Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 123
Chapter 123: 068. Ancient Ruin -1 (Part One)
Night fell and the mercenaries set up their tents in preparation to camp outdoors. Their leader, Kasal, treated the three individuals who seemed to be from a major noble house, with utmost respect and courtesy.
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Alchemist Hans, who happened to be watching this scene play out from some distance away, swallowed back his dry saliva. He couldn’t help but recall the undead soldiers from earlier in the day, that’s why.
They weren’t regular undeads that emitted darkish purple aura and crimson glowing eyes. No, they were a unique type that oozed bright and pure light, while the glow in their eyes were blue-coloured.
Just staring at them gave him this sacred feeling. Without a doubt, that was divinity.
Wondering if what he saw earlier was nothing but a passing daydream, Hans asked the mercenary setting up the tent along with him. “Excuse me, but did you sense a strange aura coming from the undead earlier in the day?”
“A strange aura, you say?”
The mercenary’s head was tightly wrapped around in bandages. He distorted his expression and shot a glare at Hans.
Although the Alchemist did distribute some healing potions, the mercenary group had suffered losses from his mishap with the poison bomb, and that’s why they were unable to look at Hans in a favourable light.
Hans flinched a little at the glare and shrunk back. However, he still continued on with his questioning. “What did you feel when you were looking at those undeads? Was it fear?”
“Fear?” The mercenary pondered his answer for a bit before shaking his head. “Nah, rather than fear, I got this soothing feeling instead. Right, it felt like I was receiving salvation. And we did get saved in reality, too.”
“Don’t you find that strange?”
“Find what strange?”
“I’m talking about those undeads! They’re undeads, you know?! But you got a soothing feeling from them? And salvation? Not fear or terror?”
“What is it that you want to say here?”
“That priest-nim over there.” Hans pointed at the trio currently chatting to Kasal in the distance. “I think he used divinity earlier. And not only that, he used divinity to activate Necromancy!”
The mercenary looked stunned by this revelation and began alternating his gaze between the trio of travellers and Hans. But then, his eyes locked on the merchant-cum-Alchemist, and an expression akin to sorrow began floating up on his bandaged face.
“I see. I heard that Alchemists often fall into the habit of abusing substances. This has to be it, then.”
“Could it be that there being an ancient ruin with a mountain of treasure inside is just drug-induced nonsense, too? Dang it, I shouldn’t have accepted this job in the first place!”
“W-what are you talking ab…”
“Stop with your nonsense and get back to work, will you?”
“What do you mean nonsense?! Are you disparaging my discerning eyes?! It’s all true! Those people, with divinity, they…”
“Where in this world would you find someone capable of summoning undead with divinity?”
“They’re right in front of your eyes, aren’t they?! Besides, even though it sounds like some spooky ghost tale, there have been several rumours coming from the Theocratic Empire that holy undeads were sighted…”
“But those are some baseless rumours floating around, aren’t they? A cock-and-bull story concocted by the empire to scare us. Didn’t Aslan publicly announce that? That the damn empire people were spreading around falsehoods?”
“And you believe that?”
“Oh, and you didn’t? In that case, does controlling undead with divinity sound logical to you?”
When the mercenary retorted back, Hans could only respond in a dazed voice. “…Indeed, it’s not logical.”
“Well, at least you know.”
Hans groaned. “F-fine. In that case, I shall personally ask them!”
Just as he tried to head towards the trio, though, the other mercenaries quickly stood in his way.
“What are you…?”
“This guy, he just can’t get a grip on himself! Even if that person saved our hides earlier, there’s no guarantee that he’s a kind-hearted noble. Sure, he certainly comes across as more patient than the other nobles, but no matter how good his character is, how do you think he’ll react if you ask, ‘Are you using divinity, good sir?’, ah?”
“…I’m sure he’ll be incensed.”
“Never mind being incensed, he might cut off your arm or something. Even worse, he might just kill you right away and turn you into an undead, making you his slave forever. Seriously now, why are you so slow on the uptake today?!”
What the mercenary said was indeed correct.
A Necromancer using divinity was no different from rejecting the existence of the god of death, Yudai. There was simply no way that a Necromancer would let the rejection of the deity they worshipped go unpunished.
“If you have time to blow hot air, why don’t you help us put up these tents, instead? We gotta prepare a lodging for them to spend the night as soon as possible.”
Hans’s shoulders dropped real low from those words.
He cast a doubt-filled glance in the direction of the trio before going back to setting up the tent.
(TL: In 1st person POV.)
Tina, who had been busy eavesdropping on the distant chatter between Hans and the mercenaries, whispered in my ear. “They don’t seem to believe him.”
“I guessed as much.”
Necromancy that utilised divinity? Now that was straight into the realm of impossibility that wouldn’t even appear in the legendary myths.
Heck, even the bishops of the Theocratic Empire known for their unyielding devotion were doubtful when Raphael tried to tell them the truth. Since people like that were unwilling to believe the words of an influential archbishop, who’d take the words of some wandering Aslan merchant at face value?
As these mercenaries couldn’t use magic, they had no way of differentiating between divinity and demonic energy. But even if they somehow did, there shouldn’t be all that many people willing to trust what some rowdy mercenaries were saying, either.
