After reading 19 chapters of Gun-ota there are some who were worried of it getting a “BL development”, “depression”, “dark hero”, “title fraud”, or somesuch, so firstly allow me to say no to that.
Please rest assured that I will not develop the story in that way. Chapter 19 was done in preparation of getting new heroines and weapons, but conversely it became a source of worry. That said, I think we will be welcoming the appearance of a new heroine within the next 3 chapters.
There are 6 continents in this world.
The North Continent, where the White Wolf Clan lives.
The Fairy Human Continent, where the Fairy Races (Elves and suchlike) and Humans live.
The Beast Continent, where the Beast Races live.
Hell Continent, where the Demon Lord is said to still live, sleeping.
The Dragon Continent, where the Dragon Race lives.
And lastly, the Demon Continent, where the Demon Races live.
Putting them roughly, if you put the North Continent at 12 o’clock, the Fairy Human Continent will be at 10 o’clock.
The Beast Continent at 8 o’clock.
Hell Continent at 6 o’clock.
The Dragon Continent at 4 o’clock.
And the Demon Continent at 2 o’clock.
About 1000 years ago there was a war between the union of the Fairy Races, Beast Races, and Humans against the Demon Races.
The cause of the war was discrimination and hatred towards the Demon Races.
The customs of the Demon Continent are very different from that of the Fairy Human Continent or the Beast Continent.
There are many races that can’t be distinguished from monsters, like Two-Legged Lizards, Four-Arms, and Centaurs.
The discrimination against the Demon Races (especially against the Demon Races with strange appearances) was deep-rooted at the time, and as a result the war escalated into a worldwide scale.
Though there are some lingering resentment, nowadays discrimination against the demon races is not so openly done, and relations between the continents had cooled down enough to do trade.
As an example of the goods being traded, ‘From Demon Continent to Fairy Human Continent’ would be minerals like gold, silver, copper, iron, and magic stones. ‘From Fairy Human Continent to Demon Continent’ would be foodstuffs like sugar, wheat, and so on.
The Fairy Human Continent also exports slaves to work the Demon Continents’ ore and coal mines.
I was sitting, hugging my knees in the hold of a ship, together with those coal mine slaves.
There are of course female slaves, but since the male and female quarters are separated there is not much conversation between them.
But I had never even in my wildest dreams ever imagined I’d be sold as a slave.
I was having my just desserts for overly relying in my modern weapons: “whatever happens I’ll be fine”―――but this is too much for just one failure.
“If I could, I want to smack the me that got too cocky that day….”
But no matter how much I mull over what’s past, nothing would change.
I stopped moping over the past, and tried to escape from the ship.
But the ship left no openings to escape.
The ship we were in travelled straight, as if crossing the central sea.
The ship went by way of the Beast, Hell, and Dragon continents, dropping off goods for sale at those continents. Then it picked up new goods to fill the empty space, and went on to the next continent.
Upon reaching each port and exchanging goods, the ship anchored for up to 20 days, letting the sailors rest.
I thought to escape while we were at port, but there was absolutely no chance of that.
Magic prevention chokers were well attached to our necks.
Thanks to that it became impossible to use body strengthening to slip out, if we try to pick the lock without sufficient skill it will cast a fatal spell on us. It will kill us unless we unlock it with a special key.
The entrance to the ship’s hold was constantly manned by 2 sailors, standing guard in shifts.
Even if all the slaves were to tear down the door, the sailors would say the keyword and the chokers would tighten, suffocating all the slaves.
Once we were out at sea, we were allowed to go up on deck.
In fact, we were recommended to get some sun in order to keep us healthy.
Even if we chatted while sunbathing on deck, the sailors won’t get abusive or rough us up.
On the contrary, we could get friendly with the sailors and get a share of luxuries like tobacco or booze.
Basically, slaves are treated well.
It seems they don’t want our prices to go down because of wounds.
For food, we would mainly get bread twice a day, accompanied by salted meat and something like pickled vegetables.
At first it was hard for me, because of having gotten used to three meals a day.
But once I had gotten used to it, it was no longer distressful.
