Chapter 66. Funeral March
3 months ago, inside a giant cathedral with open windows. Here, Necro was giving his lecture to his students.
“From the time when magic was all but a form of worship, all the way till the present, blood was a prominent ingredient in sacrifices and contracts. If you have to ask the question why, the answer would always involve the theory of mana’s hydrophilic properties.”
Necro scanned the students in the room after writing down his words on the blackboard.
“Mana resides in water. Due to this, it is possible to say that all humans are walking potions. This is the reason why the Nosferatu, commonly referred to as the vampires, drink blood. They are not looking to acquire the nutrients in the blood, but rather the mana— the life force of a human being. This is how they can live eternally.”
He stopped talking after seeing about half of the students raise their hands. He motioned one of them to speak. A boy wearing glasses carefully voiced his question.
“According to what you said, shouldn’t wizards me able to live eternal lives as well? Mana is equal to life force. As the living, we should have more dominance over the undead when it comes to mana.”
Necro’s eyebrow twitched when he heard the word dominance.
“Dominance? Would you care to explain why you chose that word?”
“From a biological perspective, it’s easier to lengthen a person’s lifespan than to revive a dead being. I chose the word dominance for that reason.”
The genius wizard who managed to become a professor at the age of twenty-five looked around to see if those around him agreed.
“Death is inferior to life. It would take forever if we try to discuss this topic, so I suppose it’s better for me to ask a question instead. Is god dead, or alive?”
Necro sat down on a desk in front of him.
“There shouldn’t be any need to introduce a philosopher from my world to you. Like you said just before, god should be dead from a biological perspective.”
But god is not inferior to humans.
“Based on how you define life and death, a biological death can be the second stage for life. Monks continuously experience near-death experiences to get closer to god. From this, we see that death is something that liberates one from the limits of the physical body and elevates one’s state of being. Perhaps we can even say that death is a form of a ceremony that would allow a human to become god.”
Those in the cathedral all began to mutter amongst themselves with the word heresy on their mouths. Necro simply smiled in response to this.
“It was a joke, of course. Death is a tragedy. Life should be preserved with care. Now, back to the original question. Why do wizards have limited lifespan despite their overflowing mana? They can live long, but not forever. The answer to this question is that the physical body is unable to contain the amount of mana it possesses.”
Just like how the power of regeneration was capable of causing cancer. A wizard would, at some point in life, have to shed their limits.
“This must be the case for everyone here, but the goal of a wizard apprentice is to become a wizard. Then, what would be required for a wizard to become god?”
A normal death. If a single person’s death is not enough for a wizard to become god…
“More death than one might expect----.”
A smile crept up Necro’s mouth when he heard Dennis Brain speak as he wrote on the blackboard.
[Thank you for boarding. This train is headed for Hope, and it has depa...]
The train stopped. A young man wearing sunglasses immediately jumped off. At the next station, a girl was wearing a large hat covering a large part of her face. After her was an old couple with a thick scarf around their necks. The fifty-two corpse dolls that had been disguised as simple tourists eventually reached their designated location. What each of them had in their arms was a set of spellbooks that Necro had prepared over a long period of time. 25,000 pieces of paper in total.
A corpse doll at the northmost part of the republic was the first to go. It vomited out black blood and drenched the two spellbooks in its hands. Black light shot out from the book into the air. Soon after, fifty-one more columns of light appeared all around the republic and met up above the center of the nation. Almost like they were forming a giant birdcage.
The completed structure was a field that enveloped the entire Haze Republic. A giant version of the barrier they had used to kill the heroes.
‘The pages that I spent for this so far adds to ten thousand. This should take the wizards about a day to destroy the barrier.’
That was enough. Necro, after seeing that the barrier was completed, immediately activated his earth magic. He had studied nonstop for one entire year for this moment— what areas of the nation would be hit the hardest by an earthquake and about how many people would die according to what magic would be used.
He had already finished his calculations.
What Necro was planning on doing now was not a simple terrorist attack performed by one person to a nation. It was a one-sided massacre.
His first attack caused the death of a hundred million. The affected areas would soon be swept by a giant tsunami of water. The souls of the dead would then be trapped by the cage that he had built, which would be fuel for him to evolve into a god.
