Overlord Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 2 Part 5
The morning three days after that, a man stood on the top of a watchtower.
He appears to be over forty, had a tanned body, and his scent was more akin to that of waves crashing upon a skerry than that of a warrior’s. From the smell alone you could tell that he was a man whose life depended on the sea.
Though the top of his head was completely bald, the sides and back of his head still had remnants from the lusciousness of his youth. He would try his best to comb them upwards to cover up the wasteland that is the top of his head.
Though his physical appearance screamed fisherman, his garment was that of a first-class noble’s; thus, one could easily distinguish his status.
“Woooah — they’re everywhere —”
His tone did not match his appearance at all and was generally undignified, but this man was the ruler of these lands: Earl Naüa.
Within his line of sight was a large group of zombies which numbered approximately twenty times more than E-Naüru’s defence force. The undead army had halted their march to wait for stragglers to catch up, but it appeared that the influx of zombies into their formations had abated so that was probably the whole army. Given that was the situation, war was only a hair’s breadth away.
“—even so, it’s only a swarm of zombies. It’s not that big of a deal.”
The one who had asserted that was a woman who stood next to the Earl.
Her hair of pure white danced in the breeze.
That said, her white hair was not a product of age, she had deliberately dyed it so.
Her original hair colour was the shade of gold that was a common sight throughout the Kingdom. Until the year prior she had dyed her hair black.
The dyed hair wasn’t for a fashion statement or for fun, she was using her flashy appearance as a sort of advertisement for her adventurer group. Adventurers like her weren’t all that uncommon, there were even those who would dye their hair pink in a bid to become famous.
It was for that reason that she had changed her hair dye from black to white.
Of the active adamantite-ranked adventurer groups there were already teams with ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ associations, but recently ‘Black’ had been taken too. Within the adventuring circles, the moment you mention the colour black most people’s thoughts would naturally gravitate towards Momon of Darkness. Still, since not many people had seen Momon’s true appearance, she had considered whether keeping her black hair would have a positive impact on their publicity or not. She gave up on that idea after she learned that Momon’s partner had gorgeous black hair.
Consequently, her team’s colour had also changed from black to white. As for her, Skama Herbelot, she was just glad that they had not incorporated the colour into their team name yet but had just named themselves the Four Armaments.
“Those are obviously not naturally spawned. Many of them look like farmers, so they can’t be from the Sorcerous Kingdom. They must have destroyed the surrounding villages and turned their corpses into zombies. How revolting.”
Skama spoke as though she was about to vomit.
Though there were also a few amongst them that had better equipment — leather armour, chainmail, and other types of light armour — that gave one the impression that they were soldiers who were turned into zombies, the majority of them only wore regular clothing, clothing that wasn’t even of notable quality.
“Can someone even do that?”
“Whether it’s possible to generate this amount of zombies or not, I have no idea. But, since spells to create the undead exist, it should be possible, right?”
Earl Naüa sighed from the depths of his heart.
In these trying times, his voice did not have a shred of urgency. It could be infuriating to some, yet Skama’s expression remained unchanged.
“If that’s the case, could we not create an undead army of our own to hold them off?”
“If there were dozens of those who favour necromancy out of the exotic arcanas and could use the higher tier spells of that discipline, it wouldn’t be completely impossible. Too bad there’s none in this city~.”
There was a reason why she was so sure of herself.
Earl Naüa had sent requests to the Mage’s Guild, the Temple, the Adventurer’s Guild and others— he had basically sent a call to every magic caster in the city to join them in mounting a defence, in hopes that he could form a unit comprised entirely of magic casters.
Due to the fact that the Adventurer’s Guild had the most magic casters and the adventurers had plenty of experience with combat, the highest-ranked adventurer group — Skama’s Four Armaments — was chosen to lead this caster unit. For this reason, Skama had detailed knowledge of every single magic caster within the city.
“Is that so? So— everything’s going to work out, right? For a hundred and twenty year— this city has never been sieged ever since its founding as a village. We really don’t have much experience with that at all.”
This was not something the ruler of this city should be saying right now.
Still, Skama had not appeared to be angered by this. That being said, as usual, not an ounce of respect could be heard in her voice as she responded,
“Everything will work out? I don’t think so~, Earl. If we can’t think up a plan about this, everyone will turn into undead~. Everybody’s trying their best to help us because they want to avoid that outcome~”
“I see— why did something like this have to happen during my time. If only this did not happen for another 5 years, by then my eldest son would have probably succeeded me.”
“Unlucky~. Well, you say that but it’s the same for us. Why, why did this have to happen when we chose to come to this city. If it happened a few months later, we would have probably moved to another — a bigger city~”
“Wha— Hol-hold up a second, alright? Let’s all be sensible. Please don’t abandon this city!”
“If we really wanted to run away, now would be the best time! Take a look, there.”
