The rain falling down seems like a beating of drums. It hails and it pours, heavily and crushingly.
Coldness fills the Plains. The sky is dark and gloomy. Thunders break out in the sky and lightning illuminated the world.
But the battle goes on. The Eastern Plains is now battling the forces of Eden. And a woman is at the helm of this war.
Inside the war tent, a long black haired woman is intently looking at the maps on the table of the war room.
The maps showed many strategic locations and fortification.
Outside the tent one could hear the neighing of horses and builders clanking their hammers creating war structure interlapping with the sound of the rain pouring
Even when they are resting after the previous battle, the whole camp is working hard. The forces of Eden are coming fast and hard.
And with the suddenly changing weather in the Plains, many modifications to the war plan needs to be addressed.
The table was round and the woman is scratching her chins as she looks at the maps and sighed.
The woman is stunningly beautiful and possesses that Eastern European look.
On her left hips is a shining bronze sword that seems to emit a powerful pressure. Behind her back is a shining round metallic silver shield because the composition of the metal.
Her arm band and breastplate is also metallic silver that seems to be able to deflect any attack.
She wears a black bustier and her boots are blackish red of metal with bronze knee guards and accents.
She was muscly but not in a bulky way. She looked like an androgynous sculpture that Michelangelo sculpted.
Her attire looks like modern meets ancient.
She heaved a sigh.
‘What should I do? Should I stop this?’ And she closes her eyes hoping it would spark some revelations in her minds.
‘Isn’t this enough?’ She wanted to say to herself.
Outside, hard rain keep pouring down turning the previously hard solid ground muddy and hard to travel
She agree to this plan because at the time she had faith that the World government will be able to force Lord Shadow hand.
But now she is not so sure.
In the morning she received a report from her scout in the Island of Creion that Lord Shadow has attacked the World Government.
Per the agreement she knows that as long as Lord Shadow didn’t take action personally the World Government will not use all of their resources to contend with Lord Shadow.
That was the agreement between the Quorum and Lord Shadow. Everyone who is influential enough knows this and it is also the reason why they dare mess around his borders.
Lord Shadow has become more than just a threat for the existing power. He becomes a threat to everyone.
Did Lord Shadow have declared his intention to fight with the whole world? And is that a good thing?
Now, dawn has already long broken. It’s morning. The sun should be rising but black ashes covered the sky and rains pouring down mercilessly.
Thunder breaks the morning sky and lightning covered the entire Plains with no sign of stopping.
She could feel the malevolent energy in the clouds. She could feel when the shockwaves circle the world.
She is an Energy Disperse Stage user. She could feel it unlike the other Low Levelers. The more she leveled up the more she understands the disparity of power of each realm.
And she knows.
Somewhere around the Earth someone is fighting.
And whoever this is, he is strong enough to create a shockwave that circles the world countless times creating this weird weather phenomenon all over the world.
And she only knows one person in the world right now that could produce such energy. Lord Shadow.
A war is being fought in the Vast Sea right now. Thus, the dilemma in her heart. Should she stop here and decide?
She was about to summon her courage when suddenly someone roughly opens the curtains of the war tent and come inside.
The woman was wet from the rain as water drips down from her silver cape.
‘Freya!’ the woman was startled as she almost shouted at Freya.
‘Athena, this is bad’ she said almost immediately.
Behind Freya her Shied Maiden’s follows her inside all covered in blood and wounds. Holes filled their armors and their shields were cracked and broken.
‘What happens? Why aren’t they in the infirmary?’
‘The other is in there. These are the few that could still fight’ Freya said as she down a potion she grabbed from her storage bag.
Freya was beautiful and like Athena possesses certain muscle on her physique. Her body is also developed.
She has a bright pale face and of perfect complexion, her eyes are cold as the winter and her face usually shows no expression at all.
But not today. Today, her face is full of frustration.
Freya after consuming the potion seems a bit more relaxed as she put down her wing shaped helmet on the table.
‘Where are Hugin and Munin?’ Athena immediately asks as she didn’t see the two ravens on the shoulders of Freya.
’Surveying’ she said.
