Chapter 5:


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


This was…the weirdest sleep I ever did since I was born.


Imagine, you’re surrounded by the undead, yet you’re still able to sleep soundly that those who were dead actually thought you just died. Perhaps I was utterly exhausted from all my travels lately, yes, but it felt really weird that the zombies—I mean, ghouls—were keeping watch of the bedroom for you, instead of trying to claw their way in, and eat your brains.

Oh, and not only that, they also brought in my breakfast earlier, straight to my bed.

“How did you have food here when you said before that you don’t eat?”

Ah, we would have ‘living’ visitors from time to time, see?” Vitalis said. “This region is nearby the Chersea-Cherflammen crossing, and if you’re not careful with the shifting desert paths, you’d end up here.”

Err…so this is…?” I think I’ve read on some weird website before that human flesh was tasty. And the meat I was eating right now was…tasty.

“No! No!” the ghoul leader chuckled. “It’s not what you think it is! As I said, there would be ‘living’ people who would get lost in our forest, so we decided to raise fowl and do some farming to provide food for them. It also helps our economy by having something to trade with the other cities…just don’t let the others know where it came from because of the stigma.”

He pointed his decaying finger towards the window, where a bunch of coops were placed quite a distance away from his house.


Somehow, I felt bad listening to Vitalis’ story. I mean, these dead folks were just trying to be good Samaritans, and yet, they were often misunderstood…

Yep, and that includes me.

“Well, looks like you had a good snooze, laddie!” Vitalis commented. He motioned to his servant to give me a set of clothes, “After you eat, you may change into these; that ‘human’ clothes you wear won’t take you far on the harsh desert journey.”

Ah, thanks for having me,” I expressed my gratitude with a smile. “And my apologies for misunderstanding your intentions.”

“Not to worry; we ghouls just wanted to help,” he winked at me. “We’re tough folks, too…maybe because our hearts are not beating anymore, that we don’t get offended. Either way, it’s jolly good. The ghouls only wanted to do business and charity; at least, let’s be clear on that.”

Speaking of ghouls, I noticed that—though their bodies were decaying—there was no rotten smell. Nor there were maggots feasting on their diseased flesh. Their skin was dry and discolored—either sticking to their bones, or hanging loose from it. There were wounds and lacerations that were ‘fresh’, I could still see some blood and pus oozing from it.

If I may describe these folks in two words, I think ‘almost mummified’ would greatly fit them.

Also, Vitalis’ house wasn’t your typical run-down, spider web-filled, dirty manor; it’s actually clean and in order. One could tell that the ghoul lord was really a lord when he was still alive.

Though I guess I won’t ask for the story of his life for now…


Well, of course, I’d just look away while I’m eating. It’s still quite disgusting and freaky when you eat with a walking cadaver nearby. But, I had to do it discreetly; I don’t want to offend my kind host.

Ah, shoot!” Vitalis suddenly exclaimed.

Hm? Something wrong?”

“I know it’s kind of late to ask you this laddie, but where are you heading, anyway?”

I stopped eating. Vitalis’ question made me ponder; while I originally intended to go to Goblinhom because it’s the nearest ‘safe’ spot for me before, getting to know the friendly ghouls of the ‘Blighted Lands’ made my earlier aim irrelevant. I mean, I guess it’s not that bad staying in this place until Kashca Telis finds me.

Oooh, I know that look, laddie,” the ghoul leader chuckled. “You must be thinking about staying here. Well, I’m grateful that you liked it here, but I must be honest…just don’t.”

Huh? Why?”

“Are you bonkers? First thing, we’re dead; you’re living! Though you may not notice it for a while, this land ain’t called ‘blighted’ for fancy! The soil is cursed—poisoned, if you will—and soon you’ll turn like us if you remain for long. Well, not that I mind, but you said earlier that you want to prefer living for a while, so don’t do it.”


“Besides…” Vitalis looked outside the window, as if he’s on the lookout for anyone eavesdropping. Then he leaned on me and whispered, “…the Knights are watching.”


Shh! Not so loud, laddie. Those wankers who call themselves ‘Knight of Cassandra David’. They made this place their base of operations, see?”

