Chapter 13: Illicit Merchants of the City’s Underbelly

Spread the love

TN: Sorry for the late update! Been rather hectic this past week.

Remember, please assume that Kelt uses watashi (feminine I) and more feminine speech when speaking but ore (masculine I) for internal monologue. I will indicate with those colours, and if a different pronoun is used for some reason, I will indicate with small text above (ruby text) as it’s probably relevant in some way. I will do the same for other characters not using their usual pronoun.

Mouseover the text to read the romaji!

Satisfied with our sightseeing session around the market, we rested in the open plaza and sated our hunger while waiting for Sarah to return. Yet after an hour of waiting, there was still no sign of her. Seeing as she was late, we started to worry.

「Man, she’s late. Just what is she up to?」
-grumbled Ama, rapidly tapping his foot on the floor in frustration.

Guys probably wouldn’t get it, but don’t underestimate how much girls need to shop.

「Kelt…. you’re a guy too…」

Gakuto’s words pierced my heart. His overly blunt way of putting it shocked me back to reality.

「Wh, I’m a guy on the inside! But, ya know, no matter how you look at it I’m a girl right now!」

「So you’re just like fools gold[1] eh.」

I’ll remember that, and one of these days you’ll pay for it.

「Hey, instead’a sayin stuff like dat, shudn’t we go look for Sarah or sum’n?」

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Even for a girl, Sarah’s been gone way too long just for shopping. We decided to head for the shopping district that’s a little ways off from the city market where we currently were.

「Right, guess it’s time for me ta do ma thang.」

<<Activated: [OddEye]>>

Dan’s eyes turn red and blue respectively.

「Dan, can you really find her with that?」

「Well, I can sense heat wi’this, n’ I can set it ta just show certain kinda targets. Plus it can also show me stuff that’s behind walls n’ obstructions n’ stuff. Know what I’m getting at, Kelt-chan?」

「So, kinda like see-through thermal goggles?」

「sum’in like dat.」

Dan took a 360 look round the shopping district, then spotted a red mark at the far edge of the of one area in the district.

「There it is! I see sum’n like a silhouette of someone sitting over there!!」

「Right, lets go take a look」

Lead by Dan, we ran towards the place where Sarah might be. As we got closer, there were fewer and fewer people around; and even though the sun was high in the sky the surroundings got pretty dark. Before I knew it, we were walking down some secluded back alley. Even the temperature here was lower than in the shopping district, giving the whole place an eerie atmosphere.

「Is Sarah really here? This doesn’t seem like the kinda place a girl would go shopping.」

Yushiris is right. Forget young girls, it’s not the sort of place any normal person would usually come by. Which can only mean that something must have happened to Sarah. We ran as fast as we could towards her.

「Right ‘ere!!  She’s in ‘ere!!」

We stopped in front of what looked like an old bar that’d long gone out of business. Even the signboard was broken, and I couldn’t tell what it said.

「Well, let’s just go in…」

I opened the door. As I soon as I opened it, I almost choked on the strong smell of dust. Inside were a number of broken wooden tables and chairs. There’s no way this place has opened in ages.

「What the hell is this place…. its filthy, and it stinks.」

Ama pinched his nose. Indeed, along with the dust was a smell of rusted iron and a putrid odour, like something had died.

「Somehow, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.」

「Yushiris, that bad feeling ya have, it’s prob’ly right on the mark…」

Dan was staring at a door at the back of the shop.

「I can sense sum’n up ahead, and there’s definitely a path beyond that door.」

「Let’s go!」

I twisted the doorknob, but it wouldn’t open. It seemed to be locked from the inside. I tried tugging and banging on the door a few times, but it wouldn’t budge.

kuu!! It wont open!!」

「Kelt, stand back.」

Ama stuck his hand out towards the door.

<<Activated: [Shock Gun]>>

A arc of current sprang forth from Ama’s hand and shattered the door to smithereens As we stepped in, the smell of rust and putrid rot assaulted our noses. And as if the prove us right, there was nothing but a few dim lanterns by the floor faintly illuminating the pathway ahead. It was pitch black and we couldn’t see anything beyond the floor.

「It’s Dark!! And it Stinks!! I’ll just light up the place a little…」

Yushiris picked up a piece of wood on the ground and used his [Flame Generation] skill to it on fire, creating a simple torch. The moment Yushiris’ torch lit up this dark place, we were confronted with a shocking sight. There were many square cages, the kind used to hold beasts, and growls could be heard coming from each and every one of them.

