Duke Pendragon - Chapter 231

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“Waaaaaahhh!”

The sorrowful sound of sobbing echoed.

“Aaaaaaahh! Aaaaaahhh!”

It was as if a spring made of tears had burst. An endless stream of tears and snot poured down the face of a small girl. The girl looked to be around 12 years old, and her eyes were swollen red.

Mia Pendragon.

Even though she rarely expressed her emotions from a young age, she was bawling her eyes out.

“Mia… Brother…”

It was the same with Irene.

They cried without reserve, unable to even think about wiping the tears away. They sobbed while longing for their blood, the pillar of their family. With the situation already continuing for several days, even the maids were restless and had dark, gloomy faces.

But one person was different.

“Ladies, please stop crying. His Grace is safe.”

Lindsay held the hands of the two girls while comforting them.

“His Grace the Duke… He has never broken his promise. He will come back safely. I am certain.”

Lindsay was calm. Of course, when she first heard the news regarding her beloved, the very sky seemed to fall. She resented the soldiers and Karuta for leaving him alone.

But it was only for a short time.

Ever since he first opened his eyes, until they formed a relationship, her beloved had never gone against his words.

“I, I believe it. His Grace will surely come back…”

Not a hint of doubt perforated Lindsay’s voice. She was filled with a firm belief. She noticed the maids’ anxious expressions and doubts, but it did not matter.

Even if it was a false belief in the end, it did not matter.

Her beloved, Duke Pendragon, would be safe. She, at least, had to believe so. If she collapsed here and now, everyone else would crumple. As his wife, as a lady of the Pendragon family, she had to have firm belief.

‘Your Grace…’

But was it inevitable that she felt anxiety and the deep longing in her bones?

Lindsay unknowingly strengthened the grip on her hands while comforting the two girls as they cried endlessly, alleviating her trembling hands.

***

Shing!

“Kuagh!”

Along with a sharp whistle, a wooden spear pierced through the bushes and penetrated the legs of two soldiers.

“Keugh…!”

“Dammit!”

A company captain of the demonic army gritted his teeth as he looked over his injured men. Their knees had been destroyed by the wooden spear.

It was a basic camouflage trap created by combining a sharp-cut wood with elastic branches and stems. But when it was cleverly installed in a complex, dense forest, it could neither be spotted nor avoided.

“Heu… F, fuck!”

The wounded soldiers cursed as they sat down on a large log with the help of their comrades. Strangely, however, their faces were filled with despair and fear rather than pain.

Soon, the other soldiers unsheathed their weapons and walked towards the injured two.

“P, please…”

“I, I can walk! I can walk if I take a little break!”

The two people shouted in a hurry despite the pain. However, the other soldiers maintained a stiff expression on their faces and stabbed their fellow soldiers in the chest and neck.

“Keuk!”

Perhaps due to fear or instinct, one of the injured soldiers raised his hand in front of his face, and the rusty blade pierced through the hand before stabbing into the neck.

“Keruk…”

The two died while spilling blood from their throats and mouths.

“…..”

A heavy silence descended.

It was fear. It could have been their own fates. They could have been the ones who were killed.

“C, captain, that’s already over ten.”

A soldier carefully spoke with a fearful expression.

“So what?”

The captain replied bluntly while throwing aside the dead bodies, and the soldier replied while looking around anxiously.

“W, what if we all end up dying like that? It was suspicious that the trails were so openly visible. And seeing our soldiers dying as we follow the trail… This, I think he’s trying to lure us…”

Thud!

“Do you think I don’t know that, you fucking retard?”

The captain swore while smacking the subordinate on the head.

“So what do you want me to do? You want to go back? Do you think Commander Baltai will leave us be if we do that? You will die, and I will die. All of us will die, you motherfucker.”

“W, well, that’s true, but…”

The soldier blurted while rubbing the back of his head.

“We need to find him. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a trap or not. It is proof that he is not far from here. We will catch up with him today!”

The captain turned his head.

“Whatsss is itsss. Humansss.”

The lizardman retorted while hissing its long tongue.

The captain was inwardly fed up with the lizardmen’s long, slimy tongue and its big, elongated mouth, but he spoke nonchalantly.

“Since the rain has stopped, wouldn’t it be better for you guys to track him down? You said this is essentially your home territory.”

“You don’t have to say itsss. I’m alreadyss looking aroundss. Butsss, I can’t locate the temperaturessss.”

“Fucking… What the hell is he saying?”

“He has been looking already, but he can’t seem to locate the heat signature.”

The captain could not comprehend the lizardman’s words and became annoyed, and a soldier quickly stepped out.

“What? He can't locate their heat?”

“That is rightsss. This is weirdsss.”

The lizardman tilted his head, and the others murmured. The lizardmen were also annoyed as well. They had no choice but to travel and track along with the humans they despised so much. However, it had been more than ten days with no fruition. In the beginning they had been certain of finding the target within a day or two. This was no longer a matter of being annoyed or angry. It was a matter of pride.

The lizardmen were considered one of the most capable hunters in the Great Forest for their unique ability to sense the temperature of life. In the daytime, they utilized their sight just like humans, but at night, they could detect body temperatures with their reptilian eyes and senses to track their prey.

As such, the lizardmen were able to catch up with their target, both humans and animals.

However, it was different this time.

They had been tracking for more than ten days so far, but they had not even seen the shadow of the target. It was highly likely that the target possessed an object with strange powers, or used a special method only known to the long-time residents of the Great Forest to conceal themselves.

