Chapter 3:


The Demon Saint is Missing, so I Ran to Another World Vol. 11


The French author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said: “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere, it hides a well.” It was a quote from his most famous work, the Little Prince. In that book, the main character meant that a desert was not just about survival—what the eye could immediately see. He wanted to take a different meaning to the desert; according to the prince, it was a ‘place of beauty’, because somewhere, there’s a spring that provides life and love to any weary traveler.

Personally, I believe it alludes to the human character—which is invisible unless it was shown through actions, and it what makes a person truly beautiful.


But fuck that philosophical thought, I’m in a pinch here.

While de Saint-Exupery claimed that the desert was beautiful for its hidden well, I’m begging to differ. There’s nothing beautiful walking in the vast expanse of dry, unstable and dead sea of sand. The sun—or whatever light it was up there—shone brightly, though it never gave that much heat. The occasional wind that blew would whip up small-scale sandstorms that would give me a fright, especially when watching it approach from afar…not to mention, the bits of sand stung my eye whenever I’m caught inside it. I think I’m just fortunate that those wouldn’t last for long, or I’d been buried.

And of course, my most glaring problem so far…I got no water. While it’s never hot in this desert, it’s been a while since I last drank water, and I’m freaking thirsty! Of all the things Kashca Telis would forget to give me, it was a water bottle, or a wineskin filled with something to drink.

It’s as if she wants to kill me, sending me into this desert without water.

Well, it’s too late to turn back now. Because of the urgency of my escape, the demon soldiers never checked my documents the moment I showed them Lady Noir’s medallion. Perhaps they’re also preoccupied with manning their positions against the paladins, who sought to run after me even though I’m inside the demon territory. No one told me what to expect, or what to bring, the moment my feet crossed the…hmm, I’d say ‘inter-dimensional’, crossing between Chersea and Cherflammen.


Honestly, I thought of Cherflammen as a land filled with cobblestone roads. Heck, it’s what it looked like in Lady Noir’s hand-drawn map, behind the letter she sent me. At least, if it was, I could always track my progress and would never get lost. But no, the roads drawn were truly imaginary—while there was a dirt road from the crossing itself, the obscured eventually obscured the entire path, and made my journey difficult.

There’s a consolation for me somehow; the names on the map are written in Latin alphabet, so I have no worries of identifying the landmarks I come across.

However, compared to the latter part of my travels, that problem seemed to be a child’s play. See, everything went further downhill when I passed a region known as the ‘Blighted Lands’. Located near the southern end of Cherflammen, that place really lived up to its name. Everywhere I looked, I was confronted with dead, twisted trees. I’d occasionally stumble upon some fauna, in the form of dried bones—showing me that those animals were dead eons ago. The ground that comprised its territory was black, like soot…as if someone burned or cursed that place. It was a hopeless land; though, whatever sliver of hope vanished within me when I saw the ‘living’ creatures that inhabit the region.


Ahem…not exactly ‘living’. If there’s a word I could describe the monsters I saw, I’d immediately use ‘zombie’. Zombie ‘humans’. Zombie wolves. Zombie birds. And even a zombie dragon…or whatever creature it was. For short, it was one hell of a place for an ordinary human like me. I just don’t know if I got lucky or not; I was able to pass that place without getting pursued by those ugly creatures, or resorting to my weapons.

So yes, I’m not returning to that place ever again.


In any case, I’m out of the ‘Blighted Lands’, though I was now confronted by the desert, what was known in Cherflammen as the ‘Sea of Sand’. Just to the immediate north was supposed to be the nearest settlement to me, the town of ‘Goblinhom’. However, I could only see sand as far as my eyes could reach. There was no landmark; not even a single hill, which would be my sign that Goblinhom was nearby. And besides…

Goblinhom. Goblins.


Yep, not an encouraging name, at least, to me…a human. If I remember, I used to read stories with goblins. They were creatures that fit a villain’s description, and a lady’s absolute nightmare. In fact, there’s this famous isekai story about an adventurer who solely kills goblins who abduct and violate women. Hell, I’m just Greg, armed with an antiquated pistol, and a sword…I’m not some armor-wearing, goblin-slaying dude with a beautiful priestess, an elf archer, a lizard man and a dwarf for companions. The moment I stepped into that town, and it turned out that those goblins were hostile to humans…I guess that would be my end.


Though, between being eaten by zombies, and being killed by goblins…I guess I’d choose the latter? At least, they’d kill me before they ate me. I just hope it’d be quick and painless.

