It was a common tale in the beginning.
A poor village swallowed up by the ravages of war, its fortune, food, and lives snatched away. Invaders mercilessly trampled the villagers’ location, which had a series of crop failures and was struggling with starvation. Unable to even resist, their miserable lives were reaped by swords, or possibly spears.
All throughout the village rose shrieks and screams, and then they were extinguished.
Sating their greed and to make sport, they set fire to the buildings after looting them, and they left not a single vestige behind. A father and child, seeing an opening, had decided to escape, but well aimed arrows flew towards their backs, and they collapsed face down.
From this Cauldron of Hell, not even a single person could escape.
It was inside that boiling, abominable hell fire.
A single, emaciated, scrawny young girl with lifeless eyes had secluded herself in a run-down hut. She had no energy nor strength to move remaining. The young girl’s family tried to run, but they were slaughtered on the way.
The girl who could not sufficiently do farmwork was thought a burden by not just the villagers, but also her family. If she died for them, they would be happier instead, they considered.
Therefore, she was the only one in the family left behind and consequently survived until now, since no one could escape the encircled village.
Inside the girl’s heart were resignation, despair, grief, and sorrow. Various emotions were mixed together.
However, more than those emotions, there was but one thought stronger than them in her. Only one desire outweighed them.
It was a sad, wretched desire that could be called a human instinct as well, “Hunger.”
Since this person was born, she never had a full stomach. An ample harvest could not be expected from the infertile earth, and furthermore, there was a harsh tax imposed. The meager remaining food was preferentially given to the laborers. The ones who went out hunting. The ones who performed farm work. The ones who raised children.
The young girl who could not do a single thing sufficiently was given nothing but scraps of food.
Even so, it could still be called happiness that she was just able to live.
Since there were cases of other villages resorting to murder to reduce the number of mouths to feed.
—Hence, when an invader finally came in, the girl did not even quiver. Even when the invader revealed a broad and detestable smile, the girl did not avert her face away. Even when the well-built soldier pushed her down and his arms came reaching for her, she did not shake him off.
Even when Death holding its large scythe looked down upon her, she did not feel dread. Was it just an illusion, or was it the real Death, had it come to harvest her soul?
Death, wearing a tattered robe and a white mask. However, the feeling of hunger was not sated by the appearance of the dreadful god of death.
Death and the man pushing her down could be seen overlapping each other. Her vision was becoming increasingly abnormal it seemed.
In the world which began to be infected with vice, the girl muttered that she was hungry many times over in her mind.
The girl’s crude clothes were violently torn off. She no longer cared what would happen afterwards; her stomach was empty. ‘Isn’t there anything to eat,’ she hummed and looked around.
At her out of place behavior, the soldier who pushed her down displayed a puzzled face. When his gaze met the girl’s, the man involuntarily drew back. The skilled soldier who had killed many people was stupefied.
“Y-you, what the heck–”
“You, look so delicious.”
She fixed her gaze on the man possessed by Death, and a single thought surfaced in the girl’s inner mind… She distorted her lips into a delighted smile, baring her teeth. What she thought was,
“This person’s tender throat, looks so very delicious.”
Two countries, the Yuze Kingdom and the Keyland Empire, were struggling for supremacy of the Mundo Novo continent. It was apparent that the situation was critical.
The impetus was last year’s large crop failure. The Yuze Empire which held most of the land that experienced poor harvests resorted to relying on imports of food supplies from other countries.
Whereupon, their trading partner, the Dolebacks Union suddenly imposed an embargo. In concert, the Keyland Empire unilaterally decreed that their Non-Aggression Pact was revoked.
The Union was a region that had declared independence from its Yuze Kingdom. The Empire currently had a tentative cease-fire with the Kingdom, but small skirmishes with the repetitively occurred along the borders. The Kingdom’s decline was to their advantage for sure, with no disadvantages. Aiming for an internal collapse, they cooperatively applied pressure, increasingly cutting off the Kingdom’s life.
