DK – Chapter 124-126: Undead King of Zakuroa V

…I can hear footsteps…?

Because I fell onto the ground… I see, with my ear to the ground, I can hear the footsteps of the imperial soldiers approaching me… 

The heavy armored units, huh. The guards of old man Claine; most likely the strongest of the 5th division.

Aah, I gotta fight them…

I am hurting here and there, but pain is proof that I am alive.

There’s arrows piercing my back, and because of my clash of blades with the knights, I am bruised all over below my armor. There must be cracks in my bones as well. Cuts here and there, and to finish it off, a poison arrow on my right shoulder… No, the finisher was the sword stabbed on my stomach?

I really am a mess.

I am totally spent.

Even so…

I feel like I am being looked at by a variety of people. My family…my father, mother, my 3 brothers, and my little sister Cecil… My elder sister…is probably still alive and well.

Garf Cortez is most likely lying down on a grassy area with a bottle of alcohol in one hand while watching me. That really sounds like him…

Now then…I have to move…

“O-Oi…this guy is still alive?” 

“D-Don’t be stupid, that was a mandrake poison arrow, you know? …T-There’s no way he is alive.” 

“B-But…isn’t he moving…?” 

“H-He is just on the verge of dying… No need to be scared. L-Let’s finish him off.” 

…Hoh, mandrake poison, huh… No wonder it was so effective…

Thanks to that, I seriously can’t move a single finger…

Well, damn…

(Hey, King, you have to move or you will die, you know?) 

Hm? Aah, you, huh… Even you came to cheer for me, Dorothy-chan?

Blonde hair and blue eyes. Yeah, the same blue eyes as Cecil. 

One of the children of Arianrhod was standing by my side. The brave Dorothy-chan has come from heaven to scold and encourage a useless adult? 

(What’s the matter? …Do you want to sleep?) (Dorothy)

No, that’s not it. I am still gonna continue living… I still have things to do.

(Really? But if it gets really painful, you can give up, you know?) (Dorothy)

…Really?

(Yeah. If it is so helplessly painful for the King.) (Dorothy)

…You are a kind girl. But it is because you were so kind even when you faced pain in your living time that…I don’t want to give up.

(You also believe in the future, King?) (Dorothy)

Yeah, I am often made fun of because of it, told that I am naive, but I believe that people can create an even kinder world.

(You really are kind, King.) (Dorothy)

Kind? I wonder about that. I want to become a Demon Lord, so I feel like it is different? …Today even, I have killed a whole lot of people while laughing.

(Yeah, the King is kind. That’s why people believe in you. Surely, that’s why…they can bring themselves to believe in the future.) (Dorothy)

That would be nice… Aah, damn it. The enemy is coming…! 

This isn’t the time for me to die. I want to see it, the future…where humans, elves, dwarfs, diaros, giants, fairies…the ones in the crevice…

I want to create the wind…that the forest where everyone could play in had!!

I can’t move…not a single finger. My life is…running out…!

(It is okay, King. King has a lot friends!! See, listen! If it is you, King, you should be able to hear it!) (Dorothy)

Aah, I heard the sound of piercing wind…the sound of Riel’s arrow!! 

“Guwaaaah?!” 

“E-Enemy!!” 

“D-Damn it, you elf woman!!” 

“Don’t touch my husband!! You imperial pigs!!” (Riel)

Hehehe, our Maje is real scary.

(You are loved, King!) (Dorothy)

“Damn it!! Stop her!!” 

Aah, you can’t be dazed by her. The spear of my second wife will pierce your heart faster than the wind. 

“Gyaha!!” 

“…Can you not get close to my husband?” (Loroka)

Hehehe, my second wife is real scary.

(Wow, you have a lot of wives, King!) (Dorothy)

Yeah, the privilege of a king…

“The only one who can kill Onii-chan is Mia!!” 

A shadow runs in the battlefield extinguishing one life after the other. Yeah, the galaxy’s sweetest little sister!!

(So you are a siscon!) (Dorothy)

“Don’t get close to Captaaaain!!” (Jean)

“…I will let you taste lightning, you imperialists!!” (Gindo)

(A wolf-san and someone that’s just like Fey, they are strong!) (Dorothy)

…Fey…Aah, your half-elf friend, right? 

