Home Post 371-chapter-79


Tarhan roamed the vast area, maintaining the formation and receiving reports even beyond Kahanti’s designated territory.

“I can’t see Kahanti. What happened?”

Benta, the chief marksman, responded, inserting a new arrow into his bow.

“We don’t know either! He was with us in the beginning, but after leaving the formation, we haven’t seen him.”

It was an ominous sign. If Kahanti, the chieftain, was separated and was alone with the well-coordinated Geppas herd, even as the chieftain, his life was in danger.

Tarhan cursed inside.

It was the anticipated outcome from the moment that old fool decided to join the Geppas hunt all of a sudden, throwing off the plan.

“Benta! Relay to Rigata that when he arrives, halt the cavalry and handle the captured Geppas females. Further captures are pointless!”

Tarhan issued the final order and turned his horse’s head again. Benta hurriedly conveyed his command to the troops.

He galloped through the fallen Geppas corpses, pierced by numerous spears and arrows, rushing past the warriors who had already begun the grisly task of processing the monsters’s bodies, covered in the oozing fluids.

Yet, the old chieftain’s figure was nowhere to be seen.

‘Where did he go off to…?’

Tarhan sneered coldly. Despite years of serving under Kahanti like a dog, this was the first time such a thing had happened.

He continued to steer the horse cautiously, wary of scattered young male Geppas preparing to confront him with hooves scraping the ground as he reached a place quite a distance away from the large gathering.

Suddenly, a red-tinted smoke trail arched through the sky.

‘A signal arrow.’

Tarhan immediately recognized it and turned his horse in that direction. It must be Kahanti. The fact that the proud chieftain sent a signal with a smoke-emitting arrow indicated that the situation was quite serious.

With a sense of foreboding, Tarhan urged the galloping horse forward.

When he arrived, an unbelievable sight unfolded before his eyes. Tarhan took a sharp breath as he found the familiar figure of a fallen bleeding human beneath the lifeless body of a female Geppas.

Kahanti’s shoulders, pinned under the huge monster’s body, were mercilessly torn apart. The ivory tip of the just-deceased Geppas was piercing his flesh. Broken arrow shafts and arrowheads were scattered around his barely protruding arms.

Kahanti had fallen victim to a monster.

The realization left Tarhan numb, with no thoughts in his mind as if an earthquake had struck. The scene before him seemed unreal. At the same time, his vision shook as memories flashed through his mind, like the words Kahanti had passed to him the first time they met.

“So, you are Tarhan.”

“Join my hunting group, Tarhan.”

He remembered the scars scattered like decorations all over Kahanti’s body and veins pulsing on his neck like the moment when a dog bared its teeth.

Tarhan hesitated, his gaze fixed on the dying Kahanti. He had his horse take a couple of steps away.

‘What in the world is this…’

He held his breath. Simultaneously, an inexplicable rage surged towards the helpless figure before him.

The leader of Aquilea who had burned down his homeland.

As Tarhan pondered, an emotion he had never experienced before overwhelmed him like a fallen giant tree.

It was an uncontrollable, extreme hostility.

Tarhan dismounted from his horse and slowly approached his limp body with wide eyes. Kahanti’s trembling fingers barely reached out to him as he approached. Kahanti’s neck was crushed under the monster’s massive body, turning a bluish pale.

“Ta, Tar…han—”

The moment his name flowed out of the throat of Aquilea’s chieftain, Tarhan felt his abdomen contort with intense pain.

Drawing the knife from his side, he approached Kahanti.

The blade, emerging from its sheath, emitted a chilling metallic sound.

Fear gripped Kahanti’s lifeless eyes.

Tarhan slowly kneeled beside Kahanti. His body, engulfed in a torrent of rage, trembled uncontrollably. Kahanti’s eyes, who could not move, closed as if resigned when he saw Tarhan approaching.

Like pus burst out from a festering, lifelong wound, intense grief forcefully choked on his heart. At this moment, the desire for revenge against the man before him seemed to twist into his blood and flesh.

Ku, hah—!

With a clang, the tightly clenched knife fell to the ground.

Tarhan, lying prone, lifted Kahanti’s neck, which was crushed under the monster’s body. The powerful grip of his cruel hand left Kahanti unable to scream properly, only groaning. Red blood oozed from the burst vessels in his eyeballs.

Tarhan’s eyes, witnessing that sight, were also bloodshot. His vision blurred to the point of numbness.

…How to kill this enemy.

Right at that moment, a voice in his mind stopped his whole body.

“The price of one life is a life, Tarhan.”

