Published at 1st of May 2023 10:45:04 AM

Chapter 599

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It all began with the death of Rowan, but the root of the matter was the excavation of the Holy Knights' underground tomb.

Dettomorian had said that they would understand once they found Asher. The meaning of those words was still unclear.

However, their destination this time was also a national cemetery.

There was that commonality.

The tombs of the saints had been plundered.

And there was the possibility that the remains had been resurrected as undead.

Dettomorian had said to find Asher. Then they would understand everything.

If the message to find Asher meant to go to the national cemetery of the Imperial Capital, then it was eventually about finding another tomb.

That thought was frightening.

Louise murmured quietly.

"Could it be that the ones who created the undead have done the same thing here...?"

Louise's words made Ludwig's expression tense.

"But, there aren't many people who can access the Holy Knights' Cathedral... This place is so open, would it be possible for that to happen here?"

The national cemetery was an open space. If such an event occurred, someone would inevitably see it.

"It might have been possible if it was a night with no people. And a mage was involved. If they could use noise-canceling and teleportation, then it would have been possible for them to do such a thing here."

The underground tomb of the Holy Knights.

And the national cemetery.

If the clue Dettomorian provided was a hint that the incident didn't just occur in the Holy Knights' underground tomb?

"But if that happened, wouldn't this place be in the same situation as when the Holy Knights' tomb was disturbed? It's not an ordinary incident."

Heinrich raised the question.

It was a natural point.

A large-scale tomb raid, or an undead transformation site. Such an event could not be easily overlooked. If something like that happened at the national cemetery, measures would have been taken at the royal level, just like when the Tomb of the Saints was in emergency.

However, the snow-covered national cemetery was calm and peaceful.

It did not look like a place where something suspicious and ominous, like the undead transformation, had occurred.

"You're right, it seems like nothing happened."

As Ludwig said, it was unlikely that such a quiet place had experienced an incident.

The commonality of the tombs.

Whether there was any meaning to it, or whether they were all just being misled by Dettomorian's nonsense, they couldn't tell.

"Wait a moment..."

But in the midst of it all, Ellen bit her lip slightly.

"Did you figure something out?"

"Didn't we wait in line?"

"In line?"


Ellen looked at Louise.

"Do you remember waiting in line when we entered here?"

"…Yes, we did."

"Why did we wait in line?"

"Why did we wait in line, you ask?"

At Louise's question, Ellen furrowed her brow.

"To be precise, the problem isn't the line, but that they were checking our identities."

At her words, Louise nodded as well.

It was a brief glimpse of the situation, but it had happened just a moment ago.

"Visitors were not restricted based on their identity."

Among the visitors were nobles, soldiers, and even those who appeared impoverished.

Soon, it was clear that there were no restrictions on entry based on a visitor's identity.

"Although there weren't many visitors, the fact that everyone could enter means that anyone can come into this national cemetery."

"That's true."

"Then why are they checking our identities at a place where anyone can enter?"

Why were they checking identities when they were not restricting access?

"......It might be to track people down when a crime occurs. There must be many unidentified people around. But...... I'm not sure if this is a place where crimes would take place......"

Crimes tended to happen in places where they are possible.

Why, in a place filled with nothing but graves, would they need to verify the identities of everyone who enters? What kind of crime could possibly occur here that would warrant such a measure?

None of the four knew how access to the national cemetery usually works.

But something.

Something felt off.

"We should meet with the administrator."

They still didn't know what was going on.

But Ellen thought differently than Heinrich.

Dettomorian's words must have some meaning. There must be something they can find out here.

That was what Ellen believed.


Meeting the director of the Royal National Cemetery was not difficult.

If they could ask for an audience with the leader of the Holy Knights, then meeting someone at the Royal National Cemetery should be even easier.

When Ellen called for the director at the cemetery administration office, the director hurriedly guided them all to his office as if his feet were on fire.


It wasn't until Heinrich entered the room that Louise muttered in a daze, seeing his cold hands and frostbitten nose.

"Oh...... You must have been cold."

"No, Sister...... I'm fine."

Louise couldn't help but blame herself for having overlooked a problem that obviously needed attention, simply because it didn't affect her greatly.

Of course, Heinrich had just started to warm up, and his days of whining were behind him, so he tried to act as if he was perfectly fine.

"It's an honor to meet you!"


When the director of the National Cemetery saw Ellen, he couldn't hide his embarrassment.

This was a common and typical reaction, as the guards at the entrance had shown.

Sometimes, the hair on Ellen's body would stand on end when faced with such treatment, but she had no choice but to get used to it.

While the director busily prepared tea for them, the four sat idly.

What should they say their purpose was for coming here?

Was it simply because they were surprised to see Ellen, or was there something fishy going on? They couldn't tell just by looking.

But if this place was related to the incident, the director should know something.

Watching the director nervously preparing tea for himself and the four of them, Ellen took a polite sip of the tea.

Ellen didn't know much about tea.

But she could feel the warmth and sincerity from the director's demeanor. His expression was as if he had encountered a once-in-a-lifetime stroke of luck.

What am I?

I'm not someone who deserves this kind of treatment.

Struggling to hold back such thoughts that gnawed at her mind, Ellen opened her mouth.

"It's not that, but we had to wait in line when we came in."

"Ah, I'm sorry. A busy hero like you should not have had to wait. If you had told the guards, you could have come in right away......"

"No, that's not what I meant."

Ellen felt that if she misspoke, the middle-aged man before her might have a heart attack.

It would be ridiculous to think that way.

A hero who came to complain because they couldn't cut the line? Ellen didn't think that way, not even a little bit.

