Home Post 692-chapter-86


4. Action Phases

“…Aren’t you afraid of dying, Tarhan?”

She had once asked him that question.

It was before dawn had broken. The bare bodies of the lovers, just after making love, were drenched in sweat and bodily fluids. Enya rested her hand on his steadily rising and falling chest and gently traced the largest scar that crossed it.

Her red-rimmed eyes were still moist.

Tarhan didn’t answer. He was a man of few words, but when Enya asked such incomprehensible questions, he would close his mouth even more so.

After a long while, she nudged him for a response.

Tarhan touched the bare skin on her side while she tickled the chest of the man who was pretending not to hear her. Even in the darkness, she could feel his forehead furrow in confusion.

“Why would you ask that?”

He replied awkwardly.

It was a signal that he didn’t want to continue the conversation.

“Hmm… Just wondering.”

Enya couldn’t be honest with her feelings. She returned to tracing circles around the scar on his chest as he closed his mouth again.

This scar was the largest on his body.

Even though she couldn’t confess, there was a reason she asked such a difficult question. It was that it reminded her of the day he arrived bearing that wound.








The men had callously dropped Tarhan’s blood-soaked body before her, casting cold glances at Enya.

“We brought him back alive. Now, it’s up to you to save him.”

The young woman’s hands, which were trembling uncontrollably, reached for Tarhan’s limp body. Her face turned pale.

The wound, evidently severe and having worsened during his time in the plains, had turned the grass beneath him red. The scar across his chest was far larger and deeper than any injury he had carried before.

“Grandma, Grandma Piache…”

He had been missing for over ten days. The entire tribe thought he was dead, but Enya deliberately pretended not to hear it.

Piache and her seemed to be the only ones who refused to believe it.

Yet, not showing any resentment or tears for the man’s current state, her eyes were remarkably calm as she sought a healer.

Or perhaps she was in shock.

Barely regaining her composure, Enya could only utter a single question to the imposing Argon warriors standing before her.

“Why, why…”

The Argon warriors didn’t pay much attention to her.

“This man saved our chieftain’s life. We’re just repaying the debt.”

Enya’s pupils trembled greatly.

Leaving only those words, the men from the desert turned away as quietly and coldly as they had arrived.







That memory resurfaced, deeply cutting into Enya’s heart.

She feigned indifference and gently caressed the area that was now just a scar. The deeply gouged flesh was still dark as it crossed his chest.

She later learned from Tarhan that the man who owed him his life was known as the ‘Warrior who Plucked the Moon’ in the Argon Desert. The phrase ‘plucked the moon’ was an Argon expression, meaning to conquer the region.

In essence, the man who had left that scar was the leader of Argon.

She often silently resented this unknown chieftain.

The men who had brought the critically injured Tarhan to Enya were not warriors from Aquilea but men from Argon. Other Aquilea thought Tarhan had returned on his own, as usual. They merely whispered about his survival, never dying, always returning.

Tarhan never elaborated on how he became indebted to a chieftain from a tribe with which they had endless conflicts. Enya hesitated to ask, not wanting to dig up those memories.

To this day, she kept the events of that time a secret.

Her fingertips moved along the scar on his chest.


At the end of their passionate affair, Tarhan would sometimes relax a bit. His always tense shoulders, tightly closed lips, and the stiffness around his eyes would soften for a moment.

That was why she had dared to ask.

She asked so she could probe what was inside him, but it had ended in failure. Then, his chest heaved slightly, and a low voice reached her ears.

“I’m afraid.”

Enya’s hand, which had been tracing his chest, paused abruptly. It took her a moment to realize that he was answering her earlier question.

Her mouth opened slightly in a somewhat foolish manner.


The man became motionless again as if submerged in thought and pretended to have not answered her. She quickly climbed on his chest, though she couldn’t find the words. It was a question she hadn’t expected to be answered.

She barely opened her mouth and murmured.

“Who, who isn’t afraid of dying, right?”

Tarhan replied with his eyes closed.


