BBYW Vol. 4 Chapter 39 (WN)

Chapter 39 – March Under the Earth

As requested by Vert Sphinx, I led a contingent of troops — composed of House Sphinx soldiers and the adventurers I trained — to Fort Giza, in order to retake it.

The reinforcements from House Thunderbird were going to stay behind; for the most part, the “Terror Armies” undead that invaded the Sphinx territory had been eliminated, but they were not completely gone. The mercenaries were in charge of patrolling the domain’s villages in order to find and eliminate any remaining undead.

“Our forces will be split in two. The main platoon will stage a cautious attack on the fortress from the outside, to draw out the undead. Another small group will enter the fortress from the secret passage and deal with the Lord class enemy.”

In the commander’s tent of a camp built not too far from Fort Giza, I had gathered the leaders of our battalion and gave orders.

I was the general commander, but I was not going to be a member of the main force, but the group that would sneak inside the fortress.

I didn’t know how strong a Lord class undead could be, but the one that appeared before the fall of the fort was more or less on par with Valon, or so I heard.

Assuming the Lord class in the fortress was at the same level, I was probably the only one capable of defeating it.

“Can I entrust the main forces to you, Sir Menfis?”

Jaar Menfis, however, shook his head at my request.

“If I may…please allow me to join you, Sir Maxwell.”

“Hmm? For what reason?”

“I believe you need someone to guide you inside the fort, and while Lord Sphinx has requested you to be in charge of this operation, first and foremost, this is still a matter of House Sphinx. We cannot let you take the most dangerous role alone.”

Jaar looked at me straight in the eyes and spoke with a serious, earnest tone.

The other Sphinx officers too nodded fervently, in agreement with him.

“I understand. I will leave the choice of the commander of the main forces to you all, then. There is no need to try and take over the fort: as long as you can draw the enemy outside, it will be easier for us to move once we’re inside.”


In the end, one of the most seasoned soldiers of the Sphinx forces was chosen to be the commander. He had a fair share of achievements under his belt, so I did not think there was any problem.

Me, Jaar and another 20 or so soldiers especially proficient in martial arts formed the group that headed towards the secret passage.

“I wonder why secret passages like this always use old wells? There was one just like this in the empire too.”

“Possibly because wells and mines can be built without alerting enemy spies. I apologize in advance, it will be very narrow inside.”

“That’s not a problem.”

I followed Jaar to a small village close to the fort and stepped inside an old well.

I climbed down the well, using the rope attached to the bucket used to draw water, and found a corridor extending to the side.

“This is the secret passage leading to Fort Giza. Please follow my lead.”

Jaar, carrying a lamp, marched ahead of the line. I followed him next, with the other soldiers in tow.

At first we had to crawl to proceed, but the hole grew gradually larger: in the end, it was wide enough that we could stand.

“To think that this passage would be used in this way…”

And so Jaar began, the flame of the lamp flickering at his side.

“This passage was originally built as an escape route, in case the fortress was surrounded. Using it as a way to sneak in is exactly the opposite of its intended usage…”

“Such unexpected events are normal in times of war. The only thing that matters is that we win in the end.”

Every time we spoke, our voices echoed in the tunnel.

When I was small, my pirate hag brought me inside seafloor tunnels: I remembered that our voices would echo in the same way then.

After that, a torrent of seawater and carnivorous fish filled the tunnel, so we had to run away and escape as fast as we could…a part I wish I could forget.

(What a mess of a life I’ve had…things like this have been happening since I was born, haven’t they?)

I was frowning because of the unwanted bitter memories when light seeped in the darkness ahead.

“If we climb up we will be inside the fort. The undead creatures will be all around us, so please be careful…”

Jaar then removed the lid hiding the tunnel. 

A blinding light flowed inside, and I couldn’t help but cover my eyes.

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