In the middle of a dark forest, a man and a woman were sitting in front of a bonfire.
A man with various weapons on his waist and a woman in a thin robe.
Next to them lay the corpse of a giant wolf that had been mutilated and dead.
As if used to it, the woman sliced off the monster’s flesh with her dagger and put it on the fire, whistling and waiting for the meat to be cooked.
“Just because it’s a monster from the demonic land doesn’t mean that you will die if you eat it. Some people say it tastes much better than the meat of ordinary animals.”
The man did not respond to the woman’s words. He just stared at the burning meat full of dissatisfaction.
She clicked her tongue and fumbled through the meat skewers.
“So, we’ve come all the way to the central area, what are you going to do from now on?”
“I need to find it.”
“So, what’s the detailed plan? You’ve been keeping your mouth shut all the way here.”
“There is no such thing. Search all of Hallmenta to find it and kill it. That’s all.”
The woman sighed in response to the man’s ignorant answer.
“I told you, what kind of place is the demonic land? A stronger monster could have killed and eaten it by now. So what would you do then?”
“If you’re going to keep meddling like that, you should have not followed me here.”
She furrowed her brows in dissatisfaction.
“Did I tell you not to talk like that?”
“Rand was a precious colleague who was like family to me. His older brother suddenly declared that he would get revenge for him, so how can I not interfere?”
“It’s useless worrying. I’m a lot stronger than you think.”
“Yeah, it’s okay. You’re right. You’re from the infamous ranger of Barcato, can an adventurer like me dare to compare? I just have to lead the way and work hard on grilling meat.”
The woman nervously rummaged through the meat.
The man glanced at the scene and said,
“···It was you who went out of your way to grill that meat.”
“Ah, so you’re going to be like that, huh?”
“If you can make any excuse, go ahead.”
“Then I’m just going to eat this alone.”
She smiled inwardly as she spoke bluntly.
Although their personalities are completely opposite, the reason they could get along was because both had a soft heart.
While the meat was cooking, the bushes shook, and the monsters appeared again.
It was a huge scorpion, a six-legged crocodile, and a deer with ferocious horns. A bizarre, unpredictable combination.
Unlike the woman who grabbed the staff that had been laid down next to her with a nervous face, the man drew a single dagger from his waist.
A dagger shot like a beam of light pierced the deer’s forehead.
Then, the man drew his long sword flew and rushed towards the scorpion. On the blade of the sword, a dark blue light was formed.
The scorpion raised its tail with a poison stinger; he avoided it, and swung his sword to cut it in half.
The man slashed the body of the writhing scorpion, then cut off the head in an instant, killing it.
The crocodile jumped up from the side and could only bit the air.
It was a surprise attack, but the man had already landed on the ground and leapt into the air.
Then he slammed on a wooden pole and jumped straight down again, then fell to the crocodile and pierced its head.
The woman looked at the man who killed the three in an instant and was leisurely picking up his sword, dazzled by it for a moment.
The battle was over with no room for help. She had skills and enough experience to go to this place, but every time she saw him fight, she was still amazed.
“These monsters appear more often.”
The man glanced around at the dead monsters and said.
Deer, crocodiles and scorpions. A strange combination.
“Are the monsters in the demonic land all like this?”
“No, it can’t be. They’re just weird.”
The woman who said that also looked at the monsters’ bodies with strange eyes.
The demonic land was a place beyond common sense, and it was a daily routine to face various incomprehensible things.
But if it happened repeatedly, not just once or twice, she couldn’t help but be concerned.
They came across a bunch of monsters like this all the way here.
She went on without thinking deeply so far, but she also felt a sense of wonder and strangeness.
When she lifted her head, there was a bird in the sky spinning around them, making an eerie cry.
She looked at it for a moment, then turned her attention back to the meat.
While fighting the monsters, the meat seemed already cooked.
This was difficult.
This was even more so because I had never imagined such a case before.
I came out of the cage, and Asher had disappeared without a trace. Then the horses also disappeared.
While in the cave, I did not know what was going on outside.
“What the hell is it…?”
Had a monster attacked her?
That was the only possibility that came to mind.
She wouldn’t have disobeyed my orders unless something unavoidable happened.
But if they really attacked her, what kind of monster was it?
First of all, no matter how magical this place was, the only monsters that could overwhelm her were named bosses.
And if there was a battle with those strong monsters, no matter how deep I was in the cave, I would have noticed it with my super sensory…
Anyway, something was strange.
I turned my head to look up at the top of the rock tower and then use a series of space leaps to climb to the top in an instant.
From such a high place, I looked around at the panoramic view of the demonic land.
The road we passed in the front, the forest to the left, and the plain to the right and back.
Of course, even if I looked through every detail with my vision enhanced as much as possible, I couldn’t even see the appearance of Asher’s nose.
I slumped to the ground, scratching my head.
Suddenly, there was a ripping sound from somewhere, and a huge monster bird flew towards me.
I shot it with a drop of my blood and the bird who flew with great momentum fell straight down.
I looked at the bird falling to the ground, then got up again and went down the rock.
