Chapter 96: The Embodiment of Death
A strong and fearsome firmness.
The arms of the beast monkey were made of steel. This frightening monster shook and destroyed the entire road where Caria stood. The demon beast kept shaking his arms fiercely. A roaring sound reverberated through the space, and the air almost dissipated.
Everyone around the beast monkey looked in awe at the movements from the monster arms.
That was no good. Obviously, those movements were out of this world. It was something that everybody understood. A terrible strength that could distort the world by creating extreme turbulence in the air.
There was no intention to kill with those fearsome but random arm-movements. There was no hostility, but an obvious confusion in that monster’s head. However, a simple strike with its hand palms could break off a huge obstacle. How many people would die just by touching that pressure?
Caria, on the other hand, was no different from usual. She held the silver long sword with pride, and of course, pointed its shine blade towards the ravaging monkey.
Her silver hair shook as soon as she saw the strikes from those large hand palms. Indeed, those palms could be weapons. If those palms were to touch Caria, it would transform her into a mere lump of meat. Caria moved her body quickly and made a half turn to avoid those strikes, and slashed the beast monkey’s skin with the tip of her sword. Then, Caria breathed involuntarily.
A dull, iron-to-iron sound echoed throughout the battlefield, despite the fact that it was a clash between the sword and the skin.
Caria felt the real threat of that monster in her hands. The skin was so hard that made that beast no longer a living thing. She noticed that her slash didn’t damage that beastly thing. She felt as if her sword resembled a rusty knife without a sharp edge. Caria involuntarily strengthened her eyes, and took a step back.
At this moment, the road was carved only by the shadow of the devil. The road itself was no longer a road or a pathway. Everything around it was destroyed, and the road itself almost ceased to exist. The stone pavement attached to the road scattered like a thin piece of paper. Destruction and more destruction.
A flash of silver ran through the road in response to the ongoing destruction.
The momentum created when the hand palms stopped moving after destroyed another piece of the road. Caria used this chance to determine her attack, and placed her long sword towards the wind in order to cut through the wrist of the demon monkey. This time, she didn’t use her sword just to slash it. In fact, she used the sword, along with the power of her whole body, to break the wrist of this impeding menace.
The whole series of movements were beautiful and breathtaking. There was no hesitation in her footsteps, and the tip of her sword wiggled smoothly like the wind. All of those movements proved Caria’s natural gift. Besides that fact, one could imagine how hard she trained as well.
However, that was Caria’s natural gift as a human being.
A duller sound echoed throughout the battlefield.
The sound of steel. Caria hoped to inflict damage on the monster’s wrist. Did she accomplish that feat? No. Caria knew the answer immediately through the reverberating feeling passing through her hands.
In reality, Caria could only reach the upper layer of the monster’s skin. The bones were robust and the flesh couldn’t be torn. Caria’s silver eyes swayed astonishingly. How was this possible? Was it possible for a monster like this to exist in this world?
Caria perfectly knew in the corner of her brain that something unexpected could happen when one faced against a demon beast.
Caria understood that very well, and she never lost that reasoning. In fact, Caria kept moving with the assumption that her blade would not pierce nor break the wrist of that unbelievable creature. Caria knew that failure was a possibility. Yet, she also believed that success could only be achieved with hard work and resilience. That’s why she didn’t give up yet.
However, this time was different. Caria noticed the irregularity the moment she touched the monkey’s skin with her sword. The solid feel that resembled iron no longer seemed real. It was as if she were trying to slash the ground itself. Even with hundreds of swords, nobody could slash the ground. Yes, because it was impossible. True, Caria understood this difficulty.
For a short moment, Caria thought she wasn’t in the real world. The implausible existence of this fearsome opponent made it all look unrealistic. Still, this was different. Yes, that thing was something that no longer behaved like a demon beast.
On this instant, Caria’s cerebral spine shortly perceived that notion. Her brain gave her an order after she failed to inflict damage on the beast monkey’s wrist with her sword.
“…Run away. I cannot win this fight. Human beings cannot triumph over the existence of something that is out of this world.”
Caria’s legs suddenly moved.
She didn’t think about anything. She just jumped out of the monkey’s way, as if her legs had a mind of their own. The next moment, the place where she stood was shattered into pieces by a malicious force.
