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46.85% The Bastard In The Zombie Apocalypse / Chapter 82: Eternal Village

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Chapter 82: Eternal Village

In front of Nathan was a brightly lit village under a starless and moonless sky that was nothing but pitch black.

The lights were coming from the golden wisps that were hovering in the air.

There were people, mostly young adults, walking around as if celebrating something.

'What the hell is going on here?'

Nathan retracted his vision from the village and surveyed the rest of his surroundings.

The road he was standing on was no different from outside of the Divine Tower -- it was just soil. And on the side what an endless plain of grass that was blanketed by darkness.

Unfortunately, he didn't bring his night/thermal vision goggles. The reason behind this was because its battery died and he had no way to charge the batteries or change them.

The buildings inside the village were either made of wood or stone, or a combination of both. However, most of them were only a one-story building, only a handful were two-stories. Meanwhile, the roof was made up of malleable materials either from straw or wood.

He closed his eyes and concentrated on listening to the voices of the people.

His eyes widened.

The language spoken by the villagers was no doubt something he hasn't heard of, let alone was familiar with. However, he could clearly understand them.

As for what they were talking about, it's was just mundane things such as, food and entertainment served at the festival, the harvesting of crops for the next season, a cow that gave birth yesterday, training horses and other things.

Sniff.

Sniff.

He tried smelling the air to find out if he could catch that familiar stench of death, zombies and gunpowder that was prevalent in Cram City.

'Nothing… It's just nature and food.'

He put down the sacks of nuclei he carried over his shoulders and took out a small flashlight from his fanny pack and pressed the switch.

Click!

The light flickered for only a quick moment, illuminating the green grass, before dying down.

He frowned and pressed the switch again.

Click!

No light came out.

'That's weird. I remember the batteries of this flashlight are still working…'

He pressed the switch again.

Click!

Click!

Still, no light came from his flashlight.

He started to ponder.

'This is really, really weird… Plus, what happened to the people that entered the Divine Tower before me? Are they the ones being cooked right now?'

After thinking for a while and getting nowhere, he finally made a decision to go check the village and ask for information.

But before that, he checked his stats and his skill [Coward's Way] first.

There were no changes. Everything felt and looked the same as ever.

'Hmm…'

He looked towards the village once more.

The people walking around the village were mostly dressed in normal class medieval clothing and looked non-threatening, at least on the surface.

There was also one thing he noticed. Everyone here looked Caucasian. However, they had different hair colors. In fact, their hair color coincides with their eye color.

Red hair, red eyes.

Golden hair, golden eyes.

Brown hair, brown eyes.

'Sneak in or not?'

In his mind, people will only show their true colors when they think no one is watching them. Plus, he doesn't know what's waiting for him inside.

They could be cannibals for all he knows.

He decided to activate [Coward's Way].

The minute he stepped inside, he lost his invisibility and a messaged popped inside his head.

'Ding! You have entered the Eternal Village. Please be aware that there are rules and are posted inside the Village Hall. Failure to abide by the rules is punishable by death. You have three chances but some crimes are immediately punishable by death.'

"What the…?" He was surprised to see his body turn from transparent to clear.

Some of the villagers only spared Nathan a quick glance before continuing what they were doing.

It seemed they were not surprised by his appearance at all.

Nathan checked his status chart once again.

Everything felt and look the same as ever.

'Eternal Village? Rules? Village Hall? Punishable by death? Three chances? Hmm… What a strange village. Better check the rules at the Village Hall first.'

He decided to ask some of the villagers where the Village Hall is.

He approached a young man with golden hair who was standing on a corner looking like he was waiting for someone.

"Hi, excuse me. I'm looking for the Village Hall. Can you tell me where it is?"

"Oh, hello, are you one of the Traveling Mercenaries sent by God to participate in the Holy Night Ceremony?"

Hearing what the young man said, Nathan squinted his eyes.

'So they can understand what I'm saying.'

Since these people had Caucasian features, he decided to use the Regisian language which was the most popular language outside of this Divine Tower.

'Let's try using Muwinian this time,' Nathan thought. "What do you mean by 'Traveling Mercenaries sent by God to participate in the Holy Night Ceremony'?"

"Oh… So this is your first time attending the festival? I may not know much compared to the Village Head, the Priestesses and elders, but I'll tell you everything I know."

'They can also understand Muwinian… What if I try making up a language?' Nathan thought. "Asdkknvc sduivvzzw sfdsfdsf?"

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'Heh~ Interesting.' Nathan held an apologetic expression. "I'm sorry, you were going to tell me everything you know about this festival and the Holy Night Ceremony?"

