Episode 147. The Army of the Dead (1)

It was an absurd situation.

The language spoken in this world was not too different from that of the other world. Despite this, the moment Seon-Hyeok heard the man, his mind immediately jumped to his native language.

“K, Korean or not, do something about this first!”

Only after hearing the continued screams did Seon-Hyeok realize why he had been momentarily confused.

Seon-Hyeok and the other foreigners had naturally lost the accents and tones used in the other world during the time spent in Adenburg, but this man was different. As a result, the moment Seon-Hyeok heard him speak, he thought of the Korean language.

“Do something about this!”

“Before I do, you need to tell me who you are.”

Seon-Hyeok replied coldly as he looked at the mysterious man screaming upon being pinned down by Atiya.

“I’m a foreigner! Like you! I’m from Korea!”

“I don’t think that counts as an introduction.”

Seon-Hyeok frowned before he knew it. He had told the person to reveal his identity, but the man had simply responded that he was a foreigner. The situation felt unusual.

“Isn’t it enough that I’m a foreigner like you? Hurry up and let me go. Ugh…”

“Name. Affiliation.”

Worried that he would never get an answer if he let things progress as-is, Seon-Hyeok decided to be more direct in his questioning.

“Ahn Dong-Jin! Nordic! I’m from the Nordic Kingdom!”

“Nordic?”

The Nordic Kingdom, situated in the northwest, was where the foreigner-led rebellion was taking place. Seon-Hyeok felt a chill down his spine, realizing that one of the men behind the civil war had come all the way to the Adenburg Kingdom.

“What business does a Nordic foreigner have with me?”

“Before that, do something about this! I think my neck’s going to break!”

Seon-Hyeok thought for a moment before picking up a decorative sword hanging on the wall.

It was the ceremonial sword given him after being knighted by King Theodore. Though intentionally dulled, it was enough to easily cut a man’s throat if imbued with the power of his attributes.

“Atiya.”

Having picked up the blade, he gave a quick command to his wind spirit. Atiya had been pressing down on Dong-Jin with all her strength, as if to crush him, but she immediately relaxed and backed down.

However, instead of completely disappearing, the wind spirit showed her deep consideration for her master by hovering behind the intruder, ready to pounce at any moment.

“Eek!”

Dong-Jin lifted himself up and swung around as he pulled out a dagger hidden beneath his clothes. He looked ready to decapitate the invisible being that had restrained him until now. Of course, there was no way it would prove effective against the ethereal Atiya.

“Stop messing around and causing a scene. Tell me what business you have here.”

Hearing his words, Dong-Jin stopped angrily waving his dagger in the air.

“Ugh, my neck. I thought I would die there.”

The uninvited foreigner looked excessively relaxed as he massaged his sore neck, and seeing this, Seon-Hyeok gave a sharp warning.

“I will tell you this. I’m in a foul mood right now, so it would be best if you hurried up and told me what you’re doing here.”

He truly was annoyed that he was being disturbed now, after just arriving from the capital. Not only that, this foreigner had even broken into his bedroom without permission. If Dong-Jin had not been a foreigner, Seon-Hyeok would not have been so casually exchanging words.

“I get it. You’re crankier than I’ve been told.”

“Told? From who? Told what?”

“You know Kang Jeong-Tae, right? He told me a bit about you. He said you’re a humble person without any faults.”

Seon-Hyeok became even more stone-faced when he heard Jeong-Tae’s name.

“Your business.”

Dong-Jin made a surprised expression at the short, but impactful, words before quickly giving a friendly look.

“I came because I have something to say. We’re from the same place, so don’t be so on edge.”

“Tell me what you have to say.”

Seon-Hyeok could not understand what a Nordic foreigner from the far end of the continent would want to tell him.

“It looks like you like being direct, so I won’t mince words.”

The foreigner really was long-winded. Seon-Hyeok urged him to continue by glaring at him with cold eyes.

“Join us.”

“What?”

What’s this bullshit?

Seon-Hyeok blurted out a response.

“I’m sure you heard the rumors. We’re in the midst of something major, so we need comrades we can trust.”

Dong-Jin proudly spoke as he looked at him.

“I was dragged into this strange world against my wishes and forced into hard labor. They fed us garbage that even a dog wouldn’t touch, and they forced us to work in the mines whenever we weren’t asleep. To think that humans could treat others like that… those damned bastards.”

Seon-Hyeok decided to quietly listen for the time being.

“The men were put to hard labor, and the women were taken by the nobles. We couldn’t even live like humans. What did we do wrong to deserve a life like that? Don’t you think it’s unfair?”

“Hm.”

Seon-Hyeok had heard that foreigners in the Nordic Kingdom were not treated well. However, he never imagined it would be to the degree described by Ahn Dong-Jin.

No matter how poor their perception of foreigners was, aren’t they still valuable resources with the potential to become superhuman allies?

It was clear that the Nordic rulers were completely insane.

“Well, I heard that foreigners in Adenburg were treated much better, so I came to see for myself, but that doesn’t seem to be the case either? According to Jeong-Tae, foreigners here are dragged off to war, and the majority die on the battlefield. Even the lucky survivors seem half-crazed, not knowing when they’ll die.”

“Hm…”

Seon-Hyeok muttered to himself. Right now, he was treated as a dignified noble of the kingdom, but he once suffered from the same fate Dong-Jin described. It was clear how the foreigners without his glowing wartime achievements currently lived.

“And aren’t you being too inconsiderate? If you’ve found your place in this world, you should help those comrades out. Isn’t that what friends are for?”

Seon-Hyeok would be lying if he said he felt no guilt at all. Despite this, Dong-Jin’s criticisms did not impact him much.

