Chapter 30

“I’m terribly sorry,” the undead knight said while lowering its head. “I just assumed that the knights would be humans, not demons.”

Lindyss shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. We were going to need some demons later on too.”

The two knights were wearing undergarments and two undead skeletons wore new shiny steel plate armor. The knights were seated on one end of a wooden table, while Vur and Lindyss sat on the other end. The table was surrounded by a ring of undead knights.  They were in a cave near the marsh where the undead slept.

“W-what do you want with us?” the knight on the left asked. He three blue horns. The knight on the right had one red horn.

“Oh, just a few answers to our questions,” Lindyss said with a smile, “and some tutoring. Don’t worry, you’ll be set free when it’s over.”

The two knights stared at Lindyss and gulped. She was wearing a red robe that hugged her body and accentuated her curves. “Alright,” the red horned knight said and nodded.

“Great. Let’s get on with it then,” Lindyss said. “What qualifications do you need to marry into the royal family?”

The two knights stared at Vur and then turned to face each other with eyebrows raised. “Well, you’d have to be a demon noble to start off with…” the blue horned knight said.

“What else?”

He shrugged. “You’d just have to bring more benefits than every other potential suitor. Usually that means owning a lot of land and money,” he said.

“Can’t the princess pick who she marries?” Vur asked.

The two knights stared at Vur with their mouths open. “You’re talking about the princess?” the blue horned knight asked, “I thought you were asking about a side branch of the royal family. You’d need to be richer, smarter, and stronger than the rest of the suitors. You’d also need the approval of the majority of the family. It’s easier for a woman to marry the princes, but the criteria to marry the princess is a lot higher.”

Lindyss rested her chin on her hand. “Wow, this is going to be a lot easier than I thought,” she said.

The two knights stared at her, but didn’t say anything. Lindyss smiled at them.

“Teach him etiquette befitting a prince,” she said and pointed at Vur.

The two knights glanced at each other.

“Don’t worry. He learns quick,” Lindyss said. “Let me know if there’s anything you need to teach him, but can’t.”

“I think the princes learn to play music. They also have to know how to dance and command an army through their charisma,” the red horned knight said while rubbing his chin.

Lindyss turned towards the undead knight leader. “You heard the man,” she said. “We’ll need a commander, a dancer, and a musician. Remember. No killing.”

“As you command,” the undead knight saluted and the skeletons left the cave. Lindyss stood up and turned to leave.

The blue horned knight scrunched his eyebrows together. “Aren’t you afraid we’ll escape?”

Lindyss let out a laugh. “Be careful,” she said as she walked away, “he bites.”

The two knights turned and looked at the half naked human boy in front of them.

Vur frowned. “I don’t bite demons,” he said. “Grimmy says they’ll give me a stomachache.”

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“The undead are back!”

Gale let out a groan and stopped writing. He went outside and saw everyone trudging towards the courtyard. Dustin was already waiting at the top of the city gate.

“Why do you think they’re doing this?” Gale asked Dustin.

Dustin shook his head. “It feels like they’re just stealing our equipment or gathering information. Why else would they return Opfern alive,” he said. “Has he said anything?”

Gale sighed. “He’s been curled up in the fetal position ever since he came back,” he said and shook his head. “He refuses to talk to any of us. He was a good man.”

Gale looked at the approaching cloud of dust. “There seems to be more of them than last time? I requested reinforcements from the capital. They should arrive here in a two weeks. If they come back within that time we can wipe them out.”

Dustin nodded. “I requested some reinforcements also. To your stations everyone,” he said and the people scrambled to attention.

The undead stopped just outside of the garrison archers’ range. They formed two rectangles of 500 by 200 undead cavalry. The undead knight leader dismounted and stepped forward. He was wearing Opfern’s old mithril armor.

“What do you want from us?” one of the knights shouted.

“We want a commander, a dancer, and a musician,” the leader said. “I’ll give you everything I have in my right pocket for them.”

“… You don’t even have pockets!” one of the archers shouted.

The leader tilted his head.

“I’ll give you everything in his right pocket,” he said as he pointed at Gale.

“He doesn’t have pockets either! He’s wearing a robe,” the archer said.

“What?” the leader said and shook his head while looking down. “What kind of unfortunate fellows are you to not have pockets?” The undead cavalry behind him all shook their heads and clicked their jaws together.

“Are you trying to make us mad?” Gale asked. “What are your real intentions?”

“I already told you; I want a commander, a dancer, and a musician to accompany us home,” the leader said.

“What if we refuse?” Dustin asked.

“Then I hope you’re prepared to face the consequences,” the leader said. “Isn’t it better to sacrifice a few for the sake of many?”

“We would never sacrifice our own to rotting liars like you,” Gale said.

“Then you will voluntarily come,” the leader said. “Men! Just like we practiced!”

All the skeletons drew their swords and equipped their sheaths in their other hand.

“Get ready archers,” Gale said as he flourished his staff. “Mages ready your purification magic.”

“Start!” the leader shouted and waved his sword. “A one, a two, a one two three four!”

The skeletons all started banging their swords against their sheathes and sang,

There’s a song I heard that goes on and on and on~

It never stops, no~

It never stops, no!~

There’s a song I heard that goes on and on and on~

And that was the first verse~

 

There’s a song I heard that goes on and on and on~

It never stops, no~

It never stops, no!~

There’s a song I heard that goes on and on and on~

And that was the second verse~…

The sound caused the ground to tremble and the walls to shake. The glass windows in the garrison vibrated and all the animals inside the garrison started running around. The voices of the two hundred thousand skeletons sounded like rocks grinding against each other. A lich in the back of the formation used wind magic to amplify the sound.

The knights and soldiers in the garrison tried to speak to each other, but they had to shout to be heard over the constant drone of the skeletons. After ten minutes passed a few knights were on the ground sobbing and covering their ears. They wanted to charge out and fight the skeletons, but Gale and Dustin refused to open the gate. After half an hour, Dustin and Gale looked at each other and sighed. An hour passed of non-stop singing. The knights were sitting in the courtyard covering their ears while gritting their teeth. Two hours passed, then three hours passed.

“I can’t take it anymore!” one of the knights shouted and ran to his quarters. “They’re tone deaf too!” He came back a few minutes later with a lute and harp. He unlatched the gates and went outside. Nobody stopped him. “I’m a musician,” he shouted in front of the undead leader.

The leader nodded. “Go behind the formation, there’s no noise over there.”

“Thank you, thank you,” the knight said with tears in his eyes. He went behind the formation and ten skeletons grabbed him and rode off with him.

Another two hours passed. The knights weren’t allowed to eat lunch in case the undead attacked while they were off guard and dinner was approaching. A demon stood up and left the garrison. He was whisked away by skeletons also. The lich amplified the undead leader’s voice and he said, “Now we just need a commander.”

The people in the courtyard looked at Gale. Gale shook his head and shouted, “We just need to hold out for two weeks before reinforcements come.”

Four days later, two demons rode out of the garrison with a tied up Gale wearing pajamas in tow. Every person in the garrison had black circles underneath their eyes. A cheer resounded in the air after the singing stopped.

The two demons came back with a few silver coins.

“What’s this?” Dustin asked.

“It was in Gale’s right pocket.”

 

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