「 How the fuck do you know the《School of Orcus Magic》! 」
Elras shouts, his sword pointing directly to the raggedy man.
What?! What the hell is《School of Orcus Magic》? I’ve never heard of that school of magic before. Wasn’t there supposed to be seven schools of magic and nothing more? what’s going on?! Does that mean my《Adsignatos》ability has its own school of magic? How come I do not know any of this?
「 And why should I tell you? You’re going to be my priced undead soon enough. Now my fellow undead brothers, swarm them and feast on their flesh! 」
The magic barrier disappears with the horde of the undead slowly approaching us. Their appearance truly looks like a living corpse; maggots sprawling on several of them. The smell of rotten meat and egg fills the air as I desperately pinch my nose shut.
How many of them are out there? 20? 30? Ahhh… I can’t count shit at all. How the hell are there so many of them?!
「 Don’t give up! We need to slowly retreat while reducing the undead numbers!『 Pyre! 』」
A wave of flames thrice the size of mine sprung out from his hand, incinerating several zombies a few dozen meters in front of him. The investigators and I follow his lead as we retreat towards where we come from step by step as we maintain our distance between the undead.
The battlefield is soon filled with the sound of magic chants, undead groans, and metal slicing on the flesh.
「 Slave, handle that fancy boy. 」
「 Yes, master! 」
In the midst of it, I hear the outlaw commanding his slave to attack Elras. I hope he’s going to be fine. I need to focus on the enemies near me.
I’m on the right flank; seven undead in my proximity facing me, their monstrous arms desperately trying to reach over me. Soulless eyes and esurient mouth, showcasing their cracked teeth, plastered on each one of their faces.
My hand holding the nose is let off, as I grimace at the rotten smell of flesh. That hand turns into chanting support for the newly learned intermediate spell as I surge my mana towards it. Blue magic runes hover in my hand as I push it.
A burst of blue fire one-third of the size of Elras’s sprung out, decimating the two nearest undead. The stink of their burned flesh as they drop down doesn’t make their smell any better.
A single living corpse that wasn’t burned approaches me very quickly. I readied my sword. Now that it’s near, I swing in an attempt to decapitate its arms. The sword cuts through its hand and then sticks on the other. Shit. I try to quickly pull it off.
Unbeknownst to me, It dashes while simultaneously falling down to me. It’s head on my chest, gnawing on my gambeson armor. Shit! I push it away from me. Looking down, the gnawed parts have corrosive damage marks on them. A slight tinge of pain surrounds that area too.
That monster starts to rise again. Got to do it now before it’s too late. I swing my sword horizontally as fast as possible, decapitating its head.
The head flies a few meters, rolling around with the same blank expression until it inevitably stops. Blood spews out from its neck as it drops to the floor.
Even though it’s supposed to be already dead, killing them again is horrifying, to say the least. But I have no time to dread it, more undead is coming.
Fuck, several of them are already surround me again. I step back as I prepare another spell.
Force thrust blows outwards of my hand, knocking undead nearby. But the undeads are still approaching me.
Can’t catch a breath huh? There are just so many of them. Even if we retreat slowly, I got a feeling they will inevitably catch on to us.
Should I summon the shadows?! But Elras and investigators are here. They will find out about my strange ability. I still can’t let others know about it until I’m sure this ability is not some forbidden knowledge or won’t get me into big trouble if exposed.
「 AHHHHH! MAMAA! IT HUURRTTSS!! 」
The scream of a man in pure agony enters my eardrum to the very core. I immediately look towards the scream that is surprisingly quite far away. The undead swarm to one of the investigators, feasting on his flesh, as the ground dyes red. I try to divert my eyes away as soon as possible. I can’t handle that gruesome view.
「 GOFIN! NOOOO!『 Indutae! 』 」
The other investigator cast a spell. Frozen shards of ice blow to the undead feasting on his companion. He makes a run for it, butchering the surrounding undead in an attempt to save him. I wish I could help him out, but I’m too occupied on my side. I can’t support nor back them up.
The Undead enter my strike zone. I immediately cast my spell.
A wave of flame sprung out, burning the walking corpse, but not to a degree in my favor. The slightly charred undead still moves towards me, albeit slower than before. I should be able to deal with them with my sword.
I focus on swiftly moving on one of the undead flanks that is the farthest among others. Its slow movement couldn’t keep up with the pace.
Once I’m on its side, I thrust my sword to its hips, planting it deep. Yet, the undead behaves, as nothing has happened.
