Black liquid continued to drip from the temple’s ceiling.
On the other hand, thunderbolts were slowly gathering and getting stronger on top of Cale’s hand.
– …A sea of fire!
He could hear the cheapskate’s excited voice.
He heard the voices of the Wind Elementals at the same time.
‘The dead mana is starting to flow out faster! Soon it will go boom! Boom! It will explode!’
‘We are at our limits! Lasting a whole week was already us giving it our best!’
‘This is bad! This is very bad!’
The dead mana that had been dripping drop by drop was starting to flow faster and was now falling as a small stream.
Cale unintentionally shared his feelings.
“…It is much louder than I expected.”
‘Wow! I think he really can hear us! He said we were loud!’
‘We are kind of loud! Right? Sorry. These guys are always like this.’
‘Kahahaha! Let’s make it even louder for him! It’s been a while since a human was able to hear us!’
‘…Voice…can hear it… A friend… A friend…is someone who… Listens to their friends’ voices……’
Cale started to frown.
However, his eyes were quickly looking around at his surroundings.
He looked toward where the altar had stood as well as the path that connected to the exit.
That path was already half-submerged in dead mana.
The black marble started to fall apart.
‘It’s breaking! Everything is going to be destroyed! Sob, it is so sad! Everybody is going to die, what are we going to do?!’
‘The people on that island that smells like alcohol will all die. So will the fish! And the plants! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! The poor fish! Waaaaaaaaah!’
“…This is driving me nuts.”
Some of the Wind Elementals started to cry.
Their loudness was no joke.
Cale looked at the top’s whip in his hand even during this urgent situation.
‘Did I pick up something useless? Forget strong allies, I just feel like I have more baggage now.’
Cale’s expression slowly changed back to his stoic expression.
He heard the thief’s voice at that moment.
– …Ahem, hem! You won’t hear the voices of the Wind Elementals if you let go of the top’s whip!
The thief awkwardly added on.
– Let’s not destroy it.
Cale looked down at the whip in his hand.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“Shall I break it?”
‘Gasp! H, he said he’s going to break it!’
‘Maybe we were too loud!’
‘Children, this is why I told you to be quiet.’
‘D, don’t break it! I want to chat with humans!’
The corners of Cale’s lips twisted up.
The Wind Elementals seemed to want to prevent a situation where they could no longer talk to Cale.
However, he didn’t know the reason why.
– Cale, these Elementals will be reliable allies for you!
Cale started to smile. He then put on a warm expression.
“Hey Wind Elementals, you guys were the ones who protected me here for the past week, right? Thank you.”
A bright smile similar to the one Alberu Crossman would have when speaking to the nobles was on Cale’s face.
‘……Uh, yeah! It wasn’t hard though! Sure thing, no big deal!’
‘Wow! He said thank you! He said thank you to us!’
‘I’m relieved… It doesn’t look like he’s going to break the whip. Anyway, quiet down a bit!’
It was at that moment.
A large crack appeared on the temple ceiling.
‘Gasp! There’s a hole in the ceiling!’
He could hear the Elementals screaming.
Cale heard an odd noise at the same time.
The temple was shaking. Cale could feel the area shaking more than before. That gave him the confirmation he needed.
‘It’s going to break soon.
The black mountain will explode.
This dead mana storage facility will explode.’
The temple shook once again as if to prove that this was indeed the case. The Wind Elementals started to get even more exaggerated.
‘What do we do?! We don’t know how to purify dead mana!’
‘…I’m so sad. Sooooob.’
Some of the Elementals quietly started to look toward a person.
It was the only living person on Wind Island.
He was staring at the hole in the ceiling.
The marble had cracked and fallen off of the temple ceiling.
On top of that was transparent glass.
Cale could see inside the glass.
It was filled with dead mana. It seemed to be an endless dead mana lake. He felt as if he was at the bottom of this lake looking up.
“Where are we right now?”
Cale asked the Elementals.
‘This is the center of the black mountain!’
‘The central administrative area for the mana storage facility. It is the lowest and most central location of the black mountain you saw.’
Cale started to speak.
He remembered what the thief had said in the past. He remembered it clearly.
It was what she had said when he had fortified the Fire of Destruction.
‘The fire needs to regain its original powers in order for me to use my true powers as well.’
‘There is more to a free wind’s power than just movement and whirlwinds. Wind exists everywhere.’
‘That is why it is most beautiful when it is with someone else rather than when it is alone.’
Wind and fire.
Cale started to speak.
“I will start purifying the dead mana now.”
Wind continued to roam around Cale. He pointed his right hand toward the ceiling.
