Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 57: The Sage Seeks Alternative Means
After that, we went around the laboratory.
The weapons we had stolen, including the magic cannon, had all been improved.
However, they seemed to still have some problems, which made it difficult for them to be immediately put to practical use.
The gun was the closest one to reaching completion.
Even so, there were signs that the rest of them would eventually be developed enough for practical use.
Since the director was fully confident as she explained that, there was no doubt about it.
There wasn’t any need to be impatient.
Weapon development was a long term project, and it wasn’t like I needed to rush to strengthen my army.
I told the staff that it was okay if they took their time developing the weapons, so I expected solid results.
Nothing good came from rushing things anyway.
After exploring the weapons development area, we were led to a large room next.
It had a higher ceiling compared to the previous room, cages took up most of the space.
The room was filled with neatly divided cages except for the corridor.
Several layers of the bages were stacked upon each other, to the point that they reached the ceiling.
There were multiple barriers deployed on the bars.
An alarm would ring if one carelessly touched them.
They were all tightly sealed.
There were moans coming from countless cages.
These were the sounds I was already used to hearing: the voices of captive ghouls.
Those ghouls within the cages were lying restricted.
Their physical decay wasn’t progressing, and they seemed to be new individuals.
From afar, many of them were indistinguishable from humans.
We were researching ways to return the undead into living beings here.
The undead within the cages were intelligence agents from various nations.
They were people who had sneaked into the capital. It felt a waste to just kill them, so they were used for experimental purposes.
It was ideal for me, since most undead would become skeletons once their decay advanced too much.
If we were to experiment on such a thing, it was better to try it on recently turned undead.
A metal tag was affixed on each cage.
Detailed conditions of the undead were described on it.
It indicated what kind of experiment had been done to each undead.
Looking at it, it seemed that a detailed inspection was being carried out.
The enthusiasm and struggles of the researchers could be felt here.
“We have tried various medications and magic, but we are still unable to find any way to do it. It has been said that the transformation of the living into the undead was irreversible, so overturning it should be…”
The director looked around and then trailed off.
I dropped my shoulders in disappointment, but that was just how hard it was.
I was aware of how absurd my request was.
That was why I didn’t blame them.
Currently, it was near impossible to restore a completely altered organism.
It was practically common sense, even with magic which was supposed to be capable of causing various phenomena.
“You can prioritize other research and development, but do not stop working on it. Continue investigating.”
“Ye, yes! I understand!”
The director nervously replied to my command.
While I didn’t want to pressure them too much, it would be troublesome if they just gave up.
This should be just right.
I may need to explore it myself.
Regarding the method of returning the undead into living beings, it wasn’t like I researched it to use it for myself.
Since I was deeply connected to the Valley of the Dead, I would probably still remain undead, no matter what I did.
It was a powerful curse in and of itself, and it wasn’t something that could simply be resolved by any means.
It wasn’t something that could be solved regardless of all the knowledge that was gained through the research.
Regardless of my own circumstances, having such technology would be very useful.
There were various possible applications for it.
Someone like Doldar, for example, it might be alright if I returned his state to that of a human.
He was originally a rare talent who used to be great pirate.
If he were to regain his personality, he would be able to make full use of his abilities.
“I wonder how I would turn out if I were to become a living being?”
Grom muttered as he thought that.
That was a difficult question.
In his case, the process which led to his birth was complicated.
He was a powerful undead born as result of synthesizing a large number of undead using my authority; thus, he gained their memories and experience.
Grom, who wielded enormous miasma and magic power, was a monster who was only inferior to me.
Honestly, it wasn’t only a problem of reversing the undead into the living in his case.
The scale of his transformation was different from that of a single individual.
It was practically impossible to turn Grom into a living being just as he was.
Might it be more practical to extract the soul and transfer it into a living body?
Even that required a high level of skill.
It was a completely different topic from what was being researched in this room.
Since there was no need to turn Grom into a living being, it wouldn’t change much for him.
Anyway, since there was currently no progress in this research, I expected it to be a long-term study.
Fortunately, there were no problems in replenishing the undead.
