I Was A Hero In Another World But My Dog-Girl Slave Swapped Places With Me And Now I Can’t Disobey Her 11

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Chapter 11: In Which The Cards Hit The Table, Metaphorically That Is, I Mean Like, There Aren’t Any Literal Cards

I glanced around, nervous– how had she just disappeared like that? Valentine was huge. No, wait– why had she disappeared like that? That was probably the more important question.

“...don’t worry, Sasha, if she was thinking about betraying us or something, I’d know.” Master took my hand and led me over to some sort of restaurant or cafe with outdoor seating – I don’t know the way to tell between those things on this world, if there even are separate conceptual ideas of them – and sat me down at one of the fancy metal seats, while I glanced around, a bit dazed.

I swallowed. Should I tell her? Well, now that I had thought that… besides, Valentine was absolutely the sort of person I couldn’t read. “Master, um, Valentine can simply choose not to think about things. She was trying to teach it to me.” I swallowed. “I… it sort of came out acidentally, and I told her. Sorry, Master.”

Master petted my head gently as she leaned in close, her voice soft and sweet. “Oh, I knew, basically. What I don’t know, is, why didn’t you immediately tell me?”

“I… was worried you’d hurt her, Master.”

“And you weren’t worried that it’d count as betrayal, making little plans with her? That I’d have to get rid of you?“ Her voice was just as quiet and gentle, but something in it made me think she had definitely considered it, and I started trembling in the chair I was sitting in.

“I’m… I’m sorry, Master.”

“Mmm, I should’ve gotten rid of you the moment you tried to do something behind my back… but I was feeling a bit soft-hearted, and wanted to see if you’d own up to your mistake. Seeing as you told me the moment it seemed dangerous, I think I’ll let you live. Don’t make another mistake like this again, though, Sasha.” She took my chin and raised it, and I looked up into her eyes, which were gazing down with somewhere between affection and contempt, utterly ruthless. “...okay, pet?”

I trembled violently and started crying, having no idea that I had gotten that close to Master disposing of me, and nodded. “I’ll be good!” I wanted to say, but I found I couldn’t speak words again… Master had taken away my voice.

I’ll strip right now if you want me to! I’ll do whatever you want, please don’t get rid of me!

She smiled softly and released my chin. “I know you will, pet. My affection for you must be overwhelming me, that I’m going so far to give you a second chance, and I’m sure you’ll find a way to repay my kindness to you. But don’t strip and yell and make a scene. I’m going to give back your voice, so you have to be quiet if you want to speak, okay?”

I nodded tearily, and reached out to take hold of her hand, searching her eyes with my hazy ones as best I could as I tried to tell if she was really serious about not getting rid of me… but it’s not like I’d ever been able to read Master, her face probably said exactly what she wanted it to say… that she cared about me, and she wasn’t mad, just disappointed.

Had the act of anger towards Valentine earlier just been a ruse to give me a chance to confess? I shuddered. I had no idea how she thought.

“You can tell by my actions, at least, can’t you? I’m not someone to carry around useless things, or show mercy when it’s not useful… and yet I’m keeping you by my side, even though you almost betrayed me. There are two things I want in this world: to end slavery, and you by my side, utterly devoted and obedient to me. Don’t go and make me regret the latter.”

...Wasn’t there some sort of contradiction in those two desires? No, sorry Master, I’ll try not to think that, I’ll be good! I clung to her hand, whimpering softly. She raised a hand and slowly and gently scratched behind my ear in just the right spot.

“Absolutely. But I don’t really care about something like ethical coherence. And if you still haven’t completely fallen for me by the time I’ve ended slavery, I’ll release you. I think you’re already happier then when I was your slave, though. Having to make tough decisions and so forth isn’t really the right thing for my fragile little plant, raised in a greenhouse like you were. Just find happiness in being protected and used and adored.” I sniffled.

“You… you won’t get rid of me when I’m old?” I had already forgotten about that old woman, concerned as I was for my own life, and felt guilty about it.

“Of course not, Sasha. I know magic to swap bodies, control minds, and alter forms… I’ll find a way to keep you by my side in a form I like.”

.,.alter forms? That was a new one.

“...that’s what you’re focusing on? I’ve been picking it up over the past day or so. Just know that I have no reason to ever get rid of you, as long as you remain loyal to me. Have I ever broken a promise to you, pet?”

“...not that I can recall…?”

“That’s not because I’m incapable of it, but because your trust means a great deal to me.”

...Master had said she’d kill me if I betrayed her.

“Ah, but you didn’t quite betray me, did you? And if you consider that a betrayal… well, maybe that I’m interpreting it in such a kind fashion should be of some reassurance to you. My patience isn’t limitless, but I know you’re still getting used to the idea that you prefer being my obedient pet to your previous life.” She stroked my side gently.

I swallowed and nodded a little. I just wanted to be in her arms, but it would be a bit awkward to climb into her lap here. We just sat, holding hands, my own hand quite sweaty from the fear, studying the face of my Master even though I couldn’t read her at all, and her looking down at me intermittently between glancing around, her pupils dilating just slightly as she focused down on me.

My heart beat a bit faster. That… that was a sign of affection, right? Maybe she could fake it, but… I didn’t want to think about that, I just wanted to know she loved me and would take care of me. I tried to hold back the desire to crawl into her lap and press close to her, I was a good girl, I wouldn’t make a scene….

There was a cough, and Master jumped up, interposing herself between me and a large, cloaked figure… Valentine, unless someone had taken her mask.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt, but there wasn’t really a good moment to interject. I went and saved the old lady for you, Sasha.” My heart leapt in my chest. Valentine was so good!

