The plan and the strategy were both lacking in credibility, but she made a promise to herself.
She wanted to protect Kalion’s world. She didn’t want to let Morrison ruin the smell of human life.
Of course, the primary goal was to escape from the zombie virus. If she were to die… she wanted to die as a complete person. Will that be possible?
The thoughts in her head were almost overwhelming, but sleep took over first. Soon, Gia fell asleep with a peaceful face.
Kalion, who had returned after discussing the upcoming tasks and the report that they would reach the summit in two days, let out a foolish groan. He looked down at Gia, who was quietly closing her eyes where she had been lying.
Kalion, who carefully sat down next to Gia, who was deeply asleep, looked at her face, which was peacefully immersed in sleep. Despite the challenging trek without a break, Gia followed silently and gallantly. Kalion admired her.
As they approached the summit, the temperature dropped, and the air became thin. Every meal was dried meat, and even in uncomfortable sleeping conditions, Gia’s skin remained pale and smooth.
The fatigue of the members was visible to the point of collapse, but Gia still seemed full of vitality. What a mysterious woman.
Kalion’s red eyes slowly traced Gia’s face one by one.
Smooth and rounded forehead, and a natural sloping nose that was cute and lovely. Despite the small face, her large eyes sparkled, and when the sunlight shone brightly, her light brown eyes sparkled even more, softening her cute face.
Rather than strength, Gia, who exuded charm, sometimes seemed unbelievable to be older than him. Maybe it’s because of those cheeks.
The soft and plump cheeks, covered with a lot of flesh, seemed like they would bounce off with a poke of the index finger. Thinking about it, Kalion’s fingers tingled.
Kalion’s eyes moved, capturing the lips at the bottom.
Thick yet small and densely packed lips. Even though he knew she didn’t apply anything special, they were unusually red.
If he touched the red lips with his hand, it would probably feel smooth. Wouldn’t the color stain the fingers? Continuing his thoughts, Kalion was startled and involuntarily pulled back.
‘What am I thinking right now?’
This is crazy. Kalion’s pupils trembled intensely in his deeply embarrassed state. Kalion, covering his face with his large palm in disbelief, sank back, overcome by the incredibility.
A cold chill rose through his buttocks, but it was fortunate that it helped him snap out of it.
To steal a glance at the sleeping woman’s face. Kalion, unwilling to believe what he had just done, hesitated and looked around in case someone had seen him.
The darkness had completely descended, and everyone involved in the challenging trek had already fallen asleep early.
‘Thankfully, it’s okay.’
Kalion, who had nervously worried about being caught peeking, pressed his pounding chest.
Kalion, whose tousled hair fell messily, returned to his sleeping spot. The sleeping bag that Gia had used for the past few days was filled with her scent.
Other thoughts in the face of impending danger. It wasn’t like him.
Suppressing the rising flush on his face, Kalion forcibly closed his eyes, trying to block out the intrusive thoughts.
* * *
“Is that it?”
When Gia asked while looking at the cave entrance nearby, Kalion responded. Kalion and his knights were all tense, and he moistened his dry lips with his tongue.
“Did you hear what I said?”
Remembering Gia’s plan made after losing the sniper rifle a few days ago.
Gia’s reckless plan – would it really work? However, since there wasn’t any other option, Kalion bit his lip. There was no turning back now that they had come this far.
“Then, I’ll leave it to you.”
Gia looked at Kalion with a gentle expression.
This might be the last moment they could see each other. The act of capturing a dragon itself was reckless, so there was no guarantee they would meet again alive.
Desperately calling Gia who was moving away, Kalion urgently spoke.
Kalion slowly took in Gia’s retreating figure with his eyes.
Kalion’s low voice cracked and came out unevenly.
The gazes of the two met.
“You too… You too, please.”
The words asking her not to die didn’t come out. He didn’t want to say such words. Kalion wished for Gia not to die. Gia smiled, a smile that might be their last.
They have to meet again. Definitely. Gia moved her body towards the cave. It wasn’t a grand plan, but she hid to keep Morrison, who might still be unaware of her presence, off guard.
If he knew she was there, Morrison would have tried to deal with her with all his might from the beginning. Morrison wanted to kill Gia by any means.
“Please, you too… be careful.”
Kalion, leaving behind the unspoken words as Gia moved away, looked at the disciplined members gathered.
“Everyone, go inside the cave with the signal.”
Fighting a large dragon outside was disadvantageous, especially if the dragon took flight, making it unreachable. They decided to follow Gia’s advice.
“Get ready, everyone.”
Kalion’s weighty words spread, and the faces of the members stiffened with a menacing expression.
