At Vandalieu’s sudden request to be alone, Zadiris opened her eyes wide in surprise.
「Alone, you say?」
「Yes, it’s a very important matter.」
As Vandalieu spoke to Zadiris with an unusually firm tone, Zadiris wondered whether he had decided to finish his training and leave the village.
She had heard that he was headed for the country of Orbaume, beyond the mountain range to the east of this Devil’s Nest. However, he had not yet finished learning no-attribute magic, Mana Control or Alchemy. Zadiris wouldn’t tell him to make this village his home, but she wanted him to stay a little longer.
「Very well. Let us speak in my house.」
Thinking that she should persuade him to stay longer somehow, she picked up Vandalieu in her arms and headed for her own home.
「... I can walk myself. I’m going to be two years old soon.」
「You are not two years old yet, boy. Did you not say that a while ago and trip over a stone?」
Vandalieu had thought that he had come closer to adulthood now that he was nearly two years old, but from others’ point of view, he was but an infant who had come just a little closer to becoming a young boy.
They entered Zadiris’s pit dwelling in which Vandalieu normally received his lessons on magic. Inside, there were alchemy-related tools that Zadiris had invented herself, as well as a crystal ball that apparently had some use sitting in a conspicuous spot.
If there were a cauldron, then this might have been the perfect description of the home of a witch straight out of a fairy tale, but such a cauldron was absent.
「Say, boy. If possible, I wish to teach you all of the spells that I know.」
Zadiris spoke with a serious expression as she sat down on the rug. They were not words of gratitude for saving her life or of wanting to repay his contributions to the village, but words expressing her expectations of him.
「Boy, you have no real talent in the normal sense of the word. I am sure that you have noticed yourself that you are learning slowly. However, you possess a lot of insight and sense that compensates for that.」
The insight and sense that Zadiris spoke of were ideas from the fictional works that Vandalieu had read and seen on Earth, the information that he had obtained from spirits in Origin and the power of imagination that was derived from those. Vandalieu, being aware of this, didn’t think that it was insight or sense or anything worthy of praise.
「Most importantly, you possess that outlandish amount of Mana. If you were to devote yourself to study, it would not even take you a hundred years to become a great mage that I could not even compare to.」
Simply possessing a lot of Mana didn’t make one a powerful mage, but the size of one’s Mana pool was still a component that couldn’t be ignored. In this world, the level of a skill increased the more one used it. Therefore, a large Mana pool was essential to support the repeated casting of magic necessary to increase the level of one’s skill.
For humans, the bonuses to skills they received from magic-related Jobs were important, but even those Jobs required certain skills to be at certain levels to obtain the Jobs in the first place.
And so, for both humans and monsters that wished to become mages, the first step was to learn basic magic and do everything they could to increase their Mana pools. In the case of monsters, it was common to give up without being able to put in the effort required or die before becoming a mage, so a lot of it depended on their talent for magic.
In that regard, Vandalieu was very fortunate. He didn’t need to go through lessons to frantically increase the size of his Mana pool. No, one’s Mana pool naturally expanded even without lessons. At any rate, he was not even two years old yet and his Mana pool exceeded a hundred million. As he grew older, it would increase by tens of millions more... or perhaps even increase by another hundred million.
And so even if he learned somewhat slowly, Vandalieu had enough talent for such concerns to not be a problem.
Those were the expectations that Zadiris had for him. He wouldn’t be just her successor, but something far greater.
「That is why I wish for more time. I am aware that you are on a journey with a purpose, but will you not give me a little more time?」
「Yes, please leave it to me.」
Vandalieu gave an immediate reply.
「Oh, so you have come to see my side of things!」
Though Zadiris found the way Vandalieu had worded it a little strange, she was happy with his response. However, as he continued speaking, she realized that there had been some kind of misunderstanding.
「Well then, I’m going to begin treating you right away, so please lie down and make yourself comfortable.」
「Yes. Please leave it to me.」
On one hand, Vandalieu looked full of motivation. Since he had an aptitude for death-attribute magic, he could see... the shadow of death on Zadiris’s face, the presence of death around her. That was why he had decided to extend her lifespan.
