Translator: Adam Seacord
「Yes, there’s quite a story to it… I’ll tell you what’s going, but what would you do?」
…To be honest, it’s not like I haven’t thought of it. This is a necessary risk, far from improbable considering the lack of management by the Assassin’s Guild. Still, I was taken aback nonetheless. I try to conceal that fact as I speak.
「Hmm… I can’t make it a call without more to go on. Whether to abort it or not, I can’t make the decision alone. If she will have the child, all I could do is provide a little bit of financial support… I’d like to hear her opinion, and yours as well.」
Truthfully, I wanted to hear Dora’s opinion, but if I said so without subtlety, Dora might consider me to be easily manipulated. If possible, I want to build a civil relationship with her, without giving up too much power.
「…It’s nice that you don’t jump to throwing her out. You’re quite a softy.」
「Although only in name, I’m about to be your boss. I don’t want to give off a bad first impression.」
「…That’s what makes you a softy.」
Dora said, as if to warn me, but her expression loosens a tad. She’s not completely unhappy with the decision, it seems.
「Follow me, I’ll just show you.」
I had Diana and Astarte busy with other duties, so Shiro and I followed Dora.
「Master, will she have to quit once she has a baby? 」
Shiro asked in a whisper. It may not seem real, regardless of any knowledge she may have. I only have facts and information to go on myself, and it won’t feel real to me; I’m not a woman.
「I can’t answer that… Well, she won’t be able to move around too much to protect the child in her womb. Fighting and travelling will be difficult. Once the child grows, it would be difficult to work here, not to mention the threat her work would possess to the child. I have heard that, before her stomach begins to grow, it can be taken care of with medicine…」
「What does it mean to take care of it?」
「…To purposefully cause a miscarriage before it will affect the mother’s health… It means to kill the unborn child.」
Shiro didn’t seem to have much knowledge about it. She must have been surprised, she stopped in her tracks.
「…If you’d have to call it good or bad, then of course it’s not good. But for some people, it’s their only method left to survive.」
Dora said, turning around. She probably noticed that Shiro had stopped moving.
「Even if she gives birth, if she can’t keep working, her and her baby will both die. Even if she could, she’ll get less customers if they were to find out that she has a kid. Besides… Do you think the kid could ever be happy, with its mother a prostitute?」
「…I don’t know.」
「Technically, I am the one to make the call. We’re going to see her, aren’t we?」
Dora starts walking again. We head downstairs to an area that’s halfway underground. The prostitutes work in small rooms in the floors above ground.
The rooms are barely big enough to fit two people in a cot, a small dresser with some cheap perfume and make-up, and a small stand to hold a bucket of water and a towel to wipe off. Their battlefield, their workplace, and sometimes their deathbed.
The room underground was considerably bigger than one of those rooms. It looked like they had temporarily evacuated a storage space.
“Lily, it’s me. …I’m coming in. I’m not alone, but don’t be scared.”
As soon Dora entered the room and said so, a visceral sensation flooded over me. Shiro became terrified, all of a sudden.
When those I’ve turned into monsters, like Shiro, feel a powerful emotion, I can pick up on it too if I’m close to them. I turned around to see Shiro staring at the open door, quivering as if to fear a terrifying creature.
I hold her hand. It’s pulsating. She’s terrified. Of What?
「This girl here didn’t start out as a prostitute. She must have been through some hardships… By the time she came here, sold off by slave merchants, she was broken… Oh, what’s wrong? 」
Various voices and information clicked in my head like pieces to a puzzle.
「Dora, this pregnant prostitute, is she…」
A faint voice came from inside the room. As soon as I tried to ask more, Shiro ripped her hand away, and bolted past Dora into the room.
Then, Shiro’s devastated cry reverberated through the building. Some prostitutes, who are evidently not busy, peeked their heads in from above. I knew it.
「…Who is she?」
Dora whispered as she returned the prostitutes to their rooms.
…I don’t think I can get away without an explanation.
「…I see. It’s only a guess, at this point, but… About a year ago, two adventurer teams clashed in this town. One team was poisoned, and immediately attacked. The few female adventurers, including the team leader, were all killed, or overdosed on aphrodisiacs and ravished, which broke them entirely.」
「…Right, I was already here when that happened so… You don’t mean your…!?」
Dora’s smart. It was futile to try to keep Shiro’s secret now. While headed to the room, following Shiro, I told Dora the truth with omitting the essential information.
「Yes, Shiro isn’t her real name. She is a surviving member of the <White Dog Gang>, who were cursed and taken as a slave by <Red Bird>, the members of which all died in the man-eating dungeon. And Lily… 」
「I had heard that a broken girl was dumped at the end of town. I heard that she was taken in by the temple, but I never imagined that she had been tossed around and ended up here… Lily’s that girl. I suppose she’s lucky to be alive… But God must be one twisted son of a bitch.」