Chapter 71 – The Last King (2)
They were almost identical in appearance, but the weapons that they were wielding were different . One held a sword, and the other held a staff . They also had one critical difference from the other Cave Elves . Their eyes . They possessed artificially inserted eyes that shined like brilliant rubies .
“Was it you all?”
The Cave Elf wielding a sword spoke as his eyes flashed a deep crimson . The voice was both dreary and authoritative . The humans surrounding him felt pressured from just hearing his words .
“Young Master . ”
Odrias leaned in toward Mikhael’s ears .
“I have a bad feeling about this one . ”
Mikhael had recognized that the series of events were becoming increasingly bizarre, but he hadn’t thought of retreating .
“No . I don’t think so . ”
Mikhael didn’t want to err by throwing away this opportunity that had taken great efforts in the making . His only thoughts were on how he could return the spoils of victory to his father as quickly as possible .
‘Victory is within my grasp! Did you think I would back off when I am this close to my goal?’
The shameful days in which he was criticized and scorned for being average passed through his eyes like a movie .
“Are you both the Kings of the Avians?”
Mikhael broadened his shoulders as he shouted with foolhardy confidence, and the two Cave Elves with shining, eyes, stopped their movements and turned to look at Mikhael .
“I have revived you two . Therefore I demand a suitable reward . A king must honor his promise, no?”
He stared them down without flinching . The Cave Elves returned his gaze and made no further actions . Meanwhile, Mikhael felt as though his heart would explode within this moment of silence .
‘Hurry up . Bring me my reward quickly . The Crown of the Nahak which will prove my worth to all!’
The sword wielding Cave Elf pointed his finger toward Mikhael . Delight and heightened expectation brightened up Mikhael’s eyes, but only for a moment .
“We are not the king . We are but his most faithful servants . ”
The Cave Elf wielding the staff finished their introduction .
“We are the guardians protecting the tomb of the great king . We seek out the liars and strike them down . ”
Mikhael’s mouth twisted into a weird shape . His expectations had been shattered . Odrias hurriedly tugged on his sleeve from the side .
“Young Master . ”
The situation had turned sour . Mikhael understood this mentally, but his heart could not accept this truth . He continued to waddle in shock when both of the Cave Elves pointed towards Mikhael and his group .
“How dare you sacrifice the blood of some lowly commoner to the monarch of the skies and earth!”
Both of the Cave Elves let out a thunderous roar as even the air around them seemed to chill . A silence full of hostility filled the air . The Ancient Kingdom’s swordsmen, who had been looking in on the situation from a distance, finally began to realize that the situation was worsening and exchanged glances .
“There is only death for those who disturb our king’s resting place with foul blood . ”
“We shall wash away the unclean blood you have brought by using your own”
The two Cave Elves raised their weapons .
Odrias pulled out his sword and stood protectively in front of Mikhael .
“Now! You must es-…!!”
He didn’t even manage to finish his warning when an unseen magical shackle constricted his body and a sword adorned with gems pierced his skull .
The desperate cry resonated towards the tomb of the Avian King above . Odrias, who had been a powerful Swordmaster, had been killed by a single strike of a blade causing the swordsmen of the Ancient Kingdom in the vicinity to lose their will to fight . Mikhael was no exception .
“I am no match for them! I-I have to get father!’
He immediately turned around to escape, but the Servants of the Nahak weren’t sitting idly by . The magical chains bound his torso, and the sharp blade severed his leg .
Mikhael who had his femoral nerves severed screamed like a beast and began to roll about in front of the tomb of the king . The two Cave Elves that had suppressed Mikhael began to attack the remaining swordsmen of the Ancient Kingdom . It didn’t take much longer to clean up the riff raff . The other five excluding Odrias were dragged into the tomb with their legs severed .
“A peaceful death is a pipe dream for the likes of you all . ”
“You will listen to the sound of your own breathing as you suffocate to death in utter darkness . ”
The Cave Elf wielding the staff chanted some spell causing one of the walls to crumble and the skulls within to pour out . The other wielding the sword threw them into the wall one by one .
“I-I’m really sorry! Mercy!”
Their cries of mercy were swallowed up by the wall that magically sealed itself . The bleak desolation and shrieks of pain rang out beyond the wall like an echo .
Sungchul had been watching everything .
‘Mimi must have seen a similar spectacle . She must have escaped by herself somehow . ’
The Cave Elf wielding a sword turned its head towards where Sungchul was hiding .
