“I am actually a child from the village of Ribek. I was someone born to a paper craftsman…”
As a child, Wilf worked on delivering the papers made by his fathers to the sanctuary or paper or the magic towers in his village or nearby villages.
In the process, he learned to write and began to borrow books and then acquire knowledge.
At the age of 12, he became the disciple of the wizard who was working in the village’s magic tower.
“The magic tower in my village had rather little experience to give. Instead of being stuck in the laboratories, I wanted to go around and build up my own experience with real interactions.”
“Hmm, you must have wanted a practical experience.”
That was why Wilf left the magic tower in his village at 18 years old and traveled around the continent as a mercenary wizard.
In the process, he began to take up small tasks such as monster subjugation. He participated in the wars of the other nations and gained experience as a war mage.
“In the process, I met her and fell in love.”
Luke turned to the direction where Wilf’s gaze fell.
There was a female zombie wearing a red headband armed with double swords in a typical mercenary outfit.
She looked more like a half-elf.
Maybe because of Wilf’s skills, the beauty didn’t die right away despite her losing a lot of blood, and she wasn’t snarling like the other zombies.
“How did it turn out then?”
“Phew, it has been 20 years already. At that time, we were asked to subdue the warlocks who were residing in the wastelands. But…”
The warlocks, who was known to be honing their skills with Corpse Manipulations, turned out to be experts in developing their powers through the contracts with demons.
During that time, the paladins and priests of the sanctuary were commissioned, and the mercenary group that Wilf belonged to barely managed to execute the warlock after numerous struggles.
“But, our sacrifice was too great. Everyone but me had died, Eva too.”
“Was that why? Don’t tell me…?”
“It is exactly what you think.”
Wilf, who ended up losing his long time companions and lover, Eva, had lost his reasoning.
He touched the items left behind by the dead warlocks, the dark magic books, and somehow managed to save Eva.
“There were many spells in that dark magic book, but the only thing I was interested in was getting my Eva back. Well, she isn’t completely revived yet. I just wanted to be with her someway or another. I don’t even know how Eva views my selfishness and greed…”
With a bitter look, Wilf could only sigh.
He had gone through the painful experience of losing the only woman he had loved.
Luke knew right away that he would have done the same if he was in Wilf’s position.
“Well, in the end, I lived by avoiding any kind of interactions with people. I would have been killed for any reason, either for walking around with magi in my body or walking around with a zombie.”
In the end, he would wander around the wastelands instead of going back to a group or a magic tower.
If he ever ended up needing things to buy, he would go to the villages where sanctuaries and denominations weren’t much prominent.
“And then I came to know about the things which were happening recently. I was shocked to see the enormous number of zombies wandering around, with no one to control them. I just wanted to know who was the bastard that created such a devastating situation.”
The reason any a warlock would create a zombie was to use them as their own personal slaves for battles or work since zombies didn’t need food or sleep.
Yet, during this time, the zombies were being produced in mass but for no purpose.
“I thought a lot about it. About hiding myself and my abilities like I did or to use them and save the people.”
Wilf had learned dark magic, yet his fundamentals were good-natured.
He wasn’t sure if he would be let to live if he went out, it wasn’t like he wasn’t concerned for himself.
“In the end, you choose the latter one? Was that why you came back to save your hometown.”
“Yes, I was fortunate that I wasn’t too late.”
During his hiding, Wilf didn’t just waste time.
In order to revive Eva, he continued to study dark magic related to Corpse Manipulation so that her body could at least be maintained.
Thanks to that, he managed to make hundreds of zombies move, which ended up saving the village of Ribek.
“The people of the village are thankful for it. Still, they are scared of the fact that I am a warlock. Most priests in the village didn’t even want to help, and there were a few who said he would rather burn than help.”
“Huh, priests are always like that.”
Listening to Wilf’s story, Luke briefly looked at the villagers who were working with the zombies and asked, “Are there any villagers who have caught the zombie disease.”
“Zombie disease? Ah, you must be talking about the symptoms of turning into a zombie, the rotting of flesh. You don’t have to worry. We managed to identify the source of infection and acted on it.”
“What? You identified the source of infection?”
Luke couldn’t help but listen closely to what Wilf had to offer.
“Yes. Before coming over to the village, I met a few people who were infected and ended up dissecting the zombies, and I saw that there was a medium for the disease to spread.”
“Hmm, a medium…”
Luke too thought about the fact of the zombie disease to have a medium because of the fast-spreading rate.
However, he wasn’t able to identify what the medium was.
Wilf began to give Luke the details he had noticed from his study.
“Most of the infectious disease and pandemics end up spreading because of the fleas, almost like the Black Death. It was known to have spread because of the rats, but in reality, it was the fleas on the rats that started the disease.”
“I know about that too. Then, is this zombie disease being transmitted through small insects or animals?”
“I don’t think that’s the case. If that was the case, then even this village would have ended up with too many infected patients… But we have no infected people in this village, and the one who ended up getting infected was because that person got bitten by zombies during their early attacks.”
According to Wilf’s findings, the towns and cities that ended up turning into a zombie haven were all along the lines of small and large rivers.
However, the village of Ribek was located far away from any water source, and the villagers had wells or stored the rainwater for drinking purposes.
That was why no one was infected by any other source.
“And we aren’t contracting the disease by just getting in contact with the zombies. When being bitten, if the saliva or any other fluid from the zombie enters one’s body, the transformation will begin. However, if the bitten part is cleaned and the fluid is immediately pushed out, a person won’t get infected.”
“The problem is with the water and the zombie fluids.”
As Wilf said, those sources could be the carriers of the zombie disease.
However, Luke just nodded and didn’t credit the man for his findings.
It was because the information given by Wilf wasn’t verified.
It was necessary to cross-validate the information that he got.
‘I need to ask how and where the disease started to spread. Well, before that, should I ask priest Luther?’
Thinking so, Luke returned to the camp and decided to meet Wilf later.
If the information given to Luke was indeed true, he had to change the way he viewed the disease.
The rivers that passed from Jackson were surely flowing to other regions.
If the rivers couldn’t be stopped or controlled, things could be chaotic in the future.