Chapter 25: The Boundary (3)

Death was approaching.

Though it was an expected event, the reality of it flooded me with a sense of regret.

‘Was there no other way?’

Weak thoughts brushed through my mind, questioning.

Fortunately, I wasn’t as pitiful. Upon reflection, I concluded that this was the best course of action.

Yet, there lingered a trace of regret.

What will become of Sirien if I perish?

Can she survive in this perilous place? Soon, pursuers will be on our trail, subjecting her to danger.

A sense of helplessness entwined around me like vines.

If only I were a bit stronger. If I hadn’t been this weak, much would have been different.

In the novels, someone like Razen could have protected Sirien. It’s bitter to admit.

I counted the moments until death.





The sound of a heavy weight crashing onto the ground echoed.

Soon, my body would be gruesomely mangled.

I’d become another unclaimed corpse.

Perhaps it’s a blessing that my tracks will be obscured to the pursuers, but is that the only silver lining?

However, the anticipated death did not arrive.

It took a few more seconds for me to sense something amiss.

For some reason, my death took too long.

The body that should have crumpled immediately seemed intact.

Did the giant miscalculate its leap? Absurd thoughts crossed my mind.

Did it fail to cast its shadow upon me? Impossible.

Then what happened?

I cautiously opened my eyes.

There, in front of me, lay a colossal corpse.

It was undoubtedly the body of a giant.


“I heard quite a commotion. You seem like an unwelcome guest.”

A stifling pressure filled the air. From behind me, a low, ominous voice sounded.

Turning hastily, I saw a man in black attire sheathing his sword.

“When. And how?”

I couldn’t even muster a bitter laugh. I hadn’t sensed anyone else during my battle with the giant.

Was it possible for someone to intrude at that moment?

Yet, the man seemed nonchalant as he adjusted his coat.

At first glance, the man’s appearance seemed unremarkable.

Thick, dark-green hair almost black. Dull gray eyes. A face that seemed indifferent to everything, yet somehow exuded an imposing aura.

Was he wearing some kind of uniform? It initially reminded me of the regalia of the Knights, but it was a style unfamiliar to me.

So, he undoubtedly wasn’t affiliated with any military or knightly order within the empire.

While he exuded a well-contained aura, there was an ominous air about him.

Approaching him recklessly was unwise.

He was not an adversary to be underestimated.

Instinct sounded the alarm.

The man casually tapped his sword’s hilt.

His grim voice reverberated once more.

“Do you intend to keep holding that sword? If you aim it at me, I won’t hesitate to intervene.”

“...No. I acknowledge that you saved my life. I am not so shameless.”

“Then it’s settled. Your companions must be trembling behind that rock. Hurry, tend to them and leave this place. I do not welcome you here.”

“By here, do you mean within the boundary?”

“Boundary? It may seem that way. In that case, your task is to go outside that boundary. It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand.”

I beheld the fallen giant’s corpse. Its massive body neatly cleaved in two.

The cut surface was impeccably clean. There was no hint of hesitation as the rigid exterior was sliced away.

This was an impossibility with an ordinary sword’s hardness.

Naturally, thoughts of the existence of sword ki came to mind.

A Swordmaster. Perhaps my father could have accomplished something similar.

But this man was no Swordmaster, and such individuals didn’t just emerge from anywhere.

Even if the empire were to crumble and extend across the entire continent, I had never heard of a Swordmaster with such an appearance.

Even in the novel, including those Swordmasters who would later play an active role in the novel, there was none like him.

Once again, the knowledge of the possessor was of no help...

Then suddenly, my thoughts drifted to that possibility.

If we could receive help from him, could we safely reach Count Eloran’s domain?

Even if he didn’t accompany us to Eloran, it would be much better than our current situation.

I cautiously broached the subject.

“I would like that, but this place is too dangerous for us. We have to pass through here to reach our destination. If you could assist us, we would be deeply grateful...”

“Enough. I already said I don’t welcome you. Whether you live or die is of no concern to me. I merely dealt with the disturbance here, and you just happened to survive in the process. Don’t plead for mercy from me anymore.”

“Still, I must ask. Can you not offer assistance even within this area?”

“No. If you hadn’t been so bothersome, I would have dealt with you as well. Considering that you survived, that should be enough luck for you, shouldn’t it?”

