Death Mage Side Chapter 31 – Ties of obligation that come to an end
Randolf was a very Elf-like adventurer. His weapons were his sharp senses, his exceptional ‘Archery’ Skill, his speed of movement, his ‘Swordsmanship’ that used delicate techniques, and his ‘Spiritual Magic.’
He was the kind of Elf adventurer that many could imagine.
A group of Minotaurs stood before him and roared.
Many might think that such an Elf adventurer would be ill-matched against Minotaurs that swung axes and clubs with more ferocity than a raging bull.
Arrows would be stopped by their thick muscles, so they would have no effect unless they struck the eyes, mouth or armpits. Their weapons, swung with superhuman strength, would be impossible to stop with a thin-bladed sword.
They were ferocious and tough, unfaltering even when wounded, and the Elf adventurer would eventually be cornered even if he repeatedly used ‘Spiritual Magic.’
“… ‘Thousand-Piercing Screw Arrow,’” Randolf murmured.
The arrow released from the string of his short bow, which was easy to use in forests, pierced the center of the chest of the Minotaur charging at him.
The rapidly-spinning arrow did not lose momentum; it pierced through the arms of the Minotaurs behind the first, continued through the breastplate and into the heart of the Minotaur Commander who had been leading the group and finally came to a halt after leaving round holes in the trees in the background.
“Sorry, I put too much power into it. This is a bow that I am using for the first time, after all,” Randolf said.
Having seen two thirds of their group and their commander killed in a single attack, the surviving Minotaurs froze in shock. Randolf drew his sword and quickly disposed of them.
Despite having a thin blade, it cut through their hastily-raised weapons and thick-muscled limbs like a sickle harvesting rice.
He stored the Minotaur corpses in an Item Box… a Magic Item that could store objects in a subspace in which time was frozen.
“I’m really very sorry. I didn’t intend to harm you. I’ll fight more carefully from now on,” he said, apologizing once more to the trees that he had damaged, then continued on.
The rough location of the Minotaur King’s horde was known, but there wasn’t any precise information.
That was why Randolf had wind spirits carry sound to him so he could confirm the rough locations of Minotaurs as he proceeded towards the center of the horde.
Most monster Kings stayed in the center of their horde. This was because the monsters, who were under the effects of the ‘Strengthen Followers’ Skill, stayed near the King to protect it, and also to maintain the King’s superiority over them.
Monsters that were under the effects of a monster King’s ‘Strengthen Followers’ Skill became the King’s loyal servants, but in the end, they were still monsters. Even if they were able to coordinate themselves like an army, they were not an actual army.
Monsters merely formed hordes. Armies could split up and position their forces, but hordes could not.
And the Kings themselves had no knowledge on how to build and maintain an organized structure.
“Though the exception to that is the Noble Orc Empire that supposedly exists within the Boundary Mountain Range,” Randolf murmured to himself. “In that regard, a Rank 4 Goblin King’s horde is no different from a Rank 8 Minotaur King’s horde, but…”
Storing the corpses of the Minotaurs standing in his path to stop him in his Item Box, Randolf proceeds through a cave that looks just like a Dungeon.
“There are more Minotaurs than I thought. I’ve defeated over a hundred of them already, but they still keep coming… Does your King have the divine protection of an evil god? The number of women in the village you abducted them from was about thirty or forty. And perhaps a few adventurers on top of that… Certainly less than a hundred in total, isn’t it?” Randolf asked the Minotaur Mage in front of him.
But the Minotaur Mage did not answer; it roared an incantation and attempted to fill the entire passageway with flames. But the moment it attempted to finish its spell, there was a sudden fierce wind that caused the flames to burn the Minotaur Mage rather than Randolf.
The Minotaur Mage shrieked in pain as it burned.
“I see, I understand. In that case, they are not impregnating them and reproducing in an ordinary way. I can’t imagine that Goblin and Kobold females would be able to withstand them. Perhaps there was a settlement of one of Vida’s races? Or maybe there is an evil god involved after all… Things have become troublesome,” Randolf muttered as he moved on, leaving the burnt ashes of the Minotaur Mage behind.
