Chapter 24 - Egg Gacha
"Oh, if it isn't Hero-sama. How may I be of service today?"
The gentle owner of the slave shop appeared flourishingly to welcome us.
Surprised, he looked at Raphtalia curiously.
"What a surprising change. I did not think you would grow so well."
He said in a disappointed voice while slumping.
"I thought you would be more like us, how unfortunate."
What does he mean? But I'll just keep that question to myself.
"Real slave traders would raise high quality slaves by keeping them half dead."
He casually continued.
"Then the slaves you know of were discarded after being used, right?"
Raphtalia looked up at me concerned.
I've become a lot more confident now.
My current situation is much better than last time.
"Fufufu... Is that so, how exciting."
The slave owner, perhaps amused by my reply, let out a laugh.
"Then, looking at her condition... she has grown quite well. For a non-virgin... how about 7 gold coins?"
"Why are you talking like I'm going to be sold! Also, I am still pure!"
Shocked at Raphtalia's words, the slave owner let out a gasp.
"Oh my! Then how about 15 gold coins? May I confirm if she is a virgin?"
15 gold coins for Raphtalia!?
"Naofumi-sama! Hey, please say something?"
15 gold coins would be enough to buy the Level 75 male wolf!
While I was having those thoughts, Raphtalia tightly grabbed my shoulder with a scary look on her face.
"Naofumi-sama... If you keep playing around, I'll get mad."
"What's wrong? You have a scary look on your face."
"You're not defending me at all even though I might be sold."
"I'm just playing along."
--That's how I'll have to play it off as. Although I did think it over, Raphtalia saw right through me.
I shouldn't pretend to consider selling the one person in this world who believed in me.
"15 gold coins...."
Her grip became stronger when I murmured this.
Raphtalia's offensive strength... had become greater than my defense.
This was reliable in a combat sense.
"... I'll run away, you know."
"It's a joke. I was just thinking of how amazing and beautiful you've become."
"T-that... Oh, Naofumi-sama..."
For some reason, Raphtalia became bashful all of a sudden.
It's kinda irritating.
... Is what I thought, but why? What did I say?
"Well, she's not for sale."
"I see... that's too bad. So how may I help you?"
"Ah, didn't you hear about the commotion at the castle?"
The slave trader grinned at my question.
"I have. The slave curse was removed, no?"
"If you understand already, then this will be simple... Don't ask in the first place if you know beforehand."
Since I'm already tired from dealing with Raphtalia.
"Of course, you know, despite what the king declared, the slave system will still exist."
"Hmm, I thought the nobles didn't buy slaves?"
"No, not at all. There are many slaves owned by the wealthy. After all, they are quite useful, of course."
"That trash king, saying those things while supporting Motoyasu, the Spear Hero... Won't the nobles become rebellious? I would if I were them."
It'd be quite funny if that happened.
Although it'd be quite bad for the kingdom.
"Well, there are many factions within the kingdom. If they did rebel, the ones who will end up losing would be the nobles themselves. Yes."
"That bearded old man has that much influence?"
Was it because this kingdom was a complete dictatorship?
Then maybe the kingdom will eventually collapse due to an uprising.
Since the kingdom currently had a trash king who will be succeeded by a bitch princess.
"Actually, in this country, rather than the king--"
"Um... back to the matter of the slave curse..."
We've digressed. Now that I think about it, I don't care what will happen to that trash king.
"So, you've come to reapply the curse, yes?"
"Yeah, is that possible?"
"Whenever you wish."
With a snap of his fingers, an assistant appeared with the same jar used when we first marked her.
An embarrassed Raphtalia took off her armor and exposed her chest.
"H-how is it?"
"How is what?"
Why is she acting so embarrassed?
Even sighing afterwards.
Did I do something?
Just like last time, I added my blood to the ink and the mix was coated on Raphtalia where the old mark used to be.
"Although the mark was erased, it is possible to restore it."
The erased mark began to reappear as Raphtalia's chest glowed.
As expected, it seemed to hurt. Raphtalia tried to bear the pain.
The mark was restored before my eyes.
I need to check the reaction from disobeying orders.
... It should be fine to go easy this time.
Raphtalia became a slave again to gain my trust. So I should trust her now as well.
