Fallen Monarch: Chapter 47

47. The Moon Rabbit Siblings (4)

The werewolf gouged the chunk of Lulu’s flesh that was pierced by his claws.

As his nails were pulled out of Lulu’s belly, thick blood and organs spilled out of the gaping wound left behind.

“Ugh…!”

“…”

In this state, even the rare moon rabbit species wouldn’t be able to survive for long.

The werewolf turned his attention to his next target, leaving Lulu to die. 

As the werewolf’s feral gaze was directed at Luli, Lulu grabbed the werewolf’s leg with all of his might, trying to redirect his attention.

“Please… I’m begging you…! My sister… just not my sister…!”

Lulu clung onto the werewolf and begged. The werewolf narrowed his eyes. Lulu was far too weak now to be able to stop him.

He didn’t find it fun or exciting to hunt this kind of prey, but he didn’t have a choice in the matter. An ‘order’ had been given to the werewolf, and it kept ringing intensely inside his head.

‘Kill the rabbits.’

The vampire’s order was absolute.

The werewolves’ bodies moved without hesitation at the words filled with demonic power. The blood in their bodies reacted to the vampire’s curse.

“Sorry,” the werewolf said. “We have no choice but to follow the order. We are their slaves.”

The werewolf brushed aside Lulu’s desperate hands and once again shifted his gaze to the side, his eyes landing on Luli.

“Run… away! Luli! Hurry up…! Hurry up…! Get help from Her Highness…!”

He coughed up another mouthful of blood.

Though he had yelled at her in sheer desperation, Luli didn’t move. She couldn’t even think about getting up. She could only blankly stare at her brother as he was dying, in shock.

“B-brother?”

“I will pay for the funeral,” the werewolf claimed. “I won’t ask you to forgive me. Killers like us have no right to ask for forgiveness. It’s too late. Die in peace.”

The werewolf raised his hand. 

However, the moment his huge claws were about to strike down and tear into Luli, scrolls engraved with Runic language appeared out of nowhere and spread throughout the area.

“…?”

The werewolf was startled and frantically looked around.

The scrolls made of light flew around and attached themselves to the forest ground, the trees, the tree branches, and everything else in the surrounding area. The bright Runic language glimmered brightly for a few moments.

Then they crushed the werewolves’ bodies with overwhelming force.

“… Magic?!”

The werewolves’ weight abruptly increased by several times.

Despite their powerful bodies, they were forced to kneel down. Their previously raised hands gradually lowered.

‘It’s heavy…! It’s not just me, either. They made the gravity in this whole area much stronger!’

The werewolf looked around.

Two golden eyes could be seen twinkling from further away in the forest.

‘Demi-human? But is there somebody who can perform this kind of magic among the demi-humans? There’s so much power behind it!’

It was dangerous. He could feel that instinctively.

The werewolf narrowed his eyes and focused on his arms and legs.

Even though he was being forced to kneel, he’d be able to get free if he used all his strength at once in a short burst.

He refocused on the sight in front of him.

‘The order was to kill the rabbit siblings! If I can’t execute that my species will die!’

“Sorry about this. But I couldn’t just watch weak little rabbits get preyed upon by wolves.”

Tom appeared out of the forest and slowly approached the moon rabbit siblings. He glanced down at Lulu.

He immediately noticed the huge hole on his body. It was impossible not to due to its severity. It didn’t matter that one was a demon with an extremely high vitality; with a wound this severe he would die. Only superior demons could have stood a chance.

Tom looked at the two rabbits and narrowed his eyes.

‘These bastards… They mentioned Lily.’

That would mean that they came here relying on her for some reason. However, he couldn’t tell what the nature of their relationship with her was based on just that.

‘Then I can’t let them die. They also seem to possess a mysterious power…’

He approached Lulu and stretched out his hand.

“P-please… Take Luli and run away! I’m begging you! Please…!”

He begged in tears. Tom looked down at Lulu and placed a hand over his wound.

A blue thread suddenly stretched out of Lulu’s body and enclosed the hole. The bleeding immediately came to a halt and new flesh began forming. Lulu’s pain slowly faded as the wound healed and disappeared. 

All in a matter of seconds.

Even the blood vanished. Lulu’s body was restored to a pristine condition, as if a miracle of God had taken place.

As Lulu looked up at Tom with astonishment in his eyes, his exhaustion caught up with him. He couldn’t win against the mental fatigue and ended up passing out.

“Brother!”

Luli shouted but Lulu didn’t wake up.

Tom lifted up Lulu and put him over his shoulder.

‘Now is our chance!’

The werewolves started to struggle in unison.

They gritted their teeth as all the muscles in their bodies swelled. The veins on their hands and legs visibly protruded and their fur bristled.

“Kuooooo-!”

The wolves roared and fought back against the power that restrained them.

They lunged from all directions with all their might in an attempt to kill Tom. Luli was startled and squeezed her eyes shut.

“Stop.”

“…!”

The werewolves froze.

The nails reaching out to Tom and Luli stiffened.

