Episode 7: Tidal Wave of Monsters / Chapter 124: Alien Troops from Earth (9)
TL: emptycube / ED: Obelisk
Through washing blood with blood, they recovered the El Tribes’ sanctum.
However, every earthling who had arrived here had a dejected expression.
“What the hell… There’s nothing here.”
A black desert. The land had already died due to the monsters. This wasn’t what they risked their lives for.
However, the attitude of the El Tribes was different from the earthlings.
They all showed expressions of having just woken up when they stepped into the sanctum. As if they had realized something important but were still dreaming, they walked in a daze towards a certain location. The earthlings mistook their dazed, slow movements at first.
“As expected… Is this place a dud? Look at them, they’ve completely lost it.”
Yet, the El Tribe members’ walking pace became gradually faster. They were all walking towards the same location. What seemed like a small commotion at first became a single stream, and then soon, a tidal wave.
The El Tribe members no longer walked. They all ran. The earthlings were taken aback.
“What? What’s happening?”
The El Tribe members gathered in a large, round circle at the location. To the earthlings, this place was a wilderness which looked no different from the other places, but the El Tribe members seemed to have felt something as they placed their lips on the ground and began to cry.
“… It seems we came to the right place.”
Diana said as she thoroughly wiped off the monster blood smeared on her sword.
“It seems so. What will they do now?”
Richard seemed slightly tense. He had recovered the sanctum after believing in the great elder’s ‘intuition’, however, it was still unclear just how this would help in the war. He crossed his arms as he looked at the great elders and great warriors from each tree discussing this.
Unable to hide their yearning and compassion, the great elders and great warriors were the first to arrive, but they were currently hesitant for some reason.
“… Wasn’t it set that we should only lift this restriction once we obtained Dragonic’s safety?”
“Great Elder of the Lassel Tree, didn’t we already discuss this?”
“But… Don’t you feel it too? This is an inheritance we cannot afford to lose.”
“I know. I’m scared and my heart is in pain, but we can’t forget that it was due to the earthlings that we were able to step forth into the sanctum.”
The most elderly great elders were more likely to be hesitant, while the younger great warriors urged for the fulfillment of their promise.
“We already rose up. There’s no place to retreat to anymore. This could be our first and last chance. We need to awaken the sanctum.”
The El Tribe members instinctively hesitated but, in the end, accepted that this was the only way.
“Your words are right…”
The hesitant El Tribe members shut their eyes.
“We can’t fight if we are afraid of losing it.”
When they opened their eyes again, they looked more determined. They piled their hands together.
Someone began to sing a strange song.
Then all the other El Tribe members began to sing along as well.
“Even if you lose everything.”
“As it is the fate of those who live.”
“Don’t look back when you fight.”
“Since it will only result in, at best, you joining those who died first.”
“Or brightly opening the future, which was only but a string.”
“Don’t be afraid to lose everything.”
This song was originally sung to celebrate the El Tribes’ sacrificial rite, the harmony ritual. The ‘those who died first’ referred to the warriors who had died in the previous harmony rituals as well as those in the past who couldn’t enter the inverted trees during the extinction.
It was a very old song, but all the warriors of the El Tribes had killed their own in order to survive. They sympathized with the song more than anyone else.
They would fight when necessary. This was to respect those who died before them.
A bright light shone from their gathering of hands.
A change began to occur in the sanctum.
The ground shook as though there was an earthquake. Enormous trees rose from the ground, surrounding the earthlings and El Tribe members gathered there. They were the inverted trees of the El Tribes.
A tree with red leaves, a tree with green leaves, and all sorts of trees rose up from the ground. Among them, there were even a few the earthlings were familiar with.
“Huh? Isn’t that the tree that rose up near Overseer Camilla’s territory? Isn’t that the tree near Barhaloleun?”
Not only their branches and appearance, but even the shape and color of their leaves were distinct, making each tree identifiable.
“All the trees moved here! All the inverted trees in the world gathered in one place!”
A quick-witted person shouted in excitement.
It was as he said.
The ground shook crazily, and an endless number of trees rose up from afar, covering the horizon. As all the ‘inverted trees’ in the entire world gathered, the horizon was covered from all angles. The earthlings and El Tribe members were surrounded by an enormous fortress of trees.
Amongst the risen trees, the tribes, who had been unable to bring out their armies due to being located amidst the monsters, leaped out, their hearts being moved.
The El Tribes leaped out, and the trees rose up. Those that rose up spread their branches and roots further out. The trees tangled together and became one. More leaves grew out from each branch. The appearances of these inverted trees changed.
The earthlings fell into a trance at this great transformation.
“Those are… Dragons…”
Like the words someone had foolishly muttered, the curving branches and sprouting leaves looked like the appearance of a dragon from afar. The dragons tangled together and formed enormous trees, and these trees combined to form a gigantic fortress. The leaves shined like dragon scales above the fortress.
“Oh my god…”
Richard had uncrossed his arms at some point. Looking left and right, his expression showed he couldn’t believe his eyes.
“This is… a fortress blessed by nature.”
Filled with wonder, the Queen of England Diana didn’t know what to do.
