Chapter 24: The Boundary (2)

It was a sight I had never seen before.

Even with everything I had seen and heard since being born into this world, even recalling the contents of countless books, I had never come across such a story.

In the middle of the lush forest, a long line had been drawn.

It was a long line, extending so far that its end couldn’t be seen with the naked eye.

This boundary was so conspicuous that it was harder not to notice it.

Outside the boundary, where we stood, the forest maintained its usual vibrant colors, but inside the line, it looked as if it were dead, tinged with a grayish hue.

It was as if one corner of the world had been completely inverted.

To put it in modern terms, the scene beyond the boundary looked like a black-and-white movie.

We had no choice but to stop in front of the boundary.

I stopped Sirien as she reached out her hand out of curiosity.

“Don’t touch it. We don’t know what might happen.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Something could happen.”

It felt unsettling to just go in, but the line was too long to go around.

We couldn’t even tell where the outside of this line led to.

This path coincidentally stretched northeast towards the Empire, directly in the direction of our first destination, the County of Eloran.

Leaving this path would mean taking a longer and more arduous route.

Even now, someone might be tracking us, even if they were not yet within sight.

What should we do?

Should we go in?

Sirien, intrigued yet anxious, couldn’t hide her unease.

I gave her a reassuring pat on the back.

“Ah! You scared me.”

“What are you worrying about? We can just find out one step at a time.”

I didn’t want to step in myself.

You know how sometimes there’s that cliché. Like a trap spell that sucks you in if you touch it.

It was the kind of event the original female protagonist experienced.

Was it an ancient dungeon back then?

There was no guarantee that similar traps weren’t here.

First, I picked up a stone nearby and threw it.

The stone passed into the boundary without resistance and lost its color.

Thunk. Roll, roll.

It didn’t seem like any physical laws had changed, nor did the stone get damaged.

Next, I picked up a nearby branch.

I didn’t want to risk one of the few swords we had for testing.

I had Sirien step back a little and then slowly pushed the branch into the boundary.


Sirien exclaimed in genuine awe.

The feared occurrence didn’t happen.

At least, there wasn’t a trap sucking people in or anything like body corrosion happening after passing through.

The branch that entered the boundary simply turned black and white.

Exactly from the point it crossed the line.

Pushing the branch further in made it lose more color, and pulling it back restored its original color.

Could such a powerful boundary have no effect at all?

Even someone like me, who didn’t know much about magic, could tell this was an extraordinary phenomenon.

It was hard to imagine what kind of effect it could have.

This time, I gathered some courage and stuck one arm in.

My arm also changed color, but there was no special sensation.

“Eek! Are you okay?”

“For now, it seems fine. Just stay there for a moment.”

It was impossible to tell what kind of space lay inside this boundary.

It seemed right that I go in before Sirien, so I took a bold step forward.

The world inside looked no different from the forest I had seen up until now.

The grayish world had returned to its original state, and conversely, where I had come from.

Sirien appeared black and white.

Had there been no need to worry from the start?

It seemed I was free to leave the boundary as well.

When I came back out, the black-and-white world flipped again.

It seemed that from this line, inside and outside viewed each other differently.

Alright. I made up my mind.

“Let’s go in. If we keep moving, we’ll be able to leave this boundary eventually. We can always get out before anything happens.”

Anyway, this forest was dangerous enough even without this suspicious boundary line.

Adding a bit more danger now wasn’t going to make me bat an eye.

“Ugh. The smell. It’s much stronger.”

Sirien frowned.

* * *

In the end, there wasn’t much difference between inside and outside the boundary.

Both were equally dangerous.

Monsters that threatened our lives lurked everywhere inside the boundary, just as outside.

Naturally, our optimistic hope was shattered.

We gave up the hope that this boundary line would ward off external threats, like in the cabin.

The biggest problem we faced was confirmed when we saw the giant we had encountered in the mist.

Where did it detect us from?

We couldn’t tell. It might have been sleeping somewhere.

The crucial point was that by the time we spotted it, it was already charging at us in fury.


A massive storm surged beside us.

It wasn’t a natural wind. It was air pressure.

The air pressure caused by the giant hurling a rock.

The insane giant’s stone-throwing was comparable to a catapult.

An ancient tree hit by the flying rock collapsed helplessly.

The aftermath of the stone throw was relentless.

Debris from the shattered tree, unearthed soil, and fallen leaves showered over us.



I quickly wrapped my arms around Sirien and turned my body. Though the giant’s accuracy was poor and the stone fell quite far, I could still feel the fragments hitting my back.

Luckily, my coat was made of tough material.

If it wasn’t, I would have had numerous small injuries.

In any case, we had to keep running.

The abundance of thick, ancient trees here was a consolation.

Even with the giant’s massive body, it couldn’t smash through all the trees as it chased us.

It felt like an eternity as we fled, but it wasn’t actually that long.

The tension made time seem to slow down.

My mind remained rational.

At most, we had five minutes. No matter how fast we ran, it would catch up in five minutes.

Hadn’t the beasts hunted by this giant experienced the same?

No matter how sluggish its movements appeared, each step it took covered a vast distance.

Running away was pointless.

Make a choice.

No, don’t hesitate, make a decision.

I already knew the answer.

I changed direction while running.

The giant was already close.

“Sirien, keep running.”


“Leave marks with your axe as you go! I’ll follow! If I don’t come back in an hour, don’t wait for me.”

“No, Razen, Razen! Don’t leave me, Razen!”

Sirien called out my name.

Even though I told her to run immediately, she didn’t.

For the first time in a while, she disobeyed me. But the situation had already unfolded, so she would move soon enough.

Since I yelled and approached, the giant focused on me first.

A heavy kick came flying. I slid to the ground to dodge it.

I saw the sole of its foot pass overhead, dragging dirt, gravel, and tree roots in its wake.

Wind followed the path of the giant’s kick, and I had to brace myself against the ground to avoid being blown away before I could start running again.

Insane power. No need for a long assessment.

Getting hit by that would be instant death.

I’d be smashed beyond recognition and left to rot as a lump of meat.

Though I had come prepared to risk my life, I didn’t want to die.

“Let’s see if my blade can pierce you!”

I didn’t usually talk to myself, but this time was different.

I needed to be loud and annoying to give Sirien a chance to escape.

One of the few advantages of this massive creature was that it scared away all the other beasts and monsters around.

At least for now, Sirien wouldn’t be attacked while running away.

I could focus solely on this giant.

‘Let’s start with one strike.’

My sword hit the giant’s foot. It didn’t pierce through.

Well, it was expected.

The skin supporting that huge weight couldn’t be soft. It wasn’t surprising.

Still, other giants in stories had skin so hard that blades couldn’t penetrate at all, but this one wasn’t quite that tough.

If I applied the right force and angle, it seemed I could get through.


The noise from its mouth wasn’t language, but I could understand the meaning.

It must be annoyed. I probably felt like a buzzing insect to it.

Thinking about mosquitoes buzzing in the summer, I could understand its irritation.

I dodged its massive fist as it came down.

While the terrifying gust of wind surged again, I aimed for the spot under its ankle.

I struck the Achilles tendon precisely.

The wound wasn’t deep, but for a human, it would have been a critical hit.

The giant reacted immediately.

It seemed to be in considerable pain.

Maybe if I focused on attacking its feet and kept dodging, I could survive?

Just as I thought that, a huge shadow loomed over me.

The giant was throwing itself at me, intending to crush me.

Dodging... seemed impossible.

Its body was so large that there was no escaping death, no matter where I moved.


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