The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 100: Trust
As the slave girls were still afraid of me, interacting with them was difficult to say the least. Therefore I had the only slave who wasn't afraid of me, Ancarin, accompany me to the basement to finish looting the corpses.
The first thing she did was search for the severed wrists of Duran. Her lips broke into a grin as she looted the magical rings previously worn by him. While these were only low-grade enchanted gear and wasn't much compared to the necklace she had looted, they were still a windfall for the apprentice mage.
As for why she was given these rings….it wasn't that I looked down on these magical aids, it also wasn't that I didn't need them. Instead…
"Settle down, I'm just giving these rings a look, I'm not going to put them on!"
Where should I start…
Out of curiosity, I asked for the ring which Duran used to cast his fireballs. However, just as I did so, the Grimoire of the Dead began throwing a tantrum. For some unknown reason, it didn't want me to put on any other enchanted gear.
As I tried to put it on, the grimoire rammed itself into the ruby ring, sending it flying onto the floor several meters away with a resounding cling. Thankfully, the ring was sturdy enough to survive the fall, and was swiftly picked up by Ancarin.
"Alright alright, I won't wear it." Honestly, this wasn't the main goal of my trip downstairs. Instead, it was for the souls of those bald brothers. Both of them were three-star warriors and would definitely count as premium grade nourishment. However, their souls were nowhere to be found even after a thorough searching of the entire basement.
Come to think of it, the grimoire of the dead seemed rather active...don't tell me…
"You ate them didn't you!" I strangled the grimoire with my hands, my teeth clenched and my eyes burned.
"Both of those three-star souls, you better spit them out right now!"
I was wondering why it started acting up even though it had been so docile up until now...so that's why...it was bored after its meal.
Speaking of meals...how long has it been since I last ate?
Whether it was the Blood Sea, the Land of the Dead or the Prison of the Dead, all of them were places without a day and night cycle. Mealtime and rest time were all I had to rely on to count the days.
But that wasn't a long term solution either, after all, I couldn't just count every nap as one day. You could say that my sense of time had been in disarray ever since I reincarnated. All I knew was that it had been a long time.
"What year is it?" The moment of truth…
"Year 1283." She paused for second before she answered, clearly she didn't expect a devil to be interested in the calendar year. A moment later, she considerately added: "7th day of the 12th month."
(Author Note: For convenience sake, the calendar of the Western Human Realms is the same as on Earth. 365 days, 12 years, 4 seasons but no leap years.) [Or daylight savings if you're into all that mumbo jumbo.]
"Year 1283, 12th month, 7th day…" If my memory serves me right, the day I died protecting Yi Yi was 02/12/1282. So I've spent over a year as a reincarnated devil.
[TL: Day/Month/Year , DD/MM/YYYY for convenience' sake.]
"What's the matter?" Having roughly determined that I was harmless, Ancarin became a lot more forthright in her speech, abandoning some of her previous formalness.
"It's nothing." There's no way I'm revealing the fact that I was reincarnated into a devil. It's not like anyone would believe me anyway, it was simply too absurd.
She cocked her head to the side and asked once more in an adorable voice: "May I know what's troubling you?"
"Nothing, there's nothing left to be looted here; let's head up." I hurried her along. Having been denied my meal, my stomach was left wanting after that short excursion. "I wonder what your sisters have whipped up for us. I sure hope it's something delicious, I haven't had any proper food in over a year."
"You've eaten human food before?"
"I had it daily in the past, later on…" Forget it, now's not the time to be thinking about mountains of corpses and those devils, that would just spoil my appetite.
Returning back to the surface, we found that the dining hall mostly cleaned up by now. It was an enormous dining hall with an opulent chandelier hanging from above; as you would expect of a noble's villa.
On the walls were the typical oil paintings that no one understood; but pretended to. The majority of the room was occupied by a long dining table with silverware laid on top of it; with an equally expensive looking fur rug below the table. At the corner was an ominous looking lucky charm that was bounded up like a rice dumpling (hogtied).
All these could probably fetch up to fifty to sixty thousand gold coins…
Sprawled out across the table was a veritable feast of meats, vegetables and fruits, some of which I had never eaten or even smelt before.
I surveyed the room and did a quick headcount; all of the slaves were accounted for, including the blonde girl who still laid there on the floor. I thought some would try to escape while I was down there, but thinking back on it, staying was probably the better choice.
After all, I was their savior and a pretty amiable master. Without much other information on me and my methods, staying was a lot safer than running away.
