Arc 8, Chapter 16 – “The Undead Cataclysm”


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――Pale skin drained of complexion, and golden irises housed in the center of dark eyeballs.

With the sudden appearance of undead forces, both the Imperial Army and the Rebel Army had been doused with literal cold water as they fought a battle for the Imperial Capital of Lupugana.

Before anyone could notice, the battle between the living vying for control of the Empire had transformed into a struggle for existence between the living and the dead, and it was becoming increasingly severe.

???: [URAAAAAAH――!!]

Raising a loud voice, he brandished his two-handed sword and slammed it into the enemy in front of him.

In an attempt to block the strike, the enemy raised a battered sword that they had picked up from somewhere, but that blow smashed the brittle sword nevertheless, cleaving straight into the enemy’s skull.

Their cranium shattered, and yet what followed was not a spectacular scene of blood and brain matter spewing out, but a scene of fragments scattering about, as if a ceramic pot were smashed; an utterly unthinkable way for a human to die.

The things were not only inhuman in appearance, but even the way they died ran contrary to the path of humanity.

As somebody who lived in the Empire, there were opportunities to lay eyes upon races that possessed extravagant features in their appearance, but even if it was an opponent with a different number of arms or eyes, the way they died would remain constant.

It was only logical that those with life should experience their lives come to an end in a manner befitting that quality.

But, these undead did not have that. Perhaps that was why he still felt such a strong repugnance towards them.

Even in the Empire, where life was even said to be cheap compared to other countries, they did not trample upon life itself in the way these undead did.

General: [Keep the front lines at bay! Let His Excellency the Emperor and the civilians escape!]

Soldiers: [OHHHHHH――!!]

When one of the Generals shouted a command, the soldiers around him roared as if they were in a fever.

As a result of the undead forces, the rampage of the Cloud Dragon, and the bulwark of the reservoir in the northern part of the Imperial Capital approaching destruction, His Excellency the Emperor made the decision to abandon the Imperial Capital, and withdraw all troops.

The Imperial Army united all of its efforts to assist in the evacuation of the Emperor and the citizens of the Imperial Capital. Ironically, with the advent of this third faction, the battle against the Rebel Army had gone undecided. No distinction remained between the regular army and rebels, and with the living and the dead divided into friend and foe, the fierce battle raged on.

Just now, the Imperial Soldier who had just destroyed a single undead was one who held their ground. He and the soldiers around him were fighting with all their might to stop as many of the undead as possible, even if only one, and see if they could take them down to meet death together.

Soldier: [No idea what those things are. But…]

Soldier: [If it is His Excellency the Emperor!]

Soldier: [He will absolutely find a way to eradicate you lot!]

No matter who the enemy may be, their faith in the apex of the Empire, Vincent Vollachia, would never waver. That was the greatest reason why the soldiers were able to hold their ground without a hint of fear.

Vincent had continued to deliver results. The amount of spilled blood and piled up corpses of Vincent’s enemies was the foundation of the Imperial Soldiers’ faith in him.

Considering the absoluteness of his reign, his fighting spirit was of a different purity from that of those who so casually plotted insurrection.

And thus, his fighting spirit directed towards the undead shaking the Empire was precisely the same.

General: [――Hk! All troops, bring that one down!]

The General cried out once more in response to the onslaught of an undead with a massive body.

A bald undead of large build swung their arms about, and the Imperial Soldiers who stood in their path were blown away like scraps of paper. If they were to permit the large undead to do as it pleased, a hole would open in the front lines, and the defensive position they had gone through so much trouble to form would likely crumble.

In order to stop it, the soldiers obeyed the General’s order and leaped towards the huge body at once.


The soldier who leaped first was struck, crushing his head; evading that carcass as it flew towards him, one Imperial Soldier kept close to the ground as he slashed at the legs of the huge undead.

The attack connected, and his opponent’s stance collapsed. But, having perpetrated such an impudent act, the Imperial Soldier’s eyes met golden irises looking down on him, and witnessed the dim gleam of a sword that had been plucked off somebody else.

Just before he was impaled by its tip, the figure of a person wedged their way in front of the Imperial Soldier.

General: [Finishhhh… iiiit… hk]

Pierced through the chest, the General cried out as blood frothed at his mouth.

Shielded by the General, the Imperial Soldier gulped down, and immediately jumped out from behind the General’s back; swinging his sword with all his might, he smashed the gigantic undead’s head in.

The sword broke in half upon impact, but without any counterattack, the large undead’s whole body shattered.

And so, just as the General collapsed to the ground on his back, the large undead was struck down.

His chest pierced, the General had met his end, and as the Imperial Soldier admired that bravery, he borrowed a replacement for his broken sword from the General’s hand.

Then, twisting his head around, he tried to search for the next enemy――,

Imperial Soldier: [Fucking hell…]

The Imperial Soldier muttered, his cheeks contorting as he lowered the helmet he was wearing with his fingers.

Having just evaded death, the Imperial Soldier looked as the next undead entered his field of vision―― The General who had just died protecting him, his same equipment and face were worn by it.

The corpse of the General was lying beside him, and he himself was gripping the General’s sword.

And yet, standing in front of him with a pale face and golden eyes, was that very same General.

Imperial Soldier: [Fucking hell.]

A battlefield where even one’s comrades-in-arms could become undead, turning into enemies as soon as they died.

Upon these flooded lands which he wanted to curse, where death was near certain, the Imperial Soldier raised his sword, and continued to fight until his life no longer allowed.


――The coupled dragon carriage retreated from the Imperial Capital of Lupugana and headed towards the Fortified City of Garkla.

