Chapter 317

“Tsk! In the end, we let her get away!”

Some buses had been brought over through the portal so that the Connectors could rest. Bruce was in one of the large buses, and he complained about losing Glaia.

Russell, who was drinking water next to him, spoke in an incredulous voice.

“We didn’t let her get away. Both of us attacked her, yet we couldn’t gain an advantage. In fact, we were on the losing side. She only retreated when she realized the battle was going very poorly.”

It seemed her status as Grenoid's officer indeed held some weight.

“Hmmph!”

Bruce was aware of that too. He snorted and changed the topic.

“We finally retook our home. It has been a while since we could stay in Armstrong city like this.”

Russell brought his face toward the window. He could see the large Armstrong city. Its walls were riddled with holes, and many parts of the city had been destroyed. However, the city never lost its dignified appearance.

“We can't lose it ever again.”

“Of course! It won’t be easy to take this city since I’m here!”

A single person wouldn’t make a difference, even if that person was Bruce. However, Russell didn’t quibble over this.

“Anyway, isn’t it the time for the Knight to erect the force field?”

Just when Russell spoke those words—

Doo-doo-doo-doo!

The ground started to shake, and the bus vibrated.

“Uh uh? What the hell is this?”

Bruce, who had been sitting in a chair, grabbed the backrest. Russell placed his hands against the shelf.

Wah-jahng-chang! Boom! Boom!

The glass cups and the other items on the shelves fell to the floor.

Russell and Bruce quickly exited the bus.

The quake was getting worse. With that amount of vibration, one had to worry if the bus windows would break. Soon, dust started to rise off the ground and form a cloud.

- Mr. Woo Sungyoon has activated the ‘seed.’

The Mayor gave them an explanation through the bone conduction earphones.

‘This is the aftereffect of that?’

It was welcoming news.

The expressions on the faces of Russell and Bruce brightened. Monsters could not attack Earth anymore; stability would return to Earth.

However, the two of them were completely clueless that the vibration caused by the seed was the least of their worries.

***

The party still felt that the Mage city was moving upward. It was clear at this point that the city was pushing through the ground above it and heading toward the surface.

“How far will it rise?”

Emily had gotten pretty used to the vibration. She looked upward as she kept her balance. They were underground, so they had no idea what was going on above the city.

“There’s no way it would fly off into space, right?”

Tim tried his best to lighten the mood. However, the serious Princess expressed a negative view in response.

“It might happen. We don’t know the mechanisms of the city. It might have to fly into space to erect the force field.”

Tim felt embarrassed. However, Grace didn’t notice Tim’s reaction as she was lost in her thoughts.

Koo-oong!

Suddenly, they felt a huge shockwave run through the entire city. It was a feeling of liberation, a shock different from what they had been feeling up until now.

“It seems we are on the surface now.”

Sungyoon, who had been keeping Plu-El steady, gave a conjecture.

His conjecture was correct.

Zzuh-juhk!

While they had been pushing through the ground, the ceiling had protected the city from all damages. However, cracks were starting to appear on the ceiling now.

Puh-uhng!

The outer walls encasing the city broke apart as if they were the outer shell of an egg. Space sucked the air inside the city as the Mage city was revealed to the Moon's surface.

Without air, sound had disappeared.

The Mage city continued to move up, then float into the air. At that moment, the city resembled the flying castles one saw in movies and novels.

“Huh?”

Sungyoon suddenly received some information from the Royal Gem.

“What’s wrong?”

Emily asked.

“It seems I can decide where this city can land.”

“That's good news. If that’s true, I can only think of one destination.”

Grace spoke her thoughts out loud, and Sungyoon agreed with her.

“It'll be good near Armstrong city. It's easier to defend one place than two.”

Of course, a school of thought also said that it wasn’t good to place all your eggs in one basket. However, their current situation ruled out that option. If either the Mage city or Armstrong city fell, the remaining city would eventually fall too.

There was no point in decentralizing the two cities. It was better to protect both cities in one place.

“I’ll start moving it now.”

“I’ll go and contact the Mayor. They might mistake us for an enemy and attack. Let’s avoid any funny business like that.”

Tim passed through the portal opened up by Plu-El.

Sungyoon focused his magical energy once again and started moving the city toward Armstrong city.

***

“… Is that it?”

“I think so.”

Russell and Bruce had re-entered their bus. As they watched the enormous city float toward them from afar, they couldn't help it, and their mouths fell open. They were the two strongest Connectors and had a long and storied career, but they had never seen a floating city before.

Moreover, the Mage city was moving at lightning speed. It had been a dot in the sky just a while ago, but now, one could make out its outline.

“It really is different from the other cities.”

“The other cities didn’t have a tower like that.”

Russell and Bruce conversed with each other, and they sounded as if their souls had left their bodies. They watched the city fly straight toward Armstrong city.

“It's almost here. Should we go out and greet them?”

“What do you plan on doing?”

“What if we wave our hands at them?”

Bruce was about to exit the bus when it happened.

Ssssk!

“Huh?”

The two of them realized the Mage city's movements had changed.

