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The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 102: Preparations for a Trip
Devils and other life forms who wished to cross into different worlds had a limited variety of methods available to them. Mostly, it boiled down to two methods. The first was being summoned. A notable point about being summoned was that the summoned life form would be returned to their original world should the summoner die.
The other method was to cross into the desired world via a dimensional gate. A dimensional gate was basically an upgraded version of a teleportation array. What a teleportation array did was to allow instantaneous movement between any point within a world while a dimensional gate allows movement between worlds.
Life forms who crossed through a dimensional gate would enter the world for real; which meant they were able to exist in that world permanently without a summoner. The downside was that in order for them to return to their original world, they would have to use a dimensional gate again…
Dimensional gates were a masterpiece of a bygone era. According to rumors, the materials required to create such an artifact were extremely expensive...as for why it was "according to rumors", that was because the blueprints and the materials had been lost in an ancient war. Of course, there was also the possibility that they were hidden away on purpose.
Dimensional gates were a must-have for any wannabe dimensional conqueror. With it, you not only gained the ability to tour the world at your whim, you also had the opportunity to conquer it! So take up your swords and axes, countless worlds await your mighty self, all you need to do is construct a dimensional gate!
(The author of said book was an accomplished magic researcher in the field of dimensional magic. He was an intelligent chap, but from time to time, he came down with a serious bout of chuunibyou.)
Having taken care of Duran, Regine finally realized that she was hungry. Her body swayed left and right as she made her way to her seat. With her hands to her knees and her back straightened, she stared at me with an uncaring pair of eyes and opened her mouth wide? And then, she did nothing else.
Are you telling me to feed you? Could you at least wipe the blood off your face before you try to act adorable? Besides, there's no way I'll see you as adorable after watching you "play" with Duran like that, no matter how much of a "cold loli" you are…
This stalemate continued for a moment before Ancarin started to notice something. She prodded me: "I think Regine wants you to feed her."
"...that...I think you should feed her…"
Physical contact right on our first meeting?! That's just improper, I just could not bring myself to do so. More importantly, she was just not my cup of tea. I prefered the warm, virtuous type like Nicole.
"Weep weep…" She balked at the idea, clearly 'Alter Regine' had given her quite a scare.
Fine...it's not like I didn't expect the job to fall to me in the end…
Regine's portion of the food was still left untouched on the table. Grabbing a clean set of utensils, I cut the steak with a practised ease and tried feeding it to her. To my surprise, she actually opened her mouth and unabashedly bit down on the meat without any sign of embarrassment.
It was now my turn to be embarrassed...other than Nicole, this was the first time I fed a girl food…
I awkwardly fed while Regine robotically ate, soon the plate of food was picked clean and yet her mouth remained open as wide open as before, her hunger seemingly unsated.
I smiled bitterly as I handed over the plate to Ancarin. She nodded her head and said: "There should be some leftover ingredients in the kitchen, I'll prepare them right away."
"Mhm, I'll have to trouble you then." I politely thanked her. As her petite back disappeared from my sight, I turned to face Regine.
Due to my awkward feeding her shapely lips were covered in meat sauce, however she didn't seem to notice this as she sat there as quietly as ever. The more I looked at her, the more I felt sorry for her plight. Without giving it much thought, I instinctively put down the cutlery and reached out for a napkin.
However, just as I was about to reach out and wipe her mouth, a thought occurred to me.
Feeding her was one thing but what about wiping her mouth? Doesn't this seem more like a relationship between a boy and a girl?
As that thought occurred to me, my hands froze there awkwardly, not knowing whether to continue or not.
Regine on the other hand, wasn't infected by this confusion plaguing me. Her clammy hands latched onto mine and before I even reacted to it, pulled it to her lips. With that done, her hands returned to their resting spot atop her knees as if nothing had happened.
My hand...was on Regine's…
Err...I...I guess I should just wipe her lips, it's not like she'll get pregnant from me doing so.
Just as I went about done wiping her mouth, Ancarin came in with a plate of mouth watering food in hand. As she looked at me, she opened her petite little mouth in shock as if she had just witnessed something unthinkable. A few seconds later, she recovered from the surprise, however the look she gave me had something extra mixed within it.
With her hands covering her mouth as she set the plate on the table, she gave me a roguish smile. "You guys are at it already?"
Knowing that she was merely joking and that this wasn't a matter that was easily explained anyway, I couldn't be bothered doing so and blandly said: "You're thinking too much."
Seeing that I didn't take the bait, she went back to her seat and obediently sat there watching me feed Regine.
