Assault on the Royal Capital


  When the brightly shining moon hit the spire of the royal castle, the residence of Duke Dragunaut still had a lingering excitement in the air. 


  It was the night Claudia made a recovery――an astonishing recovery that could be called a full recovery.


  The recovery of the long bedridden younger daughter was an event that brought plenty of joy to the duke, the older sister Astrid, and everybody that serves them in their residence.


  The fact that their benefactor (Sora) who accomplished that miracle ended up bedridden in exchange had left a tinge of unrest in them, but according to the duke’s court physician and the elven spirit user Lunamaria, he will be fine after he rests since he was just severely fatigued. 


  Duke Dragunaut, Astrid, and Claudia who had gone through a swift recovery were all relieved when they heard this.


  After that, the duke’s residence held a modest party.


  Even though it was called a party, the food was only slightly more extravagant than an ordinary dinner.
They also didn’t use any instruments that would disturb Sora in his sleep, but the fact that the party was still too lively proved how much the people in the duke’s residence loved Claudia.


  Even Duke Dragunaut and his daughter Astrid who are known to be normally serious, strict, and modest people who don’t drink or would only take a sip or two drank until their faces were all red. 


  To those two whose bodies and minds have been worn down due to the curse that suddenly attacked Claudia this year, this day was literally a miracle they dreamed of. 


  Even to their servants and the knights who are directly under the duke’s household, the situation was not much different.


  The party that was held in the residence of the Canaria Kingdom’s leading noble never reached their neighbors’ homes or the streets through their walls and doors, but its celebration was no doubt the biggest celebration in the royal capital on this night.


  Once the night is over, this day will probably be remembered as the luckiest day in the historical records of the house of Dragunaut.




   A calamity that will swallow the royal capital will make its appearance exactly on this night.




  「My-my apologies for interrupting!!」


  The moment she heard that voice, Astrid who had been sitting on her chair in a tipsy state woke up in an instant. 


  It was already late at night, and Claudia was on her way back to her room.
Astrid was also thinking about going to bed soon, but once she saw the soldier’s face in front of her, that thought was blown out the window. 


  Since the soldier’s urgency-filled expression and voice made him seem like he had received a surprise attack from behind on the battlefield, Astrid’s face naturally turned grim.  


  「What is it?」


  She asked the soldier in a voice that was as composed as possible as she stood up from her chair.


  When she took a look at the face of the person who rushed in, he was unfortunately one of the soldiers who was guarding the gate tonight. 


  As for how Astrid knows that is because she had personally handed alcohol and meat to this person during the party.


  The flushed face this soldier had at the time because of how touched and thankful he was had changed to a pale expression similar to a dead man’s right now. 


  The soldier then reported like he was gasping for air.


  「W-we’re under attack! Undead monsters flooded out from the national cemetery and they are attacking everywhere! It looks like they will reach here soon as well!」


  「……Undead monsters?」


  Astrid knitted her brows when she heard the soldier’s words.
She knew something bad was happening, but that was not what she expected.


  Not just in the royal capital Horus, but every cemetery in big cities has barriers erected around them by a temple.


  They are there as a preventive measure against necromancy disturbances.


  The barrier around the national cemetery was put up by the temple of the god of law, but it was something that was done by mobilizing more than a hundred priests and a head priest with their reputation on the line.
It should require just as many necromancers to break that barrier.


  As Astrid had those thoughts, another voice flew out from next to her.


  「Did anyone see the undead with their eyes?」


  The one who asked that question was Duke Pascal Dragunaut.
Like a noble who was experienced with these situations, he sobered up in an instant and asked the soldiers for the details. 


  「Sir! I talked to the old man who ran here from the cemetery and I saw the undead with my own eyes! The main street is already flooded with quite a lot of the dead!」


  「And the number of the dead?」


  「There wasn’t just a hundred or two.
There were more than a thousand at the very least.
If they had flooded out of the main street as well, the total amount could be over ten times that!」


  「Good work on the report.
Hurry back to your post and tell the soldiers to guard the gate.
I will send reinforcements right away 」




  After the soldier saluted, he started dashing out.


