There was nothing Isha could do but weep as the threshold disappeared in front of her eyes. The person she loved vanished just like that, and she could not do anything.

Now, she could not help but hate herself for being useless and not beside Vylan when he was in danger.

”I don believe you, Esecleus! ”

She repeatedly uttered as tears flowed down her face while on both knees with her face covered.

”Hic… Sir Vylans brother will learn of this! Not just his brother but all of his family! They will come for you! You murderer! ”

Vice-Chief Wrights men were there to assist Isha and Esecleus. The latter got up, his face disheartened by Ishas words.

”Forgive me, Isha. I–I was… helpless and useless. If only I was stronger, this would not have happened. Im truly sorry. I will miss Vylan. ”

And only Isha saw Esecleus put his tongue out on her, mocking the entirety of his words and Lions Mane guild.

”Did all of you just see that? That bastard laughed! ”

”What are you saying, Ms. Isha? Esecleus was crying. ”

Esecleus walked away after bidding his farewell to everyone, wiping off the tears he had with his sleeve, then going straight to watch the moon in an abandoned building.

He was spacing out as he adored the beauty of the night, lying on the rooftop with his legs crossed and resting on his arms.

”Things are gonna get exciting. I can wait to fight people after spending most of my time slaughtering monsters. ”

Esecleus began to sing at the peacefulness while recalling all his hard work before reaching where he is right now.

***

”Azure needs some treatment! His right arm has been bitten off by the Queen Cobra! ”

On Esecleus first day as a freelance hunter, before he joined the Lions Mane guild, the raid had just begun, but things were already pretty hectic.

”Who would have expected the thresholds guardian to appear right after we entered! ”

Esecleus and four others ended up coming across the Queen Cobras den at the start of their raid. All of the known cobras are venomous and many are capable of rearing upwards and producing a hood when threatened.

However, this Queen Cobra was far more dangerous than any commonly known cobra. With its elongated fangs, wide mouth that could swallow a human whole in an instant, and poison-spitting characteristic, Queen Cobra had proved herself independent and did not need a partner to defend herself from invasive humans and other races.

”He does not look good! Trevor, all of our antidotes had been destroyed by the Queen Cobra! Its impossible to save Azure now! ”

Trevor and Elxid both knew Azure was done for, considering the amount of venom inside his body. He was panting, breathing heavily, and feeling sharp pains in his chest. His body was also stiffening, resulting from the destruction of his outer membrane of capillary vessels, causing internal blessings. Moreover, the venom activated the blood clotting system, causing clots around the circulatory system.

The two could only bite their lips in frustration as they watched their friend endure the pain, which was visible in his face.

”Are you two just gonna idle about there? I need a helping hand here! ”

Queen Cobra had three spawns attacking Esecleus simultaneously while their last member died, swallowed whole by the monster.

There was no time to mourn the dead. Queen Cobra easily puts the man down its stretchable body and is already ready to gulp down the remaining hunters.

”That guy is holding himself against the cobras, although he is a complete beginner! We must not falter, Trevor! This is for Azure and Andrew! ”

A D-rank threshold was something Esecleus chose for his first-ever hunt. He wanted his first time to be memorable but what happened was far more unforgettable.

”I knew that a kitchen knife would not do any damage! Good thing a sledgehammer designed to be used against monsters was by my side! ”

Esecleus picked it up earlier when his party member, Andrew, was killed by the Queen Cobra. Even with armor on, Andrew did not survive the venom inside the Queen Cobras body, which gradually melted his armor. Next was his skin and flesh, then lastly, his bones. Andrew turned into a nutritious meal for the Queen Cobra in just several minutes.

By using the sledgehammer, which proved itself to be effective against the scaly skin of the cobras, Esecleus dealt serious damage to the monsters. He was shattering their hard skin here and there, making them retreat and target the other two.

”You
e not getting away! ”

He hustled, kicking off the ground and smashing one of the three cobras tails.