***

Plu-El, Sungyoon, and his party members gathered near the pillar. They felt like they were riding a novelty spaceship. 

Pul-suhk!

After informing the Mayor about the Mage city, Tim had returned through the portal. At some point, he had started to nod off, and he fell over to the floor.

“Huh? What?”

Tim was still half-asleep. He rubbed his eyes as he looked at his surroundings.

“Was it you, Emily?”

He thought his sister had pulled a prank on him. However, Emily looked at him as if he were pathetic.

“Wake up. Something is happening.”

“What’s happening?”

Tim soon realized what Emily had been referring to.

“Uh uh? Why is it acting like this?”

He felt the ground starting to tilt. At first, he wondered if his senses were deceiving him. However, his senses were intact; the ground was really tilting.

Sungyoon and the others rooted their feet to the floor as they tried to maintain their balance. However, their efforts had a limit.

“I think the city is about to flip over.”

Sungyoon carefully moved his feet.

Currently, they were in a space shaped like a large sphere. If they moved along the wall as the city flipped, they wouldn’t be in danger of abruptly falling to the ground.

“At this point, it has tilted by ninety degrees.”

He could see the entrance on the bottom now.

“Also, I think it’ll completely flip over.”

Sungyoon once again moved toward the wall, which had been the floor a moment ago.

“What will happen once the city flips?”

“The most striking change would be the tower at the bottom.”

“Can we call it a tower now?”

The party continued to converse.

“What’ll happen once it does a 180? Will it continue to spin to right itself? Or will it stay flipped?”

“I’m not sure. I’m curious to see what happens.”

Sungyoon, who had been listening to his party members, fell deep into thought.

‘The sensation I felt earlier when I put my magical energy into the pillar made it clear that the pillar and the tower are connected. I’m pretty sure this is all related to them.’

Sungyoon looked at the pillar.

‘Pillar. Spike. No way!’

Sungyoon’s eyes widened when he realized something.

***

“It flipped over?”

“Yes. It flipped over.”

Both men had sat back down within the bus, and they poured themselves some juice over ice. They continued to watch the Mage city, which was some distance away from Armstrong city, do fantastical acrobatics.

“It came to a stop. When is the next show?”

Bruce drank his juice as he cracked a joke. Russell glared at him, but he just shrugged.

“Don't look at me like that. It was a joke. Doesn’t that city have the ability to put up the force field? I’m sure it’ll just float in the sky as it lays out the force field. That weird flipping is probably part of the process. In my opinion, all the important changes have already occurred.”

Bruce’s prediction was immediately proven wrong.

The Mage city started to descend.

Bruce quickly shut his mouth and placed a hand over it. However, it was too late. He had already jinxed it, and the Mage city was moving in new ways. Bruce glanced at Russell. Of course, Russell’s glare had turned fiercer.

“I always tell you to watch your tongue. When are you going to listen to me? Do I really have to sew your mouth shut before you learn your lesson!”

Bruce quietly placed his other hand over his mouth.

***

Of course, Sungyoon’s party could also feel the Mage city fall.

“What the hell is going on!”

They had first felt the buoyancy as the city had been ascending. Then, they had felt the city turn. Now, they felt a sinking feeling as the city descended.

All these changes to his senses annoyed Tim.

“I’m worried about the word spike.”

“What do you mean?”

Grace had lowered her stance as she asked Sungyoon.

“Normally, you drive a spike into something. In the beginning, I thought it was a metaphorical or sentimental name. What if it isn’t? What if it really functions as a spike?”

“B... but the pillar, which is the spike, is showing no movement. Do you think the spike will be ejected?”

“No. I don't think so, Ms. Emily. I can feel that the flow of magical energy, the pillar, and the tower are connected. That means the tower and the pillar are a single entity. The tower is just an extension of the pillar. Moreover, the Mage city is flipped and it's heading downward.”

“It's in a great position to drive itself into the ground.”

Grace changed her stance. It was clear that she was bracing for a bigger impact.

The party quickly put on the helmet and the hoods they had taken off. Sungyoon and Tim even took up their shield.

“Get ready for impact!”

Sungyoon’s voice rang out. He also readied a portal so that they could escape at a moment’s notice.

***

“Uh? I think that’s about to crash onto the surface.”

Bruce’s eyes widened. 

Russell had been lecturing him, but he also stopped and looked toward the city.

The tower slammed into the ground.

Rumble!

The buses once again shook. At the point of impact, an incredibly large cloud of dust rose into the air. If the Moon had air, everyone would've heard an ear-splitting boom.

“Do you think the Knight and his party are ok, Russell?”

“The Knight has the portal. He can escape if he’s in danger.”

Of course, Russell was also unsettled. He was worried about Sungyoon, but he was more worried about the person he treasured, Grace.

The tower continued to dig deeper into the ground. However, as if something was protecting it, it remained undamaged even as it acted like a construction tool made for digging.

Suddenly, the tower came to a stop.

Koo-koo-koo-koo-koohng!

The intensity of the quake on the Moon increased further.

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