Chapter 7:

Interlude – A day in the (after)life of John Brown.

His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)

“Young lady… Ayomide! Wake up!” Brown’s voice reverberated like so in a particular cave in Mount Curry.

Ayomide, sleeping under the bear pelt gave her usual response. “Mmh… Give me five minutes… or five hours.”

“As a wise man once said, young lady: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

“But I’m not a man…”

“That doesn’t matter, does it? Come on, get up young lady.”

Ayomide seemed sufficiently convinced by Brown’s words: After a round of yawning and stretching she finally got up to greet the new day. Thus concluded Brown’s daily ritual of getting Ayomide to wake up.

Next came breakfast, which usually constituted of some form of cooked slime and nothing else. Lacking knowledge of the local flora, especially as to what might or might not be poisonous, the duo had decided against trying to vary their diet by foraging for now. Brown hadn’t participated in hunting (being against hunting for sport) so he lacked the know-how that’d allow them to have the option of eating meat. One saving grace was that with the coming of spring some birds had laid their eggs, meaning that they at least had a source of protein for the current season.

“Mmm… worth it to climb all those trees.” commented Ayomide as she took a bite out of a boiled egg (made by putting eggs in a water-filled helmet and boiling them). It was pretty bland without any salt or other seasoning, but it tasted (mostly on a psychological level) much better compared to anything else she had during captivity.

“Praise the Lord for providing us with eggs on this very fine day…” Brown muttered a prayer before taking a bite of his own.

With the conclusion of breakfast came time for the main event of the day: labor. While the slimes of the mountains and the endless rain did provide them with a stockpile of food and water that was more than enough, Brown quite disliked idleness and saw it as a state to be avoided. Ayomide didn’t particularly care about being idle, but she didn’t mind working on projects that’d improve their quality of life either. Hence, they found themselves busy with one thing or another every day.

Brown had mostly busied himself with making pottery; he really wanted to travel to Azdavay to advance his plan of abolition but couldn’t due to the potential dangers of the forest. The endless rain had made it nigh impossible to properly fire anything as Brown didn’t have a kiln; he had been making firing pits (which was as simple as piling some wood and burning them) to make his pottery. Brown tried making a kiln out of mud, but his makeshift design (made with his occasional observance of modern kilns in 19th-century America) had either cracked while firing or straight up failed to fire anything. The duo still spent some of their time shaping clay and preparing earthenware for firing, mostly as a recreational activity. It was fun to sit around together and shape some clay while chatting.

Brown and Ayomide, if running out of food, frequently ventured outside to hunt slimes and gather firewood. Brown had gotten used to throwing his makeshift spears. Ayomide wasn’t well-versed in combat magic, so she joined Brown in hurling spears around. She’d climb up trees to launch a surprise attack on slimes, or gather eggs from nests. Slime leftover from their hunting trips would be made into soap, Brown planned to sell these whenever he could finally reach Azdavay. They had built up a small mountain of blue soap in the cave over the last month.

The day’s work ended as the sky darkened. While Ayomide’s eyes could easily see in the dark, Brown’s couldn’t. With no sources of lighting other than the moon and the fire lighting in the cave, Brown (and Ayomide) had to retreat inside. They had dinner, comprised of eggs and slime. The duo would sit around the campfire, chatting the night away until they were tired. Brown usually told Ayomide about his life back in America along with biblical stories. She in turn talked about her life up to now, though in all honesty, most of her experiences were a blend of bleak and bland that weren’t that interesting to tell or listen to. Frequently being under mind control (or, in Brown’s own words, ‘the spell of the Devil’) didn’t leave space for forming memories of one’s own. Still, talking about her past was a form of therapy that Ayomide needed desperately in her life.

While Brown and Ayomide were spending time around the fire, they took care to heat water in the helmet. When it began getting late, they took turns (Brown going outside while Ayomide was bathing, or vice versa) taking a ‘bath’ using the aforementioned hot water along with using some soap of their own manufacture. Cleanliness was next to godliness after all, so Brown made sure to never neglect bathing daily even under their current circumstances.

With the end of bathing so came the end of the day. Ayomide tucked herself under the bear pelt, while Brown had to content himself with using his coat as cover.

Thus ended a normal day in Mount Curry…

Taylor J