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Chapter 307 - Lairon, the Last Day (2)

    Chapter 307 - Lairon, the Last Day (2)

    "Priest clothing?" Theodore thought he was mistaken at first.

    He rubbed his eyes and looked again, but there was no difference. The white robe with the golden trim was definitely the clothing worn by priests of Lairon. Moreover, the undead wasn't a zombie or a ghoul. It was a lich, something that was only possible when a magician with considerable abilities was turned into an undead. Therefore, the lich wasn't completed burned away when struck by Theodore's magic. It still had half its body left.

    'No matter how I think about it, something is strange.' Theodore shook his head while sensing a strange incongruity. 'An undead can't disguise as a priest. Additionally, shouldn't it have burned immediately when touched by divine power? If so, perhaps a priest was turned into a lich...'

    It still didn't make sense. The knowledge remaining in his head from Jerem stated that it was impossible. The gods, the guardians of the physical world, were the natural enemy of all warlocks. Just like how it had been when Jerem faced the lower god Mitra, the presence of any being under the influence of a god couldn't be turned into an undead. Lairon might be a fake god, but his followers had real divine power.

    Furthermore, it was a priest, not a magician, who had been turned into a lich...? The possibility of the Jerem succeeding in this difficult task was close to zero, let alone infection type undead.

    "I have to go and check it."

    In any case, all the undead inside the city were now destroyed. The lich was barely breathing, and Theodore had nothing left to do. So, he quickly descended to the ground. As several buildings caught on fire, the magician in red robes stood on the bloodstained ground.

    Tak.

    The lich was collapsed like a rag at his feet. It really was a priest's clothing. The luxurious cloth and gold decorations were the result of extracting the blood and sweat of the people. Disgust boiled up inside Theodore as he walked over.

    "Hey, can you hear what I am saying?" As he took exactly three steps forward, Theodore spoke to the lich.

    The lich was an undead human type and still had intelligence. If the consciousness still remained in the body, it would be able to talk for a moment before its destruction. Where did it come from? Who caused this? Theodore didn't have any big expectations. However, if he could resolve one question, it might become the clue to this mysterious situation.

    "...K...u...ah...." The lich couldn't even make a sound.

    Theodore sighed and stretched out his right hand, sending a small stream of magic power into the lich. It wasn't enough to restore the body, but it should be able to speak.

    "Answer me. What is your name?"

    The lich's jawbones opened, and it replied, "...Great, Lairon... 2nd grade priest... Verm-ud..."

    "Vermud," Theodore repeated. He realized the authenticity of the words and quickly asked, "Vermud. Are you a priest? Or a magician?"

    "...I... am! Insult, me...! Lairon, ser...vant, for life..."

    "Damn! It isn't a lie."

    Theodore got the answer he wanted, but he couldn't help cursing. He had hoped that the original body was someone who had stolen the clothing, but his expectations weren't rewarded. Instead, a senior priest of Lairon had been turned into an undead.

    It was hard to understand, but his brain had come up with the worst causal relationship. 'Dammit, maybe Lairon is already...'

    While Theodore was busy worrying, the lich ran out of magic power and started to shake.

    "Kuock! Ku...oh, ohhhh! Kuwoooook...!"

    The body, that didn't have any flesh left, popped up. The priest's clothing was torn in the struggle, and an eerie sound was made. Then it happened when Theodore was about to end the situation quickly.

    "...Great, Lai... Lairon...!" The undead priest, Vermud started to scream. "Why...? Your servant, casting me into the darkness... Have you forsaken meeeee?!"

    With that last scream, he finally died. The ashes that piled up inside the clothing were the last traces left of Vermud in this material world. It was impossible for him to even be buried. However, it wasn't Vermud's death that caused a chill to go down Theodore's spine.

    "Lairon, forsaken...?"

    Vermud's last cry stimulated Theodore's super sensitivity. He didn't know why, but it was like a hammer had hit the back of his head. Theodore stood amongst the flames and saw signs of the undead that were wiped out with his arrows. Farmer's clothing, soldier's clothing, blacksmith's clothing...

    The type of jobs could be distinguished, but they all seemed to be clothing from Lairon.

    Chill.

    Maybe the worst case scenario that he had imagined―

    "Theo! All the ones outside the city were cleaned up!" At that time, Veronica's voice rang out from the distant sky.

    "That was fast. There were at least 2,000-3,000 of them," Theodore muttered with a wry smile.

    Of course, Veronica would've found it easier than fighting in the streets. He watched Veronica in the sky and soon heard the cheers of a crowd. Perhaps the guards that Randolph had joined would recognize the situation.

    'Well, I guess I need to talk to Earl Albert.'

