Negotiations with the Wolf Demons 5 

「Robert-San, where are the rest of the Wolf Demons who were similarly infected by the disease? Just to be sure, I want to check their lifestyle and condition before the onset of illness. 」 

The other three people were nervous, but the next words that came out of Mirage’s mouth were spoken in a gentle tone. 

「 Ah, umm, all the infected people are gathered in the innermost building in the village. It’s about time for those guys at the entrance of the forest to come back. 」 

With a stunned look on his face, Robert obediently replies to Mirage and tells him about the whereabouts of the sick Wolf demons. 

Astarte and Rafa, who were freed from the pressure, stared at Mirage while wondering what he was going to do. 

Demons often use medicines prepared by pharmacists for diseases and injuries because they cannot use Holy magic–to be exact, they cannot receive the protection of the goddess-like humans. 

Injury or common diseases can be treated with medicines distributed within the demon territory, but it is only natural that only a person with specialized knowledge can cope with a major infectious disease like this. 

However, from Mirage’s earlier words, it almost seems as if he was going to do the examination himself, and thus it was unavoidable for Astarte and Rafa to be left wondering. 

「I see, well first let’s go to the place where the other infected people are. And then after that, please hold a proper funeral for your father. However, to completely kill the bacteria please do a cremation instead of burial. 」 

「He , hey, wait a minute. I think I might be wrong, does that mean you are going examine the infected people? Let me tell you that not only in this village but the doctors in the other villages have neither seen nor heard about such a disease! It is a terrible disease that has killed many people besides my father, there’s no way for an amateur like you to deal with it. 」 

「That’s right, Mirage-Sama, first of all, we should return to the Demon King’s castle and send out a special medical team. We amateurs will only be wasting time in vain. I have also dabbled into medical science a little bit myself, but I have never seen or heard about such symptoms, so it most certainly is a new kind of disease. It is too dangerous for us to go to a place where there are a lot of infected people, even if there is a chance of us already being infected! 」 

「Ye, yes. You can’t solve it using magic too, no matter how much you try a demon can’t use holy magic, unlike humans. You should know, how difficult it was for me to understand that.」 

Starting with Robert, who was a little calm, Astarte and Rafa similarly threw out questions and raised objections to Mirage. 

The Wolf demon tribe has many villages in this vast forest and the one in which the Chief of the tribe stays stands on the top out of all of them. 

Naturally, there are doctors who studied medical science stationed in every village and so if none of them could deal with, the symptoms must be very unusual. 

The doctors of the long-lived demon race have many years of experience and knowledge and thus are naturally aware of even the rare disease that was prevalent a few hundred years ago. 

The fact that these many of such doctors don’t know what this was and there have been many deaths, increases the possibility of this being a new and dangerous disease. 

Since the body of the Demons is stronger than that of a human being and has an excellent self-healing ability, it is very unusual for a Demon to die from some injury or disease. 

「… I have my guess already. It is probably the so-called black skin disease, which was prevalent during the ancient era. 」  

Mirage answers in his usual tone, but it made all three of them very greatly surprised, especially Astarte who started asking further questions as if not convinced. 

「Why, why does Mirage know that? I know you like books from the ancient era, but when it comes to medical science, you should be a stranger to it. It’s hard to believe that you have an insight into a disease that is not even known to us Evil demons. 」 

As the Evil Demons are the most numerous and long-lived among the demons, they have a vast amount of knowledge and experience, and many of them play an active role in the science field of the Demon King’s army. 

In fact, nearly half of the members of the Demon King’s Army medical team are the Evil Demons, as they continue to conduct research day and night. 

Astarte is not an expert, but she remembers all the serious diseases that can kill the demons in large numbers and she always keeps the latest information about what the medical team is researching. 

That’s why she says that she doesn’t know what he is talking about and if it’s about the medical field, it is unavoidable that she can’t remain silent. 

「……My father died of an illness when I was a child. But…At that time, I was a child who knew nothing and could do nothing. It was only a week later that I found out that my father was sick with black skin disease. I only remember it because there was a description of the exact same symptoms in an ancient era book which a peddler happened to be selling in the city. 」 

Everyone, including Astarte, become speechless after hearing Mirages few words. 

Mirage, who was still a young boy, lost his father and got to know the cause of it only one week later. 

It is not hard to imagine how many times he would have regretted and cursed the world, about just giving it to him a little earlier. 

Astarte lowered her head and spoke in a quivering voice, perhaps ashamed or maybe regretful of reminding Mirage of his painful past. 

「I, I’m sorry, I was thoughtless. 」 

It looked like a scene of a child regretful of disappointing her parents, and the back of the already small Astarte seemed to have shrunk even further. 

Mirage slowly approached such Astarte and her body trembled further. 

