Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
At this moment…
Again, tremors resembling that of a landslide traveled indistinctly from another direction!
All of a sudden, Thales quivered. He heard several strange voices.
“Sada, Luke Sada!”
“Sel, Sel Licca!”
In the next moment, several similarly withered and terrifying deceased souls, shrouded in black fog but had vast differences when it came to their builds and appearances, appeared abruptly from the rock wall above Thales’ head.
The black-colored fog also surrounded these deceased souls. However, most of them had huge bodies, their flesh was scarred and lumpy, and the style of their clothing were unlike that of the Empire’s or Northland’s.
Their pupils were also stark white, but their noses stood even taller, their teeth even sharper. Their rotten, withered skin also appeared darker.
Then, something astonishing happened.
Those deceased souls, those strange deceased souls that just arrived… faced the deceased souls that were already hereCain Camur and its comradesand yelled in a language Thales did not understand.
“Kerol Sel Sel”
Such a scenario appeared in every corner of the cave. Nearly every new deceased soul that arrived on the ‘battlefield’ were deceased souls with the unique appearances. They emitted a similarly terrifying howl at the deceased souls on Cain Camur’s side.
Black fog spread out to fill the air continuously. The new deceased souls in this area also gradually increased in numbers.
Thales stared at the scene before him in astonishment.
“Enough.” Silver Shadowman let go of Thales’ shoulder and said plainly, “Stop it.”
The silver light on him transformed into something like a screen and covered the both of them.
Finally, a low growl resembling a loud rumble of thunder came from nearly every corner of the cave, causing the rock formation around them to resonate with it.
The low growling persisted. A massive, decayed arm as thick as a human’s thigh slowly surfaced from the rock wall above them. It pulled itself up onto the rock formation.
The low growl grew louder and the owner of the arm slowly pulled its whole body out from the wall. Its gigantic body actually took up a majority of the whole cave wall. Then, it raised its equally humongous head and opened its black, gigantic mouth under its white pupils.
Thales widened his eyes. A different species that was unlike those miserable dead people he had seen up until now appeared before his eyes.
‘This is also a deceased soul,’ Thales said to himself nervously.
It was a gigantic deceased soul with a physique so huge it wasnearly the size of three people. It levitated in the black fog of the curse. It had a monstrous appearance and its bodily proportions were abnormal. Its fading white eyes were very small and its nostrils were flipped outwards. A frightening scar from a knife wound was left over half of its face. It even cut open half of its lip, causing its teeth to protrude out of its mouth, which made it even more terrifying when it roared.
Its entire body was covered by many beast fang necklaces. Under the support of its rotten, withered limbs, it bellowed madly at the cave,
Its roaring seemed to have shocked all the deceased souls on this side of the cave. The ones that surrounded Thales and Silver Shadowman turned around as if they had given up on attacking the both of them.
They flashed their fangs, which were coated in black fog, at the new deceased souls that were still increasing in numbers. They, too, responded with shrill howls. “Ahhhhh!!Kill, kill, kill them all!”
And even though the newly arrived deceased souls were lacking in numbers, they responded to the other party’s provocation with even more excitement and fury under the guidance of that humongous leader. Several deceased souls with special physiques even used their already ashen and rotten upper arms to pound on their chests violently. Their howling drowned out the other party’s cries.
“Sel, Sel, Nadaleis!!”
That most unique deceased soul, General Cain Camur Linka, turned his head fiercely and looked, face-to-face, at that gigantic, newly arrived deceased soul without showing a hint of weakness at all. Intense emotions shone in his deathly pale eyes.
“Mixed breed” An inexplicable hatred was deeply embedded in its words, still spoken in the ancient language of the Empire. “Mixed breed”
In the next second, opposite Cain Camur, that gigantic deceased soul emitted a deafening roar while also morphing its face.
Once it said those words, it swung four of its sturdy limbs and threw itself swiftly onto Cain Camur from above.
The black fog all over Cain Camur’s body trembled. It met its new enemy without retreating a single step.
“Come! Ice mixed breed!”
The two leaders were not the only ones who took action. More and more new souls of the deceased came pouncing from the cave walls above them. They invaded the narrow area and sprung on Cain Camur’s deceased souls.
A new fight had begun.
With his eyes wide open, Thales watched as a new deceased soul with an enormous physique pounced on a deceased soul of an elderly person while screaming in a fierce voice. It bit on its neck in a fit of madness!
The elderly deceased soul howled, but Thales could not understand what he meant. “Ahhhh!!”
A gust of black fog spread out from its wound instantly. However, this victim began returning the other party’s blow immediately afterwards. It thrust its bare hands into its attacker’s chest!
It used every trick at its disposal from its teeth to its limbs to weaken its enemy, intending to make it fade into nonexistence.
The new deceased souls appeared to have been infected by the insanity as they did not hold back at all. On the other hand, the deceased souls on Cain Camur’s side also threw themselves on these new deceased souls without the slightest hesitation. They launched their counterattack ruthlessly!
The entire cave instantly descended into chaos!
