༺ A Corpse that Defies Orders (1) ༻
The grandiose and golden Apels Empire. It was a beautiful country that stood alone, reigning over a vast continent. As the third empire to rule the continent, Apels was indeed a great country.
Lights didn’t go off in Apels, and all sorts of things could be found in the capital. Elegant gentlemen and beautiful ladies walked across the roads. It was an ideal world where the nobles used to lead the foolish commoners.
As the countries of the continent bowed their heads, Apels, known as the Golden Empire, stood tall. However, there were criminals who dared to covet the gold and raise their heads, whose damned and despicable name was Kefellofen.
That was the criminal who made the Golden Empire collapse, thieves who stole their glory, and a self-proclaimed Empire built with lies. If one follows righteousness, they must rightfully overthrow the false country and restore Apels. The third glory that shone brilliantly over this continent must be reinstated.
“Breaking the deceit and pretense of Kefellofen, we shall return to that glorious era.”
He still remembered the words the Captain had said the day they created the Third Honor. How can a country that has been hindered by nomads for two years be called an Empire? Only Apels was the true Empire.
Believing firmly in that, I headed to the Academy with my comrades. It was the place where the glorious legacy established by Apels and its system resided. We will reclaim that place and declare the resurrection of Apels by killing the sinners who dared to trample upon Apels’ legacy, the criminals of Kefellofen.
We can do it. We can rebuild Apels. We will undoubtedly achieve that.
Certainly, we will achieve it…
That’s what should have happened…
How did things turn out like this?
The footsteps toward a great resurrection had turned into a fleeing gait, seeking the help of God. This can’t be happening. I am undoubtedly the hero who will rebuild Apels. I won’t be someone who bows down to a mere dog like Kefellofen.
A comrade next to me got caught in a hook and was pulled up onto a tree. They screamed and struggled, but no one could get close. Many have already been caught on that hook and haven’t been seen since.
Countless comrades have already fallen. The heroes for the revival of Apels have crumbled in vain. This can’t be happening. We have justice on our side, and for the sake of the rightful continent, we must be victorious.
“You’re fast despite being a bug.”
When a chilling voice came from behind, my body froze and leaned forward. I tried to stand up again, but something in front of my eyes shattered my spirit.
“Cutting his legs should be okay. Right?”
“I guess it will depend on the 1st Manager’s mood.”
Two men were surrounding me. The men wearing white masks talked like I wasn’t even there. However, my eyes were still fixed on something in front of me.
“AGH! M-my legs…! My legs…!”
I struggled because of the pain I felt belatedly.. But soon, I couldn’t even do that because they stepped on my back.
“What about their head?”
“The leader is tracking him.”
“So it’s over.”
Soon, I saw the Captain being dragged by a witch with long, silver hair. I couldn’t see if he’d died or was just unconscious.
It was over. Our cause had come to a futile end.
* * *
It was about time to go to the forest, so the 1st Manager and I walked out of the booth. We just told the others that we were going out to meet with someone, so we had to return as fast as possible.
If I matched the speed of the 1st Manager, it would take us a long time, so we decided to run while carrying her.. We soon reached the forest where we were supposed to meet with the Masked Unit.
“We came first.”
“You’re right. I wonder what happened.”
Although it wasn’t yet past the appointment time, the 4th Manager was surprisingly punctual. She often arrived much earlier than the agreed time. I was so moved when I once saw her wiping my desk before the Prosecutor’s meeting, and even though I told her it wasn’t necessary, she stubbornly insisted on doing it.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
For a moment, the thought of trading the 1st Manger for the 4th Manager crossed my mind. I wondered if the Special Service Agency’s Minister would agree if I proposed that. However, I shook my head. No matter how annoying the 1st Manager was, replacing her was pretty hard.
Although there wasn’t anyone who could replace the 4th Manager’s loyalty, what she used to do could be distributed between the 3rd and 5th Managers. Of course, it was better when everyone used to be present.
“Let’s wait. She isn’t someone who’d arrive late.”
I cut a tree to create a stump where we could sit and checked the condition of the dagger the 1st Manager had given me. After cutting the tree, I confirmed that the quality was good. Well, it’s true that she isn’t the type of person who would carry a cheap weapon.
With this level, it shouldn’t break easily even if I cut a person’s bones. How satisfying.
“Ah, there they are.”
The 1st Manager, who was sneakily using my back as a backrest, said while pointing somewhere. As expected, she is never late.
The 1st Manager and I exclaimed in surprise after seeing the Masked Unit approach. They were either carrying or dragging something.
“They… look like people?”
That’s right. Although some were missing body parts, they were still people. I wondered if there was an accident on the way and someone got injured, but there’s no way they would be carrying an injured member like that. Not only that, but they weren’t wearing the uniform of the Masked Unit.
I was looking confusedly when the 4th Manager walked toward me and saluted.
Upon hearing that, the other members behind also dropped what they were carrying on their backs and in their hands, and saluted in unison. Is it really okay for you guys to throw them away?
