Leguna didn't know what Arikos was talking about, but he couldn't be bothered to ask about it since he would find out tomorrow.
The next day, he was woken up by a commotion outside.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
"Kid, don't blame me for not reminding you later. If you don't come now, I promise you'll regret it an hour later," Arikos said from outside his room.
Leguna jumped out of his bed and put on his gear he laid out by his side quickly.
"You'll know when you come out," Arikos said before he left.
He furrowed his brow and dressed up even quicker.
While Legg lived in a large barbarian settlement, it was only more or less the size of a human village. The tribe had other branches in smaller settlements nearby so that the barbarian king could still extend his influence to them.
Leguna headed to where the barbarians gathered and eventually arrived at the entrance of the settlement. Legg was standing at the entrance and saying something.
"What are they doing?"
Leguna went to the coachman and asked. He knew how to speak Dosrakian, so he was a good interpreter.
"Sir," the coachman bowed, "Do you remember the hunt we attended, Sir?"
"Of course! I don't have amnesia!"
"Well…" The coachman wiped off the sweat on his forehead. He didn't dare to butter things up and said, "This is something that usually happens after a hunt. As you can see, the barbarians hunt differently from us. There is always a high risk and quite a number of them will die during the hunts."
"I can see that."
He nodded his agreement after recalling what he saw the days before. The barbarian hunting excursions were incredibly risky and he wouldn't believe it until he saw it with his own eyes. Instead of calling it hunting, Leguna thought it more appropriate to be referred to as war. The death count was far too high.
"Usually, barbarians are monogamous," the coachman explained.
"That's right." Leguna quickly answered, desperate to show of some of his knowledge, "Strictly speaking, it isn't that they're monogamous because customs dictate it. Most barbarians can only feed one woman and one child at a time. Those that can feed more, are free to, and most often do, have more woman and children."
"Sir, your knowledge truly is wide!" the coachman sucked up to him, "It's true. As a barbarian man can usually only afford to feed a barbarian woman, their wives and children would be abandoned if they die."
"What did you say?"
That was something Leguna didn't imagine would happen.
"As the last hunt was carried out on a rather large scale, quite a lot of barbarians died. The households whose only men died would be useless burdens to the rest of the tribe. And useless things are to be discarded."
Leguna's body shuddered. He looked up and saw the woman standing beside Legg, the mixed-blood barbarian mother of that child. He now understood that the child was the woman's final support. It was too bad that the young child wasn't able to live up to that burden and died.
The thought of that caused him to blame himself even further. He also hated Legg for stopping him from helping.
He was only a child! Why treat him like that? Do you barbarians don't even give your children a second chance to learn from mistakes? Huh?!
The reason he was so mad was because the child reminded him of himself. Had it not been for Eirinn, Kurdak and Vera, he wouldn't have ended up much better than the barbarian child. He was unbelievably more blissful than the barbarian, but that bliss also made him fear. His fear turned into anger towards those who weren't willing to give anyone second chances.
The coachman felt as if he was pierced by something and hurriedly jumped back.
Leguna's face was expressionless, but the coachman could feel the seething anger within him and shirked back quickly. While the youth was usually easygoing and nice to get along with, the coachman knew from the rumors he heard that it was only a facade. If his master truly were angered, who knew what kind of consequences had to be paid?
"Is there no other way apart from abandonment?" Leguna asked in a low voice.
"Well, there is. If anyone wants the children, they can be adopted into another household. The same goes for women. They can become the second wife of another barbarian warrior. They don't really mind remarrying, anyway. O, apart from that, women also have another choice. They can become… well… something akin to prostitutes for the tribe."
"Put simply, they would offer their bodies to the men in the settlement and become a tool for them to dump their sexual urges on. Any man can use them and they will gain food as compensation. Apart from that, they will be tasked with doing any non-combat job. They're basically akin to slaves in the human realm."
Leguna clenched his fists tight. While he hadn't interacted with the barbarian woman much, he knew she wouldn't agree to that kind of arrangement.
But he still held a slither of hope. He thought that she looked quite pretty and some other barbarian man might take fancy in her. She probably wouldn't have any trouble staying behind.
That was when Legg asked if any household was willing to take her in.
Twenty minutes passed, during which Legg repeated the question. What surprised him was that none of the barbarians stood out to claim her.
"Since that's the case," Legg said to the woman, "you both have to leave the settlement. Perhaps the smaller settlements will take you in, so go there and pray for the protection of our ancestors!"
Leguna listened to the coachman's translation and felt his rage boil. But then he heard something unexpected.
"Yes," the coachman replied, "there's another child there."
He took a close look and saw a thin boy who was blocked from view. He looked to be only three to four years of age and was dressed in thin rags. He wasn't sure whether barbarian children usually dressed like that or whether the boy just didn't have anything better to wear.
But he believed it to be the latter. The boy was hugging the woman's legs as he shivered and looked at the barbarians around him in fear, not understanding what they were going to do. The only one he could rely on was the woman who was refused by the other barbarians like he was.
"Why doesn't anyone want her? Isn't she considered pretty?"
"Huh?" The coachman paused before he chuckled. "Sir, you misunderstood."
"What is it? Don't make me ask you for an explanation every five seconds!" Leguna was in a rather sour mood for patience.
"Sir, figure and looks aren't something barbarians consider beautiful," he hurriedly spat.
"Then what do they like? Women with long leg hair?"
"No. They admire a woman's strength."
"They see women like that too?"
"Yes, Sir. They believe that a union between strong men and women will give birth to strong offspring. The more muscular the woman, the more attractive she is to the barbarians. If a woman can become a warrior too, she would no doubt earn the favor of the barbarian king. But this woman… Forgive me for being direct, but while she looks good, she isn't strong in the slightest, so no barbarian admires her or wants her."
"Stronger muscles are attractive?" Leguna's brain started to short circuit.
His mind was filled with the sight of Legg hugging another woman as muscular as he was in bed. If he didn't know better, he would've thought that the two were engaged in an intense bromance.
Wait, why am I thinking about that?! Calm down, me! I didn't think that would be Legg's type… I better stay away from him to be safe!
"Sir, they're going to leave," the coachman reminded after acutely noticing that Leguna was interested in that woman.
"Ah? Oh!" He snapped out of it and looked at the two and Legg. Feeling the anger well up, he yelled, "Legg!"
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