The historical alliance formed between the Emilia camp and the Vollachian Empire’s leadership within that carriage had unexpectedly encountered interference in an unforeseen manner.

Although, as for the cause of that interference――,

Anastasia: [What’s wrong? Even tho’ we were so worried about Natsuki-kun… it’s distressin’ to see ya lookin’ at us like we’re uninvited guests.]

Subaru: [I’m not making such a face! I’m happy that we were able to meet properly. It goes without saying for Anastasia-san, but even if it’s Julius with his stern expression, I’m glad about both.]

Anastasia: [Well, it ain’t exactly a stern expression, but it’s all ‘cause of yer appearance.]

And so, the two people, Julius and Anastasia, who had suddenly boarded the interconnected dragon carriage, looked down at the shrunken Subaru from head to toe with keen interest.

Naturally, for Subaru, encountering the two of them there was like a bolt from the blue.

The level of surprise was comparable to when Priscilla had suddenly descended from the sky in the Fortress City.

However, why those two had ended up in the Vollachian Empire, Subaru did not consider himself so naive as to be unable to guess the reason.

Subaru: [Even so, I understand that Emilia-tan and the others were looking for us, but for Anastasia-san and Julius… to go out of your way through Kararagi just for me?]

Anastasia: [Yep, exactly. Was a grand adventure, traversin’ through three countries. Crossin’ the border to Vollachia ain’t somethin’ that can be done easily, and the journey was quite costly, to say the least.]

Subaru: [Urk.]

Anastasia: [I hate to come across as countin’ every penny, but I’d be happy if ya won’t forget about the costs we broke our backs for.]

Being sent to the Empire was beyond Subaru’s control, but when he heard about the concerns that were expressed for him, his heart felt heavy. Under Anastasia’s gaze and words, it seemed like Subaru was about to be burdened with a tremendous debt of gratitude.

However, at that moment, a voice calling her “Ana” could be heard near Anastasia’s neck,

???: [You shouldn’t bully Natsuki-kun recklessly. Considering his current appearance, no matter how you look at it, Ana, you seem like the villain bullying a child.]

Subaru: [Ah…]

When Subaru raised his eyebrows at that voice, the other party responded by wagging a white tail.

It was the fox scarf that Anastasia, who was dressed in a kimono, had draped over her shoulders. In other words, it was Echidna, the Artificial Spirit, whom Anastasia was carrying with her.

Unlike the Witch with the same name, Subaru had a recognition of Echidna as a companion whom he had gone through the ordeal of the Pleiades Watchtower together with. Hearing her voice, Subaru also felt relieved and at ease.

With this, among the companions who had gotten separated in the Pleiades Watchtower, once Subaru showed his face to Patrasche, who was outside, only Meili would have yet to see that he was safe.


Emilia: [Anastasia-san! Julius, too, you made it to Vollachia safely!]

Anastasia: [I’m relieved that Emilia-san ‘n the others are safe too. As for the hardships durin’ the journey… I couldn’t find Natsuki-kun before Emilia-san ‘n the others did, so it’s a bit embarrassin’.]

Emilia: [No, that thought makes me feel reaaally happy. Thank you.]

Emilia also welcomed Anastasia’s appearance with a relaxed smile on her face.

Indeed, the situation in the Vollachian Empire already was tense, and on top of that, there was the undead disaster following the civil war. Inadvertently, she could say that she was very grateful that she did not cross paths with Anastasia and the others in the Imperial Capital.

And with the joy of such an unexpected reunion coming to a pause――,

Vincent: [Are you quite finished rekindling your old friendship? Whether you know it or not, the time for the military conference is limited.]

The one who dampened the mood with those words, with a cheeky attitude and arms crossed, was Abel.

With an unusually tolerant demeanor, he had been trying to gauge the atmosphere, but it seemed like he could not remain silent any longer. Making a sarcastic remark, Abel glanced sideways at Subaru and then said,

Vincent: [Another of your acquaintances. How unexpected, to think your influence has spread as far as Kararagi.]

Subaru: [As for that, it’s a bit complicated. Anastasia-san and the others are on the Kararagi side, but not exactly on the Kararagi side… So, what’s the deal with him?]

Subaru’s puzzled question stemmed from the presence of Halibel, who stood beside Anastasia and the others. Halibel, the wolfperson who was known as the strongest in the Kararagi City-States, demonstrated his existence while shaking the kiseru he held. Subaru wondered what position Anastasia and her group held, given Halibel’s title and affiliation.

Julius: [I will handle that explanation. I will give a firsthand account of the particulars that allowed us to get on that flying dragon ship.]

In response to Subaru’s question, Julius brushed the scar beneath his left eye with his finger and began to answer.

The new white scar on Julius’s profile, combined with his unfamiliar appearance in a traditional Japanese outfit, emphasized his dignified and handsome aura, giving Subaru a strange sensation.

That was not to say that the influence of infantilization had not affected Subaru’s perception, but it was probably more due to the changes on Julius’s side that caused this sensation.

Somehow, it felt like the current Julius had more composure than before.

While there was elegance in his previous demeanor as the “Finest of Knights”, it seemed to be different from his current composure. It might have even been considered something that stood in stark contrast to it.

His attitude, which seemed like he had discarded long-worn armor, was it a result of the experience in the Pleiades Watchtower, or was there some other reason behind it? That remained uncertain.

Julius: [――Your Excellency the Emperor Vincent Vollachia, I am relieved to see you safe and well. It is an unexpected honor to have the privilege of an audience with you once again.]

