1-48 Second Departure

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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

“It’s still alive?” Erin gasped from where she lay after Lyra tackled her into the ground, avoiding the axe thrown at her way. Her widened eyes fixed on the headless Wight which she had just beheaded.

Yes, it was still headless. Yet, it was moving and it was moving like it still had its eyes. Its arms which had been cut off by Erin were now reattached to its shoulders. As she squinted her eyes, she could see the scar around the joints. It confirmed those were indeed the arms Erin had severed from its shoulders and somehow, its arms were reattached.

Erin glanced at the Wight’s status. It read; Deceased: Spellbound like initially. Nothing had changed. Decapitation was the bread and butter trick in slaying undeads or at least that was what she and everyone had believed. Evidently, this didn’t seem to apply to Wights. Based on a quick speculation she concocted in this perilous moment, decapitation was only effective for lesser undeads.

The Wight was winding up its other axe to toss. Considering their position, Erin knew Lyra and she herself wouldn’t have enough time to move themselves out of harm’s way.

“F̲u̲c̲k̲ it,” Erin uttered. She summoned strength into her hand as she curled it into a fist. As the Wight threw the axe, Erin slammed her fist onto the roof. The straw roof broke easily in response to her nineteen points of Might and the two fell through and into the hut.

Lyra gave off a cry as they landed but Erin merely groaned as she had already anticipated the fall. A notification came up in regards to her injuries but Erin paid it no heed. She was well-aware of what kind of injuries she had but there was no use in giving it anymore attention.

“A little warning next time,” Lyra grunted. As she tried to stand up, Erin pulled her close by her undershirt’s collar abruptly.

“Why did you push me out of the way!?” Erin roared.

Lyra was stunned by Erin’s sudden reproach but she regained her thoughts seconds after. “To save you, what else?” she answered calmly.

“I would have been fine!”

“You would have been terribly hurt if I hadn’t.”

Erin grimaced. “Yes, that would have happened but that also means Freed would have lived!”

“I don’t care about Freed!” Lyra shouted back. “I care about you! I’m not going to risk trading your life for a person whose face I wouldn’t even remember on the morrow.”

Erin was stunned by her response.

“If given the chance to relive that moment, I would make the same choice again. Besides, we would all be dead regardless, if you’re gravely injured.’”

Erin wanted to rebuke her actions but her reasoning was emotional yet sound. Also, now was no time for quarrels. “We’ll talk about this later. For now, run back to Aedan. I’ll distract the Wight.”

Lyra frowned. “No,” she refuted with a stern voice.

“Lyra, this is no time—”

“The hell it is.” Lyra locked her gaze with Erin’s. “You can’t even walk without staggering. I am not leaving you.”

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Before the exchange could escalate any further, the Wight burst into the house. Splinters flew to every corner of the small room. Its head was now also reattached to its neck. It chuckled at the sight of the two.

Erin scowled. “It’s mocking us.” She took a stance but her injuries disconcerted her. Her eyes scoured her surroundings for her sword but before she could find her weapon, the Wight had moved.

Noticing Erin’s dire state, Lyra moved herself in between the Wight and Erin. She drew her short sword and rushed at the Wight. It reached out for her but Lyra was quicker than the Wight’s movement. She evaded its grasp and plunged the sword into one of its eyes. With neither a cry or a simple grunt, it gave a rasped laugh instead. Lyra backed off when she realized the futility of her actions but the Wight caught her arm during that momentary freeze. Lyra took out a dagger concealed on her thigh and slashed at the arm grasping her wrist.

The Wight didn’t even twitch. It ignored Lyra’s struggles and wrapped its free hand around her neck. Its fingers pressed down onto Lyra’s neck as it began strangling the life out of her. Lyra stabbed repeatedly at its head with her dagger but the Wight didn’t even make the slightest budge. Soon, her eyes turned white from the lack of air in her body. Foam began forming in the corner of her lips.

Just before the Wight could snap the frail woman in its grasp, a battle cry resonated in the small house. The Wight’s hold loosened as the shout caught its attention.

