Episode 162. An Uninvited Guest (2)

Plop.

The first thing to come out of the gateway was a lump of mucus. It was dirty and disgusting, containing the half-digested body of a sheep.

Even at this point, the unidentified creature behind the gate felt revolting, but not particularly threatening.

These feelings did not last.

The wide-open gateway continued to spit out lumps of mucus. It was hideous – it was as though the gate itself was puking.

As these lumps wiggled around, they gathered and swelled to the size of a house in the blink of an eye.

Gurgle.

It was truly the worst. Seon-Hyeok could see air bubbles form inside the monster’s translucent body as the half-digested chunks of cow and sheep moved about.

“H, how can there be something so ridiculous?”

He had prepared himself to charge in at a moment’s notice, but even he was stunned at the terrible scene. Despite seeing all sorts of strange beings after arriving in this world, he felt that this creature was particularly unrealistic and shocking.

“It was my fault. We’ve been opening these gateways all day and attracting creatures with these offerings, so there was no way that gluttonous beast wouldn’t have sensed it.”

Pan muttered in despair as he grabbed Min-Young’s wrist.

“Let’s run.”

“What?”

When she responded with a bewildered look, Pan continued shamelessly.

“That thing will eat until it’s full and leave if we leave it alone. There’s nothing to be gained by opposing it.”

“T, then what about the territory? There are a lot of people here!”

As if frustrated by what she was saying, Pan beat at his chest as he responded.

“You think the territory’s the problem right now? This area’s as good as doomed now that the torgos is here!”

“Wait. I can’t let that slide.”

Seon-Hyeok had been quietly listening to Pan, but he now interjected.

“What the hell is that thing, and why are you in such a panic?”

The giant blob was more hideous than intimidating.

However, Pan acted like he was witnessing the apocalypse.

“Torgos, the beast of gluttony. It has neither emotions nor intelligence, and it only moves according to its appetite… wait. Now isn’t the time for this! We need to run while that thing’s still disoriented!”

Pan pulled Min-Young once again.

The irresponsible faun showed no concern over what would happen to this fort or its many people.

“My lord…”

Min-Young stared at the disgusting lump of mucus before calling for Seon-Hyeok.

“Back away. It doesn’t look like something for a novice to handle.”

He was motionless as he stood face to face with the torgos clumsily splitting and clumping back together.

Min-Young could not tell what kind of expression he had under his lowered visor. However, it was clear he had no intention of backing down.

“Pan. I’ll ask you one more thing before you leave.”

“There’s no time for this!”

Pan shouted in frustration.

“Shut up and answer me. I’m not going to humor your insolence any longer.”

The power of Dragon Fear began to emanate from Seon-Hyeok, and Pan flinched as he grimaced.

“You said it’ll leave on its own after eating its fill, right? In that case, how much food does it need?”

“In terms of livestock, it would take around 1,000 animals.”

The subdued Pan thought for a moment before revealing the torgos’ horrific gluttony.

“And if there’s nothing to eat in the area?”

“Then it’ll find things to eat. There really isn’t time for this!”

The momentarily silenced faun once again made a fuss. After watching Pan for a while, Seon-Hyeok turned to Min-Young.

“Go find Instructor Gibson and Clark. No, actually, just find anyone you can and tell them everyone needs to evacuate right away.”

The torgos’ body, after wobbling in place, began to slowly spread out. Within a short period of time, it had already expanded enough to cover more than half of the open space they occupied.

“Good idea! Even the creatures of the illusion world avoid that thing. It’s best to leave it alone until it gets tired of feeding! Now, let’s go!”

Pan urged Min-Young even more. However, she hesitated, and after taking a few steps, she stopped upon seeing Seon-Hyeok remain rooted in place.

“M, my lord?”

Hearing her worry-filled voice, Seon-Hyeok muttered through his helmet.

“Someone has to buy time.”

Wind began to gather at his giant lance.

***

“Instructors! Check to make sure everyone from each squad is present! We leave the fort as soon as everyone is gathered!”

Thanks to the intense training up to this point, the foreigners’ bodies responded automatically to the given instructions, and as a result, the evacuation progressed expediently.

“What? What the hell is going on…”

“Is this training as well?”

Of course, there were some outstanding concerns. The instructors’ expressions were too stiff to think that this was merely a training exercise.

It was only after they left the fortress that the foreigners learned of the reason behind their evacuation.

“What is that?”

The keen-eyed snipers squinted at the fortress before tilting their heads in confusion.

The normally parched outer walls of the old fortress were stained as though they had been hit by rain.

“Rain?”

However, the skies were clear, and the breeze lacked even the slightest hint of moisture.

“Huh?”

What they imagined to be water stains began to move. The small movements soon became a giant tidal wave before engulfing one of the fortress’ walls and outer spires.

“What the hell is that!”

It was around this time that the other foreigners followed the snipers’ gaze and noticed something was amiss.

Thud!

A part of the fortress, having been swallowed up by something shiny, collapsed with a disturbing noise.

“It’s the commander’s wyvern!”

A red shadow flew up from one side of the collapsed fortress.

“The commander is there as well!”

Despite being unaware of the current situation, the foreigners cheered at the sight of the knight wielding his lance in the distance.

“That’s Drachen of the Azure Sky!”

Impressed by the imposing figure, the foreigners craned their necks and looked into the skies.

Whoosh!

At that moment, gale winds formed above the fortress, and they soon descended onto the ground with typhoon-like momentum. Several spires, barely holding on after the monster’s assault, were swept up under the pressure and crumbled.

