“Cale-nim, is that the problem?”
Cale finally turned his gaze after hearing a low voice. Choi Han was asking with a stiff expression on his face.
Cale moved away and stood up on his own before looking at Choi Han and Mary as he spoke calmly.
“That’s the only thing left now.”
This was the only thing left.
That comment made Mary subconsciously clench her fists. The end to this extremely long battle seemed to be visible.
Someone let out a short scream before they heard an explosion.
Mary, who was turning her head toward the direction of the noise, saw that Cale was already running past her.
It was at that moment.
A part of the boiling red light, no, the thing that was quite close to being a liquid now, burst up.
It caused an extremely faint gap in the thick layers of barriers made by Rosalyn and the Dragons’ manas.
‘It’s too strong!’
Although it was only a portion that had burst up, this red liquid had created a crack in the barriers made with the manas of multiple Dragons.
The Dragons had not let their guards down.
That was how they were able to prevent the red light from falling down on Puzzle City while Cale was trying to Embrace the sealed god.
However, the amount of strength they had used to stop the sticky red light earlier was no longer enough.
Rosalyn and the Dragons used even more power to recreate their mana barriers and block that gap just as Eruhaben shouted.
However, the red liquid that had already seeped out of the gap was falling down.
It was only a small amount.
It was not even enough to fill two hands.
Eruhaben tried to channel even more mana to stop that liquid.
He heard a calm voice at that moment.
It was Rosalyn. Her eyes were watching the liquid fall toward the shield cast by the humans. The falling droplets were small in quantity and resembled raindrops.
Because of that…
“We need to see it.”
They needed to see the destructive force of this liquid.
They needed to confirm it.
Only then would they be able to predict the destructive force of this ticking time bomb when it explodes.
She saw that Alberu was moving toward the location where the liquid was falling.
The people who had been in the Puzzle City plaza and the streets must have gone into buildings or evacuated, as she could not see them.
This efficiency was because some people had already prepared for such a situation.
Alberu’s shout made the people who were running with him stop.
‘That’s what it is.’
Alberu raised his head and watched the red liquid fall onto the shield they had created with a large magic circle.
It was an extremely small amount.
What could that do?
The sealed god… How destructive would this thing that the sealed god left behind as a last attack be?
The red water drops reached the shield.
This shield was created with human experience, knowledge, and desperation.
Alberu was not confident that he could break this shield even with Taerang in his hand. Eruhaben felt the same way.
It wasn’t impossible to break this shield, but it would be difficult.
He would need a lot of time to do that.
However, that shield melted away as if it was nothing.
As soon as a red water drop touched it…
The shield futilely melted away whenever the few water drops fell against it.
A hole was created in the shield.
The red liquid that made it through the hole fell to the ground.
“You must retreat, your highness!”
It was just one drop.
Only a single drop made it past the shield and fell to the ground.
The ground where the drop fell was turning black.
Only a single drop was all it took to turn the ground around Alberu and his subordinates black while killing everything, without even leaving a single blade of grass alive.
“Y, your highness-, this, this kind of power-”
They could feel a power opposite to life, something incomparable to dead mana.
The voice of the subordinate, who had urgently retreated, was shaking.
“Did you see that?”
However, Alberu seemed calm.
Another calm voice flowed out of the video communication device in Alberu’s hand.
– I can get a sense of how destructive it would be, your highness.
It was Duchess Violan. She, who was doing things in Duke Deruth’s place right now, looked away from the video communication device and spoke to the mage next to her.
“What do you think?”
“We will have to try.”
They were able to get a small glimpse of the strength of this red liquid.
“I presume it would be even more destructive if it explodes.”
Then the shield would continue to melt or break.
However, they needed to try.
“We will continue to channel mana into the shield and increase the restoration speed as much as possible so that we can restore it as soon as it melts.”
A highest-grade mana stone broke and the part of the shield that had instantly melted away was restored. Furthermore, beads of sweat dripped down from the forehead of the mage standing next to her.
There were close to 100 mages working or standing by the large magic circle. In addition, Dark Elves and their Elementals were preparing to move at any moment for any unexpected situations.
– Did you hear that, your highness?
Alberu nodded his head at Violan’s question and raised his head.
Baaaaang—! Bang, bang, bang–!
The red liquid was slowly starting to boil stronger, endlessly destroying and melting the Dragons’ and Rosalyn’s barriers.
A Dragon would urgently channel some mana to block it each time, but…
If it was to explode…
They would not be able to contain it.
The amount of time between the boiling was getting smaller.
“It looks like it will explode soon, your highness. Please evacuate-”
As his subordinate mentioned, this red liquid looked as if it might explode in a few minutes or really, at any moment.
