“It looks like the White Star will soon come down the passage to the underground trap.”
Cale looked around after hearing Mary’s calm report. Most of the group were scattered and only Raon, the Dragon half-blood, Cale, and Mary were together. It was at that moment.
Mary hesitated for a moment before starting to speak again.
“…The White Star is smiling.”
* * *
As Mary mentioned, the White Star was smiling. The faint smile slowly became thicker until he started to laugh out loud as well.
“Ha, haha! How did I not know about this?!”
His eyes were sparkling.
He continued to grab the sand with his hand. The black sand fell through the cracks between his fingers as soon as he grabbed them, but the White Star did not care.
He lowered his body and took a breath.
“…As I expected.”
The White Star started to smile after feeling the dead mana entering his nose.
He then lifted his head. The ground and the sky were both dark because it was nighttime, but he started to feel the presence of death throughout the desert.
Bear King Sayeru who saw the White Star’s actions quickly covered his nose with his sleeve. The White Star and Sayeru made eye contact.
‘What are you going to do?’
The White Star pointed toward the passage that was as dark as the sky after seeing the question in Sayeru’s gaze.
“Everybody other than the black mages will go in.”
The black mages were excited rather than upset that everybody else except them were going in. They weren’t as certain about it as the White Star, but they too had started to notice the dead mana smoke rising in the desert.
Dead mana was the source of power for the black mages. It was more beneficial for them to stay here and gather dead mana as the earth attribute power wouldn’t be theirs even if they went down with the White Star.
The White Star approached a black mage.
“Thoroughly figure out what is going on in this desert.”
“Yes, my liege.”
The White Star turned away from the black mage and looked around the desert.
‘How interesting yet weird.’
The White Star had lived for 1,000 years. Naturally, he had lived in the Land of Death, one of the Western continent’s five Forbidden Regions during one of his past lives.
‘I’ve passed through here too.’
He didn’t remember which life it was, but he had crossed through this desert with flight magic to head to the shore when he was a mage.
He had not noticed anything odd during that time. He just found it interesting that the color of the sand changed during the day and night.
However, dead mana smoke was rising from this place.
It felt as if he had found an unexpected treasure.
The White Star then turned after feeling a foot touching his calf.
It was Sayeru’s foot. He was standing there with his nose and mouth covered and a frown on his face. He was gesturing to quickly enter the passage.
Unlike the White Star, dead mana was poisonous for Sayeru. It was the same for the Lion tribe and the other subordinates as well.
They all looked as if they wanted to go into the passage as quickly as possible.
The faint smoke was slowly increasing, and they wanted to get away from it before they subconsciously breathed it in.
The White Star looked toward the subordinates and started to give orders as Sayeru could not speak right now.
“We will head into the passage in order. Once we get to the bottom…”
He stopped for a moment before continuing to speak.
“Don’t touch anything. If you touch or move anything, I will kill you on the spot.”
They all nodded their heads with stiff expressions.
They had seen how the White Star had ripped a subordinate to shreds when he was getting the ‘Water Wall’ ancient power because that subordinate had taken a single step without being told he could move.
That was why they were planning on listening to whatever the White Star told them to do this time.
The White Star had brought the people who had seen that sight with him on purpose.
‘Fear is a useful tool.’
People who were full of fear listened to the White Star’s orders well.
‘That is why I really need this final power.’
This earth attribute ancient power was harder to find than even the sky attribute ancient power.
Cale Barrow. The White Star who recalled his forgotten past name started to think about the human who gave him the last name of Barrow. He was the person who handed the Dragon Slayer’s powers, position, and duty to the White Star.
‘The ancient era’s White Star? You’re curious about him?
That person had answered little by little every time the White Star had asked about the ancient White Star. That person’s intentions were to inform the White Star that the ancient White Star was evil, but the White Star had become drunk by stories of the ancient White Star’s strength.
‘According to the records, the ancient White Star is said to have all five major attributes in addition to the sky attribute.’
The story that the first Dragon Slayer had told his successor had been repeated and passed down to future generations of Dragon Slayers as well.
‘Defense, offense, protection. There were a lot of different types of powers. Ah, he apparently had a power of fear as well.’
‘Yes. According to the second Dragon Slayer’s diary, the first Dragon Slayer emphasized over and over that they needed to be cautious of that fear.’
The first Dragon Slayer, Nelan Barrow. There were many Dragon Slayers who wrote memoirs following his example.
The White Star had not been able to get the first Dragon Slayer, Nelan Barrow’s memoir, but he had the other Dragon Slayers’ memoirs or diaries on him.
The information in them had helped him become even greater than the ancient White Star.
The dead Dragon Slayers would roll over in their graves, but the White Star did not care.
Either way, thanks to those pieces of information, the White Star had tried to get the Water of Judgment in place of the ancient White Star’s water attribute ancient power, however, Cale had taken it before he had a chance to do so.
However, he was able to realize what the final earth attribute ancient power was after gathering the other four major attributes.
The remaining power was fear.
That was the power the White Star needed more than anything else.
‘…I will change the world the moment I gain that power.’
The White Star was desperate for this final button to commence his real plan. That was why he had come here even though he had just lost his arm yesterday.
“Enter in order. I will enter last; black mages, close this entrance once I enter.”
The White Star ordered the Lions who were nearby to enter first.
His actions were not done to help his subordinates quickly avoid the dead mana smoke or to be wary of enemies who might suddenly appear.
He had sent them down first to figure out if there were any traps or hidden enemies inside.
It was because he expected Cale’s group had already entered.
