147. Chapter 147
Born into a Marquis family, Trio Borgia was a man who understood his role well. The current head of the family, Trio’s father, and the next head of the family, his older brothers, had the appropriate intelligence, character, and health. Trio, the third son of the Marquis, was their spare.
Trio received an education appropriate for someone from a Marquis family and learned etiquette. When his father retired and his brother sat in the position of head of the family, he was expected to act as a supporting member of the family. In the future, he would be entrusted with the territories on the outskirts of the Labyrinth City, or he would be married away to someone from the surrounding nobles and strengthen the connection.
That said, there was always a chance, albeit a very small one.
Trio didn’t skimp on the knowledge and behavior training necessary for the head of the family. He wasn’t at war, nor was he ambitious enough to usurp power. He had neither the power, nor the money, nor the army to begin with. Even what could be called a faction of him was only a tenuous existence.
Only useless training and knowledge were accumulated. Nevertheless, Trio didn’t lazy around. His older brother was excellent and in good health. His father, the head of the family, was still active. There was also no war of inheritance either. In short, what a waste of effort he had been doing. He could just play around. In fact, Trio had heard similar talk from his father’s and brother’s retainers.
Hearing it, Trio felt anger and shame. But above all, he gave up because it was an accurate impression. If he forgot his status and challenged the Labyrinth every day, the impression would only get affirmed further. Nevertheless, his innate nature couldn’t throw away the role he was meant to play. The days of giving up while he kept impatience at bay. This was what human life, his life, was supposed to be like. Even if Trio lamented his privileged status, it would only be a shameful and extravagant problem.
The bustle of the city quietly filtered in through the window. It was an extraordinary day. For the first time since the Unification War, a ceremony was held to celebrate the birth of the conqueror from Belgana. Even in the history of the Labyrinth City, this was a remarkable event. As a testament to the conqueror’s power, the Labyrinth City which now had attained the rare resources of the deep floors, would surely continue to develop. And even, the information brought by the conqueror, the Trimagitack, could produce the second and third conquerors.
Trio dropped his gaze to the book he was reading. It was a history book from the time before the Archipelago obtained the Labyrinth City. Ironically, while the new history was being written, Trio was looking at the old history book.
The Labyrinth City had brought prosperity to the people, but at the same time, endless wars. The biggest battle was the Unification War, which was fought a century ago. Dozens of nations and communities fought and eventually divided into spheres of influence centered on three big countries. According to one theory, the number of dead soldiers in the entire Unification War was 500,000, and scholars were divided on how high the number would be if citizens were included.
It was said that in Belgana alone, the fiercely fought area, well over 100,000 soldiers exposed their viscera. There were various theories as to the cause of the intensification, but one of them was that the Gundor family, a respected family of necromancers and the ruler of Belgana at the time, fueled the savagery of both armies through their relentless resistance.
There was a frowned-upon story about what the Gundor family did. It was said that they turned people into explosives, targeted commanders and key points, turned the corpses and discarded bodies into undead, and incorporated monsters into the bodies of their own soldiers. The defense and the justification emphasized that the soldiers, who had been denounced for doing a vicious act and were filled with hatred and fear, had rampaged and thus massacred soldiers and civilians.
Trio didn’t know what the correct answer was. For each community had different values and perspectives. And even the history book he was reading had been written by a scholar from the victorious Archipelago.
After reading the book, Trio turned his gaze to the slum that spread outside the window of his room and thought about what he had just read. The residents, who had limited access to books, had forgotten the terrible war. The only people who remembered it were those who specialized in history and those involved. Even his family didn’t really care. Trio, who had a certain outsider’s perspective and knew the details of history, was the only exception.
In the face of past history, Trio allowed himself to drift in a sea of thoughts, but then realized that it was useless. He who had no power couldn’t choose the fate of the city, nor could he change it. He was nothing more than a spectator.
Sitting in an armchair, Trio let out his breath. Unchanging room, boring ceiling. As he deciphered books and conversed indirectly with scholars, his day of idleness came to an end.
Trio closed his eyes and fell asleep under the sunlight streaming through the window, but his consciousness quickly returned as he heard loud explosions and screams.
It couldn’t be a trivial matter, Trio thought as he picked up the sword leaning against the wall and opened the door leading to the corridor. His goal was a command post where generals and officers were constantly stationed.
Passing through many corridors and slipping through the frenzied servants, Trio continued to walk.
