༺ Pursuit (3) ༻
The catastrophe began with a quake that shook the world’s core.
Rather than calling it a quake, it would be correct to describe that phenomenon as if the entire world resonated. The moment that upheaval occurred, everyone in the forest, who had been busy battling against each other until then, froze on their spot.
It was natural. No one was foolish enough to dismiss the quake that resounded in this place as mere tremors of the ground.
The quake echoed.
The wind ceased to blow.
The forest was engulfed in silence.
Vera suddenly stood there, speechless. His whole body froze at those quakes.
He had never felt such overwhelming pressure in his entire life, be it in his past one or his present. Just at the moment when a sense of haziness began to devour Vera’s entire being, a phenomenon occurred.
A much louder quake echoed this time.
Soon after, the scene that followed was a sight that captivated everyone in the forest, including Vera, and evoked a sense of threat into their very being.
Far away, at the end of Vera’s gaze.
It’s waking up.
A large mountain range located at the end of the forest, where the battle was taking place in full swing, was waking up. It wasn’t a metaphor. The mountain range itself began to rise.
The Mountain rose and quaked.
Gradually, the mountain range took the shape of a human being. Its size grew as high as the sky. It would be correct to refer to it as a ‘Colossus’.
When the colossus rose completely, its body obscured the moonlight that had previously illuminated the world in its gentle brilliance.
Vera’s vision darkened under the Colossus’ enormous shadow. It was so gigantic that its presence made it somewhat hard to judge the distance between them.
Barely waking up from his thoughts due to the catastrophe that unraveled in front of his eyes, a string of questions flashed through Vera’s mind.
What’s that colossal mountain?
What am I even supposed to call that?
As he continued his trail of thoughts in a daze, an existence that he could only refer to as ‘that’ crossed Vera’s mind.
…No, he was sure of it. Otherwise, nothing in this world could explain that existence.
Terdan, the colossus who can even push the mountains.
One of the nine ancient species that the gods first created after building these lands.
The colossus, which had not been seen for centuries, has now begun to be dismissed as a mere myth.
That alone could explain its existence.
The next question that came to his mind was.
Why is it here now? Why did it come out of that mountain range?
Vera, who was still filled with questions, recalled back to what had happened before that colossus arose.
His gaze naturally turned to Renee.
Despite being passed out, the power emanating from her had the last ounce of her divinity mixed into it.
❰Lord’s Power❱. It was an aberration that had started when Renee began to manifest it.
Fragments started to intertwine in his head. The phenomenon quickly began to gather pieces from events and weave them together into causality.
‘❰Lord’s Power❱ is the power to weave fate.’
The power that dwells in the realm of absurdity. The power that manifests the future, even if its possibility is infinitely tending to zero. The power to turn a hunter into the Sovereign of the Empire.
‘If it’s that power… .’
Then it was the only possible explanation for this phenomenon.
Again, Vera’s gaze turned to Terdan, the Colossus standing blankly.
‘The reason why it hasn’t appeared for hundreds of years… .’
Is it because it was sleeping under the mountain range?
That was a very reasonable guess. Who would have thought that the mountain range itself was created from the ground covered in layers of soil where Terdan was lying?
In fact, Terdan’s awakening at this moment must have happened because the ❰Lord’s Power❱ triggered the possibility of ‘Terdan’s Awakening.’
Vera, who had inferred up to that point, trembled at the thought that occurred to him and turned his gaze towards Renee.
Renee’s body would not have been able to withstand it if it had manifested a power large enough to wake up such a thing.
The moment Vera puts his hand on Renee’s forehead with that thought.
What followed was a bombardment that would rightly be called a disaster.
Terdan leaned down and plucked up a lump of land, pulled his hand behind him, and threw the lump of debris he was holding forward.
At first glance, it was an act that seemed ridiculous.
However, the result of that act was not hilarious at all.
The lump of land that Terdan threw became a meteor shower and gave birth to a thunderous noise upon its impact on the ground.
The wyverns that used to fly in the air exploded. Followers of the Night who hid in the shadows burst out. The forest was being swept away in that upheaval.
