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Chapter 30: Undead Neutralization

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Author: TypeAxiom Original Source: ScribbleHub

Thanks to the moonstone’s magic when Carmen swapped out her tattered dress for her current one, her current hairstyle was one with two braids. They started at the sides of her head and came together at the back, held together in a bun with a hair stick decorated with images of a purple butterfly. The rest of her hair hung down loosely like normal.

While she was still wearing a high waist skirt that wasn’t too long, it was way flashier than the plain black and white one she wore before. Instead of the simplicity of that previous dress, this one was more grandiose due to its royal purple coloration. It was also more intimidating, owing to the pieces of midnight black armor plates that adorned the skirt, as well as an elegant purple-silver breastplate that protected her chest.

Despite the thinness of the material, it was still quite solid thanks to the enchantments that the makers of the dress bestowed onto their work.

Carmen had found this dress while she was looking for a weapon in the moonstone and accidentally triggered the magic that summoned new equipment.

Because of how majestic this hairstyle and dress made her look, she felt obligated to act the part as well. Was this how Victoria felt?

“Your name. It’s Gornum, is it not? Do you perhaps have another weapon I can use?” Carmen asked. The hammer was so large it unbalanced her despite her being able to handle the weight fine. It dragged on the ground when she ran with it.

“Is there anything wrong with your hammer?”

Carmen sighed and looked at Gornum from the side of her eyes as if she was looking at a clown. Although she couldn’t see under the helmet, Gornum seemed to stiffen a bit before calling one of the three templars mostly responsible for the lesser undead over.

The templar used a greatsword, which while still big, was at least meant for human hands.

“Can you lend this lady your weapon?” Gornum asked. “You can still do your job with that hammer if you use a bit more mana but…”

After a moment, the templar finally nodded. Unintelligible grumbling came from beneath his helmet, but he handed the greatsword over anyway, receiving the handle of the hammer in exchange.

As he tried to lift the hammer, he grunted out in pain, holding his back. Gornum winced. “Sorry, pal. I’ll make it up to you later, so do your best. Come on, let’s go.” He looked at Carmen with new eyes.

Holding the greatsword in her hands, her smile barely contained, Carmen nodded. Without the cumbersome burden of the hammer, she was much faster and nimble, outstripping Gornum in an instant as she closed in on the axe skeleton.

Harried by Cloud Knights, the axe skeleton couldn’t get where he wanted very fast. Carmen soon caught up. Focusing again briefly, a delay she never used to need, she casted an Art spell. “Sever!”

Not only was her casting slower, her Holy Knight Arts were weaker as well. Without further preparation, the basic Sever was all she could manage on the go.

The blade of light that flew toward the axe skeleton from her new sword didn’t manage to completely cut through the skeleton’s armor. Instead, it merely left a groove.

Frowning, Carmen reinforced her sword with holy mana, unable to use anything else as long as she was fighting alongside these Cloud Knights.

She cut at the skeleton, but it managed to get away time after time. All of its energy was focused on running away and it didn’t even attack unless it was to knock away someone who got too close.

Still, the skeleton’s advantage in speed was gone now that she had a sword instead of that dumb hammer. Even if the hammer had raw power, it was much too slow to hit an escaping enemy in the best of times, demonstrated when she managed to get away from Maelplos again and again.

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The blade cut into the axe skeleton feet, once again not doing much, but just because it didn’t do much now didn’t mean it did nothing. Over and over, Carmen used the most basic Art she knew, getting better and better at using blood mana as an intermediate between undead and holy. Although it would probably never be as seamless a transition as conversion between two nonconflicting types of mana, she was still getting pretty fast and steady with her controls.

“Sever! Sever, Sever, Sever!”

There were gaps in the skeleton’s armor, and if she slashed enough times, she’ll eventually hit it. She had the mana to spare.

Here in Amaranthine Point where undead mana was everywhere, she had no limit to her mana as her body was constantly absorbing it and then converting to holy mana with blood mana as an intermediary. Even if it consumed a small amount of pure blood mana each time which she could only replenish by drinking blood, the amount wasn’t large—more than enough to last her the battle.