Yeah, our comrades are strong. That’s why, don’t worry, Dorothy.

Even if I die here…they will become the new me. And then, one day…

(Yeah, it is not one day!! You can tell right, King?! You can hear it, right?) (Dorothy)

…Eh?

(See? Listen! Life is rampaging!!) (Dorothy)

*Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump!!

This heartbeat…aah, I can tell, Dorothy-chan.

(Yeah, the future is going to be born!!) (Dorothy)

“GHAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH!!” 

The song of Zephyr controls the battlefield!!

Enemies and allies alike, even the undead knights, had their hearts and bodies stop at that instant. This way too extreme song was destroying even the falling snow…pushing the hearts of the enemies into the pits of fear, and bringing awe and courage to his allies.

The wound-riddled body of Zephyr stands up from the ground!!

The golden eyes of Zephyr were overflowing with light. The mana in his body was getting hot like a raging fire, and from in between the black scales, a golden fire surges.

The Dragon Eater that will one day become a world shaking dragon slowly stands up his giant body along with the best black wings!!

“Zephyr?!” (Riel)

Riel raises a voice of surprise. No, it wasn’t only her. Everyone from the Banjar Mercenaries were looking at his body that’s completely covered in golden fire and were shocked.

Of course they are.

Because even you mercenaries that know no fear…are seeing this for the first time, right?

The first time they see this.

The pulse of mana that overflows with life…this golden wind that’s like the autumn wheat loved by the Goddess of Harvest…as a dragon knight, being able to personally witness this moment is an incredible honor.

Zephyr bends his body covered in that fire.

His long neck is so beautiful…

Zephyr says this while being the embodiment of fire.

“My name is Zephyr!! New and olden blades, listen!! I am the grandson of the great Ares!! The king of wings clad in the invincible black!! I am the wings of the Demon Lord!! The wings of the Demon Lord Solje Strauss!! DREAD MY PRESENCE!!” (Zephyr)

While letting out strong words onto the wind that threaten the world, my beloved Zephyr changes into an explosive fire!!

“Zephyr?!” (Riel)

“No, you must not self-destruct!!” (Mia)

My Riel-chan screams, and my little sister Mia misunderstands. But people like Gindo and Loroka-sensei have noticed. They read the mana calmly.

“…No, that’s not it. He is just making his mana…” (Loroka)

“Accumulate in an explosive rate!!” (Gindo)

“…That’s right.” (Jean)

Jean speaks. As expected of the man that’s in Fenrir mode. You must have noticed, since what you do is a similar thing.

“…He is growing!! That small body that can’t fit the mana anymore is expanding the vessel itself that is his body… That’s incredible Zephyr!!” (Jean)

Yeah. 

Zephyr’s… A dragon’s ‘shedding’.

It is your moment of growth. Congratulations, Zephyr. You have arrived at the future!!

“GHAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOHHH!!” 

Zephyr who had become one size bigger within that storm of golden was singing. The part that had been transformed into arms returned to being big wings, and his jaw bones become one size bigger. His tail grew and the tip had sharp thorns grow out from it.

The dragon that has been reborn looks at me.

“Doje!!” (Zephyr)

Aah, that’s right…if I am being called…

If I am being called by my dragon, there’s no way…a dragon knight can stay sunk on the ground like this!! 

I stab my fingers onto the ground!!

Dorothy melts into the wind as she tells me.

(That child has given the King life. That’s why, King, you are the same as always now!!) (Dorothy)

Yeah, Dorothy!! 

Just watch! I am still not done yet!!

I ain’t gonna die!! 

“UOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!” 

I roar.

Pitch black mana was surging from my beating heart. It was reacting to the dragon mana that has been poured into me, and the eye of Ares is releasing an even stronger golden light!!

I clench my teeth and kick the ground to push myself up! I stab the dragon longsword on the ground!! …and once again, stand up in this world!!

“Hahahahahahaha!! Solje Strauss-sama is back!!” (Solje)

And then, I tell Zephyr just as always!!

“SING!! ZEPHYYYYRR!!” (Solje)

“GHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!” 