While thinking about what to do, I noticed that there's some ink left on the plate.
"Hey, can I have some of that ink? I can pay for it."
"Sure, go ahead."
I spread the remaining ink from the plate onto my shield.
Suu- my shield absorbed the ink.
-The requirement for Slaver's Shield has been unsealed.
-The requirement for Slaver's Shield 2 has been unsealed.
True power sealed... Equipment Bonus: Slave growth+ (S)
Slaver's Shield 2.
True power sealed... Equipment Bonus: Slave condition+ (S)
Slaver's Shield... well, that's somewhat expected.
Something new appeared in the tree, branching from Small Shield series. It was not that strong.
However, the equipment bonus caught my attention
But two items were unlocked from just a little bit of ink?
I carefully look at Raphtalia.
"What is it?"
That reminds me that the shield absorbed her hair before. 'Racoon Shield' was unlocked at that time, but maybe that also fulfilled some of other conditions.
That was probably for Slaver's Shield 2. With those conditions fulfilled, two shields were unlocked.
I logically reasoned.
In that case...
"Raphtalia, give me a bit of your blood."
"There's something I want to test."
Puzzled, Raphtalia makes a little cut on her fingertip and spreads some blood onto the plate. I drip it onto my shield.
-The requirement for Slaver's Shield 3 has been unsealed.
Slaver's Shield 3.
True power sealed... Equipment Bonus: Slave growth+ (M)
Yes! As expected!
"Naofumi-sama? You seem like you're having fun."
"Ahh, an interesting shield appeared."
I change my shield to the Slaver's Shield and waited for it to unlock.
"Now then... Hmm?"
We've finished our business here and began to leave, but a wooden box filled with eggs caught my eye.
I don't remember seeing these last time. I was curious.
"What is that?"
I ask the slave trader.
"Ahh, that is what we sell as our business front."
"What business is that?"
"A monster shop."
For some reason he answered excitedly.
"Monsters? In that case, are there also monster tamers?"
"How perceptive, was Hero-sama not aware of this?"
"I don't think I've seen any..."
Raphtalia raised her hand.
"Filo Rial are monsters raised by a tamer."
The name of a monster I've never heard of. I have no idea what she meant.
"What is that?"
"It's a bird used to pull carriages instead of horses within the city."
"Oh, those things."
Those birds that looked like chocobos.
I thought those were just animals unique to this world, but I guess they were monsters.
"In the village I lived in, there were also people who raised monsters. They were raised for their meat in many of the farms."
Is that how it was? In this world it seems people who worked on farms also count as monster tamers.
"So then, those eggs are..?"
"It's difficult for people to handle monsters otherwise. This way is easier to do business."
"Is that so."
"Would you like to see the cages with fully raised monsters?"
If I showed interest he would try selling them to me. The slave trader was a businessman.
"No, it's fine."
I have other matters to attend to.
"So what's that sign on top of the box filled with eggs?"
Although I don't know what's written there, I saw an arrow pointing to the box and characters which looked like numbers.
"One try for 100 silver coins, a monster egg lottery!"
"100 coins is pretty high."
We currently have 508 silver coins. That was a hefty price.
"Because they are expensive monsters."
"Just making sure about Filo Rials, how much are they normally?"
"Starting at 200 coins for a grown one. They also provide lots of byproducts like feathers. Yes."
"So chicks are cheaper than adults? So this is the price of a Filo Rial egg... but there's also the cost of raising one?"
"No no, we also have other types of eggs in there."
"I see... since it's a lottery."
So he's saying there are losers and winners.
So a loss is worth less while a win is more than the attempt.
"So there's probably no winners in there, right?"
"What! Hero-sama thinks that we would pull such a scam!?"
"Am I wrong?"
"We have pride in our business! Although we do like to trick our customers, we would never misrepresent our products."
"You like to deceive, but won't lie..."
What kind of logic is that. I wonder dumbfounded.
"So? What is the winning prize?"
"An easy way to explain it to you would be a Kiryuu."
Kiryuu? That's maybe... a dragon that a knight commander would ride?
"A horse-like dragon?"
"These are the flying types. They are quite popular... so nobles often vie for them."
Flying dragons... like in dreams.
"The market price for one of these winners is about 20 gold coins."
