That was the forewarning of an underwater volcano eruption.
In that instant, for one brief moment, Nielson felt that everything was beyond reasoning.
What in the world was going on? How was there an underwater volcano in this region? When Sapphire Port was founded, several great mages had explored the area over hundreds of miles in radius. They were confident that there was no danger in the vicinity before they gave the green light for the port to be built in that area. Only a huge typhoon that only pass by once in a century will cause a tsunami that might pose a threat to the port.
If a volcano truly laid beneath the sea by the port, the powerful mages would have detected them when they were scouting the area. Though the effectiveness of the magic has become weaker over time, Nielson knew that the activity of detection magic would never have been affected by the density of the elements in the atmosphere. If the mages had confirmed that the area is safe, then there would be no doubt about it. So there was only one possibility leftthe underwater volcano has recently emerged.
Could it be Professor Nielson glanced sideways at the gigantic volcanic dragon. But soon, he realized that he had no time to think about other things because suddenly, animals were moving, as if escaping, in large groups, from the forest and the city. The horses were started to be restless and a little agitated. The birds took flight into the air, screeching. Even the mice that were living in between the cracks deep in the houses were rushing out of their hidings, heading out of the city.
In the distance, many informed people in the Sapphire Port spotted the warning signs of an erupting volcano. Many of them has begun hopping into their magic-enhanced vehicles; some running urgently towards the same direction of the feeling animals. From the top of the hill, one could see the fleeing inhabitants leaving the city like a black tidal wave of shadows, spreading outwards from the city center.
The escort convoy was still hesitating about whether they should advance into the port or retreat from it. If they retreated, they would have to abort their mission in escorting the draconic horse to the port. But under that circumstances, their only option was to abort their mission because if the crowd that was evacuating from the port, caught up with them, the convoy will end up being caught in the crowd and their movements will be stalled.
But just as the convoy was turning their vehicles in the opposite direction in retreat, the old elf turned his head around as the anxiety that grew in his chest urged him to. The very second he turned around, the earth beneath their feet groaned a deep and loud sound.
The violent tremor caused everyone to halt and to stabilize themselves once more. A fear stemming from their basic instinct that was rooted deep in their hearts was beginning to seep through their mask of calmness.
Far away, out in the sea, the black seawater suddenly turned golden, as if a sun was rising from the bottom of the sea. No one had been given the time to react to it at all. It burst out violently, with a forceful bang, louder than thunder tearing through the sky. Boiling hot lava spewed out from the core underneath the sea, one burst after another. As the lava was prevented by a layer of deep seawater, the eruption was less violent. There was only a moment that a dense fog spread over the sea but it has caused an enormous tidal wave, so tall that no one could have expected it.
In the horizon, there was a white line that appeared like a city wall. It was so high that it seemed to be capable of destroying the entire world. That sky-scraping wave was at least over a few hundred meters high. The wave spread out from the epicenter of the volcano. Every single elf on the shore was witnessing the happening of the eruption with shock. Many Elves who were still at the port had given up on escaping, they were simply standing there with despair upon their hearts and faces, helpless against the incoming giant wave rushing towards them.
"Leave! Retreat now! Do not stop! Do not stop for anyone, not even the civilians!"
Professor Nielson seemed to be too terrified to move, he was so shocked to the point where his legs felt weak and his lips has turned the shade of deathly white. Yet, he did not stop screaming at and commanding the convoy to charge forward at full speed. He gritted his teeth as he shouted desperately, "There is no time! We can't save anyone! Forward! I will bear the consequences! I will attend the court martial if needed!"
The convoy personnel did not show even the slightest hesitation as they began moving forward at top speed. As professional military personnel, they knew their obligation to rescue and protect any civilians they came across. However, the crowd that was nearest to them were at least half a hill away from them and the gigantic wave was approaching them fast, engulfing everything that stood in its path. It was so fast that the convoy personnel could not help anyone at all, it was too difficult to be selfless when faced with such a huge threat.
Despite it all, there were still two-armored vehicles that did not withdraw themselves with the main convoy. Two calm voices came through the communication device, despite their anxiety that was broiling deep within them. But they were trying to stick to their obligation as military personnel, "I am sorry, I believe that I should try to at least, help."
"We're military personnel, trained to help and protect the citizens."
After saying what they had in mind, they shit off the communication device immediately. Two armored vehicle had also turned around rapidly and immediately accelerated towards the direction where the despairing citizens were attempting to flee. The tsunami wave did not slow; it continued to roll and devour everything along its way. The islands, the merchant ships, the reefs and everything else on the port were destroyed by this monstrous calamity. The white vapor from the volcanic eruption had floated up and blocked out the entire sky so much so that the sky seemed like it has turned dark.
