I left the cave and rushed to the village.
On the way, I passed through rough groves and miry fields with no roads.
And while I was out of breath, it was better than being too late.
“Commander Golan. What happened?”
As soon as I arrived in the village, one of the youths that lived there, Jacob, looked at me with surprise.
Jacob was about two or three years older than me.
And since he had participated in the war, he still called me by my official position.
“Former Commander. But more importantly, have everyone gather together.”
“Huh? Right now?”
Jacob started to run around the village as he shouted.
In the meantime, I caught my breath and thought about what could be done about these red rats.
“…There would be no point in explaining the whole thing.”
How much would they understand about infectious diseases?
Besides, it had to do with why the Lamias had been driven from their old home.
Giving them too much information at once could lead to them forgetting what was important. Ogres were like that.
It was best to keep things simple.
If you had people gather together without telling them the reason, you could expect to see a lot of angry and annoyed people gather together.
However, when it came to Ogres, they tended to obey me faithfully.
In fact, they were running as if to see who could get here first.
Some of them looked a little afraid. Perhaps they had seen something terrible on the way.
“Is that everyone?”
“Yes! Everyone in the village.”
Jacob said as a representative for the others.
I had left a different Ogre in charge of this village, but I didn’t really care about that right now.
“All of you. Listen carefully!”
I shouted, and they all stood up straight.
I paused for a few seconds and then began to talk.
“There is something that I want to ask all of you. However, don’t talk unless I tell you to. Got that!”
“Can I get a reply?”
“…Good. Now, the first question. Raise your hand if you’ve seen a rat in the village recently.
About seven out of ten of them raised their hand.
That was a lot. I didn’t normally see many rats where I lived. And it should have been the same in this village.
“Keep your hand up if you’ve seen a red rat. And lower your hand if you haven’t.”
And then most of them lowered their hands.
Three of them didn’t. They were all Ogre women.
“You on the far left. What’s your name?”
“Alright, Danie. This is very important, so I want you to remember carefully. Where and when did you see this red rat?”
“Uhh… Oh, it was the day before yesterday. As for the place, I think it was near the ceiling of my house.”
Ogre houses were built on top of a stone foundation, and the upper part was usually made of wood and mortar.
If it was near the ceiling, it was likely running on the beams.
“I-I am go Goe. Yesterday, I saw a rat jump out of the grass in my garden. I thought it was a lizard at first, because of the color. But when I got closer, I saw that it was a rat. But I didn’t have anything with me at the time and…”
“And now you.”
“I’m Miradis. Today…I mean, just a moment ago. It was near the outskirts of the village. It was dead.”
“Dead? Miradis, right? Did you touch it?”
“N-no. I didn’t touch it. I would never touch a dead rat.”
“Good. You can all put your hands down now.”
I was acting so unusually around them, that everyone seemed afraid to even trade glances.
It was as if they were focusing on my every move.
“Red rats are evil rats that spread a terrible disease. …However, the other rats might carry the disease as well.”
I looked at all of them.
I wanted to be sure that they were all listening before continuing.
“Now listen to me carefully. We will have to catch all of the rats in this village. I will tell you how. But you must obey this one order. Do not touch the rats under any circumstances. It is the same with their droppings. Do not touch it. And if you happen to, wash your hands very well.”
I wasn’t sure if washing your hands would do much, but it had to be better than nothing.
“And you and you! What are your names?”
I pointed to two large Ogres.
“Alright, Guen and Billy. I want you to dig a hole outside of the village. A big one. That’s where we will bury the dead rats.”
“As for the rest of you. I’ll teach you how to make the traps. So come over here.”
I didn’t know if my knowledge of catching rats would actually work in the Demon World, but it seemed like a better idea than running around and chasing them like an idiot.
And so I dug a hole in the ground and filled it with a wooden bucket.
I then filled it halfway with water and set up something like a bamboo seesaw near it.
It would tilt towards the bucket once the rat moved through the bamboo.
The other trap I made also involved a bucket of water. This one had a stick with a rat guard put inside of it.
Then we just had to put some bait inside and both traps were complete.
We used some steamed potato for bait.
“So now you know how to make them. I want you to place them all over the village. But don’t touch any of the rats. Just dump all of the contents into the hole.”
They would be limited by how many buckets they had, but this was as much as I could do.
I looked over to the two who were digging the hole. They had already dug up to their waists.
“Good. That should be deep enough. When the villagers come with the rats, put them in here. But don’t touch them.”
That should do it.
“Oh, I can’t just stay here.”
There were still other places to go.
I told them that I would return in a few days, and then I left the village.
It was too bad that I couldn’t see things to the end, but I had a tight schedule.