I am the Monarch – Chapter 331: The Great Warring Period (12)
The peak of the Grain Mountain Range; a place no human dares to climb. The summit sparkled in a pure white lustre.
Unlike other mountain peaks, the highest place of Grain Mountain Range was extremely wide and flat to the point its ends could not be seen. Plus, at the very centre of that wide, flat area was a similarly deep hole with an unfathomable depth. It seemed as if a large spear was stabbed through the mountains and the earth.
The hole was truly deep. It was deeper than the height of the mountain and the bottom could not be seen and was even deeper than the place where Felius’ body had been sealed.
It resembled a pathway connecting to a different universe. The deeper one went, one would feel an increasingly suffocating coldness but from a certain point, that chill vanished and was replaced by a burning heat instead.
A normal human would never be able to endure being in this place.
“This is terrible!”
From the very bottom of that hole escaped an urgent voice.
“Pour in all your mana!”
“The seal is breaking apart!”
Different voices started flooding out. The owners of the voices were all beautiful-looking young men as their hair, eyebrows and pupils coloured in all sorts of colour including blue, silver and green, gleamed.
Standing with a certain distance apart from one another, the youths stood in a circle and reached forth with their arms.
Uung! Uung! Uung! Uung!
Along with repetitive patterns of vibrations, an enormous amount of mana flooded out from their palms. Their mana which had the same colour as their individual hair colour was absorbed into the ground a few steps away from them.
The bottom of the large hole starting from the plateau at the summit was a normal wide land.
No, in fact, it wasn’t normal. Although it was very faint and unclear that could not be distinguished unless one focused, the ground was filled with extremely complex and convoluted patterns.
As the beautiful youths poured mana in, the complex patterns repeated going from hazy to clear.
“T, this is getting out of hand!”
“What in the world happened!”
With frowns on their faces, the beautiful youths let out profanities and they all turned their heads toward a young man with blue hair.
“Beru! This isn’t normal!”
“It seems Kalian has failed! Those bastards under the mountain range must have done something!”
“The Gates of Boundary will open soon!”
Urgent, shocking words escaped their lips. Beru was the name of the Blue Dragon and plus, the Gates of Boundary were doors connecting the Middle and the Demon world which dragons were currently protecting, in order to keep the seal safe.
Beautiful youths – they were those very dragons and the hole starting from the summit of Grain Mountain Range with complex patterns at its bottom was none other than the Gates of Boundary.
“Beru! It will be impossible to keep this up!”
“We have to do something!”
Various dragons all shouted at Beru as his blue pupils quavered.
‘Europas, what would you do if it were you…’
He asked himself, but not a single clear solution popped up in his head.
It was then.
The patterns on the ground which repeatedly changed from having a faint to a clear state regained its clear appearance.
That wasn’t the end.
Deep crevices were formed alongside the patterns.
“Beru! You are the Dragon Lord! You need to give us some sort of command!”
Pouring in all their mana, the dragons shouted. Unbefitting of their title as great beings, they appeared extremely urgent and restless.
Unable to hold back a sigh, Beru let out a deep breath. He, as well as all the other dragons present, in fact knew very well.
‘The Gates of Boundary will open.’
It was impossible to keep the seal any longer. In fact, the fact that it lasted this long was enough of a miracle and if not for Europas sacrificing himself with the Impencia spell, the seal would have been shattered ages ago and the gates were bound to open earlier.
‘There’s no meaning in using any more mana for the seal.’
Beru quickly organised his thoughts.
“We will leave this place! All of you, escape to the peak of the Grain Mountain Range!”
His first decision was to escape but as soon as his words ended.
“What do you mean? Are you saying that we should give up on the Gates of Boundary?”
A dumbfounded voice and expression were found, but meanwhile, Beru regained his calm.
“In any case, the protective seal is already broken and pouring in more mana will be meaningless.”
“Do you mean that we should just watch the demons come pouring out?”
