Chapter 176 - Aria's Temple (2)
The large Symbol grew on top of the Saurus mountain.
Latasha, who was the Lord of the remaining Elves, lay beneath the World Tree. Latasha was better known by the name Silver Arrow.
She watched as sunlight reached her from between the foliage, and it was heavenly.
She was lying still as she felt the tree’s breathing. She reminisced about the time when the forests sang to her ancestors.
She never had the privilege to live in such peace, yet maybe it was an instinct that was passed down through her bloodline.
"What are you doing here?"
She had been silently communing with the silent past, but Do-jaemin's visit broke her out of her thoughts.
"Ah, Count Jaemin."
He was a human of earth that had turned into a Vampire Lord.
He was in a weird and dangerous position of being the brother of the Immortal's woman.
"Were you taking a nap?"
"No. I was feeling the World Tree breathe."
"Hmm. I thought it was merely the Colony's Symbol...."
"It is a special existence to me."
Jaemin silently looked at the grown tree. Latasha was the first to laugh. She saw that Jaemin had also put on a serious expression on his face when he heard her words.
"Hoo hoo. So why were you looking for me?"
"Ah. Tauric is gathering all the heroes."
Latasha accompanied Do-jaemin, and they walked towards the castle built near the World Tree. The castle built by the Immortal was too large for only the ten heroes to occupy. It felt empty.
"What is it?"
Latasha queried when she saw the heroes gathered in one place.
Each of the heroes were put in charge of a team, and they were supposed to expand out from the Saurus mountain as base to clear the monsters nearby. It was also the reason why this type of gathering hadn't happened in several days.
"A massive amount of monsters are gathering south at the Nero plateau."
"...that's the worst news we've heard in recent days."
"Actually, it get worse."
Tauric spread a map on the table. It was a map that specifically showed the details between the Saurus mountains and the Nero plateau. It was a distance that could be traveled in around two weeks. A human kingdom had once occupied that region, but it was currently ruled by a Dimensional lord named Unon.
"It isn't just Unon's army. Shirao, Patu, Leia and Gong Gong are all gathering there."
Latasha's eyes widened at Tauric's words. It looked as if her eyes were about to fall out.
"My god. Are you saying the Dimensional lords are working together?"
"Unfortunately, that is what is happening."
Dimensional lords never cooperated with each other. They weren't like blood enemies that fought constantly, but they did fight over territories. This was a reason why the Coalition was able to exist on this planet.
The Dimensional lords fought wars with each other, and the people of planet was merely their quarry.
If they cooperated with each other, it would have taken them 1 year to decimate the entirety of Alphen.
"So what is behind this unforeseen move?"
The Coalition was on its last leg, and they were gathering their remaining troops.
Were they that big of a threat?
They should have been beneath the notice of the Dimensional lords.
The gathering of the Coalition hadn’t even aroused the attention of the Dimensional lord Go-shooshoo, Juliel and their armies. In the past, the Coalition had gathered their forces quite often in the past without such a severe response.
"I'm not sure. If I had to guess, it might be caused by his return....."
There was only one existence that was excessively burdensome to the Dimensional lords.
The Dimensional lords started working with each other when the Immortal suddenly showed up. The cause behind their actions was obvious.
Even a single Dimensional lord was an overwhelming opponent, yet they would have to face 5 Dimensional lords. The Coalition's forces were like a candle facing the wind.
Moreover, the existence that could block the wind was with Melody right now as they headed towards Aria's Temple. They were in deep enemy territory beyond the Nero plateau.
"If the Immortal isn't here, it will be too hard to protect this fortress. We have to find a new hideout."
When king of Honshoo Kontz spoke up, the Archmage Graham agreed with him.
"That's right. In the first place, the Saurus mountain was the worst place we could have chosen to defend an enemy's attack. There’s the risk that our enemies might isolate us. We have to move our base first."
"No way. How could you throw away a Colony so easily?"
Sunggoo yelled out.
The Colony wasn’t merely a place where they could purchase Items using Bloodstones. For the people, who came over from earth, it was the location of the gate. The gate would allow them to go back to their home world.
"The Fire Spirit King is correct. Also, I won't leave behind the World Tree."
"I'm the the Fire Spirit King...."
Sunggoo mumbled at Latasha's words. Graham tried to convince her with great care.
"Oh, Elf Lord. I believe it is a stretch to call it the World Tree."
"No. It is the World Tree."
Latasha ignored Sunggoo's words, and her answer was full of conviction as she spoke to Graham.
The current Elf Lord said it was the World Tree, so how could a human magician say otherwise? However, it wasn't a wise decision to stay here. They would be slaughtered.
"What can we do? Unon is a high rank great general. He occupies the 36th throne."
"...he built this city, so he'll protect it."
It hurt her pride to rely on the Immortal, but she spoke those words quietly. Jaemin, who had been quietly listening from the side, stepped forward.
"I can contact him."
Do-jaemin had been appointed to be the tactician of Alandal. He could trade thoughts with the Dimensional lord Kahng-woojin.
"He’ll be able to come here immediately using the Return Portal if we are in a dire situation."
"That is good news."
The gloomy atmosphere immediately improved. The Immortal was only one person, but his existence was enough to wipe away the worry of losing the battle.
Everyone firmly believed the Immortal wouldn't have problem with these foes.
"Please inform him of our plight."
At Graham's insistence, Do-jaemin quickly tried to contact Woojin.
Everyone looked at him with eyes full of hope. Jaemin kept calling for Woojin, but there was no response.
