Luke, diligently headed to Jackson along with Priest Luther and his Guard Knights.
Thanks to the fly magic being used in mass, they were able to move faster than riding a wagon or a trailer, yet they weren’t moving as fast as expected.
There were two reasons for it.
First, was the limit of magic.
No matter how huge one possessed mana, it wasn’t easy to fly using their magic to move 20 people at once.
Second, there were many people who weren’t used to flying for long durations of time.
They ended up with symptoms of motion sickness, such as complaints of dizziness or vomiting as their balance seemed disturbed, just like the cases of riding wagons or boats.
It wasn’t just Luther who showed such symptoms, but the Guards as well.
Which forced everyone to settle down.
“Pathetic! The proximal Guard Knights are tying down the King! How ridiculous this situation is!”
“We, we are very sorry, commander.”
When Hwang Bo-sung yelled with a disgruntled expression, the knights bowed their heads in shame.
However, Luke, who was the most frustrated one, ended up taking their side.
“Don’t be too hard on them. This is all on me, to bring them on such an unfamiliar journey.”
Wizards, even those who were skilled at using the fly magic too weren’t good at holding themselves in the air for long.
It was natural for the knights, who were used to war on the ground, to feel troubled.
‘They’ll have to be trained to fly the next time. It will get tough if this keeps happening again and again…’
Yet, since their bodies and physical abilities were strong, the knights weren’t able to get back up pretty quickly.
Thanks to that, on the second day after their departure from Bless, they were able to reach the estate borders by sunset.
They could understand that they had arrived at the border.
It was because the Lords and wizards who were out of the Jackson estate dug deep pits for the zombies to fall and installed fire magic circles and barriers.
‘They seem to be acting fast to make sure that it doesn’t spread.’
Luke, seemed to be satisfied with the actions taken by the Holy Empire and crossed the border with the party.
“From this very moment, we are entering the realm of the zombies. I need everyone to be alert. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
It wasn’t sure if they could be attacked in the air, but once they landed on the ground, they would be bound to be attacked by the infected.
Which was why Luke had to scan through the entire area to find a relatively safe place to land.
And soon, they were able to find such a suitable place.
It was the summit of the rocky mountain which was in the middle of the forest.
Luke, sent Luther and his Guards first and ordered them to prepare meals and tents for resting.
“Huh? What is that?”
While Luke was scouting the surrounding areas with Fly Magic, he saw something strange at a distance.
“Master, what is it? Is it a zombie group?”
When Luke couldn’t take his eyes off something, Hwang Bo-sung, who was on the ground, asked with a nervous expression.
“Something seems to be present 2 kilometers ahead of this place. I will have to check this out.”
Even though he wanted to get to Reina, he couldn’t just ignore something and turn a blind eye over it.
The zombies which Luke managed to see were displaying strange behavior from what Luther had told him about.
In the hope that it might have a direct connection to the zombie disease or the forces behind, Luke flew straight to the place despite Hwang Bo-sung’s concern.
After a while, Luke managed to arrive in a small village on the low hill.
Zombies were completely filling the village which had barriers around it.
Till then, there was nothing much different from what they saw in the other regions of Jackson.
However, there was something odd.
The zombies were fighting with each other with their hands.
Around a thousand zombies were divided into those with red headbands on, and those without, those with red headbands were preventing the zombies without the headbands from entering the village.
Moreover, they were armed with farming equipment such as axes and ploughs unlike the ordinary zombies which were supposed to move with bare hands, they were even handling firearms.
‘They seem to be moving like an army.’
The number of the red headband zombies were less, yet they seemed to move very efficiently.
In particular, the power of the fire was so great that they were able to burn a dozen zombies at once.
‘Zombies moving like an army. Such things can only be done with the dark magic spell of Corpse Manipulations. Then was this…?’
Luke immediately tried to trace any dark magic being used.
