They ran off with it. (3)
“We’ll go to Harpheim for now.”
“Sir? That is in the Northwest?”
The vampires thought my orders were odd. That’s understandable since Philip’s minions ran off to the Southeast. Yet, confusingly, I issued orders to head in the opposite direction.
“You will see when we get there.”
The vampires stopped questioning once I doubled down on it. We moved like the Wind with the Moonlight. I issued an order as soon as we arrived at Harpheim.
“Search the surroundings and find the coats and capes worn by Pajemut’s officers. They are the ones with the demon lord Pajemut’s coat of arms on it.”
Only then, the vampires realized the reason for coming here.
“You plan to disguise as the demon lord’s troops!”
“That’s right. There is a need to hide our identity. What do you think our greatest advantage is in the midst of this pandemonium, brewing in the Southwest region of the empire? It is the fact that no one knows our identity.”
“That’s truly brilliant! My lord!”
Many secrets were necessary in order to survive in the world filled with forests of long spears and clouds of gunpowder. “A cunning rabbit digs three holes” is definitely an appropriate saying for such times.
Soon, we have completely transformed in to Pajemut’s forces. As Pajemut was the most famous among all the demon lords, his insignia would be recognized. There could be no errors in our impersonation of Pajemut’s officers.
“My soldiers of death, form in ranks before your master!”
I summoned an additional 100 Specters, thinking that it wasn’t sufficient to just have the vampires.
“Excellent! Now we are ready, let’s go hunt the b@stards.”
Steeds weren’t needed for the vampires. They could cover 10 or 20 meters in a single stride, and those who were high leveled simply flew. Of course, the Specters, being ghosts, certainly did not need them.
The distance from Harpheim to Salzburg was 270 Kilometers. Since the point to point distance between Heidelberg, from which Philip’s minions fled from, and Salzburg was only 280 Kilometers, there wasn’t a whole lot of difference.
What was advantageous to us was that there was a demon lord’s domain between Heidelberg and Salzburg.
Philip’s minions would have no choice but to take a detour, so the distance that they would actually need to cover was further than our straight line route. We would certainly catch up with them.
“Four days. In four days, we’ll catch up!”
As we commenced our pursuit, 100 Specters were scattered out. It was same as instantly deploying a wide area radar net. This was a demonstration of the strategic command skill which those ignorant, sword wielding louts wouldn’t understand. And they performed their duties diligently.
After two days of pursuit, the Specters have located Friedrich’s pursuit team. I immediately, sent 50 Specters to them.
“You are to slow them down! From a distance, use your ice magic skill and then run. Do this repeatedly.”
The Specters moved away with high pitched, ghastly sound. The scariest thing in the world was when ghosts undertook guerilla warfare. Preternatural swiftness meant the ability to suddenly appear and disappear at will, an attack that could not be defended against.
But now, those ghosts have been dispatched, by my hand, as living weapons. Soon, the Friedrich’s pursuit team will encounter serious problems. This is the power of the One who has no blood, nor tear. With just a single move, I’ve changed the rules of this battlefield, swaying the odds in my favor.
“I removed one.” *
After taking care of Friedrich’s pursuit team, I sped up even more. Then on the third evening, the traces of the fugitives were finally located at the Ulm Plain, beyond the Danube River.
“My lord, hoof marks!”
Upon closer examination after getting off the horse, it seemed that it has only been a few hours since they passed through. I had 10th level of experience with the tracking skill.
No matter how small the trace was, as long as they did not disappear, using my Monster Tracking skill, I could always find it. Furthermore, if there were hoofprints on the ground like this, to me, they might as well be road signs.
I took the lead with confidence, using one of my monster hunter’s skills, for the first time in a long time. Thanks to my skill, we were able to remain undetected by our prey, and catch up with the fugitives. Then after four hours, we finally sighted Philip’s minions.
“We’ll pursue with full speed!”
We were elated at having found our preys. On the flip side, the runaways were surprised and shocked. Although they might have anticipated hunters to come after them, they probably didn’t expect a pack of undead.
No matter how tough one might be, if late at night, the dead monsters were to come after you with ghastly screams, you too would definitely lose your mind.
“Aaaahh! What the he!! is this?!”
A pursuit ensued. They shot their guns, backwards without much aim.
Baang! Bang! Bang!
Clearly visible muzzle flashes were ahead of us, in the deep evening. Although the crack of the gun’s firings were loud, the smoothbore wheelock pistols were of no use.
“They are slowing down! Let’s overtake them!”
Their horses were exhausted after several days of running. On the other hand, the undead had supernatural stamina. Although some of them were tired, they soon exploded with energy after I placed a recovery spell on them.
“Thank you for your graciousness, My lord!”
Finally, as we closed in on them to within 15 meters, I extended my arm then used Harvest of Blood. With that, several fugitives in the back of the pack fell down to the ground, all dried and twisted up like mummies.
Upon looking at their comrades whose lives were being sucked out of them and screaming in horror, they had no other choice but to turn-around. Perhaps, they rightly concluded that they would just die unless they did something. Just by me reaping them with my magic from the back, their demise would be most certain.
“You, wicked spawn of darkness! Why do you chase us!”
A man in the prime of life, looking to be in charge, came forth and angrily shouted. Wearing a fashionable long mustache, he appeared to be in the nobility.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Count Hanau!”
Hm… Hanau. He must be no one as I do not know his name.
“OK. Count Hanau. Our message is simple. Pajemut, the demon lord, wants the Golden Bull.”
I lied with a straight face. I commit the crime, and then blaming Pajemut was the plan. I really enjoyed doing such things. There is someone who sh!ts and another one who cleans it. How wonderful was this.
“I don’t know what you have heard, but we have no such thing!”