seductive colored slave. Bids came in one after another.
“Nee-chan, let’s go. This is in bad taste.”
Then, another slave was exhibited late.
“Okay, the next slave is a female cat beastkin, twelve years old. It has experience in the labyrinth, and is a bargain with its Fairy Eyes!”
Put onto the dais, the small cat beastkin was despondent.
Her whole body was covered with black hair. With golden eyes.
The auction began at twelve gold coins, immediately raising to fifteen.
Ah. That cat is-
Among the men with deep voices, Ria’s voice resounded.
The crowd’s eyes gathered on her. While Ria stared directly at the slave, Serge was contrastingly frightened, saying “Awa awa”.
The black cat, it wasn’t something to own. It was an elegant, cunning, and fearless feral cat.
It was a cat with golden eyes and black fur.
In the end, Ria made the successful bid for the slave at twenty gold coins.
“Then, perform the slave contract.”
While rubbing his hands together, the merchant smiled.
With her entire attention, Ria observed the cat beastkin who’d become her slave.
Her fur was messy, and had a scar on one ear. Her eyes lacked strength, looking downwards. Her whiskers drooped.
“No, I’ll take her as is and go.”
“Huh? No, then there’s the danger of escaping…”
“It’s fine. Your name?”
For the first time, the cat beastkin looked up.
Though Serge couldn’t tell the age of beastkin, he could still tell she was young.
Her expression was colored in puzzlement. For someone that was treated as a slave, her doubt was natural.
She said that she would take a slave without contracting it. If it’s like that wouldn’t it be able to run away?
“Your name. Do you understand me?”
She stretched out her hand, causing the beastkin to tremble. However, Ria’s hand surprisingly just gently stroked her head.
She didn’t mind the dirt nor the smell.
Before long, the beastkin raised her face and looked at Ria.
“I’m Ria. Pleased to meet you.”
Serge heard it for the first time ever–Ria’s most gentle voice.