This Story has been fan-translated. Official translations will be added when they become available.
My shoes made a crisp sound against the cold floor; there’s the smell of rusting iron in the air, and the dark hallway is a bit cold.
I’m holding a tray, and I’ve now arrived at the special sick room at the end of the hallway.
I gently knocked on the door and opened it. In the dark room is a white sickbed.
A woman that could be described as emaciated was strapped to the bed. She seemed to sense something as I approached, and fearfully curled up.
“Don’t come near me! Don’t come over! Don’t come over AHHHHH!”
She descended into madness once more, knowing she was powerless to retaliate.
I wasn't too concerned with how frenzied and terrible she looked, and turned my sights towards Master Attendant, who was awakened by her.
“Master Attendant, why don’t you get some more rest? You only got two hours of sleep yesterday.”
“It’s okay, Black Pudding. Did you bring what I want?”
I placed the tray on a nearby cabinet. Master Attendant picked up a container on the tray and carefully examined the drug in it.
I looked at the dark bags under Master Attendant’s eyes and felt worried. Master Attendant hasn’t slept well in a month because of his research.
Master Attendant gently unstrapped the trembling woman curled up, and lifted her off the bed. Air was squeezed out of the syringe and alongside a sharp needle, red liquid was injected into the woman’s body.
The woman had no idea how much energy Master Attendant spent to create this medicine that could save her. Instead, she just sat there, continuing to scream at the top of her lungs.
But the way that Master Attendant focuses on his research is still as enchanting as before.
Master Attendant used to be a dull person. He said he wanted to save every person’s life.
Indeed, he worked hard to do so.
In the Holy See’s medical school, day after day of boring classes couldn’t spark any sort of interest.
Master Attendant's results were spectacular enough to give him bragging rights.
His professor was an even more boring bloke compared to Master Attendant back then.
He never once changed his coat, repeating the same lackluster classes every day, with an unchanging friendly smile.
When he was clearly different from that group of humans.
On the first day of lessons with Master Attendant, I felt it. That fellow, who disguised himself very well, was different from the stupid humans.
He’s a Food Soul like me.
I can't believe a Food Soul with powers that exceed a human’s would actually feel satisfied hiding in the human world and living a plain life.
But just like how I noticed him, he also noticed me.
It’s funny how these self-proclaimed individuals, who want to save more people, often use innocent animals to gain the experience to save even more people.
Every anatomy class, when the scalpel broke open skin, the beautiful, fresh-red liquid flows out from the flesh. Before the animals’ lives end, their eyes are always filled with despair.
It’s also in that moment those humans with the scalpel hold the power of life and death over the animal.
When the sharp knife cuts open the animal's tummy, their ugly expression will show their true self.
When I dealt with the 'carcass' that Master Attendant left behind, I saw the bloke standing close by.
He looked at me vigilantly. I don’t know why, but I can read the warning in his eyes.
Want me to be more obedient?
Hmph, this guy, who’s already been turned into a human, is a hopeless cause.
I doubt the version of him we’re seeing right now is the real him.
At the Academy, the dull, repetitive days seemed to suffocate me. Everyone talked insincerely with a mask of hypocrisy.
The lifespan of humans are far too short in comparison to those of Food Souls.
Master Attendant is now a youth. At the graduation ceremony, the chap in the white coat didn’t have the slightest trace of aging, just like me.
Master Attendant graduated with top marks and with some assistance from his kin, he opened a not-so-small hospital on a field of pretty green grass.
Master Attendant treated every patient like family, taking great care in researching every single patient’s disease. When he met with poor patients, he wasn't stingy and happily paid their expenses.
Everybody he cured gratefully thanked him.
All of this caused the gentle smile on Master Attendant’s boring face to grow even brighter. He made it his goal to save everyone and cure all disease.
That’s not an easy goal. Or should I say, a goal destined for failure.
So when he wasn’t able to cure the infected woman, whose blood carried a terrifying virus, no matter he did, his world shattered.
Countless days and nights, numerous books torn from him flipping through the pages, all the possible treatments he could think of; all of this, for a white faced woman thirsting for blood. But still, nothing.
This is a very rare disease. The virus in the blood will make the victim crave blood like the vampires of legend. Master Attendant spent inumerable days and nights, but found no way to keep her alive.
Everyone advised Master Attendant and said that it wasn’t his fault, but I saw Master Attendant’s eyes change. Things became more interesting...
He tried travelling to find and study other cases in hopes of finding a cure, but records of this illness were uncommon. Before Master Attendant could develop a way to save them, the aggressive virus would’ve killed them.
Master Attendant had no more patients of similar diseases to study. He turned his gaze to the tube of blood, extracted from the original patient, which contained the terrifying virus.
Lost in the trash can, the bodies of the little white mice told us that the virus can spread to others through the blood of the infected.
I looked at Master Attendant’s face, wearing a madness no longer hidden. The darkness in his eyes also excited me.
Seeing my Master Attendant’s face, the person who showed everything to me, this was my first time feeling some sort of unprecedented anticipation. This is my Master Attendant, the person I want to serve.
Beneath the white is where a deep black is hidden.
Under his orders, I found the homeless people lost from the hospital, who nobody would bother looking for, and took them to the basement, once used for storage.
Amongst them were the labor workers who came forward and helped us renovate the basement. I still remember the day when he smiled and said to us:
“Mister, you really are the Godsent savior! If it weren't for you, many of us would have already died from illness! This time, is it because no more patients can stay in the hospital? Don’t worry! I’m quick, I’ll be done renovating it in no time!”
“Yes, we won’t let you down for your hard work.”