The number one most inconvenient thing was the rationing of fresh water.
Though they can conjure up fresh water since there’s a magician on board, the slaves basically get no more than a washbasin’s worth of water a day.
That water is for quenching one’s thirst and to clean off dirt on the body.
There are also slaves who, in their longing for water, looked forward to the day they reached the next port.
Especially the female slaves.
After several months of being tossed about on board the slaver ship—―somebody called out to me while on deck, out at sea.
It was the slave trader who bought me from the three stooges.
His head was wrapped in a long sheet, forming a Turban. On his feet, not boots – but sandals. And he wore a red vest.
He looked like a merchant from a certain RPG.
Those three had lied to him—telling him that I was a child who was caught committing a crime and was then sold.
My price was 100 gold coins, as they expected.
For that reason I was officially traded off as a slave and if I forcibly break out, I will be chased like a criminal.
Even if I told him I was tricked and sold illegally by those three, it’s already too late.
Nobody would believe anything a slave says, anyway, so it’s not like he’ll listen.
The slave trader held out a textbook about the Demon Continent Language.
It was about the size and thickness of an English textbook.
It was dirty, worn out, and full of fingerprints, maybe because it had been well-used.
The slave trader said,
“Human kids who know the Demon Continent Language sell for a high price, so learn it.”
“…….why should I even make an effort to raise my price when there’s nothing in it whatsoever for me.”
“Of course there’s a benefit.”
“Are you going to increase my share of fresh water? Or possibly give me better meals? Although I’m not particularly interested in either of those.”
I answered with sharp words and a bad attitude.
I’m not the kind of person who’d be civil towards those who’d sell me away as a slave.
The slave trader continued, neither getting angry nor laughing.
“It’s not like I need you to learn at all costs. You’d fetch a good price even as you are now.”
“? Then why did you tell me to learn?”
Unintentionally, I tilted my head and asked the slave trader back.
To summarize what the slave trader said――
For boys my age, it’s almost certain that we will be stationed at a male prostitution house intended for the coal mine slaves taken from the Fairy Human Continent or thereabouts. Later, once we grew up, it seems that we will change roles into the coal mine slaves themselves.
It would be at least 10 years before I could buy myself back.
In reality, I have never heard of children sold off in the same position as me getting liberated from slavery and returning to tell of it.
For the most part, they died.
Whether it be accidents, suicide, or death by overwork…… they died in all sorts of ways, but they all ended up the same way.
However, those that had learned the language have a high chance of becoming lovers for the wealthy people, in other words, ladies with money and time to spare, of the Demon Continent.
Demons have a relatively long lifespan compared to humans.
So there are lots of ladies with a mostly young appearance.
They’d get three meals a day, nap time, and beds.
There is also a higher chance of them being released from slavery once they get older, compared to coal mine slaves.
“But if you don’t want to study there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s no need for the Demon Language book either.”
“What are you talking about, master! I’ll do my best to learn the language and fetch a high price!”
I bowed my back in confusion, grabbing on to the slave trader’s clothes who had turned back on me.
“――Wouldn’t it have been better if you had just honestly said that from the beginning. Here. The book. Take good care of it.”
The slave trader sighed and gave me the textbook.
I received the book with both hands.
“Call me once you’re finished with the basics. I’ll have a sailor who knows the Demon Language help with conversation practice.”
“Yes! Thank you very much! Later – I will give my best efforts to talk!
Ever since that day, I frantically started making every effort to learn the Demon Language.
Because I absolutely don’t want to end up at a male prostitution house.
In my previous life, English wasn’t really my strong subject, my grades weren’t that good either.
But it seems that humans can really learn when the need comes and they are driven into a corner.
I smoothly learned the language, quite like a fish in water.
I finished the basics about half a year after I got the Demon Language book from the slave trader.
After that I did lots of practice conversations in the Demon Language.
Thanks to that I became able to hold a normal conversation without a problem, though my writing was still poor.
Then, one year after I departed from maritime city Grey.
I was brought along from the Fairy Human Continent to the Demon Continent.