Chapter 186 - Last Holy Item (2)

Chapter 186 - Last Holy Item (2)

Were the gods always right?

When she had this conflicting thought, the feeling of anguish arose.

This matter was such a big deal that it shook her to the core.

"Ha-ah."

Even if she kept worrying over the problem, the only thing she could do was sigh.

Her goddess wanted her to set it on fire...

Why did her goddess give her such an oracle?

Was she trying to prevent Kahng-woojin from returning to earth?  Or was she trying to oppose him?

She couldn't discern the meaning behind the oracle, so Melody was tormented.

This was the first time she had this feeling of doubt in her life.

She had always considered the goddess' words to be always right, and she always followed it.

Was she the Holy Maiden of the goddess of premonition, or was she just a puppet on a string....

Melody stood still for awhile as she looked at the World Tree.

Her expression kept changing by the minute, and she finally shook her head.

"This isn't right."

What was the meaning behind burning the World Tree?

The Dungeon, 'Raht's Temple', was cleared by Celrak, so Kahng-woojin only had the Saurus Colony left.

If she burned the World Tree, which was his Symbol, the connection point between earth and Alphen would be severed.

Moreover, she didn't have the confidence that she’ll be able to endure the Immortal's wrath when he learned of her action.  The Gate was needed for him to return to earth.

No matter how much she thought about it, she couldn't come to the conclusion that the act of burning the World Tree was for the betterment of earth and Alphen.

For the first time in Melody's life, she made her own decision instead of following the voice of her goddess.

Moreover...

"I can't do it."

The ramification of her choice wasn't small.

Shooooooo.

"Ah ah..."

Is this what divine punishment felt like?

It felt as if the soul within her head was being shaken at its roots.

This was different from the sensation of pain.  She felt her body be seized by a sense of futility and powerlessness.

It felt as if an something important was draining out of her.  When the feeling subsided, she immediately realized what was missing.

It was a power she had always lived with.  It was a power she knew very intimately.

"I turned my back on the goddess..."

She couldn't feel her Holy Power.

She feebly looked at her two hands.  Her goddess hadn't abandoned her, since she had abandoned her goddess first...

She actually felt grateful for the retraction of her Holy Power.

She had received a punishment.  This lessened some of the guilt she felt for going against the will of her goddess.

"It is done."

Now the Immortal wouldn't lose his way back home.  Her goddess' oracle was incorrect.  No, Melody had made it so.

Since Kahng-woojin could still travel back and forth from earth, he won’t lose that important something within himself.

"Ha-ah."

She fell to her knees, and she looked up at the World Tree.

The wind blew against the leaves, and the leaves moved like a wave.  It felt as if the tree was trying to console her.

It was the same for swaying flame of Sunggoo below...

Zeeeeng.

At that moment, the Portal let out a light as a person appeared.

"Immort..."

Melody thought the Immortal had returned, so she had stood up to greet him.  However, someone else exited from Portal.  It wasn't just a single person.  It was several people.

"Hoo-ooh.  Is this place Alphen?"

The Holy Maiden approached them.

"Who are you?"

"Ah.  You are the Holy Maiden.  I saw you in a forum in New York.  My name is Nakamura."

"Ah..."

She remembered him.

She had gathered the earth's Roused to ask of them to save Alphen.  She asked for an expedition force to be formed, but the Daken guild from Japan fought against the idea.  They had argued in terms of profitability of such a venture.

However, with the appearance of Kahng-woojin, the plans for the expedition group dissolved into thin air.  All plans were scrapped.  This was what she remembered...

"It seems the cleanup party is here."

"Yes.  We are the cleanup party from earth.  We are here to help rebuild Alphen."

Nakamura displayed his white teeth as he laughed.

"My name is Masuro Nakamura.  I am in charged of the expedition group sent from the Daken guild."

She shook his hand in the confusion of the moment, and she felt a weird sense of danger.  Even if she didn't have the blessing from the goddess of premonition, her instincts told her to be wary of this man.

"We are the first wave of the cleanup party.  Soon, there will be a second and third group from earth crossing over to Alphen."

"...this is good news."

Wasn't this what she always wanted?  The Roused from earth would be coming over to fight for Alphen, so how could she not thank them?

However, something was bothering her.  It was the greasy light within their eyes.

"Could you explain the lay of the land right now?"

"This region had already been swept by the Immortal's army, so there should be no forces left that could pose a threat to us.  However..."

