“It is oddly quiet.”
Choi Han’s gaze moved after hearing the voice.
“Seriously, it is too quiet.”
Zero ruffled through his disheveled hair as he looked around.
Nobody objected to his comment.
Chief Eaen, who had said that they would now be entering the enemy’s territory, could not tell Zero to be quiet.
‘Something is weird.’
She too felt a mysterious sense of déjà vu and could not enter into the enemy’s territory.
She was hesitating.
‘Nothing is different from what Imperial Princess Olivia told us.’
According to the Imperial Princess’s explanation, the lake and the area around the black tree was silent at first.
She said that the tree monster suddenly started attacking once they approached the black tree.
“This… I don’t think we can go in there right away?”
Eaen kept her mouth shut after Zero approached her and made that comment.
Why could they not enter despite the situation being as Imperial Princess Olivia explained?
The reason was simple.
“What the hell is the monster planning?”
The monster had sent its roots to attack the wall not too long ago.
However, it was now pretending not to know anything; it was pretending to be a silent lake and a beautiful tree.
Most of the people in the group agreed with Zero.
Choi Han quickly looked around the area.
‘I don’t see any vines either.’
The large lake and the area around it…
The starlight and the beautiful night sky were shining down in that area.
‘I don’t see any corpses.’
There were no corpses like candidate 17’s corpse they had just seen.
‘That means that this monster took care of the corpses as well.’
However, the monster had left candidate 17’s corpse behind.
That could only mean one thing.
‘It was used as a sign.’
This large tree that was a bit larger than the Lord’s Castle had used candidate 17’s corpse to have the attack team come find it.
Choi Han barely held himself back from scoffing.
‘It truly is despicable.’
This monster was despicable and shrewd as Zero mentioned.
That was why Chief Eaen was scared.
‘I’m basically a grain of sand compared to the size of that monster’s body that is visible right now.’
The black tree at the center of the lake…
There were basically no roots showing right now.
The roots that were long enough to attack the wall from here were not visible right now.
Neither were the vines that were supposedly as scary as the roots.
Eaen looked away from the black tree after hearing a voice.
Heni Wishrop. She had taken off the hood covering her face and stepped forward.
The pouch that was upside down in her hand was releasing white bone pieces without stopping.
“We must proceed as planned.”
Her voice was as calm as usual.
Black thread flowed out of Mary’s hand and wrapped around the bone pieces as she walked forward.
Clack. Clack. Clack.
They could hear the bone pieces clacking against each other.
Skeleton monsters the size of a person appeared.
Mary started to speak once around ten of these skeleton monsters were created.
“An ambush wasn’t going to be possible anyway.”
They had expected that the tree monster would be aware of the attack team and be waiting for them.
“Chief-nim, when will we start?”
Eaen closed her eyes for a moment before opening them back.
The group started to move at that moment.
Mineh started to smile.
She looked around.
‘The reconnaissance team and the close combat weapon users to the front.’
Precinct 9’s reconnaissance team was in front of the formation.
Right behind them were close combat weapon users such as the sword master and Zero.
‘The center is mainly magic based.’
The black mages were at the center of the formation, creating a gust of wind for the reconnaissance team.
It was so that they could charge forward like arrows at any moment.
Mineh stood there with the Dragon as well.
‘First young lady Huayans.’
Marquis Helson had requested the following from Mineh and the Dragon.
‘I want you to launch the most explosive attack you can cast the moment the reconnaissance team starts to move.’
The Marquis had added on.
‘Team Olivia did not have a talented black mage when they ran into the black tree. They didn’t have any mages either.’
The Marquis and his top executives had determined that the black tree would not know about the strength of magic yet. Most of the reconnaissance team members who had died in the past few months had been weapon users as well.
‘We determined that the best first attack to damage that monster was black magic.’
Mineh smiled after recalling the Marquis’ words.
‘Why would it not know about magic?’
The black tree should know quite a lot about black magic.
It had been connected to black magic since it was born.