He made steady progress in the direction that the Minotaurs were appearing from.
After defeating the Minotaur General that had been guarding the final door, Randolf emerged into a wide, dome-shaped space.
The floor and ceiling had many magic circles drawn on them in a closely-packed pattern, and there were four Minotaur Mages spread across the edges. They seemed to be acting as priests; they were offering prayers with intense concentration.
And in the center of the dome was a Minotaur that was larger than the others and emanating a strange aura from its entire body, groaning as it stood in front of an altar.
A rusted, black-red metal bottle and a woman lay on top of the altar. It seemed that she was alive, but all four of her limbs had been severed partway down to prevent her from escaping. If this was the female knight that was Duke Alcrem’s younger sister, then things would end quickly, but… something was strange.
The color of her hair didn’t match the description that Randolf had been given. On top of that, it seemed that she had the ears and tail of a beast.
“… It’s become a bit of a troublesome situation. Is this ritual for planting your seed into the woman and impregnating her with the incarnation of an evil god?” Randolf asked the Minotaur.
The tip of the groaning Minotaur’s cow-like tail suddenly became sharp like the stinger of an insect. At the same time, a sinister presence filled the dome.
“So, you have been producing an excessive number of subordinates with that Demon King’s fragment. Considering its form and effect… the Demon King’s oviduct, perhaps? You have planted your eggs in her to produce offspring rapidly. But it’s quite the strange fragment for a Minotaur King to acquire considering that Minotaurs are a race of monsters that have only males,” Randolf murmured.
Perhaps becoming enraged by the fact that Randolf was showing no signs of fear or even unrest, the Minotaur King let out a roar, picked up a nearby halberd and charged towards him.
“‘Severing Air Flash.’”
Randolf swung his sword to perform a martial skill that unleashed a shockwave that traveled towards the Minotaur King. But it was nullified with a swing of the Minotaur King’s tail, which had transformed into the Demon King’s oviduct.
With another roar, the Minotaur King laid a series of bumpy, semi-transparent eggs.
These eggs hatched the moment they hit the ground, their contents developing rapidly and letting out roars as they were born into the world.
A horde of Minotaurs, each of them identical to the Minotaur King other than the fact that they did not have the Demon King’s oviduct, was produced.
“So, you do not need a female to reproduce. No, considering that you did not produce these until I entered this place, the offspring you produce through asexual reproduction are something like short-lived clones of yourself. They probably only have lifespans of several minutes to a few hours.”
Ignoring Randolf’s analysis, the Minotaur King’s copies flooded in towards him. They weren’t equipped with halberds or armor, but their fists and legs would certainly serve as weapons against the slender body of an Elf.
“‘Hundred Severing Air Flashes,’” Randolf muttered, swinging his sword again, even faster than before.
The countless number of shockwaves he unleashed slaughtered the Minotaur copies in an instant, not even giving them the time to let out dying screams.
Witnessing the copies that it had gone through the effort to create wiped out by a single attack, the Minotaur King recognized Randolf as a superior foe. It raised its halberd and let out a roar.
But nothing happened. Dumbfounded, the Minotaur King turned to look at the altar, but –
“‘Summoned Wind God Spear,’” Randolf murmured.
His wind-attribute ‘Spiritual Magic’ spell pierced the Minotaur King’s exposed torso.
But it did not fall; it let out a shriek filled with agony and rage, and its wound began to heal.
Perhaps the Demon King fragment had granted it the ‘Rapid Regeneration’ Skill that Minotaurs did not ordinarily have, or perhaps its shriek had been the incantation for a healing spell.
But naturally, Randolf swung his sword to deal the fatal blow before the wound could completely heal. However, his martial skill’s shockwave was nullified by the Demon King’s oviduct on the end of the Minotaur King’s flexible, whip-like tail.
The Minotaur King sneered, as if it could easily defeat Randolf as long as it did not lose its composure again.
