Chapter 1 You with Severed Limbs
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Her name is Viola.
When I found her name on the sl*ve market list for post-war processing, I broke out in a cold sweat with a terrible chill running through my back.
I never thought she was still alive.
I immediately come to the regular merchant and sold the ore I had kept for research, but I didn’t have enough money.
The starting price for the auction on the list seemed terribly low considering her status and fame, but I had never been interested in sl*ves before, so maybe that’s just how it is.
I’m sure the price will skyrocket from here on out.
I didn’t know how much money I needed to prepare, so I decided to visit the regular merchant again tomorrow.
I’ll sell all my furniture except for the bare essentials.
And the art too.
Compared to her, everything is garbage.
The auction is one week away.
I have to hurry.
This week has been dizzyingly busy.
I sold everything in my house and cleaned it up.
Looking at it this way, my house was quite spacious, but the only one who occasionally shares that feeling with me is “Duke” the mouse who peeks out of the hole in the wall.
It’s lonely, but if I can win her tomorrow, I’ll…
No, I shouldn’t expect too much.
There must be a lot of people who want Viola, the former knight of the kingdom and the sword princess of the raging fire.
The chances of me getting her are practically zero.
Anyway, all I have to worry about is not oversleeping tomorrow and not getting pickpocketed on the way to the venue.
I have to be careful on the way back if I can’t win the bid.
If I win the bid, I’ll…
Before I knew it, it was already past midnight.
I’ve been staring blankly for a long time while writing this diary.
Tomorrow is early.
I’m going to bed now.
Good night, Duke.
The cheese I left in front of the hole is a pre-celebration.
Enjoy it to your heart’s content.
I can’t put it into words.
I can’t believe… something like that…
(An entire page is filled with hastily scrawled writing, which is nearly illegible.)
I was too shaken up yesterday to even think about writing in my diary. I even considered whether there was a need to write anymore, but I’ve decided to continue. No, this isn’t just a diary.
(Several lines follow, filled with scribbles and crossed-out text.)
I don’t know what to say.
But this is a record. It’s a record I’ll look back on, to ensure I didn’t make any wrong actions or words, that I didn’t hurt her, and that I acted solely for her. It’s a record to keep my initial determination unshaken.
I swear to God with this diary that no one will hurt her anymore. I will do whatever it takes to save her.
Now, she continues to look at me with the eyes of a frightened animal, but that’s to be expected.
But then, a few days ago, I used to think sweet thoughts that one day she would have feelings for me, even just a little bit, but I have given up on that idea.
All I hope for is that she can someday stand up on her own two feet with a sword in her hand, even if that sword is pointed at me.
I would accept it willingly.
Her name is Viola.
She is the sword princess of a neighboring country, whom I fell in love with at first sight in the past.
* * *
The door of the room opened with a rattling sound. I was glaring at the door even before I heard that sound.
The man who opened the door noticed my gaze as soon as he did it and returned it with a blank expression. If I could, I wanted to take a sword now and pierce his heart and escape from here, but it was impossible. Even now, just staring at him, I feel my sl*ve mark tightening around my neck, making it hard to breathe.
No, it’s not because of the sl*ve mark. Even if my neck was broken by the sl*ve mark, I would have killed this man if I could.
”…Does it hurt?”
I clicked my tongue at the man’s words and turned to the side. I had inadvertently shifted my gaze to my limbs that were already immobile. It made me sick to see myself looking at my limbs with regret and the man who was spitting out a line as if he cared about me.
As I continued to ignore the man’s words, he eventually gave up and approached me with a steady footsteps.
I kept staring at the wall opposite to the man, but he sat down on the chair next to my bed without caring about it. At the same time, the sound of him placing a bucket he had in his hand on the floor echoed.
It’s amazing how he continues to do the same thing without getting bored.
”…Sorry, I’ll lift you up.”
