Chapter 397 – Dead Man Walking (2)

Episode 397 Dead Man Walking (2)

Vikir remembered what Garm had said when he first entered Nouvelle Vague.

‘What the hell, what’s the big deal, this is just a dog’s death, a de facto execution!’

‘No, it’s not. There’s a Nouvelle Vague execution, and it’s not even close to this.’

Garm was responding to a prisoner who was freaking out at the news.

Vikir suddenly realized why Garm had said that.

jjeoeoeoeoeog-

A mouth appeared in the center of the abyss.

Its enormous jaws twisted the empty space, revealing other spaces nested within it.

Squares, triangles, circles…… jagged misshapen features sprouted without order or balance.

Two bulging eyeballs, cloudy as the eyes of a drowning man, were obviously reacting to the ‘prey’ falling from above.

Vikir thought.

‘The most mysterious of the five wardens was Brigadier General Flubber.’

His identity, he was told, was supposed to be ‘a Beastman member of the Snail family’.

However, that was just a classification, and nothing was known about which group, order, or class this strange creature belonged to.

‘I don’t even know why it’s called a Beastman creature in the first place. It doesn’t look human at all.’

Age: unknown. Gender: unknown. Race: unknown. Where it came from: unknown. where it was going: unknown.

Even the rank of Brigadier General was merely a social title that humans have given to this creature.

An ancient, prehistoric creature that was already there when humans first discovered Nouvelle Vague.

No one knew what it was or how it came to live here.

No matter how hard they searched the oldest written records of Nouvelle Vague, all they could find was that Brigadier General Flubber had been there since the beginning.

‘……Whatever. He’s the main force responsible for Nouvelle Vague’s security, along with BDISSEM.’

Vikir thought as he looked at the giant, grotesque creature with its mouth open at the bottom of the abyss.

BDISSEM, binding the mana and power of the prisoners.

Flubber, who coats the entire castle in slime to keep it from being flooded.

These are the two key substances that keep Nouvelle Vague alive.

Woooooooo……

It was then that Brigadier General Flubber began to make a strange noise.

A long, thick tongue protruded from a crack in the abyss.

A sticky slime called Flubber oozed from the base of the tongue.

That was the source of the foamy windows that covered the doors and windows of the Nouvelle Vague.

And then it dripped down into its gaping maw.

“Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

The sound was obvious.

Nouvelle Vague’s first round of inductions, where the fallen from the Blade Bridge had gone.

The fate of those who, on paper, were still alive.

Sakkuth fell into the abyss.

…with a plop!

The word ‘plunged’ could not have been more appropriate.

Brigadier General Flubber’s body was composed of dark matter mixed with dark green.

It was not hot, but sticky and heavy, as if it had been boiled and then melted.

This sticky conglomerate of mucus had spread endlessly, and there was no hasty limit to its bottom.

It was like the phlegm in the throat of a giant, the kind of phlegm that appears in ancient legends of World Trees and Giants.

 And as he plunged into the abyss of this horrible slime, this dark swamp, he let out a terrifying scream.

 “kkiyaaaaaaaaaaghhh!!”

 It was a creepy scream that instantly filled the empty hollow with terror.

 It was enough to make even the mid-level guards of Nouvelle Vague, who had seen it all before, cover their ears and bite their lips.

 But.

 “…….”

 Only one person.

 Vikir was standing motionless, still towering over the edge of the cliff.

 Staring down with an air of nonchalance.

 Suddenly.

 As Sakkuth’s entire body was melting away, he looked up.

 His eyes locked with Vikir’s, who stood above the abyss, peering down from the cliff edge.

 “……you! ……you!”

 He realized he had been tricked.

 Everything had been a lie.

 There had been no rescue, no escape.

 There was no such thing as a messenger in the depths of the sea.

 It was wrong to look for such a thing 10,000 meters below the surface of the ocean, in the depths of this hopeless sea.

 This is Nouvelle Vague. No dreams, no hope, no future, no nothing.

 “Geuuk! Beeroooooghh!”

Before he knew it, Sakkuth, his mouth filled with Flubber’s slime, cursed the object in front of him with all his heart.

A terrifying malice swirled through him, energizing his entire body with a new kind of vitality that even he didn’t recognize.

……But it was too late.

Malice, murder, and revenge all have meaning only in the living.

Already, the taste in Brigadier General Flubber’s mouth was nothing more than a squirming mass of meat, just a little fresher than usual.

teoeob-

The gaping folds sucked in more and more of Sakkuth’s huge body.