Due to this embargo, the Kingdom’s finances were dire. They became forced to levy heavy taxes on the people, and many starved to death in the Kingdom’s territory.
The Empire further reached out their hands, and were successful in converting Princess Altura, an orphaned child of the current Kingdom’s prince.
She was backed with funds and an army, and “The Royal Capital Liberation Army” was established.
As the brains behind the operation, they sent in young, male soldiers of the Empire and appointed the Empire’s 2nd Prince as second in command. It goes without saying that he would marry the princess in the future, contriving to take over the Kingdom.
Even the Liberation Army desperately wanted a backer, and there was no reason to refuse their aid. They knew the dangers of being a puppet beforehand. For the utterly tyrannized people torn apart by the succession struggle, the current Kingdom was a more irreconcilable enemy than the Empire.
The plan was for the Liberation Army to consist of 30,000 soldiers, but there were not actually that many.
The Kingdom could have crushed them whenever at first, but they were overlooked as the Kingdom poured their strength into small skirmishes with the Empire.
However, the Liberation army occupied the stronghold “Salvador Fortress,” continued to steadily increase their region of control, and invited those suffering from the Kingdom’s tyranny.
Their numbers increased day by day, and they eventually could not be overlooked.
If allowed to multiply as they were currently, they would become an extremely threatening existence, the top brass of the Kingdom judged.
The Kingdom finally moved their heavy asses and decided to mobilize, further squeezing out the assets from the already hard-pressed citizens.
Antigua Branch Castle, the forefront of the Yuzu Kingdom.
Situated in the south part of the Central Border Zone, it was an important base which effectively glared over the border with the Empire. Further south of there was Salvador Fortress, the Liberation Army’s stronghold. Large amounts of money were pumped into strengthening Antigua’s walls; these were tenacious walls which had repulsed the Empire’s attacks on countless occasions so far.
Half of the newly enlisted soldiers, appropriately called small fry, were dispatched here.
Then, would they die in small skirmishes? Would they be executed for desertion? Or would they survive and earn a paltry sum of money? Which of these fates awaited them?
Naturally of course, there were curious people who desired to be enlisted, but a great majority of the soldiers were youths who were forcibly conscripted.
Mixed among these new soldiers with bad expressions was a girl who was happily stuffing her cheeks with bread and dried meat; she would be classified as one of those curious people.
“You, as always, you’re enjoying yourself eating. It isn’t that delicious, that thing.”
“It is because I can eat a lot of it, since everyone does not feel like eating much.”
“When your stomach is bulging, good and bad is another issue. Jeez, what a weirdo.”
The Platoon Leader in charge of the new recruits muttered in astonishment, but the girl finished her drink in one chug without showing any signs of caring.
“Schera’s tastes are quite heedless aren’t they? It is a common sight. More importantly, Platoon Leader, is the aforementioned rumor true?”
The platoon soldier who hadn’t experienced his first battle worriedly inquired.
The Platoon Leader asked back with a stern expression on his face.
“The one about commencing more and more offenses against the rebel army. It seems higher-ups have also arrived in groups.”
The “higher-ups” the young soldier mentioned — they were the admirals or perhaps generals who had a heap of medals affixed to their chests and boasted elite guards, staff officers, and soldiers marching along with them.
They were reinforcements from Eastern Belta. Including the Antigua reserve, their numbers would swell to roughly 100,000. It was the first large scale mobilization in a while.
Their numbers were plenty, their equipment so-so, and their experience was needless to say, low. The so called mish-mash comprised half of the army.
“……Ahh. There should be orders before long. We should prepare for them and make an effort to train. Whether you live or die is the fruit of your habitual training, and your luck.”
“Uwaa. So it was true. I still don’t want to die yet though……”
“Thank you for the meal.”
The young girl known as Schera put both hands together appearing satisfied. Seeing that, the young man unintentionally threw out a complaint.