Numerous dragons gulped with tense expressions on their faces. During the process of protecting the Gates of Boundary, they had used up an enormous amount of mana and willpower.
Currently, tens of top-ranked demons let alone demon lords would be enough to threaten their lives. Hearing that, Beru shook his head and replied in a calm voice.
“For now, I’m thinking of slowing down their march into the Middle World as much as possible.”
A pair of blue pupils flickered in light as the dragons carefully asked in nervousness.
The question was simple, and likewise, its response was simple.
“By destroying the Grain Mountain Range.”
That was how their conversation came to a stop.
Loud thuds replaced their talk as the earth greatly shook. It was moments away from the Gates of Boundary being opened.
There was no time to waste.
Screaming from the bottom of his lung, Beru kicked off the ground.
Following up the hole, a silhouette soared into the skies.
At the same time, a human body was gone before long as it changed to a large body of a blue dragon.
Every time the large pair of wings shook, the heavy body soared towards the outside of the hole in a flash.
“Kuk! Let’s hurry!”
“Let’s go one by one!”
The other dragons soon followed Beru from behind. After casually jumping into the air they quickly returned to their original states.
In the blink of an eye, all dragons including Beru soared above the Grain Mountain Range.
Huung! Huung! Huung!
As their wings fluttered, the white snow covering the peak scattered in all directions.
In the meantime, the Gates of Boundary started vibrating ever so fiercely. It was as if the entire mountain range was trembling itself as if an earthquake was approaching.
“Let’s destroy this place and cover the hole.”
Looking around and turning its long neck, Beru revealed his plans. Escape wasn’t his only goal.
‘If we cover the hole, it would be able to halt their feet even if the gates were to open.’
Naturally, it was merely a temporary expedient, but there was currently no better solution. Knowing that the other dragons didn’t reject Beru’s words and nodded their heads.
With the hole of the summit in the centre, numerous dragons including Beru made a circle around it.
At an instant, they all shot their breaths of different colours toward the highest place of the Grain Mountain Range.
An ear-splitting roar escaped. The flat area at the peak was destroyed in an instant. It was torn apart.
At the same time, rocks and piles of dirt started falling down the hole. The dragons did not stop their breaths. They repeatedly flew around the peak as they filled up the empty hole over and over again.
Kwaaang! Kwaang! Kugugung!
The only hill that was taller than others was quickly flattened. Due to rocks and stacks of dirt filling up the surroundings, it created vast highlands and a plateau. As dragons cooperated and shot their breaths together, the Grain Mountain Range that had maintained its form for hundreds and thousands of years was instantaneously reformed.
Skies crumbled and the earth were overturned.
Finally, the last breath struck the mountaintop.
Along with another thud, a hill that was sharper than others crumbled completely into pieces of rock.
A mountain breeze blew all the dust away.
Beru, as well as other dragons, heaved out long breaths. Their dragon hearts ached. Due to a mana depletion, they could not remain floating anymore as they settled down on the flattened ground.
“This should be good enough right?”
A question powerlessly escaped. With his eyes closed, Beru focused all his senses to the Gates of Boundary located at the depths of the earth.
A light of relief spread across his face.
“It should at least hold them back for ten days or so.”
The previously empty hole with an outrageous depth was completely sealed shut. There was no longer any holes and there was instead a tall mountain placed on top of the gates.
‘Even the powerful demon lords and demons will suffer for at least ten days.’
That was Beru’s thought and judgment. Only after hearing that, did the other dragons let out sighs of relief.
“We earned some time for now.”
“Then, let’s find Kalian first and continue what…”
Before their words finished.
The plateau at the mountaintop shook heavily.
Beru’s face that had eased slightly quickly turned back stiff. Beneath his feet, from the depths of the earth, an unpleasant aura started flowing up.
In that moment, a thud was heard as the flat ground greatly vibrated yet again, resembling a volcano seconds away from eruption.
Kuung! Kuung! Kuuung!
Thuds and shakes continued for a long time. Whenever that happened, Beru and other dragons pulled up their remaining mana with tension filling their faces. For the time being, they used their large bodies to press the mountain down but the vibrations were fiercer than they could expect.
