At some point during her deep slumber, she heard a voice calling her name, a name she had long forgotten.
『Ananta, listen to my voice.』
At first, Ananta thought she wasn’t hearing it correctly.
She thought she was hallucinating. She thought that she was being tormented by the deep feelings she had for him again. After all, he was no longer of this world. He had…crossed a river, and he could never return. Because of that, although she longed for him, she also detested him.
『Hey, stupid. Do you need to suffer so much heartache and trouble over someone like me?』
Knowing that he had already crossed a point of no return, she decided to disregard the voice. She tried to fall into a deeper sleep. She didn’t want to be bothered anymore. ‘Leave me alone…in peace,’ she thought.
『Do you recall the first time we met?』 However, the auditory hallucination continued. 『We fought each other like we were prepared to die at any moment. Afterwards, Valdebich would make us lemonade, and we would just drink and talk about how refreshing it was.』 The voice whispered memories that only she and the dead knew. 『But, to be honest, his lemonade was pretty bad, right?』
If she had hands and ears, she would cover her ears with her hands.
『And, remember that time…』 However… 『There was that one time when I was pickpocketed. I lost my money and while I was in shock, you calmly organized what I had to do.』
She could not stop herself from listening.
『At that moment, I thought you looked pretty cool.』
She enjoyed it too much.
『There were many moments like that. Even if you weren’t part of my team, we often bumped into each other. Soon, we spent a lot of time just hanging out with one another.』
She loved it so much that she felt as if her heart would beat again.
『Hey, tell me, honestly. I thought it was just a random coincidence that we met, but it wasn’t random at all right? It was all planned, huh?』 The auditory hallucination’s voice also teased her in a mischievous manner. 『This is why being a popular guy is hard. Although…looking back on it now, I really enjoyed the time we spent together. It was a lot of fun.』
His warm voice seemed to melt her frozen heart.
『You were always honest with me.』
Each time, memories that she had buried at the back of her mind emerged, one by one…
『It would be great to go back to that time. If time were like a clockwork spring, I would wind it back to that time.』
As each memory appeared in her mind like a photograph, her feelings of longing started welling up.
『You probably feel the same…that’s probably why you haven’t been able to wake up.』 Then, the hallucination said in a gloomy voice, 『I understand. It was the same for me. I wanted time to pause and remain there forever. Those days were the most gruesome and hardest of days…but they were also the most enjoyable. I didn’t want to leave them.』
The voice comforted Ananta. But then… 『However, Ananta…』 The auditory hallucination was trying to help her wake up. 『Time can never be turned back.』 It explained where they were in relation to time. 『It has already passed. No matter how much you run away from reality, and no matter how much you long for it, that time won’t return.』
Each word pierced Ananta’s heart. It hurt her so much that she wanted to scream. But no screams came out.
『Let’s bury all the days when we suffered. Isn’t it just as important to create a happy and enjoyable future?』 The auditory hallucination’s voice caressed her wounds to help them heal. 『We…』
Unexpectedly, her pain eased little by little. Ananta started to see something.
『We have a daughter now, don’t we?』
At that moment… Boom! Ananta felt as if the world was collapsing around her. When she lifted her head up, he was there. It was the face she’d seen in her dreams. Cha Jeong-woo smiled as he looked at her.
『How long will you stay asleep when your daughter is crying her heart out for you?』
Ananta was in her world of Consciousness. Cha Jeong-woo’s spirit body had constantly beat on her Consciousness to rouse her, and she finally responded to his voice. When Cha Jeong-woo realized that Ananta had woken up, he teased her again. He had often done this when they climbed the Tower together.
Ananta’s eyelids trembled as she recalled that time, her eyes involuntarily growing wet. However, Ananta smiled broadly instead of wiping her eyes. It was not like her to cry at such a time. She pouted and grunted out, ‘You’re one to talk.’
『You’re right. It’s not the olden times when childrearing was the sole responsibility of the mother. Based on the standards of today’s world, I’m a horrible dad, aren’t I?』 Cha Jeong-woo slowly reached out to Ananta. 『All those things that I didn’t know about in the past…the things I took for granted…can you help me start over? From now on, I can do well.』
Ananta looked at Cha Jeong-woo’s hand quietly. She had desperately wanted to hold it before but couldn’t. She was about to grab his hand, then she quickly pulled back. ‘No.’
『Huh?』 For the first time, a look of embarrassment appeared on Cha Jeong-woo’s face.
Ananta felt a sense of satisfaction. ‘Wasn’t I the one who waited anxiously for you all this time? Did you think I’d just shout hurray and grab your hand because you chose to return? Wake up.’
『Well…then…what should I do?』
Ananta had once missed his love and attention, but things were different now. Ananta was now dismissing him, and Cha Jeong-woo was clinging to her. ‘Hmm, I wonder.’
『A-Ananta…!』 As Cha Jeong-woo sweated profusely, not knowing what to do, Ananta walked far ahead.
