Chapter 57:

The Tomb of Karak-Harth

The Children of Eris

After four hours of scouring the base of the mountains, Charybdis found the Tomb of Karak-Harth. Bookmark here

It was a small, hidden tomb, not a grand castle or ruin.Bookmark here

“Break it open,” David ordered.Bookmark here

Scylla and Charybdis eagerly broke down the stone doors and the Hysminai swarmed in.Bookmark here

If there had been any traps, undead or monsters on the other side of the door, they would’ve faced them.Bookmark here

The tomb consisted of a large stone room, its walls covered in runes, spells and letters David didn’t know and in the very heart of it was a raised platform with a sarcophagus resting atop it.Bookmark here

It was pitch black inside, but David and all of his followers possessed night vision and thus could see everything clearly.Bookmark here

“Search the room for any traps, treasures and enemies we’ve missed,” David ordered. “Jorōgumo, wait outside with six of the Hysminai in case something happens.”Bookmark here

His followers moved as he commanded. The Hysminai inside the tomb searched every nook and cranny, and inspected every single rune and letter they found. Bookmark here

David and the twins walked up to the stone sarcophagus and found it sealed shut, tightly bound with rusty chains, worn out rope and talismans. The entire sarcophagus was decorated in runes and spells like the rest of the room, except for the small golden plague towards the head of the casket. Bookmark here

Here lies Karak-Harth: once, my friend. May he rest in peace and comfort.Bookmark here

“Is this how people treat their friends in the Holy Empire?” Scylla asked, glancing down at the sarcophagus. Bookmark here

Charybdis giggled and lightly touched the edges of the plague. “Only someone truly arrogant could write such drivel.”Bookmark here

I wonder, David thought as he examined the tomb more closely. It might be small and hidden, but there’s almost a warmth to the whole place. If she didn’t care for him, why not just dump his body in the ocean or burn it? Bookmark here

You don’t bury a person you don’t care about.Bookmark here

Karak-Harth was always described as the traitor of Saint Themis’s court, the one who cursed her until his dying breath and who vowed his vengeance upon her and her descendants.Bookmark here

His betrayal should have hurt her and yet, Themis still buried Karak-Harth in a tomb like this. Bookmark here

“…Maybe Themis truly did feel that way about him,” he whispered too softly for the others to hear. David exhaled, then turned to the twins and said, “Open it.”Bookmark here

“With pleasure,” Scylla said eagerly.Bookmark here

Scylla placed her hands against the chains and her palms opened, revealing hundreds of teeth that began shredding the metal into tiny pieces. Charybdis deployed her claw-like arms and tore the ropes free from the sarcophagus, before scratching at the spells and runes.Bookmark here

Once they were done, David grasped a hold of the lid and, with a mighty throw, flung it behind him, revealing the unrotten corpse of Karak-Harth. Bookmark here

Karak-Harth appeared to be a man in his late fifties with long white hair wearing beautifully crafted robes. He was holding a wooden staff that looked like it was made of two broken haves forcefully fused together. There was a clean white-gold cloak neatly folded on top of his chest, revealing the crest of Saint Themis’s noble house. Bookmark here

Had David not known this was Karak-Harth’s tomb, he honestly could have assumed the man was sleeping. Bookmark here

She did care for him in the end. However. David placed his palm against Karak-Harth’s heart. That doesn’t matter to me.Bookmark here

David channelled his magic into the corpse, causing it to overflow with a dark mist. Bookmark here

The body began to stir and, with a deathly howl, he leapt up in the sarcophagus. Bookmark here

Black lightning and balls of fire spewed constantly from his body, shooting all over the room. The twins jumped to protect David and the Hysminai raised their shields to defend themselves. A few were hit with the spells and went flying across the room, and a two of them crumpled down dead against the wall.Bookmark here

Karak-Harth’s screaming began to quieten and the magical attacks began to stop. Bookmark here

The mage took several deep breaths and looked down at his body in confusion.Bookmark here

He touched his hand to his wrist to try and feel his pulse, but couldn’t.Bookmark here

He checked his heart and then his own breath to try and confirm that he was alive, a sight that made David disgustingly nostalgic.Bookmark here

“Karak-Harth.” When the wizard turned to face David, he found an arrow aimed at his skull and two daggers digging into his throat. “Do you know who I am?”Bookmark here

The wizard nodded and lowered his head. “…My master. The one who brought me back to life…the Demon Emperor.”Bookmark here

David nodded. “Then, do you know what I wish from you?” The wizard shook his head. “You are to raise a great undead army from here and, when the time is right, you shall depart from this place and destroy the Holy Empire of Themis.”Bookmark here

Karak-Harth’s eyes slowly widened as a nasty scowl grew across his face.Bookmark here

David wondered if the wizard was conflicted or against the idea, but those fears were quickly dashed when Karak-Harth began to cackle.Bookmark here

“The Holy Empire?! Themis’s?!” The wizard kept laughing, shaking his head and running his hands through his head. “Absurd! How could that happen?! Why did those fools continue to serve that naïve princess?! She forged a Holy Empire?!” Karak-Harth slammed his fist down hard against his sarcophagus; the stone cracked and he went silent. “Unforgivable.”Bookmark here

David smiled beneath his helmet. “Then, you will do as I command?”Bookmark here

“It would be my honour, your majesty,” Karak-Harth bowed to David once the twins lowered their weapons. “I’ll do whatever it takes to see that woman’s empire burn.”Bookmark here

“Perfect. Start raising your undead army now and make it the largest the world has ever seen.”Bookmark here

“Gladly, your majesty. What types of undead would you like me to summon?”Bookmark here

“What types?”Bookmark here

“Should I raise higher ranked undead, lower ranked or a combination, your majesty?” Karak-Harth asked.Bookmark here

He can summon higher ranked undead without a corpse? David thought. I needed the physical bodies of the mages at the Shadow Tombs to raise liches, but he can summon them without corpses? He has to be a higher ranked Necromancer than Mania or I.Bookmark here

“What types of higher ranked undead can you summon?” David asked.Bookmark here

“Whatever you desire,” Karak-Harth answered. “I can summon liches, death knights and bone golems. I am only able to summon three liches a month and about twenty of the other two a month.”Bookmark here

“That’s fine. Summon the liches first and get to work raising your army as large as you can, but do not allow yourself to be spotted by anyone on the lake or that comes ashore over here. If you are spotted, kill the witnesses and make sure no one finds out you’re here. Is that clear?”Bookmark here

“Yes, your majesty. I shall get started right away.”Bookmark here

“Good. Then, there’s no longer any need for us to remain. Someone will be back every week to check on you.” David narrowed his eyes and let out a tremendous, oppressive aura of mana from his body. “I expect great things from you.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

After all, you’re our precious Great Disaster.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.