The sun was midway in its daily journey, and a warm sunlight illuminated the room.
Prime Minister Erac, who was doing his morning work at his office desk, was receiving a report from a knight while hiding his anger.
“And so, the Heroes are against going public…is what they said, right?” (Erac)
“Y-Yes! This is something that General Gallahard heard as well, so you can confirm with h—”
“It is fine… You can go.” (Erac)
“Understood! —I-I will be taking my leave!”
Mustering up a nervous and trembling voice, the young knight that was given the job of messenger made a clumsy salute, and leaves the room as if running away.
Erac who was left in the room had his brows slowly furrow together, and he hits the office desk in anger.
“Aargh, damn it! —Why? Why is nothing going well?!” (Erac)
Every time, every single time.
The fist that was hitting the desk with brute strength steadily got redder, and in time, it began to show blood. Even with that, in order to release the feelings inside of his chest, he unconsciously continued to hit.
“On top of that, reorganizing the knight divisions? …Don’t joke around!” (Erac)
Remembering the documents he was reading just a moment ago, he hits hard with his fist.
He has lived a life filled with favorable winds.
Gathering skilled people, Erac had increase his own standing. Using any means necessary, Erac had obtained power and fame, and in the end, he began to wish for ‘his own nation’.
For the sake of that, he made preparations that took long years of his life. Solely for the sake of obtaining his own nation -to become a king.
“…Failure is…unacceptable.” (Erac)
That’s why he can’t stop. If he stops here, it will all disappear in foam.
With an ugly grin in his face, he goes…
“Are you there?” (Erac)
Erac mutters while looking at nothing.
When he did, a faint noise is heard from the ceiling as if answering him.
“…Relay a message to Mishta.” (Erac)
Erac deepens his smile even more and speaks as if monologuing, and after the other one finished listening to this, they silently left the place.
“…I will stop the roundabout way of doing things.” (Erac)
Erac’s shoulders shake a bit, and he was enduring a laugh. However, this steadily increased, and in time, a loud laugh reverberated in the whole room.
“With this, this kingdom…is mine.” (Erac)
Taking into account the possibility that the knights of his own country are useless, he accelerated his next move.
Erac received the report that the existence that serves as his trump card has already crossed the national borders, and maybe he is seeing the path to his victory, his face was filled with confidence.
If there’s any miscalculation from his part, it would be that he still doesn’t know about the Monster that surpasses human imagination that’s in the kingdom.
☆☆ ☆☆ ★ ☆☆ ☆☆
I gather together all the small bottles I collected last night, and the result of using [Analyze] on them was that I am finally able to get the details of it.
Just that around ⅔ of what was gathered was simply water with colouring. From this point, I can hypothesize that more than half of the children were used as bait, but I’m amazed by how much of a children luring tactic this is. I already eliminated the brainwashing that was inflicted on the children, so there’s no problem with that, and the children will be in the care of the city guards for a few days and then returned. The children didn’t know what was happening at first, but when they learned that they would be getting three meals a day, they showed their happiness. While thinking how they were so economically pressured, I told myself this is not an area that I should pry myself into.
[Decomposition Death Virus.]
[A venom that was distilled and mixed with the Bulb of Detorashta and the Meat of the Atomos Titan.
After drinking it, it will cause generation of heat, muscle pain, and the appearance of rashes. After that, the necrosis of the body will advance, and will turn the affected into a rotten ghoul.
When bitten by someone turned rotten ghoul, the bitten one will turn into a rotten ghoul too.
Created with the Loroad Virus production method as reference, it was made in the same way except for the use of the Paralysis Lizard’s liver.]
How to say this…Loroad-san really is bothering even here.
Anyways, rotten ghouls, huh.
In my second parallel world, the enemies I fought when I was a psychic were monsters called Undead Ghouls.
The decomposed body reeked the putrid smell of a corpse, and with their sanity gone, they would attack you solely by instinct. In terms of category, they are from the undead type, Zombies, and when I saw them for the first time, it was exactly as I thought. If it is about zombies, I defeated an annoying amount of them in my times as a hero, so I thought it would be easy, but they possessed abnormal regenerative ability and, on top of having superhuman strength, their avaricious appetite surpassed that of the zombies I knew of. Opening holes in concrete with their bare hands, easily jumping over 5 metres; ‘these guys are not the zombies I know of!’, was my honest thought.