Sakkuth De Leviathan, dragged beneath a pitch-black, bottomless abyss.

The last time he saw the light of this world, there was before him was Vikir’s expressionless face.

……Suddenly, his lips moved. 

And with the superhuman observation and concentration of a man on the verge of death, Sakkuth could read the faint trace of Vikir’s lips.

‘Know your subject, whether you’re the predator or the prey.’

 Those were the words he’d heard on their first meeting.

 “……! ……! ……! ……! ……!”

 Sakkuth tried to scream at the top of his lungs.

 With all his might, and with a sincerity and earnestness that even he had never shown in his life.

 It might have been a man’s anger or malice, or a curse of unspeakable cruelty and viciousness, or an atonement or penance so sincere and pure that it touched the hearts of all who saw it.

 ……But it never reached the world.

 Kurururung!

 He disappeared beneath the black swamp with a boat horn sound similar to the laughter he used to make.

 It is unknown if he was granted the “rest in peace” so often heard from the dead.

 But what is certain is that he will never escape the abyss again.

 ……for all eternity.

 * * *

 There was an eerie silence among the guards.

 Even the bold, fearless Kirko was breaking out in a cold sweat.

 “……Brigadier General Flubber’s execution is always dreadful.”

 Vikir, who had just returned from pushing Sakkuth off the cliff, nodded quietly to answer her.

 ‘Brigadier General Flubber. He doesn’t appear to be intelligent, but I don’t know what variables that will be in the event of an escape.’

 A monstrous creature who stretches its body throughout Nouvelle Vague’s castle, responsible for its upkeep and maintenance.

 Unofficially, it is considered the most powerful creature in Nouvelle Vague.

 In fact, the most mysterious of the Five Wardens, there was one who used his time to meet this monster whose identity was the most unknown.

 Vikir began to worry about how much he should be wary of this monster and how much he should ignore it.

 For the first time since entering Nouvelle Vague, he had encountered an incalculable variable.

 ……then.

 “Captain Garm.”

 A voice called to Vikir.

 Turning his head, he saw Lt. Colonel Bastille standing there, a stern expression on his face.

 Behind him were his adjutants in full uniform.

 “You asked for me, Lt. Colonel.”

 Vikir replied with a salute, and Bastille’s lips curled into a smile.

 “okay. Finally, one less troublesome prisoner.”

 Lieutenant Colonel Bastille, who was busy with promotions and advancement, and line work for this, was always on the lookout for prisoner riots.

 This is because it has a devastating adverse effect on performance.

 So Sakkuth, the most frequent rioter and the most emotionally unstable, had been his biggest thorn in the side lately.

 “……Honestly, executing a prisoner is not an easy task. Once the decision to execute has been made, the prisoner may continue to resist, riot, escape, or plan a terrorist attack, and the trauma to the guards who carry out the execution cannot be ignored.”

 “I’m glad this one ended safely.”

 “It is. A Level 8 prisoner quietly accepted his execution without incident, and there doesn’t seem to be any after-effects for the guards who executed him. …… Is that right?”

 “Yes, Sir.”

 At Vikir’s answer, Lt. Colonel Bastille smiled even more broadly.

 “The charisma and resourcefulness to keep a Level 8 prisoner quiet until the very moment of execution, and the guts and boldness to single-handedly carry out a gruesome execution ceremony and not falter an inch.”

 “…….”

 “It’s no exaggeration to say that all of this is to your credit. The more I look at you, the more I covet you, you remind me of my own youth.”

 Vikir couldn’t bear to listen, so he gave him the lip service he didn’t usually give to end things quickly.

 “I will follow you for the rest of my life, Lt. Colonel.”

 The words made the smile on Lt. Colonel Bastille’s face grow even brighter.

 Lt. Colonel Bastille, a man whose specialty was forming lines and building factions, seemed to recognize Vikir as one of his own.

 “Good. I’m not like those incompetent rulers and generals who have left a stain on history. Loyal and capable subordinates are rewarded as they deserve.”

 ?

 Vikir looked puzzled.

 Then Lt. Colonel Bastille held out a black box to Vikir.

 “I hope you like what you see.”

 

“It would be a great honor for me to receive anything from you, Lt. Colonel.”

“Hahaha, you can open it right here.”

Lt. Colonel Bastille grinned, as if the gift was an opportunity to boast to the world of his weights, measures, and distribution.

Now, in the center of the room, under the watchful eyes of all the guards, including Kirko next to him.

Dakkak-

Vikir opened the box.

And then.

“……!”

What was revealed inside was enough to make everyone’s eyes widen.