Thanks for the ko-fi, Winzie ༼ つ ◕‿◕ ༽つ
Seeing the monster up close like this was a first. Something thick and fog-like writhed beneath its violet skin, as if it could burst out from under its skin at any moment. It was probably the dark magic that made up the monster’s body.
The enormous body charging towards her, with its fleshy claws gleaming, sent shivers down her spine just by looking at it. The monster’s pupils, meeting her with only a single sword between them, flickered fiercely. Its gray irises were empty, devoid of life, unlike a human’s eyes.
In the gap between its eyes, she noticed something red. She hadn’t even known it existed when she saw it from a distance. It looked like a third eye, shining transparently like a ruby, filled with moonlight.
She didn’t have the luxury to examine its eerie appearance closely. The sword she held trembled as she barely held back its claws. The approaching claws became sharper as they got closer, ready to tear her apart at any moment.
She was scared, but she had to fend off the monster. Vivian swallowed her fear and followed Enka’s teachings, deflecting the claws with her sword at an angle. The monster, momentarily pushed back by her momentum, didn’t give her a chance to breathe and charged again.
As its claws swung fiercely, Vivian pushed them back with her sword. With no other choice, she abandoned the straight path leading into the forest, as there might be more monsters attracted by the commotion. She darted into an alleyway. The eerie screams and the sensation of the monster pursuing her sent chills down her spine.
She couldn’t bring herself to look back. She just ran ahead, her breath almost too shallow to catch, her fear driving her forward.
Turning a corner, she felt her robe hood being grabbed from behind, pulling her body along. The monster had swung its claws at her hood, and Vivian couldn’t resist as she was forcibly flung against the wall. The speed was so brutal that it sounded like the wind howling.
The impact with the wall made her groan involuntarily. Moreover, being dragged by the hood felt like thorns pricking her skin.
Vivian curled up her body, coughing, and her attention was drawn to the long shadow looming over her. Thankfully, even in this urgent situation, she didn’t let go of her sword.
The monster, howling in pain, lunged at her as she avoided its attack by a hair’s breadth. Vivian deftly swung her sword. If it were an ordinary blade, it might have bounced off or broken upon touching its violet skin. However, her sword, enhanced with magic, pierced through the monster’s skin as if it were cutting through thick mud.
The tip of the sword penetrated, and blue blood oozed out like viscous mud from the opened flesh. It seemed to feel pain as the monster began thrashing more vigorously.
She tried to pull the sword from the monster’s forearm, but it seemed like the dark magic’s influence quickly healed the flesh, and the sword wouldn’t budge.
As the pained monster shook its arm, Vivian, holding onto the sword, swayed along with it like a puppet. The monster’s struggle intensified. Vivian did her best to avoid its claws, gripping the embedded sword tightly.
Her palm trembled so much that it was like jelly, but she exerted more force. Finally, the sword came free.
After much struggle, she finally pulled out her sword. However, she slipped on the rain-soaked ground and fell awkwardly, landing on her buttocks. It felt like something in her lower back was injured, and when she tried to get up, a sharp pain radiated through her back.
Despair gripped her. There was no hope if she continued like this. No matter how many times she stabbed the monster, it would eventually return to its original state over time.
‘Does it have no weaknesses?’
She couldn’t afford to lose herself in thought. She was facing an opponent that felt invincible. She couldn’t let her guard down for even a moment. Vivian managed to lift her weakened body and began running in a different direction.
However, perhaps due to stumbling twice before, her body ached, and she couldn’t run as fast as before. She was soon overtaken by the monster due to her significantly reduced speed. Instead of her hood, which had come off earlier, her hair was grabbed this time.
This time, she was thrown into a house. With the monster’s immense strength, she crashed through a window, shattering it, and tumbled inside the empty house. Her head, shoulders, and back all felt the impact, causing pain throughout her body.
As Vivian tried to get up, she felt something trickling down her forehead. To her surprise, her fingertips were stained with blood. It seemed like her skin had been cut deeply by the broken glass.
She looked down at her hand in despair and muttered. Not so long ago, monsters like this were no match for her. However, in her current state without elemental magic, she was barely avoiding the monsters, let alone attacking them.
Even if she hadn’t lost her strength, she would have already resolved the situation in the mansion. She wouldn’t have been attacked so miserably by these monsters. The fact that she had become so weak and vulnerable simply because she had lost her strength was frustrating and unfair, causing a surge of emotions from deep within her. Her nose tingled, and her eyes began to well up.
She wished someone, anyone, would appear. In truth, she yearned for Roger the most. His broad shoulders that made her feel safe when he stood behind her, his strong arms that held her, and his unwavering gaze directed at her… She missed all of it intensely.
Why was she the only one left in such a state? If he were here, she wouldn’t be writhing on the ground like this. The more she thought, the stronger her feelings of helplessness became.