The man’s demeanor was incredibly firm. It seemed pointless to say more; it appeared there was no room for negotiation.

He harbored no friendly sentiments toward us.

If anything, hostility emanated from him.

He had shown mercy due to his own reasons, but there was no reason for him to do more than that.

Whatever those reasons were, it was clear they were beyond my capabilities to address.

“Yes. Then we shall leave as you’ve said. We have no intention of staying here any longer.”

“That’s what you should do.”

It was regrettable, but there was no lingering attachment.

For now, just surviving was to be considered fortunate.

After all, this man could have killed me without saving me from the giant.

It seemed more prudent to depart, ensuring Sirien’s safety, rather than harboring regrets about what couldn’t be.

The standard didn’t seem too strict.

Though the man told us to leave, he didn’t specify a particular time.

If we continued as we had been, we would eventually depart from this boundary once again.

Showing that level of courtesy should ensure we wouldn’t become enemies.

“Remember. There won’t be a second chance.”

With those final words, the man vanished.

I couldn’t even properly catch his departure. There was no indication of movement, so it seemed he was adept at using magic or some other ability.

Now I was thinking of going towards the rocks the man mentioned, but it seemed unnecessary.

Sirien was already running towards me, her face streaked with tears.



The rock where Sirien had hidden wasn’t far from here.

Just sticking my head out would afford a clear view of our fight with the giant.

It wasn’t too distant, so if the giant gave chase, it wouldn’t take long to reach.

Though he had clearly told us to leave, it seemed we weren’t doing so.

Well, that was an irresponsible request to begin with.

How was Sirien supposed to escape this forest alone?

Sirien, who had run over, threw herself at me.

It hurt quite a bit when she collapsed to the ground, but I couldn’t complain; I had my own sins to bear.

Don’t leave me behind.

The image of Sirien sitting with outstretched hands flashed through my mind, and guilt washed over me.

“Ugh. Sob... Sniff!”

Sirien’s hands gripped my cheeks. Tears streamed down her flushed cheeks, dripping onto the bridge of her nose.

She sobbed as she gingerly inspected my body, one limb at a time.

Her hands, almost compulsive in their actions, traced over my features, checking for injuries on my face, neck, shoulders, arms, and chest, one by one.

Finally, she pressed her ear against my chest to listen to my heartbeat.

Since I wasn’t dead, of course, my heart was still beating.

Sirien breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank goodness... It’s not a dream.”

A dream, huh?

I occasionally suffered nightmares, but evidently, the wounds from that day ran deep.

I didn’t want to imagine what kind of dream it was.

Anyway, after taking a breath, she seemed angry this time. Sirien glared at me with moist eyes.

When I turned my head away to avoid her gaze, she forcefully grabbed my face, making our eyes meet.

“We agreed you wouldn’t do that! You lied to me, Razen!”

“Well, uh... I felt like I had no choice.”

“I said you wouldn’t do it! We promised... I hate you!”

Sirien’s fist struck my shoulder.

It didn’t really hurt, but I couldn’t bring myself to stop her as she kept hitting me.

Was this what it felt like when Terion did this before? It hurt even though it didn’t.

“I’m sorry.”

“I won’t accept your apology.”

“I’m truly sorry.”

“I won’t accept it...”

Like back when she was exacting revenge on Terion, Sirien soon crumbled under her own emotions.

The girl who had been angry with me now sobbed bitterly.

The tears she had held back when we lost two people finally burst forth.

“I... I was so scared. I thought I was going to lose you too... I was so scared that even you would disappear from me, just like my brother and Hena.”

“I made it through somehow.”

“You almost died! You, you almost died. If the man in black hadn’t shown up, you would have died for sure. You’re the only one I have left now.”


Sirien’s sobbing didn’t stop.

Patting her back didn’t seem to provide any comfort.

“My brother and Hena are dead, and I don’t know what happened to Dad and Mom. Everyone in the castle, the relatives who used to visit occasionally, they’re all gone. I don’t even know who the bad people are anymore. You’re the only one I can trust.”


“You promised we’d get revenge together... Don’t ever, ever do that again.”


“Don’t ever die. Don’t leave me behind alone.”

“I won’t.”

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