"What should I do in this situation…!"
Zagan was in a predicament. He was within his own castle, the floors were aged oak, and the walls were constructed of moss-covered, stone blocks. The carpet and wall decorations distracted from it, but he had essentially left it completely unmaintained.
At least two hundred years had probably passed since its construction, it was an abandoned castle enveloped in an aura of melancholy.
Standing stock-still in front of Zagan, who was reclining on the castle's throne with his legs crossed, was a single girl.
The first thing to catch the eye was her snow-white hair that reached her waist, and then the crimson ribbon that decorated her hair. The eyes on her delicate face were an azure as deep as the summer skies, and her lips were an unassuming mild peach colour.
Covering her dainty limbs was a pure white dress, and the open front gave a glimpse at two large bulges that were at odds with her slight build.
However, her eyes were awfully empty, and her ears tapered to a sharp point. She was a member of the race that had been called 'the Faeries of Norden' in ancient times — Elves. In particular, those that had white hair were rare, and said to be particularly strong.
They were closer to god than humans were, but that holiness itself meant that they were often targeted by humans. A single strand of their hair, a single drop of blood from them, even their life itself, held unfathomable power as magic reagents. Around that ephemeral and mysterious girl's neck, was a thick collar with a chain attached.
A slave collar.
And, it was this girl's existence that was causing Zagan's distress.
"How should I talk to the girl I like…!"
Several hours ago, he had fallen for the girl at first sight, and had been glad to buy her body, but he had had very few chances to speak with a girl of her age before. He hadn't the faintest clue how to draw her interest.
The girl herself had been bought as a slave, was she nervous? Her expression was stiff, and it would be no exaggeration to call her expressionless. He couldn't just stay silent, he had to say something.
Words appeared in his mind.
'The weather is nice, isn't it?'
"…No, that's not it. That's not it."
The room had no windows, and if you were to look up to the ceiling, you'd see the rusted chains hanging from implements of torture. Besides, it was cloudy outside the last he knew.
No matter how he looked at it, that wasn't it, but then what should he say?
'What do you think of this castle?'
"Calm down. This is an abandoned castle, with corpses and magic tools scattered around, right?"
He couldn't think of any response other than something like 'a place of execution' or 'hell'. That said, he regretted not even tidying up a little before bringing her here.
Approximately an hour had passed like this. The one to open their mouth first was not Zagan.
"Master. May I… ask a question?"
A pleasant, bell-like voice rang out softly.
Zagan threw his head into his hands at his blunt response.
"That sounds like I'm irritated at her, doesn't it!?"
Even though the girl had spoken to him. Whilst Zagan collapsed in despair, the girl spoke emotionlessly, and said this.
"How… will you be killing me?"
Zagan's mouth dropped open in shock.
"Wait a minute! Why am I killing you!?"
"Eh… You're… not?"
So saying, the girl's eyes rose to look at the things hanging from the walls and ceiling.
Bloodstained saws, caskets lined with long needles, various sized scissors, and other such wicked looking instruments furnished them like decorations. They were implements of torture, leftovers from the previous owner of the castle.
"And earlier, there were the corpses of this morning's intruders still in the entryway. That was probably scary…"
Thinking back on it, he had the impression that her body had stiffened upon seeing those corpses — corpses that had had their heads blown off. If there was a mage that brought a girl to an unpleasant place like this and proclaim 'I am a gentleman, there is no need to be afraid', Zagan would have beaten the hell out of them.
Cold sweat trickled down his back. Zagan could make no excuses to the girl whose eyes seemed to have lost all hope.
This had all started that morning.