Over the next two weeks, David resumed his normal life, going at the various trainings with more resolve than ever. He was slowly coming to grasp with exactly what was needed to use magic. By clearly focusing an image of what he want to achieve in his head, then manipulating the mana in his body to help the image take form, he was now able to use a far higher number of spells than he had been able to before.
Going to the dojo with Joseph after school had started to pay off as well. Although not being anywhere close to dominating his teacher, he was now able to keep up with the movements, and very occasionally throw in an attack or two. This was a large improvement from three weeks ago, where he got beaten senseless by his teacher without even a proper chance to defend himself.
David woke up to the sound of his alarm. Even on the weekends, David had started to wake up very early in order to have more time to train himself.
“David, you should be about ready to work again right?” Lucifer asked.
“Yeah, did something come up?”
“I want you to start honing your skills in actual combat, so I want you to spend the next two days hunting.”
“Wait, hunting for what?”
“Not demons, so don’t worry. I want you to start by hunting some undead. Mostly ghouls or zombies.”
“And where would I find those? They don’t really just appear anywhere right? After all, if they did then surely people wouldn’t just regard them as stories.”
“Cases like these are usually handled fairly quickly, mostly by exorcists or ghost hunters that may not may not be related to different religions. I want you to hunt down the preys before they are gone.”
“Hmmm, that sounds rather interesting. So where are they?”
“A cemetery in New Territory.”
“Which one? There are loads.”
“It’s private. The reason that undead are starting to spawn there is because of the owner of the graveyard. Before he died, he researched extensively in the field of undead creation and summoning, and his aptitude for dark attribute magic was also very high.”
“And how do you know this?”
“He was one of the mages that had attempted to summon me in order to make a deal. I never answered his summoning, although I did observe him during his entire life.”
“So you’re saying that these undead are his creation? Why haven’t they attacked anyone yet?”
“It’s because he had respawned into a Lich, or more accurately his body had respawned itself as a Feijiang ⌈1⌋.”
“You mean the kind of Jiangshi ⌈2⌋ that is said to have trained for many years, practicing their spells?”
“Yes, they would also have superior intelligence compared to that of normal Jiangshi. And they can fly. What I want you to do is simple. Eradicate the entire horde of undead as quickly as you can. That’ll give you a good amount of combat experience, something that you lack right now.”
“I suppose I don’t truly have any say in the matter?”
“You’re only fulfilling your side of the contract so…”
“Yeah, okay I get it. Should I go now?”
“Go at the afternoon, there really isn’t a point of arriving there before sundown anyways.”
David arrived at an eerily looking cemetery at 5 o’clock. The sun had started to set, but night hasn’t fallen across the entire land yet. The cemetery he was at is a traditional Chinese one. It was hard to imagine that someone that is buried here would have tried to summon Lucifer, a western demon. It was much more fitting for them in David’s mind to summon someone like the Yanluo Wang, or King Enma.
As he was pondering this, he was preparing himself both physically and mentally for the action that would soon follow.
“<Light Sphere>” David casted one of the most basic Light magic spells to test if it was working. And just as he expected, it was functioning fine. <Light Sphere> did like its name suggested, conjuring up a small sphere of light that could be used to light the area around it or as an offensive magic.
“If you’re worrying whether your magic will fail you or not, then the answer is no. Your magic is fine here,” chuckled Lucifer.
“Yeah I know, I’m just double checking. There isn’t really much else to do until sun down. Or would you not mind if I started before?”
“There isn’t a point of you attacking now right? Let them all be wide awake first.”
“Heh. Oh by the way, is there a reason why this place haven’t been exorcised yet? You said there’s a large amount of undeads here, then shouldn’t they have been discovered already?”
“Like I said before about them being led, generally exorcists and the likes aren’t able to actually find the locations of undeads very easily. It is only through reports from people that are being attacked or from an exceedingly high concentration of dark attribute magic that they can predict the location of undeads. The owner of this graveyard has been smart enough to build up the undeads in secret and the tomb I want you to enter is heavily warded, preventing the magic used inside from leaking out easily.”
“I see. Realistically speaking, what is the possibility that I can actually kill that Feijiang?”
“I would say you have a good chance of doing so. With <Body Strengthening> and <Possession> you should be able to deal with it easily.”
“You’re still convincing me to use <Possession> I’m not falling for that bait. The strain on my body is just too great and unless I have to, I don’t want to use it.”
“Then you may struggle against it. The Feijiang would be relatively skilled in dark attribute magic as well and if you need to deal with the rest of the undead as well, then you’ll be in a tough spot.”
“I suppose… Then I’ll use <Possession> at that time.”
“Do as you will. We should get going,” Lucifer replied. The Sun had set, and the night had fallen across the land. It wasn’t pitch dark, so David could still see the way. He slowly followed Lucifer’s direction to find himself a particular large gravestone.
On the gravestone was written “自作孽, 不可活”, literally translated to “The evil we bring on ourselves is the hardest to bear.”
In a dark room, a Feijiang could be seen sitting calmly on a throne of some sort. In front of it was a swarm of more than 300 undeads. There weren’t just Jiangshi, but also a mix of Zhiren ⌈3⌋, E Gui ⌈4⌋, Difuling ⌈5⌋, ghouls and zombies. At the two sides of the throne stood 2 guards, a Mezuki and a Gozuki ⌈6⌋, both over 3 meters tall, and wielding a long pole arm that was around 2 meters in height. This was a scene out of a horror film with the antagonist evil overlord calmly sitting on a throne in front of his huge army of evil that threatened the existence of the world.
For experts on undead, this could be seen as a rather unusual site. Normally, these lower ranked undead would be all over the place, but at that moment, they were all bowing down in front of the Feijiang. They seemed to obey his every command.
The Feijiang itself gave off an imposing aura. It was dressed in an exquisite qipao, ones that was worn by government officials. Its skin was pale and wrinkled, the flesh was rotten to the point that you could see that some of it are actually about to fall off. However it sat formidably on its throne. It’s eyes glared at the horde in front of it, almost like that of a ruler looking at its people. In its right hand was a long staff decorated with many jewels. At the tip of it was a black ruby that seemed to radiate evil.
A spectre flown over to its side and seemed to have whispered something in the Feijian’s ear. Upon hearing it, a subtle sneer appeared on its face. A foolish human had found its way into the tomb. It was only right for the human to serve as food for its ever hungry undead. It raised its bone-like left arm and pointed towards a large door behind the swarm of undead. It swung open with a gust of wind and the swarm rushed out into the dark hallway.
Soon, only the Feijiang was left in the dark throne room. Isolated. Alone. Undying.
- Feijiang (飞僵) – A type of Jiangshi. Literally translated as Flying Jiangzhi. It is more intelligent and capable of using magic. ↩
- Jiangshi (僵尸) – /wiki/Jiangshi ↩
- Zhiren (纸人) – /wiki/Zhi_ren ↩
- E Gui (饿鬼) – /wiki/E_gui ↩
- Difuling (地缚灵) – Literally translated into Earthbound Spirit. /wiki/Di_fu_ling ↩
- Mezuki and Gozuki (马面 and 牛头) – Horse-face and Ox-head. The names I chose to use are the Japanese ones. /wiki/Ox-Head_and_Horse-Face ↩