In the midst of inexorable rage with no path to atonement, his mother’s voice resonated clearly. The voice that had restrained his arm when he tried to slaughter the lizard that entered the house, the compassionate voice that wrapped the injured animal in a plant leaf to set it free.

Flames seemed to flicker before his eyes.

“D*mn it…! Get out!”

Tarhan screamed as if exercising a monster. He tightened his grip on Kahanti’s throat to the point where his hand turned pale red. Like a dam had burst, his entire body, dominated by emotion, trembled.

Since his mother’s voice echoed, Kahanti’s figure had not been visible. Instead, the image of Enya, with her gentle face left in the land of Aquilea, spread before him like a lingering scar.

Holding a child and rounding her body.

Even in dreams, her image did not let him go and seemed to splash cold water on him.

He didn’t know what he was thinking. But the strength in his grip began to loosen regardless of his will. Kahanti’s throat, released from the vice-like grip, lost consciousness and slumped.

Tarhan picked up the knife he had left on the ground.

Exhaling a sobbing breath, he raised it high. Ultimately, with the blade reversed, he thrust the knife handle between the tangled bodies of the fallen monster and Kahanti.

He began using it between the Geppas’s carcass as a lever.

Somewhere in the distance, wolf howls began to echo. Tarhan cursed under his breath, putting more strength into lifting the massive body on his shoulders. Unbeknownst to him, beads of sweat trickled down his forehead onto the chieftain’s unconscious face.

The horse, seemingly uneasy, kicked the dirt with its hooves, raising a cloud of dust. Tarhan glanced to the side, checking the number of black-furred wolves with claws.

He sighed.

The sky had begun to be covered with thick clouds.


* * *


“Lord, Lord Kahanti…! He’s returned…!”

“Brighten the torches! Fetch the healer immediately!”

Loud voices erupted from all directions.

The tumultuous cries of the tribe members, which had been raucously echoing, now stirred the air like the rain falling from the sky. The savage shouts, the women’s sobbing wails, and the screams disrupted the surroundings without a specific direction.

Tarhan exhaled his suffocating breath.

He gently lowered the weighty bulk of the chieftain’s body, releasing it to the ground like pouring out a mass of meat.

A woman immediately rushed to the chieftain’s motionless figure.

“No, Kahanti! What is this…!”

The black hair of the woman, unable to make proper sobs, was soaked in raindrops. Servia’s voice echoed sharply as she cried out to the chaotic scene.

“Where is that old woman?! Bring her here immediately…!”

The light in her expression was not that of a sane person. Tarhan shot her a sharp glare, and someone roughly removed the fur coat that had been draped over his shoulders.

He surveyed his surroundings with sunken eyes.

In the dead of night, dozens of people had gathered. The faces of the soldiers and hunters who had been mobilized for the hunt, already present, were tinted with a muddy hue.

The elders, who were exposed to the rain as well, showed the same pallor on their faces. Kahanti’s main forces, including Haron and Haraibo, each held their hands up to their faces, unable to lift their heads.

“She’s here!”

At someone’s shout, Tarhan raised his head.

Rain streamed down the wrinkled face of the one being carried on a soldier’s back. Piache, who got off on the ground, contemplated the blood-soaked Tarhan and the unconscious Kahanti with a pensive face.

Her pupils, meeting Tarhan’s gaze, shook mercilessly.

The moment Tarhan saw her face, a sense of unease, like a cascade of dirt, surged through him, and he tried to get up abruptly. He thought about asking what was happening to her at Piache’s house.

However, someone behind him grabbed his shoulder and pressed him down.

It was Rigata.

“What in the world… Both of you not returning flipped the tribe upside down.”

Rigata, who had approached him unnoticed, held Tarhan’s shoulders as if checking his condition. Tarhan pushed Rigata’s bicep away forcefully.

“The bowstring broke, so he couldn’t make contact. We encountered a pack of clawed wolves in the middle, and the horse was also attacked. This was the best I could do.”

Tarhan continued to speak, keeping an eye on the commotion around him, hearing Piache say that shelter should be prepared to avoid the rain and that she needed to carry out the treatment here.

“What’s all this commotion? Why is everyone gathered like this?”

Rigata asked in a boiling voice.

“Isn’t it obvious? Not only did the chieftain disappear, but Tarhan as well. It caused a stir. Even though I’ve controlled the situation, the tribespeople keep coming out and wandering around the village entrance…”

“Keep controlling. If we cause a disturbance in the middle of the night, nearby creatures will start swarming.”

Tarhan cut off Rigata’s words and responded sternly. His gaze was still fixed on Piache, who was beginning to stop the bleeding on Kahanti’s shoulders.

With his hand on Kahanti’s shoulder, she gave urgent instructions to those around her.