Erin charged straight at the Wight with all the strength she could muster up before the undead was able to catch on. She rammed into the Wight, freeing Lyra from its hold as the two went tumbling through the hole in the wall, across the ground, and out of the hut.

“Just f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g̲ run, damn it!” Erin shouted back to Lyra before she even got herself off the ground.

The Wight was already back on its feet. Wounds were apparent on its body but none of it held any significance. The Wight tilted its head at Erin, curiosity and fascination appearing on its hollow expression.

Without affirming Lyra’s obedience towards her desperate entreat, Erin forced herself to her feet, gazing furiously at the Wight. She was feeling her own weight, becoming heavier than she could bear, and her vision was doubling everything in her sight. Her breath could barely meet the demands of her body. She was exerting her strength over her limits. Every fiber, muscle, and nerves of her body screamed at her. This wasn’t the first time she put herself in such a state and she was certain it wouldn’t be the last either.

She reined in her breath and strung it out in her lungs. She raised her fists in front of her head and bent her knees. It felt like darkness would overtake her sight at any moment but those fears weren’t present in her mind. The only fear in her mind was what would happen if she gave up right now.

She taunted the Wight with a gesture of daring the undead to approach her.

[Experience gained +5% – Level Progression: 85%]

Erin laughed dryly at the fruitless gain. She welcomed it but it did nothing to change her situation.

The Wight rushed at her, perhaps it ran out of patience or the taunt worked. Either way, Erin didn’t care. She was just relieved the Wight was approaching her. It spared her the effort of being the one doing the approaching which was a lot of help considering her current state.

The Wight took a swipe with its jagged nails. Erin evaded the slash spectacularly in spite of her unfocused vision. It had only been possible due to her heightened sense of hearing as a Fox-kin.

The Wight was baffled but it didn’t hesitate with its next move. It swung its claws again but Erin gracefully evaded its talons and positioned herself for a counter. She lunged with a straight punch at its jaws. It wouldn’t deal any actual damage but that wasn’t Erin’s aim. The Wight stumbled back. Even though it didn’t feel any pain, it was still disconcerted from the punch.

In its fazed state, the Wight lashed out wildly but Erin moved in close while barely dodging its claws. Erin raised an uppercut into its abdomen. The Wight growled and swiped at the spot where Erin had been. She was already a few feet from its reach. Stinging agony was present throughout her body but Erin refused to submit.

“Even if I die, I’ll die fighting.”

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Erin dodged a few more attacks and launched a few of her own. Though the attacks were null to the Wight itself, it was still capable of destroying its body. This was her only strategy in the meantime. It wouldn’t destroy the Wight but at the very least, she could stall for some time.

“But what am I even stalling for?” she asked herself.

Her persistence was nothing more than her reluctance to accept her grim and despairing reality. In her past life, she survived multitude of plights and predicaments thanks to her arrogance. As long as she was still drawing breaths and moving her limbs, she would never accept her lost.

She persisted and pressed on with the same form of movements against the Wight. She got in close, bait its attacks, dodged them with her hearing, and retaliated with quick jabs. The Wight was simply robust and stronger. It lacked precision and speed.

Even the sharpest blade would be useless if the edge never touched the flesh of one’s opponent.

The Wight’s expression was slowly contorting into something uglier than ever. Even though it lacked hesitation towards atrocities and cruelties, the Wight was still vexed over its own failure of inflicting harm on its opponent.

The Wight finally howled its frustration.

It managed to grab Erin’s arm during one of her punches. The Wight didn’t become faster. Erin was the one who slowed down due to her exhaustion.

Before the Wight could try anything, Erin spun in her position, slamming her tails into the Wight’s face. The Wight had nothing but a confused look. It didn’t expect much from those furry tails but when it hit, the Wight was launched off its feet.

[Might: 19 increase to 20]

Erin chuckled without any essence to her voice. Once again, the meagre increment was futile to her present situation but she wasn’t complaining.

She then fell to one knee. Her breaths rasped with her exhaustion seeping in. She took this moment to look around for Lyra. She didn’t see her anywhere. She listened for the sounds but no sounds or noises that indicated Lyra’s presence. Her nose was useless in this circumstance since the stench of blood was all she could smell.

