‘Something is on the ground.’
With a ‘Pew’ sound, another projectile flew towards the sage. He quickly bent his back to avoid the oncoming projectile. His foot hit the ground. His legs sunk in up to his calves. Gig looked down. He couldn’t see anything. However, he sensed something falling from above him.
Gig swung his sword. With a ‘Pung!’ sound, the sword struck something below him. At the same time, Gig reinforced his physical body with a greater release of energy.
“What… what the hell is this?”
It wasn’t anything explosive. A leather pouch had exploded and covered him in some foreign liquid substance. Gig started brushing the liquid substance off his head. The liquid had covered his entire head and spread down to the nape of his neck. A familiar scent was mixed in with the liquid. It was something that made beings like Gigs go crazy… a very sweet, enticing smell.
‘Nectar? They’re trying everything.’
Gig pushed off from the ground and shot forward. He felt his body responding to the Nectar and becoming lax. He raised his combat senses to the max to counteract the Nectar’s influence. He threw out a scanning wave to detect if any living beings were in his surroundings. There was no one nearby. Gig suddenly felt tired.
‘Ha… really... What the hell is this? Such stupid tricks…’
With an annoyed expression, Gig looked back. He could just make out the outline of Nick’s body through the darkness. As agreed upon earlier, Nick was following Gig from a distance. Nick, who was a female sage, had a curvy outline. Observing her from above, it seemed as though Nick was a circular tube. The closest plane of the tube looked larger than the bottom. Gig suddenly stopped moving. His heart started beating roughly. A human was sitting in front of him. Gig couldn’t make out the expression on the human’s face. A bright light was shining behind the seated human man. The light seemed to envelop the man. Gig saw the bright whiteness of the man’s teeth as the human started smiling.
The human disappeared. Gig closed his eyes. When the human man disappeared, a burst of bright light entered his eyes, momentarily blinding him. Gig couldn’t help but close his eyes tightly. He had conditioned his eyes to see in low light, so the sudden burst of bright light had caused the rods in his eyes to overload and virtually incinerate. Gig shouted out in pain. Immediately, Gig’s emergency defenses kicked in.
After kicking off a wall, the human shot straight towards Gig. Gig bounced to his side as he swung his sword. Gig had calculated the opponent’s movement and path and swung his sword to coincide with that expected path. Up to now, his calculation and response had never failed. However, his sword met nothing but air.
‘Is this… is this an optical illusion?’
The human’s sword strike came at a much lower angle than what Gig had expected. Gig swerved in the air. He could no longer feel his left foot. The sensory delay that was applied from the poison was now playing its part in confusing Gig’s senses. The ownerless foot started rolling on the ground. Gig could always regrow another foot, however…
“Do you like the taste of shit?”
The human’s words and laughter started trailing off as the human flew further above Gig.
Nick, who was following behind Gig, raised her speed. Gig was in dire trouble. The male human quickly bounded off the cave wall and rushed towards Nick. Nick slowed down and raised her combat senses to the maximum. From left to right and from top to bottom, the male human seemed to be bouncing off the cave walls as he gained speed. The cave walls started breaking apart and falling onto the ground as if small explosives were detonated wherever the male’s feet met the cave walls. Furthermore, confusing and jarring waves started resounding within the cave. The entire cave was slowly becoming filled with a mist of fine, white dust.
The dust started swirling into a mini-tornado, and soon, the dust and broken shards of cave rock became centralized in one area. Above the tornado was the man, upside down on the cave’s ceiling like a bat, with both his hands extended towards the rapidly spinning tornado. One hand seemed to be extremely hot while the other was extremely cold. The air pressure within the cave started expanding at a rapid rate. Nick audibly gulped as she saw the scene.
‘What the hell is this?’