Vandalieu had thought that the greatest obstacle to doing this would be Zadiris’s own wishes.
Zadiris had been saying things like「I do not have long to live」and「I already have a successor ready」; she hadn’t seemed particularly fixated on staying alive. Vandalieu had been worried that she might reject the idea of having her life extended by magic.
However, she was now saying,「Give me more time.」
If she had said,「I will let things run their course」, or「It is best for me to pass naturally」, or doubted Vandalieu when he told her that her death was close, he wouldn’t have known what to do. But to think that Zadiris would be aware of her own impending death and even put enough trust in Vandalieu to ask him to extend her life. Vandalieu was moved.
Realizing what a happy thing it was to be trusted by someone else, he felt like crying.
However, it was just a misunderstanding.
「This is necessary for you to learn more magic from me, is it?」
「Yes. There is no other way.」
Zadiris’s age was at a point where she might last as little as a few days, or a month at most. The only way to continue learning magic from her was to extend her lifespan.
「Alright. But what are you doing?」
Zadiris laid down, face up. This reminded Vandalieu of the first time he met her. Just like now, he was trying to save her life back then.
「I’m going to make you a little younger.」
「Eh?! Make me younger? There is no way such a thing is possible...!」
With a bizarre sensation, Zadiris watched as Vandalieu’s hands and arms sank into her stomach, all the way up to his forearms.
Zadiris opened her eyes wide in surprise and was rendered breathless by the foreign sensation of having her internal organs being stroked by a pair of cold hands.
「Right now, I have used【Spirit Form Transformation】on my hands to directly examine your body’s situation. I know it is a little painful, but please bear with it.」
Cold sweat formed on Zadiris’s face as she looked up at Vandalieu to complain to him with her eyes, but he didn’t notice as he was focused on what he was doing. It was actually his first time examining someone else’s body using【Spirit Form Transformation】, so he didn’t know just how painful it would be for the subject.
However, he had a good understanding of how to do it correctly. Like a veteran surgeon.
When he was being toyed around with by the researchers of Origin, they had forced him to use【Spirit Form Transformation】to examine various things. This included other living subjects like himself and lead containers of nuclear waste. The Mana produced by Vandalieu had been used to create Magic Items that allowed the use of【Spirit Form Transformation】and greatly advanced medicine and science in Origin.
Putting that aside, he was examining Zadiris’s body right now. The【Spirit Form Transformation】had taken Vandalieu’s arms out of physical existence and they were now plunged into her abdomen. He imagined his arms dissolving into a liquid-like state and getting carried away by Zadiris’s circulatory system, flowing into every corner of her body.
And then Vandalieu’s arms melted smoothly, just as he had imagined. His Spirit Form was directly linked to his mind, so this kind of thing was possible when using【Spirit Form Transformation.】
『... I feel like it’s easier than it was in Origin; is that because my mental strength has increased? Or is it because doing this of my own will is different from being forced to do it?』
Vandalieu was surprised that it was so simple, but this wasn’t the time to lose himself in his thoughts.
「Guh, agh... Haah... Haah...」
He had noticed the agony that Zadiris was in. He cut unnecessary thoughts from his mind in order to get the treatment finished as quickly as possible.
Blood, blood vessels, brain, heart, nerves, stomach, liver, kidneys, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, ovaries, uterus, bones, muscles, lymph, skin. Their locations and shapes were mostly identical to humans. The only difference Vandalieu could see in Zadiris’s body was that there were glands that produced the paralyzing venom that was secreted from her claws.
Other than the fact that the function of her organs were weakened, her condition was satisfactory. In short, there were no loose blood vessels, aneurysms, cancer or anything like that that might be a cause of death, and no sign of any viral of fungal infection.
It seemed that the cause of her impending death was old age after all.
Since the cause was old age, the methods of dealing with it were difficult but simple to understand. First, Vandalieu had to choose from one of three methods. The first was using death-attribute magic to halt the breakdown of Zadiris’s cells while having another mage use life-attribute magic to revitalize her organs to restore their declining function. This technique had been used in Origin, but there were no life-attribute mages available, so this method was impossible.