Skama pointed towards two undead that were at the helm of the zombie army.
They were quite easy to spot given how they were about two head’s height higher than the zombies around them. In conjunction with the overwhelming, hair-raising pressure they gave off that accentuated their presence, their strength was made apparent.
Those undead carried a flag at their sides.
“The Sorcerous Kingdom’s.”
“Yup…did the Earl participate in the battle of the Katze plains?”
“Hmm? I only sent some trusted subordinates along with our levy. Neither I nor my family participated…but, it’s not like they’ll return anyhow.”
“Umm…Hope they could rest in peace at God’s side. Only two special undead were sent by the Sorcerer King who massacred 200,000 — by the Sorcerous Kingdom…Do you believe them to be weak?”
“I don’t think so, sigh— they must be mind-bogglingly strong—”
“Right… Aren’t you angry? That they judged that they only needed two undead to destroy this city?”
“Nooope— Rather than that, I am only thinking of how we could be saved from all of this.”
As the ruler of this land, those words were quite lame, yet, they were the simple truth.
“Though I want to send out a messenger to declare our intention to surrender, I doubt that would work at all.”
“Can’t you just escape by sea? You’ve probably prepared for that already, right?”
Skama asked what was on everybody’s minds during their previous meetings, but no one had said out loud.
The Earl smiled with a bitter expression and did not respond immediately. Rather than hiding something, it was more likely that he was just trying to figure out what Skama truly meant by that question.
Though she wasn’t too acquainted with the Earl, they had quite the amount of interactions due to their lines of work. She knew from then that he was quite a quick-witted one.
What was unfortunate was that though the Earl’s son was a suitable replacement for him, he was not as outstanding as his father. That said, there were people who believed that his son could gain a leg up on him with enough experience.
“Ahem. Of course, but we can’t transport everybody out of this city by boat. Even if we make multiple runs to dump people to the nearby coasts, what will we do about the food situation? Where can we escape to? And more questions just keep coming up…”
“But if it’s just the Earl and his family, they should make it out alright, right?”
The Earl pondered for a moment once more and replied,
“I guess, but that will be the last resort. ‘Everybody please evacuate to the city, my family and I will get out of here first though’ or something like that would weigh heavily on my conscious—”
Normally when a city had been taken over, its ruling class would either be slaughtered or forced into submission. The citizens on the other hand — though their possessions might be plundered — would just be under new management. To slaughter the civilians of a city would be akin to killing the goose that laid golden eggs.
Unless razing a city held benefits for the invaders, they would never do such a thing.
“The words of the Baron who had escaped the Sorcerer King’s— the Sorcerous Kingdom’s invasion to this place and the words of the refugees from my villages, surely you have heard them already? Things aren’t looking too good for us.”
“You’re saying that there should have been more refugees, right?”
“Yes, that’s right,” the Earl replied.
Those who had evacuated first were here already, but there were too few compared to the population count of the surrounding area. What happened to the people who were left behind or could not make it out?
Did they not want to escape because they were now living under a utopia? Or were they under a surveillance state in which not a single ant could escape? Or were they all taken to the Sorcerous Kingdom? Those three were the only optimistic outcomes he could think of.
But, upon seeing the farmer-turned zombies, he got the feeling that there was no way the Sorcerous Kingdom would treat them well.
“Though he lords over E-Rantel, it looks as though he is still a monster who could not tolerate the living—”
“So the purpose of this war was to turn their defeated enemies into soldiers to bolster their ranks. They don’t sleep, don’t eat, don’t tire, are fearless, and are absolutely loyal. Sigh, it makes sense why they wouldn’t show mercy to their enemies, right?”
“That makes sense, for the enemy. If they were trying to subjugate a city and force its citizens to work for them, they wouldn’t be doing something like this… Perhaps they do not intend to leave any of the Kingdom’s residents alive. If that’s the case does it even matter where we escape to?”
Was he trying to empathize with her or getting her to empathize with him?
Skama picked up on something.
She was the strongest adventurer in this city. If she was to desert this city, what could have been a victory could turn into a defeat. That was why the Earl was trying to make her think that there was nowhere to escape to.
Just as Skama was about to say something, some disturbance had occurred somewhere near them.
For privacy’s sake — or it was better to say that for the sake of preparing for a defensive, the two had slipped away to observe the enemy’s formation.
The ones who had appeared in front of Skama were her teammates. Her team, Four Armaments, had four members including herself. The ratio of men to women was equal. In addition to the warrior Skama, there were also a rogue, a priestess, and a magic caster of the school of evocation. Their team composition was fairly balanced.
Behind her teammates were the magic casters gathered from all over the city.
The number of magic casters was less than fifty, but this quantity made for a more than formidable army unit.
The reason why they were able to gather up so many magic casters was because of a loophole to the unspoken rule amongst adventurers — the one about how they could not participate in the wars between countries.
