It’s quite obvious that if Rashiok manages to bite me, I’ll die. I was calmer than I expected as my brain continued to work.
I barely managed to escape Rashiok’s charging, by rolling on the ground. However, his snake-like tail came crashing into my left side at a frightening speed, and my light body was blown away.
My body was tossed and turned on the muddy ground several times, bouncing up and down. My body was making unpleasant rattling sounds. Even though I still hadn’t recovered from the impact yet, I got up again as soon as my body stopped rolling. I held my sword in front of myself defensively, and prepared myself for Rashiok’s next attack.
My heart felt so dry, like it was splitting into pieces, a terrible feeling. When I wiped some of the mud off of my face with my left arm, I felt a stinging pain. My entire body was aching. ……Now then, how can I make it out of this situation alive?
Rashiok seemed to be in a bad mood as he watched me and shook his tail back and forth. Even though Diferis has completely left this location by now, he still isn’t returning to normal.
Is this a complete brainwashing, then? For all sorts of magical monsters and beasts, making them ignore their inner natures, and giving them amnesia…… It’s definitely not an ability that can be explained by anything other than magic.
While I think that the concept of magicians is a bit ridiculous, I acknowledge that magic definitely exists in this world. The ice lizard that froze an entire forest, Rashiok and his wind magic, and the fire moths. While there are monsters and beasts that can use magic, there’s never been any evidence that humans can cast magic.
“Rashiok, please turn back to normal……!”
Even when I shouted, Rashiok didn’t show any signs of reacting to my voice. He increased the volume of his roaring instead, and fixed his gaze upon me as if I was his prey.
Am I going to have to kill him? Will I be able to do it?
-Also, blades are ineffective, they’ll bounce off his scales easily, and I might injure myself. I either have to aim for his eyes, or his open mouth.
When I thought about the possibility I would have to kill him, my mind already began to race on effective methods to kill my opponent. The sword will be ineffective. So, I should switch to the spear. Since Rashiok is so huge, I can’t let him corner me in a confined area. The spear is currently spinning around on the ground between me and Rashiok. If I jump for it…… can I make it in time?
I could feel my body rapidly increasing in sluggishness. I don’t have the confidence to say I can avoid his next charge. So, I’m going to have to go for the spear immediately.
I made my decision instantly. I kicked the muddy ground so hard, that I almost tripped and fell. As if lured by my movements, Rashiok came running as well.
The mud on my shoes caused me to slip, so I grabbed the spear handle while tumbling on the ground. Just as I managed to right myself, Rashiok’s open mouth was already in front of me.
Reflexively – I used the long spear to block his teeth from chewing down on me.
I myself was surprised at my instant reaction. The momentum from Rashiok’s charge pushed me back however, and my head hit the ground.
Suddenly, I felt a pressure being applied to my left arm. Is he playing with his prey, like a wild beast?
My throbbing shoulder caused me to scream in pain again, and I also saw my red blood flying out from a gash on my left arm. I heard Rashiok making a sound from his throat as if he didn’t want to do this.
In addition to the pain, something else was making my vision go blurry. I wasn’t able to see Rashiok’s unfocused eyes in front of me clearly anymore.
Damn it, why is it at this time, that my tears would well up……
Although Rashiok let out several sounds of reluctance, he wasn’t able to stop himself. Why must I fight with him in a life or death struggle? Even though I helped bring him up myself before he even opened his eyes. This beautiful beast, that was always at my side, am I going to have to kill him?
-It’s impossible. I can’t do it. Even if I die, I don’t want to do it.
My arm is trembling. The tears from my eyes rolled down and washed away some of the mud on me.
Still, no matter what I feel, or how much I cry, it won’t help persuade this beast that’s lost its sense of reason to let me live. Even though I raised him up myself.
In the instant that his teeth got stuck on the spear I was still holding on to, I kicked at Rashiok’s defenseless throat exposed in front of me with all my might. I surprised even myself with my half-unconscious acrobatics, as Rashiok wailed in pain and I used this chance to get a good grip on my spear again.
Alright, let’s die. In this current situation, when your body collapses, it’ll probably crush me under it, and we can die together.
However, my spear didn’t pierce his flesh like I had expected. Suddenly Rashiok began roaring thunderously, and his gigantic body took flight above me. I heard the sound of some object falling onto the mud. It was something big, that was beautiful and reddish-violet colored.
It felt like as if my heart was being squeezed by a hand of ice. Rashiok was making sounds of agonizing excruciation, and I was crying for him as well.
“-Are you alright!?”
An adult’s arm picked me up from the mud I was wallowing in. His usually serious voice was tinged with anxiety, and I finally said his name after catching my breath.
“I thought you would die……, no, my apologies, this happened right after I left your side.”
No need to apologize, I was the one who ordered you to leave my side to fetch the evidence against Viscount Ogren. I shook my head slowly.
“How, is, Rashiok?”
My voice was weak and choppy. My lungs feel bruised, and hurt terribly.
“……I cut off one of his wings.”
A wing. -I see. The sound of pain as Rashiok kept thrashing about in this bog-like area continued to increase in volume.
I wonder if the pain will be able to dissolve the brainwashing. It was a faint – a tiny hope that I clung to as I called him.
But, indeed, he responded to me. Through his roars of suffering, although it was weak, Rashiok did respond to me just the way he always did.
In the end, that woman – things happened just like she said it would. She put me into a situation where I had to kill Rashiok, no matter how much I didn’t want to, stabbing through my heart all over. Just like she said she would do, she successfully shattered my heart into pieces.
However – both Rashiok and I are still alive. I’m injured all over, one of his wings has been cut off, and yet, we’re still alive. Neither our bodies, nor our spirits, were broken entirely in this battle we were forced to fight against each other.
The heart isn’t like paper or a piece of cloth. As long as the heart can still see hope, it can be mended again.
Oscar wiped my tears for me as they kept flowing out. He also had the foresight to caress my cheeks, and soon his hand was replaced by Rashiok’s warm, moist tongue that still had life in it as he licked me.