Chapter 157 - Chapter 29: War Destruction #8
“Um, did something wake you up?”
Carack said as he rubbed his eyes. His sleepy voice was full of confusion. He listened for a long time but didn’t hear anything.
In-gong was too focused to answer. He heard a call from deep inside the ruins. It was more like a feeling than a voice.
"Your Highness, I feel something as well... something like a call. But it isn’t a voice. It is hard to explain.”
Galang said with narrowed eyes. He had a serious nature, so he wouldn’t make up something like this.
Carack looked at the reactions from Galang and the other Gullam hunters before trying to concentrate again. It was something only In-gong and the Gullam hunters could feel.
‘Master, there is a reaction from White Eagle.’
He heard Green Wind’s voice. In-gong turned back and White Eagle, which contained Green Wind, was shaking. He could feel it when he put his hand on the surface of the shield—White Eagle was now resonating with something.
‘An equipment of an elder dragon?’
It was different. Although there was a similar feeling to when he got Night Watch, the call from inside the ruins wasn’t like the resonance between elder dragons.
As a test, In-gong tried to take out Earth Quaker and Night Watch. Both of the elder dragon equipment was resonating like White Eagle, but the degree of resonance was different. Earth Quaker was the most non-responsive, while White Eagle had the biggest response.
“Prince, will you leave immediately?”
Carack asked carefully as he watched In-gong. Instead of answering, In-gong looked toward the tent where Felicia was sleeping. Despite the disturbance, she was fast asleep, and there was no response.
In-gong checked the clock of the mini-map and said,
"We should wait for the sun to rise. Everyone is tired from having to break through the forest. I don’t know what is inside, but there is no need to rush. Let’s rest for a while.”
It was a forest where their stamina weakened just by walking due to the heat and humidity. Additionally, they were tense from watching out for various plants and animals.
“But Prince. Won’t your nerves be irritated by the call?”
Carack stared at In-gong with worry. In-gong just shrugged at Carack’s question.
"It isn’t big enough that I can’t ignore it. It is similar to the cry of a cicada?”
If the noise was repeated regularly, it would become familiar. Carack nodded.
"I understand, but don’t ignore it too much. If you can’t stand it, speak up right away.”
"Yes, let's take a look at in the morning."
In-gong said and went back inside his tent.
The next morning, the party packed up and left the room. Except for In-gong, the rest of the party were carried by the Gullam hunters.
Felicia called the light spirit to replace the torches. The consumption of magic power was somewhat severe since this was a big space, but the inside of the corridor became bright like daytime.
“It really looks like an old place.”
Despite the fact that the inside of the structure wasn’t affected by storms, the walls were severely damaged. Ornaments and other similar things were so broken that they were hard to recognize.
As Galang said, the inside of the ruins was calm, and there were no signs of inhabitants. Sometimes, the sound of bugs could be heard in the distance.
A staircase descended approximately 200 to 300 meters. It was a very long staircase.
The structure of the second underground floor wasn’t much different from the first floor. There were two large holes which were for the corridor, and several small rooms were attached to the corridor.
"This is like an army barrack.”
In-gong asked Carack to clarify his words. Carack scratched his chin as he searched for the words to explain.
"That, Prince, haven’t you seen it a few times at Evian? The accommodation where the soldiers stay are usually like this. Karma, isn’t that right?”
“Uh... the barrack I stayed in wasn’t that big.”
Karma often moved with the centaurs, who had a nomadic lifestyle. It was no wonder she hadn’t experienced this type of military barrack. While Karma remained embarrassed, Felicia spoke up,
“According to Carack, could this ruin be the barrack of the ancient giants? That is a pretty interesting opinion.”
It had been 100 years since the three giant clans of Curtis joined the Demon King’s Palace, so it was quite recent. It wouldn’t be strange if there had been a giant kingdom in the past.
"Galang, how long have the Gullam clan lived in this forest?”
Felicia asked from Galang’s shoulder. Galang slowed down like he was afraid of hurting Felicia and said,
"I only know that it has been a very long time. Just that... during the Era of Struggle, there was a story about living deep in the forest.”
The Gullam clan had lost their records thanks to the Era of Struggle. In fact, it had been an unusual case for the dark elves to be able to retain incomplete records. The Era of Struggle had been a harsh period when species warfare continued every day.