Oops. I derailed a bit there.
Let’s investigate the materials.
[Activate [Akashic Library] – Search: Meat of the Atomos Titan].
Meat that has fallen off from a giant covered in white hair that inhabits the Stream mountain range.
It releases a rotten smell from its whole body, and its body is constantly in a decay and regeneration cycle. Its saliva has deadly poison in it.
Alchemists use the white hair as an ingredient, but its meat is not fit as an ingredient.]
A giant, huh.
But the fact that it is rotting can only be described as a displeasing existence.
“—And so, is it possible to make an antidote?”
“It is possible with the same method that was used to cure the King. As long as the materials are gathered, that is.” (Makoto)
I was in the Queen’s room I always come to, and when I told the information I got to the Queen, Niva-san, and also the Princess and her personal knights, they got surprised.
“Why…did Makirus make something like that?” (Caril)
“I don’t know the reason. Just that what she was trying to do is akin to mindless murder.” (Makoto)
“Even if we were to capture Makirus, we don’t have proof that it was Makirus who created this.” (Caril)
“We do have the proof and yet we don’t, huh… How ironic.” (Makoto)
“Geez, this is not something to joke about. Really, what should we do I wonder?” (Caril)
Holding her brows to this reality, the Queen falls silent. The Princess seems to also be worrying about the urgency of this situation, she had her arms crossed and was tapping the floor, but in time it stopped completely and she speaks.
“For now, we have to quarantine the infected, or it will end up spreading.” (Prim)
“No, that would be bad.” (Makoto)
“If it is as you say, they will turn into Rotten Ghouls in time, right? In that case—” (Prim)
“See here, what do you think will happen if we were to tell them that ‘you guys are going to turn into Rotten Ghouls’? It will most likely turn into a revolt of sorts, you know?” (Makoto)
Understanding what I am trying to say, the Princess’s face grew pale.
Even if we were to quarantine the affected by telling them the truth, it will only be a threat to the unaffected ones. Then, in order to erase the uneasiness, there’s the chance that a revolt will happen for the sake of eliminating the infected ones.
“…No, we will be doing the quarantining.” (Caril)
But it seems like the Queen has some sort of plan, she spoke in a resolute tone.
“However, just as he said, it would be pointless if a revolt were to occur.” (Prim)
“I know. But there’s no knowing when an infected will turn into a Rotten Ghoul. This is not the time to pile up unnecessary arguments.” (Caril)
“…Mother, don’t tell me…you are planning on forsaking them?!” (Prim)
The decision of the Queen is not incorrect.
“I have the duty to protect this country.” (Caril)
“Prim… You can’t cling to emotions created on the moment.” (Caril)
But it was clear to the eye that this was a bitter decision to make just by looking at the deep wrinkles created between her brows.
“Miyuna, tell Gallahart to have the second knight division dispatched as soon as possible.” (Caril)
“Also, in the time while things are calming down, I prohibit everyone aside from the second knight division from going to those corresponding districts. Furthermore, I give the strict order of checking the health of the second division each time.” (Caril)
“Received loud and clear.” (Miyuna)
Standing upright and saluting, Miyuna exits with quick feet after saying ‘I will be taking my leave’.
“—Also, I order the Guarders to have surveillance on Makirus 24/7.” (Caril)
“Make sure to grab ahold of proof, and bring judgment to Makirus. Keep the highest of guards in not letting her escape.” (Caril)
The Queen was speaking in a harsher tone than usual.
Niva-san lowered her head deeply, and was going to leave the room, but I stop her.
“Do you need something?” (Niva)
“Which one is the hardest material to obtain from the ones I spoke of just now?” (Makoto)
“…It is most likely the Meat of an Atomos Titan. The Atomos Titan itself is not a rare monster, but it is classified as a high tiered monster, so it isn’t easy to defeat. Also, its body is decaying, so the smell is a tough one to take, making it few who would want to get something like that.” (Niva)
“I see. —Then, I will go search for the Atomos Titan.” (Makoto)
“In that case, we will obtain the Bulb of Detorashta and the other ingredients.” (Niva)
Niva-san says this without adding any unnecessary remarks. Since there’s also precedent of this, she is quite the reliable ally.
