They passed through the Black Forest and met many monsters.

There was an ogre who learned martial arts, the goblin archer was followed by a lich who summoned skeleton warriors, there was a troll that skillfully wielded a giant axe, a ninja direwolf who struck in the darkness and a lizardman who used a spear. They had to deal with all types of enemies.

All of them weren’t ordinary monsters. They all had unique skills, like specialists pursuing their own roads.

“The Black Forest is a really strange place…” muttered Tiyo.

He had just knocked out a kobold archer. The kobold was a bipedal creature with the head of a dog, and it hid in various parts of the forest and fired at them before hiding again. One would be okay, but there were many of them.

Tiyo used his sophisticated shooting to hit the real one and the illusions. In the end, the kobold had admitted defeat after being hit and collapsing.

“Doesn’t it seem like we’re being tested dot?”

The level of the creatures kept increasing.

“What type of hermit is living in a place like the Black Forest?”

“Be careful. It’s time for new enemies to emerge.”

“Uhh…I’m scared.”

They had walked for a long time after suppressing the kobold. According to the pattern, it was time for someone new to appear and stop them. What type of enemy would it be this time? They felt a mix of expectations and tiredness. They moved slowly through the forest.

An unfamiliar landscape appeared in front of them.

“You came up to here.”

A young man was sitting in a rocking chair and reading a book. He glanced at Crockta’s party over his spectacles. It was a young man with pitch black hair.

“It has been a long time since I’ve had visitors.”

At first, his appearance looked like an elf, but this man had a face that was a level higher than that. He put away his book and rose from his seat. A beautiful man.

He placed the book on his chest and said, “Then I will ask a question.”

Crockta’s groups looked at each other at the sudden words. He continued speaking.

“I had a dream a long time ago.”

“……?”

It was suddenly a story about a dream. They were silent as they listened to the man’s voice.

“In the dream, I was a father with a son. He was a lovely son, and I felt like I could give everything in the world for him. Then one day, I found out that my child was sick. He was struck with a terminal illness that would slowly but surely lead to his death.”

His face and voice were calm.

“It was such a scary disease that I thought it was a ‘promised death’. My child’s death was promised and no one could avoid it. It was the worst illness that caused terrible pain that no one could bear. That’s why I decided. Rather than let my son die in agony, it was better for me to end his life.”

The man closed his eyes.

“But when I talked about this, everybody called me crazy. This was because there were few people who know about the ‘promised death.’ I said everything was for my child, but they didn’t listen to me and exiled me so that I couldn’t see my son. It was a thorough isolation. Now I will ask.”

They couldn’t figure out what he would ask. Crockta listened closely.

The man asked, “What do you think about me in the dream?”

It was a comprehensive question. He didn’t ask if what he thought was right or wrong, but wondered what they thought about him. Crockta touched his chin. It felt like a test, just like the fights they encountered as they passed through the Black Forest. If so, was this man the hermit of the Black Forest and was this the ultimate test?

The first one to answer was Anor. “It is too much. Even if your child is sick… what if your child wants to live for longer? Wanting to kill…maybe talk to your child…”

“A child wouldn’t understand what the ‘promised death’ is. Wouldn’t it be wrong to cause him pain just because of the future?”

“What about the child? Even if it is painful, the child could want to live more…

“A child wouldn’t understand it.”

“What…”

“How terrible the pain is.”

“……”

“Is that the end of your answer?”

Anor wasn’t able to say anything more and closed his mouth.

Tiyo replied next, “You are foolish in your dream dot!”

“Why?”


“Anyway, life is about being alone! If there is the promised death, that is your son’s share. You don’t need to kill him. Besides, killing the child is simply futilely meddling in his fate!”

“Hrmm, is it like that?”

“That’s right dot.”

“You don’t understand the dream.”

“What are you saying dot!”

“My son fell in the water. If the child drowns, will you let that be the child’s share?”

“That is a different story dot!”

“It is the same story.”

Tiyo moaned and shook his head. The man started mumbling to himself.

