040 Moonchild p.3

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The homunculi sleeping in the cylinders had pointy ears as sharp as leaves. They looked just like elves. Some of the elves captured by Drei, the E-series, were working in this lab and were being used as the base of the homunculi.

No matter how long-lived elves were and how much we modified them, they were still mortals susceptible to death. If they were just used as defenders against intruders, eventually, their numbers would fall.

And that poses an issue since I only have 31 of them. Elf slaves commanded an eye whopping premium and it was not easy to find a village of elves with their barriers. Drei was only able to find the E-series by a stroke of luck.

Hence, I ordered the elves to procreate to bolster their numbers. The time needed for elves to mature was proportionally as long as their longevity. Unbelievably, they only consider an elf of 100 years old to be a young chick. By the time a new generation of elves are raised, I would have long passed. Of course, I do plan to attain immortality before that.

The current research of creating elf types of homunculi, also known as the Early Elf (EE) plan, was being conducted to solve immortality. If this succeeds, we could obtain many cultivated elves for combat or research.

But success was elusive, as could be seen from the current state of affairs.

“I think there was a mistake in our way of thinking from the very beginning.”

Charl said to me.

“Elf souls are more spiritual than human souls. Their secret to longevity comes not from their high quality magic nor strong bodies, but their souls. Surely you would have known, Oubeniel? After all, you dissected an elf while at the academy.”

He was referring to the time when I had received permission from Professor Graumann to conduct a dissection. It was an elf specimen without a single wound that laid untouched in the academy’s storage room. Indeed, I concluded that elves’ longevity could not be simply a result of their physical qualities. Actually, even before that, I had already fiddled with an elf corpse that Uni killed, so it was to increase the confidence of the previous conclusion. Well, leaving that aside…

“I had been considering if the problem of souls could be supplemented with physical strengths. Hmm...Then, how about this? These elf homunculi all have souls despite it being faint right? How about trying to extract all of them and combining them into one?”

“An interesting idea, but I am of the opinion that we should not do it. Since their souls are weak, won’t their sense of self and fighting spirit be weak too? If we combine them, their sense of self would be confusing and go berserk. There isn’t a sufficiently powerful soul acting as a core.”

Hmm, so this would not work huh.

I was likening souls to pure water and wondered if their quantity could increase just by combining them. However, as Charl has argued, with their weak souls, it would end up as something like a juice with mixed flavours. As a result, without a strong tasting juice as the base of a cocktail, it would taste weird and undrinkable. If I had to give an analogy, that would be it.

“How about killing an appropriate slave and inserting its soul? If creating a homunculi that could work for an extended period of time, wouldn’t that be the fastest approach?”

Charl, stop saying crazy things. Well, thinking about it more deeply...

“Perhaps we would resort to that in the end...But that would affect the cost to performance ration adversely. We already need to prepare fresh materials to concoct the cultivation liquid. It would be difficult to add the cost of procuring slaves on top of that. Wouldn’t affect the number of slaves we can use in other research?”

As such, I found it difficult to accept this approach. The lives in this world were comparably cheaper than the lives of Japanese people, but they were certainly not for free. It was completely human to want to keep costs to a minimum. After moving into this underground lab, the number of human experiments conducted have risen. We still had a stable supply of slaves for now but with the current rate of increase, I could not be sure that it would be so in the future. For instance, if a certain country declares to free slaves, the number of slaves on the market would plummet. This was an extreme example but still a plausible one.

Slaves were never a product that could be obtained steadily in the first place. It’s not like they could be reared in farms. The increase or decrease in supply was mostly determined by the status of society at any point of time.

Charl shrugged his shoulders in amazement.

“My master is really so selfish...That is no good, this is no good, then we have no other options ya? How about giving up on this and trying a different field?”

Ugh, sound argument. As Due mentioned before, whenever Charl makes a sound argument, somehow it gets on your nerves. It’s true.

Charl continued his attack, perhaps knowing or not knowing what I was thinking.

“I don’t even like cultivating homunculi. Oubeniel, you understand? I am not allowed to mess with any elf bastard juice that I like...And the male elves can have it banging the girls in the village! Isn’t that weird! W-H-Y! For somebody like me who is far superior to elves! Why do I have to do all this work! If they are all the same elf juice, then girls are waaaaaaaaay better!! WAAAAY BETTER!”

Ah, he snapped. And now he was crying.

Looks like the homunculus research gave him too much stress. Well, for this vampire, who loves prattling on about virgin girl this virgin girl that, to work on synthesising materials for homunculus all day, surely his mood would be bad.

The main ingredient to cultivating homunculi was male fluids. To put it frankly, that thing, you know. Yes, that. The source of a baby.

I could understand Charl’s feelings. Even for me, to be using that thing from others would definitely put me in a bad mood. Ah, even if it was my own, I would not feel good. I wonder how female alchemy students feel during homunculus practical sessions...Never mind, I’m not interested in hearing that. I’m not too fond of treating this guy in front of me the same as them.

