Chapter 98 – The Devil in the Zombification Details
When I walked with Luka and Yureena into the kitchen, Moofy and Femm joined us.
Soon after, Collette and Vi-Vi, playing with her, joined us as well.
「Yureena, you’re here early.」
「Well, we only had a little work, so we decided to come early, Vi-Vi.」
Usually Yureena, Cruz, and Luka came over quite late.
A healer was always needed, so it was expected.
On the other hand, if Yureena was here early, that meant that there were only a few people ill in the capital.
It was something you liked to hear.
「Luka and Yureena are here with information about all that zombification going on.」
As I said that, Vi-Vi jumped forward at me.
「A report about the zombies!? We get to find out who the big bad guy is?!」
「I don’t think it’s that big a deal.」
「Ah, too bad.」
Shiggy started moving around in my chest pocket. It jumped out and onto the table.
Yureena, started petting Shiggy, almost out of habit.
「So, what now? Wait until Cruz shows up?」
「I’m fine with either way.」
「We should wait for Cruz. It’s bad to exclude her.」
Yureena said, so we decided to wait.
Just then, Collette grabbed Shiggy from the table.
「Sthiggy, let’sth play!」
Shiggy flapped its wings happily. Femm walked round behind Collette softly.
It might be that Femm was going to protect Collette in the change that Shiggy got angry…a very good, protective wolf.
Collette held Shiggy in her arms, rocking it.
Shiggy, the baby, and Collette, the mama. And I guess Femm was the father?
「Ah, Shiggy you dirtied your diapers, time to change them!」
「Papa Femm, you need to help!」
Femm awkwardly played along with Collette version of house.
Shiggy had no idea what was going on, but seemed to be having fun.
She wrapped a towel around Shiggy’s lower half while Shiggy rustled its wings happily.
On the other hand, Moofy rubbed her head into my hand for a scratch.
「My hand doesn’t taste as good as Cruz’, huh?」
Just like a little calf. Maybe Moofy just liked to be babied too. I rubbed her head.
I made tea for Vi-Vi, Luka, and Yureena as we waited for Cruz to return.
After a while, she finally walked in the door.
「Al, I’M HOME!!」
「Welcome back. Luka and Yureena both have reports about all that zombification going on.」
「Luka, Yureena, great job!」
Cruz complimented them, and Yureena blushed.
Luka just looked at all of us seriously.
「We talked about this beforehand, and we both were able to obtain information received from the church and the adventurer’s guild. That’s why we’re quite use that the information we’ve received is highly probably.」
Cruz looked really interested.
Yureena began explaining the information.
「As we were looking for parties responsible for the creation and use of these zombies, one specific devil seemed to be buying materials and information about zombification.」
「A devil…not a demon?」
「Yes, well, it may be an underling of a demon. If it was a demon doing this, it would stand out too much.」
Since demons specifically targeted humans, they were treated as the strongest of magical beasts. If a report came in about one of them in the city, they would instantly be chased down.
On the other hand, even though there was bias against devils, they were pretty much left alone in the city.
Depending on the region, there were chances that they would be persecuted.
「Is that devil you speak of a former leader in the Demon Lord’s army?」
「No, it’s someone different. Have you heard of this before…the forest hermit?」
「I’ve heard the name before.」
「Who is that?」
Cruz said with a confused look.
Seems Cruz never heard the name. However, Cruz never really knew a lot of the strange lore that existed in this country.
It had to be a very talented magician. But, I never heard anything especially good or bad about them.
Definitely a hermit though. The hermit wasn’t fighting with the Demon Lord’s army, nor was it attacking human habitations.
The hermit wasn’t helping anyone either.
I guess there was nothing to say other than the hermit was a talented magician.
「Um…when we fought the Demon Lord’s army, do you remember that massive forest we went through?」
「Yeah, the forest on the eastern side of the Demon Lord’s region, right?」
「There. It was a wasteland only a decade ago.」
「Wha? Are you sure?」
Cruz was surprised, but it wasn’t something impossible.
When we all passed through as Cruz’ party, the forest was verdant with every type of tree and shrub.
「So the forest hermit changed that wasteland into a huge forest?」
「Yeah, but, it only happened in the place just outside the Demon Lord’s region. It’s a place not well known by humans.」
Yureena then patted Cruz kindly on the head.
「That’s why Cruz didn’t know much about it.」
「So, you’re saying that this forest hermit is hoarding all the materials for zombification that it can find?」
「Not hoarding…but definitely gathering.」
This made no sense, though. Why would a forest hermit suddenly contact humans about zombification?
And why was the hermit suddenly gathering zombification materials?
「So you’re sure this is the forest hermit?」
「Why can you be sure?」
「The adventure guild has little contact with the hermit, but they trade sometimes. Because of this, the hermit had an adventurer’s guild card created.」
It’s true that in order to trade with the guild, you had to have a card, and if you had one it was convenient.
Especially if the hermit was using the materials found in the forest to trade with the guild for other materials.
If you just had that card, you could make any financial transaction at the guild.
「So, this hermit was using the adventurer card to make purchases, and that’s why we found who it was.」
Still made absolutely no sense. It’s true that using the card is very convenient.
But if you did, you instantly left traces.
It was extremely thoughtless. Definitely not the type of thing a great magician like the forest hermit would do.
「…I wonder if the zombification is over.」
「You can’t deny the possibility.」
「Suppose the forest hermit was done with the zombification, then a demon could use the hermit as a very important piece in his attack. I don’t think the hermit would gather materials like that then.」
Luka’s hypothesis was probably right.
Either way, we needed to track down this forest hermit, just in case.
「So, what’s the name of this forest hermit?」
The cup of tea that Vi-Vi was holding fell to the table with a crash. The tea spread over the table.
Luka quickly cleaned up all the tea Vi-Vi had spilled with a washcloth.
Everyone started in surprise at Vi-Vi, even Collette, who was still playing house.
「Did you burn yourself?」
Luka and I asked her, but Vi-Vi just stared ahead without a sound.
The cup hadn’t hurt Vi-Vi though, at least.
Moofy stared at Vi-Vi with a worried face.
Vi-Vi asked in a quiet voice.
「Someone you know?」
「…she’s my older sister.」
Vi-Vi’s face was pallid.
「If that’s your older sister, that means she taught you magic, right?」
「Was she good at making zombies?」
「Of course she wasn’t!!」
It may be that she was wrapped up in something bad. Maybe someone was making her zombify beings.
「Anyway, we need to go pay Vi-Vi’s sister a little visit.」
I said, and Luka nodded at me with a serious look.