Continued: Roaring World
A plain of white.
This used to be the bottom of a sea. Supposedly, three hundred years ago, a large-scale seismic activity pushed up the sea floor and gave birth to new land.
The white sand was from crushed coral.
—-In the night sky, lightning swirled overhead.
Thick, dark clouds covered the sky like a lid. Within that blanket were raging lightning and rumbling thunder.
It was as if the sky itself was roaring.
The buildup of electricity gave the sign that lightning could strike down at any moment.
Under this chaotic sky, the flashes of lightning illuminated the figure of a certain person……
“Is this where I can find the gate to Heaven?”
A person wearing light armor.
Judging on height, it was a young man around fifteen.
His deep green hair reached to his brows. His eyes carried a splash of red.
His face was unusually androgynous. Depending on the angle, he could appear either pitiful or indominable.
His voice sounded prepubescent, beautiful like the voice of a choir boy.
Was he a young man? Or was he actually a young girl?
No definitive answers could be found even with close observation. This young warrior was truly mysterious.
One thing was certain, he was not human.
His skin was tan like a dark elf. He also had a pair of pointed ears.
His upper arms were not covered by armor, but a thin layer covered his skin like scales. The most obvious trait was his huge tail which protruded out of his rear.
His looks alone would remind anyone of a Dragon. However, he was covered by an evil miasma from head to toe, something emitted only by the high-ranking Demons.
A high-ranking Demon unlike any other.
He came to the Trial Gate which connected Heaven with Earth.
“Angels, no need to be so tense. I’m not here to destroy the gate, nor do I wish to invade Heaven. The Demon King gave no such orders.”
To the lightning flashing above.
This high-ranking Demon said in a low voice.
“However, if you wish to challenge me, I will not decline. But do you have the means to do so? How many in Heaven can stop me? The Tyrant Angel Fear is not here, are you going to dispatch the Seven Archangels? Or will you face me yourself, Goddess Resflaze? I do want to take you on.”
The tanned Demon gave a warmongering grin.
The thunder above did not change. He stared up for a moment—-
“Pretending to not hear me? Oh well, I’m not looking for you anyway.”
He looked at the ground again, not expecting any change.
The wide, empty space.
In the middle stood three huge holy towers, and in the center of them was a mysterious but majestic pillar of light rising to the sky.
That was the Trial Gate.
The gate to Heaven.
Such things could be found at locations all over the five continents. While it was currently visible to the naked eye, it will be hidden as soon as an Angel felt like it. In the current era when people scrambled for Encore, many parties wandered all over the world to look for such devices.
But this Demon, in front of the Trial Gate, said:
“Same as ever, there should be a limit to how overboard this is. You wanna learn from the Gate of Underworld?”
He grinned helplessly and passed by the holy towers without hesitation.
He was unimpressed.
The Trial Gate of Heaven was now far behind him.
The tanned Demon suddenly came to a stop and scanned his surroundings.
White ground underneath his feet, thunder and lightning above his head, everything was unchanged from before. And yet this high-ranking Demon kept on checking the surroundings as if searching for something.
“My subordinates were attacked… not by a human, or Angel, nor Dragon. Could it be ‘that’? Damn you, Demon General of Blaze. You do like to joke around, but this time it’s too despicable.”
Seconds became minutes. About fifteen minutes later.
“…… I’m wasting time.”
The Demon uncrossed his arms and sighed.
“An assailant of unknown origins. It took out all of my subordinates who were keeping watch on Earth. When it comes to an opponent as exciting as this, I’d want to have a fight no matter what. But it seems the attacker has already left…”
Before he could finish.
The sound of broken glass came forth.
The empty space began to crack ever so slightly.
At first, it was only a line.
That line gradually branched out until the cracks formed a web.
“The space is breaking? This is-!”
The space broke into pieces that shot off everywhere.
From this “wound of the world” came a shining being, mysterious but sublime.
The shining being had the shape of a person, but it was so big the Demon had to look up.
“…… A Spirit?”
As he muttered those words, the air violently burst.
There was the sound of an explosion accompanied by flashes of light.
This unexpected explosion brought about intense heat and shockwaves. The high-ranking Demon was caught completely off guard and got blown far away.
He couldn’t even make a proper sound.
His light armor was broken. Unable to defend himself, he was smashed into, and totally obliterated, a rock wall.
A normal Demon wouldn’t be able to stand after this. No, not even a high-ranking Demon could.
That was one powerful and merciless attack.
The mysterious being continued to glow.
After confirming its victory, it started to turn around slowly.
A couple seconds before it could do so.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
The cloud of dust behind the glowing being had dispersed.