“Yes, good job coming here.”
But I couldn’t scold them from the start, considering that they came to help me. They must have brought those people because they thought they were necessary. I stood up from my seat, received the salute from the 4th Manager, and then did she release her salute.
As if noticing that I had been looking at the people scattered on the ground, the 4th Manager immediately spoke up.
“They’re the members of Third Honor. We encountered them while coming here and grabbed them all.”
Upon hearing the 4th Manager’s words, the 1st Manager let out a small exclamation of admiration. I, on the other hand, momentarily lost my words. They captured them? All of them? I was just sitting here resting, and it was already over like this?
“You’ve worked hard.”
I was curious about what had happened, but when I saw the 4th Manager’s eyes, which seemed to be hoping for something amidst her expressionless face, my complaints disappeared. Yeah, even if the process was a bit strange, as long as the result is good, that’s all that matters.
As I patted her shoulder, the 4th Manager’s eyes began shining, and the dagger on my waist shone pitifully. Although I had borrowed a weapon, the only thing I did with it was to cut a tree. If it was going to end like this anyway, should I carry an axe from now on?
With the successful capture of all the enemies, our roles were over. I felt quite embarrassed to complain about my role when I had only been breathing.
Then, the Masked Unit installed a temporary campsite in the forest, where the battle was supposed to have taken place.
Although the opponents were weak, they fought and engaged in battle, so they had to take a break. They gathered together and sat down, sharing water, which seemed harmonious.
“Executive Manager, please give me some water, too.”
As I threw the 1st Manager a water bottle, she caught it and poured it on someone’s face. She hadn’t asked it for herself, but to share it with someone else.
She even covered their face with a cloth to filter the water in case they choked if they drank it too quickly.
“Haha. You were thirsty. Right?”
The leader of the Third Honor was tied to a chair, and his head was pulled back. It seemed like he was moved by the consideration of the 1st Manager and struggled to express his gratitude, but the 1st Manager was even more touched and continued pouring water.
“Can you lay him back a bit more?”
The Masked Unit member pulled his head even further back. I turned my gaze away after seeing the 1st Manager nod satisfactorily.
‘I guess she’s going to do a good job.’
For someone who usually starts by pulling out fingernails, it’s a small start. But if you leave it to her, she’ll extract the information herself, so I just had to leave it to the experts and wait for the results.
I was waiting while talking with the 4th Manager, but the mouth of the head was tighter than expected. If the 1st Manager wanted to, he would have a hard time even resisting for 10 minutes. However, because he was the leader, his mouth was heavier than expected.
As I walked toward the 1st Manager along with the 4th Manager and checked out the torture situation, I saw that his hands and feet couldn’t be recognized anymore. The rest hadn’t been touched yet.
My reaction wasn’t because his mouth was heavy. The process was slower than usual, so it was still bearable. I had anticipated it since hearing about the Apel’s Revival Soldiers, but seeing it in person made me quite irritated.
“Why is it so slow? Hurry up.”
“I’m doing it outside and alone, so if I hurry things, there’s a chance he’ll die. But I’ll make sure he talks.”
What she said while smiling wasn’t wrong, so I couldn’t say anything else. It would be troublesome if he died while being tortured. Not only that, but there wasn’t any other member of the 1st Division, and she didn’t have any of her tools.
The problem is that she’s not the kind of person who would make such a ridiculous mistake by deliberately torturing them, but because she’s using it as an excuse to proceed slowly.
‘This brat is just getting better and better at it.’
As I frowned, she looked away. Yes, it seems like she still has a bit of conscience.
“If you keep doing this, we’ll move on to the next person. If you don’t want that to happen, speak up now. You should value your comrades.”
In response to my stinging gaze, the 1st Manager tried to get a deal with him. If it didn’t work, she would probably send him to the Prosecutor’s Office, and if he still didn’t talk, that’s when she would start torturing him properly. Anyway, she had this weird hobby.
However, the captain of the Third Glory didn’t get angry or ignore the 1st Manager’s words. Instead, he let out a low laugh.
“What’s wrong? Have you touched his head too?”
“No. I didn’t touch his head because it’s dangerous to do so outdoors.”
If the 1st Manager isn’t the culprit, he seems to have lost his mind due to the shock of the interrogation. It’s already risky if he loses his sanity.
Despite my concerns, the head, who had been chuckling for a while, suddenly turned his gaze towards me with bloodshot eyes, giving me a menacing stare.
“Comrade? That person over there is someone who achieved success through the blood of his comrades, yet you’re spewing bullshit-“
Before he could finish talking, the 4th Manager rushed toward him and kicked his chin. In an instant, the head’s neck snapped back, and he fell to the ground.
There was an awkward silence. The 4th Manager that rushed forward, the 1st Manager who was waiting to see what I said, and the Masked Unit’s members holding his arms all looked at me without saying a word.
I let out a small sigh and scratched my head. How much had the rumors spread that even a retard like him said that?
‘That son of a bitch.’