The axe skeleton ran in what was essentially a large ellipse around the street since he couldn’t get too far, or he’d leave the skull lich’s range. Without the lich’s support, he was a sitting duck when it came to…former templars of Carmen’s caliber. Eventually, they circled back to where Gornum was.

The slow vanguard had given up chasing after them and was instead helping the other three Cloud Knights with protecting the clerics. Thanks to his addition, the cleric deaths stopped completely. Even when the skull lich occasionally fired a spell their way, Gornum managed to stop it.

They also managed to secure Sandor’s body.

The other vanguard, Asmund, went to help Barsig, who was having trouble piercing through the knight skeleton’s defenses.

“Sever! Sever!”

“Miss, could it be that Sever is the only Art you know?” Gornum asked as she ran past him.

“Of course not,” Carmen said, but there was no time to say anything else. She probably knew more Arts than he did! Not that she needed to prove anything to him…

One of her Severs finally managed to hit the skeleton where it hurt, landing right where the armor was thin on the back of the knee. With its joints and the black mists that substituted its muscles damaged, it tripped and crashed onto the ground.

Without stopping her footsteps, Carmen jumped. From her place in the sky, Carmen had a clear shot to the back of the skeleton’s knees. She cast two more Severs, aiming well this time. Both landed where she wanted it, destroying completely both of the skeleton’s knees.

Damage to this extent by a holy mana Art was bound to be hard to heal. Now the skeleton couldn’t escape no matter what he did.

Carmen landed next to the skeleton, stabbing the sword into the ground. The skeleton was being strangely quiet after running his mouth all of earlier when the undeads were winning. Now that the tides have turned, he stopped talking?

Clanks of metal heralded Gornum’s arrival. Seeing the axe skeleton felled at last, he had come over to witness the fall of this knight-class that caused them so much trouble from up close.

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“Aren’t you going to kill him?” he asked.

“Yeah.” Carmen raised her sword. What Art was good for finishing off knight-class undead? As she searched her mental library for powerful Art that did a decent amount of damage in a small area, the large undead on the ground suddenly made a sound.


“Damn it, not again,” Gornum muttered. He raised his shield and slammed it down onto the axe skeleton’s head, making a small crack in the dome.

“What is it?” Carmen asked.

Hmmm, would Light Beyond the Horizon be good? No, that one used way too much holy mana. She can’t control so much holy mana without it blowing up on her yet.

“The last time this stupid skeleton laughed, all sorts of bad things happened. Sandor died, for one…”

“I see…” What about Aurora Crusher? With that one, she didn’t have to punch through the armor to kill the skeleton. The problem was that it’s a complex spell that she might not be able to cast as she was right now.

Carmen shrugged. She could try, since she had time.

As she began to convert the mana and construct the spell for the Aurora Crusher, the fallen skeleton spoke. “You are a traitor!”

“What?” Carmen asked. Gornum had much of the same reaction.

The spell construction was almost done. All that was left was to channel the mana through the construction to feed and activate the spell.

“You’re a traitor! You—!”

“Oh my. It’s unfortunate, but time’s up1,” Carmen said, cutting him off. With the iridescent magic of the Aurora Crusher swirling around the blade, she plunged her sword downwards. The moment the tip of her sword clinked against the armor of the skeleton, the prismatic twister descended. Some of the Art’s effects splashed against the metal armor, but most of it pierced straight through. The spell ravaged the interior of the armor, the holy mana mixing with the undead mana and neutralizing each other.

The cleansing winds of the aurora scoured every inch of the armor’s interior, wiping away the undead’s existence. Speaking of existence, she never learned this one’s name. Of the four knight-classes that came after her, she knew the names of three, and this one wasn’t one of them. Not that it mattered.

Once she was sure the skeleton was dead, Carmen lifted her sword, ending the Art.

“What was that?” Gornum asked, staring at her with even wider eyes than when he realized how heavy of a hammer she had been swinging around. “What intense holy energy. It’s beautiful! I’ve never seen that spell before. Is it an Art?”

“Of course. It’s called the Aurora Crusher; quite the niche spell, honestly,” she said.

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“Niche? But it seems quite powerful.”

