Cale then heard Tasha’s voice. The voice that made it through the water sounded worried.
“…This is bad. W, we can’t handle this much.”
Tasha looked toward her subordinates while standing between Litana and Choi Han who did not know what was going on.
Although some of them were left behind in Section 8, the best of the Dark Elves in the entire Dark Elf city were by her side right now.
All of them had stiff expressions on their faces.
Tasha bit down on her lips.
‘…There are so many.’
She had smelled a sweet yet bitter fragrance as soon as they entered Section 7 underwater. That was the fragrance of dead mana that was like a fountain of strength for them.
She was happy to smell it at first.
However, she started to feel suffocated the farther they walked up the river.
There was too much dead mana for them to absorb. Just how much death had to have happened for this much dead mana to be here?
Tasha subconsciously looked toward Mary.
Her father, the current mayor of the Dark Elves’ Underground City, had told her a little bit about black magic. ( Either the author made a mistake or there’s been a transition of power from Tasha’s grandfather Obante to Tasha’s father as the mayor of the Underground City. )
‘Excuse me? Father, what do you mean?’
‘It is an order as the mayor. Mary might…’
The Dark Elf mayor who had lived for over five hundred years blinked before continuing to speak.
‘Yes, this may all just be nature taking its course. It is finally time for someone to receive the will of the Sage of Death.’
‘The Sage of Death?
Who is that?’
Tasha was confused, but the mayor continued to speak in a serious tone.
‘Take our best warriors with you. I’ll send some more as reinforcements as well. However, you MUST protect Mary. We must protect the only necromancer in the world.’
Tasha had planned on protecting Mary even if the mayor had not said to do so.
Alberu was her nephew by blood, however, she felt just as close to Mary. Tasha had still not forgotten about when she had saved the ten-years-old Mary.
“This is bad.”
Tasha flinched and turned toward Eruhaben. She knew the true identity of this ancient Dragon, unlike the other Dark Elves. The other Dark Elves were probably debating whether this was real right now and questioning whether Eruhaben really was a Dragon.
Tasha tightly clenched her eyes after hearing the stiff ancient Dragon’s comment.
“It looks like the Empire’s goal from the beginning was to destroy the Jungle.”
An urgent voice shot out through the water after a moment of silence.
“…Just what? What do you mean?”
Litana, the Queen of the Jungle, responded back in anger. Tasha slowly started to explain the power that they were feeling from throughout Section 7.
Both Litana and Choi Han’s pupils started to shake after hearing Tasha’s explanation.
“S, so, what you’re saying is… There are currently dead mana bombs throughout Section 7 and although the Dark Elves may eventually be able to absorb all the dead mana, it will be hard to deal with it at the moment of explosion?”
Litana’s voice was shaking as she stood there with a blank expression while trying to calmly assess what Tasha had just told her.
“That is why we might not be able to save everyone, and Section 7 might be destroyed as well?”
She could hear the low voice of the mysterious Archmage who started to speak as if he was responding to her.
“They plan on creating hell.”
Litana felt chills on the back of her neck as soon as Eruhaben said that word.
She tightly clenched onto her spear. Her gaze headed toward a specific person at the same time.
Her gaze had subconsciously headed toward this man.
‘Why am I looking at him when he probably can’t give me any answers?
This was not something any of us expected.’
Who would have known that the Empire wished to destroy Section 7 instead of taking it over out of greed?
‘Should I have told them to run and resist?’
Litana recalled how she had ordered her people to not resist and remain still. She also thought about her decision to wait at Section 8 instead of barging in right away.
She noticed Cale’s expression as anger started to fill her eyes.
“…Young master Cale?”
She then subconsciously called out to him.
It was because he was smiling.
He had no other choice.
One of the ancient powers was continuously talking in his mind.
– I’m hungry. I can really eat and eat and eat nonstop.
It was the glutton saying that her appetite was endless.
– Remember what the wind told you? The wind said to use her if you want to run and the Super Rock if you want to protect your home. Use me for this.
The glutton was serious.
– I am the only one here who can, ‘grow.’
Fire, water, wind, and earth.
Those were things that had existed from the beginning.
However, wood was different.
– Wood is a living being, like humans.
It is born and it dies. It is alive.
– And I am the, ‘Indestructible,’ wood.
Normal woods break.
However, the glutton was an indestructible existence.
That was why she could grow without stopping.
She could lower her roots into the ground, absorb the sunlight, air, water, warmth… She could eat everything over and over and continue to grow.
She couldn’t survive on her own, but she could reach anywhere and everything as long as she had a sill to connect her.
And that sill had been created for the glutton.
Everything she needed existed inside this plate called Cale.
– Do you know why I died in the land of boulders?
The glutton asked Cale while laughing.
She then soon answered her own question.
– There were not enough trees there. There are only boulders.
Cale quietly chuckled.
It could not be helped.
– I was born in the Jungle.
He couldn’t help but laugh after hearing what the glutton had to say.
– The Jungle was dark back then. The trees were all black. That was why this was called the Forest of Darkness as well.
Cale recalled the conversation he had when he had first gained an ancient power in this world. This was what the owner of the Indestructible Shield had said to him.
‘There weren’t tasty things like this during ancient times. The things that the bastards in the Forest of Darkness gave me while saying that we were people who served a god were tasteless.’
‘Of course, I was kicked out of there. They said that I was too greedy for food. What nonsense. My friends came out with me. We planned on fixing the issues of the world.’