Cha Jeong-woo didn’t dare grab her, so he scrambled around, unsure what to do. At that moment, Ananta’s steps stopped for a moment. With a sulking expression, she glanced back. ‘I’ll think about it.’
『T-then…!』 Just when Cha Jeong-woo was about to say something…
“Mom…!” A voice rang out. Ananta and Cha Jeong-woo lifted their heads up at the same time.
Both of their expressions grew stiff.
“Get away…from my daughter!”
『Get away…from my daughter!』 Ananta coldly shouted out as soon as she woke up. Perhaps because it had been many years since she’d fallen asleep, her body felt slow and creaky. Her Dragon Human mana, which had always overflowed with magic power, was now little more than a stream. Her muscles were weak and damaged, leaving her without much strength. If she opened her status window, it would probably look very bleak. There wasn’t a single part of her body that didn’t hurt.
Ananta had picked up a sword randomly from the ground and plunged it into Troy but even doing this was difficult. However, Ananta didn’t care about her condition. She was full of anger. Her daughter…they were trying to harm her daughter? How dare they?
Although Sesha was not her biological daughter, she was the daughter of Ananta’s heart. Ananta loved Sesha more than anyone in the world, and she would not allow anyone to harm her. When she thought of how she continued to sleep as her child was in danger, Ananta detested her own inaction. Didn’t this mean she wasn’t qualified to be the child’s mother? Cha Jeong-woo thought the same thing about himself. He had become a father whose existence his daughter didn’t know. Even though he couldn’t hug Sesha or stroke her head, Jeong-woo would not let his poor child get hurt again.
It would be different from now on. If he couldn’t become a father and protect his daughter, if he couldn’t protect his family, how could he be called someone’s dad?
The two of them had shouted at the same time, with one heart and one mouth.
“M-Mom? Dad?” Sesha’s eyes widened when she saw the mother she’d always hoped would wake up in front of her. She was doubly surprised to see the figure behind Ananta. It was a person who resembled uncle Yeon-woo but had warm eyes. He had shining armor and pure white wings. He was someone who was trustworthy and dependable, someone who would provide safety for her.
Sesha instantly recognized him. “Mom! Dad!” Smiling and crying, Sesha called out to the two of them. Her trauma disappeared as if it had never existed.
“Daughter, wait a minute. Mommy will save you.”
『Daughter, wait a minute. Daddy will save you.』
Ananta and Cha Jeong-woo spoke at the same time with the same tone, looking at Sesha with love and affection.
“How dare you touch my daughter?”
『How dare you touch my daughter?』
When Ananta lifted her head and looked at her enemies, her demeanor changed. Her eyes shone fiercely. “I will make you regret your actions.”
『I will make you regret your actions.』
Bam! The two moved at the same time with the same actions. Cha Jeong-woo, who was within Ananta, helped her make up for her physical weakness and depleted magic power. There was no awkwardness in their movement. At one time, they had been the last two Dragon Humans in the world of the Tower, and it was possible for them to move with one mind and one will.
“Shit! Damn it…!” With his chest torn open, Troy quickly retreated, bleeding profusely. He had luckily turned before the surprise attack and prevented his heart from being stabbed, but his current condition was close to death. However, Ananta would not let him go.
Hyena had claimed that Ananta was in a vegetative state. Did they hide that she had awakened? Regardless, Troy understood that it was necessary to escape first. However, Ananta was too fast. Her dragon wings, which had suddenly appeared on her back, angrily flapped, and the sword that she held radiated a chilling light.
‘It’s like the Sky Wings and Wave of Light…!’ As soon as Troy remembered Heaven Wing, whom he had once seen, his world turned upside down. He immediately lost consciousness after being blinded by a flash of white light. This was the last thought of the great villain called “Hawkeye”. He wielded great power and did whatever he wanted, as evidenced by his constantly changing affiliations from Red Dragon to Black Dragon and finally, to White Dragon.
Bang! The beam of light from Ananta’s sword spread like a spider’s web in all directions, sweeping away all their enemies. Sss!
A gust of wind blew. Ananta glared at the survivors, surrounded by embers and black ashes fluttering in the air, flashing her Draconic Eyes at the center of the windstorm. The expressions of the White Dragon players and rankers stiffened. Warnings blared in their minds. They had offended someone they should not have.
“What is this…!”
It was an aura that was very familiar to them, since they had received orders from the Summer Queen while working in Red Dragon, and it was something they did not want to recall: Dragon Fear.
It was the unique aura of the dragon species that stimulated the primal fear ingrained in all the species of the world. The air sizzled. The players felt short of breath and suffocated. With expressions of disbelief, they could not say any words. The world stood still.
Furthermore, behind Ananta, who had taken control of the battlefield, there was another figure. It was Heaven Wing Cha Jeong-woo’s spirit!
“You all are ready…”
『You all are ready…』
“To die, right?”
『To die, right?』
The second hand of the pocket watch that hung around Ananta’s neck spun wildly as if indicating the remaining life span of the intruders. Tick. Tick!