Chapter 31

Lindyss stared at the bound man with black bags underneath his eyes. He was wearing pajamas and had a sock stuffed in his mouth. They were in the same cave, but there were now three additional people sitting across from Vur and Lindyss. She turned towards the undead leader.

“What did you do to him?” she asked.

“The same thing as the other two,” the leader said and grinned, “I wooed him with a song.” Gale shook his head and tried to speak, but only gargling sounds were heard through the sock.

Lindyss smiled at Gale. “Thanks for your cooperation,” she said and gestured at the other four sitting next to him. “These men will fill you in.”

Vur stared at the men with his hands folded in his lap. “Can we ungag him?” the red horned knight asked.

Lindyss nodded.

“What’s going on?” Gale asked as he rubbed the lint off his tongue with his fingers.

“Simply put, we’re here to teach this boy how to be a noble,” the blue horned knight said.

“So, why am I here?” Gale asked.

“You’re here to show him how to be a leader.”

“I don’t think I’m qualified,” Gale said and sighed. “My own people mutinied against me and threw me to the pack of undead.”

“So he’s useless?” Vur asked while tilting his head.

“No, no,” the human with the harp said while waving his hands. “He’s an archbishop who understands the plight of the people. Understanding your citizens is a very important quality for a leader to have.”

“I don’t care about the people,” Vur said. “I just want to play with Tafel.”

Gale turned his head to look at the four men sitting next to him. They were trembling and none of them looked Vur in the eyes. He frowned and waved his hands at Vur. “Sca-“

Before he could finish casting his spell, the blue horned knight slapped the back of his head and glared at him.

Gale glared back. “What are you doing?”

“Don’t anger the boy,” the knight said with a growl, “or we’ll die. He can kill a behemoth bear with his bare hands.”

Vur nodded. “Now teach me,” he said while smiling.

“I can teach you, but that doesn’t mean you can become a noble,” Gale said. “I’m a close friend of the king. He won’t bestow a title or plot of land on someone who kidnaps others even if they are as strong as an SSS ranked adventurer. You need the blood of a noble flowing through your veins to be a noble. I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s just how it is.”

“Is that so?” Lindyss asked with a smile on her face. “You don’t have to worry about that. Just teach the boy.” She turned to the undead leader. “Gather all the undead. We’re making a trip.”

The leader saluted and turned to leave with Lindyss followed by the rest of the skeletons.

The five men looked at each other. The man with the harp sighed. “I guess I’ll start first this time,” he said.

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The ground trembled and bugle horns resounded in the distance. Dustin opened his eyes and saw dust falling from the ceiling. “The undead are approaching,” a voice yelled. Dustin sighed and rubbed his eyes while sitting up. Humans and demons stumbled out of their barracks. Some moaned as they looked up and saw the moon shining overhead.

“Why can’t they just let us sleep?” a man complained as he equipped his armor.

Others cursed and nodded their heads in agreement. The soldiers gathered in the courtyard and the ground shook even harder, causing some of them to fall over. A few tiles on the roof of the barracks slipped and cracked against the floor.

Dustin looked at the approaching dust cloud that filled up half the horizon. “There’s easily ten times more undead than last time,” he said to himself. He waved a soldier down. “This needs to be reported to the demon lord and the human king. If we don’t receive the help of the adventurers in Fuselage, the undead could wipe us out. Go to the teleporter and pass the message on,” he said. The soldier’s eyes widened before he nodded and ran off.

Dustin held his breath as twenty rectangles of skeletons lined up in a 10 by 2 formation just out of the garrison’s attack range. At the head was the undead knight leader and Lindyss riding her basilisk. His eyes widened when his gaze fell on her. What’s she doing here? he thought.

“Ahem, ahem,” the undead leader said while bowing his head to Lindyss, “our mistress is going to speak. Listen well mortals.”

“Hello. Can you hear me? Great. As of today, I’m establishing the kingdom of Konigreich. We’ll be claiming all the land that the dragons burned down,” Lindyss said. “You have two days to get out of our land. Inform your leaders for me, thanks. Have a nice day.”

Dustin frowned. Even if the reinforcements arrived, they wouldn’t be able to do anything against an army of this size. “If we refuse?” Dustin asked.

“Then we’ll sing!” all the skeletons shouted at once.

Dustin winced. The soldiers in the courtyard let out a collective groan. “Alright,” Dustin said and faced his soldiers, “men; we’re going home first thing in the morning. Get a good night’s rest and pack your things.” A few men let out cheers and they all went back to their quarters to sleep.

Lindyss turned to the undead leader. “You’ll threaten them with song?” she asked with one eyebrow raised.

The undead leader cackled and grinned.

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“Your highness! We’ve just received an urgent report from the garrison in the south,” a sentry said outside of Randel’s door.

Randel groaned and climbed out of bed. He put on a robe and opened the door. “What’s so urgent?” he asked.

“Gale requests the help of the adventurers in Fuselage to stem the tide of the undead. There are apparently too many of them, even the reinforcements sent before won’t be enough to stop them if they attack,” the sentry said while saluting.

The king frowned. “The adventurers are needed in Fuselage. It isn’t so easy for anyone, even me, to call them back,” he said. “Tell Gale to figure out a solution. The adventurers must be saved as a last resort.”

Another sentry ran down the hallway to the king’s room. “An update, your highness,” the sentry said while saluting, “the undead have declared that they are founding a new kingdom that encompasses all of the burnt lands. Our forces have been forced to retreat in fear for their lives.”

“A kingdom? Composed of what?”

“Reports say there’s a total of 2 million undead, Your Highness,” the sentry said.

“Two million? That doesn’t seem like too much,” the king said. “What could they possibly want to found a kingdom for? They don’t need food or money. Their population can’t grow. They’re dead.”

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A farmer was sleeping in his bed with his wife. There was a knock on the door. His wife groaned. “You should answer the door,” she mumbled.

The farmer stirred and rolled out of bed. He stumbled to the door and opened it. He screamed.

“What’s wrong?” his wife said and bolted up in bed.

“Sk-skeleton!” he shouted as his knees knocked together and he fell over backwards. “G-get away!”

The skeleton was wearing tattered leather armor that was dyed grey with mud. It cleared its throat, but it sounded like rocks clattering to the floor.

“Hello. I mean you no harm. Have you heard of our lord and resurrector, Lindyss the corrupted one who accompanies us after death?” it asked as it scratched its head.

The farmer sat in a pool of expanding yellow liquid. He shook his head with his eyes wide as he stared at the skeleton holding a rusted axe.

“Oh good, do you mind if I enlighten you?” it asked.

The man stared without saying a word and his wife covered her head with the blanket.

“I’ll take your silence as a sign of agreement,” the skeleton said and walked in.

“We’re founding a holy kingdom to the south and we’re looking for some fresh me-, erm, population to help our holy kingdom grow,” it said as it stood in front of the doorway. “Skeletons will provide all the labor for the farms and construction. You just have to help increase the population of our kingdom. The demon lord and human king have already acknowledged our sovereignty. Come, accompany us and I’ll tell you all about it on the way.”

The farmer was silent. “Uhm, will yo-“

“How about this? I’ll flip a coin. If I win you come with me agreed?” the skeleton said.

“N-“

“Great, it’s agreed then. Heads I win, tails you lose,” the skeleton said as it pulled a coin out of its femur and flipped it. The coin bounced off the floor. “Its tails. You lose.”

The farmer stared with his mouth open as a group of skeletons came into the room and lifted him and his wife up and carried the screaming couple out the door.

 

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