This chapter is updated by Novels.pl
“Hold on.” Adolf staggered back up to his feet and called out to me. “I’d like to have a word with you. Us two alone.”
I tilted my head slightly at that. But then…
“Everyone, get up! Right now!” Harman loudly roared out. The sleeping recruits all woke up from their slumber and stared at him. “I shall all give you an opportunity!”
He stared at the confused recruits, his eyes cold and unwavering.
“An opportunity to give up! An opportunity for you all to return to your old regular lives before you are burdened with even more terrifying memories for the rest of your days! Anyone who wishes to give up now, show us your hands, then climb aboard the waiting carriages over there! We shall allow you to travel back to your homes!”
The recruits began sneaking glances at each other while listening to Harman’s announcement.
Give up, he said?
Was he seriously telling them to give up now, after they had endured the relentless march and even the plague? What a laughable notion that was!
The recruits kept their silence, and Harman continued on with the next part of his announcement. “I see. I’ll take your silence as your consent to participate in the next part of the training.” He sucked in a short but deep breath. “You are hereby ordered to climb to the top of the border wall. That’s where your next training will begin!”
“Next training?” Adolf muttered in confusion.
He probably couldn’t believe the fact that they were being forced to start the next part of their training, even though the plague hadn’t been dealt with yet.
Too bad for him, though, he was worrying about the wrong issue here, because the recruits would be at their best physical condition during the next part of the training.
I turned to look at Adolf and addressed him, “That talk you wanted? Let’s have it on top of the border wall, shall we?”
(Note: In 3rd person POV.)
Adolf climbed up to the top of the border wall. Gril also managed to reach the top with Yuria’s support, even though he was still sniffling away constantly and rubbing his nose.
The morning sun was rising up beyond the wall to brighten their surroundings.
The eight hundred or so ‘survivors’, now standing on top of the tall wall, stared at the sight greeting them there, gasping in surprise. Their dazed gazes were now scanning the territory of Aslan beyond the border.
“…Which moron was it? The one who said that Aslan is the land of death?!”
Aslan. It was definitely a mysterious land.
One half of it was a barren desert, while the other half was covered in expansive greenery as far as the eyes could see. Houses made out of trees, forming villages and ranches, were visible in the far-off distance.
The so-called land of death was gradually transforming into a world of life right now.
“What an excellent place to live, don’t you think?”
Adolf turned his head after hearing that question and stared at Extra.
The latter also turned his head to lock his gaze with Adolf’s. “Alright, so. What did you want to talk about?”
“I was curious about something.”
“Curious, you say?”
“Yes. I wanted to ask you about how many more training courses are left after this one.”
Extra tilted his head in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“We endured the gruelling march and the plague. Then we even climbed up the border wall, too. From here on, I’m expecting the next part of the training to be all of us rapidly descending from the top. Basically, we’d be training to jump down from the wall itself. But if I consider the difficulty of the training so far… Could it be that we must do this training without any safety equipment?”
“You speak as if I’m a training instructor, or maybe even a judge.”
“Yes, that’s how you come across to me.” Adolf didn’t hold back as he continued, “While on our way here, I made sure to study all the people around me.”
He took note of those who didn’t seem to get tired during the march. He figured that they were all going to be comrades pretty soon, so it’d be a good idea to get acquainted with the stronger people.
“And I noticed that some people during the march were strangely tough.”
Adolf was quietly confident of his own abilities, acquired through his days as a mercenary. Even someone like him got tired towards the end, but quite a few people finished the march without any noticeable issues.
“Oh-hoh? So what?”
“I believed that those people would be able to complete all of the training. But then, they suddenly contracted the plague.”
The very first set of people to come down with the plagues were a group of fifty or so. They cried out about how terrible the pain and suffering were, and gave up on the whole thing after failing to endure for five days.
They were the same people who withstood the gruelling march without seemingly breaking a sweat. Yet, they gave up so easily, because of a plague?
As for the plague that kept spreading through the ranks of the recruits, although it was indeed outrageously vile, the symptoms seemed a lot milder than the ones who had first contracted it.
