The dining hall on the first floor of the inn was rather spacious. There was a good chance that the zombies would come through its windows instead of the entrance.
It would be impossible for us to defend against the swarm of zombies pushing in from all directions if we stayed in there.
So we went into a guest room on the second floor and locked the door behind us. We could always jump out of the window in case of an emergency.
“Block the door!”
After locking the door, Ellen and I moved a wardrobe, the bed, and all other heavy objects we could find in front of the door. I didn’t know how long we’d be able to hold on, but it would be able to buy us some time at least.
-Bang! Bangbang! Bang!
The zombies charging into Klitz Point had already reached the inn and were breaking down its doors.
“Did all the corpses… turn into zombies?”
“…I think so,” Ellen muttered in disbelief.
Along with goblins and skeletons, one of the most representative mobs in fantasy stories were zombies.
I never really introduced mobs like zombies, so that setup seemed to have been randomly generated.
The zombies didn’t seem to be the slow-moving type but were able to run at great speeds.
Those slow-moving zombies had been used so much in all types of media that the running types seemed to be the trend more recently.
Fucking hell, why did you decide to go with the trends here?!
Anyway, we were able to find out what happened to the corpses—they weren’t eaten or simply disappeared; they just left on their own two feet.
I couldn’t use Demon Domination like that. Nothing would change even if I were able to use it. Because zombies basically lost all reason, I was also one of their targets.
Ellen’s complexion grew ghostly pale as she watched the zombies swarm into the inn from the window of the room.
Ellen, whose mind hung from a single thread, covered her mouth with her head as her face turned completely white. She looked as if she had seen something she shouldn’t have seen.
After looking at them for some time, my mind also took a hit.
Not only were those rotting corpses trying to come up there; just by looking at them, I felt like my mind was about to collapse.
Living corpses would never be a pretty sight after all.
They were the type of monster one would never want to encounter, not only because of the danger they posed…
They were also utterly disgusting-looking.
They were about to tear down the inn door and barge into our room. It would be impossible for it to block them out forever. We had to do something. Eleris began to explain something to us calmly.
“Zombies can only be killed by bashing in their heads. They don’t die from any other injury. Their physical abilities, especially their strength, are far more superior to when they were alive. Don’t let them grab you because they will rip your flesh apart. You can’t give them any chance to get their hands on you.”
Ellen couldn’t even raise any doubts at her sudden outburst of large amounts of information. That was just how big our need for information was. We had to urgently take action.
However, the biggest problem was actually something else…
“Are their bites infectious?”
“…Infectious? Yes, the bite of those corpses are poisonous, so if they bite you, the wound will get infected…”
Seeing how Eleris was answering, she didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to say.
What she was saying was that only a bite of those rotting corpses would be fatal enough to us.
But that was already enough information. It didn’t seem that we’d become zombies as well after getting bitten by them.
-Bang! Bang! Crack! Craaaaack!
The zombies soon managed to break down the door and began to pour into the inn. We could presume that they knew where we were without even seeing us.
They were headed to our room.
Ellen clenched her teeth, a look of determination on her face.
“I hope you won’t tell anybody about what you’re about to see.” “What…?”
Ellen immediately summoned Lament, apparently because she judged that it wasn’t the time to keep it hidden anymore. Even when she annihilated the bandits, she never took out Lament up to that point. It seemed that she thought that it would be much too difficult to overcome our situation without it.
Seeing that, Eleris opened her eyes wide. She had known about it, but it was her first time actually seeing it.
She had probably heard from Loyar that Ellen was carrying a soul-bound sword.
Loyar had said that the sword was rather unusual, but she didn’t know just what exactly Ellen’s sword was.
I also hadn’t told either of them about Ellen’s identity.
However, Eleris immediately recognized the sword Ellen summoned as Lament.
“H-Hey. This… this is… I can’t believe it…”
Naturally, she inevitably found out about Ellen’s true identity as well. Eleris was briefly dazed by the truth that far exceeded her expectations.
She was startled by the fact that I, the last Prince of the Demon Realm, was actually friends with the person that possessed the Divine Sword Lament.
Originally, Lament was Ragan Artorius’s sword.
And for some reason, that girl had it.
Eleris should have realized by then who Ellen actually was.
“There’s no time to panic.”
-Bang! Bang! Bang!
Zombies started to slam against our room door. Eleris quickly calmed down again as she realized that she didn’t have the leisure to be surprised.
She had to make a decision, as she was the only one who knew a lot about zombies.
“Just buy some time, and if you think all the zombies have entered the inn, escape through the window.”
I didn’t know anything about this world’s zombies, so I had no other choice but to believe Eleris’s judgment to be correct.
“Then we’ll just do the same as last time.”
Eleris suggested that we should use the same strategy we used the last time we were there.
—Dig a pit at the entrance of the inn. If we left, the zombies would also run out of the inn, so digging a pitfall in front of the entrance would work.