He had thought that she meant the Forest of Darkness that Choi Han had come from, but apparently, he had been wrong.
There was a different Forest of Darkness during ancient times.
– Do you remember what I told you in the beginning?
Cale nodded his head at the glutton’s question.
Of course, he remembered. It was the moment he first gained an ancient power.
It was what the glutton priestess had said when the shield was etched on top of his heart.
‘I will protect you.’
The shield had been protecting Cale ever since that moment.
It would protect him this time as well.
Cale started to speak to those who were looking at him.
“We will proceed with the original plan.”
He then started to think about the layout of Section 7.
He had seen it before when he visited because of the Sun God Twins.
All of the people and buildings, including the palace, coexisted with the trees. The buildings were built between or on top of trees, making the entire city seem like one large forest.
“Young master-nim, then the Empire can detonate the dead mana bombs and destroy Section 7!”
Tasha urgently shared her opinion and Cale nodded his head before responding.
“Please don’t worry about the explosion.”
Cale smoothly repeated the shield’s words to Litana who asked in confusion.
“I will eat everything up so that nobody gets hurt.”
He prepared to head above water.
“The dead mana will not hurt the forest nor the people. Please trust me.”
All of the group members heard Cale’s statement.
“We also do not have many opportunities. We do not know what will happen in the future. It is not time to look back.”
“…Young master Cale.”
Litana bit down on her lips and started to contemplate things in her mind. She trusted Cale, however, a lot of people’s lives were on the line.
It was at that moment.
The quiet Choi Han finally chimed in.
“Will you be using an ancient power?”
Ancient power. Those words made Litana flinch. She had heard from Rosalyn and Choi Han about how bad Cale’s current situation was, but that he continued to push himself regardless of what was going on to his own body.
It made her think about how Cale had almost fainted after putting out the fire in Section 1.
She looked toward Cale who was thinking Choi Han was smart as he answered back.
Litana bit her lips at this casual answer of a single word.
Many people lived here in Section 7 of the Jungle.
One person was putting his own life on the line in order to save these people.
‘…We have no way of knowing how the Empire would act.’
They might destroy Section 7 and run even if the Jungle did not do anything because the declaration from the other kingdoms would put them in danger.
They would do it so that the Jungle would be too busy dealing with this situation to be able to participate in the war or at least delay their entry into the war. It was possible that the Empire would aim to do that.
Litana calmed down.
“Shall we go?”
Cale heard Raon’s voice once the decision-maker made up her mind.
– There are no guards here right now!
Cale kicked off the bottom of the river. He soon shot out of the water.
Gold dust covered Cale and the others who cut through the water.
Eruhaben had turned them invisible once again.
That was why nothing was visible even though they shot out of the water.
Cale let out a small scoff as soon as he came out of the water.
It was as Raon had described.
There were hundreds of cylindrical water-tank looking things throughout Section 7.
They each had a beautifully shining orb on top of them. However, these beautiful orbs were giving off some odd noises.
Cale, who landed on the ground with a quiet noise, could hear Litana’s voice that was full of despair. However, there was no other way to describe them.
They were bright.
Although all of the houses in Section 7 were dark without even one lit light… Although the people of the Jungle were probably curled up inside while being too afraid to even breathe…
The light from hundreds of these beautiful orbs, the light from the palace that was taken over by the Empire, and the light shining down from the airship floating above the palace were all making Section 7 brighter than ever before.
It was as beautiful as a fancy city.
Cale quickly gave the order after taking a quick look.
“Please move to your positions.”
He couldn’t see any of them, but he could feel them starting to move.
Cale looked at the four directions and the center before continuing to speak.
“…And destroy them.”
There was no need for a response.
He soon heard footsteps. The group had split into the four directions and started to move.
– Human! They are all moving quickly! They will all get to their spots soon!
Queen Litana and some Dark Elves were headed East.
Tasha and some Dark Elves were headed West.
Mary and some Dark Elves were headed South.
Choi Han and some Dark Elves were headed North.
Cale heard a voice behind his back.
“I’ll head over as well. You and the little kid make sure to do a good job.”
The final person.
The ancient Dragon Eruhaben slowly started to float up into the air.
He was headed for the center.
He was aiming for the airship.
Eruhaben was in charge of dealing with it.
Cale opened up his hands. The group would no longer be invisible as soon as the attack started. They would all be revealed to the enemy.
A different operation would commence as soon as all of the gazes were focused on them.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Cale could feel his heart beating wildly.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
He could hear it.
He could hear the sound of leaves fluttering in the wind.
He could feel it.
He could feel that this was a forest, that this was the Jungle where a significantly large number of trees existed.
Cale could hear a very quiet sound.
It was the sound of the leaves.
However, it was different than before.
It was coming from the trees that were located in places where the Empire’s fancy lights could not reach.
The branches of the trees that were touching the buildings where the Jungle’s citizens were hiding were slowly starting to move.
It was at that moment.
Cale opened his eyes.
He could see what was going on in the North.
– Human! It has started!
He could see a black-haired swordsman flying up to the top of the golem. The black aura was destroying the golem.
Choi Han was the first to make a move.
Baaaaaang! Baaaaang! Baaaaaang!
He heard noises from the East, West, and South as well.
Cale lowered his head.
He could see himself turning visible again.
An alarm started to sound from the airship above Section 7.
The silence of the night was destroyed.
Cale started to smile as he looked toward the airship.
“I will create hell for you.”
Tonight would be a nightmare for the Empire’s forces.
The trees started to cause a breeze in the area.