Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
(Author’s note: Sorry to have kept you waiting for so long)
As the sky was gradually dyed a crimson red, three shadows streaked across a grassy meadow.
The owners of those three shadows were dressed from head to toe in black garb.
They all had cat ears growing atop their head and a swaying tail springing from their waist, which indicated they were cat beastmen. However, one of them greatly deviated from the slender build associated with their race.
There was a large man, who ran at extraordinary speeds through the tall grass, at the front of the group. He stood over two-hundred-and-thirty centimeters tall and single-mindedly charged through the meadow at speeds that rivaled a horse’s.
Before long, the grassy meadow gave way to a large wheat field.
However, the trio didn’t stop and kept running through the field.
A violent gust of wind suddenly blew through the field and allowed their noses to catch a faint scent.
Although they were still some distance away from their objective, the superior olfactory sense of beastmen allowed them to a detect strange odor drifting from it.
The large-framed man named Goemon remained vigilant even as one of his companions quietly called out to him.
The wind carried the scent of a battlefield…… in addition to the distinctive scent of fire, iron and blood there was a scent of stagnant blood mixed into it.
It was a unique stench belonging to the non-living.
Despite that, their feet continued to carry them through the wheat field.
Eventually, the capital of the Delfuento Kingdom, their destination, came into view.
A tall wall had been built to protect the city from enemies. It had been broken through at multiple locations and smoke rose into the twilight sky from within the city.
Although they were still a distance away from the city, Goemon’s feet slowly came to a stop.
His two companions stopped as well and took in the state of the city.
Their eyes were superior to those of humans, and they were capable of detecting the small movements near the wall.
The two that stood behind Goemon were counted amongst the elites of the blade heart clan, even they were taken aback by the spectacle before them.
“……They have considerable numbers.”
Goemon let out a quiet mutter as the battle-scarred capital revealed itself before his eyes…… he
watched the countless undead soldiers and heteromorphic spiders wandered around.
Just the ones outside the city numbered more than ten thousand.
However, the movement of the undead weren’t very fast and they showed no signs of any big movements.
It was obvious that the capital had already fallen and any signs of active fighting had been erased.
However, if the goal of the undead had only been to destroy the city, then they should have moved on already, but for some unknown reason they seemed to be occupying the city.
The city was rather large given that it had been a nation’s capital and quite a number of people must have lived there, so it seemed like total control of it hadn’t been achieved yet.
As for the remaining citizens trapped inside, their fate was easily imaginable given that a large undead army was present.
It was a tragedy for the citizens of the kingdom, but for Goemon it was but one of the human cities devoted to the Hiruku church’s anti-beastmen and -elf doctrine.
While he didn’t think they deserved what was happening to them, he didn’t feel bad for those responsible for destroying the homes of his brethren.
And above all else, it was impossible to recapture a city occupied by tens of thousands of undead with just three people.
Even though he had to clench his fist and watch as the enemy forces grew, without the strength to combat them all they could do was memorize what they were seeing.
While the three of the observed the capital, one of them noticed something unusual and pointed it out to Goemon.
Goemon glanced in the direction pointed out to him.
A top the deteriorated wall, in a location where guards would ordinarily send orders from, stood alone petite figure.
Not even their eyes could make out a face at the distance Goemon stood from the wall, but the figure appeared to be a boy.
At first, he assumed that the boy had been a survivor, but the undead at the base of the wall didn’t react to him even though he was clearly visible.
As he wondered about the peculiar situation, the boy suddenly locked eyes with Goemon…… Goemon forehead reflexively wrinkled in reaction to that action as he glared back at the boy.
The next moment, the boy leaped from atop the
The three of them couldn’t contain their surprise at the boy’s actions, but they quickly realized that something was off.
The wall exceeded ten meters in eight, yet the boy landed without issue and immediately broke into a running jump.
From a distance, his movements resembled those of a bouncing bug, yet the boy was somehow capable of doing it.
It indicated that the being in front of him wasn’t a human.
“Goemon-dono, what in the world is……”
When one of his subordinates asked him that question in a weird voice, Goemon focused his gaze on the human-shaped being with the abnormal movements.
The bouncing, boy-shaped creature was looking directly at them as it approached them with tremendous speed…… Goemon turned away from that spectacle and looked upon his subordinates.
“Retreat…… gather at the scheduled meeting place.”
The two men nodded at Goemon’s word before they began running in different directions, their figures soon disappearing in the sea of wheat stocks.
Goemon took another look back at the boy-shaped creature that was approaching, before running off in a different direction than the other two.
Before long the dusk overtook the sky as the sun set toward the horizon, under the cover of the coming darkness Goemon’s figure disappeared.