‘We should have gone to Ice Region back then.’ Freya suddenly sighed with a sigh
‘And contend with Katarina and her posse? No, thank you’ Athena replied. But she also didn’t like the current situation
Freya and Athena territory covered one third of the Eastern Plains and that was a large area and they were Queens
They ruled unchallenged in the Eastern Plain. They did not go out finding enemies to fight. They do not mess with the Western Plains which is the territory of the Seven Fairy of The plains.
There was peace.
The Plains was peaceful.
Unlike the Flame Region which houses many warlords or the harsh conditions of the Ice Region and the inhospitable region of the Desert.
The people of the Plains were not restrained like the Forest Region.
But after the appearance of Lord Shadow and his emergence in the Central plains, all the warlord residing in the Plains region were jolted awake from their idleness.
Before, Freya and Athena ruled the Eastern Plain and the other two thirds of the Eastern Plain were ruled by the World Government and their forces.
There was an agreement with them
The relationship between the world government and the Eastern Plain were amiable and they both depend on each other in many occasions.
So, when the World Government promises resources and manpower in exchange for messing Lord Shadow borders, they agreed almost immediately.
The Eastern Plain was not preparing for war. They never go too far.
They were sabotaging. And until this morning, in the border they were a balance. Both sides don’t want to turns this matter into a full blown out war.
Both sides seems to have a hint what is happening.
But something happened between dawn and before morning rises.
Because an order came down from Eden to engage the Eastern Plain troops. And not only engage…but to start a war.
And there is only one ultimatum from Eden to the Eastern Plain.
Surrender or perish.
Hah Athena sighed again.
Do you have any ideas Athena? Athena shakes her head.
Right now blood is shed and bodies are piling up in the field. Eden is marching straight and they take no survivors.
It was like they were whipped into frenzy.
And Athena knows the cause of this frenzy. The cause was Lady Sofia orders.
From what she gathered from her spies in the Central Plains, in the morning when Lady Sofia woken up from her bedchambers she was shocked by the news that Lord Shadow has left her to fight the World Government.
From the Inner Palace of the Everlasting Peace Chambers she gathered the officials of the court and coerces the entire court to declare war to all the four corners of Eden.
Coercing the entire court she sits in her Phoenix Throne and orders that the troops needs to march as fast as they can and conquer as much as they can before Lord Shadow returns from the World Government.
Fail to achieve the objective, death! Defying the edict, death! Failing to conquer, death! Hearing such declaration how could the soldiers of Eden not whip into frenzy.
Either they succeed and return in glory or fail and die.
Lady Sofia didn’t know why Lord Shadow picks a fight with the world Government and honestly Athena think Lady Sofia don’t care.
But since Lord Shadow picks a fight with the World Government then that must means the World Government was in the wrong.
Lady Sofia is a simple woman.
Athena knows this best.
And Lady Sofia sends her message to all the forces in the Plains that opposes Eden rule.
Either they submit or perish. Does her decision seem emotional? Maybe to the untrained eyes.
But Athena knows better.
The only reason she would dare order such attack is because Lady Sofia was convinced that Lord Shadow will emerge victorious in this conflict.
So instead of hiding one fang, Lady Sofia decides to bare the fangs of Eden to the entire world.
Her declaration seems to say “You want a war? We’ll give you a war! We’re not afraid offending you!
Then what should we do? Freya said as she sits down on one of the stone chairs inside the room taking a breath.
Athena is crunching her eyebrows when suddenly someone announce from the outside of a scout presence
‘Scout are asking permission to enter bringing news from the frontline’
Athena quickly said
‘Quickly enter’ the scout is a young man and is wet drenched from the rain outside and his face is full of nervousness.
‘My Queen, we have an urgent report from our spies in Creion’ he said with urgency as he brought out a blue stone from his knapsack.
The man quickly handed the stone to Athena.
Athena seeing that there are a lot of unrelated people in the war tent quickly orders
‘All are dismissed except Freya’ The moment she said it all unrelated personnel quickly exited the tent.
Athena activated the Soundless Array and she breaks the stone with the crushing force of her hand
Then a moving image played out in front of them like a video.
Both Freya and Athena gasping in shock as they saw the content of the Imaging Stone.