Ignoring Subaru’s impression, Julius, having taken a step forward, bowed as he elegantly spoke.

Abel, protected by Goz’s large build as he stood, raised his shapely eyebrows at Julius’s greeting. Subaru, too, harbored a sense of unease with Julius’s “once again” part.

Vincent: [“Once again” you say, hm. But, neither do I remember granting audience to a swordsman of the City-States, nor do I recognize your face. What prompted you to say “once again”?]

Julius: [With all due respect, I once received the opportunity to have a glimpse. However, at the time, I was not a swordsman of the City-States, but a Knight of the Kingdom.]

Vincent: [The Kingdom――]

Upon hearing the response of Julius, who did not show fear even when addressing Abel, the Vollachian Emperor, Abel’s black eyes narrowed in deep thought, but he could not seem to find any memory of the occasion.

With such a dignified demeanor, there was no way that Julius could possibly be telling a lie. As such, even though the two were actually acquainted with each other, Abel had forgotten it.

In other words, it was evidence that the effects of Gluttony, which caused those around Julius to forget him, had yet to be undone――.

Vincent: [You are deceiving me, and thus I do not understand your behavior. ――Berstetz.]

Berstetz: [Yes. I, too, have no recollection of ever seeing this person.]

Vincent: [It would be rare for Berstetz to not be present at an audience. That is to say, it is not an issue between you and I, but one of a larger scale.]

By merely questioning the presence of Julius within Berstetz’s memories with a single word, Abel detected that extraordinary circumstances were entangled in the discrepancy of perceptions between himself and Julius.

Witnessing Abel’s speech and conduct, Subaru could not help but mutter “Is this guy for real?”

Subaru: [Is it really normal to accept that so easily? Something that’s so absurd…]

Vincent: [We are in the midst of an emergency, in which the dead have risen, and the Emperor is being driven away from the Imperial Capital. Speaking of the grand scheme of things, the fact that your body has shrunk does not make much of a difference either. What matters is whether or not it can be conceived as possible.]

Subaru: [I wouldn’t say that me shrinking is something that happens every day either though.]

No matter what kind of profound mysteries this world held, even if those were deemed as plausible theories just because they could be conceived, it did not make them things that could be so easily accepted with an “Ah yes, I see.”

As Subaru’s brow wrinkled, Beatrice, holding his hand, rubbed the wrinkle between Subaru’s brow with her other hand.

Beatrice: [Don’t overthink it too much, I suppose. It’s much more convenient if they have the tolerance to accept it, than if they were to be obstinate about it, in fact.]

Subaru: […That’s true. Also, that feels good, please keep doing it a little longer.]

Beatrice: [Roger that, I suppose.]

While Subaru continued to receive an eyebrow massage from Beatrice, Julius, with the questions that arose from the first act of his greeting canceled, he returned to the main topic.

That was――,

Julius: [First of all, the lady present here is Anastasia Hoshin-sama… I presume you have already been made aware of Emilia-sama’s identity and status, but Anastasia-sama is also of the same status.]

Serena: [Hoho, the same as Miss Emilia. In other words, candidates for the next Monarch of the Kingdom are together in a foreign country. My goodness, that’s quite the amusing and rare situation.]

Serena contorted her facial scar in amusement, and Julius nodded silently at her words. At his affirmation, the gazes of the Imperial camp members turned towards Emilia, and meeting those gazes, her lips formed a smile.

Emilia: [Yes, Julius is telling the truth. Anastasia-san and I are both Royal Candidates, and we’re friends.]

Anastasia: [Tho’ for the time bein’, the thing ‘bout bein’ friends is an agreement for after the Royal Selection is over. ――Followin’ that introduction, I’m a representative of Kararagi’s Hoshin Trading Company ‘n one of the Royal Candidates in the Kingdom of Lugunica.]

Vincent: [In addition to that impressive title, you are yet another person of the Kingdom?]

Anastasia: [I feel a lil’ sorry if my title happened to surprise ya, but to tell ya the truth it ain’t the only title I got right now. That’s the reason we went out of our way to ride that flying dragon ship, ain’t it?]

Just a short while ago, Abel had formed a friendly alliance with Emilia as the head of the Empire. As Abel expressed his disapproval at the fact that another person from the Kingdom had now become involved here, Anastasia put a stop to that.

As Anastasia noted that she had a title that had yet to be disclosed, Emilia put her finger to her lips with a puzzled look on her face.

Emilia: [But, Anastasia-san is a representative of the Trading Company, a candidate for Royal Selection… and there’s still more? Oh, maybe the employer of the mercenary group that Mimi and the others are a part of?]

Anastasia: [The Iron Fang’s under the jurisdiction of the Hoshin Trading Company, so I don’t bother to add it to the title of Trading Company representative. Still, it’s a separate matter from that.]

Emilia: [Separate…]

Told that she was incorrect by Anastasia, Emilia muttered in an adorable, troubled voice.

And beside Anastasia as she smiled at Emilia’s behavior, Julius gestured to her with his hand,

Julius: [On this occasion, Anastasia-sama is acting on behalf of Kararagi’s League of Cities―― Having been appointed as an emissary, she has made her way to the Empire.]

Otto: [――The Kararagi League of Cities!?]

Hearing Julius’s reply, it was Otto whose voice had cracked.

Otto broke his silence with an uncomfortable expression, to which Subaru thought was the right opportunity to ask, “What’s the League of Cities?”.

Subaru: [I’ve heard that Kararagi is known as the City-States, a country with many cities joined together.]