Randolf sighed. “Unfortunately, this sword is made of Mythril, so it does not have the ability to directly fight against the fragment of a Demon King like an Orichalcum weapon. But… ‘Wind Remnants.’”
He cast a spell that warped the air and created heavy afterimages of himself made of wind, then deftly closed the distance between himself and the Minotaur King.
He was simply too fast; the Minotaur King swung the Demon King’s oviduct and its halberd, but they pierced only his afterimages.
“‘Triple Lightning Thrust.’”
Standing directly in front of the Minotaur King, Randolf unleashed three quick thrusts that were as quick as lightning, aimed at the Minotaur King’s solar plexus, heart and neck.
“It just means I need to destroy your vital organs without directly facing the fragment,” Randolf murmured to his defeated foe.
Still wearing a look of shock, as if unable to believe what had just happened, the Minotaur King fell. Its wounds did not regenerate this time.
“Taking the Demon King’s fragment into account, it was Rank 10, I suppose. Considering the size of the horde, it might not have been possible to stop the ritual without at least ten A-class adventurers,” Randolf said to himself.
The Demon King’s oviduct attempted to crawl away from the Minotaur King’s corpse. Randolf took out a Magic Item for sealing and sealed it away. He also retrieved another fragment of the Demon King, which had an old seal on it.
He then used his short bow to slay the four Minotaur Mages that had taken no notice of the Minotaur King’s death and were still continuing to pray in order to maintain the ritual.
“Of course, it seems that the evil god abandoned these monsters for some reason, so there’s no way to tell whether the ritual succeeded or not. It could have sent a familiar spirit or spirit clone. Then I would have been able to at least enjoy myself… perhaps,” said Randolf, complaining about the nameless god that the Minotaurs had been worshiping.
At that moment, the Minotaur King had activated the ‘Familiar Spirit Descent’ Skill or one of its superior versions. But the god it prayed to had not answered.
“Still, why did it abandon these Minotaurs?” Randolf wondered. “It is likely to be an evil god, so there shouldn’t be any reason to not answer their prayers. Even if it did see that there was no hope for victory, sending a familiar spirit wouldn’t be such a great effort.”
Meanwhile, the evil god worshiped by the Minotaurs… Langleboza, the evil horned cow god, let out a large sigh of relief. “The ritual has safely failed… that damned pumpkin-headed fool. This is what happens when you ignore my Divine Message,” he grumbled.
Langleboza was an evil god with an appearance resembling a cow, and that was why he had set his sights on Minotaurs of all monsters.
He had also granted a divine protection to the King of this horde, but… the King had killed the host of the Demon King’s oviduct, which had been on its way to the Boundary Mountain Range, and retrieved it. On top of that, it had even used a second fragment of the Demon King, which it had acquired in a sealed state, and began attempting to create a body for Langleboza to descend upon… all while ignoring Langleboza’s Divine Messages telling him to stop and lay low.
This was no joking matter. No evil god would wish to descend upon the world unless they had a death wish.
The forces of Alda, the god of law and fate, were very active, and Vandalieu, the ‘new Demon King’ feared by Alda, was also present on Lambda’s surface.
A monstrosity who could devour the souls of not only mortals, but gods as well.
Even Randolf, who had just done Langleboza the favor of defeating his servants, was a superhuman among superhumans, possessing an ability in combat that was worthy of an S-class adventurer. He was another being who was capable of fighting gods.
But Vandalieu was too dangerous in a way that was different from Randolf.
He had already devoured several evil gods, such as the evil god of release and the evil god of the magic tome. Even the god of records, Alda’s close servant, ended up in his stomach.
Langleboza had no intention of joining these gods in their fates.
That was why he had not responded to the Minotaur King’s use of ‘Familiar Spirit Descent.’ To ensure that it would not have even the tiniest chance of defeating Randolf.
“Even if it is defeated by this adventurer, I am completely unharmed. I can simply stay holed up in my Divine Realm and sleep for tens of thousands of years, as long as it takes for the situation on the world’s surface to change. It is possible that I will never awaken, and my slumber will be no different from death, but… it is better than suffering agony as I am devoured,” Langleboza told himself.
