Second chapter of the week.
Arc 26: What can be done for tomorrow
Chapter 271: The Release, and the Second Death
※Depiction of cruelty. Reader’s discretion is advised.
Several days passed since the small war with the Kingdom of Sandora, and I’ve ended up running about dealing with the aftermath.
First, I gather the slaves in the royal capital (excluding those who were registered as crime slaves), hand them some money from the large sum of reparations seized from the Kingdom of Sandora and send back those who have a place to return to with [Gate]. As for the places which I haven’t visited yet, I ask them to allow me to peek into their memories to send them back home.
I’ve already notified the members of the East-West Alliance in advance so that I’ll be able to return the slaves back to their hometowns smoothly to some extent.
Naturally, I also help the folks from the tribes of the forest sea that Pam and her tribe entrusted me to return back home. I return those guys first to the Great Forest Sea without missing a single person.
「Yes, please line up. Don’t panic, and please fall in line horizontally」
Before passing through the [Gate], the slaves have their [Subordination Collars] disempowered by a [Secret Weapon] created by the professor and Tica from the [Laboratory], thus releasing them from slavery.
Tica injects an object that looks like a syringe without a needle into the collars of the slaves who are lined up in a row. It’s an artifact called [Initialize] that the two of them created.
In simple terms, it’s an artifact which completely eliminates every magic that has been applied to anything.
In a certain sense, it’s a dreadful magic tool. Even precious artifacts of an ancient kingdom will degrade into ordinary tools if that artifact is applied on them.
Assuming that the barrier, which was applied on the aforementioned behemoth island, is something that the Islanders can’t do anything about, then it’s possible for this artifact to be a solution to eliminate that barrier.
Though accurately speaking, it’s a magic tool that has [Overwriting] and a powerful [nothing] as enchantments, and the one pouring large quantities of magic power is naturally me. Therefore, it will take an enormous amount time for anyone besides me to charge it. The amount of magic power it has is so enormous that it will take an ordinary magician about a year to fully charge it, I guess?
Every manager from the Babylon numbers disempowered the slavery chokers, and the freed slaves are then sent back to their hometowns through a [Gate] one by one.
There are also obstructing people who don’t want to release their slaves simply because they just have to exist. However, the knights from the knight order of our household suppress and throw them into the cages where the slaves have been put into after tying them up.
There are also those who personally refused to be liberated from slavery, albeit those exceptions are few. It looks like they are satisfied with their position and aren’t being forced to say that statement against their will, so we’ve allowed them to do as they wished.
Though we still disempowered their chockers just in case. Everything after that is up to the feelings of the person in question. … So there are people who feel that way, huh? Yep, I guess there really people who are like that
Several days have passed since we’ve liberated the slaves in the royal capital, and now we have to free the slaves from the other towns.
It’s troublesome that the feudal lords of those towns are striking against us, so we surround the towns with a few dozen frame gears and intervene by force, making them lose their motivation to oppose us.
We’re spreading a rumor that it was the King of Sandora who had previously declared war on Brunhild and lost his head soon after. As such, we’re threatening those feudal lords that they will meet the same fate as their king if they oppose us, seeing that Sandora is a defeated country.
Truth be told, I really don’t want to act a threatening manner like this, but I still dared to play this hand since this is necessary in order to free the slaves a lot easier.
By the way, the slave woman, who decapitated the King of Sandora, says that she doesn’t have a place to return to, so I then ask her to come to Brunhild. According to her, she’s a former adventurer, so I don’t think she’ll have any problems living in there.
People like her, who neither have a place to return to nor people waiting for them, are being sent to countries they wish to live in. There are also people who are going to countries they haven’t visited yet before and those who say that they will remain in Sandora.
Naturally, there are people who want to go to Brunhild, so I them receive them as citizens of our country. There are still both lands to reclaim and other jobs to do, so I think it won’t be problem for them to go and live there even if they will be living while just scraping by.
