The Amber Sword - v4c158




Kurkel Palace, four in the afternoon----- 

Lemo jolted awake from atop his couch, welcomed by the sight of his tables and cabinets shaking like a leaf. His furniture was slowly rumbled towards a corner, and the teacups on the table clattered like no tomorrow. “An earthquake!” His mind finally settled on the fearsome thought. Abruptly, the guards had broken through his walnut wood door with a loud bang.

His trusted crony barged in, face completely pale. “S-Sir, I think you should see this…” 

“Where’s the princess?!” 

Lemo leapt off the couch like a leopard. He fisted the man’s shirt and yelled, “Evacuate everyone out of the palace now!” 

The man could only shake his head fervently. It was at this moment that a calm voice came through the door. “Sir Knight Captain, let go of him. You need to calm down.” As if stabbed, Lemo immediately released his crony. He lifted his head, meeting the eyes of the half-elven girl standing behind trembling doors. Princess Gryphine was here, accompanied by a few knights while Duke Viero stood by her side. They looked unfazed, no one even seemed to mind the debris falling off the ceiling onto their shoulders. 

Lemo was flustered, face turning red. He hadn’t expected the princess to be here already. “Your majesty, we must leave the buildings at once,” he suggested dutifully. 

“There’s no need for that. This is not an earthquake.” 

Princess Gryphine continued, “Sir Knight Captain, bring your men and have the mages at the Tower of Moon and Stars activate the city’s magic defences.” 

“Magic defences?”

Lemo was caught aback. Were they under attack? 

He instinctively cast a questioning gaze to the others, earning a sigh from Gryphine. Only the crony had approached Lemo to whisper, “Sir, you’ll understand once you see what’s happening outside.” 

Vaunte, five minutes earlier----

The alarm bells of the Holy Cathedral rang loudly. The Lion’s Mane Squad quickly ascended into the skies and split up in different directions. The lush greenery of the outskirts looked as if it had been visited by a storm; the emerald green canopy swayed with the wind, revealing the pale grey leaves below. As shockwaves penetrate through the clouds, monk soldiers rolled up the city walls in long lines. In all four corners of the city centre, the tip of the Spire Guard shone with a profound magical glow. 

Almost instantly, a pale lilac hemispherical light screen opened up over the city; a veil was formed over the area from Mandolin Bazaar to the Water Gate. 

Frantic citizens were running along the streets to gather at the city centre, almost as if they were chased by some invisible terror. 

On Central Square, Officer Kenning watched the skies. It sure did seem like doomsday had arrived. He prayed, 

“Oh Lord Marsha, please protect us!” 

Right behind him, the Head of Security roared like an enraged dragon, “You damned idiots! What are you still standing around for?! Alert the Holy Cathedral of Fire right away! Go! Tell them we’re in big trouble and we’re all done for!” 

“Have them investigate who’s behind this spell!” 

The Patrol Knights quickly scrambled to work. 

Lion Beastman’s fortress, ten past four in the afternoon---

Unlike the tense situation in Vaunte, the golden Lion’s City seemed to be under the attack of a silencing spell.  

The entire city was eerily quiet. All the lion-faced, long-maned beastmen on every street, every square and even the bazaars and shops froze. Even the axe-bearing dwarfs and grey halflings were no exceptions. As if under a powerful spell, everyone was staring into the skies.

The clouds were gloomy above the city. However, it seemed to be travelling closer to the city centre in a circle of ripples. Suddenly, shockwaves chased the dark clouds away in different directions. Thick clouds were torn apart, shredded and moulded into balls of lighter clouds akin to fish scales. It drifted away and left behind a brilliant blue sky that looked like a flawless undisturbed lake surface under the bright sun.  

There were no clouds in the sky. 

The golden Spire Guard of the Asamoyed Cathedral glimmered in the sun. 

There were no cheers and no praises for such a miracle. No one dared to even make the slightest noise. 

The gates of the golden palace were opened. Under the chaperone of a group of monks, an elderly beastman sacrifice stepped out of the Holy Cathedral. His white robe swayed with every step taken like beach waves. Yet, everyone still had their eyes glued to the skies. They knelt down almost desperately and begged the gods for forgiveness. 

Up above in the dark blue skies. 

The white lines of the Tiamat array were so clear that they looked like explanation diagrams drawn on the blackboard. Yet, its arched lines of varying thicknesses were not intertwined, each spanning across half the sky; giving it a diameter of more than tens of thousands of miles. The lines looked like white trails that exited the lighter clouds at the far end. It crossed the top of their heads, connecting itself to the other side of the horizon. 

Several vertical lines were connected to the centre of the array; a spectacular scene that could only be seen on the clearest day. 

But today, the sight was harrowing to those that witnessed it. 

The white array continued to rotate and overlapped each other, almost as if they were moving away from the other end of the sky. While there was no sound, it was a sight that could make hearts roar like rolling thunder. Every movement had brought the array through hundreds of miles across the sky. Eventually, the rotating gears were positioned right above the Lion Beastmen’s fortress. 

Without a single warning, an overwhelming pressure came from the sky. 

Everyone in the city clambered down to the ground as if receiving the teachings of the gods. 

Maynild raised her head. 

The buzzing sound was growing intense and the Folding Sword Squad had started to back away slowly. Yet at this very moment, those at the scene felt an indescribable feeling. It felt like they were watching the birth of some inexplicable majestic force. Maynild and Little Pero, who were at the tail end of the retreating group, turned their heads in unison. 

As if on cue, there was a flash of light and everyone saw a circle of faint light patterns gathering towards it. It looked slow but it was actually very fast. At a glance, Little Pero could tell that the light patterns had started from around the Violet Castle and went east towards Kurkel. It had travelled a distance of a few hundred miles at the speed of light. The light rays went across their heads and headed straight for the centre of the obsidian buildings. 