Otto: [――. That understanding is correct. The Kararagi City-States are, roughly speaking, a country composed of ten large cities. Each city has its own mayor, who is the representative of the city, and there is a council formed by these people, which is the League of Cities.]

Subaru: [Huh… It’s like the Council of Ten in Pristella.]

Otto: [Rather, Pristella’s Council of Ten is probably inspired by the League of Cities. As is the case with the Water Plumage Pavilion, there is a large influx of Kararagi culture in Pristella along the border.]

Subaru: [Oh, come to think of it…]

The Water Plumage Pavilion, where they had stayed at the invitation of Anastasia and her companions, was said to have wafuu-style both inside and out, which had been introduced from Kararagi.

Going further back, Subaru believed that Kararagi’s wafuu-style itself might be knowledge that was brought from his world, but he put that aside for the time being.

In any case――,

Subaru: [It’s not a peaceful situation when you’re not only a candidate for the Kingdom’s Royal Selection, but you’ve also entered the Empire at the behest of the League of Cities as an emissary.]

Anastasia: [You’re right. Tho’ not as bad as with Lugunica, Vollachia ain’t on the best of terms with Kararagi. I mean, the Empire is basically hostile to everyone.]

Subaru: [It’s probably because the Emperor is so sharp. It’s possible his corners will be a little rounder from now on.]

Vincent: [Silence.]

When Subaru joined Anastasia’s brazen and blunt comments, Abel, without changing his expression, hurled an admonishment at Subaru.

Subaru stuck his tongue out at that, and Julius was taken aback by this exchange with Abel.

Right after, he looked at Subaru in surprise, but since it would have been a long story if he were to explain, Subaru covered it up by simply sticking his tongue out at Julius as well.

Anastasia: [We heard about the mess in Vollachia while we were in Kararagi, but we didn’t come here to take advantage of it.]

Vincent: [That is very auspicious. However, it is not as if you have no intention of doing so.]

Anastasia: [Well, you’ve gotta be tough to get by. Wouldn’t it be more uncomfortable for ya to be helped for free?]

Vincent: [――. But of course.]

At that mischievous look in Anastasia’s eyes, Abel’s gaze briefly turned toward Emilia.

As for Emilia, she looked at them curiously, but from Abel and Anastasia’s points of view, Emilia’s good intentions were probably way more unexpected.

Even Subaru would not go so far as to say that they should help Abel and the others without compensation, and if he did, Otto would give him a thousand hellish sermons.

Then, a hoarse voice asked for a chance to speak.

When Berstetz received Abel’s silent affirmation, he turned his narrow, nearly thread-like eyes toward Anastasia and Julius, while saying,

Berstetz: [I am wondering, may I ask why the City-States have sent an emissary to the Empire in its current state? Perhaps, you suspect that the problems of the Empire have come to your country, and you are pursuing them?]

Anastasia: [Even Kararagi, which believes that “time and money are of equal value”, certainly wouldn’t come to talk ’bout money in the middle of such a busy day. Besides, interference in internal affairs will only cause loss if y’ain’t prepared for it.]

Vincent: [You are being evasive. Did I not say that time is limited.]

Anastasia: [You’re impatient, aren’t’cha? Aight, aight, aight. ――Halibel.]

Halibel: [Hm? Yer fine with me talkin’?]

Anastasia called Halibel to her side as the Imperial leaders were eager to proceed.

Leaning against the wall of the dragon carriage, Halibel, who was making a ring with the smoke from his kiseru, stroked the fur on his chin as the gazes gathered from around him.

In Subaru’s eyes, his fur was really nice, lush, and a full coat.

Halibel: [Then I’ll go for it… Actually, somethin’ strange’s been goin’ on in Kararagi for a while now. Well, the League of Cities’ve been urgin’ me ta figure it out.]

Subaru: [Something strange?]

Halibel: [Y’all can imagine what I’m talkin’ ‘bout, right? ――The Hotoke-san have been movin’.] [1]

Emilia: [Ho-toe-keh?]

Subaru gasped at Halibel’s easy-going, slightly pretentious words. But, Emilia, Goz and others tilted their heads at the unfamiliar word.

Seeing that reaction, Halibel gave a wry smile as he said “Sorry, sorry”, and,

Halibel: [Righty right, that phrase’s Kararagi dialect so none of y’all would understand. In Kararagi, when ya say Hotoke-san it’s got the meanin’ of a corpse. I’m tryna say…]

Subaru: [――Are you saying that the City-States also suffered harm from the undead?]

Halibel: [Somethin’ like that.]

Halibel calmly nodded, and the same shock that Subaru had just received spread to Emilia and the others anew.

Given the undead forces that had come out of left field to interfere with the battle for the Imperial Capital, if the same thing had happened in Kararagi, it would mean that the large incident was not a matter confined only to the Empire.

Subaru: [T-then, this could be happening on a global scale if we’re unlucky, right? What happened to that zombie disturbance in Kararagi?]

Halibel: [Zombie?]

Subaru: [The moving dead people! It’ll be easier to understand if we have a name for them.]

Halibel: [Hahaa, I see, I see. For some reason, even tho’ I dunno the word, it sure rolls off the tongue.]

Gathering Subaru’s response, Halibel gnawed on his kiseru and replied in somewhat of a good mood. But, frustrated by Halibel’s reply, Subaru hastily shouted out “Halibel-san!”.

With every passing moment, if the undead cataclysm was continuously expanding――.

Subaru: [That would mean we don’t have a moment to waste. For you to have come to the Empire is…]

Halibel: [Don’t’cha worry, I done tidied up the zombie disturbance that happened back in Kararagi. So ya don’t need ta get all worked up ‘bout Kararagi.]