Vera took a deep breath with his eyes so wide open, as if they were about to be torn apart by the ensuing sight. He then got up while clenching his teeth tightly.
This wasn’t the time to be so dazed.
While holding Renee tightly in his arms, Vera continued his trail of thoughts while avoiding the flying debris.
It is the result of power.
In other words, Terdan would be the key to buying time for themselves to get to the border. Amidst such chaos, the pursuers would not be able to chase them, so they had to run away at this time.
‘I must not fight with Terdan.’
They are the first creatures created by the gods and have existed since the creation of the world.
The First Dragon, Locrion. The Queen of the Dark Season, Nertania.
Living disasters that shake the continent with just one mere gesture of theirs.
That’s what those ancient species are capable of.
Vera erased all thoughts and filled his mind with only one thought.
I need to protect Renee.
From the rage of that ancient species, from the midst of bewildering pursuers, and from this calamity.
I have to protect Renee and arrive safely in the Holy kingdom.
The feeling of shame due to running away from the enemy had to be gotten rid of.
For the Vera of today, such shallow self-esteem was not important.
‘We need to look at the condition of the Saint.’
He had to get out of here quickly and check Renee’s condition. If she uses a power like this, there will most likely be a recoil.
Divinity and power were not forces that came without a price.
It was an ability that was close to a transaction, lending power just as much as the price that was offered.
It is impossible for her to be in a normal state because she has used power in a state where she had no knowledge regarding the proper use of divinity. It was used with the sole thought of escaping.
Vera hastened his steps.
Unknowingly, the impatient mind led to the manifestation of his own power.
The ashen divinity flashed through his mind. The range is 1M in radius from Vera.
“As of this time, any militant action within the Sanctuary is prohibited. Accordingly, those who obey the rules gain speed equal to their combat capabilities, and if they do not follow these rules, they lose their ability to walk.”
A rule for the sole purpose of escaping. A law that only had the thought of taking Renee to the Holy Kingdom as fast as possible. Having done that, Vera bit his lips, giving the Sanctuary a compulsion.
“All these laws are enforced under the name of Lushan.”
A golden rule burned over the ashen divinity which hovered around Vera.
Vera felt his body become lighter as the laws were enforced. He then took another deep breath while he stepped forward.
Behind his back, a scene worthy of being called a disaster was still pursuing him.
His breath goes ragged.
The muscles of his body scream.
Vera doesn’t know for how many hours he had been running nonstop to avoid the flying chunks of debris.
Again, a large boulder landed on the ground behind Vera.
Vera, who felt his balance collapsing due to the intense tremor, clenched his teeth and straightened his body.
His gaze turned back to Terdan, who was slowly following behind him.
He felt like his eardrums were about to burst at the sound of its roars. Because its body was so colossal, the whole place quaked just by its cries.
“You annoying bastard…!”
Terdan was chasing after Vera, ignoring all the pursuers fleeing in all directions.
The only possible reason is.
‘Is it due to the saint?’
He must be furious at the object that woke him up.
The sound of Vera clenching his teeth resounded.
Vera took another deep breath. He then gathered all his strength within his legs and slammed the ground, hard.
The earthquake ensued.
At the border of Elia.
Vargo stood with his staff and gazed at the colossus approaching from afar.
A colossal body that pierces the sky. The weight that makes the entire world quake with every step it takes. A roar that burns the eardrums.
It was Terdan, the colossus who could even push the mountains.
Vargo, realizing what it was, frowned and clicked his tongue.
I want to know what the hell he was doing.
Vera’s face flashed into Vargo’s mind.
Judging from the strange appearance he had seen before departure, and the request for support that was delivered recently, it must have been something related to the Saint.
As such, he placed his hand on his chin and heaved a deep sigh. He then continued his trail of thoughts while stroking his chin.
How should I deal with it?
How do I send that thing back?
While Vargo was thinking about such worries.
“Your Holiness! Incoming!”
The lieutenant’s voice reached Vargo’s ears.
Upon hearing, Vargo’s gaze went from Terdan to far below, amidst the bushes.
