Chapter 160 – Dragon’s shadow
The screaming roar was quickly translated into an analogy in Brendel’s mind. It was actually a whip that sliced through the air at a supersonic speed, and the sonic boom would reach him in less than a second. The magnitude of the whip was unimaginable to him.
To put it more precisely.
It was a whip that swept through the entire forest.
Brendel subconsciously reacted and pulled Scarlett under him. His eyes hurriedly the ground and to his delight, he discovered a huge pothole and jumped straight into it.
The explosion of noise and wind flooded the entire forest, reverberating and shaking his mind. Pain filled his eardrums and for a moment all he could hear was high-pitch whistling, and the tinnitus only ended after a long time had passed.
[Fuck…… That was just too terrifying.]
He could see only see a blanket of white snow out of the corner of his eyes when the wave of air rushed over him like a river. The whip was at the height of around two or three meters, and it swept through the valley in the blink of an eye. If he was any slower in jumping down to the pothole, he would have suffered the full damage from the shockwave.
It was only until then that he realized there was a sudden pain in his lips. He had struck his teeth against something hard, which caused a cut in his lips. He squirmed a little and licked the front of his lips before he realized his tongue was touching against something soft.
The girl in front of him was breathing very faintly, but it made him realize that he had pushed Scarlett down.
Brendel felt his cheeks warm up as blood rush into them. His eyes were starting to adjust to his surroundings and discovered that Scarlett was lying down on the icy soil, looking at him like a startled little animal with her lips opened ever so slightly.
Her burning amber eyes appeared ever so brightly in the darkness. However, it was not anger but shyness. She nearly forgot how to breathe.
The two of them had blood on their lips and both tasted salt.
Brendel scratched his head without saying anything. He sat up and pulled Scarlett up with an extended hand a little stiffly. Even though he did not want to think about it, that memory replayed itself vividly like a video clip.
The taste of a young girl’s soft lips dyed with a deeper shade of red because of the blood, made him feel like his thoughts were melting.
[It only lasted for a few seconds but what is with this feeling that it will last forever in this mind. Why, is it because this body feels like it lost its first kiss in such a ridiculous manner? Come on, kissing little Romaine’s forehead should be the first kiss right? Right?]
As expected, such a poor excuse could not convince even the new Brendel.
The red-haired girl’s body was so hot that she felt like she was going to melt into ice like liquid. Her eyes were wide open with blank shock until Brendel pulled her up.
“I’m sorry,” Brendel said.
“S-sorry.” Scarlett stuttered.
Both of them spoke at the same time.
“Ah.” Scarlett lowered her head.
Brendel felt his face burning. The dangers of the forest seemed like they were disappeared or thrown to the back of his mind. It was as though this body was unprepared for intimacy.
Orthlyss giggled. Her clear laughter was like bells which somehow made his mind clear up and cool down.
“Little fellow, you’re so adorable.” She said.
[Finally. Now is not the time to be distracted.]
He sighed inwardly and cleared his throat.
“…… Did you see what that was, Ser Orthlyss?”
Orthlyss acted like she discovered whole new continent, but it was not a pressing issue to corner him now, so she replied after thinking for a while:
“It looked like it’s a tail. I don’t think I saw it wrong.”
Brendel felt his blood run cold. What creature could have a tail that was that big? He reflected on how the shockwave appeared. It really did seem like a dragon’s attack with its tail.
[Unbelievable. If that was a swipe with a dragon’s tail, how big is this dragon?]
“Wait, is it a creature with a physical body?” Brendel suddenly asked.
“….. It seems like it’s some kind of creature in a gaseous form. The glimpse that I had was barely able to discern that it’s like a cloud or mist creature.”
“It’s a monster.”
Brendel corrected that answer. He turned around and said:
The red-haired girl also regained back her senses. Even though she was still blushing cutely, she responded “I understand, my lord, let’s go back. Wait—”
She was alarmed.
“I’m not sure where my spear is!”
But Brendel had already left the hole and discovered the halberd not far away.
[I wonder if Veronica and Mephisto are still out. I wonder if one of the two killed each other in an instant. One of the legendary figures ending up dead in front of my eyes. And the cause of it is because I recited some oath. This is a little too astonishing even though I understand it’s somewhat of a butterfly effect.]
However, once he glanced at his surroundings, he jumped straight down into the hole with his head tucked in—
Scarlett saw that her lord had a little perspiration on his forehead with an odd expression.
“What is it, my lord?” She asked.