In-gong listened to the story and ordered Green Wind to go a little further ahead. The group, led by In-gong on White Eagle, headed toward the third floor from the second floor.
As they descended deeper into the ground, the ruin became narrower, and the concentration of magic power in the air became thicker. Unlike the first and second floor, a few things remained on the third floor.
“This seems to be a weapons storage.”
There were shelves in a large room which contained spears and swords, however, they were all very old and broken. There was a large metal armour on the ground which turned to powder when it was touched. Looking at the design, there seemed to be a string or leather which connected the metal, but it seemed to be lost.
The party continued to head underground. Every time they headed down, the call became louder. By the time they reached the fifth underground floor, even the Gullam hunters could feel the call without paying particular attention.
Then after arriving on the seventh underground floor, the party gulped. Unlike the other floors which had nothing on them, the remains of a giant sitting on a throne was in the middle of the room.
It seemed to be taller than Galang, who was a big Gullam, and was wearing fairly old armour. In front of the giant’s remains, a large sword was stuck in the ground.
Green Wind whispered, and In-gong nodded. The origin of the call was the giant sword.
It was the dragon warrior from the legend of the giants, and the hero who had defended the world against the evil red serpent god.
In-gong neared the giant sword on White Eagle. Unlike the other objects in the ruin, the giant black sword was almost intact. The handle was in a dragon shape, and there were a long blade. It wasn’t an exaggeration to call it a big pillar since it needed to be big enough for giants to use.
In-gong took a deep breath and pulled after placing both hands on the sword’s handle. Thanks to his level up, he had been able to overwhelm the berserk Caitlin with his strength. In his attempt to pull the sword out, In-gong’s muscles swelled as he applied force. The giant sword shook greatly, then it was pulled out.
Carack let out a cry of admiration, while Felicia couldn’t conceal her expression at the absurdity of In-gong holding the giant sword. The Gullam hunters were also surprised.
‘Master, too heavy.’
Green Wind whined as In-gong held the handle. However, In-gong didn’t hear it as he closed his eyes.
The giant sword was no longer calling out to In-gong now that he was holding it—In-gong just understood it. The giant sword was like a relic of an elder dragon, but it was different from White Eagle, Earth Quaker and Night Watch.
It was older. It came from the distant past. Its nature was different as well. It was difficult to explain, but it was obviously made for a different purpose than the equipment of the elder dragons he had obtained so far.
[Giant King's Sword]
[A sword belonging to the leader of the giants.]
In-gong opened his eyes slowly and looked around to see Galang and the other Gullam warriors on their knees.
It was the power of the sword, and it wasn’t just a symbol, like the Dragon King’s Golden Helmet. This was a power that could affect the giants directly.
In-gong placed the Giant King’s Sword into his inventory. At this moment, Galang raised his head. It was a response like he had broken free of something. The Gullam hunters looked at each other with surprised expressions and rushed to get up.
Felicia jumped down from Galang, approached In-gong and asked a question. In-gong fell to the ground as well as he replied,
"It felt like an elder dragon was touching me. But it is different from Earth Quaker or White Eagle.”
The feeling was certain, but there was no way to explain it specifically. In-gong asked Green Wind,
"Green Wind, can you feel anything?”
“Um, I don’t know. It is familiar but also strange. It is a different feeling from when I encountered Earth Quaker or Night Watch. At that time, I didn’t feel like it was strange.”
Green Wind too felt a sensation similar to what In-gong felt.
Felicia looked at In-gong and Green Wind because Green Wind didn’t seem like a simple guardian. In-gong smiled bitterly at Felicia’s gaze. Now that he thought about it, he had never discussed the origin of Green Wind. In-gong truly did have many secrets.
“The origin of Green Wind is Ainkel. A fragment of Ainkel’s soul became self-reliant and gave birth to the guardian, Green Wind.”
In-gong explained briefly, and Felicia’s eyes shone.
“The soul of an elder dragon?”
"Hmm, hmm, that’s right. I am such a being.”
Green Wind raised her jaw and took a holy pose, just like the first time In-gong met her. However, Felicia had already witnessed different types of things. Carack, who had seen the Great Enkidu from the Thunder Light Anvil, made a disappointed expression.
"The fantasy of the elder dragons is breaking.”
