「As well as taking lessons, I am thinking of making an effort to solve the problem of the Ghouls’ declining birth rates.」
As Vandalieu told Zadiris this, her eyes opened wide.
「That is... well, a happy thing for us, but... I hope you are not going to propose that we kidnap women of other races and use a ceremony to turn them into Ghouls?」
「Is something like that really possible?」
According to the information circulating in human society that Darcia had heard, Ghouls were capable of doing this, but Vandalieu had dismissed it as a superstition.
「Yes, it is, though we have never done it in this village. The only females of other races we can abduct from this Devil’s Nest are probably female adventurers, so the risk is quite high. And even if we succeed, that might cause other adventurers to come and exterminate us and we would have more important things to worry about than increasing our population by one female.」
Ghouls apparently possessed a way of transforming members of other races into members of their own race like Vampires, though it was less effective as it only worked on females. It was likely something that had been designed to balance the race’s low pregnancy and birth rates.
But in this village, the Ghouls had not done this before as they had no way to get their hands on females other than adventurers, and they weren’t desperate enough to increase their female count as to take that risk.
「But it is true that no children have been born here in ten years. We cannot ask you to make all of the older members of the village young again to maintain the village, boy, so we would be very grateful if you were to resolve this problem. The other villagers and I will be glad to assist you in any way that we can. And since you were able to use【Youth Transformation】, a spell that even masters of life-attribute magic cannot perform, I am sure you will be able to do it.」
It is a task that one would normally think to be impossible, but it was possible that this boy who only turned two years old just recently could do something about this problem. It was now natural for Zadiris to believe this.
「I will try and do whatever I can.」
Vandalieu meant exactly what he said, but nothing more. There was nothing to suggest that he would be able to do it for certain, and his medical knowledge was limited to medical dramas and school lessons from his time on Earth, and whatever he had managed to absorb from the scientists and researchers in Origin.
In other words, his knowledge applied to humans and worked under the assumption that things like ultrasound machines and microscopes from earth and life-attribute magic from Origin were available.
He wasn’t even particularly knowledgeable about the field of maternity and gynecology in the first place. In all honesty, he didn’t have any confidence.
However, Vandalieu’s death-attribute magic had advanced Origin’s medical standards so much that even Rodcorte himself had taken notice of it. With that being the case, doing something to treat the Ghouls’ infertility wasn’t impossible.
「But I have to keep it a secret from Mom.」
Darcia wouldn’t approve of her two-year-old son getting involved in such work. Vandalieu experienced for the first time the feeling of a child keeping a secret from a parent.
A month after Vandalieu had decided to do something about the Ghouls’ declining birth rates, he was using the blue flames of【Demon Light】to deal with the heat of summer. Vandalieu quickly identified the cause of the Ghouls’ low probability of becoming pregnant.
The method he used was to have ten Ghoul men and women「do it*.」Before, after and also during the act, Vandalieu used【Spirit Form Transformation】and【Sense Life】to determine whether their genitalia, sperm, egg cells and organs were working correctly.
The cause that he found as a result was a simple, basic one.
First, the sperm of the Ghoul males only survived inside the females for around half a day. This was a much shorter duration than those of other races.
Next, the egg cells of the females only lasted six hours after ovulation. Again, this was much shorter than for other races. In addition, their menstrual cycles were similar to other races, meaning that ovulation occurred only once a month.
「In most cases, I guess the sperm or egg cell, or both, die before fertilization. That explains why they can’t get pregnant unless they do it every day.」
Ghouls had no way of determining an appropriate timing in the menstrual cycle to try and conceive, so that contributed to the problem as well.
「I see~ That’s how it was. But Vandalieu, why do you keep calling baby-making『doing it?』」
「... I’m still at an age where I’m hesitant to say it so frankly.」
Vandalieu was careful to not look at Bilde, who was lying on the bed made of tree branches woven together after having just finished「doing it.」
『I’m sure that on Earth, it would be the subject who finds this kind of research and treatment more mentally difficult than the researcher.』
For some reason, he was in a strange mood. No, he was happy that his work had produced results and he felt even more motivated. But strangely... He felt slightly downhearted? Like he was suffering? Why did he feel like this?
The reason for it was probably the fact that he was researching ways to treat the infertility of cute girls. He hadn’t interacted with the other sex on Earth or in Origin, but now he was in this situation in Lambda. It was kind of unfair. Yes, yes, it was Rodcorte’s fault, everything was Rodcorte’s fault.
