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724 An Unfamiliar Country

 Cullen?

Rhode twitched his brows. Then, he quickly scanned for the relevant data in his head.

\"Cullen Fachel. Patriarch of the Night Lich Family?\"

\"Yes, dear master.\"

Sara lowered her head and responded hurriedly. On the other hand, Serena turned to Rhode curiously.

\"Night Lich? Sir Overlord, are you familiar with them?\"

\"Understanding the enemies is always the first step in war. Intelligence is essential, Miss Serena.\"

Rhode strongly believed that his ability to 'lie through his teeth' had gone through the roof.

\"The Night Lich Family is one of the stronger Lich families in the Country of Darkness. They are one of the core forces under the 'Undead Tide' army and also the trusted aides of 'Spirit Chaser' Balende. This family is expert in undead alchemy and knowledgeable in magic spells. Their purpose under Balende is similar to...\" Rhode paused. He turned to Marlene and continued. \"... the Senia Family's in the Munn Kingdom. They are responsible for providing firearms to the Undead Army. Of course, they manage the transformation and strengthening of the Undead Creatures. Apart from that, they are one of the rarer family who are closer in relationship with the Vampires within the Undead Tide. That is how they got the name of Night Lich. Cullen is an expert in air battles. It seems that we're facing a large group of air forces like the Gargoyles...\"

Rhode shook his head, but the corners of his lips raised to show an unnoticeable smile. Back then, the Undead Army lost terribly on ground, so it was a perfectly reasonable choice for them to go the air route. Perhaps the situation would be tricky if this happened months ago. But now, air force? Ha! Rhode imagined countless EXP flashing by eyes after taking them down.

\"Since you're here to investigate as Cullen's Zombie Puppet, you should know the specific progress of the Undead Army that is mobilized here, right?\"

\"Just a little, dear master.\"

Sara lifted her head and gazed curiously at her new master. She had served Cullen for years and it went without saying that she knew that the Zombie Puppet was his scheme, which was why she had become the experimental product. Sara knew that every spell caster's experiments were absolute secrets. But she was astonished to find that her new master appeared to be familiar with it. However, the years of habit made her hold back her doubts.

\"I know that Sir Burks' and Sir Duran's armies have arrived at the front line. I'm more familiar with Sir Cullen's situation. Currently, he has around 50,000 Gargoyles and Soul Griffins and 10,000 Black-winged Knights. There is a total of 100,000 troops currently under the Undead Army. But this is just what I know. I was only Sir Cullen's Corpse Slave, after all, and I'm not too familiar with other situations.\"

\"Burks and Duran, is it...?\"

Rhode puckered his brows. They were true noblemen with authority in the Country of Darkness and core strength of the four largest families. It seemed that the new and rising noble families in the Country of Darkness had taken a hit, which explained why the four legendary generals had decided to move out their troops. Rhode knew what they were planning. If the new and rising noble families lost, not only could the four legendary generals, also known as the experienced veterans, expand their forces, but they could also quell the insignificant ones. This would re-stabilize the entire Country of Darkness. But Rhode wasn't willing to fight for the sake of the enemy nation's stability. If the four legendary generals didn't send out their direct subordinates, Rhode wouldn't mind making them lose all the way. Failure was the sharpest blade to slash through contradictions. Rhode couldn't ask for more if he could send the Country of Darkness into a state of turmoil even though the possibilities weren't high.

\"Corpse Slave?\"

Frederick was more mindful about this term.

\"What is that?\"

\"Just as the term suggests. Corpse Slaves are slaves produced from corpses.\"

Rhode replied plainly and pointed at the young lady.

\"Just like what you've seen. Liches will extract the spirits from humans before specially modifying their bodies which includes anti-corrosion and maintenance modifications. Then, they will inject their spirits into spirit crystals, which will produce Corpse Slaves who can serve them. Corpse Slave won't rebel and obey orders perfectly. Besides, they are much stronger than the skeleton creatures. This is the reason why most Liches have Corpse Slaves around them.\"

Rhode turned to Sara.