The flat mountaintop changed into a strange shape as some areas rose up while some parts were pushed down like a spiky mountainous area.
A final heavy vibration shifted the entire mountain.
“…Did it end?”
Lying flat down on the ground, the dragons did not dare move carelessly. Fortunately, there weren’t any more thuds and shakes.
“That seems to be the case.”
“It was a shocking power.”
“I thought the entire mountain range was going to explode.”
Their voices shook towards the end of their sentences.
It was the first time ever that the dragons, who deemed themselves to be great beings, and rulers of the Middle World were this frightened. Yet again closing his two eyes, Beru pulled up his five senses. He could clearly feel the unpleasant and thick auras filling the bottom of the mountain.
A low mutter unconsciously escaped his lips. As he reopened his pair of eyes, he faced the other dragons.
His voice appeared perplexed.
“At most four days.”
As soon as his words ended, the dragons formed frowns.
“So after four days, those demon bastards will be breaking through this mountain unto the outside world?”
“Damn, four days is too short.”
In response to the falling words, Beru gave a nod without a word.
He too was fully aware.
Four days were too short for a decent solution, as well as a preparation for a full-scale battle. In fact, even their used-up mana wouldn’t be able to fully recover during that span of time.
However, they couldn’t stay here and whine forever.
“First, let’s go meet Kalian.”
He stared directly at the eyes of other dragons with his blue pair of eyes.
“Will we be able to figure out a solution after seeing Kalian?”
A realistic question left one of their lips but returning a bitter smile, Beru spread his wings apart.
“We’ll see after we actually meet him.”
In any case, there weren’t any clear methods for the time being so there was no way but to move their bodies everywhere and look for a solution that way.
White pillars of light enveloped the bodies of various dragons including Beru – it was teleportation magic. The pillars of light soon vanished and so did the dragons. With them all gone, only a cold mountain breeze blew across but it was then.
The solid ground formed a crack as a dark-skinned, long and hideous arm shot up from between. It resembled a shaft of a spear, or even an arrow, and was an extremely sharp yet thin arm.
Left and right, the arm waved and every time it did, the crack formed on the ground widened. And soon.
Along with a burst of strange laughter, an even stranger face shot out from underneath the ground. Its head was extremely tiny – around the size of an adult male’s fist. The face was of a dark colour just like its arm while its large eyes covered more than half of its face.
“The Middle World. Middle World.”
The tips of its mouth reaching the bottom of its ears spread wide open like that of a hippo’s. Inside its wide-open mouth, dozens of sharp teeth were revealed.
Kwaduk! Kwaduk! Kwaduk!
As if that marked the beginning, the ground around it soon cracked apart.
At the same time, beings with black skin and hideous arms shot forth left and right. They were low ranked demons, Pincos. Unfortunately, Beru miscalculated the time it would take for the demons to break through the dense mountain onto the outside world. However, that didn’t mean that it was a completely wrong assumption. Because the rocks and piles of dirt that had fallen above the Gates of Boundary were thick and solid, the only demon race that could climb through the gaps were demons with thin and slender stick-like bodies like Pincos.
However, even these were extremely deadly and dangerous against normal humans. After struggling and finally standing above the ground, they looked around while flaring up their nostrils.
“Kekekeke! We go!”
“Go down the mountain!”
Because they were low ranked demons, their language was very lacking.
Blinking their large eyes, they quickly rode down the mountain and ran towards the bottom. Their appearance as they raced down resembled a hideous black mountain slide.
The Pincos quickly vanished as heavy silence replaced them. There was not a single sound to be heard.
No, in fact, there were unpleasant, horrendous vibrations continuing in the depths of the earth.
Kuung. Kuung. Kuung.
Slowly but surely, the vibration got fiercer.
Roan Lancephil and Kalian felt their bodies trembling faintly and made frowns. It was an instinctive reaction.
