Chapter 20.3: The Land Where The Holy Dragon Lives
… … …
Rember and Gallios look at me.
「Yeah, sounds good, let’s go!」
I accept the request.
I’m indebted to this couple, after all. Since Rember is Gallios’s younger brother-in-law, I should help him to return the favor.
Thus, we headed toward the rampart.
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◆Dark Knight Kuroki.
We have entered the forest.
Night in the forest is dark to the point that except for me, no one can see one inch ahead of them without any lighting, so everyone except for me is either using magic or magic lanterns.
Leaving the rampart at night is dangerous. But since we were close to the rampart, we could evacuate immediately if something untoward happened.
There are four other people with us other than Rember, Gallios, and me.
Gallios called for the freedom fighters to move immediately.
「As expected of the night, it’s scary….」
The other member of our party, freedom fighter Steros mumbles so. He’s not a native of the Rox kingdom. Though he’s a bit haughty, he backed it up with his skill.
「Geez, we absolutely can’t see anything with these lanterns and small balls of light」
Another freedom fighter called Pox complains as such. He’s also a native of another city just like Steros.
In contrast to Steros in his first half of his 20s, Pox seems to be even more of a veteran soldier than Gallios.
「Sorry, this is the limit of my magic….」
Nimri apologizes for his inability.
He’s the magician living in the Rox kingdom. It was him who healed Gallios yesterday. It seems that he was originally a child who was abandoned in front of the rampart gate of the Rox kingdom. He is the so-called lost child of the elf. The elf race is composed of nothing but women, and they make a child by cross-breeding with another race. If a girl is born, she’ll become an elf and if a boy is born, he’ll become the same race as his father. They were a race that has a hard time living along with another race due to various reasons. The boy will be abandoned in the nearby settlement of the same race as his father, even though the elf might not be willing to abandon them.
As a matter of fact, children born from elves have high magical power to the extent that even races lacking in magical power could use high-level magic. Those kind of people are precious to humans, so those children are raised carefully for the benefit of this country. Those kinds of children are usually future magicians. It seems to be the main reason why there are so many male magicians in human society,
Nimri was raised by this country and learned magic from the court magician who passed away ten years ago.
Nimri appearance is like a man in his forties while he’s already more than eighty years old. I believe that it is due to the elven blood in him.
「I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way….」
Pox apologizes to Nimri. Basically, Pox is a good person, but he’s insensitive.
Nimri just smiled at him while showing an expression of not being concerned with such remarks. I met and talked with Nimri yesterday; he seems like a good-natured person.
「Stor, have you discovering something？ 」
Gallios questions Stor, a ranger.
「Nay, the forest in the night is too much even for me. It’s better if ya asked that lad over there」
The one he referred as “that lad” is me. I’m the only one who can use night vision amongst the ones in this place. Even the magician Nimri can’t use it. This is a matter of compatibility rather than the low ability of the magician. For example, I can use night vision, but I can’t use lighting magic like Nimri.
Hence, there I am, standing on the front lines since I can use night vision.
「How is the situation, Kuro-dono？ 」
Rember asks me.
「We are being surrounded」
I can hear surprised voices when I tell them the truth.
Several shadows have come to surround us in slightly separated places within the darkness of the night.
「WHAT DID YOU SAY！！Which ones are we facing against, goblins or orcs？ 」
Gallios asks with a flustered voice.
Everyone draws their respective weapons.
「We are facing against both, but….」
Everyone is tilting their head on hearing my vague answer.
「There are both goblins and orcs？ What does that mean？ 」
Gallios questions my reply.
「There are goblins and orcs. However… They seem to be zombies」
My eyes can clearly see the things that the other member can’t see.
I can’t feel any life force from the goblins and the orcs that are approaching us from a nearby distance.
All of them have some wounds on their bodies. Some of them even have arrows sticking out of their bodies.
I was taught by Ruugas that they’re termed moving corpses (Zombies).
The undead a.k.a. zombies hate living beings and will charge toward the direction of the sign of life.
Maybe they’re approaching us because they noticed our presence.
The other members except for me are raising a ruckus upon hearing my words. They are having a discussion with each other.
「They’re approaching with greater numbers than us. Perhaps those demons that were swept by us in the afternoon turned into zombies」
The reason why I thought so is that I saw an orc that I met in the afternoon amongst them.
I participated in the extermination of demons in the forest during the afternoon due to an invitation from Gallios.
