I was sitting on a train that was relatively less crowded, I have been waiting for 10 minutes already, for my business partner to arrive, that I decided to take a nap.
That was me, that was the beginning of Mitsuji Toshiki’s reincarnation to a different world.
I was organizing the information in my head.
Was this a dream? I was first suspicious, but also there was no explanation that would make sense. The details was so realistic for it to be lucid dream.
I’m probably in a situation now where I have entered a different world. At least I know instantly that I’m not in Japan anymore.
It’s because of the clothes.
Before I noticed it, the suit of good quality which I wore earlier became a light brown dirty robe. I can compare it to a beggar of a fantasy world, or possibly someone from a lower laborer class.
The watch that I wore earlier was gone of course. My cellphone was also gone. My business card case and my business bag was gone too.
Speaking of which, I had checked my body and noticed that I might have entered as a poor poor man of this world.
I had check my surroundings.
The place I am now was in a big tent.
The canopy was wide forming a cage, I had an image that it seemed like it was as big as a residential hut used by the desert nomads. The tent was large that can probably fit around 30 people in here.
Seemed like it had degraded as there were tears in the leather material in a few places. However, there was a slight opening in the entrance nearby for the light to enter, although it was dim inside the tent, I was still able to check inside.
It was a strange world inside the tent.
First of all, there are a lots of naked people.
There are about 30 of them.
I could say that some of the people I saw had big physiques, some are malnourished, some had their body covered with fur, and some are extremely tall.
Human… No, I should say it’s probably demons, or should it be sub-human?
I’m not really sure the correct word to use, but they are clearly a being different from a homo-sapiens of the modern world.
The only thing common among them was that they don’t have any clothing.
You lose the dignity of a person if you are naked.
(What the hell is this?)
I can’t fully grasp the situation.
For example, I can say that there was a werecat beastkin in front of me who was malnourished and starving.
However, I don’t understand why.
Why was there such a girl in front of me? Nude and currently starving.
As if she was like….
(Isn’t she a slave?)
I stepped back that instant I came to that conclusion.
At the same time, I heard a voice behind me.
“Oi! Toshiki! How long will it take you bastard!”
Toshiki. How come he knows my name?
Though I was thinking about it, I was racking my brains on how i can speak to him without sounding unnatural.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t properly understood it
“Huh? Can’t you even sort out the slaves!?”
That was useless as the big man, who asked, suddenly smacked my face with his fist.
I didn’t understood the situation as it was all too sudden.
My nose was in pain as tears runs down from my eyes.
I who had struck the back of my head so hard, thought that the big man was staring at me like I’m stupid.
Apparently, I who was named Toshiki, seems to be in a position to serve this big man.
Aside from the difference on the way he speaks, he was also dressed differently.
I was wearing a unkempt light brown robe, but he was wearing a robe that was heavily decorated.
It was certain that I was at the bottom in terms of the hierarchical position between me and the big man.
“Fucking cheeky face. Who told you to get away from me!”
This time I got a kick.
My thigh was relentlessly kicked.
I had no other choice but to lower myself and apologetically said “I’m, I’m sorry”.
Before long, he got tired and heard in a displeasing voice “That’s good then”.
“Don’t think you can quit. Clean up after this, you move back now”
“……. I’m sorry”
I was apologizing as I keep my distance.
Although I didn’t blew up in sudden anger earlier, I was now getting angry.
I was getting angry but I think I was no match for him.
Certainly I can’t fight back. I will lose due to difference in power.
It was humiliating.
I sighed in my mind.
Even if I think about this, there was no getting away from it. I decided to distract myself by thinking other things.
(Sorting of the slaves huh?)
Well it’s was not impossible for me to observe other people’s forte.
That was my occupational experience from my previous world because I was a Career Consultant.
A career consultant was something like a business consultant.
The work closely resembles counseling as I utilize various data such as appropriate qualifications, appropriate abilities, and psychological approach, to counsel one’s aptitude and aspiration
I have technical qualifications as a career consultant by passing the national licensure exam.
So I think it will be possible for me to observes a person’s suitability.
(This is going to be troublesome when it comes to the slaves of the other world. I don’t know the structure of this world)
I gave up.
Although I had improve my skill in personal observation with much effort in my previous world, it was useless if I don’t understand the structure of this world.
For example, assuming there was magic in this world. If I judge muscular people as “You’re suitable in construction!”, it was meaningless if all engineering construction of this world was done by magic.
It was necessary to acquire the general knowledge of this world early.
I wonder how would I sort out the slaves.
“Shit, You were hired as an apprentice because you’re a kid with an appraisal skill. But you’re not useful at all”
“Why did Kubera-sama, the God of Wealth, gave this shithead a blessing? I ain’t using my magic just so you could just waste it. …..[Status Open]”
God of Wealth Kubera.