Melody held back what she was about to say.  She hesitated before she continued speaking.

"You should talk to the heroes of the Coalition."

"Ah... We will.  I forgot there were heroes here.  So they are S Rank Roused..."

Nakamura turned to look behind him.

He had come with an elite force that was an equal of 100 warriors.  Moreover, he brought a research staff, who'll study Alphen.

"Well, shall we start restoring Alphen?"

The Japanese from the Daken Guild, who had crossed over to Alphen, quickly started to explore their surrounding.

***

[Beeep.  A variable outside of the prediction simulation has occurred.]

The speaker, which had been frustratingly giving the same answer over and over again, broke from its patter.  It spoke something different.  Woojin frowned.

"What nonsense are you talking about?"

Chee-jee-jeek.

Woojin's body was soaked with sweat from smashing the monitors.

The god of Time was tireless, but a human got easily tired.

[A change that varies from the record has occurred.  A new branch point has started.]

"...."

Woojin's face crumpled.

He didn't care if they were gods or some other form of life.  

What were they?  

There were a lot of questions yet to be answered, but he was sure of one thing.

It was useless to reason with them.  They only spat out words that they wanted to say.

They were unfriendly, and he had no idea what their aims were.

"So what is that supposed to mean!"

[It is time.]

"...."

Psssh.

The sound of air escaping was heard, and a hatch from the ceiling opened.  Something akin to an elevator descended.  It was too small for a person to ride on it.  

The very small space above the lift was encased in glass, and one could see what was inside.

The item was treated like a relic being displayed in a museum.

"Heres' Belt."

[I'm giving you the last key.]

Pshhhhh.

The glass window opened, and Heres' Holy Item was within it.

"...."

What was the reason behind this move?

There was a causal relationship for everything.  It might seem like a coincidence, but if one looked back an incident, one could always find out what had caused it.  If Heres was giving up the Holy Item so easily, why did it waste his time like this?

Even as he made a mess of its temple, Heres hadn’t stop him.  It had been frustrating experience.  It kept repeating it wasn't time yet.  

So why did the situation suddenly change?

"Let me ask you one question."

[This is the start of a new branch, so I have no data.  I just record.  Prediction is not my speciality.]

"...."

He wanted to beat the hell out of the bald man behind the monitor.  He was so detestable that Woojin would automatically hit the man if he showed up.

Who the hell said he wanted to know about the future?

"Well, it isn't as if you answered my question when I asked about old events."

[True.]

"Are you playing with..."

[I cannot tell you about how the variable would affect you.  I just record.  I will not cause changes to your journey.]

Instead of stoking his anger, the god of Time Heres' words made Woojin give up. It had been giving such shameless answers for the past several hours.

"I think you've done enough to change what I'm going to do."

[....]

It was silent again.

"Uh-whew.  Forget I said that."

Woojin grabbed Heres' Belt.

He had gathered all 5 Items he would need to make Thrash's armor set.  The rest of the ingredients could be bought through the Dimensional Store or it could be gathered at a different location.  He didn't have to be tied down to Alphen anymore.

It was time to return to earth.

When he acquired the Holy Item, the door opened once again, and the long corridor was revealed.  He started to slowly walk out of the room, and Latasha, who had been waiting in the corner, suddenly appeared next him.

"Let's go."

"..."

Latasha looked at the Immortal face with a dumbfounded expression.  How could a man, who had gone complete bat shit crazy for several hours, suddenly speak like this.

"Shouldn't you resolve some of your issues before you go?"

"What do you mean?"

"You have a lot of questions."

"Even if I ask them, it won't answer me.  What can I do?"

"...."

He answered in such a dignified manner that she didn't know what to say.  Latasha's own experiences didn't prepare her for making sense of the Immortal's action. She couldn't help, but ask him another question.

"Didn't you destroy his possessions to get an answer?"

"I did it just in case.  Also, I would have been bored if I had to just wait doing nothing."

"...."

As expected, the Immortal was born with a propensity for violence.

Latasha once again had to reevaulate Kahng-woojin.

"I've got everything I came here for."

He hadn't come here to talk to Heres.  He just wanted to acquire the Holy Item.

He had thought he would be able to find an answer to his stifling situation, yet it felt as if everything had become more complicated.

However, Kahng-woojin was too thick-skinned to worry too much over it.  He wasn't overly stressed.