Paying no attention to Randolf, he withdrew his consciousness from the world’s surface.
Unaware of these circumstances, Randolf continued pondering for some time, but gave up before long, realizing that gods had their own situations.
“I suppose there is no difference in the fate that awaits those who believe in and rely on gods, whether they are human or monster,” Randolf muttered. “More importantly, I still have one task remaining, but this girl is…”
He looked at the girl on the altar. She continued to stare into space with empty eyes. Her arms had been severed above the elbows, and her legs above the knees. The stumps of her limbs had been treated just enough for the bleeding to stop.
Even if the severed limbs were found, it would be impossible to rejoin them and return her to her original state… but more importantly, Randolf was surprised when he saw her face.
“So, this really isn’t Juliana Alcrem,” he murmured.
Juliana’s older half-brother, Duke Alcrem, had asked Randolf to put her to rest if she were still alive, and make the public story that she died in battle rather than having been captured by the Minotaurs. Randolf had also been given a description of her appearance.
The colors of this girl’s hair and eyes were different. More importantly, she was of a different race.
Juliana Alcrem was a dignified, noble, beautiful human girl somewhere between adolescence and adulthood, with golden hair and blue eyes.
But the woman lying on the altar had hair that was more yellow than golden. Her eyebrows were thick, and she had a strong-willed, determined-looking face. There was something strongly wild about her, but she didn’t lack dignity entirely, and she could have certainly been called a beauty.
But there were triangular, feline ears on her head, and a leopard-like tail at her waist.
She was clearly a Beast-kin, though Randolf couldn’t tell whether she was a wildcat-type or leopard-type Beast-kin.
“What to do… The monsters were doing some suspicious ritual, so I was certain that they would have her close to the King so that they could use a noble lady as a sacrifice or something,” Randolf sighed.
In stories, women used as sacrifices to give birth to the incarnation of a god were nobles, but… that was likely to not always be the case for Minotaurs.
It was possible that Juliana really had died in battle, or even if she had been captured, perhaps she had been unable to withstand the Minotaurs mating with her.
To Randolf, who had no interest in gaining trust or reputation as an adventurer, he didn’t mind telling this story and simply leaving, but –
“That would be too pitiful. I’ll at least hear what this girl has to say,” he decided, taking out a cloth from his Item Box and covering the girl’s body with it.
He then activated a Magic Item for disguise, then cast the ‘Antidote’ spell on the unawakening girl.
Light gradually returned to the girl’s empty eyes, and her expression became clearer.
“Ah… Huh? I’m… Ah…Aaaaaaahhh?!”
TLN: The girl is using “ore” as a pronoun for herself, something that is almost exclusively done by boys/men.
The girl began to scream in agony.
“Your consciousness has returned, but your pain has returned with it. Give me a moment, I will treat you,” said Randolf, attempting to treat her enough to remove the pain so he could hear her story.
“W-wait! Please wait! If you heal me as I am now, you won’t be able to reattach them!” said the girl, attempting to refuse his treatment. “My arms, where are my arms… My leg! Even my leg’s…?!”
Even though her limbs had been severed, applying a fourth-grade Potion or better and some slightly advanced healing magic with her limbs aligned correctly would rejoin them to her body, and it was possible that she would become able to move them normally after several months or perhaps a few years.
The girl knew that.
“It’s no use. Though it’s crudely done, your wounds have already been sealed. I don’t even know where your arms and legs went. Into the Minotaurs’ stomachs, most likely,” Randolf told her. “Give it up.”
“No way…” The girl gave a frustrated scream. “SHIT! Those bastards, how dare they do that to me?! I’ll never forgive them for using me as bait!” she shouted.
Randolf sighed; it seemed that it would take some time before he could hear her story, even after he healed her wounds.
Judging from her screams and shouts, she appeared to be an adventurer and had been a part of a party. It seemed that nothing had gone wrong for a while, but the party had unfortunately entered the Minotaur King’s territory and found themselves being chased by several Minotaurs.
