Chapter 39: 026. Merry Christmas! -5 (Part One)
The pain the vampire felt was so brutal that it thought its soul was burning away. Divinity dug into every little corner of its large body and caused it excruciating pain that couldn’t be described in mere words.
– You stinking Priest bastard!
However, that much was still fine. This level of agony was still tolerable.
That explosion should’ve also left the Priest bastard in tatters as well. Even if he managed to somehow survive it, he probably wouldn’t have enough energy left to gather any more divinity.
This was what the Vampire Count thought as it raised its upper torso.
“I am the legion.”
But suddenly, it could hear someone mutter out these ominous words. The vampire flinched nastily as its whole body froze up right there and then.
“And I am Gaia’s inheritor.”
Right at that moment, this incredible pressure materialised out of nowhere, one almost heavy enough to crush the vampire’s whole body. And the atmosphere kept getting heavier and heavier with every passing second.
A deathly chill ran down the monster’s spine. Its body, which was completely covered in goosebumps from head to toe, instinctively refused to move.
‘W-what is this feeling…?’
The Vampire Count swallowed its dry saliva and looked behind it.
The monster now could see a figure standing tall over there while grasping the hilt of a greatsword stabbed into the ground.
Another figure, also standing tall but had a longsword attached to its hips.
There were more; figures wielding bows and crossbows, ones with spears slung over their shoulders.
Even some with maces and shields, etc…
About thirty ‘undead’ beings gripping onto various weapons could be seen now. However, even at a casual glance, one could tell that they were no ordinary undead.
All of them wore matching white armour. Some were using the debris from the destruction earlier as their chairs, while others remained standing.
Bluish wisps of breaths leaked out from around their mouths. Their eyes gleamed fiercely as if they were still alive.
They then opened their mouths. Or more correctly, it was their jawbones that bobbed up and down, their teeth clattering against one another.
– I can smell the odour of death.
This quiet murmur contained traces of ‘divinity’. It was Spirit Speech, something an ordinary undead could never ever hope to produce.
These existences, these ‘Holy Knights’, shifted their gazes over to the Imperial Prince.
– Is he the master responsible for our creation?
– If so, what is our purpose?
– What is the reason for our creation?
They all possessed ‘ego’ and were capable of ‘thoughts’.
They turned their heads, their glares locking on to the vampire. The bluish light in their eyes narrowed as if to focus on the giant but immobile monster.
– It’s a heretic that goes against the rules of this world.
– And so, is this the reason for our creation?
– A creature no better than a mere germ that maintains the balance of this world wishes to imitate a living being.
The vampire froze up after meeting their glares.
‘Just what are those…?’
Although what it heard was a mere whisper, the vampire definitely did hear the Priest say the ‘activation phrase’. What he said, though, wasn’t the call to the god of death, Yudai, but one meant for the ears of the god of life, Gaia.
And that was the strangest part of it all.
The Necromancer King Amon worshipped the god of death. But calling out to Gaia while summoning these undead through that person’s skull?
– This… it does not make… any sense.
The vampire stumbled backwards all the while denying reality unfolding right in front of its eyes. This event simply couldn’t happen. It mustn’t be allowed to happen, either.
The human Priest might have called out to ‘Gaia’, but she was the goddess of life and as such, she simply couldn’t have possessed the powers to rule over the undead.
Those creatures, they were such incongruous and inconceivable existences that even the goddess herself should be freaked out by their mere presence alone.
– It’s only obvious why we have been created.
– As I thought, we should abide by the commands given to us.
The holy undead knights gathered and formed an orderly line. And then, they stood before the boy wearing the mountain goat’s skull, cautiously kneeling and bowing their heads.
This was completely different from the usual display of bowing before their sovereign. No, it was far closer to the sight of fervent believers filled to the brim with unbreakable faith, earnestly waiting for their next divine orders.
– Your command…
Their master didn’t say anything when the holy undead asked. He simply showed it with his actions instead.
