Chapter 12: Let’s raise Cockatrice
Everything was going smoothly. Or so I thought.
On that day, I was working in the garden as usual. I kept cultivating monsters and everything was going well. I made sure not to make mistakes on the harvest time of Jack O’ Lantern. Recently, I started to cultivate carrot-shaped monsters called Devil Carrot. I was getting a very good harvest from these monsters as well.
Well, I had to confess something about this Devil Carrot. When I pulled it out from the soil, the carrot grew small hands and feet. Anytime, I took them out, those little limbs would move adorably. It was a little cute.
Lily said that these type of monsters were famous among novice adventurers since they were less dangerous and not so violent. Besides the Devil Carrot, I started to grow the Killer Plant once again. I failed the first time I raised them, however these plants are indeed troublesome anytime I cultivated them. It started to attack once it grew. And even if I managed to avoid its attacks, it will start to attack the pumpkins that I grew on the next field. The fight between the pumpkins and those terrible plants devastated that area. Well then, it was time to do the fieldwork with a great fighting spirit as usual.
「Sir. Are you the one who has been cultivating monsters? 」
Several soldiers surrounded me.
「Spare a little of your time. The town’s lord wants to see you. 」
Oh, my, I really thought everything was going smoothly.
「Welcome. I don’t want you to be nervous. Please, have a sit on this chair. 」
The man sitting at a table in front of me seemed to be the owner of this town. I didn’t know his exact age. But didn’t he look like he was in the late 20s or early 30s? He was unexpectedly young.
「I called you today to talk about your cultivation of monsters. 」
I’ve heard from Lily before. This was going to be bad. What I was doing was dangerous, therefore, against the law for not taking safety measures. I’ll be punished. Maybe I will be driven out of this town. What should I do?
「Actually, I have a favor to ask you. Can you raise a Cockatrice to lay eggs? 」
That was an unexpected outcome. Cocka…what?
「The other day, my subordinates caught a Cockatrice. However, that Cockatrice has not laid any eggs. Normally, Cockatrice’s eggs are taken away from their nest. Because of many adventurers using that exploitation, the number of Cockatrices in our region has decreased dramatically. Therefore, the number of eggs also decreased in the process. I called you here because you are able to cultivate monsters. Maybe you’ll help the Cockatrice lay eggs. 」
「Well, since you’ve caught it, wouldn’t it naturally lay eggs if you leave it alone? 」
「Ah no, it doesn’t work like that. For some reason, when a human catches the Cockatrice, it will stop laying eggs. After that, it will starve to death even if we give it food. 」
Ah, is that so. Then, it means that it will choose death because it was humiliated for being captured by the enemy? Was that chicken monster such a proud monster?
「Is there any way you can help? It will bring great profits to our region if we can produce Cockatrice eggs. Of course, I’ll give you a reward if you succeed. 」
「I see. And what if I refuse? 」
「Oh my, are you willing to refuse my request? 」
I could see a sarcastically smile across his face. I realized I was on his “black list”. Yes, I had no choice but to accept his request.
I thought that raising Cockatrice would be easy. I was accustomed to cultivate monsters, so this shouldn’t be a problem. I gotta do it! I just had to make sure it lays eggs. Monster cultivation was much more arduous than just raising a Cockatrice! A chicken monster won’t be that scary, no matter how much I thought about it.
When I looked at the jailed Cockatrice, it looked like a chicken from planet Earth. However, it had a snake stuck to it. It looked like it was a tail itself. It looked somewhat intimidating.
「Master, what will you do to this child? 」
Dora probably woke up with that loud noise. She was taking a nap inside my clothes. She appeared on my shoulder as she whispered on my ear.
「I have been raising many different monsters for a long time now. If I can make it lay eggs, then it will be beneficial to all of us. 」
I omitted the lord-part in the story. I tried to avoid some drama. It shouldn’t be a problem then. Dora was also convinced of my story as she sat on my shoulder and said「I see 」.
「First, we need to feed it. Eat, chicken. 」
I arranged several vegetable monsters that I raised at my field. I took lots of them to the chicken. But had no luck. Maybe chickens eat soy? Maybe a soy-based monster? I took more vegetable monsters in front of the jailed chicken. Oh well, this chicken was more stubborn that I thought it would be.
It has been two days since then… I went to town, bought some soy-like food, and gave it to the chicken. I also gave some specific food that birds would eat. Yet, none of them worked. I went with Lily inside a nearby cave. We defeated some giant earthworm and gave it to the chicken. But it didn’t work as well. This was the second hardest ordeal on this life in another world. I thought that I was going to die if I didn’t make this work. None of the foods were useful.
「Maybe it’s better to give up. Cockatrice are a very proud species. They will choose to die with honor once they get caught by a human being. 」
「Ah, so it was true after all. 」
I was really in trouble. The Cockatrice drank water but it didn’t eat any food. It won’t lay eggs if it doesn’t get enough nutrition. If it ate something, I bet it will lay eggs. So everything depended on feeding.
「…I’ll get it out of the cage. 」
「Wa…Wait a moment. Are you serious about that? 」
「I need to build a relationship of trust with the Cockatrice! If you think about it, there is no way that a person or animal will be happy if they were locked in a cage, am I right? First, I let it be free and then I’ll try to make peace with it. 」
「You’ll be bitten if you open that cage. 」
Okay. There was no other plan. I also had Lily for emergencies. I knew it was risky, but I didn’t have a choice. I gently opened the door of the cage to let it be free. The Cockatrice got out of the cage in a fury state and knocked on my garden’s ground. My heart hurt when I saw that it was frail. The chicken part was obviously less energetic. It almost ceased to scream. I noticed that the tail snake was even weaker. I mean, wasn’t this snake supposed to be a lot more dangerous? Since it was weaker, the chicken part was…
I noticed something relevant. Maybe I still got a chance left. It would be hard to believe! But it was worth a try. I hurriedly went with Lily to the cave again. I left the management of the cottage and the Cockatrice to Dora and Jack.
「It’s…It’s unbelievable…The Cockatrice is eating… 」
The Cockatrice was eating the bait that we’ve caught. Both Lily and I were astonished by this feat. It was surprising. Actually, it was two kind of surprises. One was, of course, that the Cockatrice was finally eating the food I gave it. The other thing was…
「We were both wrong. The Cockatrice is not a proud monster. However, it was the “tail” that fed. So, the type of food was completely different from chicken’s food. 」
Right now, the Cockatrice was eating a rat-shaped monster called Baby Rat. The Cockatrice’s snake part swallowed in one gulp rather than biting and chewing it.
It made sense now. The Cockatrice was thought to be a chicken-type monster. However, it was a snake-type monster instead. The snake’s main food was rats. No matter what ingredients I brought before, it would not eat any of it. The main body was the snake after all.
The Cockatrice happily swallowed the food that I brought. It looked satisfied for the moment. Hmm? Maybe if I managed to feed it maybe it will probably get along with me afterwards, right? Anyways, I will only raise my expectations if it lays eggs until tomorrow morning.
Conclusion. It was a male. So, there was an extra problem.
I spoke with the lord to inform him of what happened. After that, a female Cockatrice was caught and she laid eggs safely.
By the way, the male Cockatrice’s meat was delicious.
1/4 More coming up! 😀