Coming out of the bushes were Vera holding a little girl and Norn running after them. He was gasping for breath, as if he was about to die.
The speed of their approach was fast. Even as Vargo looked at Vera and bit his lips, the distance between them gradually shortened.
Immediately after, Vera, who had completely escaped from the bushes, took a big leap and crossed the obstacle. A ‘thud’ resounded when he landed on the floor.
Vera’s figure, riddled with scars, came to a halt. His expression turned to astonishment when he raised his head and discovered Vargo.
“Your Holiness? Why are you….”
Words brimming with doubts. Vargo replied by clicking his tongue.
“You asked for help, didn’t you? So why would you think I would sit still? Anyway, what the hell did you do to make such a mess?”
“… I apologize.”
Having said that, Vargo looked at Vera as if he was pathetic, and then his whole body came to a standstill on its own when he found Renee’s figure passed out in Vera’s arms.
She was a pure white girl with absolutely no blemishes.
On top of that.
‘… She’s young.’
She was too young to be granted the power of the Lord and to perform miracles on this land.
“Is she the Saint?”
What the hell were those gods thinking when they gave this power to such a young girl?
Vargo, who was thinking about it, then looked up at Terdan upon noticing that the ground constantly quaked.
The scene of throwing a lump of ground all over the place was annoying to him.
‘Before I further think about this….’
I need to get rid of that crazy bastard.
“… Yes, you have suffered for a while. Now stand back.”
“Didn’t I tell you to stand back?”
Stomp. Stomp. Vargo took a step forward.
Vera threw away the cane he had been holding since yesterday then looked up at Vargo as he stepped forward. He had some questions.
What is he trying to do? Why is he approaching that colossus when we should be running away?
While Vera’s head was filled with such thoughts.
Divinity erupted from Vargo’s body.
Vera’s body reacted to the bursting divinity. A divinity that was crimson red as if it was the blood itself.
That divinity engulfed the entire space.
It was then that Vera realized what Vargo was trying to do now.
He’s trying to fight the colossus.
Now Vargo was about to fight the colossus.
“Anyway, there’s no one who can do a single thing right.”
Vargo grumbled. However, even that voice contained a sense of intimidation as it engulfed the space.
“All of them are like this… Retirement seems far away.”
Vargo reached out his hand to the crimson divinity. As his hand stretched out and grasped it, the divinity that had spread in the air was sucked into Vargo’s hand and turned into a mace.
It was a mace, with an ominous feeling that constantly stimulates one’s survival instincts.
Vargo grabbed the mace with both hands. His muscles inflated. He stepped on the ground and twisted his back.
The completed posture dictated that he would swing the mace. That was clear enough for anyone who was watching.
Again, a question crept into Vera’s mind.
‘At this distance?’
What the hell is he going to do with that blunt weapon?
While Vera was staring blankly at Vargo with such a thought, Vargo unleashed all the divinity inside his whole body and prepared a blow.
The thing he wants to hit is Terdan, who can be seen in the distance.
Distance doesn’t matter.
All I need to do is crush its core.
Upon awakening that ominous power, Terdan’s figure was reflected in Vargo’s eyes.
The depth of the karma it had built up since the creation of the world was incomparable to that of a human being.
A smile formed on Vargo’s lips.
“It’s nice to have a lot of places to hit him.”
After he finished saying those words, what followed was a rapid throw at a speed that could not be followed by the eye.
A single swing. Then, a roar that generated repeated ringing sounds in everyone’s ears resounded through the space.
Everything between Vargo and Terdan vanished in the wake of the the divinity shooting out of the realm. The land, the vegetation, the pursuers who had been running away, and even the clouds that obscured the moon in the sky.
As if they never existed in the first place, everything in the path was obliterated.
The divinity that was shot reached Terdan. Terdan’s body and the ensuing divinity collided with each other. The colossus began falling backwards.
Vera looked at him and breathed in vain with his eyes so wide open, as if they were about to be torn apart.
Vera spat out swear words at the unfolding scene as he blankly kept staring at it.
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