“Have you foreseen this?”
Hill turned around to look at the warrior who was observing the behavior of the sea since they were on the deck together. Then he asked Joshua, “I noticed that you have been observing the sea, but why didn’t you tell me that this is going to happen?”
“Having foreseen an attack doesn’t mean that I had foreseen what is going to attack us.” Joshua turned around and looked at Hill. Then he explained it to the young elf and the two dragons, “A bizarre ocean current and a black shroud The most I can do is to be more vigilant. I have no way of telling what will happen next.”
The warrior did not say anything wrong. Such attacks were unpredictable.
Right next to the ark was a fading light of magic energy gleaming in the middle of the pitch-black waves. The white ark lost its momentum to sail forward. Even though it remained under the protection of the holy light runes, it could only stay on its spot as the storms and the waves continued to ravage it. There was no way the ark could move forward anymore.
“Let’s get back inside for now,” Joshua decided for everyone. He brought Black into the cabin first. After Hill glanced the strange black sea water, he also went into the cabin with Funa.
Inside the cabin, Robzek, Saya, Roland, and the others were discussing what they should do next.
“The Enchanted Core in the engine room remains operational for now.” The silver-haired holy knight did not panic after everything that had just happened. He pointed at the light screen in the midair as he summarized everything that had happened. “However, we have no way of transferring the magic energy into all of our engines.”
There was a blueprint of a structure of a gigantic wheel in the middle of the light screen. Every single detail about the Epoch was clearly stated on the blueprint. Aside from the engine room and a few cabins labeled with the color of green to indicate that those places were ‘Operational’, most of the parts across the ark had been labeled red’Not Operational’.
The black powder in the seawater was actually a kind of strange substance I have seen that thing before in the Mycroft Continent. However, is it just me or does this thing look more like crystals here?”
Saya held onto a test tube filled with the contaminated sea water. The seawater was filled with black dust that looked like sand. Those dust seemed to be moving on their own despite the lack of external momentum as though alive.
The great nun looked at the test tube she held in her hand as she pondered. “I have traveled to the volcano area and observed the magic energy in the Crystalline Mine nearby. The magic energy of the crystal dust seems similar to this dust here.”
However, the magic crystals were loaded with magic energy while these crystal dust in the black sea water seemed to be absorbing magic energy instead. The two were different in such regard.
Meanwhile, Roland remained silent. He frowned as he stared at the test tube in Saya’s hand. The blond-haired holy knight was familiar with the current situation. However, he could not determine the source of it.
The ark had lost the magic energy that propelled it forward. The crystal dust they possessed the ability to absorb magic energy.
After guessing, Roland took the test tube from Saya’s hand and attempted to pour some of his combat aura into it.
The active black dust suddenly behaved like sharks that smelled the scent of fresh blood. They immediately absorbed every single drop of the combat aura that the holy knight poured. With that, Roland could confirm one thingthose crystal dust was similar to the Aragami that possessed an external layer of shell. The information about the Aragami could be found in the old records of the Radcliffe family. They had extremely high resistance against magic energy and combat aura.
Looking at Robzek and Saya, the blond holy knight was doubtful. He hesitated on whether he should tell both of them about his assumption or noteven he felt the idea a little absurd. After all, their current goal of the expedition was to get to the Abyssal rift. They ended up encountering the spawns of the Evil God of Famine. It felt truly extraordinary in a certain way.
The great nun and the captain of the Order were still discussing the matter. However, they did not bother to find out what exactly those crystal dust was. The two of them were focused on what should they do next and how they should complete their main goal.
“The ark is just a day away from the Great Central Whirlpool.” Robzek pointed at the light screen. The light screen then showed the map of the region of the sea in Anos Abyss. There was one red dot and one white dot on the dark map. “The red dot represents the Great Central Whirlpool. Because there is an ocean current flowing from the distant sea that keeps pushing everything in its way towards the northwest direction. And the white spot over there is our current location. If we had maintained our speed of sailing towards the destination, we would have arrived at the border of the Great Central Whirlpool at approximately 11 p.m. But now the question is, when are going to arrive at our destination?”
He made some calculations then continued to speak, “If we continued moving towards the Great Central Whirlpool, we should arrive at its border at about 4 a.m However, the possibility of success is extremely small. The ocean current would surely change its pace from time to time.”
