Chapter 70 – Blood Relatives (3)

Chapter 70 – Blood Relatives (3)

All of Rococo’s hunters were dead.

Vikir and Aiyen approached through the foul odor and heat of the corpses.

“Is this ……?”

Aiyen’s eyes narrowed.

Rococo’s hunters were talkative, even in death.

They were screaming with every fiber of their being why they were dead.

There were signs of vomit and diarrhea everywhere, signs that they had tried to warm their chilled bodies with bonfires and fallen leaves, and, crucially, red spots on their skin.

Aiyen swallowed hard.

“So this is what warriors look like when they come out to hunt.”

Only the relatively healthy would have gone hunting.

He had no idea what the condition of those left behind in the village would be.

“Let’s go.”

Vikir led the way.

Vikir and Aiyen walked straight through the channel and into Rococo’s territory.

Normally, they claim a large radius as their territory and leave markers along the way.

They usually hang skulls or corpses to warn trespassers, but strangely, the markers hadn’t been updated.

They had been left up for a long time and were already covered in moss and mold, making them hard to recognize.

It was uncharacteristic of the Rococo, who were usually diligent about warning off intruders.

“Something must have happened to the village.”

Aiyen pushed through the Rokoko’s boundaries and headed for the low-lying hills that were their home.

There was no sign of life inside the village.

Nor was there any smoke, despite the fact that it was past mealtime.

At the entrance to the village, Vikir and Aiyen stopped in their tracks.

It wasn’t the lack of guards. There were no people wandering around inside the village at all.

The haphazardly constructed barracks were empty, their floors overgrown with weeds.

Crude household items lay abandoned on the ground everywhere.

“Where did they all move to?”

Aiyen frowned and walked into the barracks, pulling on his insignia.

The moment.

Yue Yue Yue-.

A huge swarm of flies burst out of the barracks.

The stench of filth and rotting meat was overpowering.

Inside the tent lay three small children and a woman.

They all looked as if they had died not long ago.

Vikir walked past the insignia of the other barracks next door.

“The others are similar.”

The natives of Rococo had been exterminated before they could even get out of their barracks.

Most of the bodies were rotting and unrecognizable, but the skin of the few that were still in relatively good shape after their deaths was invariably marked with red spots.

“What is this, a plague?”

Aiyen said, shaking off the chills that ran down his spine.

Jungle warriors are particularly sensitive to poisonous plagues. No wonder Aiyen was so frightened.


Vikir’s mouth fell open, speechless.

Now that he thought about it, he had heard of this event before his regression.

“……The Red Death.”

The memory became clearer the more he stuttered.

A dreaded plague called the Red Death had certainly been circulating around this time.

A class one plague that killed nearly every barbarian and similar in the jungle.

It was so widespread that it even reached the borders of the Empire.

Once infected, the victims were crippled, lying helpless and slowly dying.

Their metabolism is extremely slow, and it takes a long time to die.

Red spots would appear all over the body, vomiting and diarrhea would occur, lethargy and pain would overwhelm them, and they would finally collapse and die.

The contagion was so rapid that the savages feared that mere eye contact with a sick person was contagious.

“How did they cure it?”

Bikir searched his memory a bit more. It was so long ago that it seemed to take a moment to recall.


“No, slave!”

A hand tugged at Vikir’s collar.

He turned to see Aiyen shouting urgently.

“Quickly, we must get out of here!”


“Why? It’s a curse! It’s a curse from the gods!”

For once, she was actually scared.

Bikir grinned and grabbed her wrist.

“Don’t worry. It’s a plague.”

“What!? That’s even worse! We have to get out of here! This place is cursed! You Rococo bastards, every time you practice your unholy commands, you end up like this……!”

“Calm down, it’s not that easily transmitted.”

Vikir glanced back at Rokoko’s village.

Aiyen jumped in surprise, but she didn’t run off on her own.

She merely shivered, clinging to Vikir’s collar and following closely behind.

“Ugh…… ugh. Aren’t we really being cursed?”

“If you’re so scared, go back first.”

“And if you die because you’re cursed?”

“If you die, you die.”

Vikir answered nonchalantly, and Aiyen, who had been trotting along behind him, shouted.

“Who cares!”


“Of course it’s me,” Vikir thought, but didn’t bother to say it out loud.

Well, whatever.

After a quick walk around their village, Vikir realized that the Rococo weren’t wiped out.

They just seemed to have moved on, leaving their dead and sick behind.

“Hmm, well. If there were carriers among the survivors, the outcome would be similar no matter where they fled.

Vikir sympathized with the survivors, who had been forced to make a desperate choice.

But there was no guarantee that they would be safe from the Red Death.

Still, this was a chance to learn more about the mysterious life of the Rococo tribe.

Vikir searched the Rococo’s barracks, grabbing a few books and other items that seemed important and stuffing them into a sack.

They would one day make a great scholarly contribution to the study of the enemy and the barbarian tribes of the Black Mountains.

Just then.

I heard Aiyen’s screams from outside the barracks.


It was an urgent scream, and Vikir quickly ran out of the barracks.

Then Aiyen’s terrified screams became more pronounced.

“The curse! Cursed child!”

A terrible fear of the plague is characteristic of all the natives of depths.

Vikir silently shifts his gaze to look in the direction Aiyen is looking.

He saw the child standing on the outskirts of the village, next to the smallest and most shabby barracks.


Vikir squinted.

The child did not appear to be from the Rococo.

Could he have just turned five?

She had black hair, red eyes, and skin as white as snow.

She was standing barefoot next to a crumbling, shabby barracks, and she didn’t seem to want to leave.

Behind the barracks rose a crude stone cairn that looked like it hadn’t been built for long.

A few purple flowers, apparently freshly plucked, lay haphazardly in front of it.

“Aaahhhh! It must be a ghost, a cursed child of the forest god! We must flee, Vikir! You go first, I’ll be right behind you! Awww, my legs are weak……!”

Aiyen was shaking and sobbing.

Vikir smiled wryly at the sight of the child he hadn’t seen in the past two years of living together.

But aside from that, she felt like she needed to know who this child was.

“I can recognize the last of the Rococo tribe.”

Vikir walked forward and sat down in front of the child, bringing them to eye level.

The girl flinched as if frightened, but she didn’t avoid Bikir’s hand on her head.

“Who are you?”


Vikir asked, but the girl didn’t answer, just shook her head.

Vikir asked a few more times, but the child didn’t answer.

Instead, it listed a few words in a stuttering tone.

“Rococo. Slave. Kitchen slave.”

The words were a clumsy mix of rococo and imperial.

Vikir couldn’t help but think of context in the string of words.

“So you were a slave in the Rococo. What’s your name?”


Bikir nodded at the girl’s answer.

“Your mother must have given you an imperial name.

Pomerian wasn’t a very common name, but it wasn’t a very difficult one either.

Either way, it was clear that the girl was from the Empire.

Without further delay, Vikir moved on to the next topic.

He was just about to ask what had happened to the Rococo tribe.

The next words out of the girl’s mouth stiffened Vikir’s body.

“…… la Baskerville.”

The moment. Bikir’s body froze as if struck by lightning.

The Baskervilles’ last name, the middle name “La,” which is only given to direct female relatives.

Not many people in the family have been given the middle names Les or La.

Bikir’s eyes widened, and the girl tried to hide behind the barracks’ pillars as if frightened.

No sound escaped her throat for a moment.

That’s what happens when a person is too surprised.

Unable to hide his disbelief, Vikir raised his hand and wiped his face a few times.

After drying his face, he regained his composure.

“Child, come here.”


The girl hid behind a pillar, only peeking her head out.

Vikir wondered what he could do to calm her down.

Just then, Aiyen, who had been in and out of the barracks, threw something at Vikir.

“Hey. There’s this inside. Ew, it’s not cursed, is it?”

Vikir took what Aiyen tossed him.

It was a small pendant made of gold.

The front of the brooch was embossed with the tooth-like symbol of the Baskervilles.

Aiyen remembered the Baskervilles’ emblem from the vial of potion Vikir had given her once.

“Isn’t that your family’s symbol?”


That lent a little more credence to what the girl had said.

Vikir traced his finger across the Baskerville crest on the pendant.

The pendant was made in a style that was quite old, an accessory that could only have been fashionable thirty years ago.


Vikir opened the pendant.

Inside was a small portrait drawn with extreme precision.


Vikir squinted at the portrait.

It depicted a nameless young woman, a young man, and a girl who appeared to be in her early teens.

The young woman had beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes, the young man had the dark hair and red eyes characteristic of the Baskervilles, and the girl in between had dark hair and red eyes as well.

Vikir recognized the young man in the portrait at a glance.

“Hugo le Baskerville! No way!

It was definitely Hugo as a young man.