Chapter 52:

Chapter L – Escape from there quickly and be free.

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

29th of Summer, 5859
Casamonu, Casamonu (Casamonu)

It was approaching night, and Shinasi had one huge wrench stuck into the works of his plan to go on a dinner date with Ayomide:

“No sir, we don’t allow darkskins here.”

“No slaves.”

“Get yourself and your dirty, stinky dark whore out of here!”

Reactions were mixed to say the least, but most places didn’t deign themselves to accept Ayomide. Not taking in potential customers was bad for business, sure, but taking in a catgirl? That’d probably drive away a whole lot more customers, and nobody wants to drive away customers. Shinasi and Ayomide circled around Casamonu once more, but they got the same response.

“I should’ve just stayed in the guild and not made us go through all that trouble…” grumbled Shinasi, finding himself a clean-enough spot next to the pavement. Walking around so much had tired them, especially when they hadn’t gotten to eat anything. “I’m so sorry.”

Ayomide sat on a spot next to him, watching the pedestrians pass by. Most of them took a look at her of course, catgirls weren’t that common, but that gaze of curiosity quickly turned to disgust when onlookers realized the dark shade of her skin. There were also the occasional gazes of lust, those felt even worse to be subject to. She couldn’t comfortably rest here. Ayomide quickly got back up. “Let’s just go back to the old man.” The young adventurer followed after her, beginning their way back to the adventurer’s guild building. He looked around him, seeing the passing crowd. The catgirl would most likely by dead if they didn’t think she was with him; harming private property was no go. The only thing keeping her alive was the threat of being fined by the state, which wasn’t the most pleasant of thoughts.

Brown was a naïve idiot, Ayomide thought, for considering the people of Gemeinplatz worthy of some sort of salvation. People in this city, people in all of Gemeinplatz, they were part of a crime worthy of summary execution according to her. That guy over there who just spat in front of her, the other one who had almost grabbed her behind, the lady just now who deliberately almost tripped her… All of them, damn all of them to an early grave! Ayomide had delved so deep into her thoughts that she hadn’t processed the fact that she and Shinasi had stopped in front of a stall.

“Here you go.” said Shinasi, handing over a freshly baked loaf of bread filled with molten cheese. “It isn’t the sort of fine dining I’d normally treat a fine lady to, but we’ll have to make do.”

Ayomide stared at the piece of bread in her hand, then back at Shinasi. “Do you normally get to treat any ladies?”

“Oh, erm…” Shinasi took a bite out of his own loaf, chewing slow as he can to buy some time. Eventually he had to give an answer “I had a childhood friend from the village who I attempted to court when I was much younger, she… She rejected me by coating me in a bucketful of cow dung.” He took another bite to drown out the memory. “Then there was my adventuring companion, Shakira, who flat out rejected me with the flat side of her giant sword.” He took one more bite. “And there was Ayda, who called me a ‘shield-bearing shrimp… Ahem.” Shinasi paused after having recounted his vibrant love life. He needed to urgently redirect the conversation somewhere else. “Come on, it’s good, eat up.”

Ayomide objected not to taking a bite, she was pretty hungry after all. She spoke while still chewing her food, an action shunned by polite society. “Mm… Consider yourself lucky to be rejected all those times, ‘cause you got me in the end.”

“Wait, wait!” Shinasi coughed a few times, almost having choked on his food. “That implies you aren’t rejecting me.”

Ayomide couldn’t help but laugh in response to the man’s statement. “What, you think I was here just to get free food? That was one of the reasons to be honest, I’ll never say no to free food. It’s not the primary reason however, I’d have taken a walk with you free food or not. I’m… happy to have spent the time with you, even if this time was just emptily wandering the streets.”

Shinasi looked around him, seeing that they had managed to walk into a more deserted area of the city. Good, no one to judge me if I do it right now. He opened his arms, frozen in place like a scarecrow planted on a field.

“Uhm…” Ayomide looked at Shinasi’s ridiculous posture, wondering what the man was trying to do. “Err… Are you expecting something?”

Shinasi nodded, but this didn’t help Ayomide understand anything at all. He finally gave in, gathering his courage to break the silence. “I- I kind of hoped to embrace you, but I kind of lost the courage halfway through…” His arm was beginning to shake, both out of nervousness and out of being tired from his scarecrow posture. “…this is basically the furthest I’ve ever gotten…” …with someone who I didn’t have to pay the nunnery for, he finished silently.