As the last morsel entered her mouth, Ancarin began cleaning up the table. With Regine fed, I had some spare time on hand and wanted to get some questioning in. However before I could do so, she got up and walked towards Duran with that half finished potion in hand…
Fine, I'll come back for him once you're done playing.
However, by the time she was done, it was too late for me to question him…
As I returned from the study, I found Duran tied up in a bundle with his limbs dislocated and bent at odd angles similar to a contortionist...and stuffed inside a giant wooden bucket. His mouth had been sealed with a vent left open to prevent him from suffocating to death...
While it might sound complicated, essentially Duran was processed in a way so that he could be stuffed into a bucket. And so, all I saw was the strange sight of a human head sticking out of a wooden bucket…
Apparently she did know how important he was to me after all. In order to prevent him from dying accidentally, she put in extra effort into securing this piece of "luggage". After all, we were going on a long trip, therefore tying him up was best solution to avoid any unnecessary trouble. And thus, he was processed into the form I saw before me.
As I had only been summoned into this world, his death would cause a mountain of problems for me. Out of safety considerations, she cut off his tongue...the reasoning, to prevent him from making any weird noises or committing suicide, and also to prevent him casting magic…
More like you just wanted to torture him more…
Without minding the germs one bit, she speared the severed tongue with a fork and, under Duran's horrified gaze, stuck it back into his bloody mouth…
Did you think that potion of yours was omnipotent...not like it can reconnect a severed tongue...
As for Ancarin, she went about packing our luggage without much incident. On a trip down to the basement, she managed to scrounge up a set of unused black robes with a hood attached that was large enough to cover most of my face. However, my crimson skin was still an issue.
With that in mind, she prepared an expressionless white mask and some bandages for my arms. As long as my devil's scent didn't leak out, there was no chance of me getting found out.
Thankfully, the horn on my head had been severed by the wind blades, otherwise I would have to do it myself. Hmm, wouldn't that be self-mutilation then…
Ancarin and Regine had robes on as well, though they didn't put on the hoods.
As I lugged the wooden tub outside, its occupant and all, I stumbled upon the scene of Regine killing horses.
Wait, killing the horses?
Ancarin was similarly shocked by Regine's sudden outburst and immediately retreated a few steps, just in case her bloodlust got the better of her.
She withdrew her dagger from the head of the brown horse and coldly looked at the panicking Ancarin without saying a word.
Sister, are you alright? You had your revenge already, it's time to let it go. However, I couldn't really blame her for being angry either, especially given what she suffered. Killing those horses were understandable and so I went over to Ancarin to console her while explaining Regine's actions.
"Don't worry, there's still three more horses…" I added at the end in a gentle tone, hopefully calming her down more.
As I said that, her dagger saw action once more as it penetrated the skull of another horse...now there were only two white horses left in the courtyard. These were probably used by him to roleplay as the typical "prince charming on a white horse".
Damn sister, I know you're feeling murderous and all but to swing your dagger like that without any warning…
With her grisly deed done, she slowly drew out her dagger and wiped it clean on a handkerchief, discarding it right after, all in one dashingly smooth movement. All we needed now was the creepy background music from a horror movie.
Given her decisiveness, those horses must've been the bald brothers' steeds.
Walking past the chilling scene, I patted a shivering Ancarin on the back, calming her down with my gentle touch.
Having settled down, she turned to me and said: "It's...alright...there's still two more horses...I'll get the carriage ready."
As she went about her work, I noticed an oddity in the whole situation. Normally, animals would react adversely to seeing their own kind being killed in front of them. However, instead of running away, these horses, merely stood there as their kin was killed, including the recently deceased one, not even moving an inch.
If I was correct, these horses had probably undergone training in order for them not to run away.
With two horses left, it was just enough to pull a carriage. As Duran's apprentice, Ancarin was familiar with the ins and outs of the villa and soon got the carriage ready.
Like his villa, it was an opulent carriage with a width of 3 meters. Its black exterior gave its opulence a slightly reserved quality that was probably another essential component of his roleplaying kit. Just by looking at the carriage, it wasn't hard for me to imagine him acting as a mature prince charming.
However, given its weight, whether or not the horses could even pull it was an issue. This question was quickly answered by Ancarin who pointed out that the carriage had an built-in magical array to reduce its weight by half.
It's wheels and axles had all been reinforced with arrays of their own to reduce wear and tear. This ensured that the carriage would last even when travelling under blistering speeds. As for the horses, they were all raised on special feed that made them not only stronger than normal horses but faster as well. In fact, their endurance and speed eclipsed even that of a warhorse.
As for the main body of the carriage, it had been reinforced to withstand the full might of a four-star mage...was this a carriage or the alternate universe's version of the president's limousine!!Footnotes:
Special thanks to Steve Granger!!
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