Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Crisis in The Capital」
Soulia, the capital of Nozan Kingdom.
The city’s forces were under siege by an army of undead.
Day after day, the noise continued as one hundred thousand undead continuously tried to break through the outer city’s walls, some even using other undead as footing to reach the top of the wall.
Undead were supposed to grow stronger at night so the defenders were always on high alert. However, for some reason the undead would cease their attacks and simply wander around the surrounding fields and plain.
At first, this sudden shift in behavior was suspected to be a trap, but after the second and third time it happened, it seemed more like a restriction on the enemy’s part.
However, just because the threat of combating the undead horde at night had lowered, it wasn’t all that much to be optimistic about.
That was due to the existence of the spider-human-hybrids that were mixed within the undead horde, since even at night some of them would attack the capital.
On multiple occasion, the deformed monsters had been observed smashing the undead that wandered too far away at night, ensuring that the opposition against the capital persisted.
While the spider-human-monsters weren’t all that numerous compared to the undead wandering about, the superior mobility their spider legs provided and their unmatched strength made them the most dangerous beings in this siege.
Entering the city inside the outer walls, where the battle took place, one found that most streets eventually lead to the inner walls.
The inner walls had once been the extent of Soulia’s borders, but expansions to the city facilitated the need for the newer, outer wall.
Should an invader manage to break through the outer wall, the inner wall would be used as the last line of defense, thus the inner wall was maintained to this day.
Within the old city district, near the inner wall, stood a cubical tower that the guards used as their office in peace times.
The present siege had enveloped the entire city, and the highest authority in the country, King Asparuf Nozan Soulia, and his advisors currently occupied a small room in the building, looking over a map of the entire capital.
King Asparuf was the first to break the gloomy silence that permeated the entire room.
“…… How many days has it been since we sent for reinforcements?”
The undead horde’s ever present assault had begun to effect the King’s sense of time, so he directed the question towards the Prime Minister.
“…… If I’m not mistaken, it has been seven days.”
The King signed and began massaging the wrinkles on his forehead upon hearing the Prime Minister’s reply.
“Seven days…… even if we assume the princes easily acquired the necessary reinforcements, it will still take them several days to return…… Cardinal Liberalitas seemed to have dispatched a messenger to the Theocracy, but it will take even longer for them to arrive.”
The Prime Minister’s own wrinkles deepened at the King’s words.
Attempting to lighten the mood, the King changed topics.
“How is the relocation of the residents near the inner wall going?”
“It’s ei-, no, nine tenths of the way completed……”
The Prime Minister pointed out the houses just beyond the inner wall on the map as he spoke.
Should the outer wall fall the newer part of the city would become a battlefield, the major problem with that situation were the buildings that had been built in
close vicinity to the inner wall.
The shuffling undead soldiers weren’t much of an issue, but the agile and deformed spiders would be able to use those buildings as a platform to leap into the inner city, so drastic countermeasures had to be taken.
While the residents of the area bore a grudge for the destruction of their homes, their grievances were trifles in the face of the country’s potential demise.
“The beastmen slaves tasked with the demolition seemed to be progressing ahead of schedule thanks to their zeal and impressive physical abilities.”
King Asparuf nodded his head vigorously at the Prime Minister’s hopeful tone.
“It was a large gamble to utilize them, but they also fear being overwhelmed and killed by the undead…… The food distribution also seems to help.”
“That’s right, however… protests from the church are inevitable should we overcome this crisis…… A cardinal is within the city, so there’s no hiding it.”
It took a bit of convincing to get the residents and slave owners to sell their assets to the crown, but traditional means wouldn’t work in this situation. Even if every citizen took part in the demolition, there wouldn’t have been enough hands for the task.
There was a fear that the slaves would revolt because of the working conditions and the kingdom’s status quo, but survival instinct and the degree of freedom allowed to them ensured their cooperation.
However, the possession of beastmen slaves stood was a blatant disregard of the Hiruku religion’s doctrine, if the cardinal discovered them the Theocracy would demand the slaves be handed over to them.
“It’s all for our country’s sake……”
The Prime Minister signed and nodded at King Asparuf’s statement.
“While it’s not really a consolation, and many would find it deplorable, it might be a good thing that the enemies are undead……”
The King gave the Prime Minister a strange look when he heard his utterance.
“Why is that?”
“Since the enemy is an army of undead, the people of the capital are all united against them. We would be at an even greater disadvantage if they were a normal, foreign, standing army because traitors would definitely appear.”
The King’s dark smile deepened at the Prime Minister’s words.
It was something which had occurred repeatedly throughout the country’s long history.
Times when a castle had been left in the hands of a trusted friend, only for that person to defect to the enemy’s side…… such stories were too numerous to count.
“Certainly…… since people are desperately trying to survive, there hasn’t been too much resistance against the beastmen slaves. I guess it really is good fortune that they’re undead.”
The King chuckled a bit as he spoke.
A loud noise outside caught the attention of the two men, when they quizzically looked towards the source, a messenger who literally stumbled into the room.
Under normal circumstances, the Prime Minister wouldn’t allow such rude behavior in front of the King, but now was not the time to worry about such formalities.
The messenger kneeled before the Prime Minister and answered his brief question.
“The outer walls, a section of the southern gate has collapsed! They have broken through!!”
The King leaped to his feet and knocked his chair back to the ground upon hearing the message.
“All units are to fall back and attempt to limit the casualties!! Instruct the citizens to immediately retreat behind the inner walls!! Hurry!”
The surrounding people and messengers simultaneously acted upon the King’s orders.
The King’s and the Prime Minister’s eye dropped to the map in front of them, specifically on the locations where the demolition hadn’t been completed.
……There wasn’t enough time.
The King clenched his teeth with enough power to crack molars.