「So don’t you have to just stop those sperm and egg cell things from dying? Can you do it?」
As Vandalieu contemplated the problem with no expression on his face, Bilde made this suggestion. It seemed that she didn’t really understand what sperm and egg cells were, but she was exactly right.
Indeed, lengthening the lifespans of the sperm and eggs was simple. With Vandalieu’s death-attribute magic, he could even prolong the life of a fatally wounded person for days. It wasn’t difficult for him to keep the tiny sperm and egg cells alive.
「Really?! Then you’ve solved it, yay~♪」
Bilde sprang up from the bed and cheered, waving Vandalieu around. However, Vandalieu disagreed with her. The method proposed was possible for him, but it was difficult to call it a solution.
A solution required more progress.
「Now then, I want to figure out a way to prevent the miscarriages...」
「But there’s nobody in the village who’s pregnant right now... Alright, we just have to get pregnant, then.」
Seeing Bilde’s dazzling smile, Vandalieu was definitely feeling strange.
As a result of having the Ghouls mate while using death-attribute magic to keep the sperm and egg cells alive, Bilde and the other females soon became pregnant. He clearly felt the life in the fertilized eggs, and Vandalieu had now confirmed that the problem had been that the sperm and egg cells weren’t surviving long enough.
And then Vandalieu figured out why Ghoul women frequently experienced miscarriages in the early stages of pregnancy.
The zygotes had low Vitality.
Using【Spirit Form Transformation】, he determined that Bilde and the mothers had no illnesses or anything that could be an external cause. The zygotes simply had low Vitality.
The mothers had high Vitality, and it seemed that their bodies were mistaking the zygotes and fetuses in their wombs as a foreign entity and attacking them.
This was what was causing the miscarriages in the early stages of pregnancy.
And now that he knew the cause, the rest was simple. He would use death-attribute magic again, this time to prevent the deaths of the zygotes and fetuses. He could prolong their lives until they became able to sustain life on their own.
And in the month of December, where everyone’s breath turned into white fog in the air, the results finally showed.
「When I told them that everything is okay now, Bilde and the other mothers were really happy. Of course, it’s not just the mothers; everyone else in the village is happy as well.」
「Indeed. Because of you, boy, we are now able to welcome new members into our village. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.」
Basdia, Zadiris and Vandalieu had assembled in a pit dwelling.
「They should stabilize now after three months of life extension. Of course, as long as nobody does anything careless.」
As the Ghoul fetuses reached three months into pregnancy, they were full of Vitality. Vandalieu would observe until Bilde and the other mothers safely gave birth, but he no longer had to keep an eye on them every day.
Previously, Ghouls had to ask themselves whether they would get pregnant when they mated, and whether the pregnancy would make it past three months if they did.
「I see. It has been said that Ghouls have never reproduced outside of Devil’s Nests, even in ancient times. But now, if things go well, we may be able to live outside the Devil’s Nests.」
Monsters thrived in Devil’s Nests, multiplying more vigorously than they would if they were living outside the Devil’s Nests and their young would also reach maturity more quickly. The struggle for existence was harsh, and no matter how many adventurers ventured into Devil’s Nests to hunt them, monsters would always survive.
Ghouls, who were part monsters, also received effects from living in Devil’s Nests. The fact that they were receiving such effects and still had declining birth rates had been worrying them.
That was why producing offspring outside of Devil’s Nests had been a hopeless thought. That was why Ghouls lived in Devil’s Nests that contained monsters stronger than them, even though there were also plenty of monsters that they hunted as prey.
「Now all that’s left for me to do is become able to create a Magic Item that allows the use of the spells that prolong sperm and egg cell life and prevent the death of the fetuses.」
「Yeah, we can’t rely on you forever, Van.」
Vandalieu had figured out a method of solving the problem of declining Ghoul birth rates, and it was realistic for him to accomplish. However, this had required him to cast spells on the Ghoul women every day.
As Vandalieu planned to go to the Kingdom of Orbaume, he could only do this for a limited amount of time. And... a continuation of the current situation would be mentally difficult for him.
「You are fairly quick to learn magic, but it seems that you are not so proficient at learning techniques like alchemy, boy.」
As Zadiris said, Vandalieu was aiming to learn alchemy, but it wasn’t going well.
In Lambda, there are two types of【abilities.】One is the magic of the different attributes. The other is techniques such as alchemy and spiritual magic.
The magic of the attributes is simply one’s affinity for attributes and how well he or she can use those attributes. For example, Zadiris possessed an affinity for the light and wind attributes, while Vandalieu possessed an affinity for the death attribute.
Techniques such as alchemy and spiritual magic represent different skills that applying the attributes that one possesses an affinity for in different ways.
For example, spiritual magic is a technique where one communicates with spirits of the desired attribute and transfers Mana to them to manifest an effect.
And alchemy is a skill where one uses Mana and spells to utilize various catalysts to produce medicines and create Magic Items.
As spirits of the death attribute didn’t exist, spiritual magic was impossible for Vandalieu, but if he studied alchemy, he would become able to create Magic Items of the death attribute.
In fact, in Origin, Vandalieu’s Mana had been squeezed out of him to produce countless Magic Items. Of course, his body had been taken control over at the time; he didn’t know the techniques needed to create them himself. The techniques he had learned about from the spirits of the researchers in Origin relied on Origin’s high level of science and technology and manufacturing machinery that relied on other Magic Items, so he couldn’t apply it here.
That was why he was learning it from scratch under Zadiris’s guidance, but it was proving more difficult than【No-Attribute Magic】and【Mana Control.】
「At this rate, I might not leave until the year after next. On another topic, Basdia, are you sure about your decision? Because I’m here for now, you could have a child if you wanted to.」
Unlike Bilde and the other mothers, Basdia wasn’t participating in Vandalieu’s research and wasn’t pregnant right now. Vandalieu had curiously asked her about it since she had wanted to be pregnant so badly, but she had unexpectedly answered,「No, I’m good for now.」
「If I get pregnant now, after you learn alchemy, I won’t be able to become an experimental subject for you to test whether the Magic Items you make work or not.」
「Well, I suppose that’s true, but aren’t you worried about your age and such?」
Ghoul women stopped aging when they first became pregnant. That was why Basdia, who had never become pregnant yet, had the physical appearance of a twenty-five... no, twenty-six-year-old.
Though Vandalieu thought that she was beautiful and still looked young, so she didn’t need to worry about it for a few more years.
「Are you sure? The results have already shown that the boy’s methods are reliable, and he is suggesting that you have a child as well. And you do not need to be so worried about being an experimental subject later.」
「Mother, it’s fine. Van said he doesn’t mind my appearance even if I age a few more years.」
「... Those words sounds like the boy is your partner.」
「... That would take over ten years at a minimum, so please don’t mind that and get pregnant already.」
There had been a misunderstanding circulating around the village that Vandalieu and Zadiris were in that kind of relationship, but that had been resolved already. Basdia turned her head and gave the two of them a confused look.
「I didn’t phrase that right. I’m not thinking of making children with Van. I’m just looking for some kind of compensation for being an experimental subject.」
Vandalieu tilted his head in response to Basdia’s words. Since he had come to live in this village, he hadn’t interacted with a monetary economy at all... though it would be accurate to say that he had never done so in any of his lives.
「Ah, I do want to ask Van to be my partner for my second child.」
「... Isn’t this quite a difficult request to make of a two-year-old boy?」
「It’s fine; I’ll just wait until you’re able to do it, Van.」
「Hmm, is that not fine with you, boy?」
「No, it’s not.」
Basdia’s aging would indeed stop once she became pregnant for the first time. After that, she would stay young, even as she approached three hundred years of age one day. Even if she waited until Vandalieu developed his secondary sex characteristics, her physical appearance wouldn’t change.
However, Vandalieu couldn’t imagine wanting to make children in his early teenage years.
「There’s no way that I could grasp the responsibilities of being a parent in my early teenage years. And I’m not a human in the first place; I’m a Dhampir born between a Vampire and a Dark Elf. I don’t know whether it’s even possible for me to have a child with a Ghoul.」
「No need to worry; us races born of the goddess Vida are all able to produce mixed-blood offspring with each other.」
「Is that so? That’s a relief, Van.」
「Ah, my excuse for reconsidering this idea has vanished.」
The problem was resolved quickly. The knowledge that the elderly possessed was not to be underestimated.
「And anyway, Van, you’re a boy so I don’t think you need to grasp the responsibilities of being a parent.」
「Indeed; the role of the male is to risk his life outside the village to hunt for food. Raising the child is a woman’s work.」
「No, that only applies for Ghouls.」
Vandalieu supposed that this was how harsh Ghoul society was; the fact that Ghoul men had to risk their lives was very inconvenient for them.
「Well, we are Ghouls, after all.」
「I know. But there’s no way of knowing whether the child will be a Ghoul or not. It seems that mating with humans definitely produces Ghoul children, but I’m a Dhampir.」
「Ugh, you got me there.」
But even as she said that, Basdia showed no signs of giving up.
「Then I won’t ask you to do it as soon as you become able. I’m alright with waiting until you’re willing, Van, since you’ll probably live much longer than humans. And I might have changed my mind by then, too.」
That last part was clearly a measure taken by Basdia to prevent Vandalieu from rejecting her on the spot, but Vandalieu knew that her mind would never change and gave a reluctant nod as he let out a sigh.
「When that time comes, please be the partner for my daughter, too.」
「Could you please give me a little breathing room? I don’t think it’s very admirable to be cornering a two-year-old boy like this at night.」
「Hmm, in that case, the father of my great-grandchild would be you, boy. Well, that is fine, too. Ah yes, boy. While you are at it, if I were to have another daughter in the future, could I ask that you be her first partner?」
「What are you saying, mother! Think about your age, you’re over two hundred and ninety years old already! Didn’t you say that you even had difficulty giving birth to me?」
「Hmm? Well, you are right, but I feel like I have become younger lately. I am sure I would be fine having a few more children.」
「Where the heck did that confidence come from?! Have you forgotten that time two years ago when you couldn’t use your magic and were almost captured by adventurers, all because of your age?!」
As Zadiris dropped bombshells one after another with no sign of hesitation, Basdia was flustered as she tried to bring her mother, who would normally be close to the end of her life, to her senses. As she wasn’t aware that Vandalieu had reversed her age to the point that her body’s physical age matched its appearance, she showed no signs of calming down.
Vandalieu nibbled on a cookie made from acorn powder as he watched them. They are truly mother and child, he thought as Zadiris and Basdia who had been messing around with him earlier were now being messed around by each other. Also, he felt a little satisfied.
And as he swallowed the piece of acorn cookie in his mouth, he realized that this wasn’t the time to be messing around.
Vandalieu has acquired the【Spirit Form】skill!
An arrow flew past, grazing Kachia’s ear.
「Kachia, the Goblin Archers are aiming at us!」
「Do something, Rikken!」
「Don’t ask for the... impossible!」
Five adventurers were fighting some Goblins... some monsters, including Goblins.
Kachia, the female adventurer who had barely avoided the Goblin Archer’s Arrow, shouted panicked words. Rikken fired his arrow, but it was blocked by a Hobgoblin acting as a front guard for the Kobold Mage.
Indeed, it was not only Goblins; this group of monsters included Kobolds and Hobgoblins as well.
Monsters don’t cooperate with monsters of other races in normal Devil’s Nests except in Dungeons. It wasn’t unusual for Hobgoblins to be here, as they have a symbiotic relationship with Goblins, but it was extremely bizarre for Kobolds to be joining them as well.
Monsters have no concept of helping each other. Even if a common enemy like a group of adventurers is present, they don’t think of joining forces.
Monsters are nothing but natural enemies and prey to each other.
There are three exceptions. The first is when the monsters are being controlled by humans. However, there was no reason for such legendary Tamers to be unleashing monsters on these adventurers.
Then, the second exception.
「Could it be that the King has appeared or something?!」
Kachia swung her bastard sword at a speed too quick to be followed by the eyes, releasing a【Spinning Cut】that cut down two Goblin Archers.
「The King?! That’s not a funny joke!」
Her shield-wielding companion dealt a killing blow to a Kobold Rogue with his trusty shield, but he couldn’t deny that he had a bad feeling about the situation.
Monsters of different races cooperating happened when they were being controlled by an even more powerful monster. A stronger monster with the intelligence to dominate other monsters and greed that was even known to humans.
A demi-human-type monster dictator, bearing the title of “King”.
The appearance of such a monster is widely known within the Adventurers’ Guild as a disastrous event.
If such a monster has appeared, and these Goblins and Kobolds were cooperating to fight the adventurers, then –
As if to confirm these fears, a ferocious howl that sounded like a pig’s roar sounded out and a large group of monsters appeared from within the forest.
Orcs. Orc Knights, wearing armor and holding shields. And behind them, calmly looking in the adventurers’ direction –
「Shit! It’s the third possibility?!」
With his pride as a shield-bearer on the line, the man used the【Stone Wall】and【Stone Shield】martial skills consecutively to buy his companions enough time to escape, but it was like a single person trying to stand against an avalanche.
Sitting on a throne made of a Treant, a three-meter plant-type monster that even a two-meter-tall Orc would have to look up at, Bugogan listened to the reports from his advisors and sons.