The Dragon and Mineh’s attack will not head toward the black tree.
They will attack the backs of the reconnaissance team members who would rush forward without a clue.
‘…I’m in the right spot.’
Mineh looked to the back.
She was looking at the core of the long-range necromancer groups with people like Heni Wishrop and the Fourth Imperial Prince.
The First Imperial Prince and his helper were a bit away from them mixed in with the others.
‘They will take down the necromancers.’
Mineh’s face filled with anticipation.
Eaen came to the middle of the formation at that moment. She approached Mineh and the Dragon as she started to speak.
“Please take care of it.”
Mineh nodded her head.
She stretched her hands out to the front.
The dead mana round her started to rumble.
A spell would soon be released from her hand.
Wing swirled around the Dragon as well.
It seemed to Eaen that this Dragon was about to do something as well.
The moment Mineh and the Dragon focused and started to cast their spells…
The ground shook at that moment.
“Don’t be shocked!”
“We expected this to happen!”
Something shot up from the transparent lake.
It was a black tree root.
The monster had started to move after seeing the reconnaissance team approach it.
The ground shook nonstop.
Some people turned pale.
The earth was moving.
Vines started to push forward from the darkness.
With the way the earth was moving…
The vines seemed more like waves.
“This is crazy!”
Zero, who had been rushing forward, looked around in disbelief.
“We were already in the monster’s domain!”
This whole area was the monster’s domain.
The earth was moving because the area below ground was probably full of roots.
Mineh held back a laugh while looking at Eaen urgently, shouting and looking at her.
Radiantly glowing white mana was visible in Mineh’s hands.
This was the white magic that was the pride of the House of Huayans.
This holy white magic would soon signal the Festival of Blood in this garden.
‘I just need to be wary of the sword master and Heni Wishrop.’
The Dragon would take down the sword master and the other helper would take down Heni Wishrop.
The moment numerous tree roots shot up from the lakeside…
Mineh moved both of her hands as Chief Eaen shouted in a shriek.
She moved to release the light that would signal the start of the festival.
She heard an odd noise from the sky at that moment.
Mineh’s eyes opened wide.
Her white mana that was glowing like something holy started to warp.
The First young lady’s eyes looked down at her side.
There was a dagger stabbed into her side.
Eaen was holding that dagger. She twisted the hand that was holding the dagger.
Mineh released a groan.
I’ve been had!’
She had no idea what was going on but what she knew for sure was that Marquis Helson had pulled one over on her!
Mineh scoffed while looking at what was going on.
All of the black mages from Precinct 9 were aiming their dead mana at Mineh.
The reconnaissance team members were not looking at the tree roots shooting up from the lake but were pointing their swords at her as well.
‘The First Imperial Prince!’
Mineh urgently tried to look toward the First Imperial Prince.
However, she could not do so.
A scary aura brushed past her at that moment.
The aura was directed right next to Mineh.
It was heading toward the Dragon.
Now that she thought about it, the Dragon had been quiet.
Mineh turned to look at the Dragon.
“…What is that?”
The Dragon was surrounded by radiant gold speckles.
The Dragon was completely stiff as she stood there.
She could not even say anything.
The Dragon’s pupils were shaking.
It was as if she was scared.
This Dragon is scared?
It is scared because of something other than the patriarch?
That gold dust is mana.’
Voices filled with chaos echoed around Mineh just as she realized that.
Mineh heard one of those voices at that moment.
“What the hell? What the fuck do you think you are doing?! Heni Wishrop, why did you do that to our hyung-nim?!”
Mineh moved her hand as soon as she heard that name.
The white dead mana that had stabilized at some point was directed at Eaen.
However, the white light could not reach Eaen.
Eaen had quickly retreated back.
“…As expected, you bastards have partnered with Marquis Helson!”
A sparkling violent black light had gotten in its way.
Mineh looked at the sword master and scowled.
“You fools! You are pulling this kind of shit with the monster right in front of us?!”
Even Zero walked over to Choi Han with a stiff expression on his face as he spoke.