  • Chapter 125

——The imperial soldiers were looking at something fearsome.

The figure of the Demon Lord returning from the gates of Hades by the call of the dragon.

His eye the same as the dragon, burning in a golden light. 

The Demon Lord tears off his bloodriddled armor as if it were in the way.

——Even the Demon Lord barely returned from death’s door.

He just tore off the heavy armor because he didn’t have the stamina to keep it on, he threw away the defense to take an offensive stance.

It is simply that, the usual Strauss-like thought.

But throwing away your armor on the very frontlines of the battlefield…it swallows the soldiers in awe.

——Loroka had noticed…that the ‘fear’ had been completed.

The undead knight unit, the Ice Wolves…that wasn’t enough.

But the big and grand song of Zephyr had made the sky tremble.

And one of ours had crawled from the depths of death, and was walking the battlefield while laughing.

——Dragon knight and dragon, the Alliance Army’s strongest warriors were still alive, no…their very existence.

The hearts of the 5th division soldiers had been crushed to pieces.

There was already no courage there that can create an advantage of numbers.

The overwhelming ‘strength’…was controlling the instincts of the people.

——Scary, scary, scary!!

The Crystal Horn felt the fear of the imperial soldiers.

Their trembling bodies were making their iron armor ring, their fingers holding their weapons shaking.

Even though it is scary…no, it is exactly because it is scary that the leader of our crew could only stare.

——The pack that was wrapped in fear had lost its functionalities.

The philosophy of Claine wasn’t working anymore.

Because instinct was more absolute than philosophy and reason.

The 15,000 soldiers were…trembling at our leader.

——The mercenary Loroka skipped a beat, she had plenty of qualities to be the empress of the Demon Lord.

Feeling that she wanted the children of Solje, she yearnfully stares at that scarred back of his. 

Her animalistic love was her true nature…her love red like fire.

That’s why, for the sake of being a woman worthy of Solje, she bares her fangs.

“After taking off my armor, I feel like I can move a bit better.” (Solje)

Aah, the bloodlust and snow feel good in this chilly atmosphere. I feel like my muddy head has begun to recover and is beginning to work again. I swayed for a while, but was that because of the poison? The reason why I got so much better was because I was treated by the power of Zephyr?

Or is it that the poisoned blood came out because of the blood loss?

Doesn’t matter which it is. I wouldn’t know anyways even if I thought about it. But…thanks to my now cleared mind, I can tell what I should do. 

I am in the very frontlines. In the most fun place of this vast world.

At my shoulder I have my dragon longsword, and my beyond tired body seems to be able to move thanks to having taken off my armor.

I take a good breath in. The blood and iron tasting air fills up my lungs and heals them. Aah, why is it that the wind of the battlefield is such a delicacy?

The wind of the battlefield was sent to the ends of my limbs by my pulse, and it sharpens the Strauss inside of me. 

‘If you can move a single finger, don’t give up on killing’, the teachings of my father resonate in my head. Right, I am a Strauss. The last dragon knight.

That’s why…

If I have arrived at the sweetest place in this whole world…I just have to dance together with my dragon longsword.

Now then, let’s go for a round 2, Zack Claine… 

For some mysterious reason, you alone seem to be happy.

Those black eyes in that thin and long face of yours that looks as if it is in bad condition are shining -different from the other imperial soldiers. 

Yeah…you must have been waiting for me, right? I am happy, I feel as if I am seeing a new side of you.

“…Sorry for the wait.” (Solje)

I tell this to Claine. 

The General laughs. His face warped like a ten year old that had found his ball kicking playfriend in the plaza.

“…Yeah, it is true that a part of me was…certainly waiting for you.” (Claine)

“Right? You have that face after all.” (Solje)

“…You are clearly in a terrible state. However, even more of your doubts have disappeared than before.” (Claine)

“I just have to do what I have to do after all.” (Solje)

It isn’t complicated. What a Strauss can do is obvious.

Moreover, these are the VIP seats of the battlefield. Duty? …Yeah, there’s that too, but my nature is seeking blood.

