Chapter 5 Excerpt from Vanadium
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Demon continent Alsace in the year 291 after the destruction of the empire


The initial months were not really eventful, which if you consider that he was actually a newborn who slept most of the time, it was probably because of him. What also corresponded to the facts, since the fewest newborns come with memories from their old life into the world.


Something he had checked, since he had asked himself this very question, whether every newborn child comes into the world with the memories of its old life and then loses them in the course of its young life. Which he could deny. What he could not deny, however, was the possibility that there were others like him. However, he did not know whether they could change their bodies in the same way as he had been able to. But if he had succeeded, he had to assume that it was also possible for others. As long as he did not know the reason which had enabled him to be reborn as himself, it became difficult to make assumptions.


A certain routine had been established in which the infants were fed and taken outside by their parents or another member of the group. This was usually a simple walk through their camp, at least it could only be described as such. For it consisted of covered wagons or simple carts without covers, which apparently served to transport goods and the like. There were also fewer Demons with a level higher than three than he had believed at the beginning. Thus, the average Demon was level three, at least in the camp.


From conversations, which the adults had, whereby he always felt strange, when he called these young demons adults. When he was so many years older than them. Had he overheard that they were one of many groups that roamed the lands of the demon realm to take on Cikarti. The fact that this group, which called itself "The Hand of Alsac," was in his native city had been a stroke of luck. Without such a group, even if many talked and acted like a family, he would not have survived.


It was hard for im to see these demons as family, since to his knowledge his old family was still alive and his family from this life had given him away. Whether they had done this to save his life or to escape public disgrace, he did not know.


Which is why he thought of them as a group, possibly he would eventually see them as family. Also he didn't know if he wanted that at all, he wanted to achieve some things in these lives and also his love for his old family was still there, and he didn't know if it would disappear just because he belonged to another race now. At least from his side he could say this, but what his siblings would think of it, he did not know. What his parents would think, however, he knew exactly, they were certainly glad that he was dead and they had one opponent less.


These thoughts kept bringing him back to his siblings and how they have to fight alone against their parents and other political factions. He could only hope that his sister made good use of his army and margraviate. He was not as worried about his brothers as he was about his sister, since she had to fight the political opponents of the empire alone, where his brothers fought the military ones.


These were all thoughts that ran through his head repeatedly as Sappho carried him through the camp.


Before he knew it, she had spun him around to look at him critically.


"I knew it, you weren't listening to me." She said followed by a sigh. She talked to him as she talked to other demons. Which he found quite pleasant, everyone else talked to him as if he were an infant. The irony was not lost on him. Not that he could tell why she talked to him like that and she only did it to him, with the other kids she talked like the other demons did.

Not that he wanted her to stop doing that.


"Do you really think she understands you?" Asked Sia from the side, who must be the smallest demon in the whole group. She was, if he took his old body as a comparison, the same height as he was as a man. Which had been one meter eighty, making Sia a head shorter than Sappho.


"Why not? She clearly reacts negatively when I talk to her, as if she were a newborn. Just like she always contorts her face into a snout when you do it." To which Sia only responded with a grumble.


"She may prefer it when we talk to her normally. But the fun of children is that they are children and you can talk to them that way." She said after a few moments, during which they continued to walk through the camp.


Today was a little different from the other times he was taken for a walk. The carts, which had emptied over their stay, were loaded with new goods. The number of demons walking around in armor and with weapons was as high as he had ever seen.


"That aside, have you heard what's going on again between Vanadium and Dikili Tash? Do you think we'll take care of that on our way to Dikili Tash?" Oh, what were they talking about now? Maybe he should have been paying attention after all, and not lost in thought.


"I think so, I saw an official come to Panos and Naima. Besides, we were going to Dikili Tash anyway."


"Oh look who's listening now with his ears perked up." Sappho smiled down at him and stroked him through the beginnings of hair on his head.


"But first tell me what you heard in the first place. For I have heard nothing of monsters or bandits." Sappho cast a questioning glance at Sia.


"You haven't? That surprises me a little now. Normally you're always informed about everything that happens in the camp, aren't you? Is taking care of little Cali taking up too much of your time?" Sia asked with amusement in her voice. To which Sappho just shook her head in the negative.


"No, it's not that, I've just been too busy in the city. Which is why I haven't been in camp as much as I usually am." Sappho glanced at Sia.

"And how about finally telling me what we can expect on our way to Dikili Tash?"


"I don't need to tell you about the current tense situation between the nobles and the ruling family,-" she said. Sia raised an eyebrow questioningly, coincidentally the left one, which was pierced with a ring. Something he had rarely seen on humans, tattoos, on the other hand, he knew and knew about their help or influence on absorbing Arcane Energies. He slowly reached out his senses to the piercing to see if it had the same properties. While he carefully reached out to the piercing with his senses, Sappho and Sia continued to talk to each other.


