Chapter 35: 023. Merry Christmas! -2 (Part One)
A coordinated attack…?
Harman gritted his teeth and evaded the incoming swords and spears. He then quickly stepped back, but this action allowed the Dead Spirit Soldiers to encircle him.
Right afterwards, arrows flew in from the sky.
He evaded them as well, but then, the undead began moving in towards his turned body. They were taking advantage of the opening to attack him.
‘Just what exactly are these things?!’
Their skill level was only barely above that of an average soldier. However, their synchronised attacks were flawless, almost as if it was being performed by a single ‘entity’.
More undead soldiers walked out from the darkened alleyways, all of them carrying all sorts of weapons such as spears, bows, and even maces. With eyes glowing in an eerie blue hue within the darkness, they raised their deadly weapons and pounced on him as well.
‘Facing Paladins would be way more preferable than this!’
Harman blocked the swords and dodged the spears. He smacked the arrows away and retreated even further.
But even then, the undead soldiers continued to dig into his defences from all sides in a simultaneous movement, and without any errors too. They used their legs as braces and spun their whole bodies while swinging the swords gripped firmly in their hands.
Harman’s jaw dropped after witnessing this spectacle.
Although shoddily performed, the technique he just saw was intimately familiar to him.
‘…The imperial swordsmanship?!’
His shock didn’t have the opportunity to last for long, though. Because he didn’t think he was capable enough to dodge every single one of these crude attacks. Dozens of swords were now aimed at him from all directions.
‘I have to go all out from now on!’
As long as there was an unidentified group acting in the shadows inside Ronia fortress, this city’s future would remain uncertain and shaky. He needed to quickly resolve this situation and start investigating who was behind this event. And he needed to do it before the advent of midnight too.
“Oh, the God of War Heim…”
He began rousing up his divinity. The gentle and bright light oozed out from his blade and chased away the surrounding darkness.
Just as he tightly grasped the hilt of his sword with both of his hands in order to extinguish the undead in one fell swoop…
The group of undead suddenly halted their movements. Dozens of blades were frozen mid-air, still aiming at Harman’s neck.
The Paladin also stopped his sword about to cut down his enemies. He then cautiously turned his gaze towards the origin of the voice.
From the darkened alleyway, a figure slowly walked out into the light. Harman’s expression hardened after realising who it was. “…Your highness.”
The Seventh Imperial Prince, Allen Olfolse, was now standing amongst the ranks of the undead.
(TL: Back to 1st person POV.)
I settled down on the edge of the fortress’ outer wall. My legs swayed in the empty air as I looked below.
The outer walls were around 12 meters high. If I fell down from here, it wouldn’t simply end with my legs breaking, that’s for sure.
“Those who dropped down from here must’ve been in a lot of pain.”
There were quite a lot of corpses that hadn’t been recovered yet strewn about on the ground below. Not too far away from this location, zombies were blankly standing around doing nothing, as if they were waiting for the Vampire Count’s orders.
“Hang on… Isn’t that Saint-nim?”
“You’re right! As expected…”
“He’s the one who distributed that holy water to us?”
I shifted my gaze towards the source of those voices.
A lot of convicts and soldiers huddled around the corner of the outer walls were whispering amongst themselves, all the while sending me fervent gazes burning with… something. And then…
“Let us pray together…”
“We shall atone for our sins, oh dear God.”
They knelt down to pray.
These idiots, how were they able to tell that it’s me?
I could only click my tongue inwardly at this sight.
Harman and the undead soldiers were standing around nearby. And I was currently wearing the bird beak mask to ensure that others didn’t recognize me.
Yet, despite this nondescript attire, they were praying towards me? Not only that, they also wanted to atone for their sins?
I couldn’t help but retort in my head.
Don’t make me laugh!
If prayers alone could erase your crimes, then this world wouldn’t have any need for police officers and a set of laws in the first place.