Which made Adolf think that what happened so far was simply a ‘distraction’, so to speak.
“Finally, you are wearing that mask to prevent the plague from infecting you, are you not?”
“…But, this is just for show, though.” Extra smacked his lips in reply. “Correct, your guesses are on the money, Adolf.”
The mysterious masked man didn’t even try to lie and admitted to it all. Adolf’s expression began to gradually distort.
“However, you’re mistaken about something. The reason you were all ordered to climb up the border wall wasn’t so that you could train in the art of rapidly descending the wall yourself.”
It was exactly at that moment that some commotion broke out on top of the wall.
“H-hey, it’s the Lady Saintess!”
Gril and Yuria jumped up in surprise when the recruits began calling out loudly, and hurriedly looked below the wall themselves.
Alice was down there, waving her hand at the recruits up on the wall to cheer them on.
The light of confusion immediately swirled in Adolf’s eyes. “But, why is Lady Saintess even here…?”
Extra snarkily retorted, “What do you think?”
Alice took some steps away from the border wall. With her as the center, other Priests surrounded her from all sides, forming a protective wall.
They stopped being on passive standby mode and got down on their knees before offering their prayers. To match them, Alice began singing the sacred hymn.
“Adolf.” Adolf flinched in surprise at his name being called and stared at Extra.
The latter was backing away to create a lot of distance away from the former mercenary. “As you said, I’m indeed a judge of the proceedings. And also…”
Extra could be seen making an eerie grin under the mask as he raised his hand. “I’m also an observer who’s here to find out just how well you and your comrades endure the training.”
He then snapped his fingers.
With Extra as the center, the golden runes that formed the Aztal Rune spread out like a huge spider web. It even reached down to where Alice was, by the foot of the border wall, and began gushing out powerful waves of divine power.
“Declaration of Sanctuary.”
A stupendous amount of divinity whipped around them viciously. Adolf and all the other soldiers near Extra were swept up by the storm of divinity and had to hurriedly step back.
Adolf had to shield his face with his hands, just as his brows shot up high.
Oh my goddess, this divinity, wasn’t it…?!
“No way, the Holy K…?”
“It’s the undead!” one of the new recruits screamed loudly.
Everyone’s gaze automatically shifted away from Extra to Aslan’s territory beyond the border wall. A white-coloured army began crawling out from the land now bathed in the rays of the rising morning sun.
Creatures made out of bleached bones and kitted out in white armour, with eerie glows coming out of their hollow eye sockets…
The new recruits froze up on the spot and unconsciously muttered, “Holy… undead?”
Over one thousand holy undead had appeared before them. One person was commanding them from the front. Her lengthy white cape flapped magnificently in the winds. A Paladin kitted out in a set of form-fitting armour and wielding a huge cross shield and a divine sword stood tall and imposing.
It was none other than Charlotte Heraiz.
She was commanding the holy undead to advance towards the border wall. However, this was no ordinary undead army. Although it was made up of low-tier undead, they possessed siege weapons.
Their formation seemed to suggest that they were here to forcibly take over the border wall!
The undead gripped their muskets and began taking aim. Muskets that had been [upgraded] by the Aztal Rune, no less! The skeleton mages glared at the new recruits on top of the wall, while their bony fingers rested on the triggers.
Adolf urgently turned his head and stared at Extra. “No, it can’t be… The training we’re about to do is…?!”
Right at that exact moment, a holy bullet cleanly pierced through Adolf’s arm and blew it apart.
“Huh…?!” His eyes opened wider in shock as he watched his severed arm spin through the air.
“This is your next training, Adolf.”
The former mercenary’s gaze shifted back to Extra in shock.
“Protect the border wall from the holy undead.” Extra ever so slightly shifted his mask to a side. His expression could be spied from the exposed gap. “The time limit is one hour. The training subject this time, is…”
There they were, his eyes arched like a pair of new moons, and the corners of his lips creepily curling up so much.
“It’s the ‘castle defence’.”
Adolf thought for a moment there that this man’s expression was truly cruel and vicious to behold.
Liked it? Take a second to support Novels on Patreon!