Master blinked a few times. “...why?”

“Well, the way I thought about it… it was utterly foolish of Sasha to save me in the way she did, and yet I’m very grateful she did. So, I can’t even save one life for her?”

I blinked, staring up at her in awe. “...how?”

“Oh, simple enough. I told the guy my Master wanted to buy her, handed him a little coin, woke her up, found out her skillset, and took her off to the house of one of my fans, who was willing to take her off my hands with a little sweet-talking.” As if it was all that casual.

“Not something I could pull off every day, mind you, but…” Valentine shrugged. “With you so intent on it, Sasha, I bothered to think if I had a way to make it happen, and I did. I had to act quick before I lost him, though, we’re pretty quick to the Arena. Sorry about just running out on you two like that, I do really appreciate you coming all this way for me.” A slight pause. “Don’t expect me to be able to pull something like that off every time we see a slave in trouble, though. My purse is not heavy, and the fans who will do anything for me are limited.”

I felt a rush of gratitude towards Valentine, and also a bit foolish… it was something like trying to rescue every dog in a pound, trying to protect all the animalfolk. The comparison made me uncomfortable, animalfolk were you know, people basically, and animals weren’t, but… without systematic reform, there was no real way to protect them all… right? So in a way Master was right, but I do wonder how many people would be killed in the process... but, I felt like someone in trouble right in front of me was something I just couldn’t ignore… even before I had the title of ‘Hero’, I had a strong sense of righteousness. Albeit highly localized... one couldn’t right all the wrongs of the world without power. But Master had power, now.

Master stroked my head. “Most non-slaves think of animalfolk here as little more than animals, really. I’m glad you’re not like them, pet.” She looked up at Valentine evenly, letting her know she knew.

“Yeah, well….” Valentine tilted her head a bit to one side. “Those who come from outside a system really see it different, huh?”

Master smiled. “I’m looking to get rid of slavery entirely. If you’re willing to kill for the cause, you could be a huge asset.”

Valentine was silent for a long moment. Perhaps she was seriously considering it, perhaps merely considering what to say. “That’s very brave of you… but, no. You’re not the first noble cause people have said that I could help change the world, if only I was willing to get my hands a little bloody. I can’t control the world, and trying will only let me hurt people. I can only control my own actions.”

Master sighed softly. “I figured. But don’t tell anyone about this.”

Valentine laughed, and tapped the side of her head with her finger. “Don’t worry, I’ll mostly forget this conversation even happened. Remembering the wrong things is never useful.”

“I suppose not, no.” Master looked over to a calico catgirl who was peering out of the door at she looked at the situation, and beckoned, and she slowly and warily moved up closer, and got our order, left us all with glasses of water.

Once she left, Master smiled. “Don’t worry, she didn’t overhear anything.” She sounded rather pleased with herself.

Valentine looked around, and then sat down on the ground, the chairs weren’t quite big enough to fit her. “We are kinda making a scene, though.”

“That’s fine. Princess Asperia likes making scenes… and if nothing else, it will draw her eye to us.”

I wiped my tears away with the back of my hand. Valentine knew, and it seemed like Master wasn’t going to kill her, so that was good… of course, if she was, she probably wouldn’t do it in front of me after seeing me defend her. Even if she did kill Valentine, the smart think to do would be just bow down to her and be her obedient little pet anyway… but I resolved that if she did, that would be the day I stopped obeying her.

Valentine was a far better person than she should be, growing up like she had, and I don’t think I could trust someone who could just throw away their noble childhood hero like that. I looked over to her mask. Somehow, she seemed more readable and approachable than Master, even with the mask… Master’s masks were far more elaborate and impenetrable.

Right now her eyes were fixed on Valentine's mask. “...what’s your read on Princess Asperia?”

Valentine tilted her head to one side, than the other. “She saved my life, and the life of every would-be gladiator who took her offer. Well… I don’t think it’s a deal fodder are allowed to accept, but they’d find some other way to eliminate them if the arena didn’t take them.”

I swallowed and nodded slowly.

“So, I basically worship her," said Valentine. "She’s done more for me and other gladiators than any god ever did, after all. My life was pretty decent until I got sold to my current master, and he started having suspicions.”

I leaned forwards a little. “Yeah, um, why does he think you’re an assassin?”

“A few people who openly opposed Princess Asperia died in the city recently, and I’m obviously very strong. It probably is an assassin of hers... but not me,” said the woman who had fought almost-equally with my master, had just said she worshiped Princess Asperia like a goddess, could conveniently forget things at will, and disappeared in the middle of a crowd like it was nothing despite towering over everyone here.

I took a sip of the water our waitress had brought us. I might have believed it if I had been in her master’s shoes, too. “...does it bother you that she probably has people assassinated?”

“Not really? People kill each other, it’s a fact of life. Just because I want to be outside of it doesn’t mean I don’t understand how useful it is. Same as Sir’s noble quest here… or should I be calling you Ma’am?”

Master laughed softly. “Sure... Ma’am is fine from now on."

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Hey! I’m commenting here

Hey! I’m commenting here because I have an account, but anyway I’ve just gone and read almost up to the most recent chapter on Scribble Hub in an unhealthy amount of time, and just wanted to thank you again for sharing!

You're very welcome!

Succubiome's picture

You're very welcome!

I'd say "you shouldn't binge read unhealthily", but I've totally done the same thing, so I can't reasonably advise.