The night passed without any incidents. The moat hold the zombies down pretty well. We eat breakfast under the unusual sunny day. We are inside the forest 100 meters away from the pass and hidden by trees.
Our breakfast consists of sandwiches. The only differences from Earth is the brown bread used instead of white bread. Hard to bite and less delicious. We compensate it with milk that we bought from the previous village.
After the breakfast, we ready the wagon to enter the pass. We have to inform the guards in the pass about the zombies. Or help them in this case.
When we arrive at the moat, Mary created a bridge over it. She has been practicing to control her magic since the incident yesterday where the pitfall she made became a moat. This time, the bridge is made with almost no excess.
We pass through the bridge and look below at the zombies. They are now lying around on the ground. There are some that are stuck at the spikes. Looks like, the magic only works at night time.
“I am glad it is only a Beginner level Necromancy magic.” Mary grumbles beside me.
“Yes. Intermediate and Advanced level Necromancy magic can move at daytime. They are much more powerful.”
“Intermediate level have a strength of five people and Advanced level is ten. Some of the advanced level zombies can even use their body’s memories to use their skill.”
“He? Then how strong is this one? They look more powerful than a man.”
“The necromancer is most likely near Intermediate level. That means he can channel more mana so they are stronger.”
“I see. By the way, how high is your level?”
“My magics are mostly at Intermediate level. Though I doubt it after I saw what I can do yesterday.”
“Does Necromancy magic prohibited?”
“Of course. That magic defiles the dead. We have that much information because we interrogate a necromancer if you want to ask why I know so much about it. We have to know them so we can know how to handle them.”
“And for this one, we have to find him in daytime right?”
“We better quickly inform the outpost.”
While we are having the conversation, Alishia is practicing her magic in the middle of the wagon. Along the way, there are a lot of dead bodies so she is placed inside. No signs of living person here.
After 30 minutes, we arrive at what looks like an abandoned watch tower and a garrison. The gate to the garrison is opened with no one around. We proceed inside with caution. I am further in front of the wagon to scout before the wagon comes.
There are corpses all over the place. We need to take them out before night comes. We stop at a big building that looks like an officer building. It is much more protected and barricaded than others. I scout inside and see nobody alive.
Frank and I take out the corpses inside. Mary cleans two suitable rooms for staying with magic. It’s faster but rough but we don’t have the time to do it leisurely. With two beds inside two rooms, a kitchen, a war room, and sturdy walls and door, this building will be our base for a while. With a little modification for bath, it will be very ideal place to live.
Frank and I will go to clear the garrison of corpses while Mary and Yuni will clean our base. There are three other buildings that housed the soldiers. We clear them out of corpses. The corpses are badly rotten and smell really bad. We will need to have a bath later.
There are around 20 corpses inside the outpost and around 60 outside. Including the ones in the moat, there should be around 100 soldiers stationed here. The non-combat personnel’s corpses isn’t around so they should have retreated before this garrison fall.
We finish the clean up right before sunset. We didn’t have the time to burn the corpses. Preparing the material to burn them will use up a lot of time and they will rise before that. We decided to close the gate and hole up inside.
“Thanks for the hard work.”
“Thanks to you too.”
“Let’s get back. We need Mary to set up a moat outside. The gate won’t hold out.”
“That’s true. We have around 1 hour before they rise.”
We quickly go back to our base. The base is already being cleaned up thoroughly. The blood is evaporated and blown outside with water and wind magic. The rotten smell is exchanged with more refreshing smell. It’s the smell of the air when rain drops.
The two bedrooms are tidy and neat with two beds on each side. A big table occupied each room. In addition of that, a big chest is placed in the corner of the room that fit to be a storage. Mirror is hung in one of the room so it should be the girls’ room. We find Mary soon after observing the room.
“What are you doing peeking into girls’ room?”
“Looking for you.”
“What is it?”
“We need to make a moat. We don’t have time to burn them.”
“Alright. Leave it to me.”
Mary and I go out of the base. Frank is going to rest since he isn’t used to heavy works. We talk about the base we occupied along the way.
They discovered a bathroom in the building so we can take a bath. Mary urges me to go to bath later since I stink. Frank should also go there.
There is a large room that should be a war room. Maps, reports, big crystal ball, and cupboard filled with various papers are inside the room. We should use the reports to investigate what happened later. There are also kitchen, quest rooms, and study room.
We arrive at the wooden wall and peek outside from the rampart. The corpses is beginning to move slightly. They are trying to stand up but Frank and I place wire traps around them. They fall over every now and then.
“It should buy enough time for you to make a moat right?”
“It’s a pitfall but nevermind.”
Mary prepare a pitfall carefully this time. It takes her longer time than before at around 2 minutes. The zombies is still entangled by the wire but some wires are starting to snap. Lump of rotten meats are falling down because of the wire cutting them. But the zombies who know no pain keep moving towards the gate.
When they are nearly under the wall, Mary finishes her preparation and cast her magic. A 3 meters deep and 2 meters wide moat-- I mean pitfall is created in front of the wall and the zombies start to fall into it. Seriously, it’s more suitable to be said as moat. Who will dig a pitfall this huge? Well, with this, the base is safe. I put the barrier sticks along the wall for safety measure.