“C’mon man. Don’t just think about eating, think a bit about what we said just now. Your life tomorrow is more important than today’s bread and meat right!”
“For me, today’s bread and meat are more essential. They are greatly valuable, more than going along with your complaining.”
“You quibbling shit girl!”
“Shit girl, no thank you.”
“Hey, conscripts, leave it at that. C’mon, if you’re done eating, hurry up and return to training!”
The two saluted when the Platoon Leader roared out, and they hurriedly returned to the parade ground.
The youth was quite the normal young man. If his luck was good, he would live, and if it was bad, he would probably die. Not even leaving his name in history, he was just a common soldier, consumable goods.
But of course, he himself understood that. With just common luck, he would have the bragging right called living.
The Platoon Leader smoked a cigarette. The smoke clouded his eyes.
However, that girl. Even though she was still a young girl, the girl at an appropriate age to be a soldier was not very understood. She was a odd human who personally went to enlist in the army.
Her age was around 16. Her birthplace was an agricultural village captured by the rebel army. Her reason for volunteering was a joke, “to eat until full.” There was but one reason why this girl who seemed unable to decently handle a sword was eligible.
Because she presented the heads of ten rebel soldiers while covered in blood. Their heads and proof of affiliation were disorderly thrown into a large, leather bag. She even was courteous enough to bring back a flag of the self-proclaimed Liberation Army.
Normally, there should have been a large amount of suspicions, but there was one thing the great Kingdom prided itself on. That there would be no problems if one possessed the power to kill the enemy, and she was immediately approved for enlistment.
At that occasion, while small, a cash reward was conferred as a reward for defeating the enemy.
And then, what fate was it that arranged for her to be assigned to the troop under his control.
The man who commanded the platoon, hearing the whole story, could only sigh.
“Jeez. I don’t get anything. I have a bad friggen’ premonition.”
Looking at the young girl at training, performing practice swings with her large scythe, the man involuntarily let out a sigh.
In spite of it being utterly preposterous, she readily displayed her skill with handling her scythe that she obtained from somewhere, even though he allowed her to use a sword.
At the time when she first participated in training, “Don’t wield something beyond your ability,” he said and decided to take it, but he dropped the large scythe on the ground due to its excessive weight. That ridiculous scythe took two new recruits to finally lift it up (It was impossible to swing it or anything).
Though it was a conundrum how a young girl with a seedy build could handle it, she certainly seemed to have more war potential when handling it than handling a sword. It would be appropriate to say that the girl had absolutely no hope in swordsmanship.
He inevitably recognized her as a special case, but either way, a scythe was half-baked as a weapon. It could not outrange a spear, and it fell behind a sword in cutting. Its outward appearance was imposing, but as a weapon that was it.
The reason why a scythe like that was not seen in actual combat was simple. It was not geared towards killing humans.
However, when he saw the young girl swinging the scythe with a happy expression and the blade biting into the dummies made of straw, he was reminded of something, though it was unpleasant. It was an existence everyone feared and should avoid.
Clad in black clothes, an aberration which hunted the souls of people. A sinister symbol which appeared at the verge of death.
“Hey, Schera. Are you really going to fight with that scythe? It’s a pain in butt, and unwieldy, nothing good about it. Even if you have some outrageous strength.”
The youth from before raised his voice worriedly. He had a bad mouth, but as it was, he was a good person.
“A normal sword just doesn’t match me, so I cannot help it. This one, has grown accustomed to me. I wonder why.”
Schera raised the scythe up with one hand, and the curved blade sent the dummy’s head flying.
Schera’s black hair with a tinge of brown swayed left and right with that force. Not long, but neither short, her hair extended to her shoulders. With a feeling of gloominess, she made a brushing gesture with her left hand.
The youth nearby seeing that, shook his head side to side while making a shocked expression.
“Good grief. Where did you get your hands on such a thing? Don’t tell me, is it custom made?”
“I found it.”
“That’s a lie! Like such a dangerous thing would just be carelessly dropped!”
