The Golden Battle Flag fluttered in the hall, its blinding radiance spread out in all directions. Not only did it dispel the darkness, it seemed like dawn had arrived and revealing the details of every runic pattern on the floor. Andrea, Ropar, The Angels, and the Wind Spirit Dragons bathed in the warm rays, the Golem’s final line of defense seemed to crumble away just as the darkness did.
However, it was not Brendel who dealt the victory strike.
The Golem still stood a fighting chance, summoning several level 60~70 Devils to take down Ropar and Andrea. But then, the Golem dropped to the ground, like a towering skyscraper that was wiggling and falling apart.
Bathing under the holy light, the Golem squinted its eyes. It felt as if the world is deviating from the original timeline. And by the time it realised that he had long fallen to the ground.
Brendel watched every moment of it.
He soon realised that the Golem had long overexerted itself, relying just on its own stubbornness to keep going. And upon realisation that all hope was naught, it gave up, entirely.
The Devil with the large sword went up in flames before Brendel’s army, a stalk of flames that sparked out of its center, and it turned into ash in an instant.
Not far away, a golden circle lit up on the ground and from within it, Ina and her few summons that remained emerged. The Primordial Sin Emrakul was long gone. As she looked back, the first thing she saw was the Pendulum Golem on the ground, and it made her cast an empty gaze.
Looking at that sight must not have felt good for her. Brendel thought.
As it laid on the ground, the rhythmic ‘tic, toc’ that came from beneath the hood gradually became softer. The Golem was not speaking, and who knows what it was thinking. Its summons and magic spells vanished. All was just like an illusion, never before existed.
Ina came over, her eyes red with tears as she knelt down next to the Golem. “You damned tin can! What are your intentions? I really don’t get you!”
"I was trying...to protect...Master's rules..." it muttered with its metallic voice that seemed to be fading off, "Every single step of Master's strategy is necessary. If he was unable to defeat me, I would have killed him. I cannot...let down the wishes… Such a huge burden… We cannot handle making a mistake…”
Ina fell silent.
“Will you only acknowledge him when you pass? Are you satisfied now that you’re going to die?! Obviously you knew that he was the first Planeswalker to ever step in here in hundreds of years, and he would likely be the last as well. So why must you do such a meaningless act? You retard! Idiot! Fool!" She crumbled onto Pendulum Golem’s body and cried out loud.
"Precisely... because...he is the final one, we have to... take extra measures. Master is long gone... So why... should I feel... anything for... this world?" His voice was cracking from the wreck of a body he had left, "Ina... you didn’t know... just how much I wished... that I was a Planeswalker as well..."
Brendel was silent by their side the entire time, with his summons lined up behind him. Even if he was victorious, it left a bad taste in his mouth and he was not in the slightest delighted about it. The victory was a fluke, an unexpected outcome that he did not see coming from the beginning.
Instead of calling it a victory, it seemed to be closer related to a loss.
The Golem, however, did not care about the outcome. It looked at Brendel, its face back to the emotionless one it always wore.
"Boy...I can’t trust you. You have no idea... what a true Planeswalker is like... but I do wish... you don't disappoint my hopes..."
It shook its head and sigh, the voice trailing off in the wide emptiness. An unknown period of time had passed, and she finally began to collect her emotions. She thought for a while before turning to look at Brendel, the frivolous and cheerful lady gone.
"You must want to know what is actually going on, do you?" Ina said.
Brendel first shook his head, and then nodded. It was not like he had never seen such a scene before. Vaunte’s main route was the struggle of civilization against destiny. The history was never riddled with laughter, but rather bloody sacrifices. This kind of scene, he had seen too much of it.
He had many thoughts, but when they reached the mouth, he spoke, “You wanted to save it, didn’t you?”
Ina was silent, and answered him half a beat later, “I’m sorry for using you.”
"I am not blaming you," Brendel shook his head. “It’s totally fine.”
Hearing that, Ina felt a slight warmth in her heart. She looked at the human and was glad to be understood by him. The companion she always had on their travels is now gone. Looking at his stoned face, she reminisced the adventures they had together alongside their master, memories that seemed to have happened yesterday. However, even that was slowly fading away.
Ina choked back her sobs and remained silent. After a while, she spoke with much difficulty, “That was embarrassing...boy.”
“Now may I know what had happened here?” Brendel nodded before asking. “And this tomb, and the underground cavern, the formation, and you guys. Are all of you Kelsie’s?”
"The Pendulum Golem and I were Master’s summoned from Master’s Card of Fates. He brought us along his travels across multiple worlds, starting from one called Don DeKas in a kingdom known as Hiarza. The tin can was Master’s first summon and had been by his side for far longer than I am. But I was his most important aide, as, in terms of strategic planning, I was far superior to that guy with only screws and trinkets for brains.” As she spoke from memory, she could not help but laugh.
