Chapter 55 - Chapter 8: Excavation #4
The Enger Plains were very wide. Even the centaurs, who were very fast, needed a considerable amount of time to get from one end to the other end of Enger Plains.
Travelling from the south to the north, the elevation increased as they headed north. By the time they got to the Northern Limit Line, the place that the centaurs considered the end of Enger Plains, there was a high altitude comparable to a mountain.
The surrounding terrain also contained rocky slopes, wastelands and hills. It was because Ainkel’s magic power weakened the further away it was from the small temple.
After five centaurs returned to the south, In-gong’s group encountered more casios and geists as they moved further. He wasn’t sure about what type of surprises there would be, but he was certain that they shouldn’t spend that much time in the north.
They traveled a further two days towards the north. In-gong’s group reached the point that the centaurs thought was the end of Enger Plains.
"The Northern Limit Line is a little further ahead, but we call this place the end of Enger Plains.”
Ferocious Eyes said as he held his spear and gazed back and forth. He seemed to be drawing an invisible line.
Felicia explained further for everyone,
“The centaurs moved from season to season and the northernmost settlement is here.”
The centaurs had a nomadic life and used the entire Enger Plains as their home. The environment got worse the further north it was. However, if the season was right, it was a good place to live.
Despite being the first time they came here, In-gong and Carack just nodded. However, Daphne showed a different reaction. After listening to Ferocious Eyes’ and Felicia’s words, she spoke with an uneasy voice.
"The strength gets stronger the closer we get to the north. I can feel the fear of the spirits.”
Even In-gong shivered from the chills.
Daphne gazed at Felicia with anxious eyes. Daphne’s condition worsened the closer she got to the Northern Limit Line. She was more sensitive than In-gong or Felicia to the atmosphere of the north because she was a dryad.
Green Wind whispered in In-gong’s ears,
‘Master, I can feel an ominous energy from the north. If the energy felt from the drake ogres and casios was a firefly, the energy from the north is like moonlight. The reason for the purple energy is probably there.’
In fact, that was the purpose of his party. Moreover, it wasn’t just that.
‘The tomb of White Eagle is in the vicinity. I can feel it. I can only tell the direction right now, but it is obvious that it is located before the Northern Limit Line.’
White Eagle was also nearby. They reached the de facto end of the Enger Plains, but they had to go a little further north.
Carack, who was unable to hear Green Wind’s voice, turned around and asked,
"What do you want to do? We haven’t found anything special for two or three days. Should we keep going?”
Delia used to frown at Carack’s rudeness, but she was used to it now and just waited for Felicia’s reply. Felicia turned away from the north and said,
"It is dangerous, but... is it okay to go back without confirming after feeling something so blatantly ominous?”
If they were going to return, what was the point of coming here in the first place?
Ferocious Eyes lifted a spear and pointed to the northwest.
"If we go that way, there is a watchtower built by my ancestors. It is somewhat collapsed, but it was originally made to watch the Northern Limit Line. If we don’t get a clue when we go there, then we will return.”
'Master, that is almost the same direction as White Eagle.’
Green Wind added.
White Eagle had been used by a brave centaur warrior who fought at the Northern Limit Line. It was natural for his grave to be near the watchtower.
“What is the distance?”
Ferocious Eyes visualized it in his head and replied to In-gong’s question,
"If we move at the current speed, we will arrive in an hour.”
It was early afternoon, so that distance was sufficient to visit.
"I will follow your judgement. Like I said before, you are the leader of this operation on Enger Plains.”
Felicia told In-gong. She didn’t want the burden, so she looked elsewhere. In-gong nodded.
"Okay, let’s go there.”
"I understand. I will take the lead.”
Ferocious Eyes and the centaurs started to move at the same time. In particular, Karma moved next to Ferocious Eyes since her role was a guide. In-gong turned the draco towards that direction when he suddenly asked Carack,
“What is it?”
