Episode 177. The Cursed Land (2)

Seon-Hyeok was not at all taken aback when he heard the terrible monster’s roar.

“Tell me sooner next time.”

He simply released his quietly suppressed hostility and gathered his energy.

“That way, I’ll be a bit more prepared.”

He was surprisingly calm despite sensing an impending battle. There were no signs of the Idle Duke mocked by the nobles in the capital for his inactivity.

[Her choice wasn’t wrong.]

Geheimnis’ voice was tinged with admiration. It was evident the fairy dragon previously had misgivings about his relaxed attitude.

Seon-Hyeok did not blame the fairy dragon for underestimating him.

After all, even he knew that his previous actions were pathetic.

However, he did have his excuses.

After being unexpectedly dropped into this world, the first assignment he was given was to struggle for his own survival. For his part, Seon-Hyeok completed this task with flying colors.

Unfortunately, this assignment did not end there. Even after his first victory, Seon-Hyeok was required to fight and fight again.

He was sick and tired of it. His wish was to spend the rest of his life away from the battlefield.

By this point, all he could do was fight like a rabid dog and bite his enemies, and fighting became his life.

He loathed war and longed for peace. Ironically, his light shone most brilliantly in war.

Seon-Hyeok now vaguely recognized this inherent contradiction.

He was stupid for his previous ignorance. He had spent much more time on bloody battlefields than in his peaceful territory of Rheinperle or the royal capital. In that time, he had become completely adjusted to life on the battlefield. As a result, he became a person who felt most alive while in battle.

If this had not been the case, the emptiness he felt despite the great luxuries he enjoyed in the capital would not have disappeared so quickly ahead of the battle against the terrifying demonic creature.

“Lafayette! Roland! Take the griffins and get away from here now!”

Seon-Hyeok was shocked by his own lively voice. The pressure he felt at the sight of the tainted land was nowhere to be found.

“I’ll explain later! Hurry!”

The two knights, staring blankly into space upon hearing the monster’s roar, were jerked back to attention by Seon-Hyeok’s shout.

“What the hell was that…”

“If you delay any longer, you’ll be swept up by the demonic energy!”

The two knights wordlessly opened and shut their mouths in confusion before climbing onto their griffins.

“Will you be okay?”

Instead of responding, Seon-Hyeok climbed onto Redvern and grabbed his lance.

“We won’t go too far!”

Startled by the slowly emanating aura of Dragon Fear, the griffin riders quickly rose into the air. With that, they soon disappeared off into the distance.

When Lafayette and Roland were no longer visible, Seon-Hyeok unleashed the full power of Dragon Fear. His surroundings were immediately filled with the dragon’s aura, and Atiya and his other spirits, previously suppressed by the demonic energy, re-emerged.

“Let’s go see how ugly that creature is.”

Full of confidence being surrounded by the spirits and the dragon’s aura, Seon-Hyeok had Redvern rise into the air as he stared beyond the cursed land.

Shriek!

The increasingly clear cries of the demonic creature were thin and ominous like a woman’s scream. Any ordinary person would have lost his wits at the sound of the terrible shriek, but for the battle-ready Seon-Hyeok, it was no more than a bothersome noise.

[The land has been exposed to demonic energy for too long. The creature will have grown in that time, so be careful.]

Instead of responding to Geheimnis’ advice, he lowered the visor of his helmet and began to gather the wind around the tip of his lance.

The first to strike wins.

It was the rule he lived by. He had no intention of waiting for the demonic creature to approach him.

Whoosh.

In an instant, the force of the wind overflowed from the tip of his lance and became a fierce gale, while the water spirits chilled the air on top. The cutting winds of winter raged all around.

When this power reached its peak, the demonic creature revealed itself.

Shriek!

The dark red, cape-like film wrapped around its body swayed hideously, and the ten pairs of limbs emerging from within resembled a human’s arms and legs. The only difference was the bent, sickle-like nails protruding from all of its fingers and toes.

Unlike the protruding arms and legs, the head was sunken in the shimmering film and more than half covered in sharp teeth.

“That’s incredibly ghastly.”

It looked almost as though human arms and legs were haphazardly attached to a wet rag. Its energy was dark and ominous unlike anything Seon-Hyeok had previously experienced.

“Do you know what that is by any chance?”

[Banshee. It is a demon that brings the most terrible death upon its victims and feeds on their death throes.]

Geheimnis warned him.

[It has already mutated after devouring a considerable number of victims. Be careful. A banshee’s nails are deadly poison that extracts the souls of the living.]

“Poison again?”

Seon-Hyeok laughed when he heard Geheimnis’ explanation.

“Poison attribute here, and poison attribute there. We’ll have to see whose poison is stronger.”

Redvern was likewise attuned to the poison attribute and was second to none. At the very least, there should not be a situation in which the wyvern would be poisoned by the banshee.

“Of course, before that…”

Seon-Hyeok laughed as he tightened his grip on the lance.

“Let’s start by drying out that damp body.”

As he pulled back his lance, Redvern was quick to notice and immediately picked up its speed.

