Grand Lotus was a Birdman city. Thus, the buildings were as tall as towers, and their entrances were located on the ceiling or in the middle of the building.
Humans were incapable of flight, so it wasn't easy getting inside. However, it didn't pose a problem for Kang Oh.
"Hold on tight," Kang Oh pulled out Blood and said.
"Ok." Asu tightly wrapped her arms around his waist.
Kang Oh, who'd transformed into the Red Demon, unfurled his wings.
Kang Oh forcefully flapped his wings and flew through the entrance, which was located in the middle of the building.
The building, which was made of Grand, was completely white inside. It was like they were inside a cloud, or white cotton candy.
"Huh? Humans?" An old Birdman, with a chicken's face and a red comb, stared at Kang Oh and Asu in shock.
"Yes. We came from the continent," Kang Oh said.
"It's been a while since I last saw humans here. You still look quite unusual," the old Birdman craned his neck and said.
"May we look around?"
This store sold various furniture and small accessories. Obviously, they were tailored for a Birdman's taste and ease of use. There were nests made of Grand, perches where children could sit down and play, etc.
Asu's eyes sparkled as she looked over and touched the goods.
"It's so soft!" Asu marveled at the feel of Grand. It was much softer and comfier than silk.
"Pick one of them. It's on me," Kang Oh said.
Kang Oh slowly followed her as she moved around the shop.
"Phew." Asu rubbed her face against a Grand cushion. It felt so nice against her cheeks.
"I want this!" Asu raised her head and passionately stared at Kang Oh. 'It's definitely this one!'
"You really want that one?" Kang Oh asked. 'It looks like they have stuff that's way better, but she wants a cushion?'
"I wish I had a cushion like this in real life too. If I did, I'd sleep with it every day," Asu said happily.
"It's that nice?"
"Try it yourself. You'll understand why."
"You don't need to convince me. As long as you like it, I'm fine with it." Kang Oh picked up the cushion and went over to the old Birdman.
"I'd like to buy this."
"It's 10 gold."
They used the same currency here. It must be because it's a game.
"Oppa, this too!" Asu belatedly passed him a Grand blanket. You have to buy a blanket with a cushion!
"I'll buy them both." Kang Oh paid for the goods, and then passed her the cushion and the blanket.
"Thanks. Hehe." Asu placed the cushion under her armpit, and smiled as she rubbed her cheek against the blanket.
"Let's go eat."
* * *
The restaurant was a familiar sight. There were circular tables and cushions shaped like nests there. They were used to this setup, since sitting on the floor was common in Korean culture.
However, they were completely unfamiliar with the food that was being served.
"Ugh." Kang Oh grimaced at the fried bug, which was as large as his fist. Of course, the Birdmen here were wolfing them down.
"Let's not order that," Kang Oh said.
"It's a bug," Kang Oh said, sporting an expression that said, 'You have to ask?'.
"But shouldn't we eat it to have the full Birdman experience? And it's common to eat bugs in other countries. Haven't you seen fried scorpions on TV before?" Asu asked.
"I can't eat it." Kang Oh crossed his arms and stood firm.
"Eat it! It could taste good." Asu liked to try out new things. When she went overseas, she always tried the local cuisine.
"Then you eat it."
"I can't eat by myself."
"I really won't be able to eat it."
Yeah, it was a game, but still.
"I'll order a small portion."
Asu sported a mischievous expression. She seemed determined to make him try the local cuisine.
Kang Oh looked away from her. It was a clear sign that he'd never eat it.
She ordered for both of them, and a short while later, lunch was served.
"I hope you enjoy it, Human."
The Grand soup looked good. But... Why in the world were small insects inside the fruit and vegetable salad!? Instead of raisins, there were roly polies in the bread! Last but not least, fried bugs!
The only thing he could eat was the Grand soup.
"Mm? It tastes different than I'd expected." He was referring to the Grand soup. It looked like it'd taste like cotton candy, but it didn't taste sweet at all. It tasted clean. It was similar to shark fin soup.
"Hmm, it's not sweet. It's still good though," Asu tasted the soup and said.
"Yeah, it's good." Kang Oh focused entirely on the Grand soup. 'I won't eat the salad, the bread, or the fried bug!'
"Ah, that was good," Kang Oh said after finishing the Grand soup.
"Huh? That's all you're eating? Try this too. It might taste good." She stabbed a huge caterpillar with her fork and passed it to him, grinning all the while.
"I'm not eating that."
"Ah, c'mon. Just try it."
"You shouldn't force someone to eat something they don't want to eat," Kang Oh said, his face firm and unyielding.
"Bleh." She looked disappointed in him, and put the bug in her mouth.
"Mm." Kang Oh was slightly shocked. To think a beautiful girl would eat something like that.
"It tastes much better than I thought it would. It has a nutty flavor like expensive cheese."
Asu ate a few more fried bugs. She tried a bit of the salad and bread too. Try was the key word here. Even she couldn't eat all of it.
Eventually, she stabbed another caterpillar with a fork and passed it to him.
"Try it. It's pretty good."
"I'm good." Kang Oh violently waved his hands. Cold sweat rolled off his back.
"Here, say ah!" Asu pushed the caterpillar right up to his mouth.