It was possible that I heard those words somewhere.
God of Wealth Kubera, was certainly one of the gods of a certain game
One world had surfaced in my mind.
[Fantasy Tale]. It was a fantasy RPG that I got a little addicted, one that boasted worldwide sale as a mobile social game app.
I played it fairly enough that I know the general knowledge of the game world.
If this world was the same as [Fantasy Tale].
I felt that various pieces had made sense in my mind.
Demon Slaves, female beastkins, incantation of [Status Open]. All of them matches the world of [Fantasy Tale].
Perhaps I was transported within [Fantasy Tale].
One aspiration had grown within me the moment I though up of that hypothesis.
I want to achieve success in my life on this world.
“This, This guy seems usable. This one…. Is useless. Alright, this other one”
While the big man was sorting out, I had secretly made up my mind.
I have to get rid of this big man first.
Of course I will have to use a gentle method to be free, however, i will have to use force if necessary.
I had learned it after all.
The name of this big man was Mark.
When the magic [Status Open] was used as a test, a display like this appeared.
Name : Mark Tracey Age : 41 Years Old Level : 10 HP : 36 MP : 7 Strength : 6 Agility : 8 Magic Power : 5 Endurance : 6 Special Skill : Negotiation Skill Lv. 2 Special Skill : Appraisal Lv. 2
Negotiation Skill Lv. 2 and Appraisal Skill Lv. 2 are treated under the designation of “Skills”. In short, that was the blessings granted by the gods, the Lv. part was a reference on the strength of the blessing.
For example, the skill Swordsmanship Lv. 1.
When comparing people with this skill and those who had not, those that have this skill can had their sword technique grow stronger more faster.
The higher the level, the bigger the effect of the blessing. For example, if it became Lv. 5, there would probably be no one on this continent that can match them.
These knowledge are from my memory during the time I was a gamer of [Fantasy Tale].
As far as I remember in the game, the NPC can only reach Lv. 5 as the highest, even if enemies are included it should be only up to Lv. 7
It was possible for players on the other hand to grind all the way to Lv.10.
Generally, there isn’t a way to verify if a skill exist or not in the game.
For example, what kind of skill does oneself possess? What kind of skill other people had? There was no way to check that.
However, I can see it. It was possible to analyze the skill of other people by activating the Appraisal Skill. This skill will let me able to see if a blessing exist on other people, I am able to identify the actual numerical values and composition.
I was convinced that was it. And this can be useful.
(Well, I will have to keep silent about this around here)
On a certain day.
A customer came over to Mark’s shop and purchased a battle slave. The customer was a member of the knights from the chilvaric kingdom of Vakharaistan, they were the so called elite.
The request from the knight was “I need to chose a slave that had a tough and fit physique”. There was no particular skill specified.
Mark replied with “yeah, yeah” and brought three people.
Their status was about the same, there was no big numerical differences between them. However their skills was completely different from each other.
One person was an ordinary slave that doesn’t have any skill.
Another person had a Swordsmanship Skill Lv. 2, befitting as a swordsman.
The last one had a Fire Magic Lv. 0, a valuable person with basic knowledge of magic.
Their value was clearly different. It was only appropriate that the 2 slaves that had been blessed with skills should naturally be twice as expensive compared to the slave that doesn’t have any skills.
However, Mark set the price of all three of them to be the same. Because the statuses were the same that he had set the same price.
Mark, which had the appraisal skill, set the price the same for the 3 slaves. I was somewhat shocked.
I noticed it then, that perhaps Mark can only read the numerical status values.
As a test, I had asked Mark to do something.
I pointed out the cat-girl beastkin that I saw previously (she seems to be called Mina) and said “Excuse me sir, It seems the status display is blurry, can you read aloud the status of that slave?”
I received a glaring glance.
After Mark made a fool out of me, he said it to me.
“Hmph, Mina, HP 21, MP 6, Strenght 8, Agility 9, Magic Power 2, Endurance 4. Don’t waste my time again”
I wanted to ask if there was anything else.
But I believed that perhaps Mark hasn’t seen any more data.
Because it was written on Mina’s status [Unique Blessing: Shrine Maiden of the Beastkin Race].
(If I can read the blessing skill by using my appraisal skill, Mark must be able to know what kind of skill she have or her blessing)
However, Mark didn’t noticed it. He didn’t see that Mina was a Shrine Maiden of the Beastkin Race.
If Mark knew about it, I’m sure he would not have mistreated Mina.
Because a Shrine Maiden of the Beastkin Race was an important existence.
I must hear it from Mark as a test. So I asked “How much is an excellent Shrine Maiden slave worth?”
“Huh, that is still too early for you. It’s worth more than the 30 slaves in here now, probably more than a 100 slaves”
Mark replied to me in a rude way while drinking alcohol, perhaps what he said was the truth.
