His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)
A cold breeze rolled down the mountain, as it always tended to do, knocking over the odd particles of snow that were still falling. Spring was coming, yet the mountains of Curry stood ever so stubbornly, trying its best to preserve the grip of winter. The only signs of spring were the odd plants piercing the thin sheet of snow to reveal odd hues of green and yellow. The smell of wet earth carried by the fresh mountain breeze was quite pleasant, being the kind of smell that makes one feel alive.
It was quite a sight to behold, and behold Brown did. He, while waiting for his product to complete developing, had set off on a self-imposed mission to survey the mountains to see if there was any road to civilization. The old man oft found himself voluntarily stopping in his tracks to admire what he took to be the majesty of Creation, waxing poetically while doing so.
As for his observations, there weren’t many signs of human civilization in his immediate area, other than the occasional abandoned mineshaft that had been abandoned and looted long ago. It seemed that only Brown had decided to settle down in this area. There was also an earthen path, the same one that he had seen the slaver on, that might (or might not) lead to human settlement. The forest that extended down from the mountains blocked him from seeing if there were any dwellings in the distance. He had decided that he’d head down there if he was left with no choice, the chance of being lost in a foreign forest was too high (especially as there were no familiar stars in the sky that could help him with navigation).
Brown stopped when he saw a small lake, made by centuries of snow melting and eroding the rock, that contained a small population of various fish. He wasn’t hungry, so he felt content with watching the fish swim around the glistering, clear water.
That’s when Brown realized he wasn’t alone in watching the fish.
For what was afraid of had happened and old Brown’s eyes had now met something fiercer: a black bear standing on only two legs, watching the water in search for fish. The bear was chewing on the dead carcass of an unfortunate slime as it waited for an opportune time to acquire much needed protein. From its standing position the beast looked almost human, a very hairy human that could easily end Brown’s otherworldly adventures.
Brown was a brave man, brave enough to raid a federal armory with 22 people, but he was not foolish enough to think that he could defeat a bear by his lonesome. He silently moonwalked, in a manner that would seem comedic to him if he was not in a life-or-death situation, trying not to capture the attention of the bear that might think of him as an easier source of protein…
Crunch. His escape plans were ruined by an abominable twig that he couldn’t properly see while moving backwards.
The bear stared at Brown.
Brown stared at the bear.
“Good morning, young man. I am just some old, dry meat you see; you have no need to-” His persuasion attempt failed, evident by the fact that the bear had begun running towards him in a manner that was shockingly fast for its enormous body.
Brown, in a desperate attempt to gain an advantage, threw his makeshift spears before legging it. One of the spears bounced off the bear’s fur, sharpened wood was no match against skin as thick as it, while the other managed to find itself being lodged in the bear’s soft nose. This unexpected addition to the beast’s body stunned it for a bit, allowing Brown to acquire much needed distance from the bear while it growled with killing intent.
He began a brisk march towards the small cliff where his safe cave lay, with his furry ‘friend’ in tow. Brown was fast; the bear was faster. Every step meant a shorter distance between the two. It was quite hard for Brown to maintain such speed, especially as the melting snow had made the ground quite unsuitable for this unexpected morning jog.
By the time Brown had reached the small cliff whose top housed his cave dwelling, the bear was so close that Brown could feel its crazed breathing make contact with his neck. Without taking a look back he began jumping to-and-fro towards the top of the cave when…
Thud. Brown found himself hitting the cold ground, backside-first. Now he made eye-contact with the bear, not for long as Brown had to do his best to quickly jump sideways to avoid the claws flying down to him. This pitiful jump wasn’t enough as one of the claws found its way to his right shoulder, piercing through his coat as if it was made of toilet paper.
Brown didn’t have any time to swear or deliver a one-liner to entertain the readers, his shoulder was now bleeding and he urgently had to make his way to the cave. He ignored the pain for now, standing up to again make way to the cave. This time he was successful, all that extra adrenaline came in handy. Thankfully the bear wasn’t as agile, it could only growl and groan at Brown while watching him up on the cliff.
“Thank the Holy Spirit for guiding me away from that bear…” muttered Brown. He collapsed on the floor of the cave, his chest rising up and down in pain-laden exhaustion. He didn’t have anything to stop his shoulder from bleeding any further. He could only pray and hope that the wound wasn’t going to get infected.