Use people when they’re needed, and keep them at a distance when they’re not.

That saying perfectly fit the current situation.

The foreigners in the Western Army remained in the military to achieve something for themselves. For Jeong-Tae, it was the development of his own abilities to rise to mid-tier status and subsequently become a noble. For Park Soo-Hong and the others, it was to make sufficient contributions in battle to be discharged and live a peaceful life.

‘There’s no way for us to go back anyways, so I’ll need to get by here. Once my service is over, I’m thinking of leaving and starting my own business. Still, I’m a modern person with experience living in the 21st century, so I should have some expertise that I can take advantage of.’

‘Really? I’m planning to just stay here. From what I heard, it’s not like soldiers are treated poorly. Plenty of people outside are starving to death.’

‘That’s not a bad idea either. The treatment we get will be incomparably better even as a middle-tier.’

The foreigners loudly discussing their situation back then were undoubtedly full of lofty dreams.

But hearing Dong-Jin’s story now, he was claiming that the foreigners’ wills were not represented in their current situation. It was a horribly self-centered attitude to claim that everything had been forced on them.

Their resentment towards the world was not because they were here against their wishes. It was because they could not attain what they wanted, or because the process involved had been too arduous.

“You’re comrades. If you found success, you should have taken care of them. Who else can foreigners here trust?”

“Comrades…”

When he heard that, the image that popped up in Seon-Hyeok’s mind was not that of the low-nosed, yellowish-skinned, black-haired foreigners, but rather the rugged-looking cavalry riders. Most of those comrades had passed on, and he would never see their faces again, but it was them, not the foreigners, who risked their lives for him.

“Well, I’m not here to reprimand you. Everything is fine now.”

After trying to read Seon-Hyeok’s expression, Dong-Jin clicked his tongue and changed the subject. He belatedly realized that the conversation had been derailed.

“Let’s join forces. Let’s give those damned bastards who enslaved us a taste of their own medicine and establish our own kingdom.”

The foreigner once again suggested that Seon-Hyeok join them.

“Let’s break the class system here and create a world where everyone is equal. Isn’t it unfair that people live like slaves under others?”

“Do you think that’s possible?”

The foreigners were certainly strong. Mid-tier classes had potential exceeding that of the average knight, and high-tier foreigners wielded even greater strength.

However, that was insufficient.

He himself enjoyed fame as the Spear of Adenburg, but it was only because the true powers of the kingdom did not fight on the front lines. The knights and mages holding the highest Gradus did not move from the royal capital, and Seon-Hyeok knew that their power was no less than his own.

For example, Marquis Reinhardt was so strong that Seon-Hyeok was not certain he would win even if he fought while riding one of his creatures. Despite having a number of these incredible powerhouses, the Adenburg Kingdom had not become the dominant force in the continent’s southeast.

Seon-Hyeok could not be sure, but he imagined that the situation in the Nordic Kingdom was not too different from that of Adenburg. Under those circumstances, it would not be easy for the foreigners to form an independent kingdom.

“We don’t know. We won’t know until we try.”

“You’re insane.”

“Yes, I am. I wouldn’t have survived if I wasn’t.”

Dong-Jin grinned when Seon-Hyeok sighed. The smile creeped him out. The mysterious man’s eyes now shone with deep resentment.

“Even so, we’re in the right. There are no humans above others. It’s our mission to destroy this rotten way of life.”

The foreigners were not simply rebelling. Their justification was to spread democracy in this world, and Seon-Hyeok could already envision the enraged superhuman beings of the various kingdoms rushing out to meet them in battle.

In front of their mighty sword energy, the foreigners’ skills would falter, and they would be devastated by the mages’ onslaught of spells.

“Join us. There are already over 500 comrades who have agreed to do so. Don’t you think it’s enough to turn a single rotten kingdom upside down?”

This time, Seon-Hyeok was taken aback. 500 foreigners were not a force to be underestimated. He could not understand how they had gathered such a number.

“That’s just the number of foreigners recruited from the three neighboring kingdoms, and it will surely increase in the future. Our goals aren’t just a distant dream.”

Seon-Hyeok had no choice but to admit Dong-Jin was right. With 500 foreigners, their objective was not undeniably in vain.

“The neighboring kingdoms would never sit idly…”

“They didn't. We fought, and we won. We’re continuing to win.”

Seon-Hyeok could not understand.

Are the northwestern kingdoms that incompetent? Or is Ahn Dong-Jin’s group smarter and shrewder than he thought?

He could not be sure.

“I understand that you’re surprised. After all, our rebellion began out of spite.”

Dong-Jin laughed as he guessed at Seon-Hyeok’s inner thoughts.

“But we have someone truly amazing among us.”

The foreigner blurted out the information before he could even be prompted.

“There’s this guy named Park Sang Jin. Do you know what his class is?”

Upon hearing the foreigner’s low voice, Seon-Hyeok narrowed his eyes and waited.

“The ruler of all monsters in this world. The all-powerful king who even rules over death.”

After providing a grand explanation, Dong-Jin looked straight at him before continuing.

Dark Lord. Our leader is someone that unbelievable.

As soon as he heard those words, Seon-Hyeok felt a fierce hostility and hatred bubbling up from within. At the same time, the dragon’s aura, Dragon Fear, emanated from his body more intensely than ever before.

“Keok!”

Faced with this overwhelming pressure, Dong-Jin collapsed as though he had been strangled.

[That cursed name. The Dark Lord!]

Seon-Hyeok suddenly heard the dragon’s enraged voice. It contained a deep-seated hatred.

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