With the sword still stuck to it, the undead reaches to me, grabbing my hip. It bites down hard, leaving another mark on my gambeson armor before I kicked it, separating between me and that fucking undead.
Fuuuck…. I can feel a much worse excruciating sting in that place. Damn, it fucking hurts!
I look at the damage. This time a clear hole is left on the armor, a tinge of red and dark green behind it.
Calm down Ryo, or rather, Renald now, you got to move quickly. I retreat much further than I was before.
「 NOOOOOO!! SOMEBODY HELP MEE! 」
I look towards the scream again. This time, the scream comes from another voice; I fear the worst. Undead hurdles and groups to another spot beside where that fallen man is. Even the undead on my side starts to deviate, moving to feast on him. Fuck.. We already lost two people…
In the midst of my depression on the loss of our companions, Elras comes to my view. He looks quite battered, sweat and blood on his face. And more importantly, his free hand is now holding his bloody right shoulder. Shit, he’s heavily injured.
「 Renald! We need to make a run out of here! 」
「 B-but! How about them?! 」
「 Leave them be! It’s over for them. Quick! While there’s still time! 」
Elras make a run for it, I quickly follow him from behind, leaving this huge space filled with both the living and dead corpses. We run to the main entrance from where we entered the mansion before. By the time we arrive at the heavy front gate and push it, we find out it’s locked.
「 Damn it! It’s locked! 」
「 Elras, are you alright?! 」
「 Yeah, I think I’m fine. Fucking hell, this is what happens when you underestimate people too much. 」
「 Here, take my health potion. Should patch you up. 」
「 T-thanks… 」
Elras then gulps down the potion in a very quick manner. His complexion becomes much better, but not enough to call him “fine”.
「 Ahhh… As bitter as always. I used to fight those damn strong elves before… And now I grow weak against fellow humans huh? 」
「 I’m glad you are getting better, but we should find another way to get out of here. 」
We move out to another place, traversing this huge mansion randomly in god knows what. There are no windows as always and the place is filled with heavy dust and cobwebs as always. I try to make a conversation as we half-jog.
「 By the way, Elras, you better explain to me what is the《School of Orcus Magic》」
「 Ahh… It’s a school of magic that can summon.. summon the undead. It works by getting sacrifices from the dead to increase their numbers. And… And I heard the person who uses it will lose bits of their age the more they summon the undead. 」
「 How come I’ve never heard of them?! You got tons of explanations to do! 」
「 Of course, you wouldn’t. It’s unlisted and classified as a forbidden knowledge by the《Associations of Magicians》, only people deep in that organization, the aristocracy elites, or the one ingrained in the kingdom military-like me knows about this. 」
「 Wait wait! If that’s the case, do you by any chance know a school of magic or whatever that can summon shadow minions? 」
「 Huh?! The heck is that? I’ve never heard about that kind of magic. Even if that kind of magic exists, how do you even know it? Anyway, Renald, You’re getting sidetracked! We need to find a way to get out of this damn mansion! Oh, you see that! 」
I look at where Elras is pointing at. We come across a small window to the garden fit enough for a person to come through in this wide-open space that I assume is a dancing hall. Elras hastily casts a spell and breaks the window to smithereens. Hope rises amongst us.
That hope is immediately crushed as the smell of death approaches, leering at us. They must be nearby.
「 Elras. Whatever happens. Don’t question me about it and make it as if nothing strange happens. 」
「 What are you talking about Renald?! 」
「 Just go. I’ll give you some time. 」
「 Damn it Renald. If you make it out alive, I promise to treat you to the finest beer in Hasten. 」
Elras makes a run for it once more, traversing the uncared lust garden. I turn my back and see that despicable man with his minion numbers is as big as ever. So that’s it? our ridiculous effort in reducing them all for nothing?
That very man who apparently uses the dead to abide by his ideals filled with blood.
Huh, ironic. When you think about it, I’m also the same as him. I forgot. There’s no such thing as morals in this new world, only the strong and the weak. Well, We’ll see which one of us is better at playing chess commands.
「 Hahahahaha! Where’s your friend at boooy? Are you here to sacrifice yourself to save your friend? Such a gooooood friend. I’m soo touched by your wasted heroic effort! Go my fellow undead! After him! 」
His mocking gaze and smirk set on to me. I don’t mind it as I cast my spell chant.4
A magical shield that blocks physical attacks materializes in front of me. That should give me enough time.