Ah! I’m thinking far-off once again. Before even thinking of dying at the hands of the goblins, I should find my way first.

As I mentioned earlier, there was no landmark for me to reorient my direction, other than to follow the edge of the ‘Blighted Lands’ to the west. If I did that, perhaps I’d stumble upon the hills that surrounded Goblinhom. Doing that would give me an idea of my location, though it would risk revealing my presence to the zombies that inhabit that place.

Ah, I don’t know anymore…I guess a beggar can’t be a chooser. As it is my only option to survive, I’ll just take it.


Taking a deep breath and unconsciously preparing my weapons, I headed back to the direction of the ‘Blighted Lands’.


***The Academy***

Although there’s a ‘storm’ brewing back at the Holy Palatial Gardens, the classes in the Academy continued as usual. In some lower grade levels, the enrolment even increased, as rumors and trends about the beastmen being educated were deemed unacceptable by the prominent human noble families. So they had their children come to the Academy, some of whom were even forced to do it.

By contrast, Class 4-1 lost two people in a short time. First was their adviser, the Lord Kuro of Arles. While rumors went around that he was sick, the temporary teacher that took his place reinforced everyone’s belief, and so eroded the enthusiasm of the students. However, just as they were reeling from the effects of his disappearance, their most famous classmate, Lady Noir Usarved, sought to drop from the class list and return to Cherflammen. The move was sudden, and her peers were left speechless by the announcement.

“I just came here to say goodbye,” the demon girl smiled; her face filled with sadness. “Though I may be from the demon race, I really appreciate the way you accepted me.”

With one final bow, Noir finished her speech. At that moment, regardless whether they were girls or boys, Class 4-1 stood up for a group hug—something that their old adviser taught them before. Tears flowed, farewells exchanged, and some even gave the demon girl impromptu souvenirs. Good thing her chamberlain, Shevaun, was there to carry those trinkets for her.

“Well then, take care guys,” Noir waved at her crying classmates, and hurried out of the room. Though it was a short while, the demon girl truly enjoyed her ‘study’ days with the humans.

And now that everything’s done, now’s the perfect moment to face the bigger problem she’s involved with…

“Yes, that’s true. You really have to answer a lot of questions from us, demon princess!”

“!!!” Lady Noir and Shevaun stopped in their tracks when they saw the queens of Amaranth and Cherwind, along with the Beastman Saint, bar their way. Ursura’s hand, in particular, was raised…as if she was itching for a fight.

“Your Grace—” the demon chamberlain put herself between her mistress and the others. However, Lady Noir was quick to stop her.

“Not here, Shevaun,” she told her servant, “And those ladies are friends; keep your hands off.”

At once, Shevaun bowed and retreated behind. Now, it was Ruro’s turn to speak to Noir.

“Friends?” the Beastman Saint asked, mockingly. “Is that how you demons treat your ‘friends’?”

“What do you mean, Your Holiness?” Noir countered.

“Milady,” Queen Jessica answered instead, “why did you help the Lord Kuro escape to Cherflammen?”

“What are you saying—”

“Stop pretending you’re innocent, demon princess,” Ruro snapped. “We agreed to find my master and bring him back; instead, you gave him a map, and an instruction for him to run to Cherflammen! You even fooled my servant, Kashca Telis, into giving some weapons to Kuro!”

Noir fell silent. As her schemes were finally uncovered, it was useless to defend herself any further. So, taking a deep breath, she finally admitted, “You saw what happened yourself, Your Holiness. The Human Saint is possessed by something dark and sinister, and as my teacher’s life is in danger, what do you want me to do? Watch him get killed?”

“You sound more like his lover than his student, demoness,” Ursura clicked her tongue while cracking her fist. “Are you also gunning for Kuro?”


Sheesh, stop that, Your Majesty!” Ruro rebuked the Beastman royal. “She’s telling the truth. Have you forgotten that I can see inside her heart? She really wants to protect my master! Although…”


“Would you care to share your other motives, demon princess?” the Wolf Saint asked. “Or it is I whom you want to reveal your secrets to them?”

“Tch,” Noir didn’t hide her disgust at Ruro’s attempt to blackmail her into submission. Nevertheless, as she couldn’t escape them, the demon girl had no other choice but to tell the truth. “I…I wanted the Lord Kuro to help my brother against the Knights of Cassandra David.”

“What?” Jessica and Ursura chorused in disbelief.

