The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 112: A Righteous Argument
The sudden tummy ache left me befuddled for a moment before Ancarin chimed in with the answer: “Ever since I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you use the bathroom…”
So my tummy ache was because of that…
I’ll give her that...I haven’t actually gone to the toilet since returning to the Western Human Realms. To be exact, I’ve only done a number one…
How should I say this, I… had gotten used to the simple lifestyle of consuming souls as a devil...these souls decomposed into a variety of nutrients when they entered my stomach and since they weren’t corporeal, there was no waste product left behind. Thus, I never had to worry about performing a number two for the longest of time.
Since I’ve returned to the human realm, I’ve eaten quite a lot of human food...while I did pee from time to time, the matter of a number two had slipped my mind completely… (Author: As his pee pee is still missing, taking a piss while standing causes the pee to spill all over...so whenever he pees...you get the idea…)
Sh*t, I just got screwed over by my own diet…
With an anxious look on my face, I hastily asked Ancarin to lead me to the nearest toilet. As he watched us scurry off, George almost mistook that as us trying to escape. However, he quickly changed his mind when he noticed the direction we were rushing off to.
Excrement had an important function in rural villages like this; they functioned as nutrients for their crops and thus the villagers had an idea to create a public collection point, otherwise known as an outhouse. Thus, with no mental preparation whatsoever, I entered this facility and then...I felt something within me die…
With that bit of personal matter settled, Ancarin informed me that the old village chief was going to hold a banquet in his home to welcome us.
During our battle with the Third Chief, this old man was noticeably absent even though he knew about the ongoing battle. To put it simply, he was afraid of dying so all he could do was welcome us with food and wine after the battle. Rather than welcome, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he was doing whatever he could to keep us in the village.
The village chief had a pretty decent house made of wood; two stories high and it even came with a courtyard of its own. It was in this courtyard that the banquet was held. By the time we arrived, the banquet table already had several people seated around it. The old chief, George, Dioh and a blue, long-haired youth with average looks. Atop the table were over ten dishes, the majority of which were meat with a couple of vegetable and fruit dishes at the side.
Despite the slight impoverishment of the village, the banquet was surprisingly satisfying. This was after all, a hunting village. Thus other than farming, the village relied heavily on the mountain game for sustenance as well. Given the wide variety of meats available, our meal was pretty delicious in spite of the cook’s average skills.
During our meal, the village chief would bring up the matter of the Wolf’s Fang from time to time which was understandable given their current circumstance. In truth, the Third Chief came here looking for us and yet the bandits ended up leaving with a vendetta against them...shouldn’t we be the main characters here? I think there is something wrong with this plot…..
As for Dioh, the main contributor behind this blood feud, he was currently sitting around the banquet table enjoying his food without a care in the world. Beside him was a stone-faced George who didn’t show much expression even when offered a drink by the village chief. All he did was down the wine before he returned back to his sulking.
“Sigh, if those bandits attack us in force, our village is doomed…” Having taken a swig from his mug, the village chief let out a helpless sigh. “Dioh...you’ve really stirred up a hornet’s nest this time.”
“What are you afraid of! If they dare to come, I’ll make sure they never go back alive!” exclaimed the teen in question without any remorse on his face. As he took a massive bite out of a steak, he gave his chest a slap in a manly fashion and said: “Even if I can’t do that, there’s still my big brother over here!”
...Well, weren’t you the considerate one, dragging your brother down with you the moment you realized you were not up to the task. No wonder he’s so sullen, I would be too if someone dug a hole for me to jump into and bragged about it.
“All you know how to do is cause trouble!” George yelled at the teen, however upon seeing the kid turn his nose up at him defiantly, he lost the mood to scold him and instead gave a dejected sigh: “Our parents died while we were still young so can’t you just behave yourself.”
“What’s wrong with killing bandits?” he rebutted in the typical rebellious teen fashion. “When I was young, you taught me not to fear the strong and to uphold justice. Do you know how much I idolized you back then!”
“...” A constipated look crossed his face for a long while before he finally forced out a reply: “Upholding justice requires strength. Only a fool would stick himself out for justice without any strength.”
“So you’re saying that’s why you stood by idly as they got bullied!” Somehow the flames of war ended up spreading to our side of the table as well as the kid pointed a finger at me while yelling at George. Unfortunately for him, his glare had no effect on George.
George glanced at the three of us before he promptly turned to his foolish brother and argued with him: “Between the village and a bunch of strangers, who is more important?!”
“There is only justice in my eyes, there’s no difference between a stranger and a friend!”
“So you’re saying that as long as you’re satisfied, it doesn’t matter if the village gets massacred because of your actions!?”
“I didn’t say that, I’m just telling you that justice is impartial. It doesn’t discriminate!”
