The Immovable Fortress crumbled following the massive explosion. Gainus's eyes gleamed as he watched this happen.
'He did it!'
The Immovable Fortress was Kragon's body. It crumbling meant that Kragon had died.
Gainus quickly flew towards the wreckage, and transformed into his old human form.
A gray ring rippled outwards.
'Huh? Why do I only sense three? No, there's another one here, but it's weak.'
He'd worry about it later. Gainus conjured several giant's hands, and cleared the wreckage.
Gainus saved Sephiro first. Sephiro had used Emergency Escape on Waryong, so Gainus's spell couldn't detect it.
He cast a simple healing spell on him, and then went to save the other survivors.
Eder and Cyndia were next. They were in good condition, despite being caught in such a massive explosion.
Perhaps that was why they regained consciousness so quickly.
Gainus headed towards the weak presence he sensed, but all he found was a green egg the size of a dinosaur egg.
The green egg was none other than Ruinari.
As the manager of the Great Temple of Life, Ruinari was given an Egg of Life from his mother, Gracius… This egg would prevent his death just once.
In exchange, he would turn into an egg. 22 days later, he would break through the egg and come back to life.
'Even Ruinari didn't survive? What happened inside? Was it because of the explosion that occurred prior to the fortress's collapse?'
Gainus used Detect Life once more. However, he couldn't sense anyone else.
He had a bad feeling about this. However, giant red bird wings unfurled from beneath the wreckage!
Gainus quickly approached the area.
"You survived!" Gainus beamed and said.
"I died, but I came back to life," Kang Oh said, scowling. The Cassio Ring had lost its sheen. He would need to wait another month before the light returned.
'Tch, I have one last monster to kill for First Hunter, but I'm not going to have my Resurrection ability available.'
That was why Kang Oh kept scowling.
"Good, you survived. What about Muhawk?" Gainus took a look around. He still couldn't sense the veteran paladin anywhere.
"Mr. Muhawk! Mr. Muhawk! Please!" Cyndia yelled.
Eder stared at the floor mournfully.
Muhawk's face could be seen beneath the rubble. However, his face was completely ashen. Even the Legendary Healer couldn't bring a person back to life.
"Mm." Gainus looked regretful. He knew that combating the Mayanes was risky, but he had hoped that they'd all survive. Ultimately, one of them had lost their lives.
Cyndia, who'd been desperately calling his name, accepted his death and clasped her hands.
"Mr. Muhawk... Please return to the Supreme One's embrace, and rest in peace. This life you saved... I promise to use it to fulfill the Supreme One's task."
Muhawk had sacrificed himself to save Cyndia and Eder.
Paladins possessed a skill called Self-Sacrifice. It allowed the user to sacrifice their life to save others.
It was meant for players that could press the continue button after a game over. However, Muhawk, an NPC, had learned Self-Sacrifice, and used it to save Cyndia and Eder from Kragon's Mineral Bomb.
Kang Oh, Sephiro, and Gainus offered a silent prayer for Muhawk. They truly hoped that the kind, taciturn old paladin would find peace.
"Mr. Muhawk has returned to the goddess's side," Cyndia said. She was still mourning his death, but you wouldn't know based on her tone and her expression.
"He did his duty," Gainus said. His duty had been to protect Cyndia, and he had done his duty till the bitter end.
"Yes. The Supreme One will most certainly let him rest in peace."
"She will. I'm sure of it."
"Lord Gainus, the God of Creation's source has to be around here somewhere. Please help me find it," Cyndia said strong-mindedly.
"There's no need for that," Kang Oh interjected.
"I have it right here." Kang Oh opened his hand, revealing the God of Creation's source. "I saw this when he exploded, so I snatched it away," he added.
"You didn't finish him off with your demon sword?" Gainus asked.
"No. By taking this away from him, he lost his immortality and just died."
Kragon had no idea that the God of Creation's source was exposed for a split second.
"Mm, so he self-destructed. He didn't have that ability before..." Gainus said.
"He was sealed here for a long time. He didn't have anything else to do, so he must've created some new skills," Kang Oh said.
"Seems that way."
"Mr. Kang Oh, Lord Gainus, and everyone else. Good work. I will take the source to the Supreme One." Cyndia carefully received the God of Creation's source.
"This is the second one," Sephiro said. As he said, by killing Mayanes Jacques and Mayanes Kragon, they had gained two sources.
"When will we kill the God of Destruction's Mayanes?" Kang Oh asked.
"We have to bring Muhawk's body to the Church of Death, and give Lady Gracius Ruinari's egg. So we'll meet with the God of Destruction, Ulam, tomorrow. I'd like to give you some more time, but we can't afford to waste any time."
They didn't know what the escaped Mayanes would do. Thus, they needed to collect the God of Creation's sources ASAP.
"Understood." Kang Oh then closed all of his system messages.
[You have defeated the Symbol of Arrogance, Mayanes Kragon.]
[Remaining Mayanes: 4]
* * *
The next day, the Mayanes extermination team assembled once more. However, it was abundantly clear that someone was missing. Their team seemed incomplete without the quiet, kind-faced Muhawk.
"We're still looking for a paladin that can take over for Mr. Muhawk. However, finding someone that can is hard in and of itself," Cyndia said.
"Then are we all here?" Gainus asked.
"Let's go then." Gainus slammed his staff into the ground, and familiar golden magic circles appeared beneath their feet.
Kang Oh's body faded, and eventually, he was sucked into the magic circle entirely. The same happened to the others.