He had a strange look on his face. It was similar to his expression on the first day that they departed.
Carack faced In-gong and shook his head.
“I won’t say it.”
However, In-gong already knew the answer just by his expression. In-gong sighed before smiling. In-gong also felt an ominous feeling, but it was time to move.
"Let's go, Maybah.”
The draco immediately responded when In-gong called his name and he started running lightly after the centaurs.
"That is the watch tower.
Just as Ferocious Eyes said, they ran for an hour and saw a watch tower in the middle of steep mountains that stretched out like a folding screen. The outer wall was severely damaged and one side was completely stuck to the stone mountain. In the first place, it seemed to be a building made for the mountain.
"Let's go up.”
Fortunately, the stairs were wide enough for the centaurs and dracos to climb up. Ferocious Eyes went up first to check the dangers and everyone else followed.
The watch tower was bigger than expected and the height of the top floor was at least 10 meters.
In-gong swallowed as he moved closer to an outer wall. A cold, dry wind blew against his cheeks.
With the instincts of a creature, he looked at one specific point. Not only In-gong but everyone close to the outer wall was watching a single place.
There was something in a spot hundreds of meters away. It was a huge purple flame, and the various monsters around it were engulfed in a small purple aura. There seemed to be more than 200 creatures.
Green Wind had said that the flame was the source of her ominous feeling.
He heard a low scream the moment his intuition felt something. It was from Daphne.
“Young lady, are you okay?”
Carack rushed to ask Daphne, but she shook her head and didn’t answer. Felicia watched Daphne and said,
"I can feel the ominous aura directly. As I said before, this child is sensitive to it as a half-spirit.”
In-gong retreated from the outer walls with the centaurs and they gazed at each other.
Daphne seemed to regain stability from Felicia’s words and said to In-gong,
“An undead. It is also an advanced one. At the very least, it should be a lich.”
Two types of undead existed in the Demon World. One was an undead that was naturally caused by the flow of magic through the Demon World. The other type was undead created by necromancy.
The naturally occurring undead were usually low grade ones, such as skeletons or zombies, but sometimes an object could create a powerful undead that surpassed that.
"It must be the culprit in this situation. There is an undead that’s this intelligent, so I have to go back and prepare. We need to inform the Demon King’s Palace about this situation.”
That was the original plan. However, just when he finished speaking, Felicia suddenly looked back in the direction that In-gong had climbed up from.
"I can hear a sound from behind us.”
Felicia’s ears pricked up. Her dark elf hearing was the best among the party.
The centaurs, including Ferocious Eyes, listened intently to the sound. It sounded like the ground was ringing.
Instead of waiting, In-gong asked Green Wind,
"Green Wind, can you share your gaze?”
When Green WInd brought In-gong to the temple, she showed her viewpoint. Green Wind had directly conveyed what she saw to In-gong.
"Go up to the sky!”
At In-gong’s order, a green light sailed into the air. Green Wind looked at the south and in the next moment, In-gong swallowed a moan.
The mini-map was filled with red dots. Thanks to the shared view of Green Wind, red dots endlessly appeared inside the extended range.
In-gong cried out after coming to a realization. From the beginning, it had all been a trap. A large number of monsters, including casios, had been hidden from In-gong’s party throughout the north.
It was clear that the undead had been waiting for the moment to surround In-gong’s party.
The undead could also share its gaze. This was a means of receiving information in real time from distant subordinates.
Otherwise, the elaborate movements In-gong was currently seeing wouldn’t be possible.
“Escape! Enemies are flocking from everywhere!”
There were no questions asked. Carack picked up Daphne, who couldn’t stand properly, and got on the draco. Felicia and Ferocious Eyes both looked at In-gong. In-gong nodded straight away.
"I'll lead the way! Run!”
In-gong looked simultaneously at the mini-map as well as what was in front of him. The siege was still forming. If they poked a gap, they could open a path to escape.