"Our journey was not monotonous, and we had experienced many interesting events: From battles to romance and friendship. As we moved between worlds, Master began to age and traveling through worlds isn’t as easy as it was before. But we knew Master was always searching for something, and did not care to battle enemies that got ever so stronger. But as to what he was looking for, we, his summons, had not a single clue to what it was, except that it had some connection with some fight with another powerful existence. Golem knew more about it.
And then, we arrived here, Vaunte to witness a battle that shook even the heavens. And after the fight, Master just decided to remain in this world. He spent his time to build this Magical Formation beneath our feet right now. Took all of us ten years to complete it. The tomb outside was nothing but a facade, one to cover up the underground work we were doing down here. A noble, one very interesting human, helped us in the efforts to keep all of it a secret. And after several decades, he passed to an illness and was buried here.”
Brendel listened attentively. He knew that the game, The Amber Sword was set in the Vaunte continent. But never did he expect the world to be so much bigger. After the second era, people began to understand that there lied other realms beyond the fog in the Dark Forest. While he was unsure whether the realms were as big as Vaunte or even if they were protected by Marsha, but Brendel was quite certain that it was only Planeswalkers who could traverse these realms.
But they just stayed as rumors, nothing more.
"And then Master decided to slumber here for eternity. Planeswalker will not die of old age. In reality, a Planeswalker’s life is seemingly infinite. But he was gravely injured and had no choice but to rest here. Before passing, he bestowed me and the Pendulum Golem the breath of life and even gave us part of his powers: the abilities to use some of his Cards. But there were limitations as we were not actual Planeswalkers.
He also gave us another mission, the last mission: to protect this place and not let anyone intrude it. He also added that someone with powers similar to his will arrive here one day." Ina stared deep into Brendel. “That’s you.”
"Me?" Brendel was surprised. After all, it was coincidences that led him here.
There must be some sort of requirement that he met for him to be here. For example, if a player from the Madara faction were to deliver the message from Amandina’s dad to her, Amandina would definitely not follow the player.
That was because some factors decided the operations of an NPC. There were no certainties set in stone.
"And so, what is the purpose of this hall?"
“To be honest with you, even we have no idea. Master was just super cautious about this place. All I could manage was that, besides Master, there were two other powerhouses that sacrificed their lives for its construction.”
"Were these two people Planeswalkers.?"
"Nope," Ina shook her head, "I had seen one of them in action before. She was so powerful I was sure she would not lose to Master in a fight.”
Brendel drew in a cold breath. There were individuals who could best a Planeswalker? If Kelsie was able to conjure a projection of Emrakul, his abilities were already way beyond anyone he knew. Besides, he never believed that there was someone who could rival a Planeswalker besides the Darkness Dragon since the beginning of the era. At least not in any legends he had ever heard of.
And he was sure the Darkness Dragon was not a woman.
Looking bask, this hall took the lives of three people at the level of Kelsie, but for what exactly? He doubted that it was so his predecessor could pass on Paradise of Adversity to him. There must be something else down here. However, looking at Ina’s expression, he doubted that she was hiding anything from him. Maybe she indeed did not know what was here.
"Do you still remember the era when you arrived here?” Brendel asked after some thought.
Ina was thinking about the matter meticulously. It was such a distant memory that she needed more than just a jog of memory to remember it.
"Alright. It may not have been the same calendar as it was now, but according to the ways of locals back then, it should be the 540th Aucas year."
Brendel drew a blank. The Kirrlutz used ‘Eras’ to measure time. The recordings began since The Azure Knights broke through the heavens in the Second Era and were widely used since then. It was said that it was the brainchild of the greatest genius of Miirna, Planeswalker Tuman. However, the recordings only reached until the War of the Holy Saints.
"I admit, I’m unfamiliar with such a method of recording time," Brendel sighed and his shoulders fell. Upon another thought, he asked, "Were there any famous names that you could remember from back then?"
"The woman I mentioned before was such a person, It was just that I forgot her name. The other is someone you and I know, like my master, he was a Planeswalker as well, just way stronger than both of the people mentioned… Dude! You possess his legacy!"
"Tuman!" Brendel nearly jumped into the air, "Tuman! Dear Marsha! You guys came when Tuman was still alive? How many years has it been? Three thousand? Four thousand years…! Wait... Wait a minute......"
He pressed his forehead, feeling the ache in his temples, "If I recall correctly, the Darkness Dragon Odin was still alive at the time......"
Ina looked at him, "I've heard of such a name."