Apocalypse Saga 30

Chapter 30 Liar

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 At the arena, where Princess Lucia’s performance had just ended, the audience’s excitement did not wane as the next match took place. This time, however, it was not Lucia’s match, but a battle between two oni-type monsters who were registered as gladiators in the arena. One wielded a blue oni with a two-handed sword, while the other had a red oni using a one-handed axe and a medium shield style.

 While watching this match, Charles was stirring his fruit wine.

 Sarikir was no longer in the VIP seat. Normal undead creatures would rot away and disappear when defeated, but the former general, General Corpse (General Ghoul), defeated by Lucia, retained his form. This piqued the interest not only of Charles but also of Sarikir, the creator of the creature, who, seeming a bit reluctant, left Charles’ side to ensure it did not disappear, even though it seemed unlikely.

 So, only Charles and Felshiol, who came back from the stage, are in the VIP seats. But actually, Satsuki is standing behind them like a clay figure (golem). It’s like they are alone, just the two of them.

 ”Those undead might be interesting.”

 While looking at the arena where the red oni was hitting the blue oni with his shield, Charles spoke to Felshiol without looking at him.

 ”It’s interesting to create undead rather than create them, but it’s interesting that their corpses remain. Will they be able to be reused and recreated as undead, and will the extinct lumps of flesh remain in place as the original corpse? …I think there’s still more to be discovered.”

 ”In addition, I would like to add that sending corpses directly to the enemy as undead has a great effect. This is also the case with the army that faced undead who were once imperial soldiers, but sending your loved ones as undead is also effective. I thought it might be a good idea.”

 Charles paused, his hand holding the glass stopped, in response to Felshiol’s words. He placed his lips on the rim of the glass and pondered for a moment.

 ”Should we kill the opposing nobles and turn them into undead, sending them into the castle?”

 While observing the battle between the princess and the General Corpse (General Ghoul), Charles contemplated a plan he had in mind. It involved turning all the enemy soldiers’ corpses, recovered during the occupation of the old capital, into undead and launching an invasion towards the imperial capital.

 The Imperial soldiers, who were once allies, faced the army of undead with two strong emotions in their hearts. The first was the fear of being turned into undead after death, and the second was the rejection of the blasphemy against life, the desire not to become like them. Particularly concerning the latter, it could have a greater impact on the enemy than creating undead from scratch. It could potentially lead to not just a loss of morale, but a complete loss of fighting spirit.

 However, it seemed that Felshiol’s thoughts went even further, as he nodded in response to Charles’ words,

 ”Or kill their loved ones and turn them into undead.”

 He said with a clear face.

 ”To kill the relatives or spouses of the opposing nobles and turn them into undead, or to kill the emperor’s wife and turn her into undead. If we only kill them, it may be seen as an assassination due to conflicting opinions with Babellion. But if we turn them into undead, it would be easy to imagine it as a warning from us.”

 ”Shall we carve a message on their foreheads to give a clear message too?”

 To always have the ability to kill and show no mercy to those who oppose, it would be quite effective. That was Charles’ thought.

 ”I apologize for interrupting the conversation, my Lord.”

 And then, Satsuki, who was supposed like a clay figure (golem), unexpectedly gave him a horizontal spear.

 ”What’s the matter?”

 ”Well, just now, you mentioned turning them into undead, but I cannot agree with that, my lord.”

 ”Keep going.”

 ”Yes. As a warrior, I can never allow my corpse to be humiliated after death. If my head is taken and proudly displayed, that would be one thing, but to continue moving as an undead without will is absolutely unacceptable.”

 Satsuki continues to assert herself with a strong tone.

 ”There is a difference between being turned into an undead and being turned into ashes by the Dragon Army. Therefore, there is a possibility that the fear and disgust of becoming an undead may outweigh and lead to resistance, so I foolishly believe.”

 ”I understand what you’re saying, but isn’t it possible that the fear of being turned into an undead might lead to a mindset of not resisting?”

 ”As Chancellor-dono mentioned, that possibility does exist, and I do not deny it. However, I also mentioned the possibility that the rejection of being turned into an undead might prevail. Excessive fear… not only causes one to lose their composure, but also leads to acts of resistance.”

 ”I understand what you’re trying to say. They are certainly hitting the mark.”

 Charles nods in agreement with Satsuki’s words. It becomes easier to understand when you imagine it in your own context. If you were turned into charcoal by the “Dragon Army,” there would be nothing beyond that, just fear of death, with even the ashes completely obliterated.

