Monday, May 30, 2016

Volume 4 - Chapter 2 - (Title Withheld) (Down)

Previously on EC…

Kun, Till and the others arrived in Norman Kingdom’s western territory at Zephyrus Harbour. Over the span of a few days, Till and her adopted siblings created a rapid relay system for communication and limited export in the same vein as a zipline. Also, she enlisted the help of [Atonement] in getting supplies. Kun uses the situation as further training for his Spec-op trainees at the besieged location; where he finds that everyone at Vesperheim were working together to keep the aggressors away and plan their escape. When the reinforcements finally arrive, they got beset by trouble as they go from rescuers to being in need of rescue. After a major clash, a demihuman dies fighting on his feet, causing Kun to relapse into a PTSD state, going on a rampage against the barbarians before dying. Gui, somehow sensing the abnormality within Kun, logs out to comfort him.



A voice from behind the barbarians commands them forward, while the pauldron wearing barbarian who is bleeding from the neck commands them to fall back. There is a short hesitation before the barbarians that are still able-bodied pick up their dead and heavily wounded and move away from the settlement.

“What’s the meaning of this?! Keep attacking them!” A brunet man charges up to the opposing voice from the back, roughly pushing down anyone in the way, including the wounded. “Did those two dead men scare you shitless, huh, you damn cowards?!”


The barbarian suddenly reaches out with his bloodied hand, lifting the man by the throat.

“Cowards? Are you blind?” He points at the dead, dying and wounded that are strewn across the jungle floor. “Do you think you could’ve fought those two warriors? Where were you when we were fighting? The pointy-ears, the men-of-the-trees and even these men-of-the-furs are honourable warriors just like us, the only coward here is you and your lot’s underhanded tricks.”

“Your Highness!” The white-bearded barbarian calls out upon his action.

“I know old man, don’t worry.” The barbarian stares with cold, piercing eyes at his choking captive before shifting his pauldron and adjusting his grip, allowing the suffocating man to breath slightly. “See this?” He twists the man bodily by the neck, forcing his sight onto the casualties. “This is done by just two dead men, the men-of-the-forest-edge are different from you men-of-chains or your men-of-the-forest’s-heart allies, they will do many things for survival, then there are always those that become death soldiers to bring their enemies down with them. Should they bare their fangs upon us, we will certainly suffer! Don’t think you can march us to our oblivion, O Great Shogun.”

[T/N: 征夷大将軍殿様 was used, I kinda had to make do with it. Typically ‘Shogun’ is just 将軍 and is the abbreviated form. He went with the full title probably to put emphasis on it for the full sarcastic punch, hence using ‘O Great’ in front.]


*keko keko*

The released man grasps his own throat as he violently coughs after being dropped onto the floor, looking at the barbarian with malice flickering in his eyes.

“Get the bodies, prepare to retreat!” The barbarian gives the command while ignoring the coughing man, before thrusting his weapon into the ground and moving to a nearby pile of debris, intent on clearing it.

“““Hom!””” The barbarians likewise thrust their axes and spears into the soil before they start to haphazardly remove the debris from the battleground, tossing them out of the way. The Normans and most of the Spec-Op forces look on warily as they gather their dead into a pile while carefully bringing over the injured into two groups, the barbarian group and the Norman group. Understanding their intentions, the settlers disarm themselves and walk over, against the objection of the Norman soldiers, and cautiously start helping the barbarians with clearing the battlefield. During the ongoing commotion, the previously coughing man can no longer be seen.

Aside from the moans of the injured and the dying, all was quiet. The Spec-Ops unit look on with different expressions, some showing a look of shame. Gradually, the bodies are sorted, with the wounded being carried away by both sides. The white-bearded barbarian appears next to the dead from his side of the conflict, thrusting his spear into the ground before chanting rhythmically.