“Do you want to know no matter what?”
“If you’re telling, I’ll listen for now. Since we’re talking about it.”
Schera’s voice quickly dropped to a lower volume as she smiled bewitchingly. It was different from her usual curtness.
The young soldier reflexively swallowed his saliva seeing that expression.
“—-I, am a Death God.”
The words were whispered near his ear. The youth, realizing he was being made fun of, yelled as his face flushed.
“You shit girl! Even when a person takes the trouble to seriously listen!”
“Since I told you, please treat me to some bread sometime. With cheese too, looking forward to it. It’s a promise.”
Schera extended out her hand, but it was strongly brushed away.
“Shaddap! You go eat grass or something!”
The youth perked up his shoulders and headed towards the location of another straw dummy. Once she was done looking at him, Schera resumed practice again.
“If it’s grass, I’ve eaten that many times; it wasn’t delicious. It’s bitter and doesn’t fill your stomach at all. Humans aren’t cows or horses. …….The most delicious thing I’ve ever had was”
“—-Death from that time.”
From above, the scythe brandished vertically above her head split the straw dummy in clean halves.
Yuze Kingdom Army, Third Army Corps Headquarters. As the night wore on, at the same time, a surprise attack was decided to be made according to the army corps commander General Yalder’s suggestion. Marching during the night had high risk. There would also be an outbreak of deserters.
Though the ones launching the surprise attack were the Third Army Corps, they were elite and had high honors; it was a division of 10,000 people under the command of Major General Jira. Their strategy was to group up with the reservists assigned to Antigua Branch Castle and launch a scathing attack on the food storehouses located around the enemy stronghold.
If the operation succeeded according to plan, it was assured that fatal damage would be inflicted upon the Liberation Army.
Of course, the enemy’s vigilance would be strict, but, “If it’s our elite troops, we would surely destroy them,” were Yalder’s words. After which, by the majority vote from commissioned officers who were sitting in a line, the strategy was to be carried out.
—-It was also determined that the platoon Schera was attached to would have the honor of participating in the surprise attack.
Though for the people whom it concerned, it was probably a sorrowful event. If they fought, they would die. The ones to die would be the soldiers who were scraped up after all.
The surprise attack would have two phases.
The staff officers would, after the surprise attack succeeded, pursue the rebel army without exception, or so it was planned.
On the road of pursuit, half of the Third Army Corps which were holded up in the fort would lay in ambush, stationed in the woodlands.
Then, the scheme called for the pursuit unit to thoroughly encircle the arriving enemy and drive them to extinction.
If all went well this time, the insurgents calling themselves the Royal Capital Liberation Army would be driven to collapse in one blow.
“……Will it succeed? This night attack. I feel somewhat uneasy.”
“Dunno. I wonder too. Except, I’m looking forward to the food silo. It’s a thing filled with food. We’ll be able to pick anything we want, no doubt about it.”
Schera and the youth, who was wearing crude armor on his person, marched while whispering. The vicinity was completely enveloped in darkness. While this may be obvious, fire was forbidden as this was a surprise attack. In the woodlands which had fallen silent, the soldiers stifled their breaths and simply and earnestly marched forwards.
“……You know, I’ve been thinking since then. Is there only eating inside your head? You should think more about other things.”
“Yeah, you didn’t know?”
“Jesus, I envy how you’re so happy-go-lucky. …… You know I, can’t help but be scared. I keep on thinking how I won’t be able to ever go home again. I still, still have a lot of things I want to do. I’m fearful of dying.”
The youth clenched his fist tightly, as if suppressing his shivering.
Schera took out a fried bean from her small bag and tossed it into her mouth. A good taste filled her mouth. It seemed out of place.
“If you die, then you won’t be scared. Isn’t that a good thing? You won’t need to worry so much anymore.”
“……If you also die, then you won’t feel hunger anymore, so good for you. A dead person doesn’t feel hunger.”
“I guess, that’s true.”
“Hey, be quiet! The enemy will hear you!”