\"Am I right?\"

\"Master is truly knowledgeable. I've never known that people in the Light Mainland understand our situation this well.\"

Sara answered frantically.

\"Just as master has said. I've served Sir Cullen since 30 years ago. Due to my impressive performance, Sir Cullen turned me into a Corpse Slave...\"

\"Hey, w-w-wait!\"

Frederick interrupted with an odd expression. He stared at the young lady dubiously.

\"My ears are fine, right? Why did he turn you into a Corpse Slave due to your impressive works? What is going on? Didn't you do well? Why did that fella treat you this way? Is his head still working well over the years?\"

\"Sir Cullen turned me into a Corpse Slave as a reward for me. Humans will eventually die due to old age or sickness. On the other hand, we won't fall sick, feel hurt, or die of old age after turning into Corpse Slaves. Besides, we can continue to support our masters with our experience and wisdom. Doesn't this make sense?\"

\"This...\"

In an instant, apart from Rhode and Gillian, everyone was stumped and speechless. They stared blankly at Sara with puzzled expressions and felt chills running down their spines like electricity current. In the past, if their fear toward the Undead Creatures of Country of Darkness only hovered on the surface, they finally understood the frightening truth of this nation of undead now. It was a complete subversion and betrayal of their values ​​and the world as a whole. It was the existence of fear that had almost infiltrated their bones.

\"Oh my goodness...\"

Serena placed her hands on her chest and muttered under her breath. Lize shook her head, turned around and was speechless. On the other hand, Frederick scratched his head and said.

\"So... Miss Sara. What will happen if you perform badly?\"

\"Master will slaughter the servants who don't fit his requirements and turn their corpses into Undead Soldiers to guard his territory. The spirits of losers will turn into materials for his spell castings and experiments.\"

Sara spoke about this terrifying situation in such a calm, monotonous tone that it left them shivering. Rhode crossed his arms and observed everyone in silence. He thought of this as a great opportunity for them to experience the horrors of the Undead Creatures, which would strengthen their consciousness of their heavy responsibilities. The Undead Creatures' infiltration wasn't as simple as a war between the two countries. It was more of a conflict of values between the undead and mortals.

\"In other words, death is the only end?\"

Frederick muttered in disbelief. Sara shook her head.

\"That isn't true, Sir. Even though one can't fulfill their master's request, many of them continued to live on as humans. After all, masters need slaves to reproduce the next generation, so there are many human ethnic groups and towns in the masters' territories. The humans will live within and serve their masters by reproducing. Those who perform well will be rewarded with honor and status.\"

Sara pushed out her chest rather proudly.

\"My mother has given to a dozen children with over 20 men and was awarded with supreme honor from Sir Cullen. This is also the reason why I was fortunate enough to serve Sir Cullen and become his Corpse Slave.\"

\"Over 20 men? Tsk tsk tsk!\"

Frederick shook his head.

\"I admire your mother. Her husband must be so generous. If it were me, I can never accept that. If it's my wife... Hey, why did you kick me? Serena?\"

\"Husband?\"

Sara tilted her head curiously.

\"What's that?\"

\"That is... a form of address used by a woman to the man after they marry each other.\"

\"What's marry?\"

\"Marry...\"

Frederick was at a loss for words. He scratched his head and turned to the other young ladies around him, but their minds seemed to have shut down like a computer that crashed. After pondering for a few moments, Frederick braced himself as whoever started the trouble should rightfully end it.

\"Simple speaking. A pair of loving man and woman marry, form a family, live together, and give birth to children... Don't you have such customs over there?\"

\"No.\"

Sara shook her head firmly.

