In the canyon, at the edge of the open square where a rotting stench filled the air, were Ryouma and his friends battling the undead.
“There’s… too many!” [Shiva]
The analysis of the grave slime brought Ryouma and his friends to barrage the castle walls with light magic, causing the ghost house’s walls to turn into mere walls. Given time the walls would turn back to being a part of the ghost house, but the barrage of light magic scared the ghost house into spawning more undead.
The ghost house spawned as much it could, but the great horde just outside the gates kept the undead from leaving. With nowhere to go, the undead kept growing in number inside the fortress, until eventually, they started appearing even above the walls and gates. Then in their pushing and pulling of each other as their numbers grew too great for the castle walls, they spilled into the square like a waterfall of rot and bones. They would have surely died if they were yet alive, but being undead, the greater half of them only picked themselves up before walking again.
The undead horde did not come from only one direction, but from all four directions of the fortress. At that, it no longer mattered how many the slimes ate or how many the dragons cooked. This was already far beyond the number they could handle. Even the wyverns the dragons once felled became undead… Not that they lasted long though, as the dragons killed them as soon as they saw them.
The ghost house is a living creature, so it spawns more undead near the area where it feels pain, while spawning less in other areas. When Ryouma’s group saw that, they figured that the rate the undead was spawning must be the fastest the ghost house could… But knowing that alone wouldn’t put a stop to the undead.
As the ghost house rampaged with the power of number, the slimes sent a message to Ryouma, and he called out to the others.
“The full grave slimes are coming out!” [Ryouma]
Although full, that only really meant that they needed time to digest all the undead they’d eaten before they could eat again. The problem, however, was that there were just too many undead. The slimes’ rate of digestion was not fast enough to reduce the undead’s number.
At this rate, the undead would surely manage to break through the front lines. Realizing that, Ryouma thought up a new plan.
“Remiri-neesan! We can still hold if the grave slimes fuse to become an emperor slime, but!” [Ryouma]
“You’re worried about the lich, right? Don’t worry, just leave it to me! I’ll protect the slimes, so you just deal withe undead right in front of you!” [Remiri]
“Understood! Slimes, retreat!” [Ryouma]
The emperor grave slime is much more powerful than a mere grave slime, so it should do better than the grave slimes. That’s the reason why Remiri agreed to Ryouma’s plan and went off to fight the lich.
As soon as the grave slimes received Ryouma’s orders, they ran as fast as they could to fuse while Shiva, Sebasu, and Ryouma protected them. As the slimes fused together, the fused body grew bigger and bigger until it filled the road.
After seeing the grave slimes fuse successfully, Ryouma gave them his orders.
Shiva swept the zombies away with his weapon. More zombies came from the right, but the emperor grave slime was waiting for them; and it crushed them into the ground with its tentacles.
Moreover, with the emperor grave slime able to move its nucleus into its tentacles, turning what would normally be a mere extension into its main body, the emperor grave slime was able to move faster than anyone.
After that the emperor grave slime gathered the undead with its Attract Ghosts skill, and then crushed them one after another with its tentacles. With the magic using slimes and the rimel birds added, Ryouma and his friends were finally able to start pushing the undead back.
“Can the slimes keep this up?” [Shiva]
“The way they are now they can digest just fast enough to match the undead, so it should be fine. We have to do something about the ghost house though. The ghost house can be eaten, but it’s too big.” [Ryouma]
“I see… Let’s prioritize the survivors first. If we can just do something about them, it won’t even matter even if we don’t defeat these monsters here.” [Shiva]
“Well this is a bit much for a party of five to handle.” [Ryouma]
“If we knew about this before coming here, the adventurer’s guild could have gathered the adventurers with an emergency request. Even the army and the knights might have moved.” [Shiva]
“Right, but… Since we’re here anyway, we might as well try… Rheinbach-sama! What’s the location of the survivors!?” [Ryouma]
“They’ve all been gathered at the center of the fortress! There’s 16 of them, but they haven’t been moving at all!” [Rheinbach]
Excluding the castle walls, the row house in the fortress was about 60 meters wide and 20 meters long with three doors. As for the interior, Ryouma didn’t know either. But the fact that the surviving adventurers were all gathered into one spot without moving sounded very much like a trap.
Still… they had to try save them.
“Let’s go!!” [Shiva]
At Shiva’s words, the emperor grave slime led the charge with Ryouma, Shiva, and Sebasu as they plunged into the horde of undead. The other two who were flying in the air covered them until they reached the castle walls, where Ryouma gave the slime a new order.
The door thrown open, the slime extended two of its tentacles to hook the castle walls above. Then using that as support, the slime thinly spread itself over the castle walls like a banner.
It spread itself further over the land until the door of the row house. And after Ryouma and his friends entered through the gate, the slime kept the gate from closing, while taking the opportunity to catch the nearby undead after turning what remained of its body into tentacles.
The undead frequently came from down the road, but because of the slime catching the incoming slimes, the undead could never manage to make it up.
Like this Ryouma’s group was able to make a safe road; and after reaching the row house, they took out their magic tools and used them.
As Sebasu warily opened the door…
A room packed with undead was waiting for them.
