The attack of the berserk dragons today did not catch the Sacred Mountain by surprise.
Both sides had been had been engaging at a tug-of-war in the Distant Sea of the South, testing each other on countless occasions. Now, the Sacred Mountain knew the composition of the draconic army like the back of their hand, and it was the same for the Pentashade Dragons when it came to their opponent’s fortifications layout.
As the team on defense, the Sacred Mountain was not particularly in a hurry. In their underground fort, the Church has stored rations enough for five years.
And that is what set them and the dragons apart. Within one short month, the millions of dragons had virtually drained the sea dry of fish and other marine life, and some had started to hunt down any remaining humans in the Southern Kingdom region as food.
If they did not mount the final push now, they might just crumble from within in a matter of days.
That was why the Sacred Mountain did not panic from the sudden skirmish. The clergies merely returned to their post in an orderly manner, operating divine spell formations as well as alchemical weapons to welcome the dragons.
The draconic bellows rang in the distance. While they were still miles away and still concealed inside the clouds, their horrific specter was already felt. But were the clergies of the sacred mountain normal folk who would be intimidated by dragon might?
These clergies who lived scattered across the globe had been local bishops or commander of knights, and in the very least were hosts of their respective parish. This is what the army was made up ofthousands of elites summoned by the Church to return in defense of the Sacred Mountain against the draconic plague.
Dragons and the Church. A hundred thousand flying beasts against thirty thousand clergies. Though the real dragons amounted up to just two thousand, their fight undoubtedly was the first large battle against the Chaos. Their war would far escape the imaginations of the people.
On a slope on the northwest Central Temple Zone of the Sacred Mountain, Joshua stood upon an elevated rock, looking up at the sky above.
The dark cloud in the distance has finished dyeing everything black. Fierce air currents billowed against dark rain vapor, blanketing the skies. Several hundred meters away, super typhoons that set new history were taking shape. A horrendous siege weapon under the dragon’s influence, everything swarm against the Sacred Mountain.
Beyond the coast were huge tidal waves several times more immense and powerful than those at the Anos abyss. Over ten meters tall, it was a real tsunamia great wall of seawater that churned against and shattering the smaller islets around the Gray Island, forming localized tremors.
And that was just the beginning.
Looking down from the sea, a tremendous ripple the size of a valley was cascading forward towards the Gray Island. It was a Nation-breaking Swell that hundreds of adult black dragons combined to from with the power of the typhoons and the oceanic flow. It could move mountains and drown a small country, its power far above Gold or Supreme, and most Legendary spells.
Seeing that swell come roaring at them from the distance, even the clergies around the altars and the waypoints who carried unshakable faith in their hearts paled a little. This was no dragon mightit was a petrifying natural calamity that most would not see in their lives, and thus the memories that were embedded deep within their blood triggered an instinctual, primal fear.
Nevertheless, it was then that the gigantic Divine Recombination Spell started to whirl, and platinum runes slowly materialized in the air above as if they were real. Each rune, having a diameter reaching over fifty meters, hovered in the air before forming a colossal halo of light, spreading smaller holy circuits that spread from the halo itself.
In an instant, the sturdy yet shapeless divine barrier activated, and shrouded hundreds of kilometers of land and sea in one stately dome shield of sacred light. The enchanted weather that extended far and beyond was ablated by the holy power at once, the dark clouds warded off haggardly by the holy circuits.
Soon, the sky was blue again, and the sun, gone for so long, shone upon the land. From afar, it was as if a golden pillar of light is thrown upon the island.
The extraordinary phenomenon could be seen thousands of miles away. Humans who were trying to survive at fallen towns, soldiers of the Kingdom who were reclaiming lost regions, adventurers and clergies who did not make it back to the Sacred Mountain in time as well as elves who lived beside the Eternal Lake were left in awe.
It also did not escape the notice of a sage who lived in seclusion within the depths of the Silent Forest, who, sensing the unprecedented ripple of energy, walked outside his own half-plane.
The Council of Elves, the Zerg Hive, the Trade Federation as well as a number of factions in the South also put down the work at hand and turned towards that pillar of light at the distant sea collectively.