Alberu shook his head with a stiff expression on his face.
“Even his Majesty has not evacuated. I cannot retreat first.”
He also did not want to dodge it.
Alberu’s gaze headed toward the central plaza.
That was where the steps up to the temple had originally stood. All that was left there now was the debris from the destroyed steps.
King Zed Crossman was standing there with only two of his confidants.
His gaze was headed toward the temple.
Alberu could not understand what the King was thinking. Potentially because of that… He turned to look at what the King was looking at.
He then saw it.
Bang, bang! Baaaaang!
While the Dragons and Rosalyn were dripping with sweat as they struggled to contain this red liquid…
Alberu could see a punk who was poking his head out of the destroyed temple wall.
There was only one person who could poke their head out like this in such a situation.
Cale Henituse, with a ton of dry blood around his mouth and his red hair a total mess, was the only one.
He was observing the red liquid.
“Is that punk trying to stop-”
“Oh! If Commander Cale is willing to step in, shouldn’t he be able to do something?”
Alberu’s face stiffened after hearing the loud voice of his subordinate as he mumbled.
The subordinate’s voice suddenly sounded brighter and had stopped shaking, which made Alberu feel a mysterious sense of uneasiness.
‘…Can he not see Cale’s condition right now?’
He looked around at his confidants near him.
Half seemed to be expecting Cale to do something while the other half was worried about him.
‘This isn’t good……’
Alberu thought to himself that he would make Cale get some rest after this even if he had to force him to do it.
Cale was a normal person as well.
People needed to know that.
‘I’m sure that the Duke’s House of Henituse will do something about it too.’
It was highly likely that they would make it so that Cale could not take a single step out of the Duchy for a while.
“…But what the hell is that bastard doing?”
Alberu’s eyes opened wide at Cale’s sudden action.
Choi Han asked Cale again at that time.
“Are you okay, Cale-nim?”
His tone sounded different from before.
It couldn’t be helped, as Cale was stepping on a black book.
This black book was a divine item.
Cale calmly responded before lightly brushing off the book he was stepping on and holding it on his side. He was still frowning.
He needed to show his annoyance like this to calm down at least.
However, he did not complain to the God of Death.
Shake shake shake.
The divine item in his hand was shaking nonstop.
It had been like this since he closed the book.
‘It’s probably related to the sealed god who is embraced in there.’
Cale’s face quickly returned to normal.
‘Well, it’s not like a god has ever been that helpful.’
Cale did not put many expectations on any god. It was just that he saw Dodori and Rosalyn sweating and the other Dragons using too much mana. That was why he was annoyed.
Choi Han clenched his fists while looking at Cale who was quietly observing everything.
‘…There is not much that I can do other than holding my sword and fighting.’
Choi Han realized that he did not have a defensive or blocking power. As his face slowly stiffened…
Alberu had opened a small gap in the shield around Puzzle City to use flight magic up to the temple. Alberu, who was also using light magic to hide the presence of dead mana, was sparkling as his cape fluttered.
“You are sparkling, your highness.”
“…What happened to the god?”
Cale lifted the divine item up to Alberu, who had completely ignored Cale’s comment and said what he needed to say.
“Right here, your highness.”
“Are you going to rip it up? Or maybe burn it?”
Cale let out a quiet gasp of admiration. Hearing the crown prince talk about a divine item like this…
‘He truly is a trustworthy person.’
Alberu looked at the gasping Cale with a suspicious gaze before motioning to the side with his head.
The red liquid that looked as if it would explode…
“It’s left to us to stop it.”
“As expected. It’s always been like this.”
Unlike the two of them who were chatting casually, the people down below in Puzzle City hiding in shelters were unable to hide their anxiety.
“Your Majesty. You must evacuate.”
King Zed was looking at the temple where Alberu and Cale were right now.
However, the anxiety, fear, and sorrow in the silent chaos around him were turning into a place of orderly chaos.
Alberu spoke to Cale in a calm voice.
“But you can’t overdo it anymore.”
“But I’m healthy?”
Alberu became angry while looking at Cale who was saying things that nobody would believe. However, he barely held his emotions in check while looking at Choi Han shaking his head.
He could not get angry at a patient.
“Your highness. We have to stop it. We can’t let Puzzle City turn to dust.”
It was a situation where they needed this punk’s powers.
No, maybe this was the time they desperately needed his power the most.
Alberu could not say anything else to stop Cale nor get angry at him.
Alberu got chills on his back at that moment.
“It looks like it’ll blow soon!”
Alberu watched Cale take a step out into the sky outside the temple.
The Sound of the Wind surrounded Cale’s ankles.
“Will you all help me?”
Mary and Alberu looked at each other when Cale said that. Alberu then turned his gaze to look at Cale.
