Former General Is Undead Knight - Act 2-1
===Act 2 : Heroic Tale of Barreira City===
Chapter 1 : Great Horse of Nightmare①
Barreira City―the city with the greatest number of adventurers and adventurer guilds in Regios Kingdom.
The main reason for that was the great forest in its vicinity, otherwise known as the “Lost Folk’s Great Forest.”
In this famous forest, there were various kinds of rare fruits, medicinal herbs, and monsters. Even more so, however, the main reason many adventurers wanted to venture deep into the forest was… the mementos of the adventurers who died inside of it.
In addition, Barreira City had various facilities geared toward adventurers; taxes imposed on adventurer guilds were also far less than in other cities.
In some parts, adventurers received preferential treatment.
As more and more guilds made their bases in the city, the population of adventurers grew as well.
This cycle repeated, and before anyone knew it, Barreira City became the city of adventurers in Regios Kingdom.
Lost Folk’s Great Forest got its name because of the repetitive scenery within. There were no identifying landmarks; each tree looked the same as the last. In addition, due to being a powerful chaotic magical hotspot, any kind of magical device would go haywire. This resulted in many entering the forest but never leaving.
That was why it was called the Lost Folk’s Great Forest.
Although there were always curious folks who tried to cross the forest every year, none of them managed to return.
Moreover, the numerous fallen adventurers who, after falling into dire straits, turned to banditry ended up killed by demonic beasts. Without exception, as their wailing souls gathered together, they turned into Forest Wights (Forest’s Wandering Corpse).
Lambert was currently wandering in the Lost Folk’s Great Forest by himself.
As an undead, Lambert had lost his need for food and rest. That was why crossing through the forest posed little to no problem for him.
Even if he lost his way in the middle, all he needed to do was walk straight ahead, and he would eventually emerge from the other side. Thus, he walked straight ahead with that kind of conviction in his mind.
The reason for his journey was because it was the fastest way from Ainsaz City to Barreira City.
The organization uttered by Earl Aubock, 『Devil’s Piper』, Lambert considered them the most dangerous organization to the Regios Kingdom.
After all, it was powerful enough to make the head of the Earl’s family support them.
Lambert concluded that 『Devil’s Piper』 was really planning to overthrow Regios Kingdom, and Earl Aubock—who believed they were more powerful than Regios—made a bet on the side he believed would win.
Even if the era had changed, Lambert, one of the Four Demon Generals of Regios Kingdom, would never let that happen as long as he still existed.
Barreira City was one of the most important cities in the Regios Kingdom.
If Regios Kingdom was ever invaded by a foreign enemy, the adventurers in Barreira City would be the first ones to face them.
In addition, money circulated easily in this city, which meant that the commercial side of the city was extremely developed.
After Regios Kingdom strengthened their vigilance toward『Devil’s Piper』, Lambert concluded that Barreira City would be their first target if they really wanted to overthrow Regios Kingdom.
In addition, there was a rumor that suspicious figures were often seen in the city as of late.
Even if his visit turned out to be a fool’s errand, he could at least gather intel about 『Devil’s Piper』, making full use of the vast information network in the city.
For these reasons, Lambert headed toward Barreira City.
Upon walking into the forest, dead foliage rose from the earth and formed into a humanoid monster, standing in Lambert’s way.
Its green eyes peeked out from its decayed skin.
It was the walking corpse of adventurers, Forest Wight.
It had a repulsive voice, disgusting odor, and most of all, an appearance that made one feel pure disgust.
Even the most veteran adventurers would feel some psychological disgust upon seeing the appearance of a Forest Wight.
But they were no different from smallfry monsters in front of Lambert.
A single slash from his greatsword was enough to decapitate the Forest Wight. The Forest Wight’s body crumbled down, leaving bone splinters and pieces of rotten meat.
Lambert was accustomed to seeing this kind of walking corpse.
The number of cruel swordsmen or mad magicians during the Eight Countries Unification War was as numerous as there were stars in the skies.
There was people who gathered hundreds of thousands of bugs to torture their enemies, people who humiliated the enemy general to drop the morale of his troops, people who lost their four limbs and remained alive with the aid of white magic, people whose bodies were pierced by a pole and then displayed in the middle of the battlefield.
The likes of a rotten corpse was cute for Lambert, who had seen far worse.
— The undead have come out, huh… Well it’s been one week since I entered this forest without resting. I guess I must be close to the city.
When he stabbed his greatsword into another Forest Wight, who appeared close to the previous one, he suddenly sensed the presence of a living human coming closer.
So he caught the head of the Forest Wight and pulled out its skull from its rotten meat.
Lambert threw the skull as he turned around.
The Forest Wight’s skull struck the trunk of a certain tree, which was located rather far from Lambert. A high-pitched scream rang out. It seemed that the skull was quite a surprise for the owner of the voice.
Upon closer inspection, it was a woman. She fell on her rear and raised her hands.
Despite the thick mantle draped on her body, the woman’s figure was on the thin side.
Her reddish-brown hair peeked out from the green scarf that was coiled around her head.
She wore a pair of baggy gloves and similarly baggy boots.
There was a harp rolling at her feet.
「I-I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but… My apologies… Ah, I mean, this is the first time I heard such a beautiful sword swing. That’s why, I assumed you’re a renowned swordsman… I-I mean, may I ask a question?」
As she asked, the woman whose eyes were closed then opened wide.
The color of her eyes was dull and faded.
「You’re blind, huh. How did you get here alone?」
「My ears are better than an ordinary person. Anyhow, I’ve been living my entire life with this condition. And by the way, my name is Alvana, the traveling bard.」
Alvana lowered her hand and pointed at the harp at her feet.
「If you really are a minstrel, why did you deliberately enter this kind of place?」
「Naturally, it’s to get inspiration from this eerie forest! Moreover, don’t you think that it’s even better if I sing the heroic tale of a brave swordsman who doesn’t flinch against monsters? I mean, we, the traveling bards, are a source of information… And we’re definitely more than delighted to meet a splendid adventurer, like you.」
Alvana spoke with a light tone. She put her hand on the skull that was thrown by Lambert, and then grimacing as she rubbed that skull on the nearby trunk.
「Ah-UWAAAH… Just when I thought what kind of thing you threw at me, it turned out to be… WAAAAH. 」
–-… Contrary to appearance, she’s got guts.
「Please listen to this Alvana, O’ swordsman with amazing swordcraft! Will you allow this humble one to accompany you on your journey!」
— There’s a city close by, huh. She’s rather suspicious, but… It’s better to have a guide.
Alvana raised a cheerful cry as she received Lambert’s permission.
「OOH! Thank you very much! Someday, this Alvana will surely sing a heroic story modeled after you, O’ great swordsman!」
Alvana raised her hands and clenched them into fists.
「Heroic story, eh…? My bad, those words aren’t suited for someone like me.」
「No, no, no, that’s absolutely incorrect! My ability to judge someone’s character is perfect… And it’s thanks to these sharp ears of mine. There’s no doubt about it, O’ great swordsman, sooner or later, you’ll become the eye of the storm.」
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