The video shows Lord Shadow swinging his saber and splitting the Island of Peace into three parts
Athena gasped in shock as the video ended. She closes her eyes and smiles bitterly
The video makes the next decision easier. She turns to her right to see Freya looking in anguish and she nodded.
She understands what Freya must be feeling.
But she needs to say it. So, she said it.
‘We can’t win’ Athena said stating the obvious fact.
Even now they are pushed so hard.
Now, that Lord Shadow has won, the moment he returns, he would surely oppose all of the opposing influence in the Plains.
Freya weakly nodded as she began to acknowledge the truth.
Athena then walks to the entrance of tent and step outside. She looks at her army and troops and feeling the drenching rain on her skin.
Behind her Freya follows her and hold her hand.
‘Athena, what are your orders?’
‘Things are not beyond saving’ Athena said
‘You want to negotiate with them?’ Freya asks almost consoling. Athena bitterly smiles and nodded.
‘Still, I need your orders.’
‘Pushing it on me’ Athena bitterly remarks.
‘I know’ Freya said with an apologetic expression.
‘But I can’t give the order. I……persuade you to oppose the Central Plains. I egged on this war. So, I could not be the one that tries to end it. Our men are weary. Tired. Bloodied. They fought for me. Trust me with their lives. Trust my promise. And I led them to a meaningless battle. They give me their all…..and I dishonored them. So, you give the order. End this war and let our men rest’ as Freya grip on Athena hand grows tighter like she was apologizing.
Athena closes her eyes and take a deep breath. The she slowly opens her eyes.
‘Freya’ she said softly.
‘Order our men to surrender. And send a messenger to Lady Somi to talk to her about negotiation between the Eastern Plain and Eden.’
A hot droplet of tear dropped into Athena shoulders as Freya landed her head onto Athena shoulder, sobbing silently.
Her body is shaking and the tears keep falling. She remembers every face. All of her troops that dies and fall into battle.
All of her Shield Maidens suffering in the infirmary…..all because of her
But the reason why she could not stop crying was because how sorry she felt for Athena. Athena also wanted to cry.
Wanted to scream in frustration and shouted to the sky. And she cried. And like Freya she cried silently.
But no one sees her tears. Drenched by the rain it looks like water from the sky.
Raindrop of tears falling down from both of these two military leaders of the Eastern Plain as they felt the bitterness of a true battle, losing their people and now losing their home.
There are no Queens anymore in Eastern Plain.
Wet with rain and trembling with cold. The cold rain becomes warm tears. They both lean on the rain, hiding their warm tears
As the dark clouds on the Eastern Plain sky receded and the passing downpour stopped, the Eastern Plain surrender and Eden controls the Eastern Plain.
The forest was quiet. Occasionally there is the sound of crickets and birds chirping but other than that the forest was calm and quiet.
It is good for this convoy passing this forest of tall gigantic trees. The convoy of one thousand men seems to be escorting a carriage.
Not many knew what inside the carriage other than some people who already knew it in advance.
Inside this convoy a young boy keeps looking at his back, staring intently at the carriage, like he was trying to see inside the carriage.
He wears military armour of Eden. The boy is of normal height for his age.
He is lean and thin. But his palm are hard and coarse, the result of training diligently everyday with all fellow soldiers.
Seeing by the other soldiers disregard for him, the boy is a greenhorn.
He wears no helmet over his head like the other soldiers. No one berated him over this fact.
Eden might have uniforms but they can choose not to wear other protective gears. The uniform serves only to inform allies.
After all, if you reach to a higher level wearing a normal helmet will not help if you encountered some experts.
The boy could not help but casting his glance backward every few minutes, curiosity fills him.
‘What are you curios about, Milos?’ One of the officers beside him asks.
This officer is tall and muscly. On his back is a rounded shield and on his left hip is a silver sword.
His face has a manly beard and his voice is commanding. He is young, but older than Milos by a few years.
Yet, his face was boyish. But no one dares to say it in front of his face since he is a Captain.
‘Captain Eurus.’ Milos was started as he realizes he was doings something useless.
