༺ Slave of Witch City (1) ༻
Amidst the cold autumn rainfall.
No matter how much time passed, the feeling of having cold, wet skin constantly brushing against the rough leather of the blue overalls, in the middle of autumn, was something impossible to get used to.
“Fuck, it’s filthy and heavy.”
Shin Siwoo couldn’t help but mutter curses while continuing to scoop up piles of mud from the clogged drainage pipes with his shovel.
As someone who is neither brave nor strong enough to go against his superiors, this invisible act is only the way he could vent as a form of rebellion.
A mildewy stench lingered on the rain-bearing raincoat, which heavily weighed on his back. It was a stench he was already familiar with from the ponchos he wore in his military service.
The sight of the stagnant water finally being drained after removing the last clump of mud clogging the pipe gave Shin Siwoo a small sense of satisfaction.
The Trinity Academy’s Magic Library uses a sophisticated drainage system that harvested all the rainwater, which would then converge straight into one huge drainage channel, though nobody knew where the drainage, consisting of more than 20 meters long and straight path, would go from there. However, as long as it was effective, nobody cared where the waste ended up getting disposed of.
At the end of the day, the end result was Siwoo getting covered in filth and mud.
After putting down his shovel, he then straightened out his back, producing a loud popping sound which was a testament to his long and arduous work.
Fortunately, that was the last chore he had to do this morning.
Once his morning chores were complete, Siwoo had the chance to rest in his room until 2 pm, try chewing on a few pieces of dry bread, and then pass out for around two hours. For a man like him who had to work for more than 12 hours every day, having the ability to take a power nap was an extremely useful and necessary skill.
Shin Siwoo desperately wanted to get out of this shithole as soon as possible.
When he looked above him, the first thing he saw was a small pair of pretty-looking feet.
“Hey, Janitor, can’t you clean any better than this?”
Whether it was the Academy’s Assistants, the Professors, or the Researchers, they all referred to Shin Siwoo by the title of ‘Janitor’. Despite only being referred to by his title, instead of his surname or first name, in reality it was a surprisingly humane treatment, though it would seem otherwise at first glance.
When it comes to slaves affiliated with the Central City Hall, having an actual title was nothing short of a blessing.
Usually, depending on where they were assigned, slaves would only have titles along the lines of ‘you’, ‘hey’, ‘you there’, or ‘slave’.
“Yeah, yeah… sorry ‘bout that.”
Focused more on climbing his way out of the waist-high drain than apologizing half-heartedly, once Siwoo finished climbing, he immediately backed away from the woman’s side.
This kind of treatment wasn’t anything special here.
“What do you want?”
“Today, we will be having a lesson on the bodily fluids of human males and the relationship it has with magic. Have your clothes changed by 12:00 and then wait at the entrance of the 2nd academy building.”
After being enslaved for over 5 years, most would start to pick up on certain things.
Actually, Siwoo had already started to feel uneasy once he had noticed that somebody like her, an Associate Professor, had personally come to a filthy place like this.
His ominous premonition had come true once again, as always.
“About that… by the time I finish washing up and changing my clothes, it would already be past noon…”
“Is there a problem…?”
Siwoo could clearly see that the Associate Professor was upset, judging from the expression on her pretty face. There was a contrast between her neatly tied back, lustrous blonde hair, and her alluring lips pursed into a disappointed frown.
At a glance, she was obviously upset, but Siwoo knew that behind the gleam in her mystical sapphire eyes lay an expression very different from the one she was willing to show…
“You don’t have any complaints, do you?”
As soon as hard labor was finished for the day, this Associate Professor, Amelia Marigold, would immediately drop her facade and reveal her true nature of being a witch who is obsessed with the man known as Shin Siwoo.
However, one thing shouldn’t be misunderstood.
The reason behind Amelia being called a ‘Witch’ was not because of some cruel personality or sociopathic tendencies.
Rather, this beautiful young lady, who looks to be not a year over 20, was literally a ‘Witch’. In other words, a genuine sorceress who had already inherited the Witch’s Brand from her predecessor of the ‘Marigold’ line of Witches and has already been alive for countless decades.
“No, no, I’ll get ready as soon as possible!”
