It has been quite a while since I have been outside.
The last few years of my life before were mostly spent in bed. So it must be around five or six years since I have been into town.
The sunlight pouring down from the sky pricked my skin. The hunt happened almost always at night, so it’s been a while since I have been outside during the day.
However, that does not mean I am out of commission in daytime.
The class of undead that is the most susceptible to sunlight is the vampires, who turn to dust at mere exposure. However, that is not because their negative power is suppressed by the positive energy of the sunlight. But more due to the nature of the curse. The restriction imposed on their movements during the day is what allows them to manifest tremendous power during the night.
With the undead curse, as a rule of thumb, more the weaknesses, more the strength. In exchange for hunger and a mild sense of pain, a ghoul is given many skills in return.
And according to the Lord, one of the lowest classes of undead, the ghouls, are not affected by sunlight.
One of the curse’s effects, which is restriction from sunlight, does not apply to fleshmen before they evolve. However, the negative energy they possess is too low that the meagre positive energy from the sunlight is too much for them to bear. So, overall, ghouls are the most suitable to be active during daylight.
However, long periods of exposure to direct sunlight does inflict some damage. But equipped with the object from the Lord, a jet black robe that reduces the effect of the sunlight and keeps the damage to the minimum, I can move almost the same as usual.
Apparently, the next class in the stage of evolution, ‘Dark Stalker’, are more susceptible to sunlight. So this may be the last time when I am able to walk around freely during the day.
Roux, who was asked to run errands along with me, walked ahead in silence.
The only exposed part of her skin was as pale as mine, and with bony arms and legs, she looked closer to death than me. Dark circles clung to her face, her hair was unkempt and she had barely cleaned up.
She had on much cleaner clothes than usual, but that was only because they were clothes prepared by the Lord so as to not arouse any suspicions among the public when he had to send her into town.
In the end, the Lord’s attitude towards Roux had not changed in the least, even though she had put her life on the line to expose me.
She escaped her fate of being turned into an undead, but that was all. I am not aware of Roux’s personal circumstances nor am I curious about them. However, it is evident that the Lord does not value her in the least.
Although I do not find myself curious, I do pity her a little. Probably only slightly more than the Lord, but she reminds me of when I spent my days trapped and bedridden.
If I do succeed in killing the Lord, I may not mind setting her free.
We had been assigned with the task of picking up some goods that the Lord had requested from Huck at the nearby town of Engey.
Trailing after Roux, I easily make it out of the woods and into the town. We were attacked by monsters on the way, but I had already reached the level of making it past the woods while protecting one other person. Since it raised the probability of suspicion, I was not allowed to carry my machete with me, but my claws were all the weapons I needed.
The town of Engey, was about an hour’s walk from the woods.
I had conjectured that it could not be too secluded, since Huck brought corpses through the woods from time to time. But the town was a lot closer than I had originally thought. The woods spread for miles around the mansion, so it’s rather difficult to look for it without the knowledge of its exact location. However, the worst-case scenario would be, pointed in the general direction, anyone could probably arrive at the mansion if they keep to a straight path. It made it all the more sense why Huck decided to stop visiting the mansion upon learning about the imminent call of the archenemy.
Engey was a reasonably prosperous town. It was not a city, but it cannot be called a village either. The gates were sturdy, the earth had hardened overtime and numerous carriages could be seen going around.
It was the hustle and bustle that I had once yearned for.
I entered the town using the identification papers the Lord had prepared for me. Nobody seemed to suspect me of being an undead.
I may be an undead, but my physical appearance is not all that different from a human. I am on the paler side, but the same could be said for a lot of humans as well. A little display of intellect, which is rare among undead, should blow away any doubts.
The most feared undead of all are the vampires. The reason being their high intelligence and the fact that they can easily conceal themselves amongst humans.
I may be a ghoul, but I can speak and I am capable of being active during the day. In terms of concealment, ghouls may be the best amongst the undead even surpassing the vampires who are only able to be active at night.
I look around at the people excitedly. Taking in all the sounds, colors and smells.
“Roux. Want to take a look around town?”
The Lord’s mansion enshrouded in darkness was pretty good, but this was a sight for sore eyes. We were only given a limited amount of money, so it cannot be squandered. But I thought it should not be a problem if we checked out the town.
As I looked wide eyed at the bright spectacle around me, burning it into my memory, I heard Roux’s curt reply.
“We were, ordered, by the master, to run, the errands, and, quickly return to the mansion.”
“But we weren’t ordered to quickly run the errands. It should be alright if we get our stories straight.”
“… Your, duty, is to, guard, me.”
” We’ve been living in that darkness the whole time. It shouldn’t hurt to have a little fun.”
I ran after the quick-footed Roux, and gently tried to persuade her.
Roux has been serving the Lord a whole lot longer than I have. She must be that much more dissatisfied.