Subaru: [Ah…]

Halibel: [Yer such a sweet kid, how ‘bout some candy…? Ah, I ain’t got no candy on me.]

Without doing anything like feeling around in his sleeves, Halibel soothed Subaru with a lighthearted tone. Involuntarily, Subaru pouted his lips, feeling rebuked for his hasty attitude.

Julius: [According to Mister Halibel’s investigation, the undead in question… No, the zombies, following the flow of where their damages have been incurred, it seems that they have gradually been proceeding towards the Empire. Therefore, in order to investigate the emergency that occurred within their country, and to issue an alert for caution to your country, the League of Cities has――]

Anastasia: [We done employed Halibel since he was fully informed on the situation, ‘n I’ve taken on the role as an emissary for the League of Cities. It was also quite the help for crossin’ the border.]

That was how Anastasia promptly summed up the details of how she took on the role of emissary for the League of Cities.

She may have taken care as to not sound too serious, but unfortunately, no matter how much care she took, the contents of this matter were such that there was no way it would not become heavy.

In particular, the fact that the undead cataclysm had occurred earlier in Kararagi was――,

Vincent: [The incident that occurred in the City-States preceded the Empire. If that is the case, it could be said that the current undead catastrophe was brought to the Empire from your country, is that not so?]

Anastasia: [I guess that’s possible, but we got a different view.]

Vincent: [Ho. If this is not an attempt to avoid responsibility, let me hear it.]

Anastasia: [It seems like Kararagi was the first place where the Hotoke-san… where the zombies, caused damage. ――But, I think the main target was Vollachia, ‘n Kararagi was used as a practice ground before that.]

Anastasia replied to Abel’s snide remarks with an unchanged attitude.

Contrary to her elegant demeanor, the hypothesis she posited was a rather extreme one. The view that Kararagi was the practice ground, and Vollachia was the main event, was far too harsh.

Emilia: [Why does Anastasia-san think so? That the thing with Kararagi was not serious, and that Vollachia is the real objective.]

Anastasia: [Well, the scale of damage.]

When the question Subaru had in mind was spoken by Emilia, such was Anastasia’s response. While the gaze of her pale turquoise eyes clashed against Emilia’s amethyst eyes,

Anastasia: [The account was convoluted, but Garkla received the first reports of damage to the Imperial Capital. Even if it ain’t fully accurate, it’s true that zombies done captured the Imperial Capital, ain’t that right?]

Julius: [It is unusual for the Imperial Capital at the center of the Vollachian Empire to be captured, and for its citizens all to be evacuated en masse. Henceforth, I have no doubt that the intentions of the “enemy” who brought about this situation lie in the Empire.]

Vincent: [Your reasoning is sound.]

Hearing the deductions posed by Anastasia and Julius, Abel gave a brief response.

However, deep in thought behind his tranquil sable eyes, the Emperor, prefacing his speech with “Incidentally”, turned his gaze toward Halibel.

Vincent: [The damages you said you suppressed in the City-States, what truly happened there? Despite the state of the Empire, I have not heard anything of the City-States being destroyed by undead.]

Halibel: [Righty. I done stopped it before that happened… tho’ even if I’m sayin’ that, seems like their goal wasn’t ta make a mess of Kararagi, but just ta warm up like what lil’ Ana said.]

Vincent: [What does that mean?]

Halibel: [Puttin’ it simply, the zombies I happened across had entirely replaced all the people in the city, ‘n were livin’ the same lifestyle as if they were still alive. Seemed like they didn’t want us ta know that they had swapped places.]

Subaru: [Wha…]

As Halibel revealed the truth, Subaru became lost for words.

And it was not only Subaru who was surprised. This group of wise people all had thoughtful expressions on their faces, and everyone who was surprised like Subaru was speechless.

That was probably to be expected. Just now, Halibel’s story was far too different from what had been assumed.

Goz: [You, you are saying that those undead are going as far as to disguise themselves as the living!? It is true that Her Excellency Lamia spoke in the same manner as she did then when she was alive…! But even so!]

Serena: [If you see them as the living, then that destroys the perception of them being an opponent who attacks indiscriminately. It’s already troublesome that some of them are intelligent, but if that happens, the way we deal with them as enemies will need to change quite a lot. This has become excessively amusing.]

Goz: [Just what is so amusing, High Countess Dracroy! Even your impudence ought to have its limits!!]

Goz and Serena’s views were pitted against each other as a shocking embodiment of that misconception.

However, that reaction from the two was natural. In fact, Subaru had the same opinion. These were not opponents which could just be fought, it had become a matter of exploiting their weakness.

Even still――,

Emilia: [Hey, Halibel-san, you said that everyone in the town was turned into “zombees”… But in that town, how many people were living there?]

It was a question that someone needed to ask.

Subaru regretted that instead of himself, he had let Emilia do it. That regret grew deeper and larger after hearing Halibel’s answer.

That was because――,

Halibel: [――Roughly, somewhere ‘round two thousand people.]

Emilia: [That many…]

Halibel’s answer clearly quantified the scale of the damage.

One could only imagine that drastic scale of damage; that made Emilia’s expression severely darken, and drove a cold, sharp thorn into Subaru’s chest.

However, there were not just people who were hurt by Halibel’s answer, there were also those who looked ahead.

Vincent: [If that many disguised themselves to be the living, I have no choice but to say that it is troublesome. What caused them to be exposed?]

