Chapter 9. Kidnapping (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Ambrtrn
It was still some time before sunset. The carriage, which was crossing the meadow without any trouble, suddenly stopped. Then the coachman said to him,
“I have heard many cases of coachmen who have suffered damage while trying to continue. I will stop here, even if you offer me more money. No matter how old I am, I know my life is valuable.”
He stepped out of the carriage with his belongings.
“Do you intend to continue on foot?”
“I don’t know what unfortunate situations you have gone through at such a young age that you would want to go to that place, but I pray that Goddess Acates will take care of you.”
“There are many ghouls in those unexplored lands, so hide at night. Don’t continue just because you see a bright blue light at night. Luminous ghouls emit light from their backs to attract people. That’s all I want to say.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
He left after bowing slightly.
The further he went, the rougher the carriage path became. He found it more difficult to walk because the undergrowth was high. He entered a savage land.
Occasionally, he found rotting horse carcasses near wrecked carriages. There was also rotting flesh on some parts of the carriages, as if there had been an explosion.
He held his nose at the stench.
As he moved along the forest’s border with the meadow, he discovered an old tree with exposed roots. He left the unkempt path to go deeper into the dense forest. He had to find a place to hide before nightfall. He dug a hole in the middle of the roots to get in there.
He ate quickly near it. Then, he erased the traces of his food before entering the roots andcovering the entrance with earth for the night.
At dawn, he heard the footsteps of a four-footed beast. It didn’t sound like just one, but a dozen of them. He could hear them better because he was underground.
The screams of the quadrupeds were unlike any wild animal he could remember. These terrifying screams gave him goosebumps.
When morning finally came, he turned the earth so he could get out. He ate dry bread and jerky for breakfast. As he ate, he wondered where he had gotten the courage to leave a village with hot food, to come to an unexplored land with dead bodies lying everywhere.
Perhaps he had lost his fear because his stomach had been punctured in the past.
He walked back to where the star had flown.
“In a way, ghouls are mysterious beings.”
The children seemed amazed by the words of the priest at the podium. The children knew what a ghoul was, they just couldn’t understand why they were mysterious. For children, the word “mystery” was used only in the world of dreams.
“Ghouls originally were people. Even an ordinary person can become a completely different individual by turning into a ghoul after death. They have the same body, but large spines protrude from the back. Also, their muscles are four to five times stronger than they were before they died. New, thicker fangs grow in his gums. All their human memories disappear, and they develop a strong appetite for living beings.”
A boy quickly raised his hand. When the priest gestured for him to speak, the boy hurriedly asked his question.
“Why does that happen?”
“The cause is still unknown. Some say it is an evolutionary process of death, others say it is a curse that takes away rest. Opinions are divided.”
One of the children exclaimed when he heard this,
“I don’t want to become a ghoul!”
Then the priest said with a smile,
“Then you can burn to death.”
It was a dream.
The dream left an unpleasant feeling. Memories of his lessons at the Lorail Pavilion appeared in his dreams, but he didn’t remember the dreaded words ‘burn to death’.
It had been almost four days since he had camped in the unexplored lands. Perhaps it was due to the eerie atmosphere, but he was having more and more strange dreams. He took several deep breaths to calm his heartbeat.
He carefully removed the leaves covering his upper body with his hands. It was just dawn. He held his breath to listen for any movement around him. He got up five minutes later, when he was sure there was no sign of anything. Then, he gathered his belongings.
There were many ghoul traces around the place where he had slept. He swallowed down his saliva. He would have died if he had done anything when they passed by while he slept.
It seemed he had to control even his dreams.
He began to move again.
When he broke through the wooded area, he came to a wide wasteland. It would be difficult to find where to hide and camp out in this place. He could not even find a single glimpse of a place where he could find water. There was no doubt about it — it would be complicated to advance here. Posted only on NovelUtopia
There was no other way. He had no choice but to move faster.
He continued walking until noon. He checked his canteen. It was half full with water, but he didn’t know how much farther he had to go.
When the sun warmed the ground, he decided to rest for a while in the shade of some rocks.
Two hours after noon, the clouds began to slowly gather. There was no place to take shelter in case it rained. He quickened his pace.
It was getting darker and darker. The rain began to fall drop by drop.
Suddenly, it seemed to him that something was moving some distance away. He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t seeing things.
They were ghouls. When the sun disappeared, the ghouls began to emerge from their cave. He thought the ghouls were only active at night, but it was a wrong assumption. The ghouls came out slowly because there was no sunlight.
The clouds showed that it was not a brief rain.
He immediately ran to cross the small hill ahead and disappear from the sight of ghouls. But then he heard ghoul screams coming from other directions. There seemed to be more than one ghoul cave, andthis one was much closer.
The ghouls screamed loudly again. Then, they began to chase him.
He ran toward the foot of the hill. He saw a small hut nearby. There was nowhere else to hide, so he ran at full speed toward the hut.
A dozen ghouls ran after him at high speed.
As soon as he entered the hut, he closed the door. The ghouls following him began to ram the door. He looked inside the hut. This place was used as a warehouse.
But the items stored here were a bit strange. There were oiled torches, coal, gunpowder, and oil barrels, all lined up.
The hand of a ghoul came through the door. They coveted his body so desperately that they tore at the door with terrifying force.
“Damn it, damn it.”
Then the scene of the dream flashed through his mind.
Then you can burn to death.
He immediately pulled out his flint to light a torch.
The ghouls, who managed to break down the door, rushed into the hut.
He pointed the torch at the ghouls.
It was effective. The ghouls retreated when they saw the fire.
He moved toward the entrance, defending himself with the torch.
Dozens of ghouls surrounded the hut. They drooled as they watched him from three or four paces away. The rain grew heavier.
The torch he was holding was losing intensity. Hastily, he grabbed another torch, but when he lit it, it was even worse in intensity. These items had not been maintained for a long time. In addition, water from the rain had seeped through the roof, so the torches gradually became damp.
Illustrations in our Discord. https://discord.gg/hZ8SZxmZa7