In addition, it was clear that they intentionally left traces of themselves in order to utilize the traps to harm the trackers. The traps were produced with enough force to cause relatively minor injuries, in order to slow down the trackers with injuries while spreading a sense of fear.

The enemy was cruel and sneaky, far beyond anything they had ever seen.

“He is familiarssss with the Great Forestssss. And this directionssss…”

The lizardmen articulated with a hard-to-understand pronunciation while trembling.

“Huh?”

The company captain narrowed his eyes. A lizardman, the notorious hunter of the Great Forest, was showing fear. The lizardman looked around with a fearful look, then continued.

“This is the landsssss of the Great Forestsss devilssss. The long earssss devils, they do notss forgive usss.”

“What, what the fuck is he saying?”

“It, it’s the land of the devils of the Great Forests. The long-eared devils do not forgive them.”

The expression of the soldier delivering the words of the lizardman darkened as well. He could not imagine what kind of creatures the cruel, vicious lizardmen would describe as the devils.

“Devils with long ears? Motherfucking, what devil… Ugh!”

The captain started to speak in an irritated voice before suddenly frowning. He felt a sudden sting in his neck.

“What is this?”

He scratched his neck with a deep frown. His subordinates looked towards him with curious eyes, then a shock slowly filled their faces.

“Captain…”

“What, you bastard.”

“Y, your face…”

The soldier raised his trembling finger and pointed towards the angry captain’s face.

“What about my fac… Keuk!”

The captain was never able to finish his sentence. He collapsed backwards with white eyes and a nosebleed. His face and neck turned black as if it had been burned. As the soldiers were about to look down on their captain,

Shshshshk!

“Heuk!”

With a slithering sound similar to a snake’s movement, something black flew towards them through the shade of the thick forest.

“Ugh!”

“Keuk!”

The soldiers of the demonic army fell into chaos, feeling unknown objects stinging all over their bodies. But the lizardmen were well aware of the objects’ identity, and they immediately took action.

“Kieeeehk Kiiehk!”

Deeming the situation urgent, the lizardmen hurriedly shouted in their native language and scattered like crazy after lowering their postures. However, the soldiers of the demonic army continued to scratch the prickly spots on their bodies without understanding the situation.

However, their confusion only lasted for a moment, and chaos soon ensued.

“Keeeeuk!”

“Kuagh!”

Dozens of soldiers from the demonic army groaned uncomfortably and collapsed on the spot, spilling blood from their eyes and nose. All of the collapsed soldiers had blackened skin, including their face, necks, and hands.

“P, poison!”

“Uahh!”

The survivors finally realized the seriousness of the situation and looked around with a roar.

It was then.

“Kieeeyahah!”

“Kyararararara!”

Shouts echoed from all sides, sending a chill down the spines of the surviving soldiers.

“W, what’s going on!”

The soldiers raised their heads with fear-stricken faces. The shouts had originated from the tops of the trees, and not the ground.

“Gaah!”

The soldiers became appalled.

Dozens of feet from the ground, devils emerged through the huge, dense trees of the forest. Their strange appearance was enough to make even themselves, who were called the demons, feel frightened.

The devils’ completely exposed upper bodies were filled with all sorts of shapes and drawings, and their heads and shoulders were wrapped with ornaments made from leathers and feathers. A soldier became shocked after confirming their appearance.

“E, elf?”

The dozens of slender beings on the tall trees all possessed ears that were several times longer than humans. However, their appearance was completely different from the elves that humans commonly knew.

What kind of elves had bodies and faces covered in weird tattoos?

Their appearance was similar to…

“D, devils…”

“Kyarararara!”

The devil-like roars erupted once more, interrupting the dazed words of a soldier. The attack of the Great Forest Elves started once more.

Shshshshk!

The elves began to jump between the branches of the trees while shooting poison darts from a short tube.

“Keuk!”

A dozen more soldiers died in a flash while pouring out blood from their orifices, their faces blackened by the rain of poison.

“Agh! Uaggh!”

“S, shield! Raise your shields!”

The soldiers hastily held up their shields at someone’s shouts. They could hear the sound of the poison darks bouncing off their shields. However, the soldiers did not dare to shift their shields because they were frightened, which was their biggest mistake.

Shk!

“Kuaagh!”

Something swept the waists of the soldiers holding the shields above their heads. It was a boomerang, an angled weapon made by sharpening and grinding the horns of a buffalo

“Kuaaaagghh!”

“Ehk! Haaahk!”

A soldier collapsed to the floor and started crawling with wet pants after seeing his colleague’s waist split in half, all the innards spilling out. Several more boomerangs curved around the dense trees, slicing the necks of the confused soldiers or digging into their heads.

“R, run!”

“Ahh!”

They eventually threw down their weapons and started to run. The elves saw the chance and jumped from the trees in a swift motion like a monkey.

“Kieeeeyah!”

Whenever the short, curved blades sliced through the air, the heads of the soldiers were decapitated. However, those who experienced immediate death could be considered fortunate.

“Aahhhhhk! Uaaaagh!”

A soldier was screaming with his hair being grasped by an elf. The elf was literally skinning the soldier alive.

“Keugh…”

The soldier’s bare skull was revealed after the blood and the flesh ripped off. His tongue stuck out in death.

“Kiyah!”

The elf screamed after skinning the soldier’s head. With it as the signal, a full-fledged human hunt began.

“Kuaaaah!”

“S, save me… Uaggh!”

Their heads were peeled, and limb flesh shaved away…

The screams of the demons resonated throughout the forest after meeting the true devils.

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