He furrowed his brows in response to my question.
“How…? How do you know vampires live in this forest, human?”
I replied in a no-nonsense tone.
“Do you think there is a perfect secret in this world? I’ve heard that your people have lived in this forest for a very long time. To think that no one knows, that’s arrogance.”
He just stared at me with eyes full of hostility, without saying a word.
Beside me, the vampire sisters were staring at the other with a look of restlessness.
I continued to speak.
“I have no malic when I said that. There is only one reason for coming to this forest. It’s so these vampires who had lost their homes and tribe could have a new home her.”
“These are vampires who lived in the mountains north of Calderic. The tribes who lived there had a fight, so most of the tribe members died. They barely survived and escaped.”
His gaze turned to the sisters.
There must already be a few such vampires in the tribe of Elrod Forest, so he would have understood the situation right away with my explanation.
“So, can’t you be merciful and accept them as a member of your tribe? That’s the only reason we came here.”
He looked at the sisters and I silently, and said;
“…I don’t understand. Aside from the circumstances of those young vampires, why did you, a human, bring them here?”
“I saved them from slave hunters. And I just knew that there was a vampire tribe living in this forest.”
It was then that I felt other signs of people coming this way.
Vampires, who just appeared, landed on either side of the branch in the direction the male vampire appeared.
And when they found us, they looked startled, then frowned.
“···Humans and vampires? What’s happening here, Floke?”
The name of the vampire I was talking to was Floke.
He explained the situation to his colleagues.
The vampires glanced at us and made a strange expression after hearing all the explanations.
They quietly discussed what to do for a moment. But I heard everything because of my super sensory.
“First of all, let’s report it…”
“Yeah, then one should watch them…”
They concluded what they should do and told me.
“Do nothing there and wait patiently, human. If you really have no other intentions and you’re only here to help those young vampires, you should be able to do that.”
I answered obediently.
It seemed that they were going to bring in a high-ranking vampire to decide what should they do to Rudika and Rubica, so we should wait here.
The other vampires left again, and only one remained, watching us warily.
He stood there silently, waiting for someone else to come.
A space with a gloomy atmosphere.
A female vampire stood still, closed her eyes, and caught her breath.
She was standing in front of a huge rock in the center of the room, and in a notch in the middle of the rock was a single red stone the size of a fist wrapped in black chains.
An ominous stone that alone illuminated this underground space without a single light from the outside with fiery red light.
Below the rock, there were other vampires watching it with anxious eyes.
The woman slowly opened her eyes and put her hand on the red stone.
When her hand touched it, the stone blew out an even more intense blood red light.
An ominous energy emanating from the stone filled the space.
The energy that made even vampires watching it tremble. The woman alone was receiving it.
Then, the blood that flowed from her body was slowly absorbed into the stone.
The woman’s expression, who had maintained her composure, was then distorted with pain.
But it wasn’t just the blood being absorbed by the stone.
A bizarre and terrifying laugh that gnawed at the soul.
That overwhelming mental wave echoing in her head was something she couldn’t get used to, even though she had experienced it dozens of times.
The woman kept her consciousness that was about to collapse and waited for the end.
The light from the stone slowly faded away.
And the stone that returned to its original state seemed to have a little less red light than before.
The woman who had successfully completed the ceremony stumbled down the stairs.
The vampires waiting below rushed towards her.
“Sister… are you okay?”
A man came forward and supported her.
Throughout the ceremony, he was watching with painful eyes, as if he were doing it himself.
The woman nodded and gently removed his arm.
“It’s okay. Don’t make a fuss about.”
Seeing her still trembling while saying that, the man’s face became even more troubled.
A ritual to suppress the energy of blood.
It was a duty that the chieftains have inherited from generation to generation, and it was also a responsibility that must be fulfilled for the peace of the tribe.
Therefore, as the ceremony progressed, there was nothing the man could do while watching her sister lose her lifespan.
The man turned his gaze and looked again at the stone embedded in the rock.
How long did the tribe have to waste the lives of their brethren for that damn thing? Until when…
“Rest, sister. Take care of the chieftain.”
Out of the underground space, the woman left with the other vampires.
The man looked back at her and sighed.
At that time, a vampire from the other side ran towards this side quickly. It was a warrior tasked with periodically reconnaissance of the forest.
The man looked at the other with puzzled eyes.
“What’s going on?”
Hearing the report that followed, the man frowned slightly.
“···Humans brought young vampires? How did he know about our tribe?”
“I don’t know myself. That’s why I hurriedly reported it to you.”
“How many humans were there?”
The man glanced in the direction the woman had disappeared and then nodded.
“I will go directly with the warriors. For now, please do not report to the chieftain.”
How many minutes did we wait?
I could feel many people coming closer from far away.
There were so many more than I expected, so I was a little perplexed.
…Why are so many coming here?
Eventually, the vampires appeared and climbed up on the trees everywhere as if besieging us where we stood.
The number of vampires was easily over 10. In addition, their level was all over 60.
As if they were coming to fight some kind of battle, Asher’s expression hardened, and the two sisters looked around with a frightened face.
“It really is a human.”
One vampire said as if muttering.
I made eye contact with him.
