The Suspects of Necromancy Volume 1 Chapter 2

I was with the slave trader Mason for a long time. Before that, I was with a kidnapper, but I don’t remember much about that time.
 
My parents? I don’t know. It’s not that I’m not interested, but Mason didn’t know either.
 
Whether they abandoned me, or I was taken from them, or kidnapped, it’s not a pleasant story anyway.
 
Besides, Mason’s place wasn’t a bad place.
 
He ran a big mansion because he was in the business of trading people. I clearly remember the long corridors.
 
We always polished those long corridors until they shone. It was really hard work.
 
The mansion, inside and out, was always kept spotless.
 
Mason ran the business with his wife, Molly.
 
Mason was in his mid-thirties at the time, I guess? He had black hair and was tall, always had a smirk on his face, but he was quite handsome despite the many scars on his chin.
 
Molly had long red hair, a beautiful face but a fierce look, and she seemed quite intimidating. She was tall for a woman, well-built, and around the same age as Mason, I think.
 
Their reputation as slave traders was pretty good.
 
Is it strange for a slave trader to have a good reputation?
 
Not at all. It’s a business, just like any other, and there are good and bad traders. If you bought something expensive and it was useless, you’d be angry too, right?
 
It’s the same with slave trading. The children Mason sold were known to be of high quality.
 
Mason was good at buying children cheaply and selling them for a high price.
 
Is it called added value?
 
He thoroughly taught the children reading, writing, manners, and household chores before selling them. Most of the buyers were wealthy, like nobles or merchants.
 
The children were often bought for labor, but if they were pre-educated, they were much more useful. They were treated better because they were more valuable.
 
Sometimes, they were even adopted because of their high quality.
 
Mason often said,
 
“Our business makes everyone happy: the ones who are sold, the ones who buy, and us who sell. It’s a wonderful business.”
 
Is he a terrible person?
 
Maybe. Of course, I don’t think slave trading is a wonderful business, but at least it was better than other slave traders.
 
I learned later that most slave traders just bought and sold people roughly, treating them poorly. Compared to that, Mason’s place was much better.
 
Oh, but Molly was strict.
 
The children were terrified of her, like she was a demon.
 
If you made a mistake in chores, studies, or manners, she would scold you harshly.
 
I was good at managing and studying, so I didn’t have a hard time, but my friend Dorothy was often scolded.
 
“Why can’t you even do that!?” she’d yell, hitting our heads with her knuckles.
 
It hurt a lot.
 
Hitting the head was because bruises on the body would lower the product’s value.
 
I wished she’d hit my butt instead. That pain was unforgettable.
 
Even now, after all this time.
 
And after hitting us, she’d say,
 
“This is how you do it!” and show us perfectly.
 
Molly could do everything perfectly.
 
Looking back, it’s strange she was a slave trader, given her knowledge in etiquette, academics, and household chores.
 
But for a child, it was a lot of pressure. There was no way we could do everything as perfectly as she did.
 
After showing us, she’d explain again and make us do it until we got it right.
 
Dorothy cried almost every night.
 
“I hate this. I don’t want to be here. I want someone to buy me soon.”

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But, after being scolded so much, you’d learn eventually.
 
Dorothy, who was often scolded at first, gradually got better.
 
What? I haven’t mentioned my master yet?
 
Well, I’m not good at talking.
 
I don’t talk to people much, so when I do, I tend to talk a lot.
 
So bear with me, okay? I’ll get to the master soon.
 
Oh, but Dorothy was bought before me.
 
Just so you know, I was kept for a higher price.
 
I was valuable because I was of the Asra people, so Mason didn’t sell me quickly.
 
…Anyway, Dorothy was bought by a kind-looking elderly noble.
 
Mason chose his customers. Since he raised us carefully, he wanted customers who would use us properly. He wouldn’t sell to those who’d waste us quickly.
 
People like that blame the trader when things go wrong, so even if they pay well, it’s not good in the long run, Mason said. It affects their reputation.
 
“Good business needs good customers,”
 
Mason often said.
 
So, Dorothy was happy. Her buyer seemed kinder than Molly.
 
“I can finally leave this place,”
 
she said, smiling.
 
On the other hand, Molly was always grumpy when the children were sold.
 
“That child still can’t do things properly,”
 
she’d complain to Mason.
 
Mason was business-first, Molly was education-first. They balanced each other out as a couple.
 
And that’s when my master came into the picture.
 
One day, a gloomy mage came to see me.
 
He wore a shabby black hood, had gray hair and a scruffy beard. I couldn’t tell if he was young or old.
 
He had a letter of introduction from some noble, so Mason treated him with respect.
 
The mage stared at me,
 
especially looking into my red eyes. It was creepy.
 
Mason tried hard to appeal to him.
 
“This girl is smart, perfect in reading and writing, knows manners better than most noble ladies. She can even handle household chores.”
 
It was true. I could do everything. I’ve forgotten a lot of the noble manners now, but I could do them then.
 
That gloomy mage was my master.
 
He wasn’t interested in Mason’s praise.
 
He cared that I was of the Asra people.
 
After listing my qualities, Mason apologized,
 
“Since she’s of the Asra people and well-educated, the price is quite high. Honestly, it’s beyond what most nobles can afford…”
 
Mason probably didn’t think the mage could really buy me.
 
He didn’t look like he had any money. Mason likely wasn’t expecting much.
 
But the master decided immediately after seeing the price.
 
“I’ll buy her for that amount.”
 
I was surprised. Many nobles had looked at me, but he seemed the poorest.
 
“I’m going to be bought by this person?” I was shocked.
 
Mason was happy. He didn’t expect to sell me for that price.
 
That night was my last supper.
 
When a child was sold, Molly would cook their favorite meal for their last night. Just once.
 
I loved meat, so I asked for Molly’s special meat dish.
 
Molly was good at cooking too. Dorothy and I learned to cook from Molly, but we couldn’t make it as delicious as she did.
 
During that last supper, Molly kept saying,
 
“Luna, you were trained by me, so don’t disgrace our name.”
 
She was so insistent that I couldn’t enjoy the meal.
 
She also said,
 
“Always smile, do what you’re told right away. Be prepared to act even before being told.”
 
Or something like that.
 
She probably said more, but I forgot. She gave detailed instructions.
 
That’s how important their reputation was.
 
Mason was pleased to have sold a high-priced item, remembering he was in a good mood.
 
“A customer who pays such a high price right away is a great customer. Maybe he’ll buy more, so do well.”
 
Mason and Molly weren’t bad people.
 
I was lucky to be bought by them.
 
It was the master who was the problem.
 


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