Delia nodded as she has also seen the illusion of Enkidu. Enkidu had truly felt like a great being in that illusion. Green wind made a dissatisfied expression as even Karma, who had once worshipped her, didn’t show any response. Felicia looked around and said,
"Anyway, these ruins has to do with a dragon... Is there some type of relationship between the elder dragons and the giants?”
The Giant King's Sword had the ability to rule the giants. He didn’t know the extent of the dominance, but if the elder dragon made such a sword, there was likely to be a much closer relationship than he thought.
The dragon warrior who had fought against the red serpent god...
In-gong looked back at the throne. After the Giant King's Sword was pulled out, the remains and armour of the giant king had fallen down. It was like time had accelerated.
It wasn’t just the remains of the giant king which started to collapse. The whole place started to shake. At first, it was only slight but the shaking became increasingly bigger.
Carack exclaimed urgently. Karma grabbed Felicia in a flash and jumped on top of Galang, while Delia also rushed forward. In-gong gestured to Carack as he jumped on White Eagle.
The Gullam hunters started to run as rocks were falling from the ceiling.
These were ruins which had seven underground floors. If they didn’t hurry, they would be crushed by the ruin.
The Gullam hunters ran desperately, but time was the problem. By the time they reached the second floor, the shaking of the ruin was almost at the level of an earthquake. The floor cracked, and the ceiling was crumbling.
Galang shouted and took the lead. He used the fact that the ceiling was low to step on the rubble and jump to the ground floor.
The moment that Green Wind screamed, In-gong used Dragon Breath. He used it to shatter the stone which was blocking the middle of the hallway on the first floor.
The light was near. Instead of running, Galang and the Gullam hunters threw themselves at the light. They rolled on the ground but were able to get out in time. As the last Gullam hunter hit the ground, the entrance of the ruins collapsed completely.
In-gong hurried toward the Gullam hunters. The people they carried were lying on the ground, but they were fortunately unharmed. Their bodies had been thrown before the Gullam hunters landed on the ground.
Carack had a tough body, while Amita’s armour had absorbed the shock for Delia. Karma landed smoothly on the ground while carrying Felicia. She staggered somewhat, but due to being a sturdy satyr, she stood firmly without falling.
After confirming the safety of the party, In-gong looked back at the ruins. There was a hole in the ground where the seven floors had collapsed, and the ground was still shaking as the collapse continued.
The Giant King's Sword was the source of the magic which sustained the ruin. After letting out a long exhale, In-gong opened his inventory and looked at the Giant King's Sword. Although there were some questions left, the result was a success.
It was clear the elder dragons had a conflict with the four beings of Conquest, War, Death and Famine. Therefore, looking into the Giant King's Sword and red serpent god had a high chance of allowing him to discover new facts.
‘I got my hands on the Giant King's Sword.’
Furthermore, thanks to this exploration, he had become aware of Dragon Breath and Dragon Fear. It was a fairly successful result for two days of exploration.
In-gong couldn’t help smiling before he urged the party to move. They hurriedly left the basin where the ruins used to be.
Later that night...
The incubus, Carlos, ran toward In-gong’s party which had returned to the Gullam village. Carack listened to what Carlos was gasping out and exclaimed,
“4th Princess is in danger?!”
...4th Princess Anastasia Nekrion, the person in charge of Curtis!
Felicia and Green Wind looked at In-gong reflexively. The Carlos shouted,
“Ah, no! Your Highness! It is a big deal! The transportation formation has been destroyed!”
Curtis transportation formation was in the centre, not the outskirts. Who would attack the place when it was a few days away from the front lines?
“What transportation formation is it?”
Felicia asked hurriedly. The dark elf reinforcements still hadn’t arrived through the transportation formation. It was be frustrating if the transportation formation which connected to the territory of the dark elves was destroyed.
However, Carlos’ reaction was abnormal. He shouted with a face full of despair,
"It isn’t just one! All of Curtis’ transportation formations have been attacked!”
It was a simultaneous strike. This wasn’t something the barbarians located behind the Western Limit Line could do.
The destruction of the transportation formations was to stop reinforcements from the Demon King’s Palace. What happened? And what was going to happen from now on?
In-gong gazed toward the north-west, in the direction of the location of the 4th Princess Anastasia and 3rd Prince Victor.
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