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“What?” I asked blinking surprised.
“Tamara, come here.” the el’doraw said.
“Mew?” the kitten looked up at her curiously and then back at me.
So her name is Tamara, but what does she want me to see? Is she actually a he? I asked myself.
Looking down at her, I could not imagine how someone would want to harm or enslave something so cute, but as I took a closer look at her, I noticed the missing teeth, the burned fur on her nose, the cut left ear, and the scars on her snout. Except for the teeth, those were things I didn’t notice before when I was fixing her because they were hidden by a thick layer of grim and blood.
What the… I thought, but then Shanteya pulled Tamara’s shirt up and revealed something more frightening.
The kitten’s back didn’t even have a single patch of fur left because it was covered in whip scars. Some bastard took great pleasure in torturing this child and inside my heart, another drop of disgust towards him was added. Besides her back, her body was literally covered with countless scars, and the tip of her tail had its fur burned off.
“Tamara not cry. Tamara obey. Tamara need not to be punished.” trembled the child as she looked up at Shanteya.
She feared that the reason her shirt was pulled up was because we were thinking of whipping her. I clenched my fist, and fury rumbled in my heart just from hearing the tone of fear in her voice.
How could this child think this? What did they do to her? I asked myself with anger rising by the moment.
Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath to calm myself and then said “We’re not going to harm you…” I then knelt down and opened my eyes. “Tamara will be healed now.” I said.
“No! No! No! Tamara was good! Tamara not want to be healed!” she then suddenly called out hugging Shanteya and trying hard to get away from my hand.
I was simply shocked by this. I blinked surprised, but even I couldn’t understand what just happened. Was she afraid of being healed or was she harmed to the point where she wished to have those scars on her back?
I couldn’t tell, and noticing my confusion, Shanteya asked the kitten something.
“Tamara, what happens when others heal you?”
Flattening her ears and looking down, the nekatar then replied “They pull Tamara’s shirt up. Then Tamara feels pain… Tamara bleeds. Tamara not like.” she then quickly shook her head.
“Little one, that’s not healing…” the el’doraw said with a calm tone of voice.
“I heard about this.” Nanya said and when I looked at her, I saw her clenching her fists. “They torture them from when they are young so when they are old and sold, they won’t ask for it even if they are gravely injured. It makes them appear as obedient… No cries means that they are alright with what is being done to them.” the demoness then looked away.
She wasn’t the only one furious. Ayuseya felt the same. We all were upset with this. The merchant who did this to little Tamara would have to suffer a great deal of pain, or none of us would feel happy about it.
Yes… pain… suffering… He will die. I thought.
Looking at the scarred back, I took a deep breath and extended my territory until it covered them all.
“Little one, what they did is not healing. What I am going to do now is called healing. What they did to you is called torture.” I explained with a calm and gentle tone of voice, but inside, I was already thinking about how I would skin alive that evil slave dealer.
Reason number one to obliterate this form slavery… I thought as I gently petted her little head.
At first, she flinched under my touched, but then she realized that I had no intention of harming her.
“Torture?” she asked.
“Yes… torture. Only very evil and despicable men do this.” I then placed my hands over her back and summoned my Magic Energy.
Tamara shivered when she felt the energy flowing through her flesh. She didn’t have even a basic layer of Magic Armor, so it was amazing that she was able to survive in that dungeon for so long. Maybe it was fate for me to find her there?
Instead of thinking about this, I focused only on healing her wounds. Scar after scar vanished as I reconstructed her skin at a cellular level. Thanks to my experience since I built my body, I even knew how to read DNA, so I found the genes that described the way her fur should form and what pattern it should have. Tamara had dark-brown and light-brown fur covering her body. It wasn’t hard for me to repair her back, but her spine and muscles had suffered from the constant whipping as well. I fixed everything I saw as damaged, all while never allowing her pain receptors to send even a single signal back to her brain.
The girls said nothing as I did all of this, and Tamara, out of fear and maybe being unable to understand, she kept quiet and remained in Shanteya’s arms. The el’doraw was holding her like a mother would her own daughter. It was a sweet sight to behold in a way, if not for the damage the said child had on her body.
While using this technique, I also searched for any sort of illness and other medical conditions. Although I was a bit reluctant, I even checked to see if she wasn’t abused in any other way. Luckily, those despicable men didn’t touch her like that. She was lucky, maybe.
“I’m done with the back and tail.” I said and then began to treat her slender arms and feet.
She was weak, slightly trembling, but it didn’t take long before she understood that I wasn’t harming her. Now that she saw her fixed tail and felt the fur on her back, her expression changed from one of fear to one of amazement. The scars on her snout were the last ones on her body, and I quickly removed those too.
Initially, I wanted to wait for her teeth to regrow naturally, but it didn’t feel right to leave those out, so I poured some more Magic Energy and fixed them. Feeling her chompers back, she couldn’t help but lick them with her rough, feline tongue. She almost couldn’t believe it. The last thing I healed were her burnt whiskers. I regrew them and made sure none of her other senses was damaged either.
“ACHOO!” the little one sneezed and shook her head.
The new whiskers tickled her.
“Done.” I said with a smile and stepped back.