“My name is Mia. I was appointed one of the Five Great Disasters by the Demon King—-“
The tanned Demon appeared from the dust cloud.
His armor had been broken to pieces, exposing his body which was surprisingly slim.
He was covered with severe burns and lacerations.
Purple blood flowed ceaselessly from his wounds.
However, the tanned Demon showed no expressions of agony. Quite the contrary, he was smiling slightly.
“Nice ability. No intent, no movement. Undetectable even during its activation. The last time I witnessed such silent attack was probably from the Demon General of Ice.”
He wiped away the blood on his neck with his fingers.
With his tanned body exposed, he only said:
“However, I’ve learned it.”
As if responding to his words.
Mia’s wounds began to heal rapidly.
His slim, androgynous body healed from the inside out. His torn muscles repaired themselves with alarming speed.
They healed stronger than before. The more damage he receives, the sturdier his body becomes.
A monster under constant evolution.
He was a mix between a Demon and a Dragon, the one and only member of his kind.
He had no gender.
An existence unheard of even in the worlds of Demons and Dragons.
“How could things just end this way?”
The Demon tightened his fists.
His body emitted an invisible “wave” which shook the atmosphere.
The glowing entity remained unchanged.
It showed neither fear nor caution. Even if it realized its attack had no effect, it didn’t appear to be fazed at all.
“You really shouldn’t be like this. Or else I came all the way to Earth for nothing.”
The highest-ranked Demon from legends.
Versus an unknown glowing entity.
Both sides had absolute confidence in their abilities.
“Here I come.”
The ground was shaking.
High-level existences which surpassed human comprehension began their battle—-
Holy Land Canaan—-
In the Room of Prayers.
The stained-glass windows and brass candlesticks made the room exceptionally pretty.
“(SYLPH)Ancestral Spirit of Wind, are you afraid?”
The invisible Spirit got close to her as the young girl in golden robes spoke.
A Spirit which controlled the wind.
The wind surrounding it was trembling.
“The location of the battle is north of Yumeru continent. Are they for real? That’s where the Trail Gate of Heaven is!”
The girl exclaimed in shock.
The location of that gate should only be known by first-rate parties.
Angels were usually merciful, but they were the complete opposite toward their enemies. If someone were to make a scene outside the Trial Gate of Heaven, they would most certainly receive the hammer of judgement.
Two terrifying existences made the Angels take caution despite their anger. And the spark of battle had burst into flames in an instant.
“Two unusual presences. One is a Demon. This power is one of the Five Great Disasters? First it was the Demon General of Blaze, and now the Demon General of Wave had appeared on Earth…?”
The five highest-ranked Demons of Underworld.
They were all Demons of legends. Supposedly, before the former Demon King—Demon Imperial Princess Eliselis Di Mariablaze—was crowned, she and the Five Great Disasters engaged in a battle royale. After being defeated, they all swore loyalty to Elise.
The problem, however, was this entity of unknown origins.
It was able to wage such an intense battle with one of the Disasters.
Elies realized that, the instant the “entity” appeared, all the voices of Spirits—including the voice of (SYLPH)Ancestral Spirit of Wind—stopped immediately.
As if all of them were utterly terrified.
“Two great powers. What is this? No, a Great Disaster is being pushed back…?”
Elies can’t exactly see how the battle was progressing.
The Spirit was weakly whispering a few words, adding some details, and Elies could barely manage to comprehend what was going on.
But this method was extremely limited.
She was silent for a few seconds.
Elies made her decision. She took out a golden bell from her robe and shook it.
A crisp and clear ringing.
The delicate sound echoed throughout the grand temple hall. Only a few seconds later, the doors of the temple opened without a sound, and three women wearing purple robes made their appearance.
“What are your orders?”
The three were ready to fulfill their duties.
All three were women belonging to the highest echelons in Sacred Vessel of Canaan Pilgrimage. The trio consisted of a (SPIRIT)Spiriter, a (ARIA)Caster, and a (HEALER)Curer; their skills in their respective classes had all been trained to the highest level.
“As I said before, it looks like Shion’s predictions are on the mark.”
“—-The things Sword Saint-sama said?”
One of the trio asked while the other two remained silent.
They showed no intention of taking any action.
No matter what happens, they would never lose their composure. It was partially due to them receiving the proper training, but it also had a lot to do with the fact that they couldn’t join this great party in the first place if they couldn’t manage that much.
“What should we do? Should we ask Sword Saint Shion-sama to come back?”
“That won’t work. Chasing after him will be in vain. He has long left the holy land. He said he wanted to go somewhere, and if he doesn’t go gather information, it’ll be troublesome for us too.”