 However, if you were killed and turned into an undead, looking at the state of death would be no different from what the “Dragon Army” does, but there would be a sense of disgust and rejection when your own dead body starts moving around and killing allies.

 To give a more mundane example, imagine your dead body walking around the city completely naked. Certainly, since you are dead, you have no consciousness, and everything ends when you die. However, it would still make you feel uncomfortable.

 ”But perhaps it would be good to give a warning from this side. Even if we don’t call them undead, wouldn’t it be acceptable to send the “Dragon Army” again?”

 Therefore, Charles switches to the topic of the empire. While it may not be a direct threat using the undead, it wouldn’t hurt to intimidate with the “Dragon Army”.

 As Felshiol said before the entertainment in the arena, if there is indeed an increase in opposition nobles who haven’t seen the “Dragon Army”, wouldn’t it be a good idea to show them the “Dragon Army” once again?

 ”Certainly, that could be a viable option. I don’t want to be perceived as being impatient, but it is basic for subordinates to respond immediately when summoned by superiors, even if it means sacrificing everything. It’s only natural to feel angry about that. Moreover, the emperor has promised to immediately rush because of my foolish sister.”

 ”If the opposition nobles are pushing him, then the emperor’s power may not be as strong as we think. I even doubt if there is any significance in holding hostages.”

 Charles’s idea was to restrain the emperor by taking the crown prince and princess hostage. However, the emperor’s authority was not as strong as expected. The emperor, unaffected by the emotions of a father who cares for his child, behaves calmly as an emperor. That’s why there is no rush to intervene.

 ”It seems that the empire has been centralizing power since three generations ago, and the emperor’s power is increasing. However, the influential regional nobles, who still hold significant power, seem to be thriving even more, as the number of enemies has decreased.”

 ”Centralization of power, or the maintenance of absolute authority, is indeed challenging. Even if one is ridiculed as a mad king or a tyrant, if they can eliminate their enemies in one fell swoop, they will be hailed as the founder of a new era in future generations. Conversely, if they hesitate and create chaos or if the current empire’s political adversaries decrease, the cunning old foxes will gain more power.”

 Humans naturally want to avoid losing their existing rights and benefits. This becomes especially difficult for those who have more to lose. The nobles’ territories are not only a symbol of their nobility, but also a source of pride that has been passed down since their ancestors achieved great success.

 And civil war is a decline in national power.

 Eliminating vassals who have too much influence is a common method used by rulers to increase their power, and especially if centralization is to be promoted, the process of destroying those who oppose the government cannot be avoided.

 Furthermore, political disputes and civil wars simultaneously force interlopers and soldiers to focus on the domestic side, weakening the country’s defenses from other countries.

 In addition, they need a solid king who can trample on and restore the disordered earth that the Mad King has ravaged. Gather all the vassals and make them into one powerful group under the emperor. If this is not done, the country will remain in turmoil, with cliques and independent factions springing up and the country itself collapsing.

 ”…I guess the crown prince needs to see it with his own eyes. I want to see for himself why the princess is so obsessed with him.”

 ”Why, this is training for mastering people’s hearts. Their loyalty to me is astounding. I don’t really understand who they are.”

 ”In the presence of His Majesty’s greatness, it is needless to say that anyone who does not hold loyalty is nonexistent… I would have said something like that a little while ago, but just as a small glass cannot measure the vast sea, it seems that those of small stature cannot comprehend the magnificence of His Majesty’s aura.”

 This was a new discovery, Felshiol thought sarcastically.

 ”If that’s the case──”

 Charles was planning to continue, saying that it was necessary for him to visit the ‘Prison (Dite)’ himself. The truth is, he just wanted to see the floor that he had particularly designed.

 However, those words were never spoken until the end.

 The knock on the door of the VIP seat interrupted Charles’ words.

 ”Come in.”


 Entering the VIP seat with a loud response was a civil servant directly under Felshiol. The civil servant in the VIP seat trembled under the sharp gaze in response to interrupting Charles’ words.

 ”Apologies for interrupting your conversation. I have an urgent report to deliver from Shiki-sama.”

 Charles wonders why she didn’t come directly, but he immediately remember that this is the VIP seat. This room is not meant for military discussions or secret meetings.

 Most likely, if it’s a report from Shiki, it must be related to the Empire and of utmost importance.