Jaemin nervously licked his lips when the anticipation turned into doubt.
'Will it not work if he is in a different Dimension?'
He was appointed to be the tactician, but he wasn't fully aware of the power and the communication capability possessed by a Dimensional lord. Jaemin scratched his head as he spoke.
"I think he is clearing a Dungeon."
"Hmm. You can’t contact him if he is in a Dungeon?"
"I guess so."
As if they didn't believe him, the atmosphere was turning a bit weird when they heard his answer. Tauric stepped forward to clear up the air.
Since the Immortal and the Holy Maiden wasn’t here, the First Monk of Skia became the psychological pillar for the people.
"I know we've had some complaints initially about setting up here, but in the end, we agreed to it."
"We settled here, because it was the ideal place for a counteroffensive campaign. We cannot run away at the first sign of the enemies gathering."
"You are right."
The great Orc Chieftain Kruegar had been quiet, since Latasha had spoken, and now he raised a closed fist.
"Koo-roo. I don't want to die while running away. We shouldn't be fighting for our survival. We have to fight for victory."
They had always pushed and delayed their plans into the future. How many comrades were left behind as they ran away? Maybe the time they had been waiting for was at hand.
"Alandal and the Coalition are allies. If we can't defend a Colony from being taken over before he returns, there is no point to this alliance.
Dwarf King Raul stepped forward.
"Let us fight! If we build a fortress as we accelerate our pace in gathering our forces, there is no reason why we won't be able to defend this place."
When everyone's opinions came into alignment, Tauric let out a declaration.
"Let's get ready to defend the Colony."
There would be no retreat any more. Since they had gained a sword they could use to counter attack, they couldn't let go of it even if it was heavy.
They just have to wait until a sharp and dangerous sword named the Immortal came back to them.
The earth was so poor and sticky that it made one wonder if it was really dirt underneath their feet. It gave off an unpleasant feeling.
The large trees were rotten, and an unknown fungus covered the branches.
There was a musky foul smell. The air was poisonous, and there were no living creatures inside the forest.
"Why did noonim build a temple here?"
Melody was protected by a blessing she asked from her goddess. She answered Woojin's complaint.
"The goddess did not shy away from penance. She chose to be in this harsh environment...."
Woojin cut off Melody's words.
"Stop making shit up."
"...I'm not making it up. It was passed down..."
"Ah. Whatever. There’s a saying that says idle words can become law."
She was full of counter-arguments she wanted to say, but Melody tried hard to hold back her words. If it wasn't for Woojin, she wouldn't have be able to traverse through the enemy territories. She wouldn't have been able to reach this place.
It would have taken her two months to walk here. They had taken down every Dungeon and Colony on their way here, yet it took them only a month.
If they had just rode on the Phantom Steed through the whole journey, it would have halved the time further.
"I never heard about such a bizarre place."
Woojin shook his head from side to side as he looked at his surrounding.
Reeds, which was as thick as a person’s thigh, had grown high into the air before they died. There were only stumps left, and there seemed to be fossilized remains covering the floor. It was creepy.
He could see a corpse of a Wyvern-sized dragonfly, skeleton of an eight-limbed bear, and dead trees. They were all very large.
If a town was changed into giants and mutants, it would look like this place.
"Sniff. I don't think this is petroleum. What is this?"
The black and sticky liquid covered the floor, and it somehow felt out of place.
"We are almost there. It should be over there."
She was being guided by her goddess as she walked the maze-like forest road. In the end, they arrived at their destination.
They went past the unpleasant forest and the ground boiling with the black liquid. Afterwards, a large crater greeted them.
It was as if a meteor had fallen to make this deep crater.
In the middle of the crater, one could see a small building covered in black moss.
At a glance, it looked like a pointy rock, but the sight was strangely incongruous with its surrounding.
"What the hell is that?"
"It is goddess Aria's temple."
"You know I'm not asking about that."
Woojin went to the edge of the crater, and he slowly descended.
The ground crumbled every time Woojin brought a foot down. The ground was unstable as jagged stones kept catching on his feet.
"Are these bones?"
He had thought they were jagged stones, but they were bones.
He didn't know if they were from animals or people. Several thousand...tens of thousand unidentifiable bones made up the ground.
Woojin silently walked forward. Melody was following behind him, and her face had also turned serious.
"Have you been here before?"
"This is my first time."
She would have needed to come here to become the official Holy Maiden, but this was Melody's first visit. She was here to receive her Holy Item. It would signify that Melody was the closest servant of Aria.
Goddess of Prophecy Aria.
Melody had called it a temple, so he had thought....
Woojin and Melody went to the heart of the deep and large crater. They stood in front of a black building that looked like a pillar curved like a horn.
"Doesn't it look unbalanced?"
She didn't even have the words to answer Woojin's question. She also hadn't heard anything about Aria's Temple. She felt a tug from the goddess' revelation, and she only knew how to get to this place through instinct.
The black moss started to rip away. A rectangular outline could be seen as the door shifted.
The moss fell to the floor as the door opened.
Woojin was silent as he saw what was across the entrance.
When the door opened, a large amount of the goddess' energy flowed out into Melody. Melody fell to her knees as she prostrated on the floor.
At her reaction, Woojin’s sense of incongruity, which had bothered him, reached its
"It’s a spaceship."
There was no other explanation.
If he wanted to know the reason behind all of this, he’ll have to face this head on.
Woojin took his first step across the door.Previous Chapter Next Chapter