After the Rain (13)
Tarkan rubbed his forehead.
Now wasn’t the time to think about such things. Even his tension right now wasn’t enough.
Right then, Tarkan’s senses caught something.
It was so small and weak that he had to pay very close attention to notice it. The presence was akin to a hunter crouching and hiding their presence before a hunt.
‘From the right.’
The moment that thought crossed his mind, a voice rang in his ear.
《On the right.》
It was the voice of a young girl.
A voice that had been buried in his memories for a long time.
Without hesitation, Tarkan rolled to the left.
At the same time, something whizzed past where he was standing.
The heavy wind pressure shook the weeds.
It looked so fast that the average human eye would only see it as something black flashing by.
However, Tarkan’s eyes could clearly see it.
A demonic beast the size of a house swinging its front legs.
But after that attack, the beast’s figure vanished.
‘…That will be a headache. Looks like the shield has a sensory disruption feature…’
All of the great demonic beasts had innate shields, and the characteristics were different for each one.
This great demonic beast was surrounded by a shield with sensory disrupting properties, so if it stayed still, it was hard to see or detect.
In that case, there were two solutions.
The first was to keep attacking it and break its defense.
《Breaking the shield is a battle of stamina.》
The words he had heard some time ago echoed in his mind.
Those were the words he’d heard when he fought Murzika, the Great Demonic Beast, at ten years old.
At the time, it was obvious what the outcome would be if Tarkan, a young child at the time, faced a demonic beast in a battle of stamina.
《The other option, is to aim for the moment the demonic beast attacks.》
The beast couldn’t attack while the shield was up, so when it attacked, the shield was dispelled for an instant.
Using that, you could aim for that moment and attack.
‘What will it be?’
The young Tarkan chose the method of counterattacking at the moment when the beast attacked.
If it became a stamina battle, he had no chance of winning, and above all-.
‘There was someone who knew where the attack would come from.’
The attack came from a direction that the girl gave beforehand.
Now that he thought about it, it was insane.
What made him believe so much in that young girl, to stake his life and rely on her in a battle of life-and-death?
If the girl had guessed wrong, even once, Tarkan would have died then.
However, he survived.
Even though he thought it was insane, he would trust her and willingly entrust his life to her again if she showed up.
Tarkan stabilized himself as he gripped his sword.
A long time had passed since then, and Tarkan could predict the attack of the Great Demon Beast by himself.
In a completely different way from that girl who spoke as if she was looking into the future.
His sharp perception caught onto the movement of the Great Demon Beast.
‘I saw how big it was just now.’
Tarkan moved his body to the side, measuring the size and speed of the demonic beats.
The forepaw of the great beast, embedded with long claws, brushed right next to Tarkan.
Because the beast could retrieve its front paw, Tarkan swung down his sword covered with golden aura.
A screeching cry tore through the air, like it was breaking through space.
He could see a bird flapping and taking flight in the distance.
The angry great beast immediately rushed at Tarkan.
Tarkan kicked up from the ground, and as his body shot in the air, he stabbed his sword into the front leg of the creature which briefly revealed itself.
A loss of mobility for the beast was a good thing for him.
This time, no cries rang out.
It seemed to realize that the stunning effect of its screech was useless on Tarkan.
‘It’s become more cautious.’
Its presence became even harder to detect.
《It’s coming from behind!》
The voice he heard when he was in the exact same situation in the past echoed in his mind again.
As he did then, Tarkan lowered his body to avoid the great beast’s attack, and as he did earlier, he slashed its front leg again.
Green demonic blood splattered in the air.
But at that moment.
As if it expected that, the great beast’s claw swung at Tarkan’s back.
Tarkan immediately twisted his body to avoid bur he couldn’t fully dodge. His armor was helpless in front of the beast’s sharp claws.
Like tearing through paper, the armor was ripped, and his exposed side was slashed.
Tarkan quickly moved away and checked his wound.
Although the armor was torn in an instant, his wounds were not deep because of it.
None of his organs were damaged.
The problem was that it was quite a large wound.
As time passed, he would only lose more blood, and his stamina would run out.
Right then, the Great Demonic Beast’s front paw slammed down where Tarkan was standing.
The ground collapsed with a bang.
If Tarkan hadn’t quickly dodged by rolling away, it would have been him caving in, not the ground.
However, the great beast’s downward strikes continued.
Bang! Bang! bang! bang!
Every time Tarkan rolled away, the ground exploded beside him.
Piles of weeds and soil flew and cascaded like rainfall.
He couldn’t just keep rolling and evading like this.
Tarkan rolled once more, while channeling his aura into his sword.
And the moment the Great demonic beast slammed down its foot, he lifted his sword.
The great demonic beast let out a painful scream.
That was only natural considering that the sword pierced so deeply that it penetrated its forepaw.
Tarkan retrieved the sword lodged in the creature’s paw.
As he kept straining his arm, blood kept gushing out from the wound on his side.
However, Tarkan didn’t stop and struck the front legs of beast who raised its forepaw in shock.
One strike, and another strike.
His third attack was blocked with a sharp echo.
The shield was back up.
Tarkan immediately pulled back.
The great demonic beast also pulled back quickly, leaving what seemed like a trail of blood.
Studying the splatter of green blood on the floor, Tarkan gauged their distance.
Like the great beast, he had also lost a good amount of blood.
‘Damn it, I lost more blood than I thought.’
Tarkan clicked his tongue.
Of course, his side was drenched in blood since he was rolling on the floor unceasingly and even attacking with those wounds.
Tarkan took a hemostatic powder from his clothes and sprinkled it on his wound.
The flowing blood pooled and began to cover up the wounds. However, this was only a temporary measure.
The hemostasis wasn’t going to last very long.
Moreover, just as the Great Demon Beast counterattacked by giving away its paws earlier, if it attacked again by chipped away at his flesh…
《It’s okay. You can do it.》
He heard her voice.
《I saw it. You won.》
Her voice was whisper.
When he fought Murzika, the situation was even worse than now,
Because compared to Tarkan now, at 10 years old, he was just a kid with little experience.
‘Right, I can do it.’
Tarkan raised his head and stared straight ahead.
He didn’t come here intending to die and sacrifice himself for his warriors.
Dying was never an option.
Tarkan intended to return after defeating the Great Demon Beast.
Because he asked Aristine to wait.
He told her to wait for him, that he would come back quickly. So he couldn’t leave his wife behind and die irresponsibly.
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