BBYW Vol. 4 Chapter 1 (WN)

Chapter 1 – Monsters in the Desert

No matter where one looked, all that could be seen was an endless wasteland of sand and stones.

Not a single blade of grass grew on the scorched, reddish-brown ground, glowing gold under the burning rays of the sun.

Every time the wind blew, a sandstorm would rise along with it, sweeping the dried land like a breath of death.

The western region of the Lamperouge kingdom ended at a natural border, separating the Garuda desert spreading to the west and the kingdom’s plains to the east.

Summer was almost over, but in the middle of this place, where the sunlight was as fierce as ever, stood a large square structure.

This structure was the Fortress of Giza: it was the westernmost base of defense of the kingdom, built to keep invaders out of Lamperouge.

“Lord Valon! Enemies spotted to the west! There’s no mistake, it’s the Terror Armies!”

“So they really came! Again and again, every damn year!”

After receiving his subordinates’ report, a man climbed on the fortress’ walls. He was a young man, around 20 years old.

Golden hair shining in the sun, skin brown like the desert ground. A sword at his waist, the young man stood proud, like the protagonist of a heroic saga.

Valon Sphinx, heir to the House in charge of defending the western border, had been assigned to defend the fortress of Giza.

Valon’s eyes narrowed as he peered over the desert, where today as well, sandstorms howled.

Beyond the sandy winds, layered like curtains, a black shadow rose. The shadows soon became two, then three, then — too many to count.

And then,

““GWOOOOOHHHH!!!””

A roar that would send chills down the spine of whoever heard it.

From beyond the sandstorm appeared an army of countless living dead. They were beings with dried, withered bodies, very similar to the “mummies” of legend.

The “beings”, which resembled a sort of human form, wore all kinds of clothing; Some were clad in armor, while others wore simple civilian clothes, others sophisticated robes befitting ancient priests.

The one thing they had all in common was that their sunken eyes all looked over the desert, as they marched straight toward human settlements.

“Filthy maggots, cancer of the desert! I am fed up with dealing with you!!”

“Lord Valon, your orders, please.”

The man who appeared next to Valon humbly bowed his head, awaiting his orders. Valon nodded and glared at the living dead horde, approaching like a swarm of locusts.

Valon’s golden hair and brown skin were not common in the Lamperouge kingdom: in fact, his clan had come to the kingdom from beyond the desert. His ancestors’ home had been ravaged and destroyed, forcing them to abandon it — because of the very same armies of inhuman creatures. The clan’s unfading hatred towards their long-standing enemy had been imprinted in him from a young age.

“We shall hunt down every last one of them! Raise your voices, men! Gather the wretched beasts that failed to enter the gates of heaven!”

““UOOOOHHHHH!!!””

Following Valon’s order, the fortress’ soldiers shouted fearlessly. Their chant of war, not inferior in power to the living dead’s howls, vibrated through the air of the desert.

““GWAAAOOOOOOHHHH!!!””

The “Terror Armies”, which were traversing the desert in scattered groups, responded by changing direction, all targeting the fortress.

Years of fighting against the creatures had shown that the undead hordes were sensitive to the presence of living beings: they probably bore endless hate for the living, as they were attracted to life like summer bugs to fire.

““GWAAAH…GRWOAAAHHHH…””

The undead horde advanced towards the fortress in a single column: they did not seem to notice the deep ditches dug around the fortress, and fell inside them as if they were throwing themselves in. Metal spears that had been set up in the ditches; stabbed and pierced the monsters as they crumbled into dust.

“The first horde has been dealt with.”

“The second horde will be here any moment! Do not let your guard down!”

““YES SIR!!””

The undead leading the column fell into the ditches leading to their demise, but the hordes that followed them were still over ten thousand.

The ditches were eventually filled by the falling corpses, thus losing their purpose. The second horde would literally walk over their comrades’ corpses and approach the fortress’ walls.

“Shower them with rocks! Do not let them climb!!”

As Valon shouted his orders, the soldiers dropped stones to repel the undead creatures that attempted to climb the walls.

The “Terror Armies” only advanced forward: they did not have the intellect to use siege weaponry, or any other tool. The piles of their comrades’ corpses, however, would eventually grow so tall that they could reach the top of the fortress’ walls.

“Tch! Damn monsters!”

““GWOOOOHH!!””

One of the soldiers protecting the walls pierced the mummified bodies with his spear. Its chest was pierced, the creature dissolved into sand, spraying all over the soldier who attacked it.

“Woah!!”

““GRWOOOOOHHH!””

“N-No!! Stay away!!”

Robbed of his sight, the soldier faltered, as more and more undead creatures attacked. One of them rode on top of the soldier, opened its mouth as wide as possible and attempted to bite the victim. The soldier defended himself by using his spear to prevent the creature’s jaw from closing.

“Gh…gh…..! Get..off…me…!”

““GWOOOH…GWOOOH..””

Slowly but surely, the creature’s teeth came closer to the soldier, clattering and clanging every time they clenched.

The soldier almost resigned to his fate, when the creature’s head was severed from the side.

“I-I’m saved…!!”

“Don’t let your guard down!! They’re still coming!!”

“Y-Yes!! My apologies!!”

The soldier had been saved by Valon.

The sword he used was not the standard straight blade, but was characteristically curved: it was the sword called “Shamshir”, typical of the western tribes.

Valon leapt, agile like a goat climbing a steep cliff. As his body danced in midair, his curved blade tore through the bodies of the undead that reached the top of the walls.

“Do not fear, my men!! If we fall, they will feed on our fathers, our mothers, and our children! Our home will be no more! Show them the strength of the guardians of the desert!!”

““WOOOOOHHHH!!!!””

The commander’s valor boosted the soldiers’ morale: united again as one, the soldiers once again stood fearlessly against the monsters.


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