◈ Episode 466: The Crying World (3)
As the roots of the World Tree rose, parts of the Serendel Fortress collapsed.
The remains of the castle, carved out of pure white marble, fell down with a cloud of dust.
Soil rising, collapsing rubble, and huge roots wriggling in between.
In the midst of that hellish battlefield, the two swordsmen exchanged swords.
Alex and Bereborn.
The two new models, falling under the influence of gravity, stepped on the collapsing rubble and jumped at each other.
The two new models passed each other as if they were passing by, and countless sword strikes were engraved in the air at the place of collision.
Large pieces of marble that were caught in the crash crumbled like diced food ingredients.
The small roots of the World Tree, which had unknowingly prowled nearby, were cut off, scattering sap.
The environment in which the world collapsed had little effect on them.
Rather, the environment in which they shared their swords was sharply cut like a knife cutting through a landscape painting canvas.
Alex landed on top of a half-destroyed marble spire.
When I lowered my head and checked my body, I saw that the armor artifact cloak had been cut at an angle.
Bereborn, still intact, was standing on the roof of a half-collapsed building, staring at us.
There were fine knife marks on the hem of his clothes.
‘This is true.’
There were only minor marks on the other side, and the armor was blown off on this side.
If it wasn’t for the artifact, I would have seen blood.
Although the number of swords shared while moving from place to place exceeded the sum of hundreds of words.
The fight between the two has not yet come to an end.
‘It’s only like this that I’m ashamed to say that I’ll go alone to the leader.’
But it was unavoidable.
Because Bereborn was far superior to him in pure sword prowess.
‘Is it a difference in experience?’
In fact, it was natural to be pushed.
Even though Bereborn looked like that, he was an elf who had lived for hundreds of years.
At least 500 years.
Besides, since he is also the one who leads the Shade Warden, he must have plenty of combat experience, and since it was the sword that protects Bentmin, he probably didn’t train it carelessly.
After all, it was amazing that Alex, who was not even one-tenth of that elf’s life, fought on such an equal footing.
What made this possible was the talent that could be counted on one hand among all the knights, and the artifacts worn all over the body.
‘I don’t want to admit it, but pure skill is better there.’
Unlike Bereborn, who looked fine, there were small scars all over Alex’s body.
Wounds that would have been fatal if not for the protection of the artifact.
Still, there was a light of conviction in Alex’s eyes.
At first, they were pushed back, but even now as the clash continued, the gap was rapidly closing.
It wasn’t Bereborn who couldn’t feel it.
“human. You are dangerous.”
Alex was below Bereborn himself in terms of rank.
I tried to make up for it somehow with the artifacts I wore, but even that was quickly exhausted in the long fight.
However, even so, Bereborn could not predict his victory.
Since the strength and artifacts were consumed, this side should gradually gain the upper hand, but the fight has changed as if it is gradually falling into a quagmire.
Bereborn could see why.
The more you fight, the more you grow at a tremendous rate.
I couldn’t even believe it when I saw it.
Doesn’t he use Forest Walk, the elves’ footsteps, for human subjects, or implement his own dual swordsmanship in the middle?
I was able to be sure of the collision a little while ago.
That brown-skinned man’s talent is heterogeneous.
Beyond the heterogeneous, it was astonishing.
‘Truly a monster.’
Enough to break the common sense of Bereborn, who was proud of himself that he had no opponent in the sword except for Ambella Burke.
If the fight continues like this, Alex will eventually rise to a level equal to himself.
No, will it simply stop there?
Every time he watched Alex grow, Bereborn felt the horror of a beast trying to bite his neck.
His intuition was close to foreknowledge that if he continued like this, he would end up eating him.
His instincts as a warrior trained for hundreds of years were shouting.
The next place Alex, who ate himself and became a monster, should be heading to the cradle with Bentmin.
That much had to be stopped.
As Bereborn’s momentum changed further, Alex clicked his tongue.
‘As expected, he’s a good fighter, so his handling of the situation is incredibly good.’
Can’t we just keep despising this side as a lower race and cut our throats while ignoring them?
Alex thought so, but he knew life wasn’t going to go smoothly.
The Artifacts that were supplied by Ludgar were almost exhausted.
Alex took off the now tattered cloak with one hand and threw it away.
I can no longer hope for the blessing of the Artifact.
From here on, I had to confront that elf with pure sword prowess.
‘It’s a bit ambiguous.’
I tried to catch up somehow, but it took time to analyze and absorb it, probably because it was an elven sword that had lived for a long time.