‘Master! Look at the sky!’
Green Wind shouted when he first started running. In-gong looked up hurriedly at the sky.
Five geists were gliding toward him. Ferocious Eyes quickly pulled out a bow and shot at them. An arrow pierced the neck of one while Felicia caused a sharp wind to divert the path of another one. However, there were still three remaining. The centaurs rushed to take out a spear or bow, but they weren’t as fast as Ferocious Eyes. Two centaurs were unable to escape the attacks of the geists and fell to the ground.
There was no room to save them. Ferocious Eyes shouted as he fired an arrow at a geist attacking a centaur on the ground. Like Ferocious Eyes said, there was no time to delay.
In-gong screamed loudly as he stabbed his dagger into the air. The power of Conquest rose like a storm.
“Below the King’s Flag!”
A pure white light emerged from In-gong and wound around his companions. The legs of the dracos and centaurs were filled with an unhealthy power as In-gong’s party ran at a faster pace than usual.
Felicia called out to Daphne. It was to ask for her dryad magic to help escape, but Daphne wasn’t in a position to respond properly. She shook her head with a pale expression and trembling lips.
‘Master! That person! He is coming!’
There was no need to think. There was only one reason for Daphne’s condition to deteriorate.
At the same time, a cold chill was felt from behind them. One of the centaurs couldn’t resist the anxiety and turned around, only to let out a moan.
A huge undead with a purple aura around him was traveling through the air on a phantom steed. The head of the skeleton was covered with a large plate made of the bones of various monsters. The armour around his body was made of bones and his hands held a black sword. He was a monster that could be seen as both a warrior and magician.
At first glance, he was a huge five-meter-tall skeleton knight on a phantom steed. The man wearing black armour blew a horn, making bizarre noises fill the air.
He was still quite a distance away, but it seemed like he would catch up after a little while.
In-gong looked at the mini-map. The red dots didn’t show a completely unified movement, so the control wasn’t complete. They weren’t moving following the path of In-gong’s group but were moving as commanded.
‘Find the weakest spot.’
The moment that In-gong thought so...
Carack shouted towards the sky. The geists were once again flocking in droves. Ferocious Eyes and the centaurs shot a series of arrows, causing many of them to fall. However, that didn’t slow them down. Furthermore, the surviving casios were blindly rushing at the party. A few centaurs were trapped by them.
The encirclement was narrowing. Every time the party had to take care of the geists, they slowed down while the huge undead was still behind them.
Finally, they could see the monsters surrounding them with the naked eye. In addition to the group of casios that were surrounded by a purple aura, there were monsters like zombies and skeletons.
Would they be able to escape? It was possible if they broke through this siege!
There was a roar and the formation of In-gong’s party collapsed. The huge undead had reached within 20 meters of the party and cast a spell. A huge blaze of fire poured from the sky and the explosion swallowed up a few centaurs.
The giant undead fired another ball of fire. This time, he aimed toward the front of In-gong’s party and the dracos stopped with surprise. The draco carrying Carack and Daphne fell to the ground. The centaurs weren’t killed but most of them weren’t able to run.
A decision was needed. In-gong and Felicia exchanged glances. With no more words needing to be said, Felicia summoned the fire and wind spirits in both hands. A barrier made of giant flames was created in front of them. The wind spirit adjusted the size of the fire wall and the direction it spread.
It was a barrier that prevented them from retreating but also stopped the monsters surrounding them. In-gong jumped down from the draco and equipped Earth Quaker.
‘Master! Do you mean to fight?
After Mustafa was destroyed, the monsters who lost the purple aura were mentally confused and their combat power deteriorated. Then there was only one way to survive the huge encirclement:
Defeat the giant undead. If he was killed, that purple aura would disappear and the encirclement would collapse.
The power of the dragon humanoid. Earth Quaker growled and entered its battle form as a white aura rose from In-gong’s body like flames.