「It’s been more than 200 years, and I don’t mind it now. So, I will feel sadder if Tart-Chan worries about it like that. The Tart-Chan that I like is serious, hard-working, loves sweets, but is mercilessly poisonous with words. So, please don’t make such a face. 」 

And while stroking Astarte’s head gently, Mirage spoke in a persuading tone. 

This scene appeared like a father caring for his child and, Rafa and Robert looked at the whole exchange quietly. 

Mirage turned towards Robert, after determining that Astarte is going to be all right and her quivering will stop soon. 

「I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Robert-San. I’m sorry to trouble you, but you will have to lead the way for me to help. 」 

「o, oh, hmm. If you are really going to cure this disease, I don’t mind a little exertion. To be honest, I was prepared to die, so this considerably cheaper. 」 

The actions of Robert were, as can be seen by the anger of Rafa, a dangerous gamble. 

Objectively, the negotiation can be considered as a dirty trick that harmed 2 of the 4 Heavenly kings and it would be not surprising for the Demon King’s Army to destroy their whole village. 

Robert was prepared to offer his life as an apology for deceiving, to appeal for the treatment of the other Wolf Demons. 

However, Mirage instead of being angry was rather cooperative and his own bitter experience had certainly contributed to this behavior. 

When Mirage heard his answer, he quickly inscribed a Magic mark on the floor, and then, opened the gate from which he pulled out something like a cloth. 

「Rafa, I’m leaving the change of clothes for you here and when you are done you can inform me using Tart-Chan’s contact ball, I will summon you guys using the Magic mark. Well then, I and Robert-San are going ahead. 」 

Without hearing Rafa’s reply, Mirage lent his shoulder to Robert and quickly walked out of the room. 

「aa–a, I had been worried about that. I usually don’t like it and rarely get serious to use it, tsk. 」 

While saying so Rafa undid her Dragonification, leaving her without even a single thread on herself and she quickly reached out to the change of clothes that Mirage had left before. 

 The Dragonification magic creates big changes to her body, which naturally results in the tearing of the clothes which she had worn before using it. 

That’s why Rafa carries as much change of clothes as she can, but to not let the luggage get in the way in case of an attack, she had left it in the carriage and Mirage had taken one out from those clothes using Transfer magic. 

And Rafa’s concern was not only about changing clothes but also for Astarte next to her. 

Astarte’s expression is unknown as she was looking down, but several drops of water had fallen on the Tatami Mat under her feet. 

She was not able to notice anything about the Wolf Demons scheme; she was behind in understanding it compared to Mirage, she had a slip of tongue because of her limited knowledge and then she was comforted by the same person who she hurt by that. 

Perhaps the emotions swirling around in Astarte are regret, jealousy, shame, …… and gratitude also. 

Mirage left on the pretext of Rafa changing clothes because he had sensed these emotions of Astarte. 

Astarte’s was very prideful, so Mirage thought that she wouldn’t like to be seen in such state by the person she considered to be her rival, but that she should be okay with Rafa, who was a childhood friend and a close friend, even though they were at odds with each other. 

And without needing to be said by Rafa, it is not hard to imagine that Astarte herself understood it the best. 

「Absolutely……. I’ll absolutely……. follow…… about ……….. I’ll show. 」 

While sobbing, Astarte looked up with a renewed determination. 

Rafa had a helpless look on her face seeing, such a state, of trying to pull herself together of her close friend. 

「Pooh, still you will not be able to keep up with me. I am one step ahead of the Cry-baby Tart, no matter what as I am one of the 4 Heavenly Kings. 」 

It may seem that Rafa is being her brash self as usual, but this is her trying to be kind in her own way. 

And her red eyes, like Astarte, were filled with determination. 

「……. I think it would be difficult for Rafa who has such a short-temper. I remember seeing Mirage –Sama leading the whole thing with his glib-tongue during the previous conflict. Still, I was the one who regained composure first, earlier. And in the first place, it is difficult to say whether Rafa would have been the part of the 4 Heavenly Kings without Mirage-Sama. 」 

Perhaps calming down, Astarte regained her usual tone and began to counterattack Rafa. 

Maybe because she had been confronted with an unexpected fact, Rafa replied in a flustered manner. 

「 How, how do you know that! That Black bean sprout should not have talked about such unnecessary things. 」 

「 If you think I don’t know anything, you’re very wrong. I can’t reveal the source, but I have heard about the details from a reliable source. I heard, your father and Mirage –Sama and—– 」 

「–Aaa! Aa! Stop it don’t say anymore! Tart, no Tart, forgive me! 」 

Rafa clings to Astarte and begs her desperately showing how much she didn’t want to hear it. 

Thus, the peaceful and smiling exchange of these two childhood friends, good friends, and foe lasted for some time, and it was only a little later that Mirage, who had been concerned about them due to the delay in communication, would complain. 

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