But having realized that they wouldn’t be able to escape, one of her party members had thrown a knife into her leg. She had fallen onto the ground, and the people she had thought of as her companions had muttered a quick “Sorry,” and left her behind as they ran.
She had continued to resist, but a Minotaur’s axe had severed her arms, and that was when she lost consciousness.
“And next thing I knew, I was in a Minotaur lair with a number of other captured women, and one of them was still able to speak. She said that she was from the duke’s family, so help would definitely come. That we shouldn’t give up… but the Minotaurs made me take some strange drug… My legs were still attached up until then… This is… It can’t be real… This is…”
“Hey, my name is Ralph. I’ve been requested to exterminate a Minotaur King and rescue a certain woman,” Randolf said, using a simple false name that he kept for situations like this.
“Huh…” the Beast-kin girl said blankly.
“I’m Ralph. What’s your name?”
“Natania. The duke asked me to rescue that woman. Do you know where she is?”
Natania thought for a moment. “If I follow the smell, I’ll probably know.”
Randolf wrapped Natania in his cloak and carried her as he proceeded in the direction she indicated, through the Minotaur lair that had only bloodstains remaining.
Before long, they reached the chamber where the Minotaurs had been confining the women, though there were several skeletons on the ground; it looked more like an execution chamber than a place for confining people.
It was likely that the Minotaurs had simply eaten the women in this chamber when they died or became unusable.
Juliana Alcrem was still alive.
“No way…” Natania breathed.
Juliana was breathing and had a pulse. Like Natania, her limbs had been severed, but that had likely been the case for a while. Iron shackles weren’t sufficient to keep capable individuals in captivity. Their limbs had to be severed, their eyes gouged out and their vocal cords torn.
Considering that, the Minotaurs’ treatment of her had been lenient, as they had only applied the first measure.
But Juliana was thoroughly broken. Even as Natania and Randolf came into her view, her empty eyes gazed into space, and saliva continued to dribble out of the corner of her half-open mouth. She showed nothing that could be called a response.
Randolf tried casting the same life-attribute spell ‘Antidote’ that he had cast on Natania, but Juliana did not regain her sanity.
“When I was taken away, she was worn out, but she was still conscious,” said Natania. “She told me not to give up… That she couldn’t use ‘Familiar Spirit Descent’ anymore, but the gods would definitely save us.”
“It isn’t difficult to imagine what happened after that,” said Randolf.
It was likely that the Minotaur King had used the Demon King’s oviduct to lay vast quantities of eggs in the bodies of the women other than Natania, who had been used for the ritual.
The women other than Juliana had died, unable to withstand this, and Juliana’s mind had crumbled in the process as well.
In fact, I’m surprised she even managed to retain her sanity for this long, Randolf thought to himself.
Juliana’s limbs had been severed, and she had been used as a birthing machine as she watched the other women around her die one by one and be eaten by the Minotaurs. It was a wonder that she had managed to stay sane for a month while being imprisoned in this situation.
That was what Randolf thought, though Natania didn’t seem to feel this way.
“In any case, I suppose I should be quick and ‘help’ her,” said Randolf.
“Yeah. I’m sure you got a great Potion or something from the duke’s family – huh?”
Randolf put Natania on the ground and drew his sword.
“W-why did you take out your sword… W-wait! By ‘help,’ you meant…?!” Natania gasped.
“That is correct. As an adventurer, you understand, don’t you?”
There were times when captured women were found by adventurers that completed requests to exterminate Orcs, Goblins or Minotaurs. If the women were capable of moving on their own, they would be brought back to a city, but… what would be done in situations where their limbs had been severed and their minds broken?
There was no helping them, so the adventurers would pray for their happiness in their next lives and put them to rest.
“No, this person is someone from the duke’s family, a knight! She’s not an adventurer!” Natania protested.
“This is the request that has been made by the very same duke’s family. Well, I did consider sparing her if she was capable of living on, even if her body was damaged to some extent,” Randolf said.
He had been treated well by her grandfather; he had accepted this request for its large payment and to pay back that debt.