At this point, the win rate is about 40%.
It could be said that it was high, but even a difference of 1% was very large for swordsmen of this level.
Would you rather go to the enduring side?
‘That’s why the situation upstairs doesn’t look very good right now.’
At some point, the World Tree suddenly went wild, and huge branches covered the outer castle like a cage.
A little while ago, something like a red laser even swept through the World Tree.
Just as Bereborn instinctively sensed something, Alex felt the same way.
Rudgar will be in danger if you don’t quickly end the fight here and go to help.
It’s not just Rudger.
Hans, Sedina, and even the elves who support us.
“ha. I really hate it. I really hate being in such a heavy position.”
Being a liberal and light-hearted Alex by nature, he didn’t like being given such a heavy responsibility.
He didn’t want anything that big in the first place.
When he was in the Knights Academy, he had an aspiration to rise to a high position, but it was just a childish act in his immature days.
Alex was well aware of his subject.
How insignificant the title of commoner is in this world.
How unreasonable, unfair and cruel this world is.
So I turned my back on responsibility.
The world tried to deprive him of his rights, so he was unwilling to bear his duties.
He lost a loved one.
‘no. Maybe I was the only one who thought so.’
Why does Enya’s face come to mind at this moment of crisis?
A person who believed in himself until the end, even when everyone laughed at him saying he knew how to do it.
Even so, how desperate and lamented he was at the situation where he had no choice but to treat her coldly and kick her out.
That’s why I hated the world and lived like a hanryang.
Rather, he hoped that someone would beat him to death.
The one who approached Alex, who had been waiting for something like that, was a man who reached out to him.
“Is it a duty or a responsibility?”
When I came to my senses from that day, I came this far.
I made interesting friends, I had people to follow, and I regained a life goal I had forgotten about.
Alex’s gaze was directed straight ahead at the sword light that flashed in front of his eyes.
Perhaps feeling a sense of danger, Bereborn approached and swung his sword.
how did you block it
Alex realized later that he had acted instinctively.
In the past, it naturally blocked an attack that would have allowed a blow to the body even if it had been avoided.
I could see why Bereborn had rushed into the attack.
“hey. Don’t you know that it’s manners to wait for the moment of awakening?”
“… … .”
“Well, actually, that’s the right decision. I won’t wait for you even if you’re like me.”
The words were smirking, but the opportunity that seemed like it would explode was blown away.
But Alex wasn’t impatient.
His talent was at the level of opening wide the door to talent even with the slightest inspiration.
And in the midst of this chaotic battlefield, there was plenty of material to inspire him.
Like the one-eyed elf running through the roots there.
“… … Ambella Burke?”
Bereborn quietly muttered Ambella’s name.
For him, the most threatening enemy, even more than the human swordsman in front of him, was definitely Ambella Burke.
Elf’s strongest swordsman.
It is now said that Bereborn has taken over the position, but Bereborn himself did not think so.
Pride did not allow one side to sit in the seat that was unilaterally ousted.
Only when Ambella is officially defeated with a sword will the place shine.
I never thought the opponent would come like this in the end.
However, the destination was not himself, but the direction of the cradle.
Bereborn was a little worried.
The opponent is not only Ambella Burke.
The head of Dentis, Vierano Dentis, was also there, along with the elite troops of the family under his command.
It should be blocked.
The moment he thought so, Bereborn woke up to the reality in front of his eyes with the sword light shining in front of him.
“Is this a tie for each other?”
Seeing Alex provoking him with a mischievous smile, Bereborn had no choice but to focus on the opponent in front of him.
* * *
The animated World Tree grabbed Sedina and dragged her to herself.
The World Tree could not have been more frightening when capturing Hans, but when holding Sedina, she was even cautious, like a mother holding a newborn baby.
But no one felt relieved at that sight.
It was the same with Sedina herself.
Two kinds of emotions were conveyed at the same time in the runaway world tree.
Friendliness. and hate.
The former was the emotion of the world tree itself, which was woven into his bloodline, and the latter was Bentmin’s emotion assimilated with the world tree.
However, if I had to weigh the two, the latter was overwhelmingly huge.
Many of Bentmin’s wits died and disappeared, but the negative emotions she held remained like heavy metal in the world tree and spread widely.
– If it weren’t for you!
-Die for the glory of Leafre!
Residual thoughts were not limited to Bentmin’s.
All the elves’ grudges consumed to access the World Tree were melted inside the World Tree.
Facing it, Sedina’s body froze and stiffened as if time had stopped.