“You were waiting for me, so…keep me company, okay?” (Solje)

“…Yeah, even if we were to run away, leaving the current you would be…” (Claine)

“…I will hunt everything. I may be on the verge of dying, but my killing intent is full throttle.” (Solje)

“It certainly is!! Thus, we will fight!! …All units!! Charge!! This time for sure, we finish Solje Strauss…the Demon Lord!!” (Claine)

“Yeaaaaaah!!” 

“H-Hoorah Faris Empire!!” 

The imperial soldiers were shouting with courage? Or were they trying to hold their fear back with reason? Whichever it is, living beings can kill and battle with motivations other than courage. No matter what it is, I welcome slaughter!! 

“DIEEEEE!! DEMON LOOORD!!” 

“Haaaaah!!” 

Now that I am light, I am as fast as a beast. 

I step into the snow and dance in the air. Jumping over the large swing of the knight, the spiked soles of my iron shoes strike directly in his face!!

“Gyahiiiih!!” 

His upper jaw was pulverized, and the cranium that has his nasal bone and eyeballs were…destroyed all together.

My kicks are lethal. 

You charged at me defenselessly, so you ended up eating such a counter, you idiot!!

*Crack!*

This is mercy. Just like how Arianrhod-senpai thinks. I simply controlled the weight of this charging guy and with one slight movement of my leg, I break this guy’s spine sending him straight to the afterlife.

It ain’t bad, right? It is a whole lot more merciful than abandoning you in the battlefield with your lost eyesight.

“H-He can fly?!” 

“Does he have wings or something?!” 

The charge of the soldiers falter. 

Are you scared of my movements? Well, this may be natural. This is one pattern of the assassination kick that my little sister Mia and…Garf Cortez created. 

In the first place, who do you think was the one who taught Mia? It was me and Garf. What Mia can do, we can do. Well, because of my weight and equipment, it isn’t as nimble though. However, if it is in power, I am far above Mia, you know?

Fear ain’t a bad thing, observing is also part of a skilled warrior. But do you think a Strauss that has liberated himself for speed would give you that leeway?

“I didn’t grow wings, but…I can become wind, you know? You are giving me the preemptive strike?” (Solje)

“!! A-Attack!! We are going to seal his strength with numbers!!” 

“Yeah!! Perish you monster!!” 

Monster?! Nice word, it really hits good!! I will give a reward to that spear of yours!! I released a Severing Gale to the swung spear!

The side sweep blade breaks apart the handle of the spear! 

The balance of the spear soldier crumbles because of the impact. You were holding it with way too much strength after all. When you lose in power, your body will shake together with your weapon.

I am not the type to let an opening like that go, you know? 

…I will grant you mercy. I will gift you my serious wind…and you as well, swordsman boy!! The Severing Gale continues. While at it, I also cut the swordsman that was approaching me.

The exchange of an instant finishes.

I slip past the two imperial soldiers along with a sword dance. 

It was finished, so I am simply moving to my next prey. It can be anyone and anything. If it is an enemy, I just have to kill it.

That’s right, the next one will be from the heavy armored unit. He has a good build. Our eyes met, so it should be a good moment, right? With that much weight, you won’t be able to run away.

If you want to stay alive after 15 seconds, you will have to challenge me and kill me. Hey, entertain me, okay? Brown bearded man.

…But that man was a lazy one. He wasn’t desperate to live. He isn’t coming at me? That kind of man shouldn’t appear before me.

Are you simply going to die a dog’s death without expressing a single emotion hidden in your heart? That would be a boring last moment. 

Now then, let’s kill—when I was about to think that, the heavy armored man says.

“W-What happened?! Why are those two stopped in place?!” 

“Something that you will know pretty well has happened to them.” (Solje)

“Uwaaaa!! T-Their heads…!! John!! Rokidooo!” 

I heard the sound of falling heads from behind me. Aah, so the heads of John and Rokido, huh. The wounds that had been cut in a speed that your eyes couldn’t follow have opened.

Because of my lack of armor, my Severing Gale has become even faster. That’s why it isn’t difficult to slip past the enemies while lopping off the head of two. I won’t feel satisfied unless I can pull this off with armor too though.

Sorry about this, to finish you off with a technique that’s still not perfected.