‘This is’ Thales stared at the deceased souls’ skirmish with a pale face. Suddenly, he came to realize that the “Sel” phrase from the new deceased souls sounded very familiar.
A second later, he recalled the relevant details.
There was a lesson that had to be learned in the history lesson of the Northland nobles’ military affairs: the language of orcs, especially the military orders.
‘”Sel” is That is’ Thales stared in disbelief at the new deceased souls who looked frightful despite having changed beyond recognition. ‘That is one of the orcs’ military attacking commands. It means “kill, massacre, murder”.
‘Or rather, it has an even more direct and cruel meaning, “leave no living thing behind”. So’
The Sin of Hell’s River in Thales’ body faded away slowly. Thales continued to stare at the crazed fight in the cave between the two groups of deceased souls, unable to direct his gaze elsewhere.
“Didn’t you, didn’t you want to use me as bait, to divert their attention, then run away yourself?” Thales, who felt like he had just escaped a disaster, asked the person beside him in surprise.
Silver Shadowman shifted his head to the side, as if answering that question was something beneath his status. At the same time, the amusing bundle of silver rays scuttled out mischievously from the top of the Silver Shadowman’s head. It formed several letters while bouncing around.
[Prank, bad taste.]
Thales’ face immediately darkened.
The existence of the new deceased souls caused the cave to appear even darker, but for the time being, no deceased soul actually paid attention to their tiny corner anymore.
“Alright, but what’s that?” Thales forgot his displeasure quickly as he pointed curiously at the massive, newly-arrived deceased soul who had thrown itself completely into the fight against the general.
“Also a cursed deceased soul,” the Silver Shadowman replied swiftly. “But a different one. Its soul is tenacious and its willpower terrifying. After being imprisoned and contaminated by the curse, it became even harder to deal with than our General Linka over there.”
Thales turned his head abruptly. “But why were they”
Silver Shadowman nodded his head. “You know, there’s a very interesting thing…” The man’s voice appeared somewhat relaxed at this moment. “Under this terrifying curse, these deceased souls still find it hard to part with the world of their former lives, even though they are never lucid.
“Not only are some of the most deeply-rooted emotions and obsessions difficult to forget, they become stronger with each moment, even mutating into something else that’s even uglier. This ‘something else’ are their feelings and instincts, left behind by their memories and emotions.
“Such as” Silver Shadowman gestured with his chin at the direction of the chaotic fight.
Thales observed those strange, new deceased souls closely. Suddenly, he came to realize something: Silver Shadowman had pointed at that giant deceased soul with the beast fang accessories.
He said softly, “Allow me to introduce to you Luke Sada Darkstorm… And its hundreds and thousands of little orc comrades.”
Thales’ thoughts stirred. “Darkstorm? Orc?”
Silver Shadowman nodded his head once more. “I heard a certain dead man say that it was some warchief of the Darkstorm tribe.
“He’s also one of the glacial orcs who wreaked havoc upon the area to the south after the collapse of the Ancient Empire, and the main culprit of the hundreds of pillage and murders in the Northland province back then.” The Silver Shadowman remained silent for a while. He then continued, “Before it died under the joint ambush by the Northlanders and the Mountain Elves, the people used to call it ‘Hammer of the Storm’.”
‘Hammer of the Storm…’ Thales looked at that deceased soul of the orc named Luke Sada in the distance, at how it fought against Cain Camur with its claws and teeth, just like a wild creature, and how General Linka was forced into a corner, looking incredibly disheveled.
Thales then seemed to sink into deep thought. “You can actually remember your enemy better than yourself.”
The Silver Shadowman snorted softly. “This is why I, who was initially caught into danger, can still stand here watching the fight leisurely with you. And they can only rip into each other here, like the mindless fools they are.”
Silver Shadowman turned around and pointed at Thales with his index finger. “Using all possible methods to weaken your enemysuch is war.”
Thales furrowed his brow. He realized that the silver rays had begun to jump around the Silver Shadowman’s head again.
“The first day I opened my eyes here, I began searching for a way to forever keep these deceased souls in check and to suppress them.” The Silver Shadowman shook his head lightly. “One of the results is there in front of you.”
The silver rays continued to bounce. This time, it displayed many more words.
[No such thing. He actually got beat up really badly on the first day. He could only disguise himself as a female deceased soul to save his own life.]
Thales moved his gaze away from the silver words. He looked at the Silver Shadowman with a strange expression. The man had currently put on the airs of a well-educated person.
‘Really? Disguised as Ahem.’
Thales did his best to cast away the senseless thoughts from his brain and shifted his attention to the present. Two scuffling deceased souls flew about a meter away from them. They turned into black fog and disappeared together while screaming in pain.
“How insulting, this is supposedly the world after death”
He watched the intensely escalating fight before his eyes and sighed. “And still, battle and conflict has never disappeared.” Thales watched as a violent, deceased human soul bit off half of a deceased orc soul’s face, and shook his head. “Even if they are deceased souls under the same curse, they are still… as incompatible as fire and water.
“They can only repeat the hatred and suffering they experienced when they were alive. It’s just that now; their battles while they were alive have turned into battles between deceased souls.”