“I’m sure they won’t know what is what when the powers are mixed together anyway. How will they know if it is the former Dragon Lord’s ghost power, an ancient power, magic, dead mana, a necromancer’s power… Or even aura? Isn’t that right?”
Cale asked Mary who nodded her head and released numerous black threads from her hands and started tying them like a net.
That power headed toward the red liquid, the bomb that would explode soon.
The red liquid was roaring.
Alberu channeled dead mana into Mary’s numerous black threads. The only people looking at him inside the temple were Clopeh and his allies.
‘Can we do it?’
Alberu realized it the moment his dead mana wrapped around the Dragons’ mana barrier stopping the red liquid.
‘This is an extremely strong power.’
He became extremely concerned.
His face was still calm, but the cold sweat wetting his back was proof that he was anxious.
‘But it should be worth trying.’
Nowhere in history had Dragons, Dark Elves, and humans… Never had they all gathered together to protect something and stop something.
At least that was the case in Alberu’s memories.
Alberu looked at the person who had gathered everybody together in one location.
Cale had stretched out both hands in the air and was taking some deep breaths.
He was certainly getting ready to use his shield.
‘This punk is probably going to be the last line of defense against the explosion.’
At that moment…
He heard something ripping that sounded off.
The sound was coming from the red liquid.
Alberu’s heart beat wildly.
He calmed himself.
‘We must succeed.’
‘We need to st-’
He got chills again.
The cold sweats on his back being blown by the wind made it feel as if his whole body was going cold.
He looked up.
The barrier that was barely holding in the red liquid that was about to explode… Mana fluctuated high above the layers of round barriers.
He could feel the strong fluctuation of mana at the highest point in the sky.
He heard a bright voice through the mana fluctuation.
“Human, I’m here!”
A smile appeared on Cale’s face.
Raon’s two front paws stretched out toward the air.
An extremely long and wide platform made of mana appeared.
The moment a sturdy mana platform that resembled the foundation of a building was created in the sky…
Rosalyn suddenly shouted with admiration before retrieving her mana from the orb and helping Raon.
Once the red mana seeped into the black mana platform…
There was a strand of wind and a black castle appeared in the sky.
It was a completely black castle without any flaws. This castle was eye-catching for a different reason than the sealed god’s temple.
“Human! I came with mommy!”
Once there was a dull noise and the black castle landed on top of the mana platform…
The beige-colored Dragon Mila. The Dragon with the mana barrier closest to the red liquid shouted.
“We were almost late.”
A white-haired woman appeared above the black castle at the same time.
There were already countless shields around her. Former Dragon Lord Sheritt and her ‘Protection’ attribute. The shields moved following the movement of her hand.
Their target was the red liquid.
The red liquid let out a loud noise that sounded like a part of a large mountain range falling off as it exploded.
The people inside the shelter looking out, the mages looking out to see how their mana shield was holding on, and the individuals floating in the air trying to stop the red liquid from exploding…
They all saw something as red as blood bursting and trying to clear the sky.
There was another strand of wind and they saw two wings and a silver shield with a large amount of water inside.
– …Cale, I think this might be too much.
The White Star’s white half-mask was in Cale’s hand.
The wood attribute ancient power, the Indestructible Shield.
The water attribute ancient power, the water wall that used to belong to the White Star but was now Embraced into the white half-mask by Cale. Also, the wind attribute ancient power, the wind wall.
They were all powers used to defend or stop things.
“We need to try our best.”
– …Who cares if the World Tree helped you restore your strength? You’re just going wild like this.
Cale laughed at the Super Rock’s pitying words with a completely pale face.
He then put more strength into his two hands.
The shield became even sturdier.
The Indestructible Shield.
This power wrapped around Cale’s heart and got its power from it. His beating heart was the strength of the shield. His heart and the shield strengthened and protected each other.
That was why getting the Vitality of the Heart and then the shield consuming the Vitality of the Heart made it possible for him to continue fortifying that power.
Cale had stabbed his heart out of his own volition, and thanks to that, a portion of the foundation of the immortal World Tree had seeped into his heart.
It now allowed Cale to feel the Vitality of the Heart throughout his whole body.
This affected the shield as well.
Cale trusted the now stronger shield and channeled all of his strength toward the bursting red light.
The shield that was created above Puzzle City…
The two wings of the shield wrapped around the red light.
It was as if it would take on the full brunt of the explosion.
However, Cale was not alone this time.
The powers of his allies were together within it.
“It’s worth trying.”
Even if he was to fail, even if someone else was to fall, there were others who could support them until they got back up.
That was why Cale was saying that it was worth trying.
That was what allowed Cale to say that without any fear.
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