A dull noise echoed in the hall along with the black smoke.
The two people’s bodies slammed into the wall.
“Ugh! Why did you suddenly use your wind, w, what the…?!”
Cotton groaned at the sudden impact and her eyes opened wide as she tried to look at Cale.
Her eyes were focused on the black smoke on top of the platform.
The black smoke was spreading thick and quickly, looking as if it could fill the whole area in an instant.
As for the other person who also crashed into the wall… Cale glared at Gersey who was on the other side of the black door.
“I was almost tricked.”
He then looked back at the black smoke.
This black smoke must have been the way to provide the feed to the monsters.
“It can’t get out of the platform.”
The black smoke only roamed around the platform and did not flow out of it.
Cotton walked up to the platform and tapped on the air.
“It looks like there is a transparent barrier separating the platform and the area underneath the platform once the black smoke came out.”
She roamed around the platform and nodded her head.
“I guess it needs to be like this so that Gersey can provide the feed and then he and his subordinates could safely get out.”
“But doesn’t it seem like it would be impossible to steal the sculptures like this?”
Cale got up and headed next to Cotton. He was now underneath the platform.
Gersey who was outside the black door could not see him.
However, Gersey clicked his tongue as if he could see what was going on. He had more blood flowing out from his mouth than Eruhaben did.
“How disappointing. I guess I have no choice but to overdo it a bit.”
He turned his head after hearing someone laugh.
Bud was laughing.
“Are you sad that you failed to give the feed to them?”
The corners of Gersey’s lips started to go up.
“But thanks to that, you are unable to steal nor destroy the sculptures.”
“…What do you mean?”
Bud who didn’t know about the black smoke and the transparent barrier started to frown while Gersey laughed and turned around.
“Ah, you’re here, your majesty?”
Eruhaben’s eyes started to sink.
The White Star was walking over in the distance.
He spoke to Bud in his mind while Gersey greeted the White Star.
– This is bad. Looks like we need to escape.
Bud silently nodded his head.
He heard the White Star’s voice at that moment.
“It’s so noisy starting the first day of the festival.”
Eruhaben retorted back.
“It’s only loud because you are making it that way, isn’t it?”
“Hahaha, is that so? Well, it looks like I need to get rid of you first before Cale Henituse can steal those things.”
A red sword shot out from the White Star’s hand.
“I will destroy the wall, your majesty.”
Gersey grabbed his fan and charged toward the gold wall.
He lightly kicked off the ground, jumped up into the air, and struck down with the hand holding the fan.
The fan touched the gold wall.
It was at that moment.
The fan started to shake.
Gersey stumbled as he landed on the ground.
The large cave started to shake.
“What the hell!”
That shaking had started from inside the black door.
Gersey instantly thought about something.
Based on Cale Henituse’s past actions…
Is he using his ancient powers to destroy it-?!”
He might have used his ancient powers to their limits.
Would the barrier be able to withstand his attack?
Was he planning on destroying this whole cave at the same time?
He heard the White Star scold him at that moment.
“Can’t you even feel what power it is?!”
Gersey looked back toward the black door.
There was a gap on the door, but it was not wide enough to see everything.
However, he could feel the aura flowing out through the door.
“That ‘perhaps’ seems to be the case.”
Gersey turned pale after hearing the White Star’s response.
“W, why is that honorable power coming right now-”
It was no longer an issue of their big plan being destroyed.
The honorable power had responded to Cale.
‘Why? That power should not be able to respond to Cale Henituse?’
Gersey’s mind started to turn white.
It looked like both their big plan and the current situation might end up twisted.
“I’ll go first.”
The White Star walked past Gersey who was somewhat out of it and swung his sword toward the gold wall.
He started to frown.
‘I never expected that power to respond to Cale Henituse!’
His relaxed expression had turned urgent.
That was why he was using the sword at full power.
The wall was easily split.
Eruhaben coughed up blood and moved back.
Thankfully, he had been preparing to escape, so he was not injured too much from the wall breaking.
However, he had no choice but to open his eyes wide and turn around.
‘How could such an enormous amount of power-!’
He could feel a strong power behind his back.
He also heard the White Star’s angry shout.
Eruhaben could see the black door and the wall exploding.
Cotton’s body was curled up as she was flung out of there.
Bud caught Cotton as he shouted in shock.
“What the hell happened?!”
“T, the barrier broke and a weird power- a scary power-”
Bud was about to urge her to respond until he realized that her body was shaking.
He quickly looked toward where the door had been.
Bud subconsciously started to speak.
He then took a step back.
He had chills all over his body.
It was a natural reaction.
He could see Eruhaben stumbling as he charged forward.
Bud had never seen Eruhaben moving so urgently before.
“Damn it! No!”
The White Star was also shouting as he urgently rushed forward and passed Eruhaben.
His face showed both anger and anxiety.
Bud finally thought to look for Cale. Cotton had been flung out, but Cale had not.
He overcame the fear that was filling his body and looked back toward that direction.
He saw Cale there.
Cale had plopped on the ground right in front of the thing that was giving him such terrible fear.