*goro goro*

The ground underneath the corpses gives way as it sinks, gradually swallowing the pile of corpses. The rumbling persists for a while longer, before the arid clumps of soil fall in from the sides, burying the corpse pile meters deep below the ground.

“Dwarven Techniques…?”

Some of the elven soldiers look on with confusion, mumbling or looking at their Commander, the oldest amongst them, thus the most knowledgeable. The humans and demihumans become confused as they look at their elven counterparts who are acting strange, wondering what’s going on.

“Ask your Elders when we get back. Stay here, tend to the wounded.” Leaving those words to the murmuring elves, the elven commander gives his stout mount a quick rub on the neck before handing its reins over to one of his personal guards. With even strides, the commander makes his way to the elderly barbarian, fumbling as he tries to release a piece of a locket that’s hanging from his necklace that was underneath his leather armour.

“Imu nemen anshiazu haushijizu, uui beten dasu esaii furiden in ira ruufu finden konnen. Ii mato wado in aarinaarangu bureeben.”
(No clue what this says, it ain’t french or english and there were bits of water damage so I had to guess some of the kata)

“Foo uui fuu choozu zaa toriizu, mee yuu resuto in piisu azu yuu bikomu zaa ruutsu obu nyuu raibuzu.”
(For we who chose the trees, may you rest in peace as you become the roots of new lives.)

The white-bearded barbarian retrieves his spear, after which the commander scoops out the loose earth before burying the piece in it.


A shadow suddenly drops from the trees, heavily crashing into something on the ground level. The metallic ringing of a loosed weapon can be heard in the darkness near where the old barbarian and the Commander are located.

“AAAAH! KAAAHHHHHHHHH! SON OF AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!” A humanoid dressed in midnight blue is busy locking the limbs and breaking the large joints of the man below him.

The elves look up at the tree, where a thick, dark rope can be seen stretched to its limit, tied to the figure’s body. The old barbarian looks down at the man that’s screaming in pain, sneers at him upon recognition, before extending his spear out, causing the fidgeting barbarians to settle down. Likewise, the soldiers calm the settlers and demihumans who were ready to dash out.

The pauldron-wearing barbarian smirks, obviously enjoying the scene of suffering displayed by the struggling man. The other barbarians, likewise, show off quiet smiles of their own, with bright eyes, hoping for something more.

“Sorry for the slow response, the threat has been neutralized, be careful of more ambushes, Commander.” The midnight blue figure tugs on the rope above his head before he starts climbing, ascending at an unbelievable rate.

The Commander raises his eyebrows at the perfectly tied up ball of squirming flesh, the limbs are tied at odd angles, preventing movement. A rope gag is tied into the man’s mouth that’s connected to an overextended ankle and a bent backwards arm, leaving him half-moaning, half-sobbing from agony.

The old barbarian winks at the commander before pleading. “He’s the Commanding Officer of our auxiliary troops, please release him.”

The elf tilts his head slightly to the side as he makes eye contact with the man on the floor, causing the man to plead pathetically with only muffled sounds coming out. The old barbarian shifts his eyes to the settlement, to which the Commander’s visage turns vicious. He pulls out a short dagger that’s tied to the side of his armour before walking ever so slowly toward the brunet man.

“What kind of Officer would ambush someone after a ceasefire has been acknowledged, huh? A dishonourable one at the very least, maybe I should hang you as you are for the crows to feed on.”

“HMMG! HMMGGG! MMHGH MH AGGGG!” The squirming and pleading of the man increases in intensity and pitch, as his fear seems to overcome the pain he’s in.



The Commander whips the dagger from overhead, slicing the man’s cheek before piercing into the soil below. The man tenses up for a moment before loosening his muscles, going unconscious from fright.

“Can we ask you to withdraw to the Bad Lands?” The Commander asks the old barbarian with intrigue.


“I see.” The elf ponders for a moment while picking up the dagger and roughly pushes the tied up man with his boot before sending a torrent of icy water at him. “Then I’ll take him as prisoner, who should I send the ransom to.”

