11 The Prayer
⊱————- Ofris' PoV ————-⊰
One backpack, that was all that was left in my temporary home. I had hurriedly stuffed all of my clothes into it, the equipment and even my dagger, not spending the single more minute it would have taken to fold my laundry neatly. I could live with wearing rumpled shirts for a few days, as long as it meant getting away from here as soon as possible.
I had ignored the antics of the researchers far too long, driven only by the thoughts of the few coins I received, but what those three degenerates had done just now was enough to make me regret ever following them here. No, I shouldn't even have started becoming their adviser.
«For them to try to force themselves onto a defenseless girl...»
She was a slave, that much was for sure, but that didn't mean they could just do whatever they felt like. Not because she probably had an owner, but because she was a woman! It was one thing to own slaves, but a whole different story to abuse them like that!
Looking at how we had found her, I could only imagine the worst. Something unspeakable must have happened to her.
«Just because she is a beastkin...»
I didn't like beastkin, as I had grown up being told stories about their cold-blooded crimes and their vile characters, but I didn't exactly hate them either. Most of them probably tried their best to live a peaceful life and it wasn't righteous for me to blame them for all the crimes their ancestors had committed.
Although I believed in this truth, I knew that I had never acted on it. My own family had never owned a slave, but I knew of one that once worked in the guild and all those working on the markets, in the smithery and all the other workshops.
It wasn't exactly a bright world, especially for beastkins like her. And still, she didn't seem to be afraid about us finding her, at least not at a level that couldn't be explained by me and the boys wearing weapons combined with three old men demanding her death. It would have been believable for her to wet herself, but to not even scream?
«Why didn't she put up a fight? Sure, she is weak, but still...»
No, she wasn't just weak. She was pathetically weak, so weak in fact that it was a miracle that she was still alive. Anything out of here could have killed her, everything but small rodents and insects, that was if they did not use poison against her.
Her being here safe and sound could only mean one thing: somebody brought her here to leave her behind. They had tossed her away as if she was a piece of garbage. And that was exactly how she was treated by Maxon, his friends and the three archeologists. If it wasn't for me, she would already be dead. Or worse.
A long sigh slipped my lips as I grabbed the backpack and left the tent. I raised up and stretched myself, before turning around to check on the girl who was still sitting by the fire.
I was startled, unable to even breath. The girl was just sitting there, stark naked and in front of a bundle of cloth I didn't remember ever seeing before. It was white and pale-green in color and was held together by nothing but a beautifully prepared, red ribbon.
«Where did she get it from?!»
She didn't even notice me, so much was her mind focused on the dress she now slowly folded out. From what I could see, it was a rather expensive looking piece of fabric, nothing to fancy, but good in quality. The girl, however, didn't even pay much attention to it. Her eyes were burning on two pieces of black, laced fabric.
No, it wasn't just underwear. It was lingerie. The kind used by young women hunting for adventures or those selling their bodies.
«So she really was a pleasure slave...»
My mood dropped. The girl didn't seem to be aggressive, loud or unpleasant in any other way. There was nothing that would give a reasonable explanation for her ending up here in the nothingness, so of course I felt bad for her. A girl like her couldn't possibly commit a crime deserving her being left to her fate like this.
«So she really is pregnant...»
It didn't change a thing. I wasn't interested in the girl, at least not in any romantic way. I just pitied her. And naturally, I would pity a pregnant woman even more. The father of the child, her owner, probably was a nobleman, and judging by her appearance even one of the richer ones.
«Why didn't they just sell her instead of leaving her here to die?! This is messed up...»
While I was still busy thinking about her dark past, the beastkin girl was slowly dressing up herself, or at least she tried to. The underwear proved to be such big of a hurdle to her that a part of me even urged me to go help her, but I somehow managed to ignore this voice again and yet again.
The underwear she was trying to wear had been tailored especially with beastkin in mind. While the bra seemed similar to those other women would wear, the slip had a slit for a tail at its back and black ribbons to close it with once the laced fabric had been pulled up. Never in my life had I seen such a delicate handcraft.
With all the questions popping up in my head, it took me a few moments to realize what exactly I was doing right now.
«Am I a pervert or what?!»
I hurriedly turned around, staring at my tent as the girl was struggling with her underwear. With her having such a hard time putting on the lingerie, it certainly didn't look as if she was experienced with them. It was more like as if she had never worn them in her life, though that couldn't possibly be true.
A few minutes had passed by when she finally seemed to be done. I slowly turned around to find her sitting there, with both the early sunlight and the fire flattering her thin silhouette.
No, beautiful wasn't worthy enough of a word. When she raised up, it was as if a young saint or goddess arrived. Her dress was rather appealing, especially for a girl of her age. It embraced her body, leaving not much to your imagination, but at the same time it hid more than enough for her to not appear as if she would ever try to seduce someone. She looked innocent even.
The girl looked like the daughter of a nobleman visiting her first ball, not like a slave. It was as if somebody had dressed her up for her to find a good husband. But that didn't make sense. Nobody would try to marry off a beastkin, they would just sell her. And to sell them fancy clothes were unneeded. If anything, they hindered the process instead.
«Just who was her owner?»
While I was still trying to guess where she had come from, the girl seemed to have realized something was amiss. She was petrified for a moment, only staring into the air, then she slowly sank to the ground again. I could see that she was hesitating, that she was about to do something she hated. But there was nothing but grass and dirt spread in front of her.
Suddenly, the girl placed the palms of her hands together, as if preparing herself to pray. When she then closed her eyes and fell into silence, I was left flabbergasted.
«She really is going to pray?!»
I stared at her in disbelief. The girl didn't move. For about half a minute she just sat there, as if frozen to ice, then suddenly a white mist began spreading in front of her. It grew denser and denser until you could no longer see through it, to then, without a warning, disperse into the air within seconds. In its place, a pair of knee-high, heeled boots had appeared.
«What?! Her prayers were answered?! Just like that?!»
I couldn't believe it. Gods never went out of their way to help anyone, not even their believers. I had seen faithful men slowly dying away from illness and churches burning down. The gods had never cared about any of this. They had just continued watching.
This girl had just received a gift from them and didn't even seem to be surprised at all. It was normal for her! So normal in fact that she even dared to make a grimace as if the boots weren't to her liking! They were perfect! Not only had they the very same colors her dress had been tailored in, white and pale-green, but they also looked sturdy and feminine at the same time, too! I could bet they were comfortable to walk in, too!
«She is weird...»
The girl just pushed her feet into the boots, not even thinking about cleaning them before.
«It is a gift by the gods! At least clean yourself!»
The girl didn't. She just laced up the boots to then raise up again. It was only when she then began to walk around, testing how well she could walk, that she realized I was watching. She became petrified.
"Go- good evening," I heard myself stammer.
She just stood there, looking at me with her ever-changing expressions. The morning sun laid itself onto her, seemingly turning her reddish hair into glimmering waves of rubies. The morning sun. Yes, it was still morning.
«Am I stupid or what?!»
⊱————- Extra ————-⊰
Rika: I felt like I lost my manhood right now.
???: You already lost it before~
Rika: Why do I have to wear this!?
???: Girls should wear something underneath.
Rika: Why would I need to?
???: What are you going to do when you climb up ladders or stairs? They will think my little daughter is a pervert!
Rika: Just give me Boxers!
???: You liked the lingerie before, though ...
Rika: STOP LOOKING INTO MY MEMORIES!!