The Priest donning Amon’s skull raised his hand and pointed at the vampire. Then, his raised thumb pointed downwards.
It was truly a simple gesture, something that no one else in this world would’ve understood. However, these holy undead knights were connected to their master and they indeed fully understood what this order entailed.
They stood up.
They raised and cocked their heads to the side.
And then, started glaring intensely at the vampire.
Their blue eyes were set ablaze.
– …Detest death.
Pure unbridled and naked terror began dyeing the vampire’s expression.
The moment the holy undead knights roared out, divine aura flooded out from the gaps of their white armour.
The Vampire Count urgently covered its ears. It was suddenly struck by Spirit Speech containing divinity. The roars were so powerful that the undead’s eardrums almost ruptured and even its soul was shaken to the core.
The holy undead knights lowered their posture with their weapons raised up. They kicked the ground and dashed towards the vampire.
– Y-you monsters…!
The vampire’s complexion paled instantly.
Undead that possessed divinity…?!
Just where did such hybrids even show up from?!
This was definitely an extraordinary phenomenon.
These knights called the vampire a ‘heretic that went against the rules of the world’, but their existence itself was the true contradiction! Because they were definitely the beings that ‘went against the rules’ in this case, were they not?!
These creatures utterly shattered the logic governing this world.
– You cursed undead knights…! You’re the true heretics that insult the will of the god of death, Yudai!
The vampire used all of its strength and gathered whatever demonic energy it could. Then, it slammed its hand filled with the reddish energy down on the ground. The land below split apart and a large Rune letter was generated. Hordes of undead began crawling out from the depths of hell.
Zombies, skeletons, ghouls, and even dullahans – there were about two hundred individuals that crawled out, screeching towards the heavens above.
– Go and punish those heretics that betrayed Yudai’s will!
The vampire waved its hand.
The mob of undead howled out and dashed towards the holy knights.
The knight wielding the greatsword stomped its foot. The ground below crumbled and buckled as it swung the massive blade with both of its hands.
– Eternal rest for the undead…
With just one swing, many undead were thrown into the air, only to turn into ashes and scatter away.
– The blessings of Gaia, the one who extols all life…
The holy knights wielding crossbows and bows pulled the triggers and let go of their strings to fire their projectiles. The volleys of light penetrated through multiple undead creatures in an instant.
– We are Gaia’s spears and shields.
The holy knights brandishing shields created an impregnable wall of iron, and the spear wielders began thrusting their weapons forward from behind them.
Every undead that came in contact with the shields all burst into flames without a single exception, and those stabbed by the spear blades blew up spherically like bursting balloons and were exterminated immediately.
Two hundred or so undead versus thirty holy knights; the vampire held the obvious numerical advantage, but it failed to even leave a single nick on the armours of the holy undead knights.
– Ah, ah, ah…!
The vampire was overcome with terror and grief again.
It knew that getting captured by those things meant certain purification for itself. The life it struggled so hard to acquire for the past fifty years would be snuffed out so quickly, just like that!
The Vampire Count yelled out, but then, it suddenly closed its mouth tightly.
Its stomach bulged greatly. This disgusting-looking bulge travelled all the way up from its belly to its throat, then went past its throat and into its mouth. Demonic energy leaked out from the torn bits of flesh hanging around the creature’s jaw.
And with every ounce of its energy, the vampire spat out another breath of death. No, it tried to.
A holy undead knight swung its greatsword upwards. From the vampire’s bulging stomach all the way up to its jaw was sliced apart. Demonic energy leaked out as the monster’s flesh burned and turned into ashes.
Arrows and bolts connected by chains flew in and pierced through the vampire’s body. These sharp projectiles stuck out like the needles of a hedgehog, the connected chains serving to rob the monster of its freedom.
The vampire’s large frame was quickly dragged down as it crashed face first into the dirt. The waiting holy undead knights then slammed down and crushed both of the fallen creature’s legs with their shields.
Multiple spears were thrust forward and trapped the vampire’s throat.