Gig was lost on what to do. He had allowed the human to disable him while causing his colleague to rush in to save him without any assurances of her own safety. Furthermore, another human, a female this time, was approaching him from the front. He needed to move forward to contend against the female human, but he also didn’t want to just leave his colleague behind. In the end, Gig decided to forgo his amputated foot and injury. He jumped into the air. The female human was dizzyingly moving within the cave’s restricted space. Large sparks of light shot off from each of her hands as she moved about. With the blinding light and constant change of the light source’s location, Gig had trouble locating the female. Every so often, he glimpsed her silhouette as she shot out silk-like thin threads that attached to his body. The smell coming off the thread was also sweet.
Gig focused on defense. Based on the reports he received, this specific male was always fully prepared when facing an adversary. His opponent used light, sound, heat, smell, poison, and geographical location to his benefit. And, more than anything else, the two humans seemed to be masters at manipulating one’s emotions.
‘If I come to a logical conclusion, I’ve already lost!’
Gig shut down his vision to cancel out the dizziness he was feeling from the blinding lights. He also shut down his sense of smell, which had been overcome with the smell of Nectar. He did the same for his listening. With these three senses completely shut off, he rerouted his focus to the other senses. However, having done this, Gig belatedly realized that what he just did was a logical conclusion. It was something that they had probably expected for him to do all along.
Biyeon’s voice sharply rang out within the cave’s small space. Gig shuddered. He felt his throat suddenly burn. His hair and skin started burning. As if a detonation cord was ignited, the network of Nectar that had oozed down to various parts of Gig’s body was set aflame. The flammable Nectar started bursting with flames, and small explosions would occur when the flames came across larger bundles of Nectar that had been previously splattered on his body. Gig cried out in pain. Like the Original Being Hercules who had succumbed and met his end in the flames of fire…
Hearing Gig scream out, Nick’s steps faltered. She began to take a few steps back. In front of her, a compressed whirlwind of air was quickly advancing on her. Nick looked behind her. Dick was quickly approaching her.
“No! Stop! Go back! It’s a large cannon!” Nick shouted out. Dick flinched and stopped. At that moment, a large Bam as the compressed whirlwind released its energy, exploded outward, and filled the entirety of that portion of the cave. A succession of explosions occurred as the smaller compressed pockets of air were released. Along with the explosions, small pebbles and rocks were flung outward. It was like a collection of modern-day claymores had exploded. The bits and pieces of rock ravaged the sages’ bodies.
Like a sheet of paper, Nick’s body was flung back as it stuck against a cave wall. Through her hazy vision, Nick could see Gig’s body quickly approaching hers while rotating in a screwing motion. Behind the approaching Gig, Nick saw the cave collapsing on itself as the ceiling crumbled down. As Gig’s body got closer, Nick could see Gig squirming as if somehow trying to escape the fire that was ravaging his body. Nick could clearly see that Gig’s Nectar-filled body would soon explode. Nick cried out.
Gig exploded. From behind her, Nick heard Dick scream out loud.
“I’m coming!” Biyeon soon shouted out. San followed behind Biyeon. Behind them was a succession of large explosions. The cave and the surrounding cliff walls outside were starting to collapse.
The magic dragon, Siluone, nervously paced about in her nest. She had heard the updates and news flow in at real-time. She soon realized that her expectations were off once again.
‘Two combat sages’ lifelines have flatlined. One battle sage is still showing signs of life, but he isn’t moving. It seems he’s been trapped underneath the rubble. So, it’s not enough with even three combat sages?’
‘What happened to the two humans? They’ve changed their course and are now moving north. What does this mean? Porato City wasn’t their objective?’
‘What happened to the Original Being, Loki? Damn it! Is he lost or something? It’s frustrating that his long-distance communication line hasn’t yet been established.’
More updates started coming in.
‘Senun has quickened his pace. Was he gathering sages? Has he decided to go against us? What will Nakun do?’
In a rush, Siluone contacted Nakun and Satan.
The two quickly appeared. Both had expressions filled with nervousness, anxiety, and concern. Siluone showed them the data and visuals she had gathered from the most recent clash.
“So?” Siluone asked after showing them the newly gathered information.
“Our plans have been dramatically affected by recent events. It’s not possible to depend on Loki alone, especially since he’s not able to communicate with us. Realistically, it’s now impossible to consider bringing them back alive,” Nakun answered.
