Chapter 312

“Hope.”

Sungyoon felt his heart lift a little bit when he heard that word. Humanity was facing an existential crisis, and this word was the bright sun shining its light on humans.

“It's a word we need more than ever now.”

“Mmm!”

Emily, Tim, and Grace felt the same way.

No, every Connector felt like that. They savored the word.

“The magicians went through all kinds of hardship to make the seed of hope. They didn’t have food or water. The only sustenance they had were the occasional monsters that flew toward the city. They survived by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the monsters. The magicians lived a substandard life even when compared to us, who could gather a variety of foods in the Great Labyrinth.”

The water and plants existing inside the Great Labyrinth were imbued with powerful magical energy. Therefore, humans couldn’t eat anything from the Great Labyrinth. If normal humans did that, they would die; magical energy would run rampant in their digestive system and crush their organs. If Connectors did it, they wouldn’t die, but they would suffer from a stomach ache and a reduction in physical strength. Since the descendants of Planote had nothing else to eat, they had no choice but to eat and drink such items despite the negative effects.

However, the people living in the Mage city didn’t even have those resources. The only thing they could do was find a way to stop the dead monsters from turning into moonstones. Of course, the descendants of Planote also knew about this method, and they also ate the monsters; but they had other choices. The people of the Mage city had lived a much more miserable life since they had only one way to extend their life expectancy. 

“The magicians, who had been elites of our society, had to become miners. They dug tunnels underneath the tower to create an enormous magic diagram. It wasn’t a task that could be finished through a single generation. The survivors started to mingle their flesh to procreate. They did it solely to finish this device.”

The atmosphere in the room became solemn. The group couldn’t fathom the amount of sacrifice needed to carry out such a task. It wasn’t just the magicians of that era; they fettered their children with this responsibility too.

How desperate must they have been? How much soul searching did they have to do to take such measures?

‘Moreover, we didn’t find the remains of any humans or monsters here.’

Sungyoon looked at his surroundings. When he had arrived in the capital city for the first time, he had encountered a Skeleton. According to Plu-El, the corpses left behind in the capital city were infused with magical energy when the Moon was created, and magical energy turned them into monsters.

However, the group hadn’t encountered a single Skeleton here.

This raised the question of where were all the remains.

Sungyoon could guess that he wouldn’t find a happy ending here.

“The magicians' descendants were born to make this device. They lived to make this device, and they died to make this device. They even ate the corpses of their dead comrades to sustain themselves. This device was the fruit of their labor. However, they realized they needed a core to complete the device. It was the most important ingredient.”

Plu-El pointed at the large crystal in the middle of the pillar.

“It was the heart of the magic diagram. It would move the ambient magical energy to activate the magic diagram. However, the magicians were short on materials.”

The core needed and had to move massive amounts of magical energy, but in this place, it was impossible to find materials that could do that.

“They didn’t give up. They received inspiration from the monsters. If they didn’t use the special method to kill the monsters, the monsters' corpses turned into moonstones. Realizing this, the remaining people in this city used the magical energy within their bodies to create a similar phenomenon. They transformed themselves into the materials needed to create what they needed. This was how the heart of the magic diagram came into creation.”

Everyone looked at the crystal, which was the remnant of those who gave up everything to eliminate Grenoid. Some Connectors made the cross, and some prayed.

“The only thing left was the powerful magical energy that would be wielded by the magic diagram. The only place having magical energy of that magnitude was the Moon. The last remaining magicians, who had changed their bodies into magical energy, used a part of the power generated to synchronize with the crystal. They changed the trajectory of this city to crash toward the Moon.

"The story ends there. Those were the last words written on the pillar.”

Right now, the Mage city was on the Moon, which only meant one thing.

“They were successful.”

“Yes, they were.”

Plu-El responded to Sungyoon’s words with a prideful voice. The ones who had carried out this monumental task weren’t technically her ancestors. Still, they were akin to distant cousins. She wasn’t arrogant like Aruwen. However, even if she didn’t openly display it, she was proud of being a descendant of Planote.

“They left behind their will within the Mage Gem, and they left it outside the city. After sealing the city, they made it so that only the person with the Royal Gem could enter this city. They did this because they determined one needed the Royal Gem to defeat Grenoid. Moreover, only the Royal Gem can properly handle a crystal of that size.”

“That's why I couldn’t open the door.”

Bruce nodded as if he had an epiphany. At this point, his antics regarding the door was getting a bit old with the others.

“Sung Hyunwoo must've found the Mage Gem by coincidence, and he must've seen the will. That's why he knew this place had the method needed to defeat Grenoid. Of course, I have no idea why he would give us this information.”

Whenever Plu-El talked about Sung Hyunwoo, a menacing expression appeared on her face.

“Thank you for the story about the great sacrifice made by the magicians, Ms. Plu-El. We are all deeply moved by their sacrifices. However, you know what our situation is like. Could you please tell us how we are supposed to defeat Grenoid?”

Russell was very careful, so he didn’t offend Plu-El and the other descendants of Planote.

“I understand.”

