I stepped closer.
The closer I got, the closer I got to an overwhelming joy that I would finally get to meet the elves.
The proof was that my fingertips were tingling.
The main star of this slave auction. And the Elf I’ve been searching for so eagerly.
“Do you like it?”
“Well. I don’t know unless I look more closely.”
Having said that, I went closer and grabbed the iron fence with both hands.
The Elf’s blonde hair was tangled around, and something was coagulating it.
It was blood.
The Elf had been abused for a long time, and the blood had hardened and was brown.
The Elf did not move, even though I was poking my nose through.
The only movement I saw on the Elf was a slow blinking of vacant eyes.
The Elf seemed like he was on the verge of fainting.
How much abuse have you had to withstand here?
There were bruises and wounds all over.
Elves are a proud race committed fiercely to their freedoms and equity.
Probably he’s been rebelling for a long time—maybe ever since he was first captured.
And at the end of it—like all enslaved people—he’d learned to give up.
The evidence was the hopeless, desolate look in his eyes.
“Elves are a beautiful species, so he is beautiful. And he’s good at medicine. If you buy this Elf, it will help you in many ways.”
The caretaker began to sprout out selling points in order to increase the likelihood of a competitive sale.
I was quiet as my thoughts were interrupted.
“Okay. Could you shut up?”
“Your banter is disturbing me.”
The custodian was quite embarrassed.
He had made a mistake and stood there awkwardly in silence, raking his head to come up with a solution to remedy the problem—but nothing came to mind.
The man was quite annoying—just standing there stupidly, perhaps he didn’t understand.
I used my mana to lower the ambient temperature, cooling the man’s flesh.
The man trembled at the slowly falling temperature.
The man’s tremor became even more intense at the feeling of an ominous unknown.
“Aren’t you going?”
“I-I-I will go out!”
Whether it was the cold or the fear, the man turned pale and scurried through the hall.
When the man disappeared from my sight, I collected my mana back, used to chill the surrounding temperature.
Even though the temperature was cold, the Elf didn’t even move—nevermind register my presence.
I looked down quietly at the Elf.
It was amazing that his blonde hair—with all kinds of dirt, such as blood and dust—still did not lose its sheen.
Every time the Elf blinked his eyes, his green eyes were visible.
His darkened eyes and lack of reaction told me that he was in terrible shape.
It started to worry me.
Would it be possible to get him out of here?
To be honest, given his current state of affairs, it was utterly unbelievable that the male lead saved him.
That’s how broken he was.
I studied the hopeless Elf and felt my heart fall.
However, I had no choice but to hold on to these straws.
“…Do you intend to live with me?”
I opened my mouth to try to provoke a reaction to pull him out of his stupor.
With terrible words in his mouth, he said,
“I don’t care anymore.”
“Is that so?”
I smiled at the Elf gently.
In the original story, he was saved by the main character, but this time, it would be me.
“That’s right. I’m thinking of buying you.”
“You will soon leave this place that’s worse than a pigsty.”
The Elf didn’t even look at me. He looked only at the moldy ceiling.
It looked like his soul left him.
“Why do you keep looking there? There’s nothing.”
“Aren’t you curious? Why am I buying you?”
‘What if he’s out of his mind…… Then I’m in trouble.’
I don’t know what to do or say. This task wasn’t turning out to be easy.
I tried speaking to him a lot but received scant a reply.
I looked at his tightly closed mouth and let out a sigh.
From him, there was not a glimpse of willingness to continue the conversation.
His dull eyes also showed no will to live.
Communicating ‘nothing matters,’ the Elf just blinked.
I never thought an Elf, a symbol of a pure and robust spirit, would be so broken.
“Don’t you want to go home?”
The Elf didn’t answer. But I wasn’t the one to give up.
“I can get you back if you want.”
The Elf’s eyes turned to me. I bent my eyes curled when I met his green eyes.
Can we continue the conversation smoothly now?
I spoke again without erasing the smile I had. “I can get you out of here right now.”
“······I don’t know what you are trying to say.”
“‘Truly. I’m here to get you out of here.” The Elf’s persistent gaze searched me.
His vigilant eyes regarded me suspiciously.
He tried to figure out what my intentions were, but I was wearing a mask so that he couldn’t read my face.
“What do you want from me?”
“You’re quick-witted. That’s right. I want something from you. I’m thinking of getting you out of here as long as you do me a favor.”