Chapter 36 023. Merry Christmas! -2 (Part Two)
Chapter 36: 023. Merry Christmas! -2 (Part Two)
I couldn’t help but get tense even though I was the one who said this question aloud.
Depending on his reply, I’d have to seriously consider how I should go about handling Harman’s matter, right here in this very moment. Although there were those convicts over yonder, I figured that with my Dead Spirit Soldiers attacking him and not me personally, something or rather should work out in my favour, somehow.
“No I won’t, your highness.”
Now that was an unexpected reply.
Harman stared straight at me and continued to speak. “Even if I did report this in, I don’t think anyone will believe me. No, rather than that, making a report stating that I’ve allied myself with another Imperial Prince to falsely accuse you would carry more weight at this point, your highness.”
Allied what now? Ahh, you mean, currying favours to get promoted quicker?
But you’re one of those types that rigorously stick to the field manual, aren’t you?
Indeed, this guy was definitely not the type to get in bed with someone else to enhance his career prospects. He’d feel offended if he were to be suspected of such a thing, actually.
Harman sucked in a deep breath. He was trying to remain calm as he asked me another question. “Do you know the potential ripples you might cause if the truth comes to light, your highness?”
Well, that… I honestly didn’t have any idea what would happen in that case. I guessed that at the very least, the rest of my life would be spent inside a prison cell. “At a minimum, I won’t be ‘free’, as it were.”
“…One wrong move and even your older brother, the First Imperial Prince, will fall into danger.”
The First Imperial Prince? Oh, so I had an older brother?
Well, I was called the ‘Seventh’, so yeah, there must be at least six others older than me. Obviously.
I remained unperturbed while perched up on top of the outer walls and this scene caused Harman to spit out a lengthy sigh. “I too was a knight serving Lady Yulisia with the task of guarding you and her highness back then…”
He continued staring at me with fiery eyes. His expression hardened with resolve as he opened his mouth again, “…I shall serve you and the First Imperial Prince until the end.”
I dazedly stared at him for a while there.
A dude who stuck to the field manual, he… really seemed to have decided to get in bed with someone, after all. But then again, the allure of a quick promotion was obviously too hard to endure, wasn’t it?
Haha! This guy, he didn’t know how to pick the right bed, though. To think he’d align himself with an exiled imperial prince of all people! Much worse than that, it was even a totally suspicious prince who could use Necromancy, no less.
No, hang on. Could it be that he wanted to find more unsavoury things about me? Since he didn’t have enough evidence to use against me, was it possible that he wanted to monitor me even more closely?
With these thoughts swirling in my head, I became even more wary of Harman than ever before. He was now looking at me with eyes of compassion for some reason.
Just before I could ask him what the meaning of those eyes were, a powerful stench attacked my nose with excellent timing.
“In any case… I think it’s about time,” I muttered out.
I glanced up at the heavens above.
Normally, you could easily look at the positions of both the sun and the moon to roughly estimate the time. But too bad, with all those thick and murky clouds hanging overhead, it made it impossible to tell the exact time now.
However, even I could ascertain that the stench of death was rushing towards us to coincide with the advent of midnight.
“It seems that Christmas Eve is now over.”
I’d have much preferred to spend my free time with a pretty girl or with my friends, though…
As the murky clouds gradually cleared away, the once obscured moonlight slowly revealed itself. Sadly, it wasn’t the normal gentle and clear light, but an overwhelmingly eerie crimson hue that sent shivers down one’s spine.
The thick layer of demonic energy caused the transformation in the atmosphere and brought about this optical illusion.
While looking at the moonlight, I muttered to myself, “Merry Christmas, Harman. Of course…” I then lowered my head and stood back up before dusting myself off. “…Enjoying Halloween on the same day is just an added bonus.”
The undead on top of the snowy fields were finally moving once again.
And about 600 meters away, well outside the musket rifle’s firing range, the Vampire Count was standing on its feet, all the while busy gathering the crimson demonic energy within its hand.
(TL: In 3rd person POV.)
The Vampire Count sat atop of the sedan chair.
The monster was currently gnashing its teeth in anger as it looked down at its crotch. The burnt stench still lingered, and its most important bits hadn’t regenerated even now.
