Chapter 511: Delicious (3)

Running away.
Bud was used to running away, but he hated running away.

“…Huff. Huuuff. Huff.”

Bud was burning up inside as he heard the Elf next to him breathing heavily.
It was unbelievable that an Elf who was used to being on a mountain could be tired like this, but the Elf next to him had no choice but to be tired.

‘…He used too much of his Elemental's powers.’

The group that Bud was currently leading… And the other group that Elf Sorros was leading on the opposite side…
The Elf next to him had used his Elemental to maintain contact between the two groups.

“Huff, huff. Bud-nim.”
“…Yes?”
“There's nowhere for even the Elementals to run away and hide.”

The Elf looked full of despair.

The Elementals contracted to the Elves could not move properly on this mountain right now.
They were either screaming and running away, hiding under their contractor's clothes, or spread out and hiding around the mountain while waiting for time to pass.

Swooooooosh-

Bud flinched after hearing something cut through the wind and shouted toward a mercenary to his left.

“Lower your head!”

The mercenary lowered not just his head but his whole body without responding.

Crack!

An arrow flew past the mercenary and landed on the tree next to him.

‘Shit!’

Bud started to frown as he watched this.
His gaze quickly headed toward the direction the arrow flew from.

Rustle-

He could see shadows hiding in between the trees.
Bud’s group that was running away was being attacked by arrows like this. Bud could only dodge these attacks without being able to counterattack.

“Leader! Are we just going to keep getting hit like this?!”

One of the mercenaries behind him could not hold his anger back anymore and raised his voice.

"Then what do you propose we do?”

The mercenary flinched after seeing Bud’s gaze.
Bud looked at his stiff subordinate’s messy state and continued to speak.

“Do you think you can catch the bastard that shot that arrow in your current condition?”
“…But-!”
“You know that it is best to move according to the plan.”

The mercenary kept his mouth shut after seeing Bud’s cold gaze.

The plan.
Bud had a plan.
The mercenary decided to follow that plan. However, he just could not hold back his anger after seeing the approaching danger as well as the numerous injured people being carried by others.
Bud understood how this mercenary was feeling as well.
That was why he looked toward the mercenary who was quietly suppressing his anger and started to speak with a heavy heart.

“…We are moving again.”

The group started to walk once again while dealing with injuries and fatigue.

“Huff, huff… huff.”

They continued to wade through the bushes and trees while hearing heavy breathing around them.
An Elf who was next to him started to speak at that moment.

“There’s no need to worry about where to go. The enemies are leading us to a single spot, so I guess we just need to go where they tell us to go.”

The joking comment was full of anger and sorrow.
Even Glenn who was on Bud’s back started to laugh in self-depreciation.

“Pfft. My goodness, for us to be the prey for battue.”
“…Don’t laugh you bastard. Your wound is going to burst open again.”
“Who cares if it does. Damn it.”

The upset Glenn's words made Bud unable to say anything else.

They were the prey for battue.

Bud had long since noticed that the enemies were herding his group and Sorros's group toward a single location.

‘We are the prey.’

Bud’s gaze sparkled.

‘They are hunting us.’

For some odd reason, the enemies were not killing them and were instead just guiding them to a certain location.

“Huff, huuuuuuuuu-.”

Bud took a breath and looked around.

‘We are heading toward the center of the mountain.’

Was there a trap there?
Was that why they were being herded there?

‘…I don't think it is a trap.’

Bud was not certain but had determined it was not the case.

‘There’s no way those monster-like bastards would need to kill us using traps!’

Those monster-like bastards had enough strength to kill Bud and all the Elves right now.
That was why they were probably not herding them in order to kill them.

Bud decided to use that fact to their advantage.
It wasn’t like they could do much right now when their numbers were split between the East team and the West team.

"We need to gather together. We need to work together.”
“Won't we all die?”

Flinch.

Everybody who was running flinched and looked awkward after hearing the Elf’s question.