“What are you doing? Is there some kind of internal conflict?”
His gaze looked cold.
“Even if you have some issues with each other, you are splitting our forces with the monster right in front of us? Are you crazy?”
The other candidates and their helpers were showing similar reactions.
They were all surrounded by the members of Precinct 9.
The corners of Mineh’s lips curled up.
One of the candidates shouted.
“The tree roots are coming! What are you going to do?!”
The tree roots were cutting through the water and heading over to them.
The vines were already surrounding the group.
They seemed happy that their prey had all gathered together.
‘Let’s run away.’
Mineh thought that she should escape since she was injured.
‘I don’t know what Marquis Helson is thinking nor what he might have found out, but…’
The team here was not enough to escape from the monster.
‘So we just need to run away.’
Mineh turned to look at the Dragon.
‘This motherfucking shithead!’
Mineh started to speak to the Dragon that wasn’t moving.
“Get rid of that gold dust and immediately-”
The Dragon spoke at that moment.
‘What is this motherfucking Dragon saying?’
Mineh turned and could sense the emotion behind the Dragon’s eyes as she looked at her.
As the Dragon smiled despite shaking in fear…
The sky roared once again.
Mineh raised her head out of reflex.
Everything turned red at that moment.
Yes, the moment she had that thought…
A single rose gold thunderbolt shot down toward the lake.
The vines stopped moving.
The tree roots stopped as well.
One of the tree roots was struck by the thunderbolt and turned into grey ashes that scattered into the air.
“W, what the-”
Fourth Imperial Prince Noi became anxious at this sudden situation and looked around.
Heni Wishrop had her hand around the First Imperial Prince’s neck, the first young lady was stabbed, and the Dragon was wrapped by gold dust and unable to move.
Furthermore, the black mages and reconnaissance team members were pointing their weapons at Fourth Imperial Prince Noi.
It was at that moment.
He turned around after feeling a strong pressure suddenly pushing from behind him.
It was the opposite direction of the lake.
Something was slowly moving toward him from the darkness.
It wasn’t very far.
That was why he could soon figure out what was coming toward him.
A person wrapped in gold light was pushing the darkness, the dead mana way as he walked toward them.
His steps were relaxed.
One of the numerous highest-grade magic stones floating in the air surrounded by gold light cracked with every step he took.
And that large amount of mana mixed with the gold light to create a large mana domain.
The person standing at the center of the gold light had his hair turn from brown to gold.
His eyes started to change colors as well.
Zero knew this person.
He was one of Heni Wishrop’s subordinates.
However, he could not say that despite knowing this person’s identity.
‘What is this pressure?’
His heart started beating wildly the moment he looked at this person walking over.
It felt similar to fear.
Zero had never felt such instinctual fear before in his life.
‘What is going on?
Who is this?
Are they even human?’
Zero made eye contact with this individual.
This individual’s pupils were long and vertical.
This individual was not human.
The eyes made him think about reptiles.
Zero barely managed to turn his head while hearing Fourth Imperial Prince Noi’s shaking voice.
The First Imperial Prince’s helper, the Dragon…
That Dragon was wrapped in gold mana and unable to move.
The black-haired woman, that Dragon, barely managed to speak.
She was mumbling the word Dragon over and over while looking at the individual surrounded in gold light.
Choi Han had his sword pointed at the first young lady as he perked his ears.
‘Eruhaben-nim is here.
Cale-nim has not revealed himself yet.
But the monster stopped moving.
The earth is not shaking.
The vines are not pushing forward like waves.
The tree roots are not attacking their prey.’
It was because the monster’s natural enemy was watching from somewhere.
Eruhaben leisurely walked toward them and looked up at the night sky.
A part of it was covered because of the cloud but he could see the stars shining.
He could feel the aura of nature from the sky.
He could feel mana.
The ancient Dragon looked down at the attack team.
“The sky is bright here unlike inside that darkness.”
He was saying that this was his domain.
Oh snaaaaps, goldie gramps be looking thuuuug!
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