It would be fine if they still keep it running on the side while researching something else.
After looking at the cages, I told the director what I wanted.
“I want you to show me ‘that’ research soon.”
“…I understand. Please come this way.”
The director had an awkward look and quickly left the room.
She silently led us somewhere.
Grom and I followed her.
Grom whispered to me along the way.
“She had an awkward expression. What does ‘that’ research mean?”
“You’ll know when you see it. It isn’t anything fun though.”
If the experiments were scaled on whether they were fun or not, the weapons were probably the best part.
Grom was excited as he looked at their development.
He listened enthusiastically to the director’s commentary and wished to adapt it to the Demon Lord’s Army.
It seemed he really liked those weapons.
Compared to what he saw earlier, what he was about to see would be boring.
“We’ve arrived. Please come this way.”
The director stopped at the innermost room of the laboratory.
The magic tools installed for security in this area were particularly strict.
It was unlikely for anyone to be able to sneak in without permission.
The director went through multiple security verifications to open the door.
We followed her and entered the room.
It was a similar room to the previous one.
There were many cages, and human figures could be seen inside.
The difference was that the things inside the cages were undeniably corpses, not the undead.
Most of them had already turned into skeletons or completely rotted away.
There were some pieces of meat floating inside the liquid-filled glass containers.
It wasn’t a pleasant sight to see.
There were a few staff members in the room.
Each one of them was absorbed in their work, without noticing my presence.
They must have been very focused on their work.
Some were writing in documents, while others were inspecting the corpses.
Grom, who witnessed that, let a whisper escape.
“Do, don’t tell me this is…”
“It is research to revive the dead.”
I replied emotionlessly.
It seemed Grom had expected it, seeing as he turned silent then.
“How is the progress?”
“As the report states, we haven’t found any methods to execute or understand anything as of now. We’re very sorry…”
“Don’t worry. It can’t be helped.”
I comforted the director as she bowed her head.
It would take a miracle to revive the dead.
To raise them as undead was, strictly speaking, mere imitation.
Making them into undead merely altered their existence into something else. It was completely different from reviving the dead.
It was much more difficult than the act of returning the undead into the living.
It was obvious that there was no simple prospect to realize it.
If it had been that easy to be done to begin with, I would have already done it.
But exactly because it wasn’t possible, I prepared specialists and facilities to research about it.
Regarding this research, I expected it to take years before any significant progress was made.
Just as this research was difficult, it also had irreplaceable value to it.
After that, Grom and I left the laboratory.
I managed to inspect everything I wanted to check.
I would continue to visit regularly and listen to opinions and requests.
The staff there were excellent, so they would surely bring out the result I sought.
On the way back, I noticed Grom’s restlessness.
He had been fidgeting all this time.
It was as if he repeatedly wanted to say something, only to stop before the words could come out.
Does he have something he wants to ask me?
While I could guess his intention, I wouldn’t bring it up.
It wasn’t something to take the initiative to talk about.
It was okay if it ended without Grom asking about it.
However, after hesitating for a bit, he chose to ask.
“Hmm, Demon Lord-sama. Regarding reviving the dead, as expected —“
“It is as you thought. You’re not mistaken about it.”
I answered him before he could speak his question.
Grom definitely wanted to say things regarding that person.
He knew how I ended up like this.
If there was anyone I wished to revive, the first thing he would think of could only be that person.
My ability was incapable of reanimating her.
She refused to be turned into an undead.
It might be because of my psychological problems, but in any case, the result didn’t change.
That was why I was looking for another method.
Aside from weapon development, I commanded the research to realize the possibility of reviving the dead.
Although it was a ridiculous demand, they faithfully conducted their research.
“I must be obsessed. Do you think it is stupid?”
“No, no, I don’t dare to think so! I will do my best to answer the Demon Lord-sama’s wishes!”
Grom clenched his fist and promptly responded powerfully.
It wasn’t something he said due to the situation.
He really meant what he said.
Once again, I appreciated my loyal retainer’s spirit.
Support Tsukii on Kofi for extra releases!