Hearing his answer, it made sense. He had never been reckless. Unlike other Aquilean warriors who acted as if being fearless of death was an honor, he was different.

His actions, always desperately efficient and rational, prioritized his and his surroundings’ safety. There was only one instance when Tarhan acted impulsively… when it involved her. But even then, his objective was always the same.

To return to her side.

Enya felt torn between joy and boundless sorrow. As silence fell again, now, neither of them spoke.

She regretted asking such a needless question.

“…But there’s something I fear more than that.”

Her fingers paused on the scar on his chest as she heard his low voice.

It sounded almost dreamlike.

Enya slightly lifted herself up from where she had nestled into his side. His face in the darkness seemed as peaceful as someone asleep. His eyes were still closed.

The thing he feared more than death.

Enya felt anxious to hear what he would say next. His admission that there was something he feared more than death rippled through her heart like a stone thrown into a tranquil lake.

“What is it…?”

She asked while still lying on his chest.

He didn’t respond again.

She persisted, repeatedly asking for an answer. Even when his neck was being caressed and tickled by her fingers annoyingly, it didn’t make him react.

Just when she was about to give up on getting a response, her head, which was lying on his body, moved. In the darkness, two clear lights appeared. Her eyes trembled as they met the man’s intense gaze.

She felt her body getting drained of strength as she looked at him.

“I am… afraid of every moment when you’re not in front of my eyes.”

His voice was calm. It lacked the energy of someone who had given up, yet it was extremely heavy as if swallowing the air around.

Enya was frozen in shock, captivated by his gaze.

His lips parted again.

“If you’re not in front of me.”

His voice, which was cutting through the chilly night air, gained strength.

“As long as I live, I’ll spend my life thinking you’re somewhere alive, searching for you. That’s what I fear more.”

It happened suddenly.

Her body, which had been leaning on Tarhan’s chest, was now pulled to the ground.

In an instant, he had pinned her down with his large frame, his arms on either side of her face. His wide-open eyes intensely watched her. Even under his piercing gaze, which seemed almost angry, she wasn’t scared.

Her heart just ached.

Enya lay on the ground with her arms pressed down by Tarhan and caught by his gaze, completely surrendering to him. There was no hesitation in the voice of the man who said he was terribly afraid.

“So, die in front of me.”

His hoarse voice pierced her ears, and she closed her eyes. It was as if she could vividly hear the rest of the words that he didn’t say.

So I can follow you.


* * *


‘The god of death, perhaps.’

Watching the bandaged hand reaching towards her in the darkness, Enya thought. The object before her was a ghastly sight—flesh rotting in places, dry clumps of blood, and nails broken and faded beyond recognition.

It was an appearance befitting a god of death.

In front of this figure, she felt as though she was frozen and was unable to move. Despite her intense fear, she kept her eyes open.

She had a reason to pray to this god.

‘I must say that I can’t leave him behind…’

Still, even in the presence of this god of death, her lips failed to move. Her weak, frightened body was paralyzed. In the meantime, the bandaged hand reached out and touched her shoulder.

At that moment, her mouth opened as if unparalyzed, and a scream burst forth.


As the god quickly covered her mouth, a seemingly endless black abyss opened from a slight gap in the bandages, resembling a mouth.


The force covering her mouth was weak. The god of death seemed to be pleading with her.

“People here have sensitive ears. Making such a loud noise causes them pain.”

Hearing the voice of the god, Enya’s eyes widened and then rolled back, showing only the whites.

Enya fainted.

The bandaged man, holding the unconscious woman, quickly laid her down. His body, which was weakened from a long illness, was too frail to even support the slight weight of the woman.

“Se… Senu…”

Someone in the darkness called out to the bandaged man who had slumped down with the woman. It was a voice filled with fear.

The bandaged man called Senu, still holding Enya, turned around.

One by one, figures began to emerge at the entrance of the hole he had come from. Each of them, like him, was wrapped in bandages from head to toe, each holding a long iron staff.

They were patients from Aquilea’s hidden leper colony.