After the Rain (12)
T/N: Huge thanks to ICH, Amy Creamer, Cyrus, Anonymous, & JT for sponsoring this chapter on Ko-Fi!
It was Ritlen, the blacksmith under the Princess Consort.
And the thing blocking the view of Ritlen was a huge—.
Jacquelin vacantly mumbled.
It was something that could never be found on the plains. Not to mention, it wasn’t there until a second ago.
“Hurry this way!”
“One more step!”
At the same time, a ball of fire rose from behind the barrier. The fireball exploded behind the warriors, causing a huge explosion.
“Your aim is terrible!”
“I’m new to this! As a researcher, I protect love and peace, not disastrous…!”
A loud indistinct quarrel reached Jacquelin’s sensitive ears.
Ritlen greeted and Jacquelin nodded in return.
“What exactly is going on here?” Jacquelin asked.
“This is the barrier I mentioned before.”
“This is it…?”
Wasn’t it too huge and solid to be called a barrier?
Jacqueline was shocked because he thought it would serve as a cover at best. And when they were explaining the barrier to him, they definitely said it was more like a cover…
“The barriers are usually much smaller than this. This is a critical version.” Asena explained while wiping her sweat.
“Yes, after hearing that you can’t build a proper barricade wall even after setting up barracks on the plains, Her Highness the Princess Consort ordered a separate version.”
“The princess consort did…”
Jacquelin and the warriors looked moved.
“We still had time to research after completing the regular barrier. But I’m sure you know how difficult this is, right?”
Asena shrugged her shoulders.
It would have been impossible if not for the new alloy made by the blacksmiths under the leadership of Aristine and the formulas created by the mages while they were being worked to the bone.
Of course, without the enormous amount of mana stones consumed in the process, they wouldn’t even be able to attempt this.
“Incredible.” Jacquelin muttered.
If such a barrier could be installed, the state of the demonic beast war itself could be changed.
“But I didn’t see any barriers just a minute ago…”
The barrier emerged like it had suddenly appeared.
“Ah, that’s because of the invisibility magic. It consumes mana stones too quickly so it’s better not to use it though…”
Invisibility magic, as the word implied, was a spell that makes objects invisible.
Jacquelin’s eyes were shining at this incredible ability.
He could already think of several strategies in his mind.
“But to survive in such a dangerous zone, we better use it.”
At those words, Jacquelin came to his senses. He was so surprised by the barrier that he forgot the first thing he wanted to ask.
“Why are you people here? You should be in the capital…and even the border guards are here.”
“Ah, it’s on orders from Her Highness the Princess Consort…”
“Princess Consort, the danger has been handled, so you can come out now.”
Ritlen spoke to one of the tents.
But no reply came.
Even after he called again, it was same.
In the end, Ritlen took the risk of rudeness and opened the tent.
“Princess Consort, sorry for the…”
However, his words came to a stop.
Because the tent was empty.
Upon realizing that Aristine was missing, everyone panicked and scoured the surroundings.
But it was of no use.
Aristine’s figure was nowhere to be seen inside the barrier.
* * *
‘Where is it?’
Within the 3rd boundary.
Tarkan roused his spirit as he looked for signs of the Great Demonic Beast.
‘Not on this side.’
He had to draw the attention of the great beast before it noticed the presence of the warriors.
He pondered the direction for a moment, then dismounted from his horse.
The huge warhorse blinked its innocent eyes and looked back at its owner.
Tarkan stroked the mane of the horse
“I’m sure you can find people. You just have to follow the familiar smell.”
Horses usually have a good sense of smell because they find their offspring by smell.
Tarkan’s horse was a trained warhorse, so its sense was even better. It would be able to find people without much trouble.
But even after Tarkan pointed in the direction for it to go, the warhorse kept looking back at Tarkan.
As if it was worried about leaving Tarkan in this dangerous place.
Tarkan chuckled and patted the horse’s massive body.
“You go first. I will follow you soon.”
He gave the horse a hard smack on the butt, and it began to run. The sound of the horses’ hooves quickly faded away and Tarkan was left alone on the vast plains.
Tarkan took a deep breath.
Being alone made his mind even clearer.
Tarkan moved hurriedly, keeping his senses alert.
A great demonic beast was definitely a powerful enemy.
He couldn’t look down on it or be careless just because he defeated one when he was ten years old.
Because death would arrive in an instant.
Each great demonic beast had unique traits, and compatibility came into play.
Murzika was incompatible with swords, so it was the best enemy for a warrior to face. Of course, that alone couldn’t make him win.
Back then, Tarkan’s defeat of Murzika was practically heavenly luck.
In other words…
‘That kid was with me.’
Tarkan thought of the girl whose face he had never forgotten.
Her soft and sweet blonde hair, seemingly made out of honey, and her light-green eyes, like the fresh leaves in spring.
She wore shabby, old clothes and spoke bluntly, but to the young him, she looked like the most noble angel in the world.
Because he was embarrassed of that, he had teased her deliberately.
Tarkan clutched his chest.
A part of his heart felt warm, and a faintly sad feeling arose within him.
He couldn’t help but realize.
He still loved her.
However, his love for Aristine was not false either.
Tarkan was shocked by his own feelings. How could he love two women at once?
‘I am such a terrible man, aren’t I?’