The slaves stood by the wall, not a single one dared to sit before we came back. As I stepped into the room, their faces froze up. Having no prior interaction with me, they didn't know how to react and so they kept quiet.
"I'm not really particular about the rules so everyone please sit. While everyone is here eating, let's have a chat about our future plans." Having said that, I took the lead and sat down first; after which I gave the blonde girl laying on the ground another glance. Looks like she wasn't planning to fit in.
With no other option available, I turned to Ancarin and in a slightly helpless tone, said: "Help her up to the table so she can eat with everyone else."
"Understood, Master Mo Ke." She signaled for two slave girls to assist her in carrying the motionless girl to her chair. While she was adamant about pretending to be dead, she still sat down like a normal person.
Having gone through that potion treatment, her limbs were mostly healed up and even those criss crossing wounds were nowhere to be seen. Based on appearance alone, one would've never guessed that she had been through such a traumatic experience.
With the blonde girl seated, the rest of the slaves sat down as well with Ancarin as the lead. I have to say...could this table be any longer? With nearly thirty of us seated, there's still plenty of seats left.
The meals in the Western Human Realms were presented in an individual dining style with the dishes laid out on the table for you to take at your convenience...that is, if you were a peasant. Nobles naturally had someone to serve them the food.
As Ancarin sat beside me, she did her part as a butler would, even though she technically wasn't my servant. The food wasn't particularly exquisite, especially not for our setting, but after not eating human food for over a year, it was more than enough for me.
And yet, a certain blonde girl was still as adamant as ever about not fitting in. Even in the face of all these delicacies, the blonde girl remained as lifeless as ever without any signs of improvement. Does she even get hungry?
...even your stomach is protesting. Just eat already or do you expect me to feed you?
I signaled for Ancarin to feed the blonde girl. However, as she brought the steak up to her mouth, this woman actually refused to open her mouth.
So even feeding you isn't enough...was your mouth full of gold or something? Was that why you refused to open it? You won't speak nor eat so exactly what do you want to do?
"If you don't eat, you'll starve to death."
Even though her stubbornness was causing us trouble, it wasn't her fault she ended up this way. As I thought of this, I glared at our bound lucky charm in the corner, wishing for nothing more than to skin him alive for his transgressions against this poor girl.
Even so, as long as you're alive, you shouldn't seek death. Going on a hunger strike simply isn't the answer. If you really don't want to live, why did you answer my question then? You didn't object to the potion treatment either.
Reacting to my voice, she turned her lifeless eyes towards me for a second before swiftly turning away once more.
"Forget it, we'll deal with your issue later." Let's settle the easier stuff first…
I turned towards the gathered slaves and said: "I know that everyone still has their own reservations about me, but seeing as no one escaped when I went to the basement, means that everyone here has some sort of faith in me."
"Honestly speaking, I don't enjoy killing the innocent. Even as a devil, I don't take pleasure in the suffering of others. I have my principles. As long as no one provokes me, I won't attack either."
"Plus, as you all have heard, I plan on going to Azure to find a person, so no matter how you look at it, I won't recklessly cause trouble."
While killing everyone was the safest and most optimal choice, I couldn't do it. I wasn't such a villain after all. It was already saddening enough that so many beauties were captured by that deviant Duran. How could I push them down into hell once more…
The only option was to convince them with my words and actions. Besides, this method had an added benefit as well; they could serve as my cover while in the city.
The girls' reactions were mixed, some were visibly relieved, others were still conflicted, while the rest clearly didn't believe that I could be a good guy.
I bet if I was a handsome human or an elf they would've leapt into my arms and proposed by now...sigh, the reputation of a devil was so difficult to overcome. Even doing nothing was enough to arouse their suspicions.
"Sigh...after this meal, you are all free to leave. I won't stop you. All I ask is that you keep my identity a secret. All I want to do is find my...sister. She's a human that raised me since young. That's why I have no animosity towards humans, neither do I wish for them to become my enemy. I just want to see her again after being separated for so long...to see if she's still doing well."
After listening to my speech, the girls feel silent. One of them, the oldest among them, suddenly spoke up: "If what you say is true, I'll give you my word that I won't expose you, but will you really let us go?"
This green, long-haired girl was roughly 18 to 19 years old, and had a certain maturity in her voice. She was one of the girls who didn't believe in me, however, given that she just spoke, it meant that she had put aside some of her reservations.
"I just want to find her, that's all. Truth be told, I didn't expect to be summoned at all." I looked at her with the sincerest expression I could muster and said: "Whether you believe me or not, I'll release you all."
Special thanks to Steve Granger!!