Episode 52 Slaves of the Savage Tribe (1)


A small bird chirped.

Vikir opened his eyes to the sunlight streaming in.

The morning light stabbed painfully through her body.

As Vikir tried to sit up, he grimaced at the pain, as if his entire body had been shattered.

With superhuman strength, he managed to keep his upper body upright, but getting fully to his feet was painful.

“Where am I?

Vikir thought back to last night, which could have been any number of days ago.

He remembered hurling every ounce of his strength at the darkness under the water.

Mana squeezed hard, aura burned fiercely.

I’d thrown my mid-level Gradient power and my magic sword, Beelzebub, at it, and the result was devastating.


Madame Eight-Legged, a gigantic demonic creature shrouded in darkness, was a creature beyond Vikir’s expectations.

At the crucial moment, she would have been killed if she hadn’t flinched from the sudden blast of light.

And for a creature that could generate such firepower, Vikir’s recoil damage was not insignificant.

Muscles and veins throughout his body were ruptured.

The strain on the bones that had to support them was even worse.

The bones of the fingers and forearms that gripped the sword were shattered by comminuted fractures, and the sharp points of spiral-bent ribs pierced his intestines.

The leg bones that had been thrown out had suffered comminuted fractures, transverse fractures, and variously shattered segmental fractures.

As a result, there was no bone, muscle, blood, skin, or anything else.

“At least he’s alive.

Vikir breathed a sigh of relief.

He had the protection of the River Styx and the power of Beelzebub’s ‘stiff-necked breath’ to thank for his survival.

The consequences of misjudging Madame Eight-Legged’s fighting prowess were painful, but he was glad to be off Hugo’s radar for now.

His death will be reported to Baskerville soon.

There were plenty of eyewitnesses to his death, including Adolph the Mad, a camel, a Staffordshire, and triplets, so I needn’t worry about proving it.

Furthermore, he did not die for not knowing his fractions, but rather for saving the next head of Morgue from demons and barbarians.

‘……The Baskervilles will benefit greatly from future diplomacy with Morgue.

Moreover, the Baskervilles are a knightly family, and this tale will contribute greatly to their image both internally and externally.

Such a feat would likely be rewarded by the imperial court.

Even in death, he would not be treated as a pathetic bastard for bringing honor and profit to the clan.

If you return to your family in the future and reveal that you’re alive, you’ll be treated even better.

“I must recover quickly and regain my former strength.

Vikir used the power of Murcielago to heal the wounds on his body.

Bones and wounds that were healing at a ridiculous rate, though not immediately.


Vikir suddenly noticed the ropes around his neck.

A noose hung like a collar around Vikir’s neck.

This was the other thing that had saved Vikir’s life, besides the protection of the River Styx and the power of Murcielago.

If it hadn’t been for the noose, which flew up from behind and yanked at his throat just before the creature’s attack crushed his entire body, Vikir would have died.

It was a very well-timed snare that nearly broke his neck and killed him, but he’s glad to be alive.

Vikir clutched at the noose around his neck.

The end of the noose’s rope ran through the tent and out the door.

Vikir lifted his head and looked back inside the tent.

A cone-shaped tent made of animal skins. A few wooden supports were the only poles, and the floor was littered with dried leaves.


A glass vial of some sort was lying in a circle beside him, and upon closer inspection, he realized it was a potion bottle with the sigil of the Baskervilles.

The smell of dry earth, fallen leaves, animal fur, and stewing potions mingled in the tent.

Vikir crawled like a dog out of the tent.

Her whole body burned with each step, but she needed to get a sense of her surroundings.

Soon, the landscape outside the tent came into view.

Large and small tents made of leather, drums beating everywhere, flames leaping from high piles of wood.

A large number of barbarians moved among them.

Black or silver hair, brown skin, and well toned muscles in both men and women.

Tops made of deer or jaguar skins, bottoms of cloth dyed with acorn juice.

Tattooed and scarred, they dismembered the carcass of a demon and skinned its flesh, while children played with birds.

The atmosphere was cheerful and lively, but raw, unrefined and unprocessed.

Vikir knew instinctively that this was the home of the Balak, a barbarian tribe.

In the heart of enemy territory, longtime enemies of the Baskervilles.

He should be on his guard, but he was too weak to do so now.

Vikir wondered what to do next.

Balak’s warriors walked past him, paying him no mind as he stood there alone.