In the midst of all the chaos, Professor Nielson continued speaking to Black, as loud as he could. He wanted this volcanic dragon to flee with him instead of staying back under the shadow of the incoming wave. Black, however, remained silent, gazing outwards into the distance. Its eyes were trained on something behind the wave. In the middle of the sea, a gigantic lava pit was spilling endless stream of magma that boiled the water and immediately hardened into volcanic rocks. Despite that, the amount of magma spilling from the pit was too much that the accumulated volcanic sediments layered up higher and higher until it formed a mountain peak.
After that, Black turned around, decisivelythis was not a situation that it was capable to handle after all. It remained silent and retreated with the convoy. Though the draconic horse was reluctant to admit that it was no match to the force of nature, it accepted defeat.
If it could have arrived at the port a little earlier than now, it could have stabilized the lava to delay the eruption of the underwater volcano. It might even be able to make the underwater volcano dormant for some time.
The elves in the Illgner Continent did not come up with a proper name for Black. The black dragon was the product of the underwater volcano. As the descendant of an elder dragon, it was indeed a volcanic dragon. Now that the volcano has erupted, it has become a natural disaster that no one could prevent anymore, not even the dragons.
Right after the convoy retreated from the scene, the gigantic wave that was a dozen of meters high pounced upon the Sapphire. Intense rumbling and noises followed when the wave hit the port. The entire city was torn apart like paper models. The buildings, giant ships and all other man-made objects collapsed at the first blow of the wave that had the force of more than a thousand tons. In merely a blink of an eye, the city was flattened out. Hundreds of lives went straight to heaven when the Sapphire Port was destroyed.
One of the two armored vehicles that went back to rescue the citizens was completely engulfed by the huge wave because it did not manage to retreat in time. The other armored vehicle was only soaked; not washed away.
As for the crowd that was fleeing towards the other direction, only the earliest group that fled towards the hills managed to get to safety. The remaining was devoured by the tsunami and the survivors were too shaken up to even mourn for their family and friends who did not make it. Meanwhile, the volcano was ready for another eruption.
As the second eruption happened, ten gigantic rings of light appeared in the sky that was covered by the fog, dark clouds and volcanic ashes. The rumbling thunder and the flashing lightning occurred in the sky and the rings of light started to rotate back and forth in the middle of the sky as if a gigantic magic circle is in operation. Red light particles appeared to be dancing in the sky, tainting it so red that even the dark clouds could not cover them. The underwater volcano erupted again, causing gold and red light to emerge onto the surface of the seathe contrast between the sky and the sea was so great that it looked like the hell has surfaced onto earth.
Professor Nielson who was witnessing the phenomenon was frozen in shock. He lifted his head up, not saying a word, not making a sound. Then he raised his hand and pointed a finger at the meteors that were falling from the sky. Though the old elf was a mentally strong man, the scene that unfolded before his very eyes had broken something inside of him. And that was when he croaked, "Go lem!"
Gritting his teeth, he said, "Every single time! It's the same thing every single time! These goddamn monsters!"
For the past three years, the Bay Confederation has encountered a number of natural calamities across the continent of Illgner. Without logical reasons, storms and blizzards, droughts and typhoons had been coursing through the land, as if they were called upon by some evil force. Coastal cities has been constantly raided by typhoons. The hill regions encountered random earthquakes and avalanches. The increasing frequency of the occurring calamities has prepared the Bay Confederation to be well trained in handling these cases. The eruption of Mount Sigma was merely considered to be a small matter among many other logical matters. The Confederation has already took precaution long before the eruption happened.
However, comparing all of that together, every time when a calamity occurs, golems would reveal themselves near the site of the calamity. It would have seemed like a coincidence if that only happened a few times but the golems haven't failed to make an appearance at any of the recent calamities. Before that, it was Mount Sigma, followed by the appearance of the golem army, closely followed by the eruption of the underwater volcano by the port. Right after the underwater volcano erupted, the meteors fell, immediately, from the sky. The occurrence was enough of a proof that the golems always showed up after a calamity.
These golems were like puppets without souls. They were merely monsters without a single drop of hot blood in them, neither can they shed any tears. They were definitely tied closely to the calamities. There was a possibility that the sudden appearance of the underwater volcano was their doing.
"Professor, get back into the vehicle, now!"
A soldier had stuck his head out of the convoy vehicle. He seemed to be very anxious as he told Professor Nielson to get back on board of the armored vehicle, "I have just received an emergency message. According to the prediction of the research facility, the location where the golems will land will be on the path, right ahead of us! The army is ready to depart from the capital city of the Babel Province. We need to brace ourselves for the upcoming battle!"
"Prepare? What do we need to prepare?" The old man had yet to fully comprehend the situation.
"Prepare to keep these goddamn monsters occupied until the calvary arrives!" the soldier replied. Then with an air of anger and determination, he said, "And then we shall kill them all!"