27 Chapter 27: Inventory (1)

"Doesn't look like a ghoul."

"The damage it did looked like something a ghoul would do. It also killed the leader of…"

"What could be if not a ghoul?"

"Kind of looks like your mom."

"Are you guys done here?"

Perhaps it has been an hour, perhaps more. But Nick and Dave returned to Zero, bringing along other guards as they started questioning him about what had happened. Of course, Zero didn't really tell them much… as there really wasn't anything to tell.

He just said that he was exploring the city at night since he couldn't sleep, when he heard a noise in the dark alleys; approaching the noise only to see the ghoul already feasting on the bodies of the gang members.

And while the ghoul was busy, he cut off its head. As for why he was bringing it to the Slayer Association– well, he remembered Eleanor.

[The Readers of Fate are proud of Zero for finally learning how to lie.]

[Reader of Fate: Frank, says Zero is growing up so fast (Crying Face).]

[Reader of Fate: Dark Prince He, doesn't know whether to be sad or happy about that.]

[Reader of Fate: Camel Master, is worried they are being forgotten.]

"Yup, me and the boys are done here," Nick then raised his finger, gesturing to the other guards to get leave, "Thank you for letting us interrogate one of your own, Nat."

"Well, you used to be one of us," Natalia, who was standing beside Zero for the entire duration of the interrogation, softly patted Nick on the back, causing him to almost tumble on the floor,

"Now get the hell out of here, you're making the children uncomfortable."

"Yes ma'am," Nick slightly groaned as he touched his back,

"You heard her, let's go!" He once again gestured to his comrades… not knowing they already left him there, "R… right, I'll go. Mr. Zero, don't leave the city for a few days just in case we still might have questions for you."

And so, after what seemed like more than an hour, Zero was finally free of the guards. A huge sigh of relief also breathed out from the mouths of everyone that was watching the interrogation– everyone meaning almost the entire member of the Concretespire Slayer Association.

Of course, how could they not listen in, when it was the first thing that welcomed them when they stepped out of the elevator? Most of them lived in the housing provided in the building, after all.

"Man, not even a day after you got your license… and you're already making it hard for me," Natalia then sat beside Zero… before grabbing the head that was casually sitting on the table in front of them,

"So… this is the ghoul, huh? Doesn't look like any other ghoul I've faced."

[The Readers of Fate are urging Zero to lie again.]

"You… are right," Zero nodded, "It does not look like a ghoul."

Technically, Zero did not lie– he doesn't know what a ghoul truly looked like, after all. But since Eleanor mistook Zero for a ghoul, then that should be enough to say that zombies and ghouls look similar to each other.

Zero… could still not understand or read what the Readers of Fate were saying to him– but in a way, he was somewhat slowly starting to understand. Perhaps he could start learning soon?

After all, if the Readers of Fate could make Zeni angry and frustrated, then he could probably learn a thing or two from them.

"You too, huh?" Natalia then let out a sigh, "We need to investigate this more."

"...Why?" Zero quickly asked.

"Because I have never seen a ghoul wearing clothes before," the expression on Natalia's face soon became a frown as she let the head roll on the table as she stood up, "If I'm right… then it was lucky that you were able to stop it the time you did."

"..."

"It might have been in the process of maturing. Higher ghouls could mimic human behavior– but you can easily discern what they are since they can't really speak," Natalia explained, "The problem is when it actually starts speaking."

"A… speaking ghoul?"

"No, oh no," Natalia chuckled as she shook her head, "Once it speaks it's no longer a ghoul– it's becoming a vampire."

"A… vampire?"

"Y–"

"Stop trying to sell your bullshit to the man."

And before Natalia could dramatically answer Zero's question, Eleanor appeared and slightly pushed her to the side, "Vampires and ghouls are a completely different species from each other. Their only relation is that they're both classified as Undead and they came from the Bubble."

"Wha– I told you, I've seen it once!" Natalia scoffed as she rolled her eyes, "A ghoul that turned into a vampire! I killed it! And since when did you become an expert on Bubble Beasts?"

"Uh… since they appeared? Are you forgetting I'm a scientist?" Eleanor also rolled her eyes before placing a small sack in front of Zero,

"Your reward, a couple of Red stones– should get you through the month without needing to accept any grunt work."

The stones again, Zero thought. He also got rocks from selling all the materials that he got from the werewolves. Just what exactly were they– No. He had seen the humans using them before…

…in the markets.

The humans were using these stones in exchange for the items in the stalls and stores.

"..." Zero then turned to look at his cloak, which was already as tattered as it could be. If he wanted to blend in with the humans, then he needed to dress like one…

…he needed 2 new sets of cloaks to go on top of each other like his previous outfit.

[...]

"So, what are you going to do about this thing?" Natalia then once again rolled the head on the table as she looked at Eleanor.

"...I think her parents would want to see this," Eleanor quickly said as she prevented the head from falling off the table, "I'll… bring it to them."

"...You sure?"

"..." Zero listened in on the two for a while to make sure that they weren't suspecting him. But after a few minutes of them just chatting about Eleanor's trainee, Zero decided to leave to head for the markets.

But a few steps after he left the Slayer Association building, he remembered something. In his frequent visits to Zeni, she mentioned something about an…

"...Inventory."

"!!!"

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