「Are they breeding beasts or something?」

「Euvis, sadly tha’ ain’t the case. These are all humans ‘ere.」

「Humans?!  No way…. that means this place is…….」

Yes. This is a genuine slave warehouse. I never imagined things would be so awful. This wasn’t something half-baked like you’d see in fantasy anime or light novels. It was a complete about-face from that peaceful and happy scene at the market, and it terrified us.

「Don’t tell me in here is……. Sarah!!」

Walking all the way to the back, we saw a large cage, and lying nearby was the basket Sarah was carrying in her hand when we split up. Goosebumps ran up my whole body, and I hurriedly ran up to the cage shouting.

「Sarah!! Are you okay?! Sarah!!!」

And then two figures appeared from the back of the large cage.

「Kelt-chan….. Is it really you Kelt-chan, you guys?!」

Sarah was inside the cage. Her face and clothes looked to be just as it was when we split up, so it seemed the slavers hadn’t done anything to her yet.

「Sarah!! Why’re you in a place like this?!!」

「I don’t know. I was about to head back to the market after I finished my shopping, when all of a sudden my vision went black. The next thing I know, I was asleep in here…」

「Is that so….」

「Oh? Do you know those people?」

A male voice came from behind Sarah.

「Is there someone else in there?!」

「Oho? That’s the voice of Gakuto~ It’s meboku~」

The person that came forward turned out to be someone we were all too familiar with, from our previous world.


We were all so surprised, our eyes practically popped out of our heads.

「Yea, it’s meboku~ Been a while eh~」

「I totally forgot about you, but why the hell are you here?!! Actually, where’ve you been all this time?!」

「Why it’s Ryuutarou~! Long time no see~ When I came to after that time, I was lying in here~ Where are we~?」

「Euvis, we can talk later. We’ve gotta get them out of the cage first!」

I was just to fire off my skill when-
「Stop right there you lot!!」

When we turned around, there was a large man and a small man standing at the entrance.

「You bastards, think you can just come n’ steal our goods?」

The short man approached us with a cigarette in his mouth.

「Who the hell are you guys?」
-said Yushiris, glaring at the man.

「Us? We’re in the business of selling slaves. Name’s Zeni, n’ that big guy there’s Dorr.」

Though silent, the man named Dor had an imposing presence.

「Did you just say goods?! They’re not even yours in the first place!!」

Yushiris yelled at them angrily, but they weren’t in the least bit shaken. On the contrary they seemed very relaxed.

「Nop, we picked em up, so they’re ours. Everything around here’s our product for the taking!! They’re all glad to be our source of money!!!」

「You evil wretch…. Kelt! Hurry up and bust open the cage!!」

「Whoah there, Ya really think you can breaking that sturdy cage? Besides, even if you could break it, we’ve got hypnosis gas traps set up all over the place. If ya try anything dumb, you’re gonna set em off ya know?」

The man named Zeni flicked something with a button in his hand, showing off at us.

「You assholes!!!」

「Whoopse, almost pressed it there ya know~?」

I stepped forward.

「Are you the boss? I’d like to buy these guys you see. You mentioned money, so how much are we talking about here?」

「Wa! Kelt, what’re you…」

Gakuto quietly silenced Yushiris.

「”If we fight em now, we’d be at a serious disadvantage…. First we need to get out of here, before we can save them. Just bear with it for a bit.“」


That’s a good boy, Yushiris. And Gakuto, thanks for reading between the lines. I’ve no idea if he’ll buy the story, but let’s give it a try at least. Now, let’s see what you’ll do, you illicit merchants.

「Oh my, you mean you’re a customer? I sincerely apologise for my earlier rudeness.」

Zeni’s mannerisms suddenly switched into salesman mode, as if he were entirely different person.

「The items you are looking to purchase are extremely valuable, so I’m afraid it’ll be very difficult to sell it in the usual manner.」

「In that case, what do you want in exchange for this?」

A creepy smile appeared on the man’s face, then he said-
「Bring me ‘Fairy’s Wings’.」

[1] The Japanese expression used is haribote. Basically in this context it means something that seems beautiful/great at first but turns out to be nothing like what it seemed at first. I couldn’t think of a suitable English expression – help me out here guys!

Spread the love

4 thoughts on “Chapter 13: Illicit Merchants of the City’s Underbelly”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *