|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1282 words|
The man who was in the middle of chanting reacted to my voice and looked at our way. The children on the other hand remained motionless. Same for the other man.
“Who goes there!”
“That’s what I want to ask. What is going on here?”
He asked in a high-pitched, nervous voice, and I purposely returned his question to provoke him.
I wasn’t sure what was going on, but assuming it was some kind of a ritual, the children’s lives might have been in danger.
Fortunately, Maxwell was still invisible, so as long as I gained time for him, he could overturn the situation. Just as I was thinking that, Maxwell whispered to me in a low voice.
“Reid, it seems that the children have been drugged.”
“Do you know what drug it is?”
“It must be the Living Doll or something similar.”
Living Doll was a drug that even I have heard about.
It was sort of a drug that, once administered, made one’s ego extremely faint and made them lose the ability to take spontaneous actions.
Naturally, as it could be used for the wrong purposes… Or rather, it was only used for the wrong purposes, it was banned throughout the continent. Since they administered it to children and took them to a place like this, we could give them a definite guilty verdict.
“Can you neutralize it?”
“I can only use the Antidote spell through contact. I have to do it one by one.”
“I leave it to you. I will attract their attention meanwhile.”
“Remember not to be too reckless.”
After I answered back with a similarly low voice and got his response, his presence started to go away. During this time, the man was still yelling hysterically, but he didn’t seem to have noticed our conversation.
“Agh, damn it, what the hell is that guard doing outside! It took so long to prepare these sacrifices, but now the summoning is going to get interrupted!”
“Oh, what are you trying to summon?”
“I have no obligation to tell you that!”
“Then maybe only the reason why you chose this place?”
“Shut up! Wait, you’re a child too. This way, I can have more sacrifices…”
Ah, right, I was a child too. Since I was acting with Maxwell, I was acting like my previous self. At any rate, he was considering me as a sacrificial candidate too. Not that I planned to obediently accept that.
He seemed to have thought of me as a child and underestimated me.
“I… If you look down on me, it won’t end well for you, you know?”
Maxwell was on his way to save the children, so I wanted to gain as much time as I could. With that in mind, I decided to drop my appearances and started talking in a manly tone.
Hearing my tone, the man’s eyes went wide.
“That foul tone… Did you already have a man to teach you all that!”
“Like hell I do!”
I mean, it was common knowledge that sacrifices were more effective when they were virgins. So I could understand the reason he was asking that. Still, just the thought of doing that with a man was enough to give me goosebumps.
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If possible, no, even if I was fruitless, I’d still choose a woman.
“No, I didn’t mean that. I’m inexperienced of course.”
“Then you should be perfect as a sacrifice.”
“Right… I mean! Look, they say you have to take a good memory in the afterlife, right? So at least tell me why you are doing this.”
“Hmm… You are right. This is the place of Evil Dragon Colchis’ demise. It is a place where a vast amount of lifeforce and soul had dispersed, so to speak. Using the deep grudge of this place, I can open the gate to the otherworld. In other words, I can summon a stronger Devil.”
The man started responding to my question somewhat proudly. He seemed to be quite easy to manipulate, didn’t he?
While thinking that, I directed my attention to the other man. He still hadn’t moved for a bit.
It was as if he had been administered the Living Doll as well. Of course, with his hood in the way, I couldn’t even see his expression.
Rather, I couldn’t even make out his figure from the outside. It could be that he was someone being threatened by the intruders.
That said, I couldn’t let my guard down. Unlike this hysterical man with a loose tongue, people like him were more dangerous. I knew that very well.
The talking man became even more excited and took a grand pose while raising his hands. His hood came off in that momentum and revealed his face.
Under the hood was a nervous man with a pale face. If it was just that, I could have passed it as nothing out of ordinary, but he had a horn on his forehead.
He seemed to have taken my surprise as disgust and started getting more violent.
“So you’re the same! You’re discriminating against Half-Demons too! What did we ever do wrong!”
“You are trying to sacrifice children now.”
“No, you’re just drawing the conclusion from the result. We are wishing for the world’s destruction and rebirth exactly because we have been unjustly discriminated against all this time!”
“Now that sounds so pointlessly majestic.”
“Those Six Heroes had a Half-Demon among them, and yet there has been no betterment in our treatment. If it’s like this, then we shall purge and reform the public opinion through force!”
“Okay, I fully understand that you are nuts now.”
In other words, this guy was the same as that orphanage priest from my previous life.
Still, could this guy really gather five kids? I just couldn’t possibly see that happening.
“Hey, how did you gather these kids?”
“It was almsgiving!”
“That’s… a secret.”
“Gah, now you’re pissing me off.”
But well, we had a slave trader acting in Raum too. In the Northern Alliance where public safety was still insatiable, not to mention a lawless area like Scion mountain range, perhaps getting hold of children wasn’t so difficult.
At any rate, Maxwell seemed to have reached the kids who were in his blind spot. I guessed that from his presence alone.
“Well, fine. But even if you sacrifice the kids and summon the Devil, the damage wouldn’t be so widespread, right?”
“That is only if we summon some small fry. But what if it was instead one that rivaled the Evil Dragon Colchis?”
“What did you…”
“It has been known even in the past that this place is suitable for summonings. Even Colchis is said to have been summoned.”
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I gasped instinctively at his words. But I could see the logic behind it. The Evil Dragon Colchis appeared just that suddenly from the northern bounds. I couldn’t imagine that Dragon staying still somewhere until it grew to adulthood.
In that case, the only other explanation was that it arrived from somewhere.
“Unfortunately, the practitioner cannot predict the scale of the summoned existence. But if we repeat it multiple times, we should be able to summon one as strong as Colchis sooner or later. That’s why, I cannot allow anyone to interrupt me now!”
Just as he said that, he faced the other man and raised his hand.
“Go, Zellkarn, catch that child and turn her into another sacrifice!”
Bidding his order, the other man started to move. His hands crawled out from his mantle—eight in total.
The other man… turned out to be a Devil that looked like a terrestrial octopus.