“I-I know…it’s dangerous, but I’m left with no options,” Noir reasoned. “Her Holiness the Lady Natasha Bellingsen is missing, and the Devil of the Grey Parka, the Lord Loin disappeared as well. My brother is hard-pressed; his supporters dwindle with every passing time. I’m afraid that if this continues, the war between our realms would be inevitable.”

“Wouldn’t that be great if that is to happen?”


Everyone’s eyes turned to the person who just entered the scene, the Saint of the Flame, Seirna. Noir glared at her; Shevaun—out of protective instincts—moved to shield her mistress.

“Not to worry, Shevaun Ilkes,” Seirna smiled at the demon pair. “If I wanted to kill your charge, then I would’ve done so before appearing. You lowered your guard, after all.”

“What do you want, Servant of the Mad God?” Noir, though she didn’t like the insults hurled at her servant, tried to keep her cool.

Hmph, you idiots would create a mess you couldn’t fix; then when I appear to help, you’d bare your fangs at me,” the Saint of the Flame shrugged. “It’s difficult being the only one who’s got sense.”

“What’s the meaning of this, Lady Ruro?” the demon girl directed her anger at the Beastman Saint.

Oh, stop giving her the fault; I came here in my own volition,” Seirna explained. “Now then, let’s get to the specifics…”

“Like I would talk to you—!!!” Noir was about to leave in protest, but the Saint of the Flame never let her. In a blink of an eye, Seirna’s rapier was on her neck. Shevaun tried to intervene, but it was too late.

“Look, demon brat, I’m in no mood for idle chit-chat, especially to filthy people like you,” the Saint of the Flame whispered to her ears. “I’m here because it’s my duty to protect the humans. Otherwise, I don’t give a damn if the Seductress consumed this realm, or the others.”

“The…Seductress? She’s back?”

Seirna then let go of Noir and sheathed her weapon. “If you understand the threat we’re facing, then it’s all good. I don’t want to have anything to do with you demons, but—as much as I hate to admit—we have to cooperate to survive.”

“What do you mean? How did she—”

“The Human Saint was her conduit,” the Beastman Saint replied. “And she entered Chersea once again through Her Holiness’ burning jealousy.”

“So,” Noir’s face was full of shock, “it’s our fault, after all!”

“Now listen, demon brat,” Seirna picked up on where Ruro left. “Since we’re already here, I want you to destroy the Knights of Cassandra David. Use that otherworlder if you have to.”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this…but,” Noir bowed before the Saint of the Flame, “thank you for understanding me, Your Holiness.”

“It’s no problem with me,” Seirna chuckled, but then glared at the demon girl. “Just make sure you keep that man alive until we deal with the Seductress, or I’ll kill you myself, you hear me, brat?

“Hey!” Ruro was quick to air her protest. “What do you mean by ‘use Kuro’? What are you guys talking about? Don’t treat my master as if he’s a pawn!”

“Like it or not, you can’t deny that the otherworlder is a pawn,” the Saint of the Flame countered. “And he’s our hope to keep the Lady Rubinforth in her right state of mind. If we want to continue our normal lives, then we have to eliminate all threats to our unity. Then, and only then, that we can face that accursed entity, in all her power. But hey, once we defeated the Seductress, we can return to killing each other by our hands, so it’s best we cooperate, okay?”

The others were silent as Seirna—no matter how morbid her words were—drove her point home. As much as they wanted to disagree, they couldn’t deny the fact that the Saint of the Flame’s proposal was practical and sound. After all, it’s useless to treat someone with dignity if they’re all going to die in the end.



And so, just like what I feared, those zombies were running after me. It didn’t even take long for those creatures to figure out my presence the second time around. They were already at the edge of the ‘Blighted Lands’, as if waiting for me to return. Naturally, I ran faster than someone could say the word ‘knife’.

Unlike Seirna’s zombies, these guys ran. And the sandy soil didn’t help; it made me lose my footing, that I fell and stumble all the time. The struggle was exhausting, and the things I carried (mostly the weapons) further exacerbated my hardship. Only desperation and the determination not to be eaten alive kept me going.

Because, come on, who wants to have their intestines pulled out and gnawed like your mom’s spaghetti?


Wait, on a second thought, why did I know about Seirna’s zombies? And who the hell is Seirna?

Well, like a slow-motion movie, some bits of the events I’m not even familiar with came back to me. Seirna was that crazy-ass bitch saint who nearly destroyed Chersea by turning humans into the undead. But heck, why did I know that? I thought my memories about these incidents disappeared?