This time around, Kousaka-san reprimands me very harshly, but this event is somehow beneficial to us in a certain sense since we obtained laborers from those immigrants. As such, he isn’t saying anything about them. However, he still behaves as if he regrets for us not being able to acquire more reparations from Sandora even if we can, had I only conducted myself a lot more skillfully.
So with a lot of things happening here and there, it has taken us more than a month to liberate all slaves in Sandora. There are a lot of Sandora’s allies who tried to hide their slaves. They even got on board with us on top of helping us search for them. The majority of them are slave traders though.
All in all, the slave traders have lost their employment and became crime slaves on the contrary. They have also been kidnapping citizens of other countries, confining them to trade them, so this is a natural outcome. We will have those guys work in the mines their whole lives. The one with the master authority is me so I didn’t release them even onto the mine owners.
There are proper(?) slave traders who didn’t dirty their hands by abducting people from foreign countries. Therefore, I’ve decided to overlook their transgressions. However, I think that it might be safer if I send them to the mines as crime slaves, right?
Frankly speaking, the liberated slaves are probably considering to come back to Sandora to exact revenge on their former owners and slave traders for their grudges.
However, I have no right to stop that from happening. Revenge is something a person should decide for himself or herself. It’s fine for them to satisfy their vengeance if they have the resolution to be arrested, killed or turned into a crime slave afterward. Though it will be good if they won’t do something as foolish as that since they have finally been freed.
It’s possible that there are some among those treated as crime slaves who were imprisoned on false charges, so I‘ve decided to ascertain its veracity with a keeler polygraph made by the professor specifically for this. Asking them to raise their hands if they are innocent or not is sufficient enough to determine the truth. Well, the majority of them raised their hands shamelessly.
They have varying degrees of crimes under their belt, but I’m not a judge of Sandora. As expected, it’s not easy for me to understand enough the complicated backgrounds of those people who were forcibly made to commit a crime against their will so that they could be made into slaves.
Nevertheless, I ask Yumina to check their personalities as much as she can with her magic eyes.
In all honesty, I’ve been told that there’s no need for me to go this far, but I think it’s better to leave behind as little as possible of the thing called “slavery” as much as I can. It’ll be good if I can bury slavery even further by making it impossible to enslave the perpetrator and be owned by someone as one of the penalties when committing crimes, I think.
In any case, I, who was spending all my time and energy on this, am finally liberated. It was way too hectic, and I felt that I was a slave to this work until now.
Aah, freedom is wonderful!
=== === === === === ===
「… is what I hoped for, but how did it even come to this…?」(Touya)
I thought that I was finally released from those troublesome matters,
but here I am again standing alone in the audience hall of the Sandora Royal Castle.
The one sitting on the throne in front of me is the King of Sandora, Abdul Jafar Sandora the 3rd. No, the former king now, I guess.
『Gufu-gufu-gufu. The detestable sovereign king has finally shown up. Come and clear away our grudge!』(Abdul)
The decaying severed head starts to talk. The pig king is sitting on the throne while holding his head under its arms. His whole body looks deathly pale, and his clothes, which were gaudy before, are now worn-out and dirty.
It’s exactly as how he would look like after he became a zombie. What’s more astonishing is that the corpse of this King of Sandora has been resurrected in the cemetery it was thrown away into. I’ve thought that this was perhaps the work of the evil god, but no, he has nothing to do with what has happened at all — this one just dared to become a zombie. It looks like he has quite a lingering attachment to this world.
This zombie king first attacked the prime minister and pulled him in as a comrade. It’s said that someone will be revived as a zombie if he got his heart eaten by another zombie.
Following that, they’ve started to multiply their numbers like rats. We were busy with gathering and liberating the slaves in the other towns, so we failed to notice all together that the royal capital has been turned into a city of zombies.
There are also the zombie generals and ministers lined up in full force in addition to the king in the audience hall. Each one of them has a pale complexion and are opening their mouth slovenly. Something is out of their mouth. Something is definitely coming out.
