「It was really a close call! I can’t thank you enough! 」
The man, who was the chief of the village lowered his head as he thanked Ardis. He looked to be in his middle age and mature but, he was quite young considering he’s the chief.
Facing Ardis who had saved their village from the demonic being, 『Unholiness』, even when Ardis told him it’s enough, the chief never stopped lowering his head to Ardis.
Well, it’s a given since he was the chief of the village that Ardis saved but, it seems like that he’s personally very thankful to Ardis as well. It seems like the woman that Ardis had saved by a hair breadth was the chief’s wife.
In the end, thanks to Ardis’s feat, there wasn’t a single casualty in the village, there were just a few houses ruined because of the damage. It can be said as a fortunate among unfortunate.
If Ardis and Kyrill had arrived even ten minutes late, surely the situation would be unsavable. Because that the chief understood exactly that, he and the villagers couldn’t thank Ardis enough.
「Magician-san! Please rest well tonight! It might not be much but, please let us treat you to a feast! 」
The villagers which were released from the terror of the demonic beings had a bright expression, their excitement was all over the place. Since Ardis and Kyrill had already planned in advance to stay a night after Ardis’s job is over, they didn’t have any reasons to reject their offer.
Surrounding the well right in the middle of the village, houses after houses started bringing tables out and arranging them. Because it’s a frontier village, along with the fact that they were troubled by demonic beings for a while, the feast that was prepared was in no way extravagant or luxurious.
But, they were all smiling from their hearts and laughed loudly as they were truly rejoicing over the fact that there were no casualties and they can return to their daily lives. There were figures of people toasting all over the place.
「Honestly, thank you―. Thanks a lot―! 」
「You’re so amazing even at that age―! 」
「What―, no worries about the houses, we just have to rebuilt it―. It’s much better than have someone dying― 」
「Here, don’t be reserved and eat―! 」
The villagers all came one after another in front of Ardis, praising his strength and thanking him with a smile.
Their sentences which had a long suspense in the end is probably unique to the local area. It seems that other than the chief villager, everyone else had that quirk to the end of their sentences.
「But, Ardis-san? You look really strong compared to how you look――. We didn’t realize that that it was a parent demonic being――. If we knew then we would’ve evacuated immediately――. 」
It was a bearded middle-aged man who poured liquor into Ardis’s mug as he said so. At his words, Kyrill felt suspicious and asked from the side.
「Is it that bad if they’re parents? 」
「Nn―? Aah, the companion kid huh――」
It seems that the man had finally realized Kyrill’s presence for the first time after he was called out. The man was quite drunk already.
「Let’s see――. I don’t really know about other demonic beings but, 『Unholiness』 is extremely dangerous in its reproducing stage, it’s in a different level than when it’s by itself. 」
The reason behind that are the offshoots of the Unholiness.
「Unholiness normally don’t form groups but, it’s an exception during their reproductive cycle―. You also saw them right―? The offshoots―」
Kyrill silently nodded. The amount of demonic beings rushed out from the parent Unholiness, it was a scene right out of a nightmare.
「After all, Unholiness seems to lay a surreal amount of eggs―. Again, you seen that so you would know right――」
Then, he faced back to the man who was swinging swords and turning the offshoots into corpses just a while ago.
「And, the problem is the offshoots will consume every living being around them――. The reason why the Unholiness had taken nest around here to reproduce is probably because that the lake was full of preys――」
And the preys included the villagers, surely the man had understood that as well. He looked complicated as he continued drinking.
「But, if they have so many demonic beings born……. It’s scary to think when they grow up. 」
「Ah―, that’s not gonna happen―. Their kind, once they grow to some size, they start cannibalizing―」
「Yeah that――. The offshoots will even eat their own siblings, and only about five will be left at the end of it normally――」
Kyrill who heard that was convinced.
In the end, their numbers would decrease considerably. But, before that stage comes, they would not hesitate to consume any living beings in sight, they’re more than just being a trouble to those on the receiving end.