Oh shit!

The horrible, raspy moans of the zombies followed closely behind me. While the desert sand made me lose my footing often, these undead had no difficulty in traversing the difficult terrain, as if their feet were made to deal with the unstable sand. What’s even worse was, though they walked, their pace was like that of brisk walking. Although I would create some distance from them, soon, they would close in…like a game of tag, only deadlier.

It’s as if these zombies are living!

In an attempt to shake off my pursuers, I turned and shot at the undead closest to me.


Of course, I aimed for the head. It’s the standard procedure every time when dealing with zombies. However, my antiquated pistol was horribly inaccurate, and the bullet just pierced the creature’s neck instead. It didn’t sever the head, though the projectile was large enough to do so. The gaping hole appeared at the side of the neck, and missed the bone; it’s utterly disgusting to look at!


While I knew that my situation was hopeless, what sealed my fate was when I noticed some dull, but powerful thuds that shook the sand. I stopped in my tracks; pulled my dagger, and looked behind the undead swarm heading in my direction. And, just what I suspected, that ‘thing’ appeared. From the tree line, the undead dragon rose up. Though its wings were just bones, it magically soared into the sky, together with a zombie rider at its back. There was no roar; only the sound of its beating wings, and the moans of the undead, permeated the air.


Realizing that it was futile to run, I turned my dagger on me. At least, I’d die as a human.

“Graaah! Stop it, laddie!”

“!!!” the blade was almost upon my neck when I heard a disembodied, raspy voice from somewhere. Did I just hear a zombie speak? Or am I hallucinating out of despair?

Anyway, just as I’m about to stab my neck, the zombie I shot at earlier lunged and wrested the dagger from my hand. Honestly, I was surprised; I expected it to bite me, but for some weird reason, it went for my hand instead. Then it rolled away before standing up at a considerable distance.


“Haa…you surely warmed our feet, laddie!”

Man, it’s confirmed. That growling, raspy voice came from the zombies. In fact, it’s from the second one that’s following me.

I blurted out, “A zombie can talk?”

“Zombie?” the talking undead tilted its decaying head, as if wondering about the meaning of my term. Then, though its eyes were long gone, it’s seemed like I could see the sparkle on it when the creature realized what I was saying, “Ah, it’s what you humans call us, the undead? Let me correct that for you, laddie. We’re no ‘zombies’ or ‘zeds’, ya know? We’re ghouls, the undead that can think and speak. And you got nothing to fear us; we don’t eat brains for dessert, yo! In fact, we eat nothing at all!”

“Then how about that?” I pointed to the flying zombie—I mean, ghoul—dragon.

Oh? Rosita? She looks intimidating, but Rosie’s actually a good little dragon corpse, just like how you living lads’ keep pet dogs.” While the ghoul was explaining, the undead dragon landed behind it, and the ghoul gave it a head pat. “Well, be careful, though; she likes givin’ hugs, ya know?”

“I’ll join you once that thing hugged me,” I admitted.

“What’s the harm, laddie? We undead are dead, and enjoying it!”

“I think I prefer to enjoy my life ‘alive’.”

Tch, what a sorry wanker,” the ghoul muttered.

“And what about him?” I pointed at the ghoul I shot at earlier. “I made that gaping hole in his neck; don’t you think he’ll be angry at me?”

Eh? Marco is our cannon fodder, ya know? Feel free to bore holes in his body anytime; it’ll be gone soon!”

The fuck? Don’t you guys feel pain when you’re shot?”

“What are you saying, laddie? It’s like asking the kettle if it is black.”

“Don’t you think it’s ‘the pot calling the kettle black’?”

“No, I really said that.”

“It made no sense!”

“Exactly! We make no sense! Get it, the pun?” the ghoul snickered, “We have no ‘sense’? ’Coz we’re dead! Hahahaha!

Yeah, the joke was kind of stale. But I had to laugh with them, even for a little, since I didn’t want to piss them off.

“Anyway,” the ghoul spread his arms wide, “while we got off to a rough start, we still welcome you to our land! Although, if I may be frank laddie, we ain’t got much to offer…”

“H-Ha?” I still couldn’t believe what I’m witnessing. It was so surreal. An undead that could talk and think. An undead that didn’t bite me. And the weirdest shit of all, an undead that welcomed a living human into its land. This world made no sense!