Since Vandalieu could only use death-attribute magic, he was only capable of speeding up or slowing down cell death. Unlike life-attribute magic that controlled life itself, he couldn’t grant vitality to another.
『If it were a wound, I would stop cell death while applying a Potion, but surely even Potions aren’t powerful enough to cure old age. Well then, on to the second method.』
The second method was to take measures to support her life – using a spell to directly preventing her from getting closer to death. That was a simple, sure method that would work. At the very least, as long as Vandalieu cast the spell on her regularly, Zadiris could continue living in her current state.
『But I reject that method.』
Looking at it another way, that method would only maintain her current situation. If he was treating a hemorrhage or an allergic reaction, he could postpone her death and let her body’s natural recovery mechanisms get her through it, but in the case of dealing with old age, it was simply delaying the inevitable. Zadiris would never recover and forever be in her weakened state.
And since Vandalieu would need to cast the spell regularly, Zadiris would die soon after he left the village.
There would be no point in such a treatment option. Such a method would allow Vandalieu to continue learning magic from her, but leaving aside what he stood to gain from this, he didn’t want Zadiris to die.
That left one option. The most difficult method, something that researchers on Origin had failed to accomplish, the「reversal of age」that mankind always dreamed of.
It was a technique that removed the『age』from the cells and caused『restoration of youth.』In the experiments in Origin, restoring the youth of individual parts of the body such as the skin, blood vessels and bones had succeeded, but there had never been a successful experiment that reversed the aging of the entire body.
But those had been experiments conducted by someone else controlling Vandalieu’s body and mind. And though his ability with magic had decreased since dying in Origin and being reincarnated in Lambda, his Mana pool had grown.
『Let’s try with the usual forceful approach.』
First, he let his transformed Spirit Form arms diffuse throughout Zadiris’s entire body.
Conscious of Zadiris’s moaning, he tried to be as careful as possible as he let his Spirit Form diffuse into her capillaries, her skin cells and the ends of her nerves.
And then he began to pull the『death』from her body.
Masters of the fire attribute controlled not flames, but heat directly. They are able to freely increase heat to melt a steel bar, or decrease heat and freeze the surface of an ocean.
In the same way, as a user of death-attribute magic, Vandalieu controlled death directly and theoretically should be able to freely control whether a creature lived or died.
Like gently scooping up dirt that had gathered over time, Vandalieu steadily removed the death caused by old age from Zadiris’s cells.
And slowly but surely, Zadiris’s age began to reverse. The energy returned to her cells and her organs began to work vigorously once more.
「This takes a lot more Mana that I’d thought it would.」
The Mana cost of every other spell that Vandalieu had cast up until now was incomparable to the amount of Mana he was spending on this process. It was costing him ten million Mana for each year of Zadiris’s age that he reversed.
「B-boy, w-wha... What are you... kuh!」
Fortunately, Zadiris seemed to not be in the discomfort that she was in before, but in pleasure. Since Vandalieu had to reverse the aging on her whole body evenly, he had to patiently and calmly maintain the spell properly, which was easier to do knowing that Zadiris wasn’t suffering.
「For now, I’ve made you a little younger.」
「Made me younger?! Such a thing is not... ah, uhyii, aaah!」
「To be more accurate, I’ve simply removed the aging from your body, so you won’t turn back into a child or anything like that.」
It wasn’t as if he had reversed time; even though he had reversed her age, there was no way she would turn into a fetus or anything of the sort. Removing one’s aging was simply the opposite of moving one closer to death.
If Vandalieu did the same to an aged human, the process would likely stop in the mid-teenage years. Though if he studied harder and came up with different methods, he might even be able to turn a human back into a zygote.
Unable to contain herself, Zadiris let out a high-pitched voice.
The pleasant feeling of one’s stiff muscles and pain being relieved spread throughout her entire body, not only in her limbs and torso, but even inside her head. She couldn’t keep her mouth closed against this intense pleasure that was greater than being treated by an expert masseuse. And as she let out all the breath from her lungs, that pleasure suddenly stopped.
「Haah... haah... haah... Boy?」
As Zadiris regained control over her breathing and looked over at Vandalieu, he was lying on his back. The arms that had been in Spirit Form inside Zadiris’s abdomen were now back to their normal, physical state.