“Can I leave it to you?” (Makoto)
“These ones are not that rare, so there won’t be a problem.” (Niva)
“I see, then I am counting on you. Ah, also, the information network of the Geezer is unexpectedly wide, so be careful.” (Makoto)
“Understood. Thanks for the warning.” (Niva)
There’s no point in staying here for long.
We have to obtain the ingredients as soon as possible and create the antidote since there’s the chance that the damage will spread without restraint. For the sake of stopping it, there’s the need to capture Makirus as well. However, even if we have physical proof, we have no proof that Makirus was the one who made it. That’s why it is serving to increase the burden on the Guarders.
[The numbers of destiny have changed].
Oi, just what is going to occur at such a time?
What destiny is it talking about? If it is about my next moves, it most likely has to do with Makirus. However, if there’s any other possibility, it would be…Erac? One of the problematic parts of this ability is that there’s no knowing which destiny it is reacting to.
Is it the past or the future? Whichever it is, there’s no changing that it involves the fate of this country.
The feeling that this one won’t be resolved in such an easy manner had popped in my mind, but I push it away and change gears.
“I am truly sorry, Makoto-kun.” (Caril)
“Don’t mind it. I am already riding on this boat, so there’s no point if the boat sinks.” (Makoto)
I lightly answer the deep bow of the Queen, have a short discussion with Niva-san about the matter, and with the Queen seeing me off, I teleport to the northern mountain range to search for the Meat of the Atomos Titan.
His figure suddenly disappears, and Prim, who had seen Makoto off, was mourning her own worthlessness as she tightens her fists.
“Prim, there’s no need to be in a hurry.” (Caril)
But that impatience of hers was seen through by her mother the Queen, Caril.
“Your thoughts and hesitation are by no means ones that are wrong to have for a person.” (Caril)
“But…! There’s times when that hesitation can result in exposing many lives to danger.” (Prim)
Hesitation is not a mistake either.
“But you see…shouldering a country means to always be choosing… Putting your own emotions into those decisions can put the country’s future in danger.” (Caril)
“I…understand that. I understand, but…I don’t agree with it.” (Prim)
“I also don’t agree with it. Even so, don’t forget that we are in a position that’s constantly required to make decisions… Understand?” (Caril)
Makoto denied the decision of Prim, but he didn’t speak anything against the decision of the Queen. It is not as if that actions of hers was that deeply thought out, but for the intelligent Prim, did he judge that it would be too heavy of a decision for her? Is the kind of doubt surfacing in her mind, and mortification was welling up in her chest.
“What is it?” (Caril)
But for Prim who is walking the path of a knight as a princess, she doesn’t break with something of this extent. Since the time she aimed to be a knight, she promised herself that she would show that she can overcome any difficulties.
“I will also protect the city—” (Prim)
“I didn’t finish speaking though!” (Prim)
“Your basic thought process was most likely that since the knights have been placed to guard quarantined districts, you want to guard the districts that are now short in hands, right?” (Caril)
Hitting the bull’s eye perfectly, Prim couldn’t say a single thing back.
“In the first place, the ones I left the job of guarding the quarantined districts is the second division. Protecting the city is the job of the third division. There’s no space for you to act in there.” (Caril)
“Fufu. You are as thoughtless as always, Prim.” (Caril)
Prim’s cheeks redden from her slight misunderstanding. All the people in the place were watching this with smile in their faces.
“But there’s the possibility that the security of the castle won’t be functioning properly like this, so maybe I should ask the Blue Wing Division to protect the royal castle. Is there any problem with that, Filmina?” (Caril)
“No, no problem at all.” (Filmina)
Sounding her heels, Filmina salutes and exchanges looks with Caril, and understanding what she wants to say with that, she nods lightly.
“That’s fine with you too, Prim?” (Caril)
“However, even if this is the royal castle you are used to be in, don’t lower your guards. Maintain the highest of cautions.” (Caril)
“I understand.” (Prim)
“It would be great if you had grown with a bit more grace…” (Caril)
‘Who did she take after’, is what Caril mutters, and the knights and maid say ‘You’ inside their minds.
“You have a restless side after all… You would get lost in the castle, follow the maids and knights. You were a mischievous girl.” (Caril)
“How old are those stories you are bringing up?!” (Prim)
“No, this is a good opportunity. Prim, you…” (Caril)
Prim was desperately trying to stop Caril who was revealing her embarrassing childhood memories, but facing Caril who strictly stops her as a Queen and a mother, Prim steadily grew fewer in words, and in time, it ended with her just silently listening while nodding every now and then.
