"It really is you. I didn't think I'd see you again." Annie smiled when she realized that Gren wasn't a figment of her imagination. "They brought me here because I am a criminal in their eyes. Usually they would execute someone like me but that damn perverted merchant probably asked the kingdom to make me a slave."
"Perverted merchant?" Annie hadn't told Gren about her past so he didn't even know that Annie used to have a sister--let alone such a tragic backstory. Annie decided to let Gren know what her story was.
By the time she was telling him about what happened to her sister, Annie already had tears in eyes. She blamed herself for what happened so Gren hugged her and tried to soothe her. "It's not your fault. You couldn't have known." He started stroking her hair as she started crying even more. It appeared as if Gren comforting her had caused a floodgate to open and she just held on to his robe as she continued to cry for a while.
After her sobbing had ceased she continued to talk about her past--still holding on to Gren. "They blamed me for Anastasia's death. I wasn't even in the city when she died but it was easy for the merchant to get rid of any evidence that I had left on a mission. Nobody would help me and the guards were after me. That's when I met Susan. I accepted his offer and became his group's scout so now I am just a bandit."
Gren had ruffled up her hair and corrected her. "You're no longer a bandit. You already got caught and now you're a slave. That means that it's up to your new master to decide what you'll be from now on." Gren put on a little act, pretending to think hard about something. "Hmmm. I guess that from now on you will be forced to become my big sister." Annie's eyes lit up when she heard this.
Gren turned back to Dani and noticed that she was a bit away from where Annie was. He didn't notice it but Dani walked away when she realized that the two knew each other. It wasn't her job to know what they were talking about after all. Realizing the conversation was over, Dani walked back over to Gren. "Are you ready to make your decision?" Gren nodded and asked what Annie was worth. "Thirty five gold coins. I know the price might..." Dani had an entire sales pitch ready about how a good scout was the difference between life and death for a mercenary guild but Gren didn't care.
Gren pulled out two black iron coins and Dani gave him five of the gold coins used to purchase the magician earlier. Again, the coins were passed over to Jasmine for safekeeping. "So, now that I'm done shopping, who do I talk to about getting the contracts for this scout and the magician?"
"The contracts for slaves that are not in the main showroom are kept in Mr Genrich's office. Once we make our way back to the rear entrance I'll make sure to get you the contracts. This way, please." Dani led the group to where Albert and the rest were waiting; Annie couldn't walk on her own so she was being held up by Yun on one side and hopped on her only remaining leg.
"I see you found some human slaves to your liking. As you can see behind me we've got your slaves almost ready to leave. This is usually the part where I would try to convince you to buy cloaks for them since I'm sure that you don't want to be walking around with a bunch of naked slaves down the street but I would like to make a different offer instead. You see, we just got another demihuman woman in while we were processing your purchase."
Gren already knew where he was going with this so he stopped him from continuing. "You're going to say that you'll give me the clothes for free if I buy this new slave, right? How much is she?"
Albert smiled. "She's only four gold coins. Are you interested?" Gren handed over four gold coins and Albert was quick to accept it. "Thank you for your business." Albert moved to tell the workers to distribute cloaks to all of the women.
Dani had just arrived with a large stack of contracts in her hands. Gren was wondering how she kept disappearing when she was next to him but he didn't care enough to ask. "Here are all of the contracts. There are the two for the scout and magician, sixty six for the demihuman women you bought earlier, another contract for the demihuman woman that just arrived--I brought it just in case but I see that you bought her--and the last contract is one you'll have to sign stating that you're making an informed decision and that you have no more questions about the slaves you are purchasing. It's part of our company policy when dealing with large purchases like this."
Gren signed the contract after reading through it and counted the number of contracts that he had received. The total number of contracts that he had were seventy when he included the contract for Yun that he had received earlier. It seemed like each contract had a number on it and when asking about it Dani told Gren that they matched the numbers on the collars. Gren didn't even notice that the collars had numbers on them.
That wasn't the only thing Gren hadn't noticed. Gren had all of the information he required to figure it out but he just wasn't thinking. Why was Albert so quick to get rid of the new demihuman? Gren never bothered to ask himself that question and later on that mistake would become his greatest regret.