"They were verifying our identities."

"Yes, that's right."

"Is there anyone who cannot enter the national cemetery?"

"Huh? Ah..."

The administrator scratches the back of his head at Ellen's question, as if feeling apologetic.

"Those with unclear residences or unregistered identities are restricted from entering."

Such individuals were not common.

However, the reality in the Empire was that there were now many of these people.

"You must be talking about refugees?"

"Well, to be precise, yes... But, of course, not all refugees are banned. If their identity is clear and their residence is certain..."

But for the refugees living in makeshift shelters, proper identification would be nearly impossible.

This meant that they would all be unable to enter the national cemetery.

The important thing was not their status or property.

"Does that mean only those who can be traced are allowed?"


If a person could be traced, they could enter; if not, their entry would be denied.

The reason was simple.


Refugees might commit crimes in the national cemetery.

Hiding and sleeping in a building to avoid the cold, or attempting grave robbery. Thus, controlling their access was not unusual.

Ellen narrowed her eyes, pondering her next question.

"Of course, refugees have the right to mourn as well. I know they are pitiful and needy people."

Upon mentioning the control of refugees' entry, the administrator misunderstood Ellen's concerned expression as thinking that the control was unfair.

"Yes, that's true."

Of course, Ellen had not come to inquire or challenge about that, so she replied halfheartedly.

"Indeed, until recently, the national cemetery was open to everyone. Anyone, including refugees, could enter. Yes, definitely..."


Ellen, as well as the other three, had no choice but to react to the administrator's excuse.

"Are you saying that access control has changed?"

In response to Louise's question, the administrator nodded vigorously, even though he didn't know who she was.

"Yes, that's right. Visitors are very inconvenienced, but there must be a reason for it, right? There haven't been any problems until now..."

"Everyone could enter before, but recently that's not the case..."

"Was there some kind of incident?"

"A crime worse than theft occurred... We had no choice..."

"What happened?"

The administrator spoke with an apologetic expression, sweating nervously.

"...Someone desecrated a grave."

At those words,

All four expressions hardened simultaneously.


Among the visitors, someone had desecrated a grave.

If they had heard the story without knowing anything else, they might simply think that someone had committed such an act.

However, they all couldn't help but feel that the situation was too much of a coincidence.

Grave robbery.

Grave desecration.

Weren't they strikingly similar?

"How did they desecrate it?"

As Ellen's expression became even more serious, the administrator had no choice but to sweat profusely.

"It seemed like someone tried to rob a grave... That was the situation. Although they seemed to have failed in digging it up, the mere attempt was a big deal..."

"Did you catch the culprit?"

"Well, at the time, there were no restrictions on entering the cemetery…"

They discovered signs of an attempted grave robbery. However, since the national cemetery was open at the time, they couldn't catch the perpetrator.

After that incident, the national cemetery administration started to deny entry to those with unclear identities.

"Is it true that the grave robbery attempt failed?"

"Yes? Although the grass was damaged, that was all… We suspect that the attempt failed because the ground was frozen due to the cold weather, and the shovel couldn't penetrate the soil."

Although it was an eerily coincidental situation, it wasn't impossible that completely different individuals committed the crime.

"What could the grave robbers have taken if they had managed to dig up the graves?"

Louise focused on a more intuitive aspect.

"I don't know why they would do such a thing… We don't know that either."

"Don't you?"

It was essential to know if there were any valuable treasures buried in the tomb.

If there were, it could be a simple grave robber's act; if not, it might require further suspicion.

Momentarily excited by the sudden appearance of a hero, he felt drained as he was interrogated at every turn.

"Recently, we have been burying the deceased sent from the allied forces' garrison according to a fixed procedure. Since the funerals are conducted by the allied forces, we cannot know if there are any valuable burial items."

"Ah… I see."

At the cemetery director's words, Louise slowly nodded in agreement.

"Burial items…?"

Ludwig, who didn't understand the term, asked and Louise answered.

"It refers to items buried with the deceased. Things the deceased cherished during their lifetime or items they want to be buried with. Naturally, when a high-ranking noble dies, there are many valuable burial items, and grave robbers aim for those."

"Ah… I see."

If the cemetery director's words were accurate, grave robbers had recently entered the national cemetery.

Whether their intention was to steal burial items or something else, the attempt had failed.

After confirming that, the cemetery administration only allowed entry to individuals with confirmed identities.

There was a high possibility of treasure within the cemetery, so it wasn't strange for there to be grave robbers.

It was a plausible but failed attempt.

Yet, it was an eerily coincidental situation.

Ellen stared at the cemetery director.

It felt like something was about to be revealed, yet it remained elusive.

"The date."

That's why Ellen asked her final question.

"When did the grave robbery incident occur?"

"Ah, I'll check right away."

The cemetery director went to his desk and began rummaging through some documents.

His attitude was different from that of the Holy Knight Commander, who had been ambiguous. He seemed to fear and respect Ellen and wanted to help her in any way possible.

It was clear that he had nothing to do with the incident and wasn't trying to hide anything.

Of course, that could also be a disguise.

The cemetery director soon provided an answer.

"Ah… We cannot be sure if this happened on the day of the incident. The area is so vast, and our workforce is limited, so it could have happened a few days prior…"

"Fine, when was it?"

"It was discovered on the evening of the 3rd of the 12th month."

Upon hearing this, Ellen looked at Louise.

"That day, huh?"


The 3rd of the 12th month

The day the grave robbery incident occurred at the Tomb of the Saints.

The coincidence surpassed mere chance; the suspicion had now reached a level where it could no longer be considered accidental.

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