“We are not under surveillance by the Lord. There’s no way he’ll find out. We won’t exactly be going against his orders. We were asked to return post haste but weren’t presented with a time limit.”
“The restrictions imposed on you are far weaker than mine. There’s no way you can’t do what I can.”
The existence of slaves is not openly discussed in public but it is commonplace. So I am aware of the restrictions imposed on them.
The collar on a slave’s neck is a magical device. However, unlike the limitless absolute order against the undead, the magic in it is far weaker.
I dare say, that is probably because, unlike the undead that are the outcome of the curse originally created to manipulate them, humans were not born to be enslaved.
The shackles placed on a slave were… pain.
My body would automatically obey an order, whereas a slave has to pay the penalty for violating an order with pain.
There is a limit to the number of restrictions that can be imposed. Meaning only three restrictions at the same time.
Two of those restrictions being, the slaves are forbidden from killing themselves, and any indirect or direct attacks against one’s master is strictly prohibited. Since they are constantly under these two restrictions, there is but one other restriction that can be freely imposed on them.
The order has to be as precise as possible. If the order is too open for interpretation, the slave might inadvertently violate it and the resulting pain inflicted as a penalty could end up killing them. Or on the other hand, the slave might exploit the loopholes in it.
There are several ways to bypass a slave’s order. Which is exactly why I followed her.
I know what she was ordered to do because it happened right in front of me. It was the same as she had just said, ‘Finish, the errands, and, quickly return.’
It also includes the possibility of me dying en route due to some reason and her being tortured for hours and killed at the end.
I was ordered to protect her, and to obey the order within bounds. Meaning, if the situation were to get out of hand, I am to abandon her and return to the mansion by myself.
There is no limit to the number of restrictions that can be imposed on me. The previous orders of being forbidden from putting the Lord at a disadvantage and being prohibited from running away, are still in effect. But the order given to me and Roux are not in contention in the least.
Upon hearing my clever idea, the look in Roux’s eyes changed for the first time.
She looked at me as if I were a monster, with dread and a bit of anger and whispered in a shaky voice.
“Do-don’t, you, try, to tempt me. You monster. The idea, you proposed will be, reported to the Lord, later–“
I guess it was of no use… huh.
It’s not that surprising. She has been punished before because of me.
Strictly speaking, it was Roux’s fault for doing something unnecessary, but I doubt she looks at it the same way.
I laughed seeing her suppress her fear and try to put on a brave face.
“I won’t fall for that. I’m sure you realize by now. Even if you make that kind of report, the Lord is never going to treat you better. The Lord is already aware of how I’d behave.”
That is the reason the Lord did not send me into town alone.
Part of the reason may have been about me not knowing the way into town, but that could be easily solved by providing me with a map. The reason he made us go together is because he is aware that Roux and I are not friends.
I would expect nothing less from the crafty old mage. His ways are cowardly. A pair of purple lips closed shut and Roux’s face stiffened.
She was not a forbidden existence in this world unlike me. And yet, she seemed to fear everything and believe in nothing.
But here I am feeling refreshed… out in town after a long time.
How wonderful it would be if I could buy all kinds of food and take in the sights!
“Oh right. If you agree with my idea… when the Lord is killed somehow and we’ve been set free, I’ll drop you in town.”
Upon hearing my perfect proposition, she looked completely blank for a moment but regained her senses soon after.
Her eyes opened wide, she clenched her bony hands, and her whole body trembled. The voice that came out of her lips were slightly louder than a moment ago.
“The master… will definitely, not die. He’s invincible. The master, is terrifying. I’ve seen many people, try to take revenge on him. The one to die, will be me or you.”
Her voice felt more like a scream.
It did not evoke any deep emotions in me. Nor did I feel any sympathy. However, I could feel the despair in her voice.
Judging from her behavior until now, I had expected this much. But it riled me up witnessing it directly.
Roux’s spirit was already broken. Or maybe she was capable of being the slave of an evil mage exactly because she was already broken. Regardless of her loose shackles, she lived as she was led.
Perhaps, the reason she fears the Lord is because even death cannot save her from him.
I think it’s impossible to persuade Roux. I thought maybe I could gain a powerful ally if I managed to bring her to my side, but she seems too weak to be of any help.
I have to think of so many ways to persuade her, just to borrow a little bit of her help,
“I see… that’s… pretty scary.”
At my tepid words, Roux slightly hung her head and trudged along as if she was a puppet on strings.
I sighed, and decided to accompany her as the Lord had ordered.
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Gills: Just making you guys aware The Undead King of the Palace of Darkness has a Patreon to help support the translation. Now some people have gotten confused on the Patreon’s purpose it is to help support translation of the novel or novels not to sell chapters to you, by supporting you get benefits ergo reading ahead but they are not tied to the value, anyways thanks for your continued support, enjoy coming chapters. 😉