Chapter 70 – Broken
When Walm woke up, nothing had changed in reality. The only thing that changed was the number of monsters under his eyes which was increasing rapidly.
“Hah, haha, is this the reality?”
Walm admitted that there were no living humans in Dandurg Castle.
Rotating dull thoughts hard.
The military organization that gave orders to him had collapsed, and Walm must think about what should he do from now.
After beating his brains, forcing his mental to be somewhat repaired, Walm decided to return to his hometown.
He collected the equipment he had taken off and pushed the preserved food seized from the supply storage into his mouth.
Preserved foods made from wheat, dried grapes, and oil deprived Walm of saliva and water. Poured in water, but this time the stomach screamed.
“Urg, ogh, uck”
Working hard to prevent gastric fluid from flowing out. The sour taste that spreads in his mouth was the worst taste he had tasted in a while. Walm, who put up with the urge to drink, left the room.
Walm ridiculed his own appearance of searching for halberds, short swords, armors, and coins from the corpse.
After all, it wasn’t so much different from the monsters fishing for corpse meat. After collecting supplies, Walm climbed the roof of the castle tower while putting them in his magic bag.
The mountains were carved, the valleys were destroyed, and even the rivers were scraped off, creating a huge road. There was no doubt that it was the work of the Flame Emperor Dragon. At the same time, following that road, would lead him back to his homeland.
Encountering a large number of monsters along the way? It would have been a hesitant option, but it was a small matter for Walm today. It was more painful for him when he had nothing to do, after all when killing each other, there was no need to think of other extra stuff.
Even if he were to be killed, a lonely Highserk soldier wouldn’t be seen by anyone. It was a really easy-to-understand ending, a good ending for Walm, a defeated soldier. He descended from the temporary wall that he couldn’t and failed to protect, and looked back.
The old castle was dyed with red color and was about to decay due to repeated onslaught. As if showing the end of the Highserk Empire.
Unlike in the castle, there weren’t many monsters on the road. The monsters invited to the densely populated areas were scattered in those areas, and after slashing dozens of them every one or two hours, none could be seen anymore.
Ironically, the passage created by the Flame Emperor Dragon during its invasion shortened Walm’s travel time. The mountains and trees that should be detoured were equally overrun, the valleys were burned down, and even the rivers were dried out. It was a walking natural disaster that even changed the terrain.
After walking for half a day, Walm arrived at a small village, but the village had been swallowed up by the outbreak, only barely leaving small remnants of human activities.
All the houses had collapsed, the foundations were barely left, and there were no corpses or bloodstains left, let alone humans. Countless monster footprints told that it had been overrun by monsters.
In the next city, the buildings were left according to the scale, but monsters and human corpses could be seen even from a long distance. It seemed that the garrison and volunteers were the centers of resistance, but in the end, the fall was unavoidable.
“Even Kanoa is no good?”
Avoiding the collapsed city that wasn’t where he wanted to go, Walm continued his way home.
Unlike the battlefields up until now, the barriers on the border of the homeland, which deviated from the path of the Flame Emperor Dragon, had fierce resistance, and the walls and empty moats were filled with monster corpses.
A soldier who had a business with an orthrus was hugging each other as if they were reaching a deal. The two-head bit the arm and throat, and the soldier pierced the chest of the two-headed wolf with a longsword.
The collapsed fortified tower was filled with rubble along with the corpse of a cyclops, and the limbs of humans and monsters sadly went over the place. Walm would have ended this way if he wasn’t lucky.
Crossed the border from the collapsed wall.
Both the barracks and the command post were overrun. Soldiers collapsed as if integrating with the walls of the collapsed barracks, and at the command post, there were a large number of monster corpses, and in the middle of it, there was a general with a large sword with a torn body, seemed to be killed in action.
After that, Walm continued to look for a checking station. There were monsters that liked corpse meat, but in the end, only new corpses of monsters were presented.
Walm built a bed on the half-destroyed observatory turret after clearing the surrounding monsters. Tied the cloak to the arrow shield or pillar of the turret to block the outside air and prevent the light from leaking.
At Dandurg Castle, he had borrowed several cloaks. Some of them were a little dirty with blood, but they were suitable for the current Walm.
No matter how much you lost your appetite, if you didn’t put food in your stomach, your physical strength and mana would decline.
So, after taking out the small pot, Walm used fire magic to boil the water he poured, and stuffed beans, shredded dried fish, and salt.
The protest from the stomach increased with pain. Walm sipped the soup and chewed the fluffy black bread without caring about the taste.
After the belly had been satisfied, Walm suppressed nausea and tried to let go of consciousness. The twin moons began to fall from the sky in his repeated opened and closed eyes, and were finally expelled by the sun. Walm left his resting area after cleaning up his bed.
Ran at a speed that could be called a forced march.
Killed all the monsters that came near as if they were bugs, but it never cleared his muddy heart.
The corpses of refugees were increasing on the highway. A soldier on the ground was beaked by countless birds, and the eyes of an infant staring at the void were squeezed out.
Didn’t have the energy to drive it away, and enough hands to mourn. Walm advanced his foot silently.
Walm, who didn’t even have time to maintain weapons, picked up the abandoned weapon and threw it away not long after, again and again. If the spear broke, he would wield a sword, and if the sword broke, he would wield a war hammer.
As the sun went down, Walm climbed a large tree and spent the third night since he left Dandurg Castle.
