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Chapter 102 – Zombie Apologies
While Luca was experiencing the pinnacle of her happiness, there were others who found themselves in the depths of misery. Now, let’s delve into another unfortunate tale.
“Get me the hell outta here, Yesman!”
Yesman responded coldly to Batts’ tirade in the Viscount’s underground basement.
“Fine. Get out, you two zombies.”
“Heh, Pee-man. Too bad, we’re getting out of here first!”
“Looks like we ain’t gonna be comrades, hahaha.”
As they were escorted out of the underground prison, they gleefully spewed their final curse-filled remarks, leaving the bewildered officers behind.
“Oh, so these are the two zombies?”
Unaware of the impending fate awaiting them, they celebrated a little too early.
Let’s fast forward to a later time.
The next group to be relocated consisted of a gang of criminals with extensive rap sheets.
They griped about their new home, the dark cave recommended by Lyog.
“You damn Lyog, you bastard!”
“He’s insane, snatching people during a damn festival.”
“He’s crazy, shouting ‘I’m after Aix, but since I can’t find him, I’ll nab anyone with a bounty record.’ That idiotic bastard!”
“Hey, you newbies, watch your mouths!”
“What? You wanna die!”
“Hey, calm down. You want your punishment extended by fighting the mine guards?”
“When we get outta here, we’ll spill blood in revenge for Aix. Cough cough cough…”
One newbie with weak lungs coughed.
As you may have guessed, these were the criminals Lyog captured from Sheep Town and brought to the mine.
Out of nowhere, a hysterical scream reverberated through the cave, accompanied by the sound of a whirlwind, startling the newcomers.
“Hey, what the hell was that? What happened?”
The mine guard answered with a smirk.
“That was the model prisoner.”
“Huh? What do you mean? Explain it properly, damn it!”
But without further explanation, they were shoved into a large, filthy room.
“Get in there, you newbies. No work today. You’ll find out more from the model prisoner you heard earlier.”
“Hey, don’t screw with us like that. What the hell!”
The cell door was locked, and the shabby, spacious room they entered already had two occupants who arrived earlier.
The newbies showed little interest in socializing with each other and began establishing a hierarchy.
Who would miss out on meals or be subjected to hard labor by the senior slaves? It was a crucial battle in this harsh environment.
Amidst all this, one criminal was shocked to see two familiar faces.
“Why the hell are Batts and Elfman from the Zombies here?”
“Gyahahaha! Surprised to see me, huh? That’s right, I’m Batts from the Zombies, a Class A adventurer! Nice to meet you, newbies!”
Batts grinned and boasted.
Title equals power.
The criminal world wasn’t always just about mindless violence. In the battle for dominance in the mine, the Zombies had gained an advantage.
“So, you guys are running the show here?”
“No, actually, we’re new here too.”
So there were higher-ups above them? Then what about those even lower in the hierarchy? But Batts made an unexpected suggestion.
“Don’t be so down,” he said. “I have a proposition. Why don’t we take over this place ourselves? No need to follow those senior slaves who will be coming back. Besides, they might be weakened from their hard labor.”
The newcomers were taken aback by this unconventional suggestion.
Batts was cunning enough to capitalize on the Forest Guards and Aix.
“Wow, that’s a brilliant idea, Batts!”
“I’m with you!”
The room buzzed with excitement over an idea that wouldn’t harm anyone. Unbeknownst to them, Batts, who lacked real power but had a commanding voice, was appointed as their leader. They nodded, unknowingly becoming pawns in the struggle against the senior slaves. It was a perfect plan for Batts to rise as an executive even if he failed and become the boss if he succeeded.
A beep signaled the end of the day’s work.
“Everyone, stay calm.”
“Don’t show fear or back down.”
Batts passionately shouted at the anxious newcomers, who were awaiting the return of the senior slaves. It was a crucial battle to determine their rank among the slaves in the mine.
The senior slaves returned with somber faces, but to their surprise, they appeared muscular and resilient from their training in the mine.
But shouldn’t they be weakened from mining? This wasn’t what we expected.
“So, you guys are the newbies…?”
“Whatever. We’ll share the room now. Get ready because hell awaits you.”
“Better get used to this life. Kill your thoughts, shut your ears—that’s how you survive here.”
Although they had finished their work for the day, the senior slaves wore a collective expression of gloom and spoke unsettling words.
After being reinforced by their time in the mine, they seemed not weakened but rather unyielding, quickly thwarting the takeover plan. The newcomers huddled together, whispering among themselves.
“Ugh, what do we do, Batts?”
“Wait. Don’t panic. Not everyone has arrived yet. Let’s see what happens.”
And finally, the last senior slave, the model prisoner, arrived.
Batts and Elfman were taken aback by the familiar face.
The Guildmaster had transformed into a muscular and hardened figure due to his work in the mine.
No… it wasn’t just that. He seemed to have lost his spirit, barely recognizable as the same person.
“Hey! What happened? Are the rumors true? Snap out of it, who did this to you?”
“Guildmaster, please come to your senses!”
But he didn’t speak the human language!
Looking into the Guildmaster’s dark eyes, one felt a sense of impending despair.
His weariness of mind was simply a consequence of the enslavement ring he wore, yet it permeated the room like a lifeless corpse.
The deterioration of his mind was merely a result of the enslavement ring’s effects, but it cast an eerie silence over the room.
A senior slave spoke in place of the Guildmaster.
“…Give up. He’s beyond help now. He must have angered Aix or something.”
The senior slave trembled, as if recalling a dreadful memory, and began to speak.
“…Originally, it was supposed to be a one-year sentence.”
“What are you talking about?”
Suddenly, the Guildmaster’s scream echoed through the room, momentarily halting the conversation.
As the mood took a turn for the worse, the conversation resumed in an unpleasant atmosphere.
“…May I continue? It’s about when he was still sane. The day after he badmouthed Aix, his sentence was extended by ten years. And it’s been like this ever since.”
“Aix? That guy can only use beginner-level magic, right? He’s a defective mage, isn’t he?”
When Batts recalled an incorrect answers and paled, the senior slave nodded in agreement.
“So, that’s indeed the forbidden magic of extension, huh? My goodness, please spare me from it. Just seeing him like that is almost driving me crazy!… Huh? What’s wrong? Why do you all have that expression?”
The newcomers wore gloomy expressions.
“We zombies ended up here because of our association with Aix.”
“What should we do, Batts?”
“It’s the same for us. Lyog, who captured us, mentioned that name too.”
The senior slave expressed sympathy.
Ah, these people have done it. It’s written all over their faces.
“Well, good luck, I suppose? I don’t want to get involved, sorry.”
“No, no! Please help us.”
Batts, Elfman, and the new criminals pleaded for assistance, their faces drained of color.
One of the senior slaves extended a helping hand. They kindly responded as a sage of life advice.
“You guys… I don’t know the details, but wouldn’t it be better to apologize to Aix-sama?”
A completely wrong answer. Oh my, how pitiful… Did they truly take it seriously?
“I-I’m sorry! It was our mistake, so please forgive us, Aix-sama!”
“I apologize, Aix! That dwarf who coerced me into violence against you!”
“We’ve never even seen your face, Aix-sama, but we will reflect on ourselves and change our ways. Please, just forgive the extension.”
Repentant voices echoed through the mine, missing the mark.
If those apologies were to be heard, Aix would likely wear a displeased expression and say, “Huh?”
Contrary to Aix’s intentions, their days of rehabilitation had only just begun.