The extra Is too Strong – Chapter 48

Chapter 48: The Cursed Witch

Silver Blood was an old organization. There are countless secret organizations in the world, but surprisingly few have a history that spans over 500 years, mainly because that period marks the end of the era of myths and the beginning of the age of mortals. Silver Blood was one of those rare organizations that traced its history back to that time, firmly believing they were the strongest of all.

“We’ve opened the New Blood here.”

They were now in Lelaine, a commercial city in the southern part of the Kingdom of Lutban.

Specifically, they were in a secretive underground facility beneath the city’s aqueducts.

A woman with an eyepatch covering one eye remarked as her solitary eye glimmered, “The trail is fresh, only a few days old. It should be easier to follow from here.”

“That’s a relief.”

The one who spoke, with a hint of annoyance on his face, was a tall warrior with a muscular build. The man with red hair and blue eyes grumbled, “What on earth is he doing? There’s no telling based on the places he’s visited.”

“I’m curious as well. I really don’t understand his movements. If he were trying to escape us, he should have fled faster, but that’s not the case…”

The woman sighed deeply. They were on a mission: to capture Mord of Bernast, the duke’s bastard. Silver Blood had lent numerous agents to support Bernast’s hunting dog, Berin, but all had failed and were annihilated. For Silver Blood, it was an oversight they couldn’t ignore.

They needed to understand the situation clearly and wash away the humiliation of their failed cooperation with the duke. Therefore, this time, they dispatched forces of a different caliber than those given to Berin, including several key members and warriors far stronger than those provided before.

“Either way, I’d say we’re nearing the end of this tedious task. Let’s finish it quickly and enjoy some vacation.”

The one-eyed woman, possessing strong detection and tracking abilities, was confident. Mord had done his best to cover his tracks as requested by Kiel, but his efforts were futile against this woman’s skills.

Tracking was a matter of following traces, and though it took significant time to catch up to Mord and Kiel—who moved incredibly fast—it was still possible.

“I’ll show that son of Bernast the true hell for making me suffer like this.”

Thus, enemies wielding mythical powers were inching closer to Mord every second.

* * *

The information Mord had gathered by reading was riddled with gaps. While he could remember the contents of over 500 chapters with astonishing clarity…

‘No matter how much I know, I can’t fill in the blanks that the story skipped over.’

Sedocma didn’t detail every single one of Aidan’s movements. There were many summarized parts, such as “during this period, such things happened.” Among these was the acquisition of a world fragment from a hidden dungeon in a specific region.

“…This won’t do.”

Mord had been wandering the mountains, desperately searching for the dungeon for seven days, eventually realizing that continuing this blindly was a waste of precious time.

“What’s the matter? You’re not giving up, are you?”

“Indeed. It’s been a waste of time.”

Mord’s grimace responded to Kiel’s surprised inquiry. His only clue was that Aidan’s party had discovered and conquered a dungeon in the area.

Unlike facing the dungeon of the Wolf Goddess or the subsequent dungeons, there were no concrete clues like ‘a sharp rock glowing white under the moonlight.’

Despite searching the area thoroughly for seven days, he found nothing.

“It’s too costly to cling to an impossible task.”

Mord had only eight months left before he needed to join the Gatekeepers in the Northern White Demon Territory. He couldn’t afford to waste any days aimlessly.

‘I shouldn’t be too fixated on sticking to a specific route.’

Mord wanted to minimize wasted time at all costs. Therefore, he tried to achieve as much as possible at every stop while traveling from the Grand Duke’s castle towards the north.

However, after fruitlessly searching for seven days, he realized that his plan might have been overly optimistic.

‘Handling definite matters first is the best way to save time.’

Relying on scant clues proved to be less efficient than addressing tasks where he knew exactly what and where to find things, even if it led to some detours.

“What’s next, then?”

Kiel inquired.

“Next is…”

Mord paused, lost in thought with many options to consider. Which one was worth choosing right away? Soon, he made his decision.

“Let’s go free the cursed witch.”

“Huh?”

“Let’s break the ancient curse binding her, beat some demons, and also get our hands on an incredibly old sword.”

* * *

In the southeastern mountains of the Kingdom of Lutban, there was an aged legend about the Witch of the Marsh and Mist. It was said that in the swamp of an untouched mountainous area lived a witch who controlled the fog and devoured humans, a hideous entity.

Such legends are common throughout the world, mostly fictional creations born from people’s fears and imaginations, without real substance.

“However, the legend in this region has some truth behind it.”

It took only three days for Mord and Kiel to arrive at a village in the mountainous area after setting their destination. Trained in long-distance travel, Kiel had no problem keeping up with Mord.

‘I still have so much to learn.’