Saving lives come at the expense of other lives. We won’t let you down.
Everything ended much more suddenly than I thought it would be.
Master Attendant locked himself in the hospital ever since he began his experiments. At the beginning, those people quickly succumbed to this grievous illness.
The lack of material for experimentation put a stop to the research. In the hospital, there were fewer and fewer homeless people who no one would miss. To ensure Master Attendant’s steady research progress isn’t stopped, I must find more materials.
Fortunately, there’s not many humans who make a fuss about appearances. I didn’t need to do much to lure in some men, who were more than happy to walk into my traps, straight to Master Attendant.
The hospital used to be the most glorious place, but once the manager stopped caring, the place declined. Who knows when. This hospital, once trusted and relied on by the masses, now became a subject of urban legend.
But this decline gave Master Attendant the perfect environment for research. Because no matter how ear-splitting the patient's screams are, no one will notice. Moreover, I don’t have to worry about avoiding others when I dispose of corpses.
I received an anonymous letter that told me to leave the hospital with Master Attendant as soon as possible. Back then, I didn’t really care about the letter. It was just a few humans and I can handle them. Additionally, their arrival just meant more materials for Master Attendant.
I came to regret my overconfidence as a result.
When the Holy See attacked the hospital under the banner of “expelling all evils,” they were unprepared for all the various secret traps and passageways there after I carefully modified the hospital. One by one, they fell, and my ambush was enough to make sure even those who survived the traps didn’t make it.
Until two Food Souls came in and ruined this one-sided victory.
One of them was the boring chap from medical school.
The blonde besides him, dressed as a priest, rushed in to chase after Master Attendant. Before he left, I heard the holy father call that prat Weisswurst.
I wanted to block the bloke running forward, but Weisswurst stood before me, blocking my way.
“It's over. Pretzel will not have mercy. Just give up.”
I raised my head, and stared at him, feeling resistance in my heart. I pondered over how I should get out of this and rescue my Master Attendant.
“I will not let you go. As Food Souls, we are supposed to help our Master Attendant better assist other humans! But you led your Master Attendant to commit a grave mistake! It’s my fault for letting you do as you please back then!”
In my final moments of consciousness, I was met with Weisswurst’s furious attacks. I also sensed rage and shock as the contract deep within my soul broke.
V. Black Pudding
When Black Pudding woke up, she saw a pair of pure and gorgeous eyes, with a hint of anticipation, looking at her. The owner of the eyes blinked delicately, turned around and ran out of the room.
“Spaghetti, Spaghetti! She’s awake!”
Following the sounds of her happy yell, a red-haired man was pulled to the bedside by the young girl. She looked up and blinked, as if waiting for something.
Spaghetti raised his hand helplessly and patted Stargazey Pie’s head. Stargazey Pie contentedly nodded and skipped out of the room.
Left alone, Spaghetti looked at Black Pudding lying on the bed and vigilantly watching him. He found it amusing, and pulled out a chair to sit on.
He sat up against the chair and raised an eyebrow. He mischievously took a strand of Black Pudding’s hair and began playing with it.
“Why didn’t you listen when I told you to leave earlier? Didn’t I tell you?”
“You wrote the letter?”
“Of course. I was also the one that came to save you. But I arrived too late, so I was only able to save you.”
“What’s your goal?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Don’t tell me it’s only because you have a good heart.”
“You’ll know in the future. Rest your body for now.”
At the end, Black Pudding heard from Stargazey Pie about Spaghetti’s plan: he needed Soul Power.
Black Pudding didn’t mind the man using her like this because she knew she could get something back from Spaghetti.
Like the cute, innocent girl in front of her. To maintain absolute innocence and unconcealed cruelty simultaneously; that’s what she’s trying to become.
But, it’s not enough... Just a little more refinement, and this dazzling ruby shard will unleash a more splendid shine than Master Attendant.
Black Pudding put the cup of black tea in front of Stargazey Pie, suddenly remembering that she forgot to bring the cookies she baked. When she returned to the garden once more, Spaghetti had returned and was standing at the entrance of the garden.
Spaghetti had no plans to go into the garden to drink tea with Stargazey Pie. He took one of Black Pudding’s cookies from the plate and stuffed one in his mouth.
“Doesn’t taste bad.”
“What do you want to say?”
“How you want to indoctrinate Stargazey Pie is your thing, but don’t get in the way of my plan.”
“What are you saying?”
“You know better than anyone what I’m saying. You have a criminal record, don’t you?”
Black Pudding looked at the old and familiar syringe Spaghetti slid onto the plate. Black Pudding moved her hair back after it slipped onto her shoulders and laughed.
“Don’t worry, the results won’t disappoint you.”
“Then I’ll wait and see.”
At the headquarters of the Holy See, Weisswurst was looking for information on medicines he needed in the library. When he walked out of the rows of bookshelves, he found Candy Cane and Fish and Chips slumped across the table, studying something.
“What are you two reading?”
Fish and Chips looked at Weisswurst's curious gaze and handed the documents to him.
“Weisswurst! This was the case you dealt with back then, right? The professor who was researching the bloodlust disease! But why is there no cure to this condition...”
“...Bloodlust disease huh. From beginning to end, it was nothing more than a nightmare woven by a certain Food Soul to lead their Master Attendant deeper into darkness. This Food Soul has already been eliminated, so why do you ask?”
Fish and Chips and Candy Cane looked at Weisswurst, and their faces fell as the duo looked at each other. They hesitated to tell him:
“In a village in Nevras, several villagers have been recently discovered to be addicted to blood. From the symptoms, we can conclude that it's the same illness back then... the bloodlust disease...”