My eyes finally fluttered open, and the first thing I saw was the firepit. We appeared to be in a familiar cathedral. It had the same mural involving the brother and sister. After I passed out, I reasoned that the girl must have dragged me back up to the 5th floor and barricaded us back in this room.
“Lydia… how long was I out?” I asked, my mouth feeling very dry.
“M-master, you’re awake!” An excited voice ran over to me, immediately putting a waterskin to my mouth. “It’s been a day, Master.”
I drank as much as I could and then gestured for her to help me sit up. I felt very weak.
“Food…” I said, not meaning to sound commanding.
However, Lydia didn’t mind in the slightest and immediately began cooking food. As she was cooking, I heard her own stomach growl. She blushed.
“You didn’t eat?” I asked.
Lydia shook her head. “Master couldn’t eat unconscious… so I wouldn’t eat either…”
As she turned, I noticed that her clothing was still bloody. “You’re still wounded”!
“It-it’s fine Master!” Lydia said, trying to pull away.
I grabbed her and pulled her down into a seat next to me. After cashing heal and refresh on myself, I felt a bit more energized, if not still a bit weak.
“May I?” I ask, tugging at her clothing.
Lydia blushed but then nodded. She brought her hands into her sleeves and then covered her chest. I brought the shirt up over her head. The shirt itself was barely usable, and barely covered more than her arms did now. There was a nasty gash down her side, and she hadn’t done anything about it. I could see it was cursed, and that curse had covered half her stomach now. She could have used my potions or my bandages. I even had some holy water which would have treated the curse. She used none of that.
I immediately removed the curse and then cast Weak Heal on it. It took six weak heals before all that was left was a white scar. I checked over the rest of her body, and when I got to her back, I could only hiss slightly. Her back was covered with long scars. I had watched enough afternoon specials to understand that these were the scars of someone who was whipped a lot.
“Lydia… can you tell me how you became a slave?” I asked, touching the scars softly. “Were you made a slave?”
I decided to pull out a salve I had purchased and put it on her scars. She didn’t say anything as I began to apply it to her back. Deep down, I swore I would keep training White Mage until I gained a spell that would get rid of these scars. Well, that was an idle desire. I still wasn’t even certain I’d be able to get out of this dungeon alive. Lydia noticed my eyes were on the mural behind us. She quickly shook her head.
“No, Master… I was always a slave.”
My head snapped back to her. “Always?”
She nodded. “I come from a slave colony of catkin. My mother was a slave like her mother before her. I do not know who my father is, nor where my mother was sold.”
“That’s… very sad.”
“Slavery is the only life I’ve ever known…” Lydia continued, touching the collar around her neck with a sense of familiarity. “I was raised up to be a Courtesan.”
My finger slipped. “ A… I’m sorry?”
Lydia giggled slightly, “My slave master thought I was pretty enough, so he sought to teach me the sex trade so that I could be a sex slave. Good sex slaves make their masters a lot of money. Some even get lucky and become concubines. I wanted this life.”
“Then you’ve had… um… sex…”
Lydia blushed. “I am a virgin…”
“How does that work? A virgin concubine?” I asked in wonder.
Lydia’s expression didn’t look embarrassed, just ashamed. “A virgin with the knowledge of a whore. It was Madame Rex’s specialty. That was my trainer. But… I never learned the job. I was given a chance at a comfy slave job, and I couldn’t make the cut. Catgirls can easily become courtesans. All the other slave girls chosen with me were able to earn the job. Only I didn’t… that’s why I know that I’m useless. That’s why I’m just a defective slave.”