‘I was just curios.’ Milos said
‘A thousand men is escorting a carriage that would surely make anyone becomes curios won’t it?’ Eurus said as he also looks behind his back.
They were escorting a carriage to the Teleportation Array in the Safe Zone of the Northern Eden border.
Teleportation Array could not be built so close to the borders of the kingdoms since it could lead to mass teleportation of enemy forces.
It is also the reason why two ways teleportation portal is not constructed in capital cities.
For example this carriage.
When they arrived at the teleportation Array of Northern Eden they will be teleported a hundred miles from Capital City Eden.
From there they need to send a messenger informing the authority of Eden they are coming and march quickly to reach Eden.
In that teleportation array of Eden there is also guards stationed near the end Port of Teleportation.
All major teleportation Array of Eden will pass through this Primary Nodes of Teleportation that is closest to Eden
The reason why this distance of one hundred miles is necessary and why guards are stationed at the other end of the teleportation nodes is because in case that the enemy managed to slip through the teleportation array.
If an army tries to take over a teleportation array, they have to take it before the Guardian of the Array destroys the Receiving nodes.
The Teleportation Array has two nodes.
The Receiving Nodes and the Delivering nodes.
Receiving will go to the Delivering Nodes.
Destroy the Receiving nodes and the Delivering nodes will not accept anything and the array would be powered down which also serves as a warning.
Each teleportation Array requires a week to be built. It is also the reason why Eden or many cities were not mob by teleporting soldiers.
The other reason is because many of these cities create protection Array inside their walls or embedded in their ground to prevent teleporting inside.
But instead the cities only have one nodes of teleportation which is Delivering nodes which sent people outside but preventing access to inside.
‘Anyway you don’t have to be worried about what inside the carriage. Just focus on your job. I want to quickly go home and eat my sister homemade bread.’
Milos smiles. Milos knows Eurus sister. Monika. She was sweet on him.
After he broke up with his childhood sweetheart, Milos got to know Monika and the girl was a good and kind girl.
‘Don’t try to show too much interest on the carriage. It will not be good if other reported this to the Duke.’
Milos just nodded but it is clear from his expression he was not satisfied with that explanation.
Milos then ask again
‘You know what inside the carriage, Captain?’ Eurus smiles wide and with a conspiratorial look he leaned to Milos ears and whispers
‘Yes.’ Milos eyes widen.
‘I thought only a select few knows what inside the carriage’
‘I’m one of the select few, kid.’
Whispering Milos ask
‘What inside the carriage?’ Smiling he looks like he is going to reveal a grand revelation he then reply
‘What?’ Milos almost shouted but Eurus quickly shut his mouth with his hand.
‘You mean to say the thing we are guarding with extreme care is a sarcophagus?’ Milos thought this in his head.
‘Who’s in it?’ Milos then asked as he quickly accepted the fact.
Eurus shakes his head.
‘Don’t know. And I don’t think it is a person. At least I know it isn’t a person’
‘Captain what do you mean?’ Milos ask as he once again look behind him and stress at the carriage.
‘You see…the reason I knew it was a sarcophagus is because I was there when the sarcophagus was built. I watch over the builders carve stones to create the sarcophagus. First it was the Miners. Then the Carvers. Then the Sculptor. Then Arrayist. After that Sealing Masters. Then I saw Master Budiman which created the Battleship for World Government also participate in the creation of the sarcophagus. A lot of work was put in to create that sarcophagus’
Milos was puzzled
‘What kind of sarcophagus requires so much effort?’ Then something clicked inside his mind.
‘If there is not a person inside it, then that means….’Milos was about to finish his thought but Eurus glares at him and he shut up
‘Whatever it is its top secret. It’s way above my pay grade. Nothing good will ever come knowing what inside it. Our job is only to deliver it safe back to the Capital. That’s it.’ Milos look back at the sarcophagus again but this time Milos look at it with trepidation.
Inside his mind he said to himself
‘If it’s not a person inside the sarcophagus and it requires so many experts to craft and Arrayist to work on then that means Duke of Northern Eden is sealing something inside the sarcophagus.’
No wonder he couldn’t see past the carriage even with his Penetrating Eyes skills. Usually his eyes could see pass through things.
