“Is two people all?”
“Yes. Myself and my wife.”
“Hm. We’ll accept 2 gold pieces for the escort fee.”
I passed 5 gold to the hired soldier and he grinned widely.
There was an unexpected charm overflowing from the smile of this mercenary who was lacking two front teeth.
“Thank you very much, your honor. Us mercenaries will protect you with our lives during your stay here. Please have an exciting day with your missus. Ooi, escort this couple to their spot! Make sure it’s of the highest class!”
Outskirts of Pavia.
Slave merchants had set up stalls throughout the open plains in this area.
To prevent thieves from pilfering, soldiers were strictly guarding the entire market. There were 5 platforms of various sizes, approximately 70 guards, and market stalls so grand that you’d mistake this place as a military camp if you looked from afar. Most bandits wouldn’t even dare to mess with this market.
“This way, your honor.”
Following the man’s guidance, we went to the center of the market.
Lapis Lazuli and I were pretending to be a young merchant couple. We had exquisitely forged our identification papers and names. With this, we wouldn’t have to worry about our actual identities being found out any time soon.
The slave market was overflowing with a shady and damp ambiance.
“Move it already! You damned dullards.”
“Snow elves here! Captured straight from the deep snowy mountains in the kingdom of Moscow. As a special occasion, I’ll be displaying them for free today. Please come and take a look!”
“I told you to walk more quickly!”
On one side, a guard was swinging a whip and forcing a group of slaves to move. A line of 6 male slaves were chained together and walked forward a little bit at a time. It felt like I was watching a caterpillar.
“Please look as much as you want. Looking is free!”
On another side, a naked elf was locked up behind iron bars. A sales promoter kept going on about how amazing his ‘product’ was while pointing at the elf’s breasts and ribs. There were many people gathered around the iron cage, and there were even kids among them. Little girls were sticking their heads through the bars and staring at the bare elf.
I could hear their conversation.
“Big sis, is it true that elves live off of only drinking dew?”
“Uhm, I don’t think she understands what we’re saying. I don’t know how to speak the language used in Moscow, too……”
“They say that elves drink the raw blood of kids every year. That’s why they stay pretty for a hundred and two hundred years.”
“You idiot! Don’t lie!”
The group of little girls giggled. The elf smiled softly as she watched the kids. When the children reached their hands out, the elf more than gladly put her arm out to let them touch her skin. Although the elf’s arm was thin and mostly bones, the little girls were making a commotion as if they were touching something like gold.
“These mischievous kids!”
The sales person lifted the children up while laughing heartily.
“You can’t touch the product thoughtlessly like that!”
I watched up to that point