Honestly, I’m aware of what those people were; the ladies at the palatial gardens told me that it was those ‘knights’ who caused the incident that affected my memories. “But you said before that those who stay in this place end up like you!”

“True, laddie. That’s why those wankers are bonkers! They’ve been staying here for too long it affected their heads. So don’t be like them; move away as soon as possible. I’ll even have Rosita bring you wherever you like!”

I was silent for a moment, trying to decide where to go. Then, I remembered Lady Noir’s letter.

“Lord Vitalis?”

“Yes, laddie?

“Do you know someone named Lady Noir of the House Usarved?”

At that moment, the ghoul’s jaw dropped, literally. Luckily, his servant was quick to catch his master’s body part, and reattach it to Vitalis’ head.

“Wh-Why did she come into this conversation, laddie?

Err…she’s my friend?”

Vitalis then stood up, fixed his disheveled clothing, and got down to his knees, pleading, “Please have mercy on us, ghouls, laddie!

“Eh?” I was confused as he was.

“If Her Highness sent you to punish us—”

“Punish? Me? No! Wait, I’m really lost, Lord Vitalis,” I insisted. It was getting awkward the longer the ghoul lord prostrate himself before me, so I reassured him, “You just happen to stumble upon me in the desert edge.”

“Then, please!” Vitalis remained in his position, though. “If we found favor in your eyes, tell Her Highness to spare my clan. I’d do anything to save them!”

Err…is there anything that’s happening here that I need to know?” I asked and reasoned, “See, I’m Lady Noir’s friend; I can help you talk to her if I know the state of things. But please, rest assured I mean you—and your folks—no harm.”

Then, Lord Vitalis finally calmed down. Picking himself up, he returned to his seat and began his story with, “Well, first things first, laddie…what I will tell you will be a matter between you and me…”


The ghoul lord made me promise that I won’t tell anyone what he would say, before he narrated the events that transpired that led to his clan’s current situation. According to him, the Ghoul Clan and the ‘Blighted Lands’ didn’t exist generations ago, not before a demon lord cursed them to forever wander in a poisoned fief. In order to lift that curse, they must perform a thousand acts of servitude under successive demon kings.

“That’s why, we’re forever serving the demon lords of Cherflammen,” Vitalis commented. “We’re the ones who fought in the frontlines when there was a great awakening of the undead in Chersea, fighting under the demon prince, Hurion Devras, and the Demon Saint, Lady Natasha Bellingsen. I think you know that story?”

I couldn’t tell him that I was the one who led the human armies against that zombie horde, along with the Human Saint. In fact, I didn’t tell him who I was; just the name ‘Greg’, and I was a lost human from Chersea.


Wait, why do I know about that? Are those my old memories? It’s slowly returning to me?

“…” Well, they did tell me that I was affected by a ‘nullifying’ potion; I was doused with a dosage that’s far beyond what a normal person would take. Maybe the effects were wearing off; it’s been a while after that ‘accident’, anyway. And by the way they talked, it seemed that I would return to my ‘usual self’ sometime later.

“Anyway, returning to my story, generations after generations of servitude and living as undead…” Vitalis took a pause, “…there’s this thing in the back of my head that, ‘Hey, this isn’t so bad at all!’. You understand what I’m sayin’, laddie?

I nodded. Well, there were things that, while you hated it at first, slowly grew unto you and became a part of your being.

“So, uh, about the curse…”

“You don’t want to undo it anymore?”

The ghoul smiled, “It’s great to have someone understand us. The irony of it all is that, being undead gave us a new direction and purpose; I don’t think we would like to return to what we were before…”

“Makes sense to me.”

“Yes, and that’s why, when the first clashes between the supporters of the Prince Hurion Devras and the Knights happened, we didn’t answer the call for arms.”

“That’s why the Prince got angry at you?”

“That’s right. After all, we’re supposed to serve him,” the ghoul lord answered. “But, you know, we’re undead. While we can fight, we certainly would love to be left in peace, in addition to not trying to undo the curse anymore.”

