A while later, they returned to the hotel room. When they entered, they saw Darian, Rumble, Wolfenstine and Marilia were sitting. There seemed to be cheerfully talking to each other when they enetered.
“Ah! You’re back!” Rumble said as they turned to look at him.
“We’re back and we got a bunch of stuff you told us to buy,” Lakshman said as he placed the Item Box nearby.
“Ah. Good job… Hmm? Who’s that?” Marilia asked when she saw Emilia standing behind them.
“Ah… She’s…” Lakshman said hesitantly.
“Is she perhaps a friend of yours, Lakshman? Or maybe a relative that your family never knew about?” Rumble asked curiously.
Ondine shook her head and said “No. Her name is Emilia and she is the slave that master bought.”
For a moment, silence filled the room as the words sunk in. Then Darian, Rumble, Wolfenstine and Marilia all shouted “EH?!”
Lakshman raised his hands up a little and began to say “Um… Let me explain…”
Marilia suddenly jumped to her feet and she ran towards him. With a scary expression on her face, she grabbed his shirt front and started shaking him back and forth. While doing that, she began shouting at him.
“Lakshman! Have you become like your father who constantly hits on girls?! Have you seriously suck so low as to buy yourself a slave?! Hah?! What?! You got a slave fetish or something?! You’re surrounded by a Contract Spirit and a Slave Spirit. Now you go and buy yourself a human slave?! What the hell is wrong with you?!”
She continuously shook him back and forth as everyone watched in shock. Lakshman tried to speak, but his words were mostly broken because of the shaking movement.
“W-w-w-ww-wait! C-c-c-calm d-d-dd-own M-M-Mari-ri-ri-lallaa…! Le-ee-e-tt m-e-e-e ex-xx-p-laa-a-a-i-in-in-inn…!”
Shocked to see him shaking like anything due to Marilia’s shaking movement, Ondine stepped in to rescue him.
“We have no choice because they were going to move her to a Slave Market in Mardana Kingdom!” Ondine told her in a loud voice.
Hearing those words, Marilia turned to look at her with a surprised expression on her face.
“Really?” She asked and Ondine nodded variously.
“If master has not bought her today, something bad would’ve happened to her! We had our reason to do this!” She told her desperately.
“Oh… Okay…” Marilia said and she let go of Lakshman.
Lakshman, feeling dizzy, promptly fell to the ground with a thud. Marilia, Ondine, Tetra and Emilia quickly knelt down to assist him.
Several minutes later, Lakshman recovered and found himself lying on top of a couch. He groaned slightly as he felt a slight bump on the back of his head where he hit the ground. Then he heard the sound of voices from the dining table.
“Lakshman! Over here!” He heard a familiar voice call.
Slowly walking towards them, he saw everyone sitting at the table. They were watching him as he pulled up a chair and sat down next to Ondine and Tetra. He noticed then that Emilia was sitting beside Ondine.
“The girls told us everything that’s happened,” Darian informed him and Lakshman nodded silently.
Lakshman looked towards Marilia and looked a little frightened. The earlier attack on him made a great impression and he was fearful for a second course of it.
Seeing his expression, Marilia looked sad and said “I’m sorry I did that you, Lakshman. I realised my mistake after hearing the story about how you bought Emilia.”
Darian sighed and looked at her severely before saying “You’re always like this! Jumping to conclusions without hearing the story beforehand!”
“I know, I know…” Marilia said in a low voice as he hung her head unhappily.
“Not all men are like Indra and, even then, he was not the worst. He fooled around a lot of girls, but he’s sincere enough to take responsibility for his actions. So stop thinking Lakshman will become like his father.”
“I don’t know… Right now, I can see three flowers surrounding a thorn!” Rumble said with a grin on his face.
In an instant, Darian stretched his other arm out and knocked on Rumble’s skill. Rumble clutched his head tightly as the intense pain caused him to close his eyes and make an “EEEE” noise through his gritted teeth.
Wolfenstine laughed and Rumble angrily said “Shut up, wolf face!”
“You’ve got nothing to say to me, monkey brain!” Wolfenstine retorted with a grin on his face.
Marilia looked up and turned to face Lakshman and the girls sitting beside him.
“As I said, I’m sorry I shook you all over,” Marilia said as she sincerely apologised.
“Its fine, but I thought I might sick by how violent the shaking was…” Lakshman said with a smile on his face.