“In other words, we would make a bunch of money if we found such a slave”
“Idiot, of course it carries such a very expensive price. Because the maintenance cost is also very high”
“Is that so?”
“You wouldn’t know. A high quality slave must be prepared on only the best quality tent, they have to be bathe everyday and must be groomed”
“Wow, that’s really hard” was my appropriate response as I thought about it.
If that was the case, putting Mina on the other luxury tent for high quality slaves is a must.
Since Mark was stingy on the money, it just means that Mark didn’t knew that Mina was a Shrine Maiden.
There was no moral obligation to tell him.
I intend to fully utilize this information that Mark didn’t knew.
Shrine Maiden of the Beastkin Race.
I felt inclined to hear about her blessing from her directly that I had secretly asked her about it afterwards.
Whether she was by any chance a Shrine Maiden or not.
Mina was surprised. She had a facial expression as if to say how did I know, but I didn’t directly hear it from her.
Instead, I only heard her say “Who the hell are you?”
She seemed to be cautious somehow.
“I’m just a simple slave trader apprentice” is what I had told her for now. “However, I don’t quite get along with the store owner”
She never said anymore words.
Mina didn’t spoke carelessly. It was because of the carved slave seal, if she bares any ill-intent towards the master, she will suffer from the magic. Therefore she only said safe words.
However I already knew just from Mina’s reactions.
It seemed that Mina, being a Shrine Maiden was the truth.
It was a very important information that I would like to keep a secret.
“? What is it?”
Mark had started another work.
I saw it as a chance to talk to Mina.
Of course Mark must not know about it. If he knew about it, it will just give him a reason to beat the shit out of me.
So far, my reason was just to talk to her.
“Why were you captured?”
I just want to really hear her story.
Mina’s status is not the kind that she should be caught easily.
Her numerical values doesn’t really differ that much from an ordinary person.
Name: Mina Therianthrope (Slave) Age : 15 Years Old Level : 6 HP : 21 MP : 6 Strenght : 8 Agility : 9 Magic Power : 2 Endurance : 4 Unique Blessing: Shrine Maiden of the Beastkin Race Special Skill: Spearmanship Lv. 3 Special Skill: Dancing Lv. 2 Special Skill: Body Reinforcement Lv. 1
Having Spearmanship Lv. 3 will make her an excellent spear fighter compared to that of the common soldiers.
Because at Lv. 3, it will make her on par with a veteran adventurer. So how?
How did she got captured?
That question was bugging me.
“Why are you asking about that?”
And Mina responded with somewhat looking baffled.
There were signs that she was being cautious and I stopped thinking about it.
It was reasonable that Mina should not trust me
In fact she would even thought I was a suspicious person.
Why didn’t this man told Mark that she herself was a Shrine Maiden?
Perhaps there was some evil scheme being planned.
Such signs would make someone cautious.
So looking it at Mina’s point of view, it was reasonable to think so.
I thought this would take quite a while.
Shouldn’t I build her trust over a long period of time to get the story out of her?
I should probably do it that way.
I must first make a plan and give great effort to receive Mina’s trust.
If I want to gain her trust, I’ll start with my attitude.
It won’t have any strong foundation if I gain her trust through trickery. Gaining it slowly over a long period of time will be more effective.
Therefore, I will have to be sincere towards Mina to gain her trust.
There was one thing however.
Even if I say attitude, it does not mean I can just talk her.
I need to be polite when I speak to her in the first place.
Even if I’m speaking with a slave, I should not use a rude commanding tone. If it was Mark, he will probably say “Hey! finish your meal quickly!” in a oppressive manner and whip them.
However, I will be different. “Please have some water, drink as much as you want” and give them some water. I will not be forceful nor will I be shouting at them. Since in the first place, I won’t torment them needlessly in anyway.
It should not be just changing the way I talk to them.
How much I talk to them should also be changed.
I made sure to make some conversation with Mina secretly while Mark was not looking.
Conversation was the basic form of human communication.
Not just practical subjects like “Please have some water”.
It should be real conversations.
“You know what, I had a dream today”
“Hey, did you know? There was a really great noble that came today”
And so on.
No matter how you look at it, the discussion was friendly. Or it was something like small talk to pass the time.
It was however my aim from the start.
Talking to her with such trifling subject matters, she just continued listening to it like it was nothing.
“Is that so master Toshiki”
“Yes, he was an extravagant and distinguished noble. It was probably the country’s aristocratic tax collector”
By talking about trifling things this way, Mina was steadily showing her emotions.
She laughs when I say a joke.
She nods when I speak to her seriously.
When I’m being severely bullied again, she will come to me and ask “Are you OK?”.
Her wariness had been greatly reduced compared to last time.
Because Mina did not even show her emotions previously.
Besides, there was more.
Mina would probably still listen even if my conversation with her was just trivial gossip.
