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“Lost to a human?”
The fathers face is clouded in suspicion.
From amongst the clan, the faint sound of the giggle of men can be heard.
Helgi pays no heed to it and speaks.
“I do not know how many of them there are. We didn’t even see a face and three of them lost in an instant. I am sorry, father.”
The intermittent laughter from around, suddenly stops.
In this place there is not a single man that likes Helgi. It is because within the clan, all men compete for rank and women.
But that doesn’t mean they deny his strength.
If this Helgi returned without a chance to fight and after losing his brothers, that is not a problem to pass by, scoffing it off as incompetence.
Three of them died, but none even saw the opponent’s face? Something serious is happening here.
“You did not even see a face? That is insufficient information.”
At his father’s words, Helgi gestures to his dongsaeng’s corpse beside him.
“That is why I brought the body of my brother.”
He flips over his dongsaeng’s corpse and shows him the back.
“Something small flew faster than wind and lodged itself. The human is using a strange weapon that can target opponents from a far distance.”
“Inspect the body.”
Helgi inspects his dongsaeng’s corpse. He puts his hand inside the wound in the back and fishes around. Then, something comes into Helgi’s hand.
He takes it out and shows it to his father. It is a small crunched up piece of metal.
“You say something this small flew faster than wind?”
“It has a dangerous weapon.”
“I am not positive, but my guess is there is also a summoned spirit.”
A cold silence finds them.
An unknown weapon that slayed Helgi’s brothers in an instant. And a summoned spirit too.
The human that stepped foot into their territory this time is not to be taken lightly.
“First, we should know who this human is and how many there are.”
“Father, I will go and find out!”
Out of the blue, one lycanthrope bursts out from the clan with confidence.
Helgi’s face becomes distorted.
Jason is the most in competition with Helgi amongst his different mothered brothers.
Seeing Helgi’s return from failure in this incidence, Jason quickly volunteered himself. It’s clearly a tactic to check himself on Helgi.
Father doesn’t seem to really care who takes this job.
“Thank you! I will!”
Jason departs gleefully. The brothers from Jason’s mother follow behind him.
‘This isn’t good.’
Helgi’s expression becomes shadowed.
In the clan his father reigns over, lycanthropes normally center on a maternal line and form factions.
Up to now, Helgi and his brothers who are from their fathers first wife, Maria, have been holding power, but with this incident, everyone but Helgi has died.
On top of it all, there are seven brothers from Hera, the third wife.
If they succeed in this task too, they may use this to have Jason rise to the second in command.
Of course, personal strength is more important than factions, but even compared to Helgi, Jason isn’t weak. If they were to fight, Helgi would have to prepare for possible death for this rival.
‘But nothing is definite yet. Jason is impatient so he may spoil the job.’
They will definitely succeed in at least the scouting. They just have to approach to a visible range.
But after succeeding in the scouting, what if Jason gets greedy and attacks the humans?
The picture of the human counterattacking and inflicting large damage draws itself naturally.
For the clan as a whole, losing members is not a good thing, but for Helgi, the fall of his rival is the best outcome.
‘I guess I should hope that this Jason bastard dies.’
Helgi anticipates Jason’s reckless bravado.
“Haha, did you say Helgi’s face scrunch up?”
“It looked like he was chewing shit.”
Jason’s brothers snort.
“Losing to a human and returning, he should know he’s embarrassed. Humph, he strutted enough all that time and now Helgi’s limit is reached.”
Jason slandered Helgi plenty and his brothers agreed.
Father’s rule of the clan was already going on 26 years.
From their father’s rule, the silver clan’s long history saw a lot of change.
The most marked change was the clan’s growth.
In the history of the clan, there was never a lycanthrope as strong as father. No one could challenge father.
Not only that, but father forbid unnecessary rank struggles within the clan.
Challenges and rank fights didn’t occur so men’s death rates greatly declined and due to that, the clan’s numbers increased.
Father also found a way to procure food without hunting. That was a remarkable innovation. Without difficultly wandering the terrain and hunting, they were able to easily obtain food.
As food became plentiful, the clan became ever prosperous. The clan that was no more than 20 members is now stronger than 100.
At first there was a lot of dissatisfaction at father’s strange policies but now, everyone praises him. They say he brought prosperity to the Silver clan.
But internal dissent still exists.
And brother Jason is the prime example.
‘A lycanthrope is always about strength! Rank must be decided with strength. Kissing father’s ass and raising rank, that’s wrong!’
Jason had a lot of pity for Helgi.
He never thought that his strength fell behind that of Helgi.
But Helgi’s quick wit and intelligence enabled him to cleanly carry out his father’s commands, and thick headed Jason couldn’t do so. Because of this, the position of the clan had no choice but to follow Helgi.
Up until a little while ago.
‘Now is the chance.’
Father’s governing style is wrong.
The clan’s numbers have grown but the men have lost courage and become weak.