“Before that. I suppose I’ll have to take care of this first.”
It takes time for the earthquake to actually activate. He could hide until then, but he decided to show himself openly to the army. The government had dispatched 2.5 million soldiers to deal with Necro. There were a hundred wizards and ten thousand summoned people included in this mix.
These people were quite confused as to why the sky had suddenly gone dark. They tried using magic in order to counter it, but the barrier wouldn’t even budge. The only person who should be able to get out of this was Demonic Walker, but…
“This should serve to be a nice greeting.”
Necro wiped off the blood on his kitchen knife as he threw the cold corpse inside the Hero’s Coffin.
“Hah. I’ve waited so long...”
He put his bloody left hand over his face. The smell of the blood made him grin.
It took him five years.
Five years, ever since the demon king appeared in the world. It wouldn’t have been possible if the war didn’t happen. It would have been even harder without Jin.
“Now, let’s get on with the party shall we?”
Necro’s hand began to shine. This immediately caused the skies to act strangely. Thousands of coffins began to drop down.
“----Come, [Hero’s Coffin].”
A white coffin, a golden coffin, a black coffin and a red coffin appeared side by side. There were coffins as big as a fingertip, and fingers that were big enough to block a massive fraction of the horizon.
The coffins all opened to reveal the darkness inside. The soldiers all became speechless when they looked up. The comrades they fought with and the heroes that fought for them were all looking down at them from the sky. The next moment--
The red star up above darkened. A red light instead appeared in the eyes of the dead heroes, forming a red cross up in the sky.
One of the soldiers dropped his gun in fear after witnessing what he had just seen. No one had told them what was about to happen, but they all instinctively knew what was to transpire soon enough.
Clack, clack, clack.
The soldiers’ teeths began to clack in fear. Like a drop of ink dropped onto paper, the fear spread far and deep through the entire army.
“Now, my heroes… Show me. Show me the dance of death. Sing me the song of death...”
Necro lifted his arms like the conductor of an orchestra. With the false night set behind his back, he commanded the dead heroes to attack.
The heroes caused a massive explosion of death just by landing. Necro looked upon this on with a delighted look on his face. Mad, passionate words spilled out of his mouth without rest.
“Genocide. Leave no one alive. Everyone dies. Massacre, slaughter, annihilate. Kill, kill, kill. Show me carnage. Butcher those who squeal like pigs. Exterminate those who try to run. Crush those who try to fight. Poison them burn them hang them crush them devour them strangle them destroy them slay them melt them execute them suffocate them.”
His pitch-black pupils brightened with fire.
“Perhaps the five traditional forms of death aren’t enough for variation? Crushing them under wheels or steaming them in steel pots should be nice. Burning to death and freezing to death. Buried to death and squished to death. Drowning to death and strangled to death. Stabbed to death and beat to death. Flogging and lynching sounds good as well. Ah, of course, just cutting them to death won’t do. Kill and destroy. Ignore their pleas for life and their last wishes as you lead all these heretics to their final destination of life.”
It simply wouldn’t do to just chat away in this glorious event. Necro joined in on the fun and watched as a throwing knife targeted towards his head was reflected away from him.
The person who was running towards him was the Accelerator, Speanol. The man probably realized that Necro was the one behind all this in an instant.
He was a former comrade after all.
Speanol dodged the reflected knife and smashed Necro with a giant black sword. No, he ‘tried’ to smash Necro. Before he could do that, someone blocked his path.
“What in the…?”
Speanol looked at Camille with eyes filled incertitude. It was almost like she was there from the start. She blocked the sword with just two fingers and threw it away. Speanol tumbled back a few steps and dropped down in shock.
“Why is the Hero here… is that what you were thinking of asking?”
Necro bowed to the trembling man before him.
“How is it? Seem like the real thing much?”
“I was surprised as well, to be honest? I didn’t expect her body to be so strong.”
This doll here was but nothing but a shell of the former hero. Because she was already dead, the doll could only use ten percent of her power. It wasn’t possible to use her power either, unlike the other heroes. But even with this, she was invincible.
“How regrettable. I would have put Romeo in my collection as well if it wasn’t for his useless power… I suppose it doesn’t matter, does it? I never was very friendly with the guy. Plus, I have these three.”