They all had the same thoughts.
Once the battue came to an end, both the allies and the enemies would be gathered in one spot.
Wasn’t there a chance they would die like dogs against their stronger enemies?
They all thought that it might get better once they gathered together, but this ominous feeling that the opposite might be true as well was deep in their hearts.
Bud knew that they had these thoughts.

‘…Maybe. Yes. It might be possible that our chances of death are higher.’

Bud knew that fact as well.
That was why he had tried to stealthily send some Elves and mercenaries to the bottom of the mountain. However, the enemies were so closely paying attention to Bud’s group's movements that they could not send even a small group of people elsewhere.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Bud could feel his heart beating wildly.
He had not used much of his aura on purpose after determining the enemies’ true levels of strength by smell.
He saved it and saved some more.

He opened his mouth to speak.
His voice was stern but energetic.

“It's still better to gather together with the others than to fight now and increase the danger.”

They should be able to last longer than right now if they gathered together and created barriers.
Bud had told the others to save their strengths as well after determining the strength of the enemies.
He was planning on everyone using their strength together once they were gathered together.

And at that moment…

‘No matter what I have to do, I will save at least some of them even if I die in the process.’

If they persist like that…
Then that punk would definitely come.

Bud opened his mouth to speak again.

“I contacted Cale, so that punk should come with our allies.”

Bud could feel a sense of hope and anticipation filling the people around him.
What was the reason that they were trying to run away and resist as long as possible?
It was because they had hope that someone might come to save them.
Bud mentioned Cale because he knew that that was the case and wanted to push them a little more.

‘But… Cale. That punk shouldn't come here.’

Bud held back a sigh that wanted to burst out.

‘That punk will definitely try to get here as quickly as possible because I couldn’t keep my trap shut and asked him for help.’

Bud recalled the moment he realized the strength of the enemies and started to frown.

‘I should have contacted him to tell him not to come.’

But he didn't have a mage to send such a message.
Glenn and the others who could use magic were the first to be attacked and none of them could use magic right now.

‘…I looked down on that White Star bastard. No, we were lacking information.’

The White Star was the leader of their enemies, but he had more than just subordinates.
He also had helpers and cooperators.

‘One thousand years was not a short period of time.’

Bud tried to hide the fact that he was almost out of breath before starting to speak again.

“Let’s give it our best for just a little longer.”

Hearing Bud, the leader of the operation, speaking so sternly and thinking about Cale coming to save them made the group energetic again.
They all dragged their tired bodies, carried their injured comrades, and pushed off once again.


They must have run like that for who knows how long.

“Bud-nim.”

Bud nodded his head at the Elf who was looking at him.
Some of the Elves stepped forward and cut the bushes.

A large open area appeared.
A wide plain where the trees and bushes were completely clear was in front of Bud.

Of course, the area around this open area was covered in trees and bushes such that it was hard to believe that the snowy region was not too far away.

“Something is weird. How can there be an open area like this here?”

The Elf looked toward Bud with concern.
Bud also felt iffy after seeing this open area.
This was a man-made area that did not fit this rough mountain terrain.

It was at that moment.

“…Bud-nim!”

On the other side…
They saw an Elf who cut through the bushes and stopped right in front of the open area.
The Elf next to Bud raised his voice.

“Sorros-nim!”

The Elf on the other side was Sorros, the other person who had been leading the Elves.
He looked terrible as well, however, the Elves were happy that they all met back up alive.
It was at that moment.

Clack. Clack.

Bud heard horse hooves behind him.

“Ah.”

The Elf next to Bud turned pale.

Sniff.

Bud smelled the scent of someone so strong that his nose almost became numb at that moment.
He then felt a large amount of power gathering behind him.

“Damn it!”

He heard Sorros's shout at the same time and Bud could see numerous black arrows pointing at Sorros’s back.

Sniff!

Bud took a sniff once more.
He had smelled this scent before. He had smelled someone with this same power when he had arrived in the Western continent for the first time.
That was why Bud could not believe it as he recalled the race of the people with this scent.

‘…A Dark Elf……!’

Some of the enemies who attacked Sorros's side were Dark Elves.

