The Lord looked ghastly. His aura was so evil that it felt repulsive even to an undead like me.
And as a consequence, Roux looked even more fretful than usual.
She mindlessly assisted the Lord as he yelled out the instructions.
On the other hand, my duties remained much the same.
Which did not include more combat training, but as per the Lord’s order, to accumulate as much negative energy as possible.
The package we had received from Huck the second time was another black fang as I had suspected.
Having no knowledge on the matter, I had no idea what it was being used for, but I have done everything that I could possibly have done. The rest is up to fate.
The Necromancer and the Death Knights. The Lord and Senri. Now, who will win this match?
No matter the outcome, the status quo will change. The tension in the air made me feel discomposed.
Will I, be able to make it out of this battlefield alive, when the chances of victory are so low?
Unusually enough, I was summoned by the Lord after I was done with the day’s hunt.
“End. We are going to conduct the ritual. After going through which you’ll become invincible. Formidable… you’ll become the King of the Dead.”
“What exactly do you mean by… invincible?”
It was a sincere question that had been on my mind.
What is it exactly? If we conduct this ritual or whatever, will I become stronger than that first class Death Knight who possesses extraordinary, supernatural power? Will I be able to overpower Senri and those other Death Knights? Will I be able to live my life peacefully with my freedom not in the hands of someone else?
However, the Lord did not answer my question. He looked at me with eyes that glinted with joy.
It was only natural. He did not seek my understanding. He was practically talking to himself.
“However, for it to succeed, you need to at least evolve into a ‘Dark Stalker’. Well, it’s more ideal that way. Certainly, you are the most talented undead I’ve ever come across, but a ghoul… is just too weak. Originally, I was going to wait to do this until you had evolved into a higher rank, a ‘Lesser Vampire’. But that’s not possible now with the Death Knights closing in on us. It’s fortunate that the last undead I created during such circumstances was you, End.”
The higher the stage of evolution, the higher the amount of energy needed and the harder to evolve.
Naturally, I do not need to worry about that now as I have not even evolved into a ‘Dark Stalker’ yet.
According to the Lord, there is something abnormal about the rate of my evolution. If I were to assume that the Lord was speaking the truth about how creating the King of the Undead was his lifelong wish, then it shows that his patience knows no bounds.
Perhaps it was because the Lord had barely slept recently, his voice sounded a little agitated.
“Your soul… is steadily falling towards darkness. I’m sure you will evolve into a ‘Dark Stalker’ in time. My barrier can’t be broken that easily. End! Kill! Kill more!! Put everything into accumulating deaths. Devour corpses and defile your soul!”
“… Ah, of course.”
I did not find his words unsettling, I simply answered indifferently.
As far as I was concerned, the Lord is totally my enemy. It is well known that nothing good comes out of the rituals conducted by necromancers.
“Dammit. It’s unfortunate that they will arrive here during… the day. Never let your guard down.”
“You don’t have to tell me twice.”
“Very well. Return to the morgue, End.”
So, he does not forget the order even in this situation.
A part of me found that admirable, so I obey the order and make to return to the morgue. Roux, who was forced to aid the Lord in the laboratory, looks in my direction, but I do not maintain eye contact for too long and turn away. Our deal was already over and done with.
I have a trump card up my sleeve. I did use it once, but I am sure the Lord was none the wiser.
The owl, the Lord’s familiar, stared at me fixedly.
The Lord seemed to be under the notion that we could make it in time, that we still had a little longer, but he was mistaken.
There is no more time. The Lord, we have no more time.
I am already prepared for it. I am sure the opponents are as well. The Lord is the only one who is not perfectly prepared.
☠ ☠ ☠
Thus, two days later not at the usual hour, the Lord came over accompanied by an army of Skeleton Knights, looking completely livid.
Well I had more or less predicted the time of their arrival. I was well aware of the situation before hearing about it from the Lord. The Lord spoke brokenly with a voice oozing with naked anger.
“The Death Knights, those people, are here. They are too early… shit! The barrier must not be working as it should, or did Huck betray me?! Well, I can’t think of any other reason. He is only a trader, after all! He sold me out for money?!”
Roux was bound by her orders. And she had me as her chaperone during our visits into town. Even the Lord does not seem to have doubted the slave.
I could see the strong fighting spirit in his eyes that glinted darkly.
“Lucky for us, the first class knight doesn’t seem to be here. We have no option but to fight them off. There’s no time to even cast a barrier to buy some time. We haven’t completed the ritual either. They… are already upon us. Very well, those hypocrites who stand between me and my lifelong wish! Although the ‘The King of the Dead’ ritual is not yet complete, let us show them the mysteries behind necromancy.”