“Err…” the ghoul turned to his other undead companions. “Looks like the living laddie is still dazed by his harsh experience in the Sea of Sand. Someone bring him clean water to calm him down!”

“Right away, boss!” the other ghouls head back to the dead forest, maybe to fetch for a drink.

Damn…and they even got water here!

Ah, sorry for the late introduction, laddie!” I thought the ghoul leader would offer his hand to me for a shake, but waved his hand instead for a greeting. Maybe he intentionally did that because he’s conscious of his rotting flesh. “I forgot my old ‘living’ name, but now, I’m called Vitalis, the current lord of the ‘Blighted Lands’. I know we’re kind of scary and a disgusting lot, but don’t let that fool your eyeballs! We’re jolly fellows…though undead, of course. It’s not like we can do anything about our eternally decaying bodies.”

I could only laugh as I tried to comprehend on what’s going on.


***Somewhere in Chersea…***

Umberto stood once again at the middle of the council of the Knights of Cassandra David, though there were many times that he swore to himself never to return to that accursed red chamber. Nevertheless, he knew he had to do his part, or everything he and Seirna had done so far would be all put to waste.


Though he was not alone, Umberto could feel that he was the only one alive in that place. The hooded figures that formed a semi-circle before him never moved, nor speak. Their eyes—even if it was obscured by their dark hoods, remained staring at him, as if peering through his soul. He loathed every second that he was in there, and each minute felt like forever, while they waited for the revered leader of the Knights to appear.

Ah, my ever-loyal human servant…welcome back!”


The moment that voice was heard, there was a change in the red chamber. The hooded figures at the farthest part of the semi-circle stepped aside, and out from the darkness came the leader of the Knights, seated on his wheeled chair as always. Everyone, including Umberto, fell to their knees, revering him.

“You called for me, Your Lordship?” the human asked.

“Yes, I have another mission for you. Raise your head and come near me.”

At once, Umberto did as he was told, though deep inside, his chest was about to burst from fear. He entered the semi-circle, and stood before the leader of the Knights.

“I heard a most precious news, Umberto. I want you to deal with it.”

“Yes, Your Lordship?”

“The Human Saint’s most trusted servant, the man they call the ‘Commoner General’, is sick. And she withdrew within her chambers because of it.”

Umberto couldn’t believe his ears. The Lord Kuro is sick? That’s a good joke, right? The Human Saint was a bastion of well-being and rude health, since it was her god-power that allowed her to heal every sickness and injury in an instant. Surely, this demon didn’t miss that information, right? Or is he playing games? Umberto was careful in his answer, “You…want me to infiltrate the Holy Palatial Gardens and deal the killing blow to those two?”

“No, it’s not my intention, Umberto, not yet,” the leader of the Knights replied. “There is a far more important thing that I want you to do, before eliminating those humans.”

“Pray do tell, milord.

“It was the ‘Commoner General’s’ student, the only demon of his class, the Lady Noir of the House Usarved. Perhaps you have heard her name?”

Umberto nodded, though he also added, “If my memory serves me right, milord, Lady Usarved is the twin sister to the current demon prince, Hurion Devras. She’s also pretty close to the Lord Kuro of Arles.”

The leader of the Knights chuckled and shook his head, “What a joke! Such foolishness! Lady Noir Usarved, huh? This farce has to stop.”

“What do you mean, Your Lordship?”

“Listen, Umberto, for this is the only chance we may have. I want you to take all your men and intercept that demon’s carriage, as it makes its way to the Chersean-Cherflammen border. If you need to cross, I’ll make the necessary arrangements, but you have to—absolutely have to—capture her, and bring her to me.”

“Y-Yes, milord!” from his voice, Umberto could tell that the leader of the Knights wanted to prioritize the kidnapping of the Lady Noir Usarved. He bowed to show his agreement to the demon leader’s plan, and was about to leave when he was stopped again.

“Umberto, before you go…” the leader of the Knights then turned to one of his associates; the hooded person nodded and stepped forward. He removed his cloak to reveal a demon from one of the clans of the ogres. “The Lord Themis would come with you, to ensure the success of this mission. I’m sure you’re fine with working with him?”

The former prince of Amaranth was dumbfounded at first; he surely didn’t expect that a member of the High Council of the Knights would watch him do his ‘work’. Nevertheless, it’s not like he had any choice. Whether or not Umberto agreed, that demon would come with him, ostensibly to spy on his activities.

Damn it, now he has to put off his planned meeting with Seirna, and will have to operate without her guidance…