“Do you have the entire combat sequence data?” Satan asked Siluone.
“I do, but it won’t be of any use. They didn’t use any special powers or skills. They used trickery to ambush their pursuers. At this rate, it’s stupid to send out more sages,” Siluone stated with a defeated voice.
“I agree. Although combat sages are like those two humans physically, the two’s experience and ability to combat is above and beyond what our combat sages can do. However, it does feel a little early to just give up. Satan, do you have any thoughts?” Nakun stated before turning to Satan.
“Bring all the sages who are capable of combat and fight them immediately. Bring every available sage. We must secure those two, alive or dead!” Satan exclaimed. Her voice was firm and cold.
“All the sages?” Siluone and Nakun responded at the same time. Their expressions were twisted. Both focused their gaze on Satan. Satan was essentially saying that the dragon race and all its sages had to sacrifice everything. Satan switched her cold gaze between the two.
“Senun has made his move. What do you think that means? Please elaborate, King of Sages Nakun!” Satan exclaimed.
“Do you think Senun will oppose us? He’s an old partner that shares the same title as me. He also agrees with the evolution that the dragons are currently undergoing. Furthermore, I’ve enjoyed a good relationship with him even before we brought you Original Beings back to life. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount that we’ve achieved. It would be unthinkable to throw that all away. Do you deny this fact?” Nakun answered.
“Regardless, he’s still a sage who is aligned with the Creator. Still! Do you not realize what objective you have as the king of sages? Do you not realize what the Creator created you for?”
“We were created to create balance in the world…”
“If one wants to balance against the effects of Nectar, what would be needed?”
“Nectar didn’t exist before. Due to the existence and proliferation of Nectar, the balance of the world has been broken. Furthermore, it has been tilted profoundly to one side,” Satan stated with a cold expression.
“Then, are you saying that Senun is working towards creating a vaccine?” Nakun asked with a serious expression.
“I’m sure of it. He probably already decided long ago,” Satan said as she maintained eye contact with Nakun. Nakun gulped and mulled over the possibility.
“Outside of Siluone, Senun is the only other being that has looked into those two’s bodies. Why was he so interested? Why would he sacrifice his own fellow sages to keep them alive? Do you know the reason?”
“So, you’re saying Senun has planned this from the start?”
“Additionally, Senun possesses the Sage’s Book. I’m pretty sure you know what that signifies.”
“Then, based on what you’re saying, Senun mobilized because he wants…?”
“He’s either seizing on an opportunity or working in tandem with the two.”
“It means that our most formidable enemy has gained a weapon that is the greatest threat to our existence. Regardless of whatever thoughts Senun truly has, he is in the driver’s seat now,” Satan definitively stated. Nakun and Siluone both felt a sinking feeling from within. From Satan’s small body came statements and arguments that couldn’t easily be refuted. Furthermore, they knew that Satan possessed a special something that could peer into the essence of things. She was the first human that was created by the Creator. Though it hadn’t been fully agreed upon, everyone knew that the new existence that would arise from the magic dragons and dominate the world would need to obtain a sense of self and ego from Satan.
“Also, we’ll need to quickly eliminate those things as well,” Satan said as she glanced at the screen showing the real-time battle scene at Porato City. Currently, an epic battle was ongoing between the blood demon and monsters with the gathered human forces. Additionally, all the weird occurrences that were happening in the world…
Satan continued, “Send all your sages out now. I will also send out all the Councilors that I have available. Immediately send out your order. Whether they kill or not, whether they’re killed or not, we must secure those two no matter what!”
“And King of Sages Nakun, you must meet with Senun as soon as you can. Negotiate. He needs to complete his own objectives, which are the most important to him. And, you’ll have to ask him once and for all, is he friend or foe,” Satan said as she chewed on her lips. In the corner of her eyes, she kept tabs on the one figure who she couldn’t quite figure out.
‘Loki… what the hell are you thinking?’Previous Chapter Next Chapter