The man’s hand slowly reached out to touch my body. The moment his hand was about to slip under my neck…
I twisted my upper body with all my might and bit the man’s arm. Both he and I were doing the same thing without getting bored.
When the man instinctively pulled his arm, I was biting his arm with the force of a vise, and I fell from the bed to the floor. I couldn’t take a fall with limbs that no longer moved, but it didn’t matter.
”…Are you okay?”
When a voice came from above, I turned my head and glared at the man with as much hatred as I could muster. The man’s arm was bleeding from my bite marks.
After glaring at him with tightly clenched teeth for a while, the man eventually sighed and left the room.
But soon after, the man appeared from behind the door agaub, wearing a leather coat with long sleeves and thick mittens, even though it was midsummer. I was defeated. I could no longer compete with him with my current condition.
”I’m sorry… for this.”
For this…? Do you mean dress like you’re taking care of a wild animal?
But it doesn’t matter. I am worth less than a wild animal now. There is probably nothing in this world worth less than me.
”Wake up, please don’t struggle.”
Even with bite marks all over his arms, this man still comes without his coat and mittens, as if being bitten by me is part of his daily routine.
Even when the man puts his hands under my body again, I didn’t try to bite him this time. I was placed on a pillow and laid down on my back. It was as if he was taking care of a precious baby.
”…I’m sorry, I need to take off your clothes.”
How many times has he said “I’m sorry” today? The most common words I hear from this man are “I’m sorry”.
”Sorry” for everything.
He unbuttons the shirt that seems to belong to the man I’m wearing and takes it off while lifting my body. He turns his face away as much as possible so as not to see my body. Is it because he doesn’t want to see something dirty?
The man was about to say “I’m sorry” again, but stopped himself. He reached out to unbutton the diaper on my lower body, looking timid.
Suddenly, the smell of the filth that had only been faintly floating around filled the room and entered my nostrils. Of course, the man’s nose would also smell the filth on me.
However, the man did not change his expression at all as he put the dirty diaper in the nearby basket and reached for the bucket he had placed on the floor earlier.
After the sound of splashing water, the sound of wringing out a towel echoed in the room.
The man, now completely silent, began wiping my body covered in dirt with a towel.
Wiping my dirty buttocks and crotch with a second towel.
Wiping the buttocks and thighs again with a third towel.
Drying the motionless legs with a fourth towel.
How many towels does this man have in his house, I wonder?
Plop… The man’s sweat falls onto my body.
Drip by drip, it continues to fall.
It should be hot. After all, it’s midsummer.
The man, realizing it, wipes his face with his coat sleeve and then proceeds to wipe away the sweat that has fallen onto my body as if his own sweat were dirt.
Ultimately, the man used over ten towels to dry my body, took a deep breath, and then stood up.
”…Please bear with it a bit longer.”
The man’s destination is the bed with stains of my filth on the sheets and futon. With a much more practiced touch than a few days ago, he removes the sheets, rolls them up, and tosses them into the same basket as the towels.
Taking off the futon, he folds it up and, saying, “I’ll be back soon,” he carries it along with the basket and disappears beyond the door.
Today is a sunny day.
Except on rainy days, the window beside the bed is always slightly open, and the lace curtains sway gently in the breeze.
As the room’s stench gradually disappears, a sweet floral fragrance takes its place.
Moving my face and looking up, I see on the only desk in the rather barren room a simple vase and a bouquet of white flowers.
From yesterday, the man began to place things in the room.
”…Sorry for being late.”
When the air in the room had completely changed, the man appeared again from the other side of the door with a new futon in his hands.
On top of that futon were my new diaper and shirt.
The man silently spread the new futon on the bed, and put glue-covered sheets on top of it.
I haven’t felt the presence of a maid in the past few days.
I can’t imagine, but is this man putting glue on the sheets?
”…I’ll lift you up, so don’t resist. It’s dangerous.”
Saying so, the man gently lifted me up as if handling a baby, and quietly laid my body on the bed.