As the members silently drew their swords, a crimson-tinged wave rose above them. The time had finally come to use the martial skills well suited to the name of the Imperial Knights.
A blazing red sword, as if engulfed in flames. Confirming the powerful force surging like molten steel, Kalion raised his weapon last.
Carefully leaving no traces, Kalion flew into the cave, and everyone followed suit, moving seamlessly.
Suddenly, the dragon, upon seeing humans appearing in its territory, became uneasy and let out a roar.
Did they come here to find a place to die? Morrison, still conducting experiments on humans in a corner of the cave, raised his sinister face.
The Imperial Knights emitting a menacing aura seemed to irritate Morrison, who frowned as if annoyed.
“Daring to carry out such actions on the empire’s land.”
Morrison, who had been looking at the wall, turned his body upon hearing Kalion’s voice.
As the members confirmed his identity, they couldn’t help but gasp. The dragon standing guard behind him was terrifying, but the presence of Morrison was even more intimidating, causing primal fear to wash over the members.
Was it the danger that Gia was talking about? The members averted their eyes in fear. The person, whose fate was unknown—whether alive or dead—was now helplessly at the mercy of Morrison.
“What have you done!”
In response to Rockt’s question, Morrison let out a snort. Morrison shrugged as if to say that those who didn’t understand this great experiment were bothersome, and waved his hand as if annoyed.
“Wait. I’ll deal with you after this is over. It’s already going well. I thought I might need to catch more specimens soon, as they seem to be getting agitated.”
Kalion gritted his teeth, and looked at the white bones scattered on the cave floor and then at Morrison.
As his teeth involuntarily gritted, nausea welled up. Morrison, whose head was already bald, with dark red veins in his eyes, looked at Kalion.
“You look quite sturdy. Hmm. I wonder how long you can endure.”
Morrison’s eyes flashed as he looked at the test subject. A strange laugh escaped from Morrison’s mouth as he stuck five fingers into the back of the neck and injected just enough of his own blood to keep the subject from dying.
“You will die here today.”
In response to Kalion’s words, Morrison pursed his lips as if telling a funny story.
“Yongyong, don’t kill the kids.”
As if understanding Morrison’s words, a dragon’s cry made about twenty members step back.
“Because they have to be used as an experiment. Especially him.”
Morrison pointed at Kalion with his index finger. Despite the contemptuous gesture, Kalion remained calm.
“It won’t go as you wish.”
“Haha… A bold human, huh? Usually, people run away in fear when they see something like this. Did you expect this?”
Although embarrassed by Morrison’s words, Kalion, who did not show it, glared menacingly.
“Well… I’ll give you credit for your courage.”
Morrison’s tone was filled with confidence that his opponent could never win. Ironically, it was the men behind him who were shaken by those words.
“I’ll tear your mouth off.”
Morrison chuckled at the members’ harsh attitude.
“Is that so?”
“Kku. Kup. Keuk.”
The man whose throat Morrison was gripping seemed to be still alive, twisting in apparent agony as he opened his mouth.
Kalion tightened his grip on the hilt of his sword at the mixture of pain-laden moans emanating from within. His gaze briefly shifted from the man towards Morrison again.
“If you can, go ahead. I still have to continue the experiment.”
Morrison, delicately extracting enough blood to keep the man alive and injecting his own blood, shrugged his shoulders. The man, who had been hanging limply from Morrison’s actions, was lifted up and then fell to the ground as Morrison shrugged.
“Yongyong, play with them.”
The hot breath from the rough snort filled the cave with warmth. The dragon, hiding Morrison behind it, took a step forward.
With its blood-stained wings spread out and its enormous body seeming to fill the cave, it was uncertain whether anyone would survive this encounter. Kalion and the members shared the same thoughts, but they couldn’t give up.
With each sweep of the dragon’s tail hitting the ground, dirt fell from the cave ceiling.
Vertically torn pupils scanned the enemy knights like a predator.
Kalion dodged a sudden attack by bending his body. Everyone rolled away, regaining their positions.
As the intense battle unfolded, Morrison, seemingly uninterested in the combat, remained calm and focused on the experiment, observing the experiment subject endure for a prolonged period.
Morrison appeared serene, as if in a separate space from the fierce battle between the dragon and the group. His eyes sparkled with anticipation for the success of the experiment.
“You just have to endure. Easy, right?”
The soothing words rang frighteningly in the ears. The man could only mumble weakly, unable to utter any coherent words. His limp body couldn’t even struggle.
“Do you still want to live?”
Morrison asked gently, and as the man tried to respond, froth bubbled up from his mouth, his jaws widening.
“That’s it, want to live. I’ll let you live. I hope you do, for your sake.”