His actions seemed to not care about his subordinates at all, but the Lions who were ordered bit down on their lips before entering the passage.
They all started to enter into the passage after the first Lion slid down as if he was on a slide.
Once even Sayeru headed down and only the White Star was left…
The dead mana smoke was now thick enough to be easily noticed.
The White Star sucked in some of the dead mana smoke.
One of the black mages walked over with a kissing up type of smile on his face. The White Star smirked at the black mage who approached him as soon as the Bear King had headed down.
The black mages did not have a leader after the Alchemists’ Bell Tower’s Tower Master had died. That was why all of them were doing everything they could to try to get on the White Star’s good graces and become the leader.
“My liege, I truly hope that you are able to obtain the power you seek. Although we are not able to be with you down there, we will definitely figure out the secrets of this dead mana smoke. I pray that our investigation would be beneficial to you, my liege.”
The White Star chuckled at the obvious flattery and nodded his head.
“It’s annoying and costly to kill people for the dead mana we will continue to need. It’s better to use a place like this if we can.”
“Yes, my liege! We will thoroughly investigate it. We will also guard the gate properly.”
The White Star nodded his head and headed toward the passage. He then stopped and looked toward the black mages. He stealthily said something to the black mage he had just chatted with.
“Tell Dorph to thoroughly investigate it as well.”
Lion King Dorph was currently at the second secret base fulfilling one of the White Star’s orders.
The black mage gulped after seeing the vicious look in the White Star’s eyes. The White Star looked at him and continued to speak.
“Whether Cale Henituse approached the Gate to the Demon World and looked inside. Tell him to investigate that properly.”
The White Star recalled what Dorph had told him.
‘I purposely said that I would throw Cale Henituse and his friends into the Gate to the Demon World to see their reaction. I don’t think they’ve even been around the Gate to the Demon World at all.’
‘Still, look into it.’
‘Of course. Anyway, you know I’m extremely observant, right? Don’t worry.’
Dorph had brought up the Gate to the Demon World on purpose during his battle against Cale to see his reaction.
However, it still required a thorough investigation as that was an important issue, and the White Star’s gaze slowly became colder as he thought about it. The black mage quickly bowed and responded.
“Of course, my liege. I will immediately deliver that order to him.”
The White Star finally seemed satisfied and entered the passage. His body disappeared into the underground passage as if he was on a slide.
The black mages quickly covered the entrance back up tightly with the iron gate once they did not see the White Star anymore. It would be bad if the dead mana smoke followed the passage down to the Bear King and the others.
“I will contact Lion King Dorph so the rest of you look around and investigate this smoke!”
The other black mages started to move after receiving the first black mage’s orders. The black mage who gave the order also quickly took out a video communication device to do as the White Star ordered.
The area quickly became rowdy.
That was why they did not notice something.
They didn’t notice that wind was blowing on a sand hill near the gate to the underground passage.
The sand was swept by the wind and a bit of the bottom of the hill was revealed.
A small video communication and recording device hidden under the sand was revealed.
There were some creatures who were shocked by that.
‘Ah, hide it!’
‘We need to take this to Cale! That crazy bastard that shouts chaos and destruction will go nuts if we don’t do it properly!’
The two Wind Elementals quickly channeled some wind again. That wind moved the sand and covered the combination of the video communication and recording device, leaving only a small gap for it to continue to record.
* * *
Cale who had been watching the video communication device in his hand started to speak.
He had seen everything the White Star had done through that hidden video communication device after hearing Mary’s report.
There was something that made him feel iffy.
“Is there something in the Gate to the Demon World?”
He looked at the Dragon half-blood who blankly stared at Raon for a moment before flinching and responding.
“I don’t know either.”
“…You don’t know?”
The Gate to the Demon World was one of the Eastern continent’s Three Restricted Areas.
The White Star definitely seemed interested in knowing whether Cale had seen or entered the Gate to the Demon World. That meant that the Gate to the Demon World was an important location.
However, the Dragon half-blood did not know about the Gate to the Demon World?
Even though the secret base was nearby and the Dragon half-blood had stayed in that base?
The Dragon half-blood who received Cale’s gaze quickly continued to speak.
“I really don’t know. The White Star only took Dorph, Sayeru, and a select few with him and put some devices to make sure that the others could not go there. He killed anybody who went near it.”
“…Why didn’t you tell me about such a place before we went to the second secret base?”
“Sorry. I did not think about it.”
The Dragon half-blood who was apologizing looked as if he really had not thought about it.
Cale who became at a loss for words at this reaction just tapped his thigh with his finger.
“The Gate to the Demon World……”
Cale had heard that the Gate to the Demon World was just a giant sinkhole that was given its name because it looked scary. However, he was starting to feel iffy about it now.
The Demon World.
The Demonic race.
Cale started to recall the information related to the Demon World. He then recalled the information he had read in ‘The Birth of a Hero’ about the Demonic race.
‘The Birth of a Hero’ had explained about dead mana as well as how to cure mermaid poison.
It was the information he had recalled while fighting against the mermaid with the Whale tribe at Hais Island.
< ...There were a few records about the Demonic race left in ancient text. According to the records, the Demonic race dyed living human hearts with dead mana as they enjoyed creating hearts that continued to beat after death. >
Why did this record suddenly pop up in Cale’s mind?
Cale was about to recall what the black mage had just said to kiss up to the White Star.
It was at that moment.
He heard Choi Han’s voice from the other connected video communication device.
– That bastard has arrived.
Choi Han was reporting that the White Star had arrived at the underground area.
Cale stood up from his seat.
He needed to go welcome the White Star.