Siwoo profusely apologized once more and hurriedly began bowing his head repeatedly. In this city, witches were considered to be above everyone else.
Nobody would ever bat an eye even if a lowly slave such as Siwoo were to be killed simply because a witch disliked his choice of words.
“Stop right there.”
Amelia’s long eyelashes fluttered as she called out to Siwoo.
Her alluring aura, perfect proportions, and peak beauty seemed as if they were meticulously crafted by God. If it were just based on her doll-like appearance alone, no one would ever think that she was a vicious Witch at all. After a brief pause, Amelia began to speak…
“Are you finally ready to change your answer? I believe that 5 years is plenty of time to think over my proposal.”
While her voice had the same businesslike tone as before, there was now a subtle hint of seduction hidden underneath.
Siwoo’s mind went blank for a moment from the implications behind her words.
Suddenly, Siwoo began to feel a small fragment of an emotion that he thought he had already lost years ago.
No matter what manner of indecencies or humiliation that Siwoo would be forced to experience, he would never lose his pride.
“I won’t change my answer, no matter how many times you ask. Anyways, it’s about time for me to start getting ready, so I’ll be leaving first.”
Siwoo then proceeded to turn around after pulling his shovel out of the pile of mud it was stuck in and head back to his ‘home’.
While standing alone amidst the pouring rain, Amelia’s eyes began to narrow with a dangerous glint.
“That fucking bitch.”
Siwoo hadn’t been this angry in a long time. Most of the time, it would only be at the point where his heart thumps with spite whenever he complains to himself. For some reason, Amelia would always find a way to get under his skin every time she opened her mouth.
It was a known fact that all witches were an extremely privileged group of individuals.
Not only are they immortal, they have the ability to control the mysterious power of magic and would often relentlessly pursue revenge, even for the most trivial of insults to their pride.
Of course, Siwoo despised Witches. He especially hated Amelia Marigold the most!
As he was feeling frustrated that he couldn’t swear as much as he pleased because of the possibility that somebody might overhear, he got startled by the rough hand that suddenly grabbed his shoulder.
From behind, he could hear the culprit’s smug voice.
“‘Sup brother, why the long face?”
“Just who the fuck are you calling brother, you bastard!?”
“Whoa, looks like somebody’s talkative today. Did something bad happen? Come on, you can tell me.”
In this entire Academy, there was only one person who wouldn’t hesitate to hold on to Siwoo’s muddy shoulders. That person was Takasho Mimaya, a Japanese man from Hokkaido.
“Just where the fuck have you been?”
“The majestic Hokkaido pagoda does not distinguish between day or night.”
Takasho gave me a sly expression and wiggled his pinky. So basically, while Siwoo had toiled away his entire morning in the chilly rain, Takasho was having fun rolling around in the bed of some researcher or professor.
Despite appearances, Siwoo and Takasho shared quite a few similarities.
They were both 28 years old, kidnapped from Earth to the wretched city of witches, ‘Gehenna’, and were forced to become slaves of the City Hall.
However, despite their similar circumstances, there was still one major difference between them.
While Siwoo took the honest route of miserable hard labor, Takasho had whored himself to the Witches in exchange for numerous conveniences.
That thought made Siwoo’s blood boil again. All the anger he felt towards Amelia a while ago had suddenly worsened once he saw Takasho’s smug face.
“Are you really that fucking shameless!? Those assholes are the reason why we’re stuck in this trash heap to begin with! After all the suffering they’ve put us through, now you’re just gonna go ahead and sleep in the same bed as those fucking monsters!?”
“It’s always been my dream to be a pimp. Besides, compared to the time when I had to cater to the old aunties back in the day, the women here are even prettier than the most beautiful girls in Tokyo! If you could just stop being stubborn and throw away your pride, this place will become a paradise for you.”
After he finished delivering his little speech, Takasho gave Siwoo a big, toothy grin.
Without fail, every single person from earth who were brought to Gehenna, the City of Witches, would always end up as slaves.
Only two types of slaves existed in Gehenna. You either became a ‘common slave’, which collectively belong to the City Hall, or a ‘private slave’, who are owned by an individual.