Anastasia: [The reason they were discovered was the amount of supplies that were goin’ in n’ out of the city. They disguised themselves to some extent, but the numbers between the livin’ and dead people didn’t match up. The Hotoke-san don’t need food or drinkin’ water, so that’s where the discrepancy came from.]

Vincent: [The boundary between the living and the dead. ――It appears it cannot be crossed.]

Unlike Subaru, whose emotions halted him, Abel and Anastasia did not stop.

While he felt frustrated by that difference, he also did not want to forget what he had told Abel, that it was necessary to not throw away this frustration.

Vincent: [Berstetz, you had an army stationed in the western part of the Empire, correct?]

Indifferent to Subaru gritting his teeth, Abel posed a question to Berstetz.

Berstetz nodded briefly with a “Yes” to the Emperor’s question, and,

Berstetz: [We have received reports of unrest along the national border with Kararagi in the west. It was before the signs of civil war had expanded, but we feared countermoves and polarization of the rebel army, so we kept it maintained to keep them in check. ――You do not mean.]

Vincent: [The one entrusted with that army, it ought to have been Groovy Gumlet, was it not?]

His narrow thread-like eyes opening slightly, Berstetz laid bare his astonishment. As if agreeing with the Prime Minister’s realization, Abel let out a small sigh.

That which the sigh spoke of, was certainly one of the Nine Divine Generals―― he was supposed to be the General First-Class whom Subaru had never had a chance to meet face-to-face.

The reason why Abel narrowed his eyes languidly when he said that person’s name was――,

Goz: [Your Excellency! Surely not… Surely not! General First-Class Groovy is!]

Vincent: [Keeping the unrest on the national border with the City-States in check… If that is why they did not participate in the great battle of the Imperial Capital, and if it has reached a state that we are not even able to meet with them, then there is no other recourse but to assume the worst.]

Serena: [Assume the worst, hm? Even I would have a hard time calling that amusing.]

Goz’s face flushed red, and Serena erased the thin smile on her lips.

Giving a nod at these leading figures’ reactions, Abel spoke.

Vincent: [――Groovy Gumlet and his army have already fallen into the hands of the undead. If they fail to unite with us in the future, we ought to operate under that assumption.]

Goz: [――Hk!]

In response to Abel’s words, Goz’s entire body trembled as he gnashed his molars.

It was not a metaphor, he really ground his molars. As an immense amount of indignation ran through the body of the warrior named Goz Ralfon, the possibility of having lost his comrade was hitting him hard.

Even for Subaru and the others, who did not know him personally, it was a silent blow.

Berstetz: [Your Excellency, as per your speculation, if an undead can pretend to be alive, then…]

Vincent: [Indeed, the reports from various regions, on their own, have lost credibility. Without increasing the accuracy of the information, to engage in the battle for the recapture of the Imperial Capital will be next to impossible.]

Which of the delivered reports were from their living allies, and which ones were from the undead enemy, was not known.

Presented with such a frightening possibility, Subaru gasped.

Subaru: [In other words, that’s the reason why the League of Cities entrusted Anastasia-san with being their emissary…]

Anastasia: [The sense of crisis, y’all feel it too, don’t’cha? It absolutely mustn’t be allowed to spread. Therefore, we were allowed to go as jus’ a small group of reliable people.]

Anastasia spoke while nodding, to which both Julius and Halibel also expressed agreement.

Due to the commencement of the opposition against the undead, they were two trusted people chosen for their individual war potential.

Subaru: [What about Ricardo, Mimi, and the others?]

Anastasia: [They’re buildin’ a united front with the League of Cities at the border. Basically, they won’t be enterin’ the Empire. If it doesn’t stop with the Empire, Kararagi will have to be prepared.]

Halibel: [That ain’t a good omen, but gimme a break. Well, at this point it‘s too late ta do anythin’ ‘bout lil’ Ana’s sharp tongue.]

Anastasia: [Halibel.]

Anastasia, who had answered the whereabouts of the absent Iron Fang, looked at Halibel with a smile. She put her hand on her cheek in a soft gesture, and kept her gaze fixed on Halibel,

Anastasia: [I overlooked it the first time, but can ya stop callin’ me lil’ Ana? I ain’t a kid anymore, and I’m also a representative of Kararagi.]

Halibel: [Tho’ ya say yer not a child, ya don’t look any different from when ya were a wee lassie. Yer character hasn’t changed from the ol’ days when ya were such a rascal together with Ricardo…]

Anastasia: [Halibel.]

Halibel: [Alrighty alrighty, my bad.]

Waving his hand, Halibel raised the white flag to Anastasia.

The seemingly familiar relationship between the two was intriguing, but compared to the pressing issue at hand, it could only be considered a trivial matter.

Indeed, from the point of view of having to defend against the unprecedented undead cataclysm――.

Julius: [Once again, I would like to convey the intentions of Kararagi’s League of Cities. In order to contain the damage caused by the undead… the damage caused by the zombies, the City-States will extend as much support as possible to the Empire.]

Vincent: [――. Regarding the support, we can work out the details later. Do you people have any ideas of means to stop this situation?]

Halibel: [‘Bout that, it ain’t a natural phenomenon that the Hotoke-san wake up, right? No doubt, it’s the result of some fella’s gaudy intentions. In other words――]

Anastasia: [――The mastermind, the caster, the ringleader, or whatever you wanna call it, they gotta be subdued.]

A huge problem that could plunge the entire world into crisis, and the plan to overcome it.

Stopping the entity responsible for this problem, the unseen “enemy”, was the highest priority of the Kingdom of Lugunica, the Vollachian Empire, and Kararagi’s League of Cities――.

