Wednesday, June 15, 2022 @

Chapter 120 Pincushion of Hell

 "Come on, come on, let's go in~"
 Lin Hua led me to a small house in the forest, the lair of the 'Death-eating Bird'.
 As soon as I entered the dimly lit house, I could smell the nauseating smell of rottenness in the air. It is a smell that I have become quite familiar with since I came to this world... in other words, the smell of death.
 Inside the small house, corpses are laid out in various places.
 A model of a human body with its skin peeled off and flesh and organs exposed. A woman's head hung from the ceiling. A deformed corpse soaked in a formalin-like liquid and stuffed in a bottle. A man's face skin pinned to the wall.
 A pile of corpses arranged in disorder, but somehow in harmony. These fearful objects made me feel insane just by looking at them... but what they all have in common is that every single one of them is "alive".
 'Ugh... Aaaa...'
 'Help... Gigigigigigi...'
 'Forgive me... Already, please kill me...'
 A sobbing voice comes from the mouth of the corpse.
 How could they be spinning the words? Even the raw heads and human skins, which should have had no throats or lungs, were speaking.
 The wreckage enchanted by Lin Hua, the 'Necromancer', is not allowed to die, but is being played with as a toy.
 "You have a bad taste... What a quintessential example of a corpse-lover (necrophilia). The sensibilities of a magician skilled in the use of the undead are unique."
 "But everyone here is a deviant, an out-of-towner, okay? 'Don't kill anyone else'. That's the deal I made with the boss's ancestors."
 The grandfather of the 'Death-eating Birds' had made a pact with the ancestors of the Baskervilles, giving them several "bonds" in exchange for the protection of their clan. One of them is that they are not allowed to kill anyone but the outsiders who are hostile to the Baskervilles.
 Incidentally, one of the 'bonds' was even a very troublesome one that "if the head of the Baskerville family is replaced, the new head can be put to the test to see if he is fit to be a lord".
 Thanks to this, every time I met Lin Hua, I would be confronted with undead or puppets... my ancestors had made a rule that was unnecessary.
 "Here, here~. Here's my new one, aru~yo!"
 Lin Hua brought a pincushion. It is used to keep needles in when sewing.
 'Uuu.... Ghh... Aaaaaaa...'
 But a pitiful cry leaked out from the "Pincushion".
 This 'pincushion' is crying with its face contorted as much as possible. He is actually the scum aristocrat I beat up the other day, Belonga Jack Salt.
 Belonga had been decapitated, leaving only his head. In addition, the skin of his head and a part of his skull had been removed, leaving his brain exposed.
 In addition, Belonga's brain is pierced with numerous needles. Hundreds of sewing needles used for embroidery are growing out of her brain, just like hairs on the back of her head.
 'No... No more needles...'
 Belonga's mouth breaks into sobs.
 The worst of the villains who used to kidnap and mutilate so many children seem to be experiencing the pains of hell even as they live.
 It is a cruel end, even if he deserved it.
 "...It's pathetic. No, he deserves it considering what he has done. In fact, it may not be enough for the victims and their bereaved families."
 "I was saved because I just in need of a new pincushion. I will take good care of my boss's gift, aru~yo."
 "I didn't give it to you as a gift... so what was he talking about?"
 "Shi~, that's right..."
 Lin Hua's mouth spins the information that was extracted through torture or interrogation.
 Lin Hua, a skilled necromancer, has a hobby of loving dead bodies, and the process of her loving dead bodies naturally spits out information.
 It is doubtful if she is aware that she is trying to get information out of them, but... there was no information that Lin Hua could not get out of them, even if they were not open to any kind of torture.
 What Jack Salt told her was what kind of evil things he, the fearless madman, had done in his life. It was disgusting to hear.
 Where he had killed whom. How he killed them. How he cooked them and ate them... even how they tasted.
 He also talked about the inside of the Maafern Kingdom... just as I knew, the neighboring kingdom seems to have severe status disparity and oppression of its people.
 He did not seem to know Shakuna, the princess, and had little information about her.
 "And... he said something funny. He said that it was on the orders of His eminence that he was kidnapping children in this country, aru~yo."
 "His Eminence...?"
 I wonder who he's talking about.
 Considering that Jack Salt is a nobleman from a neighboring kingdom, it's likely someone from the Maafern kingdom.
 The fact that this man, a count, is following him suggests that he's a very powerful man. I believe 'His Eminence' is a title reserved for religious authorities...
 "...Well, I don't understand. Don't you know the name of this 'His Eminence'?"
 "I only knew the name as 'Your Eminence, or His Eminence'. Like 'Your Eminence, help me—' or 'His Eminence, Godjhiwoo (ゴジヒヲー)'."
 "Hmm... Is it religion? Maybe he's affiliated with a church or temple in a neighboring country, but... there's too little information."
 Even though [DunBrave] has many priests and priestesses, religion is never explained in detail in the game.
 There are several religions, sects, and even paganism... I only know about the Slayers Kingdom at best. I do not have the slightest knowledge of the religious situation in the neighboring countries.
 "...Slayers Kingdom has a king who is also the head of the church, and the cardinal is the practical head of the church."
 Would that be similar to the Church of England as an institution?
 I don't know if it is the same in Maafern Kingdom, but that is just in this country.
 "I'll ask Aeris about it later... Lin Hua, you continue to get information out of this guy. Ask him if he knows anything about His Eminence and the Revolutionary Army."
 "Shi~, I understand. I'll talk to him later while I'm sewing a handkerchief, aru~yo"
 Torture while sewing is a good thing.
 My reliable yet terrifying subordinate was bothering me as I left the lair of the "Death-eating Bird" with Urza in tow.

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