Book 5, Chapter 40 - Setup

Rotwolf Ravine was home to countless rotwolf nests, that’s how it earned its name. Settlers who were brave enough to make their home there had established a place called Howling Outpost. 

It wasn’t the best location for a settlement. Often, they were harassed by the rotwolves. However, the underground river provided enough incentive that the settlement had grown to house over ten thousand people despite the dangers.

Today, it was facing a calamity it was unprepared for. A group of sweepers had arrived from somewhere unknown and were trying to take the settlement.

Without a word the invaders had attacked, slaughtering indiscriminately. Already, a hundred corpses lay strewn through the dirt roads, with the outpost’s leader among them. The young and hearty were dragged away. Overnight, Howling Outpost became a nest of violent sweepers who spent their days ravaging the remaining women. It was a sad picture, but in the savage wastelands it was a familiar one.

Dawn approached from the air aboard one of Greenland’s planes. She could see the corpses left out to rot, many of which had become meals for the wolves.

“Bastards!” Fury bubbled up inside Dawn. Howling Outpost was under Greenland’s protection. Were the fools who did this testing them? Did they think Greenland wouldn’t respond? Now that this evil deed was done, they couldn’t just sit back and watch. Today, it was Howling Outpost; tomorrow, who would be next? If Greenland didn’t stand by its promises, it was only a matter of time before others started to question their loyalty.

Dawn gestured toward the pilot. “Faster. Hurry up!”

They sped closer. Although some distance still remained, Dawn could clearly see the flames devouring the simple homes. Plumes of smoke rose turned the sky an ominous ashy gray. Sweepers wandered through the outpost, slaughtering as they willed. She could hear the cries of pain and sadness carried on the wind.

Her anger broiled, nearly out of her control. But even so, she was clear-headed enough to recognize that something was amiss.

These worthless thugs could have attacked anywhere. Why Howling Outpost? Was it possible they didn’t know it was under Greenland’s protection? Unlikely. Greenland had been making waves for months. They surely must know what was going on. It didn’t make any sense.

But it didn’t matter. Dawn pulled Terrangelica from its sheath in preparation.

From several hundred meters in the air, she jumped from her plane toward the outpost below. The shocked faces of her fellow Polaris soldiers watched from the plane, unable to stop her.

Dawn plummeted from the sky, her platinum blond hair whipping behind. Terrangelica was held firmly in her grasp, its dull gleam reflected in her murderous eyes. She would not allow anyone to disturb the tranquility they fought so hard for in Greenland. Anyone who dared challenge what they’d built would pay for their sins in blood.

As she neared the sweepers below felt her lethal aura descending their way. They raised their heads and stared in shock.

So… beautiful!

Her lithe body, long legs and voluptuous chest were the first things they noticed. It was like watching an angel descend from heaven. Surely, there was no woman like her in the wastelands. She had to have come from some mystical place.

Dawned slammed into the ground. Her sword dug into the earth before her feet touched it, causing the terrain to explode. Power rippled out with Terrangelica as the epicenter, followed by blasts of energy that lashed out like serpents. Each blast caught the sweepers who tried to close in around her.

B-O-O-O-M!

A jagged spike of earth impaled a number of unfortunate attackers.

Hundreds more drilling spikes of stone erupted all around her in an instant. Her foes were killed or mauled before they had time to react. In the moment of her arrival, nearly a hundred sweepers were eliminated.

Those that remained stared at her in shock and horror. What human possessed this kind of power? Was this beautiful creature from the sky human at all or some sort of goddess? How else could she summon power like that?

The wastelanders shook themselves out of their stupor. “Fire! Kill the bitch, kill her!”

Guns were raised and began to spray the area. But when the bullets came near each one was deflected by an invisible wall of force.

Sparks were flying everywhere, but the bullets caused no damage! To the naked eye it looked like Dawn was encased in a shell of glass. The bullets struck the glass and caused it to crack, but the fissures vanished as soon as they appeared.

“DIE, you roaches!” Dawn swung her sword, casting forth a blast of power in front of her. Nearly a dozen spikes as thick as bamboo shoots shot up from the ground beneath her attackers’ feet. They were speared to death before they could even scream.

Since the battle in the Northern Barrens, Dawn had only grown even further in strength. Worthless thugs like this had no hope of giving her any trouble.

