Royal Capital Ribek, King’s Palace.
I had just returned when Mira came to greet me.
「Welcome home Master!」
「I’m back. How have things been since I’ve been gone?」
「Umm…..things have been going well. Yuria has been doing this and that…it feels like business as usual.」
「I see. Good job.」
I said and took out a medal for her that I’d prepared beforehand.
I had prepared three of them and handed one to Mira.
「It’s a reward.」
「Thank you very much!」
—Magic has been charged by 10,000—
「Where are Yuria and Lilia?」
「Yuria is in Belmi and Lilia is in Bisk.」
「I see. Then give these to them when they return.」
I handed her the medals.
I looked at her. She looked unusually serious.
「Umm….about that girl…」
「The other Eternal Slave girl…」
「Oh, Seiya’s slave? What happened?」
「She’s fallen ill.」
A little ways from Ribek was a peaceful area.
There was a residence there. It resembled the manor I once lived in.
I had let Seiya’s slave live there.
We had determined that we would treat her as a guest so we allowed her to live in the manor like this.
I entered the building and walked down the hallway.
I walked straight to the bedroom and entered.
There she lay. She was on top of the bed staring blankly out the window.
I was honestly surprised, she was worse off than what Mira had said.
She seemed bedridden.
Her cheeks were hollow and her eyes were empty.
If it weren’t for the slight tremors of her body, I would’ve mistaken her for a wax doll.
I called out and she finally turned to look at me. At least now it seemed like she was alive.
Honestly she didn’t seem to be ill with anything I knew of.
I walked towards her and spoke.
「How are you?」
I got a little irritated…in what way are you alright?
No matter how you look at it, this is the opposite of alright.
I was exasperated, but I held it in.
「I see. This is a visitation gift.」
I held out a shell that we collected from our trip to the sea.
My slaves receive the medals and my guests get shells I picked up from the sea.
That was the distinction.
She said in a voice like a mosquito.
I couldn’t feel any emotion from her. Just that 「thank you」 was irritating in how fake it was.
She didn’t accept the shell.
It just sat there on the bed.
「I was surprised when I heard from Mira…what happened?」
「Nothing much….I’m fine…」
「…….you haven’t found Seiya yet…」
「We’ve been searching but haven’t been able to find him…and yet you wish to continue…」
She said as she turned her face away.
She was painful to look at.
How should I say…….I couldn’t feel any will to live from her.
As I looked around uncomfortably, the shell entered my sight.
The gift I’d brought for my guest.
It was something I’d given for a guest…..not a slave.
「I may have been mistaken….」
She looked at me, expressionless as always.
I grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet.
She fell from the bed onto her butt.
It seems that she didn’t have the strength to stand properly.
Even so I kept pulling her up to stand.
「Wh-what are you……..」
「I was wrong.」
I repeated my words once more.
I was wrong.
「My treatment of you was incorrect.」
「That’s right. You are an Eternal Slave, a race that was born to serve by your nature. You will not flourish under these circumstances…」
「And so, I will have you work——-from now on.」
「F-from now on?」
She seemed surprised at my sudden change.
「That’s right, you have a problem?」
「Even if you do I don’t care.」
I stopped her from speaking.
How should I put it….I felt this method was correct.
She wanted to be a slave so I should treat her as she wishes.
「But I am…….Seiya-sama’s slave…」
「I don’t care.」
「Now that I think about it…there was no need to hold back. I surpass him and I defeated him…you are my spoils of war. I didn’t have to think of returning you…you should’ve been mine from the start.」
She seemed completely dumbfounded.
She couldn’t seem to speak and just stared at me spacing out.
I didn’t say a word and instead pinched her cheek and pulled.
「What are you acting all slow for…….」
I said while pulling her cheek and staring into her eyes…
A moment later…..she began to smile.
It was the first time I’d seen her smile.
—Magic has been charged by 900—
It was still a little stiff……but it was a smile nonetheless.