This would not have been possible had the Sorcerous Kingdom sent human soldiers, but their army was comprised of undead — of which they were almost certain were the Kingdom’s civilians who were turned undead.
They could basically treat it as a coincidence that this army of undead was carrying the Sorcerous Kingdom’s flag.
They had to use that reason because there was no way they could use that rule to excuse themselves from a fight with the undead who could turn dead villagers into more undead.
To have formed a caster unit out of the people here meant that together they — well, not everyone was of that school of magic, so this was more of a hypothetical — could adopt the strategy of continually raining down [Magic Arrow]s on the enemy, which could theoretically slay even dragons.
Unlike regular arrows, [Magic Arrow]s were guaranteed to hit independent of the evoker’s skills. Casting it at a higher tier would increase the amount of projectiles generated as well as the individual damage output of each projectile. Even so, a single projectile’s damage output was still miniscule. It was pretty much impossible for them to one-shot their enemies with a single cast.
The damage output of the spell did not depend on where the enemy was struck, which some considered to be its advantage while others believed that it was its flaw.
With all of that in mind, it was still a convenient spell to use in a group. If they were to form an army corp out of people who learnt that spell, it would probably see a lot of success. However, no historical records existed of such a tactic being used.
This was because to learn even the beginner’s level of the first tier of spells required a certain amount of potential, nevermind the amount of time that had to be invested to educate a magic caster. Given the same amount of time and resources, it was more beneficial to train a hundred archers than a single magic caster for combat.
If there existed some organism that could innately use [Magic Arrow] and an army was formed out of them, that had the potential to be absolutely terrifying. If not even those requirements for talent could be met — no, it was safer to say that it was precisely because no such organism existed that an army composed purely of magic casters was only a pipe dream.
Behind this ex-pipe dream of an army unit were the soldiers under the Earl’s employ and adventurers who were skilled in archery and other ranged weaponry.
Which is to say, those who are gathered on the city walls were aiming to strike the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army first.
Earl Naüa, standing in front of them all, raised his voice and said,
“I’m grateful for everybody who has gathered here! I would like to thank each and every single one of you for your aid.”
Skama could no longer feel that sense of unreliability from his tone, all that remained was the dignity and confidence befitting of a leader.
His attitude, the product of having lived a noble’s lifestyle, left Skama in awe.
“Thank us through more practical means please!”
One of Skama’s companions, the magic caster, replied. A wave of laughter could be heard behind him. The Earl was not displeased upon hearing what one of the representatives of the adventurers had to say. On the contrary, the smile that flourished on his face was a genuine one.
“Leave that to me! You will be rewarded enough that even if every other adventurer forced you to take them out for a meal, you would not go broke. I will hand over your rewards in front of everyone, out in the open.”
“Woooo,” everybody started cheering.
“Of course, that applies to my soldiers too. Though your pay may not be as plentiful as the adventurers’, I will pay you a bonus big enough that you would no longer have to worry over your wives’ and children’s future! But—” The Earl switched to a playful tone to say, “—don’t you dare squander away all of your newfound wealth, am I understood~?”
He could see that the tense expressions on his soldiers had loosened up a little.
“I was thinking of alternative forms of compensation. Surely the Earl has a few magic items as heirlooms or something? Your lineage goes quite a ways back after all.”
The one who had said that was a woman who irradiated a perverse aura. On her neck hung the holy symbol of the Earth God, which was sandwiched between her voluptuous bosom. It wouldn’t be incorrect to call this sacrilege.
This woman, Lilynette Piani, was also one of Skama’s companions and no, she was not wearing that priestess’ outfit because she’s a prostitute who was accommodating her client’s fetish or something like that.
“Huhhh. An heirloom magic item would be a tall order. It does exist though, I do have a magic item that was passed down for generations. A lot of people would know about it, it’s called the Holy Sword of Pentechromata.”
It was a longsword enchanted with the elemental powers of fire, thunder, acid, sonic, and ice which dealt their respective damage types to a slashed target.
But, the blade was without an edge so it could only be used as a blunt weapon, like a dummy sword for swordsmanship practice. He had no idea why someone would create such a sword. What was more confusing was that it did not deal holy damage yet was called a holy sword, perhaps the name was changed generations after its creation so that did not really matter much.
“I want that~”
After all, it was still a valuable item, so to give it away to an adventurer as compensation seemed wholly inappropriate.
“You want that? Hmm, depending on the situation I wouldn’t rule it out completely.” The Earl continued on in a sea of gasps, “my son — I wish that you could become my son’s concubine.”
Skama’s expression turned apprehensive.
The Earl had said something he shouldn’t have.
Some of the adventurers looked towards the Earl with their eyes wide open, they were those who were head over heels for Lilynette. In comparison, the one who had started this had on her eyes as sharp as an eagle’s.