Since the topic of ‘holy undead’ had been spreading around as some spooky tale, most people would treat it as nothing but hot air.
I thought it was more or less safe to assume that there was no immediate danger to us for the time being. However, I still couldn’t discount the possibility of running into issues inside a city where there were more eyes watching.
I figured it wouldn’t be a huge problem as long as I paid attention a little more.
Around the time I finished analysing the atmosphere of our new companions, Kasal guided us to a pretty accommodating tent for our use.
“Please, use this tent for the night, sir.”
I scanned the fairly-clean interior of the tent before asking Kasal, “Is it possible to get some provisions from you?”
Kasal formed a troubled expression before slightly nodding.
A short while later, he came back to me while carrying a leather bag. “My apologies. This is all we have at the moment. Also, we won’t be able to provide you with water as we don’t have any to spare.”
It seemed that the mercenaries were also lacking food as well. As for water, they probably only had enough for their own individual needs.
Kasal was obviously trying to mind my mood, so I lightly waved my hand to indicate that he shouldn’t sweat over it. “Thanks. And although it’s not much of a trade…”
I handed over my canister of regular water to Kasal.
“Take this. After all, we already have enough water for ourselves.”
Kasal looked really surprised while receiving the water, then deeply bowed his head. “Thank you so much! Please have a wonderful rest.”
He must’ve thought of us as nobles because he was doing his best to make us comfortable before leaving the tent.
Damon confirmed that the tent’s flap was fully closed before addressing me, “Will it be fine, my lord?”
“The water? It’s fine since I can make more any time. We’ll just drink my holy water.”
After placing my hand over a leather waterskin’s opening, I started materialising fresh holy water using divinity and the clear liquid began trickling out from the tip of my finger.
Damon observed my finger with a deeply interested expression. “As expected, you’re indeed an angel. To think that you can create something out of nothing!”
“Man, I keep telling you that it’s nothing as grandiose.”
Tina next to me, looked also greatly impressed. While deeply pondering something, she stared at me in silence for some time, then cautiously called out to me.
“Uhm, Lord Angel?”
“Just call me Allen.”
“Pardon? But how can I dare call you by your name…?”
“Mercenaries are here, so it’s all good. Besides, I prefer that to begin with.”
“…In that case, Lord Allen.”
“You can also drop that ‘lord’ thing too, okay? What’s up?”
She was intently staring at me. Then, she demurely got down on her knees and lowered her head as if what she was about to ask was monumental in scale.
“This lowly believer humbly begs of you. May you be so gracious enough to summon a single skeleton?”
Even the way she spoke to me changed, sounding really dignified and official.
Since it wasn’t a difficult favour, I lightly snapped my fingers. A rune letter engraved itself on the ground and a skeleton crawled out from there.
Her eyes seemed to be sparkling as she stared at my newly-summoned undead. “May I be permitted to converse with this creature?”
“You wanna talk to this skeleton?”
Tina nodded her head.
Huh, this would be my first time hearing about someone wanting to chat to an undead. Then I recalled the skeletons and the Blue Santas that were entertaining the children back in the temple. She was still young and curious, so the holy skeleton must’ve greatly intrigued her.
“Sure, do what you want.”
“Thank you. Well, this way…”
Tina pointed to a corner of the tent. When she did, the skeleton walked over along with her and settled down on the indicated spot.
She asked a question, and the skeleton responded by either nodding or shaking its head. That’s how they communicated.
Damon watched the two of them for a while, then turned towards me to bow his head. “I’d like to offer my heartfelt gratitude once more. Thank you for saving both Lady Tina and myself.”
“I wasn’t planning to save you people in the first place. It was just a coincidence that you happened to be there.”
The Black Order ‘summoned’ me there, and I simply got rid of the fools, that was all.
While saying that, I glanced at Tina without giving much thought. Her eyes were sparkling away while she continued to ask the skeleton a variety of questions.
I thought I could more or less tell her state of emotions from how her pointy ears perked up or drooped low. At least from that alone, she came across as a regular child to me.
I quietly asked Damon. “You say she’s the king’s daughter, a princess?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
He nodded towards me.
I could only click my tongue at that.
Who’d have imagined that I’d be travelling with the princess of an enemy nation…? If she learned about my identity as an Imperial Prince of the Theocratic Empire, how would she even react?
I recalled the events from the temple.
“Even though she’s a princess, she got treated like a slave?”
The Necromancers that showed up at the temple all disparaged her. As such, it felt like a bit of a stretch to call her the king’s daughter or a princess of a kingdom.
Damon replied with a bitter expression etched on his face. “His majesty Rahamma has sired over a hundred children so far.”
“Over a hundred? Just how many wives does he have?!”
“There is only one queen, my lord. The others are all slaves.”
“His majesty has been using the demi-humans to create an even stronger offspring… No, wait. More correctly, he uses them to create an even more potent weapon for himself.”
The dude apparently had over a hundred children, and they were all demi-humans. They would all go through an intense training regime, and if Rahamma acknowledged their strength, they would then be deployed as ‘weapons’ meant to serve him. However, if you failed to earn his acknowledgement, then you’d be thrown away to become a ‘slave’.
“As such, Lady Tina didn’t get acknowledged by his majesty.”
That was how she ended up as a sacrificial offering for the Necromancers.
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