「 Master, where are we actually going? Aren’t we supposed to visit the《Adventurer’s Creed》guild? 」Siana says, prying for any explanation.
Of course, she would be confused. We’re outside the city, past the Great Wall of Vosgant. It’s about time I tell her why we are deviating from the previous plan.
「 For a change of pace and scenery, 」I lie as naturally as I can, 「 I want to see outside the great wall, the rumored mystical greenery of the elven territory. 」
The weather is at its prime with warm sunshine and only a few clouds lingering in the sky, showcasing the beautiful light blue of the sky. A chilly breeze sweeps the land, giving me slight chills. Or is it what might unfold that’s giving me the chills I wonder?
Across the horizon, lies a very otherworldly scene. Amidst the seas of towering greens, there’s a singular tree that stood out like a sore thumb. What’s so different about this tree is how it even pierces the clouds. Its sheer humongous size overwhelms anything, yet what I feel from its presence is not fear nor awe — but calmness and peace.
「 Siana… What is that monstrous tree? 」
「 That’s coeden ddwyföl — the elven divine mother tree, master. 」Siana says, excitement flashes in her eyes,「 it is said the first elven kind was born in that tree. The elven society heavily reveres the tree and always performs all sorts of elven rituals or ceremonies. The second most place held for rituals would be… 」
That’s strange… why does she stop near the end….
「 Please continue, Siana. 」I urge her, not able to withhold my curiosity.
「 B-b-but… 」
「 Your master wants to listen to the end. Please continue, my Siana. 」
「 It would be Dįwedd Mynydd… or what the humans would call as Vosgant mountain range. The first elven man died there, praying for the elven goddess — crëwr, for all eternity until his last breath…. P-please punish me, master, I committed a great sin! Just please don’t sell me out! 」
「 Woah… calm down Siana. It’s my wish for you to tell me your elven way of life. 」
「 B-but I committed a great sin! 」
「 If that’s the case, then it is my wish and command to not punish you for what I consider as such a small and insignificant thing. 」
「 O-okay… Thank you for your graciousness, master. 」
「 Do you miss your past home? 」I ask, prompting for her reaction.
「 Why would I? My home is now with you, master. 」she says as she shows a big smile.
Which I notice to be forced…
…That’s all the answer I need.
The girl who brought me back from the edge of despair…
…is forcing herself beyond it instead.
Whether it was out of pity, resignation, or fear, I will never know unless I do this.
「 Do you wish to return? To your kin? 」
「 No! I’m happy with you, master! I don’t ever want to return. 」
At the prospect of returning, Siana shows genuine dislike.
But would I want my parents, siblings, and friends to see me being the possession of a stranger? To meet them, but know that the only thing that allows me to is the whim of a person who exchanged me for a bag of gold coins?
I just hope the beautiful weather and the sunshine bring me great luck on this endeavor filled with anxiety.
We closed by to the edge of the dense elven forest.
Goddess Maria, I’ve never prayed to you, heck I even don’t believe you exist. But if you do exist and hear the plea of this insignificant being, please keep my heart in an ambient steady beat. Amen.
「 S-siana.. 」f-fuck I can’t believe I stutter.
「 Yes, master? Why are we so close to the edge of the goed-, uhh.. I mean, elven forest? 」
「 Do you love me, S-siana? 」I ask, my words slipping on their own.
Instead of a word from her, a more chilly breeze comes. So silence is her answer.
She can’t even pretend or say empty words of how she loves me huh…
「 Then do you want to be free, Siana? 」
Beating around the bush. I hate myself for it. But I can’t bring myself to create facts.
「 I-I don’t understand… What do you mean master?! 」
「 If… if your love for me outweighs your yearn for your family then stay with me here. If you don’t love me then take the small bag of provisions and I won’t stop you from going back to your home…. To your… Gruffydd… 」
Didn’t I want to help her? Now I sound like a bitter lover.
「 H-how… How did you know him?! 」
「 I have my sources… now please decide… I’ll support whatever you choose. 」
「 B-b-but… 」Doubt. Disbelief. Worry about slipping up.
Caution. But no hesitation.
I reach for her collar.
She jolts. I’m reaching for her neck after all. She shivers, in fear perhaps.
A single thought.
『 Release! 』
Alongside the collar, something snaps inside me.
She freezes as it hits the ground.
「 I’ll take that as a yes. I can’t make things up to you, but at least this is possible. Now go. 」
My words snap her back into reality. She looks at me, bewildered.
She doesn’t say anything. Still doesn’t seem to grasp my actions.
Tears form in her eyes as she reaches for her unadorned neck.
A pale band of skin is all that remains of the choker of her free will. But for her, not even that exists.
…Please don’t go. Please don’t go. Please don’t go.
Please tell me that I was just being paranoid. Please don’t leave me alone.
She left just like that.
She runs so quickly with her nimble feet.
In less than a minute, she’s already nowhere to be seen. Vanished inside the dense elven forest.
She’s gone… She’s fucking gone….
Siana.. No. Hyledd was right to leave me.
I… I should’ve never said that I love her…
I never should’ve fucked her against her unconscious will, or ruin her relationship…
Beneath her gentle and loving appearance, is pain and betrayal she’s forced to hide. And which I’ve brought to her.
The guilt threatened to swallow my soul.
With nothing else to do, I start to walk back home. The once clear sky is now filled with grey clouds with no gaps in between. It’s dark.
I fucked up badly. I’m an idiot to think I would feel love just because I bought a slave.
She’s only obedient and acts affectionately towards me not because of what I am, but because I’m her master. That’s not love.
Deep inside me, I expected to cry like a bitch if this happened. But now… I’m not crying…
Then, out of nowhere, small droplets of water fell, ushering me, drenching me. Each raindrop impacted me as if it’s reminding me of my failures. The present and the past.
No wonder my wife cheated on me. I’m the sole reason for my own unhappiness. Releasing our master-slave bond is the least I could do… It’s the right thing to do…
Life is such a cruel joke.
L̴͖̎o̵͈͊v̵̼̉ẽ̴̗ ̸̲̓i̷͖̐s̶̖͑ ̷̼͑f̵̖̀ȏ̸̟r̵̹͋ ̸̺͊ẗ̷̥́h̶̜̑ȇ̵̝ ̴̤̀w̵̘̚e̴̲̿ă̴͍k̸̙̃