34. Chapter 34
The war between the Four-Countries Alliance and the Highserk Empire was about to enter the climax. The Four-Countries Alliance destroyed two battalions of the Highserk Empire, even if they had more than 10,000 casualties, and the defense layer had fallen except for the last layer, the U-shape layer in front of the castle gate.
Tomorrow, they would do an all-out attack on the castle gate, and a large number of supplies and soldiers were gathering at the captured layer. More than half of the soldiers went to bed before the big offensive, with the exception of the commanders and sentry soldiers of each country who participated in the late war council.
Jackson, a Ferrius soldier, was unfortunately ordered to act as a night watchman. Although the Highserk Empire had been pushed to the fortress ramparts, Jackson’s heart wasn’t at ease. After all, there was a risk that enemy spies and rebels would enter their camp by taking advantage of the darkness of the night. Jackson had heard that the total number of deaths in both armies had exceeded 15,000.
In this battle to capture Sarajevo Fortress, there were many fierce battles in layers before the fortress. Among them, the battle in the 3rd layer caused the greatest damage to both sides due to the fierce hand-to-hand combat. In this layer, there were many large holes, which were opened by a large number of magic attacks from the magic-user soldiers plus two of the three heroes of the other world of the Craist Kingdom. More than 5,000 soldiers were randomly buried there.
Despite the spraying of holy water and prayer by military chaplains, there had been a series of corpses that became undead, and today alone there had been reports of 10 undead. Jackson himself subdued the undead of the Highserk soldiers’ corpses, whose eyes were hollowed out. Even if the corpses became an undead, as the limbs and both eyes had been crushed, the threat level should be low, some idiots thought so and actually did such stupid things. Perhaps they got cursed by an evil spirit for doing that, or it was just bad luck, the corpses that became undead were more than ever.
Jackson was also disgusted by the Highserk Empire, but at the very least, he knew that they wouldn’t go crazy as killing the non-resisting prisoner of war and destroying corpses. He wouldn’t fall into the madness of his allies. It was Jackson who advocated such an idea, but ironically, he was guarding the 3rdlayer, which had become a huge graveyard, and the 6th layer, which was the largest and tallest among the 13 layers.
In this place, where the most undead had been confirmed came from, 40 soldiers including Jackson had been ordered to guard it and they had been continuing to patrol. The magic stone lamp in his hand, torch, and moonlight were the lights that kept Jackson’s view.
Not far away, three sentries screamed from the place that Jackson was in charge of. Jackson didn’t know what happened. Still, it was the soldiers, who talked happily in the graveyard-like area, he could think that a part of their heads was strange, they must be crazy people. From a distance, even if he asked what had happened, no answer came. But, judging of equipment, it must have been a Highserk soldier. Jackson turned his gaze to the left and right, and turned to the direction of his friends.
Thinking that it must be an undead, Jackson felt tired. He was sick of it, but it was his job, and if left unchecked, it would cause damage. The feeling of strangeness grew as he got closer. The corpses should have no equipment, and should have their eyes and limbs crushed. And the one he saw, didn’t fit into any of them. Jackson had his hand holding the magic stone lamp took his shield, and the other hand onto his longsword.
“Hiii―― it’s a lie. He should have died already.”
The attitude changed, and the voice became distraught. The nearby soldier happened to be a magic user, so with the magic, 《Torch》, the appearance was revealed.
The whole body was stained with blood and flesh, and all the fingers of the left hand were twisted. Up to that point, there was no difference from the corpse in that area. However, seeing the man bringing the mask to his expressionless face, Jackson couldn’t stop trembling all over his body. The reason was, the man who was supposed to have died during the capture of the 3rd layer led by the Oder of Reharzen, wore the rumored red demon mask.
“I-is it the user of《Demon Fire》, the one manipulating that 《Fire of Hell Gate》!?”
Jackson shouted reflexively. A Highserk soldier of unknown background with a terrifying “Skill” that could burn a group of soldiers alive. Jackson remembered his characteristics since the soldiers heavily injured by him kept talking about it. Remembering all of the talks, Jackson, who was preparing for battle, couldn’t move his legs further.
The moment the soldier in front of him pointed the weapon, the hot air instantly dried Jackson’s lips and eyes. The mouth sucked a little of the air and felt as if inside the mouth got burned. Still, Jackson was lucky. His distance and the fact that he was behind other soldiers, helped him avoid fatal injuries. The rising heat and the shining blue-flame that felt like a sun at night were instantly formed, and the soldiers were engulfed in fire. Jackson couldn’t even scream anymore. Jackson, who had his knees given out, crawled away.
In the mind, thinking as to why it became like this, Jackson kept cursing, “Damn it, DAMN IT! No one should ever play with the corpse”. He thought that it must be because of the dumb soldiers playing with the corpse. Jackson blamed this strange situation on his comrades. Like the unlucky soldiers in front of him, he himself would become a Human Torch and started dancing like crazy soon. Jackson was determined he would soon join them, but the imagination of his own death ended as just an imagination.
The user of 《Demon Fire》, together with the hot air, disappeared into the shadow of the embankment of this layer at an unbelievable speed. Seeing that, Jackson understood. It wasn’t that he was forgiven. It was just that the man wanted to go to places where there were as many people as possible. So, the destination was undoubtedly the 6th layer, and the unprotected sleeping soldiers would soon be attacked. Even though he knew that, Jackson’s legs were so heavy that he as if he was cursed, resulting in him couldn’t warn his surroundings.
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