“If I stayed there, I would be dead by now. Yes, definitely.” Sweat fell from Caria’s forehead. The sense of death passed through her spine. Her internal organs became heavy as if they were rocks, and her fingertips holding the long sword began to quiver.
“How could this happen to me?” Unexpectedly, Caria scorned herself and slightly distorted her mouth. Her heart wrapped in fear, and her instinct told her brain to escape.
“I see; that’s the most rational move to make.” Caria’s long eyelashes blinked repeatedly.
At this moment, Caria thought about the stupidity of fighting against a monster that could rob her life. This was no longer a normal fight where a human fought with chances of victory. She probably had no chance to win over this fearsome opponent. No magic nor talent could subdue this demon beast. All it proclaimed was the embodiment of death.
She would be a fool to keep going against such a threat. Actually, a true knight would go forward and fight with a single sword against any enemy. Nonetheless, this was not just any enemy. Honor and pride were no longer important now. Just survival.
That monster screamed again. Those screams shattered the windows and broke trees. The human soldiers and elves ran away from the demon monkey as if they were desperate. The madness of the battlefield engulfed the entire place. It engulfed everybody’s mind. Caria remembered the preciousness of life once again.
Running away was probably the right choice. This place was no longer a battlefield where soldiers fought each other. That demon monkey repainted the entire battlefield with fear, chaos and blood. Now the ruler of the battlefield was that beast monkey.
「If I could kill that monkey, victory would fall into our hands. But, the chance of victory is thin, and I will surely die if I keep fighting…Wait, I told him that I would bring victory no matter what happened…」
Caria’s lips moved slightly and she murmured low.
Even in situations where the path to victory could not be seen, Caria would fight bravely to the end. However, this time, she had no option but to withdraw. Her silver hair, which was divided into two ponytails, got untied by the shattered fragments that flew in the air. Her tidy hair became loose and dull. However, running away was really what she truly wanted? A normal knight would withdraw, but Caria was no normal knight.
Even if the blade did not penetrate the skin, and even if its existence was an unmistakable embodiment of death. There was no reason to run away. Besides, Lugis entrusted Caria with something important. To grab victory. In response to that wish, Caria accepted it and said that she would bring back victory no matter what happened.
That’s why she couldn’t afford to retreat now. She had to be a strong person. A person whom everybody could trust. “If I step away now, will he regret believing in me?”
In the old days, Caria was not only called a hero because of her natural gift for bravery.
The noble spirit gave her the unparalleled spirituality and brilliance of the sun. This brilliance could cut off the slightest weaknesses that existed in her brain and body. This existence was what made Caria Burdnick a worthy hero.
And then, Caria involuntarily relaxed her cheeks.
“…I told myself that I would stand by his side no matter what. In order to accomplish that, I’m willing to make a foolish decision and sacrifice my life.”
Her sliver eyes sparkled with resolve. She jumped straight ahead with a fearsome roar, and she aimed at the fingertips, feet and joints of the demon monkey. Caria’s movements were like a stunning dance.
A dull and metallic sound echoed many times. Caria felt her long sword squeaking and screaming in pain.
There must be some way to defeat this opponent. There has to be a key point to make this monster die. Caria firmly believed in that. Therefore, she didn’t stop assaulting the body of the beast monkey with the force of her sword.
The strength of the beast monkey was atrocious, but it didn’t attack with precision. That was obvious since this monster was attacking without any type of strategy. It was just a wild and rampaging animal. However, the movements of this monster’s limbs could turn its prey into dust. There was no need for techniques or tactics in these attacks.
“If I take one step wrong, or if I misread it for a second, I will die.” Caria’s intuition told her those words. After all, this instinct sent the danger of death to her brain.
She had tasted this sensation before. The bitter feeling of despair that made her feel helpless. It was when she faced that wild boar hexenbiest in the Forbidden Forest.
“Why did I win that fight?”
Fatigue filled Caria’s body. Her lungs were suffering and she needed air desperately. Her body was sore, and pain swallowed her limbs. Under these circumstances, Caria followed the strings of memories as if she were running through a dazzling light.
Don’t give up Caria!
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