\"It is the duty of all females to give birth in our territory. As soon as we reach adulthood, we will need to give birth as much as we can. In fact, if I didn't serve Sir Cullen for a long time and become a Corpse Slave, perhaps I would be working hard like my sisters.\"

Marlene and the others felt as though they had returned to the world where they belonged upon exiting the underground prison and feeling the dazzling sunshine pouring on their faces. As humans and females, they felt as though they had fallen into the darkest abyss after hearing Sara's story. Serena didn't take it well. She covered her mouth all the way while exiting the underground prison and finally threw up. Just imagining the scary scenes was enough to make her faint.

\"Oh my goodness... I've never thought that... the humans living in darkness are leading such lives.\"

Lize clutched her hands before her chest and looked down on the ground. Even though they had heard of rumors regarding the Country of Darkness, most of them were unfounded and altered to satisfy the listeners' ears. But now, the harshest truth was presented to them. If they didn't witness how Sara returned from the dead and confirmed that she was one of the Undead Creatures who they had fought, perhaps they would never believe that her words were true. Compared to her confessions, the rumors about the evil, scheming Undead Creatures were nowhere close in reality.

No. At this moment, they hoped that the young lady was lying to them, which was shameless fun to the Undead Creatures. They rather believed that the young lady was exaggerating on purpose because it would be horrible if such things existed in this world

Perhaps it wasn't this situation that was frightening. Instead, it was how Sara behaved as though everything was inevitable and right when she spoke. The moral values, social order, and common sense in the Light Mainland were non-existent. Even though social order existed on the land of darkness on the other side, they were that twisted, evil, and fearful.

\"...\"

Marlene appeared to have accepted it much better than the rest. Rhode noticed that she placed her hands on her chest and calmed down after taking a few deep breaths. Just this determination was a world of difference from the pale, miserable Serena who seemed to have taken a huge hit.

\"Rhode. That young lady... what do you intend to do with her?\"

Marlene knitted her brows and asked worriedly. Rhode put Sara alone in the cell and wasn't concerned that she would escape since her spirit was in his possession. Manipulating spirits was a profound strength. No matter what the other party was thinking or doing, Rhode was well aware of them. Whenever he gave an order through the spirit, he could make the other party abide obediently. Although he knew that Sara wouldn't leave the cell even if he didn't lock the gate, he had chosen to lock it to make others feel at ease. Sara was a Undead Creatures and didn't need to survive on food and water. Besides, she also wasn't fit to roam around in this situation.

\"Lock her up for the time being and talk about it when the time is right. She has given us valuable insights albeit the lack of information. I'm sure we can obtain a more specific number on the Undead Army after she thinks over it,\" Rhode said.

In fact, Rhode knew that the difference of opinions between the Country of Light and Country of Darkness weren't that simple. Twisted Order was still Order, which was one of the reasons why the Country of Law wasn't concerned about this situation which Marlene and the others treated as insane. The second reason was that in the Country of Darkness, this traditional and ancient rule had lasted for millenniums, where it could also be said that even though the humans residing in the Country of Darkness were humans in appearance, their moral values and views on life and death were entirely different from the Light Mainland. It was just like how Marlene and the others were baffled by what Sara felt proud of living to reproduce. But... this was the truth.

\"Organize a battle meeting. We have to inform others of this information. The Undead Army are coming in aggressively this time. We need to strike them back and tell them that this isn't the place for the skeletons like them to stay... Not in my territory.\"

Rhode lifted his head and gazed into the distant sky which presented an azure brilliance under the protection of the Light Dragon Soul. But he was clear that the situation wasn't this simple.

\"--!\"

At this moment, a crisp warble rang in their ears. Everyone witnessed a homing pigeon descended and landed on Gillian's extended hand. She took over the letter from its feet and scanned it through. Then, she revealed a meaningful smile.

\"Master, there's good news.\"

\"Hmm?\"

Rhode retrieved the letter and read. He puckered his brows and displayed an obvious smile.

\"Those Parliament idiots. I didn't expect them to fall this quickly.\"

\"What's wrong, Rhode?\" Marlene said curiously while he shook his head slightly.

\"It's nothing, Marlene. It's just some idiots who are looking for a scapegoat.\"