The sheets were wrinkle-free.
To say that I didn’t feel good would be a lie.
The man silently put on my diaper, helped me put on my shirt, and laid me down as if carrying me.
”Only a thin futon over your stomach… If it’s hot, let me know. I’ll come back as soon as I make dinner.”
Saying that to me as I stared at the wall next to the bed, the man quietly left the room.
To hide the diaper, he put a thin futon over my body.
* * *
After about two hours, the man appeared at the door of the room again.
Before the man appeared, I had been staring at the door, and our eyes met as soon as he opened it.
The man held a pot with a good-smelling steam in his hand.
”Sorry, it’s porridge again… I promise to learn how to cook next time… So, I’ll make something better.”
The man looked slightly pathetic, but quickly returned to his expressionless state and sat down on the chair next to my bed.
Growl! My stomach growled, but I couldn’t stop it by hitting it.
I stared at the wall with a bitter expression, but the smell of porridge made more and more saliva come into my mouth, and I became more and more irritated.
As I thought so, the sound of the man putting the tray he held on the desk echoed.
”I’ll wake you up.”
When the man’s hand was inserted under my neck while I faced the wall,
”…Aren’t you going to bite?”
The man asked in a slightly raised tone, so I immediately twisted my upper body and bit the man’s arm.
”I’ll wake you up.”
This time, the man wrapped his arms around my body and lifted me up.
”I’ll lean you against the wall… Okay? I’ll let go.”
From the teeth marks on the arm that the man took off from my back, no blood was oozing out.
”I put a mole nuts in it today. Is sour okay? It’s nutritious.”
”I used to dislike it when I was a child, but now I quite like it. I tried a little taste, and I don’t think it’s that bad.”
The man, unusually talkative and in a good mood, reached for the pot on the desk without paying attention to my glare.
As soon as he opened the lid, the good smell of the mole nuts filled the room, and my stomach made a loud noise again.
”I think it’s not hot anymore because it’s been a while… but if it’s still hot, you can spit it out.”
”If it tastes bad, you can spit it out. I’ll make it again right away.”
On the first day, as soon as I put it in my mouth, I spit it out on the man’s face. For some reason, he misunderstood and said, “I’m sorry, did it not taste good?” and made porridge again.
When he remade it for the second, third, and fourth times, and I finally gave in and took a sip, the man let out a sigh of relief and that scene repeated in my head every day for some reason.
”Okay, open your mouth.”
He held out a spoon with porridge on it and pushed it into my mouth as soon as I opened it slightly, still looking away.
”Can you eat it?”
When I turned my face away, for some reason, the man let out a relieved sigh like on the first day.
”Come on, eat more. If it’s not enough, I’ll make more.”
From then on, the man was silent.
The sound of the spoon hitting the pot and my swallowing of the porridge echoed in the quiet room for a while.
The man stared at me as I drank the porridge, and I slowly chewed and swallowed the sticky porridge while still looking away.
I repeated this several times, and when I unconsciously opened my mouth and said “…ah.”
”I’m sorry, that’s the last one. Do you want to eat more?”
I glared at him with my face already red to the ears.
”Wait for me, I’ll make it right away. …I don’t know how much a woman can eat.”
However, the man didn’t react to my glare and immediately picked up the tray, heading out of the room.
But, my stomach had already stopped growling, and some time had passed. So…
”…….I don’t need it.”
As I uttered those words while glaring at him, the man turned his head over his shoulder with an expression that seemed as if his eyes might pop out, looking at me.
”…W-wait a moment, please. I forgot to bring a drink. I’ll get it right away.”
Saying that, the man disappeared beyond the door, making a thudding sound of footsteps that I hadn’t heard in the past few days.
As if he were incredibly happy about something.
* * *
It’s another sunny day today.
In the morning, the man finished wiping my body, which had become a routine twice a day, and now I’m alone in the room.
The window in the room is a little higher than the bed.