Asu's persistence paid off. Kang Oh waved the white flag, and agreed to eat it. If this were Eder or Sephiro, then he'd have grabbed them by the throat.
Ultimately, he ate the fried caterpillar with his eyes shut tight. It tasted like...
"Huh? It tastes exactly like cheese."
Asu was right; it tasted like a luxurious cheese.
"See? It's not bad." Asu beamed.
"You can't make me eat anymore!" Kang Oh turned his head. 'It's hard for a Korean to eat a caterpillar!'
"Hoo, hoo." Asu looked at him with delight.
On TV, he looked so strong and charismatic, but he acted cute in front of her.
'You only show this side of yourself to me!'
Whenever she saw his cute side, she realized that he really treasured her.
Anyhow, they finished their 'traumatizing' meal, and the two explored the flying city with their arms locked together.
Buildings and structures made of Grand came in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Perches were situated on the buildings' outer walls. Birdmen sat on these perches side by side and chirped. That sight brought a warm smile to their faces.
The floating clouds in the sky were completely natural. You could see them from up close too, which made it feel like you could touch them. The azure sky was a darker blue than the sea itself.
Then there was the refreshing breeze and the clean air. The sight of Birdmen flying in a group like a flock of migrant birds was also worth seeing.
The sun was so bright that wearing a broad-brimmed straw hat would be perfect.
"This place is so amazing," Asu whispered.
"Want to come tomorrow too?"
"Sure, that'd be great." She looked absolutely ecstatic.
* * *
Kang Oh, who'd spend the last couple of days with Asu, was called back by Gainus. Of course, he wasn't the only one called. Cyndia, Muhawk, Eder, Sephiro, and Ruinari were also called back.
"Yes, Lord Gainus?"
"Did you give the God of Creation's source to Lady Deborah?"
"It's my duty." Cyndia beamed.
"Now then, pay attention. We're killing Kragon at this time tomorrow!" Gainus looked everyone over, except Cyndia, and declared.
"Tomorrow? Is Lord Gainus alright now?" Kang Oh stared at Eder.
"Yes. Even though he's a dragon, I assumed he would need a few more days, but... Lord Gainus healed far quicker than I expected," Eder said.
"Let's hurry and kill Kragon. Then, we need to kill the two Mayanes sealed by the God of Destruction, Ulam. We don't know what Jigon and Orga will do, so we have to do this as quickly as possible," Gainus said.
While their escape from Gainus's prison was an issue, the fact that they possessed four of Maya's sources presented an even greater issue. The God of Creation's sources were much too dangerous for them to have.
What if they got their hands on any more of them? He didn't even want to imagine it. Thus, they needed to collect all of the sources that they could while they still had the chance.
"Indeed," Cyndia said.
"You'll be ready to fight by tomorrow?" Gainus stared at Kang Oh.
"Yes," he immediately replied.
"Are you sure?"
He wasn't lying; he would be prepared.
After his date with Asu, Kang Oh had returned to Altein and bought fodder for Gluttony. He also bought health, resistance, and stat up potions from Man Bok, as well as other necessary supplies for their battle.
"I'll be ready by tomorrow," Eder said. He needed to restock on medicine, medicinal herbs, bandages, magical materials, etc. He'd spent a few days staying here to look after Gainus's condition.
"Me too," Sephiro said. He and Waryong had spent their entire time in the flying city. Thus, he wasn't ready to fight yet.
"Alright," Gainus said, looking kindly at Eder. "Ruinari, you'll be participating in the upcoming fight, right?" Gainus asked.
"This will be the last time." In other words, he wouldn't help them kill the Mayanes sealed by the God of Destruction.
"Of course. We'll take care of Lord Ulam's Mayanes ourselves."
"Then I'll see you all tomorrow. Everyone come prepared and ready to go."
"Especially you!" Gainus pointed at Kang Oh.
"You better. Your job's the most important."
The only weapon that could kill the Mayanes was Kang Oh's blade, Demon Sword Ubist.
Kang Oh nodded his head. Sometimes, actions spoke much louder than words.
"The meeting's over. I'll see you all tomorrow."
* * *
The innermost section of the Great Temple of Life.
There were two mirrors within; they were so large that they'd make you gape. The left mirror once contained the Bug Monarch, Jacques, and the right mirror contained the still alive Kragon.
The Immovable Fortress, Kragon! Because he could turn his body into diamond, he possessed the greatest defensive ability of all the Mayanes!
Kang Oh's party stood before the mirror, ready to kill Kragon.
The mother of all birds and the Protector of Life, Gracius, came by to see them off. Of course, she had assumed her Birdman form. If she were in her original form, then the entire room would've collapsed.
"Be careful," Gracius said tenderly.
Gainus and Ruinari both bowed deeply. Everyone else followed suit.
"Raise your heads. I'll be going now." Gracius left, and then Gainus tapped his wooden staff onto the ground.
"The Immovable Fortress, Kragon, is extremely powerful. Don't ever let your guard down, and follow the plan. Follow my orders to the letter!" Gainus said strongly.
"Yes!" everyone replied simultaneously.
Gainus and Kang Oh's party entered the mirror almost simultaneously.
[You have entered the Sealed Area, Eternal Lake.]Previous Chapter Next Chapter