The Wight hissed loudly as it got to its feet. Its hiss was loud enough to the point that it was stinging Erin’s ears. She also pushed herself back to her feet, ignoring the agony coursing through her nerves and muscles. At this point, she wouldn’t be surprised if she just dropped dead all of a sudden.

The Wight rushed at her again. Its attacks contained more strength than before but they were still graceless as ever. Erin evaded them all by a hair’s breadth. Even in her current state, Erin could still see its attacks. It was erratic but its anger made it predictable.

It shouted with rage when it missed a heavy swipe and got countered in its face with a fist. The Wight was getting more and more perplexed. The Fox-kin was somehow winning against it despite her condition.

Erin grinned at the Wight’s frustration. It wasn’t just because of her fists that landed almost every punch she threw but also her tails were doing a whole lot of damage to the Wight’s composure. During such precarious moments, Erin had improved her control over her tails. Perhaps it was as she believed, evolution is a byproduct of one’s desperation for survival.

[Finesse: 18 increase to 19] [Brawler: Lv 4 increase to Lv 5]

However, her retaliating strikes were losing strength in tandem with her accumulating exhaustion. She lost her balance in her steps as her exhaustion reached a tipping point. The Wight caught this opportunity and landed a solid punch across her jaws. She flew across the ruined grounds of the village. She rolled for some distance before coming to a stop.

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Her lower jaw was broken and blood dripped incessantly from her mouth. She clutched at her broken ribs as she stood up.

The Wight snarled and sniggered at the same time. It looked absolutely elated with its wide grin.

A faint gleam caught Erin’s eyes then. She focused her blurry vision at the item that had apparently taunted her attention. When her vision regathered its focus, she realized the gleam came from her saber, reflecting the sun’s glare. During their messy brawl, they had somehow moved close to where her blade fell.

There was still some distance between her and her sword.

The Wight took notice of her saber at the same time. The saber wasn’t closer to one of them than the other. They both gazed at each. Their brows twitched. They both had the same idea.

Erin took off in a dash at the saber and the Wight did the same. With her meagre amount of Mana, Erin used Fleet Foot.

She was the first to reach her sword. She slipped to a stop in her tracks. She scooped the sword into her hand. She spun with both of her hands around her sword hilt— but the Wight was only a few feet behind her.

The Wight had moved in close to her, close enough to stop her swing by trapping her arms under its own. Erin struggled but the Wight’s strength triumphed against hers. It growled gleefully, basking in the delight of finally ensnaring its devious opponent as it snapped her arms.

There was a brief pause in Erin’s thoughts at the sound of a sharp crack.

A second passed.

Reality struck the Fox-kin’s mind.

Erin bellowed in agony. It was her first cry of pain in such a long time. She had always seethed through her agony by gritting her teeth but now, it was not possible. Her hands released her firm hold on the saber.

The Wight snatched the saber from Erin’s loosened grip. It grabbed Erin by her shoulder to prevent her from moving. Not that she could even do so if the Wight didn’t. The pain from her twisted snapped arms had numbed her whole body. The Wight gave a patronizing chuckle before proceeding to plunge her own blade through her chest.

Erin gasped with her mouth fully agape.

Her eyes also widened as she looked down at the blade which was impaled through her.

She was in disbelief. This was her end.

She vowed to herself to make the most out of this second life of hers. There was so much she could do with her newfound life.

Yet again… her life had come to an abrupt end.

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She looked back up at the Wight who had nothing but a grin on its smug face.

She tried to pull the blade out but the Wight was pushing it in further. She couldn’t even gather strength into her hand to form a fist, let alone throw one last punch. Strength had forsaken her body.

The dark clouded her vision and cold seeped into her skin as death had once again arrived to claim her soul.

“ERIN!!” was the last thing Erin heard before she lost all of her consciousness.

“Ah… so you didn’t run away.” Erin muttered her last words with much regret in her heart. “I-I’m sorry… Lyra…”

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