“I understand. I think I can convince the Lady Usarved to show mercy on you and your folk,” I gave him a pat at his shoulder; lightly, of course. I’m afraid that if I went my ‘usual pat’, his limb would fall off. “However, there’s something that caught my attention in your story, Lord Vitalis. You said there were ‘clashes’ between the Prince’s supporters and the Knights?”

Ah yes, you heard me right, laddie. Ever since the Demon Saint disappeared, the Knights of Cassandra David have been gaining strength. They wanted to make war against the humans of Chersea, while the Prince Hurion Devras was pursuing peace.”

“I don’t get it; isn’t the Prince Devras the leader of the Demons?”

“Well, that’s a yes and a no, laddie. See, we demons have a different take on being a king. While you humans become one once the old king dies, here in Cherflammen, might is right. After the death of the King Hurion Devras III, his child have been struggling to unite the demon clans under his banner, though I’d say that he’s the strongest contender to the throne.”


“However, Prince Hurion Devras’ strongest supporters are the Demon Saint, Lady Natasha Bellingsen, and the Devil of the Grey Parka, Lord Loin of Steak. When they both disappeared, His Highness’ claim is becoming more open for challenges. And the Knights of Cassandra David wouldn’t miss the opportunity to take the power and lead the demons to war.”

“Sounds pretty complicated…”

“True, and we ghouls have nothing to do with it. Not to mention, the Knights made this place their base of operations. It’ll be hard for us to move if they know we’re openly supporting Prince Hurion Devras.”

“I get your point.”

“But we sympathize with the Prince. After all, we only want peace.”

“I’ll tell that to Lady Noir.”

“Thank you for that, laddie,” Vitalis made a little bow. “So yes, now that you know what’s going on, I suggest you head to the port city of Darkmoor to the east of this place, beyond the South Darkmoor Mountains. It is the main fief of the Usarved Clan, and of the House of Devras where Lady Noir is affiliated.”

I quickly brought out my map to check on Vitalis’ directions. True enough, Darkmoor was located to the east of the Blighted Lands, near the eastern shores of Cherflammen (ironically called ‘Westshore’).

“I’ll order Rosita to bring you there, but land from a safe distance,” the ghoul lord told me. “I don’t want anyone to see I’m helping you, laddie, or the Knights would attack us.”

“Yes, I got no problems with that arrangement, Lord Vitalis,” I smiled and bowed before him. “Thank you for helping me.”

“Right…” Vitalis stared at me for a few seconds, that it became awkward.

“Is there…uh, any problem?”

Nah. I’m just silently wishing you strength and luck in dealing with Lady Noir.”

“You sound like you’re really afraid of her…”

“Well, as the old demons say, the people of the House of Devras are lions in disguise. But I applaud you, laddie; you being a friend to her shows your mettle. I think I can compare you to that human hero, ‘Kuro the Commoner General’.”

“Ahahaha…” I could only laugh to divert the talk about my ‘other’ self. After all, I’m still confused as to what was my real identity…


By midday, Rosita (the undead dragon pet of the Ghoul Clan) was prepared to take me to the city of Darkmoor to the east. A pilot (a near-skeleton corpse named Giraud) was waiting for me at the courtyard of Vitalis’ manor, and his servants also carried what looked to me as bags of provisions.

“Those are for your journey, laddie,” the ghoul lord told me. “Honestly, I like you, and so are my people. Please accept our parting gift. There are food in those bags, as well as wineskins. I think Geraldine also put in some change of clothes, too.”


“My wife of eternity. She’s also a talented seamstress during her life,” Vitalis revealed. “She opted not to show herself since she says she’s ‘ugly and disgusting’; but Geraldine’s a kind soul.”

Oh, please send my thanks to her, milord. And, I really don’t mind her appearance.”

“She’ll like it once she learns of your words, laddie!” the ghoul lord then escorted me to the platform that led to Rosita’s back, where there was a saddle waiting. “Well then, go now before it gets dark.”

Huh? It gets dark in here? As in night?”

Err…oh, yeah! I forgot that you came from the land of the Undying Light, Chersea. Yes, there’s ‘night’ in here, which happens every other day.”

“But how do you know it is the end of the day without getting dark?”

Ah, the old hero, Lady Cassandra David, brought us her idea of a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, system from her old world. As far as I know, it was also adopted and implemented in Chersea recently, by that ‘Commoner General Kuro’, too.”