The werewolves’ eyes grew wide as they looked at the chains made out of light that now wrapped their hands, legs, bodies, and necks.

These chains had been formed out of magic and had come out of the white paper scrolls. They were made up of holy power.

The werewolves’ skin and fur started to burn.

The chains that restrained their whole bodies radiated a white light and started to heat up. The dark forest turned bright due to the light.

“Full marks for the effect.”

The ability was generated by the magic armor that he had on. It had been created by modifying the Holy Knight’s holy text from the Golden Feif not too long ago. Though it already had a useful gravity control ability, it had also been granted the ability to completely restrain an opponent. Even though it was effective, it did have a problem. It wasted a lot of Holy power.

The werewolves clenched their teeth.

“So this is a priest’s item! You bastard! Are you a human priest?!”

Just like what he had said, abilities like these could only be expected to come from priests. Moreover, it was still nearly impossible if you were not a top, high-ranked archbishop. But the person in front of him was using that enormous power as he pleased with seemingly no effort.

The werewolf struggled to shake off the chains. But the more he tried, the stronger the chains became. More chains appeared out of the scrolls and bound him even tighter.

He and all the other werewolves’ bodies were wrapped up entirely with bright light, as if they were stuck in a spider web.

The werewolves that finally lost their strength had no choice but to hang limply.

“…Kill us.”

“…?”

The werewolf grimaced.

“We are slaves who obey orders. Even if our bodies are crippled, even if we see members of our own species dying around us, we will never be free from them. Not until we die. Even if you released us… we would still chase after you. We would run after you until we killed you bastards! We wouldn’t be able to succeed with our meager power, but it wouldn’t matter. If we fail and go back to our master we would only get slaughtered by the vampires instead! We would rather die by your hands!”

Tom tilted his head and put his hand on the werewolf’s nose.

“Really honest jerks. That’s what you are.”

“We are cursed slaves! There is no freedom for us unless they withdraw their order…!”

“Release.”

The werewolves’ eyes got bigger.

The vampires’ demonic power within them disappeared.

All over their bodies, the demonic power resisted with all its might, but it still vanished in the end. Without a trace.

The werewolves felt like they had lost all their energy. It felt like their bodies got lighter. The sudden departure of the demonic energy left them with a feeling of emptiness that they couldn’t express in words.

The curse that they had wanted to free themselves from with all their hearts was lifted with absolute ease.

“You’re not a regular priest! You’re a monster!” The werewolf exclaimed in awe.

“You guys look useful,” Tom replied, examining them.

The werewolves flinched. They were just granted freedom but now they had an unsettling feeling after seeing the man’s odd smile.

“Your power and muscular strength are good but your cold manner and composure in this kind of situation is also really desirable.”

Tom brought his face closer to the werewolf. He smiled as he said,

“You guys work for me now.”

***

Karina crossed her legs as she sat atop a tree branch. She gnawed off a chunk of the owl in her hands.

Even though it was full of feathers, she didn’t care. She embedded her canines in a brutal way. Sucking out the blood, she made an ecstatic expression, seemingly drunk on the taste and scent.

“Aa, as expected of owl blood at night! This fragrant and fresh taste…! I love it!”

Karina muttered to herself and looked down.

Below her, the werewolves were bowing their heads.

They were the wolves that she sent to hunt the rabbits. 

Karina looked at them, waiting for them to make a report. One werewolf spoke while keeping his head lowered in submission.

“W-we killed them,” the head wolf said.

His answer was hesitant and shaky.

Werewolves regarded the truth of a matter as a fundamental component of their pride. This has been true since olden times. As a result, they were very bad at telling lies. Another werewolf would have known right away that what he had just said had not been true.

“…?”

Karina was immediately suspicious. She felt that the werewolves in front of her were telling lies as well. But, it didn’t last long, and she eventually dismissed the doubt as a delusion.

They were cursed wolves, after all. They couldn’t possibly oppose her orders or tell her lies. If they said they had killed them then they had killed them.

Karina tilted her head at the uncomfortable feeling but tried hard to ignore it.

She was excited about meeting the Devil of Lania soon.

“Really? Good job mongrels! Hihihi…I will save your species as a reward.”

“…”

“You guys… Go to the capital and serve my brother. Because I might lose my dignity if I keep you mongrels around!”

Karina chuckled. 

“This is an order. Don’t tell my brother where I’m going.”

“… We understand.”

“And that’s what makes you guys mongrels.”

Karina got up.

The other vampires gathered around her, licking their lips with their long tongues.

“I should go now! Aa…I want to hurry up and drink more blood. Brother! Please wait for a moment. After I suck and drink the blood of the Devil of Lania I will present to you the blood of the Demon Lord! Hihihihihi!”

She let out a bizarre sound before turning into a cloud of bats and flying away The other vampires followed suit.

The werewolf spoke to his subordinates after a few moments of silence.

“… Go to the capital right now and inform them that Karina went to the Orcs’ bivouac. Everyone needs to know!”

***

The Moon Rabbit Lulu was confused. As he opened his eyes he saw an unfamiliar tent ceiling. And he was laying atop a knotty straw bed.