Subaru: [――The unidentified “enemy”.]

Thinking of the “enemy” whose true nature was unknown, Subaru murmured softly.

What did this “enemy” look like, and just what were they thinking when they made preparations to commit such terrible barbaric acts?

The mere thought of the hardships and obstacles that awaited them in their quest to defeat this yet-to-be-seen “enemy” sent cold sweat down his spine.


Subaru: [――With this many members gathered here.]

Subaru’s heart, seized by fear as it was, was nevertheless encouraged by the presence of those around him.

The Emilia camp, who had even come to the Empire in search of Subaru and the others, the leaders of the Empire, who hardened their resolve to unite for the sake of protecting it, and the reliable reinforcements from Kararagi.

Subaru: [No matter what the “enemy” is planning, there’s absolutely no way that we’re gonna lose――!]

That was Natsuki Subaru’s sincere declaration of war against the “enemy.”


――Indeed, it was around the same time as Subaru’s surge of enthusiasm from within the coupled dragon carriages.

Ferociously, the reservoir’s water gushed forth from the destroyed bulwark, engulfing the Imperial Capital.

As the muddy torrent swept away buildings and tore people and trees asunder indiscriminately, the blue-haired boy, having escaped to a high vantage point, used his hand as a visor as he gazed over the view.

Boy: [Oh dear, I tried to buy as much time as I could but I wonder if everyone was able to successfully escape. Hopefully the Boss and the others didn’t let the blood rush to their heads and mess up the decision to retreat.]

Lightheartedly muttering so, clad in a kimono and wearing zori was Cecilus.

In this grand battle for the Imperial Capital, as the most difficult problem in all aspects concerning the complete change in the situation was identified by his natural intuition and drama-geek mindset, the leading actor of the world rushed to the scene.

In fact, if Cecilus had not taken such a selfish and arbitrary action, the Imperial Capital would have been engulfed by water much sooner, and many more people would have failed to escape, resulting in an enormous number of casualties.

In that sense, Cecilus’s actions, beyond anyone’s expectations, coincidentally brought about a fortunate outcome for many.

However, that was not the case for Cecilus, as the person concerned.

With the sudden appearance of the undead forces, the state of the battle for the Imperial Capital had changed, and trying to surprise the third “enemy” who was attempting to snatch victory through a boorish intervention, Cecilus had leapt forth.

Undoubtedly, he was in a state where he could sing his own praises of it having been a performance meant to enchant the world.

And yet――,

Cecilus: [Even so, this was completely unexpected.]

Within the Imperial Capital engulfed by the muddy torrent, Cecilus murmured so, scratching his cheeks at the sight of undead who had all fled to higher ground like he had, still maintaining their fixation over those who yet lived.

There was no doubt that they existed outside the natural order, resurrected by a technique unknown even to Cecilus.

In fact, he had also encountered the being that had made them into such things.

Even though everything up to that point had proceeded in accordance with Cecilus’s intuition――,

Cecilus: [――Unbelievable, who could’ve imagined that the situation wouldn’t be settled even when the caster is defeated!]

Collapsed at the feet of Cecilus as he raised his voice, was the caster who had resurrected and commanded the undead.

With beautiful pink hair and long ears, the young girl appeared to be around the same age as Cecilus―― Having confronted the Blue Lightning, Cecilus, she was a Witch whose life had already met its end.


Translation Notes:

[1] – In Japan, 仏 (hotoke) is a word used to refer to Buddah, but it is also commonly used to refer to the dead. Here, Halibel uses a Katakana version ホトケさん (Hotoke-san) of the term. It is a uniquely Japanese way of referring to the dead, and hence Subaru picks up on what it means, while the other Vollachians and Lugunicans are left in confusion.

39 thoughts on “Arc 8, Chapter 16 – “The Undead Cataclysm””

  1. Well that is something. That bold choice to kill of that main villain so fast. Now I guess the question is will she bring herself back to life or did she create clones of her self like Louis or will just have deal with an angry undead army.

    1. I don’t think she’s actually dead. Don’t forget she her self is just a clone. And the real sphinx has ben imprisoned and sealed since the deni human civil war of luginica.

      1. Beyond that, even if lets say she is really dead..

        There is always the possibility that there is an impending doom that will cause a reversion to somewhere before this point.

        For example, to the moment when Subaru arrived in the capital. That would interestingly give Subaru a chance to save Grisha like the emperor wanted…

        While also being a potential first for us to see so much seemingly successful time being regressed at once. As a side -?benefit?-… Todd would end up coming back too…

        1. I doubt Todd is dead, and reverting so much time would rob a lot of the impact of those moments, as well as rehash far too much. It would also be a bit too convenient. Just like Subaru wasn’t able to go back and prevent Rem from being forgotten, and how he couldn’t go back and prevent her from having her negative opinion of him when she woke up. Some things just shouldn’t be reverted, it’s narratively boring in my opinion.

    2. i think she quite simply just ressurected herself. its called “sacrament of the immortal king” and unlike last time its probably complete now

  2. This is still peak.
    Gotta wonder what happened to the twitter feed though.
    And gotta wonder if there’s more than one chapter to translate.

  3. “The mere thought of the hardships and obstacles that awaited them in their quest to defeat this yet-to-be-seen “enemy” sent cold sweat down his spine.”

    Subaru: [Ah shit, here we go again.]