But Randolf had intended to break his contract with Duke Alcrem if Juliana had retained her sanity against all odds and insisted that she didn’t want to die… or if her subordinates who knew that she had been violated by Minotaurs did the same.
He considered himself to be retired as an adventurer. But that didn’t mean that he had taken up the profession of assassination.
In this case, however, it was likely more merciful to kill Juliana.
“A vegetable with no limbs wouldn’t be able to live on by herself with no family, after all,” said Randolf.
If this were Earth, his words would have been called inhumane. But in this world, where the concept of human rights was underdeveloped, it was a decision that would be accepted as unavoidable.
If Duke Alcrem intended to help Juliana, something could likely have been done about her state with his financial assets, but…
“Rest assured. I’ll send you to your next life and end your suffering next,” Randolf told Natania.
“Y-you’re going to kill me?! N-no! I’ve been rescued, I don’t want to die again!” Natania screamed.
“… I am speaking out of kindness, you know,” Randolf sighed as he looked down at her. “Think about it. How are you going to feed yourself as an adventurer with a body that can’t fight? Do you have enough savings at the Guild to live the rest of your life? Or is your family wealthy enough to take care of you?”
Natania’s face grew paler and paler with each question Randolf asked. Still, it seemed that she had no intention of giving up and being put to rest.
“Then you help me! I’ve never heard the name ‘Ralph,’ but if you were strong enough to exterminate all of those Minotaurs on your own, and you’re acquainted with the duke, then you’re A-class, aren’t you?!” she said, her face shining with hope at this idea.
But Randolf’s response was faint. “Those are good deductions, but so what?”
“If you’re an A-class adventurer, you’re earning plenty, aren’t you?! Lend me some. It doesn’t have to be a lot; just enough for me and that person to live on for a while. I’ll be a prostitute if I have to and pay you back!”
“A prostitute, huh. If you live like that, in a few years’ time, you’ll regret not having died today.”
Even as she was now, Natania could probably make a living at a brothel, and she would be taken care of there. Prostitutes who were former adventurers had more resilient bodies than ordinary prostitutes; they often became popular.
But in many cases, a more tragic life awaited them in the future.
In her current state, the majority of Natania’s customers would be those with strange fetishes. Unless she was very fortunate, the best she could manage would be being used as a plaything every day until she died, or being kept as a slave by a rich person with strange tastes.
Randolf knew of several true stories where a former female adventurer turned to prostitution after becoming unable to fight, and were later rescued from that lifestyle by their previous adventurer companions who had succeeded in life, living happily ever after. But he couldn’t imagine that Natania had companions like that.
“S-still, if I can just live on, I might…!” said Natania.
“You don’t know when to give up. It’s true that I can’t see the future, either. The chance of your success is not non-existent,” said Randolf.
“… But I’m sorry. I don’t intend to create any more ties of obligation.”
With Randolf’s abilities and wealth, almost anything was possible. He could destroy the Alcrem family of dukes, rescue thousands of orphans from poverty and grant them advanced education, or even create an entire nation.
It was possible for him to help Natania and Juliana.
If he wanted to, he could have an exceptional alchemist create artificial arms and legs to allow them to move normally, and he could have Juliana take a different name and take care of her in her everyday life.
But Randolf knew that if he did this, there would be no end to it. There were always people in need in every village, every city and every nation. There were countless people who would die without a helping hand at any given time.
It would be a noble thing to extend a helping hand to save someone with whom one had no personal connection to. Randolf had only respect for those that did this.
But he had no intention of doing it himself. He was already finding himself unable to retire from his adventurer life because of his past ties of obligation.
“No way…” Natania whispered, her eyes becoming dim.
Randolf raised his sword, not looking at her. “That is how it is. If there is anything to resent, resent your own inability to evaluate your current situation. I’ll at least pray to Zuruwarn for happiness in your next life.”
To tell the truth, Randolf did not worship any god. In the past, he would offer prayers to gods and have their familiar spirits descend upon him. But he had stopped praying to them once he decided to retire from being an adventurer.