As he sat up he could see his sister Luli sleeping next to him while holding his hand.

“This… is not heaven, is it?”

He looked at his clothes. They were like shabby rags.

It looked like somebody had put them on him temporarily. Of course, his belly and back had been pierced, so he didn’t understand how he could be wearing servant clothes.

“…?!”

Lulu hurriedly lifted up his top. Clean skin without any scars was all he could see as he looked at his stomach.

‘… I’m in perfect shape?’

After thinking about it, he remembered somebody else appearing at that time.

The man that had appeared and stopped the werewolves. He had restrained them with some unknown magic, and he had even performed healing magic on him.

Being healed like that had been the most comfortable, warm sensation that he had ever experienced in his life.

Even in that tense situation, he had fallen asleep without realizing because of that comfort.

‘I’m alive? How? That man really healed that huge wound with magic?’

He began to question what had happened. Had it all been a dream?

Lulu recalled the feeling of being killed by the werewolf.

It was horrifying. Cold nails, pierced skin, tearing muscles, crushed bones, and his organs being ripped apart. It was an otherworldly pain that he never wanted to ever experience again.

“It was terrible!”

He held Luli’s hand tightly while his body trembled.

He glanced over at the entrance of the tent.

A ruckus stirred up behind it.

“Oy! Hurry and move it!”

“Come on. Do we really have to do it to this extent even though it’s late night?”

“I’m tired… I want to rest…”

“Hold on a bit more! We will have a break after this training!”

The Orcs were moving busily. Countless pieces of equipment were being loaded and carried onto wagons.

Lulu blinked in confusion. He carefully removed Luli’s hand and put the sheet over top of her. Then he stuck his head out of the tent.

“As I thought, I don’t like the color! It’s annoying and sparkly! Red! I like passionate red!”

“I will give you all the equipment! A weapon per person, and also armor!”

“Oy! How is the ballista manufacturing going?”

“Well… We have three components so we can build it, but as expected it seems like mass production will be hard… Would it be enough with just these?”

“Oy! Collect all the useless weapons from the Hero’s allied forces’! Melt them and make armor for the cavalry unit!”

The Orcs continued working.

After dipping a piece of armor in a container of thick red liquid, they would roast it in the wood fire to let the dark red color come out. Then they would distribute it to the Orc soldiers one by one.

Other Orcs were busy caring for a variety of siege weapons. Some were pulling a newly built catapult across the camp,  while others were busy removing the wheels of a ballista, while Ogres held it up.

The armor from the Hero’s allied forces was melted down into molten metal which the Orcs turned into pieces of armor for their cavalry unit. 

They were urgently made and loose, with only the sizes of the straps holding the armor together being adjusted. 

Huge pieces of armor were also equipped all over the Ogres’ bodies.

“Everyone prepare for training!”

They gathered up in groups, separating and arranging themselves in organized lines and formations.

The Orc swordsmen held long swords and huge shields. The Orc spearmen held spears over four meters in length. The Orc crossbowmen held heavy and huge crossbows with quivers filled with bolts on their backs. The Orc stormtroopers held huge axes. And the Ogre cavalry unit carried a large ballista for siege use…

Lulu was shocked at the sight, his eyes opening wide.

“Scream!”

“Shout it out!”

“Kwooooooo!”

Shrieks were echoing across the bivouac.

Lulu’s legs gave out at the sheer majesty of the Orc army and he fell to his knees.

Koong Koong! 

They moved together as a loud ringing noise was heard.

“Move fast! Form a line! Raise your shields!”

The Orcs held their shields up in unison at Karakul’s words.

“Release the shields! Pike wall!”

As the Orcs who had shields stepped back the Orcs with long spears rushed forward and aimed their spears.

“Stormtroopers!”

The Orc axemen dashed in between the spears.

They repeated it a few times. If they got it wrong they did it again. If they got it right they still repeated it from the start.

It was continuous training under heavy pressure.

They were Orcs with huge builds. Since they were wearing dark red plate armor over their whole bodies, the sight was extraordinary.

“Everyone prepare to fire!”

They had made a target earlier. The Ogre cavalry and Orc crossbowmen stood up while aiming at it.

“Fire!”

The triggers were pulled at the Orc commander’s order.

Many of them failed to hit the target, so they collected the bolts and tried again.

Lulu had seen the Orcs’ training process before, but their training back then had been really simple.

They fought against each other to practice, often exchanging blows without rules. He had only seen them make a line so loose that it was hard to call it a formation at all.

This was the first time that Lulu witnessed this kind of ‘army’.

While he sat there, awestruck, somebody suddenly held out their hand in front of him.

“…?”

Lulu looked up.

A man in a white robe smiled down at him.

“Are you okay?”

“… Ah, yes. I’m okay.”

Lulu grabbed the man’s hand and got up. At the same time, he tilted his head because the man looked familiar.

Then suddenly, he recalled the werewolf attack from earlier and remembered the golden eyes that had shone brightly in the darkness.

“…?!”

— Ω —

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