「Bugih, bumohjigi, bugogoh, bumoh.」
It seemed that weapon and armor manufacturing was progressing well. He was being told that equipment had been distributed to all of the Orcs and slaves, and preparations were satisfactory. But it seemed that one of the Kobolds who were making them had become useless.
「Bumoooh! Bumomon! Bugiih!」
He was being told that his soldiers’ training was going well, and if Bugogan ordered it, they would destroy any enemies with no fear of death. Of course, that was a given since they were of inferior races, but having usable pawns was better than having unusable ones, so he did his best to make sure they were as loyal as possible.
「Bugogogon, bugigi, bukebubohoho! Buhohoho!」
It seemed that there wasn’t quite enough slaves. Goblins and Kobolds multiplied like flies, but their numbers had decreased considerably after they had been ordered to attack a Ghoul village previously and hadn’t quite recovered yet.
Bugogan ordered them to gather more from random locations away from Ghoul villages.
「Bugogogoh, bumooooh, fubooh bugigyagyah.」
And as usual, it seemed that there was a lack of females. It would be fine if the useless, low-intelligence pawns were satisfied with Goblin and Kobold females. In fact, this was mostly how wild Orcs reproduced.
However, since there were more high-quality females here, it was likely that they saw them and couldn’t hold themselves back.
Bugogan let out a sigh. If a low-intelligence creature impregnated a female, the resulting offspring would be another low-intelligence creature, whether the female was a Goblin female or the female of a more precious race. Why couldn’t they understand their position?
However, he was only a ruler because he could rule these low-intelligence creatures, and since they were his pawns, it was a fact that he needed increase their numbers.
「Bugoh, Ghoul bugogobumomomoh.」
If they attacked any more Ghoul villages, it was possible that the Ghouls would notice them, but that was not a problem. As Bugogan informed them that they would soon attack more Ghoul villages and capture their females alive, everyone other than the Orc who had reported that there are not enough women gave vulgar smiles.
Even the Orc Mages, who were considered far more intelligent than normal Orcs, couldn’t suppress their greed. Bugogan was exasperated by the Orcs’ behavior.
Just why were these inferior races so weak, foolish and vulgar?
No, that was why they must be ruled by a high-class existence like Bugogan.
Indeed, they must be ruled by him, as he belonged to the higher class of Noble Orcs.
Patting his own golden, mushroom-shaped hair, Bugogan changed his way of thinking and excused the foolishness of his subordinates.
On very rare occasions, a leader bearing the title of “King” appears among Goblins, Kobolds or Orcs. But in such cases, this leader is only a King of the race that it belongs to.
In contrast, high-class races as a whole are superior to lower races. High Goblins, High Kobolds and Noble Orcs. Members of this race are far stronger and live much longer than those of lower races.
Their obese appearance is similar to the corrupt nobles of the past, so the Noble Orcs’ race title ironically includes the word “noble”, and they are Rank 6 at minimum. Considering that normal Orcs are typically Rank 3, their ability in battle is on another level.
They are highly intelligent and live about as long as humans. They can even use magic. And they possess a power that causes inferior races to obey them unconditionally. Even an Orc King that the Orcs elect themselves would bend his knee before any Noble Orc.
Bugogan came from a Devil’s Nest ruled by such Noble Orcs... Not a small forest like this Devil’s Nest, but a large Devil’s Nest that covered the entire southern part of the Bahn Gaia continent.
However, he was the defeated loser of a power struggle that had occurred there.
Bugogan had survived and crossed the mountain range. Burning with the ambition of one who has been defeated, he turned into a conqueror.
He would have the lower races follow his rule, build his own empire and one day conquer the human nations. With that as his objective, he had put in much effort and gone through many hardships.
He had made all of the Orc villages in the Devil’s Nest to come under his rule, eliminated the particularly foolish Orcs who were even less intelligent than monkeys, selected slightly more intelligent individuals and placed them in higher positions. He had them abduct Goblin and Kobold females to increase their numbers, and in order to have more competent subordinates, he used an ugly, filthy Goblin female to create sons.
He hid his existence from the Ghouls and adventurers as he gathered power. And now, ten years later, his empire was now a large force.
After culling the failures, he was left with three sons, and his Orc servants who had survived training numbered three hundred. There were a hundred each of the Goblins and Kobolds who were his slaves.
If the Adventurers’ Guild were aware of these numbers, they would surely send out an emergency disaster containment request. There was no doubt that adventurers of B-class and above would gather from all over the nation. That was why Bugogan was careful not to be noticed by adventurers. He had ordered his subordinates to make sure to either capture or kill every single adventurer they attacked.