“Oh? I thought you were going insane or something.” She opened her own arms as well, slowly approaching him. “Just beware that I’ve never done this before.”

I’m pretty sure no one needs any experience to hug someo- “Puah! Ah, Ayo- Ayomideaargh! Be a bit gentler! Please!” He flailed around for his life before Ayomide released him. “Phew, I’m alive…”

“Huh? Aren’t you supposed to embrace people tightly?

“Tightly, yes, but not enough to kill them! Like this.” Shinasi wrapped his arms around Ayomide gently.

“Ooh, I get it now! I always wondered how people could stay calm when being embraced.” Ayomide wrapped her arms in response, causing Shinasi to preemptively wince in pain. Thankfully, her embrace was a whole lot gentler this time.

This pair deemed to be unholy by the Temple and society at large stayed a while in this warm embrace, out of view and out of mind.

30th of Summer, 5859
Rogers’ Plantation, Outskirts of Casamonu

The night had gone and the sunlight had come out once more to reveal what had been hidden the night before in the plantation. What was hidden wasn’t all to pleasant to some people however.

“Sir, we just managed to put it out.”

The charred remains of a shack, still smoldering in its grave. Blackened remains of wood, earth, and corpses mixed together into one gruesome mix. Buckets of water rested near this pile, once having been filled by the water used to put out the fire. All in all, a sight that’s none too pleasant to experience for most people, especially when you’re the owner of the shack and the people who burnt down. “Do you know what happened?”

The overseer could only shake his head and shrug in response to Sir Rogers’ question. “We don’t know, sir. The shack seems to have caught fire in the middle of the night, and all the slaves seemed to have burnt under it. We heard their screams all night.”

“Shacks don’t usually do that, do they?” Mister Rogers seemed calm, but he was near breaking down on the inside. He was screwed like a screwdriver screwing a screw. “Tell Sir Kim that none of our deliveries will be coming through this month.” A plantation without slaves was a plantation without anyone working, and the loss of a slave also meant the loss of a very valuable financial asset. People weren’t very cheap to buy, nor were they quick to be trained in the ways of processing tobacco. This was basically the end for Rogers financially, even if he had yet to internalize it. He was too worried to notice that a few of his overseers had gone missing as well.

A few kilometers away from Rogers and his plantation were the supposedly dead slaves making their escape through the mountains, led by Harriet Tubman herself aided by Kyauta. The line of slaves following behind her had one question, “Madame, do you think they’ll find us?”

Harriet Tubman had one answer, “’course not. They think you’re buried under the shack right now.”

“But won’t they notice that the bodies are lightskins?”

“The Lord makes us all equal in death, especially so if death involves being burned. Those folk should be looking like nothing but charcoal.” Tubman raised her voice to let the rest of the crowd hear her “From now on you’re all dead men according to the rest of the world. Do not think of returning to the plantation, I’ve seen some cowards attempt that before.” She then raised her axe to show it prominently “You won’t make it far if you attempt to go back, I assure you. Got that? I won’t be having mercy on anyone who runs back.” The fugitives were all silent, mostly due to being face-to-face with a woman carrying a large axe, but their slightly terrified faces made it clear that they understood. Some were worried that they may be being led to a place worse than the plantation, considering that the idea of a slave haven in the mountains sounded too good to be true. For all they knew, Harriet was just stealing them away to be worked in the copper mines.

The caravan of fugitives made their long-winded way up the mountain, the air getting colder and hopes dropping as they went higher up. Not much hope had been left by the time Harriet Tubman stopped on a nondescript plateau. “Here we are, welcome to Gilead.” She led the confused crowd, who were unable to see anything other than an empty plateau, until paradise arrived.

“Paradise” was a bunch of mud huts strewn around up on a cliff, but paradise it was for paradise is wherever one is free. Harriet lowered her axe at last, turning to address the crowd. “Brothers and sisters, you are now free. To stay here, to go somewhere else, or to fight. But you are free.”

The crowd cheered, and celebrated their long-lost freedom for the first time in their lives.


Hello, I only noticed this just now, but the John Brown Isekai has somehow made it to second on the monthly rankings here on Honeyfeed! Thank ye for reading, and may we make it to number one!

Modern Crow