Now it was Crockta’s turn. The hermit of the Black Forest looked at Crockta. He seemed to be waiting for the next answer. Crockta thought carefully.

The promised death. Somehow, it was a familiar notion. It was similar to what he heard from the desperate demon sleeping at his waist and the orc’s story about the nameless god. The dream that the man was talking about felt like a dream.

Those who were desperate always had the same reason.

“It was scary.”

Crockta spoke up. The hermit of the Black Forest shook his head.

“No, the child didn’t understand it.”

“Not the child.”

Crockta looked at the hermit of the Black Forest. It was an emotionless face where no feelings could be found. Like a doll. Within the dark eyes that didn’t show any contrast, was there a human mind that he could sympathize with?

“You were scared.”

At that moment, the hermit’s face seemed to shake. But then his face became still again.

Crockta continued speaking, “In a world where you can’t understand the promised death, you were struggling with fear when you discovered your child’s ending.”

“……”



“You trembled with fear as you understood the true reality, and spent many nights before making the tragic decision for your child.” Crockta closed his eyes. “Just you.”

He was a soldier fighting on the front lines. Therefore, he often went to a counselor to have his mental state checked. In the process, it was easy to know their consultation strategy. There was the first step that the counselor had to take when dealing with clients. It was to build up rapport! The building of mutual trust through empathy!

Crockta said with tearful eyes, “You must’ve been very lonely. Really…”

Then Crockta squinted at the hermit’s expression. The hermit of the Black Forest’s face didn’t change.

Damn, it was a failure. The moment that Crockta was about to modify his strategy,

Churuk!

A tear flowed from the hermit’s eyes.

“……!”

The expression still looked like ice but tears were flowing down from both eyes. He realized the change and stuttered.

“Ah…”

He caught a teardrop with his fingertips and stared at it. He was still expressionless, but he somehow gave off a lonely feeling.

His eyes turned to Crockta again. Crockta felt like an intense scorer who broke past the goalkeeper and finished the game smoothly.


“I also can’t understand the promised death. But I can see that you had to make a really lonely and painful decision in your dream. I am really sorry.”

Then he stared up at the sky. It was great directing.

The hermit stared at Crockta’s face. Then he opened his mouth. “Yes.”

He waved his hand over his face and it became clean. It was magic.

“It would have been really painful and lonely.”

The corners of the hermit’s mouth slowly went up. It was a beautiful smile.

“I’m glad to know you.”

He clapped and the landscape changed. Crockta’s party was petrified. The scenery in front of them was no longer the forest. It was a huge castle.


“My name is Gushantimur. Travelers, welcome to my lair.”

“…Oh my god.”

[Oh my god.]

The system was also filled with admiration.

[I pay my respects to you, the one who has melted the heart of the cool beauty, the black dragon Gushantimur!] Chapter 90 – The Black Forest (3)

[Unknown mysterious skill (??? rating) has been obtained.]

[It can only be used after leaving Gushantimur’s lair.]

The system didn’t give him the skill name. It was pending until he left the lair.

“Defeating my guardians was a great feat. Most people give up and run away in the middle,” said Gushantimur

He had felt the terrible power of Gushantimur after the real landscape of this place was revealed. It was a dragon’s majesty that would cause someone to tremble in fear just being in its presence.

“You’re a dragon?” asked Anor.

The strong magic that changed the landscape in an instant, the terms ‘lair’ and ‘guardians’ and the fearful atmosphere truly matched the characteristics of a dragon.

Gushantimur nodded. “That’s right. You, who has the blood of a necromancer.”

“……!”

“A necromancer contained the ancient lineage of a god. I have never seen such a thick concentration in the blood for many years.”

Gushantimur raised a hand to his face. It was the face of a young man, but there was a sense of longevity about him. Gushantimur grinned.

“You should be proud.”

Anor’s eyes widened. It was a shameful power that he had covered up for all his life. Those who could raise the dead were often a target of fear for other people. Even his mother had given up the bloodline and sealed it.




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