“And yet you lie back and eat grapes?”
“I told you I had a plan.”
“Wait a minute, why are you so short-tempered? Why don’t you go and get me a plate of strawberries instead of standing there?”
“Didn’t you just eat two plates of grapes, and you’re eating again?”
“Because I’m not eating because I want to.”
“Then who wants to eat?”
“My tummy wants to eat~.”
“Mmm~ I want to eat strawberries~ Yay~.”
Camille walked away, not even bothering to reply.
“Are you just going to lie around again today?”
“Hah really, I said wait and see!”
“Didn’t you say you were going to trust me and help me? Brother, if you can’t trust me that much, then maybe I should just….!”
A few days passed, and the date Otto had promised was two days away.
“So, did the lord say anything?”
“Yes, Sir Knight.”
The knight replied to Camille’s question.
“Right now, he is having a drinking party with some merchants who have visited our estate.”
“Drinking in broad daylight….”
Camille’s expression turned sour.
‘After all, he hasn’t learned his lesson?’
The moment I regretted giving him the trust he didn’t deserve.
“Sir Knigh, We are in trouble!”
A sudden report came in.
* * *
“What’s going on?”
A Ranger from the Lota Estate answered Camille’s question.
Ranger was an elite soldier who performed various missions such as spying, reconnaissance, and guerrilla warfare in mountainous terrain.
“They say that a large group of undead is approaching our territory from the mountain passes to the north.”
“A large group of undead?”
“A large group of skeleton soldiers, and a small number of skeleton mages.
The way they’re travelling in pairs and lines reminds me of an army.
It looks like someone is controlling the undead horde.”
“Regiment-sized, I’d say.”
Generally speaking, a regimental size meant a troop of at least 1,500 to 2,500 men.
And if it’s that big, then….
As far as Camille was concerned, if that undead army came, it would be the end of the Lota Estate.
As it was, the Lota territory did not have the military strength to deal with a regiment-sized undead army.
That wasn’t all.
If skeleton soldiers and skeleton mages were moving in regimental formations, there had to be someone commanding them.
A Necromancer of considerable skill, or a high-level undead monster like a Lich, had to be behind the scenes.
The undead army alone was nearly impossible to deal with, and if such a powerful being was involved, it was safe to say that the odds were against them.
“What about the distance? How far is it?”
“I think they’ll reach our estate by tomorrow morning at the earliest.”
Even the distance was too close.
“All troops, stand ready for battle as of this hour.”
“Yes, Sir Knight!”
“I will report this matter to my lord.”
* * *
Camille immediately set out to find Otto.
But Otto was not at the drinking table.
“The lord said he was tired and left the table to rest.
He mentioned taking a nap, so he should be in his bedroom.”
Camille was informed of Otto’s whereabouts by the servant, and immediately headed for the lord’s bedroom.
“The lord hasn’t come to the bedroom.”
Camille went to the bedchamber, only to find that Otto was nowhere to be found.
“Hear me, all of you, find the lord at once.
“Yes, Sir Knight!”
But after an hour, then two, Otto still hadn’t appeared.
‘He’s been drinking in broad daylight.
Where the hell is he, sleeping in the middle of nowhere?’
Eventually, Camille was forced to respond to the situation on behalf of the lord, Otto.
“Listen … Everyone.
All residents should prepare to evacuate, and the knights and soldiers… stay behind to defend the estate.
We will stay here and buy our families time to flee.”
Camille made the decision, and an evacuation order was issued for the Lota Estate.
The residents of the estate were bewildered by the sudden evacuation order.
But when they heard that an undead army was approaching, they rushed to escape.
And the 1,500-strong Lota lord’s army, led by Camille, prepared for battle, ready to die.
The knights and soldiers were equally unwilling to be killed, but few fled.
They were all family members of feudal residents who had taken refuge in….
“No news from the lord yet?”
Camille asked Otto.
He should have been sober enough to crawl out of hiding by now, but it was strange to see no sign of him so late at night.
“Has anyone seen my lord, have you looked everywhere?”
“Excuse me… Sir Knight?”
One of the guards approached Camille and said.
“I believe I was the last to see our lord.”
“Is that so, and when did you see the lord?”
“…Lord… He left by the back door on horseback earlier in the day.”
“On horseback? By the back door?”
“And why did he go out the back door?”
“That! I unwittingly overheard him talking to himself… and I distinctly… heard him say to himself that he must move quickly if he wanted to live.”
“He also said that staying here would only get you killed.”
“…So it appears.”
Camille squeezed shut both eyes, face wrinkled in exhaustion.
“Otto, you son of a b*tch!!!”
A roar of curse erupted from Camille’s mouth.
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