Chapter 8:

Chapter 7 – A Handful of Helping Hands

Transmigration to the Otherworldly Heavens

Truly in this city the people I could trust could be counted on one hand. That very hand was quite fingerless though.

I queried yet again for the route to the most popular slave trading location.

I did not look around too much and simply walked on auto-pilot.

When I reached the door of the facility I found myself in the significantly richer part of the city. I walked through the guarded entrance and noticed the name of the ‘shop’.

“The Helping Hands”

How morbid.

- What seems to be the problem, sir? How can we help you?

Apparently my bad mood showed on my face.

The person that asked me was a middle-aged lanky male owner of the shop. On second glance I have noticed a sophisticated leather collar on his neck was probably signifying he was only a slave of the owner.

I wasn’t going to share my issues with a stranger anyway. Especially someone who had it even rougher.

- It’s alright. My problems can’t be solved that easily. You can help me with finding an appropriate servant.

- As you wish, esteemed client. Please follow me.

We left the foyer and entered a corridor.

- What kind of slave are you looking for?

- What kinds there are? It’s my first slave.

- Well, each one is different. What kind of job would your new slave be required to do?

- Fighting in the dungeon, doing minor chores like washing clothes. Maybe meal preparation, I guess.

- What threshold of prices are you considering, good sir?

I decided to play it va banque. Worst case scenario I would get mugged afterwards.

- I am looking for a quality slave, not the cheap one. Price does not matter. Also if the slave is weak, but can be trained that is also acceptable choice. Please guide me.

I basically had unlimited gold. Finding someone whom I wouldn’t immediately detest was preferable. I had tried to hide it in the past, but he fact itself remains. I hate my fellow humans. I do not have an opinion on other races yet, but I suspect they would be the same deep inside.

- I will now show you to those that fill your criteria.

What proceeded was both astonishing and tiresome.

I was shown to so many slaves locked in pens. Like cattle. Those cells varied in the degree of luxury and cleanliness. There was one thing in common. All had been designed to be easy to view from outside.

Notable ‘merchandise’ were the following:

A) Some amazon warrior, though I guess her (lack of) attire was not really her choice or preferred fashion style.

  Level: average

  Potential Level: high twenties

  HP: high

  MP: ridiculously low

  Notable skills: of melee an weaponless variety

B) Catboy beastman with white hair (or fur?).

  Level: low

  Potential Level: low twenties

  HP: average

  MP: low

  Notable skills: pickpocket, open lock, evasion, street smarts

Now that I saw him I recalled a few scenes from when I was walking here absentmindedly. I saw a few beastmen of various species in there. Some even growled at me. I found my recalled memories to be quite vivid. I was initially happy to notice that change, but wouldn’t that make me unable to forget traumatic memories as well? Regarding the catboy his skills and full bounty column suggested he was a thief. His stats weren’t really that high in comparison, so I didn’t bother with him anymore.

C) Buff wolfman

  Again, a beastman, but he smelled really badly even among his fellow captives.

  Level: high

  Potential Level: low thirties, but almost maxed out

  HP: high

  MP: low

  Notable skills: spear mastery related, no skill like “dog smell” surprisingly. I mean the nose, smelling with the nose

When I sneezed I realized most beastmen were off-limits for me until I found a cure for my allergies. I informed the attendant about that.

D) Elf lady

  She had plenty ass-ets, very refined facial features, cold eyes.. brr I felt the temperature dropping in my very soul.

  Level: high

  Potential Level: high thirties, again almost maxed out

  HP: high

  MP: high

  Notable skills: bow related skills like imbuing arrows with mana

  A semi-strong individual

E) Human male

  Apparently a former gladiator. His owner sold him when he got an injury that was hard to cure with magic and impossible with conventional Thrope medicine. Despite that a Heal Spell would suffice. Is the fee for a Heal Spell so high these days?

  He specialized in sword & shield as well as some minor gladiatorial weapons like nets.

  Level: low

  Potential Level: high thirties

  HP: high

  MP: non-existent

  Notable skills: as mentioned above

  How could he have no mana? It was even listed under injuries on his status.

  He was almost forty years old. I have put him on top of the candidate list. I could probably extend his lifespan artificially at some high divinity cost. The total lack of mana was the only downside. If he only had a single point it could be strengthened and cultivated. Was fixing such a condition even possible?

We went to the next cell, when we passed an infirmary with recuperating slaves. The wounds, amputations and various other mutilations of those poor sods made my stomach churn. I forced myself to look through their statuses. It was until my eyes fell on the sweetest creature I had ever seen.

She was an elf.

I had an irrational desire to buy her.

She was maimed, missing an eye and right arm, She was wearing a makeshift eye-patch, still soaked with old blood. Her other eye darted at me for the shortest of moments and went back to staring into the distance.

Her skin was dark with a hint of red mixed in.

She was clearly malnourished, poor thing.

It was only when I had checked her status that I was truly taken aback. At first my eyes darted towards her current level, which was still in single digits. Then my iris expanded significantly as they skimmed on her potential.