『Gufu-gufu-gufu. I’ve already obtained new slaves and a new power. I will make you bastard my slave as well. Buhi-hi-hi-hi』(Abdul)
Well, this “Buhi-hi-hi” part of you suits you. Did this guy advance even further in his change into an orc after his death?
I then turn my head that’s fed up with him when three men and one woman — it’s a woman, right? — with orc-looking faces appears from behind the throne.
『Buhi-i, Father’s grudge is our grudge. You better be prepared』
『Gufu-gufu, we will drag out your guts and eat them』
『B-b-b-brains, I want to e-e-eat brains』
『Buhi-i, Buhi-hi-hi-hi-i, a living man!』
Uwaa. They certainly are the orc prince and princess. Has he gone as far as to even make his own children into zombies? Still, they are the splitting image of him. I wonder, are they really humans? No, they are zombies right now.
『Bu-hi-hi-hi-i! How can you win against us now that we‘ve obtained immortal bodies? With this power, we will once again make those runaway slaves our property! 』
He’s saying the same thing once again, huh? There’s a saying that “once a fool, always fool”, but that’s a lie. It can’t be cured even after you die. I’ve understood this sentiment clearly on this occasion.
「I guess I should have you die properly since you are that perfunctory, no, regrettable」(Touya)
『So noisy! You guys, finish him!』(Abdul)
Although I slice with Brynhildr the arm of the zombie general who came attacking me first, he then quietly comes attacking me again. It looks like I don’t need to restrain myself at all. They’re called zombies even though they are rotting… or are they rotten since from the start?
『Buhi-hi-hi-hi-i! It’s futile, futile I say! These immortal bodies know no pain! The attacks of you bastard are, to begin with,…』(Abdul)
『Ugyowa-a-a-a!! Ah, it’s hot! It’s hot! It hu-u-urts!?』
So it’s really effective, huh? The zombie general writhes in agony after I apply recovery magic on him. Since they are undead, recovery magic is their natural enemy.
As for the final blow, I even turn to this guy and sprinkles the content of a bottle I’ve taken out from [Storage].
『It burns!! I-I am melting?! My body is me-e-e-elting!! Why is tha-a-a!?』
「Why you ask? It’s holy water」(Touya)
The zombie general vanishes in pain as if he has evaporated all while raising smoke. May the Lord have mercy on you. As I should’ve expected from the holy water certified by the Holy Kingdom of Ramisshu. Its effectiveness is extraordinary.
『B-bastard! Why do you have something like that?!』(Abdul)
「Eh? My opponents are zombies, so I may as well bring this holy water with me. By the way, I’m also adept at using purification spells」(Touya)
『Wha-what did you say?! Kuu!』(Abdul)
Having raised his body from the throne, the pig king tries to run away noisily. The other zombies also start to run away as if following him from behind. They are fast even though they’re zombies.
Their feet slips and all of the zombies fall down at once. Some among them even have their limbs and heads broken due to the crash and their organs spilling out from inside their bodies. Zombies were unable to regenerate — though~ they could keep on living as long as their brains aren’t destroyed or until they are purified.
「It’s troubling. Come forth light, shine the light of exile, Banish」(Touya)
The surrounding zombie retainers turn into light and vanish due to the purification magic I’ve cast on them.
『No, no-o-o-o! I don’t want to die again!』
『I am vanishing, vanishi-i-i-ing!』
Leaving behind screams of agony, the zombie retainers disappear. The ones left behind are the blood relatives of that pig king.
Then, the princes decided to leave the pig king who’s still rolling about, rush up to me, and kneel down with a surging jump. This is the first time I see someone prostrating themselves with a jump. It’s all good and well, but didn’t you just break your legs due to the impact from landing?
『Buhi-i, we were only just abiding by to what we were told to do』
『We aren’t related to that pig』
『Overlook us, ufu-un』
『B-b-b-bastards! You’re willing to betray your father?!』(Abdul)
The pig king screams while his severed head is still continuing to roll on the floor. Hearing that, the four looks back and inclines their heads.