“Which Elementals wants to go with me?”
A calm wind was blowing inside the temple.
However, Cale did not find this place to be calm at all.
‘I want to do it! I want to do a good deed!’
‘We’re free if you purify this place, free!’
‘Aaahhhh! We no longer have to worry about it!’
One of the Elementals started to shout loudly.
Cale chuckled and gathered all of the strength in his body to one spot.
The fire filling up his body all headed toward his hand.
“Gather the wind for me.”
Cale gently asked the Wind Elementals.
The Wind Elementals protected this place, but they also killed all living beings without remorse with their wind blades as well.
They were not just good and pure existences.
They had a cruel side to them as they were a part of nature.
The thing that had made Wind Island something to fear.
“Use that to stab this mountain.”
Cale was gently asking them to slash at the island.
His body that was covered in a wind barrier shot up toward the ceiling at the same time.
The wind turned into a blade and started to slash toward the dead mana on the other side of the glass in his way as if to respond to his movement.
The glass broke apart.
The liquid dead mana started to flow out.
Cale opened his mouth to speak at that moment.
A quiet wind sound could be heard.
And then, as the entire area turned black…
A rose gold spear shot up and pierced through that darkness.
* * *
It had been seven days since Cale had entered Wind Island.
Night had passed by and the sun was in the morning.
Beacrox Molan took out a pair of white gloves and put them on. He then took out the greatsword from the scabbard on his back.
“Bud Illis, has something like this ever happened?”
Mercenary King Bud flinched at Ron Molan’s gaze before responding back.
“…Never. I’ve never seen this myself nor in any records.”
The ship had been waiting outside Wind Island for a whole week.
Bud Illis who was on the deck did not look very good. His gaze was fixated on Wind Island, one of the Eastern continent’s Three Restricted Areas.
Someone came up to the deck at that moment.
It was Choi Han.
“The wind has become very faint.”
It was currently 10 am.
It was two hours before their set time to infiltrate Wind Island to find Cale.
The wind around Wind Island had decreased for the past week.
And approximately ten minutes ago, the whirlwinds around Wind Island had suddenly disappeared.
“…So this is Wind Island?”
Bud’s close friend mage Glenn, the only survivor of the Poeff household, had a blank expression on his face.
The black island became more and more visible as the wind disappeared.
It really was fitting to be one of the restricted areas.
However, he did not have time to pay attention to that.
Something quickly flew over and landed right in front of Mercenary King Bud Illis.
Mage Glenn could see the ancient Dragon glaring ferociously at Bud. His eyes that had already turned to the round eyes of a reptile were staring at Bud.
“Bud Illis, you said that is just land that was poisoned by dead mana?”
Eruhaben started to frown after seeing Bud blankly asking back.
Ron cautiously approached the ancient Dragon. It was at that moment.
Choi Han called for Raon. A small black dot that was in the sky flew down quickly and started to get bigger. Raon looked toward Choi Han and shouted back.
Choi Han kicked off the deck after hearing that response.
Flight magic surrounded him as soon as he did that.
Ron who was watching Choi Han heard an odd noise.
It was not the sound of the wind.
The majority of the wind surrounding Wind Island had disappeared, leaving the area calm.
However, they heard something weird.
Ron’s gaze slowly headed toward the black island that was becoming more visible.
The island was shaking.
Ron looked toward Raon.
He could see Raon putting black mana around himself.
“It’s crying from the island.”
‘Crying? Who is crying? Is it Cale?’
Ron’s head filled with many questions as he heard the ancient Dragon’s low voice.
“That island is not just poisoned by dead mana.”
He had not known because it was tightly guarded by the wind.
Both the island and the area around the island had been guarded by strong winds such that he could not feel it.
However, Eruhaben could feel the presence that became more noticeable as the wind disappeared.
The only ones to properly feel it were Raon, Choi Han, and Eruhaben. Only the three of them had noticed it.
The ancient Dragon’s finger pointed to the black mountain.
“That black mountain. There is a significant amount of dead mana inside that mountain.”
Ron’s expression changed.
“And that island, no, that mountain is shaking right now. It is shaking like a volcano. Do you get what I mean?”
Beacrox, who had been quietly standing there, chimed in.
“Didn’t you say that the young master-nim is in a temple underneath that black mountain?”
However, nobody responded to his question.
Mercenary King Bud kicked at the deck and Glenn immediately cast flight magic on him. He then cast flight magic on himself and shot up into the sky.
Eruhaben was even faster than him.
He was approaching the black island at a fast speed.
However, there were others who were even faster than Eruhaben.
