Episode 213. The Forgotten Ones (5)

The draconian resembled a dragon, but with a basic bodily structure not much different from that of humans. As a result, Seon-Hyeok was able to adapt to the sudden changes in his body.

But that was only the case up until now.

He had no idea how to handle the new arms that emerged from under his own. No, rather, he could not even comprehend that they were his.

But if they were not, they could not possibly be stuck under his armpits like this.

What the hell is going on?

Nudar answered the question in his head.

‘I will become your hands and destroy your enemies!’

Nudar’s words were not just a metaphor - her intent became the pair of arms sprouting from his armpits.

“That’s not how that works…”

Seon-Hyeok quietly complained at Nudar’s absurd expression, but the newly sprouting arms did not disappear.

‘Don’t worry about this and do what you have always done!’

“How can I not pay attention!”

After shouting out in response to Nudar’s ridiculous request, Seon-Hyeok noticed a demon approach to the point where he could sense its disgusting breath and stabbed out with his spear.

Contrary to his protests, it was a clean attack as though he had forgotten about the pair of bizarre arms on his body.

Snap.

The demonic creature, after dodging the spear by twisting its neck, bit the weapon using its saw-like teeth.

Crack.

An uncomfortable noise rang out, as though the wooden spear had been shattered, but it was actually the creature’s teeth that broke. Seon-Hyeok twisted his shoulder to redirect the weapon and tear open the creature’s mouth.

Its large muzzle now covered in blood, the demonic creature shrieked and backed away.

But it was too early to be relieved. He had simply pushed back one of his six opponents, and the situation at hand was still unfavorable.

Roar!

While he was distracted by the first demon, the others fully approached, and now they attacked him with their claws, teeth, and horns, respectively. It seemed this was the plan from the very beginning.

“Hup!”

Instead of retreating, Seon-Hyeok seized the momentum and stepped forward.

With a loud noise, the land shook violently, and the ground at the creatures’ feet broke down. In an instant, the demons lost their balance, and Seon-Hyeok used this opportunity to attack another of his enemies.

It was a clean stab without even the slightest superfluous motion.

However, the demons gathered here were no ordinary creatures. Each and every one of them were capable of dominating its own territory, and none of them proved easy to handle.

The creature with its chest pierced used its front feet to stomp on Seon-Hyeok’s spear. Using this chance, the others attacked him while one of his hands was preoccupied.

“Persistent bastards!”

With a quick growl, Seon-Hyeok grabbed the chin of the closest foe and dragged it to the ground.

Ack!

Crushed by Seon-Hyeok’s attack, the creature struggled to get back up, but the more it tried, the more Seon-Hyeok kept it in check.

Snap.

By now, the demonic creature’s head was completely buried in the ground and invisible, and in the meantime, another demon snapped its jaw, trying to break Seon-Hyeok’s neck.

“Hup!”

In this moment of crisis in which both of his hands were tied down, Seon-Hyeok briefly inhaled and opened his mouth wide.

At that moment, there was a flash of light, followed by a bright red stream of sulfurous flames.

Whoosh.

The draconian’s powerful attack, capable of instantly taking down the Messenger of Chaos, was able to melt a demonic creature without a trace.

Sizzle.

However, the usability of his flame breath was limited.

The creatures cunningly repositioned themselves between Seon-Hyeok and the refugees, making it so that he could no longer emit his flames recklessly.

Two left.

Remain strong. Fight back.

Seon-Hyeok tightened up and prepared to take on the demons’ attacks.

Thud!

The pain he anticipated did not come. Instead, there were two dull, heavy impacts.

“Ah…”

As he looked at the two disoriented demons looking like they had been smashed over their heads with hammers, Seon-Hyeok belatedly recalled the existences he had forgotten about in his urgency.

It was Nudar and the pair of arms.

‘How dare you!’

He thought he heard Nudar’s furious voice, and immediately after, a pair of arms moved around freely to recklessly beat the heads of the staggering creatures.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

The demonic creatures lost the strength in their front legs at the repeated impacts, and...

Crack.

A deliberate blow finally crushed their skulls, ending their sorry lives.

Keok.

The raid finally concluded once the final demonic creature’s head dropped, stabbed through by Seon-Hyeok’s spear.

Of the six assailants, the only one to successfully escape with its life was a demon with its teeth shattered. The remaining five were either killed by having their heads crushed or by Seon-Hyeok’s spear, and the lesser beings rushing towards the refugees were handled by the Qeishas.

“Phew…”

With that, the battle ended, and Seon-Hyeok let out a sigh as he lifted his draconian transformation.

It had been a chaotic fight. It was his first time facing six of these creatures at once, and it was likewise his first time fighting with the spirit armor.

The power of the armor imbued with the ancient spirit had been truly great and far beyond his expectations.

Occasionally, his movements were hindered by the autonomously moving arms, but if he did not have this supporting armor making decisions on its own, he would not have been able to end this battle so easily.

‘No, not yet.’

Despite this, Nudar complained that Turkan Behter’s strength was still incomplete.

‘I need a little more time. In a land abundant with earth energy and not contaminated with demonic energy, I will be able to fully restore this armor.’

Hearing Nudar’s boast, Seon-Hyeok replied that he would look forward to it before rejoining the procession.

