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My heart was also beating fast in anticipation of them seeing my new self. Unknowingly, I had accumulated quite a lot of affection towards them over the years.
Turning around the corner of the cave, I began to see my Blood Dagger Clansmen also running towards me without rest. Interestingly, despite the drastic change in my appearance, they recognized me instantly.
“Woaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Blood Dagger is alive!”
“He – he returned alive as an Asmodian! Awesome! Blood Dagger is awesome!”
The first two who came over to me was Gark and Hark. I speculated that they would have not recognized me at first glance, but it seems they’d roughly known at once looking at those swords I wore. The person who came afterwards was Hayeon.
Her eyes were swollen as she began to hug me, before tears soon erupted.
“Sniff…Sniff….Why did you not come to us.”
I could have made an excuse about how I had something to do, but I kept those in silence.
Hakajin also came over with a welcoming gesture, quiet relieved from having to worry too much as well. On the other hand, as if she was confident that I was alive, Ragia did not show much reaction. But after having eye contact and seeing her smile, I could tell that she was extremely comforted.
“I should’ve known that everyone was safe. Are there any dead?”
“There is none. I had assumed the Goblins with the Chief were already dead, but it is surprising seeing them appearing alive besides you.”
“The Captain rescued us!”
“Blood Dagger rescued us from the cave!”
Seeing the Goblin who Draws Maps and the other Goblin Assassins boisterous shouts like this at Hakajin’s words caused me to chuckle from their cute appearances. All of them saluted once towards me with their hands on their chest, and strangely enough I was unable to see Mev within the group, I asked the clansmen.
“Where is Mev?”
From my question, everyone cleared a path as Mev soon appeared alongside the Three Goblin Sisters comforting her.
“I’m…I’m sorry….I’m sorry Captain.”
Her face was an absolute mess of tears continually trickling down her face, she feebly tried to wipe it away, making me realize why she couldn’t come near me.
She had the impression I had sacrificed myself saving her while ending up buried instead. Her face was extremely flushed red combined with her swollen eyes as she continued to weep. Strangely, even her pride had crumbled. Despite no one blaming Mev for this, she was still stressed out from all of this heavy guilt.
As someone who had spent a pleasurable time with Ahyeon, it was a heartbreaking scene to watch. I began to feel some responsibility.
This was definitely not Mev’s fault since she was separated from the clan not by her own accord, but due to enthusiastically performing the mission assigned to her by me.
“It’s not your fault.”
A short remark, but it was enough to wipe away the burdens in her heart. She jumped into my embrace, sobbing with her runny nose.
I stroked her hair back as she continued to weep on my chest, which caused her body to shiver once as the teary reunion came to a close.
“But Captain…has your body really changed?”
“That is so.”
After everyone had reunited, along the way to the entrance, the hottest subject at hand was my body evolving.
“I liked the previous face more… he… well it doesn’t matter. This appearance strangely has its own charms.”
“I….I like this one better.”
From Mev’s words, Ahyeon retorted. Since she was initially a human, she would definitely like this side of me more. Thus, though we were walking like this, in truth, moving was very uncomfortable.
She had not completely recovered, but the somewhat energized Mev stuck by my side as she held my arm tightly while trudging along. Not only that, even Ahyeon was doing the same as both were walking as close as possible besides me.
Thanks to that, it was funny watching Hark and Gark expressions of how they lost an opportunity to assist the Chief, but it was quite amusing. In contrast to their expectations, it was only I who had enjoyed a bloody battle reaping huge gains in growth, but the shock from when I had returned from the dead caused their desires for battle to simmer silently.
“Captain, then what will we do now?”
“For now, we are returning to the village. It is meaningless to fight. The enemies have all died… and even if there are survivors, they won’t be worthy opponents. It’s unfortunate, but we must wait for our next opportunity.”
“From those words, Gark and Hark added fire into the mix.
“It may be unfortunate that we couldn’t fight in this expedition, but having Blood Dagger become one step greater is in itself an extraordinary achievement.”
“He is Blood Dagger, whose returned from the depths of Hell.”
“He’s returned from Hell with horns!”
To roughly explain, this was the reaction. For some odd reason, this was the response accumulated from the clan in that I had somehow returned from the depths of Hell. I could even imagine this story of me returning from Hell in such an appearance will provide the first page of the legendary Blood Dagger, which will in turn even cause others wanting to evolve into an Asmodian as well.
Spending our time merrily, it was a long time before we discovered the entrance. Originally, leaving outside via the original entrance was quickest, but since shattered debris obstructed us here and there, there would be too many delays, so we decided to head out from the entrance we dug out from.