Since not having to hunt to live, their senses have diminished, leading to losing to the likes of a human.
Jason’s thoughts are like this.
‘We have to return to the way it was before. I will do that.’
He, of course, has no intention of challenging father. Because he’s too strong.
But he just needs to squash his strongest rival, Helgi.
Even monstrous father will age in due time! If he can quash Helgi, the next leader is him.
“Let’s obliterate the humans who dared step foot into our land.”
“You want to obliterate them?”
The brothers are alarmed at Jason’s outburst.
“Jason, our order was to scout. Father didn’t say for us to fight.”
“And these are dangerous humans who have a strange weapon. What if we hastily attack and in reverse, we get attacked?”
“Even the Helgi brothers suffered.”
“Helgi brothers what?”
As Jason suddenly starts to growl, the brothers are started. Jason is flaming angry.
“You saying because the Helgi brothers couldn’t do it that we won’t be able to?!”
“No, no, what I was saying…”
Jason grips and twists a brother’s neck.
“Listen well! We will hunt all the human bastards that brutally murdered Helgi’s brothers. When we return after such a huge success, father, who trusted in the kinds of Helgi, will change his mind a bit, I’m sure. He will realize that in turn for our clan’s prosperity, we have become too weak!”
“Kek…! Ah, okay…!”
Jason flings his brother down. Then he walks ahead briskly.
“Let’s go. First we have to sniff out the scent of where the humans are.”
‘This won’t do.’
I can barely sleep due to the anxiety so I decide to take a countermeasure.
“Let’s switch night and day.”
I report to the teammates.
Everyone is puzzled so I continue with an explanation.
“Lycanthropes are nocturnal so there’s a high chance they will attack at night. In addition to that, night is when we are sleeping and our field of vision is restricted.”
“You are saying we should sleep in the day.”
I nod at Kang Chun-seong’s words.
“Yes, if we sleep in the brightest parts of the day, it will be more beneficial to the sentry than at night. And in the darkness of night we can frequently summon Sylph and move.”
“That’s a good idea.”
“I agree too.”
Hye-su and Joon-ho agree.
Kang Chun-seong nods his head and agrees to it.
We have a simple breakfast and move, and when the sun hits about midday, we decide to sleep.
We sleep under our cloaks under the shade of a tree and because none of us slept well from the anxiety, we easily fall asleep even in the middle of the day.
There is no need to build a fire so its two birds with one stone. We now won’t draw the lycanthropes to us by firelight either.
But as the sun descends, a difficult march begins. We have to endure the discomfort of limited vision, and keep moving.
After some deliberating, I set Kang Chun-seong up front. With a physical strength buff intermediate level 1 and aura control entry level 5, Kang Chun-seong has the best senses and, even at night, maneuvers well using all five senses.
After that, Joon-ho and Hye-su follow, and I take position at the end.
Kang Chun-seong alerted us to every rock or protruding branch and fulfilled his role well.
I frequently summoned Sylph to scout the surrounding 1.2 km.
‘There’s no way we just pass like this. They’ll definitely come back for revenge.’
They are bound not to be so weak as to not attack due to a fear of the gun. Would an exam be this easy?
‘Last night, there was no attack from the enemy. It is proof that they are vigilant. They are probably thinking of being prudent.’
Precisely, they are being cautious about the power of the gun I carry. They won’t have ever seen a weapon like this, so they must be thoroughly alarmed.
If so, there won’t be an imminent large scale attack.
‘For now, they must be spying.’
A wolf is a very intelligent animal, and more so, they said the lycanthrope has an intelligence equal to humans.
For now, they will send a few to spy on us.
They will try to discover how many of us there are, and the identity of the strange long distance weapon.
Long distance weapon, they’ll even want to know the Mosin-Nagant’s shooting range. An attack will follow after they thoroughly know those things.
If so, we cannot give them that information easily.
We have to interrupt and disturb their spying.
I think up a trap.
“Is there a strong or peculiar smelling plant or fruit near to us that can hide our body order/scent?”
Sylph nods her head.
“Bring it to me please.”
Sylph flits away, flying.
Perhaps 5 minutes have passed?
Sylph comes back with a bunch of something that looks like mug wort. I bring it close to my nose and sniff and it wafts a pungent smell.
‘This will work.’
I move to execute my plan.
“Sylph, will you erase our scent for 20 minutes? Make it so our scent isn’t where we passed by.”
Sylph nods in understanding.
Then I share with the group the plant that Sylph brought.
“In 20 minutes, plan to smoosh this and rub it into your clothes.”
“What are you planning?”
At Hye-su’s question, I answer.
“The bastards will probably be tracking us through scent. They will get how many of us there are and at what distance by using their smell.”
“You want to erase our scent to distract them?”
“It is impossible to give them the slip. But if our scent disappears, the bastards might feel flustered.”
I grin and continue speaking.
“Since it will be hard to tell with their smell, they will get close to tell with their eyes. Let’s catch them all then.”
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