But forgive me, since I gave you an instant death… 

The heavy armored soldier noticed my killing intent and swung down his axe…but that action of his was slow. Before that slow and heavy axe could be swung down completely, my dragon longsword pierces his heart along with his armor.

It was only an instant, his face dyed in shock. But a scream isn’t fit for a man that has been chosen as a heavy armored unit.

I cover his mouth with my left hand. You don’t want to become a man that screamed in his last moments, right?

“…Now, it is okay already. Rest, the ground of Zakuroa is cold but kind, you know?” (Solje)

Tears fell in exchange for words. Yeah, don’t worry. This is for the sake of your honor. I will forget those tears. Go to sleep with chivalry. 

I push his dying body with my left hand and pull out my dragon longsword.

By the time he hit the ground, he was already dead.

“It isn’t scary, right? …According to Dorothy-chan, I am kind.” (Solje)

But I will kill.

That’s the job of a Demon Lord.

I walk towards their gathering while hitting my tired shoulder with my dragon longsword. 

Hey, are you having fun? Life is fleeting. It is more fleeting than my dream.

That’s why…try to live on with all you have okay, imperial soldiers? Can you please let me sing proudly in the bars about how I was able to kill you guys? 

For the sake of that, there’s the need for emotion. Desperately try to live and wring out power. By doing that…you guys will be able to gain my admiration…with your cheap as hell lives.

“…Come on, bring it on!! One-sidedly killing you all would be boring!!” (Solje)

They are not brave.

But that’s fine.

Try to live, imperialists.

Show me the shine of life. And then, give me the pleasure of taking it away… Let me be proud of this harsh war. Let me put color in the pleasure of victory with your deaths!!

“Uaaaaaaah!!” 

“K-Kill him!! I-If we don’t, we will be the ones who will!!” 

“E-Everyone!! Let’s all get him together!!” 

“Hahahahahaha!!” (Solje)

Tears, fear, and despair, huh!! That’s fine. You can get determination to fight with that as well!!

This time it is 50, huh. That’s a lot! But…I have a lot of friends too, so don’t worry. They are a 100 times braver than you guys.

That’s why…I advance without hesitating! With a smile!! With Ares! Together with the Strauss songs that are flowing in my blood and have been passed onto me!! I will show it! Become a sword dance, a storm of slashes!! Show my way of life!!

I look at their scared faces and tears. Even with that, I won’t spare you. I am kind. Giving instant death is the only mercy I give to my enemies.

Cut, cut, cut!! Take one more step, stab and rip!! Swing my sword up, and then bring it down with brute force!!

Blood and fat dance in the sky, and in that stage, I use magic. I call fire, and bring about an explosion!! 

One man raises a scream as he dies right after. Everything above his neck was gone. There’s no brain to show fear. The flying blood and fat got burned by the fire and it stirs my appetite.

I don’t plan on eating you guys like Zephyr, but when this war is over, I will be filling myself up with some nice meat. My bloodlust and appetite were mixing, and making my sword dance more and more violent!!

But there’s a lot of enemies. 

There’s a whole lot of scared lumps of meat covering my vision completely. 

Even I am a person. The 4th son of the Strauss household. Just by going more than two, my arms are not enough.

As I said before, I have plenty of friends. And there’s also two of my wives here as well!!

“Get away from Soljeee!!” (Riel)

“I will teach you what happens when you direct your weapon at my husband!!” (Loroka)

Swift arrows were shot consecutively and mass-produce death. Riel-chan’s love is intense. 

The kick of Byakuya held destructive violence, and combined with the spear dance, they kill and destroy the enemy soldiers!! I love that raging side of yours that you sometimes show, Loroka.

“Let’s go, [Jigelfin]!! Lightning to both sides at the same time!!” (Gindo)

The storm of purple lightning burns the enemies!! I like that part of you that’s merciless against your enemies, Gindo.

“Jean, we are doing the combo!!” (Mia)

“Okay!! I will charge and open a hole! You kill the remaining ones!!” (Jean)

“Roger!! I will gift the fruits of this job to Onii-chan!!” (Mia)

Jean, don’t forget that courage and that run. If you do that, with that talent of yours, you will be able to become the second strongest of the crew one day. I won’t be giving you the top spot.