While they thought the Platoon Leader’s voice was the loudest, after exchanging glances, the two fell silent.
—-Have we marched for an hour already? Or maybe it was two hours? Has the vanguard already launched the attack? Soon, we will, will we really be able to do a surprise attack without being discovered?
The youth asked himself while marching forward. While trying as best as he could to not make any sound.
He knew the answer to his previous question immediately. No, it should be said he was made to know.
“—-Retards of the Kingdom!! You will all die here-!!”
“Archers-, Start Volley! Annihilate them-!”
Together with a powerful command, torches glowed through the gaps of the surrounding trees. At the same time, fire arrows with sounds of cutting the wind struck the Kingdom’s army.
“E-Enemy!! Rebel army ambush!!”
“Wh-What is this! Was the surprise attack seen through-!? Hurry, retreat, Retreat-! Withdraw-!!”
Jira who lead the surprise attack unit raised his angry voice and gave out orders. To take advantage of an enemy’s carelessness, and then herd and rout them in one fell swoop was called, “A Surprise Attack.” That being said, the ones being ambushed were reversed. Their situation was that of prey who were successfully lured out. The commander had to immediately reorganize the formation or else—-.
“The fire is spreading too quickly! S-Sir, oil was scattered! F-Fire is coming all throughout the forest!”
“Hurry and open an escape path! We’ll be annihilated like this-!”
The entire surprise attack plan had been leaked to the rebel army, and a large quantity of hay and oil were strewn ahead of the path they would march in the woodlands beforehand. A large amount of fire arrows had rained down there.
There was no longer any way of reforming Jira’s division that had fallen into disarray. Would they be burnt to death in the forest, or would they go out and be skewered by the enemy.
Commander Major General Jira continued to berate his soldiers to escape somehow, but finally, he was killed by the rebel army leader.
There was not a trace of that overflowing confidence which filled his expression habitually on his face; there was only one that seemed to scream, “I don’t want to die.”
Schera’s platoon which followed them was also swallowed up by the vortex of flames. The arrows did not cease and continued to rain without any gaps. Platoon soldiers were also killed in action in the furious melee.
The soldiers who were killed in action were Schera’s acquaintances, and there was a time when she was treated to bread by them. She took out a small scrap of bread that she had put in her pocket, threw it into her mouth, and chewed.
That she would no longer be given treats, was very unfortunate.
“Even if we stay here like this, we’ll only be burnt to death. Sink or swim, we can only exit the forest. Prepare yourselves.”
The Platoon Leader strained his voice and informed the soldiers.
“B-But Platoon Leader. Won’t we be completely surrounded outside too?”
“That time comes, we resign ourselves to our bad luck. If you don’t want to, it’s fine if you stay here. I don’t mind if you violate military regulations. However, that you will be burnt to death, I guarantee it. …… Those who have the guts, unsheathe your swords. We’ll attack all at once on my signal.”
The Platoon Leader and the soldiers in the prime of their lives took out their weapons and looked to the right. Through a break in the trees, an open field could be seen, and no enemy soldiers were found. Of course, there was a good likelihood that enemy soldiers were lying down.
From the front arose black smoke, screams, and flames, compelling every soldier to make their decision.
Another platoon from the rear raised a strange voice and sprung out into the plains. At the same time, the Platoon Leader also gave out his orders.
“Start the attack-!! Charge!!” 𝒾n𝘯𝒓𝙚а𝑑. 𝓬𝑜𝙢
“Forwards forwards! Don’t look beh—-”
At the platoon’s bold dash, arrows came flying level to the field. The Liberation Army’s soldiers were eagerly, restlessly awaiting them. There were no soldiers who were performing the ambush that had revealed themselves to their enemy. Camouflaged, arrows nocked, spears gripped, they had concealed their sharp killing intent.
It was already too late for the other platoon that used to be behind them. Dead bodies pierced by arrows were scattered everywhere.