“Er…” The old man hesitates.

“Or I can kill him right now.”

The lump of flesh starts moaning and pleading again, his face contorting into a visage of murderous viciousness, staring at the back of the man on the ground.

“You can send your demands to their Commander-in-Chief at Hellasheim.”

“Very well, before we receive a reply, should any of you approach the settlement or attack any of our troops, consider his life forfeit.”



The elf gives the man a swift kick, causing the pleading to change into a miserable sob.

The barbarian suppresses his smile, looking as though he too wants to give the man a kick.

“I understand, we will clash after the Officer is released then.” Despite his fighting words, the barbarian has a grateful looks in his eyes.

“Start treating the seriously wounded! Crush those hard, six-sided branches from a hexa-rod bush onto the deep wounds or they are going get infected! Go! Oh, also, someone come pick up our little friend here. Make sure to give him a bath, smells like he pissed himself.” The elf shouts loudly towards his troops, the latter part causing a round of laughter. On the other hand, some of the soldiers wonder why the Commander gave them such a detailed instruction, it’s common knowledge amongst the soldiers to use that bush to treat open wounds.

The old barbarian nods slowly to the Commander before switching back to his previous language to his own troops. “Kuamamo naj hikiata.”

The pauldron-wearing barbarian nods, placing his spear on his right shoulder before walking towards their camps to the north. Likewise, the barbarians carry off their injured and head that way as well. Despite their chaotic charge during the fight, they now more or less organized themselves into groups, the spearmen following the first barbarian, with the club-wielding barbarians following them.

“Let me go! Let me kill those bastards! I WILL RIP THEM APART!” Go’ranth tries to barge out after returning from his defense duty on the western side as settlers, soldiers and demihumans alike try to pin him down. A trio of demihumans stand in a corner of the room, with their heads bowed.

“CUT IT OUT ALREADY YOU NUMBSKULL!” Procyon strikes the bearman in the face with full force. “YOU THINK BOSIM WOULD WANT YOU TO BE LIKE THIS? DO YOU WANT TO DIE TOO?”

The bearman’s face twitches for a moment, before he slumps to the floor as though he has lost all his strength all of a sudden. Seeing that Go’ranth is starting to calm down, the rotund man starts nursing his right fist.

“Is everything alright?” A tired looking elf asks as he enters the 10x10m HQ that seems to have a dogpile with people that look worse than himself. The question draws the eyes of everyone in the room, some with open hostility while others look on apathetically.

“Ah… Don’t worry, we are just grieving for one of our own.”

The Commander can only smile sadly as he recalls the silhouette of the bullman that died on his feet, all the more so for the settlers to call him one of their own.

“How is the interrogation going?”

“He has been… very cooperative.” The Commander shivers slightly as he recalls the marionette-like limbs and the numerous crackling joints dislocating and reconnecting over and over again done by the Immortals. “He claims to be some big shot Noble from the Likissa Duchy.”

Procyon frowns before asking. “Isn’t that from the center of the continent, what is he doing all the way out here?”

“What else, money.”


“I know, there’s no money to be made invading the frontiers. So that means someone hired him to do this.” The elf shakes his head. “Unfortunately, we don’t know who hired him or their objectives.”

“What about the Aestrium?”

“They aren’t doing this willingly.”

“… I knew they would never do something like this.”

The Commander looks at the rotund man with an odd look. “You know of the ‘Pact’?”


“Ah, nevermind, it’s nothing.”

“Commander! One of the soldiers might not make it!” A messenger covered in dried blood barges into the room.

“Alright, I will head over right away.” The Commander turns back towards Procyon. “Make sure everyone gets some rest, we will forage for more medical supplies when morning comes. Keep an eye on everyone until then.” The Commander takes a few steps before stopping. “Good job staying alive everyone.” Before he can finish the rest of his words, he forcefully compresses his lips and walks out of the HQ.