Her clouded mind suddenly snapped back to attention because of a piercing sound. The monster that had thrown her was already at the door. The sound of pounding footsteps echoed a few times, and then the wooden door shattered into pieces. The appearance of the monster, backlit by the moonlight, felt like a scene from a nightmare.
Vivian clenched her teeth and, trembling, picked up the fallen sword. It wasn’t time to blame the circumstances and wallow in despair. Right now, she had to somehow defeat this monster and make her way to the Eckhart Order.
The monster clumsily walked toward her.
With her sword poised, Vivian quickly examined the appearance of the monster. The skin was useless to attack. It did show signs of damage momentarily, but it quickly healed. Vivian’s eyes darted around, searching for any other weaknesses.
As the monster approached and the moonlight shining through the window illuminated the violet creature, Vivian noticed something.
The red, ruby-like stone on the monster’s forehead. It was the only part of the monster that seemed vulnerable on its seemingly impervious body, and it appeared as if it could shatter with just a stab from her dagger.
‘…Or maybe not.’
Attacking that spot recklessly carried great risks. First, she had to withstand the charging monster with her entire body, and in doing so, she could sustain significant injuries. Moreover, if that spot wasn’t a weakness, then she would be in real trouble…
But for now, she had no other choice. The monster was getting closer and more threatening.
Vivian wiped the blood trickling down her forehead with her sleeve and gripped her sword tightly. Her forehead was now marked with a messy smear of blood. Perhaps due to the tension that left no room for even the slightest mistake, her palms were drenched in cold sweat.
As if acting purely on instinct, the slowly closing gap between her and the monster suddenly shrunk as it ferociously slammed into the ground and leaped forward. This time, Vivian did not step back. Her pupils glinted sharply.
Driven by the monster’s relentless force, Vivian’s body was pushed backward in an instant. The monster’s claws, unhindered by her sword, tore through her clothes and skin as they pierced into her shoulder and chest. The pain was so intense that tears threatened to well up, but Vivian remained focused solely on her sword.
As the distance closed, Vivian thrust the end of her sword into the ruby-like object on the monster’s forehead.
With a faint cracking sound, the glass-like object shattered as the sword tore deeply into it. About a third of her sword was buried in the monster’s forehead.
In an instant, the monster, which had been gripping Vivian’s shoulders as if to crush them, paused and its gray pupils began to roll erratically. Then it let out a deafening roar and started thrashing wildly, far more violently than before. Fearing the manic movements, Vivian huddled against the wall.
The monster, unable to regain its balance, staggered and finally pulled out the sword embedded in its forehead. Blue blood sprayed out like a fountain, drenching Vivian’s face.
Unlike earlier, the monster’s skin did not heal, but rather, its wounds grew worse with time, and black mist oozed out from them.
Not long after, a part of the monster began to fade. The spot where she had thrust the sword was indeed its true weakness.
As she realized her hunch had been correct, Vivian breathed a sigh of relief but soon noticed her trembling hands.
This battle, her first since she had learned swordsmanship, was more horrifying than she had imagined. Unlike elemental magic, she felt an intimate sensation of hurting someone from her fingertips. When she faced the monster, she hadn’t noticed because she was too preoccupied, but now that she had completely defeated the monster, reality hit her.
She felt a throbbing pain spreading across her shoulders. Her robe was disheveled from the fierce struggle, and blood was flowing down the sleeves.
Vivian clenched her teeth and grabbed the hem of her dress. With no bandages, this would have to do for now to stop the bleeding. However, her trembling hands and the exhaustion from dealing with the demon made it almost impossible to tear the dress.
Under normal circumstances, she might have shrugged it off, but Vivian, with her self-esteem at its lowest, sank into a profound sense of sadness.
“Why won’t it tear, why…!”
The tears she had been holding back finally burst forth unexpectedly. As she struggled to catch her breath, drops of water fell onto the robe, where dust clung, and small fragments of glass were embedded.
She had never felt as powerless as she did today. Escaping the mansion unharmed was thanks to Hamel warning her to flee in advance, and though she was injured, she could defeat the demon thanks to the sword Enka gave her.
Feeling that she couldn’t survive without someone else’s help, especially when she couldn’t use spirit magic, made her overwhelmingly sad. Her pupils, fixed on the floor, trembled like fragile glass beads before becoming as empty as a hollow sphere.
“What can I even do…”
The sudden onset of helplessness quickly gave rise to a paralyzing lethargy. When she was relentlessly pursued and her wounds continued to bleed, Vivian wanted to give up everything. Would there really be any change just because she exerted so much effort and ran around like this? Such fundamental apathy overwhelmed her like a tidal wave.
Hi guys, as you know we are a free-to-read website and we only survive on ads. However, ads are not able to help us much longer. If you like what we do and have any spare, please consider supporting us to keep us alive: Link
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed what you have read, do consider tipping us a little through: click here. Once we receive 8$, an advance chapter will be posted as a thank you. Don’t forget to mention the series that you’re supporting!