“It is, but the tip of your weapon must remain in contact with the enemy. It’s niche because there are many spells that are nearly as strong, but without this restriction,” Carmen explained.

Hmph. How dare a mere rank-and-file templar question the amount of Arts that she knew. She hadn’t been the youngest commander in the history of the Cloud Order for nothing.

Turning her back on Gornum, she strode toward the knight skeleton who was being badly beaten by Barsig and two other templars. It was hanging on by sheer virtue of its resilience, but it posed no threat to any of the templars by itself.

One of the three templars that had been assigned to defend the clerics had gone to support Iruma and Vesia as well. One against one, the skull lich was a terrifying opponent, but with a numbers advantage and in a situation where the skull lich had no bodyguards, it became much less of a threat. However, no one could catch the skull lich either.

By now, the poor templar whose sword she had stolen from was the only Cloud Knight still fighting lesser zombies.

Undeterred by her coldness, Gornum caught up next to her. “Wait, I just realized—why did that skeleton call you a traitor. You killed him before he could say anything else.”

Carmen shrugged. “A lady has her secrets. But the important part is that I’ve betrayed them, is it not? The enemy of my enemy is my friend…is a familiar saying to you, I hope.”

“That’s true, but—”

Carmen stopped and turned, facing the persistent knight. Her smile turned thin, as if angered, even as she tried not to laugh at her own acting. “Do not forget who is the one that reversed this situation.”

Her strength was currently about on par with Barsig, especially since she had a proper weapon. The full awakening of her vampire blood did wonders for her growth in strength, making her movements smoother even if it didn’t increase her raw power.

Even if Gornum didn’t know the full details, he should have a pretty good idea of her level of strength from her battle with the axe skeleton. Like a smart templar, he nodded and backed off.

By now, the battle was wrapping up.

While Barsig kept the knight skeleton busy, Asmund rammed into it from behind with a Holy Charge, knocking it flat. Barsig executed it shortly with a Light Beyond the Horizon while Carmen looked on in jealousy.

With the final knight-class skeleton warrior dead, the skull lich abandoned the battle and fled, throwing its three pursuers far behind it. However, Carmen already knew its name: Gulthra. It may escape today, but one day, Carmen will return for its life.

With every single knight-class undead eliminated one way or another, everything remaining was merely cannon fodder. The Cloud Knights fell back into position around the clerics, creating a circle of protection as they retrieved the bodies within easy reach.

From there, the battered remainder of the Church forces began to make their way back toward the gate. Whereas when they came in, they were slow and steady, the trip back out was recklessly fast.

For a while, Carmen accompanied them. Before long, Barsig came up to her with Gornum in tow. The clerics around her made way for their passage.

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It wasn’t very difficult to find her. Although she was in the middle of the crowd of clerics, most of them kept their distance from her. Most of them saw her fight on their side, but her appearance was just too far out of the norm for them to truly accept her.

Her clothes, her long hair, her youth. Even if the Cloud Knights were mostly her equal, their individuality was wiped away by their armor, replaced with a single entity that symbolized stability and familiarity.

Although they kept their distance from her, it didn’t stop their glances. More than a few times, she caught Fleur and her friend staring at her, but whereas Fleur’s gaze was full of confusion and curiosity, there was a strange animosity from Fleur’s friend.

Carmen didn’t worry too much about her.

Instead, she gave her full attention to Barsig, who was the only equal she had here. As he fell in pace with her, he gave her a salute common to all the Templar Orders.

With a lady’s faint smile, she returned an impeccable templar’s salute. “Well met, Commander Barsig.”

Barsig looked a bit surprised, though he quickly hid it. Carmen knew what conclusion he came to from that, and she let him keep that misunderstanding.

“Well met…” He trailed off; he didn’t know her name. Gornum didn’t ask her, so she didn’t say.

In the end, she decided to save him from any further awkwardness by telling him her name. But what should she call herself? Carmen was obviously out of the question. One name stood out to her, crowding out every other name until it was the only one she could think of. Reluctantly, she took it.

“You may call me…Camilla.”


  1. あら、残念。でも時間切れですよ~

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