Jack finished his patrol route and squirmed into his tent. His comrades snored like thunder as he lit the lamp within.
Giving the two a kick, he said, "Hey, it's past midnight. It's supposed to be your turn."
"Mmmm…" The two chubby warriors began to dress up half-awake.
"Darn… I was dreaming about making out with the Midnight Rose's best!" a warrior complained.
"Tch, you only get to enjoy it in your dreams… I heard the Midnight Rose's best ones cost a hundred gold coins to spend a night with. How would a poor sod like you afford it?" Jack snapped.
"Can't afford? Heh, don't joke around! Unlike you folks with families to feed, I only need to feed myself. I don't need to send any money back to the family like the rest of you! All my money's in the imperial bank and I have saved up at least five to six hundred gold coins. Heh, I can sleep with her the whole week if I want to, to say nothing of a night!"
"Arrogant much? One day, you'll be counting your coppers one by one. Regardless, go out there to patrol!" Jack no longer bothered with the two soldiers dressing up. He washed up simply and took out a quill and ink from his backpack and his old diary from underneath his pillow.
He had gotten into the habit of keeping a diary since long ago. Before sleep, he would spend a few minutes writing something. It was as if he couldn't sleep without at least recording something down. Today, just like any other, he put the ink bottle on his bed and wormed into his duvet, writing with the lamp he lit in the darkness.
'27th day of the 5th month, Sunny'. He gave it more thought and wrote, 'It's been three years since I joined the army. I still remember how badly the empire fared back then. Nowadays, our vanguard has breached into Stok. Quite a number of our brothers say that once we pass through this valley, it'll take only another week for us to reach the millennium capital assuming nothing goes wrong.'
He hesitated at that point. 'Come to think of it, it's rather weird. One month ago, our frontline forces were fighting really fiercely with the southerners. But ever since the 5th month began, their troops seemed to have vanished overnight. The recent strongholds we took were nothing but empty, undefended husks. Apart from a few lookouts, they didn't put up any resistance at all. Even after we apprehended and interrogated those poor fellows, they were unable to give us any reasoning and said that all contact from the millennium capital has been cut. Even they don't know why that happened.
'Could it be a Stokian trap?
'Forget it. What's the point of overthinking this? It's only thanks to our captain's leadership that we managed to survive this long. We only have to trust his orders. Given how the Stokians aren't really stopping our advance, our unit, the 2nd Regiment of the 13th Division of the 2nd Legion might be the first to climb the walls of the millennium capital. If we can gain that kind of honor, I'm sure my siblings will be proud of me.
'As for my parents… They tried to stop me from going to the city to seek a better life and wanted me to remain at home, farming. Since I'm going to be a war hero soon… I'm sure they'll forgive me, right? Come to think of it, it's been four to five years since I had any meat biscuit my mother made…
'Oh well. There's no point in thinking about my family now. I send my salary back every month and they should be living quite well. It's better to focus on the war now!
'Incidentally, there's something interesting about the Stokians' retreat. Quite a few southerner civilians are traveling northwards. They mentioned something about demons and the dead…
'How laughable! Even if their nation is going to end, there's no need to curse it and say that demons are appearing, right? Are they looking for an excuse to run? If that's so, they're really too pitiful…
'Go ahead, you cowards! Witness the mighty northern empire. See the northerners for yourself and know who were the ones that subjugated you!'
Jack put down his quill proudly and carefully placed his diary under his pillow. He slipped the quill and ink into his backpack and went to sleep.
The sharp horn interrupted Jack's dream of reuniting with his family. He snapped awake and armed himself as fast as possible.
The horn was a signal for an enemy attack. He felt really bad vibes this time around. He had long had his suspicions that the weak Stokian resistance was a sign of some kind of trap. It appeared that the crafty southerners could no longer hold back.
"Come… come…" Jack muttered excitedly as he put on his chain mail. After fighting in the war for three years, all fear towards killing had been wiped clean from him. In fact, he even felt a little bored for not having witnessed any bloodshed for the past month. He was pumped, despite being surprise attacked.
It wasn't just him either. The other comrades in the tent were more excited than fearful.
"Come, come!" Jack grabbed his blade and shield before he charged out.
The camp was rather chaotic, but he was relieved to see it. The number of attacking enemies seemed rather small. The commotion in the camp was only due to being taken unprepared. If his fellows got their grips, it wouldn't be hard for them to exterminate the foolish enemies that overestimated themselves.
"Haaaaaah!" Jack roared as he charged towards a foe not far away.
His slash was infused with all his power and 6th-stratum impetus. The poor fellow was bisected from his right shoulder to his left waist.
"Ptooey, lowly bastard!" He spat on the corpse, but when he saw it with the aid of a nearby torch, he froze.
The corpse had begun to rot. It hadn't been alive for quite a while!
"This…" He widened his eyes in shock.
'Well, lots of corpses appeared from within the millennium capital! They can still walk even though they're rotting! It's too terrifying! I don't want to go back!'
'Don't go there! There's a wave of corpses in the south and they'll kill all living beings! You'll die if you go there!'
'Demons! Demons! The demons are here! Death is upon the whole continent!'
Jack just recalled what the refugees had said. He didn't give those words any heed back then, but after seeing a 'live' corpse for himself, he began to reevaluate the veracity of those words.
"Careful!" someone yelled at Jack. He felt his vision blur and watched as a bloody, rusted sword breeze past his face, almost touching his nose. Had he not been warned, he would've been cut in half.
"What are you thinking?" his comrade asked when he beat the back of his head, "I know I was dreaming about Midnight Rose in my sleep and all… Don't tell me you have the balls to do that on the battlefield!"
"Th… thanks…" Jack wiped off the sweat on his forehead.
"Come on, get back to it!" The soldier ignored jack and rushed to the next corpse.
Jack took a deep breath and shook those thoughts out of his head before going back into battle.
He pierced a corpse in the heart. Black blood flowed out of it nonstop and after he sent it flying, the corpse stopped moving.
He still had some doubts about the situation, but he didn't dare to spend too much time thinking about it now. After making sure the corpse really stopped moving, he went to take out other enemies.
The corpses numbered only half the Hockian regiment and they moved rather slowly and attacked without coordination. Met with an elite and trained Hockian unit, the only result was a massacre. Apart from a small number of unlucky soldiers who were taken off guard and killed, the Hockian troops easily exterminated the enemies.Previous Chapter Next Chapter