「... It’s been a while since I used my Mana to its limit. I’ll sleep a little.」
Vandalieu’s Mana pool was completely exhausted from reversing Zadiris’s age by ten years, so he had quickly returned his arms to their physical state and collapsed, and now he was making the noises of a sleeping person.
「... It would not have killed you to explain yourself a little more.」
Zadiris whispered these words as she felt her own eyelids grow heavy as well. The fatigue that she had felt the past few days had disappeared, but a feeling of exhaustion, as if she had just finished some heavy exercise, lingered in her body.
It was a very strange sensation.
The aging of all the cells of her entire body had been reversed, and this exhaustion was the side effect of her body undergoing such a large change in such a short period of time. However, as Ghouls stopped physically aging at the time of their first pregnancy, the process didn’t affect her physical appearance. If Zadiris had been a human, she would have likely passed out on the spot.
「Well, it is fine. It seems that you have done something that benefits me, and I am sure that nothing bad will happen. Now, let me sleep a little as well.」
Cuddling closely to Vandalieu who was already asleep, Zadiris fell asleep on the rug.
And a young Ghoul warrior by the name of Banad who had spotted the chief of the village and the guest who was being treated like a full member of the community disappear in the middle of the feast was standing outside Zadiris’s house, swallowing his saliva.
He had seen Zadiris and Vandalieu entering her pit dwelling. And when he had put his ear against the wall, he had heard Zadiris’s moans and screams of pleasure.
「Who would have thought that the chief and Vandalieu would... To be able to do it at that age, Dhampirs are amazing.」
Banad whispered to himself with an expression of awe on his lion-shaped face. He should stop the others from treating Vandalieu as a child. Vandalieu was already a fully-fledged adult... no, a king.
The next day, as Zadiris ate with a large appetite, she showed amazement at what death-attribute magic could do when Vandalieu explained what he had done, but also scolded him for not explaining what he was doing first.
「However, that makes little difference to the fact that you have saved my life twice now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am grateful enough that if you were a tamer, I would gladly be tamed by you and become your servant. Now then, how shall I return the favor?」
The races that Vida had spawned that had originated from monsters could be tamed. The chances of being tamed successfully were low, as they possessed human-level intelligence and they had originated from a goddess. However, if the individual desired to be tamed, it was a different story.
More than just wanting to repay Vandalieu for saving her life by giving him her own, Zadiris said those words because she had become interested by the idea of following him wherever he went.
Though her heart throbbed in a way unfitting for her age, she couldn’t decide this easily because of her social position.
「I’d be happy if you came with me, Zadiris-san, but wouldn’t the village have problems if you did that?」
As Vandalieu pointed that out, Zadiris came out from her fantasies and back to reality.
「Well, you are right. The village would do well without me, but there is not yet a mage to replace me, so that is a source of concern.」
She did think that the village would be fine without her, but now that her life had been extended, she had new desires. She wanted to teach her skills to other young women as well as Vandalieu, and she was worried about whether her youngest daughter Basdia would be able to have a child.
「And I still haven’t learned No-Attribute Magic or Mana Control yet, so I’ll be in your care a little longer.」
「Oh, I see. I am relieved to hear that. Well then, let us hurry and begin our lesson.」
「... My Mana hasn’t recovered completely yet, so please wait a little longer.」
After that, they ate Gobu-gobu for breakfast and then began another lesson.
However, from today onwards, their lessons would end in another session of age-reversal treatment for Zadiris.
One’s Mana pool increased as one’s level increased, but like other attribute values and skills, it also increased with use.
However, since Vandalieu’s Mana pool was so vast, this method of increasing his Mana pool had been mostly impossible for him. Vandalieu’s Mana exceeded one hundred million. To use up all of that Mana, a spell that cost ten thousand Mana would need to be cast ten thousand times.
Assuming that each cast took ten seconds, ten thousand casts would take a hundred thousand seconds. That would be twenty-seven hours. It would take over a whole day.
However, casting【Youth Transformation】on Zadiris took only ten minutes, even if he cast it until he used up all his Mana and fainted.