The fortress, created through the gathering of all the inverted trees in the world, encompassed enough land that tens of millions of people could enter within. A warrior from Seoul looked at the land and the surrounding trees and recalled Seoul, which was surrounded by mountains. This was much larger and grander than that.
The continuous noise died down. However, the El Tribe members had yet to untangle their clasped hands.
A momentary silence.
Thin roots sprouted from the middle of the gathered El Tribe members, breaking the silence. The roots tangled together and created a large nest, and seven enormous eggs shot up from the nest.
Richard couldn’t take his eyes of the eggs, which housed immense karma, for some reason.
The eggs shook.
Shake, shake, crack!
Each of the shaking eggs began to crack.
A small baby dragon stretched its head out of the shell of a broken egg.
The El Tribe members bowed their heads in front of the dragon.
During this time, the tree roots continuously grew slowly to create large buildings and towers.
Karma, filled with delight and vitality, filled the fortress and spread out endlessly. This power, which was spreading like a wave, could probably be felt from the other side of Dragonic.
The seven small newly born dragons cried excitedly.
The great elders from each tribe came out and carefully held the dragons, which were tilting their heads.
“Dragons… The pact we must uphold.”
They alternated between being deeply moved and solemnity.
“Euheuheuk! Nice to meet you.”
“For this day to come… Heuheuheu…”
“Ah… Dragons. Yeah, I heard of them. Noble existences. Existences we need to protect…”
The El Tribe members, who had finally reunited after an extremely long time, hugged each other and cried. They worshiped the birth of the dragons together.
“Although I don’t know what’s what… I’m elated.”
Diana didn’t hide her smile.
“It definitely… seems like it went well.”
Richard smiled with a relieved expression.
The two smiled as they walked towards the baby dragons. However, before they could even take a few steps, they flinched in shock and stopped in their tracks.
Everyone shivered. There was an obvious foreboding.
A terrifying and heavy karma suddenly appeared, suppressing the karma of life that had just stretched out.
Its power pressed down on the fortress of trees as though it was saying ‘Who dares raise their head in my presence?’ A terrifying energy that no one had experienced before.
“A high-ranked monster…”
Someone mumbled, his jaw trembling.
“Although it had been lost, we recalled everything the moment we entered the sanctum.”
The El Tribes explained it like this.
Like how one could infer from the name Dragonic, dragons undoubtedly used to inhabit this planet. Also, the El Tribes were the friends as well as the followers of the dragons.
During the extinction, the monsters obstinately focused on the dragons, and the dragons, fearful that their generation would come to an end, sealed their eggs and hid them in a special location. That place was the sanctum. They had chosen the El Tribes to undo the seal of the sanctum and take care of the dragons which would be born from it.
As compensation, the dragons provided the El Tribes with safe havens. They created the ‘inverted trees’ with dragon corpses and with the sacrifices of living dragons. The dragons had hoped for a regeneration in the far future as they gave up their own lives with this place, the ‘Dragon Nest’, as their focus.
“Because of this, this place is filled with the inheritance of the dragons. Forgotten knowledge, forgotten technology… With this place, not only the El Tribes, but even the earthlings can change greatly.”
The great elders of the El Tribes said this unanimously.
However, Richard added with a solemn face,
“If we protect it… you mean.”
At his words, the El Tribe members slumped their heads.
The high-ranked monster was approaching the ‘Dragon Nest’.
It was time to make a decision. Would they defend the Dragon Nest or leave it behind?
“… To be honest, we would like to defend this place. However… we will follow the earthlings’ decision.”
While saying this, the El Tribe members tightly hugged the baby dragons. If they wanted to properly take care of and teach the baby dragons, they needed the sanctum, but the baby dragons’ lives came first. They weren’t in a situation where they could diverge from the earthlings’ plans.
“Though it’s regretful, we have to leave. We are outside our line of defense. If we slip up, we might be isolated here, unable to move. Even if we consider the fact that we have a fortress which contains traces of the dragons of the past’s power… We can’t block the high-ranked monster’s path with just our strength.”
Diana’s words were reasonable.
Richard was lost in thought. If he considered which was safer, it would be to retreat. They would be able to buy more time and preserve their key forces. Only, that method wouldn’t keep them safe until the very end. They wouldn’t be able to evade the high-ranked monster forever. The longer strong warriors like Richard and Diana avoided fighting it, the more warriors would be sacrificed and the front lines would be a mess. It would be like building a castle in the air.
Not only that, but Richard was concerned about the inheritance left behind by the dragons of the past. The basic knowledge and technology necessary for humanity’s prosperity could be found in the dragons’ inheritance. However, if he chose to fight the high-ranked monster, there was a chance that their key forces, which came to recover the sanctum, and all the El Tribes, as well as himself, would die.
They were both choices he didn’t want to make, but he had to.
Would he choose momentary safety or take a risk?
At the last moment, Richard called for Leah.
“Leah, give me a mirror.”
Everyone’s eyes widened at his unexpected request, but his aide, Leah, calmly took out a hand mirror. Richard motionless looked at his face reflected in the mirror. He closely examined each detail, from his platinum hair to the wound given by Choi Hyuk.
Then he grinned.
Diana showed a strong reaction.
“The authority to command currently lies with me, correct? Please follow me. In return, I will stand at the forefront.”
This was Richard’s decision.