The women and children stiffened a little and seemed wary, but that was it.

Just then.

“Quick, quick, quick, walk!”

A nervous shout came from somewhere.

Vikir turned his head to see several barbarian warriors dragging rope-bound prisoners.

The prisoners, standing in a line and staggering, were of various races.

Most were black-haired, brown-skinned men of other tribes.

Every single one of them had been tortured and abused in some way.

Vikir recognized a few familiar faces among them.

Warriors whose names he did not recognize, but who were surely members of House Baskerville and House Morg.

Some he’d met in the fortress, others he’d traveled with to this jungle.

Their entire bodies hung like fish from ropes, their eyes locked for the briefest of moments with Vikir, who wore only a single dog collar around his neck.



And then they walked past each other.

Vikir stood silent, watching them.

Then the Balak warriors stabbed their captives with the tips of their spears.

“Climb up quickly. Unless you want to be mauled to death by wolves.”

They led their captives to a tall tree.

It was an impossibly tall pole, covered in thorns that jutted out like blades.

Balak’s barbarians forced their captives to climb this bladed tree with their bare bodies.

The captives climb this tower of blades until they are covered in blood.

If anyone refused to climb, the barbarians would set fire to the base of the tree.

The tree was oiled on the trunk, so the flames continued to climb up the tree, faster than most prisoners could climb a tree.

Eventually, the prisoners would either bleed to death from being stabbed and cut by the blade-like trunks, burned by the flames from below, or plummet to their deaths on the ground below.

Thump, thump, thump!

Below the tree, the wolves were howling, pushing their captives up the tree.

Some had been impaled by spears or bitten by wolves for refusing to climb the tree of blades.

The horrific “Tree of Thorns Punishment” was devised by an old Balak shaman.

Vikir could only watch this hellish execution.


“Hoo-hoo, be thankful you don’t look like that.”

Someone says to Vikir.

Ahun. It was the barbarian warrior who had shot the camel with the tranquilizer needle the other day.

He was giving Vikir a murderous glare, as if he wanted to kill him right now.

“If you weren’t the captain’s pet, I would have boiled you right there.”


“Don’t just stand there, go find your master!”

Ahun kicked Vikir hard on the butt with his foot.


Vikir fell to the ground and stared at Ahun.

Ahun flinched slightly at the stare.

“What kind of eyes…….

There was not an ounce of agitation in those serene eyes.

Not the horrific deaths of his captives, not the pain of his battered body.

Ahun felt a shiver run down his spine as he realized that none of it had stirred Vikir’s soul.

Slowly, Vikir rose from his seat and began to follow the rope around his neck.

Ahun could only follow behind, unable to keep up with Vikir.

* * *

‘……The guy from earlier. You said his name was Ahun, didn’t you?’

He probably holds a grudge because he hurt his back falling off the wolf’s back the other day.

Vikir hadn’t forgotten the face of the man who had just kicked his ass.

But he couldn’t do anything about it in his current state, so he’d just have to put up with it for now.

Even now, the protection of the Styx River and the regenerative powers of Murcielago are slowly restoring Vikir’s body to its former glory.

In the meantime, Vikir has decided to visit the owner of the noose that saved his life.

After walking for a while, tugging at the rope around his neck, Vikir finds himself in a remote area far from the village.

A small spring fed a pool with a waterfall cascading down through the rocks.

A few crayfish could be seen crawling in the clear water.

A rope led to it.


Vikir stopped walking for a moment.

He’s not sure what to do when he sees that the rope he’s been following leads to the center of the pool and goes under the water.

Just then.


There’s a splash and a figure pokes its head out of the water.

Water droplets splashing around, hair a mix of silver and black, pointed triangular ears.

A girl with brown skin and big eyes walked out of the water, naked.

The end of the noose’s rope was tied tightly around her wrists.


Vikir looked straight into the barbarian girl’s face.

Dark, half-moon eyebrows, foxlike slant, eyes as clear as the puddle he was in now, red lips on an intelligent nose.

The charcoal-black color of his face was gone, but the look in his eyes was unmistakable.

She was the barbarian girl I’d met at an illegal slave auction during the cleanup of Underdog City.

They were diametrically opposed then. Vikir held her eyes steady.



A brief silence followed.

It was the barbarian girl who broke it first.

She tugged at the leash around Vikir’s neck and grinned.

“Get down.”