And so he had no-attribute magic and Mana Control lessons in the morning, and in the afternoon, he made walnut sauce and acorn powder. After that, he took an afternoon nap like an infant should. In the evening, he had a continuation of the lessons from the morning, and before going to bed, he performed the【Youth Transformation】on Zadiris at her house until he fainted. And then he would sleep. He began to spend every day living this cycle.
It was quite the hard schedule, but it wasn’t so difficult after he came up with the idea to create Stone Golems out of a mortar and pestle. He broke the acorns into smaller pieces, washed them, dried them and then simply added the pieces to the mortar and ordered the pestle to spin, and it would automatically crush them into powder. It was even more ecologically friendly than the electric-powered mortars and pestles on Earth.
And of course, they decided to keep the【Youth Transformation】spell a secret. It wasn’t that they didn’t trust the other Ghouls of the village, and as Ghouls had long lifespans, they wouldn’t have much desire to become younger. After all, monsters often died fighting, not of old age. Individuals like Zadiris who lived out to the end of their lifespans were really rare.
However, the thought of adventurers capturing a Ghoul alive, interrogating them and finding out about the【Youth Transformation】was terrifying. An enormous bounty would be placed on Vandalieu’s head, and countless adventurers and mercenaries would hunt Vandalieu down relentlessly. And if Vandalieu was caught, his freedom would be taken away in a variety of ways, and he would live the rest of his life as a pet that lived only to extend the lifespans of noblemen and royalty.
Neither Vandalieu nor the Ghouls, whose village would likely be destroyed by such events, would want this. That was why they had decided to keep it a secret.
「How is the expansion of your Mana pool?」
「It increases by less than one percent a day. I suppose it’s something like, even dust can pile up to form a mountain*, and perseverance results in improvement*.」
「... But one percent for you, boy, is one million. Is that not a little too large to be referred to as dust?」
And so, day by day, Zadiris grew younger. As Ghouls were a race whose physical appearance didn’t change, no obvious changes occurred. However, she began to move with vigor, her voice grew stronger and her eyes grew brighter – changes that even outsiders would be able to see.
Whereas she had rejected food in the past, her appetite had returned, and her skin and hair looked brighter.
Of course, the other Ghouls noticed this.
What could be clearly observed was that Zadiris and Vandalieu would be together in Zadiris’s house for their lessons, and not come out until the morning. If one listened carefully, Zadiris’s stifled moans of pleasure could be heard.
And Zadiris looked healthier and healthier, day by day.
As a result, an obvious misunderstanding occurred. Normally, the Ghouls would assume that a one-year-old boy wouldn’t be able to do such a thing, but Vandalieu was of a different race. Wouldn’t it be possible for an unfamiliar race to reach maturity at a different rate? Perhaps a Dhampir could do it at that age? He was far more mature than he appeared, too.
It didn’t take long for the Ghouls to begin thinking this.
「I’m not sure if it’s Dhampirs that are amazing, or Vandalieu who’s amazing.」
「Maybe I should seduce him as well.」
「Rather than wishing I had a daughter, maybe I should have done something about it.」
「That old chief looks like a young girl now. Is that what it means to be in love?」
「I know it’s strange coming from me, but isn’t it at the point where we can call him the head of the family now?」[Vigaro]
「Vigaro, don’t say that, you’re the young chief here.」
「... And to think, when I’d asked him to stay here when he first came to the village, he told me it was impossible.」[Vigaro]
『I wonder if we should tell Bocchan about these strange rumors... However, it would be an impertinent thing to do if they were true.』[Sam]
『Father, should we try indirectly, casually asking him if the rumors are true?』[Saria]
『Uwah, I guess that’s what you’d expect from someone who wants to be a nobleman. Does that mean that we have a chance as well?』[Rita]
Finally, Sam and Saria had begun to worry about the situation, while Rita made a carefree joke.
In July, with his second birthday coming up and full-blown summer approaching, Vandalieu finally obtained the【No-Attribute Magic】and【Mana Control】skills at level 1.
He was happy that he had been able to obtain these skills in less than a year after having been told that it normally takes multiple years, but according to Darcia and Sam, level 1 in these skills was considered less than apprentice-level in society.