"Every year, God sends 'Traveling Mercenaries' to our village to participate in a ceremony that will be conducted on the Holy Night Festival. We also call that ceremony the Holy Night Ceremony."

"Every year? How long has this tradition been going on?"

"Since the beginning of time."

'Since the beginning of time?' Nathan thought. "You mentioned God. Who exactly is this God? And what are the 'Traveling Mercenaries' supposed to do in this Holy Night Ceremony?"

"God is God. We aren't worthy of knowing of His true and holy name but we are nevertheless eternally grateful to Him. As for what the Traveling Mercenaries are supposed to do in the ceremony, we, the villagers, are supposed to offer them our prayers as they enter a portal that will appear at the Holy Temple."

'God is God, huh…' Nathan thought the first time he heard that god's voice when the zombie apocalypse began. "What's waiting for the people on the other side of the portal you mentioned?"

"Sorry, I don't know."

"Didn't you say that this tradition has been going on since the beginning of time? What happened to the people that entered the portal?"

"Sorry, I don't – Ahhh!"

The man he suddenly had a searing headache, causing him to hold onto his head and kneel on the ground.

Nathan was about to smack him in the head, but decided not to after thinking about everything, especially the message.

"Hey, are you okay?"

After about 5 seconds, the man got up and looked at Nathan.

"Oh, hello, are you one of the Traveling Mercenaries sent by God to participate in the Holy Night Ceremony?"

Nathan's eyes widened for a quick moment before reverting to its previous state.

"Yeah… Do you know how long has this tradition been going on?"

"Since the beginning of time."

"Do you know what's waiting for us once we enter the portal that will appear at the Holy Temple?"

"Sorry, I don't know."

"Has anyone come back after entering the portal?"

"I don't – Ahhh!"

The same scenario happened. However, this time around, a message popped inside Nathan's head.

'Ding! You have one chance left. Continuing to ask more about restricted information will lead to death.'

'One chance left?'

Tch!

Nathan made a clicking sound with his tongue.

Just like from earlier, after about 5 seconds, the young man got up.

"Oh, hello, are you one of the Traveling Mercenaries sent by God to participate in the Holy Night Ceremony?"

'No point of pushing it further,' Nathan thought. "Yeah."

"Oh, that's great. You should go to the Village Hall and talk to the Village Chief."

"Why should I talk to the Village Chief?"

"I'm sorry, but is this your first time participating in the Holy Night Ceremony?"

Nathan didn't answer. A strong urge to squeeze the neck of this young man welled up inside of him but he knew he couldn't.

"It's okay. No need to be ashamed of it," said the young man with a warm smile. "Just so you know, it's customary. The Village Chief will add you to the list of the traveling mercenaries that will enter the portal that appears at the Holy Temple."

"Where is the Village Hall?"

"The Village Hall is located at the center of this village. Go hurry, the ceremony is about to start any minute now."

"What?" Nathan remembered that when he entered the Divine Tower, there was only less than 30 minutes left before the entrance closes.

He checked his watch.

11:42 am.

'18 minutes left?! Fuck me sideways! I don't have enough time to investigate this village!'

He quickly put down one of the sacks. He took out a [Grade D] Nucleus and showed it to the young man.

"Do you know what this is?"

Seeing the object on Nathan's palm, there was a warm glint in the young man's eyes.

"Oh yes. That's a nucleus. It's one of God's greatest blessings to mankind."

'One of God's greatest blessings?' Nathan couldn't help but scoff inside his head and wondered if this person even knew where this actually came from.

"It's what we use in our daily lives. In fact, one of the reasons why we all look forward to traveling mercenaries visiting here is to obtain that."

"Use in your daily lives?"

"See these lights?" The young man pointed over at the golden wisps hovering in the air that illuminated the village. "They are powered by it. Well, I don't have the skill or talent to create such things, but this one example that we used it for."

'This…' He wanted to learn more, but he doesn't have much time and there's also the issue of the restriction regarding what things can and can't be said.

"Where do I use this or exchange it with?"

"You can exchange them at the shops located near the Village Hall."

"Can you act as my guide?"

Nathan gave five [Grade D] Nuclei to the young man.

In his mind, although there's something preventing these people from revealing certain things, it's better having a guide to lead him there to quicken things.

For all he knows, when he gets there, there could be some tasks or issues that he would have to face and it would take a huge chunk of his time trying to figure it out alone.

As for whether he will participate in the ceremony or not, he would decide after he meets the Village Chief.

"Sure, no problem. Follow me!"

*********************************************

Author's thoughts:

I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!

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