Published at 18th of November 2020 07:24:52 PM
“Let’s go back to the underground and join Cordelia there . ”
Their exact destination was the bridge where Lacto had appeared, the place where the Fairy Queen had requested the two to get rid of Lacto .
There was no bridge now, but the other side was still connected to the outskirts of Endymion .
“To be able to secretly meet the fairies in this way…it would be a great study . When I get back later, I must try it in a place where there are fairy legends . ”
“Uh…yes . Good luck . ”
It would probably be difficult .
A girl who was as beautiful and lovely as Cordelia would not be common even in the vast empire .
‘It’s not because of bean pods . ’
T/N: This is a comeback of the Korean idiom, ‘One’s eyes are covered with bean pods’, that was used on Episode 76 . 1 . It means ‘to only see the good in someone after falling in love with them . ’
After coming up with such an excuse to himself, Jude opened his mouth again .
“Moving on, it’s still in a relatively safe area, so I’d like to tell you of some information we know . ”
“Does that have something to do with the situation right now?”
“Yes, you’re right . In fact…we are not just affiliated with the Academy . ”
Kaplan nodded at Jude’s words .
Because he had seen with his own eyes the powers of Jude and Cordelia, who were too powerful to be just undergraduate students .
“We actually have a connection with the Guardians of the Holy Cross . ”
“Ah! I see!”
The Guardians of the Holy Cross, who were active throughout the continent, engaged in fierce battles against the demon followers .
“I understand now . ”
Why the two came to Endymion .
Why the hearts of the two were so beautiful .
‘A female saint and a holy man . ’
‘There seems to be some misunderstanding, but since it doesn’t look bad, let’s just leave it . ’
When their thoughts were over, the two resumed their conversation .
“The woman we met earlier was Lena Ainsburg . Have you heard of her?”
“Of course . How could I not know one of the five heroes of the Paragon Kingdom, the Holy Angel Lena?”
Though there were many stories about the tragedy of the Paragon Kingdom, the incident itself was widely known throughout the continent .
It was a great event since an entire kingdom was destroyed by the Demon Prince who was summoned from hell .
“She’s as famous as the Iron Man Landius or the Ghostblade Kamael . ”
Holy Angel Lena .
She was the last angel who was born and raised on Pleaides .
Among the five heroes of the Paragon Kingdom with all kinds of nicknames, she was the only woman and was symbolized as an ‘angel . ’
That was why she always played the beautiful heroine in the songs of bards who sang about the tragedy of the Paragon Kingdom .
“I never planned to meet Lena here . We came here to investigate…but somehow, something bigger than we had expected is happening here in Endymion . ”
With a serious face, Kaplan nodded at Jude’s explanation .
They had already seen that many monsters from hell .
“That’s all I can explain right now . ”
“That’s enough . I’ll do my best to help you . ”
Kaplan thumped on his chest and stepped forward with enthusiasm, and Jude felt a strange satisfaction at Kaplan’s appearance that was quite different from the game .
And time passed .
After following the map, Jude and Kaplan were finally able to arrive on the opposite side of the bridge .
“Ah! Jude is here!”
Cordelia was sitting on the ground and chatting with the fairies before she jumped up from her seat and said .
The appearance of her brightly smiling and waving her hand was a heartwarming sight for Jude .
“Cordelia . ”
“Our talks went well . Isn’t that right, Your Majesty?”
When Cordelia quickly asked the Wild Fairy Queen sitting on her shoulder, she nodded .
“I heard everything from Cordelia . You were really working hard for us fairies . As the Queen of the Wild Fairies, I wish to express my gratitude to the both of you . ”
At the words of the Wild Fairy Queen, Kaplan blinked his eyes, wondering what she was talking about, but not for Jude .
Because Cordelia smiled and sent a gaze saying that she worked hard .
‘I did a good job, didn’t I?’
‘Good job . I’ll stamp it for you later . ’
‘Bullsh*t . ’
T/N: To those who didn’t get it, some teachers stamp ‘good job’ to the papers of students who did a good job on something .
However, Cordelia’s smile grew wider as if she was satisfied .
What Cordelia did was actually simple .
‘It’s not totally a scam . ’
Something unusual was indeed happening in Endymion’s underground .
The appearance of Lacto was not a coincidence .
More demons would appear in the fairies’ territory if they had left it unattended .
‘I can’t let the fairies be in danger . In order to protect the fairies’ territory, Jude and I will investigate it . It would be very dangerous, but we’ll still do it . For the safety of the fairies and the Queen!’
There was a slight change in the order of events, and some beautiful words were added, but it wasn’t a lie .
After all, if they saved Lena and solved Endymion’s problem, won’t the fairies be safe?
‘It’s a win-win situation . ’
Dredge a ditch and catch a crawfish .
Sweep the yard and pick up coins .