‘But… how come…?!’
This creature was far different from all the other undead. It wasn’t some measly little ‘corpse’ that didn’t even breathe, or one with a heart that no longer pulsed with life.
It possessed ego, and could think before making decisions. Albeit weak, its heart did beat, and through its lungs, the monster could breathe too. It even knew how to enjoy the taste of meat as well.
This was what it meant by becoming a Vampire; an existence that earned the right to enjoy ‘new life’ after crawling out from death’s pits. Such a creature should’ve been able to regrow any body part destroyed by divinity. However…
Even now, its most important bits hadn’t regenerated yet. Actually, it was growing back but at a pace even slower than a snail’s crawl.
At this rate, the wound might take a good few years before fully regenerating. That’s how powerful the divinity carried in the bullet that pierced the monster was.
– That damn abominable Priest bastard!!
The Vampire Count was enraged.
Even though it was destined to become the next Vampire King, it had to suffer such a horrendous humiliation…!
– How dare you steal my source of pleasure…!
The Vampire couldn’t calm its anger and waved its hand about. After grabbing a nearby zombie, the creature ripped the poor undead’s limbs apart and shoved the resulting matter inside its mouth.
– Fine! Fine! Once I possess that territory, I should be able to get my hands on an even greater power.
By the time the monster succeeds in this dastardly conquest, regenerating the lost bits should become so much easier.
The Vampire wasn’t planning to back away from the fight.
Its gaze shifted up towards the sky, at the crimson moonlight falling from up above.
Then, it cast its gaze down on the ground.
Thick fog carrying demonic energy was criss-crossing the land. The undead who had their feet dipped within this fog noticeably shuddered. And then, the bodies of various zombies began ballooning up; their once-emaciated figures were enveloped in newly-grown muscles. Thick strands of demonic energy flowed between the bones of the skeletons.
Upon witnessing this sight, the Vampire Count broke out into an eerie smirk.
Look at this powerful demonic energy!
This was the true ‘Tide of Death’!
It was finally the 25th of December! The date when Necromancer King Amon died! This was their moment!
– Finally, our time has come!
The Vampire Count grabbed the sedan chair’s armrests and pushed itself up. Its huge body stepped into the demonic energy-filled fog.
The creature’s legs that used to struggle with its enormous heft were now standing firm and steady. Meanwhile, the demonic energy within the fog was rapidly being sucked into its body.
Its previously corpulent figure was morphing into a toned and muscular one.
– Oh my dear walking dead! Your time has finally come!
The undead all reacted to the Count’s words and howled out loudly.
– Go and devour the living. And evolve!
The Vampire Count moved its large body forward. Step by step, it slowly advanced towards its target.
– Become Vampires yourselves, and crown me, the one who led you to your perfected forms, as your new king!
The Count clenched its fists as the demonic energy emitting crimson light swirled dizzily around its hands. The land reverberated as noise loud enough to rupture one’s ears exploded out.
– I am the successor of the God of Death, Yudai! And I shall become your Vampire King!
The Count then raised its right hand enveloped in that crimson light, right before slashing it down.
The demonic energy swirling around it penetrated past the undead before the Vampire. Then, the gigantic ray of crimson light carved through the winds and reached Ronia fortress’ outer walls, cleanly slicing into them.
And then… a huge explosion occurred.
The outer wall made out of wood and stone couldn’t withstand the impact force and exploded upwards in a spiral.
A section of the 12 meter-tall wall then crumbled down powerlessly.
– Advance! I shall enter the battlefield myself!
The Vampire Count moved its feet.
There was nothing to fear during the Tide of Death. As long as this powerful demonic energy was supporting it, the Count could walk around by itself and enjoy hunting down the living in person.
– This is my first step towards the conquest of this Continent, towards my rightful ascension into kinghood!
Undeads howled out loudly.
They lowered their postures and broke into rapid sprints. The undead with their regular ‘fastest’ speed that used to be no better than walking pace, were now actually running towards the broken section of the outer walls.
There was still about half of the original undead army remaining. Meaning, they numbered around ten thousand and every single one of them were advancing towards Ronia like a horde of voracious insects.
< 023. Merry Christmas! -2 (Part One and Two) > Fin.