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When you summon a spirit and the time runs out, the summon time recharges when the spirit is not summoned.
The recharge is one minute every five minutes.
Because of that, I would usually summon Sylph every five minutes and send her to scout for 1 minute.
There was the discomfort of having to summon her again every five minutes and then return her repeatedly, but I was able to sustain the summons time in case of a fight.
But now, the situation is very different.
I had no idea that the silver clan’s leader would suddenly draw near and unbeknownst to us, shoot arrows.
We cannot go without Sylph for five minutes. So I’ve changed the summon time from the five minutes to 25 seconds.
I summon Sylph every 25 seconds and ask her.
“Where is he?”
And then Sylph will draw a number for how many meters away he is.
I return Sylph quickly before it reaches 5 seconds and call her again 25 seconds later and ask the same question.
The silver leader sometimes is further than 100 meters, and when checked at other times, as close as 60 meters, repeatedly drawing nearer and farther, making us nervous.
1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 4 seconds…
This situation where I have to constantly keep track of every second of time is making me lose my mind.
But I have go this far to spare the summons time if we are not to lose.
‘At this rate, I’ll become exhausted first.’
The position of having to track the 25 seconds while escaping is miserable.
But the bigger problem is our stamina.
‘He is probably thinking tactically, to just spend half a day chasing us.’
Will we be able to run for half a day without rest?
It is possible.
But the story becomes different with chasers on our tails.
He repeatedly shortens and lengthens the distance between us, making us extremely anxious. He occasionally shakes us up by shooting arrows towards us. He enjoys the tension between himself and the escaping prey.
We are mentally exhausted.
I am having problems, but Hye-su is struggling even more. With her weaker physique and the mental shock of Joon-ho’s death, she gets exhausted even faster.
‘This won’t do.’
I have to end this fight, no matter what.
No matter how smart or strong this bastard is, if he gets shot in the head, he’ll die regardless.
I make an order to Sylph.
“Sylph, take the gun and go to his back and shoot.”
Her strength gets weaker as she gets farther from her summoner, me, but she should have enough power to pull the trigger.
Sylph takes the Mosin-Nagant and moves. A moment later,
The gunshot and the sound of metal rang at the same time.
It’s a fail.
He blocked the shot with his shield.
The gunshots continue to ring but the only noises to follow are the sound of them getting blocked on the shield. A moment later, Sylph has shot her five bullets and returns.
‘How does he know from which direction the shot is coming from?’
It is impossible that he senses the bullet coming in at supersonic speed. It means he catches on before it is shot.
Does he have a way of sensing where a spirit is?
I don’t know.
I am so mentally exhausted that my head isn’t spinning right.
Even after that, I attempt to snipe him a couple more times but they all failed. All it did was use summon time.
Time passes into daybreak.
Hye-su calls to me with a tired voice. She hands over her item bag to me.
“Oppa, you take this.”
At my surprise, Hye-su weakly laughs as she speaks.
“Just in case, you know.”
Hye-su is probably thinking that of the three of us, she will be the first to die.
“Don’t think like that.”
“Take it, quick.”
“My arm hurts.”
Eventually, I take the item bag from Hye-su.
“I’ll give it back to you after the exam.”
“Yep, when the exam is over.”
I get the item bag over from her and say ‘unequip.’ As I do so, the item bag disappears. It means the item bag is now in my possession.
Hye-su grows tired quickly.
In the suffocating anxiety, we don’t rest and keep walking and to her, it is too difficult. I feel like death myself, and she’s suffering even more.
This heart suffocating pressure…
My sense of duty to not let Hye-su die too, makes me more impatient.
I summon Sylph one more time.
“Sylph, attack him one more time. This time, from the right.”
Sylph takes the rifle and moves to the right.
Succeed this time!
But this time too, the shot is a failure.
The sound of the bullet hitting the shield rings hopelessly. The five shots consecutively get blocked by his shield.
But then after all that.
Sylph comes back in a hurry and gives a sharp alarm.
It’s the impossible.
An arrow comes flying in. The bastard has come close and started a counterattack.
Thankfully, the arrow is blocked by Sylphs knife wind. She has understood the command from before to block any incoming arrows.
The arrows keep flying in.
And every time, the knife wind obliterated them.
But the knife wind uses a lot of power. The more it is used, the summons time shrinks!
“Sylph, hurry, reload!”
I shout as I hand her a 5 bullet clip.
Sylph continues to take down the arrows with her knife wind while she loads the gun.
But as she does it, like a lie, the arrow attack stops.
Sylph draws a number 43 in the ground with her tail. 58, 75…the bastard is backing away.
No one is injured but we’ve taken on a lot of damage. Just now, blocking the barrage of arrows, all we have done is use up a shit ton of Sylph’s summons time.
The silver clan’s leader is extremely intelligent. It’s almost frightening how smart he is.
“He’s caught on to the fact we have to reload after every five bullets. That’s why after blocking the five bullets, he brazenly counterattacks.”
At my words, Kang Chun-seong sounds a subdued groan.
For a lycanthrope that has no experience with a gun, having found that out is an impressive feat.
“No one is hurt?”
At my question, Kang Chun-seong nods his head.