T/N: The above two lines are Korean/Chinese proverbs that pretty much has the same meaning of the English idiom, ‘kill two birds with one stone . ’
“I really don’t know what to say . I resented you for a while when you thought of us like that back then…”
“No, no . I never resented you . Of course not . ”
The graceful Fairy Queen was flustered when Jude asked her .
But Jude was just joking .
She was robbed like that in the first place, so it wouldn’t make sense if she didn’t feel any resentment .
‘Anyway, our plan still went well . ’
The original plan was Jude and Cordelia begging the Fairy Queen to lend Bellagio, and the Fairy Queen granting it out of her gratitude for their sacrifice and service .
There was a very big difference between the two .
‘Particularly if there’s a reward or not . ’
Jude’s eyes suddenly shone for a moment, but he pushed his self-interest aside and began talking .
“Fairy Queen, as you’ve already heard from Cordelia, Lena Ainsburg, one of the five heroes of the Paragon Kingdom, seems to be somewhere in Endymion . We need to find her . ”
“Yes, I heard about it from Cordelia . You two have worked so hard for us, so it makes sense for us to help you too . My children have already gone to pick up Bellagio, so they’ll be here soon . ”
“Thank you . ”
“Thank you very much . ”
It was shortly after Jude and the Fairy Queen exchanged an amiable conversation .
“We brought Bellagio!”
“Good boy, good boy . ”
The last one was the words of the fairy on top of Bellagio’s head .
“Oooh! It’s a real Bellagio! It looks exactly like the one in the legend!”
‘Yeah, though it really looks like a golden retriever . ’
It was a golden retriever that had a white color and had wings .
Bellagio flew with the fairies on its head and back, and its personality resembled a golden retriever as it was panting with a gentle face .
“C-cute . Your Majesty, can I hug it?”
“You may do so . ”
When the Fairy Queen gave her permission, Cordelia widely smiled and hugged Bellagio .
“Wow, it’s soft . Jude, Jude, it’s cute, right? Right? Kyaa~”
Her small ‘kyaa’ at the end was because of Bellagio .
Bellagio had licked Cordelia’s cheek with its tongue .
And so, instead of answering Cordelia’s question, Jude counted numbers in his mind .
‘One, two, three, four, five . ’
Done . That was enough .
Three for people and five for animals .
Jude interrupted the hug by pulling the scruff of Bellagio who was in Cordelia’s arms and switched the topic right before anyone could say anything .
“Your Majesty, please forgive for hurrying because we don’t have much time . ”
“Yes, I know the urgency of the matter . Bellagio needs to remember the traces of mana, so can you give me the feather?”
“Here it is . ”
Jude took out Lena’s feather and the Fairy Queen infused some magic into the feather that was almost the same as her height .
“Luke, remember this, okay?”
At the Queen’s question, the Bellagio named Luke immediately panted, nodded and wagged its tail .
“Yes, good boy . ”
The Queen smiled and said as she looked at Jude again .
“The Bellagio will lead you . ”
“Thank you . And Your Majesty, the introduction was late, but this is Sir Indiana Kaplan . He is a lifelong professor at the academy in Argon Empire and is a valuable companion of us . ”
The Fairy Queen gracefully smiled at Kaplan when Jude introduced him, and Kaplan blushed and got teary .
Because Jude had said that he was a ‘valuable companion . ’
“Indiana Kaplan greets the Fairy Queen . ”
When Kaplan courteously greeted her with a quivering voice, the Fairy Queen answered with an elegant voice .
“Indiana Kaplan, thank you so much for helping us . And…since you’re a friend of Jude and Cordelia, it would be reasonable to give you a Protection too . ”
It was when the Fairy Queen who had said so, tried to approach Kaplan .
“No, no . He’s bald . ”
“Potbelly . ”
“Short-heighted . ”
The fairies who brought Bellagio complained and expressed their opposition .
They were indeed fairies who highly valued appearances .
But the Fairy Queen was a little different .
Unlike the other fairies who acted like kids, she was thoughtful and caring so she said to the discouraged Kaplan .
“That’s not true . Look at him too . These beautiful moist eyes . It’s like I’m looking at a jewel . ”
Having said so, the Fairy Queen kissed Kaplan’s broad forehead .
“May the Protection of the Earth be with you . ”
The Fairy Queen’s smile was so benevolent that everyone who saw it would think of her as a saint .
“Thank…you . ”
Kaplan fell into a trance and barely expressed his gratitude, and the Fairy Queen giggled like a fairy, flew back, and then said to Jude and Cordelia .
“May the protection of the earth be always with you, too . ”
“Thank you, Fairy Queen . ”
“Thank you very much . ”
Jude and Cordelia bowed again, and the Fairy Queen waved her hand at them before taking the fairies back .
