Chapter 89 - The Black Forest (2)
An unbelievable storm of light struck. At the center of the storm was a furious arrow.
Tiyo barely avoided the arrow but he fell into the forest in the aftermath of the storm. The whirlwind swept the spot where Tiyo had been standing. Tiyo lay down in the collapsed wreckage of the forest.
Crockta and Anor froze.
Tiyo was lying down like he was dead. His fingertips moved. His eyelids shook before he slowly opened his eyes. Tiyo staggered as he raised his body. He was still holding onto General tightly.
"Don’t interfere dot...”
Tiyo glared at the goblin. The goblin still had a relaxed expression on his face. Rather, this time he raised a hand like he was yielding. It provoked Tiyo.
"You might be confident but I am a gnome soldier from Quantes.”
Tiyo aimed General’s muzzle.
"You will regret the day you upset me dot.”
But the goblin didn’t care. He just laughed at Tiyo. The ridiculing smile of the goblin further stimulated Tiyo. The goblin frowned and said to Tiyo.
"Let’s go, garrison gnome, I’ll make you regret it kyak! Don’t just talk with your mouth kyahahak!”
Tiyo rushed forward and fired General. It was an assault meant to contain the enemy while he approached. But the goblin didn’t allow him to get closer. It was like teleportation as the goblin moved backward, sideways and even over some trees. Every time Tiyo’s barrage stopped, the goblin fired an arrow.
Tiyo avoided any fatal shots but the arrows tore his skin. The number of wounds gradually increased.
Tiyo stared at the wound on his arm with wild eyes.
"I have to acknowledge your confidence despite your lack of skills kyahahak!”
"Your shooting skills are the worst kyak!”
Tiyo’s hands shook. He was the best shooter in Quantes. He had been recognized as the best every time he fired. Yet this goblin was hurting his pride.
Tiyo nodded. "Okay, Goblin.”
He moved his feet until they were shoulder width apart and stood firmly on the ground.
"Let me give you a taste of my shooting dot.”
"It is in vain kyak!”
Tiyo’s General aimed at the goblins. The goblin also aimed at Tiyo with his arrow.
"Never interfere dot...!”
The situation had become worse than he thought so Crockta had tried to intervene with his greatsword. However, Tiyo had a determined expression on his face. Crockta was forced to take a step back.
Suddenly, the wind blew. The Black Forest shook. The wind twisted the branches. The leaves fell to the floor. The leaves fell down between Tiyo and the goblin. Like a joke of fate, the leaves passed through the point where they were aiming. The moment that their view of each other was blocked...
The arrows and bullets fired towards each other.
At the same time, the goblin and Tiyo’s body twisted. The arrow narrowly passed by Tiyo’s cheek. The magic bullet passed by the goblin’s side and broke the tree.
None of his bullets touched the goblin. The goblin laughed and did a thumbs down towards Tiyo.
"This is the difference between you and me kyak.”
The goblin laughed. At that moment.
The tree that Tiyo’s magic bullet broke started to tilt slowly. The tree cast a shadow over the goblin. The goblin’s face stiffened.
Tiyo said. "Goblin, you might have learned the official language but...”
Tiyo imitated the goblin’s actions by lowering his thumb. At the same time, the tree slammed into the goblin.
"It seems like you haven’t learned physics dot.”
The goblin moaned as it was crushed by the tree.
They passed through the Black Forest and met many monsters.
There was an ogre who learned martial arts, the goblin archer was followed by a lich who summoned skeleton warriors, there was a troll that skillfully wielded a giant axe, a ninja direwolf who struck in the darkness and a lizardman who used a spear. They had to deal with all types of enemies.
All of them weren’t ordinary monsters. They all had unique skills, like specialists pursuing their own roads.
"The Black Forest is a really strange place...” muttered Tiyo.
He had just knocked out a kobold archer. The kobold was a bipedal creature with the head of a dog, and it hid in various parts of the forest and fired at them before hiding again. One would be okay, but there were many of them.
Tiyo used his sophisticated shooting to hit the real one and the illusions. In the end, the kobold had admitted defeat after being hit and collapsing.
"Doesn’t it seem like we’re being tested dot?”
The level of the creatures kept increasing.
"What type of hermit is living in a place like the Black Forest?”
"Be careful. It’s time for new enemies to emerge.”
They had walked for a long time after suppressing the kobold. According to the pattern, it was time for someone new to appear and stop them. What type of enemy would it be this time? They felt a mix of expectations and tiredness. They moved slowly through the forest.
An unfamiliar landscape appeared in front of them.
"You came up to here.”
A young man was sitting in a rocking chair and reading a book. He glanced at Crockta’s party over his spectacles. It was a young man with pitch black hair.
"It has been a long time since I’ve had visitors.”
At first, his appearance looked like an elf, but this man had a face that was a level higher than that. He put away his book and rose from his seat. A beautiful man.
He placed the book on his chest and said, “Then I will ask a question.”
Crockta’s groups looked at each other at the sudden words. He continued speaking.