“Who is hiding there? Identify yourself . ”
Sungchul did not reveal himself from the darkness . The Cave Elves looked over in his direction for quite a while before they walked towards their tombs . The Royal Servants could not find Sungchul .
‘So they’re only around this level . ’
Sungchul let out a shallow sigh before quietly revealing himself .
The young Nahak in his grasp cried out as it flailed . The Cave Elves that heard this turned their heads . The red rubies embedded into their eye sockets let out an eerie light .
“Who are you?”
The two Cave Elves spoke simultaneously . Sungchul revealed the young Nahak in his hand as he spoke .
“As you can see, I am here to make a sacrifice . ”
The Cave Elves looked toward the Nahak held in his hands . It was a beast that possessed white feathers .
The eyes of the Cave Elves flared angrily once again .
“You dare bring another pathetic white feathered one? Did you not witness what happened after the mistake of your kind?”
“It just signifies the level of these detestable humans . ”
Sungchul silently listened to their rumblings as he contemplated on their words .
‘So it was the color of the feathers that was the issue . ’
Sungchul tried to recall the scene back at the poultry farm . It was difficult to parse due to the poor lighting, but he could recall that there were only white-feathered Nahaks there . It meant that Nahaks with feathers colored other than white were rare .
‘As expected, the woman must have known everything . ’
Regardless, there was a problem at hand to attend to; the servants of the Royal King that were fuming with hostility towards him . Sungchul released the Nahak in his hands .
The young Nahak began to look at the foreign surroundings with wonder and curiosity until he discovered Odrias’s corpse and pecked out his eyeball with its beak . In the time it took for the bird to swallow the eye loudly, Sungchul extended his right hand . Fal Garaz suddenly appeared within it . The divine tool which was crafted from the shards of the sky itself .
The two Cave Elves that witnessed its majesty began to hesitate . Its might was something that didn’t require explanation to be felt . They could feel that there was power and history behind that weapon .
“Both of you! You’re all done for!”
Bertelgia, who had now grown accustomed to this pattern of events, began to shout from Sungchul’s back . Sungchul hefted the hammer on his shoulder as he walked toward the Cave Elves .
The Cave Elf with the staff began to utter an indecipherable incantation . A mysterious magical formation began to ripple out from his lips . Sungchul didn’t know what it was when he first arrived here, but he figured it out now .
‘Is it some kind of restraint?’
Invisible shackles bound his arms and legs firmly . Sungchul’s Soul Contract, The Eye of Truth revealed to him that the shackles were made of vengeful souls of the deceased .
‘Such vile magic . ’
The sword wielding elf began to rush towards him . It was the same tactic that had caught Odrias off guard, but this kind of method wouldn’t work on Sungchul . God-like power coursed through his veins . He could feel that wave of power and began to lightly move his body .
Hellish screeches and cries of agony could be heard as the restraints formed of souls that bound his four limbs began to tear .
The staff wielding Cave Elf suddenly froze . Something impossible had occurred . The sword wielding Cave Elf had been completely focused on the task of piercing Sungchul’s head and waited for the sensation of the sword digging into his chest and piercing his heart . However, his expectations didn’t come to pass . A blunt force lightly shook his body .
The powerful hands of a human wrapped around his neck . Shock and terror appeared in the Cave Elf’s ruby red eyes . When strength passed through the hand that gripped his neck, the Cave Elf dropped his blade and used both his arms in an effort to free himself from the human’s grasp . He tried to scratch the man with his sharp nails, but it wasn’t enough to even leave a mark on the firmly gripped hand .
The Cave Elf lost consciousness along with the sound of something snapping echoing in the halls . And after a loud impact, its body was forever destroyed .
“… . ”
Sungchul tossed away the Cave Elf corpse with a crushed skull and moved to face his next enemy . The remaining Cave Elf began to wave his arms while quickly rushing to speak .
“Wait, human! I’ll tell you a method . A blue feathered…”
The number of crushed heads grew to two .
“So it’s the blue feathers?”
The pieces of the puzzle fell into place . All that was left was for Sungchul to return to the poultry farm to seek out a blue feathered Nahak .
“Hey, what are you going to do about that guy?”
Bertelgia looked toward the young Nahak that was chewing on Odrias’ corpse as she spoke .
“You’re not going to use him in one of your recipes, are you?”
“I don’t eat anything with intelligence . ”
“…except dragons . ”
Sungchul put away Fal Garaz into his Soul Storage and headed toward the poultry farm, but as he was about to step out of the room with the gravestone, he could hear someone’s voice from another entrance .