”Hiss! ”

The Queen Cobras attention shifted to Esecleus upon having its spawns getting hurt badly.

”Shit! ”

It spews its venom to Esecleus location. Its quantity was enough to liquefy Esecleus in just a matter of seconds.

Esecleus jumped to the side, hitting his back against a rock he was expecting before. Instantaneously, he climbed up on the rock, hiding behind it, when the Queen Cobra spitted once again his venom.

”Uwah! That obliterated the big rock! ”

Trevor and Elxid came to his aid. They had Queen Cobras attention shifted to them after casting magic spells onto it.

But it was not enough to inflict any serious damage on the snake.

”Hiss! ”

Its speed was unfathomable despite its huge structure.

”Its coming! ”

Elxid went to his right while Trevor tumbled to the other side, but he was met with the snakes crushing tail. The Queen Cobras tail was part of the valuable parts, and loot hunters claimed after killing it.

Petrified minerals formed as another weapon for the Queen Cobra, which is highly sought by loot buyers because of the number of minerals it contains.

”Guh! ”

Trevor flung away. He only stopped rolling when he hit his head on the wall of the snakes den, which resulted in him losing consciousness. It was created underneath the ground where there was only one way out, and the interior was filled with rocks it collected.

Elxid, on the other hand, tried climbing the snakes body with his one-handed sword. Luckily, he reached the Queen Cobras head. His resolve was unwavering. Elxid held the handle with both hands, about to stab the snake on the scaly back of its head.

It descended on the snakes head successfully. However…

”It snapped? ”

And the part where Elxid tried piercing cracked a little. His strength was enough to kill the snake, but the swords durability was lacking. Therefore, Elxid faced the consequences of his actions.

The Queen Cobra shook him off its head. Elxid was free-falling, and the

snake quickly ascended up in the air with its mouth wide open, about to swallow Elxid whole.

”Farewell, idiot! ”

Esecleus was overwhelmed with the sledgehammer. Three snakes about his size could not do anything against his crazy way of dealing with monsters. He does not fear nor shows any contempt when facing the monsters. Unlike the Queen Cobra, these three spawns of her do not possess the same amount of venom she can spew. Which means they can only transmit venom through their fangs.

Like a balloon filled with blood getting popped with something sharp, Elxids body was crushed, and blood flowed from both ends of the snakes mouth.

And then there were crunchy sounds reverberating inside the den as the snake chewed on it when it was not supposed to.

On the other hand, Esecleus grabbed one of the remaining two cobras tails, and he was dragged along, his body skidding on the rocky ground.

”Hmm? ”

After multiple decaying venoms being spewed everywhere, Esecleus noticed the change in the Queen Cobra. Instead of just swallowing Elxid whole, it munched on him, which was totally strange.

However, Esecleus thought that it might be its other way of enjoying its food, so he cast the thought aside.

The snake hissed at Esecleus, threatening him after he regained his composure and pulled the snake back after trying to crawl away.

”You
e not going anywhere! ”

Using the sledgehammer, he began mashing its skin. The cracking noise became a piece of music to his ears. The soothing sound of the snakes scales breaking was something Esecleus could not get tired of listening to.

”Hiss! ”

Its cry sounded like it was calling for its mother. The spawn was asking for the Queen Cobras help before Esecleus completely destroyed its whole body.

With its agility, the Queen Cobra crawled as fast as it could, but she was too late to help her baby. Esecleus had gone, and turned the snakes head into a paste using the sledgehammer.

A loud hiss echoed, a sign that the Queen Cobra was pissed at the death of its baby.

Its speed increased, and before Esecleus could escape, his body was being squeezed tightly by the snakes tightening structure.

”Ahhhh!!! ”

Painfully, he felt his bones crushing everywhere in his body; his life felt like being squished out of its container. His guts were squeezed out like a paste.

And thus, Esecleus died for the first time.

~

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