Chapter 87 - Chapter 14: The Last Flame #2
The party set up camp under a hill near Spider Forest.
They were now pros at camping; Carack set up the fire and scouted around with Robin, while Daphne prepared water for the party.
In-gong had nothing to do with setting up the camp, so he sat down next to Caitlin in order to practice aura.
In-gong and Caitlin sat facing each other like they had done in the lycanthrope house and grabbed both hands. They were able to get to the quad-core state after closing their eyes because they had already learnt the trick.
The previous quad-core had simply been a big, strong flow of aura. However, it was different this time. Caitlin led In-gong and In-gong pushed Caitlin; Caitlin’s knowledge of Divine Beast Authority led Divine Sura Authority to a higher level.
In order to ensure proper aura training, the technical part should be carried out in parallel. Therefore, when In-gong first learnt Divine Beast Authority, he mainly focused on the technical elements.
He had to do that this time but couldn’t stop the aura training. This was just the beginning, but the feeling of the two auras uniting caused a great sense of accomplishment.
Once again, In-gong and Caitlin forgot about the time. One hour and then another hour. Then it lasted for another hour after the party finished eating together.
The air was cold.
As In-gong experienced the change in temperature and started to feel other things, his consciousness woke up.
He wasn’t sure, but it seemed like some time had passed. As In-gong’s aura slowed, Caitlin responded to it. The two people quickly released their quad-cores and opened their eyes slowly.
It was a twilight world. Instead of the orange of sunset, purple light that was turning black filled the sky. Moreover, the night was being pushed. The darkness was soon filled with a purple energy.
It was a strange feeling. When he thought about it, he barely remembered witnessing the time when day and night turned around. Was it normal for day and night to change this way?
In-gong raised his head and stared at the night sky. Both eyes naturally looked for the moon in the darkness.
In-gong once again felt a sense of incongruity.
The distorted moon was shining green. It seemed like an intense poison that would make the world melt.
Additionally, there were no stars. At that moment, In-gong lowered his gaze and looked before him.
Caitlin was standing while staring up at the night sky. However, she was a little strange. Her mouth was open and her eyes were blinking like she had been drugged.
Caitlin also looked down at In-gong. Suddenly, she groaned and pushed strength into both hands.
She let out an incredible wolf-like roar. In-gong tried reflexively to restrain Caitlin, but it wasn’t easy. As a mix between a lycanthrope and sura, she didn’t have a beast form but contained the unique strength of a lycanthrope. Moreover, she was a powerful aura user, so her physical abilities were different.
Due to that, In-gong couldn’t restrain Caitlin’s power-
In-gong glanced down at his two arms. Caitlin was captured by his arms and couldn’t move. Of course, In-gong was shaking as he tried to endure her strength, but he wasn’t being pushed.
In-gong was applying force to Caitlin. She tried to resist his power, but she gradually began to be pushed back.
'Did I gain more strength?’
It was like that; In-gong was stronger than Caitlin. He hadn’t realized it because he was getting stronger progressively. Additionally, there had also been the bonuses from levelling up.
In-gong was over level 20, so his strength had exceeded 80 points. It was much higher than his other stats because he had invested additional points. If he had over 80 points in strength, that meant he was at least eight times stronger than Villager A. It was a terrifying force.
Caitlin was still struggling, but she then collapsed and In-gong quickly took the mount position on top of her. He held down her two legs, so Caitlin was really stuck.
“Noona! Steady yourself! Noona!”
Caitlin howled instead of answering. It wasn’t just a roar, but it sounded like she was crying out to something.
Why had this change suddenly happened? In-gong turned his head reflexively. Things were happening behind him.
“Seira! I am Carack!”
Carack said hurriedly to Seira who was growling in her beast form. He walked slowly toward her with his arms wide open like he was harmless.
"Calm down, please calm down. Can’t you recognize me?”
Carack smiled awkwardly. Seira gazed at Carack’s face and kicked his groin.
Carack sank from the strong blow. Robin, who was crazy like Seira, had picked up a sword and was pointing it at Delia. It was impossible to suppress the crazy lycanthropes with simply force.
In-gong also felt that way. At that moment, Felicia shouted,
"Close your eyes!"
In-gong didn’t understand, but he just believed in Felicia. Instead of asking questions, he immediately closed his eyes.
Felicia shouted again. A bright light emerged from her two hands and swept away the darkness around her. It was such a strong light that even Felicia didn’t dare open her eyes.
Seira and Robin screamed at the same time. The two people temporarily lost their sight and fell down. Then Felicia took back the magic light and quickly cast a second spell.