 ”I should go there right away.”

 Charles stands up and, feeling a slight unease about what might have happened, follows the government official who leads the way, accompanied by Felshiol and Satsuki.

* * *

 Lucia walked down the long corridor. It felt as if she were tied to the leash of a prison guard, like livestock or a slave.

 The only sounds echoing in the vast prison were Lucia’s footsteps, the crackling of torches on the walls.

 She once tried to memorize the path, but it was futile. Not only because it was too vast, but also because she heard from the prison guard that this prison was located on the upper floors of a massive tower. In other words, even if she managed to escape the leash by memorizing all the paths, there would only be another floor waiting ahead.

 Suddenly, a sound was heard.

 It came along with the light leaking from one of the cells at the end of the road, and it was a sound that felt familiar in some way.

 The jailer stopped in front of the cell. Lucia tilted her gaze to confirm the source of the sound and the identity of the light.


 The naked girl sitting in the corner of the wall, hugging her knees, showed no reaction to the name overflowing from Lucia’s mouth. Her face, hidden behind her arms, was not visible, and Elaine didn’t even flinch.

 And immediately, Lucia’s understanding of the sound and her memories aligned. On the wall next to Elaine, the dimly lit stone wall of the cell, there was a projection of an arena. The sound that Lucia recognized was the faint cheering of the audience flowing from that projection. In the arena, new fighters, this time muscular Monster gladiators, were clashing swords.


 Lucia uttered the name again. However, it was more like a soliloquy that spilled out from her mouth rather than addressing the girl who was bowing her head.

 Lucia didn’t know what to say. Just moments ago, she had betrayed the girl before her. Despite volunteering to take on the challenge that she was supposed to face, Lucia broke that promise.

 And the fact that the arena was projected on the wall meant that the girl witnessed it firsthand, which is why she was in despair like this, Lucia quickly understood.

 Lucia chose to meet with Alfred instead of freeing Elaine. And she prostrated herself for Alfred in a manner unbecoming of a princess. Lucia does not think that her choice was wrong. However, being convinced that it was not wrong and not regretting it are two different things.

 She is filled with self-reproach and her heart aches. She couldn’t protect Elaine, who is being directly harmed by the monsters unlike herself. She couldn’t save Elaine from the humiliation that even death seems like relief. Lucia feels deeply ashamed, regretful, and miserable.

 ”…I’m sorry.”

 She apologized without expecting a response, hoping it would ease her guilt even just a little bit.

 But in response to Lucia’s apology, Elaine shook her shoulders slightly. Her gaze did not lift from the floor, only her whirlpool of hair is visible. However, before Lucia could say the next words in response to this slight reaction, Elaine interrupted her with her own words.

 ”…His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince’s command is more important than mine… Of course, it is.”

 It was a voice that seemed to be squeezed out from a hoarse throat.

 ”I’m sorry, Elaine… I…”

 As if confessing to a god, Lucia clung to the bars of the prison with her bound hands, seeking forgiveness. But before Lucia could say anything, Elaine spoke.

 ”But… but Your Highness promised to help me.”

 She thought she had been forgiven once. She thought it was right to choose Alfred, she thought Elaine had affirmed that.

 However, Elaine had not forgiven Lucia, it couldn’t be. Reason and reality do not always align. It was the same as Lucia’s feelings, where what is right and her own emotions can sometimes be opposites.

 Elaine’s face slowly lifted. The eyes behind her swollen eyelids opened wide. It was the same pitch-black, murky gaze that soldiers consumed with vengeance reveal on the battlefield. It was thousands, no, tens of thousands of times more terrifying than Kassandros’s lifeless gaze from earlier, and it contained only negative emotions that couldn’t be met with eye contact.


 The words fell heavily upon Lucia.

 The four-syllable word pierced her heart like a sword. Simultaneously, a weight as heavy as a lump of lead burdened her.

 She had spent over ten years together with her as a subordinate and like a younger sister, but she had never seen such a distorted face filled with so much hatred, and she had never imagined that it would be directed at her.


 She vomited as if she were spitting out her stomach. The pain felt as if all her organs – her stomach, heart, lungs – were being crushed. It was a guilt and self-blame so intense that it made her fear for her life.

 Unable to bear it any longer, Lucia finally turned her back. Even Lucia, who had never fled from the battlefield, couldn’t even face Elaine, let alone muster any fighting spirit.


 She apologized once more, but there was no response from behind.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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