According to this system, the common slaves have to prove their worth in order to receive any kind of humane treatment.
In other words, they either had to be good-looking like Takasho or have the ability to work in public affairs like Siwoo.
Well, even though that’s what most believe, neither Siwoo nor Takasho knew the exact criteria behind being chosen.
However, one thing was clear, and that was the fact that Takasho was using his past experience of working at a host club to the fullest in order to live a comfortable lifestyle in this foreign city.
“That Associate Professor Amelia is interested in you, right? This could be your chance. If you want, I could give you a couple pointers. As long as you follow my lead, even someone as stubborn as her would end up melting in your hands.”
Shoving Takasho off of his shoulder, Siwoo spat out, “Fuck that shit!”
“Siwoo, I can definitely tell that you lived an honest life back in Korea. However; even if your attitude is considered to be honest where you come from, in Japan, it would be considered to be extremely arrogant.”
“I already said I won’t go through with it! Why are you being so damn persistent today?”
“Oh, come on, bro, I was just trying to lighten the mood.”
With his experience as a former host, Takasho was easily able to notice that Amelia had taken a particular interest in Siwoo.
On his first day working at the Academy, Siwoo had refused to attend to Amelia that night.
Back then, Siwoo was still a naïve young man who didn’t know all that much about witch culture and got embarrassed, so he ended up refusing her invitation… He never would’ve guessed that Amelia would still be holding onto that grudge 5 years after the fact. However, even after learning more about witch culture, he decided not to change his answer.
One could say that it was a matter of pride. There was conviction in not throwing away one’s pride, even if one knew that the end result would be the same, regardless.
“Anyway, I’m busy right now. Get out of my way.”
“Again? But you just got back! Sheesh, must be tough being a scholar.”
Despite his annoying sense of humor, Takasho was still a good friend. Takasho had helped Siwoo a lot over the years by smuggling him some stuff he could get from his more affluent environment. Besides that, he was also the only person Siwoo could openly speak with.
If serving military service for two years with somebody was enough to become best friends, being forced into slavery together must be enough to practically become brothers. Anyone would become close friends after that.
“Is the next job being the Assistant again?”
“Yeah, and it’s being the Assistant of that bitch too. God damn it.”
While Siwoo kept on fuming, Takasho had an interesting look on his face.
“So then it would be… that class, huh?”
“Yeah, that class.”
Takasho was confused when he saw Siwoo’s downcast expression.
“If that’s the case, then why are you so depressed? Shouldn’t you be happy about something like this?”
Knowing the content of the class, any other guy would love to be in his place.
“Looks like the comforting sight of newbie apprentice witches is something a guy like you could never understand.”
“Whoa, look at this old pervert. You do know what happens to anyone who touches an apprentice witch, right?”
If anyone tried to do something like that, their head would instantly go flying. Such a taboo topic is better left alone unless you want to end up getting buried 6 feet under.
Seeing the solemn look on Siwoo’s face, Takasho answered with a big smile.
“Haven’t you ever felt that sometimes, even just the act of looking at flowers can make you happy? Anyways, if you really don’t want to go… How about I take your place?”
“Trust me, I would love that, but that’s impossible. Associate Professor Amelia summoned me personally.”
“Tch, what a tough situation you found yourself in, huh?”
Takasho clicked his tongue in regret.
From the point of view of a guy who loves women, this was like handing him a wrapped gift that he wasn’t allowed to open.
However, for someone like Siwoo, who had an average libido, a job like this was tougher than any other labor.
“In that case, I’ll be on my way as well. I also have some work to do right now, so I’ll see you later.”
Takasho patted Siwoo on the back in an attempt to cheer him up, and then disappeared at the end of the hallway. Judging from that response, he probably had yet another ‘patron’ waiting for him.
Since Siwoo was delayed by Takasho earlier, he had to quickly wash himself and get changed in order to show up in time. An endless amount of complaints await him if he doesn’t make it to Associate Professor Amelia’s appointed time.
Once Siwoo finally finishes changing into his lab coat, he would then need to wait 5 minutes in advance at the meeting place.
He heaved a deep sigh.
“This wretched city.”
That was the only thing Siwoo could utter. He had nothing else to say besides that.
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