Brendel hurriedly placed a finger to his lips to get her not to make a sound.
“What the hell is that?” He asked Orthlyss in desperation.
“Even though you ask me what it is, I don’t know about that either, boy.” Orthlyss sounded like she was just as overwhelmed. Even though there were many things within the Dark Forest, but the creature outside the hole was too ridiculous. She had to think for a while before she found a reliable description.
“It…… looks like a fifteen-head hydra?”
Brendel waited for quite some time. After he felt that the creature did not discover him, he carefully elevated his head above the hole to peek at it. If he was awestruck the first time, then he needed to check again if it was just an illusion that he saw.
Even with the background of a level 130 gamer in the past, he felt weak in his knees and hands. He gradually angled his eyes upwards to see the monstrous creature standing on the great earth that reached for the sky.
It was above the tallest trees.
It was above the clouds.
Fifteen massive white dragon heads towered above the mountains and were looking around its surroundings. The forest that had dark green layers of tree crowns probably felt like a carpet beneath its feet. This beast seemed like it a white mountainous range made out of clouds.
Brendel could not help but remember the days where he saw the craziest temperamental storm clouds during the summer. The creature seemed like it was made of that.
[The pressure emitting from it is staggering. Did this creature ever appear in the game? No matter how I look at it, this monster is probably level 140 and above.]
“Brendel,” Orthlyss said.
“This creature…… probably is the ancestral beast. The original Hydra.”
“But isn’t it supposed to be a physical creature? This monster looks like it’s made out of clouds.” Brendel felt that his mouth was dry.
“Probably…… It’s probably a projection.” Orthlyss was not certain as well.
The Sea Beast Livyatan, the World Serpent, Miogarosormr, the Lernaia Hydra, were all legends that came from ten-odd centuries ago.
[Even a projection will be the end for us…..]
“Boy, something’s not right.” She suddenly said.
“What is it?”
“There’s fog in the forest.”
Brendel was taken aback. He glanced at his surroundings. He thought it was still snowing, but he eventually discovered that the snow and wind had suddenly stopped. The fog was rising up. The forest was strangely silent.
[The legends did not mention that this ancestral beast has the ability to create a fog.]
He suddenly jerked his head up to stare at the clouds, and his pupils contracted a little. The immense two walls of clouds were increasing in size. The areas of trees and mountains that were beneath it were shrouded in darkness and blasted with rumbling thunder.
The Fire Seeds were being extinguished one by one, as though they were candles snuffed out by a tempest.
[The clouds are starting to close up again.]
Brendel could feel his eyelids twitching.
============ Amandina’s POV ================
Carglise sat beside Merial and held her hand tightly under the White Cliffs of Divinity. He stared at the frightening phenomenon with an open mouth.
The ten-odd pillars of light to the south were extinguished one by one—
One after another, flickering, before they disappeared completely.
With each pillar of light gone, it did not only mean that lives were taken away, it also represented that hope was disappearing bit by bit.
None of them was able to speak.
Amandina was sitting in front of another campfire. The pillars of lights reflected in her eyes disappeared one by one, and she eventually lowered her head and hugged her knees, as if to gather more warmth to stave off the freezing air.
Her lord was gone. Scarlett was also taken away. The sudden change in the sky brought great unease to her, and yet she could not present that to anyone else. Her pale slender fingers that subconsciously grabbed the dress over her knees were the only proof that betrayed her real feelings.
Veronica’s men totaled a hundred-odd, and they followed them along to the White Cliffs of Divinity. It was possible for the Tree Elves and the youths to fight Kirrlutz’s men, but Amandina rejected this proposal.
There was a female Count amongst them who was just slightly older than Amandina, and the latter glanced at her.
The female Count’s face looked a classic female goddess’s features, combining beauty and grace into one, and even enviable in Amandina’s eyes. She wore a thick dark purple coat, with her light lilac long hair going past her shoulders as she stood there quietly, giving out a mysterious and elegant air about her.
But Amandina was certain that this girl was similar to her; the beautiful Count appeared like she was calm and rational, but there was a slight frown to her eyebrows that revealed her true feelings.
[She’s worried. Does this mean the sudden change in the sky forebodes something?]
The young female Count, Delphine, looked at the fog outside the White Cliffs of Divinity gather at an alarming rate. She did not sense Amandina’s gaze on her.
“The Fire Seeds are extinguished. This is the Mana Wave…… Elman, where exactly are you?” She muttered to herself.