“Wow! What the hell is that!”

The foreigners cheered at the spectacular sight.

“Wow. Isn’t he a monster?”

“Are all high-tier classes like that?”

They expressed their admiration at Seon-Hyeok’s inhuman strength.

“But what is he fighting against?”

Their curiosity was just as profound as their surprise.

However, even their instructors, normally adept at answering their questions, did not seem certain about what was going on.

They were simply following Seon-Hyeok’s instructions, which had been abruptly relayed through Min-Young.

“An illusory beast…”

They had no way of knowing what the illusion world or the illusory beasts were.

All that was certain was that this illusory beast, which they had never heard of before, was powerful enough to fight the incredible dragon rider head-on.

Whoosh!

The fierce winds continued to batter down at the fortress. Seon-Hyeok and his red wyvern ceaselessly alternated between ascending into the sky and striking down at the beast.

However, the stain covering the fortress only grew bigger, showing no signs of retreating. When the glistening stain finally swallowed up the entire fortress, the wyvern paused its assault and landed among the foreigners.

“Status report!”

Seon-Hyeok shouted out as soon as Redvern landed.

“Squads 1 through 7 have all escaped the fortress without exception! The instructors are all safe as well!”

“That’s a relief.”

Only then did Seon-Hyeok lift his visor and breathe a sigh of relief.

“And Choi Min-Young?”

“I, I’m here…”

Turning towards the shrinking voice, he noticed Min-Young trying to blend into the crowd.

“Where is Pan?”

“Why are you looking for me?”

The foreigners began to speak among themselves when they saw the bizarre-looking faun appear with a poof. Seon-Hyeok ignored their reactions and continued.

“What do you mean, ‘why’? Tell me everything you know about the torgos.”

Until a short while ago, Pan had been urging them to flee the scene. After gauging the distance between them and the fortress-covering torgos, the faun answered in a surprisingly calm voice.

“You’ve experienced it in person, so you should know that most attacks won’t work on it. There’s not much else to say. It has a horrific appetite, and even the higher-tier illusory beasts don’t tend to fight it head-on.”

It was as Pan said. Seon-Hyeok had been unable to damage the torgos with any of his attacks. It was as though he was thrusting his lance into water.

“And how do you get rid of it?”

“You either swallow it whole and digest it, or wait until it shrivels up and disappears because it can’t find anything to eat. But from what I can tell, the monster you’re riding doesn’t seem large enough to consume the torgos whole. There also seems to be plenty of food around here.”

Seon-Hyeok’s anger bubbled up at the faun’s nonchalant attitude, but he held his emotions in check.

Reprimanding the faun here would be no different from blaming Min-Young, his summoner. It would be too harsh for him to berate her now, when she was already unable to raise her head after witnessing the terrible disaster stemming from her greed.

In addition, the current situation was not entirely her fault.

He held some responsibility for pushing her to this point and getting her to engage with her companion.

“Instructor Gibson. Are there any towns or settlements around here?”

“It’s some distance away, but there are people living in the area.”

“How far?”

“About two to three days on horseback…”

Pan flatly responded when he heard Gibson’s answer.

“3 days isn’t enough. The torgos will probably need to starve for at least 10 days before it thinks about returning to the illusion world.”

Hearing this, Seon-Hyeok began to ponder his options.

“W, wait a minute!”

Min-Young grabbed his attention.

“I caused this, so I’ll try to fix it.”

“Are you crazy? Do you think that’s any old illusory beast? That thing is the deformity of the illusion world – it’s not something a child like you can deal with!”

Pan jumped around in a panic.

“Don’t overdo it. Fortunately, there are a number of cavalry riders here, so we can evacuate the people before the torgos reaches them.”

Seon-Hyeok likewise tried to dissuade her. However, Min-Young remained steadfast.

“Do you have a plan?”

Sensing her stubbornness, Seon-Hyeok asked.

“I’m an illusion beast tamer.”

Min-Young had a determined look on her face.

“The torgos is an illusory beast, so I’ll try to tame it.”

Despite Min-Young’s resolution, riders were sent out to the surrounding villages to deliver a decree.

“Instructor Gibson. I’ll leave them to you.”

Seon-Hyeok left command of the foreigners to Gibson while requesting that he keep the foreigners’ presence hidden from the surrounding lords.

“Leave it to me!”

Gibson readily accepted, saying he was just the man for the task.

“Then get moving.”

Seon-Hyeok watched the foreigners leave under Gibson’s command before turning around.

By now, the torgos was as large as the giant fortress they had used as the training grounds. Despite this, it seemed to continue growing.

He felt the urgent need to subdue the monster as soon as possible. If the disturbance grew, the nobles would likely notice the gathering of foreigners and protest the royal decision.

If they could succeed now, they could potentially pass it off as a simple commotion.

“Hold on tight.”

After having Min-Young get on Redvern, Seon-Hyeok ordered his wyvern to ascend.

“Ack!”

She screamed as they suddenly rose, but she did not show the acrophobia typical of the natives of this world. It was clear her familiarity with planes and flight in the other world was of significant help.

“These illusory beasts are pretty ridiculous.”

The torgos’ appearance seen from the sky was incredibly unrealistic. The land being covered by the beast was larger than any normal farmland.

“I feel a bit better now.”

Min-Young came to her senses after a moment and announced that she was ready.

“Be careful not to fall off.”

Seon-Hyeok had Redvern slowly descend, and the torgos began to shake wildly as it noticed their approach.

“Taming!”

When the torgos’ disgusting body became clearly visible, Min-Young activated her ability.

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