"What are the chances? Just for the Kiryuu."
"Right now there are 250 eggs in the lottery. Among those, one."
"Strong magic has been cast so you can't tell from the look or the weight. Only after customers acknowledge they may not win do we allow them to play."
"What a good business."
"Yes, if one wins we make sure to get their name. And from the publicity we get many participants."
"Of course, it's just luck..."
"If one buys 10 attempts then we allow them to pick another one from the box. Yes."
"But, how about excluding the Kiryuu?"
"Yes. Nevertheless, there are ones worth 300 silver coins."
Hearing that made me smile.
Wait a second... Isn't this just CompuGacha? Hey!
It's easy to reap huge profits with something like this.
I was nearly tricked again.
Still, I ended up seeing something interesting here.
Thinking about it, I feel somewhat vulnerable with just Raphtalia.
So which would be better, buying another slave or raising a monster?
It would be interesting to try out the new Slave Shield. Raphtalia's level has already gone up, so it would be difficult to get the benefits of Slave Growth+.
However, I was reminded of Motoyasu.
That guy sure was annoying about freeing slaves... Although, maybe it was just because Raphtalia was a pretty girl.
There were also many times when Raphtalia was in a lot of trouble.
Additionally, I would have to buy equipment for the slave. This would be a problem for my penniless self.
"Okay, then I will buy a single try."
"Thank you very much! This time I will also throw in the slave ceremony for free."
"Oh, how generous. I like that."
"What's the matter?"
"Are you going to buy a monster egg?"
"Ah, I was thinking that our last battle was tough with just Raptalia. Equipment for another slave would be expensive, so I thought raising a monster would be interesting."
"Haa... But monsters can also be troublesome."
"I know that. Don't you want a pet though?"
"... But aren't you aiming for a dragon?"
"Even a crappy Usapiru is fine."
It's not like I hate animals, even MMOs have pet taming features. Hopefully, raising it would be just as relaxing. Either way, as long as it's able to obey orders like a slave, then it should have a higher attack than me.
I notice that since I have a bit of extra money now, I'm starting to be reckless with my spending. However, this should be a good investment.
Anyways, with the Slaver's Shield it makes sense to own a monster.
"Selling it off after raising it won't be as painful like with a slave."
"Ah, I see. That makes sense."
Although we may end up becoming attached to it, we have no money so we'll just have to bear it should that happen.
Since a slave is another person, having to sell them would be very sad. If for some reason I need to sell a slave whom I've become close with like Raphtalia, I'm not sure I would be able to do it.
However, monsters aren't able to talk, so no matter what it'll just be slightly painful.
Leaving them behind with a 'I hope you meet a good master'.
"So you also provide those services?"
"I'm excited by how insightful Hero-sama is! Yes!"
This slave owner gets really enthusiastic.
Let's just look at the eggs for now.
He said something about there being no way to search through them.
Well, I guess just randomly picking one is fine.
"This one then."
Using my intuition, I pick one out from near the right.
"Please mark this seal with your blood to remember which one you chose."
Like he instructed, I smeared my blood onto the design on the egg.
A bright red light shined as an icon representing the monster tamer appeared.
I guess this is the same as restricting what slaves can do.
... Setting a punishment for it if my orders are ignored. I'll make it more severe than the one on Raphtalia.
It's a monster after all. Since it can't understand my words, then it would be better for the punishment to be harsh.
Though it hasn't even hatched yet.
While grinning, the slave owner opened an incubator-like machine.
"If for some reason it doesn't hatch, I'm going to ask for compensation."
"How admirable! For the Hero-sama who won't take a failure lying down."
I take note of the slave owner's mood and attitude. Geez, isn't this guy a bit of a masochist?
Although I don't get off on verbally abusing other guys... well, I do want to see the suffering faces of those shitty heroes.
"Even though it's just words now, I really will come. I'll unleash my violent slave on you."
"What are you going to make me do!"
The slave owner was seriously in a good mood.
"Around when will it hatch?"
I ask the slave owner after handing over 100 silver coins.
"It is written on the incubator."
The number-like characters were changing.
"Raphtalia can you read?"
"Um, Just a bit... it says around tomorrow."
"So fast. Well that's good."
"We will await your next arrival."
In the end we left the tent with our egg.