An arrow pierced the brow of the Platoon Leader who went first. His body as well; several shafts were stuck in his armor, and the Platoon Leader died in action without being able to raise a scream or be surprised.
The youth, whether fortunate or unfortunate, only had been struck in his shoulder and right knee, and he bore no fatal wounds. However, that did not change his fate. The difference was only now, or later. The enemy soldiers changed to spears from bows and were impatiently closing the distance. The wounded platoon members in the vicinity were also already in no condition to fight.
No reinforcements, and the platoon behind them was already walking the road to Hades.
With his posture destroyed, there was no meaning in pointing a sword towards the enemy. He entertained the thought of throwing away his sword and surrendering, but he quickly threw it away. They wouldn’t take one common soldier as a prisoner after all.
—-I will die here.
The youth did not want to die from the bottom of his heart.
“Platoon Leader, he died huh. Even though he treated me to many meals. Truly unfortunate.”
He thought he had heard Schera’s usual and unchanging voice next to his ear, in that moment, something charged into the enemy soldiers. It was too quick, and the youth could only do his best and follow it with his eyes.
Then, at the same time blood danced from within the torches, screams roared.
An enemy soldier’s right arm was lopped off by a large scythe, and the head of a man who stood next to him dumbfounded was sent flying.
The blade of the scythe was keen, and the heads of the Liberation Army’s soldiers were decapitated and soared — it was just like mowing weeds.
The man who had his right arm severed had no idea of the circumstances which had befallen him, and he fell face down.
His bleeding was severe, and he probably wouldn’t be able to avoid death.
“Oi, what are you guys doing! The opponent is just a single person! Surround and ki—-”
Into the face of the man who gave orders like a commanding officer stabbed the tempered edge of the scythe’s point. Those at the sides fell silent as the person’s face was torn into irregular shapes. It seemed he had unknowingly gotten in range of the scythe.
The soldiers’ screams resonated. Anyone would upon seeing a disaster befall a human who was just living.
“Kind of annoying when there’s many people. But, I won’t leave anyone alive. I will massacre all of you rebel army.”
While whispering a monologue, it aloofly intersected a spear that was thrusted. At that opening, the edge of the scythe pierced deeply from overhead the opponent. And like that, the vicinity became a sea of blood, and the meaningless corpse was thrown away.
The Liberation Army’s troops that had fallen into a state of panic fired arrows while trembling. Schera spun her scythe and brushed them off like it was nothing.
It was as though a conqueror or hero had come from the legends, the youth thought.
One, and then another enemy soldier began to retreat.
Having lost their drive, the troops crumbled like being hit by an avalanche.
The instant Schera made a slight smile and stepped forward with her right foot:
“—-H-Help! T-This guy’s a Death God!!”
“M-Monster!! We can’t winn!”
“I don’t want to die in a place like thiss!!”
The several people who lived raised screams and started running away.
Schera decided one man as her target from amongst them and heaved the scythe in her hand with vigorous force.
The scythe stuck into a large tree ahead of her and cut the body of the soldier in its path in two, which started spasming and twitching as its entrails leaked out. It was instant death.
While the youth and the surviving platoon soldiers were dumbfounded, Schera in a trot went to pick up her large scythe. She postured the scythe on her shoulder, and her figure was one of utter, sincere happiness against a backdrop of fire.
Her face was smeared with blood; her armor as well. Pieces of meat and viscera stuck to her scythe. It was a terrible spectacle that one couldn’t look straight at.
“……What’s the matter? Your face is pale you know?”
From the middle of the plains which was filled with the dense smell of blood, Death itself headed towards the youth. It was Schera’s silhouette projected by the flickering illumination.
As if clad in black, tattered robes, the monster of death was imprinted onto the youth’s vision. The sinister scythe slowly swayed side to side. As if it was hunting its next prey.
That, was as long as the youth could maintain his consciousness.
If you want to read more chapters, please visit AllNovelBook.com to experience faster update speed. You can also log in to your account there.