Chapter 74 – The Red Death (3)

Episode 74 The Red Death (3)

The jungle is stormy and windy.

The tents on the walls fluttered wildly.

Inside the barracks, an open fire burns.

Hot breathing echoes from the beds, which are reddened by the firelight.

Ahul. A girl who had just turned fourteen lay there, moaning.

A pale spot on her skin, a red death, slowly eating away at her body.

Ahul’s brother, Ahun, clung to Vikir with a contemplative look on his face.

“Please, Vikir, please save my sister!”


Vikir closed his mouth and walked toward Ahul.

Red spots on his skin, uncontrollable bowel movements, soaring body temperature, pain in his joints, swelling in his neck, armpits, and groin.

These are all signs of the red death.

“Why did it happen?”

“I went to the swamp to cut down trees for civil works and stopped…….”

Ahun answered for me.

Ahul must have gotten the disease when he went deep into the swamp to cut wood.

“What shall we do, slave?”

Aiyen asked, looking worried.

“There’s nothing we can do about it, though, if he’s already fallen ill.”

Prevention is something anyone can do, but cure is the domain of the experts.


A flutter.

The door to the barracks opened.

It was none other than the shaman Aheman.

As soon as he entered, he looked at Ahul and Ahun and snapped.

“You’re bad, you two, wandering around without listening to your grandfather!”

Ahheman shouted, splattering spittle over Ahul’s groaning face.

“You deserve this because you were instigated by the words of that imperial spy! What comes to me goes around!”

“Grandfather, you speak harshly!”

Ahun shouted back, rising to his feet.


But all that came back was a slap on the ear.

Ahun sank to his knees, his cheeks reddening, unable to get back to his feet.

Achheman looked down at him in disdain as he fell to the ground.

“There is nothing different from my mother-in-law. worthless bastard.”


Thick tears began to fall from Ahun’s eyes.

Aiyen sighs with a ‘here we go again’ look.

“There is a cure.”

Vikir spoke up.

He snorted, and Ahun’s eyes widened.

Ahheman shoved Vikir in the chest and stormed out of the barracks.

“This is a curse from the gods, and the only way to make amends is to make a sacrifice. Now that things have come to this, I’m sure the chieftain will agree.”

The shaman asserted his authority until the end.

Whizz, whizz, whizz.

The wind and raindrops rush in through the open doorway, soaking everyone.

The only ones left in the barracks were Aiyen, Vikir, Ahun, and the sick Ahul.

Vikir said to Ahun

“First, I want you to collect Ahul’s feces. Make sure you don’t come in contact with it. Also, sterilize the used utensils with boiling water, and burn some wormwood in the fire to drive away any mosquitoes, fleas, or bats that might be around the house.”

“Oh, I see. Is that all I have to do?”

“Not just that.”

Vikir turned his head to look at Aiyen.

Then he said what he had originally planned to demand, a little more quickly.

“Take me out of the depths.”

Aiyen’s expression hardened at the words.

There is no discrimination for those who have come from outside and become part of the Balak.

They are free to go anywhere in the jungle, and inside the village, they are allowed anywhere except the chief’s barracks and the shaman’s festivals.

But only one thing.

They are strictly forbidden to travel outside of depths.

A Balak from outside the city can only leave the city limits if two conditions are met.


They must have lived in the town for at least two years.


They must be in a relationship with a native Balak and have given birth to three or more children.

Vikir didn’t meet either of these requirements.

But that didn’t stop him from asking to be taken out of the floodwaters.

“If you let me out, I will bring a cure for the plague.”

Hearing Vikir’s words, Aiyen bit her lip.

Would his mother and chieftain, Aquila, allow this exception? Probably not. Aquila was quite the principled woman.

‘She would most likely abandon him.

A small sacrifice for the greater good.

But Aiyen didn’t want to do that.

She didn’t want to see Ahul, who had always sung in her sweet voice and helped with the laundry and cleaning, dying of vomit and diarrhea.

…… But a more fundamental issue was tearing her apart.

Would Vikir ever return?

Technically, he was a foreigner who had been taken as a slave.

If we set Vikir free and allow him to go outside the depths, will he return?

Up until now, Vikir has been able to roam freely on his own, but only within Balak’s territory.

If Vikir tried to run away, Balak’s rangers and wolves would find him and bring him to justice that evening when they saw that the camp was empty.

Vikir wasn’t stupid enough not to know that.

But getting a pass to go outside the wall was a different story.

By the time he realized he was on the run, never to return, he would be out of reach forever.


Aiyen hesitated.

It wasn’t like her to hesitate.

In that brief moment, she thought deeply about the psychological factors that made her hesitate, and soon found the reason.

Looking into her own mind and discovering something she didn’t even know she had.

She looked up.

Her eyes were already red, the color of fire. The only difference was that unlike fire, they were moist with water.

” …….Go”

The master’s command fell.

* * *

Aiyen did not report to Aquila, for it was a given that she would not approve.

All responsibility fell to Aiyen.

Vikir ran through the night waters with the Pomeranian on his back.

“We can’t completely stop the plague with a flood control anyway.”

Besides, what about the other tribes that didn’t build the flood control?

A more fundamental solution was needed to prevent the spread of the Red Death, the revival of the empire, and even the Baskerville family.


Vikir crossed the river in one swift motion, stepping over logs as they floated downstream.

With all the stuff that washed up during the floods, he could run on the river, shortening the distance.

Just then.

Vikir’s feet came to a screeching halt on the riverbank.


The night was pouring with rain. A shadow streaked across the water.

Vikir turned to find Aiyen standing there, soaked to the skin, breathing heavily.

“Why are you following me?”

Vikir asks, and Aiyen opens his mouth to speak, but stops himself.

“I’m following my slave.”

“Don’t follow me.”

“I don’t want to.”

“I said don’t follow me.”

“I’m the master!”

Aiyen shouted in a bitter voice.

But Bikir only drew the line once more with a cold glare.

“It’s unusual to say it three times, you know that, right?”


“If you don’t want to follow me, don’t follow me.”

Seeing the look in Bikir’s eyes, Aiyen froze in place, shocked.

“How can you look at me like that?”

She asked in a sobbing voice.

Vikir didn’t answer.

Then Aiyen groped for something.

And then, after sifting through many things, he spoke.

“Where are you going?”


“If you tell me where you’re going, I’ll go.”


“Why are you taking Pomeranian?”


” ……Can’t you at least leave him with me?”

A sight to behold, not knowing who was master and who was slave.

……No, Aiyen, she knew from the beginning.

It was something she’d felt from the very beginning, from the first time she’d seen his gaunt face on stage, when she’d been locked in the cage of the slave traders.

That she would spend the rest of her life beneath him.

The realization dawned on her as she stood in the pouring rain.

She spoke, shivering, her voice damp with moisture.

“Then answer me this one question.”


Vikir asked, and Aiyen took a long breath before she spoke.

“You’re coming back, right?”


The voice crawled. A tone that hung with anxiety, impatience, and hunger.

And for once, Vikir answered quickly.

“Of course.”

Only then did Aiyen’s expression soften.

She blew out a white breath of relief.

“‘You keep your word.


“I will.”

Vikir nodded.

And then.

The hounds ran through the dawn again.

A darkness that swallowed him whole.

And there is one master here who stands still and watches its fading back.