It was immediately recognizable that he was the leader of their group.
It was because of the level above his head.
After checking the level, I could immediately recognize his identity.
Of the vampire tribes of Elrod Forest, there was only one strong person who reached this level.
Chief Warrior Calderban.
The chief’s younger brother and the strongest warrior of Elrod Forest.
As I recalled, five years later, his level was 83, which was higher than it was now.
I didn’t expect him to suddenly come out of here.
“Human, answer the question properly.”
He was exchanging glances with me, and then he opened his mouth.
“How did you know our tribe existed in this forest?”
I had given a moderate answer earlier, but it seemed like they were trying to get a more definite answer.
Probably because this was a very important issue to them.
For a long time, they had been quietly living in this forest, avoiding the eyes of the public, but out of nowhere, a human who knew their existence suddenly appeared.
After thinking for a while, I answered.
“Isn’t it more strange that I don’t know?”
“Even though this forest is not visited by others, this is the realm of Calderic. The eyes of the Lords are everywhere and there are many intelligence organizations. You have lived in this forest for nearly 100 years. If you truly thought that no one would know of your existence, that’s simply arrogance.”
Indeed, the Overlord and some Lords were aware of their existence. They didn’t think of them as a threat, so they just leave them alone.
And they had actually settled in the Elrod Forest for over 200 years. I purposely said it wrong.
It was to make them think I didn’t understand everything. Because if I knew too much, their boundaries would become stronger.
I could feel Rubica looking at me with a puzzled look.
Because when I explained to her, I told her I had a relationship with the vampire tribe from this forest.
She might wonder why I didn’t say that to these vampires, but it was a lie, so I couldn’t say it. In the first place, the vampires of Elrod Forest lived and died in this forest for the rest of their lives, so how could anyone have met them?
Anyway, the chief warrior, who was staring at me without responding, seemed to be convinced to some extent. He changed the subject.
“You said you rescued the two vampires who were captured as slaves and you came here to bring them to our tribe. Are they those children?”
Rubica, who was watching, stepped forward and said.
“···We are vampires who lived in the mountains north of Calderic! And they rescued us with genuine good intentions and brought us here.”
The atmosphere was harsh, so she seemed to want to defend me.
He glanced at her, then nodded.
“If you have lost a place to return to, our tribe will welcome you with open arms.”
“But not the humans. We can never bring them into the village. So, send the children there first.”
At that, they looked at me with anxious eyes.
I nodded my head.
“It’s okay, go.”
They hesitated and moved to the side of the vampires.
The chief warrior nodded to one vampire.
After receiving that nod, the vampire took the sisters in her arms and climbed the branches and moved into the forest. And then they disappeared in an instant.
I turned my gaze to the chief warrior.
Now it was time to bring my purpose out.
“I have a story I want to tell you.”
I stopped talking.
Because the atmosphere suddenly became serious.
The hostility felt from the vampires standing around us as if they were surrounding us grew stronger. And…
The sudden attack from the front was blocked by Asher instead.
A thorn made of blood shattered to pieces by her sword.
Her expression ferociously distorted, and she glared at the vampires.
I looked at the chief warrior and asked.
“What are you doing?”
He answered in a calm tone.
“I’m sorry, but you can’t leave the forest alive.”
“Is it because I was aware of your tribe’s existence? Didn’t I just say that I wasn’t the only one who knew about you?”
“No, that’s not it.”
He shook his head.
“Thank you very much for saving our people. But we’ve never let an outsider who has entered this forest leave alive. That’s how we have kept our home and peace for many years, and there are no exceptions.”
The vampires around them immediately took a fighting stance.
The blood that flowed from their bodies gathered in the air and formed a shape. Some were huge, some are sharp.
“So die here, human.”
I sighed inwardly.
These dog-like vampire cubs….
Did I think too easily?
I saved their people, so I didn’t expect they would still try to kill us like this.
Soon there was blood rushing all over the place where we were standing.
I grabbed Asher’s shoulder, preparing for battle, and pulled him closer.
“Stand close to me.”
And I immediately opened the floating veil.
At the same time, attacks poured in from all sides.
The non-stop blood flow saturated the place where the humans were standing.
While the other warriors were pouring out their attacks, the chief warrior Calderban also prepared an attack with all his might.
The blood that flowed from his body condensed in the air and turned purple.
It was a unique blood skill he possessed. If somebody was hit by this extremely poisonous blood, no matter how strong the opponent was, they had no choice but to melt away without a trace.
Violet blood formed as huge thorns rotated like a whirlpool and swept the place where the humans stood.
The site swept away by the bloodstream disappeared as it was, leaving ruins.
Without evading the bombardment of the elite warriors, the humans were directly hit.
Calderban had no doubts that this was the end.
However, his eyes widened in astonishment at the sight that was revealed after the blood and dust had disappeared.
The humans were still standing in the same place. Even without a single piece of clothing ruffled.
The chief warrior and other warriors were in shock at the sight beyond the common sense and did not take any action.
This makes little sense···
The human man looked around leisurely.
“Is this the end?”
He spoke in an arrogant and indifferent voice, as if muttering.
“This doesn’t feel good.”