To Mord’s benefit, keeping pace with Kiel, who excelled at traversing harsh terrains at high speeds, proved to be a valuable learning experience.

‘This might even be a skill comparable to Sir Kesner.’

Mord couldn’t give higher praise, given their prowess.

For Kiel, the more he observed Mord, the more unbelievable Mord’s talent seemed.

‘How monstrous can this guy be?’

The sheer absurdity of Mord’s natural gifts was beyond anything Kiel, who was no stranger to being hailed as a prodigy, had encountered before.

Kiel all the while kept his true thoughts hidden as he asked, “How do you know about these things?”

“A privileged source of information.”

“That’s cheap. Can’t you tell me?”

“Alright, I’ll tell you. It’s because the traces of a god within me have shown me the great prophecies written in the destiny of the world.”

“…”

“See? Even when I tell the truth, you look at me that way, which is why I didn’t say anything.”

“Ugh, that’s so sly and mean.”

Kiel muttered as Mord snickered. The truth lay beyond what could be explained. At this time, how many would be able to accept it even if he spoke the truth?

‘Maybe even in the future, will there be anyone?’

Suddenly, Mord wondered whether he was destined to live in solitude, unable to share the truth with anyone, on this very matter.

Or perhaps during his adventures, might he encounter someone with whom he could share the truth?

‘Even so…’

Being alone was something he had come to be familiar with, ever since his days as Eum Tae-seong. Living without hesitation had always led him to solitude. Yet, familiarity with loneliness didn’t mean he enjoyed it. There were times when he painfully longed to share his true feelings with someone.

This desire grew stronger when he was lying in a hospital bed, paralyzed from an accident.

Right before his rebirth as Mord, he had felt incredibly vulnerable, as if he could shatter at any moment.

And now, despite being much stronger in spirit as Mord, he couldn’t help but entertain the thought.

‘…I wish there were at least one person.’

While Mord was pondering, not to Kiel beside him but to somewhere distant, we shift to another place…

* * *

This was a land where sunlight never penetrated. The last time she saw the blue sky was a memory the witch couldn’t recall. The world forever remained in a hazy mist, dimly brightening and darkening with the passing days.

Surrounded by a gloomy fog over the swamp, she questioned herself,

‘How long must I continue like this?’

A moment later she pondered,

‘Why am I enduring this, to begin with?’

Her memories were unclear.

Was it because it had been too long, or was there another reason? Even that she couldn’t ascertain.

Only one thing lingered in her mind, ‘I must keep my promise.’

Whom she promised and when were lost memories, but she felt a compulsion to keep it. Eternally, she must protect the artifact entrusted to her in this place…

‘Why?’

She didn’t understand the reason, but she knew she had to.

Suddenly, she looked up. A faint touch of sunlight caught the corner of her eye. Drawn to it, she walked through the fog to find its source. Beyond the mists bloomed a white flower.

She sat before it, smiling gently, and stayed that way until the small sliver of sunlight vanished.

* * *

Camping in the wild was nothing new, but no matter how accustomed they were to it, it wasn’t as pleasant as sleeping under a sturdy roof. So, they spent the night in a nearby village.

It wasn’t a place frequented by outsiders, and there were no inns catering to travelers. Nevertheless, there’s nothing money can’t solve. They were welcomed into a family home, fed to their full, and offered relatively comfortable beds for the night.

“Are you really planning to seek out the Witch of the Swamp?” The host asked as Mord devoured a prodigious amount of bread and soup at breakfast. Thanks to Kiel’s generous payment, the family members were more than happy to accommodate his appetite.

“Yes, we are,” Mord replied bluntly.

“Both of you are not ordinary by any means… but I still wish you would reconsider.”

“Have there been many disappearances?” Mord probed.

“In the past five years, since people avoided venturing too deep, hardly anyone has gone missing. Outsiders haven’t come by either. But before that, several have.”

“And what about outsiders who went missing?”

“I remember one when I was young. But you see, in my father’s and grandfather’s time, there were many more…”

The man shared stories of frequent disappearances from older generations, but to Mord, they didn’t ring particularly convincing.

‘People getting lost in the woods here is a regular occurrence.’ Even on Earth, one can get lost in the forest, even with knowledge of local geography. Once darkness falls, the chances increase.

And in this world, the risks only multiply. It’s a place where monsters loom, and one could even be led to death by the magical properties of herbs they forage.

‘Yet, if no one has gone missing for five years, that’s the truly strange part.’ Mord suspected it was thanks to someone’s intervention.

‘Luckily, she is awake. Had she still been asleep, I would have wasted even more time.’ He surmised that the witch, feared by the locals, had actually been performing acts of kindness.



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