Turning around, Roan looked straight into Kalian’s eyes, with his eyes gloomily sunken down. Making a bitter smile, Kalian slowly returned a nod.
“The Gates of Boundary seem to have opened.”
Although very faint and weak, Kalian could feel the unpleasant aura unique to demons through his uplifted senses and it was the same with Roan. Thanks to completely absorbing Felius’ body and soul, he could sense the auras of demons clearer than before.
“Shouldn’t we head there?”
Roan cautiously asked with a stiff expression. Kalian shook his head in response before closing his eyes.
“No. You stay here.”
Kalian gave a strange smile as he grabbed Roan by his shoulder.
“It seems that my friends have headed to my lair to find me. I’ll head there and meet them so you…”
His smile became a level deeper.
“Stay here in Europas’ lair.”
Currently, Roan and Kalian were standing in the entrance of the lair belonging to Gold Dragon, Europas. Before heading off to his own lair, Kalian was dropping by Europas’ lair for Roan.
“Will that be fine?”
Roan asked back with a careful voice.
The fact that the Gates of Boundary was opened meant that the demon lord along with demon races would come flooding out onto the Middle World. Excluding the Mad Dragon Lunark, Latio of the Tallian Church and Dark Regiments, it signified another appearance of a fresh and strong enemy.
Wearing a bright smile, Kalian nodded his head.
“Of course. Are you looking down on us dragons?”
“N, no. Definitely not.”
Startled, Roan quickly waved his two hands. Kalian tapped his shoulders before staring at the entrance to Europas’ lair.
“Roan. What you have to do now is to make Europas’ gift into your own.”
Roan gave a little nod with a mutter as he too, knew what was of the most importance. Only then did Kalian step back with a slightly relaxed expression.
“Then I’ll be on my way. You don’t have to worry about our side. But…”
A humoured smile appeared on his lips.
“Don’t take too much time.”
In response, Roan quickly gave a nod.
“I understand. I’ll hurry as much as possible.”
That was the end of their conversation. After looking silently at Roan’s eyes, Kalian gently waved his hand.
He disappeared along with a pillar of white light.
Roan took a deep breath in.
‘I must hurry.’
The aura of demons felt seeping through his skin greatly shook his heart. He paced his steps to the entrance of Europas’ lair that was sealed tight.
‘Gold Dragon Europas, the previous Dragon Lord…’
He unconsciously gulped.
‘The gift he left for me…’
Slowly raising his right hand, Roan placed it on the large wall blocking the lair’s entrance.
‘Is this lair.’
Around the time his thoughts reached that point.
A gush of golden light oozed out of the entire wall. The light swallowed Roan and,
By the time the light disappeared, Roan was nowhere to be seen.
Normal people did not even sense the opening of the Gates of Boundary. In fact, even fairly high-leveled mages and knights that had trained in mana could not sense the aura of demons leaking out from the Grain Mountain Range.
However, that did not mean that no-one felt the change.
“What was that?”
“Something felt spooky and unpleasant just then didn’t it?”
That small change which occurred in the split second as the gates opened – there were those that did not miss out on the aura of demons that increased ever so slightly. Manus Fon Persion was one of such people.
A low mutter escaped through his lips.
“What is the matter, Your Majesty?”
Count Romils Hotten, who rose up to the position of a commander directly under the king’s command after Manus’ coronation, carefully walked up to him and asked.
‘Romils did not feel anything huh…’
Remembering that faintly unpleasant feeling which touched the back of his neck for a split second, Manus surfaced a bitter smile. Looking around, it seemed that he was the only one that felt anything like the sort.
‘This doesn’t feel right.’
Somewhere deep in his heart, he felt uncomfortable. However, the monarch of a nation could not reveal such inside thoughts that easily.
“No. It’s nothing.”
He forced a smile and shook his hand. Turning around, he looked at the front, at the large castle placed at the end of a vast grassland.
“Is that castle the Fioria Castle?”
Romils quickly gave a nod in response.