  By this time, everyone in the duke’s residence sobered themselves up and awaited the duke’s orders.


  Duke Dragunaut headed out of his mansion accompanied by his people and daughter. 


  That’s because he thought his first priority was to confirm the situation outside for the time being. 


 Then, the moment he stepped outside of his residence, Duke Dragunaut realized the abnormality of the situation. 


  *Shivers*, Duke Dragunaut’s skin crawled.

  There was an intense chilliness and a weird stink of decomposition.
Even though it’s almost summer time, there was a chill going up from his feet as if winter had returned. 


  Astrid frowned and called out to her father.


  「Father, this is…」


  「What bitterly cold mana, or should I call it an evil energy? Moreover, this scent of death.
As I thought, we are up against necromancers」


  Duke Dragunaut spoke with a stern expression.


  A group of people playing with the dead- He had no doubt that there was an evil scheme behind this.

  Still, for them to give off such a powerful presence that he could sense them from where he is means that he’s not up against ordinary foes.

 That belief brought a severe look to the duke’s face.


  At that moment, the duke heard a voice coming from the two people in the direction of his home.


  「Father, sister!」




  Astrid raised her voice in surprise.

  As those words indicated, that voice came from her younger sister who should have already gone to sleep in her room.

  Why did her little sister come…? But when she considered Claudia’s personality, the answer was obvious.

  Astrid opened her mouth instinctively,


  「Claudia, you ――」


  「Don’t tell me to retreat back into the house! Father has to go to the royal palace right away, and you have to move out to defend the city.
Then it’s my role to defend this home, right?」


  It seems that Claudia had heard the maids of the mansion somewhat talking about the situation and understood what was happening already.


  And what she pointed out was correct.


  Duke Dragunaut is a senior vassal of the country, and Astrid has her duties of the dragon rider corps.


  The father and the older sister instinctively looked at each other, found the same answer on each other’s faces, and then sighed at the same time by chance.


  And so, when the house of Duke Dragunaut reached the main gate, the disturbance on the main street reached everybody’s ears.


  The screams of people and the roars of the dead drifted along with the wind and echoed.
Fire seems to have broken out and red lights that scorched the night sky could be seen all over the place.


  Luckily, the scale of the fires is still not that big, but due to the outbreak of the undead, actions to put the fire out aren’t being carried out yet.
If the sparks of flame spread through the night breeze, it will only turn into a great fire that will reduce the royal capital to ashes.


  「Hurry, we have to clean up the undead on the streets and control the fire.
And the national cemetery- If the source of the undead is really from there, there’s a high chance that the culprits are there.
We have to send some soldiers there too」 


  When Duke Dragunaut said that, Astrid agreed with him,


However, soldiers from our house will not be enough.
Please head to the palace on your mount and get his majesty’s permission to deploy the imperial guards.
In the meantime, I will go to the national cemetery with my own dragon and look for our enemies」


Be extra careful.
A spell of this scale would mean that there’s no way we only have one or two enemies」


  「I know.
Claudia, please guard this place while I’m gone, okay?」




  It was at the moment Claudia gave a big nod to her big sister’s words.


  An unexpected mocking laugh echoed, surprising everyone present.


  「Hehehehe! This voice, this presence.
Oh what do we have here?…You really recovered」


  When Claudia turned around to the voice she remembers hearing from somewhere, there was an old man holding a biwa as he sat and leaned on the mansion’s walls.

  Seeing the old man laugh out happily in this situation, Duke Dragunaut and Astrid knitted their eyebrows dubiously.

  Only one person called out to the old man, and that was Claudia who knew his face.