「That’s quite some knowledge. 」
「Ah―, you’re raised in the cities―? 」
「Ah, yes. I’m from Reiten. 」
「Is that so――. People in the city probably don’t have much interest in demonic being’s life cycle―. But you see―, everyone here is living alongside the threats of demonic beings―, it’s a matter that dictates our lives and deaths―. So, we get taught when we were kids――」
Living in a secluded village meant that threats could manifest any moment. If some dangerous beasts or demonic beings appeared and they just 「Didn’t know」. Worst case, all of the villagers would die.
That’s why, at the very least, the details about beasts and demonic beings in the area are taught as general knowledge to the kids here, the drunk man explained.
「And also I’m a hunter―. So of course I know more than others―」
From the story, it seems that it was him who discovered the Unholiness first. The man’s face tensed up, probably recalling that moment.
「Well, even so, our magician brother here dealt with all of them, so it’s nothing to worry now―. Huh? Did he use magic again―? Well whatever―」
Ardis who had finished fighting early reported to the chief villager that all of the Unholiness including its offshoots were dealt with.
Even if one escaped, it would mean huge trouble for the village. If Ardis moved to deal with the parent first, the offshoots’ movements can’t be predicted afterwards. That is why, it’s important to deal with all the offshoots first before the parent.
Ardis had even thought of that even while being surrounded by walls of demonic beings. Just as he thought, Ardis is an amazing person, Kyrill was once again reaffirmed of that fact as he looked towards Ardis. And there, being offered liquor by a group of villagers, the figure of a magician who had a tired and sleepy face.
Kyrill and Ardis who had stayed the night at the chief’s house headed towards the empty space in the village where all the remains of the Unholiness rested.
Yesterday, the villagers were going to burn all of it. But, Ardis came and stopped them. It’s not widely known but, the suckles on the tentacles of the Unholiness have an effect of absorbing mana, Ardis explained.
It’s not like it can be sold for a huge amount. But, the shaman that he was familiar in the capital told him to get some if he have the chance. Till now, it wasn’t known that Unholiness’ tentacles had any uses, so it wasn’t recognized as something to be collected normally.
But should there be any uses discovered in the future, the prices will definitely shoot up. The shaman that asked him to collect had a hobby of researching『Materials that didn’t seem useful』 other than running a shop.
By the way, the 『Round object that looked like a blue mineral』 that seemed to be of some use is totally useless. Since the night was already coming yesterday, they’ve decided to postpone collecting the suckles to today.
Having said so, if they left the remains of the demonic beings behind, it would just call for unnecessary danger. As such, Ardis had buried all of them a little distance from the village.
At the sight of the remains of the Unholiness disappearing into the earth as if eaten up, it can’t be blamed that the villagers had a surprised voice.
And now, Ardis resurfaced the hidden remains from the ground again. From the empty land that had nothing there before, two large Unholiness, and a surreal amount of the corpses of the offshoots appeared.
「Now then, I will be going to collect the suckles. Kyrill, just burn the offshoots after throwing them together. 」
Replying affirmatively, Kyrill who was stretching out his hands to the offshoots suddenly stopped as he realized.
「……This, there’s no problem holding it by hand, right? 」
Even if it’s a corpse of a young offshoot, it was still originally a dangerous demonic being. For Kyrill who had never even fought, it can’t be blamed that he felt uneasy touching a demonic being by hand.
「Hahaha, it’s fine. There’s no problem being barehanded. 」
While having an expression that’s like a dry smile, Ardis assured.
「If you’re concerned, use gloves? 」
「Eh, ah―. ……I will try my best. 」
Well, Kyrill was totally helpless when he left the sword to Ardis. He couldn’t try to burden Ardis with such a small matter again.
Kyrill made up his mind, grabbing the offshoots of the Unholiness. Just as he did so, Kyrill cringed his face unintentionally at the weird and disgusting texture of the tentacles passing through his hands.