Chapter 41 – Hero’s Return
After I captured the necromancer Curtis, we looked around for battle treasure.
There were 20 giant hydras and basilisks we defeated.
「Since the heads regenerate, we need to dissect them.」
「Not because we’re going to EAT THEM.」
「I know already!」
Cruz said happily as she cut the beasts up.
I left Vi-Vi and Femm to look over Curtis while I helped in getting treasure.
「Maybe the reason you had the stomachache was because you ate “almost” zombie meat.」
「Almost-zombie meat? What kind of condition is that?」
Cruz looked confused.
Luka, the expert on these things, explained.
「In order to be a zombie, you have to have all of your free will controlled, right? In order to do that, it takes a lot of magic.」
「These zombies had both extreme size and regeneration cast as well. These things were filled with a bunch of different spells.」
「They’re so full, it’s almost like a curse.」
Even though Cruz had nothing to be scared of.
She was also very strong against curses as well.
「In order to change something to a zombie, you have to use maggots. They invade the brain and take over the actions of the zombie. Parasites are well-known for making the host move in certain ways to die.」
「Yes, like making grasshoppers and praying mantises jump in water so that birds will eat them.」
「Yeah, which leads us to the real problem. The reason your stomach hurt was because of those bugs…」
The usually happy Cruz was now freaking out.
Even Cruz was no fan of bugs.
Especially bugs that would attack you and take over your brain and make you move without control. That’s probably what this necromancer was using.
The magic involved super-charged magical parasites that would turn living creatures into zombies.
「Cruz, when we get back, you need to take some deworming medicine.」
Cruz looked pretty shaken up.
Millet’s medicine was stomach medicine and poison removal medicine. Poisons also were different with adventurers, nobles, and villagers.
An adventurer’s poison was usually the poison from some magical monster. A noble usually had to deal with arsenic or some other assassination poison.
And a villager’s poison was usually food poisoning…they all had to be dealt with differently.
It wasn’t rare that worms caused food poisoning as well.
That’s why Millet’s poison cure probably had some kind of deworming medicine in it.
However, there was no reason to tell the villagers about what had happened. Just let Cruz learn from her mistakes.
「Listen, Cruz, you need to learn from this and eat more proper foods, okay?」
Femm barked in a way that sounded like a cry.
「What is it, Femm?」
『I can’t believe I let my pack eat that!』
「It’s not your fault, Femm.」
Either way, Femm was a bit depressed.
As a king, it felt responsible.
After we were done collecting the treasure, we headed back.
Femm bit onto Curtis’ net and dragged him back. No need to be nice.
When we got back, we checked on the wolf pack.
「Are you all okay?」
They all looked healthy again.
I petted as many of them as I could. Luka did the same.
Cruz ran up and tugged on Millet’s dress.
「Millet! Make me some deworming MEDICINE!」
「Cruz, what’s wrong? Calm down!」
Millet was confused as to why Cruz was flipping out.
「Millet, did the antidote you gave Cruz have a dewormer as well?」
「Yes, it’s in every poison antidote.」
「See? Aren’t you happy?」
Cruz plopped onto the ground dejected.
「I was so scared that I would turn into a ZOMBIE!」
「We’re glad you didn’t, Cruz.」
Strongly resistant Cruz. If the dewormer just weakened the worms, it’s obvious that her body would take care of the rest.
Perhaps the parasites were just one way of many to turn something into a zombie. Even so, she didn’t become one.
Also, you had to adjust it to each type of being. Because they set up a nest inside of you, there was very little chance that Cruz could become a zombie.
But for a brief time, they made Cruz feel a lot of pain.
It must have been because the parasites had very strong regeneration.
「Let me check you magically, just in case.」
The parasites in zombification weren’t normal. They were magical.
They all gave off a little bit of magic.
It was hard to find them, but if you knew there was a possibility that they had infected someone, you could kind of find them out.
「Okay, please do, Al.」
Cruz quickly stripped off her shirt…she was almost toples…when…
「HEY, WAIT A SECOND!」
Luka freaked out.
Because of her I only got to see a mild amount of underboob.
「Cruz, you DON’T need to take off your clothes!」
I used magic to scan over Cruz’ body carefully.