There was only a short road left to go home. Walm ran out of breath on a road that remained vivid in his memory. His childhood memories revived in his mind.
The forest, where he played around with the bad boys and his brother in the neighborhood until sunset.
The country road, he had trampled many times.
The rocks and trees that he marked.
And finally, the village.
Walm felt that it was a short and long way.
Seeing the village, the taste of the sweet and sour raspberry he ate with his brother came to mind.
Ran through the entrance of the village. The unrepaired fence remained the same as when Walm left the village.
Walm opened his mouth as he dived through the gates of his nostalgic home.
The family welcomed me. Tears overflow from Walm’s eyes.
“Sorry, for being late”
Walm didn’t say that he had the best family in the world. Still, they were the family he spent with until he was drafted.
Even though it wasn’t a wealthy house, on the day when the draft was decided, ever since Walm was born in this world, the treats he had never eaten were lined up on the table.
He stuffed them inside his stomach to the point where he was no longer hungry, and drank alcohol with his father and brother so much that he couldn’t remember vividly. When he thought about it now, he had never really talked so much with them before that day. It might have been influenced by the fact that Walm, who inherited the memories of the previous life, was feeling somewhere away.
It might be too late, but Walm regretted. As his brother advised, he should have prioritized more time with his parents.
The parents turned their empty eyes toward Walm and reached out for a hug. With a half-open mouth, they dragged their torn body and approached Walm.
“I, have become stronger.
I won’t lose to those soldiers and monsters.
I’ve repelled a dragon species and even the “Three Heroes” of the Craist.
But, my comrades, and my family… anything I didn’t want to lose, I couldn’t protect them.
Not a single one.”
Walm accepted the hug.
Their skin was terribly cold. The oral cavity with bloody vomit, filled his field of vision.
“Sorry, I’m sorry, my beloved mom and dad.”
A longsword was inserted from the lower jaw and so, a second death was given to the family. Walm crawled out of the house and spat out the contents of his stomach.
“uh, gahh, ahh, ah, achk, a…”
The nice neighbor, the strong-willed childhood friend, and the nervous village mayor welcomed Walm’s return.
Even the nice old man who taught Walm, who was about to be overwhelmed by anxiety, about the battlefield’s knowledge and his experiences, had joined the circle.
The entire village had turned into an undead den.
Out of breath, but sobbing didn’t stop. Walm clasped his hand on the ground. Sand overflowed through the gaps between fingers. Tears wet the eyes and distorted the vision. Couldn’t stand the muddy image, so looked up at the sky. Contrary to what was in mind, the sky was clear with no clouds. Just to say that heaven didn’t overlook the ugliness of stupid humanity ――
“garrhh, ah, aaaaAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!”
Walm roared and mana enveloped his body, spreading blue flames to the village with maximum firepower. His relatives and neighbors were all equally swallowed by blue flames. The fire turned the houses and the whole village into a living hell.
“What do you mean a “knight”? What do you mean “user of demon fire”? You’re just a stupid useless person who can’t save anyONE!!!”
Walm’s sobbing continued while spitting out the blue fire. For those who he couldn’t protect. For those who were in the space between the World and the Netherworld.
Walm continued to offer the blue flames so that everyone wouldn’t get lost.
Walm didn’t know how long he walked or how many days had passed. He found himself there.
A hill overlooking the most populous capital at the heart of the Highserk Empire.
The hill, loved by successive Emperors and the war god, Gerard, was filled with a few Highserk soldiers who somehow managed to reach here, but had lost their way. Walm joined in without speaking to anyone. At this point, his tear glands were finally dead.
No words were needed for those who gathered on the hill. Everyone was staring at the capital with the same feelings. The defeated soldiers who lost their place, it was the identity of those who gathered on the hill.
The country couldn’t be abandoned, but it couldn’t be protected, and it couldn’t die either.
The capital was swallowed by monsters, and the great buildings that Highserk citizens had built, their history, were burned down. The wall, which seemed to be impregnable, had collapsed due to an attack of non-human force.
Once again, the transplanted eyes became hot and sharp pain rushed.
But, nothing changed in his vision.
People were extinct, fields were full of monsters, and the country was crushed.
Sacrifice for the ideal. Peace by oppressing other countries. It was a repeated history.
Good and evil would change depending on the position, but since the situation had become like this, Walm no longer knew what he was fighting for.
Just that, today’s tragedy shouldn’t be wasted, and the lesson learned from this bloody event should mature the world.
That was the only thing Walm wished for.
TN: Alright, this is the end of arc 1.
The next arc has more chapters than this first arc.
From here on, I’ll update slowly, This gave me depression.
I need some happiness.
Also just some info, the author seems to like “鬼” (Oni, or can be roughly tl-ed as Demon).
Ogre in this series, it used the word 大鬼, (Dai Oni, roughly tl-ed as Great Demon).
Walm’s skill is 鬼火 (Onibi) -> Demon Fire
Walm’s mask, it looked like a mixture of 鬼 (Oni) and skeleton -> Demon Mask
Walm’s eyes -> Demon eyes
So, in short, my prediction, Walm will somehow turned into 鬼 (Oni, or Demon).
Or somewhat Demon-like.
Really, I don’t know the truth of my prediction yet, since I stopped reading (around ch 80 or 90) after I started tl-ing this.
Lastly, I’ve never been a person who’s so active at Social Media, but well, I made a discord (first time btw), so for you who want to join, this is the link.
if I think it’s too troublesome, I might delete it…
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