But if his captain words are true, then that sarcophagus is packing serious concealment arrays.
And after he is finished thinking this he remembers the strict orders from headquarters that reminded the convoy never to open the carriage in any circumstances.
Milos look at his captain and he releases a deep relived breath. As long as Captain Eurus is here, nothing should happen right?
And the convoy of one thousand men keeps marching in formation, not knowing that in the distance a man is looking at them on top of a tall tree.
The distance was far yet the eyes of the man were like a hawk, looking at the convoy.
The man is slender and possessing a lanky physique, on top of his head is a shining crown of metal as his short straight hair keep being blown by the wind.
He looks ancient, but this does not refer to his look but the way his aura emanated that emanates ancientness and on his arms are arrays patterns glowing in bluish lights.
His face was white pale and there is a trace of tiredness evidenced by the bags under his eyes and he was holding onto a rod carved with weird symbols that seems to emit ancientness every time it glows.
It was not something that is easy to explain and even harder to comprehend. The man seems out of place with Space and Time itself.
The man was Lee Sangmin, the High Lord of the Forest Region. He sighed. Then he spoke to no one in particular.
‘Hirate has lost. Athena would surely surrender after she heard the devastating news. She’s a tough cookie so she will do what is necessary. And now, Loki has found one of the pieces. I have one. Hirate has one. And now even Lord Shadow forces have one. Three has appeared.’
He sighed but then after shaking his head he decided to do something. He activated the arrays on his hand and it glowed blue.
The arrays moves slithering under his skins like a crawling snake, forming complicated patters of arrays that could explode with power anytime Sangmin wishes it.
Then he uses his fingers to calculate and arrays formation appears on his head carving itself to the skins and it glowed on his head and Sangmin then nodded.
His eyes is now seeing an image of a woman clothed in white with a long sword piercing through snow fighting a ten foot bear in the Ice Region and he sighed again.
‘Now, Katarina is also approaching the fourth pieces. And then there is Morgana and Louise who is also in the Ice Region. Who the hell are they? Hmmm.’
Sangmin look at the convoy and he seems to be deliberating on a decision. He was about to point his rod to the convoy but then he stop.
‘It’s enough isn’t it?’ He asks himself.
Then he looks towards the North which is the direction of the Vast Sea.
‘I don’t know what will you decide after knowing the truth of this world, Lord Shadow but whatever it is, this is enough. Maybe what I’ve been doing is only limiting the advancement of humanity as a whole.’
Then he sighed again. Sangmin realizes that when he first knows the secret of this Earth he rarely laugh anymore.
Instead he is always signing questioning himself whether he makes the right decision or not.
‘In the end, I pick the easiest way, the safe way. I’m curios what you will choose Lord Shadow. Will it be the same as me and Hirate….or will it be the path that I do not dare trod? Either way. Something needs to change. I’m not strong enough or brave enough to lead the change. In a way, I am an irresponsible person’ Saying this he smiles and with a swish of his hand his entire being turned into dry brown leaves and scattered along the wind like he was never there.
A malevolent smile. That is the way that girl smiles. It was not always like this. She doesn’t always smile like this. Not always.
The world changed her. The people she met changed her to become this kind of person. A person who could smile a malevolent smile that could make people tremble in fear.
A smile that seems to encapsulate the personality of this young girl.
She breathed the frigid air of the snowy mountain before taking out a pill and pops it into her mouth.
Warmth filled her body and she trod through the thick snow under her feet.
The girl is five feet tall with shiny long black hair and green eyes. In the snowy white expanse of the mountain, her red tight attire is blaringly obvious and recognizable.
But if people came near they would be horrified.
This is because the red tight attire is made from human skin and the attire itself emanates an unapproachable aura and emits bloodlust that seems tow anted to devour any living things.
On her back, a book bounded with silver metal chains is strapped tightly.
The cover is a realistic mouth and dark aura rises up from the book, dark as the night and could be seen clearly thanks to the contrast between the white expanse and the dark aura.
The silver metal chains sometimes wriggle and move preventing the mouth in the cover from speaking.
This book is ancient, very ancient and very dangerous.