‘Are they Dark Elves from the Eastern continent?!’

However, Bud did not have enough time to think.

Clack. Clack.

He continued to hear the horse hooves that did not fit in with this forest as well as the fluctuation of power that continued to grow.
Bud started to shout.

“Everybody gather together!”

It was coming.
That power was coming once again!

“Proceed with the plan!”

The allies that were split into two forces gathered in the open area as soon as Bud shouted.

Sorros and Bud made eye contact.
They had planned something before they could no longer contact each other with the Elementals.
That was why they had conserved their strengths as much as possible.

Bud ordered the mercenaries.

“Put up the shields now!”

The allies had rushed to gather together in formation at the open area.
They quickly confirmed that there were no bombs nor traps at the bottom of the open area.
The mercenaries on the outside of the formation took out their shields at that moment.
Sorros started to shout.

“Take out your bows!”

The Elves took out their bows and pointed their arrows in between the shields and toward the enemies.
Numerous large shields surrounded the allies as if they were one large castle wall.
Elves and mercenaries…
They were moving too well together for people who had never worked with each other before.

“Please take care of Glenn.”
“Yes, sir.”

The mages were located at the center of this shield wall.
They were the only ones who could contact the outside or cast teleportation.

“…Hey.”
“Shut up and take care of your body.”

Bud ignored Glenn calling for him and stepped out from behind the shield. Sorros was next to him.
Both of them pointed their swords toward the direction they came from.

Crunch, crunch.

Two people approached from Sorros’s side before one stopped and the other continued to walk.
The person wearing the black robe removed the hood that was covering his face.
Sorros frowned as soon as he saw the person's face.

“…How can a Dark Elf-”

The person coming toward them was a Dark Elf.
The Elementals contracted to the Elves could not do anything because of the Elementals contracted to these Dark Elves.

Bud who was standing back to back with Sorros slowly controlled his breathing.

“Huuuuuu.”

Clack. Clack.

Bud clenched his sword while looking at the person who appeared with the sound of horse hooves.

‘…A Black Knight.’

A woman in black armor riding a large black horse was approaching the open area.
Numerous knights wearing black helmets were behind her. They were riding horses as well.
Furthermore, the horse that she was on looked weird. It was not a regular horse. Its eyes were red.

‘That’s not it.’

That knight and that horse showed weird powers when they fought.

Flap flap.

There was a man next to that knight who was flapping a fan while walking forward.

Ooooooooooong-

There was an unknown source of power gathered together on top of that man.

‘I have an idea, but…’

He had an idea about the source of that power, but he could not tell for sure.
All he knew was that anything that thing touched was destroyed. Its destructive power was no joke.

That power would soon come flying toward them.

‘I will block it.’

Bud slowly channeled the aura inside his body.

Ooooooooong-

His sword started to vibrate.

‘I will block it.’

And then…

‘…I will persist!’

Bud recalled his determinations and viciously glared at the enemies.

Clack clack.

The black knight’s horse stopped.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Bud could feel his heart beating wildly.
He could feel his sword that was covered in aura shaking as well.
It was at that moment.
The Black Knight started to speak.

“It looks like some people got here before us.”
“…What?”

Plop. Plop.

Bud quickly looked toward the source of the noise.
One of the trees surrounding the open area was shaking.

‘…Perhaps?’

It was the moment Bud’s pupils started to shake.
Someone jumped off the tree.

Boom!

Bud subconsciously called out the person's name.

“Choi Han!”

It was Choi Han.
He could see the Rat on Choi Han’s back as well.
Bud knew this person.
He was one of the members of the Ranger Brigade.

‘…He was alive!’

There was someone from the Ranger Brigade who was still alive.
Bud’s pupils started to shake.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

His heart was beating wildly for a different reason.
If Choi Han was here… In that case…

“Hiya.”

Someone slowly walked out from behind the tree Choi Han had jumped off while leisurely waving his hand.
Although his voice was calm, Bud could see that Cale’s gaze was turning cold while taking a close look at Bud and the others.

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