“Miss Mimi! It’s over here-yeyo! The black square is here-yeyo!”
It was a homunculus’s voice . Sungchul stopped in his tracks and looked over in the direction of the voice . From the corner of a hidden entrance, an armored homunculus was leading a bloodied woman . It was the blinded Mimi Azrael .
The woman who could no longer see in front of her moved her head as if trying to look around her surroundings and spoke,
“Ujicha . Are you sure that the Swordmaster is dead?”
She asked with her voice thick with genuine fear .
“Yes! This Ujicha saw it himself-yeyo! Miss Mimi! The Swordmaster died to the Cave Elves with the shinies-yeyo! There is that bad guy’s corpse over there-yeyo!”
“What about the Tomb Guardians?”
“Ara? I thought I saw them enter the tomb, but now they’re all dead-yeyo . ”
“Dead? The Guardians?”
“Yes . All of their heads were caved in-yeyo . ”
“How did that happen? For the Guardians to die… could it be Willie Gilford himself…?!”
She sucked in her breath and focused on her hearing . There was only a deathly silence with no sounds of the living .
“Let’s move quickly, Ujicha . ”
The homunculus led Mimi towards the altar . Mimi reached out to feel for the altar, then when she managed to find it, she pulled out two magic staves from her Soul Storage to use as crutches to stand with all of her strength .
Mimi, who now stood in front of the altar, looked down towards the homunculus who should be standing beside her feet and spoke in a soft voice .
“Ujicha . Can you give me a big hug?”
“What? Miss Mimi is going to hug me-yeyo?!”
The homunculus spoke with a tearful voice .
“I just have one last request . ”
Sungchul and Bertelgia were watching the scene quietly from a distance .
“What could they be doing?”
Bertelgia held her curiosity and asked Sungchul who was beside her . Sungchul also had the same question .
‘What could this woman be trying to do?’
He continued to watch Mimi’s actions . The homunculus went into her embrace .
“Take off your helmet . ”
She spoke softly .
“Can I really do that-yeyo?”
When the homunculus asked carefully, she put on a magnanimous expression and nodded her head . Soon, the homunculus took of his iron mask . The grotesque appearance that lied within was completely exposed without any filter . Rather than a face, it looked more like several grotesque pieces of meat had been sewn together to form the face tissue .
Bertelgia couldn’t bear looking at the appearance any longer and hid behind Sungchul, but Sungchul didn’t miss a single moment of that enhanced Homunculus’ bare face . One thing stood out as odd . It looked fundamentally different than a normal homunculus . Something that was hidden beyond the hideous scars, numerous boils, and charred burns .
‘It wasn’t a normal homunculus as expected . More than that… that mouth… did she rip a beak out of its face?”
At that moment, the homunculus’ body suddenly stiffened . A sharp dagger had been stabbed into its neck .
“Miss… Miss Mimi…?”
The homunculus stuttered like a clockwork doll as it turned its head with red blood pouring out of its neck . Mimi pushed the homunculus down onto the altar and shoved the dagger deeper as she spoke softly .
“I’m really sorry, but there’s no other way . ”
“This life was given by Miss Mimi anyways-yeyo . It’s only right that Miss Mimi takes back what she gave-yeyo, but everything is growing so dark-yeyo . It hurts so much-yeyo…”
“…when I get stronger, I’ll revive you guys . ”
Mimi twisted the dagger embedded into its neck . Something seemed to snap as the homunculus instantly died, and its blood began to fill the altar .
Surprise overtook Sungchul’s eyes .
‘Could that homunculus have been created with the blood of a blue-feathered Nahak?’
The ground began to tremble, and a deep rumbling that pierced the dungeon in its entirety could be heard by everyone within . The black gravestone began to rise into the air . Within the burial chamber, the real burial chamber of the Avian King finally revealed itself .[All those living and dead, kneel] [make way for the Final King, Marakia]
At the same time . There was a relic upon the Tower of Recluse, an ancient tower revered as the most mystical and holy structure of the Other World, known as the Scripture of Calamity . There was an all important change occurring to this relic which can only be altered by the divine will .
“What the…! Are you saying that a new clause is being added to the Scripture of Calamity?!”
The tower’s owner, the Holy Man Porpyrios, began to head towards the sacred location in which the Scripture of Calamity was held without care for his attire . He witnessed it . Along with the alteration of the previous seven calamities, a new calamity was being recorded on the first line simultaneously .[The King of Feathers and Beak that devoured his own kin will spread his wings of sin once again to swallow the world in darkness . ]