After the Rain (14)
The aura on Tarkan’s sword grew stronger.
His body shot forward like an arrow.
Although it was hidden by a sensory-disruption shield, the movement of the wounded Great Beast was incredibly obvious to Tarkan.
《No! Bend down.》
The voice ringing in his ear was just a fragment of old memories.
Memories that were reproduced due to similar circumstances.
However, Tarkan was gripped with the feeling that she was with him, just like back then.
The sweltering heat made steam rise off his body, and beads of sweat rolled down his face.
His golden eyes were filled with a predatory gaze.
The beast’s teeth grazed his shoulders and its claws pierced his thighs.
However, Tarkan’s movements never wavered.
《That’s good enough. Go in.》
Tarkan didn’t hesitate to get hurt and closed the gap between him and the great beast.
It was possible because its forepaws were in shreds and the speed of the Great Demonic Beast had been significantly reduced.
The golden aura rising from his sword shone brilliantly. The aura was so dense that the blade itself looked like gold.
And that golden sword accurately pierced through the great beast’s neck.
The Great Demon King struggled, but that was its limit.
With a gurgle and bloody foaming cry, strength eventually drained from the demonic beast’s body.
Tarkan watched, and slowly pulled his sword from the beast’s neck.
He held his chest, which was pounding from the thrill of battle, and looked back.
Just like he did after he defeated Murzika, the Great Demonic Beast, when he was young.
However, his mouth slowly hardened as he took in the empty space, filled with the traces of battle.
The pounding fervor and heat running through his chest began to cool down.
It was the same back then too.
When the girl said to close the gap, Tarkan complied.
His action was so bold that anyone would have thought it was suicidal.
But Tarkan trusted her, and as a result he was victorious.
Filled with the joy of his victory, he turned to where the girl was.
And he was greeted with an empty field.
The girl he had been with for many days and nights disappeared in an instant.
Without a trace.
No matter how much he combed through the plains, he never saw the girl again.
Tarkan gave a dry laugh.
Back then, they were really together, but now, it was just a similar memory.
But why did he look back?
The line between the past and reality was blurred.
Even at this moment, the past was flooding into his heart. With an unstoppable force, as if his world had stopped back then.
His vision was blurry.
When he wiped his eyes, blood smeared on his hand. He must have gotten injuries and tears while he was fighting and rolling around like crazy.
Tarkan put his sword in his scabbard.
In any case, he survived and won.
It was time to go back.
To his wife.
Tarkan brought his hand to the left of his chest. He wanted to feel the texture of the photos there, even if it was a slight sensation.
He couldn’t bear to touch the picture with his bloody hands.
The axis of time, which had been toward the past, stood firm again toward the present.
The corpse of the Great Demonic beast lay before him, and Tarkan turned around. At that very moment…
A loud cry.
Tarkan immediately raised his guard and looked back at the Great Demonic Beast.
The massive tail of the great beast, which he thought was dead, was swinging sharply towards him.
It was too close to dodge, and the speed of the blow was too fast to be considered its death throes.
Even as he drew his sword, Tarkan knew it was too late.
His mind could see the sharp stinger of the tail piercing through his stomach.
Something flew and a wall arose in front of him.
No, its height was too low to be called a wall; it only came up to his stomach.
Tarkan swiftly made the decision to stop his sword and ducked. In a moment too brief to understand what was happening…
He heard such a hallucination.
And a voice that was even clearer than that cut through the air right after.
Tarkan looked back.
The dazzling silver hair fluttering in the wind, the white arms beckoning towards him, the purple eyes staring straight ahead at the great demonic beast, not looking away for an instant.
Everything seemed so slow, like time had suddenly slowed down.
Seeing someone that he never thought would be here, Tarkan wondered if he was still buried in his memories.
His wife’s voice calling for him reached him more clearly than ever.
The vivid sense of reality made Tarkan’s body move before his head.
The scene somewhere in his mind overlapped with the present.
The figure of a child hiding behind a rock in the Demonic Beast Plain and beckoning to him, somewhere in the distant past.
The child’s blonde hair was fluttering in the air like Aristine’s silver hair right now.
Aristine, who had been staring at the great beast, moved her eyes to Tarkan.
Those purple eyes like the dawning sky were filled with Tarkan alone.
Just like the spring-green eyes of that girl.
It was a completely different color.
But it was the same.
The same clear, firm, and unwavering eyes.
The moment he looked into Aristine’s eyes, Tarkan realized.
It was you.
From the beginning, it was always you.
“I found you.”
He pulled his love right into his arms.
Like he would never lose her again.
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