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Chapter 354 - Pandemonium (1)

    Chapter 354 - Pandemonium (1)

    The collapse of the central empire...!

    The people of the East Continent were unsure of the situation, but Theodore could see it.

    The central empire was literally the greatest empire in the East Continent. Even if all four of the other nations united to face it, the odds would be difficult to predict. The empire accounted for more than half of the East Continent's land, and it had a vast number of troops and a dense population. Additionally, there was the existence of 'Lust' at the heart of the empire.

    It was too strong a country to collapse without any precursors.

    "...The two tower masters left one last message before contact was cut off. They said they were going into a defensive battle with the local forces. It seems they are unsure of what type of force they are fighting and how many there are," Orta's lips moved under the white mask he always wore.

    He believed in the abilities of the two tower masters. However, if there was no contact, there might be some variables in the fierce battle. Theodore heard a bit of information and came to a similar idea. 'The local forces must mean the Fairy Dance Lee family. If the two tower masters fight with the Fairy Dance Lee family in the Baekun Mountains, they won't fall easily.'

    However, there were too many variables to believe in that power alone. He was concerned about the central kingdom that was stuck in the palm of Lust's hand. Theodore had met and fought with grimoires a number of times, so he was well aware.

    A grimoire wouldn't do anything that would violate the purpose of its existence. If Lust's purpose was to be the 'ultimate womb', then the collapse of the middle kingdom was likely to be something she did herself.

    The Receptacle of Solitude-this evil shamanism came to mind. It was the cave in the Baekun Mountains where the seven-tailed fox had formed from eating off the 'rejects.'

    Although this was a ridiculous story from a common-sense perspective, Theodore had already dealt with an entire country of human sacrifices. What if the entire population of a vast territory at least 10 times bigger than the Lairon Kingdom were devoured?

    "I need to hurry," Theodore muttered after he finished thinking.

    Orta nodded. He hadn't just been sucking his fingers waiting for Theodore to return, after all. "Yes, I gathered just enough people that it won't exceed the limit of the space area. Combat ability isn't the only thing needed. Personnel to secure the area and make a base is necessary."

    "That is a good judgment," Theodore agreed and added a few more words, "Then I will leave the command of the later team to you."

    "Huh?"

    It was anticipated that the Chief Tower Master would act alone since he had unequaled power. A magician with the power to overcome armies by himself shouldn't be tied to the role of commander.

    However, Orta intuitively sensed that this wasn't what Theodore meant. "Chief Tower Master, do you intend to leave for the East Continent one step ahead of the support team? You just came back, and there are two more days of standby for the space gate."

    "It is okay. The role of the space gate is just for assistance. The standby time isn't a problem if I use my magic power."

    "No, please reconsider," Orta spoke with a more cautious expression than usual. "Chief Tower Master, I don't doubt your ability, but the East Continent is currently in a state where I can't see what's ahead. I think it is better to go with the support team rather than hastening the schedule and consuming a lot of magic power."

    "I understand your opinion. I expected you to sound like this." Theodore smiled since he would've made the same judgment as Orta a few days ago.

    The identity of the enemy was unknown, and the status of the land was unknown. Unnecessary consumption of magic power should be avoided in a situation where there were several undetermined variables. However, after becoming a transcendent, Theodore didn't have to worry about that.

    "Sigh, it can't be helped."  He didn't intend to brag about it, but this method was the best way to convince Orta.

    As Orta waited for his answer, Theodore finally showed off some of his strength. He had grabbed a sense of it when he reached the end of the 8th circle, and it became possible after getting to the 9th circle. It was the power to move the world itself to his will-World Order. Theodore closed his eyes, raised his right hand like he was swearing an oath, and pressed down using the power of a transcendent.

    People who could only see the hollow shell of the world wouldn't know. The general public might not be able to feel it, but countless invisible flows existed in the world. Knights who trained their body and senses to the extreme or magicians who turned their hearts into cogwheels could enter this area a little bit.

    "...Heoook!" Orta had been born without sight in both eyes, so he was more sensitive to the invisible flow of power than anyone else. Theodore's 'will' stopped the world around him. Only time flowed leisurely, while everything else stopped like it was frozen. No, he could even stop time if he wanted to.

    "C-Chief Tower Master! Surely... Surely you haven't?"

    A magician couldn't not know. It wasn't reasonable to interfere with the will of the world and force it to move. People were called transcendent because they had the power to shake this absolute rule. If their knowledge was sufficient, the transcendent could interfere with the structure of any material and reverse any physical phenomenon.

    Before the astonished Orta, Theodore just grinned. "Is there anything else?"

    Naturally, there wasn't.

    *     *     *

    After Theodore convinced Orta using a violent logic, he instantly returned to the research building. It was a simple feat for Theodore who could cross continents with a single space movement. He heard Aquilo's words once he appeared.

    "You came back faster than I thought. Is it something urgent?" She asked after reading Theodore's expression.

    He ignored her question and changed the topic, "Will you follow me to the East Continent?"

    "Of course. How can a young dragon like me defy the lord's order? Isn't it nice to take me to a place I've been before?"

    "Nice... Well, it doesn't seem like you will be a burden."

    Aquilo hadn't been much help against Sloth, but she was a dragon who could fight equally with three masters. Veronica had more combat power, but Aquilo was probably more evenly balanced. Moreover, there was a reverence for dragons in the central empire, so there wasn't anything bad involved in taking her. He looked at the pros and cons and reluctantly said, "...On the condition that you follow my words well."