『『『『Buhi? Who were you again?』』』』
The pig king exposes his anger, shutting his teeth so hard that it looked like his blood vessels would pop out soon. Seeing that, I spray the four who’s laughing so hard with a bucket filled to the brim with holy water over their heads.
The four people, or rather the four piglets, raise a lot of smoke from their bodies and vanish. This time, the pig king is now the only one who expresses a joyful smile as he looks at what’s happening in front of him.
『Bu-hi-hi-hi-hi! Serves them right! They betrayed their parent, those fools!』(Abdul)
How should I say this…? These guys are truly irredeemable. Dead slaves won’t rest in peace after all due to what they’ve done.
「Oh Piercing light, sacred holy lance, Shining Javelin」(Touya)
I deal a deadly blow to the body of the pig king using a lance made of light magic. The undead body, having caught the holy lance, catches fire and turns into ash in an instant.
『M-My body is ?!』(Abdul)
The pig king gazes at his own burnt body while his head is still rolling beside the throne. Now then. Shall I apply the finishing touches?
I take out a water tank that’s quite large from [Storage]. The water inside is not holy water, but just a regular one.
I open a small [Gate] inside that water and summon several [living beings] from the great river Gau. Those beings are long and narrow, with 10cm in length at most, and are freely swimming in the water. I’ve also enchanted them with light-attribute enchantment.
『Wha-what is that?』(Abdul)
「It’s a fish called “Candeira” which lives solely in the great river Gau and a fish that eats meat. I was told that they have a huge preference for rotten meat」(Touya)
『D-Don’t tell me…?』(Abdul)
The head of the pig king falls down into the water tank due to the movement magic. In the next moment, the candeira fishes inside start to nibble at his tainted meat all at once.
『O-o-o-u! S-stop, n-no, not my e-e-eyes! They’re eating my eyes!』(Abdul)
「U-uwa, they are full of appetite just as I was told」(Touya)
The candeira is a fish which resembles the candiru fish from my former world.
A candiru is a slim fish with a 10cm long body who then lives in places like the Amazon River. It’s a ferocious meat-eating fish which was said to bite the flesh of a large fish, penetrated its body and eats the internal organs.
It’s said that the candiru is related to the catfish, but they are a far more dangerous fish than even the piranhas. They also have a trait of attacking preys larger than themselves in groups. Even humans aren’t exempted from their diet. It has gone so far that they even called it the“Murder fish”.
This Candeira is holding the same magnificent trait as it is.
「It’s no use. The slaves you’ve killed won’t forgive me if I spare you. Still, it will be fine if I leave you beneath the graveyard with your decapitated head as it is」(Touya)
I remember the slaves whom we’ve discovered when were liberating the slaves inside the castle. They had been killed while being tied up in the dungeons. It wasn’t just the women, corpses of very young children are in there as well.
I regret that this pig didn’t feel pain and died with just his head being cut off from his body. A simple death like that is inexcusable. I, in a certain sense, is grateful that he revived. It might have been in everyone’s prayer reaching out that wished to have this pig king experience an even more cruel death.
『Ugyee! My face, they are eating it! Ouch! Ouch! They’re entering! 』(Abdul)
I’m sure that it’s painful because the candeira are enchanted with light-attribute magic. The pig king won’t die of suffocation because he’s now a zombie. It will likely take a whole day until this fish is done eating all the meat from the head.
「You better repent about everything that you’ve done until now. Though it doesn’t look like the slaves you’ve killed will forgive you」(Touya)
Since he’s a zombie, he will likely die once he loses a part of his brain. Well, whichever is fine.
I invoke [Banish] on all of the zombies in the royal capital — with the exception of the pig king — and clean them up.
Following after the city Astal, the royal capital turned into a dead city. There’s no more chance for Sandora to be revived. Not even the slightest chance. It should sink beneath the sands before long since I destroyed the city’s stronghold a bit with earth magic.
With this, the souls of the slaves that were killed should feel a bit more at ease. I then leave the desert capital while those thoughts.