    1. I now commit into my Memory, that Cecelius be the 2nd to be included into the list of being a badass Shota.

  4. If I remember correctly, the sacrament of the immortal king seen in EX 2 required the undead to have a “boss” whom the spell revolved around. Sphinx would cast the spell and use one of the undead as the core, rather than herself. Once the boss was killed, the spell would be void. If that’s the case, then Sphinx is an enemy besides the enemy to end the zombie apocalypse. Her real death would only mean the spell shouldn’t be cast again.

    1. havent read it but if thats true then i think it can prolly be a pretty decent bet to assume stride vollachia/archbishop of pride is the ‘boss’ and since the zombies’ souls are still intact then that would suggest strides authority of pride is also there if he died with no other suitable candidate for his authority to work its way into

  5. Yet another example of stellar work done by translator, while it is “Edited Machine Translation”, reading is rather smooth and enjoyable even in this state. And yet another half a chapter of drawn out banter, excessive descriptions and unnecessary repeating from author. Seriously, it feels as if there was a quota of important to the plot/character development/otherwise interesting information for a large number of chapters. Of course, there are exeptions like Gladiator Island ark, were even if those faults are present, overall impression is good enough to not notice them. Here, however, they become increasingly obvious and feel like a chore to go through. This chapter has no business to be that long, the only explanation for that being the case I can think of is a lazy writing, being neither the first, nor last instance of wich.

    1. It does feel like the author likes to write a little too much, and Arc 7 is a bit bloated. But I’d say the destruction in the Capital contrasts well with the long chit-chat in the carriage, where some people don’t recognize how devastating the situation is.

      1. “some people don’t recognize how devastating the situation is” – thanks for mentioning that! Now I see the obvious problem with the carriage dialog in this chapter… WTF everyone is doing there??? The vibe of that scene is WAYYY too casual and lazy, there isnt much sence of urgency. At the very beginning it is described how soldiers die and turn into an enemy. Situation is the worst it has ever been in the entire novel, save for a few world ending scenarious tied to a death of Subaru or Emilia. Its reasonable for Subaru to be a bit numb to this danger due to his unique expiriences, yet even he should have mentioned right away that a best way to stop a zombie invasion is to nip it in the bud. Every second counts! And even if he didnt, Vincent should come to the same conclusion with his near genius IQ. There is still Anastasia and Berstetz left, who arent stupid at all… There is simply no room for idle chat like that one. Conclusion: bad writing from author, if characters acted accordingly to their already established image, this carriage scene would be drastically different.

        1. “Vincent should come to the same conclusion with his near genius IQ”


          Vincent: [Are you quite finished rekindling your old friendship? Whether you know it or not, the time for the military conference is limited.]

          Vincent: [We are in the midst of an emergency, in which the dead have risen, and the Emperor is being driven away from the Imperial Capital.

          Vincent: [You are being evasive. Did I not say that time is limited.]

          Also he explained why they can’t recapture the Imperial Capital right now

          Vincent: [Indeed, the reports from various regions, on their own, have lost credibility. Without increasing the accuracy of the information, to engage in the battle for the recapture of the Imperial Capital will be next to impossible.]

          They need to learn more about the zombies before doing anything, and that’s what this chapter is mainly about.

          1. Yeah, I see your point… I havent said that they have to exactly capture the capital now tho, maybe I worded it incorrectly. There is still something they need to do right now! There are soldiers dying to cover their evacuation, and their lives are crucial. How? Im pretty sure there are some towns and villages in the vicinity of the capital that havent been informed in time, due to a fast pace at wich situation is unfolding. Even if all of them are evacuating, their speed probably isnt that fast, right? Cover for it probably is insufficient too… Now, those soldiers from the beginning of the chapter surely are stronger than regular people, due to their combat expirience, even if it is Empire that we are talking about. Strongest zombies at the capital have been members of the royal family, so they should have an idea were to strike. They will just order these soldiers to atack the villagers! To save these people, as many soldiers as possible should retreat as well, them just staving off the zombies wont do. And there are powerfull individuals to achieve this, while those that dont have sufficient strengh will think about the strategy. Halibel – increadibly strong, fast and is shown to have care about regular people… idling by, occasionaly chiming in the conversation. The same goes for Julius, Goz and possibly Emilia (even if she is still exausted, no indication of it shown here). Someone, of course, should stay to defend the carriage, yet even a single person of those mentioned would be of huge help and moral boost to soldiers. There is no problem with mobility – dragon riders are sufficient, and Halibel is fast enough on his own. The whole scene at the beginning of the chapter would be different! In any case, one more soldier alive is one less for the army of undead.

            1. Actully I was wrong in the previous comment, these soldiers arent crucial in the grand sceme of things, as there are more then enough strong undead after the battle. Yet still, at least from the moral standpoint, those with power in the carriage at that moment could have saved more lives, as it is shown that they care and have compassion to regular people.

  6. A widespread of zombie attacks now in the world of Re:Zero?!

    Here we gooo again!

    I guess making Subaru and eventually Cecilius back into their normal state won’t be for a looong while.

    1. That’s not a good thing. Tappei would’ve been well served to pretend he never created that character.

  7. Firstly: That the Sphinx was so simply leaked, 100% there is a catch.
    Secondly, when did Julius get the scar? (in the tower duel with Reid?)
    Third: Awesome art

  8. Aren’t the Ryuzus basically artificial spirits? They’re made of artificial od and mana, so they’re more self sufficient than Puck, who has to be provided an od to live in, but since they’re still physically made of mana like other spirits, she should dissipate into the atmosphere like Betty did, right?

  9. The fact that there is a character named Groovy fucking Gumlet is the distilled essence of how much of a pathetic joke everything about Arcs 7 and 8 have been.

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