    "Call!" Aquilo didn't hesitate to raise her index finger and laughed as she approached Theodore. Her eyes were shining and playful. "It is quite funny when thinking about it. Boy, what do you feel when I say I will absolutely obey you?"

    "It isn't an official contract, so don't exaggerate."

    "Hoh, really? I can listen to whatever you say..." Aquilo's thin white fingers tickled his forearms, and her coquettish eyes gleamed brightly. Her moist and gentle fingers danced like a live fish.

    However, Theodore didn't fall for her temptation, poking her in the middle of the forehead. "Don't do this."

    "Tch." Aquilo was pushed back by his decisive attitude and turned the conversation to another topic. She understood that there was no chance in this atmosphere. It was different from five years ago when there were many gaps. "But Boy, are you only taking me? The knight or high elf will be helpful."

    "Oh, I won't take Randolph and Titania with us."

    "Why?" Aquilo made a bewildered face.

    However, Theodore shrugged without answering. After all, it was the private matter of those two people.

    Titania had met the teacher she had missed for over a hundred years and left without being able to have a proper conversation. Meanwhile, Randolph had multiple wounds and was still recovering from the damage. It would be much easier to move with Aquilo than to take those two.

    "Additionally, they won't be able to do anything."

    It was cold but true. If the situation couldn't be solved with the power of Theodore who was a transcendent, then it wouldn't be meaningful to take Randolph and Titania. Aquilo stepped beside him in silence. Then Theodore reached out to the space gate connected to the East Continent. "Geotia, activate the space door."

    Simultaneously, a blue light appeared around the edges of the space gate.

    [The space gate leading to the Baekun Mountains has been confirmed. The magic power storage container is at 55%.]

    "Cover the lacking amount with my magic power."

    [Yes, I will do it according to Master's will.]

    Once the ring on his finger stopped flashing, Theodore's magic power started to flow somewhere. An enormous amount of magic power, that even three 7th circle magicians weren't capable of, poured out. An 8th circle magician might be exhausted for a while, but a 9th circle magician could recover in a few breaths.

    Shortly after that, Geotia's voice became louder, [Warp Gate 3, move!]

    A radiant light burst from the space door. The empty space gradually distorted, and the inside of the glow showed a completely different landscape from the research center. There were dense trees without a trace of civilization. This was the scenery of the Baekun Mountains, located in the northeastern part of the East Continent that had been managed by the Fairy Dance Lee family for generations.

    It was the dark of night, unlike Mana-vil where the sun was still rising.

    "Let's go." Theodore held Aquilo's hand without waiting for an answer and plunged into the space gate. The amount of mana consumed every second to operate the space door, which spanned across the sea to the East Continent, was enough to kill three or four elder grade magicians.

    Wuooooong...! It took only a few seconds, but the distance of this space gate exceeded 3,000 kilometers. Of course, the intensity of this space movement was beyond imagination. Once the two shadows appeared on the other side, Aquilo let out a breath and started vomiting. "Haaap! Hah! Hah!"

    She soon rebuked him with grim eyes, "B-Boy...! T-There, i-is, t-this, side, effect...!"

    "I'm sorry, I had forgotten." Theodore didn't suffer any space nausea due to being a transcendent and smiled as he raised her up. He placed his palm on Aquilo's forehead, and light gushed out, calming her dizziness. Aquilo barely managed to get herself together. Then both of them frowned.

    "What is this mana? Didn't you say this was a sacred land?" As a dragon, Aquilo was more sensitive to mana than any other species in the material world, and she looked around with a stiff expression.

    The middle of a battlefield would be better than this place. Mana filled with blood and death flowed over the earth, while the malice in the wind caused discomfort. It was an atmosphere in which it wouldn't be strange if creatures emerged right now. If this were the first time Theodore stepped on this land, he wouldn't have known it was the Baekun Mountains.

    'There is something wrong. This type of poison in the Baekun Mountains...!'

    Once he looked closely, all the mountain vegetation was sick. The green leaves were black like oil, and the branches hung down like ailing chickens. This was at the level of a child compared to the poisonous swamp. The problem was that it shouldn't be occurring at all. Why had the mountain range which had been filled with clean power a year ago suddenly become rotten?

    "Yes."

    "Ah."

    At that time, something touched the senses of Theodore and Aquilo.

    "We're surrounded...?"

    Surrounded... It was likely that there was a large number of creatures in the area. Theodore tried to count the number but stopped after it passed 1,000. The creatures were different from humans and beasts, and they soon started to reveal themselves.

    Grrr! Grrrrrr!

    Gruruk. Kuwoooook...

    Kikikikikik! Kihihihi!

    Theodore regretted waiting for their appearance. 'Damn, these disgusting guys.'

    Imagine a human and beast mix with mutations all over the body-it was a picture that could be mistaken for black magic. Pride could reproduce the characteristics of all creatures in one body, and it was quite ugly. However, the monsters that had just appeared were much worse.

    Aquilo flinched at the sight. "Ugh, my eyes are rotting! Boy, is it okay for me to wipe them all out?"

    "...No." Theodore, restrained the disgusted Aquilo, blocking her vision as he raised his right hand.

    The sight she was left with changed from grotesque to 'splatter.'

    "Leave it to me." He didn't use a spell as he twisted his magic power.
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