The knights and maid were simply watching over this with a warm gaze. But at this time, no one knew that in the future they would be standing in the path of this parent and child in an unexpected form for this time’s decision.
☆☆ ☆☆ ★ ☆☆ ☆☆
North of the Motoyasu Kingdom, the Stream mountain range.
Crossing over the mountain range leads to Empire territory, making this a line for the national border. It has a naked mountain surface, and I continue walking on a path where rocks were scattered about and is questionable whether to call it a path to begin with.
The sun was beginning to sink, and the time is around 3 p.m.
Even when I look around the place, there’s no shadow of someone moving around.
It has already been an hour in my search in the mountains. It is strange that I haven’t encountered a single animal in that time, but in the first place, the scent of life in this mountain is way too faint……
“…This is strange.” (Makoto)
There’s fist sized rocks scattered about, and on top of that, I also cross over rocks that were a size that reached around my waist, and proceed in a pathless route.
I thought I would be finding them real quick, but it looks like I will be having a harder time than I thought. While thinking this, I continue keeping my attention to the surroundings.
However, instead of a presence, what suddenly attacked me was an offensive smell that was riding the wind and felt as if stabbing my nostrils.
This smell that prompts physiological repudiation is the same as the rotten smell of meat from a corpse… Then, there’s no doubt that I will be able to find the Atomos Titan I am searching for in this direction where the smell is coming from.
Jumping over rocks with that feeling in mind, I continue onwards to the origin of that smell.
“…What is…this?” (Makoto)
However, what was there was an abnormal sight.
Several monsters that are most likely Atomos Titans were lying collapsed on the ground, their white body hair dyed in dark red, dead. The rotten smell was wafting around this whole place, and there were many decayed pieces of meat scattered about.
Your turn, [Analyze]-san.
[Giant that is covered in white hair and inhabits the northern mountain range.
A rotten smell is released from its body, its body repeating a cycle of decay and regeneration, also, there’s deadly poison in its saliva.]
For now, I got the meat. This time was an easy one.
I don’t want to put this thing as it is inside my Item Box. I also don’t want to touch it with my bare hands, so I freeze it before putting one of the meats in my Item Box.
Now then, let’s return.
I was about to go back, but…
“Aah… Seriously?” (Makoto)
The scent of life that I couldn’t feel a moment ago suddenly grew wild, and the mountain surface began to tremble and raised a thunderous sound.
This was my mistake.
The reason is because I relied on the information of Akashic Library too much.
It is obviously strange for this many undead to be alive even when they have rotten to this extent. In the first place, the name ‘Decomposition Death Virus’ had a hint in it, so it was my mistake for not taking that into account.
“‘Its body repeating a cycle of decay and regeneration’, so that’s what it meant, huh.” (Makoto)
These guys are undead.
While regretting on the side about not noticing the implication of this point sooner, I turn around, and look at the giants that have stood up.
Looks like they won’t be letting me leave, huh.
There’s the possibility that they were acting as corpses to wait for prey, but how to say it, the rottenness of their meat is so thorough, or more like, isn’t this a bit way too rotten?
I gave a backward glance at the giants that were raging with fighting spirit, and with the desire of leaving as quickly as possible from here, I bring out Futsu No Mitama from my Item Box.
“[Target – Atomos Titan]…” (Makoto)
Taking out the katana from the sheath, I look at the targets.
“[Judgment: Lifeforce – Cause and Effect].” (Makoto)
A single horizontal slash.
A *kin sound of the wind trembling echoed in the place, and the giant bodies of the Atomos Titans that were falling to the ground one after the other were creating a tremor.
As always, this katana has cheat levels of power.
I was the one who made it, and yet, this katana still manages to shock me with its broken ability.
I return it to the Item Box, and then look at the Atomos Titans. Their bodies were releasing some sort of faint smoke-like thing, then, their skins burst open and meat flies about.
This repeated several times, and in time, it ended up with exposing an awful sight of only bones and skin, but it looks like nothing else will be happening.
“Now then…” (Makoto)
I don’t mind going back just like this, but the gathering of ingredients probably hasn’t finished yet. Even so, this is not the time to be going on side trips, so let’s return obediently.
While thinking this, I tried teleporting, but I suddenly heard voices, and I reflexively activated [Intangible] and approach the place where the voices are coming from.