Incidentally, the mage among the adventurers who had attacked Zadiris had possessed a level 2 skill in【No-Attribute Magic.】
「I’ve got a long road ahead of me, I guess.」
Looking up at the sky, Vandalieu was in a bright mood. He felt proud. No-attribute magic was something that may not have existed in Origin, and if that was the case, then that meant that he was one step ahead of Amemiya Hiroto and the others who were still enjoying their second lives in that world.
It was a small step, but continuing these steps would lead directly to a safe future for himself.
Also, he had stopped the exercise in which he exhausted his whole Mana pool to cast【Youth Transformation】on Zadiris. This was because the age of Zadiris’s body now matched its physical appearance.
「I do not know what would happen if you were to continue, and this is more than enough.」
「I suppose so, since you have over two hundred years now before you reach the end of your lifespan again.」
His Mana pool had increased quite a lot, and he would have liked to continue if possible, but there were no other Ghouls in the village over two hundred and fifty years old. And since going around using【Youth Transformation】on the other Ghouls would make it hard to keep it a secret, he had no choice but to stop.
If he got the chance to attack bandits again, it might be a good idea to cast【Youth Transformation】on them before finishing them off.
As Vandalieu thought about this, he split an acorn’s shell and broke apart the flesh inside. As he prepared to wash it, he suddenly became aware of a Ghoul woman who was working with him.
No, he hadn’t forgotten that the woman was there. Though the Ghoul population was large for a group of monsters, it was low for a village; Vandalieu had already remembered the faces of each of the hundred or so Ghouls.
Of course, he hadn’t become close friends with all of them, but he had become friendly enough with them to greet each other normally and have light conversations.
「Bilde-san, can I ask you something?」
Her name was Bilde. She was one of the Ghoul women who had pampered Vandalieu during the feast when he had first come to the village, though the treatment had been quite rough.
「What is it? Should I crush the acorns a little smaller?」
She looked at him in surprise. No matter how one looked at her, her stomach hadn’t expanded at all. At that feast, Vandalieu recalled that she had said that she was pregnant.
That feast was in October, last year. Now it was July. Roughly nine months had passed. Vandalieu had no way of knowing how many months pregnant she had been in October.
「No, it’s about your promise to name your child after me if it was a boy...」
Vandalieu had spoken up because he was curious, but was this question really alright to ask? He began to doubt himself and his voice grew quieter and quieter as he spoke, but Bilde seemed surprised that he had remembered and didn’t pay it any more attention as she replied.
「So~rry, the child that was in my belly back then, I failed to give birth to it. If I succeed with the next one, I’ll name him after you, okay?」
「I see, then next time... huh?」
Bilde spoke with a giggle, narrowing her yellow eyes as she poked out her tongue and there wasn’t a trace of seriousness in her voice. Vandalieu understood her words perfectly. He did a double-take out of surprise as he saw her expression, but it seemed that his eyes and ears were not deceiving him.
「Such a pity, you know, not even one baby was born last year.」
「Mine didn’t even last two months~ Were you the one who lasted the longest, Bilde?」
「Yeah, I almost reached three months.」
The other women also showed no sign of seriousness or covering their pain with light-hearted talk. It did seem that they were disappointed, but all things considered, their attitude was very carefree.
Perhaps there had been some uncontrollable circumstances... But they showed no signs of that, either.
「Ah, does that mean that I’m next after Chief Zadiris?」
「Wait, Van, in that case, let me be first –」
「Basdia-san, I have something I want to ask you. Come over here.」
As the conversation had rolled into a ridiculous direction, Vandalieu decided to consult Basdia, to whom he was closest to among the village members other than Zadiris and Vigaro.
From behind him, he could hear Bilde say,「After Basdia, I’m next!」and the replies of,「Can I go after you?」and「Eh, I should be after her!」This would have made him happy if it were physically possible for him, but since it wasn’t, he ignored it.
「Van, I’m happy that you’ve chosen me, but to do it in the middle of the afternoon –」
「Basdia-san, there’s something I want to ask you.」
Vandalieu interrupted the words of Basdia, who was misunderstanding something as he had suspected.