Why don’t you reflect on your bad deeds and offer your services for the greater good instead? Do you think praying to me is your ticket to salvation or something?
I stared at the convicts in dumbfoundedness before finally shifting my gaze over to Harman. “Since when did people start calling me the ‘Saint’?”
He didn’t even bother answering my question. Rather, he was currently too busy massaging his temples to reply. His helm was taken off his aching head quite some time ago.
“Wh-what am I supposed to do now?! The Seventh Imperial Prince, he… Lady Yulisia’s son has learned… N-Necromancy…” The burly Paladin seemed to be deeply traumatised by what he just discovered, as evidenced by all that muttering directed to himself. “Was that how desperate he felt? I didn’t even know…”
What’s this? Me, desperate? Hey man. That word suits you better than me right now, wouldn’t you say?
I couldn’t help but get confused by this guy.
Harman was carrying an expression of a man who managed to lose his entire fortune overnight through gambling or something. He seemed to be doubting his own eyes and ears while he kept glancing at me. For the last time, he took a slow, measured look at me and opened his mouth. “S-so, uh, well…”
The previously-hidden emotions of this robot-like man were visibly shaking once more. His gaze then moved towards the undead soldiers next to me.
“These undead… did you really summon them, your highness?”
“Oh, them? Yep, that’s right. You’re pretty sharp, aren’t ya? So? What do you think? Not bad right? You can’t tell them apart from regular living people with a casual glance, right?”
I smiled refreshingly and answered him honestly.
Since I was discovered already, there was no point in lying anymore. Actually, letting him know the truth was probably for the better in our current situation.
Very soon, it’d be December 25th.
It wasn’t the date of Christ’s birth, nor was it the one and only Christmas where everyone was having fun all the while receiving gifts from Santa Claus.
Nope, it was the complete opposite of that. This was the Halloween where the undead would go on a blood-soaked rampage instead.
My summoned undead would prove to be helpful, at least a little bit in the circumstances. In that case, it should be a smarter move to let Harman know about them beforehand, thereby ensuring that we wouldn’t see any unforeseen friction later.
Harman groaned softly. “Oh, Lady Yulisia. What should I do now…?”
Who’s this Yulisia?
I tilted my head.
However, Harman was startled by what his own mouth had uttered out and quickly covered his lips. Even then, he continued to study my reactions. “…Why did you do it, your highness?”
His voice asked me in a tone that indicated his need to confirm the truth no matter what. He was probably asking me why I went and learned Necromancy.
“Well, it somehow happened that way.”
Actually, I’m from another world, you see? I died on that side and when I woke up, I was already inside the body of your Seventh Imperial Prince, you know… And I can also use all the abilities from a video game just fine too!
…Yup, there’s no way he’d believe me if I said all of this.
It’d probably be easier to explain by saying, “I made a deal with the devil.” Probably.
Although, the problem with doing that would be me getting branded as a heretic.
“Did you… make a deal with the devil, your highness?”
This guy, why are you saying some freaky stuff so casually like that? Are you planning to hand me over to the Inquisitors or something?
“Hiyaaa~, I’m getting really curious here, you know? If someone really made a deal with the devil, would they be able to produce undead overflowing with divinity like me? I wonder.”
My words caused Harman’s facial expressions to scrunch up and become even more complicated.
Well, it wasn’t much of a surprise that he failed to understand what was happening. Undead with divinity flowing in them? Even I was mystified by this, so what about Harman who had been loyally adhering to his faith all his life?
“In that case, how did you… these… uh, make these holy undead?”
“Dunno. I can’t remember anything before the suicide attempt. Was I interested in Necromancy before that thing happened?”
“Are you hiding something, your highness?”
“I’m not hiding anything, man. You see, even I don’t know what’s going on.”
I spoke the truth to him. If I knew how, then I’d be more like the great sage instead. Harman stopped asking me questions at this point in time. So I asked him instead. “So, then. Are you going to inform the Inquisitors now?”