Two more people appeared beside Necro as soon as he said this. A girl with severe burns on her face and a black man with white hair.
“Lady Iris... ! Mr. Chrono…!”
Speanol’s eyes widened. Only now did he realize what Necro did and what he was planning to do.
“Ah, what now? Just call me out once would you? Hah, my god… I thought you went home after that thing in Volez. Why did you have to come here and ruin your life? I have to kill three friends now because of you.”
“Wait, are you actually…?”
Speanol didn’t continue. Chrono had put a spear through his head. Necro watched his old friend drop down onto the floor powerlessly while he just stretched.
“Man~ It feels good to take care of my friends like this~ You really have to take care of your past life before becoming god. Don’t you think so?”
Camille might be a simple meat doll, but the other two still maintained their consciousness. They simply couldn’t move or talk without Necro’s explicit permission. Necro smiled at the two and slowly made his way forward. If his estimations were correct, the army should be destroyed within an hour. Once this happens, he would go for the king’s personal guards.
“I should resupply my troops just in case.”
Necro gathered his mana and blew it out in a single huff.
It wasn’t a simple utterance. The soldiers of the army reacted strongly to this rumbling sound.
“He’s trying to utter his spell!”
They attacked with a desperate shout. Hundreds of magic spells and throwing weapons powerlessly reflected off Necro.
“The end of life is but a tower of rotting meat--.”
A spell. An act of making a wish to the gods, commonly known as the “song of the soul”. Of course, one could make this wish to evil gods as well.
“You, the one who makes poor souls stray from their paths to heaven into the path of pain and torture.”
The air shook the more he spoke. Whispers began to come from the nearby forests.
“The holy mother of all the tortured vomiting corpses.”
The soldiers backed away, realizing that they were all trembling in fear. They all looked down subconsciously, and their eyes strayed from the dark earth to the top of the black-red columns of light forming the cage.
A giant skinned body of a woman came into view. It almost seemed as if someone had dissected a giant and put it on display. The soldiers who had survived Necro’s initial attack froze after seeing this beast.
Gurgle, crack, fwoosh!
The holy mother vomited black blood, which turned into a giant river below. The earth trembled like a beast that was just skinned.
Soldiers were being dragged from all over the place.
A dark red tentacle grabbed one of the soldier’s legs. He quickly tried to shoot it, to no avail. He was immediately lifted into the sky and got dumped into the holy mother’s mouth. From this, they would be butchered and converted to a being who seeks death.
This was black magic--
What Necro had used till now was something he had learned as a ‘hobby’. This magic, filled to the brim with hatred for the living, was the true form of black magic. This was the reason why Necro was dubbed the title of the strongest black wizard.
“We’re done here, and now...”
Necro walked down to a nearby town once the army was nearly done with. At the same time, he ordered the corpse dolls all over the country to make their next move. A magic that was cast through the use of corpses.
The evil that had rested in the darkness till now was brought into the real world thanks to the black wizard’s mana.
Centipedes craving human flesh dug into human skin. Cursed trees stuck their roots into nearby people and sucked up their blood. A million rats appeared from the ground. Soon, the earthquake would hit and the nation would fall into even more chaos.
Necro shivered in delight as he cast more magic on the villagers running away.
“Oh dear, where do you think you’re going? Celebrate a bit. Today’s my birthday, don’t you know?”
Black mana enveloped the villagers. They turned stiff like corpses and their hair caught on fire. Their bodies were frozen, but their sense of pain wasn’t. These people, who had turned into human candles, rose up into the sky. There were exactly twenty five of them.
The people screamed in pain as their heads burnt in. They soon flew towards the ground like missiles and exploded above those who ran away. Their appendages exploded into countless pieces and their burning body fat set the buildings aflame.
“A birthday song and fireworks, all for me. Very good!”
Necro clapped his hands in delight and spun back.
“Now that my mood went up, I suppose I should make my way to my target.”
A halo appeared around Demonic Walker’s corpse. The surroundings changed and the two people were transported to a different place. From the edge of the country, to the Stair Village. From the Stair Village, to the Zaiman desert. From the Zaiman desert, to the town of Volez.
A giant hill presented itself to Necro with his final teleport. On the top of this hill was a grey castle where the king resided.
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