But Hye-su is in a poor state. She isn’t injured anywhere but she’s gripping her sword tightly with both hands and shaking.
“I can’t take it anymore… hu hu huk!”
Hye-su drops her sword and explodes into tears. She is in a complete panic from the terror and exhaustion.
“Hye-su. I know it’s hard but you have to pull through.”
Hye-su sits on the floor, crying.
“I’m sorry, oppa. I don’t think I can make it. It’s too hard to keep walking.”
“Let’s get a little farther, Hye-su.”
“Just leave me and go please. I can’t. I’m exhausted!”
“Stop saying shit like that!”
I yell in anger.
“I’m sorry, oppa…”
She explodes into tears again.
Kang Chun-seong was staring at us and speaks.
“Let’s rest and continue. I am too tired.”
“… alright. That sounds fine.”
We all fall to the ground where we are standing and take a rest.
But we didn’t rest even for a minute. It’s because we heard the bastard speak.
“You are tired now?”
His voice is heard from a relatively close distance.
We’re startled and get up.
“I am sure the spirits powers are pretty much done as well?”
“Why don’t you test it?”
It was an accurate point but in order to hide it, I don’t back down and talk back to him.
But the bastard’s chuckling can be heard all around us.
“You cannot trick me. I gathered as much from your tenacious attempts to see an end to the fight.”
“So test us.”
“Haha, you are a fun human. Of all the humans I’ve seen, you are the most intelligent and you are mentally strong.”
“You threw all those villagers out as bait and attempted to flee, it’s impressive. I thought maybe, and pursued. You will be the first fun hunt I’ve had in a while.”
To him, all this is but a mere hunt.
I grind my teeth.
“Every now and then there is a human that runs away from the village. And every time, I go on a hunt like this. I invest the time, going slow. I shoot my arrows to instill fear, tormenting. Until the human succumbs and falls to fear and stress.”
Then he laughs.
“Can you picture it? When I revealed myself, he was actually relieved. His expression, it begged me to kill him quickly, to get it over with. Seeing that moment when terror surpasses the desire to survive and live, I see that and feel a sense of accomplishment.”
He is so wicked.
He is intelligent and malicious. He has enjoyed toying and gaming with the minds of humans.
Because he is this kind of being, it is probably how he came to raise humans as livestock like ranches.
“It is okay to be prideful. I have enjoyed this game so far, and of all the games, no humans have lasted this long. I kind of want to enjoy it longer, but I will end it for you. I will see to it that we finish.”
I take the gun over from Sylph.
From a close distance, the knife wind is better than the gun.
The bush in front us moves and one being reveals himself.
Revealing himself to us for the first time, he is in his human form.
He is a handsome man with tall height and shining silver hair. This must be his human transformation form.
In one hand, a shield, and in the other, he is holding a bow.
“Introductions first, I am the silver clan’s leader, Leon Silver.”
Leon Silver’s appearance starts to change.
Fur starts to grow all over his body and his build gets bigger. His nails get longer. And he becomes neither a human or beast, covered in silver fur.
He is a lycanthrope larger than any other.
I am overwhelmed for a while and come to my senses and shout to Sylph.
Sylph shoots out her knife winds.
At the same time, Leon Silver moves too.
The bastard moves left and right like a flash of lightning and avoids the knife winds.
Kang Chun-seong heads in with a kick, but Leon lays flat to avoid it.
Then he crawls on all fours and approaches me, fast.
I use the Mosin-Nagant and load and aim and pull the trigger.
A tree is hit by the bullet.
Then he just comes in with his claws.
In my surprise I collapse onto my back. By the skin of my teeth, his claws barely brush over the top of my head.
Sylph shouts as she sends out her knife winds.
Like a ghost, he leaps and escapes them all.
He delicately lands and this time, Leon Silver goes for Hye-su.
I quickly pull the trigger but my inaccurate aim cannot hit the quickly moving bastard.
Hye-su is clenching her jaw and gripping her sword tight. Leon Silver, as if the whole thing is absurd, flippantly smiles.
“I’ll make it comfortable, miss.”
Hye-su screams and swishes her sword. It’s a pitiful resistance.
That second, it was like the world stopped.
In that frozen time, I looked on, blankly, at the scene before my eyes.
It was a dream.
It is a despicable nightmare, four long claws piercing through Hye-su’s body to the other side.
Hye-su lets out a moan and lifelessly collapses. Her body falls effortlessly to the ground, and in Hye-su’s last moment, she is looking at me. She is looking at me with tears in her sad, sad eyes.
I’m sorry, oppa.
I’m going first.
At last, Hye-su can rest in peace.
I scream, close to tears.
Leon Silver stares at me in my state. His eyes are laughing. As if he was wanting to see the look of despair on my face.
I am my gun at him and pull the trigger.
As the gunshot rings, the bastard easily steps to the side. He is moving out of the way by seeing where the barrel of the gun is pointed.
I pull the bolt and get rid of the shell and shoot again.
It doesn’t shoot. I’ve used all five bullets.
I take the bullets out of my pocket and reload. My hand’s won’t listen to me. They shake and cannot properly grab the bullets and put them into the chamber.
The bastard is looking at me try, and laughs.
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