It seemed she didn’t feel offended by his words, and Russell inwardly let out a sigh of relief.

“The principle behind it is simple. We have to return all of the Moon’s magical energy to Earth.”

“We have to do that with magical energy?”

“Yes. It was the reason Grenoid could trample our civilization, which had been blossoming like a flower. It has an oppressive ability to control magical energy.”

Plu-El rubbed her hands.

“Magical energy can create numerous phenomena. It isn’t an exaggeration to call it all-powerful. It's an overwhelmingly powerful and endless source of energy, and Grenoid can freely wield this source of energy. That's why Grenoid is almost invincible. It was so deadly against our civilization because we based our civilization on magical energy. This was why we fell so easily. We were so desperate that we exiled all the magical energy from Earth.”

Plu-El turned around to look at the pillar. She spoke as her eyes fell on the crystal.

“If this thing is completely activated, all the magical energy of the Moon will be sucked back toward Earth. Even the great Grenoid won’t be able to wield its absolute power. Its domination of magical energy becomes useless if there’s no magical energy.”

“Is there any way we can stop the monsters from attacking Earth?”

Defeating Grenoid was an important problem, but right now, they needed to stop the monsters from invading Earth. Earth was their home base, and it needed to regain stability.

“Once the magic diagram is activated, it would establish a force field between the Moon and Earth. The magicians were worried that Grenoid’s control over magical energy can extend beyond space. Therefore, they created this method. The force field will block the portals.”

“That means they can no longer send the monsters to Earth.”

“Yes. However, you should think this through. We’ll be in the same boat. We won’t be able to use the portals either.”

“It's a double-edged sword.”

Russell rubbed his chin.

“Still, isn’t it better than hundreds of thousands of people dying on Earth?”

“You do have a point.”

Russell didn’t have a rebuttal, so he agreed with Bruce.

“However, I’m sure we can strategically use this information to create the best-case scenario for us. I’ll have to discuss it with the Mayor first. Moreover, the situation on Earth might have changed since we last contacted them.”

Russell didn’t voice out that he suspected things would've worsened on Earth.

“Yes. That’s right. We gained a method that’ll allow us to choke out our enemies. We have no reason to rush this.”

“Anyway, we can head back now since we can come here anytime we want. The Knight can travel here at any moment. Moreover, I will be able to come here once I awaken the Mage Gem.”

“Ah. The Mage Gem won’t awaken for a while.”

Plu-El shot down Russell’s words.

“Is something wrong with it?”

“The magicians purposefully stopped the Mage Gem from awakening. All the function of the city was converted into maintaining the magic diagram. The Mage Gem can only awaken when the magic diagram is awakened.”

“What the hell? That means it’ll be useless for the near future.”

Bruce was disappointed.

“That’s the gist of it.”

Russell didn’t express it, but he was also disappointed.

“We’ll head back as soon as we are done here. We have to relay this information.”

At Sungyoon’s words, everyone started getting ready to head back.

***

“Good! Very good!”

As expected, the Mayor became so happy that he started clapping.

“I can sleep a bit better at night now!”

Black circles had appeared below his sunken eyes. It seemed he hadn’t had a proper night's sleep since he had lost Armstrong city.

“We just need to solve one more problem, then humanity will be out of danger. Of course, this problem is the most difficult one.”

“What are you referring to?”

“I’m talking about the curtain call of the Moon falling toward Earth, Ms. Plu-El.”

Even if they could stop monsters and defeat Grenoid, all would be for naught if the cradle of humanity was damaged.

“Do you think the Moon might return to its normal trajectory when we defeat Grenoid?”

The Mayor asked the question because he wanted Plu-El to deny such a possibility. However, Plu-El’s answer was cold as ever.

“I do not believe it will. The rituals did their job in changing the trajectory of the Moon. However, the Moon is moving under the law of nature. We need to apply a new force to it to revert its trajectory. Otherwise, even if we defeat Grenoid, the Moon will continue to head toward Earth.”

“I see.”

The answer disappointed the Mayor.

“Then let’s do what we can. It’ll take a long time for the Moon to fall to Earth anyway. Right now, we have to stop monsters from coming to Earth. We have to stop Kevil from performing the rituals so that the Moon doesn’t accelerate further. Our time won’t shorten.”

“Should we immediately activate the seed?”

“No.”

The Mayor spoke in no uncertain terms as he cut off Sungyoon’s desire to act.

“We have to take back Armstrong city before we do that.”

“Armstrong city?”

“Yes. We can't use the portal once we activate the seed. If we want to return from the Moon, we have to use the spaceships. We need Armstrong city for that, and I have no idea how much manpower and resources we’ll need to pull that off.”

Just imagining it was horrifying. The Mayor shook his head from side to side.

“I have no idea if we’ll succeed or fail. I personally think the odds are very low. However, we have to keep the portals open until we take back Armstrong city.”

“But Earth will continue to take damage if we keep the portals open.”

Emily’s worries were valid, and the Mayor didn’t deny that fact.

“That's why we have to attack it as soon as possible. If possible, we have to do it right now.”

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