“Do we have enough time for that?”
However, it wouldn’t be a surprise attack like before, so there wouldn’t be enough time to make a large pit. As such, she determined that she had to stack-cast the Digging spell, but she wouldn’t have time for that.
“I’m going to stack cast the magic from the side, so please just hold on until the pit is big enough.”
The door to the room was gradually giving in.
Eleris would try to cast the digging spell from the window of the second floor room, aiming for the area in front of the inn’s entrance.
We had to hold out until the pit was big enough so that we could throw all the zombies in there and then escape.
Any zombie that would leave through the entrance would fall into that pit.
Ellen nodded her head with a determined expression on her face.
Eleris opened the window and started casting her magic.
Ellen slashed at the zombie’s head with her sword as it tried to squeeze its head through the cracked door. She didn’t cut its neck but split its head. Due to the zombies’ strength, the bed and wardrobe that we pushed in front of the door were gradually getting pushed back.
We were stabbing and cutting the zombies that were trying to push in through the cracks of the broken door.
-Thrust! Puush! Bang!
“Fucking bitch! Urk!”
I felt like I was about to lose my mind in a different sense from last time.
Burnt corpses, corpses without limbs, half decomposed black and blue corpses, and each of them very spirited.
There were maggots writhing in their flesh. It felt terrible stabbing those corpses while looking at them with my eyes wide open. I didn’t have to look at the bodies so thoroughly before.
I had to cut off their necks to kill them for good, but I couldn’t do that in the chaotic citation. I was just poking my sword through the broken door, after all. I was constantly stabbing at the corpses that were trying to push themselves into the room. However, they didn’t die.
In order to protect my fragile mind, I screamed profanities at them. My eyes were wide open when I stabbed those things several times.
I felt like I was being tortured.
Ellen was also holding Lament, but she was somewhat struggling because she couldn’t get rid of them by simply stabbing them.
Seeing all the flesh, blood, and oil from the corpses on her sword was also a terrible sight.
However, fortunately, the blood and oil disappeared like smoke from her blade.
Her sword apparently had a self-maintaining function.
I understood then why Ellen said that swords with that function were the best in combat. The sword would always return back to its peak condition on its own.
However, it wasn’t the time to admire her sword.
The zombies managed to gradually break the door and push back the barricade we created. If there was just a little gap, those guys would come pouring into the room like water. Then, no matter what we did, we would get attacked by those bastards.
We wouldn’t be able to stop dozens of zombies with just two swords.
As they pushed again, they added more strength, and our barricade was shoved away almost in an instant.
“Hey! Is it ready yet?”
“Yeah, it’s ready! Let’s escape!”
I immediately went to the window and jumped out of it with Eleris by my side.
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It wasn’t that far a fall, and even though I was carrying Eleris, the impact I felt wasn’t that great. That must have been thanks to strengthening my body.
Ellen then also threw her body through the window and landed quite harshly.
There was a huge pit in front of the inn’s entrance for the zombies to fall into. Ellen looked at me while gasping for air.
“It’s the same as last time. Let’s deal with the ones who try to escape through the window or any other way that isn’t through the entrance separately.”
Our mission was exactly the same as before.
Our opponents were just zombies instead of people, that was all.
Some of those zombies might have died by our hands. There were some corpses that seemed to have been burned to death, and others had either been stabbed to death or gotten their arteries cut by Ellen and me.
We had to kill the guys we had already killed before again.
The zombies that gathered on the second floor scrambled to get outside, falling over each other and getting tangled after we ran outside.
“You have to cut their heads off or bash them in. Don’t worry about that, though. We have to keep our distance after all.”
However, there was an added difficulty that time.
—They wouldn’t die unless they suffered a fatal trauma to the head or their head got cut off.
They were rather difficult to deal with, but some things had gotten easier as well due to the change.
Zombies ran out of the inn and fell into the pits Eleris dug one after the other.
They didn’t even have a shred of intelligence in them.
That was why they fell into the pits as if they got sucked into them, not caring whether the zombie before them fell into them or not. They didn’t have the intelligence anymore to understand the concept of a trap.
However, it seemed like some impatient bastards still tried to get to us through the windows of the second and first floors.
Usually, it would be impossible for us to deal with such a large group on our own, but in that situation, it would be possible to defeat them one by one.
“Reinhardt, please protect Ms. Ralya.”
Ellen entrusted Eleris’s protection to me and jumped into the fray to kill the spirited zombies. Ellen held Lament in one hand and seemed like a ghost killing all those zombies.
Eleris’s advice to cut off their heads was correct. It was also quite the convenient way to instantly kill them.
However there was no need for that, as the sword she held was Lament.
The reason for that was because that insane weapon could be swung however one liked and it would end up dissecting a zombie horizontally at its waist or diagonally from its right collarbone to the left side of its lower back.