We get back to the base. I want to take a bath soon. It’s been weeks since I bath like on Earth. We can only wipe out body with wet towel. And now, with the rotten smell all around, this bath will be special. I wonder what kind of bath it is.
After asking where the bath is and separating with Mary, I grab my towel and clothes. I proceed to the bath. Confirming that there is no one inside, I take a bath comfortably. Cold water and soap at last. And yes. I like cold water better than warm water. And no, no one else get inside the bath like in those novels, manga and anime.
The bath is finished and I am no longer stink. Clean clothes and clean body are blessing in disguise. I go out of the bath and Frank go to have a bath. It’s his first time so I told him to just pour the water on the body and rub the soap on his body. After that, you pour water again to clean it. I will pretend I don’t hear him shout “Cold!”.
Because our room smells, I open the window to scatter it. Then I take out various weapons and ammo for maintenance. I will just leave it here first because we are going to have dinner shortly. Just as I finish taking them out, Mary calls for dinner. Frank is still in the bath so she just shouts in front of the door.
“Come to think of it. You said that you feel another magician inside the pass. Where is he now?”
“Oh right. Wait a bit.”
Another wave of search magic is out. Shortly after, Mary opens her eyes.
“He is far behind us in the direction of Yamato and is getting farther. Looks like he is a scout.”
“I see. We can expect some reinforcements then. Any sign of the necromancer?”
“No one around here. I can feel the link from the zombies but it flows from far away. I can’t detect him from here.”
“Is it possible to be that far apart?”
“No, it shouldn’t be the case. No matter how high your magic’s rank is, you can’t be this far. I got a bad feeling about this.”
“Well, at least they are still weak. We can expect more reinforcements from Yamato too.”
“Yeah. You’re right.”
“Let’s go to eat for now. You still need to watch over Alice.”
Mary nods. Alishia should still be training her control of mana. Mary’s presence should boost her concentration. They are getting along well after all.
“Who are those guys? The zombies can’t even pound on the wall like before. I wonder what magic they use. I have to report this.”
The magician was send to scout the pass after they completely lost contact with it a few days ago. The civilians that come back from there are all terrified of something. They even panic near a graveyard.
Their report is that someone or something has been killing the patrolling soldiers no matter their number. After they lost one fourth of their garrison, they decided to send out half of garrison to investigate together. They come back as something strange.
Missing limbs, torn armour, or other big injuries are on their bodies. But they keep walking slowly to the outpost. Sensing something wrong with it, the commander asked the civilians to leave quickly. The soldiers closed off the gate and will buy them some time to escape. That’s the last time they heard something from the outpost.
“Oh Spirit of Free Wind. Heed my plea and help me spread words. [Wind Messenger]”
The magician chants his magic in a distance from the outpost. The magic’s destination is the wizard tower of the nearby city of Duran.
“Reporting status of outpost. Unknown group of magicians has settled in the outpost and are fighting back well against the unknown enemy. Requesting permission to help them and further reinforcements.”
The magic, carrying the message, slowly drift away from the magician before turning into a pigeon-like bird and fly off in great speed. In under 30 minutes, another bird comes and landed on his hand. It disperses in the wind and conveys the message by flowing to the magician’s ears.
[Make contact to determine their affiliation and be careful. Send another report and we will determine the next action. Reinforcements is available but they won’t march until the situation in the pass is confirmed.]
“Order received. I will greet them tomorrow. For now, I will rest.”
That night is the first time he can sleep properly without being scared of the zombies. He will have to thank the group for it.
“Master, something is wrong in the haunted pass. My zombies are decreasing.”
“Don’t worry about it. It might just because the other witches there have come to the pass. We can just do the same thing again and grab another two samples.”
“Yes, Master. As you wish.”
“Besides, for our Great Master’s conquest, we have to decrease its power. Using their own death to reduce it is also an excellent plan.”
That damn kingdom snatches our witch’s supply from us. Over half of the planned witches to be captured are taken in by them. Well, we still have more numbers than them.
“Our only obstacle is that kingdom. The sooner it falls, the better. How is the other kingdoms?”
“They are not doing well to fight its army. But we got good news too. Apparently the First Prince of that kingdom is leading an advance army.”
“Ho ho. That’s good. I remember that the king only have one child. Without the prince, the country will surely fall. See to it.”
The necromancer leaves the room after bowing. The man sits arrogantly inside a really luxurious room. A few maids are tending to him. On their necks are Collar of Subordination. None of them can disobey the man.
“This feel good. With this, the big obstacle will break. Master will come in one year. I have to perform splendidly.”
The man are sorting the various reports on their plans. There are three big plans. One of them is finished and it is half success. The other two are progressing well. There are a few more plans to rise their power but one of them is a failure.
That plan is to use the bandit group under Yaza Thorada to grab more witches. With his death and the group scattered, this can no longer be used.
“Hmm... This group of strange witches. I wish I can take them for myself but he failed miserably.”
He throws the report away. It burns away in the mid air and vanishes even before falling to the ground.
“Whatever. Hmm? Master?”
He quickly settles his appearance and stands before a mirror-like object. He bows to his master.
“Cease all plans to weaken the world. Prepare an area for our invasion and guard it.”
An unusual order is given by his master. After being given the reason, he acknowledges the order. After the contact finished, he quickly reviews all plans regarding the invasion.