I’m sure that orc is the one that I defeated this afternoon. I should have ended its life.
Now, I’m seeing that orc as a zombie. It’s still wearing the same tattered armor and sword that is used when it was alive. Perhaps it’s making use of the things that would be used by humans.
Even this afternoon, I felt that they were completely different from orcs and goblins living in Nargol.
Their appearances were the same, but the orc soldiers of Nargol wear splendid unified armaments; in addition, they are also well mannered.
In contrast, the orcs who I met this afternoon are just like a savage race. They were rustic and violent – by no means the kind of race that you can communicate with at all.
In fact, I, who was summoned by the demon king, should be standing on the side of the demons. Yet, from their appearances, I wanted to stand on the human side.
Moreover, the orcs I saw this afternoon readily considered me as their enemy when they saw me. They obviously charged at me as if they were looking at delicious food on the platter; some amongst them even charged at me with a completely different emotion than the desire for food. Becoming an ally with those guys is impossible.
Moreover, the demons outside of Nargol don’t serve Modes; in addition, they are also considered to have betrayed him.
The shadows approach us at high speeds. The trees in the forest, which are trifling existences under normal circumstances, become huge obstacles for them when they turn into zombies; it seems they are struggling to reach our location.
One of them arrived at our place.
I draw my short sword and kill the one that approached us.
The reason why I’m using the short sword is that I can’t afford to show my demon sword to them.
This short sword is something that I obtained from Nargol. Different from the demon sword, it’s kind of a substitute. I brought along another sword since it’s extremely troublesome to deal with every single trifling matter with my demon sword.
The shadow is struggling as it fell backward.
Everyone’s eyes focus on the collapsed shadow.
It became a figure of an orc without limbs and head. But, in spite of losing its head, its limbs are still struggling.
「Yup, it’s a zombie…」
Gallios is confirming that while being alert toward the surrounding.
「Why… the hell they became zombies… Don’t tell me it’s the Striges」
Rember muttered those words with an astonished face.
「If there are zombies around, there’ll also be the ones who created them」
Some of us nod our heads on hearing Nimri’s guess.
I learned about zombies from Ruugas that undead like zombies isn’t something that exists in nature. The matter of it being born due to Departed Soul Magic(Necromancy) is a general knowledge. In short, this zombie was created by someone.
「What shall we do？ The other zombies are coming, you know？ 」
Everyone starts shouting again when I say so.
Zombies move slowly. But it’s dangerous to be surrounded by them. Now, we still have the chance to escape.
「What shall we do, Rember？」
Gallios asks Rember.
Rember is the leader of this party. We were waiting for his orders.
「Let’s withdraw. It’s safer to wait until the morning in the rampart rather than face against undead opponents from the front in total darkness」
Everyone agrees to Rember’s judgment and decision.
The zombies move at an extremely slow pace. But, fighting against them from the front isn’t recommended since swords and spears have almost zero effect on them. Even if we were to fight them, it’ll only end up in wasting our stamina with our current equipment.
Though I can annihilate them by myself, I, who’s currently hiding my true identity, shouldn’t show too much of my power.
Moreover, all undead are weak to sunlight; they’ll dissipate when they are exposed to sunlight. That’s why waiting until the morning is faster and efficient than fighting against each of them.
Though some high ranking priests can use magic to create sunlight, no one amongst us is capable of using that magic.
That’s why entering into the rampart to protect ourselves is a better choice than fighting against them. Everyone evacuates in hurry after hearing Rember’s decision.
「This kind of undead outbreak is completely similar to the one when the hero came one month ago!!」
Stor, Nimri, and Rember agree with Gallios’s statement. They have been living in the Rox kingdom for some period, after all.
Could it be that something like this happened in the past？
「Yes. Maybe it has some sort of relationship with heroes-tachi」
Nimri replies to him about his guess.
「The Striges is really still alive, then」
「I don’t know whether it’s Striges’s doing or not… But, it’s a fact that someone created this undead. We better raise our vigilance」
Those were what they discussed and decided on the way back. I don’t know about that story myself since I just reached the Rox kingdom yesterday. I’m completely in the unknown regarding this matter.
But from their conversation, it seems this has something to do with the hero.
Maybe Shirone is also involved in this matter. Suddenly, I think about that possibility.
Nevertheless, why is the hero coming at such a timing？
I suddenly have a premonition that something ominous is about to happen.