Just as Jude had said, it was an urgent situation, so they couldn’t delay it any longer .
“Come and see me again when you’re done . ”
“Yes, Your Majesty . ”
It was questionable if they could receive a reward after returning Bellagio, but getting rewards was also important .
Jude waved his hand at the Fairy Queen and began moving again with Bellagio in the lead .
And quite some time passed .
Bellagio stopped in place and barked .
“What is it saying?”
Although Jude was familiar with the various languages in the Legend of Heroes series, he couldn’t understand the dog’s words .
But it was at that moment .
Cordelia said as her eyes slightly narrowed .
“Uh…it seems like it can feel a lot of mana . ”
Jude blinked in surprise and asked again, but Cordelia looked at Bellagio instead of answering .
“Luke, are you saying that there are feathers in many places?”
“I see . There must be feathers everywhere . I think it’s asking which one to look for . ”
Bellagio nodded and wagged its tail at Cordelia’s interpretation .
The two seemed to be exactly the same .
“As expected of a beast . You can communicate with each other . ”
“Do you want to die?”
Jude nodded at Cordelia’s cute threat and said after thinking for a moment .
“Tell it to follow the one with the greatest trace of mana . ”
“Okay . Luke, follow the one with the greatest trace of mana…wait, you can do it too . ”
“No, I thought you’d translate it into beast language… Oww! That hurts! It hurts!”
“Would I hit you if it doesn’t hurt? Woof-woof! Woof-woof-woof!”
Cordelia snarled and slapped Jude’s back before taking a deep breath and speaking to Luke again .
“Luke, please . ”
“Woof-woof . ”
Luke nodded and began to move forward again .
And quite some time passed by again .
The group approached the center of Endymion slowly but surely .
While on the move, they encountered the monsters from hell several times, but fortunately, only a few appeared, so the two were able to defeat them without much difficulty .
But when a relaxing time passed like that…
Jude strongly felt that something was out of place .
‘It’s strange . ’
They encountered several monsters on their way here .
There were also five different types .
However, there were no demonic humans among them .
They hadn’t encountered a single demon follower .
He wondered on what had happened .
They were no longer outside . They were on the way to the center .
‘Moreover, the monsters were also strange . ’
They had defeated all the monsters they had encountered so far .
However, the alarm had not sounded yet . There seemed to be no monsters who realized that they were moving .
How can this be?
If someone had summoned the monsters for a purpose, there would be some organizational structure among the monsters .
Why is this happening?
What is the cause of this strangeness?
“Woof-woof . ”
It was then .
Bellagio barked, and Cordelia nodded with a tense face .
“Jude, Lena’s mana feels strong here . And…from here on, this seems to be a different section . ”
At Cordelia’s words, Jude quickly opened the map .
As she had said, if they left the area they were in right now, they would enter the ‘underground city,’ the center of the Endymion capital .
“On the map, it looks like the city was built in a huge cavity…is it like a city of ancient dwarves?”
When Kaplan asked in a low voice, Jude nodded .
Until now, it had been a common underground facility, but from here on, it was different .
It was the beginning of a true underground city with buildings that were tens of thousands of meters in height that were built inside the huge cavity .
“Let’s proceed more carefully . ”
“Yes . ”
Cordelia replied with a very tense face, spoke quietly as she patted Bellagio’s back, and Bellagio began to take the lead again .
And a few minutes passed by again .
The group arrived in front of an enormous stone gate and unconsciously frowned .
“Can you feel it?”
“I can feel it . ”
Jude could feel it and Cordelia could also feel the demonic mana because of the witch’s power .
No, even Kaplan who was insensitive in that direction could also feel the immense power that was being transmitted beyond the stone gate .
What is it? What’s beyond the stone gate that we could even feel this level of power?
“It’s not right across the door . It’s far away . ”
Cordelia said after she had closed her eyes and maximized her senses . Jude couldn’t also feel such a power right behind the stone gate .
“Lena’s mana is in between that power . ”
It was the link between Lena’s death and some sort of incident in Endymion .
Jude composed himself as he took a deep breath before looking back at everyone .
“Let’s go . ”
“We’re ready . ”
“Woof-woof . ”
After hearing everyone’s answers, Jude opened the stone door .
And immediately afterwards, the moment they saw the sight before their eyes, Jude understood it .
He figured out the only answer that could explain all the incongruities up to now .
“Hell…Gate . ”
It wasn’t something like a summoning .
It wasn’t an incident involving the Devil’s Eyes either .
The monsters from hell suddenly appeared .
They had been wandering around without any chain of command .
It was natural .
They weren’t summoned with a special purpose in the first place .
They just stepped into Endymion through the Hell Gate .
In the center of Endymion was a giant magic sphere like the sun . It was something that could be seen at a far distance .
The purple aura of hell overflowed between the cracks of that huge space .