The other enemies that Bugogan was tired of dealing with were the Ghouls. Ghouls were individually about as strong as Orcs, but they were intelligent. Goblins and Kobolds killed other members of their own race if they belonged to different groups, but if the Ghouls were faced with a common enemy, they would forget their past quarrels immediately and form an alliance.
Bugogan didn’t believe that the Ghouls could defeat them, but there was no way to avoid large losses of his subordinates. That was why he had been eliminating one small village at a time, letting none escape.
The most dangerous of the Ghoul villages was the village of a hundred Ghouls, led by an elderly Ghoul mage. There were many of them, and each individual Ghoul was strong. Until Bugogan had taken control, the Orcs had been nothing but sources of meat for that Ghoul village that were easily provoked.
He didn’t want to make trouble with such a Ghoul Mage’s village. However, a Kobold slave had brought Bugogan some good news.
It seemed that the problematic Ghoul Mage was nearing the end of her lifespan.
Bugogan gave a command and the only non-Orc monster in this throne room, an old Kobold with white fur, stepped forward.
This old Kobold was a Kobold Shaman, a Spiritualist. Spiritualists were rare even in the large Devil’s Nest to the south beyond the mountain range where Bugogan had come from.
It used its abilities to communicate with spirits and benefited Bugogan through the prophecies it made, thus protecting the position of the Kobolds in Bugogan’s empire. The prediction that the old Ghoul Mage would die of old age soon was one of the prophecies made by this Kobold Shaman.
However, the Kobold Shaman’s ears were drooping down and its shoulders were trembling. It was whispering in a small voice, but it wasn’t communicating with spirits right now.
Listening to the Kobold Shaman’s whispers, the Orc Mage translated its report for Bugogan.
『The old Ghoul Mage that was supposed to die of old age is still alive for some reason. She won’t die unless she is killed. And I don’t know why, but lately the spirits haven’t been listening to what I tell them to do and I don’t know what’s happening inside the village.』
Hearing this, Bugogan stroked his own hair with his fingers as he contemplated the situation... and then picked up his beloved magic sword that was leaning against his throne and swung it down towards the Kobold Shaman.
Wiping the blood from the blade of his sword with a cloth, Bugogan ordered that the corpse of the Kobold Shaman, which had been split in half from the top of its head down to the waist in one attack, be added to the food supplies.
Since this inferior Kobold was being useful, he had appointed it to this position, but what was that report? The one who had been going senile wasn’t the Ghoul Mage, but this Kobold. These creatures were nothing but two-legged mongrels.
「Bugogoh! Bubobio, bugobuon, buhoho, buhihibumo!」
Bugogan had thought that there would be nothing but bad news today, but there was also something good.
Bugogan’s eldest son Bubobio had led some slaves and servants on a mission to take some adventurers as prisoners and had safely captured them.
Among the five of them, one of the males had died, but the remaining one male and three females were injured but captured alive.
At the news that adventurers had been captured, and especially at the news that there were three females, the servants became excited.
「Bugobu, buhihibu, buhohohibuhibuhi.」
However, he would first have them spit out whatever information they had about the human society that Bugogan would conquer in the future. After all, female humans used as mothers would break after being seeded once, and there were not many of them.
However, after that, the three females would become mothers and the male would become food. Since Bubobio had made a great achievement, Bugogan decided that he would be allowed to have one of the females for his personal use as a reward.
Both punishment and reward were needed to rule.
One week later.
Vandalieu was breathing in the winter air that was surprisingly clear despite the humidity of the forest, while crushing medicinal plants, minerals and magic stones into powder to use as alchemical catalysts when his movements suddenly stopped.
「Boy, if you do not concentrate, who knows when you will learn the skill... Boy?」
Zadiris, who had been watching him work, she was confused to see his hands unexpectedly stop.
Vandalieu was looking into empty air, nodding and shaking his head, making noises as if responding to someone speaking to him.
「Boy, have you finished stuffing the roots? Shall we stop the lesson here for today?」
Worried that she had been forcing too many lessons on Vandalieu, Zadiris called out to him uncertainly, but it didn’t seem that he was hallucinating from being too fatigued. He turned his head to face her.
「I just heard from a Kobold Shaman’s spirit that there’s a large village of Orcs deep in this Devil’s Nest, led by a Noble Orc, and he seems to think that this Ghoul village is a nuisance to him.」
Thanks to an information leak from this spirit, Bugogan had failed to keep himself hidden.