Why do we need to use male fluids? I like to know why myself. It was most probably because it was required to pass genetic information to the homunculus base, though that is just my hypothesis. Incidentally, the sex of a homunculus was not fixed and could turn out to be either male or female. Possibly because of male’s XY sex chromosome? Also, I had never heard of any homunculus developing reproductive capabilities. Wasn’t this because they only have a single sex chromosome?

...Somehow magic and science were crossing and mixing together. Enough of this, back to the main topic.

“Ahh, yes. I understand. If you really hate it that much, then you may go into other research projects. I had only wanted you to take care of this while I was stuck in the capital.”

Since Charl really hated it, I shall free him from this research. He was an expert in manipulating souls. When I entrusted the work on homunculus with him, I only wanted him to observe the souls. There were other tasks I wanted to entrust him, so if he said he hated it then there was no need to force this on him.

“Eh? Really? ...Hooray! I’m finally freed from misery!”

The moment I agreed to move him elsewhere, he danced in joy.

Uni suddenly interjected.

“How exaggerated, Opus-04. Isn’t it just an experiment with using elf semen?”

“......”

“......”

She sounded completely fed up, leaving both of us men frozen.

She said it. We had been skirting around the word but she said it directly without any reserve.

Could it be? That women were more tolerant of such topics than us men?

“Wowー, eww, senior. Saying that with a straight face? Are you okay?”

“What? Is it not allowed? Not like we are eating right now. Since we are in the research lab, there is no need to sugarcoat our words.”

...Well, Uni was right in that way. She has been my assistant, helping me with human surgery here and there. I don’t recall her being awkward when dealing with the bodies then. If a female nurse goes “Kya, Kyaa” whenever she touches a male patient’s body, then the hospital was doomed.

Firstly, why was I strangely being bashful? During the cultivation experiments in the academy, didn’t I have Uni as my assistant?

Reflecting on that, Charl started grumbling.

“Seriously...why on earth are homunculus cultivated from men? I would rather they be made from women.”

……

Wait a second.

What did he say?

“Charl.”

The voice that interjected was a cold voice that was far from my usual self.

Charl shoulders shivered.

“W-What, Oubeniel? D-Did I say anything that angered you?”

“No? Just that I heard something interesting?”

Really, really interesting.

Why were homunculi made from men?

Were we not allowed to make them from women?

A truly thought provoking question. At the same time, I was ashamed of myself. I was stuck in a fixed mindset and tried to come up with reasons to support that mindset. How foolish it was.

A complete disgrace. But at the same time, I felt wonderfully excited.

That I would actually overlook this!

“Uni.”

“Yes.”

“Meet the E-series who are underground now. Then bring the female elves that aren’t pregnant.”

“As you wish.”

“And Charl. I feel bad but I’m taking that back. I would like you to stay on homunculus research for a little longer.”

“Eh...W-Well, if it is what master says then I will follow―”

Unlike Uni who quickly gave the affirmative after receiving her instructions, Charl sort of grumbled while agreeing. This guy really cannot be helped.

“―So what is about now?”

“What are you saying. Didn’t you just say it?”

I walked nearer to the homunculi cultivation cylinders as I said and knocked on the surface. Just as Charl has done earlier.

“‘Why don’t we make homunculi from females’, you said. …...I realised after you said that. How about we actually try doing that? And―”

The ends of my mouth curled as emotions welled up inside me.

That would be our first option. This was an experiment to investigate what happens if we use eggs from females instead of semen to cultivate homunculi.

And if this ends up going well…

“―What about using fertilised eggs too?”

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7 comments

  1. Using only semen? As in only half the genetics needed for a sexually reproducing species?! Dammit Tullius, I thought you were suppose to be smart! No wonder the current batch of homunculi have no reproductive parts when they shouldn't have grown or even be alive from that sort of mistake.

    Oh well, at least he's finally using the full zygote instead of gamete halves for the next set, which should work much better in comparison. In fact if he can isolate and extract fertilized eggs then he can skip the usual reproduction limits of gestation time per each pregnancy and grow multiple fertilized eggs from each elven breeding pair simultaneously.

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    1. It's probably 'cause they didn't have physical defects and that people easily get stuck with trying the same thing 'cause it kinda works.
      To begin with the problem are the souls, while he's an expert with 'physical' things he's not an expert on souls.
      If the original experiment didn't result in fully developed bodies he'd likely have tried this already ages ago. Also don't semen contain the full DNA anyway so it's sufficient if you just want something close to a clone.

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  2. Thanks for the chapter!!!

    No virgin girls for you Charl!
    Who knows when the world will dub you the demon lord if you rampaged.

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  3. I hope he'll try to become immortal over multiple stages instead of going from 80 expected lifespan to biological immortality.
    If biological immortality requires let's say 200 years of work, he could use some lesser longevity increasing procedure to keep him alive until the real deal is finished

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    Replies
    1. im expecting the same, first he can graft some elf baby souls into himself and then with an extended lifespan he can spend the next thousand years becoming fully immortal

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