The huge city was dominated by utter silence…… Rione, the capital of Delfuento Kingdom, had become home to departed spirits and innumerable undead.
At this time of day, the city would normally have a festive atmosphere as people wandered in search of liquor and entertainment.
However, only the sound of the undead soldiers’ clinking armor could be heard throughout the streets as they searched for any survivors.
Throughout the city’s streets, fires spread from house to house, the crimson flames drenching the capital in a frightening atmosphere.
Spider chimera had gathered in the center of such a city.
The remains of a few houses had been gathered in the central, recreational plaza as kindling for the columns of flames that blocked out the stars in the night sky.
The bodies of this city’s former residents had been piled up into a small mound nearby.
A normal person would turn away from the grotesque spectacle of the spider monsters coming from all directions with fresh bodies to add to the pile.
It could be said that the undead were instinctively obsessed with the living, yet there were no sign of that
of that obsession as the strange figures eerily carried out their monotonous task.
There was another existence silently watching nearby as the spider chimera added more and more bodies to the heap.
He was wrapped in luxurious priest attire, in his hand, he held a scared staff that carried the authority of the owner’s authority and his face was covered by a veil.
From a distance, he appeared to be a high-ranking clergyman that was praying before the mound of the dead.
However, his actions were soon revealed to be anything but praying.
He struck the cobblestone street with the butt of the staff in his left hand while waving a small black stone in his right hand over the corpses.
The stone in the clergyman’s hand emanated a violent aura as it gently flew from his hand and silently entered one of the corpses.
As if that had been the signal, the lifeless dead body suddenly began flailing its limbs before it stood up on the spot.
At a glance it appeared to be a miraculous revival caused by healing magic…… but, there was no life in the eye of the former resident, even as it slowly began to walk, it did so with vacant, muddy white eyes, straight into the large bonfire.
As the entire body was consumed by the flames, the unpleasant odor of burning flesh filled the area.
The flames eventually died down when all of the flesh was burned off the body, and an undead skeleton stepped unto the cobblestone.
And just like that, the priest continued his work, and eventually, the large plaza was filled with fire-baked, skeletal undead.
“Hmm, it’s really annoying to have to create these common soldiers by hand.”
A sigh followed the clergyman’s statement who had been producing the undead as he looked at the pile of corpses that remained.
He was none other than the culprit who had turned Rione into the city of the dead.
The Hiruki religion held great influence over the human nations of the Northern Continent…… and he was its supreme leader Thanatos Shirubiwes Hiruku.
Occasionally, the warm current the flames created caused Pope Thanatos’ vail to be blown aside, revealing his skeletal face and the red light in his eye sockets.
Thanatos suddenly turned his head and let out another sign when he saw a boy walking into the plaza from the plaza from the shadows.
In a place where only monsters were gathered, he stood out too much.
The well-dressed boy had blonde hair and blue eye, he played no attention to the surrounding scenery as he approached Thanatos and kneeled before him.
“I’m sorry, Thanatos-sama. I spotted three people which I assumed to be beastmen in the fields, but I lost track of them when they split up and fled.”
When the boy spoke a polite apology in a high voice befitting of his appearance, Pope Thanatos shook his head before giving the boy a small nod.
“It does not matter, Tismo. Delfuento doesn’t have any connections with the beastmen, even if those three escaped, the people of this nation won’t learn about whatis occurring here.
A deep chuckle escaped Pope Thanatos’ bare teeth after he’d spoken.
In fact, the three countries that bordered the Hiruki Theocracy had been influenced by the church’s doctrine for decades, and have actively hunted elves and beastmen.
That race’s natural sense of smell allowed them to detect undead, which had hindered the Pope’s ability to store away his forces. For that reason, when he took over the Hiruku Theocracy, he exerted pressure, both domestically and abroad, to eliminate them.
Their main hidden village had been burnt down, those who had been living there had been processed into undead, and became faithful pawns in the Pope’s hands.
In order to secure their number of soldiers, they steadily gathered the necessary bodies, the magic stones for the undeads’ nucleus, and the armaments.
They numbered over a million…… it had taken a considerable amount of time to secure them all.
However, it had all been for this day.
Pope Thanatos was the leader of all of this, and before him was the most powerful of his seven cardinals…… the young boy Cardinal Tismo GuraTemperantia.
“I will create as many soldiers as I can. Continue your surveillance and eliminate any nuisances. This is going to take quite a while.”
Cardinal Tismo bowed once again before he left the plaza, along with several spider chimeras.
As he watched his back grow further and further away Pope Thanatos lower jaw trembled as an eerie laughter escaped his mouth.
“This boring prologue is over…… it’s finally time for the game to begin.”
After those words left his mouth Pope Thanatos silently began producing his undead soldiers again.