At his words, Darian laughed before saying “Maybe she’s a human hurricane? You did say her shaking you almost made you sick.”
“Oh? How about I fix that mouth of yours by shaking you as well?” Marilia said and she glared at him.
“No thanks,” Darian said as he looked away to avoid eye contact.
She continued to glare at him for a few seconds. Then she sighed and turned back to speak with Lakshman.
“The girls told us what led you to buying her and I must say… I’m not sure what to say. It’s bad that you attacked her when a single drop of blood escaped from her throat, but your actions in hurting her might’ve saved her life!”
“Yes! I completely agree! Master risked getting injured in order to save me! He healed me and even spent five-thousand-and-eight-hundred gold to buy me!” Emilia said emphatically.
“Eh?! Five-thousand-and-eight-hundred?! Where did you get all that money from?!” Rumble asked in a shocked voice at the amount of spent money.
“Uh… I had been collecting all the money after defeating the monsters inside the Labyrinth. Additionally to that, I threw some extra coins in today morning before leaving for shopping,” Lakshman said as he scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.
“Now really… Using the money of others for use that wasn’t intended for… Really…” Wolfenstine said and he shook his head while looking unimpressed.
“I’m sorry, but I wanted some extra just in case it might come in handy. I really didn’t expect all that money would come in handy today!” Lakshman said sincerely.
“It’s fine. We understand the situation you were in that the money got used for,” Darian said in a condoning voice.
“Besides, I think we feel glad our money was used for something good. It really would’ve been terrible for Emilia if she had been transported to the Mardana Kingdom. The society and community over there are… well… terrible to say the least,” Marilia said unhappily.
She shuddered slightly as if she recalled some unpleasant memories. When Darian placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder, she lightly touched it with hers while smiling at him. Watching this, Lakshman thought two heart shaped balloons flowed between them.
Rumble suddenly coughed and it brought them back to the present. They hastily sat upright in their chairs and Marilia continued talking.
“Well… Enough of that! In any case! You are welcome here, Emilia Serabell,” Marilia said with a welcoming smile on her face.
“T-Thank you very much!” Emilia said cheerfully.
Darian suddenly had a thought full expression on his face as he asked “Serabell? Is your father, by any chance, Rashjak?”
“That’s right,” Emilia said with a nod of her head.
“Ah!” Darian said and he smiled happily. Then he said “Yes. I know your father from a long time. We often fought each other upon seeing meeting, but he was a good man. Strangely, he had a love interest in a woman back then. I never believed he would eventually marry a human and give birth to you.”
Emilia smiled happily after hearing those words. Then she said “I’m glad you thought so highly of my father!”
As they talked, Lakshman leaned back in his chair and looked at her. Emilia was born to a Surprad Demon Clan father and a human mother. So she had mixed blood of two races flowing in her veins. This made her someone similar to Wolfenstine who had Werewolf and Vampire blood in him.
Half-an-hour later, they decided to break for the day. Lakshman, Ondine and Tetra went into their rooms. They were showing Emilia around to where they were keeping their things.
Emilia marvelled at seeing all their clothes, luggage and equipment. She only had one bag and it contained only her clothes and some other things her parents left with her.
“You can use this room like the rest of us! Keep your bag next to ours and unpack. Make sure to keep them stashed neatly into the shelves inside the wardrobes!” Ondine instructed her as she was a teacher.
Emilia nodded at her while paying the utmost concentration. See that expression suddenly made Lakshman remember how he was like back when he studied with his house maid, Marilia. She had did the same thing with him and he had to concentrate to get it down right.
“Alright then! I’ll go and get us some drinks!” Ondine said brightly as she left the room.
“I’ll come and help!” Tetra said cheerfully and the two of them left the room.
An awkward silence fell when Lakshman and Emilia were the only ones left in the room. She quickly opened her bag and pulled out all of her belongings. As she carefully stacked them neatly into the cupboards, Lakshman saw a rectangular shape fall to the ground.
Lakshman bent over and, picking it up, saw a younger looking Emilia along with her parents on it. It puzzled him because he had never seen one of these before.
“Emilia? What is this?” Lakshman asked curiously as he indicated it.
“Ah. It’s what’s called a Photo which shows what has been captured through Magic Lens.”
“Yes. In the town we lived in, there was a place called Photoshop. There, the magicians used a Magic Lens to capture our image. Then they transferred it onto a specially made paper and that’s how it looks when it’s done.”