Elies looked at the three kneeling on one knee and shook her head.
……Only Shion and I knew the most about this incident.
……As for others who could have also noticed.
……(ELMEKIA DUSK)Royal 72 Order of the Special Knight Squad, and the few other top-ranked parties.
Especially Knight King Zelblight.
He and Sword Saint Shion were considered to be the most powerful swordsmen in the world. Over the years, that man had always made Supreme Metropolitan Elmekia his stronghold and rarely ventured out in person. But Elies knew that every move he made was meticulously planned.
Hard and soft.
Boasting extreme martial abilities, the Knight King was also a sage. It would be impossible for him not to notice this abnormality in the world.
……But he hasn’t made a move from the Supreme Metropolitan.
……From the looks of it, (ELMEKIA DUSK)Royal 72 Order of the Special Knight Squad is still gathering intel.
It was comparable to Sacred Vessel of Canaan Pilgrimage checking up on the Spirits around the world.
Eliese noticed too, for some purpose, Knight King Zelblight had sent out his men.
The people on top of the list were sent outside Elemekia.
From what Elies knew, such orders would be considered an exception.
And the men were probably after the Trial Gate of Haven.
(ELMEKIA DUSK)Royal 72 Order of the Special Knight Squad were acting for their own purposes just as Sword Saint Shion went to Valley of the Dragon.
……Knight King Zelblight.
……Could it be that you too are pondering about the current state of the world?
Currently, humans were gradually beginning to detect the abnormalities in the world.
Regarding the abnormalities, however, they did not know what to do.
“Elies-sama, what action would you take?”
“I will personally set out.”
Holy Elies—the Holy Maiden of Holy Land Canaan, the only Ancient Summoner of the modern era. She stylishly brushed her priest robes.
“Nebilim, gather all party members in Holy Land and notify those who are away to return.”
“As you wish.”
The three belonging to the highest echelons.
The female spellcaster in the center bowed her head deeply.
“I already got some lead on what’s making the Spirits cower in fear. Shion is on the move too. From this moment on, we much be prepared for danger as we dig out the truth of the Apocalyptic War.”
A great war which was blank.
Brave Hero Eleline, leading the Legendary Three Great Princesses.
During that time period three hundred years ago, exactly what happened?
That blank in history was all recorded in Encore. Regarding Sword Saint Shion’s prediction, Elies had no objections.
“The scramble for Encore, my party has finally joined the fray.”
“Right. In the meanwhile, I want to confirm something… If that report is accurate…”
The Holy Maiden of Holy Land Canaan.
More importantly, as the world’s only Ancient Summoner, there was one thing she must confirm.
“There is a youth who could command (SALAMANDER)Ancestral Spirit of Fire. Have you heard about this?”
“From Thyrus’s report? Party name ‘Knight of Reincarnation’, a new party formed by four members after they defeated on of the Five Great Disasters. I hear a young man by the name of Ren summoned a Spirit. I’m having a hard time believing it but, in the report it says he can even hear the voice of (GNOME)Ancestral Spirit of Earth.”
That was not all.
It was said that this youth and Brave Hero Eleline came out of the same mold.
The report also had follow-up, saying that the three girls who traveled with him were also unusual presences. Their ground might as well be considered the reincarnation of Eleline’s party. If it all were just a coincidence, it would be an absurd one.
“What’s the current location of this party?”
“Unknown. Thyrus said they passed the subterranean temple and were headed north. There are no other reports.”
“Isn’t Re Inferiel in that direction?”
Valley of the Dragon
……Sword Saint Shion went to that sanctuary not too long ago.
……Now the boy who could call the Spirits.
……Could this… Really be a coincidence?
The Great Scramble for Encore.
The mysterious Knight of Reincarnation suddenly joined from nowhere. The reports told of a boy who looked exactly like the Brave Hero and could summon Spirits.
And the Sword Saint Shion made predictions that sounded like prophecies, telling this world’s abnormalities.
On top of that there was the entity which frightened the Spirits.
There were still too much the young maiden didn’t know. But she had a strong feeling that one day the pieces will all come together.
……Which is why I must confirm it. I must confirm the truth of the world.
……I must do so myself.
“(SYLPH)Ancestral Spirit of Wind, (UNDINE)Ancestral Spirit of Water, please lend me your power.”
The wind stirred.
Blue waters seeped out next to Elies’s feet.
As she felt the noble presences of the Spirits—
“I will clarify everything, whether it be the true identity of ‘Knight of Reincarnation’ or the cause of the Spirits’ dread, I shall not overlook anything.”
The Holy Maiden declared, her voice was fierce and awe-inspiring.