“Can we switch our power source to the backup power? Can we use the Nuclear Star to fuel the ark so that we can sail on?” Saya wondered. Then she came up with a suggestion, “This black crystal dust seems to be afraid of holy light. It did not seem to be unable to penetrate the protective barrier around the Nuclear Star. Just think about it. Even though the ark has stopped for a while now, it still has not been knocked over by powerful waves. That’s a solid proof to prove that my suggestion might work.”
After the silver-haired holy knight heard the suggestion, he thought about it and nodded as well. “We can try but without the energy from the Nuclear Star, who can support and maintain the protective barrier around the ark then? That barrier needs a substantial amount of energy to maintain its function. We do not even know the true identity of our enemies. That will definitely weaken our power level. We might become vulnerable and fall into the traps of our enemies.”
“No matter who our enemies are, they definitely planned to hold us here.”
The moment after the captain said that, a voice came from the door of the cabin. It was Joshua. He pushed the door opened and Black followed right behind him. Hill and Funa followed after. Even though the warrior’s voice was not that loud, it was loud enough to be heard by everyone who was already in the cabin. “Since we are just about a day from our destination, the enemies will definitely want to take us out here to prevent us from getting near the Abyssal rift.”
“Joshua.” Robzek nodded his head slightly upon seeing the warrior. Then he asked, “So what do you have in mind?”
As one of the only two Supreme-tier champions on board of the Epoch, Joshua’s insight was extremely important. Hearing the question raised by the holy knight, Joshua did not intend to play nice. Instead, he decided to speak his mind.
Having the similar assumption that Roland came up with, Joshua revealed the true form of the black crystal dustthey originated from the shattered crystals that belonged to the Evil God of Famine. It could consume the magic energy on the ark due to one reasonbecause the word ‘Famine’ represented its desolating power. Currently, magic energy was ineffective in the entire region of the sea. The moment any sort of magic appeared, it would swiftly be absorbed.
Their current situation was almost identical to the situation back in the desolated Karlis World. It was also similar to the doomsday that appeared after the Evil God of Calamity appeared in the Illgner World that he and Roland went together before.
“Our enemies should be the Abyssal demons. Or perhaps something like the sea monsters, that Marine Abyssal Dragon So how could it have anything to do with the Evil God of Famine then?”
Robzek furrowed his brow after he heard what the warrior said as he recalled the bizarre crystal creatures they encountered during their previous expedition. Those monsters were oddly powerful. “Alright, if you were right, if the enemies were truly the spawns of the Evil God, then how do you think we should deal with them?” He sincerely asked.
Joshua smiled and said, “Wait.”
After realizing that everyone was looking at him doubtfully and confused, the warrior had no choice but to explain, “This is the Mycroft Continent after all. The enemies will not be able to maintain all these strange phenomena. When the enemies can no longer maintain their current attempt to hold us here, then that will be the perfect time for us to fight back.”
The warrior reached out for a cup of tea after ending his explanation. He gulped the tea down in one go. Then, Joshua seemed to be unsure about something. So he asked, “This taste why does it taste different than before?”
“That’s the tea we made for Nono. It is from her homeland Anyway, that is all? We wait it out?”
Saya seemed to feel that the idea was a little unbelievable. She began to mutter, a little shocked and anxious at the moment. “Are you sure we are just going to wait it out?”
“No, it’s not that simple at all.” Funa suddenly broke her silence. The human form of the Ocean Bladed Dragon with blue hair shook her head and spoke heavily, “This is similar to how some of the sea monsters hunt for their preyfirst, they use a bait or a trap to lure their prey in. After making sure that their prey cannot escape anymore, they will slowly wait for their prey’s energy to deplete. Then, the sea monsters will make their move and kill their prey.”
“The predator will definitely use all sorts of ways to deplete the resources and energy source on the arkthat means our power too. They will do it to a certain extent. Then the mastermind behind this will reveal itself and hit us with the fatal blow.”
Even though that was merely an assumption, Funa’s words hit home. Joshua also nodded his head in agreement.
With his eyes fixed on the light screen, Robzek was deep in thought. He recalled his past experiences during his last expedition to the Great Central Whirlpool.
In the first expedition into Anos Abyss, Ark had gone off course because of the sea monsters’ attack. In the end, they had to retreat because their supply and resources ran low.
In the second expedition, they had to retreat because the ark had accidentally run into some rocks or corals, causing water to leak into the ark.
In the third expedition, they were attacked by a huge group of flying dragons. After battling them for over three days, they found themselves in a bad situation. Seventy percent of the crew on board of the ark was beginning to feel fatigued and exhausted for battling for too long. So they had no choice but to retreat as well.
