White bursts of steam ejected from the metal pipes lined on both sides of the door . In the blink of an eye, the blinding strength of Order swept everyone in the form of a halo as it extended to the end of the tunnels . The door slowly opened, revealing a wide, glorious space that resembled a high-tech automatic factory .
“Let’s go . ”
Rhode said and took a step forward, but he realized that something was amiss . At this moment, the little hand that was holding onto his hand loosened its grip . He knitted his brows and turned to Christie who stood on the spot .
“Christie . ”
“Good job, Master . ”
‘Christie’ lifted her head and her deep purple pupils emanated a bright radiance . She also revealed unprecedented excitement and comfort on her face . She extended her hand and caressed Rhode’s cheek before taking a step back .
“The Order channel is open so I can show up here . Don’t worry, Master . Christie and I will protect the rest out there . It’s all up to you next, Master . ”
‘Christie’ turned around and gazed at Marlene . The latter felt as though the gaze penetrated her deepest thoughts and at this moment, there were no secrets being kept from this little girl .
“The key of Order, I represent Master in thanking your contribution…” ‘Christie’s’ voice rang in Marlene’s head . “Everything that the mage family has done for Master will not be forgotten . As a servant to my master, you must feel proud about it, Sister Marlene . The Senia family’s glory will prosper like it was in a millennium ago, thanks to you . It shall return with the ritual you constructed with life . Although I don’t think that Master will allow this to happen, you should do what you think is right . I guess it is about time…”
Marlene felt a disturbing sensation in her body . Then, her chest burned for a split second before vanishing to nowhere . She let out a groan while staring at the little girl . However, it seemed like ‘Christie’ had ended her statement as she turned to Rhode .
“Alright then, Master…”
“I’ll leave it to you… No, to all of you, Christie . ”
Rhoded pondered for a few moments . Judging from the words of the other ‘Christie’, it seemed like both Christies had discussed this matter before coming here . Although he didn’t know how they communicated, now wasn’t the time to figure this out . It was apparent that the other ‘Christie’ showed up here to help him defend the tower against the Chaos vortexes, so he heaved a sigh of relief . He felt safer to keep Christie by his side since it was more dangerous on the outside . But no matter how powerful Christie was, she couldn’t keep up with her current health conditions . Therefore, she might be better off defending against the Chaos vortexes than entering the ‘dungeon’ with him . The other ‘Christie’s’ battle techniques were suitable for AeE attacks and presumably, she also realized that, which was why she suggested this .
“I believe in your strength . But don’t act recklessly . ”
“Don’t worry, Master . I swear with my honor that nothing will go wrong . ”
‘Christie’ jumped back lithely . Then, a purple lightning bolt erupted from her body and in the blink of an eye, she vanished from the tunnel .
“She left really quickly…”
Rhode shook his head helplessly .
“Bell, stay by Christie’s side and protect her . ”
Bell nodded in silence before running toward the end of the tunnel . Rhode gazed as she turned the corner and came back to his senses . He looked at the metal tunnel ahead and entered without hesitation .
Victory or defeat will all depend on this move .
“Will everything be fine?”
Purple lightning flashed across the tunnel . Christie flew with a pair of wings coalesced from the purple lightning and her petite, fragile body was filled with unprecedented strength . However, Christie knew that this wasn’t her strength . Canary and Mini Bubble Gum clearly told her that she couldn’t withstand such a powerful strength spiritually or physically .
“No problem, my other half . Believe in Rhode and yourself . We can take down the Creatures Creatures easily . Of course, it will be suicide for you if we continuously exert such strength . It will be fine as long as we act as the final defense here . Do you have anywhere you want to go before that?”
The little girl flew out of the tunnel and hovered in midair within the tall tower with no one realizing her existence’s illusory presence . Christie pondered the question . Then, she subconsciously shifted her gaze to the big library hidden in the shade . The other ‘Christie’ chuckled as though she were a mind reader .
“Good idea . At least for now, we don’t have any dangers to handle . So…”
The deep sound of rolling thunder interrupted her words . Then, they lifted their heads in unison, flew to the window, and looked at the scenery on the outside . They witnessed the starry sky, grassland, and the dazzling sun shining on the land in the near distance . However, the colors by the horizon slowly turned fuzzy . Grass that swayed in the whistling cold wind instantly withered and shattered—that was the corrosion by Chaos .
“Everything’s just like a millennium ago . Nothing changed . ”
Christie watched in silence, but she felt so nervous that she couldn’t catch her breath . If it were her alone, perhaps she would have been on the verge of fainting . But the other ‘Christie’s’ powerful spirit was as though a solid armor protecting her from pressure by the approaching Chaos . As people of Order, Christie instinctively sensed the malicious intentions from the roaring winds .
“Chaos destroys Order, just like how cows eat grass . This is just how nature works, Christie…”
The other ‘Christie’ suddenly sounded depressing for a second .