” ‘Flash Grenade’ ” [Ryouma]
With the flick of his fingers, Ryouma threw a ball of light into the room full of undead, and Sebasu hurriedly closed the door. As light spilled from inside through the narrow gaps of the door, everything went silent. The group waited for the light spilling through the gaps to cease, then—
The first to charge was Ryouma, who ran into the room with his whole body wrapped in light magic, then when the coast was clear, the rest of the group followed. What greeted them then was a room 20 meters wide and 10 meters long. There were pillars erected here and there for support, but overall, it was a long and narrow room with a lonely atmosphere to it.
There were no undead left when they entered; and the sixteen adventurers were right there on the ground next to the wall facing them.
(So that’s why… The reason we didn’t see anymore adventurers other than those first three was because they couldn’t move anymore.) [Ryouma]
The 16 adventurers were yet alive, but they could no longer move because of all the injuries and fatigue they’ve incurred.
Even mind control couldn’t make a broken body move.
Ryouma went quiet upon seeing their situation, then—
( ‘Light Shot’ !) [Ryouma]
He casted a beam of light above his head.
“—!? Kaka!!” [Lich]
Suddenly, out of nowhere, was a set of bones wrapped in robes floating above him.
The Light Shot hit its right arm, and the lich squirmed in pain up there by the ceiling before spinning down opposite Ryouma’s direction like a plane crashing, but somehow it managed to successfully land on the ground. It might have been because of the pain of losing its arm or it might have been because of the frustration of having its surprise attack foiled, but regardless what the reason may be, the lich glared angrily at Ryouma.
(Don’t think the same trick will always work.) [Ryouma]
Ryouma and the lich glared at each other, then as they took a step toward each other, Shiva and Sebasu bolted for the surviving adventurers. Fighting in a narrow room with many people could cause undesired results, so they had decided beforehand for Ryouma to deal with the lich should it appear while Shiva and Sebasu would help the adventurers.
” ‘Light Shot’ !” [Ryouma]
The lich floated in the air and tried to cast a spell toward Shiva and Sebsau, but Ryouma stopped it, and he stood between the lich and them. The undead couldn’t appear yet because of the trace of light magic left from the earlier spell, but it was only a matter of time. The danger will greatly increase once they come, so they couldn’t waste time. They needed to save the adventurers as soon as possible.
“Don’t get in the way! …Not that you can understand me.” [Ryouma]
“KA KA KA KA.” [Lich]
As the lich laughed, it casted the dark magic ‘Dark Ball’ toward Ryouma, which Ryouma met head-on with his own ‘Light Ball’. As the two spells canceled each other out, Ryouma closed in on the lich and he struck out his fist covered in light magic.
The lich slipped away again far from his fist’s reach, but…
” ‘Light Shot’ ” [Ryouma]
Light magic burst out of Ryouma’s fist like a buckshot, leaving the lich with little room to maneuver. It still managed to get off unhurt, but a part of the spell penetrated its robes. Seeing the part that got hit melt, Ryouma was able to confirm that his spells could indeed hurt the lich. The lich retreated once more, and Ryouma pursued after it relentlessly, not letting it have the leeway to cast a higher tier of dark magic.
Just as Remiri had mentioned, the lich was weak in a straight up fight, and Ryouma didn’t have any difficulties fighting the lich.
But the lich’s swaying and irregular movements that it could do because of its inhuman body allowed it to dodge any fatal attacks.
(It’s tenacious but it’s not strong… Hmm… At this rate, won’t this guy just run away?) [Ryouma]
In the short time they had been fighting, the undead has been attacking less and less and not even regenerating. It was clearly weakened. If he were to keep pushing it like this, wouldn’t it just run? With that thought in mind, Ryouma decided to push the lich hard. But no matter how much he hurt the lich, it just wouldn’t run.
(Either it really doesn’t want to let the captive adventurers go, it’s planning something, or there’s something else going on here… Anyway, I shouldn’t attack it carelessly. The captive adventurers are the priority. All I have to do is to ensure that this thing doesn’t get past me.) [Ryouma]
And so, Ryouma fought his hardest to keep the lich at bay.
Then as they continued to fight…
” ‘Wind Cutter’ !!” [Shiva]
Having finished securing the adventurers, Shiva casted a wind magic against the lich.
Fighting Ryouma alone was one thing, but fighting all three by itself was another. The odds it would just straight up lose was high. Even the lich understood that. And so this time it decidedly tried to run away.
Stripping off its robes and throwing them to Ryouma, then casting a dark ball toward Sebasu, it ran away with all its might for the wall from where Ryouma’s group entered even as it had to endure a heavy wound from Shiva’s wind magic.
(Think we’re going to let you run?) [Ryouma]
” ‘Light Shot’ !” [Ryouma]
Ryouma casted a buckshot of light magic toward the back of the weakened lich.
But then three zombies appeared right above Ryouma and the path of the Light Shot, blocking the magic and keeping it from reaching the lich.
(To think they’d start coming now! Are we out of time?) [Ryouma]
Without the time to feel vexed about letting the lich run, undead began to rain from the ceiling. And in no time at all, the whole place was packed with undead, especially the exit.
“Over here!!” [Sebasu]
Ryouma and Shiva immediately ran toward Sebasu when they heard his voice, and when they reached him, Sebasu chanted just one word.
” ‘Teleport’ !” [Sebasu]
And all of the sudden, Ryouma and his friends vanished from that room now crawling with undead.
KMF Update: 03-09 won’t be out until the end of the month as my partner is too busy with IRL stuff. Anyway, you can expect two chapters then, as previously mentioned. One from my partner and one from Jiggly.