Jackson, one of the provinces of the Holy Arthenia Empire.
The capital city of Jackson was Bremen.
Archbishop Antero, who was in charge of looking after the area, was informed that an undead monster, a zombie, had made an appearance in their region.
As a response, he contacted the close by sanctuary to dispatch priests and paladins to find out if it was summoned by a warlock or some other cause.
However, the report which came in after a few days was surprising.
People, who were infected with the strange epidemic were dying and turning into zombies, and the rate of transmission of the unknown disease was incredibly fast.
The epidemic, which first made its appearance in the rural village passed to the official manors within the next full moon and was spreading to small and medium-sized cities in the estate.
Accordingly, Archbishop Antero tried to prevent the situation by mobilizing the lords and priests and paladins under Jackson.
However, as time went on, the number of zombies began to grow exponentially, even the priests and paladins who were involved in the treatment of the patients turned into victims of the infectious disease and had to be killed.
“Such ridiculous situations! Even those who serve the God are getting turned into the undead!”
“Archbishop, they didn’t turn into undead. They died showing the symptoms the same as those who turn into zombies.”
“That is true. Unlike the normal people, who died with the symptoms turning worse, the priests and paladins showed immediate body combustion.”
In spite of the reports from the other high priests, Archbishop Antero failed to make a decision.
Even though they didn’t die, the fact that the priests couldn’t overcome the illness was rather unpleasant for him.
“Well, is there any way to stop the zombie illness?”
“Zombies can be eradicated immediately, but the problem is those who are infected or any suspicious patients. When they are being treated with divine power, the body begins to burn and they die which leads them to turn into a zombie..”
Archbishop tried to control his frustrated heart by taking deep breaths.
In the end, he felt that his skills were limited and the need to report it to Bless’s Imperial palace for help.
-Those who are sick turn into zombies?
The magic communication with the Pope of the Holy Palace was activated.
At the question from Veronica III or Reina, Archbishop Antero nodded his head with a sullen expression.
“Yes, Pope. The zombie disease is highly contagious and spreads very quickly to everyone.”
-Not long ago, didn’t the Baroque Empire’s capital too hold the symptoms similar to an epidemic?
Luke, who had gone to visit her last time, said that a disease called Vers, which drove the ancient Mado civilization to its end had been spread again.
This was why Reina was naturally reminded of Vers when the Archbishop spoke about such transmission and mortality rate.
“This one is completely different. This zombie disease isn’t showing the symptom of high fever, but it is showing the rotting of flesh and the intestines, and once infected, all turn into zombies. In addition, when we tried helping people with divine power, they burst into fire and died.”
As a result, the infected patients were scared and refused treatment or fled from safe places.
And then before long, they would turn into zombies, and the vicious cycle would hit again.
“Since there is no other way to stop the disease, the public sentiment in Jackson isn’t that great at the moment, and the reputation of the denomination is getting worse by minute. I feel like we should act.”
Honestly, it wasn’t like there was no other way.
As Emperor Rudolf of the Baroque Empire did, they could bring in all the infected and suspected patients to one place and remove them.
However, if they decided to follow such a measure of the cruel act, the feelings of people in the Empire would take a turn for the worse.
What was more, the zombie disease was so unclear about the development and how it got infected.
So, Antero didn’t propose the method.
“First, I wish you could send in the ‘Holy Grail Guardian’. Till then we will try to block the spread of the disease and learn about its cause.”
-Oh my god… is it so bad that I have to send those men?
Unlike the Saint Guards, the armed group of the best paladins of the Holy Empire, the Grail Guardians were created by the priests and fostered under the denomination to combat demons.
Although they had deeper faith and higher divine power than ordinary priests, they were hardly revealed to the public.
It was because they usually lived in quiet places like temples or sanctuaries all around the empire and only showed up when the Holy Empire was in crisis.
And such men were asked to be dispatched!
“We are in a situation where normal priests and paladins have no effect on them. We still aren’t sure, and it is more likely that someone with more power than we known of is behind this.”
If it was the act of such a man, they were sure to have a hidden intention for causing such havoc.
If it was a priest who spread the disease, it meant that it was an attempt to destroy the Holy Empire, which maintained the authority and values of El Kassel.
“But, we need to hurry up. The estimated number of zombies alone is increasing to tens of thousands, and a thousand patients are turning up every day. If left alone like this, in just another month, it won’t be just Jackson, but the entire Holy Empire will get infected.”
The Jackson estate was just one province of the Holy Empire, yet, it was a key piece for them.
If they didn’t hurry and stop the new epidemic, the epidemic would spread over to the entire Empire.
-I understand. We will send the support right away.
Reina immediately cut off the magic communication with Archbishop Antero and asked for a meeting to be held right away.
At her emergency call for a meeting, all the high-ranking figures of the Empire, Marquis Gregory, and Priest Luther too were gathered.
“Some of you might have already received the report, but an unknown epidemic of zombies is currently spreading in Jackson.”
Luther seemed curious.
“Yes. It doesn’t seem to look like an ordinary infectious disease, when one dies, they turn into zombies.”
“Huh?! that doesn’t even make sense!”
Upon the words of the high priests, Reina began to tell them everything which she heard from Archbishop Antero.
At first, they thought of it to be a simple trick of a warlock or a normal epidemic spreading with peculiar symptoms, however, as her story continued, they couldn’t help but realize that the situation was a lot worse.
“That seems bad, I think we need to dispatch priests and paladins right away to save the people. Surely, we have no way of saving those who are already sick, but we will still be able to stop the disease from spreading faster.”
At the end of Luther’s words, Reina nodded her head.
“Archbishop of Jackson asked me to send in the Grail Guardians.”
“Wouldn’t it take time for the Grail Guardians to enter? We should immediately send over the Saint Guards.”
Everyone agreed with Arch Duke Gregory’s opinion.
And soon, other opinions followed.
About an hour later, it was decided that one squad of Saint guards would be sent, with 200 priests with excellent divine power and medicine and another 30,000 soldiers, to support them.
With that power, it would be enough to subdue even an intermediate demon.
And so, the Holy Empire thought it regained its stability.