Episode 35: After the Rain (2)
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The only thing Aristine could see was an endless meadow.
‘Where is this?’
Since it was a vast grassland, there were very few hints about its location.
If there was something that stood out, it was the slightly yellowish hue in the grass which made her think it was fall.
The sight was peaceful.
The sky was clear, and the weather was good.
The idyllic scenery made Aristine absentmindedly wonder how nice it would be to visit such a place someday.
At that very moment, an earth-shaking tremor coursed through the ground as a herd of huge warhorses ran across the plains.
The leader commanding at the forefront was Tarkan.
Aristine, who was watching the mirrored surface, unconsciously clenched the teacup.
As if a camera was pulled pack, a wider view began to appear on the mirrored surface.
In the direction that Tarkan was heading to, was a surging wave of darkness.
It took a moment for Aristine to realize that they were demonic beasts.
Demonic Beast Plains.
The place that Aristine was looking at right now, was the plains of Demonic Beasts.
It looked like a black wave because of the immeasurable number of endless demonic beasts that were there.
Aristine’s face turned pale at the overwhelming amount.
In contrast, the number of warriors led by Tarkan was too small.
Even if this was Demonic Beast Plain which was practically the playground of the beasts, the difference in numbers was too much.
Aristine had seen several years’ worth of strategy maps, and they had explained to her how they fought the demonic beasts.
They had never fought a battle with such a difference in strength nor did they have plans to. Although the troops were divided into several sections led by generals, in such a large-scale battle, the roles were divided to launch a pincer attack.
Did something change next year?
‘How can that be?’
She didn’t know exactly when this was, but something must have really gone wrong.
When Tarkan’s troops arrived in front of the beasts, the black wave crashed against them like a tsunami.
It was absolute chaos.
The swords of the warriors glowed with aura, splitting the sky and the earth. Sounds of explosions burst through the air with thick rising smoke, and the demonic beasts uttered screeching cries.
The great warriors led by Tarkan were not intimidated despite the clear difference in forces.
They slaughtered the beasts with utmost accuracy.
However, there was no hope in sight.
‘The difference in forces is too much.’
It was impossible to beat endlessly surging numbers. At some point, the stamina of the warriors would run out.
And Tarkan should know that fact better than Aristine.
[What about Durante?]
[Still can’t contact!]
[Mukali and Torkel can’t be reached either!]
Tarkan clicked his tongue.
[We can’t allow the battlefront to be pushed back any further. It’s getting too close to the wall.]
[I am prepared to bury my bones here.]
Tarkan chuckled and with one swing, he cut down two beasts three times his size.
But even his face held a hint of anxiety.
Right now, they were maintaining formation and dealing with the demonic beasts wasn’t that difficult, but it was only a matter of time.
If even one person was pushed back, their formation would be instantly destroyed, and the little power they had would be dispersed.
And the only thing waiting for them after that was—.
[I don’t see any sign of the others coming.]
[Even if they’re coming, it’s better to assume the worst. Put all hopes aside.]
[Even if I have to lay down my life, I will make this the last place that these beasts ever reach!]
[You think just offering your life will make that happen?]
Even at such a time, Tarkan kept his composure and made a joke.
[Don’t think such useless thoughts. I am the one leading this troop.]
Tarkan lowered his upper body. It was as if he had fully combined with his wildly dashing warhorse.
[Even if a sacrifice is to be made, it will not be you guys…]
Tarkan’s sentence was never finished because of the howling demonic beasts, rushing towards them.
However, Aristine knew what he was going to say next.
Even if a sacrifice is to be made, it will not be you guys
It felt like her heart was sinking.
Her heart clenched and she couldn’t think properly.
In the meantime, the course of the battle grew more and more difficult as time passed.
The green body fluids of the demonic beasts splashed everywhere, dulling the swords of the warriors.
The once dazzling auras had also dimmed like the light was being drained.
Aristine watched this unfold in a daze.
Tarkan’s hair resembled a black mane as it fluttered with his every move. His sword pierced the tough hide of a demonic beast.
The fall of the demonic beast was massive, but another demonic beast took its place and attacked.
The scene was oddly familiar.
Aristine blinked her eyes.
A vague yet certain sensation swept through her mind, like she was experiencing déjà vu.
Like she had definitely seen this somewhere, like she’d experienced it.
It was a vivid sensation like she had actually seen and experienced it in person, rather than seen it from afar through a mirrored surface.
As if hauling up a sunken ship, Aristine recalled an old memory from her seabed of memories.
‘…I’m sure that was a dream though?’
Aristine’s forehead creased.
She had never left Silvanus before she embarked on that wedding trip to Irugo.
However, she didn’t have time to be lost in thought.
In the end, an exhausted warrior couldn’t stop the demonic beasts, and the formation was broken.
[Milord! The left is…!]
Seeing the demonic beasts frantically pouring through the hole on the left, Tarkan clicked with his tongue harshly.
[It will be hard at this rate].
His eyes quickly took in the situation. Then he turned his horse right, to starboard.
Despite the sudden harsh command, the well-trained warhorse flexibly turned around in response.
[Retreat to the right!]
Echoing Tarkan’s words, the warriors pulled the reins of their horses.
The warriors dashed wildly across the plains while the demonic beasts followed behind like a storm.
There was no geographical advantage on the plains.
Jacquelin recalled the map to figure out their direction, then he realized something and turned to Tarkan.
[Milord, if we keep going this way…]
[Yes.] Tarkan grinned at Jacquelin. [I’m afraid you won’t have the chance to step forward, Jacquelin.]
[Because I will be the one to bury my bones in the plains and protect the last line of defense.]
Jacquelin grit his teeth. His nose burned red, but he shed no tears.
Jacquelin roughly steered his horse.
At those words, the warriors behind them steered their horses to follow Jacquelin.
Meanwhile, Tarkan took a slight turn and ran diagonally by himself.
Tarkan alone broke off from the ranks.
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Aristine mutely raised her head when she felt a hand grabbing his shoulder.
Everything was strangely out of focus.
After blinking a few times, she saw Ritlen’s face, looking at her with worry.
Ritlen’s hard-callused fingers brushed under Aristine’s eyes. And it was smeared with clear fluid.
Only then did Aristine realize that she was crying.
*Hello guys, sorry for the late notice. There have be some major changes in my life and I have almost no time during the week. Because of that, I’ve had a hard time doing Tues-Thurs recently.
So starting this month, the 2 chapters for FMH will be be posted during the weekend. Hope you enjoy!
PS: Ch 235 is out too! 😛
PSS: If you were seeing ads in the middle of the post, that has been fixed. That shouldn’t have been happening.