The Crazed Wolf brings chaos in the group of enemies, and with that disorder that was born from that charge, the fangs of the black cat’s knives attack one after the other… Fairy Move, truly the wind. Your black hair gets dyed by the red of blood. Yeah, Mia…in the battlefield, you wear the red of the Strauss; you are without a doubt my little sister. 

“Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!” 

Zephyr, your scales may be soft because of your shedding, but don’t hesitate. You are my dragon, my wings. Until the day we die on the battlefield, I won’t condone abandoning battle. 

The toughness of your claws and fangs has not changed. Your wet scales may still be weak right now, but it should pose no issue in tearing apart your enemies and making a bloodfest out of them, right? 

Yeah, that’s a nice way of killing. Tearing apart an enemy with armor and all is a privilege of yours.

…Now then, the group that charged on is sinking into bloody red. It becomes silent… No, that’s Claine for you. He is moving the formation. Is he planning on bringing us down with surging waves of numbers?

Not bad. That’s how someone I have acknowledged as ‘strongest’ should be.

But we have bought time here as well, you know?

“…Yo, Vashiri-jiisama.” (Solje)

“Glad to see you so lively. It took me some time to bring my comrades.” (Vashiri)

“It is okay. You made it in time for the climax.” (Solje)

Right, the king of the undead knights of Zakuroa was by my side. And…Julian Laichi also did his best to come all the way here. Maybe because he has cut down a lot of people, his face has become more of my liking now.

That’s right, we are many. No matter if our friends are alive or are dead, it is all about having many. 

Now, we are lined up as one. In order to charge forward. So exciting!! 

Claine…the time to decide the victor has come. 

Your 5th division that’s on the verge of forgetting their philosophy, or my hearty and violent comrades. 

Let’s clash and see which is the scariest one.

  • Chapter 126

——Claine was shocked by the power of fear.

The whole battlefield was swallowed by it, by the song of the Demon Lord and the Black Dragon.

There’s also the exhaustion from the expedition, and the injuries from the battle they had with the undead knights that haven’t healed yet. 

But even with that, this result was something that Solje Strauss had brought himself.

——Yeah, many were fearing, trembling, and because of that, they can’t bring out their strength.

50 elites had been killed in a few seconds by the Demon Lord and his subordinates.

It was a fearsome reality, the way too powerful mercenaries. 

However, almost all of the soldiers were watching…the Demon Lord.

——Shouldering a longsword and smiling boldly, only that one heavily injured man.

The seasoned warriors that have survived many wars were trembling…

More than the undead, more than the mercenaries…

Solje Strauss was so, so scary that they couldn’t control it.

——He didn’t think it was pathetic, if others were to see that threatening strength, they would all be scared.

Claine already understood why he himself was calm.

It must be because he was watching the sight that he wanted to see.

Yeah, he is also a man that has lived in the battlefield, he wished for a strength that was worthy of believing in.

——-Overwhelming power that surpasses numbers…

Eating the hearts of 15,000 enemies by himself? 

Within the imperial army, only Claine was laughing, because he ended up acknowledging him.

…Demon Lord, you are most likely…someone who can change the world.

——He remembered the words of last night, becoming the Demon Lord and changing the world.

Yeah, I will acknowledge you.

If it is you…if you can tie the strengths that gather around you in a bundle…

You should be able to overcome even the impossible.

——The world can be warped by strength. 

It is the complete opposite justice from order…but if the world created from that strength is close to the ideal…

Right, if I at least had the time…

I would have wanted to try walking on that blood stenched path with you.

——Why weren’t you born sooner, Solje Strauss?

Why weren’t you born a bit later, Zack Claine?

Aah, I really wanted more time.

Yielding to the numbers, I was even used by the enemy…emptiness was holding my heart now.

——Even so, I am a commander, even if I am basically a hired knight. 

I have been entrusted the lives of this scared subordinates, and they are my pride.

That’s why I will fight you.

I will do what I have to do, I have no doubts.

——Claine raises his greatsword and shouts out his last order!!

It was the best path from the ones remaining.

