Rockwall Lou – V9 Chapter 1

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏

(1)

On a land shrouded in black mist, not even moss grew, let alone plants. Instead, dark-red crystal-like minerals jutted out like thorns.

Above, thick purple clouds loomed, with constant flashes of lightning between them. This light made it just possible to see the surroundings.

It’s dark and chilling.

Directly ahead, there was a mountain covered in dark-red crystals.

“It’s like a castle.”

Tweney’s exhaled breath was white.

Indeed, the overlapping crystals looked like castle walls and watchtowers. Was that the sound of the wind? An intermittent, low growling sound could be heard.

Without thinking, Luo shivered.

If it were the old him from the village, he might have run away. However, compared to the merciless meetings with the in-charge officer, Knox, this seemed much better.

“Luo, are you scared?”

Perhaps he had squeezed the hand he was holding too tightly, for Tweney asked with concern.

What did Dad say? Never show weakness in front of a girl.

“Yes, a bit.”

“Me too.”

But being scared is natural. What’s important is not running away when with someone precious. That’s what Luo thought.

“Shall we go there?”

“Yes.”

Drawing close to one another, they approached the dark-red crystal mountain.

Suddenly, a crack appeared in the ground, right between Luo and Tweney. It split, widening like it intended to sever them apart. When Luo tapped the ground lightly with his toe, the crack vanished as if it never existed.

Next, a black mist swirling from the ground took the form of a beast’s jaws, lunging at them. Luo’s power had no effect on this fine mist. Tweney spread her arms, shielding Luo, and emitted a strong light that enveloped them both. When the black mist touched the light, it vanished.

As they continued, a creature resembling a demon beast appeared.

“It’s an insect.”

It flew with transparent wings. When it landed, it stood up using its four rear legs. The remaining two front legs had claw-like fingers.

It was about three times the size of a human.

Its body was dark-red, semi-transparent, shimmering as it reflected the lightning.

“A bee?”

“Perhaps an ant? It has a slender abdomen and curved antennae.”

Tweney sure is knowledgeable.

But Luo instinctively understood.

This isn’t a living being.

It’s made of mineral material. Originally a similar entity to “Ishigami-sama”, it has become odd due to the infusion of magical power.

Surely, when two powers mix, they call it this.

“Hybrid.”

He felt a force stronger than any demon beast he had seen before. If he showed it to Sorcier, he might be pleased. But the creature seemed to harbor hostility towards them.

Even though it’s supposed to be kind.

“Let’s go back.”

 ㅤ

When leaving the village in the past, just as he did with Ishigami-sama, Luo returned ant-like minerals to the ground.

As they neared the mountain, swarms of ant-like minerals gathered. The ones with wings decreased, and in their place, those with forelimbs shaped like swords or sickles increased.

Luo continued to return them all to the earth.

Before long, the two reached the foot of a reddish-black crystal mountain.

Each pillar of crystal was larger than the elevators of Arche City. Luo, who loved high places, wanted to climb to the mountain’s peak, but he tightened his resolve as now was not the time.

At the foot of the mountain, a gaping hole was open. A roaring wind seemed to come from within the hole. As if guarding the entrance, ant-like minerals blocked the way.

It was already creepy and dimly lit, and the thought of entering that hole was daunting. The ant-like minerals also seemed cautious and didn’t approach.

A mutual standoff persisted, but suddenly, the roaring grew louder.

“Kuru!”

Instinctively, Luo held Tweney close.

The next moment, a mass of black flames was spewed from the hole. The ant-like minerals were blown away. The black flames soared into the sky and then descended directly above.

“Tie!”

“Luo!”

The surroundings vanished.

Nothing could be seen or heard.

The senses felt strange.

In the silent darkness, there was a sensation of floating alone. It was unclear which way was up or down.

Was he holding Tweney, or had he let go?

“Tie!”

He tried to shout, but no voice came out.

It felt as if he was in a nightmare.

Nearby, he sensed a formidable presence.

Concentrating, he strained his eyes.

In the darkness, two red lights emerged.

They seemed to be someone’s eyes.

It was an uncanny sensation.

He could understand the other’s feelings.

Without words, the feelings.

One of his powers, perhaps the magical power, seemed connected to this entity in the darkness.

“Do you want Tie?”

Someone in the darkness intensely desired Tweney—something within her.

“No way.”

That was not negotiable.

“Tie is mine.”

And I belonged to Tweney.

The bond of family can’t be changed by anyone.

The being in the darkness tried to make Luo give up.

━━You are alone.

“No.”

One of the powers within oneself. Connected by the sacred power, we are.

Even if it can’t be seen, heard, or felt.

Tweney is by my side.

━━You’re already dead.

“No.”

One of the powers within him, a spirit power he’s had since childhood, informed him of the earth’s position.

He was standing on the ground.

He wasn’t dead.

Suddenly, the emotions of the other swelled.

Anger, irritation, hatred, longing, anxiety, loneliness, sadness. Amid all these negative emotions, Luo detected a slight positive emotion.

It was admiration.

A feeling of desiring and longing for something.

“Do you want something?”

Addressing the barely present consciousness of the other, Luo asked.

“What do you want?”

 ㅤ

As if to deny that answer, a wave of negative emotions surged.

A low growl could be heard.

He felt a force pressing down.

It was an overwhelming magical power.

All he could do was endure. If he were to exhaust his strength and get completely worn out like this, he would be utterly crushed without being able to do anything.

Luo spoke to Tweney.

“Tie, please. Protect me.”

Luo didn’t think of himself as a hero.

We will live together, just the two of us.

With the same goal.

Helping each other.

As if to answer Luo’s wish, a surge of holy power swelled, and the pressure from the magical force weakened.

Luo understood that this put a strain on Tweney.

However, preparation takes time.

My power doesn’t even come close to that of the evil god.

I’d surely lose in a simple test of strength.

To defeat the malevolent god━━

Quickly. Faster.

Tweney supported me through what felt like an agonizingly long time.

“It’s over now.”

Filled with gratitude, Luo spoke to the being in the darkness.

“Look, open your eyes. Look up.”

The next moment, the darkness vanished.

“Lu, Luo!”

Right nearby, Tweney called out his name. Probably anxious because they couldn’t sense each other. Her face looked as if she might cry at any moment.

In front of them, there was no mountain of dark-red crystals.

The mountain had disappeared, replaced by a vast hemispherical depression. The cross-section of the depression looked like a sliced anthill, revealing pathways and small rooms.

From all over the hollow, orbs of rainbow light rose and ascended to the sky.

“Sister Sorcier told me.”

To defeat the malevolent god, one has to wait for the dim star above the sky to fall.

Waiting is not an option, but creating one is.

The name of that star is━━

“Meteor.”

Luo saw it.

At the center of the depression, a creature resembling a human, its torso impaled with a thin rod and its body enveloped in flames, stood with its arms spread wide, as if it had been eagerly awaiting.

Luo hugged Tweney and encased them in a hard shell, sinking into the ground.

What appeared from the sky was a shining crystal behemoth.

The clouds were blown away.

The ground was also blasted away.

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