In the fourth expedition, which was the closest they got to their destination, they were able to sail smoothly towards their destination in the beginning. They had slain a large number of sea monsters during their previous expeditions. Not to mention that the flying dragons had been summoned to the Sacred Mountain to launch their attack to stop the church from getting out. Everything was smooth until they were close to their destination. Suddenly, three bizarre monsters almost as powerful as the Supreme-tier appeared out of nowhere and attacked them. Because they were not ready to face that sort of threat, the ark almost sank. However, thanks to Robzek and the other powerful champions on board who kept the monsters busy, they were able to get out of the difficult situation by detonating the first Wheel of Holy Light.
In their fifth expedition, which was the current one, they had also sailed smoothly towards their destination. With Count Radcliffe tagging along, they managed to handle and slay an extremely troublesome Marine Abyssal Dragon within half an hour. Even if they were to encounter those three bizarre monsters again, everyone stood a chance to kill the monsters now. However, the current situation they were in right now was an unexpected twist.
“Could it be that we are destined to fail one more time?’
Robzek muttered to himself, a little unwilling to accept the fate. The final battle between the Church of the Seven Gods and the Pentashade Dragons was about to begin. If the Epoch could not complete their task in time, the situation would turn awkward for everyone. Even if Pope Igor was willing to support their next expedition, the Church no longer had the resources and the supplies to provide.
The silver-haired holy knight was not the kind of person who could peacefully go on another expedition into Anos Abyss knowing that the church was about to get into trouble. Even if he would be blamed by the pope for not being responsible, he would still make it back to the Sacred Mountain to battle the berserk dragons alongside with his comrades.
The fifth expedition was actually the last one for him. Even if the church could defeat the Pentashade Dragon, it would definitely need a long time to repair and rebuild the SacredMountain after the battle. By then, the expedition into Anos Abyss would definitely be delayed. Perhaps they would need to wait for another ten years before they could do it again.
Suddenly, outside the cabin, the unsettling screams rang. Their voices did not calm down as time passed. Instead, their screams were getting louder. The situation seemed to be escalating pretty quickly.
“There is a situation,” Hill frowned. He opened the door immediately and walked towards the direction of the screams. “I shall check it out.”
Funa followed closely behind the young elf. Joshua also walked out of the cabin with Black behind him. Black seemed to be excited over what was going on over there. Soon, the three members of the church looked each other in the eye and they quickly packed their things before walking out of the cabin as well.
Outside the cabin, on the main deck of the Epoch.
Many crew members seemed to be attempting to ‘fix’ the inoperable magical facilities. They were screaming and running all over the place. These people did not have any knowledge of magic energy. Hence, they were not aware that the magic energy in the surroundings had been sucked dry. They had no idea that that was the reason why all magic-fueled facilities had stop functioning. They believed that the structures of the facilities were somehow damaged. Those who were chosen through strict regulations to board the Epoch were undoubtedly courageous. Or else they would not expose themselves to the heavy storm and the risk of getting hit by the powerful waves while attempting to fix the facilities that were suspected to be damaged. However, they were obviously terrified by the current situation.
Joshua and the others walked by the panicked crew as they made their way to the deck. They soon understood why the crews were so terrified.
The violent winds hurled huge waves around, crashing onto the holy light runes that were embedded in the body of the ark. The dark shroud was creeping over the entire giant ark.
In the middle of the dark shroud, bizarre sounds echoed into the surroundings. Countless gray shadows flew from the dark shroud. With the whistling in the air, the gray shadows had finally revealed their true form. They were actually gigantic tentacles covered in sharp teeth. They tore through the creeping shrouds as they slam themselves at the arkwith the operation of the divine circles on top of the ark, white hexagonal barriers were accurately formed all over the Ark as the barriers blocked off the tentacles from smashing onto the deck. The tentacles were only able to make dull and heavy sounds.
“What the hell are these things?!”
Robzek and the others had made their way through the crowd. The captain frowned the moment he saw those tentacles. He reached out and launched a beam of silvery holy light towards one of the tentacles and cut the tentacle off into halfthe moment the tentacle was cut off, it immediately disintegrated into powder and drifted into the air. It was no doubt that those tentacles were actually formed from the crystal dust that was absorbing all Magic energy.
Joshua was unable to identify those weird existences as well. Although they were definitely a type of Aragami, the warrior was not an encyclopedia. How would he know what sort of enemies they were the moment he encountered them?
However, the warrior had the system.