But in Lambda, a world where gods were known to exist, not worshiping any of them was a behavior that people would consider strange.
That was why Randolf told Natania that he believed in Zuruwarn, who did not have any set religious commandments.
“Then at least do this for me… The guys who used me as bait to escape are a party called the ‘Blade of Flame.’ I want you to report them. You’re about to kill a woman who’s crying and screaming that she doesn’t want to die, so she can at least ask that of you, right?” said Natania.
Randolf’s hands stopped.
Indeed, if he was going to kill Natania, fulfilling this request was reasonable. But that would require visiting the Adventurers’ Guild and explaining to them that her party had not abandoned her, but deliberately wounded her to use her as bait. After explaining to them why he knew that, of course.
If I tell them that I heard it from a female adventurer who had been captured by a Minotaur King’s horde… They’d ask me who the hell I am. Then should I keep the duke’s request a secret and reveal my true identity? If I explain without revealing who I am… it’s likely that they won’t even investigate my report, so I’ll have no choice but to reveal it, Randolf thought. No, if I reveal my identity, they would probably guess that I was acting under a request from Duke Alcrem. I only accept requests from people who I’ve become indebted to in the past and their descendants, after all… So in that case, there might be some who make the connection to Juliana…
If the truth was revealed to the public, in the worst-case scenario, Duke Alcrem would become known as having used Randolf ‘the True’ to kill his own younger sister who had become a nuisance to him.
Randolf would also be troubled if he were to become known as an assassin hired by a duke. The mere thought of similar requests flooding in from other dukes made him want to curl up and die.
With that being the case, he simply needed to refuse Natania’s request and kill both of them.
Now that I think about it, Natania knows that Juliana is from the duke’s family. With that being the case, there is no choice but to kill her in order to make the public story that Juliana was killed in battle, Randolf realized.
That was why he had no choice but to kill them if he were to prioritize the duke’s request. That would have been true if Juliana had been captured alive by the Minotaurs along with her subordinates and then died before Randolf rescued her with only her subordinates surviving.
And Natania was saying that she didn’t want to die.
“It can’t be helped,” said Randolf, and then he swung his sword.
Natania shut her eyes tight. But there was no sound of blood spraying into the air, so she opened her eyes in confusion a few moments later.
Randolf had cut Juliana’s golden hair to less than shoulder-length. He also cut the chain holding the pendant bearing her family crest around her neck, and put the pendant into his pocket.
After making sure that Juliana didn’t have any rings or anything somewhere, he turned to Natania. “I won’t help you. I won’t help you, but I can take you to the nearest city from here… No, people from the duke’s family are likely to be there. I’ll take you to the Adventurers’ Guild in Morksi, the second-closest commerce city. Once you’re there, you can become a prostitute, sell the Minotaur children in this woman’s stomach to the Tamers’ Guild, become a slave or do whatever you want in order to live,” he said.
As Randolf had sealed away the Demon King’s oviduct, the development of the Minotaur eggs planted in Juliana’s body had slowed. Even then, it would grow faster than an ordinary Minotaur. Although there was no telling how many eggs were in her, it was unlikely that they would be born before they reached the city.
The Tamers’ Guild couldn’t tame multiple Minotaurs, but they were still newly-born Rank 5 monsters. They would probably buy them for ten thousand Baums each.
“Y-you’ll spare us?!” Natania exclaimed, looking up at Randolf.
“… I’m merely throwing you out and leaving you be. And if you want to survive for at least a little while, tell people that this woman is a traveler or adventurer from a different group from yourself,” Randolf told her, taking out another cloth from his Item Box and wrapping Juliana’s body in it.
“We’ll be teleporting outside the Devil’s Nest. After that, I’ll take you to the city of Morksi and leave you in the care of the first adventurer I see. What happens after that doesn’t concern me. That’s all I’m doing. After that, pray hard that you will run into someone who’s good-natured, unlike me.”
“Yeah, that’s plenty –”
Without waiting for Natania to finish her sentence, Randolf activated a Magic Item that teleported the user to a pre-designated location, and the three of them left the Minotaur lair.