"I had a dream a long time ago."
It was suddenly a story about a dream. They were silent as they listened to the man’s voice.
"In the dream, I was a father with a son. He was a lovely son, and I felt like I could give everything in the world for him. Then one day, I found out that my child was sick. He was struck with a terminal illness that would slowly but surely lead to his death."
His face and voice were calm.
"It was such a scary disease that I thought it was a ‘promised death’. My child’s death was promised and no one could avoid it. It was the worst illness that caused terrible pain that no one could bear. That's why I decided. Rather than let my son die in agony, it was better for me to end his life.”
The man closed his eyes.
"But when I talked about this, everybody called me crazy. This was because there were few people who know about the ‘promised death.’ I said everything was for my child, but they didn’t listen to me and exiled me so that I couldn’t see my son. It was a thorough isolation. Now I will ask.”
They couldn’t figure out what he would ask. Crockta listened closely.
The man asked, "What do you think about me in the dream?”
It was a comprehensive question. He didn’t ask if what he thought was right or wrong, but wondered what they thought about him. Crockta touched his chin. It felt like a test, just like the fights they encountered as they passed through the Black Forest. If so, was this man the hermit of the Black Forest and was this the ultimate test?
The first one to answer was Anor. "It is too much. Even if your child is sick... what if your child wants to live for longer? Wanting to kill...maybe talk to your child...”
“A child wouldn’t understand what the ‘promised death’ is. Wouldn’t it be wrong to cause him pain just because of the future?”
"What about the child? Even if it is painful, the child could want to live more...
"A child wouldn’t understand it.”
"How terrible the pain is.”
"Is that the end of your answer?”
Anor wasn’t able to say anything more and closed his mouth.
Tiyo replied next, "You are foolish in your dream dot!”
"Anyway, life is about being alone! If there is the promised death, that is your son’s share. You don’t need to kill him. Besides, killing the child is simply futilely meddling in his fate!”
"Hrmm, is it like that?”
“That’s right dot.”
"You don’t understand the dream.”
"What are you saying dot!”
"My son fell in the water. If the child drowns, will you let that be the child’s share?”
“That is a different story dot!”
"It is the same story."
Tiyo moaned and shook his head. The man started mumbling to himself.
Now it was Crockta’s turn. The hermit of the Black Forest looked at Crockta. He seemed to be waiting for the next answer. Crockta thought carefully.
The promised death. Somehow, it was a familiar notion. It was similar to what he heard from the desperate demon sleeping at his waist and the orc’s story about the nameless god. The dream that the man was talking about felt like a dream.
Those who were desperate always had the same reason.
"It was scary.”
Crockta spoke up. The hermit of the Black Forest shook his head.
"No, the child didn’t understand it.”
"Not the child.”
Crockta looked at the hermit of the Black Forest. It was an emotionless face where no feelings could be found. Like a doll. Within the dark eyes that didn’t show any contrast, was there a human mind that he could sympathize with?
"You were scared.”
At that moment, the hermit’s face seemed to shake. But then his face became still again.
Crockta continued speaking, "In a world where you can’t understand the promised death, you were struggling with fear when you discovered your child’s ending.”
"You trembled with fear as you understood the true reality, and spent many nights before making the tragic decision for your child.” Crockta closed his eyes. "Just you."
He was a soldier fighting on the front lines. Therefore, he often went to a counselor to have his mental state checked. In the process, it was easy to know their consultation strategy. There was the first step that the counselor had to take when dealing with clients. It was to build up rapport! The building of mutual trust through empathy!
Crockta said with tearful eyes, "You must’ve been very lonely. Really...”
Then Crockta squinted at the hermit’s expression. The hermit of the Black Forest’s face didn’t change.
Damn, it was a failure. The moment that Crockta was about to modify his strategy,
A tear flowed from the hermit’s eyes.
The expression still looked like ice but tears were flowing down from both eyes. He realized the change and stuttered.
He caught a teardrop with his fingertips and stared at it. He was still expressionless, but he somehow gave off a lonely feeling.
His eyes turned to Crockta again. Crockta felt like an intense scorer who broke past the goalkeeper and finished the game smoothly.
"I also can’t understand the promised death. But I can see that you had to make a really lonely and painful decision in your dream. I am really sorry.”
Then he stared up at the sky. It was great directing.
The hermit stared at Crockta’s face. Then he opened his mouth. "Yes.”
He waved his hand over his face and it became clean. It was magic.
"It would have been really painful and lonely."
The corners of the hermit’s mouth slowly went up. It was a beautiful smile.
"I’m glad to know you.”
He clapped and the landscape changed. Crockta’s party was petrified. The scenery in front of them was no longer the forest. It was a huge castle.
“My name is Gushantimur. Travelers, welcome to my lair.”
“...Oh my god.”
[Oh my god.]
The system was also filled with admiration.
[I pay my respects to you, the one who has melted the heart of the cool beauty, the black dragon Gushantimur!]
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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