Tamara looked around and then moved a bit. The pain was gone, and her senses were renewed. No doubt she felt like a whole new person. The last thing I wanted to remove was her slave collar. That ugly thing hanging around her neck and marking her as another being’s property had to go.
“Tamara not feel pain any more…” she said surprised as she made a jump and landed on all fours.
Sniffing the air around, her whiskers twitched, and she quickly perked her ears up. A little smile appeared on her face, warming our hearts.
“Tamara, come here…” I told her.
The kitten didn’t hesitate and approached me, standing on all fours in front of me. I softly patted her little head and scratched her between the ears. It was something she seemed to truly enjoy. In that moment, I remembered that old cat my parents had.
“Tamara, would you like to be free?” I asked her.
The kitten looked up at me and then tilted her head to the left. “What’s free?” she asked.
I sighed softly. “It means to be rid of the leather collar around your neck. To have a will of your own.” I told her.
“Hm? But Tamara was told if I remove this, Tamara will feel lots of pain.” she said flattening her ears on her head.
“It might be a kill-switch.” Nanya pointed out.
“A what?” I asked surprised.
“If a slave goes rogue or acts against their master’s orders, it will trigger a burst of Magic Energy which will decapitate them or stop their heart.” explained Shanteya.
“Tamara not want her head to fly.” she expressed her worry.
“Don’t worry, it won’t.” I smiled.
“Wait!” Nanya said before I managed to say another word. I blinked surprised and looked at her “If you do that, our quest might end up being a big fat zero. We’ll fail it or just get the exploration reward. We might also end up meeting the actual master of Tamara and if he claims right over her…”
I knew what the demoness was saying, in other words, healing was good, but removing the collar would certainly lead to a bucketful of trouble. Becoming criminals or slave thieves might be just one of them, but hell if I cared!
I sighed. “Nanya… What would you do if I brought Tamara back to the one who did all those things to her?” I asked her raising an eyebrow.
The kitten flinched and looked with worried eyes at the demoness.
“I wouldn’t sleep with you for ten years.” she replied bluntly.
“Now you see my point. I’m not going to sleep on the couch just because I’m afraid of a stinking slave dealer! I’ll burn his business to the ground before anything else!” I smirked confidently.
“What’s a couch?” Nanya asked surprised.
“Forget about that! The point is that I agree with you as well, and I’m fully aware of the consequences! However, I think Tamara’s freedom is more important than the trouble we’ll get into because I offered her said freedom!” I declared proudly.
Ayuseya and Shanteya showed me a gentle smile, while Nanya sighed and shook her head. There was no turning back now, so I proceeded with the question.
“Illsy, just make sure you ask her the RIGHT question.” Ayuseya warned me.
“I’m not going to ask THAT question! I’m not a lolicon, and I LOVE big boobs!” I declared proudly.
“Nya?” Tamara simply tilted her head to the left in confusion.
“Sigh, forget what they said.” I rubbed my temples and then asked the kitten “Tamara, do you want to be my slave? Thor Or Non!”
“Yes, nya!” she said with a big smile.
The spell [Make a Slave] was activated immediately and turned to ash the leather collar she previously wore around her neck. Instead of it, a black ring made out of tiny, nearly microscopical runes appeared. It was identical to the one around Shanteya’s neck. The spell the slave master placed on her could not be compared to the one cast by a Godlike Dungeon Lord. I actually doubted there was any way of removing those black rings around their fingers and necks. With this, Tamara had gained her freedom from her previous master, so all that was left to do now was to completely free her of this slavery.
“Great!” I said with a smile, while the kitten carefully touched her neck, surprised by the sudden disappearance of the collar.
Now, it was time for the last step. “Tamara, I wish to free you. Thor Or Non!” I shouted and pointed my hand at her.
“NO!” the kitten shouted and shook her head quickly.
“What?” I nearly stumbled forward. “What do you mean ‘no’? I’m about to offer you complete freedom from a life of slavery! Do you know what that means?” I asked.
Tamara squinted her eyes at me and then said something in the gibberish Kalish. Oh yeah, she spoke a few words in the Shorayan language from the Allasn continent, but her main tongue was supposed to be Kalish.
“She said that now she has found a master like you, she does not wish to be free. She said that by serving you, she’ll be able to repay you for recovering her fur. I think she means healing.” Ayuseya translated.
“Sigh… I had a feeling this was going to happen.” Nanya simply crossed her arms at her chest and shook her head.
“Master is such a good Master, any slave would desire to stay by his side.” giggled Shanteya.
“What? Seriously…” I complained while the kitten jumped on me and hugged me.
“Master! Tamara’s master!” she said.
“Ugh… This was seriously not something I was expecting!” I shouted.
The kitten only lifted her head up and looked with big curious eyes at me.
“Speaking of which, how old is Tamara?” Nanya asked.
“Tamara is 16 years old!” she declared proudly.
“So, technically an adult…” Nanya squinted her eyes at her.
“But she’s so small…” I said surprised.
“Not all nekatars are big like Neyalin. Maybe she is from another tribe?” Shanteya asked.
“No tribe. Tamara slave from birth.” the kitten shook her head.
I let out a long sigh.
Thus, another weird fellow joined our group.
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