    Regardless of whether he was right or wrong, the impact of this situation wouldn't end with one kingdom. It was a disaster that could spread to more than half of the Central Continent. If the initial response was incorrect, tens of thousands of lives could be lost.

    In order to properly communicate the seriousness, it needed the guarantee of someone with credibility... like a great magician whose reputation was known through the continent and who had a friendship with the royal family.

    "...Let's go." Theodore left the remains of Lich Vermud, who had once been a priest, and flew off.

    *     *     *

    "I sincerely thank you for your help, Sir Theodore! I can never repay this grace!" Earl Albert cried out tearfully as he held both of Theodore's hands.

    As a lord of a border area, his great physique and refined power showed he was a well-trained aura user. It wasn't enough to reach the level of a master, but he was still an expert. Most of the wreckage around here was the result of his cooperation with Randolph.

    "It is nothing, Earl Albert. I happened upon this disaster by chance and did what any ally would do."

    "Ohh, so modest at such a young age! I have seen the true colors of the hero whom I've only heard about in rumors."

    Theodore barely managed to calm down the tearful Earl Albert and asked him a few questions.

    "The raid of the undead definitely started last night," Earl Albert clenched his fists and lowered his voice the moment he was asked when the attack had begun.

    He was filled with a murderous intent to break the bones of the absent warlock.

    The noble of the Soldun Kingdom spread cold energy all over the place as he told the story. "At first, I wasn't afraid. However, they kept coming every minute. After killing one hundred, one thousand more arrived. After the one thousand, there were more... My soldiers aren't weak, but in that situation, they could not breathe even for a moment. Some undead managed to cross the walls."

    "Then we arrived."

    "Yes! That is what happened. I sent a messenger shortly after sunrise, but it will take at least two more days for a reply to come. If you hadn't helped, this territory...!"

    Theodore appeased the frenzied Earl Albert again and asked for a place to talk with his two companions. The next task was done swiftly. Earl Albert's soldiers quickly set up a barrack for the three people to stay in. In retrospect, it wasn't unusual. They had appeared from the sky, saving the soldiers from tens of thousands of undead. So, this reaction wasn't unusual.

    In the comfortably furnished barrack, the three people sat around a round table and started a serious meeting. Of course, the leader was Theodore, and he immediately pulled out a piece of parchment.

    "Randolph."

    "Hmm?"

    The pen moved quickly in Theodore's hand, and he soon finished writing a letter.

    "Remain in the Soldun Kingdom and send this letter to King Elsid. Randolph is known to Marquis Piris-no, Duke Piris and the king, so they will listen to you."

    "Then what about Lairon? Will you go with Veronica?"

    "Yes."

    He felt sorry for Randolph, but the speed at which senior magicians could move was beyond imagination. No matter how fast a sword master was, his aura was finite. It would be too late if he flew with both of them. It was better to leave Randolph in the Soldun Kingdom to prepare the defenses.

    "Additionally, it is highly likely that we can't pass through Lairon by land. I need to get to the capital of Lairon quickly."

    "Huh? How come?"

    This time, both Veronica and Randolph were confused. The defenses of Lairon were strict, but they weren't able to stop a sword master. Even if he needed to hurry, why not use the land route instead of taking the risk of leaving a master behind? Theodore looked at them and opened his mouth once he confirmed there was no one around. "Sigh, it is likely that Lairon has been destroyed already. Any cities that are still intact will probably be covered with millions of undead."

    "...What?"

    "Among the undead that attacked the Albert territory, there was one wearing priest's clothing. It was a lich, not a zombie or a ghoul."

    "What?! This is nonsense!" Randolph had no knowledge of magic and was confused.

    However, Veronica was well aware of the meaning and felt astounded. To think that the worshipper of a god, who couldn't become an undead, had actually become a senior undead? Moreover, there had been the scream that Lairon had forsaken them. Additionally, although he hadn't told anyone yet, Theodore had some other clues about this situation.

    「The worshipper of death hides. 」

    「The shadow of the false god is lifted. 」

    What would remain if the shadow was lifted? Light? No. There was nothing left once the shadow was gone. If the god of the Lairon church had 'disappeared', it wouldn't be impossible for priests to become undead.

    'No, it would be fortunate if Lairon just disappeared.'

    In the worst case situation that Theodore couldn't speak of aloud, it was possible that a demon was buried behind the mask of the false god. If a god had turned into a demon, then a priest would become a warlock. The servants of a god would turn into the servants of a demon.

    [Lairon] was a name that unified the kingdom, and if this unity were used...

    Over 10 million undead and a kingdom of death could be born in one morning.
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