The longer they follow the zombies, the more terrifying it became. In the beginning, there were only a few zombies. As time wore on, more zombies appeared. Some rats and dogs wanted to feast on the dead bodies’ flesh, but one bite was all it took to turn the creatures into zombies that followed the line. Ants climbed out of their dens, hoping for a good meal. Their small bodies stood no chance against the power of the necromancers. The stiff ants fell off of the zombies like raindrops.
The zombies' speed increased significantly as they marched on. By dusk, the zombies roared at the same time, as if they sensed that their god had taken control of the world again. Anfey stopped. Judging from the sound, there should be hundreds of zombies present. Even the most powerful Suzanna’s expression changed from confidence to dread.
Normal zombies were not terrifying, but judging from the attire of these zombies, they were once mercenaries. If any of the men had combat power before their deaths, the combat power would be preserved even in death. Fighter zombies were much harder to fight than the normal zombies. Fighter zombies were extremely agile, had strong bodies, and were immune to magic.
This was not the worst thing. If there were hundreds of zombies, the necromancers might want the zombies to fight each other until the creation of killer zombies. Killer zombies were only created when master swordsmen were killed by necromancers. The power of a killer zombie could be as powerful as a dark knight.
If this group of zombies really gave birth to a killer zombie, and Anfey and his men were discovered, they would be as good as dead.
"Should we keep going?" Black Eleven asked. "The zombies are much more sensitive in the dark. They can easily discover us."
"I'm not scared of the zombies. I’m scared that the necromancers will create a killer zombie," Riska sighed and said. "If so, we are done."
"Killer zombie?" Anfey asked. He wasn’t very familiar with the ranks of the zombies. He had spent some time in the Evil Abyss, but everything in the abyss existed as spirits. Since the spirits considered themselves to be superior, they did not care for physical beings. Anfey did not know anything about zombies.
"Normally, necromancers wouldn’t bother to create killer zombies, because they can’t control creatures like that," Suzanna said quietly.
"Explain to us why the necromancers are driving the zombies to the same place then," Riska said.
"Maybe they have an agenda we do not know."
"It doesn’t make sense," Black Eleven said. "Even though Country of Mercenaries isn’t blessed by the Church of Light…"
"Wait, are all the countries blessed by the Church?" Anfey asked.
"Most of them are," Suzanna said.
"I've never heard anything about the Church or Priest of Light in the Sacred City."
"It’s a long story," Black Eleven said. After a few moments of silence, he said, "Church of Light was originally founded to defend the world against dark magic and creatures. In the beginning, the Church was supported by all nations. However, as time went on, the Church became much more powerful than everyone had intended it to be. It required the citizens of every nation to convert and interfered with the politics of the nations. The Church even had a say on matters of succession. This caused the kings to dislike the Church, and they united against the Church. In the end the Church conceded its rights and promised not to interfere with the countries again."
"What happened to Country of Mercenaries, then?"
"The people of this country worship freedom," Black Eleven responded. "They do not want the Church dictating what they can and cannot do. When Country of Mercenaries was founded, the mercenaries denied the Church’s request to build churches and preach in the country. This made the priests very angry. One of the cardinals said then that the Church will never bless the Country of Mercenaries, even if its soil is overrun by dark creatures."
"The cardinal simply misspoke, and was punished later," Riska added.
"I know, which is why I said this doesn’t make sense," Black Eleven said. "If the news of this gets out, the mercenaries would seal off the Transverse Mountains immediately and contact the Church. Priests from all different nations would swarm here in a few days. The necromancers won’t be able to achieve anything, unless they could create something that could rival the Church in that time."
"Even if they could create five killer zombies, they still could not rival the Church," Suzanna said. "Light magic has particularly strong effects on zombies. Even a simple Holy Light could kill hundreds of zombies."
"Even weak healing magic can be harmful to zombies. One healing magic can significantly weaken a zombie," Riska said.
"There’s no use talking about that now. The necromancers are up to something, but what are we doing about it? Are we following those zombies?" Black Eleven asked.
Anfey fell silent. Should he follow the zombies and find out what was happening? Or should he return to warn the other mercenaries? Anfey was someone who could control his curiosity, because he knew curiosity could lead danger. Avoiding all possible danger would be the wisest thing to do. In the past, he had always laughed at movie characters for their stupid decisions. Why would they go somewhere they knew to be dangerous?
Now, however, Anfey realized how difficult the decision could be. The zombies were not yet a serious threat to him, and he could always run should the situation become too dangerous. However, if the zombies gained control of the entire Transverse Mountain, the threat would be too great. Christian could defend the tunnels against Shansa Empire’s armies, but not against zombies. Sunlight could not reach the tunnels, and the zombies were difficult to kill.
"If the zombies discover the tunnels under Moramatch, how long could Christian hold against them?" Anfey asked.
"It’s hard to say. If there are fighter zombies, a dozen could corner them."
"Black Eleven, you are the only one among us who is respected. Go back to White Mountain City and report our findings. Suzanna, Riska, and I will keep tracking these things. I need to know what the necromancers are up to." Anfey glanced at his three companions and said, "Does anyone have a problem?"
"This is a very dangerous plan," Black Eleven said grimly.
"There is danger in everything," Anfey said. "You should began thinking how to convince other mercenaries that there really are zombies here."
"It’s easy. I’ll collect some of the ants as evidence. It should not be too hard," Black Eleven said. "Are you sure you want to follow the zombies?"
"If we don’t do anything and something happened to Christian, I would never be able to forgive myself," Anfey said. He was speaking truthfully. He knew that if Christian was there, he would make the same decision.
"Alright, then," Black Eleven said after a moment of hesitation.
"Suzanna, what do you say?" Anfey turned to Suzanna and asked.
"I will go wherever you go."
"You’re my leader. I will follow your every order," Riska said.
Anfey sighed. He felt himself changing. Perhaps it was because his companions trusted him no matter what.
At one time, he had only kept everyone around because of Saul. Now, other than his own moral standards, he had developed attachments to all of his companions.
Attachment was a very strange thing. No matter what a man’s occupation was, he could never ignore his attachments.
"Black Eleven, how long will it take for you to get to White Mountain City?"
Black Eleven looked up and glanced around. "It’s about seventy miles from here to Moramatch. We have a communication spot sixty miles east of Moramatch. Give me three days."
"You have to tell Christian about the zombies when you get back to Moramatch. He needs to prepare the town."
"Of course. You three have to be careful," Black Eleven said.
"Don’t worry about us," Anfey said. "You should depart immediately. Suzanna, Riska, we should press on."