They knew what it meant.
At the coast in the Far South, the army had retaken more than half of the fallen harbor city of Malda. There, a general stood at the top of a watchtower filled with blood and human remains in what was once the greatest port in the Kingdom. He too, paused for a moment as he feasted his eyes upon that pure pillar of light.
When he reeled away from the surprised, he quickly bellowed at a guard who stood beside him. “Quick! Notify His Majesty! The war has begun!”
Meanwhile, the black-haired youth was leading his own sister and the black dragon girl to the northwest of the central altar zone thanks to his resonance from his blood pact.
They had undoubtedly saw their own masterJoshua’s back had always been so conspicuous a sweeping glance was enough to identify him. Hurrying Ying and Black along, Ling quickly went to the warrior’s side.
The view from the hill slope was vast. Before Ling could greet Joshua after climbing up, he saw the huge wave that seems to stretch on the sky and gushed towards them, causing the divine armament youth to inhale sharply.
“This view It’s like that occasion against the Evil God of Calamity at Illgner!”
Black and Ying saw it too, the shocking scenes making both girls pause. Just as Ling had noted, the colossal tide was not all that different from the apocalypsedwarfing even the legendary spells in epics.
Still, what other way was there to take down the Sacred Mountain’s defenses? This was no longer a testing game, but a no-holds-barred war.
The silver-haired girl sneaked a glance at her master’s expression, but she noticed that there was not a hint of nervousness on his face. It was not that much a surprise given that the warrior never had such expression.
Nonetheless, it was still a little baffling that he did not react but instead mumbled some strange things with a smile.
“All I’ve seen before were CGI so that’s how it feels being right here.”
As the tsunami closed in, the torrents crashed down towards the Gray Island like crumbling mountains. Other than the immediate vicinity of the Sacred Mountain, the storm in the Distant Sea were gaining.
Thunder and lightning cracked the horizon, and countless dragons could be seen following closely behind the wave. They gathered to form tidy lines instead of just swarming, whistling sharply as they streaked across the atmosphere.
They sat behind the wave, just waiting for it to break through the full-power barrier of the Sacred Mountain and mounting their offense after.
The clergy watched on around the temples while the cracking winds from the wave itself formed wild buffeting winds that tore open the cloud layers and shifted the atmospheric flow monumentally.
Before it, smaller tides had splashed on the formless shield of the Sacred Mountain. A multitude of the hexagonally-shaped net flashed briefly and caught it handily.
But in the blink of an eye, the tidal wave followed.
The mountainous wave that carried millions upon millions of tons of seawater never slowed, striking the shield with a cracking sound that was above ear-shattering. It echoed throughout the skyline, and the soundwave could be seen moving across all directions in supersonic speeds to the distance.
It looked impenetrable, but the seemingly indestructible shield of light flashed with intense flashing. The moment it was hit, the flank that was afflicted showed a concave shape as if it would shatter soon.
Then, the Sacred Mountain shook violently, and a tremor akin to a level-8 seismic activity tore a huge fissure into the hill where Joshua and his party was. It was as if the entire Gray Island would be fragmented by the wave, just as the smaller tsunamis had consumed the islets.
The behemoth ripples soon formed into a cyclone that reached towards the sky, the poles of seawater blew off the gloomy clouds that stagnated overhead for months. An unusually bright sky then appeared over the Far South seaa region once buffeted with ceaseless storms. Raindrops tapped the land in the company of the sun, a display of the mighty impact between the forces of nature.
In the end, the light barrier held, the dome catching the berserk overflow steadily despite curving into an unnatural angry. Helpless against the tenacious shield, the gush could do not a thing but split in two and flow back into the sea.
Still, there was no question that the aftershock would ambush the coastal zones of the Southern Realms, reshaping the geography in turn.
Seems like the Kingdom would need to remap their lands.
Joshua never turned away. The vehement tremors and resounding rumble did not stop his cool observation of the marvelous scene. He focused, holding his breath as he studied the full-powered shield of the sacred mountain and the titanic wave, afraid of missing the littlest detail.
