067 Feast of the Dead p.1


Translator: yAmi

"Captain! The village mentioned in the report is in sight!"


The captain of the 1,000-strong squad gave a blatantly unenthusiastic reply to the soldier's report. He was on a warhorse that was as slow as a malnourished donkey, yet he rubbed his eyes with an expression that was even more languid than it. This was certainly not a look a captain from the continent’s strongest army should be having.

His subordinates could not stand the sight of him and so, he asked.

"Captain? What’s wrong?"

"No, nothing really......."

"Huh, but you seem trou—"

The captain dismissed his men with a wave of his hand.

"Shut up, you're distracting me. Follow the standard procedures for requisition. I don't want a report until the work is done or unless something unusual happens."

"Yes, sir."

The subordinate's face tensed up in disagreement, but he quickly turned on his heel and went to work. As he watched them go, the captain let out a single sigh.

"Haaa....... Yeah, such a pain in the ass......."

He had not a shred of enthusiasm for his assigned role. It’s not that he was uncomfortable with the looting that was being done under the name of local requisitioning…… In fact, it was the opposite.

(Harvesting wheat in a deserted village. How boring......)

Raiding defenceless villages, stealing their food and goods, embracing women they could kidnap and finally quenching their thirst with stolen liquor. This captain was greatly motivated by looting, an act that could satisfy any man’s desire for conquest. Looting and breaking into homes was the prize of the battlefield. Those were his foremost thoughts on the matter.

Hence, the task of transporting the wheat from the fields of an empty village was lacking in stimulation for him. Unarmed villagers trying to defend themselves with miscellaneous farming tools and random sticks. In the name of his mission, he could hunt them as if they were his prey. Then they would break into homes, tear down furniture, loot, and capture wives and daughters hiding in sheds and barns and force them down.

Such unbearable entertainment could not be enjoyed without the villagers participating.

The fact that there were no women was especially unbearable. In the midst of the sausagefest that is the army of men, the only thing that could give the captain any respite would be kidnapping beautiful village women. Unlike the prostitutes that accompanied them from their country, they were the best toys. They could do whatever they wanted with them. The preference was to enjoy the woman resisting, rather than a helpless prostitute or a slave whose will to resist was already broken.

And yet, such enjoyments were not within reach! To this captain, that was a much more serious concern than the army's supply shortage issue and the outlook of this war.


He was lost in his own unproductive thoughts when a shout pulled him back to reality. When he reluctantly looked towards the voice, he saw his subordinate, who was supposed to have followed his instructions and started looting, running back towards him. He took a glance and clicked his tongue.

"What is it? I said I don’t want to hear from you unless there's an anomaly—"

"Yes, there is something weird over there."


The captain's expression, which had been slack, became tense. He was not apathetic for any chance at military achievements. Under normal circumstances, the commander of this expeditionary squad was known to be a straight-laced person. There have been many who were punished for trivial blunders, and even lost their heads to execution. If one was not prudent, one could be evaluated poorly and lose everything. Therefore, the captain tried to listen as seriously as possible to the report of potential accidents.

"What's the anomaly? What happened?"

"Yes, I searched the village just in case before harvesting the wheat—"

The soldier had checked the building before harvesting the wheat, considering the possibility of ambushers lurking in the village, as was the standard procedure. This was common sense. Luring them in with tasty bait and then attacking them from the rear was not only a basic human military technique, but also a basic animal hunting technique. It was a classic, but a move that the Arquell army could be compelled to use since they were so weak. It was natural for the looters to check the village first to ensure their safety.

What they found was not an enemy ambush. While being alert, they opened the door of the house, and saw a strange sight.

What they saw was a simple morning meal laid out on the table. A fried egg for each member of the family, and thinly sliced smoked meat. White bread that was far superior to the hardened black bread they ate in the military. A glass of milk. It was as if the family had been eating just a few minutes ago.

"Nonsense. The villagers should have fled long before we arrived, wouldn't they? Why would something like that still be in the house?"

The captain said, frowning dubiously.

If this was a village that they had just discovered today, then it would make sense. They were in the middle of eating when they heard the approach of the St. Gallen army and fled as fast as they could without finishing their meal. That was possible.

However, the village was only discovered by scouts. At that time, the village was already uninhabited, with only the unharvested wheat fields. With the excellent eyesight and speed of their scouts, they would have surely spotted the fleeing villagers. Then, villagers fleeing would have been in the scouts’ report.

This is strange if they evacuated several days before the scouts arrived, ahead of the approaching army. They may not be at peace, but it is not too late for them to finish their meal and regain their energy before fleeing. If they abandoned the village and fled, they would never know when they would be able to find a decent meal again. If so, there was no reason to leave the food in front of them unattended.

The soldier shook his head.

"’I’m not sure. Also, very few household items have been removed from the house...... Strangely, this was not the only such house. We investigated four, five other houses and they were all the same."

"What the heck? Then it's as if—"

—It's as if one morning, all the living villagers suddenly disappeared.

As he thought of such a scene, the captain's plump figure trembled.

Villagers who had disappeared with some traces of their day to day life intact, what is it really? It's like a horror story. They were supposed to be here to make war. While it both required guts and bravery, they were not here to deal with ghosts.

"......At any rate, there are no enemy soldiers hiding in the village, are there?"

"Y-Yes! Up to where we have investigated."

"Then move on to the requisitioning as soon as you’ve confirmed that there are no enemies."

"Is that right? I don’t think this situation is normal."

"I know, I know. But what else can we do if it isn’t normal?"

The soldier was at a loss.

Of course, it was the role of the captain, the commander of their unit, to come up with a decision. However, the purpose of their operation was not to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the villagers, but to steal wheat and supplies from the village. What they saw was indeed creepy, but they were also an army. They were not children. It would not be sufficient of an excuse to fail to procure food because they were scared.

Nobody else was here? That's fine then. Let's just get the looting done quickly. What was there to be afraid of?

At least, that's the conclusion the higher-ups would come to. If they stumbled upon a strange phenomenon and were delayed because of investigations, their procurement of food would be equally delayed. Of course, that would also affect their military evaluation.

"If it's some kind of trap, have the escorting unit deal with it. If it's a ghost, call in the military priest. Understood?"


"Of course, I'll make a special note of your findings in the report. Before long, an official investigation would be made."

The captain would not forget to add that in the report. If something happened later because of it, he might be punished for omission of important information. He was not a fan of being punished so he had to make it clear that he intended to report it to the top brass.

The soldier turned pale, but obeyed his orders. The captain snorted as he watched him go.

"Hmph...... It’s just these boring things over and over again."

There was none of the tasty reward that might come with a requisitioning mission and the only ‘bonus’ was the possibility of trouble. Only the most curious would find this amusing. He could be said to be curious about the usual affairs from looting, but not unique circumstances from looting.
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