“Wind Bite. Wind Piercing.”

As soon as he finished his casting, the wind gathered at the tip of his lance shot out towards the banshee.

The beast of wind, incomparably powerful now after Seon-Hyeok’s continued growth, immediately pounced on the banshee.

The banshee looked helpless as it was caught up in the fierce gale and swept away into the air, but Seon-Hyeok frowned at the sight.

“Hm. It’s not working.”

He felt no impact on his lance. It seemed that the banshee, rather than resisting the storm, instead left its body to the whims of the wind.

Shriek!

Having been helplessly pushed down into the ground, the banshee once again shook its film-like body as it rose up into the air. Only one of its ten pairs of limbs was broken and cut off, but even this was quickly reattached with a sickening crunch.

[That’s one of the reasons why banshees are so hard to deal with. Most attacks are ineffective against it.]

“Your problem is that you always tell me things too late.” 

Seon-Hyeok grumbled at Geheimnis’ clear explanation.

However, this did not last, as he quickly fixed his grip on the lance.

“Well, it’s not like there wasn’t any damage.”

The banshee had quickly recovered, but Seon-Hyeok’s attack was not completely useless.

In essence, he would be able to break off all of the banshee’s limbs if he could attack without giving the creature time to recover.

“Once again!”

He once again activated his Wind Piercing ability, and this time, he did so at a much closer distance.

The banshee once again crashed into the ground, limbs bent from the impact. But again, the creature wriggled and tried to rise up.

“Not a chance!”

Seon-Hyeok grabbed his lance and charged, vertically impaling the banshee into the ground.

[It won’t end at this rate.]

Seon-Hyeok smirked when he heard the fairy dragon’s easygoing voice.

“Who says all I can do is stab?”

As he spoke, wind gathered at the tip of his lance.

Shriek! 

The banshee’s body swelled up like a balloon as the wind gathered at the tip of the lance penetrating the creature’s film-like body.

The banshee shrieked as it swung its limbs to attack Redvern. Its nails successfully broke the wyvern’s hard scales, but as they shared the poison attribute, Redvern did not even budge. In fact, it even bit off a few of the limbs desperately scratching at it.

Shriek!

Weighed down by the wyvern, the banshee let out a helpless moan. Its sunken mouth snapped a few times before stopping.

At that moment, the banshee’s body, having been inflated to its limit, finally burst.

“Hm… wasn’t that too easy? There’s no way the Griffindor mages can’t handle something like this.”

The Adenburg Royal Mages had demonstrated a strength powerful enough to ravage a giant illusory beast capable of swallowing up a fortress. Seon-Hyeok imagined the Griffindor mages would not be any weaker than their Adenburg counterparts.

As a result, he could not understand why the Griffindor Kingdom could not handle this odious creature.

[Unlike you, normal humans cannot be free when faced with demonic energy. There may be individuals stronger than you, but only a few would be able to deal with these demonic creatures as easily as you did.]

Geheimnis explained that this anticlimactic fight was thanks to the dragon’s energy.

[And I have to warn you.]

The fairy dragon clicked her tongue as Seon-Hyeok wordlessly watched the creature’s scattered fragments all around him.

[It would be wise not to let down your guard until the end when fighting these…]

Before she could finish warning him, the banshee’s fragments suddenly flew up into the air. The now spread-out body of the banshee immediately swallowed Seon-Hyeok up.

“You don’t need to tell me that.”

Seon-Hyeok, thought to be completely swallowed up by the beast, spoke from underneath the banshee’s film-like body. His voice was almost excessively nonchalant.

The dark red membrane began to protrude at various points before scattering once again.

Shriek!

Redvern roared violently as it tore apart the creature’s body just by spreading its wings.

[The banshee’s greatest weapons - its wailing, demonic energy, and poison - are all ineffective against you, so it’s clear you have a natural advantage against it. But this fight won’t end at this rate…]

“End…”

Seon-Hyeok watched the scattered pieces starting to reattach themselves before calling on Redvern.

“Redvern.”

Shriek!

Redvern’s eyes had flashed as it stared at these pieces. The wyvern opened its mouth wide.

“Eat it all.”

The ravenous creature began to devour the banshee’s body, as though it had been waiting for this command.

[Stop! Even if it has the advantage, a demon’s poison is deadly to us dragons! The wyvern can’t digest it!]

Geheimnis shouted out in surprise, but Seon-Hyeok remained unperturbed.

“Maybe for any other normal dragon subspecies.”

[What are you saying…]

“Before you awoke.”

Seon-Hyeok patted Redvern’s neck as the wyvern devoured the banshee.

“Do you know what Redvern mainly ate?”

There had been a time when Seon-Hyeok forcefully tried to strengthen Redvern after the wyvern demonstrated its relative inferiority to the griffins on the western battlefield.

“Deadly poison capable of making even the poison attribute wyvern roll on the ground in agony.”

At that time, Redvern was fed countless different toxins. Among them, there were some that were so terrible that this creature with the poison attribute suffered in the process.

“Well, Redvern is a voracious eater.”

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