Chapter 229 – Ominous Feeling
Five days later.
“This is amazing.”
Calron muttered with disbelief as he stared at the massive wall in front of him. Towering over twenty meters tall and spanning thousands of kilometers around the new city, the giant walls should have been impossible to construct in such a short time.
“The walls haven’t been hardened with essence yet, but they should be fortified in the next two days. Impressive, right? Even Selior city’s walls can’t compare to one we have here.”
Kail grinned at Calron, pleased at the expression on the young man’s face.
Four days ago, the Patriarch and the Elders had stopped all construction work once they finished building houses for all the ex-slaves. Instead of continuing with the new city’s palace, guild houses, shops, armory, etc. the Patriarch ordered the builders to immediately start working on the walls and the city’s defenses. Initially, Calron thought the sudden change was due to them expecting an attack from Selior city, but as the days went by, he began to realise that there was something else that made his grandpa and the clan elders this nervous.
“Uncle Kail, is someone going to attack us?”
Calron turned to face the older man, his eyes boring into Kail.
Letting out a sigh, Kail walked towards the wall and placed his hand over it. “A few days ago, the Darkling army laid siege to Selior city. Over a million of those creatures surround their city walls, and each day thousands of them die while hundreds of humans and beasts are killed. So far, the powerhouses in the Heavenly stage from both sides haven’t entered the battlefield, but once they do, we’ll know who the victor is within hours.”
“What!? Selior city was attacked a few days ago, and you tell me now? Why aren’t we going there to help them? I despise the King and the other Tower Lords as well, however, we can’t abandon the people inside.”
Calron exclaimed, astonished at the fact that this news was purposefully hidden from him and the others.
Although Calron left Selior city, he still had many friends left in the place, especially Bren, Sela, Helly, Mirane, Jolt, Tanny, and a couple more. The thought of them fighting for their lives tightened Calron’s heart.
“You can’t do anything, Calron. If you go, you’ll just be another corpse on the ground. You’ve fought against a Heavenly stage expert, so you should know better than anyone else how overbearing and ruthless they are. Furthermore, the Darkling army has three infamous captains at the peak of Heavenly stage and who on par with the Ancestors. We need to worry about our own people now. Unlike Selior city, we don’t have soldiers or troops to command. The ex-slaves are large in numbers, but against an organized army, they’ll crack like eggs.”
Kail stared pensively at the wall, the creases on his face portraying a deep worry hidden within.
Calron clenched his fists, unable to shake the thought of his friends away.
“It’s hard to ignore people in need, trust me, I understand. However, Calron, this is something you need to learn. Otherwise, you’ll never surpass the restraints of the mortality. Your perception of the world is still too childish as it’s not simply good and bad, it’s more what you know and what you don’t know. This was one of the lessons I wanted to teach you during our economics class, but we never had the time.”
Kail finally took his hand away from the wall and faced Calron.
“How is wanting to save someone childish?”
Calron shook his head, confused by Kail’s comment.
“First, you want to blindly rush into an enemy territory in order to save your friends. A noble cause, but foolish. You forgot to think of the part about how you will even infiltrate the city without alerting the million bloodthirsty Darklings, and moreover, how you’ll escape unscathed from there once you find your friends. Secondly, you're injured and have yet to practice combat with your disability and adapt to the new changes. Wanting to enter a chaotic battlefield in your current stage is simply suicidal. I can go on and on, but the point is that you need to start thinking more and separate your emotions from the decisions you make. You’re not a mere warrior anymore, Calron. You are a Saint stage expert now, and the cultivators you’ll be encountering from now on will only get stronger and more powerful. A single mistake and its effect would be irreversible.”
Kail glanced at Calron’s crippled arm to emphasize his statement.
Not knowing how to reply, Calron remained still and silently pondered over everything Uncle Kail said. He knew it was foolish to try and save everyone, but that feeling had been almost instinctual to him since he was a child. From saving Roran back at the Red Boar School, Avi from the beast, Rebran from his disease, and even going against Zarvel to protect his clan, Calron didn’t regret a single decision he made then.
At the same time, experiencing the fight with the Heavenly stage expert and losing his left arm had stirred something inside him that resonated with Kail’s words. It was true, Calron had always followed his heart and did what was right, but maybe it was time to change. Not his ideals, but the ways he achieved them.
“Thank you, Uncle Kail. I think I finally understand.”
Briefly closing his eyes and opening them, Calron bowed to the older man and turned around to leave.
“Eh? Really? So, you won’t try to save your friends?”
Kail asked with a baffled face, not expecting Calron to give in so quickly. He had prepared another speech in his mind, in case Calron argued further about wanting to go to Selior city.
“I never said that. However, I’ll do what you asked. I’ll start thinking about what I know and what I don’t know.”
Calron halted in his tracks and glanced back with a smile.
I need to master the second ability of the Divine Perception by tonight.
“Tell me again, whose brilliant idea was this?”
Leor panted and spat out a chunk of raw flesh onto the ground as blood dripped down from his jaws.
Gorek grinned, opening his maw and letting out a fiery flame at the severed leg in his hands. Surrounded by tens of dead Darkling bodies, the three beast companions stood at the direct center, drenched in the blood of their enemies.
Avi commented, making a face at the ape who just roasted a Darkling’s leg and was gnawing on it.
“Avi, we should return and try to find a better way to enter the city. At this rate, we’ll be dead before we even see Calron. Thankfully, it was only the low-leveled Darklings making camp here, if there were any Vajra or Saint stage experts, a single one of them could take us all out within a few seconds.”
The golden jaguar bent his head towards the corpses and sniffed them out to see if they were hiding anything. Besides a small sack of dried meat and bones, the Darkling minions had nothing on them.
“I’m telling you, I sensed something here. Follow me.”
Avi gave a low bark and prowled ahead.
“I don’t like this, guys. Something is strange with that army.”
Leor grumbled as he trailed behind Avi, but couldn’t help looking back at the main Darkling army that was trying to fight at the front gates. The Darklings fighting there appeared to be out of their minds, throwing their lives away with no thoughts of self-preservation, akin to rabid dogs.
Gorek shrugged his shoulders and walked beside him while chewing on the bone.
However, it’s that cloud above them that gives me the creepiest feeling.
Leor thought inwardly, gazing at the dark and sinister mist-like cloud that loomed over the Darkling army.
He had a feeling that the cloud was almost… alive.
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