His eyes could clearly observe every nook and cranny of the barrier as well as the composition of the energies. He easily analyzed a lot of the finer points of the spellthe torrent had forcibly revealed some of the secrets behind the barrier, which the warrior took in as reference.
Nonetheless, the fact that this attack would not penetrate the shield of the Sacred Mountain was something Joshua knew all along.
The Gray Island of Aida had been a coastal active volcano, and after a thousand years of operation became a super fort entrenched deep within the land. It gathers the energy of the earth’s crust to form the spell, augmenting it like a steel bucket.
That current had been appalling. It was enough to take down nations and could have turned soil into swamps and marshes, but it was still a little lacking when it comes to taking out the shield.
There had been no need to use the energy to operate this defensive mechanism during the dragon’s daily testing for a weakness. But with the war kicking-off, Aida itself was now a war machine that would vaporize any intruder.
That being said, though the shield was not broken, the expression of the clergies operating the resonating spell in an underground temple beneath the central altar zone did not relax, soberly reporting the damage to one another.
“Shield circuits No.451 through to No.7942, location northwestall damaged, self-repair requires three hours and forty-seven minutes.”
“No.3 power central body. Two hundred and twenty-four groups of logistics circle overloaded, compensating.”
“Overall shield damage integrity is thirty-six percent and counting. Estimated to last for just three minutes more.”
The overall leading host for the shield was a gray-haired diminutive elderly man who looked as if he had some dwarf blood in him. His name was Garcia Kana, the high priest for the God of Guardians and Developmenta Supreme Champion.
He frowned as he compiled the reports by the clergies around him, a foreboding feeling in his heart.
While the first trading blows looked to be a complete victory for the Sacred Mountain on the surface, the fact remained that the damage on the shield was critical and it would not repel a single dragon in three minutes.
When that happens, it would need a few hours of buffering to recover and be used under significant duress. That would also mean that the heart of the battle would be moved into the Gray Island, turning it into a terrible tug-of-war.
Still, the hundred thousand of dragons were not worryingthey could never swarm in even if they charged. In the end, the ones the Church need to be alert with are two-thousand pure-blooded ones holding up the rear.
The pure-blooded Pentashade dragons nested around all corners of the world. Most of them lived in demiplanes and outskirts of Mycroft, having a population of more than ten thousand.
Now, there are two thousand of them who gathering around the Sacred Mountains. They were the cream of the croptheir combat capability far outclasses hundreds of thousands of the combined might of a hundred thousand flying dragons, making them the fulcrum of this battle.
Furthermore, the forces within the Sacred Mountain is yet to converge too. Pope Igor, a Legendary Champion had to wait for the three Legendary Dragons to make their appearance and fight them.
Initially, the Sacred Mountain had twelve platoons of holy knights, seven high priest, but only fourteen out of the twenty-four Supreme-tier fighters from their four greater monastic factions came. The others, like the pope, had to maintain control over the divine circles across the Sacred Mountain, unable to fight out in the open.
Even if there were some champions who had molded themselves well in isolation, they could not meet the Supreme dragons out in the openthere were more than fifteen of them after all. In the end, they could only dig in on the central altar region and hold it stubbornly through the tug-of-war battles.
Everything depended on whether or not the shield could be restored to partition the battlefield.
Just as he was tormented by the problem, the torrent that had torn through the air became seawater rain spread across the air. The sky was clear of the dark clouds that had been tore upon and blown away by the gales, and the scorching sun burned overhead.
But this sunshine did not spread warmth. Out of the blue, the surrounding temperatures plummeted, the water turned into frost, trickling and showering upon the dimming shield.
It became snowy in minutes, and a chilliness that spreads to the bones now covered the land.
As if winter had arrived, every hint of heat was plundered as the west side of the Sacred Mountain turned into the icy plains of the Northern poles. The turbulent seas slowed and gradually froze.
The Sacred Mountain shield, already shaky, was aggravated and formed its original dome shape. But right in the next moment, assaulted by a mysterious power, it shattered into countless shards like glasses.