Perhaps that joke had crossed a line. Just as Earl Naüa opened his mouth to apologize, Lilynette asked,
“The Earl has four children right? Your wife gave birth to your eldest son and your third son. Your concubine gave birth to your second son and eldest daughter. Um, your eldest is out of the question, so which son were you referring to?”
Her tone had shifted completely. From her careless attitude back then to the seriousness that was to be expected of an adventurer. This was her actual personality.
Which meant that Lilynette was being completely serious.
Skama’s expression further darkened. She glanced at her other teammates who cold-heartedly avoided making eye contact with her.
“…I was talking about my third son”
“Your third son? But isn’t that kid only twelve? The one whose birthday is coming up soon but hasn’t passed yet? Be the concubine of that child?”
The Earl was about to nod his head when he suddenly froze up.
“…that’s, right. How did you know about my child’s age? Even the birthdate of the third son of a local noble… Is that important intel? Or are all of you top-ranked adventurers like this?”
“N-no”, “Um, no”, and other denials came from the other adventurers. Lilynette ignored them all and continued on as she held up her hair,
“Hah, fiiiine. Ahem. Fine then, I’ll become your son’s concubine for the Holy Sword of Pentechromata.”
The Earl observed Lilynette in detail and turned his gaze towards Skama as if he had a question that he wanted an answer to at this exact moment.
Skama knew what that question was, she knew it well.
“Though I was the one who raised that suggestion. Wait, why is she drooling? Is she actually after my son or the magic item?”
“It’s the former,” Skama tried to say, but before her words could reach anyone a boisterous voice boomed,
“You fool! Unripe fruits are the most alluring of all, aren’t they?”
The silent atmosphere was broken the moment they figured out whose voice that was. At the same time, a few of the adventurers had already fallen to the ground, a result of their fantasies being crushed by the harsh reality of it all.
Skama could empathize with the sorrow of those adventurers.
Sorry, she thought. Those who had fawned over her should understand at this point why they had not been successful.
“I thought that you would ask, ‘why a concubine,’ or something.”
Lilynette responded to Earl Naüa, who was muttering to himself,
“Ah, father-in-law-sama. Even if he’s your third son, he was still born of your wife. If all goes well he should be able to gain the title of Baron and a small patch of land, correct? With that in mind, it would be asking too much for an adventurer to be his wife, even if it’s a powerful one, right? Though I do have connections to the temples, that is still, you know. You were planning to say something along the lines of ‘if you perform outstandingly in this battle, I will consider letting you be his wife,’ right? But if I was to be satisfied by the offer of being his wife alone, then there would be no way I could get my hands on the Holy Sword of Pentechromata. After all, the wife of your third son inheriting the family heirloom would upheave our family’s peace~”
She was already calling him father-in-law.
“…I have underestimated you… If you came along earlier, I would have made you my eldest son’s concubine.”
“Ah, fifteen…wait no…seventeen and above would be too old for me, father-in-law-sama.”
The Earl kept glancing at Skama as she tried her darndest to ignore him. Earl Naüa’s expression looked as though he had just taken a heavy blow and wanted to call her sly, drew no sympathy from the crowd at all.
“Umm, something that I’ve got to ask— even if it’s his third son, there will still come a day when he ages past the age of 17 though!”
“That’s true— if only he was of a race with a longer lifespan. But if that was the case, wouldn’t I be the one who’d age faster…? So, what you’ve said is acceptable to me.”
“You thought that was worth emphasizing!? You thought that, of all the things that I have said so far, that was the thing that was most worthy of emphasizing!?”
“Eh? Father-in-law-sama. Your composure, you appear to be losing it?”
“…You’re the last person I wanted to hear that from.”
Based on Skama’s personal judgment, Lilynette was an honest and caring person so she should make for a good bride. However, none of that was on display right now.
If this continued on any longer, not only would it bring shame upon her companion, but it would set the reputation of her entire team on some weird trajectory which would be troublesome. Skama did not want to be identified by her white hair for negative connotations.
“…Now then, Earl. Though we do appreciate your efforts to alleviate our stress with some humour, we do have to get on with our preparations for the battle. Could I ask of you to return to the center of command?”
Even if he stayed, he, who is without any combat prowess would not be able to do much. His job was better accomplished elsewhere. Earl Naüa nodded his head at this logical proposal, probably out of a desire to stay as far away as possible from Lilynette.
“Ah yes, now then. Everybody, we’ll be relying on you all!”
Q: Where are we at?
A: As of this part: page 220/568
Q: When does chapter 2 end?
A: Page 279, it’s one of the longer ones. Chapter 3 is much shorter by comparison at only 67 pages.
A: Creative liberty, it’s Greek for five colors, which sounds cooler than leaving it as “Five Colors”