Ludgar, driving the Steel Raven, approached Sedina, who was being dragged by the World Tree, but the World Tree did not tolerate interlopers.
The innumerable twigs became sharp spears and aimed at Ludger.
Rudger tried to destroy the twigs by exploding the artifact, but the branches of the World Tree were broken again and again and regenerated indefinitely.
If you destroy one, two or three, or more than 10, will grow on the spot.
He had to save Sedina right away, but the situation was not going well.
Besides, Ludgar’s opponents were not the only World Tree.
“Don’t interrupt! John Doe!”
Ludger had no choice but to push back the Steel Raven at the golden arrows gushing from below.
Bentmin, whose body had completely turned into a tree, was glaring at me ferociously.
The center of the pillar of the World Tree.
The thick skin cracked left and right, leaving a large groove.
What you see inside is a throne made of wood.
The tree’s roots forced Sedina into place.
It looked like inserting a key called Sedina into a large key slot.
“Hey, let go of this!”
Sedina struggled to free herself, but the strong trunks bound Sedina’s hands, feet, and body to the throne.
It didn’t stop there, but a part of the stem wrapped around Sedina’s head.
It was a crown made of wood, rising sharply.
The eyes of Sedina, who had been crowned unwillingly, turned cloudy.
Losing her senses, she soon fell limp, closed her eyes, and fell asleep.
Bentmin burst into laughter as he saw it.
“okay! There was too! Central Dogma, the last key to fully control the World Tree! It was deep in the blood!”
Central Dogma, the core key to the World Tree, was not a key to material existence.
It was imprinted deep in the genes that Plante’s blood was born with.
The World Tree, feeling a sense of danger from the dragon’s flames, instinctively sensed it and captured Sedina.
A situation that no one could have predicted or even thought about.
The World Tree woke up after meeting its perfect master.
It was the world tree, which had been a sacred tree before, but now it emits light green light by itself.
“The world number… … wake up!”
The appearance was even beautiful at first glance.
Bentmin, who assimilated with the World Tree, smiled with joy as he felt the great power rising to him as well.
This is it.
An enormous power that was incomparable to when only the surface layer of the World Tree was scanned.
A sense of omnipotence, as if he could truly become a god.
“Everything is mine.”
Along with Bentmin’s voice overflowing with greed, the world tree trembled.
Bentmin sneered at the way he seemed to be trying to resist those words.
“For what do you think I studied you all this time? I’ve been waiting for this moment.”
Although he assimilated with the World Tree and lost part of his intelligence, he did not forget even the sense of purpose he had cherished for hundreds of years.
Rather, as much as other memories were restrained, the goal she held remained much more firmly.
“It’s 500 years. In the meantime, I gave the lives of countless elves.”
Just look at the wood zombies that make up the cradle.
They were victims, test subjects, and data for studying the World Tree.
A hill of death built up by history, corpses and blood.
Bentmin, who suddenly stood on top of it, was finally able to make eye contact with the invisible being.
The world tree and horse finally opened their eyes.
“There is no point in resisting. Because the arrangement I made is already inside your body.”
Malicious code created by combing life and death.
Through it, Bentmin quickly absorbed the authority of the World Tree as his own.
Contrary to Bentmin, who felt the rising power, the World Tree screamed in pain.
But even that sounded like a sweet lullaby to Bentmin.
“where. Shall we try it?”
Currently, the power of the world tree that she received has now risen to 30%.
Bentmin’s gaze turned to one side.
There, frozen in place, trapped in a cage, I saw a legion of three noble factions that couldn’t do anything.
Petty bugs who dare to stand against themselves.
Bentmin pointed at the elven army with a hand cracked like an old tree.
The vibration of the World Tree, which had been resisting so much, stopped in an instant.
At the same time, the surroundings became dark.
Ludger, who was wandering in the air, looked around for a moment.
Even though it was obviously broad daylight, the brightness suddenly dropped as if night had arrived.
On the contrary, there was something that became brighter, and it was the World Tree.
‘Absorbed all the surrounding light?’
Woo woo woo.
The World Tree absorbed all of the sun’s rays pouring in and turned into a tree of light.
Then, the light began to gather at the front of the World Tree.
A huge clump of energy that fluctuates like a mixture of white and yellow.
Watching it from the top of the Steel Raven, Ludger felt an eerie run behind him.
At that moment, Bentmin pronounced a sentence against the Legion.
The wrath of the World Tree was fired at the soldiers of the Three Nobles.