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– North Kertonan 4th Village. –
The half moon in the azure sky illuminated the dead village faintly. All that remained of the village that had lost its people and vitality was pitch blackness and the presence of death.
Reinhardt stepped lightly into the land of the dead.
“Did they say this is the first place?”
From the entrance of the village, it was deserted, and once inside, the smell of blood stimulated his sense of smell. Curiosity fluttered in Reinhardt’s red eyes.
It was a small village, with houses lined up side by side. There were still traces of life here and there, and the bodies had been collected and piled up in one place, but not properly cleaned up. Of course, the bodies were of different shapes and sizes. Reinhardt’s head tilted as he carefully observed the corpses.
“That’s strange, whether it’s magic and or poison.”
Normally, corpses that died from magic and alchemy would look similar. If they die of rupture, there would be traces of rupture everywhere, and if they die from being torn, there would be traces of tearing. It meant there should be consistency in the corpses.
However, some of these bodies had their limbs torn out, while others looked as if someone had cut them with a knife.
He looked around.
Dead bodies, of course, attract living things. To be precise, they attract animals. The animals that smell the rottenness and blood come rushing in, and they farm the dead people. However, the corpses here were quite decomposed and exploited, yet there was not a single rat in sight. There wasn’t even a common ant in sight either.
Reinhardt walked towards the corpses, not afraid or peckish, as if a desolate village full of only unburied corpses was not scary enough. He lightly flicked his fingers. Then some corpses flew high into the sky.
The sound of fingers interlocking was heard once more, and all the corpses that had accumulated were laid on the floor. Without hesitation, Reinhardt stepped among the corpses and lightly touched them with his foot.
“Decay is decay.”
Why wasn’t there a single creature? By nature, animals are the ones whose instincts are more developed than their reason. If they feel intimidation that is stronger than they are, they instinctively avoid it, and if it is dangerous, they do not notice the smell. Humans can sense natural disasters that they can’t feel and run away before they happen, and there are even marine creatures that flee to land when there is an incoming storm surge or typhoon.
In other words, no one had a better ability for survival than animals. Instead of calculating in his head, exploring and predicting with science, he just naturally felt and realized.
Reinhardt bent down, lightly grabbed one of the corpses by the collar, and lifted it to his eye level. The rotten eyeball fell to the ground with a pop and cracked. Maggots crumbling inside appeared.
”These things don’t have any thoughts.”
That was why they couldn’t sense danger and didn’t have the ability to deal with crises. In other words, there was a reason why no creatures came to the village even though the corpses were decomposing properly and the maggots were breeding.
“I should take a look at the village.”
Reinhardt lightly threw the corpse on the floor. The neck of the corpse thrown on the floor broke and became strange. Staring at it without emotion, he lightly kicked the floor with his foot. Or more accurately, he tried to kick it.
Reinhardt quickly turned away at the strange sound that came from behind him. He opened his eyes wide in rare surprise as he looked curiously between his weary eyes.
A laugh escaped from his mouth.
“What is this?”
Reinhardt burst into laughter as if he were engrossed in madness. He stood and stared at the scene unfolding in front of him.
The dead corpses were wriggling and moving. To be more precise, it was all broken muscles trying to force itself to get up. Joints warped, neck bones bent, and they raised themselves in a strange shape. Their arms and legs hung down in front of them, and even their tongues were out. A strange look appeared in Reinhardt’s red eyes.
“What madman would do such a funny thing……”
He covered his mouth with his hand, as if it was too absurd.
Most of the corpses moved convulsively, even though they had already given their eyes and internal organs to the maggots.
Their arms were stretched and their steps were unstable like a child who first started walking. Nevertheless, they began to sniff and turn toward one place.
They all turned towards Reinhardt and screamed. This was the first time that he had ever seen such a thing.
“How is this possible?”
It wasn’t any kind of magic, that was for sure. There was no magic circle in sight, and no light when the magic circle was activated. At the same time, he couldn’t feel any power at all. He wondered why they were moving.
However, they were very slow, and Reinhardt could widen his safe distance just by taking a couple of light steps back. However, no matter where he ran to, they quickly followed him.
Reinhardt touched his left hand lightly. He snatched the neck of one of them with his muscle-strengthening magic. There were no movements despite the fact that its neck had been pressed to the point that the muscles were sticking out. And it did not express distress or cry.
It just kept reaching out and attempting to grab Reinhardt. On the other hand, it periodically opened and closed its mouth with a click. The hard teeth clashed roughly, causing some tooth loss.
“Are you going to eat me?”
Reinhardt could see its gesture wanting to come closer to him and try to bite his neck off.
“You don’t feel pain, but you feel hungry?”
Mumbled, Reinhardt put more strength into the hand that gripped its neck. The strengthened arm snapped the corpse’s neck lightly.
Crack. With a cruel sound, its neck snapped oddly at 90° degrees. Reinhardt lightly threw it to the floor.
Unlike its appearance, it had a weak offense.
However, it was not intelligent or fearless. Only instinct remained, as the human had been transformed into a beast. No matter what kind of fear loomed in front of it, the monster would not retreat.
Reinhardt’s eyes widened in slight surprise. The thing that he thought he had killed by twisting its neck started to raise itself up from the waist by putting pressure on its legs again. Its arms, which had been hanging behind him, hung forward again the moment its body stood up. Its neck was still broken.
Reinhardt stepped back lightly.
At the same time, the thing screamed and jumped at him. Reinhardt lightly flicked his fingers, looking at the thing running at him.
The right arm of the corpse that jumped into the air burst. It flew far away, and other bodies pounced on the flesh of the corpse that crashed to the ground. The impact of the flying arm made the corpse flinch for a moment, but it was only for a moment.
The thing jumped at Reinhardt again with its arm missing and bleeding. The speed was much faster than before, as if it was angry.
Reinhardt’s breath caught.
“This is …….”
Snap! Muttering lowly, he flicked his fingers again. The fire that burned from the thing’s feet quickly spread to its dead body.
Throughout the flames, the thing jumped at Reinhardt with its mouth wide open, as if it felt no pain.
Reinhardt’s brows narrowed. The thing, which had been alive for more than ten minutes when it was on fire, finally stopped moving and slowly collapsed after its hair was completely burned and its body turned into a black lump of coal.
“This is trouble.”
Reinhardt mumbled to the end.