"Let's hurry back."

"Yes..."

He was just annoyed with Heres' unnecessary actions.

Elf Lord Latasha quickly got on behind Woojin.

Chee-jee-jeek.

The bald man appeared on all the screens except for the broken ones.

[I hope you will be able to complete your journey this time....]

[Chee-jee-jeek.  Kahng-woojin....]

Heres' voice sounded too earnest for it to be called a sound made by a machine.

***

Phantom Unit.

They were talents found through an open call...

Actually, these were the people, who hadn’t been able to run away, when Kahng-woojin and Kim-kahngchul suddenly got into a fight.  They had all been low Rank Roused, but that wasn't the case any more.

Rank B.

The lowest ranked member of the Phantom Unit was Rank B.

It was a high rank where they would be able to be hired as a director in most guilds.

It had been only several months, yet they had grown at a breakneck pace.  It was inexplicable to everyone else as to how this was possible.  However, Alandal was known for growing unbelievably strong Roused, so it wasn't something that happened only in a dream.

The Reinforcement Stones were used to increase the base stats, and Alandal hadn't skimped on investing numerous Skill Book into them.  They had been only Rank E and F, yet they were given all these stuff.

Che-haesol had become the leader of this newly made Phantom Unit.  It was thanks to her that the members of the Phantom Unit were well trained, and loyal.

Still, they were weaker than the Undead Army, so they were given the role of rescuing members of the Coalition.  They were here to help the Coalition rebuild.

There were a lot of work to do at the Saurus Colony, but...  

In recent days, they've run across a lot of trouble.

They weren't in dispute with the people of this planet, beings from different races or even the forces of the Coalition.  The problem arose from the people, who had originated from the same place as them.  The people from earth were causing problems.

One of the top members of the Phantom Unit named Kim-joonyong looked at the people from the Daken guild.  He looked at them with disapproval in his eyes.

"Who the hell are they?  What kind of soldier looks like that?"

"They aren't soldiers."

"What are they?"

"They are researcher."

"....so why would researchers come here when we have to reclaim Alphen?"

"Well...they are here to research?"

"Uh-whew.  They are here to research what?"

"How the hell should I know?"

"...."

He didn't know about it, so how would other members of his unit know about it?  He was being silly.  He let out an awkward cough at his fellow member, who had gotten angry.  Then Kim-joonyong started walking forward.

"Uh? Where are you going?"

"I'm the one, who is frustrated, so I'll be the one digging the well."

"What?"

"I'm curious, so I'll just go ask them."

He was an inherently curious man.  When Kim-joonyong was curious about something, he wouldn't be satisfied until he could ask and solve the question.

"Excuse me."

"..."

The researchers of the Daken guild looked at the man, who had suddenly shown up, with suspicious gazes.  They looked at each other.

"What is it?"

"What are you researching?"

"...we are looking at the lay of the land."

That was something he already knew even if the other man hadn't said it.  

As a basic rule, the portal didn't allow items from earth to pass through it.

This was why the researchers had made a strange looking stethoscope, which used Blood Stones as an energy source.  They were using this device to poke around the ground in various locations.

This was why he was curious about it.

"Why?"

"How else are we going to build a sturdy castle?"

"But we already have a castle?"

"..."

The Saurus mountain already had castle walls as part of being a Colony.

"Ah, jeez.  Why do you have to be so nosy?  They just told me to conduct a search up here, so I'm searching."

"Oh well."

Since the other man got angry, it felt awkward, so Joonyong retreated.  When Joonyong had moved away, the researchers of the Daken guild looked around before they whispered to each other.

"Do they suspect what we are doing?"

"No way.  If they knew what we are trying to do, they would have shown some signs."

"Hmm.  Anyways, the amount of oil deposit below ground is much more than imagined.  We might need help from the US."

"That's good news.  They usually don’t move easily.  We'll bring in help from the US and several other guilds."

"Hoo hoo. We were fortunate that our guild was chosen as the first group."

"Why wouldn't we be fortunate?  This is his Majesty the Emperor's favor.  It is telling us to once again seek the glory of our empire."

"I want you record all the data carefully."

The researchers busily found the locations of underground natural resources, and they organized the information.

The faction pining for Japanese Imperialism reared its head again.

They had traveled through the portal to a planet called Alphen.  They would use helping Alphen's Coalition as pretext...

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☠SSN Finished☠

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