Everything had happened too fast. 

The light patterns gathered together and formed a blinding ball of light. Then, a light pillar was erected from its centre. Buzz! It pierced straight through the clouds like it was nothing but water. As the clouds rippled, dread overwhelmed everyone.  

“This… This is…” 

… 

All it took was one light tap from Korfa’s finger and a pure screen of white was all that was left behind. 

Light flooded around with the pillar and engulfed the entire city like a merciless tsunami. The proud towers, walls, fortresses and the most iconic golden Spire Guard were devoured by the blinding light. There was no sound of destruction, no explosions, no screams and no fire. It looked like the moment Marsha made a spark and birthed the world. 

When the light dissipated, the proud fortress of the lion beastmen was wiped off the surface of this world; not a hint of it remained. The thirty-four thousand beastmen, dwarves and halflings living in this city were wiped out of existence. The only proof of the incident was the multiple gigantic craters left behind on the plains that had smoke coming out of it.

Brendel felt his jaw slack at the scene. 

It was the God’s Judgement, the light element fourteen-ring divine guide spell. 

Without reservation, Korfa placed her finger on another projection----- Vaunte. 

“You’re insane!” roared Brendel. The next two projections were harrowing; he recognized the Ampere Seale and Kurkel. 

Princess Gryphine was still in Kurkel! 

Korfa turned to face him with dull silver eyes. “Why would you say that, human? Weren’t you the one who awakened me?” Her voice resonated in the spacious hall with no ounce of regret nor excitement.  

“You were awakened by the All for One worshippers, not us! Those people had nothing to do with this!”

“The worshippers of All for One are a generation of Peak Iron, they reserve the right to decide the world’s fate.” 

“They’re nothing but a bunch of bastards that had their hearts defiled by Twilight!” 

“So you’ve turned yourselves into the messengers of destruction?” Korfa smiled amusedly. 

“Damn it!” 

Brendel lunged forward and slashed at Korfa. But before his blade could even come close, his attack was reflected away with a buzz. It was as if Korfa was protected by a light wall. The violent impact shook the ground, shockwaves occurring as hexagonal light patterns on the ground. Korfa glanced over and moved her left hand towards him. Searing white static assaulted him, Brendel screamed and was sent flying away. He fell heavily on the ground. 

With that, a quarter of his life was lost. 

Through clenched teeth, he immediately bounced back to his feet. At this moment, a hand landed on his shoulder. Brendel wasn’t sure when Veronica and Mephisto had come behind him. The Sword Saints placed Peja and Yaruta down. The siblings seemed to have fallen unconscious again in the process of falling. Both of them lifted their heads to look at Korfa in unison, who was in the middle of the hall. “Brendel, what’s going on?” Veronica was the first to ask. 

“She needs to be stopped immediately. She is about to destroy all the cities on the projection and she has gained control over Milo’s body. She’s able to use all of Milo’s powers at will!” Brendel inhaled shakily. Now that Veronica and his master were here, he felt relieved. Their combined capabilities were comparable to a level-fifty pack in the game. 
 
It didn’t take long for Veronica to recognize Vaunte from the projections. Her expression shifted but remained still, the thin sword on her waist unsheathed automatically and appeared in her grip. Brendel took a look at the thin sword; it wasn’t the Azure Skies but a high-quality magic sword. It finally dawned upon Brendel that the female squad leader seemed to have improved significantly, though he wasn’t sure if it was caused by the Loop of Trade Winds incident or the demonic wave. 

“A fully awakened real god?” asked Mephisto with furrowed brows. 

The question helped root Brendel down. 

No. Judging from Korfa’s voice, she was still in the middle of getting used to Milo’s body. Under these circumstances, she could only be considered a fake god at best. Yet, there were vast differences between a fake god and mortals. The light screen floating beside her was the legendary Divine Screen and it was resistant against mortal attacks. Jeez, how were they supposed to win this battle? If they failed to kill Korfa, a massacre would happen. 

Impossible. 

If Korfa really was the legendary hidden boss, surely there were hints hidden in the Awakening God’s words. 

Brendel narrowed his eyes, catching Veronica charging towards Korfa with a shocking speed. In an instant, a green shadow appeared behind Korfa. Veronica tilted her sword side to side and manifested a green dragon that lunged for Korfa. Unfortunately, its attempt had ended up like Brendel’s earlier attack; it was reflected away by a hexagonal network as soon as it contacted the light screen. The dragon was instantly broken and an electric ring bounced out of the light screen. Yet, this ring didn’t come close to Veronica but instead cut her dragon into halves. 

Within a breath, Veronica had attacked and retaliated. She landed gently beside Brendel, brows deeply scrunched. “An Absolute Gap?” She looked at Brendel.

Brendel nodded. 

The Absolute Gap entailed a difference between mortal powers and divine powers. This was the core principle to the laws of Tiamat, which was also known as the ultimate law. The power of existence took priority over law and order. Only the powers of existence could affect divine beings, rendering mortal powers nothing but bubbles. In this aspect, fancy tricks and attacks were just meaningless. 

“If she isn’t a real god, why is there an Absolute Gap between us?” Veronica seethed through clenched teeth. 

Brendel could only shake his head helplessly.

Indeed, Korfa wasn’t a real god. So why was there an Absolute Gap? The Divine Screen was clearly resultant of the Absolute Gap. How were they supposed to continue their fight? Brendel was certain that something was amiss. This battle was too tough to be included in the game. He looked around, hoping to find a clue but he already had his suspicion. 

This was a world mission.

The game’s world boundary had been separated into two. 

Back then, players would choose the former but he had unintentionally landed himself in the latter. The future plot progression was completely different and he wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing yet.