Sappho made an unnerved hand gesture, which was meant to make it clear that Sia shouldn't bother with such things and should finally tell her what she had heard. Whereupon Sia only defensively hands ob.


"Okay, okay, okay. I just wanted to make sure you were up to date. - " Sia paused for a moment, in which she seemed to get herself in order before continuing. - "From what I've heard, there was an altercation between some bandits and the militia of the Count of Dikili Tash. The bandits apparently drove some monsters towards Dikili Tash. I guess to use the chaos of a monster attack for a raid or just to take the leftovers after the fight. - " Sia only shrugged her shoulders briefly to show that it was one theory of many and she didn't know how much there was to it. - "Like that time in Erbium. If you can remember? - " Without waiting for an answer from Sappho, she already continued with her narrative. - "But some also talk about undead, which moved here from the wars with the colonies. However, everyone agrees that something is going on, because we are not the only group that is assigned with such problems, it is said that the other groups get similar assignments." She said the last part in a whisper, leaning towards Sappho.


He had not found the same features that some tattoos had. Thus, the piercing seemed to be just a normal accessory. But that did not mean that there were not piercings that could use arcane energies. A possible avenue in which he would have to look further at a later time. As with so many other things, life as an infant was really its own challenge, no comparison to the life of an adult.


"What is this king of ours doing, or at least his chancellor should be taking care of such things." Sia scolded the king. Immediately after saying this, however, she looked around, after all, one could not know who all might be listening and insulting the king was a crime punishable by death.

As it seemed to him, however, this was the general mood among the people. Only a few weeks ago it was announced in a big way that the immortal chancellor had been dismissed from his post. Why he was dismissed, no one really knew, however, everyone had their own opinion on the matter.


"What would the undead be doing here? You know as well as I do that they always move on to the nearest source of life. So unless all the cities between here and the colonies have been overrun, there must not be a large amount of undead here. Then, if they are undead, they must have been caused by something else." Said Sappho with a furrowed brow and a face that seemed to question whether her friend really believed in her theory.


"Yeah, yeah, I get it. It was just one of the theories that was going around town and I thought I'd tell you. Also to scare the shit out of little Cali." Whereupon she bent down to him and made "Boo". Which he acknowledged with a bored look. Which elicited a whining tone from her.


"Why did I even try to scare Cali, she usually as well as so doesn't react." She gave with a defeated tone and slumped her shoulders. This in turn elicited a laugh from Sappho as well as him. At the sound of it, her posture straightened again and a smile could be seen on her own face. She shook her head as well before continuing.


"I think that we'll have to wait until tonight or tomorrow night to find out what's really going on." To which Sappho only replied with an unintelligible tone.


One thing he was able to figure out with each subsequent walk was the density of Arcane Energy and its purity level. Which did not seem to be particularly high, even the discolorations of these were to a degree he had never seen before. He could only assume that it was due to the number of Arcane Users. Possibly their level as well? But he would only be able to really investigate this when he could explore the city himself or when they would visit it.


"Regardless of whether there is a threat or not, it's going to be quite a challenge with all the kids we have right now. Eliminating monsters or other threats to the cities. Just transporting and protecting merchants is made more difficult by the fact that some of us have to take care of the children.

Sia remarked to the room, not seeming to have said it to any particular person.


This statement surprised him, because he had not thought that this would be a problem. In his eyes, there weren't very many children to watch out for.


"Don't you think the slightly older ones can take care of the infants by now? All things considered, they're all pretty low-maintenance." Converted Sappho, while dodging another demon who was about to load one of the carts. With what appeared to be barrels and crates of provisions.


"Well, you're right again, but who's going to watch the children who are watching the infants. Also, I would say that not all children are fit to watch the infants."


This elicited a surprised loud from Sappho, whereupon she cast a questioning glance at Sia.


"Now who exactly were you thinking of that you wouldn't let watch the infants?" Sia seemed to struggle to answer, whether it was because she couldn't think of a child after all or because she knew exactly whose child she wouldn't give her trust to.


"Agenor and his troop of friends. They ..." She hesitated, though it was not clear to him why. A quick glance at Sappho, which did not go unnoticed by her, had a questioning look similar to his.


"Why not Agenor, he is a member of our family and already almost an adult? Also, he is the biological son of Panos and Naima?" She grabbed again to place him properly on her arm before turning her attention back to Sia.


"Yes he is, but I've seen how he is with smaller children and even weaker ones. He seems to have let his step rise go to his head and you know how that can end for infants. I have a feeling he thinks he's better than all the others in the family because he came into the world as a level three demon and not as a Cikarti like the others."


"That may be, but he is still a member of our family, and only when he grows up can he leave it and do whatever he wants." After that, Sia and Sappho continued to talk for a while as they brought him back so he could take his nap. Even if he didn't want it, his body's desire was stronger than that of his mind. Another defeat against his nature.