Another one that my ‘other self’ did? Looks like this ‘Kuro’ has been a busy guy, eh?

I got a lot of things to ask Vitalis, but he’s urging me to hurry, so I had no other choice other than to oblige. A few more words of farewell, some tweaks in the way the cargoes were loaded to the dragon, and soon, Rosita—with me, her pilot, and the provisions the ghouls lovingly gave me—was airborne.


It was a quiet, and rather ‘smooth’ ride. Flying with Rosita felt like we’re sailing in the air. The saddle the ghouls put for me was a secure one; I could easily lean on my sides, and never had the danger of falling down. I could tell that they really designed it for riding the undead dragon.

“Rosita,” I heard my pilot giving commands to her. I saw that he was looking at a small, glowing orb to his right; my guess was, that was his flight instrument. I could see nothing on the display, but hearing him utter some numbers made me think that way. “Turn 30 degrees to your right. Readings show 80kph winds blowing southwest. Fly to the height of 500 feet to avoid turbulence.”

Color me impressed. Those are complicated orders, and these corpses just spewing it out like it’s an everyday talk.

“Master Greg?” the pilot turned his attention to me.


“You alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine…” I answered, though I noticed it’s about to get freezing. “A little cold, I guess?”

Oh! It’s not good, Master Greg!” the pilot said. “We’re about to head into dusk, and it’s going to get even colder. While we undead don’t mind it, I heard you living ones can’t take too much cold. Please wear some thick clothes.”

“I don’t have any…”

“Lady Geraldine put in some of those in the bags, I think?”

“Oh?” These ghouls were really helpful, and thinking ahead; I’m thinking that it’s not so bad to be like them.

“Rosita, there’s a landing spot -15 degrees to your left. We should stop to let Master Greg put on some thick clothes.”

I heard a low growl coming from the dragon, which was followed by a deviation from our course. Soon enough, there was an area of flat sand— surrounded by high hills—that showed up, and Rosita circled twice before landing perfectly at the middle of that space. From a distance, I could see the sky starting to get dimmer, a sign that darkness was soon to fall.

Hmm…this isn’t good…” I heard the pilot mutter after glancing at the orange and purple sky.

“Is there anything you’re worried about, Giraud?”

“Even with our instrument, it’s difficult flying through darkness,” he admitted. “We can get lost in our bearings, or land in the wrong place.”

Well, it’s not like I disagree to the pilot’s reasons. I mean, even back in my world—where the technology was a thousand times better than what they had here, we could still get into accidents because of flying at night. And to think, the airports were filled with lights to ‘guide’ the planes; the planes were equipped with radars, while Rosita and Giraud were just using ‘dead reckoning’ to determine our location.

“What’s your best recommendation, then?” I asked the pilot.

“We can set up a temporary camp here, Master Greg,” he answered. “Rosita and I are always equipped with tents for cases like this.”

“Sounds like you’re really prepared for any eventuality.”

“We ghouls are!” the pilot proudly replied. “We take pride in rescuing lost people in the ‘Blighted Lands’, as well as the Sea of Sand.”

It’s kind of ironic when the dead are saving the living; but hey, this situation is already absurd in the first place. I’m not that surprised anymore.


We set up camp just before the darkness overcame us. Unlike on Earth, it seemed like the ‘night’ hours here come in fast. I remember leaving the ‘Blighted Lands’ at midday, then we did not travel for long when it was already dusk, and by the time we finished erecting the tent, it’s already well into the evening.


And man, spending the night in the desert sure was kind of chilly. Good thing Giraud and Rosita also brought emergency ‘wood’ for creating fires, and so our problem in keeping me warm was solved before it even occurred.


Well, almost. The pilot learned that I could not cast fire magic—or any type of magic that was common with humans from Chersea. Instead, what I could do was cast ‘god-powers’ like instant healing and weather control. How did I come to know or acquire those abilities? I don’t know myself. There were a lot of ‘blank spots’ in my memories.

