Tiki was born with a mysterious power that allowed her to communicate with animals.
Her mother and grandmother who came from the southern Empire Gavilon told her that their ancestors also had the same ability but, it was not as clear as Tiki ability who could communicate and make the animals obey her.
Tiki had used her power to communicate with birds and use them to find the enemy’s commander.
Today was their first time doing a night battle, that was why she had tried to use an owl.
The most excellent one among them found the enemy commander and given a signal to her as if saying ‘He’s here…’
“We found him!” Tiki reported.
“I see it” It was the same for Garai as well.
His eyes catch the figure of the man, with his excellent eyes, he had already known that the government forces had used long torches.
The soldiers were far below the light, holding shields above their head and silently advancing.
The enemy’s commander was at the forefront.
On his horseback, wearing a full-face helmet with skull design, in Garai’s eyes, he looked like that of a god of death.
He suppressed his fears and pull his bow.
From the place Garai was currently at, to the enemy’s commander, the distance was around 200 meters.
It was a distance where other than Garai, there was no one who could shot a target that far. Even for Garai, to shot a target from this distance was next to impossible.
But, he had no leeway to step out. The enemy this time was very strong. While preventing the rain of arrows, the enemy was trying to reach the point where they could charge toward his comrades.
He must hurry. He cannot step back anymore.
Despite his contradicting emotions, Garai keeps forcing his way forward.
For a moment, Garai forgot his feeling of uneasiness.
His hands which hold the longbow around 1880 cm stopped trembling.
He manages to do that due to his natural concentration talent as a hunter.
He then pulls out the bow with his right hand.
Because he had used his arms for blacksmithing during the wintertime, he easily pulls the bowstring that normal people could not pull.
His right eye was poor, that was why he squinted his left eye for targeting the enemy.
Garai excellence was on the left side.
As a talented hunter that was his only handicap.
In practice, Garai was the first one, his ability as a hunter was on the upper end, and the people of this world didn’t have the concept of lefty yet, an amateur who saw what he did would mostly think that they could easily do what he did easily.
He was able to overcome his handicap when he turns 17 years old.
During the winter, when he could not hunt, Garai helped the local blacksmith. There he saw that the blacksmiths closed one of their eyes for the sake of being able to see the bright furnace continuously. Garai had thought about it and tried to shot an arrow by doing the same.
When he closed his left eye completely, he couldn’t get any sense of distance, but when he only half-close it, he found out that he hit the mark much better.
It was an unexpected eye-opening experience, though it was largely by chance, in the end, he could find such experience because he helped with the blacksmiths. In the end, Garai realized that the technique could be used for archers to correct their aim/eyesight.
With that one-eyed giant, Cyclops, aimed at the enemy’s commander using only one eye.
He could not see anything other than his target.
The night sky, the forest scenery, countless torches, and the enemy foot soldiers, all of them disappeared from his field of view.
“Hurry! Because you are too long, everyone become restless!”
Even Tiki started to complain.
His concentration was so sharp that even could erase everything from his mind except his ‘target’.
Now— There was a single line between Garai and the enemy’s commander.
Only one line.
Garai just needs to release the arrow on the line.
Under such unique cutaneous sensation, Garai released the arrow.
It penetrated the night and fly straight toward the target.
The wind created by the arrow splitting the air could be heard.
It was a satisfying reaction. The arrow was on the line.
It was truly a magnificent shot. A magic bullet.
Garai had no doubt in him that the arrow would penetrate the enemy’s commander head in less than five seconds.
But, suddenly, the enemy’s commander turned toward where he was…
He turned his head fast.
The eyes that gazed at Garai position shine in crimson.
… No matter how far they were apart, they managed to look at each other. Garai who was still in his ‘concentration’ mode felt like there were only the two of them in this world.
Between them, there was a line connecting them, and the arrow was flying on the line.
It was not like he didn’t want to see the enemy’s commander.
He was curious as to how the enemy commander noticed him…
Was he someone who had a sense of smell/instinct that makes him understand Garai’s position just by looking at the owl bizarre behavior?