“That is right. That castle is the key location of Byron Kingdom’s east region, Castle Fioria.”
After a glance around the surroundings, he softly continued his words.
“As long as we conquer Castle Fioria, the eastern region of the Byron Kingdom will lose its focal point and fall. On the other hand, if we can’t take that castle, we will be put in an awkward situation for a long time.”
The look on his face was extremely serious.
“Even then, are you really planning on passing by without attacking it?”
The moment his words ended, various commanders standing in the surroundings all formed serious looks. It was a question they all wanted to ask.
Manus gave a faint smile as he replied in a calm voice.
“Attacking that castle is not our task. We…”
He raised his right hand above onto his line of sight as a cool breeze swept between his fingers.
“We will charge towards Castle Barna, the capital of Byron Kingdom like the wind.”
That was the strategy of the Persion army as well as Manus’ duty. Romils, as well as other commanders all knew it very well but a speck of anxiety remained floating around their heads.
“If the Byron Kingdom attacks from behind, our army will face enemies from both the front and the back.”
It was a piece of extremely general knowledge. No army in existence charged while leaving enemies behind themselves.
Manus smiled and nodded.
“We do not have to worry about that. Behind us…”
Confidence filled his voice.
“There is the Rite Kingdom that protects us.”
The key castles and fortresses left behind by their army will be taken care of by the Right Kingdom’s army following from behind – that was the plan. However, a certain proportion of the commanders could not let go of their anxiety despite his words.
“Can we believe their…”
Before one of the generals could finish his words, Manus shot his right hand up in the air.
Power oozed out of his voice.
Lowering the right hand that had been raised to the skies, he covered his chest.
Everything was decided and planned by Manus. Of course, he did request a lot of advice from Roan but in any case, the raid on Byron Kingdom’s capital city was a strategy Manus decided on.
The commanders gulped. They knew Manus’ ability and personality very well, due to which they also clearly knew the fact that he wasn’t someone that talked gibberish.
‘Yes, if we can’t believe the Rite Kingdom’s bastards, we just have to believe in His Majesty, Manus.’
‘We just have to follow his back.’
Taking in deep breaths, the commanders glared at the front and seeing that, Manus could finally smile at ease as he likewise returned his head back to the front. A cool breeze raced past the vast plot of land. It was as if the wind was telling them to run alongside itself.
Strongly, Manus pulled on the reins of his horse and kicked its stomach.
Soon along with loud echoes of horse hooves, a dash resembling a gust began.
“Follow His Majesty!”
Romils, as well as other various commanders screamed from the bottom of their lungs and pushed their horses forth. In that instant, tens of thousands of soldiers that had been holding back even the sounds of their breaths turned into a large wave and overwhelmed the grassland.
Persion Kingdom, that had been laying low ever since the call for crusaders, was finally stepping forth to the forefront of history. And just as Manus had said, their back was covered by the Right Kingdom’s army, just as they had promised and believed.
Thanks to Manus’ consideration and arrangement, they could travel through the Persion Kingdom as they arrived at the Byron Kingdom’s boundary. After taking enough rest, the Rite Kingdom slowly started conquering the eastern region of Byron Kingdom.
As most of Byron Kingdom’s army had moved to the southern region where they met borders with the Amaranth Kingdom, Rite Kingdom’s army claimed victory one after another. Besides, it wasn’t like the Byron Kingdom was winning their battle against the Amaranth army.
It was because after Persion and the Right Kingdom moved, Istel Kingdom followed suit as they provided reinforcements for the Amaranth Kingdom and sent a large army to Amaranth’s borders.
During all that, reports that the Estia Empire’s army, which took longer than other countries before they started moving, had arrived near the western border of the Amaranth Kingdom spread across every battlefront.
In addition, the crusaders of the Aimas Union also seemed to have reached the southern borders of the Amaranth Kingdom after charging through the Diez Kingdom.
It was finally the true beginning of a complex battle, – a great war with the fate of the Middle World at stake.
<The Great Warring Period (12)> End.