“The land of Order is like a fertile plain . No matter what, it will eventually be devoured by Chaos . But Order will not die . The withered grass shall return to the land before growing stronger . Of course, as long as they have the determination and will, even a barren desert will help them escape from the claws of Chaos . ”
Christie gazed ahead silently .
“So, watch carefully, Christie . They shall be the most terrifying enemies that you and Master will face in the future . ”
The wind in the distance turned violent as the other ‘Christie’ spoke, and large patches of the verdant grassland withered completely before turning into dust . Fissures formed across the land and the bone-chilling coldness replaced the warmth in the air .
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The clouds in the distant horizon became dark and indistinct like ink permeating through pure water . Under the strong winds, hail struck the tower and windows heavily . The air became thicker as though one was standing on a battlefield full of corpses: disgusting and revolting . At this moment, Christie covered her mouth with her hand as though there was poison in the air . But even so, she was determined to observe the situation .
“They’re here . ”
It was as though one switched off the lights in the place, and thick layers of pitch-black clouds instantly concealed the sky . Then, dark lightning bolts burst and struck the ground heavily .
The dark vestiges left behind by the lightning bolts suddenly writhed, coalesced, and transformed into new lifeforms that were ugly, filthy, and filled with unprecedented malicious intentions . Shortly after, they turned into a sea of pitch-black Chaos Creatures that let out disturbing growls while darting toward the tower .
“That’s it for now . ”
Christie turned around and stepped away from the window .
“It’s not our time to attack yet… They have more than this up their sleeves . ”
At this moment, as though confirming her words, a dazzling magical radiance flashed outside the window . A huge explosion shook the place and overwhelmed the loud moans of the Chaos Creatures . This had lasted for millennia ever since the start of this world . And now, a new chapter had just begun .
The big red sword slashed the construct in a powerful strike .
The two-human-tall, metallic construct split into half immediately, crumbling to the ground as its gears fell off .
“Hahaha… Not enough! Not enough at all!”
Shira turned around and brandished her sword . At the same time, she threw a punch on another spider-like construct with her other fist . Boom! The construct flew off and crashed into the wall, shattering into a meaningless pile of spare parts .
“Ahhh, why are they so troublesome!”
Anne leapt and the shield in her hand instantly changed its form to block the attack of a three-meters-tall construct . Then, she pulled Lize away and at the same time, a metal whip brushed their heads from above .
“Sister Marlene, didn’t you say that you’ve used the staff to deactivate the defenses? Why are all these irritating constructs still attacking us!” Anne curled her lips and complained . She lifted the shield and almost immediately, a powerful whirlwind erupted around her, flinging off a construct that was about to pounce on her . She darted forward and flung the shield, slicing the construct like a gigantic sword . In the dazzling green elemental radiance of wind, the pitiful construct was smashed completely .
“I’ve indeed deactivated all the defensive mechanisms . But these constructs weren’t only created for defense . ”
Marlene felt helpless .
“According to the Senia Family’s records, the ones who are going to awaken the tinder have to pass the test . Perhaps these metal constructs are here for that purpose . ”
Marlene raised her staff as she explained . Then, the staff erupted a blinding burst of radiance that instantly halted the metal constructs . She struck the bottom of the staff to the floor, and multiple fireballs exploded and blasted the attackers away .
“Sister Marlene, Anne is sorry to say this, but Anne really feels that Sister Marlene’s ancestors seemed to have too much time on their hands…”
The corners of Marlene’s lips twitched slightly . But surprisingly, she didn’t retort . Perhaps she had the same thought as Anne . No matter what, the magic staff in her hand held the highest authority in this place . She had clearly dismantled the traps and yet, these constructs appeared out of nowhere . If it were possible, no one wished to engage in any battle now . After all, it would be wasting precious time at this critical juncture .
But at this moment, Rhode gave an entirely different answer .
“No, these things are manipulated by someone . ”
Marlene was astonished .
“Manipulated? But… I don’t feel myself controlling anything…”
“It isn’t you . But I feel like these things are definitely manipulated by something . ”
Rhode withdrew his sword from the construct that he attacked . Then, he recalled his memories . In the game, he forcefully broke down the door as he didn’t have Marlene around, which undoubtedly triggered the warning system . Therefore, it went without saying that they were attacked by these constructs . Of course, these constructs were mostly around level 50 and were easy to deal with . Back then, they were extremely mechanical and rigid in their attacks . But now, Rhode discovered that their attack styles were similar to humans!
This isn’t logical! (Although he wasn’t anywhere logical to exist in this world in the first place…)
“When you opened the door earlier, I felt as though something had woken up . I thought that perhaps it’s that thing controlling these constructs . ”
Rhode explained briefly and he had his reasons . If he went according to the game settings, he might have activated a hidden mission because he had Marlene with him this time . This was rather a common occurrence because hidden missions were usually tougher and presented better rewards . If this happened in the game, Rhode would gladly accept it . But now…
Come on… I’ve no time to deal with this now…
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