Brown laid on the ground like so for about an hour, wanting to sleep but being unable to from his shoulder aching so dreadfully that he thought he was about to earn another one-way ticket to the Pearly Gates. After his rest he looked down from the cave to see, much to his horror, the bear patiently waiting down there. Around it were the emptied shells of the local slimes it had hunted during the hour. The bear seemed intent to set siege to its new mortal enemy.
“By the Lord, at least the bears in America weren’t this patient.” commented Brown in observance of his new rival. By now he had gotten used to the stinging pain in his shoulder.
Brown didn’t know when or whether the bear would give up, so he returned back inside his cave to observe how his product had developed. Inside the cave were a dozen bars of blue soap, made from slime fat, solidified inside clay molds. It wasn’t that hard to make simple soap; he only needed mix together some wood ash and fat. The molds had an odd shape: the sole of Brown’s shoe. He had tried to make the molds into more of a brick shape at first, but it was hard to make something straight and proper without any tools to do so. Thus, inspiration had struck him when he accidentally stepped on a ball of clay, Brown had found out that his shoes were the best way to make consistent molds.
He took one of these molds containing soap and, in a fit of anger, threw it at the bear that was still frolicking down below. The mold hit the bear’s thick skull, breaking the mold open and letting the soap go free on to the stone floor below. This move hadn’t hurt the bear much, only serving to frustrate the beast even more.
Being besieged by some wild bear had left Brown in a sour mood. “Now, what am I going to do with you…”
“Welcome home master, I welcome you to La Isékai!” May you all burn in the underworld you sons of swine.
Another day meant another round of work for Ayomide. The same people, the same dishes, the same drudgery...
“What do you want honorable master?” ‘Honorable master’ my tail!
Most days, as they contained nothing special, would go by very quickly for her. Today wasn’t such a day, quite the opposite, she hoped that today would develop to be a day of jubilee. Time showed its relativity as it slowed down to a torturous halt.
“Here’s your green mochi, master!” May the mochi get stuck in your detestable throat.
Thus, the day marched on, and on, and on, as if it would never end.
“Please have a nice day master!” And let me have a nice day of my own.
Ayomide and the rest of her fellow staff waved a stiff goodbye, with an even stiffer smile on their faces. Things quickly changed when the customer was seen outside, in a manner most uncanny, all of the waitresses stopped smiling and waving in unison. They didn’t make any sound, no relieved sighs or humorous banter that’d mark the end of a normal business day, while they marched in an orderly manner to their quarters. Ayomide was about to execute her plan before being rudely interrupted by the proprietor.
“Ayomide, my kitten, come here for a second.” What? She was surprised to see a break in the daily monotony. He hasn’t noticed, has he?
The proprietor was making a gesture with his finger that signaled Ayomide to come to him. He didn’t need to actually do this, as he was the one who was currently controlling her movement, but pretending that his slaves weren’t only doing his bidding out of mind-control magic felt better for the proprietor. From his dumb smile she understood that he hadn’t understood anything about her plans for today. Her body moved to stand next to the proprietor while her coworkers went for their quarters. The proprietor locked the door to the slave quarters, while humming a chipper tune that was quite foreign to anyone in Gemeinplatz.
Ayomide’s mind wasn’t sitting idle while all this was happening. Painting on the wall, too inconvenient... That broom? Too far away. That leaves…
The usual dumb smile of the proprietor, covering the entirety of his young, inexperienced face, was one that made Ayomide retch. “Let us have some fun, kitten. Come on, don’t be shy…”
At this moment Ayomide was unable to control her speech (as usual), but she still controlled her thoughts. Today, her thoughts were of the dangerous kind. [Dispel Magic: Body Control]!
Ayomide felt relieved as she felt her muscles obey her again. took hold of the priceless porcelain vase that had caught her eye. Before the proprietor could notice that something was going wrong for him, the vase had made swift contact with the man’s face. It shattered into a thousand or so pieces, one large piece kindly lodging itself to the man’s left eye. The proprietor himself was shattered too after having found himself on the ground, left too stupefied to properly process what had just happened.
“You- You dirty, swarthy wench! You damned ni- Argh, I can’t see!” He was brewing up a storm, but none of the slaves inside their quarters were willing or able to help him.
Ayomide’s heart was racing, she had done it. There was definitely no turning back now. She didn’t have the time to be standing inside the café, it was likely that someone would soon come to investigate the ruckus. She barged out of the front door, running for dear liberty.