I would be jumping to conclusions if I thought that it was possibly just courtesy.
If I put myself in Mina’s shoes, I understood it immediately.
Even if my stories were trivial, it was still a valuable source of information.
For example, about the tax collector mentioned previously.
Since the tax collector personally came to this shop, that means this might be a large store, that they had to check if the store pays the full tax.
Or that perhaps this country’s ethics was so low that someone, like a tax collector for the government, could easily overlook the slave trade.
Such expectations were possible.
Of course as for me, I had already expected this much.
Those kind of information goes through Mina. I do not particularly mind it.
It doesn’t have any negative effect on me. I didn’t suffer any losses. So I didn’t regret it.
It’s fine even if I seem to be just someone useful, particularly for Mina.
It was better that I was useful to her.
Because she will listen to my stories if I’m useful to her.
That is to say, it was synonymous with giving me the chance to gain her trust indefinitely.
Honestly, I can easily gain the trust of a person if I exploit their weak spot.
It was a conversation technique I learned in the previous world. I just have to look very sincere with an honest attitude and make agreeable response as much as possible.
I act sincerely by leading them on.
In that context, Mina was easy since she was a young girl.
She probably had little experience with being suspicious towards a person. Although she prepared herself to be cautious, her wariness was somewhat lacking.
It took quite a while, but Mina was able to completely trust me.
(Great, credibility is at 70%. It seems I’m fairly trusted now)
I could see the credibility gauge in the status screen.
The credibility gauge was usually hidden behind the Name Bar. However, when I call up the display details, the credibility gauge emerges from the Name Bar.
I believe that credibility is only up to 100%. If I’m not mistaken, 100% was the the maximum value in [Fantasy Tale].
If the credibility of the companion was at 70%, the companion unit will show the cooperation skill which is the mark that you have been trusted.
The level was equivalent to real life close friend.
Therefore, Mina sees me now in a favorable light.
“Ah, no, it’s nothing”
I wondered if Mina was doubting me at she stared at my appearance.
She was looking at me with mystified look.
I changed the subject by saying “Speaking of which, it seems the you are laughing these days”, so that she doesn’t get suspicious.
“It might be so, it was fun to hear your stories master Toshiki”
“Really, I’m glad you say so”
It was her compliment.
It was only natural for men to be happy, even if he knew it was just a compliment.
So I “acted” like I was bashful while I glancingly observing Mina.
Mina’s coat was getting better.
Normally the Werecat’s coat were not maintained, but Mina was different.
Mina likes to maintain her coat.
So sometimes I maintain her coat for her.
For example, her back.
Although she can groom herself, the body structure of a Werecat makes it impossible for her to reach her back.
Therefore I’m the one grooming her back.
Mina was very pleased when I groomed her.
It was a woman’s nature to love cleanliness.
Grooming the back probably felt really good.
And so just by grooming, Mina’s appearance changed a little bit.
She was becoming a little bit lovelier.
At first Mina was like a dirty kitten, no, more like a dirty dust cloth.
However, as I patiently fixed her appearance, I noticed that she was becoming better.
The material was not bad in the first place.
Mina’s features were exceedingly refreshing, and her eyes were big and charming.
Therefore, when you properly clean and groom her, she will become lovely.
It was a fact now, but I’m still surprised whenever I see her.
To think that she had changed this much that she had become so beautiful.
I seemed to have been fascinated by her unintentionally.
I was speechless for a long time and Mina asked in confusion “Again? What’s wrong this time?”
“Well, I was just thinking of what to talk about today”
“Is that so? It’s fun you know”
It was fun being next to Mina as I absentmindedly thought about what to talk about.
I have a reason why I, more or less, got fascinated by her.
Because in this tent for low-class slaves, Mina was nude.
“Come to think of it master Toshiki, I saw you mingling with the other slaves”
“That’s right, It was interesting to hear their stories”
Mina pointed out that I was interacting with the other slaves.
It was just normal for me to interact with the rest of the 30 slaves.
Since I don’t discriminate.
But really, Mina took most of my time but I still tried to interact with everyone as much as possible.
Why is that?
Because I just really want to hear their various stories.
For example, the slave that was a former adventurer.
I was able to hear stories from during the time of their adventuring days.
They told me a secret on how to kill a very large demon. How to distinguish edible wild grass from inedible ones.
Such knowledge in a wide variety of subjects was in some way, very important general knowledge to me.
Since I was a reincarnated person.
I’m absolutely ignorant to what was common sense in this world.
Even though I was playing [Fantasy Tale], I can’t tell the difference between edible and inedible wild grasses.
That’s why I need learn it from the people of this world.
I received some advice and got a lot information from them.
Thus I made some steady progress in my initial preparations.
Yes, initial preparations.
Preparations to be independent from the slave trader called Mark.