My mana run’s out. Depleted. A fatal mistake for a combat magician, especially one in a life or death situation. Yet, only serenity exists inside me. For I know what’s about to come. That will surely turn the tide in my favor.
I stand proud, sword lowered. Directly making eye contact with that raggedy man as I recall those shadow minions in that mystical palace.
Ohhh… How eager they must be to serve their lord after such long neglectence.
『 As Your One And Only Lord 』
The darkness surrounding the closed-off air condenses, swirling into several shadows as it descends in front of me. Clear confusion plastered on that man’s face.
『 Heed Upon Your Creator’s Call 』
The shadows then shape into humanoid figures. Explicit weaponry takes form on their hand, contrasting their blurry physique that exhibits a dark aura.
『 I Summon Thee! Adsignatos! 』
They… No, my minions rise up, weapons on display, directed to the enemies. Their appearance is as stoic as ever as if they are the very reincarnation of Sparta. That confusion of his now turns into anxiety, not knowing what he’s up against.
Form a group of four to be in the center frontline. The other two swordsmen will push on each side of the flank as you make your way through and attack the undead force’s rear.
Yes, our lord. Your slightest wish is our very command.
My minions then do as I command, charging to the enemy horde as chaos descent once more — this time in our favor. Dying murmurs from the undead echo throughout the mansion.
I’m in the backline as always after I summoned them. Eyes dart on all corners, monitoring every detail of the battlefield state. Due to their superior numbers, I have to come up with a tactic that makes full use of my shadows’ agility.
Double envelopment maneuver. A lesson I learned in the [Military Doctrine] class. A maneuver or tactic in which some part of my force will move to the enemy force’s flanks in an attempt to surround it, and thus encircling the enemy. This way I can maximize my shadows’ full potential and make their fight much easier.
My shadows make quick work on them. He might have the numbers, but mine are much more coordinated and have better combat prowess. The shadows that were tasked on the flanks break-in, enveloping them, as they surround the undead on all sides. It’s only a matter of time before we win at this point.
One by one the living corpses fall until what remains standing on the battlefield are four of my minions. Two didn’t make it huh… Thank you for your sacrifice, my minion, please know that it is not in vain.
I walk nonchalantly towards him. His once confident smirk is now replaced with anxiety and most importantly — fear.
「 Wh-what kind of power is that? 」The man said.
「 That’s what I wanted to know myself. Now, tell me where did you learn that《School of Orcus Magic》? And I might spare your life. 」
「 I-I-I-I learned it from… from… the《Kualitatem》leaders. You shall know that our movement is right. We shall rise up from the ground and make our dreams come true! 」
The man jumps at me, dagger in his hand. But I prepared for his attack just in case beforehand. In a flash, I deflect his dagger, swinging my sword. His balance throws off. The perfect chance. As I drive my sword to his stomach.
He drops to the ground, sword still stuck in his body. But that doesn’t stop him from muttering his last words in his mouth flooded with blood.
「 L-long live《Kualitatem》… For what we fight for is true magic e-equality… 」
The raggedy man is now dead, such the life of a lunatic who thinks his ideal justifies his sin of murdering rampage.
「 Y-Y-YOUU BASTARD!! 」
I turn to my back. Magic runes already hovering on her hand. Shit. I rolled to the side. Small arrows formed from the earth splintered towards me. Two made it ways to penetrate my right thighs.
D-damn it… Fucking hurts like hell… I can’t move with this shit.
Without issuing a command, one of the shadows moves to her back in the speed of light. The girl only notices when a sword strikes down, cutting off her spell-casting arm.
The girl falls down a bit, into a kneeling position, grimacing the pain. Her eyes become watery. That’s what you get fucker! I stand up sluggishly, holding the agony in my thighs.
「 P-please k-kill me… l-let me join my master… 」
Her charmingly cute face looks so pure saying that. Her puppy-like eyes stare at me, deep hatred seemingly nonexistent, replaced with begging for mercy. Why would somebody love a person who enslaved them? Is this… Is this true love?
「 M-master… I-I will… join you very soon… 」
I plant a sword on her frail body. The girl fell down to the floor, her cheeks wet with tears. Peacefulness plastered on the girl’s face. The once dusty ceramic floor glistened as the rain had fallen, the liquid that shone wasn’t clear but red.
To think I’m envious of that despicable man…
For having something I yearn for — true love — so damn easily…