In line with their ‘survivalist’ training, the ghoul pilot and Rosita kindled a fire that we used to burn the wood, both for warmth and cooking. Giraud also volunteered to stand guard outside the tent, along with the undead dragon. They told me that while there were no threats of highwaymen or monsters in the Sea of Sand, the constantly shifting winds would whip up sandstorms that could end up dangerous for a living person like me.


And so, with everything settled, I went inside the tent to eat and then sleep. Up till now, I still found the situation surreal; the undead being trained in survivalist ways. But yes, they’d been extremely helpful. I guess, if I did not meet them, I’d long been buried in the sand.

“!!!” Eh? Did I just hear a gunshot?

At first, it was a faint crack, almost inaudible to normal ears. However, I’d been in battles long enough for my hearing to become accustomed to such sounds. When I heard a succession of shots, that’s when I became sure that there was something going on. I immediately headed out of my tent once I prepared my weapons. The pilot and Rosita were also alert.

“Did you hear that too, Master Greg?” Giraud asked.

“Where did it come from?”

“Rosita’s about to scout the immediate surroundings,” the pilot told me. “Please stay in your tent, Master Greg.”

Nah, I’ll be fine,” I showed him my weapons. “As you can see, I can fight as well.”

The undead dragon then took to the sky. It was a tense moment, as we wait for her to come back, while the intensity of the gunshots increased. This time, we already knew there was a battle going on nearby.

“What do you guys do when something like this happens?” I asked the pilot.

“Honestly, it’s our first time having this kind of situation,” he answered. “I think it’s the Lord Vitalis’ soldiers who should deal with it.”

Well, Giraud’s right. If this scenario happened, it should be given in the hands of military guys, not to the survivalist rescuers like most of the people of the Ghoul Clan. However, I think it’s highly unlikely that Vitalis would intervene, given the fact that the battle’s outside his lands, and his attitude of ‘peaceful co-existence’.


Soon, Rosita came back to our camp with news.

“Master Greg, we should pack up and leave this place,” the pilot said.

Eh? Right now?”

He nodded, “Rosita saw a battle about 15 degrees to the north of our location, and I’m afraid it might spread here if that continues.”


“It’s a convoy of three coaches, with one having lost its two front wheels, according to Rosita. All the horses are dead, and the passengers are being ambushed by…err…bandits.”

“Wait, I thought you said before that there are no bandits in this place?”

“It’s true, Master Greg. That’s what I also believed, but somehow, there is! I don’t even know how it happened, considering that the Sea of Sand is a hostile place to the living!”

I fell silent for a moment, pondering the information I received. “I don’t like it,” I told Giraud, “I think there’s more to what’s happening. Can you contact the Lord Vitalis? Tell him there are some people that needs saving.”

Uh, I can hurry back to his manor with Rosita…” the pilot offered, “…but how about you?”

“I can fight, I assure you. Maybe shoot a couple of bullets at those villains to keep them busy and distracted for a while? The darkness would be my cover, anyway.”

“Alright then, Master Greg!”

Armed with an antiquated pistol and a dagger, the pilot and Rosita dropped me to the vicinity of the ongoing battle, before heading off back to the Lord Vitalis’ manor. By the time I reached the site, one of the carriages was already burning, and it illuminated the battlefield.


It was pure pandemonium, as there were people—I think some of them were humans, the rest were demons (because of their prominent horns)—engaged not only in a firefight but also in the melee. There were a few injured and dead on the ground, while a group of demons that looked like soldiers had banded together on the middle coach, as if they’re doing a last stand in an effort to protect that.


Well, I hadn’t tried firing the pistol, so I don’t know how accurate it was. All that I know was that, weapons like these were horribly inaccurate, especially in long distances like in my situation now. Shooting from my location won’t make any difference; the enemy wouldn’t hear that amid the battle, and the chance of me hitting someone from this far was close to zero.

But it’s not like I’m out of options…

At that moment, I channeled my mana to my hands, which glowed in a golden-yellow aura. Then, I felt a wind starting to blow from behind me, lifting some sand towards the battle.

Heh, while my memories are wonky, I’m thankful that I can still remember how to use the god-powers.


Turning my abilities up, soon there was a breeze of wind that struck the field, and sand blew right into the fighting forces, drowning their noise and blinding their eyes.