「You’re wondering why Bilde and the others aren’t grieving over the fact that they couldn’t give birth to their children? Well, Van, that’s because unsuccessful births are more common than successful ones.」
According to Basdia, Ghouls as a race had difficulty getting pregnant, and miscarriages in the early months of pregnancy were common.
The exact probability of pregnancy and the ratio of children born successfully were unknown. However, Ghouls had always said that only one in every five children was born safely.
No matter how one thought of it, that rate of birth was far too low, but it was compensated for by the Ghouls’ lifespan of three hundred years. At least, up until now.
「Bilde and the others aren’t grieving much because that’s normal... isn’t it? Ah, there are some Ghouls who grieve over the loss of their children, but they’re quite rare. I suppose the reason you find it strange, Van, is because grieving is normal for humans.」
It was normal for them, so they didn’t find it very sad. If one were to ask someone on Earth, they would get angry and reply,「My child has died, how could it possibly be alright?!」However, this was another world and these were Ghouls. The circumstances were too different.
Ghouls had lived with this way of life for a hundred thousand years, and seeing the village’s circumstances, it was obvious that they didn’t interact with other races.
That was why they had no doubt in what they knew. If Ghouls lived together with other races, then perhaps they would grieve over the fact that many of their children were not successfully born compared to other races and doubt themselves. However, living on their own, they simply thought that things had always been this way and there was no helping it.
The time during which the miscarriages occurred was also a cause. They happened in the early months of pregnancy, before the mothers had expanding stomachs or produced milk. There was no ultrasound scanning in this world, but even if there was, the miscarriages occurred in the period of time where it wouldn’t even be possible to determine whether the baby was a boy or a girl.
It was no wonder that they had such little reaction to losing their children.
「Well, at the very least, I don’t think it’s something that you should discuss with a bright look on your face. Probably.」
「You think so too, huh.」
It seemed that Basdia had also learned about the differences between Ghouls and humans during this conversation with Vandalieu.
「Up until now, we’ve only had Goblins, Kobolds and Orcs to compare ourselves to. And all we thought about the matter is that we don’t like how they multiply everywhere, even though they’re weaker than us.」
... A thought occurred to Vandalieu. Could it be possible that Ghouls’ envy of Goblins and Kobolds was one of the reasons that they invented ways to eat them?
「I see. I’ve come to an understanding after having you think about it. I’ve always found it strange that I’ve never seen any children in the village.」
Vandalieu had never seen any Ghoul children in this village. He had never heard the crying voice of a baby. There were only Ghouls that he had thought were children, but were simply young-looking because they had conceived a baby at an early age like Zadiris.
He had felt strange about the fact that there were no children in this village, even though a hundred adult Ghouls living here. He had assumed that perhaps the Ghouls were still wary of him and the Undead, and hidden the infants and children somewhere.
However, he had become focused on the magic lessons and had forgotten all about this strange feeling and his doubts.
However, the simple truth was that there were just no children. If Vandalieu had assertively tried to find Ghoul children, Zadiris and Vigaro would have told him that right away. For them, it was a trivial matter of fact.
And now he understood why Ghouls were so proactive about sex.
It was difficult for them to get pregnant, and only one in five pregnancies ended in a successful birth. They had no choice but to be proactive about it.
「If that’s the case, then it can’t be helped, can it?」
Vandalieu intended not to say anything more regarding this problem.
This was a problem that the Ghoul race had shouldered for a hundred thousand years. Since the Ghouls had still managed to survive up until now, he thought that there was no need for him to rack his brains and come up with a solution.
In fact, seeing the village, he could see that this wasn’t putting the Ghouls at risk. With that being the case, nobody had asked him to do anything about it so trying to do something would be needless meddling.
But if someone were to ask him to do something about it, it would be a different story.
「... You might be right in saying that it can’t be helped, but there hasn’t been a child born in this village for the past ten years. Mother and Vigaro are worrying about it as well. It’s impossible with Mother’s magic, but could something be done about it using your magic, Van? Of course, me wanting to become pregnant is one reason, but I also want to give birth to a healthy child if I do manage to become pregnant.」
Ah, someone asked him to do something about it.
「I understand. I’ll try to think of something.」
So it was a different story.
Buy us some coffee!