Or was he had an extraordinary hearing, making him able to hear the sound created by the arrow piercing the air?
But then, Garai thought no matter whichever the answer was, it didn’t matter.
Because he was convinced that the arrow would penetrate the enemy’s commander.
The moment the enemy’s commander noticed that he was the enemy, unfortunately, the timing was a bit too late.
Garai knows that his arrow was not a slow one.
And the enemy’s commander also seems to realize that as well.
Then, Garai conviction comes true.
The enemy’s commander could not avoid his magic bullet.
But, the scene that was about to happen was as if saying to him ‘so what?’.
He saw the enemy’s commander sacrificed his left arm without hesitation.
The enemy’s commander tried to guard his head using his gauntlet. But Garai arrow had a penetrating power that could not be blocked with the gauntlet on his arm alone. Even after piercing the enemy commander’s gauntlet, the arrow still had enough force to continue until penetrating the enemy commander’s head but, surprisingly, the enemy’s commander clenched his left fist and strengthen his muscle, and stop the arrow.
What a terrific physical power! Not just his observation ability and nerve alone!
If any of that missing, the arrow would have penetrated the enemy commander’s head.
Garai could not help but admire the enemy’s commander.
While he was stunned due to the spectacle, the enemy’s commander started to move.
He leaves his large glaive to a soldier nearby, (Is it because its too heavy? Or is it because he dislocated his arm?)
But surprisingly he took a spear, and break the handle from the middle making it shorter, and took a stance while holding it on his right hand.
He didn’t use his left hand, and also didn’t ask for treatment either. Was he not feel pain? It seems a monster was coming. Garai had such thought crossed his mind.
The enemy’s commander raised his face cover, then bite the reins.
Then his horse immediately dashed aiming toward Garai current position…
The foot soldiers continue advancing normally while he comes out of the line on a single horse.
He rushed into the forest and moved in a zigzag maneuver to avoid the trees.
Even though it was quite dark, the situation didn’t slow down the horse at all. Normally, the horse legs would trip and break. Or the one riding it usually got shaken off from the horse due to the extreme maneuver.
It was a ridiculous horse. With a ridiculous rider.
It was as if they were moving as one. It could be said as a combination of two monsters.
Seeing the approaching figure, his blazing crimson red eyes, his cloak that had the same color as the darkness, it feels like he was looking at a death knight.
Tiki’s five wolves were hiding inside the bushes, but even if they jumped at him all at once, they won’t be able to stop him. Even if the wolves did it, they would only end up being kicked by the wild horse.
“We can’t face him, Garai!” Tiki shout brings Garai back. “That is not a human!”
She was screaming lacking in calmness but, Garai could understand her feeling.
“That kind of a horse, even I never saw such a monster. I can’t believe that person is riding on it! Under that armors, he must be a monster as well!”
Tiki seems to realize the enemy’s commander anomaly and trembled as a result.
“Garai, let us surrender? We won’t be able to face that…”
Tiki who got off from the trees spoke to him with tears in her eyes.
Garai didn’t answer and keep setting up his bow.
Then aimed the bow at the enemy’s commander.
“If we all beg our life to be spared, the bloodsucking prince, Nosferatu, would definitely forgive us. Let us bet on that!”
While Tiki was looking flustered, Garai could not believe such a plan could work.
“We will get killed if we stay like this you know, Garai?!”
He didn’t care about what happened to him.
“Despite being a coward, and yet, why now!?”
No matter how terrifying the enemy was, he could not help but do it to protect Tiki.
The distance between them was 30 meters apart. He feels he still have another chance.
Garai then nocks the arrow.
The enemy’s commander also readied his spear.
The moment Garai feels a shiver on his back, the enemy’s commander released the spear.
Garai never thought that the enemy’s commander would make the first move, the spear flew violently with great force, to the point that Garai didn’t have time to even wonder whether or not the spear could reach him.
Since Garai was on top of a tree, he won’t be able to dodge the spear properly.