It was an astonishing 39! To be more exact it was 39,734, almost forty!

This was the highest I have seen in this store.

This was also higher than my own currently. I am still growing! If angels have higher potential than me it is obvious mine still has room for growth, right?

A rare find indeed.

My guide was clearly uncomfortable with me looking at infirmary patients. It was even strange he guided me through here. It looks like a really bad design of facilities.

To divert his attention I have asked, while moving my eyes away from that dark elf:

- Is something the problem? Are those people not for sale?

- Good sir, this is an infirmary. All merchandise here is faulty. In some cases like that half-elf their injuries won’t heal and it ain’t worth using healing magic or a high potion on them,

Tsk. He seem to have noticed where my attention was directed.

On the other hand I have totally forgotten about potions and potion makers. I thought Ythall had only two high-healers, but forgot about potions.

Half-elf. He said half-elf. Not elf. Wait, if she is half-elf than the other half is..

- Half-elf? That dark-skinned girl?

- Yes, sir.

- Is she not an elf?

- She certainly look like one, sir. Alas one of our 3-star appraisers had recognized her to be an half-elf. She must have taken after her elf parent.

I stared at her briefly, then looked at others.

I still had her status on my AR display. Glancing at her race she was indeed a half-elf, but the other half was anything, but human.

It seems like that information was hidden from mortal with low level identification.

Her other half was that of a demon.

In other words she had otherworldly ancestry, of the evil kind.

I wasn’t one to judge her for that.

We finished ‘browsing’ in infirmary. I decided to ask whether any of the injured slaves were magic users.

- Sir, there are none. Magic users are very expensive with prices starting from at least 10 gulden. That price is the absolute minimum for an incompetent mage. Experienced mages might require sums greater than hundreds of gulden. Would sir still be interested in such expensive merchandise?

- If I get what you are implying right, then a magic user would get proper treatment and wouldn’t remain here?

- Yes, exactly.

- I wouldn’t mind getting a magic user. Previous conditions still standing.

I have noticed that he slave servant fished out a small bell out of his robes and shook it once. There was not a single ring resounding.

We went forward and in a short while another slave servant joined us. She was carrying drinks and refreshments. She was clearly (under)dressed to please the male eye.

I tasted my first food since getting isekaied.

It was quite good.

While I did no longer feel hunger as often as a mortal would, I still salivated aplenty. All in all the dishes were probably quite mediocre, but the hunger or rather missing out on food for so long was the best of spices.

Our trio viewed some more slaves then.

I had a feeling the manservant was a little bit more polite and servile than before.

None of the merchandise had caught my attention.

Maybe it was a sale tactic by this shop. Maybe I have already subconsciously decided on my purchase.

When the servant said he showed me to everyone already I asked for some time to think. The pair of slaves excused themselves.

They left a semi-large bell at the table.

I sat on an armchair and looked at minimap. I have been marking every slave I was shown to as we went. Having split the map into shop floors I have noticed there were several strong ones I was not shown to. Most were already belonging to a female slaver Marielle and were outside of cells. Marielle herself resided in the attached building in the back.

The few remaining were still ownerless. I was about to browse their profiles, when I recalled I should ask Archie about half-demons.

I sent her a divine message!

She responded immediately.

- What half-demon? Wherefore art thou, sire?

- Ythall, some slave store called “The Helping Hands”. Why do you even ask, you shoul have me on tracking already.

Instead of replying she teleported in front of me.

- Tracking Master God requires His permission. As a servant I cannot really decide that on my own. I still feel our Household bond, but that only gives a vague direction.

- I see. But. The Hell. Why are you here, you will blow my cover! There are people behind that door – I whispered.

- I have already casted silencing spell, Your Opulence.

For a minute I imagined the other meaning of silencing the witnesses and blood drained from my face. That was wrong. My archangel was someone selfless and overprotective of mortals.

- What about the half-demon, Armaediael?

That was one tongue-twister of a name.

- Please show me its status.

I did so wondering if I pronounced it correctly.

- She is a slave?

- Yes, obviously. Is it bad?

- No, I mean.. the demons are prideful. Weak humans would never be able to enslave them.

- She is really low level. Look at her potential. I was thinking of buying her. If it is safe to do that.

- I am starting to think she might have been abandoned by her demonic parent. An orphan or rape child perhaps. There is nothing wrong to be cautious about a half-demon, but if she were to be enslaved to the master of the Throne and further pledged on her True Name to uphold Heavenly Laws.

- Would it be okay to trust her then?

- Most certainly.

- I will buy her then. Please remain here and cast some kind of invisibility on yourself. Also dispel the silencing so I can call the slavers.

She did that, this time with an incantation. I guess she was serious about hiding from a potentially hostile half-demon. I could still see her, albeit in a semi-transparent state.

I was doubtful such a maimed lass could be an evildoer in disguise. Any divine being and that includes myself is able to sense the general direction that a mortal heart leans to. It is an ability not granted by the powers of Throne, but inherent to divinity itself.