The Investiture of the First Race, that is the name of the book. Behind the young girl a Caucasian man is following politely.
The man is young and tall with clear brown eyes and hazel hair. His hair is filled with white snow which he wipes every few minutes.
The cold affects him but not as much it affects the young girl. On his left hip is a yellow wine gourd, swaying left and right as he walked.
Whenever he felt cold he would take a gulp from his wine gourd and he would feel refreshed again.
The young girl is Morgana and the Caucasian man is Louise.
Then suddenly Morgana stops.
‘We are near.’ Louise stops too.
‘Madam, is it here?’
‘It’s near. And Katarina is also near’ and a smile crept up on Morgana face.
‘The Ice Deity?’ Louses ask shocked.
‘No, not yet. She is not yet the Ice Deity, Louise.’
‘I forgot.’ Morgana doesn’t like Katarina that much.
Thinking of the future, Morgana knows that if not for Katarina death on the War of the Sovereign, the God of Death would never have come down and destroys the Twin Sages.
In a way, she is one of the main reasons why at the End of Days, humanity did not have two sovereign to battle the Doom that came.
But the underlying cause has always been the God of Death. If he did not exist, if he is not that powerful then Earth might be salvaged.
Morgana would like to find someone he could raise to Sovereign but that is easier said than done.
And right now, Earth faces a more detrimental problem.
The truth of this prison.
Loki might be content of letting Time flow and have faith that this prison would be shattered anyway; leaving this task to The God of Death knowing that he would not accept such arrangements but Morgana doesn’t have time.
She intends to expedite the process. But who would have thought that Katarina is already near one of the pieces.
‘We will go back.’ She suddenly decided
‘Why?’ Louise asked as he followed Morgana back as she slowly coming down the mountain
‘Katarina will found the piece and will handle it. We must rush to the Fire Region. There is another piece there. And Lee Sangmin has begun taking note of us. I could feel his energy scanning the entire mountain. He is using the Pieces power. That is an irresponsible person.’
Saying this, she come down the mountain and heading to the Fire Region, her robe billows majestically as the harsh winds of eternal winter blows over her.
The news of Lord Shadow splicing the Island of Peace into three was reported all over the world the moment it happens.
Creion Island which is a peaceful island houses many spies from different faction as they usually maintained a watch over the Island of Peace movement.
As the news of Lord Shadow victory in the Vast Sea was announced the Northern Plains alliance crumbled and many have surrendered leaving only some of the stubborn ones to resist the influence of Eden from encroaching their territory.
Tumbu was captured by General Li Yuan, a general of Duke Wang Jian faction who is put under Loki command.
The moment Tumbu was captured, General Li Yuan hearing the grievances of the people, executed Tumbu and hangs his head on the city wall.
Northern Region is in disarray and the warlords were fearful of their lives.
But Duke Loki managed to meet with the warlord under the guise of negotiation and managed to convince the warlord to submits to Eden role and still be able to rule.
The warlords can still keep their private armies and they all agreed to submit to Eden rule. Eastern Plain leaders, Athena and Freya surrenders and Athena was given the title Princess of Athens and Freya was given the title Princess of Norway and will rule the Eastern Plains as it ruler under Eden influences.
Duke Wang Jian on the other hand make a decision to retreat from Western Eden secretly and with two of the Seven Fairy they united their effort to ravage the land of the Southern Plains and Wang Jian and Fairy Kim Sejeong managed to attack the capital of Southern Eden and forced the leader of the Southern Plains to capitulate.
The single victory of Lord Shadow in the Island of Peace has given his army a momentum akin that of a terrifying storm.
In a week after that, the Plains have truly been conquered by Eden. ]
Meanwhile, after the battle, the conversation between Lord Shadow and Hirate begins as Hirate reveals the secret of the world and the subsequent action taken by Will after that that betrayed his brother.
I’m sorry. Next week I will show the conversation between Lord Shadow and Hirate. Monika and Eurus are mentioned in this chapter.
Remember them? Morgana and Loki both knows the secret of the world but one intend to let Time to solve it another is not content of doing nothing.
Anyway, peace out. I accept donation and comments as forms of encouragement and appreciation of my work.