“Got it, Commander Sauer.” Procyon replies plainly, fully aware of the unspoken words since he, too, is a helpless leader tossed by the sea of fate.


“Kun! Are you alright?”


Gui whines and yelps as he licks Kun’s face, trying to wake him up gently. The young man had fallen asleep on the machine after getting comforted by the fox when he died in his rampage inside the game. Hank walks up to the stirring Kun, about to reach down to shake him awake.


The fox growls like gravel grinding, standing over Kun while nipping at Hank’s hands, who immediately pulls back.

“Hey! What-”

The fox postures himself at the edge of the bed, sitting there with its back to Kun, keeping a calm stare fixed on Hank.


Hank can’t help but sigh and scratches his head, that’s obviously a defensive posture, not an aggressive one, he has been here long enough to at least understand that much.

Just what on earth happened…

“Halt! Who goes there?!”

A lone shadow in the darkness approaches the stationed checkpoint at the route between Vesperheim and Zephyrus Harbour.

“Hail! We are the scouts stationed near Vesperheim.”

The guards, instead of lighting up more torches, mumble something before thrusting their hands out. A fog of soft light spreads into the air, slowly lighting the way from the checkpoint and well past the lone scout, making things easier to see. This is a technique taught to them by the students of the Academy that went into the limestone caverns next to the [Barghest Dungeon] with Bell and the others prior to them joining the academy.

“Ah, something the matter?”

“A detachment sent from Commander Sauer who went to relieve the siege at Vesperheim are right behind us, please aid them as there are some injured with them. I’m going to relay a message to the Chief Strategist, if you will excuse me.”

“Wait, wait.” One of the guards holds up his hand, before turning towards the makeshift building behind him. “Oy! Someone bring the scout to the relay station!”

“Hmmm? What’s going on?” Echo stretches his back as he walks out of the barracks on the other side of the road. “I didn’t miss my shift, right?” The man looks left and right, as he fears that he, himself, broke martial law.

“Sir! There’s a detachment from from the earlier group coming back.”

“Oh? Why only a detachment?”

“I’ve no idea.” The guard then turns to the scout.

“Care to fill me in?”

Just as the scout is about to reply, a handful of riders approach from behind the scout, soon after, a group staggers behind them. “You should really ask the Lieutenant, I have to go relay the report.”

Echo nods in understanding, as someone from the guards’ side of the road comes out to lead the scout to the newly established relay station, set up by the students. “Get someone to start heating up the leftover broth, and prepare some amenities for them.”

One of the guards asks suddenly. “Erm… Should we dilute the broth like with the ‘Princess’s Guard’ then?”

Echo’s mind stalls for a moment as he remembers that group’s arrival after their hurried retreat. “Yes, good idea. See to it, soldier.”

“Yes!” The guard in question walks towards the glowing campfire, where the standby troops are resting as he requests help with the task.

“I see…” Sekn contemplates after hearing the report of the Lieutenant, who led the Light Infantries back. “I may be presumptive, but I think your commander is a coward.”

The Adjutant and the few soldiers, regardless of being elf or human, around the campfire turn to look at the blind demihuman with sharp gazes. Before anything can happen, Sekn continues.

“From my understanding, it’s notoriously difficult to communicate within this jungle, even for the people native to these parts.” The group can’t help but agree, they couldn’t hide their shock when the Chief Strategist was able to receive and send orders so quickly, that the message arrived before they could even settle down and finish the much welcomed light broth the demihumans gave them, the simple device responsible for it is ingenious to say the least.
“With that in mind, why did Commander Sauer send a Light Infantry detachment back to report, instead of sending messengers to relay the information?” He continues.

The Normans continue to look at Sekn with their none too friendly gaze.