A magical rope tied up Seira and Robin. However, it was just a temporary measure as the rope couldn’t hold out long against their strength. Felicia frowned and ordered Carack and Delia,
"Cover their eyes. It will calm them down a little bit!”
Seira and Robin weren’t beasts, but they had lost control in their beast form, so beasts taming methods seemed to fit them.
Carack seized Seira from behind and covered her eyes with his palms while Delia tied a handkerchief around Robin’s eyes.
It seemed to be working as their movements calmed slightly. This time Daphne was the one who shouted.
“They are spirits of insanity! Be careful not to get affected as well!”
As soon as she said it, she closed her eyes and started to chant a spell. It was to drive away the spirits of insanity possessing Seira and Robin.
In-gong finally roughly understood the situation. He turned toward Caitlin who was still beneath him and shouted,
‘I will try it!”
Green Wind understood In-gong’s meaning and used her strength. A green wind started gently revolving around Caitlin’s head.
Fortunately, it seemed to work. Caitlin’s power weakened gradually and she no longer cried out. She closed her eyes and didn’t move.
"Are they calm?”
In-gong looked behind him. Like Caitlin, Seira and Robin were also collapsed and unmoving.
Felicia headed to In-gong’s side after putting the two people to sleep with magic. The sleep magic was also used on Caitlin.
Whether it was due to using so much magic in succession or surprise at the situation itself, Felicia’s breathing was rough as though she was going to vomit. In-gong suddenly glanced around. He noticed something that he had failed to see previously due to the sudden situation.
The party was now in a forest. Despite the fact that they had camped under a hill outside the forest, there were trees surrounding them.
What was going on? Had a space jump magic been activated?
In-gong looked up at the green moon. The beginning of all this was the rising of this green moon.
The spirits were afraid of the night...
It was because the changes occurred at night.
The ground shook. In-gong got up from where he was sitting on Caitlin and caught the stumbling Felicia. Delia, who had her eyes closed, jumped up and shouted,
"Monsters are gathering!”
The ringing sound from the earth was approaching them. In-gong opened his mini-map swiftly. His field of view was unclear and certain numbers couldn’t be grasped, but red dots signifying the enemy were covering it.
“What is going on? This place wasn’t a forest!”
They had obviously been underneath the hill when night had fallen. There had only been a few trees nearby.
Felicia shouted, but she didn’t expect any answers. She just grabbed Caitlin and hurriedly prepared for any enemies. Green Wind’s voice reached everyone,
'This is a mixture of illusion and reality. The power of an exceedingly strong spirit!’
The green moon.
If the moon had actually turned green, In-gong’s party wouldn’t have noticed it. It was obvious that the moon only looked green from this area.
The spirits of insanity and the landscape that had changed suddenly...
As Green Wind said, it was all an illusion. However, it was impossible to ignore it because it was also mixed with reality.
"Our defense has been compromised! If we run away, we can go deep into the forest!”
In-gong glanced at his mini-map. The compass for defense was rotating wildly. The surrounding terrain had changed, so it couldn’t figure out the direction.
The shaking of the earth was getting bigger and bigger. It was obvious that they would soon be invaded by monsters. He had to make a decision.
“Fight here! Felicia!”
In-gong shouted while equipping Earth Quaker and White Eagle on both arms. Felicia moved Caitlin behind her and yelled back,
"Call me Noona! Dig!”
She used magic to dig at the ground. As if to test them, the land was immediately filled with illusions.
It was impossible to change the terrain to block the enemies. Therefore, Felicia used different spells.
"Grease! The Wind!"
Felicia made the surrounding ground slippery and created a thick wind barrier behind her to prevent attacks from the rear. She wanted to use the fire barrier, but if she made a mistake, a big fire could happen and they would all burn to death.
Carack laid Seira and Robin down next to Felicia while Delia took out a sword to defend Felicia and the three people. Daphne hesitated for a moment before calling some spirits next to Delia.
It was a situation where the strength of their group had plummeted sharply, but it couldn’t be helped. Karma and Chris wasn’t here, so In-gong had to be prepared to fight.
He didn’t say anything, but Carack could understand through his gaze. In-gong would attract the attention of as many monsters as possible. Meanwhile, Carack’s duty was to protect the others.
Green Wind shouted,
‘Master! They’re coming!’
In-gong woke up the power of the dragon. At the same time, In-gong was given the power of Daphne’s spirits.
The first monsters appeared through the bushes. Like Caitlin and Seira, their eyes were blank. He could sense the spirits of insanity that Daphne had mentioned.
