"Mary, don’t scare the hell out of us.” Yuni lightly hits Mary’s forehead.
“Sorry. Sorry. I was surprised just now.” Mary rubs her forehead while apologizing.
“I nearly died because of that. Literally.”
I kick the zombie on the ground beside me. The tense feeling just now has ripped my strength off. How will you feel when a corpse climbed on top of your body, trying to bite off your throat?
“So, how is it?”
“There is no more zombies out there. A little after we heard Mary’s scream, the zombies went rigid and then suddenly dropped down. After that, they didn’t move anymore. Then, you know the rest.”
“Kicked open the door with such vigor and shouted until our ears stung.”
I rub my temple while answering. Yuni looks away and whistles.
I tap Frank’s shoulder and grin. Frank takes two steps back.
“Why are you backing out?”
“Somehow I feel like I will not like what you are going to say.”
“You are exaggerating. I just need your help. It’s a simple task too.”
“Oh? What is it?”
I sit down on a broken bed and point at the corpses.
“Please clean up the mess. I am tired. Hehehe.”
“I know it!”
The pass is cleaned up by the time the sun sets. The corpses has been piled up outside the gate for now as we currently have no time to bury them one by one.
However, it is only the interior that we cleaned up. Outside the gates to both sides of the pass there are still a large number of corpses sprawling everywhere. As a result the pass has an unbearable smell.
Mary creates a wind barrier to keep out the stench for now. We clean up a building which looks like a lodging for the officers. We buried the officers and their servants in the backyard.
“Now, we should look for any means of contacting Yamato.” I clap my hand and speak out after dinner.
“There should be a way in the officer’s study room. I think I saw something like an orb there. I want to check that out too.”
Mary chips in while cleaning up the dishes. Yuni helps her by her side. Frank sprawl on the chair, looking very tired with Alishia poking him once in awhile.
“Let’s go there after you’re finished. We don’t have any way to bury the corpses quickly with our few members.”
I also don’t want to bear the terrifying smell that might be able to kill a fly.
“I am done. Let’s go.”
Mary wipes her hands clean and turns to me. I nod and walk out of the dining room with Mary. The officer’s study is on the other side of the lodging. I hold a torch to light the way.
“Do you feel any dark mana around?”
“Currently there is only a little. It is within an acceptable range so it should be the natural dark mana.”
“So we are safe for now.”
I push open a door and enter a fairly spacious room. The scattered books have been put back into their places and the blood stench has been reduced by a lot.
The orb has a faint green shine with transparent exterior so it stands out in the dark room. The green shine flickered every now and then. We approach it slowly.
“This should be that orb you talked about, right?”
“Yes. I feel some magic through it. I wonder what it is.”
I stretch out my hand and touch the orb. A sudden female voice suddenly invades my mind.
“...there anyone there? Hello~? Ah. Someone’s there.”
I take my hand away in a hurry. The voice suddenly stops. I stare at the orb that flickers a bright light at this moment.
“Erwin? What is it?”
Mary stretches out her hand and touches it. Then she suddenly pulls it away. She turns to me and I stare back.
“So… This is a communication device?”
I once again stretch out my hand and touch it. The voice from just now suddenly invades my mind again.
“..hy did they keep taking away-- Oh! Wait! Don’t pull your hand from it!”
I turn to Mary and ask.
“How do I answer this?”
“No idea. We have nothing like this.”
“Just talk like that. I can hear you two.”
Mary and I turn to the orb and stare at it.
“Why do you think I can answer you two if I can’t hear you? As long as you’re touching the orb, either directly or indirectly, we can talk.”
Indirectly? Come to think of it. Mary is not touching it.
I turn my head to my left arm. Mary is gripping it while staring at the orb. She seems to not realize it.
“So, who are you? You don’t look like a messenger since you didn’t even know of this basic thing. Where is the regular messenger?”
The voice from the other side asks.
“Oh? Then who might this be?”
The chilling voice seems to freeze my mind. Mary grips my arm harder till it hurts. Though thanks to that, I regain my composure.
“A refugee. My friend beside me is a magician. We managed to stop the undead magic here.”
“Undead? So that’s why there haven’t been any report from that side…”
The chillness subsides suddenly. Mary and I breathe a relief sigh.
“However, I won’t believe in you yet. I will send someone there tomorrow.”
The chillness is back. We flinch a little and back away from the orb. The voice is cut off once more.
“Ah. I am going to touch it again.”
I touch it once again to connect. However, there is no more sound from the other side. The orb also gradually dims down until the green shine disappears completely.
“Well… Let’s go back and prepare for tomorrow.”
I cover up the orb and take it on my right hand. Then we go back to the dining room.
A hunchback old man looks at his collection of dark orbs. One of the orbs broke apart a few hours ago. He has only found out about it just now.
He takes out a book from his sleeve and looks through it.
“Hidden mountain pass in Serphia Mountain Range. Hmm…”
The old man picks up the broken shards of the orb one by one. Then he put them together in a handkerchief. His hand wriggles above it for a while.
Strands after strands of black smoke are absorbed into his hand. The shards gradually lose its dark color, leaving behind clear transparent shards.
The old man throws the shards into a box. Turning around to check out the other orbs, he nods his head and goes out.
In the hallway he calls for a servant.
“You. Take some men to the hidden pass in Serphia Mountain Range. Investigate the area.”
“This is finally getting more interesting.”