Chapter 15.2

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Ripening Malice
“I believe you understand by now, but we can uses corpses to create undead.”
“… That’s why we were suddenly attacked by Elmec troops.”

Kulm grinned at Rement’s words.

“Starting with Baron Elmec’s troops, several lords managed to arrive at the capital before you appeared, which we sent back to you. Of course, our Salbuveir clansmen were accompanying them. Well, you would notice that much as long as you are not too stupid.”

Kulm’s ridicule made Rement bit his lip from too much of humiliation.

“And so… what do you want from us? No… what may your intentions with us be?”

Burling immediately corrected his words to polite ones. It’s inevitable to think that all of them could be killed here by their own words.
Ortho’s words from just now, “we can create undead” signified that they don’t need their cooperation.

“Of course, we have a purpose for keeping you all alive.”
“……”
“To put it simply, we intend to let you work for us. Oh, I don’t care whether you refuse. We can make you do as we bid even if you refuse. However, if you refuse, we will kill you all and destroy your hometowns as thoroughly as you did our territory.”

The faces of Burling and others turned blue after hearing Ortho’s words.

(… No way, is he intending us to…)

At this stage, Burling could guess what Ortho wanted them for.

“We want you to force the Imperial Palace to surrender.”
(As I thought…)

Burling muttered to himself as despair blossomed in his mind.
Burling joined the army in his mid-teens, where he steadily rose to the ranks of General. His loyalty to the Empire was nurtured each time his fame rose. There’s no doubt that Ortho’s words were like snatching the roots of his loyalty.

“General Burling, will you follow your own beliefs or will you save your subordinates that managed to survive with great pains?”
“Kuh…”

Burling bit his lip. Ortho’s words were nothing more than poking Burling’s sore point.

“There are families waiting for your subordinates in their hometowns, they may even have beloved lovers. They can all reunite depending on your decision.”
“……”

Ortho directed his cold gaze towards Burling who kept silent. A few seconds later, Ortho sighed and coldly declared.

“Kill Burling’s subordinates.”
“Wha…”
“This fellow has abandoned his subordinates for his own beliefs. Choose at random and behead them. Right, let’s start with about a hundred men.”
“W, wait a moment please!!”
“After killing a hundred men, you may choose a few lords who caught your eye.”

Ortho’s instructions caused the faces of Burling and the noble lords to cramp. It was as though their faces were sprayed with cold water after being shocked.

“General Burling!! Please make a decision!!”
“General Burling!!”
“Aren’t you just killing our innocent subordinates for the sake of your own beliefs!!”

The nobles started blaming Burling. Normally, the nobles would abandon commoners, soldiers and mercenaries in cold blood, but they believed it would be their turn next after hearing Ortho’s words.

“I understand… we will force the Imperial Palace to surrender, so please don’t execute our subordinates.”

There was a relief when Burling spoke up. They thought they have avoided execution with General Burling’s decision.

“Too late.”

However, Ortho’s words froze everyone’s thought process.

“W, why!?”
“You bastard wavered. It seems that you don’t take us seriously enough just yet. We will kill to teach you a lesson.”

After Orthos spoke, he turned towards the subordinates with a grin, causing the men under General Burling to start fleeing.
They were also among those who killed their families under General Burling’s leadership, so the hatred of the Salbuveir clansmen definitely didn’t disappear.

“Wait a moment please!! Don’t kill my subordinates…!!”

Ortho only laughed coldly at the panicked Burling.

Gyaaaaah!!
Guhaaaargh!!
Hiiii!

“Now then, go deal with the negotiations as soon as you are ready. If we judge that you are stalling for time, we will kill you all without mercy. Of course, you bastards too. Don’t forget. You are alive simply because you have a use.”

Saying that, Ortho walked away. The Salbuveir family and retainers followed after him.

“General…”
“Don’t say anything…”

Burling replied feebly to the officer. Burling looked over twenty years older than he did before the battle a few hours ago.

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