GDK 948: Set in Stone
There was an identical barrier a few hundred meters ahead. This time around, Dagmar didn't even hesitate and broke through the grand-looking but ultimately weak barrier, breaking through it to go deeper in the cavernous mountain.
Like Dagmar, Dhaka and Asser encountered similar barriers and dealt with them the same way.
Such barriers could be found blocking the way all across the three mountains, and they were broken through one after another by the three of them as they made their way to the center.
"Woah!" Outside the valley, one of Dhaka's subordinates let out a cry of shock as he studied the odd runes on the three mountains curiously.
Those runes that represented something they didn't know lit up one after another as colored smoke wafted out of them and gathered in the dark clouds around the mountains. It caused the stench to grow stronger than ever.
Dhaka and the rest had left a few subordinates outside the mountains just in case someone would come charging into the mountains after them for a sneak attack.
Upon noticing it, their subordinates' felt a sense of dread as they continued to observe the slightest change in their environment.
"I feel like something's off!" Asser's subordinate said, furrowing his brow. "There is some kind of special energy inside the valley that seems to gather around the weird markings on the mountains. Don't tell me it's something bad..."
"I'll go in to report to our lord!" said another as he charged into the cavern Asser had entered.
At this moment, weird noises could be heard coming from the mountains as the ground shook fiercely, causing countless cracks to form beneath their feet. The weird power within the mountains congregated around the top of the mountains. Instantly, the light coming from the runes grew to blinding levels.
"Something's happening!" Dhaka's subordinate yelled in panic. "You few, inform the lord about this immediately!"
Dagmar's men reacted the same. They felt some kind of odd energy being released by the mountains. Not only did it affect the terrain around the valley, but it also changed the mountains themselves.
The changes happened so rapidly that before Dagmar's subordinates managed to enter the caverns, a loud explosion rang out from the depths of the earth. Wafts of gas came out from the cracks and blended with the black miasma.
At the same time, the shaking made the three mountains unstable. The one Dagmar went into slanted more and more to one side like a drunk giant.
"What's going on?" the three Hegemons yelled from within their respective mountains.
"Danger! Retreat!" Asser yelled. His voice rang loud like thunder through the caverns.
They felt the abnormality even clearer than the subordinates they left outside. It felt as though there were terrifying energy reactors within the mountains continuously filling the mountains with energies. As they continued to shake, rubble started falling from the top.
While the godhunters, as godly beings, wouldn't be afraid of mere rocks that fell from the ceiling, that coupled with the violent shaking of the mountains and the energy the cores at their center unleashed caused quite a lot of force to be imbued in the falling rocks, making them quite the threat.
Not only did the energies make the rocks weigh tons, they even caused them to fall at much faster speeds. With the caverns so narrow and filled with godhunters, most of them could barely avoid the rocks and were rammed by them harshly.
Under the bombardment of the rocks that were charged up by the mysterious energy, the godhunters fared no better than mortal humans. Many of them ended up broken and bleeding, with some frantically deploying barriers above their heads in hopes of being able to prevent some damage.
It was a shame that the supercharged rocks were so powerful that they easily destabilized the barriers they deployed before crushing them like eggshells. The rocks ricochet around in the caverns and caused huge casualties among the godhunters.
Many of them couldn't even lift a finger against the rocks, especially when they were pushing against each other in the tight space like sardines. They only stood a chance if they smashed the rocks with joint attacks.
But even then, destroying the rocks would cause them to explode like grenades, sending extremely penetrative shrapnel in every direction and causing them grave injuries.
Their retreat paths had collapsed and they were trapped. Therefore, even though they knew that they would be seriously injured, they did everything they could to destroy the rocks. It was their only chance of survival.
"Salas! You did this!" Dhaka roared as he destroyed the rocks that blocked his way.
By now, he was well aware that he had fallen into a trap. Although it sounded as though he was suspicious of Salas, he didn't imagine Salas would actually betray them.
"How would I know something like this would happen? Dhaka, did you think I wanted to harm you?" Salas said, hiding his guilt. "Do I have any reason to harm you? I have a huge grudge against Bryan! I'm also here to settle debts with him, just like you!"
Dhaka didn't overthink it. Seeing how agitated Salas seemed, he said, "I don't know if you've actually entrapped us, but if it wasn't for your suggestion, we wouldn't have entered this place!"
"Hey, own up for your own actions for once! Dagmar himself charged in here! What does this have to do with me, damn it? Don't blame others just because you fucked up! I'll quit if you keep doing this!"
Salas didn't have a good temper to begin with. Though his temperament now was much more subdued than when he was at the Fringe thanks to the losses he suffered at the hands of Han Shuo and his son, his short fuse was still there. Coupled with the fact that Salas was contemptuous of Dhaka and the rest to begin with, he doubled down on his attitude.
Seeing Salas rage, Dhaka stopped wasting time arguing with him and shut up after an unhappy humph. He knew that he still needed Salas to fight their way out of the caverns. If Salas was to ignore him now in a fit of pique, as an overgod, Dhaka could most likely survive this predicament. The majority of his subordinates, however, would perish.
Making a mental note to revisit this matter, Dhaka shut up and focused on destroying the rocks that had filled the path they took. While the rocks were almost impervious to ordinary experts, Dhaka and Salas were powerful enough that it wasn't a problem. They eventually managed to open up a path leading outside.
"Retreat!" Dhaka yelled, letting his subordinates through first instead of charging out first. His men hurriedly charged towards their singular hope for survival.
Loud explosions continued to ring out from the center of the mountains as the shaking got worse. The two of them felt that the mountain would collapse sooner or later.
"Heavens, what is going on here?" Dhaka's subordinates exclaimed at the center of the valley.
As a result of the explosions, cracks hundreds of meters deep formed at the feet of the mountain into a mess that resembled a spider's web. It was as if a mouth opened up at the feet of the three mountains, attempting to swallow all three of them up.
"Quick, run!" Dhaka felt the mountain sinking rapidly. He wondered who could be so powerful to force three huge mountains to fall towards the ground within such a short time.
With things set in stone, there was no stopping the mountains from sinking into the abyss. The forces of the ground closed in on the sinking mountains with huge pressure while the energies within the mountains themselves exploded outwards.
Once again, another tragic disaster had unfolded! As the mountains sank, the runes etched on them exploded one after another. Then, as though a chain reaction, an even greater explosion erupted inside the mountains, causing them to fracture into many more pieces. The godhunters within them were either crushed by the sheer force of those explosions or by the falling rocks.
In but an instant, most of the three's subordinates had perished in the mountains.
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