“It’s fresh air! Ggirik!”
“So nice! Outside is the best!”
The Three Goblin Sisters were cheering in outside, embracing the freshness of the air. The others were the same while soaking in the sun, finally being able to escape the stuffy feeling inside the cave.
Now once survivors were identified, I could sneakily send Ahyeon back away and conclude this expedition, so I was about to head out and search for the remaining human survivors. It was then.
‘Smell of blood.’
After evolving into an Asmodian, my senses became more developed, allowing me to smell blood from far away. But what I could discern was an even stronger ominous aura. It was only I who could sense the uneasy atmosphere here.
Everyone was unaware of the current situation right now. Suddenly, goosebumps began to wholly cover my body. Perceiving that something definitely was happening, I couldn’t help but swallow back my saliva. Unknowingly, sweat began to drip. My hands and lips, and even my legs began to tremble excessively. Noticing my condition, Hayeon asked me.
“What is the matter?”
I wasn’t sure what was happening either. But, what I was certain of was that we needed to leave this place immediately.
“We are returning to the village at once. As fast as possible… immediate priority.”
Sensing the urgency behind my voice, the others began to look around. They couldn’t see what was happening, but they too instinctively felt that something was wrong.
“We….we are returning to the village!”
“We will follow the orders of Blood Dagger!”
But that ominous aura continued to pass through me. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but a scream escaped me as I was looking at the empty forest.
A small voice emerged from that empty forest. A very ominous voice was clearly inscribed into me.
“Huh? There were monsters here too… I was trying to kill the Holy Order…Hmm… well it doesn’t matter.”
Murderer. Hearing a voice claiming his attempt at killing off the Holy Order, made no mistake that he was a Murderer. He had not shown himself yet, but his voice caused everyone including me to stop momentarily. The odor he emanated was surely that of a predator. Funny enough, we had become nothing but grazing animals in front of such a predator.
I had already estimated that it wasn’t a normal person who could have prepared this kind of trap in the first place, but had already forgotten about it. Even so, I suspected that it would be someone on the level of Hound Clan. I could have never have imagined that such a monster like him would be the protagonist of this trap.
But this was completely different. This person was not a hound at all.
A Murderer Clan which consisted entirely of Elites. In the past, there were many names who became infamous. Most of these had died under the hands of Queen of the North, but these guys were still active even before I died.
I did not know why a person like Spider was here, but he was obviously one of the last human’s I wanted to make an enemy out of.
I subconsciously began to pray. I have not heard about Spider hunting monsters before. For some unknown reason, he targeted Humans the majority of a time.
Everyone began to swallow their saliva until his voice echoed once more.
“Since there are no moles coming up, should we play a bit?”
I had never imagined I would encounter such a monster so soon; after stepping outside. The cave we dug was clearly in the North. The moles he was referring to was probably those of the Holy Order which were climbing up from the other entrance. In other words, this person’s range was very wide.
Then, I began to feel him running at us from a distance. I had no idea how his voice had carried to this place. One thing I was certain of was that…
‘We’re going to die.’
It was a situation that could cause our deaths. I quickly started to look around. After listening to my words, I was able to see the clansmen were not moving at all.
“Mev, Gark, immediately take the clansmen and withdraw. I will not abide any excuses. Retreat our forces unconditionally.”
“I said to run away.”
“Bu…But….what about Captain?”
“I will not tolerate any further questions.”
The look on Mev was changing. It was an expression that did not understand what was happening, but Gark was able to sense an enemy was soon approaching. He then spoke to me.
“I will fight! I will fight together with Blood Dagger! I will not run!”
“We will fight together with Blood Dagger!”
Hark also hollered, but there was no time to accept this childish play.
“I specifically ordered you to run away.”
I spoke to him with killing intent in my eyes, which caused him to shut up. He could feel the honesty in my words. In a clan, the command of a Chief was absolute. If one did not follow the order of a Chief, there was nothing more disgraceful, even more than running away with one’s tail between their legs. Seeing my eyes, Gark and Hark began to slowly back off, taking Hayeon too.
It was then that I saw the person. In his hands were two swords which were too short to be longswords and too large to be daggers. That blurred figure became clearer in an instant.
It was the first time I was facing an Elite who was beyond my level. I pulled out Ancient Flame swinging it towards him.
Damn, things just got serious. And holy shit, the Queen of the North must be a legendary figure. How did she kill all of these guys? That’s one overpowered character.
Sai101: Damn porters! Where are you when needed…
Editors: Sai101 Borderline Masochist
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