But, in a surprise move, he uses both of his legs to coil around the tree branch, and let his body fall back.
Causing him to fall headfirst. But at least, he manages to avoid the arrow.
“Garai!” Tiki screams were no longer could be heard.
Garai had even forgotten that he was falling headfirst.
He sharpened his concentration to the limit again, and in his ‘world’ there was only him and the enemy’s commander.
Like an acrobatic move, Garai releases an arrow while falling down.
His shot was a very close distance.
The enemy’s commander small murmur even could enter Garai’s ears because he was in the ‘world’ only the two of them existed.
The enemy’s commander then put his hand on his saber hanging on his hips.
And unleashed it with unprecedented speed.
Due to the moonlight, the sword emanating a flash.
Just like that, Gara’s arrow was being stopped.
There, he could not help but realize.
(There’s too much difference in our level…) He thought the enemy was surely a god of death but, it seems the enemy was also a god of military arts as well.
Garai crashed to the ground in despair. Heavy shock and severe pain run from the right shoulder to the back. Thanks to that, he didn’t lose his consciousness. His whole body feels numb but there was no immediate danger to his life. The overgrown grass seems to be working as a cushion, and looking at his situation earlier, he should be thankful toward the mother who gives birth his sturdy body. Above all else, he, fortunately, didn’t break his neck. –
Whether it would be fast or slow, Garai prepared himself.
The enemy’s commander finally comes close and descends from his horse.
Garai thought he must’ve come to perform the finishing blow.
“You sir, what is your name?”
The enemy’s commander spoke unexpected words.
Garai thought he was going to just die, he then tried to move his numb body.
Looking closely, the other party had already put his saber in the sheath. Realizing that he had arrived conclusion by himself, Garai ended up feeling nervous. And feels ashamed.
Then he also noticed another thing. The face under the enemy commander’s helmet was surprisingly young. Garai guessed that the person in front of him was still a teenager.
“Are you the type that won’t name yourself toward the enemy?” The young man looked disappointed. “My name is Leonard. You sir, I admire your archery ability. Look—…”
Saying that the young man lifts his left arm where an arrow stuck in it.
At the same time, Garai would never forget the expression on his face when doing that. As if he just noticed the pain and surprised, his face grimaced.
Due to the enemy commander’s carefree attitude, Garai’s mind calmed down. Then he burst into laughter.
“You should’ve not laughed at this…” The enemy’s commander looks stunned.
What he said was true. After all, Garai was the one who caused the injury.
“I’m sorry” Garai apologized. He was able to honestly say it.
Garai knew that the young man had no intention to kill him, then the young man moves closer to Garai position and kneeled on one knee.
And reached out his right hand toward Garai.
What a dignified attitude, Garai thought. It made Garai doubt whether the person in front of him was a teenager. But then…
“Could you guys surrender? I don’t have a plan to do something bad. I’ve also told my soldiers’ strict order…”
Upon hearing the young man voice, Garai strangely feels convinced
Garai was sure that the person in front of him didn’t have a shady way of life.
That didn’t mean the person in front of him never suffered. He seems to lead a life where he won’t escape from reality even if he fell toward the bottom of the abyss, and not given up on himself— That was what Garai thought about the person in front of him.
Just like his steel body that had been trained, it seems his mind was also already being tempered.
Otherwise, such a young man could never have such personality.
(Bloodsucking prince, Nosferatu who kills everyone huh? Compared to the rumors, he seems like a completely different person huh?)
That was what inside Garai’s mind.
Because he had such thought, he didn’t hesitate to hold the young man’s hand.
Tiki who looked at them and saw the handshake, whistling.
It was a signal to their friendly comrade. The first whistle was to start the battle. And this second time was to report that Garai had failed. Soon they should be surrendering.
It was a defeat.
But Garai feels that a heavy weight had disappeared from his shoulders.
After he stood up by using the young man’s help. Garai gazed at the starry sky while listening to the whistle.
He burned the starry sky scene into his mind.
And engraved the sound of Tiki’s whistle in his heart.