  「Gramps? Why are you here?」


This person is?」


  「Um, he’s the person who plays music for the dead at the national cemetery」


  「Music? Ahh, perhaps he’s be the old man who ran away from the cemetery in the report just earlier-」


「Hehe, yes, that was me.
Well, to be exact, I wasn’t running away, I came to attack.
It was an oversight to let me in thinking that I was running away, Astrid Dragunaut」


  *Bennbenn*, the old man played his biwa after he said that.
At that moment, Astrid frowned as she heard the abnormal screeching noise.


  The reason she frowned was because she was a bit offended from being addressed in her full name by an old man she does not even know.


  But the ones who were angrier than Astrid at that rudeness were the soldiers around her.
Their faces heated up in anger and surrounded the old man.


  However, is it because he’s blind? Or is it because he didn’t see the soldiers as threats at all? The old man’s attitude did not change.


While Astrid unconsciously put her hand on the sword by her waist, she asked him again,


  「Attack…? Does that mean you came to start a fight with us? Old man」


  「Yes, yes.
Soothing the malevolent gods with my music and purifying evil spirits that resent humans is what I do.
However, making calm gods rage and cursing the quietly sleeping dead is my calling as well.
The undead that are overflowing the capital also, they are all my doing」


  At that point, Duke Dragunaut spoke to the old man for the first time.


  「What nonsense.
No matter what you did, there’s no way you could break the cemetery’s barrier alone.
Old man, I know traveling bards like you would sometimes say unthinkable things to get some fame.
I understand that, but this isn’t the time.
Careless remarks in the current situation will get you the whip of punishment」


  「Hehehe! Barrier? Oh the barrier! Ahh, it’s true that some spell was put in place there, but it was something created by magicians of the main continent after all.
It doesn’t matter how many tens or hundreds of level 20 or 30 kids get together, they cannot stop my arts.
My level is 73, you know?」


  「…A lunatic, huh?」


  「Hehehehehe! Even the famous “Thunder” Pascal Jim Dragonaut is a frog in a well after all, huh? You do not see or acknowledge the stronger being in front of you.
For a man like you to be the strongest here, the Canaria Kingdom is really lacking!」


  The one who became furious after hearing that was not Duke Dragunaut, but the soldiers who serve him. 


  As expected, they did not want to slash at the old man with limbs like withered tree branches, but they won’t be able to ease their anger if they don’t at least hit him once.
The soldiers unsheathed their swords.


  In response, the old man curled his lips and played a high pitch sound with his biwa.  


  At that moment. 


  「Gaaaaaaaaahhhh ?!」


  The soldiers screamed and covered their ears, and then they fell down on the spot.


  When the old man played his biwa 2, 3 more times, despite the soldiers covering their ears, their bodies jumped.


  By him doing that, Duke Dragunaut and his daughter both saw him as an enemy and moved at the same time. 


  Astrid is level 37, and as for Duke Dragunaut, he is a high level who’s about to hit level 50.
The two of them slashed at the old man seriously, but the old man held them off without trouble. 


  「『It’s an impenetrable fortress――Gakousai』 (Brick Fortress)」


  It was a “true” magic spell of the earth element equivalent to a spell of the 8th realm.

  A black wall that appeared to protect the old man easily deflected the slash of the father and daughter.

  The Dragunaut father and daughter were in awe. 


  「What…! A spell of the 8th realm?!」


  「And there wasn’t a chant…」


  「Hehehe, I told you, didn’t I? Before you is someone who surpasses you two.
Even if you use your prideful dragons, you won’t even put a scratch on me」


  After he said that, the old man played his biwa vigorously.

  It was a chaotic tune that sounded like he was trying to rip the strings off his biwa.

  Then, he used a rather gentle voice and spoke to everyone there,


  「This is a requiem dedicated to you all.
A souvenir of death from me.
Enjoy it well――shinsou reiki (Energize, soul equipment) 」


 ――Wail, Lady Shizuka   





TLN: Going to write their chant for their spells and stuff in romaji and put my tl in bracket from now on



And their magic spell tiers I think I called it “ring” before changed to “realm”.
This last came up in ch.21 I think

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