“Wow…! This is my first time looking at one of these!”
“Really? I think it was newly invented so not many know about it, but I think it is good…”
Once done putting her clothes away, she closed the doors and walked over to him. She took the family photo and smiled as she looked at it. Lakshman, on the other hand, was looking at her.
“Are you okay?” He asked her quietly.
“Yes… I’m fine.”
“No you’re not,” he said flatly.
Emilia might have sounded fine, but he felt something around her change. There was a feeling of gloominess emanating from her. It looked like the photo of her dead parents made her feel really sad.
“No…! I’m not upset or… anything!” She said and she sounded a little forceful.
“Mmm… Are you sure?” Lakshman said as he pressed her.
“Yes! I’m… I’m completely… fine!” Emilia said, but her voice shook as she looked at him.
Lakshman was startled to see tears appear in her eyes as if she was about to cry. The next moment, he pulled her into a hug. He did not know what made him hug her, but seeing her crying made him feel really upset.
Thinking back, she told him that her parents had died two years ago. She spent two whole years on her own as a slave being bought and sold by different people. A life with only misery and had work without happiness.
At that moment, something in him felt painful and he began speaking to her.
“Don’t cry! Don’t! You’re not alone! Not anymore! You have me, Ondine and Tetra! I’m here for you! We’re here for you now! So let’s work together and live happily, okay?”
“E-Eh?” Emilia said in a surprised voice and she looked up at him.
He looked down at her and smiled before saying “I’m sure your parents would not have wanted you to cry! I’m sure they would’ve wanted to see the happy and smiling girl in that photo!”
Tears began to drip down her face, but Lakshman wiped it with a gentle hand.
“Whatever happens, I’ll be here to protect you! I’ll protect all of you because you are important to me now! Just as my family and friends are important to me, my slaves are also important to me as well! So don’t cry, okay?”
Emilia’s eyes widened at his words. It was the first time in these two years that anyone had said that. She knew he was a kind and gentle person, but she never knew of his iron strong will deep beneath it. His strong desire to protect those close to him, even someone like her amazed her.
Lakshman had a firm expression on his face and, in that instance, she admired him. Realising that she was crying, she quickly hid her face to quickly use her hand to wipe her face. Then she looked back up at him and smiled.
“Yes…! I won’t cry, master! Now… Do you want to proceed to the next step?” She asked him curiously.
“The next step? What’s that?” Lakshman asked curiously.
She smiled cheekily at him and said “You said you will protect me at all times. So shouldn’t we proceed to the next step then?”
In that instance, Lakshman widened his eyes as he realised what she meant. He quickly let her go and backed away as fast he could by saying “Eh…? Eh? Eh?!”
“What is it, master? Is there a problem?” She asked him while looking at him with upturned eyes.
“Yes, there is! I think we’re skipping the process before we get there! Plus, I’m not old enough for that sort of stuff!” Lakshman said honestly.
She was surprised to hear his honest words and it caused her to laugh while clutching her stomach. Then she looked back at him while smoothly rubbing his face.
“Don’t worry, master. I’ve had experience in watching how it’s done. I’ll teach you… gently…”
“Uh… um…” Lakshman said feebly and he looked panicked as she moved closer to him.
At that moment, the door swung open and it caused both of them to jump. Then Ondine and Tetra walked in while carrying trays of drinks and sweets.
“We’re back!” They said loudly.
Then they faltered when they saw Emilia and Lakshman against the wall. Their facial expressions became clouded as they slowly walked over and placed the trays on the bed. Then they rushed towards Lakshman and pulled him by the ear.
“Master! What is the meaning of this?!” Both of them demanded while holding his arm so as not to let him get away.
“What were you and Emilia doing when we were away, ha?!” Ondine asked in a fierce voice.
“Even though master is soft, is he actually a wild animal on lust?!” Tetra said in a shocked voice.
Feeling the pain of being pinched and struggling to free himself, Lakshman said “Wait! You got it all wrong! It’s a misunderstanding!”
Emilia had widened her eyes slightly upon seeing their reaction. Feeling the warmth of the situation, she smiled as Lakshman was pinched and pulled as the two girls demanded answers from him.
As they struggled, she looked out of the window and saw the clear blue sky. After her parents’ deaths, she never found it warm or welcoming. Now, however, she thought it looked beautiful.