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Chapter 43: Work
His aim was swift and true.
The blade sliced through thin air, missing the neck of the man who had defiled Malacia’s lips. Malacia had pulled the man forward.
Adjusting his position, Lutora reversed his grip on the dagger, and prepared for a second strike. Before he could move, a sharp voice stopped him in his tracks.
“Lutora! Stop! “
As if struck by lightning, Lutora couldn’t move.
“I’m fine… I’m fine, so please stop, Lutora.”
Even though he suffered such a fate, why?
Why stop him? He stared stupidly at the man, who let out a quiet sigh.
“Why, why’re you in such a place?”
Why did I come here?
Muttering, Malacia slid off the bed and walked over to the rigid Lutora. Wrapping his hand around Lutora’s, Malacia slipped the dagger back inside its sheath on his belt.
“Hey, sheathe the blade properly.”
“I’m fine. You don’t have to worry about me.”
Laughter rang through the tent, as if to separate the two, whose eyes were locked on each other. It was from the man, separated from them by the bed in the center of the tent.
“Hahahahaha! This is amazing! Head Priest, is this your new boy toy?! “
“No, you’re wrong. We’re merely acquaintances.”
“Hey, hey, that’s not possible! ! I’ve never seen you look at someone with such an expression! “
With a vulgar laugh, a burly man rose from the sofa. He inspected Lutora, who had stepped forward to shield Malacia, from head to toe with a lascivious expression.
Lutora was proud of his height, that he had inherited from his father, and was by no means of short stature. Yet the man effortlessly surpassed his height. From his familiar tone, it was apparent that he and Malacia were close. Even if it wasn’t necessarily a good relationship.
“Oho, a Royal Knight? Once again, you’ve caught an excellent lover.”
“Demetesca… As I’ve said, we aren’t in a relationship. Lutora is simply a guest of the Shrine.”
“Kuku…! A mere guest? I see, I see.”
Lutora knew that the man in front of him, Demetesca, was the subject of many rumors.
He was very well known amongst those in the slave trade, a dubious business that was famed for blurring the lines between legal and illegal. His ability to find “fine jewels” was unparalleled.
He had connections within each country, centred around high-class brothels and secret clubs of nobles. Although it was known in Palcemith that he was a dangerous man, the kingdom couldn’t lay a hand on him.
Why did such a man bother to set up a tent on the circus grounds?
“He is a guest after all. Shall I show him the “ways of your work”? The more, the merrier.”
Demetesca signaled with his hands as he spoke, and three young boys moved closer and kneeled on the ground.
The boys, who had slave brands on their chests, were all beautiful to the point that they did not seem to be slaves. Thinking of how they were the ‘goods’ Demetesca dealt with, even Lutora could guess where they would be sold.
Lutora mumbled. Behind him Malacia turned stiff.
Brushing aside Malacia’s glares, Demetesca walked up to one of the sitting boys, grabbed his thin arm and forced him to stand up. Demetesca grabbed the boy’s chin, and he was made to face Lutora. There was something oddly familiar about him.
“Oh, you caught on quick… He does resemble her, doesn’t he? The next queen, that is.”
Shocked by the news Lutora turned to look back at Malacia. As he bit his lip, Malacia returned a small nod.
“Eugene Laturi. He is Nasha’s younger brother. He became a slave as collateral for the debt his parents took on.”
“…There is a hidden secret you did not know of, about the selection of the Holy Maiden as the Sacrificial Priestess. …That child, Eugene, was recently cured by magic of the disease he had suffered from. …But as soon as he was released from the hospital, he had no choice but to become a slave.”
“If the younger brother of the next queen became a slave, there would be many customers willing to cough up huge sums. Moreover, he is young… He can be ‘transformed’ easily. Yet, your kind Head Priest there came to beg me to sell him to a “good customer”.
The grinning Demetesca pointed at the two men waiting on the bed.
“In exchange for his request, I asked him to “work” for me. There aren’t many “transformed goods”, that cry with a voice as good as the Head Priest, even if you look throughout the continent. I wanted him to teach these pitiful boys who will be sold in the future.”
Demetesca’s finger traced Eugene’s thin chest.
In the center of his chest, the pale scars of his surgery were faintly visible.
That was proof that he had received surgery using advanced magic.
“It isn’t such a bad thing to sleep with a man.”
Lutora froze once again.
“Even the orphans at the Shrine turn to slavery if they cannot find jobs once they turn 15. They’re also the same…They are from the same orphanage as the Head Priest.”
Both of the muscular men curved their lips into a smile.
Their expressions, tinged with an air of superiority were directed not at Malacia, but Lutora.
“Slave traders like us often work in tandem with the circus. Moving people is easy that way. The Head Priest is kind, that’s why he comes to me every time a child he has a connection with is to be sold. “Let the place they are sold to be a good one”, he asks.”
“That’s why, I request him too. Then, Head Priest. Let us put the worries of these poor children at rest.”, I say.”
In other words—.
“Before their eyes. If someone of the Head Priest’s standing was fucked by a man, and lost himself to pleasure, how would the children feel? “
With his gaze firmly on Lutora, Demetesca embraced Eugene, and slimily licked his ear.
“I’d like that to happen. Our work, you see, is quite fun.”
“Of course, for their work, they do receive a handsome amount. You said before, right? That you like partners that pay well? Head Priest.”
This must have been the other means of raising money that Malacia spoke of before.
The money required to run the Shrine was by no means a small sum.
This was its origin.
Malacia slipped past Lutora who stood shell-shocked.
He climbed up once again onto the bed, making its wooden frame creak.
He did not resist the two men who immediately came to entangle with him. Pinned down on the white sheets, he looked up at Lutora.
A slightly inconvenienced smile reflected on the wavering hazel eyes.
In a manner quieter and gentler than ever before,
“…Go back, Lutora.”
“Go back… and forget this. Forget… everything.”
“Please go home. I’ll send your belongings in the Shrine on a later day.”
“Quick… leave this place. …No more.”
“Don’t look… any longer.”
The moment his whispered pleas reached Lutora.
He leaped up and pushed aside the men who pinned down Malacia, and kicked them off the bed.
They hit the ground hard, and the men groaned in pain.
In front of them, Lutora glared at Demetesca, who had a look of surprise on his face, and tightly embraced Malacia.
As Malacia raised a confused voice, Lutora’s arms around his slender waist tightened.
As he awaited the other side’s response, Demetesca was shocked to hear Lutora’s proposal.
“It’s fine… if it is me, right? “
He resolved to never let go of Malacia, as the man’s eyes, the color of the evening sky, grew wide.
“I’ll have sex with Malacia here. …It’s fine to show you that.”
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