“I’m guessing he was trying to reduce casualties. From what I can piece together, the enemy ambushed the troop on the road, but didn’t wait until the main body of the troop passed to attack from the rear, or surround it. That means they didn’t have the confidence to annihilate you all in one go. From this, we can deduce that the enemy has limited manpower, knows the terrain somewhat - but is not extremely familiar with it, and very likely had the orders to attack as soon as they see the troop. With that in mind, it’s likely they want the troop to retreat, but if their Commander is worth his salt, he would place some soldiers further ahead of the ambush force to assassinate any messengers that would run back should the troop decide to fight defensively while asking for reinforcement. So the Light Infantries had the role of a retreating vanguard while the main force became attacking rearguard at that moment.” Sekn takes a moment to sip his mug of broth as he furrows his brows, while the Normans can only share complicated glances with each other as they were indeed attacked by small groups of mercenaries on the way back. Echo, who returned not too long ago from settling the more wounded Normans, watches with amusement on the side.

“This thoroughly cautious way of fighting while preserving one’s strength is certainly a fine example of the method of the weak. We should receive a message one way or another by tomorrow night.” The demihuman commander nods in admiration of the elven commander as he pieces together the big picture from the limited information available. The Normans’ expression changes from slight anger to a look of embarrassment as they realize the blind demihuman in front of them was in fact praising their commander and having totally misunderstood his meaning.

[T/N: Sekn used 弱虫, which can mean coward, trash, weakling, meek, etc… the kanji literally means weakbug. When he said 弱虫道, method of the weak, in admiration, he’s referring to the fact that the commander is very detailed, careful and crafty while focusing on survival, which isn’t a necessarily a bad thing at all for a commander.]

“No need, Commander.” Echo interjects. “The Instructors who were at the treetops have received a message from Kun-sensei’s forces.”
Wow, I can’t say I’ve even HEARD of the man, and I’m pretty much a war buff :P

“If only we have a way of instantaneously speaking to one’s mind as well.” Sekn says enviously.

“Er… No, the message came from the sky. Our guards responsible for the relay station saw it too.”

“Hahaha… So that’s why they insisted on having a platform at the treetop at this time of night, I see, I see.” Sekn laughs in happy exasperation, the amount of new and interesting things that had popped up since leaving the [Barghest Dungeon] remind him of the old days where his father and the other Great Mages would compete in their research.

Echo smiles wryly as he understands the reason behind the laugh, he himself would’ve enjoyed tinkering with these novel foods and items before the war broke out and having to abandon his apprenticeship.

“The Instructors are going to move out tomorrow with the rest of the Immortal soldiers, the message was: to approach cautiously, requesting supplies, there were some casualties, and there’s a limited truce going on, it seems.”

“How many?”

“They didn’t say, it was just two flashes in the night sky, I’m surprised they got that much across.”

The Normans look at each other at those words, then turning to the Adjutant and speak in low voices.

“Lieutenant, should we join with them and push to Vesperheim?”
“Our orders are to support the guards here…”
“Wouldn’t this count as support…?”

“You need to rest first, you can come join us after the first wave, we will be sending supplies in waves first as a precaution.” Sekn explains before downing the rest of the broth. “Well, let’s go prepare ourselves.”

Sekn and Echo leave the Normans at the fire as they head towards the biggest makeshift building, reviewing their personnel, supplies and tactics.


  1. Err... About the title... all of us remember that it was a reference to something, but we can't for the life of us remember what that reference was.

    I'll just go with "Benkei from another land" tentatively. If anyone is familiar with the story of benkei, you know why I had to withhold the title :P

    Also, remember how I said there's water damage? Well, the thing is, this part is still technically part of volume 3, but we just stopped caring about labelling as volumes at this point, so I had to do some rearrangement. There are a few sidestories that are before this part, but it isn't vital, so I will do those later after until this miniarc ends and go back to do them.

  2. Thanks so much for continuing this.

  3. Thanks for the chapter, keep it up and more power to you!!! ^__^.


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