Soldiers, dash through the battlefield together with me!!

Charge and bring victory to us in this war!!

——This was the only thing they could do now.

Clash between each other, and compete in strength.

And…Solje Strauss, you know, right?

You left me alive last night for the sake of this moment after all.

——And so, the horn was blown, in order to transmit the feelings of the General.

Hearing this, deep in the battlefield…Shirley Kaien shudders.

Could it be that the Commander has…! He plans on doing that?!

She is also a subordinate of Claine, so she understood the meaning of that song.

——I have to hurry, if he were to do that, it would trouble me!!

If your life runs out here, when will I be able to repay you?! 

Shirley kicks the stomach of her steed Azrael to make it charge into the enemy lines. 

…I will kill you, Solje Strauss! If only you were not there!!

The sound of a horn echoes from the imperial army. Looks like Zack Claine has resolved himself.  

You cannot show your back to us anymore. The prided philosophy of your organization has crumbled. Your pack is already useless.

You have a lot in numbers, but that’s all there is. In front of us who are winning in power and momentum, you are all simply lumps of meat. A buffet. You cannot afford to show us your back.

…Nice, old man.

If that’s your way of dying, I will bring your demise with my own hands. I won’t allow pain. My mercy and the weight of my admiration for you, I would be happy if you were to receive those with your old neck. 

I look at the only man that’s smiling deep in the enemy lines. He has a refreshed expression. After one resolves themselves to do what they have to do, any doubts in their heart disappears. 

I smile as if infected by him, and Julian Laichi who was close by spoke to me.

“…Sir Strauss.” (Julian)

“Hm? What’s the matter, Commander?” (Solje)

“I want you to be the one to give out the order.” (Julian)

“You scared?” (Solje)

“No, it is not that…well, it might certainly be considered fear.” (Julian)

“You are honest for a big merchant.” (Solje)

“Don’t tease me. You are most likely more fitting for this job.” (Julian)

“What are you saying? …You are the center of the Alliance, you know.” (Solje)

“I understand plenty well the mechanics of politics. But rather than my voice, your song will bring them more strength. Also, that way, there will be less casualties.” (Julian)

That’s a merchant for you. Even within this heated up moment, he can stay calm and composed. So there was a strong and cool adult here as well. 

Julian Laichi, you have the decision making ability that won’t be pushed around by emotions. You are similar to Gandalla.

I always trust Gandalla. I can’t say that his words haven’t brought any tragedy to me, but the benefits have been far more. Moreover, no matter the result, I have never regretted hearing out his advice.

“…Yeah, you shout, Solje Strauss.” (Vashiri)

“Even Vashiri-jiisama doesn’t think it is a bad idea.” (Julian)

“I am part of the dead. The living following the words of someone dead is like a bad dream.” (Vashiri)

Well, if you put it like that, it certainly sounds true. Maybe thanks to the Possession Crystal, he looks exactly like how he was when alive, and his movements as well, but…I was on the verge of forgetting, you are not supposed to exist in this plane.

“…I have passed the letter of Queen Claris. If the second head of Zakuroa acknowledges it, then I will accept that important duty.” (Solje)

“Please do, Sir Strauss. This army isn’t an army for the sake of Zakuroa anymore.” (Julian)

“Yeah, this army has been connected by your soul and is now clad in your strength.” (Vashiri)

“Don’t say something weird. This is not my strength, but everyone’s.” (Solje)

“Hahahahahaha!!” (Julian)

“Gahahahahahaha!!” (Vashiri)

The heads of Zakuroa were bursting out in laughter. 

What’s with that, you veteran politicians? Did I say something funny there?

“You are right, it is because it is everyone’s strength that it has to be you, not me.” (Julian)

“Yeah, you have had a good journey in these northern lands.” (Vashiri)

“It was a rough journey full of undead though—ah, sorry, Vashiri-jiisama, don’t take it badly. You are quite the good undead.” (Solje)

“Makes it worth crawling back from the dead.” (Vashiri)

“You really are an amusing individual, Sir Strauss.” (Julian)

“Are you making fun of me?” (Solje)

“No way. I have no courage to make fun of the Demon Lord. I don’t want to forget that you were aiming for my life, but…even with that, I can’t bring myself to hate you.” (Julian)

How tenacious. I feel like I will have to pay for the killing intent I showed at that time. But that wasn’t technically my killing intent, but Queen Claris’s, okay?

