Episode 75 The Hound of the Night (1)

In the southwestern part of the Empire, among the neat, polished buildings, lies the city of St. Mecca, the center of the estates of the Quavadis family of religious saints.

The white-stoned boulevards, slow-moving carriages, and casual footsteps of people on foot give the city an air of leisure.

At the entrance to the city, paladins in white armor and robes stand guard.


Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

A carriage drawn by three horses pulls up to the checkpoint.

The paladins screening entry into the city stopped the carriage.

“There will be a brief checkpoint.”

The merchants from the wagon then offered the paladins their passes and identification cards.

The paladins took them and scrutinized them.

“You must be Mr. Joseph Josta of the Oil Merchants, 108 Dortmund Street, first floor. What is in your wagon?”

“Oil, as it says on the import permit …….”

The merchant stroked his mustache and looked back.

Sure enough, the wagon’s interior was filled with large tin barrels.

The paladins glanced inside.

“Do you mind if we check inside?”

“Of course.”

The merchant nodded, and the paladins drew their swords and climbed onto the wagon.

The wagon lurched slightly as the three or four heavily armed knights climbed in.

The paladins carefully examined the barrels inside the wagon.

They were heavy, each with a tightly sealed lid.

The paladins rapped the barrels together.


They could feel that they were filled to the brim with oil. All of the barrels were like that.

“Can I not take this one?”

“Of course not. There’s more than oil in these barrels.”

The paladins nodded at the merchant’s words.

” Pass!”

And with that, the wagon drove through the gates and into the city.

A short time later. The carriage pulled into the outskirts of a deserted street, into a deserted back alley.

The merchant checked his surroundings a few times before lifting the lid of the oil barrel.

…Poof! Poof!

He took a giant crowbar and twisted the lid, and with a loud bang, the barrel popped open.

The iron lid, which had been tightly sealed, bent and opened, revealing the oil inside.

The merchant called out in an anxious voice.

“……, come out now.”

He did. And then something amazing happened.


The surface of the black oil cracked, revealing a figure inside.

It was a man wearing a black hat like a pirate captain, a stork’s beak gas mask like a doctor specializing in infectious diseases, and a thick trench coat.

He stepped out of the barrel, covered in black oil, and stood on the floor of the wagon.

The merchant began to shudder at the grotesque sight.

Then, the stork gas mask man reached into his pocket and handed the merchant something.

It was a set of oiled teeth, the fangs of the prized oxbear.

“Go, thank you.”

The price he’d agreed to accept in exchange for hiding in the wagon and passing through the gates.

The merchant bowed and took the oxbear’s tooth and put it in his pocket.

Then, dripping with oil, the man began to walk away down the back alley.

At his heels, the merchant stammered, “Who are you?

” ……, but who are you?”

The man flicked his stork’s beak and replied in a short, sharp voice.

“The Hound of the Night.”

With that, he melted into the darkness of the alley and disappeared.

The merchant, left alone, stared at the bubbling oil in the tin and muttered despairingly.

” ……How does a man stay submerged in oil for over two hours?”

* * *

The Night Hound went back to the back of the dark alley and removed his mask.


Vikir exclaimed. He shook the oil off his body and breathed heavily.

He hadn’t been underwater this long since he’d lasted seven minutes in the Styx River when he was barely a year old.

Today, he’d sneaked into the estate of the Quavadis family, a clan of holy men.

“……the hound of the night.”

It’s a reference to the Balak chieftain Aquila’s star sign, “Fox of the Night,” but it doesn’t sound quite right.

But it was much better than being called the Hound of Baskerville before the regression, Vikir thought.


Vikir took a moment to reminisce.

It had taken them exactly four days to get here.

Two days to get out of the depths, a day to explore the Baskerville family estate, and another day to infiltrate the territory of the Faithful Quavadis.

The depths of the Red and Black Mountains were wide, but the floods helped us escape.

The rapids that sprang up everywhere, and the corpses and logs that floated above them, made traveling many times faster.

Most of the waterways were covered with dense vines and branches, so even rivers and lakes that had nowhere to go could easily be crossed by climbing over the forest canopy.

Of course, there were hungry creatures along the way, but they were no match for the fully-restored Vikir.

Giant catfish, old lizards, ferocious bears, ravenous packs of wild dogs, and venomous bats…… were mere rites of passage for Vikir, who had perfectly adapted to the depth ecosystem over the past two years.

“……No, it was dangerous once.”

‘I don’t know about the others, but the bone-sucking mosquitoes, they were really dangerous.

Undaunted by the fierce rain, they chased Vikir in swarms, and he spent nearly half a day trying to keep them at bay.

The weakened Pomeranian caught a cold and struggled for a while.

The first thing Vikir did when he emerged from the water was to take Pomerian to the city of Underdog.

