We continued our journey as soon as I finished eating. But strangely, I got hungry after just walking a little.
Now that I thought about it, when I had talked to General Miralda about constantly feeling like I was starving, she had asked me how much I ate in one day and then thought hard on it.
“Judging by how much you have eaten so far, I would have expected a greater increase in mana… Perhaps it’s because of your evolution, but your mana recovery is still only at fifty percent.”
Races that used their special abilities often–for instance, races that were good with magic attacks, had to eat in order to make up for the mana that they lost.
It was possible to absorb mana from the atmosphere while you rested, but it was much faster to bring it into your body through eating.
And so it was easy for anyone to calculate the amount of mana you took in.
According to the General, it was incredibly low, in my case.
While some races were slower when it came to recovery, Ogres were not supposed to be one of them.
And even for the races that took longer, this rate was supposed to be impossible.
“Just half of what should be expected…”
I did have an idea about the reason.
Where was mana stored? Of course, it was within the Orb of Control.
However, being large didn’t necessarily mean there was more mana to use.
Your vessel needed to be large as well.
But things were a little different in my case.
It wasn’t just me in the Orb of Control. There was another me as well. And the other me had a lot more mana.
Was it possible then, that the mana from the food I ate was split between us as it was absorbed?
If that was the case, it would make sense that it was taking twice as long for my mana to recover.
It was because of that conversation, that I decided to stuff myself to the limit every time I ate.
However, I would still get hungry after only a short time had passed. I hoped that I would be able to feel full soon.
I couldn’t wait.
How many times had I said that already?
“Sir Golan. There is a Horned settlement up ahead. Should we stop by?”
Since it was a settlement and not a town, it would not be very large.
“Won’t they find our presence a disturbance?”
While it was true that we didn’t have much food, did that mean we could eat all of theirs?
“This is not part of General Miralda’s land, but I think they will understand if we talk to them. Otherwise, I don’t think we will make it to the next town.”
“That’s a problem. …I suppose we have no choice. We’ll explain things to them and ask them to share their food.”
“Yes. Well then, I will send one of them ahead.”
One of the people carrying the baggage ran on ahead towards the Horned settlement.
General Miralda had already sent out a messenger to Demon King Tralzard in advance, explaining the matter to him.
It was part of her regular reports, and since the timing had been right, she said that she was sending someone to meet him.
“There will be preparations to make, so take your time.”
She had said. And so we did just that, and moved at a leisurely pace.
“Well, it will be a lot of trouble if things continue like this after we arrive.”
And so I wanted to at least deal with this hunger first.
And so we headed to the Horned settlement.
“I see. That’s…amazing. How do they keep them from breaking?”
The Horned had two giant horns coming out of their head.
That being said, it wasn’t like a rhinoceros. More like a reindeer, as they came out from the sides of the head and were intricate in shape as they spread out.
“I’m sure they do break sometimes. But they are a symbol of strength. And so they do not break easily.”
“Is that right? They do have very impressive builds. Even Ogres are not that muscular.”
Perhaps they should have been called Macho instead of Horned.
I didn’t see a single one who wasn’t in great shape.
As for their faces, they resembled horses or reindeer.
The best way to describe them were muscular, bipedal herbivores.
Once we arrived, we were led to a large room and food was served.
The person who had gone ahead had explained everything to them.
“Indeed it is. Is there a problem?”
“No…not at all.”
As the Horned looked like herbivores, I had assumed that they wouldn’t eat meat. But I suppose their faces had nothing to do with it.
It wasn’t important anyway, and I immediately started to bite into the food that was steaming on the table.
The food on the plate started to disappear rapidly. Even the cook, who had at first had an expression that read, ‘clearly we made too much?’ was now looking on in disbelief.
All Ogres were big eaters.
However, my capacity to eat was now through the roof.
It felt like the food was disappearing inside of my stomach.
Really, I wished that someone could help me.
“So, I heard that this place isn’t governed by General Miralda? Whose control are you under then?”
“This area is all General Krunya’s land.”
“General Krunya… The General that wreaked havoc in the south, yes? I heard about that a long time ago.”
It was one of the stories I heard from a merchant that traveled to our country.
These stories that were related to war tended to be more memorable to me.
“General Krunya is currently guarding the south side. The battle with Demon King Legard takes up all of the General’s time these days.”
So, we had another one who loved to fight.
I did not want to get close to someone who spent all their time fighting a Demon Lord’s army.
These were the times when I needed information in advance.
And it was only after I gathered information, that I would move in a way that was to my advantage.
Which would mostly involve avoiding him.
“What kind of person is General Krunya?”
“Oh, dangerous. In more ways than one. After all, the General evolved from a Black Death…”
“I see… I’m surprised anyone could make someone like that obey them.”
“Only someone like King Tralzard could.”
Black Death, eh? I could not think of a less desirable companion.
They were of the high races, similar to Vampires and Reapers. However, many of them had terribly diabolical special abilities.
“Uh, ‘Grave Marker,’ was it?”
“So you know.”
Souls of residents of the Demon World were managed by the Orb of Control, and their names were linked to it.
The Black Deaths’ special ability, ‘Grave Marker,’ involved creating a stone out of their own mana and carving a name into it. Then they would break the stone, killing the person whose name they wrote.
It was called a curse stone, and it was said that if they succeeded in carving the name into it, then death could not be escaped.
I had never seen any of them myself, but they were seen as a symbol of bad luck, and disliked by many.
“I make a point to know about all the dangerous races. I don’t want to ever get hit by anything like ‘Pain Nail’ or ‘Black Spot.’”
“You really do know a lot. But General Krunya is an evolved type, so his special ability would have also evolved into something stronger.”
“I want to meet him even less now. I’m glad that he isn’t near King Tralzard.”
If you were scratched, you would experience excruciating pain and then your flesh would start to rot. That was ‘Pain Nail.’ As for ‘Black Spot,’ it involved an infectious and deadly disease where black spots appeared on your skin.
They had so many special abilities like this, that it was no wonder they were disliked.
In fact, I had a secret suspicion that they were responsible for the plague in medieval Europe.
I was once again reminded about how different Generals were when it came to the countries of Demon Kings.
No one else would be able to make such people their subordinates.
“…Hmm? What’s all this noise coming from outside?”
It was just as I was finally starting to feel full that I heard someone shouting.
“I will go and look.”
Said Stomel as he left the room.
“Sir Golan. It seems like they are going to decide who in this settlement will be sent to the battlefield.”
“They’re being conscripted?”
“It’s the step before that, but likely the same to them. They will fight and choose representatives for the settlement.”
Settling it with a fight. How barbaric… Well, not really.
It was done everywhere in the Demon World. It was a normal thing.
“That sounds rather interesting. Do you think we could watch?”
“I’m sure it is fine, but I will ask them.”
The youth of the settlement were going to have a tournament in order to decide who was the strongest.
These kinds of hot-blooded events needed to be seen up close.
“Sir Golan, I’ve received their permission.”
“I see. Then let’s not waste any time.”
I wanted to see this for myself.
The power of a Demon King’s settlement.