Ellen killed all the zombies that tried to get out through the windows.
Although my weapon was rather good as well, it’s performance couldn’t compare to Lament.
Therefore, my actions had to be a bit more detailed.
The zombies’ attack pattern was quite straightforward, and their movements didn’t seem to have any form of strategy behind them.
They would just run around and try to bite you.
It wasn’t really difficult for me to predict their attacks and respond to them.
I cut off a zombie’s head by angling my sword properly. With more than half of its neck cut through, the zombie just fell to the floor, groaning.
If you simply smacked the sword against their necks, it wouldn’t be cut off.
Rather than hitting directly, one had slightly slant the blade as if one was about to flip meat. You couldn’t just slash at it with force but more as if you were trying to sweep it down by its neck. You had to carefully calculate the angle at which the neck could ideally pull on the blade and slightly saw with it to cut the head off
When you felt the sensation of hitting bones, you had to apply even more force, as if you wanted to utterly destroy them.
Because the tip of the sword wouldn’t have much power behind it, one had to use the part slightly lower than the middle of the blade.
You had to adjust it so that it could properly make contact with the neck.
I got to know something I never wanted to know.
Rather than just knowing, it was engraved into my mind as I was cutting down the zombies rushing at me.
—How to mutilate those bastards that didn’t even die after they got stabbed.
I didn’t want to know those things, but I was forced to learn them.
I stabbed my sword into the neck of one of the zombies rushing at me again. That time I didn’t just cut it off. I actually twisted my sword while it was stuck in there and destroyed its cervical vertebrae. Afterward, I kicked away the fallen zombie.
Ellen had told me to protect Eleris, but they couldn’t even be called playmates for her.
Just by hearing that smashing sound, I knew that one of the zombies rushing towards us had gotten its head destroyed before falling backwards.
This feat wasn’t accomplished through magic.
-Swish, swish, swish, swish!
I could see Eleris swinging around some rope, and when she let go, I heard a menacing banging sound.
She was using a sling.
A zombie that was running around in the distance was hit smack on the head, leading to it getting smashed apart, meaning it died.
Eleris began to put one sling projectile after the other into it and started swinging it around, carefully looking for her next target.
She actually used a sling in that situation.
I would call it ridiculous.,,
However, Eleris playfully spinning around a sling seemed to support my collapsing mind in the horrible situation.
There was no need for her to use some strong magic for those weaklings after all.
I could feel the ease with which Eleris killed them.
Eleris smashed in every zombie’s head one after the other while I was shuddering and struggling to cut off the zombies’ heads.
She had a terrifying accuracy to her shots. * * *
“Haa… It’s… Almost over…”
After about half an hour of fighting, the zombies were almost all sorted out.
In addition to the twenty or so bandits, everyone who had originally resided in the Point had turned into zombies, so their number was huge.
There were the zombies that fell into the pits and more than thirty zombies that had gathered around us and finally been returned to being normal corpses.
The smell and cruel sight akin to a hellscape made me feel dizzy. Ellen, who had killed the most zombies among us, came back after sending Lament back.
That was not the end.
“Let’s burn up all of them.”
Although I didn’t think that the corpses would come back to life again, we decided to burn all of them up, even after they had already drawn their last breath, to prevent something even more bizarre from happening.
The frenzied snarls of the zombies rang out from the pit.
“It might start moving again. Be careful when you carry it.”
After listening to Eleris’s words, Ellen and I were very careful as we began to collect the corpses and put them in one place.
After we dealt with the zombies, their bodies were severely damaged. Touching their rotten meat felt horrible. No matter how many zombies I killed, I would never get used to that.
When I was fighting them, I had to look at them straight and kill them, but after everything was over, I couldn’t even look at their faces anymore.
Had death always been so disgusting?
It took only a few days for a human to completely lose their original form.
Humans felt utter disgust towards something that only had a crude resemblance to human beings. That was the essence of the uncanny valley.
Those zombies were terrifying examples of beings that belonged to that uncanny valley. The discomfort they produced was even bigger because they actually used to be human.
As I was carrying the bodies and their heads separately, I couldn’t think about anything else.
Although the zombies had attacked me first, I felt like someone who was trying to destroy the evidence after utterly mutilating and killing someone.
We collected all the zombies except for the ones trapped in the pits and poured the flammable substances Eleris had brought over them before setting everything on fire.
After that, we poured the flammable substances and oil into the pits before we set it on fire.
Accompanied by terrible screams, two flames climbed up from Klitz Point.
We each sat still, staring blankly at the two flaming pillars.
Why had the corpses scattered around Klitz Point turned into zombies?
Did something like that happen at Als Point as well?
So did that mean that the three Points at the front line were similarly affected?
Ellen, who was next to me, rested her head on my shoulder.
There were just too many unanswered questions.
However, we were too tired to share our thoughts.
Leaning on my shoulder, Ellen closed her eyes.