These wastelanders were fierce but not fearless. Dawn’s opening attack was enough to scare them to their core. Since bullets had no effect and it seemed even the earth rose up to fight for her, their efforts were pointless. Fleeing was their only option.

Dawn followed their retreat with a dark chuckle. So stupid to think they could threaten Greenland with such pathetic strength!

She pushed Terrangelica further into the ground and, shutting her eyes, extending her perception through the earth.

For a thousand meters all around, Dawn could hear the footsteps of her foes reverberating. She continued to flood her weapon with potent will. Spikes rose from the ground far in the distance at her command, silencing those frantic steps. The sweepers’ escape was brought to a sudden and bloody end.

Soon, the dirt paths turned into rivers of blood.

Eventually the Polaris soldiers caught up to their mistress. Rushing to her side, they stared in amazement at the forest of stone spikes, stained red with gore. Corpses hung from them like grotesque ornaments. Some were still clinging to life, writhing in pain as blood leaked out into the ground. 

The soldiers looked at one another, faces pale. Even they were stunned by the extent of their mistresses’ power.

Her devastating sneak attack had been taxing, but Dawn buzzed with elation. This was the first time since her grandfather’s death that she could fully vent her frustrations. It felt like she’d been holding her breath all this time. Her desire for revenge was stalled, and that caused her endless frustration, even though she knew she wasn’t prepared to enact vengeance.

Dawn couldn’t cry to ease her pain like a normal girl. She couldn’t burden others with her troubles by talking it out, either. Instead she had worked to turn her grief and anger into strength. Rather than let it consume her, Dawn worked day and night to use her weapon as a tool of creation. She built homes, warehouses, and farms until her mental powers were spent. When she had no more psychic strength left, she used her physical might until it recovered.

It was grueling work which quickly became exhausting. But, she soon began to harvest the rewards for all that effort.

Her strength quickly improved. Cloudhawk praised her efforts and the citizens of Greenland respected her for what she accomplished. Little by little, the aching in her heart abated. Dawn had no idea what life had in store for her, or whether she would ever win vengeance for her grandfather. But at least for now, she liked where life had brought her.

She would be perfectly happy living in Greenland with Cloudhawk forever. It wasn’t any kind of paradise, sure, but so long as he was there Greenland was her utopia.

One of the soldiers trotted over with concern written on his face. He was one of the family elders. “Miss, you shouldn’t go running into the middle of the fight like that. You are our patriarch’s only granddaughter. If something would have happened to you, we would never be able to show our face to the family again.”

“These worthless worms are hardly worth my time.” Dawn pulled her weapon from the ground, striking a dignified and imposing stature. She spoke stressing every syllable. “So worthless that it was foolish to think they could threaten Greenland. Unless I’m wrong they were ordered to be here… so since you’re here, you might as well come out!”

Her loud accusation was answered by dark laughter. “Heh heh… simply incredible how time changes a person. Our young miss has grown up!”

The sharp sound of a blade cutting through air reached their ears. But by the time the sound reached them it was too late, the attack was incredibly fast.

“Watch out!”

Dawn’s defensive shell was barraged by a dozen attacks in the space of an instant, and then came the sound of shattering glass. A streak of ominous magenta light caught Dawn in the chest, and the force of it flung her forty meters away. She only stopped after barreling through three nearby tents.

The Polaris soldiers didn’t know how to react. Figures appeared and closed in all around them.

The leader was a lean and insidious man. With him was a young man, a fat man, an old man with three eyes, and several others. They were few in number, but each one was frighteningly strong. The sneak attack that caught Dawn unprepared was launched by their leader.

Squall glared at the Polaris soldiers and sniffed derisively. “We were waiting for Cloudhawk. Instead, we got the Polaris dregs. I didn’t expect that the Elysian family would have taken shelter with him. It seems our intelligence was incomplete.”

The Hand of Gehenna had learned that Greenland housed strong Elysians. It was in part what made Cloudhawk’s new realm grow so quickly. What they hadn’t known was that their Elysian supporters were the illustrious Polaris family.

Ravenous Tiger chortled and gloated. “The glory days of the Polaris family are done. Look how far they’ve fallen.”

“Their commander has not shown himself.” Inkspecter shook his head and waved a hand. “This lot is useless to us. Kill them.”

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