Book 8, Chapter 79

Eternal Vortex

While Richard was moving through the Forest Plane in search of a way to save his child, another individual was trudging through the void with just as much difficulty. Grand Scholar Rhodey had nearly forgotten how long he had travelled, time having blurred into one big slush of drudgery. There was just no keeping track of the number of energy storms and savage beasts he’d braved, but thankfully he was about to reach his destination.

In front of the Scholar was a curtain of clear blue light, looking absolutely tiny but actually spreading thousands of kilometres in each direction. This was the last obstacle to his goal, but the beautiful blue light was actually immensely dangerous. The radiance came from the Star of Destruction, and even a tiny bit on one’s body would result in death.

However, Rhodey didn’t hesitate in the slightest as he blinked to the other side. He started teleporting through the place repeatedly, taking great care to ensure that his destination was exactly as required. Even a tiny drift would leave him lost for anywhere from a few months to forever.

It took a few hours of travel, but once he was on the other side Rhodey heaved a sigh of relief. He was the only Scholar of Soremburg who could actually travel through this land of death, so failure here was the end. The Grand Scholar quickened his flight to arrive at a strange amalgamation of hundreds of landmasses that ranged from a few dozen kilometres wide to thousands, floating around with seemingly no pattern but rebounding occasionally off an invisible boundary.

There was a strange forcefield around this place, but even with his abilities Rhodey couldn’t tell just what it was. He hesitated for a while before recalling everything he had memorised before setting off; he had never come to this place by himself before, and he had no idea what would happen after he arrived. Everything so far had been based off hypotheses by the Scholars, and even if most of it was verified there was a good chance of death. With no reason to retreat, he passed through and headed towards the largest landmass.

The moment he crossed the forcefield, the Grand Scholar felt like he had entered a brand new world. Things were extremely calm in here, the fierce energy storm giving way to absolute silence. These landmasses themselves weren’t particularly special in makeup, so the enormous domain was the only reason they could manage to survive.

Just what was the source? Before he could wonder about that, a voice rang out in his mind, “Greedy human, why have you come to the Eternal Vortex?”

The voice was not speaking via any language, transmitting the ideas straight to Rhodey’s mind. None of his defences had even been triggered, leaving the Scholar sweating. This being could take over his soul whenever it wanted.

“Your worries are needless, human. Your soul is suspicious and greedy, filled with desire for that which you cannot handle. It is tasteless to me, only the devils with no taste would enjoy it.”

“Are you one of the mighty beings of chaos?”

“My race was born with the void.”

“I heard one could exchange information on primordial races for rewards.”

“That is true, but if I do not approve, your soul and being will be mine. I suggest you look around a little better before confirming the deal.”

Rhodey had already realised that the floating landmasses seemed strange and familiar, and now that he was prompted to look at them he examined them more closely. An empty pit in one of the rocks suddenly caught his attention and he noticed that its walls were far more structured than nature would allow, making it clear that it had been a mana pool created by a mage. His heart thumped loudly as he realised what these things were— abandoned demiplanes!

Demiplanes were considered the lifeblood of any legendary mage, and they weren’t abandoned outside of a life-or-death crisis. If they were all floating here, that meant their owners had already died. Rhodey’s own demiplane was amongst the largest of the Scholars at fifty kilometres wide, but as he looked around he found only a handful of landmasses that were smaller than his. If these were all… He suddenly looked at the largest landmass that was over a thousand kilometres wide; just how powerful was its owner? Even such a being had fallen to this primal chaos beast?

He didn’t dare think about this further, making up his mind quickly and taking out a crystal the size of a fist, “This is a clue about a remnant of a primordial race; I hope it satisfies you.”

A landmass suddenly changed its direction and flew towards the Grand Scholar, stopping right in front of him to reveal the ancient beast in its true form. It had an almost-flat body, with two appendages that resembled wings extending outwards from the side. At the rear was a tail that was several thousand metres long, covered in dark grey scales. On the creature’s back were rows of enormous bone spurs. Rhodey could already sense that each one of those spurs was magical, possessing the ability to tear apart most armour with one strike.

The beast’s head was rather odd, most of the face being occupied with a large mouth that held more than 10,000 misaligned teeth. Its eyes were as minuscule compared to the size of its body, but on a whole each was larger than the Scholar himself. With hundreds of such eyes focusing on him, Rhodey immediately went stiff; even his mana was frozen!

A ray of light shot out of one of the beast’s eyes and shone on the crystal in Rhodey’s hands, bringing it close to the creature. The crystal quickly shattered to reveal a strand of golden hair alongside a few red specks as minute as dust, but these insignificant items suddenly seemed to become the centre of the world. The chaos beast looked at it for a long time before sniffing deeply, producing such a great suction force that a rainbow of energy formed in the vacuum.

Rhodey cried out in surprise, his body immediately lighting up in a barrier, but that barrier quickly flickered and was about to be pulled away as well. Thankfully, the force eventually subsided before his mana was depleted completely, but now he had no energy at all. His potions were all in spatial equipment, and the laws of chaos here suppressed all else.

“A familiar scent,” the beast spoke after a while, “The power of astral order, from the true celestials of the deep space. Good, I never expected a descendant of the astral era to exist; you possess the right to make a deal with me. Tell me her location and your request.”

The Grand Scholar almost couldn’t hold back his excitement, “Mighty being, I wish for knowledge regarding the primordial chaos.”

All of the beast’s eyes promptly focused on Rhodey, and he felt everything from his mana to his very soul freeze up in terror. The creature spoke with a tone of mockery, “Your greed surpasses my expectations, human. Do you wish to enter the ranks of chaos and become one who cleans the world of its filth?”

The Scholar gritted his teeth, “Even if you know her whereabouts, you won’t be able to get close to the order of the primary planes. But I have a way to lure her out to the boundary between chaos and order.”

The beast’s gaze turned a little gentler, “Even so, your ambition is beyond your ability. Even the smallest fraction of primordial chaos would eat into you, turning you and everyone in your pitiful faction into nothingness in an instant. Do you still want it?”

Rhodey’s eyes widened, “Is the primal chaos so powerful that it can pass through the crystal walls of a plane?”

“It is not power, it is hierarchy. The primal chaos gave birth to the myriad planes. Do you think your puny existence can support even a single world?”

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA