Chapter 552: You should have watched your back (6)

Cale quietly observed the fear in Cotton's eyes.

'Why is she so scared that Gersey is chasing us?’

Eruhaben started to speak as Cale remained quiet.

“Will we need to capture Gersey?”

Cotton shook her head.

“That is not a good idea, sir.”

She was speaking respectfully to the ancient Dragon.

“Based on Gersey’s personality, he would have immediately contacted the White Star after suppressing my subordinates. He will only enter the underground passage after doing that. He does not make rash movements. He is the thorough type.”

Eruhaben understood the meaning behind those words.

“You're saying that it is better to destroy this place before the White Star comes rather than handling Gersey?”
“Yes, sir, that’s right.”

Cotton took a map out of her pocket.

“In order to destroy the cave, it is best to destroy it from the innermost area.”

She looked at the map as she started to walk to the inner area of the cave.

No, she was running.

“The third location is the most important place, so it is most effective to destroy that spot!”

Not getting all this dead mana was a pity, but it was not a facility that needed to be destroyed.

It was at that moment.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

They heard noises coming from the top of the stairs.

“…It must be Gersey's trusted subordinates! Hurry up!”

She became anxious and started to move even faster.

“Aaaaah!”

She suddenly felt as if her body was starting to float up.

Her two feet actually did leave the ground.

“What the hell?”

She looked toward Cale who was now next to her.

"We need to go quickly if we need to hurry. We’ll be late if we ran.”

There were whirlwinds at the tips of Cale's feet and her feet.

Bud and Eruhaben looked ready to quickly shoot forward as well.

Cotton looked down at her feet for a moment before nodding her head.

“Okay! I'll guide you!”

She started to move even faster.

Cale was up there next to her.

His eyes observed the numerous glass containers full of dead mana.

He could feel the numerous lives that were lost in order to create this much dead mana.

‘That is why I need to completely destroy this facility.’

Cale made up his mind as he started to speak.

“Why are you in such a rush? You seem extremely scared.”

Cotton stopped biting down on her lips.

“…I told you that the third location was the most important, right? I also said I have proof that is the case.”
“Yes.”

Boom. Boom. Boom.

They could still hear people rushing down behind them.

Who the hell were Gersey's trusted subordinates that they were making so much noise heading down?

Cale noticed a wall and door at the end of the glass containers.

Cotton started to speak while looking at that door.

“We received dead mana from many places.”
“The Mogoru Empire?”
“Yes, The Mogoru Empire was one of those places.”

Bud asked in shock.

“You received it from other places too?”

Cotton started to frown as she turned her head toward Bud.

“I don’t have time to explain all of that right now!”

She looked at the map over and over as she continued to speak.

“The underground facility was created when the white castle was created. I participated in its creation, but the innermost area of this facility… I couldn’t hear anything about the third location.”

Cale's expression turned odd.

He had heard that it took a long time between the beginning of the Endable Kingdom's construction and the end.

But the Deputy Chief Priest who seemed to be in her twenties had participated in all of it and was still alive?

‘…I guess I can't trust her appearance.’

Cale finally fully understood that she was an illusionist.

“I did think that it was an important place at first, but I didn’t suspect anything after that.”

Cale focused on what Cotton had to say again.

"But once our grasp on the Mogoru Empire ended, Gersey started to enter the third location very frequently.”
“It hasn’t been that long then.”
“Haaaaa.”

Cale could see Cotton sighing in response.

She quietly looked at Cale and responded.

“Was it short even if 24 lives disappeared every day?”
“…What?”

Cale's face stiffened as Cotton started to speak faster.

“It happens every eight hours. Gersey brings his trusted subordinates with him and brings 'feed’ to the third facility.”
“That ‘feed’ was humans?”
“…Sometimes it was humans, but there were other living beings as well. Regardless of their origin, they brought eight living beings three times a day.”

Cotton who was extremely sensitive to Gersey's movements and had been observing his daily routine had picked up on this odd routine at some point.

“How did you know that if you can’t go to that area?”
"His subordinates find the feed from outside. Gersey isn’t with them at that time.”

It seemed that although Gersey was always with his subordinates to come in here and deliver the feed to the third location, only his subordinates went out to find the feed.

“Once I figured that out, I cast an illusion and stealthily followed them once.”

Cotton let out a small sigh.

“I heard one of the subordinates talking at that time. He’s the only one of Gersey’s trusted subordinates who can talk. This is what that bastard said.”

Tap.

Cotton's feet landed on the ground.

She grabbed the lock on the door to the second location as she continued to speak.

She was repeating the things Gersey’s subordinate said at that time.

“He said, ‘we need to hurry up and find the feed for those monsters!’ ”
“…Monsters?”
“Yes. He then quickly added on.”

Cale made eye contact with Cotton.

“ ‘The day those terrible things are no longer sealed… We must give everything we have to fulfill our liege's orders as that day will be the day our liege and our majesty’s dreams all come true!’ ”
“…And then?”
“I got caught.”

Ooooooooong-

The ring on her finger started to shake along with the lock.

Click click.

She started to move the lock around.

“I had to quickly run away because Gersey's subordinates found me. I barely made it back alive.”

Bud, who had been thinking about what she just said, started to speak.

“All of their dreams will come true on the day the seal is removed. It seems like…the third location is very important as the Deputy Chief Priest mentioned.”

Cale nodded his head and started to speak.

“I have a feeling that the seal will be removed on the last day of the festival.”

Cotton started to frown.

“I was thinking the same thing. That is why we need to hurry up and destroy that place first.”

Bud hesitated for a moment before asking a question.

“Do you think we can destroy it if those terrible monsters are there? Aren't we in danger?”
“Do I look weak?”

Bud flinched and waved his hands around after hearing Eruhaben’s question.

“Ah, Eruhaben-nim, It’s not like that.”

Eruhaben chuckled at Bud’s reaction and added on.

“It shouldn't be too dangerous if they are still sealed and Gersey and his subordinates are able to freely come and go to give the feed.”
“I was thinking the same thing, sir.”

Cale started to speak.

“And that is why we have to hurry.”

He made eye contact with Cotton again.

Cale then continued to speak.

“It’ll get complicated if Gersey undoes the seal first. That is why we have to move before he gets here. Am I right?”
“That is the most important of the reasons we need to hurry.”

Cotton could not stop frowning as she said that.

“Damn it, why the hell isn’t this unlocking?!”

Cotton seemed frustrated as she messed with the lock.

“Move.”
“What?”

Cale put his hand on her shoulder and pulled her back.

Cotton's hand moved away from the lock.

“What the hell are you doing when every second counts-?”
“Eruhaben-nim.”

Cotton could see Eruhaben moving forward at that moment.

“Step back.”

Cotton was moved back with Cale and Bud each grabbing one of her hands.

She could see a gold powder covering the wall.

It was there for only a moment.

But her eyes soon opened wide.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang!

“…Holy shit!”

The entire wall was breaking.

Pat. Pat.

Cale patted her shoulder as he whispered to her.

“I think it’s time to blast our way forward since they already know we’re here?”
“…Crazy bastard.”

‘You destroyed the wall because of that? What if the cave starts to crumble?!’

Cotton had a lot of things she wanted to say, but just quietly stepped forward again.

Cale followed behind her and he noticed numerous machines and magic circles that filled this large area.

Cotton started to speak after seeing Cale’s gaze.

"The White Star had to go through many purifications with Gersey here.”
“Purification?”
“His human body needed to be purified in order for it to become a body that was suitable for a member of the Demonic race.”

Cale pointed to the northern part of the large hall.

There was a small door there.

“Is that it?”
“Yes, that is the third location.”

Cale nodded his head and looked toward Eruhaben and Bud.

“Let's destroy them as we go.”

Ooooooong-

Blue aura started to shoot out from the tip of Bud’s sword.

His blade was pointed toward the devices.

It was at that moment.

“They're here.”

Eruhaben looked toward the stairs at the first location that was visible through the destroyed wall.

Boom!

Cale could see the things that made loud noises as they entered the underground area.

He could not see them clearly as they were too far away.

However, he could vaguely make them out.

“They’re so big.”

Bud could see five large robed priests entering the underground facility.

“Mm, I can't smell them because they’re so far away. But there doesn’t seem to be a mage and they don’t seem that hard-”
“Shut up!”

Cotton shouted and Bud’s eyes turned wide.

Bud was not shocked because of what Cotton just said.

“Son of a-!”

Baaaaaang!

Baaaaang- Baaaaang! Baaaaang!

He heard multiple explosions.

Bud's pupils started to shake.

“T, the glass containers-!”

Four of the large priests destroyed a large glass container.

They then welcomed the dead mana flowing out with their whole bodies.

The group heard Cotton’s voice at that moment.

“All of them are corpses except for one! They are dead corpses with dead mana bombs inside them!”

Cotton looked disgusted as she had not expected Gersey to tell them to destroy the glass containers.

The four priests became even larger.

They looked like bombs that had become even bigger after absorbing more dead mana.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

The four priests started to walk toward them.

“…There’s no life in their eyes.”

Eruhaben could tell that they really were corpses based on their lifeless faces.

“That’s right! They have no free will! They just obey everything Gersey tells them to do!”

Cotton pulled at Cale's clothes.

“Follow me! The second facility isn't the problem! We need to get to the third location right now!”

Cale followed her as he asked a question.

“Why are you so scared of Gersey’s subordinates? Aren’t you fine even if the dead mana bomb goes off?”

Cotton flinched for a moment.

“I.”

She hesitated before she continued to speak.

“I cannot absorb dead mana. I'm different.”
“Aren’t you an illusionist?”
“…This is a secret that nobody knows.”

Cale had a lot of things he wanted to ask after seeing her hesitate. However, he pushed those questions aside for now after hearing Bud’s voice.

“Holy crap! Why the hell are those things so fast?!”

Cale turned his head.

Boom-! Boom-!

The large things that looked like balloons covered in dead mana were rushing toward them extremely quickly.

“Shit! Those corpses!”

Cotton started to frown.

Shaaaaaaaaaaa-

Cotton’s body shot forward at an explosive speed at that moment.

“Ahhh! Hey!”
“Be quiet!”

A whirlwind was surrounding the two of them. Cale had grabbed Cotton's collar and thrown her into the wind.

The two of them had almost instantly arrived at the door heading into the third location.

They heard someone shouting from behind them.

“Block them!”

Gersey was pointing at Cale with his fan.

His eyes were extremely red.

Chhhh!

Grey aura started to gather above his head as he opened his fan.

“That is!”

Bud, who had seen that power in the northern mountain, channeled more of his aura.

His aura that was now shooting up over 3 meters long was pointed at the approaching subordinates and Gersey.

It was at that moment.

“Bud, destroy the machines and the magic circles.”

Eruhaben stepped forward.

He then stomped with his foot.

Boom!

Gold powder scattered in front of Eruhaben.

“Block them.”

A half-transparent gold wall instantly appeared and blocked the cave path.

The spot where the wall dividing the first and second locations had been was now filled by Eruhaben's gold wall.

Eruhaben started to speak to the others behind him.

“I will hold on for as long as possible, so hurry.”

His eyes looked toward the grey aura gathering above Gersey as he said that.

‘That is not from this world.’

It was highly likely that this was a power from the Demon World as Saint Jack explained to Cale.

‘…I’ll hold on for as long as I can.’

Could a Dragon win against a power from the Demon World?

Especially when that Dragon could not use his full power because he was close to the end of his lifespan?

Eruhaben pushed aside these questions he had about himself. He could not show any weakness right now.

“Hurry up and open it.”

Cale put Cotton in front of the small door.

It was just a black door with nothing else.

Cotton didn’t even respond to Cale as she put her ring up against the black door’s lock right away.

Cale suddenly thought of something and asked.

“…You know how to open this door even though you can’t go inside?”
“I don't know.”

‘What?’

Cale's eyes immediately looked concerned.

He was feeling Bud and Eruhaben's movements behind him.

Baaaaaang! Baaaaang!

“Shit! Why are there so many damn machines?!”

Bud was destroying every machine he came across while Eruhaben was making his golden wall even sturdier while sweating.

‘Eruhaben-nim!’

Cale could not let Eruhaben push himself too much.

‘…Should I not have brought him?’

The reason Cale brought Bud and Eruhaben with him was because he thought that Bud could use his sense of smell to figure out the identities of the mysterious things from the Demon World while Eruhaben's wisdom would be extremely helpful.

But she didn't know how to open this lock?

As Cale quickly started to frown…

“I'm going to rip this door.”

He heard Cotton’s voice.

“Rip?”

‘How do you rip a door?’

Cale started to look confused before he saw Cotton take something out of her pocket.

It was a small dagger marked with odd markings and covered in bandages so that the blade could not be seen.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The spatial pocket bag inside Cale's inner pocket started to rumble.

‘What’s going on?’

Cotton started to speak as Cale started to think about each item that was in his pocket.

“I can't open this door because the power of the Demon World is infused in it. However, I can rip it with this item.”
“…What is that item?”
“A divine item.”

Cale took a deep breath.

Cotton removed the bandages.

The dagger appeared and she walked toward the door with the dagger in her hand.

Her voice reached Cale’s ears.

“The God of War.”

The watering can.

Cale immediately thought about that item.

That was the God of War's divine item that he found in the storage room by the field in Clopeh Sekka's residence.

“…Why do you have that?”

Cotton had that god's other divine item?

Cotton just smiled at Cale’s question before starting to speak.

“Those who serve the God of War always hide themselves in the midst of wherever there is a war.”

She then swung the dagger.

Riiiiiiiiiiiip!

Cale could see the firm door starting to rip as if it was made of paper.

“Mm!”

Cale subconsciously stepped back.

The ripped door slowly spread apart as a cold aura flowed out through the gap.

“Gasp!”

Cale body curled forward.

“Hey! Are you okay?”

A shocked Cotton tried to support him.

Swipe!

But Cale pushed her hand away and walked over to the widening gap.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Cale could feel his heart beating wildly.

The cold and ominous air that he had felt ever since walking into the area by the sculpture in the Temple of the Demonic God…

That air had become even worse once he got underground.

However, Cale pushed this ominous feeling aside.

He just had to take on each danger as they arrived.

But the moment he felt the thing flowing out through the gap in the door…

Cale, no, Kim Rok Soo immediately realized what that ominous feeling had been.

Smell, touch, and sight. This was an ‘emotion’ from the past that even his ‘Record’ that recorded everything could not remember.

It was the emotion of fear and helplessness.

Cale looked inside the black door.

There was a large area with stones giving off light in the ceiling looking like stars.

There was a tall and wide octagonal platform in there.

There were eight eerie octagonal altars on top of the platform. Those altars were large enough that three humans would need to hold hands in order to fully surround it.

Then there was a black sculpture on top of each of these altars.

All of them looked different.

They weren’t humans.

They weren’t animals either.

Cale moved closer to the black door to see what they were.

Boom. Boom.

His heart was beating fast.

“Ah.”

Cale, no, Kim Rok Soo’s hand that was on the gap of the black door subconsciously tensed up.

In the past, Kim Rok Soo had used his ability to anticipate the arrival of the second strongest monster to invade earth one hour prior to its arrival.

And Kim Rok Soo had said the following after he was the only survivor after team leader Lee Soo Hyuk and Choi Jung Soo had died.

‘Reporting in about the current situation. I will now start explaining about the battle patterns of this unranked monster.’

Cale’s pupils started to shake as he looked at one of the black sculptures.

“…Why?”

Why was the monster he had seen in Korea over here?

How could this be?

The monster that had killed all of his teammates was visible as a statue in front of him.

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