I can only see a clear blue sky with no clouds since I can’t even sit up by myself, but the sounds and voices of the city can be heard from the slightly open window.
Among the sounds that echoed from the window, there was also the sound of laundry, probably hung up in the garden by the man, fluttering in the wind.
The heavy sound that echoes when the wind blows a little stronger is probably the sound of the comforter being washed.
I’ve been spending the past few days just listening to the sounds around me, since I can’t do anything. The sound of carriages passing by, children playing, and occasionally the high-pitched laughter of women.
But today, what caught my attention wasn’t the sound coming from the window. Instead, it was the sound and voices which were coming from the door of a room that was open for ventilation.
Moreover, along with the sound and voices, a really delicious smell was drifting in.
”Ah! That’s wrong, Lute-sama!! That comes later!!”
”Lute-sama, the fire is too strong!! Make it weaker, weaker!!”
The voice belonged to that man and a young woman with a sweet and nasal voice.
”Just a minute, Lute-sama!! Awawawa!!”
”Geez~♡ Don’t worry, let’s make it again!”
”I-Is that alright? It’ll take time…”
”Don’t worry, don’t worry! I thought something like this would happen anyway~♡”
”It’s okay! Kanon-sama said it was a big deal that Lute-sama was learning to cook, and asked me to spend the whole day teaching you.”
”But to think that a great mage like you is bad at cooking… It’s similar to making potions, isn’t it?”
”…It’s completely different.”
”Is that so?”
The man’s voice was more relaxed and gentle than when he talked to me.
”Huh!? Are you just wiping her body!? What about the bath!?”
”Uh… N-no, but…”
”Don’t tell me you’re just wiping her hair too!?”
”Ugh!!! I can’t believe this!!!”
”B-but what should I do!?”
”What happened to the huge bucket you used for the formula!!?”
”Hey!! Where is it!!”
”Well.. That’s at the pawnshop…”
”Please buy back that bucket before you start cooking!!!”
It’s not like there’s any particular reason, but…
I’ve been listening to those cheerful voices for a long time.
* * *
”Please wake up.”
Now, the man put his arm around my back and lifted my upper body up without warning.
Thanks to the bath I started a few days ago, my long silver hair, which had been sticky until now, fell smoothly on my face as my upper body moved.
”I’m going to put your back against the wall… …Do you understand? I’ll let you go, okay?”
The man was no longer wearing a thick coat or mittens, but had several bandages wrapped around his fingers and scars from teeth that hadn’t yet disappeared. While I was staring at those marks and bandages, he sighed and sat down on a chair without paying any attention to my reaction.
”I learned how to cook fish from Beth today. I did it well… I mean, I did it well earlier… And you don’t hate fish, do you?”
I hesitantly shook my head, but the man didn’t seem to notice as he looked at the tray on the desk.
Am I blushing? Why do I have to blush? If possible, I’d like to punch this man because he saw me like this.
”I was taught how to cook it softly, so it shouldn’t be difficult to eat. However, be careful with the bones… but if there are small bones, spit them out immediately.”
I didn’t nod or anything. When I stared at the man, our gazes met head-on.
The man seemed shaken and flustered by my red face and staring, but I didn’t know what to do and just kept staring at him.
”W-what’s wrong? Did I offend you…?”
The man apologized again, with the most pathetic expression yet, and I couldn’t help but turn my face away from him.
For some reason, my face became even hotter, and I felt an inexplicable emotion welling up inside me, making me feel like screaming.
”A-anyway, let’s eat…”
The man nervously reached for the dishes on the tray and said, “Ah…!” As he did, I turned to look at him and saw a plate slipping out of his hand and crashing to the floor.
At the sound that echoed, I felt the blood drain from my face.
It was my fault.
I had made him nervous.
Fragments of shattered dishes scattered on the floor. The perfectly cooked fish displayed a faintly pleased expression. In contrast to the fish, the man, with a pale face, gathered the food he had prepared using his bare hands, as if he were handling trash.