“Sorry about that, we were simply desperate to survive.” (Solje)

“Yeah, you are better as ruthless. The sight of you trying to be polite was laughable.” (Julian)

“Must be! I can already imagine it!!” (Vashiri)

“Just what impression do I have inside the head of these two…” (Solje)

Maybe I should seriously consider taking a class of etiquette? Mixing in with the youngsters wishing to become government officials, and the people that have a high desire to climb the societal stares…no, that sounds lame. I am fine with having a low evaluation…

“Of course, it is the best impression.” (Julian)

“Yeah, me too… You will be saving Zakuroa after all.” (Vashiri)

“Okay, but I won’t be forgetting that you guys made fun of me.” (Solje)

“Yeah, people who have had a long organization life don’t forget shames. The fact that I have been disrespectful to you just now equals to owing you one. I am giving you a business opportunity. Apply this in your business one day.” (Julian) 

“Strauss are not fit to be calculative…” (Solje)

“Now then, your army thirsting for blood is waiting, you know? More so, you yourself are hungering for blood, right?” (Vashiri)

Right, from everyone here, I am the one with the most desire to slaughter enemy soldiers, so much I can’t endure it. 

It is not just because my homeland was destroyed by them…my heart is not only filled with anger. Hatred, sadness, and despair…are mixed. Also, it may be strange, but hope is also there.

I believe that these killings will lead to a beautiful future. It isn’t just the wicked satisfaction that one feels when fulfilling their revenge. At the end of this victory, I can see the shadow of the world we should be creating.

Now then, we should be going now…

This ain’t fitting for me, but this is my duty! ROAR!!

“…LISTEN!! Freedom Alliance!! The time to grasp victory has come!! Destroy the enemy lines, and defeat the enemy general!! We are taking the pivot of these guys’ dried up fighting spirit!! This is a battle for the sake of the world we wish for! Not under the control of anyone! Living with your head high regardless of who you are!! This is the first step into reaching that kind of world!!” (Solje)

That’s right, our path is unbearably long and treacherous. Even so, we can do it. We are crazy strong after all!!

“…Don’t forget our strength!! We are strong because we are all together!! The tears of pain, trembling in fear, the pain you endured while clenching your teeth; we were able to overcome all this, and it made us unmatched!!” (Solje)

Can you tell? What we are about to bring about, this miracle victory, was something that couldn’t be made possible if we missed a single one. 

“Look at the warriors at your side!! There’s you Zakuroans, the far northern Diaros, the heroic soldiers of Ludo that came from the south!! There’s humans, elves, fairies, giants…even the dead…even Vashiri Nova’s army came back!! There’s no army as invincible as ours!!” (Solje)

Right, there’s also the Ice Wolves…and I won’t forget about you, Mistral. Also Dorothy-chan…and a certain kind of scary Goddess that gave unbelievable power to Zephyr.

“If they want to call us evil, let them!! Corrupted power?! Fine!! We are an army that carries the wind of freedom more than any!! Having all kinds of colors mixed, the invincible black wind has been born!! I am the Demon Lord, Solje Strauss!! Warriors that will be fighting together with me! We will vanquish the enemy and pave the future!!” (Solje)

…I have said what I wanted to say. I don’t know what kind of evaluation I got from it.

The heads of Zakuroa were smiling. What is the meaning of it?

Well, you guys were the ones who left me with doing a speech. Now, all that’s left is to go barbaric!!

“Freedom Alliaaanceee!! CHAAAAARGEEE!!” (Solje)

“Uoooooooooohhhh!!” 

“Destroy the Empireee!!” 

“Protect our homelaaaand!!” 

Many words become a song, and they melt into the sky. 

Yeah, we shout as our hearts dictate. 

There’s no need to be tied to one word. It is because we are not bound by anything that we are able to show strength that surpasses any army!!

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6 thoughts on “DK – Chapter 124-126: Undead King of Zakuroa V

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