Mr. Chihuahua, who was sighing at the full moon in the night sky, fainted three times in quick succession when he saw Vikir burst through the window of his small apartment.

Vikir had come to City Hall because he was one of the few people in Baskerville who could be trusted with a personality that belied his skinny appearance.

“……, Deputy, are you a ghost? No, I mean, how did you get here?

“‘Why don’t I know the layout of the place I used to go to work every day?

By now, the Chihuahua had come to his senses, and when Vikir told him what had happened, he let out an exclamation of admiration.

‘You are indeed a great man, Deputy. Only you have a different kind of life. What kind of barbarian tribes do you live with for two years……’

“I’ll be back in full force soon enough, so be ready. And keep everything that happened today a secret.

‘I see, but who is this child, who looks so much like you, Chief Deputy……? Is this the child of Chief Deputy, who has been having some sort of affair with a barbarian…….’

‘By blood, yes, but not in the way you imagine, so spare me the nonsense.’

Vikir trusted the Chihuahua with the Pomeranian.

‘He is an important person, so don’t ask him anything until I return, and then take great care of him and give him a basic education.

The story goes quickly, as the Chihuahua still hasn’t forgotten Vikir, the chief deputy, and his eyes are still red from the occasional glass of wine.

Chihuahua quickly summoned a doctor from the city hall, who examined Pomerian and brought him medicine and food.

“I will take care of her, with my life, until the deputy returns.

The Chihuahua said with determination.

After two years, he still looked scrawny, but Vikir knew he was a man of his word.

Considering the Chihuahua’s low wages, Vikir handed over Oxbear’s pelt and horns to Pomerian in exchange for child support.

“Hee hee! What are you giving me for all this?

“To be sold at your pleasure.”

“Wow, that’s a lot of pelts and horns for a big guy, and if I can sell them properly, they’ll be worth more than ten years of my salary.

“Make sure the Pomerian are well provided for.”

“You’re very protective of your daughter. You’re a good father. I have three daughters of my own, so I know how you feel.”

The Chihuahua gave me a fatherly smile and a knowing nod.

There was a hint of misunderstanding, but Vikir didn’t bother to clarify.


‘ah! Deputy, this is……!’

As if on cue, Chihuahua quickly opened a cabinet in the corner of the office and pulled out a stack of old papers.

Vikir’s eyes lit up when he saw it.

It was a file of newspaper clippings from the past two years, detailing Baskerville and Morg’s interactions, current events, and recent issues.

“I was prepared just in case the deputy consul might come back.’ !”

The Chihuahua scratched the back of his neck in embarrassment.

Vikir was grateful that the Chihuahua hadn’t forgotten him, even in this situation.

So Vikir agreed to help solve some of the problems in the city of Underdog, which is currently experiencing a resurgence of criminal activity due to the absence of a magistrate.

“If it interferes with your work, you can find Sindhiwendi in Messinadnaro. She owes me.”

Vikir told the Chihuahua in a hushed tone.

The Chihuahua’s eyes widened.

Messinadnaro Sindiwendi was a criminal whom Vikir had freed in a plea bargain two years earlier.

“How do I find her?”

“Do you remember the girl I gave 10 billion to when I was deputy chief magistrate?”

“Sure. Her name was Judy, too.”

“I’d probably go looking for her, because it’s hard to make 10 billion, but it’s even harder to keep it. She has nowhere to go and no backup, so she’s easy to get to.”

The Chihuahua nodded silently at Vikir’s words.

Fresh out of prison and penniless, finding an investor would be her first priority.

She had once gone to Gambino, a poor local baron, and become his investment advisor.

“But if I find her, will she continue to help me? She must have something against the local government.”

“Tell her you’ll get her some good business.”

“And by good business, you mean……?

Vikir was kind enough to answer the Chihuahua’s questions.

“‘I will give you a monopoly on trade with the savage tribes.”

The barbarian tribes of the Sioux River have not traded with the Empire since the conflict with the merchants of Bourgeois Street two years ago.

If Vikir, the current hero of Balak, were to step forward, that trade could be reopened, and the merchant who did so would likely find great wealth.

Add to that the fact that the underdog city’s crime rate has been on the rise again since Vikir’s death, and her counsel would be invaluable in addressing the many problems and ills of the city.

At that, the Chihuahua nodded.

Indeed, less than a few hours after Bikir’s return, the problems of the past two years were already showing signs of resolution.

The Chihuahua was in awe all over again.


Vikir launches himself back over the window sill.

The night hound sneaks out of the underdog city.

‘Deputy Magistrate! Where are you going?

With the Chihuahua’s mournful cry behind him, Vikir heads for the land to fulfill his promise to Aiyen.

A place where the ‘red death’ of Ahul could be quickly cured.

‘……That can easily be accomplished with a single drop of your family’s holy water.’

The Quarvadis, one of the Seven Houses of the Empire, a family of faithful saints.