”I’m sorry. I’ll make it again right away… but I don’t have the ingredients…”
The pale-faced man muttered while gathering the fish he had made with his bare hands, treating it like garbage.
As he frantically picked up the broken pieces and fish from his clothes, muttering apologies, I couldn’t take it anymore.
My voice was hoarse.
It was quite different from the sweet voice of that woman that I had been hearing lately.
But then again, I hadn’t really been speaking much.
When was the last time someone had complimented my voice?
With the tendons cut off in my limbs, I can’t even point my finger.
But I stared straight at the fish mixed with glass shards that was on the hem of the man’s clothes.
”….No! I’ll make porridge…”
Besides I didn’t mean to eat the glass shards or anything.
”No! That won’t do!”
”!! Just remove the shards, and it’ll be fine to eat!!”
”I won’t allow that!! It’s absolutely unacceptable!!”
With an indescribable expression, his face shifted from blue to red. He raised his voice for the first time, appearing both angry and amused, almost as if he were crying.
”But that’s what I want!”
What was I talking about?
I didn’t even know myself anymore.
I had lost, lost what I had to protect, and was captured.
”So, let me eat it!!!”
I was tortured and had my tendons cut.
”It’s dangerous and dirty!”
They pushed a moldy bread into my mouth, poured muddy water on me, and chained me to a cold, hard stone.
”Just take the fragments!!!! And… it won’t be dirty at all!!!!!!”
Emaciated, hollowed out, and losing even the will to take revenge, I even thought I wanted to die soon.
”After all, I’m much more…!!”
I was about to say that I was dirtier, but I couldn’t form any more words.
What came to mind was the figure of the man who wiped my body every day to keep me clean.
Even though he saw me covered in filth, he didn’t even frown for a moment.
Why would he say that my body isn’t dirty?
I heard a story from the other side of the door that he sold his household goods to buy me.
The tense expression when he bought back the bucket he pawned and sank me in lukewarm water.
The trembling touch when he first combed my hair in fear.
And the bandage on his finger that he hurt while cooking for me.
Short black hair.
Arms covered in bite marks.
A scary face with bad eyesight.
Gentle eyes of deep blue.
”P-please don’t cry… I’m sorry…”
I don’t know why I’m crying. And I don’t even know myself.
”Please don’t cry…”
His rough hands wiped away my tears.
The man apologizes to me with words that I don’t know how many times I’ve heard since I came here. I didn’t understand anything anymore, not even whether I was sad or something else.
The man, with a body he had made so clean, on the soft futon he had prepared, and looking at the fish dish he had made for me, I cried and threw a tantrum like a child.
Along with the fish dish I had wanted so badly, I wanted the man to stay by my side. However, he disappeared beyond the door, saying, “Wait for me; I’ll be back soon.”
How many days have passed since the slave crest no longer strangled my neck?
The tears that had receded from the surprise of hearing my name called for the first time had dried, and the tear stains were starting to itch.
”I’m sorry I’m late.”
As the man appeared with the pot of rice porridge, I shook my head gently.
”…It might still be hot.”
As usual, the man sat beside me, as usual, he brought the spoon to my lips, and as usual, he pushed the spoon into my mouth.
”…Is that so? I’m glad.”
I wonder if my face turned completely red.
”When I get good fish again, I’ll make it for you… Please, eat it then.”
I felt so embarrassed that I wanted to cover my face with my hands, but with my limbs cut, I couldn’t even manage that.
”I’m sorry, this is the last one.”
”Would you like a little more?”
Strangely, when I saw that face, Lute staring intently, I didn’t feel all that bad.
With my face still red, I nodded slightly, and Lute smiled kindly and nodded, “I see.”
”I’ll be back soon.”
He took the empty pot and disappeared beyond the door.
Please bookmark this series and rate ☆☆☆☆☆ on here!
Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.