Chapter 72 – The Red Death (1)

Episode 72 The Red Death (1)

Vikir reminisced about the past, long ago.

His mind flashed back to the strange outsiders that Balak’s hunting party had seen not long ago, and the dagger with the serpentine symbol.

‘……Come to think of it, that incident happened around this time.

The “event” is the Red Death.

A terrifying plague that leaves victims covered in red spots, vomiting and diarrhea, and then dying.

The Red Death quickly spread throughout the jungle and killed a staggering number of natives.

The Red Death raged on a scale that rivaled the Black Death that once plagued the Empire.

This dreaded plague has spread like wildfire, reaching far into the Empire’s territory.

It was not until the Morgue’s weatherman, Camus, raised a barrier of fire to stop its spread to the borders of the Empire.

In addition, a holy woman, Dolores, sent by House Quavadis of the Holy Order of the Sacraments, has been able to heal the sick with her unique and powerful holy powers.

However, the cure was limited to the Empire, and the natives living in the depths of the Black Mountains suffered a death rate of nearly 40%.

These circumstances worked in the Baskervilles’ favor.

The barbarian tribes played a crucial role in the Red and Black Mountains’ ecosystem, and with them largely out of the picture as predators, lower-level demons overpopulated, leading to monster waves and a spike in civilian casualties.

The surge in their numbers has increased the influence of the Baskervilles on the border, which has only served to strengthen Hugo’s political position.

“I can’t let that happen.

So Vikir was going to stop this plague.

Well, he’d heard a fair amount about the Balak over the years.


Within the Balak, the old and the young were at odds.

The older generation believes that the plague should be stopped by performing rituals, and the younger generation believes that the village should be abandoned and moved elsewhere.


Patriarch Aquila frowned and remained silent.

Deep down, she doesn’t want to leave this village, where her ancestors’ graves lie.

And the shaman Ahheman understood her feelings.

“How can we abandon this holy place where our ancestors are buried? This migration is ridiculous! We have been here for nearly two hundred years!”

There are more than a hundred ancestors’ remains in the holy sites around the village.

How they would be managed and cared for if they were to migrate was a key point of contention for Ahmed.

But Aiyen, who represents the younger generation, is not backing down.

“What if the plague comes back and kills all the children? Who will take care of our future then? Who will take care of the future of the tribe when the seeds of the future are gone when we go to collect the remains of our ancestors?”

As it turns out, Balak children do die.

Typically, Balak women start having children at age 14 and give birth to a new child every two years on average, which means they will have about ten to fifteen children in their lifetime.

The problem is that more than half of them die within the first month of life. Only about 20% of infants survive beyond three years.

Most of the children die from malnutrition, childhood diseases, war, and hunting accidents.

Add to that the fact that mothers die during childbirth or from the aftermath of childbirth, and the Balak have a much lower birth rate.

Add the Red Death to the mix, and there are no answers. There is only a dark future ahead.

Unable to bear the sight of her clanmates in the midst of a generational conflict, Aquila spoke up.

“The question is, what path does the Red Death take?”

What is the Red Death, and why does it cling to humans?

Unless these questions are answered, it’s essentially impossible to do anything about it.

To Patriarch Aquila’s anguish, answers came from many quarters.

“A curse! It must be a curse!”

“Wrong, it is a plague transmitted through the gaze!”

“It’s the spirits of your prey retaliating!”

“It must be because you ate a strange looking mushroom!”

“The ancestors are angry because we have neglected their mausoleum!”

“There must be a poisonous insect!”

“The gods have abandoned us, the forest gods!”

“The imperials have brought the disease with them!”

The people of Balak don’t know, but they don’t often say they don’t know.

They make a virtue out of giving crappy answers.

It was out of the goodness of his heart that he didn’t want to disappoint the person who had trusted him with the question in the first place, but…… wasn’t helping much in this situation.


Aquila’s brow furrowed in confusion.

Silently, a hand came up.

Vikir’s. His eyes met Aquila’s and he spoke.

“If there is a way to stop the Red Death, I know it.”

* * *

About ten days passed after that.

Clatter, clatter, clatter.

A demon tied to a rope was struggling.

A goblin, the smallest and weakest of the demons classified as similar.