This time, Silver Shadowman did not say a word. He paid full attention to the scene in front of them as thought it was the most entertaining show.
“We should go now, before the Mountain Elves come to join the battle as well,” he said faintly a few seconds later.
Thales twitched. “Elves? There are also deceased elven souls here?”
“Yes.” Silver Shadowman crossed his arms over his chest and snorted coldly. “Compared to the humans and the orcs, those long-eared elves are even more unique, and also even more troublesome. I’m not too good at dealing with them.”
Silver rays morphed automatically above his head and formed two sentences.
[Because he disguised himself as their female leader before. And they even saw through his disguise.]
With a strange expression, Thales cast another glance at this great man beside whom had been dead a long time. This caused Silver Shadowman, who felt something amiss since a long time ago, to feel rather uneasy.
“Nothing.” Thales moved his gaze away from above his head and shook his head in denial as if nothing had happened. “So even the elves were not spared.”
“Yes. This curse is actually quite fair in this aspect.” The Silver Shadowman paused for a moment and then shook his head faintly. He seemed to be sighing. “At least it’s not racist. And we really must go now.”
In the next second, Silver Shadowman grabbed Thales’ left arm abruptly and pulled him back. Thales was startled and fell backwards, caught off guard.
He lamented his bad luck as he prepared to have the back of his head crash against the cave wall. However, he only heard a faint rumbling from behind and felt himself be dragged all the way back. The deceased souls who were fighting continuously before him grew smaller in his field of vision.
About ten seconds passed. Finally, Thales felt his arm relax; he was released.
Thales climbed up from the ground in a disheveled state. He noticed that he had stepped into a new place.
Although it was under the ‘illumination’ provided by Silver Shadowman, the so-called ‘new place’ was nothing more than another slab of rock under his feet.
But when Thales raised his head, he found to his surprise that the two cave walls before him were slowly drawing closer to each other, shutting the battlefield of the fighting deceased souls on its other end, making it disappear from his line of sight.
He blinked a good few times. ‘Just now, Silver Shadowman took me through the cave wall?What sort of power is this?’
Everything he had seen within these few hours: the deceased souls, the silver shadows, the curse Regardless of which, all these things far exceeded his imagination.
While faint rumbling sounds still echoed in the air, the cave walls joined seamlessly together. It was as if it had never been split open before, not even a narrow slit could be detected.
“Go,” the Silver Shadowman said slowly, “You should go now. Go back to the world you truly belong to.”
Thales, who was so entranced by what he just saw, came back to his senses. The prince gulped. “Ah, yes.”
‘Yes, I should I should go now. There are still many people waiting for me.’
Thales sucked in a few deep breaths. He thought about his journey ahead and he sank into a gloomy mood.
“If I’m still able to go?” He looked at Silver Shadowman doubtfully.
“As long as you want to.” Silver Shadowman nodded his head indifferently. The rock formation began vibrating again.
“And from today onwards, I will seal off all possible entrances and exits here.” As the rock formation vibrated, Silver Shadowman shook his head slowly. His words were laced with sadness and grief. “The Black Track will sever all passages leading to the outside world. Nobody will ever be able to enter this place safely again, nobody will ever enter this dark path by mistake, and nobody will ever witness such a saddening sight again.
“You will be the last one.”
The rays on Silver Shadowman’s body glowed faintly. He looked at the pitch-black cave ahead and fell silent.
Thales felt his chest tighten. But when he stared at the man and watched his facial features, which were still as black as before, he found himself unable to say even a single word.
“And you, Jadestar. You have to guard this secret in your heart, or simply forget everything here.”
Thales was stunned. “What?”
“To keep from attracting even greater troubles.” Silver Shadowman shook his head. “Bear in mind that not everyone who rushes towards the curse is here to eliminate or dispel it.”
It took Thales three seconds to understand what he meant by “even greater troubles”. He raised his head in puzzlement.
“That so-called ‘Curse of the Iron Blood King’, these deceased souls They will continue to be like this, buried deep inside the Black Track, under Dragon Clouds City?”
Silver Shadowman caught on to what Thales was trying to ask with his keen intuition, and asked in response, “What do you mean?”
Thales recalled those layers upon layers of ghostly faces. He instantly felt nauseous.
“Sealing off the Black Track is perhaps a good method so that the people above wouldn’t come down anymore. However, that general had said that one day, they’d eventually” He spoke with worry laced in his words. Thales shot the Silver Shadowman a glance before saying in a quiet murmur,
“…have to return.”
Silver Shadowman did not reply.
“Don’t forget Dragon Clouds your Arunde Castle.” Thales looked at his face and asked hesitantly, “In the place above our heads lives thousands and thousands of people. We might even have to include the entire world of the living into that equation.”
Silver Shadowman raised his head gradually and met his gaze.
“As strong as you are, it seems like you’re already so wary of this curse,” Thales asked with an anxious expression on his face. “And what if the curse gets stronger continuously, and the day finally comes where these deceased souls…
“…appear above ground?”