“…What the hell is this?”
Cale’s eyes opened wide as he sat there on the ground.
He had not been flung out with that explosion just now, but he was on the ground because he fell down.
He lowered his head.
‘What’s going on?’
His whole body was shaking.
The unranked monster that had killed all his teammates… A pressure that was much worse than when he had gone up against that monster was overwhelming him.
Cale lifted his head.
The thing giving him that fear was right in front of him.
It was a black hand.
The hand was so large that it could almost touch the ceiling of the hall.
What could be going on?
‘What is happening all of a sudden?’
Cale recalled his actions just now.
‘All I did was get close to the platform.’
All he did was move toward Cotton who was observing the black smoke and the transparent barrier.
But the black smoke inside the transparent barrier… That had suddenly disappeared and a large black hand shot up from the platform.
The power of that hand made the transparent barrier explode.
And Cale was looking at that black hand right now.
The eight sculptures?
He wasn’t paying them any attention right now.
He thought it was weird that they didn’t have a scratch on them after such a large explosion, but he had no time to look into that right now.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
His heart was beating as if it wanted to explode and he had chills all over his body.
The black hand started to move while making that odd noise.
The palm stopped in front of Cale.
– You disturbed my slumber.
Before Cale could even think about the meaning behind those words…
Cale’s mind was filled by a voice that seemed to come from the black hand as Eruhaben shouted.
– Here is another punk who has found a way out of god’s hand and escaped his fate.
The black hand reached out and surrounded Cale while making an eerie noise.
Cale had instantly fallen into darkness.
* * *
Bang, bang bang!
Lock had a confused expression after hearing someone banging on the door.
The Tiger warriors stationed outside would not knock like this.
“Who could it be?”
Lock debated whether he should open the door or not. He wondered if he should call the adults who were all gathered in the strategy room.
He heard a voice from the other side of the door at that moment.
“Please open the door!”
He recognized the voice.
It made sense why the Tiger warriors would have let this person through.
Lock quickly opened the door as he was relieved that it was someone he knew and welcomed the person.
“Huff. Huff. Huff.”
Cage was outside the door trying to catch her breath.
“It’s been so long!”
Lock warmly welcomed her but Cage didn’t even respond to his greeting as she urgently rushed into the black castle.
Lock was trying to ask what was going on in shock before stiffening up after seeing what, no, who, was in Cage’s hand.
“W, wait- this person is?”
Lock who barely managed to get some words out looked toward the person who was being dragged by the collar.
“It’s been a while.”
This person was Saint Jack who looked as if he didn’t know what to do.
“I was suddenly dragged here and I don’t even know wh-”
Saint Jack gave an awkward greeting, but… His greeting was drowned out by Cage’s shout.
Cage looked toward Lock and started to speak.
“Where is the Dragon? The Dragon?!”
“A Dragon that can cast long-distance teleportation! Or at least Miss Rosalyn! No, it needs to be a Dragon, a Dragon!”
“Young master Cale was cut!”
Lock became anxious after suddenly hearing her mention Cale but Cage looked around as if things were urgent before running toward the stairs.
Lock followed behind her as Cage continued to speak.
“You know about the vow of death, right?”
Cage continued to look around as if she couldn’t even see Lock who was anxiously following behind her and then resumed speaking.
She seemed to be looking for someone.
“Young master Cale and I made a vow of death, you know? There’s a power you feel gathering around your hand when you make a vow. It is the power that lets you know whether that person kept or broke the vow.”
It was the eerie feeling that seeped into the bodies of the people making the vow of death.
“But that was just cut off.”
Jack who had been dragged here without knowing why looked toward her in shock.
However, Cage didn’t respond to his question and just continued to speak.
“There should be someone else who is feeling this right now. He should be feeling that something is weird.”
They then heard a door opening on the second floor.
Lock turned toward the door.
Choi Han was walking out of the strategy room with a confused yet serious expression.
‘Didn’t hyung say that he had a lot of things to do?’
Choi Han who said he had important business to take care of was coming out with a serious expression before finishing his work.
“Ah, Miss Cage!”
He looked extremely happy to see Cage. It was as if he had found the person who could answer his question for him.
Choi Han stepped onto the stairs and walked toward her.
“Miss Cage, when did you get here? You see, umm, I made a vow of death with Cale-nim once-”
“The presence that entered your body when you made the vow disappeared, right?”
Choi Han flinched and looked at her.
Cage let go of Saint Jack’s collar and continued to speak.
“People who make a vow of death are able to tell whether the vow was kept or broken by that power in their body.”
Death was the result if the vow was broken.
The presence inside the body would tell the other person that the vow was broken and that the other party was dead.
“But there are times the presence itself disappears from a person’s body. That means that the vow of death is cut.”
Cage slowly walked over to Choi Han.
Her voice echoed through the staircase.
“There’s only one reason that a vow of death would be cut.”
Her face stiffened.
“That is when the vow becomes useless.”
There was only one reason a vow of death would become useless.
“That means that the other person is dead.”
All expressions disappeared from Choi Han’s face.