“A few fainted from shock, but there were no casualties.”

“That’s a relief.”

Seon-Hyeok’s expression finally showed relief after receiving John’s report.

“It’s all thanks to you, my Lord. Seeing your valor, I almost mistook you for a God of War descending from the heavens.”

Seon-Hyeok waved John off as he half-listened to his praise.

“My Lord…”

John would normally depart immediately at his gesture, but today, he hesitated.

“If you have something to say, say it.”

He looked like he had something on his mind, but could not easily open his mouth.

“No, it’s nothing.”

In the end, John was unable to voice his thoughts before departing. Najima then approached.

“I think I know what he wanted to ask.”

“What is it?”

Seon-Hyeok had been bothered by the lingering, unanswered thought. When he replied with a smile, Najima gave him a clear look.

“He wanted to ask if you really are a ‘human’ like them. It must be hard to believe.”

Seon-Hyeok’s face suddenly hardened.

“So? Are you really a human like them?”

But even that only lasted a moment.

“You sure are curious about something so unimportant.”

The fact that he could borrow a draconian’s visage for a moment did not make him any less human.

Confident in his own identity, Najima’s question was not even worth considering.

“I see. It seems like I asked something meaningless.”

Despite the quick rebuke, Najima did not seem at all embarrassed. On the contrary, she seemed deeply relieved.

“Were you worried about me?”

“The greater one’s position and the stronger one’s power, the more susceptible that person’s mind is to suddenly collapsing at the slightest provocation.”

Seon-Hyeok replied when he heard Najima’s concerns.

“So you were worried I’d be lost like the Dark Lord.”

“You are stronger than anyone I’ve ever seen, but you also carry an equally large burden.”

He was the dragon’s companion, inheritor of the legacy of the Earth Spirit King, and a noble of unparalleled rank in the eastern powerhouse of Adenburg. Considering he was not lacking in power, authority, or fame, he had the strength and influence to cause tremendous harm to this world if he so desired.

Najima’s concerns were not unfounded.

“A burden…”

Seon-Hyeok briefly looked around at the refugees.

“Well, I do have a lot on my shoulders.”

Even as he said this, his expression was not dark.

“And I have everything I need right now. It’s not all bad.”

The biggest problem at the moment, control over the refugees, was solved to some extent through John, and the fighting capacity of the Qeishas was greater than he expected.

In addition, the spear made from the body of the Spirit King gave him constant vitality, and the armor merged with the ancient spirit filled in any gaps in his defense.

It was enough power for him not to be intimidated, even in the land of the Dark Lord.

Following the complete victory over the six attacking demonic creatures, the procession was spared from further raids for a while. It was clear one of the creatures that lost its life held dominion over the immediate area.

Thanks to this, Seon-Hyeok and the refugees were able to move forward without any issues for the time being.

“Are we about halfway there?”

They had completed half of the arduous journey. But at the same time, it also meant that they were right in the middle of the demon king’s territory.

“It’s about time they returned.”

It was almost disturbing that they remained unbothered for so long. It felt as though they were experiencing the calm before the storm, and Seon-Hyeok rode on Redvern several times each day to briefly scout the surrounding area.

Even so, all he could see were small groups of demonic beings wandering about, and there were no signs of an impending assault.

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

The Qeishas also seemed nervous at the disappearance of the assailants, and they were increasingly on edge.

“It’s clear something will happen soon, but the question is what.”

Seon-Hyeok prepared for the possibilities.

First, John was ordered to more thoroughly manage the refugees, and Seon-Hyeok instructed the Qeishas to be prepared to fight at a moment’s notice.

How long did they continue in this unnatural silence?

Seon-Hyeok’s worries did not come to fruition. But as this continued to be the case, the ominous feelings weighing on his heart continued to grow stronger, and at a certain point, he became impatient.

“Just get it over with already.”

His physical body could not be exhausted, as it was constantly being revitalized, but his mental exhaustion was significant after maintaining a high level of tension.

It was not just Seon-Hyeok suffering from this.

The Qeishas’ expressions also grew darker day by day.

And as the expressions of their protectors grew dark, the refugees likewise became nervous. After living like herbivores their entire lives, they realized that the surrounding atmosphere was anything but normal.

“Mommy…”

A young boy, who never once lost his courage even in this hellish place, burrowed into his mother’s arms.

“It’s okay. Nothing’s going to happen.”

His mother gently comforted him. Contrary to her words, however, the mother’s gaze as she glanced everywhere was that of prey sensing predators nearby.

“Did they change their strategy and decide to wait for us to exhaust ourselves?”

Seon-Hyeok’s complaints were not exaggerated.

He really felt as though his blood was drying up. It was incredibly frustrating just waiting, when he would much rather smash his enemies the moment they revealed themselves.

That said, he was simultaneously too worried about the procession to leave them behind and actively hunt out the demonic creatures and their forces.

“Something is coming, and soon.”

His sense of an impending crisis reached its peak and continued to warn him.

And in the end, the ominous hunch manifested into reality. It took the worst form he could have possibly imagined.

However, Seon-Hyeok was not intimidated even in the face of the worst-case scenario. His eyes were bright, as if he anticipated this entire situation from the beginning.

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