Before long, he managed to find Magi, which was flowing out of the watchtower which was in the middle of the village and controlling the red headband zombies.
On the watchtower stood a middle-aged man who was wearing a stained robe.
Every time, the wizard waved his staff and memorized certain spells, the red headband zombies were moving.
‘He doesn’t seem to be a regular warlock. Seeing the zombies move in accordance to the line-up, he must have learned about strategy.’
Maybe the warlock was someone who had a considerable experience on the battlefield as a War Mage before mastering dark magic.
As Luke pondered and watched, the red headbands defeated the zombies which were trying to enter the village.
Yet, it wasn’t like the red headband zombies hadn’t suffered any damage.
More than half of them had been crushed or hurt, yet, the Warlock had demonstrated his ability to cope with corpses by taking control of the zombies and making them his allies.
“The zombies will head back! You can all be at ease!”
‘What, there were survivors?’
Luke was shocked at the words and looked closely at the village.
As the warlock yelled, the windows and doors which were closed till then began to open and one after the other people began to come out.
They seemed to be around hundreds.
The villagers approached the warlock.
“Than-thank you very much. Wilf.”
“Thanking him. That won’t even suffice for what he did, chief.”
People who came out of their homes began to repair their wooden fence around the village and throw out the remains of the burned or destroyed zombies in their land.
The zombies with the red headband were helping the humans out, and the people didn’t seem to be scared or flustered with it, almost like they were used to what was happening.
“Ah man, to see such a day. For a warlock to save us…”
The warlock, who was controlling the red headband zombies and the villagers who were cleaning their homes were shocked at the strange sound flowing in the air.
Only to find Luke, who suddenly appeared in the air and then stepped onto their ground.
“Wh-who are you?”
“I… I am the Viscount of Albertville, Lev.”
Instead of giving out his real name, Luke introduced himself with the alias he had used during the Civil War.
However, what was more fascinating was that the warlock seemed to have known about him.
“Lev! You… you, you are the Lev, who was claimed to be the reincarnation of the Mercenary King?”
“Yes. Because of the zombie disease, I was called by the Holy Pope to move to Jackson. But, who could you be? You seem to be different from a normal warlock…”
If one was a warlock, they would be treated like the servant of the Devil.
Someone whom no person would wish to be acquainted with.
Before his departure from Brandon, Luke called up Meister Johas and asked him to send manpower for aide.
“Did you come from Dark Moon?”
“What is Dark Moon?”
“You don’t know Dark Moon?”
“Yes, this is my first time hearing that name.”
Not knowing, the warlock shook his head.
‘What? If not from Dark Moon, why would a warlock even be here? Moreover, considering how his skills were, he must have learned white magic till 5th magic circle spells and perfectly used to 3rd magic circle of dark magic…?’
With the sharp eyes Luke had, he was able to glance at the warlock and understand it.
“I am a wandering wizard, Wilf. You must have seen it, but I am mastering dark magic.”
“Yeah, treating the zombies like your limbs.”
With Luke’s words, Wilf who was contemplating fell on the ground.
He clasped his hands together and began to plead.
“It-it was because of the circumstance I was in. I never sold humans to the demons or did anything bad. Please believe my words!”
‘He seems to be genuinely scared.’
Luke smiled, yet he didn’t seem to care about the man being a warlock.
In the Holy Empire, warlocks were the group of people who had to be eradicated upon discovery.
And the man in front of the warlock was Lev, a man who managed to split the falling meteorite and saved the city which was on the brink of destruction.
No matter how well he learned white and dark magic, to confront an opponent like Lev was impossible.
“You don’t need to be so scared. I am a different person than the priests.”
Luke, asked Wilf who looked up at him.
“For now, I want to know what happened here. Why are you protecting this village… well, cancel that, from where did you learn the dark magic?”
“Yes, yes, I will tell you everything.”
Wilf, who felt a little relieved, began to talk about everything which Luke was wondering about.