Maybe if I looked around the traces, I might find something.
This is where she stood.
Starting from the spot where Asher was standing, I thoroughly scanned the surrounding traces.
There were no footprints left as it was a hard stone floor, but I did not miss a single trace by raising my super sensory as much as possible.
And, soon after, I discovered that there were faint traces of something on the ground.
- ··What’s this?
Traces of something messed up.
I used my super sensory, but I couldn’t figure out more than that. Because the traces were too faint.
But I could tell where it went.
I turned my gaze towards the trail. It was in the forest’s direction.
I used my super sensory again.
The only traces that could be found on the floor were these scratches, and nothing else.
First, the owner of this mysterious trail was probably not a huge guy.
If it was, then its weight would have made deeper marks on the ground. But there was no trace of that kind.
Something light and not too big.
Something like that attacked Asher and dragged her into the woods? No, was it correct that it dragged her?
I was unsure. But now that Asher was gone, I could only think in that direction.
I thought of the named bosses that inhabit Hallmenta.
They were all as big as a mountain, so it was not one of them that attacked Asher.
In the end, I still didn’t know what it was, but all I could do was to follow the trail.
It’s Acher and nobody else. I had to find her at any cost.
Fortunately, there were no bloodstains. I moved towards the forest hoping that she was still alive.
Starting from the forest, the traces were much clearer because the ground was easy like the previous one.
I thought it might be a monster with many legs like a centipede, but looking at the traces, it wasn’t.
It’s like, what should I say… tentacles?
It was like a tangled tentacle crawling on the floor, it’s the only one I could think of that could create these traces.
As I continued to pursue the trail, a monster came out through the bushes.
It was a huge deer whose horns on its forehead resembled that of a devil.
It looked at me, then lowered its head and scratched the floor with its front paws. It looked like it was getting ready to rush at me.
I stretched out my hand and tried to shoot drops of blood, but at that moment, the floor I was standing on vibrated.
What else was happening?
A completely unexpected scene unfolded before my eyes.
Suddenly, a huge paw protruding through the ground grabbed the body of the deer and crushed it.
The sound of cracking flesh and crumbling bones. It was crushed to the ground like a rotten fruit and died a terrible death.
Then, the whole ground in front turned over, and the owner of the paw buried under it slowly raised the body.
A bear that was as huge as the Bellevagorah that I had encountered before in the Rutus Mountains.
I blinked my eyes and stared at it.
- ··Vulcantier?One of the named bosses inhabiting Hellmenta that I know of.
Truly, the bear that suddenly jumped out of the ground was probably buried there for so long that a tree was growing on its back.
I muttered out of embarrassment.
“Have you been hibernating?”
Vulcantier shook its body and brushed away the grass and trees growing on its back.
It was so large that it was like it’s dusting off the trees.
Before long, its eyes shone with a reddish glow and its entire body radiated ferocity, as if it would tear me to death at any moment.
It stretched out its hand upward, as if he had just woken up from a long sleep.
At that moment, a voice came from the other side.
Then, a huge flame flew in and hit Vulcantier’s body.
When I turned my head, I saw two people, a man and woman.
The bear who was hit by the fire lost its mind for a moment, and then the man who came close to me pushed me away.
“Don’t get in the way.”
Then, without listening to my words, he threw himself at Vulcantier. He came close and launched a slash of swords.
However, he couldn’t tear off its tough skin, he couldn’t even scratch it.
Soon the bear regained its senses, let out an angry roar and swung its gigantic front paws violently.
Dodging the attack and barely stepping back, the man looked down at his sword with a stiff face.
Then the woman walked beside me. She prepared a spell and yelled at me again.
“What are you doing alone in a place like this? We’ll fight, so run away!”
I tried to speak, but she also ignored me and looked forward again.
Who were these people, all of a sudden?
Seeing the man struggling, the woman bit her lip.
A huge bear that made all the monsters they had encountered so far feel like cubs.
She had never encountered such an absurd monster when she was walking around the demonic land with my colleagues in the past.
Even the man who had easily dealt with monsters until now was barely avoiding attacks.
She raised her wand and raised her magic power to prepare the most powerful magic she could unleash.
But at that moment, the bear suddenly changed direction and aimed at her.
The man who was thrown by the bear turned sharply towards this direction.
He tried to get up in a hurry, but the bear was already too far away. It was an unbelievable speed for its size.
She didn’t even have time to unleash her defense magic. No, it would be shattered even if I managed to cast it.
It was the moment when the two of them sensed death as they saw the huge front paw of the bear was about to slash her body, when something suddenly appeared in front it.
The ground around it exploded in a shock wave.
The two looked at the scene unfolding in front of them with bewildered faces.
A man they had just met was standing right in front of her.
And the bear’s front paws stood tall in the air. It’s like being blocked by an invisible wall.
The bear grunted in bewilderment and then backed away.
What is this…?
The man’s figure vanished from her sight once more.
At the same time, there was a roar and the bear’s body collapsed.
The two stared blankly at the man standing on the back of the fallen bear.
He looked down at them both and opened his mouth.
“Listen when people talk.”