“Then do you understand that your “justice” might just get our village massacred a few days later! Massacred, you hear me?!” Without waiting for his infuriating response, George tugged at the teen’s collar and continued with his tirade: “If Dawson were to attack us, exactly what do you expect us to do!”
“Don’t we have you to defend us!” Not caring about his older brother’s action, he maintained his sitting posture as he stared at the angry hunter right in the eyes and said unwaveringly: “Aren’t you really strong? That Dawson isn’t even a match for you!”
“...hmph…” He released the kid’s collar and slumped back into his seat, downing his mug as he did so. The pint of alcohol slid down his throat with several noisy glugs after which he slammed the mug back onto the table and crassly wiped his mouth with his sleeves.
“He wasn’t fighting at his full strength then,” said George in a bitter tone.
“...” Dioh fell silent upon hearing that.
From the looks on their faces and their conversation, George must’ve fought with Dawson previously. Furthermore, it must’ve been a pretty fair fight which ended in George’s victory. According to George, he only won because his opponent went easy on him. However, putting that aside for now, it least meant that he won the fight.
Was that why he was able to finish off the Third Chief with a simple sneak attack?
“Honestly, Dawson isn’t the main problem here, our biggest problems are his minions which number over 500 and his two to three hundred trained wolves. They’re simply too much for our village to bear.” He continued having calmed himself down slightly.
George closed his eyes for a second before pouring himself a cup of wine, but instead of drinking it, he merely held it up and continued talking: “Even if I do my best to stall Dawson, how are you going to handle the near thousand strong bandit troupe?”
By now, Dioh had calmed down as well. He lowered his head and gave this matter some thought before answering: “We can set some traps to stall them while everyone else whittles them down with their bows. There’s no way we’ll lose to those curs in an archery battle.”
“Those bandits aren’t fools either. They know how to create traps as well and won’t fall for ours so easily. Plus, you seemed to have pegged their intelligence at the level of a mere beast.”
“That is nothing short of foolish. They have long range weapons as well and in an archery battle, their 500 strong army is more than enough to overwhelm our skill...after the battle today, the amount of able bodied hunters in our village is less than 80 if you don’t count the wounded and the dead.”
“I understand…” He said in an attempt at admitting his error. However, his face clearly said otherwise. Although the mention of casualties dampened his mood slightly, this show of sadness was quickly replaced by his bull-headed need to maintain his front.
Don’t be fooled by the kid’s show of strength, deep down, he was just as saddened by this sordid affair as everyone else.
“I think we can try to rope in the nearby security forces,” interjected the Village Chief in the midst of this sudden silence. “If we give them enough benefits, they should be willing to aid us. Plus, this plan wouldn’t require much time either. A trip back and forth would only take a total of two days.”
How ironic, the forces charged with protecting this region’s security ended up turning into an extortion gig. What was to be their duty was now a chance for them extort money from the villagers; if you didn’t pay the protection fee, they would not deal with the bandits...I swear this situation was so common nowadays.
Before proceeding forward, it’s worthwhile to elaborate on matters regarding the security forces in the Western Human Realm.
Nobility could be divided into a number of ranks that started from, knight, baron, viscount, count, marquis, duke and finally ended in king. In theory, all kings were of the same level, but in reality there existed differences in each nation’s strength which resulted in them having different standings.
The lowest denomination within the security forces were villages. The security of a village was handled by the lowest grade of nobility, the knight. However, that didn’t mean that every village had a knight that looked after it. Only villages located in strategic locations or those that were rich in resources could enjoy the protection of a knight.
In short, only villages who could bring those noble masters some form of benefit were worthy of protection. This meant that Plateau Village didn’t possess an officially sanctioned security force. For the most part, security was handled by the villagers themselves as no knight would want to waste their time in a poor village like this.
This was why they ended up being bullied by the Wolf’s Fang.
“The security forces are...useless. Dawson has men stationed out there as well. Even if we pay them, those knights will merely take our money and not show up.” George’s mood could only be described as despondent right now. While it hadn’t reached the point of giving up, he showed an unprecedented level of dejectedness.
“What about mercenaries?” said Ancarin after hearing out their opinions. “As long as we’re willing to pay, mercenaries will take on any job we give them. We should hire them to fight the bandits.”
Agreeing with this point, Dioh gave the table an excited slap as he said: “That’s right, as long as we manage to hire mercenaries, we don’t have to be afraid of those bad guys! Although hiring them would take a lot of money.”
“With the bandits nearly being a thousand strong, the amount of mercenaries we would have to hire is slightly troublesome, but given our wealth wiping out an entire bandit troupe shouldn’t be a problem as long as we fork out whatever we have.”
I thoroughly approved of this suggestion seeing as it only required money. With over 10,000 gold coins left in our coffers, it should be more than enough to hire the needed amount of mercenaries. Plus, killing these bandits should net us some loot as well. For all we know, raiding their nest might bring us enough loot to recoup our losses and more.
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!