A short while later...
Kang Oh's party reappeared in a place completely different from the flying city, Grand Lotus.
"Where is this?" Kang Oh looked around and asked.
'It looks like a primeval forest... But it's not the Goddess's Land or the Great Forest.'
The environment differed from the Goddess's Land, and he didn't see a World Tree either, which meant that it wasn't the Great Forest either.
"Pupu's Back," Gainus curtly said.
He'd never heard of it before. Kang Oh stared at Eder and Sephiro. 'Have you heard of it before?'
Eder and Sephiro simultaneously shook their heads. Kang Oh stared at Cyndia this time.
"I only know that it's an island in the southern sea," Cyndia said.
"An island in the southern sea?"
"Yeah," Gainus replied.
"Is this where the Great Temple of Destruction is located?"
"You really think I'd come to this place if it wasn't here?"
"I just don't see it."
"It'll be here soon."
Gainus remained silent.
A short while later...
"O-Over there!" Sephiro pointed in shock.
"What is it?" Kang Oh looked over and widened his eyes.
Have you ever seen a mammoth before? It had giant ivory tusks, and was covered in thick fur; it was a mammal that resembled an elephant.
An elephant had appeared, one that far surpassed the size of a mammoth. No, it was definitely closer to a mammoth than an elephant. Its body was covered in thick, wooly gray fur.
[You have encountered the Walking Disaster, Garmad.]
[Be careful so that you're not discovered! If you are discovered, you will die!]
What was even more surprising was the fact that a temple was strapped to its back. From what he knew, that had to be the Great Temple of Death.
Gainus slammed his staff onto the ground, causing Kang Oh's party to float into the air. He had cast a Flight spell.
They passed by Garmad's giant ivory tusks, and landed at the temple's entrance.
Contrary to the Great Temple of Life, no one came out to greet them. No, there were actually no living presences within. It was like an abandoned house.
"Don't touch anything and just follow me. Waryong, keep your mouth shut," Gainus said firmly.
Waryong quickly nodded its head. It really hurt to get hit by Gainus's staff.
Kang Oh's party followed Gainus inside. The interior was incredibly dark and quiet. However, Gainus proceeded forward, as if he were intimately familiar with the layout of the building.
Gainus stopped in front of a giant door. The God of Destruction's symbol, ivory tusks, were drawn on the door.
The door opened automatically, and the interior was revealed to them.
There was a giant statue there that laid on its side. It was a statue that resided within the Great Temple of Death, so it had to be Ulam.
Once he entered, Gainus knelt down and bowed. Everyone else followed Gainus's actions to the letter.
"Gainus, why did you wake me?" A weary voice resounded throughout the room.
"Lord Ulam, we came to kill the Mayanes here. Please grant our request."
"The Mayanes are immortal."
"We found a way to bypass their immortality. If we use the power of a demonic beast that crossed over to our world from the Demon World, then we can kill the Mayanes. We've already killed four of them with its power."
"Why are you killing the Mayanes now?"
"We seek to gather the God of Creation's sources."
"We wish to revive the God of Creation, Maya."
"We seek to bring change to this unchanging world. Only Lord Maya is capable of bringing significant change to this world."
"I cannot grant your request."
"Lord Ulam!" Gainus yelled. However, Ulam didn't reply back. "Lord Ulam! Lord Ulam!" Gainus's cries remained unanswered.
At that moment...
Cyndia's body released a purple veil, which concealed the goddess's form. Like she did with Luhan, Deborah had personally come to the mortal world in order to convince Ulam.
"Ulam." Deborah's voice rang out.
Then, Ulam's statue opened its eyes! Not only that, but its lips moved too.
"I plan on gathering the God of Creation's sources and reviving Maya. I want you to help me with that," Deborah said majestically from behind her veil.
"I can't do that. Maya failed to do his duty as God of Creation. I can't give him another chance."
"We're not giving him another chance. We're only reviving him to enact change."
"I don't agree with that. Creation and destruction are accompanied by pain. An unchanging world is stable and functions properly. Is there any real need for change?"
"We've long since been satisfied with that stability. However, you'll eventually change your mind just like me. I was never interested in change before, but I am now."
"So you've changed?"
"That's right. I have. I want us to return things to how they were at the beginning, where things changed naturally. We need Maya for that to happen."
"I can understand you a little, but I haven't changed my mind. I do not desire creation, destruction, or the pain that accompanies it. Leave."
"Don't just sleep. Watch the world and the beings that live within it. That's what I did, and then I began to change. I'll leave it here for today," Deborah said genuinely.
"I got it."
The purple veil that concealed Deborah's form disappeared. Despite that, Ulam's eyes remained open.
"Gainus, I want you and the rest of you to leave."
Ulam shut his eyes, and silence returned to the Great Temple of Death.
Gainus looked disappointed, but there was nothing else he could do. He had no choice but to quietly lead Kang Oh's party outside.
"Hmm, then what will we do now?" Kang Oh asked after they left the temple. They were just one step away, but the God of Destruction had ruined everything.
'My reward from killing all of the Mayanes!'
"The goddess ordered us to find Jigon and Orga first. She said that you'd definitely change his mind," Cyndia said calmly. Deborah had left her message when she left.
"Then you and I will have to work even harder," Gainus said. Finding Jigon and Orga were their responsibility.
"Yes. We'll find them this time no matter what." Cyndia pledged.
"We have to." Gainus nodded his head.Previous Chapter Next Chapter