It was currently hanging upside down with its arms and legs tied to the ropes, being tortured.


The goblin was being dipped into a large pot of water, pulled out, and repeated.

The goblin had been flailing around for a while, but suddenly it became very calm.

Soon, red spots began to appear on the goblin’s skin.

The goblin drooled and vomited, and stopped baring its teeth.

It slowly shudders in anticipation of its coming death.

Meanwhile. Balak’s warriors tossed the red-faced goblin into a pile of oiled pyres and set it on fire.

There was no room for pity, as the creature was a foul creature that kidnapped and ate human children.

Soon, the goblin with the Red Death burned to death.

Then Balak’s warriors turned their attention to the next goblin.

Before them stood Aiyen, clutching the goblin’s ropes.

“Vikir. Is the Red Death really transmitted through water?”

At her question, Vikir, beside her, nodded.

“Yes, it is. Contaminated water is the main culprit. But as long as you boil the water once, there’s no problem.”

“Really? Is that so?”

Aiyen looked at Bikir with a trusting gaze.

Then he took another pot of the same water and dipped another goblin in it for comparison.



The goblin died instantly.

Vikir put his hand to his forehead.

“When the water cools, we’ll put him in.”


Aiyen also hit his forehead with his hand.

Soon, the water in the pot was boiling again.

When the bubbling water had cooled completely, Balak’s warriors dipped the goblins into it.

Ten days passed, the incubation period for the Red Death, but the goblin did not become ill.

Then all the warriors of Balak, including their chieftain Aquila, exclaimed in amazement.

“We have found a way to overcome the Red Death!” they exclaimed.

“The answer was in the water.”

“You mean just boiling water and drinking it will stop the plague?”

“Vikir, you are a hero of our tribe!”

The praise poured in, the looks of respect and admiration.

The old are delighted and the young look on in admiration.

By nature, Vikir doesn’t like to be the center of attention.

But it is Balak custom to be sure when congratulating or praising, and everyone surrounds him, drooling over him.

Vikir responds to their praise and gratitude with a wave of his hand.

“Anyway. You have to be careful with the water. It can’t get in your mouth or eyes. It can also be infectious through the respiratory route, so beware of the water mist at dawn.”

Always boil water before drinking. Avoid wetlands as much as possible.

By following these simple rules, the incidence of red death is greatly reduced.

Avoiding contact with the feces or corpses of the sick is just common sense.

“What don’t you know?”

Vikir didn’t say anything in response to Aiyen’s admiring words.

Aquila said.

“Let the hunting birds spread Vikir’s teachings to the other tribes. Beware of the water.”

At that, everyone nodded. It was good for as many people as possible to know these things.

Then Aquila rose from his seat and came to stand before Vikir.

Vikir bowed his head in silence.

The first time he’d met her, he’d felt a sense of gravity, like a huge mountain range weighing him down.

But now he felt nothing of the sort.

Instead, I felt a sense of warmth, a sense of home, and a sense of compassion, like a real mother’s greeting.

Aquila smiled gently.

“Thanks to you, I can see a way out of this crisis, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

One would never recognize this woman as the Night Fox from her current expression and voice.

In response, Vikir could only bow his head.


“Well, the rainy season is coming soon, so how can you go away from the water?”

Someone questioned Vikir.

The shaman, Ahheman, stared at Vikir with a stony expression on his face.

He had once misdiagnosed a side effect from the drugs the merchants had brought as a curse.

When Bikir insisted that the Red Death was not a curse but a plague, and that it could be prevented, he seemed to decide that his position was under threat.

But he wasn’t entirely wrong.

When the rainy season arrives, the rivers will overflow, and countless rains will pour down.

The air would be filled with moisture, and there would be no way to survive the many aquatic creatures that would crawl up to the surface and carry plague.

The preventative measures of boiling water for drinking and washing certainly had their limits.

Balak’s warriors stirred.

Ahheman smiled a smile of conversion as he watched the number of agitated ones grow.

…… but.

“The civil works must be done before the rainy season arrives.”

Vikir, still looking nonchalant, was steadily taking the next step.

Dewatering (flood control).

It was necessary for Bikir’s future plans.