As Trio got closer to his destination, a sour stench drifted to his nostrils. The smell was like the entrails that came out when dismantling prey in hunting.
Quickly, Trio slipped around the corner.
The passage leading to the command post was always guarded by four or more soldiers. In addition, the immaculately maintained and polished marble floor gave the command post a serenity that didn’t allow for easy entry.
Trio, seeing the supposedly strict passageway, was speechless. The white wall of the passage was painted unevenly with vermilion color. What lay scattered there was something that was a human being. There were some that relatively maintained their original form, but no one still breathing.
Trio hesitated, but he made up his mind and stepped forward. A sticky liquid clung to the soles of his shoes as he walked along.
Then, Trio found the large door with silverwork was damaged from the inside. He threw the sword in his hand into the broken crack and yanked the door open. A very foul stench overflowed the room and sought another place to spread.
The command post was even worse than the corridors. Many of the dead who sank into the pool of blood were missing parts of their bodies. They were either dead on the spot or bled to death. And even those who appeared to have only minor injuries were writhing in agony with their eyes opened wide before they finally died.
As Trio carefully squinted his eyes, he could see some white things mixed in with the blood-stained metal pieces.
Now, those inside the room who survived the disaster could be counted with fingers.
Trio called out to the soldier, who stood still as if sleepwalking. As if the soldier had just woken up from a dream, he answered in a flustered manner.
“I-I don’t know. Human, suddenly exploded. When I realized, it, became like this.”
Trio, who had a sense of déjàvu of the word “human” and “explosion”, realized its true nature.
“……necromancy magic-style human bombs.”
An event written only in history happened right before Trio’s eyes. He couldn’t help but feel an ominous promotion. Even the command post in the main castle, considered the best protected in the city, was in this state. And the ceremony took place in the hall. Though it was guarded, it was crowded with VIPs. An imminent crisis was certain.
“Are there, any operators left?”
“Yes, but, only me.”
“Connect to the ceremony site, which is the guild. Father and brothers must return to the castle immediately and take command. Share this information as soon as possible.”
The movements of the communications operator were slow. During the daily exercises, his colleague suddenly exploded and the command post was partially destroyed. Very unexpected indeed.
But if the soldier didn’t move because of something unexpected, what was a soldier for anyway? Trio grabbed him by both shoulders and looked him in the face. Fortunately, his own hands weren’t shaking.
“Take a deep breath, and calm your mind. You’re the only one who can do it.”
The communications operator staggered back to his seat, as if these words had been blasted directly into his eardrums, and began the operation. His movement after starting the work was fast.
“Test, test, this is the main castle…… Yes, there was a similar explosion here… A high-ranking commander? Trio-sama is giving commands right now… Eh? That’s, no way…”
The communications operator, clenching his teeth and having rough breathing, told Trio.
“…… I’m really sorry, but… Marquis-sama, who was participating in the ceremony, has, has passed away. Those of the Borgia family, including the eldest son, were also hit by human bombs.”
“Father and older brothers ―― have died?”
Feeling dizzy, Trio endured his emotions with all his might. The more the conveyed meaning permeated his brain, the more its gravity weighed him. After all, if his father, brothers, and blood relatives who were participating in the ceremony were really wiped out, the right of inheritance of the Borgia family would fall to Trio all at once.
“Similar damage has been done to important facilities in the city, and in addition, a large army of undead and armed forces has emerged from unconfirmed underground bunkers in the city. The surviving 1000-man Commander Edoardo is in command there, but the whole situation is still unknown. Now, we’re all waiting for further orders from Trio-sama.”
The communications operator turned from his chair and looked up at Trio as if leaning forward. Not only he, but all the surviving soldiers and officers looked to Trio.
Trio felt chills at the weight of the eyes directed, the heavy responsibility that was weighed on him.
Exhaling a few breaths, Trio gave an order after regulating his breathing.
“All the units around the guild will be entrusted to Commander Edoardo. While protecting the VIPs, we will begin mopping up the enemy forces as soon as we’ve gathered our strength. Besides the operator, leave two people here. As for the other, Gather the soldiers!! Don’t forget to request support from those at the border and surrounding areas!”
The soldiers obeyed the voice, which surprised Trio, and rushed out of the room.
What Trio could do as an ordinary person was limited. Nevertheless, he took his role and fulfilled his purpose as a spare. Just like that, the days of rotting in his room came to an end without any warning or consideration.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.