In-gong finished organizing his thoughts, then ran and struck the head of a wolf-like monster with his explosive power, shattering its head with one blow. As he looked around, monsters sprang out simultaneously for a joint attack.
The Fire Arrow wasn’t only directed at the Dragon Scale Greaves. Extending from In-gong’s fingertips, the Fire Arrow struck the monsters and part of the bush caught on fire.
Numerous monsters attacked the party. In addition to the beasts such as wolves and bears, there were also monsters that looked like giant insects. However, their eyes were all blank.
In-gong confronted the monsters. There were waves after waves of enemies, but his couldn’t spare his aura here.
He was in a trance-like state and shouted as he destroyed the waist of an ant-like monster. Aura exploded and the loud sound drew the monsters to him once again.
In-gong sprang up from the ground, flew over the heads of the insect-like monsters and used Great Mountain. An enormous force emerged from the palms of his hands and it started to push the monsters against the ground.
With a terrible sound, some of the insect-like monsters couldn’t withstand the pressure and exploded. As soon as In-gong landed, he was hit by a the poison from a poisonous frog. He swung his left arm which contained White Eagle.
White Eagle spread the metal plates like wings and flew over the monsters’ heads. Some of them couldn’t withstand the shock of their heads being hit and collapsed.
Instead of retrieving White Eagle, In-gong made it stay near Felicia.
Green Wind wanted to fight by In-gong’s side, but she followed his order faithfully. In-gong could fight more freely if he knew that Felicia and the others were safe.
The passage of time was always relative. Even minutes could seem to last for ages.
In-gong breathed in deeply. The bodies of monsters filled the area; it was evident that he had killed more than a dozen.
Instead of looking back, he used the mini-map to confirm the safety of the party and took out potions from his inventory. There were still a few monsters in the area, but they were a distance away. There was enough time for him to take a breather.
It was at that moment...
A terrible sound, incomparable to before, emerged from the ground. It was almost like an earthquake was occurring.
He heard Felicia scream from behind him. In-gong looked back hurriedly while opening the mini-map at the same time. Felicia had fallen due to the sudden shaking, but he didn’t see any injuries. Nothing on the mini-map had changed as well.
Then a second vibration came. It was definitely different from when the monsters had been running towards them.
“Greenie! Gaze sharing!”
In-gong shouted, pointing to the sky. Green Wind didn’t like being called Greenie, but due to the urgency of the situation, she soared into the sky and shared her vision without saying anything.
The forest stretched out endlessly and a blue light rose from the center of the forest. However, the cause of the shaking wasn’t the blue light.
The cause was to the right of the blue light.
There was something white and huge.
He couldn’t be sure. Although it had a humanoid shape, the body was covered with a white light, so he couldn’t confirm it. It tried to reach the blue light but could only scratch at the air. It was like an invisible wall was blocking the giant.
The white giant pushed against the ground again. The forest shook and the giant’s fist finally pierced through the air barrier. It felt like something was breaking.
“Shutra! What is happening?”
"The monsters are coming back!”
Felicia and Delia shouted at the same time. Instead of calling Green Wind again, In-gong continued staring at the white giant.
The white giant then melted into the darkness and scattered. After the giant poured all its strength into it, the invisible wall had fallen.
It was up to there. There was nothing to watch anymore. In-gong stopped sharing Green Wind’s gaze and shifted his gaze to what was before him. Like Delia had said, the monsters had come again.
Yet it was a little different this time. Instead of rushing towards In-gong’s group, the monsters headed somewhere else. They literally ran towards another place.
It was even more evident from the mini-map.
What was it? Was someone moving them?
Just then, there was a rustling sound from behind them. Ing-gong turned reflexively and White Eagle flew like lightning toward the sound, but the opponent was quick as well. They avoided White Eagle’s blow and ran to Felicia.
“Wait! Don’t attack!”
It wasn’t Felicia who spoke.
Delia raised her hand and tried to strike the opponent rushing at Felicia, but it was unreasonable. The person flew through the air, grabbed Delia’s hand, flipped her around and landed on the ground. While looking up at Felicia, they shrugged and shouted,
“Who are you? Where are you from? Are you friends of the sword duke?”
The one shouting in an urgent voice was a plain raccoon, but unlike the monsters that had appeared so far, both its eyes were full of spirit.
"Who are you?!”
Carack shouted from behind Felicia. The raccoon turned to stare at Carack, then he turned toward In-gong, who was equipping White Eagle back on his left arm, and said,
“My name is Amita, the craftsman who keeps the last flame."