“I know! We will hurry there now!”
Raon had surrounded Choi Han, On, Hong, and himself with a silver shield while charging toward the black island.
The rumbling was even stronger once he got to the island.
The ground looked ready to crack and have something shoot out at any moment. Choi Han bit down on his lips and heard Raon’s voice in his ear.
“I know our human! He is probably unable to come out because he is trying to get rid of the dead mana in that mountain! I’m certain of it! The human is a good person!”
Choi Han thought about how Cale had purified the golems and black despair during the Whipper Kingdom’s battle against the Empire.
Cale had the power to purify that dead mana.
However, what had happened to Cale after that?
Choi Han clearly remembered that moment.
Cale had fainted after purifying those things.
“And he’s probably starving because he ran out of food!”
“…He’s a total idiot!”
The children averaging nine-years-old raised their voices.
However, they could not hear each other very well right now.
The rumbling was too loud.
It was similar to the cries of the people who had lost their lives and became the black despair.
Choi Han bit down on his lips again.
It was at that moment.
Choi Han and the children averaging nine-years-old flinched.
Someone appeared next to them at the temple entrance.
It was Eruhaben.
Eruhaben who had tens, no, hundreds of white gold orbs around him was blocking their way.
Choi Han looked at Eruhaben’s pale face and the hundreds of white gold orbs that were giving off a dangerous current and started to speak.
However, Raon was faster than him.
“I will do it! You get some rest, gramps!”
Raon quickly added on.
“I will save the human and destroy all of this as well! l will create a shield and block it all as well! Do not worry! I am great and mighty!”
Choi Han nodded his head as well.
However, they could see Eruhaben snorting at them.
Eruhaben started to speak in a low voice.
“Can’t you feel it?”
Choi Han asked back and Eruhaben started to speak to Raon.
“Step back. Activate your shield.”
Raon was about to respond to Eruhaben.
It was because he could not step back as he needed to save Cale.
However, Raon’s round eyes became even wider.
The rumbling island.
The mountain at the center.
Raon’s eyes became wider as he looked at that mountain.
He then slowly started to smile.
His small front paws subconsciously hit each other as if he was clapping.
The rumbling started to get even worse.
None of the whirlwinds surrounding Wind Island was there anymore.
However, the small Dragon started to shout.
He looked toward the black mountain.
Underneath that mountain…
Boom. Boom. Boom.
There was a sound that was beating in rhythm like a heartbeat.
Boom. Boom. Boom!
That sound started to get louder.
Raon could feel it.
Inside that mountain that was full of dead mana…
He could feel a hot presence coming from deep underneath it.
He was used to it.
It was a power belonging to someone who was always with him, someone he was always looking at.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The explosions started to get louder.
The children averaging nine-years-old could see it.
The black island was starting to crack.
The black rocks on the mountain were breaking down while the ground was cracking up.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The explosion slowly headed up.
Raon could feel it.
The faint presence of heat was slowly getting hotter and shooting up from the bottom to the top of the island.
The Dragon who had subconsciously clasped his short front paws together started to shout.
‘It’s the human!
This is the human’s fire power!
It is the power that got rid of the black despair!’
Raon knew that Cale was fine, but the thought of him potentially being in danger made Raon want to go save Cale. Feeling Cale’s presence made it so that Raon was unable to control the feelings bubbling up inside of him.
A loud explosion appeared at the top of the mountain’s peak.
It was similar to an erupting volcano.
The mountain peak split open and something started to shoot out.
It was not lava like in a volcano, it was the black dead mana.
However, Raon was smiling brightly.
“It’s our human!”
It was instantly gobbled up.
The black liquid shooting up was almost instantly gobbled up by a rose gold colored fire.
The black liquid disappeared, and a large rose gold fire shot up through the black mountain.
They could also see the things that were surrounding the fire.
It was the wind.
The whirlwinds that had disappeared were breathing life into the fire. The fire that was getting stronger from the wind gobbled up the dead mana.
The wind was supporting it so that the fire could burn stronger and wider.
It was burning up.
The mountain was burning red as if it had never been black from the start.
And there was a gust of wind that was piercing through the fire.
A person was inside that gust of wind.
He looked down at the mountain while holding the ancient artifact and the top’s whip in his hands.
Severance from the world.
Such a thing did not exist here. Cale subconsciously started to speak to the people rushing toward him.
“…We’re all alive.”
Cale could feel that he, along with everyone else here, were alive.
He made an expression that he couldn’t tell whether he was laughing, crying, or frowning.
It was because Cale did not know what kind of expression he should have right now.