After 10 minutes.
「Yeah, I can’t find any parasites.」
She was very happy.
「Just in case, we need to check the wolves too.」
Since doing it once on Cruz helped me know what to look for, each of the wolves only took three minutes.
One hour altogether.
「Fine. There aren’t any in the wolves either.」
The wolves seemed very happy about that.
After looking at all of them, Luka said,
「I’m sure Millet’s medicine had a big effect, but it might also be because of Moofy too.」
「Moofy can cure any curse on any animal.」
「Since those zombie bugs are like a curse, Moofy probably made recovery faster.」
Vi-Vi said happily as she petted Moofy.
「Good job, Moofy!」
Since everyone was confirmed okay, it was now time to interrogate Curtis.
He wasn’t scared, since he saw me there with Cruz and Luka.
Even though his hands and feet were bound.
「You made a dragon zombie in the west mountains. You messed up and ran off alone and made hydras and basilisks here.」
「So, were you actually thinking of bringing the Demon Lord’s army back?」
「The Demon Lord must return. You should enjoy the little peace you’ve been given to live in.」
「I see. So what’s the proof he’ll come back?」
Silent as the night on the important part.
「Listen, you said you were strong with offensive magic.」
「Yeah, I was a very effective member of the Demon Army.」
「But you suck at magic circles.」
「And at making zombies. One of your hydras obviously ran away.」
「It also seems you can’t make very powerful parasites. Where did you learn this?」
It seems he wasn’t going to provide us with answers. Vi-Vi was the only one among us that knew how to blab on forever, so…
「How many people in the Demon Army are good at making zombies.」
「None, really. First of all, the Demon Lord actually banned them from making zombies.」
I glared at Curtis.
「Curtis, you broke the Demon Lord’s orders…don’t you feel embarrassed now trying to bring him back?」
「Hmph. The Demon Lord gave us the ability to make zombies. It’s just the sub-bosses didn’t KNOW about that.」
It might be that Curtis’ words weren’t lies.
In the Demon Lord’s battle, there were dozens of times that the Lord used zombies.
That’s why we all knew that he was using zombies in his army.
As I explained that to Vi-Vi, she looked back at me, confused.
「You know…you may be right. As soon as I lost to you guys, I ran as far away as I could.」
「You sub-bosses are the WEAKEST! You’re a disgrace to sub-bosses!」
Curtis said with a smile at Vi-Vi.
Femm bit down over Curtis’ hair and started shaking him like a ragdoll.
「Eeeek Eep! Stoppppp! OWwwww!」
「Okay, that’s enough.」
After a short while, and a few shakes more, Femm stopped.
Curtis’ front hair was either pulled out or messed all over his face.
We didn’t learn really anything important from interrogating Curtis.
Millet, Collette, Femm and the other wolves took turns guarding and eating dinner.
It wasn’t hydra meat either, but chicken meat.
Right now, beef was the cheapest meat in Mulg.
However, you can’t just eat Moofy’s meat right in front of Moofy.
That’s why everyone ate chicken.
And during eating.
「Vi-Vi, hey, over here.」
Cruz and Vi-Vi whispered secretly.
I guess female fighters do have things to discuss.
The next morning.
I was still worried about the wolves, but now they were completely recovered.
They went out to hunt, or slept under the storage house.
Also, it was time for Luka and Cruz to leave the town.
「Thanks for everything. Stay safe.」
「I’m going to be lonely again…」
Millet was ready to cry.
「Don’t cry…come on.」
Luka tried to comfort Millet.
「No, no, no, no, no, no!」
「No, no, no, no, no!」
Cruz threw something like a tantrum and Collette imitated her.
「Why are you throwing a tantrum? You have a lot of work to do for the king.」
「You have to take in Curtis to be judged!」
「You can let Luka do that!」
「Stop messing around!」
Cruz looked ready to cry.
「You can come back anytime.」
「Heh heh heh.」
Cruz looked a little happier.
But Cruz was a hero. A busy person. She wouldn’t be back for a while.
「And don’t tell ANYONE that I’m living here in Mulg, okay?!」
We waved over and over and said our goodbyes, and Luka and Cruz went home.