Theo waited for several minutes without looking at how Shella slowly died even though her voice kept echoing in his ears. He only closed his eyes.
Of course, killing someone, especially in a way like this, bothered him. He would be a psychopath if not. However, he had no regret because his life would be in danger had he not killed her.
"Theo…Steel your heart. To reach your goal, you will face it on a daily basis." Theo clenched his fists and convinced himself.
After a while, her voice dimmed, and soon, only the sound of the wind could be heard.
Taking one deep breath, he peeked and found that Shella didn"t move anymore.
As much as he wanted to get anything valuable from what she and Eric brought, he decided to stop.
It wasn"t because of his morals. Instead, the search party, especially the Lange Family, might come here and find them. If he showed any more trace than this, they might find out about him.
"All that left is…" Theo looked to the side. "To lure a monster here."
After checking the loot from the bear, he proceeded to scout the area around him.
It took him a whole five minutes before he heard something breaking near him.
Forty feet away to his left, a wolf just stepped on a branch and snapped it into two. It smelled blood permeating the air and came all the way here.
Theo, who first saw it, hurriedly hid behind a tree and summoned his clone while taking out his device, checking the monster"s species.
Name: Night Wolf
Since the wolf had yet to discover him, he chose to read more of the description.
"Night wolf is a hunter of this forest during the night. They hunt alone during the day while moving with their pack during the night…I see. It seems I can safely lure this wolf," Theo thought while controlling his clone.
"Grrr…" The wolf sensed Theo"s presence and turned its head.
Although it was completely unnecessary, Theo raised his middle finger with a smirk before turning around, running toward Shella and Eric.
As if it got provoked by Theo"s extreme action, it began chasing Theo.
With his back facing the wolf, he could sense him but unaware of its actual distance. Even so, he kept running as fast as possible.
"Grr…" The wolf caught up in just a few seconds of running and leaped toward his right hand, trying to bite it off.
The clone didn"t bring a weapon and let the wolf shred his right arm with those sharp fangs. There was no pain and blood coming out of the ripped arm, but the real Theo felt a pressure in his head as his magic power rushed out of his body.
"Seriously. The clone uses this much magic when it gets hit?" Theo thought while sweatdropped.
Theo"s right hand quickly disappeared as it wasn"t connected with the body.
Noticing that there was nothing in its mouth, the wolf got angered and planned to strike him from behind to eat him as a whole.
Theo smiled and jumped to the side, avoiding its charge. He kept running for another ten seconds, continuously avoiding every single attack.
"Almost," growled Theo in a low voice before finding the big tree that fell down earlier. Shella"s body was still underneath it while Eric was in the open.
As soon as he saw them, Theo slowed down his pace and purposely let the wolf hit him.
The wolf grazed his back with its paw.
Using that chance, Theo deactivated his clone, forcing it to disappear. Without him blocking the wolf"s sight, it quickly realized Shella"s and Eric"s bodies on the ground. The blood scent permeated from it perfectly fit with the one it smelled earlier.
The wolf looked around for one more time.
After confirming that it was safe, the wolf began munching the corpses as if it was a feast.
Theo didn"t dare to watch the process and silently walked away.
He stopped by a tree, a few hundred feet away, and sat on the ground with his back leaning on the tree. His eyes focused on the blue sky.
"How peaceful…" Theo forced himself to say those two words. Although it was only for precaution, he still believed what he did was a bit too excessive. "I thought I had steeled myself to do this, but why did I become this weak?"
He pinched the bridge of his nose and took a few deep breaths.
"I should finish my original objective and stop thinking about this topic." He ended up shaking his head a few times to regain his focus and stood up.
Suddenly, a burst of laughter filled his ears.
In that instant, Theo knew that the laughter didn"t come from a human.
He took a peek behind the tree, raised his vision, and thought, "It"s a monkey. Even without the monster checker, I already know this monster. Deku Monkey. Its level is similar to the Black Bear I faced, but instead of its overwhelming power, this guy is agile. With my current fighting ability, this will be a perfect match-up for me to see how far I can go today."
He summoned his clone and gave him his sword.
As a careful person, Theo sent his clone to go first, so the monkey would focus on him.
The monkey had brown furs and red hands. Its tail was a bit longer than the monkey that could be found on Earth.
Considering the monkey"s position, Theo grabbed a small stone on the ground and tossed it as hard as possible. His aim wasn"t that good anyway, so he just planned to hit the tree instead of the monkey.
Luckily, the monkey acted as he predicted. It jumped off the tree as soon as the stone hit the trunk and landed on the ground.
Clone Theo raised his sword while looking ahead to check whether there was another monkey like this around.
While checking, the monkey saw that Theo dropped a significant amount of his focus. It took that chance to close the distance between them before throwing a punch right to his face.
Theo smiled and regained his focus. His right hand clenched the sword tighter and waved it horizontally in order to cut the monkey"s hand that came from below him.
Unfortunately, the monkey was less than a meter, so he couldn"t slash its neck together with the hand.
The monkey"s instinct seemed to be stronger than the average Deku Monkeys. It sensed Theo"s attack, pulled the hand, and ducked down. The second attack also came from below, but it didn"t aim at Theo"s face anymore.
It turned out that the monkey was worse than expected. The second attack actually aimed at his ball.
"!!!" Clone Theo quickly spun his sword and pierced downward in order to stop the monkey"s fist.
Not wanting to be stabbed by the sword, the monkey pulled back again and retreated a few steps.
The real Theo then made his appearance and thrust his spear right on the monkey"s neck.
To his surprise, the monkey spun its body mid-air and threw a punch. Unlike the previous movement, the monkey acted as if it didn"t fear the spear.
It turned out that it had confidence in handling the spear.
Right before the spear"s blade pierced its fist, the monkey shifted its body and grabbed the spear"s handle like how he moved around the tree branches.
With the additional monkey"s weight, Theo lowered his spear. This became the chance that the monkey could take advantage of.
The monkey launched itself toward Theo and punched him in the face.
The sharp pain woke him up and made him realize what just happened. His body rolled on the ground a few times before his hand lifted him up and launched him two feet in the air, allowing him to regain his balance and stop his momentum.
For one second, Clone Theo stopped due to the lack of command from the real him.
"It seems I need to continuously operate my clone or people will realize it sooner or later." Theo thought while swearing in his heart not to do it again.
Clone Theo quickly restarted its movement and charged at the monkey, swinging his sword downwards.
The monkey grabbed the spear again and used it to block the sword.
"Why is this monkey so smart?" Theo was astonished by this degree of intelligence.
He remembered when the one bestowed him his current power actually applauded for his luck, not his strength, a few days ago.
Theo might have yet to be qualified to fight the monster around here.
"I need more training after this," Theo muttered in a low voice and pulled his spear to throw the monkey"s balance, but it turned out that the monkey had somehow expected it.
A strange white light fluctuated on the monkey"s hand, traveling forward to his stomach.
"What? A Skill?" Theo widened his eyes, raised his spear, and blocked the punch with the spear"s handle, albeit the force behind that punch was not something that his strength was capable of fully stopping it.
In addition to the laughter, the monkey blew Theo several feet away.
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