“Warning! Warning! Shield circuits No.1 to No.20000 completely destroyedrepair impossible!”
“The Seven God Formation is now utterly obliterated; the shield is dissipating!”
Before Garcia could feel the shock from the alarm, a horrendous freeze that traced the energies behind the divine shield now seeped into its base. Subconsciously thinking about suppressing that power, he suddenly wobbled, took a few steps back and vomited a mouthful of blood.
Behind him, the clergies who were also operating the shield focal points were shaken off their posts. The unbound frost power started to condense at the underground temple, freezing more than half of the fortress.
The gray-haired elder could not stop vomiting a mouthful of blood; he watched on in horror as the magical frost utterly dismantled the core of the divine spell.He quickly healed his internal injuries with the sacred light, and though he did not speak he was unbelievably appalled.
That move was undoubtedly made by a Legendary dragon, who utilized frost powers to shatter the already shaky divine shield. Then, it followed the circuits that formed it and struck its core toopermanently disabling it for this battle.
Outside, the dragons shrieked in excitement. Most of them were on the warpath after they were frenzied. Under the control of the Pentashade, they flocked towards the Sacred Mountain like a tide.
Their cries reverberated across the hills, as they rampantly spread their will to destroy. Acid and fireballs dropped from above, crashing down on abandoned residences and temples.
Infernos rose in no time at all, turning every building into ash as the golden-red flames of mystical dragon breath kept burning even on metals and stone, roasting them a bright red in a harrowing sound.
Half of the Gray Islandapart from the central temple zonewere covered in acidic clouds and fiery storm in no time at all. Unbridled magic twisted elemental storms, spreading all sorts of primal evocation charms.
A raging cry sounded from the summit of the Sacred Mountain. It was not loud, but every being in around ten kilometers could hear it. Circles of light bestrew the area, forming concentric hoops that twisted the air. The stately light brought radiance that streaked towards the dragons over the island.
Where the radiance was present, the elements were silenced. Fires were doused while corrosive vapors that were flowing into the air were cleansed into pure water. The smallest speck of dust froze thanks to the compelling order, and countless dragons were turned into ash with nothing left.
This was the most ordinary of priest True Word spellsVanish. It had originally been a divine spell limited to single targets but was not a one-hit-kill even then.
Somehow, it achieved the desired effect as Pope Igor unleashed his wrath. Just ten more hits like that, and the dragons encircling the mountain would be wiped out.
That is what Legendary meantto part seas and move mountains, break hills and level cities. It would take just days for people of such power to wipe out nationsand their shoulders was capable of carrying empires.
Or a Church, for that matter.
The light patterns, seemingly intending to keep proliferating, were blocked by three other powers. It was clear that the three Legendary dragons would not let Igor massacre their subordinates just like that.
“It seems that you can’t hold back already, Igor.”
Draconic tongue, the sound of clanging metals rang over the heavens. It was the Legendary dragon that forced Igor’s hand by ambushing the shield core with the powers of frost.
The trade of blows next was not observable by normal people. The circles of light had vanished, while the three powers that protected dragons followed too.
Then, four dots of light rose straight into the stratosphere.
To normal people and dragons it was just four speckles rising into the air, but as a Supreme Champion, Joshua understood that they were going to duel in the void at the outer circles of the world.
The brawl four who could freely manipulate energies would have sunk the land of the edge of distant seas, raising earthquakes above level nine and tides that could flood virtually island on Mycroft, extinguishing most coastal countries.
That was the result should Legendary champions fight in the material world. One would have been enough to consume a city and was within acceptable standards. Legendary powers were like the eternal sun, their power akin to a mass of nuclear warheads that could burn a city into glass.
But here more than one was resonating with each other. How many times that destruction would be had been present in this war just as it was in the Battle of the Legends in Joshua’s pre-existence.
In Starfall year 853, Thomas Grand Canyon at the Northwestern plains was flattened after the battle between six Legendaries, while seismic tears punched through the Tataros Highlands, the aftershocks leveling the fortresses of five cities hundreds of kilometers away. Thankfully, tragedy was avoided since it was an abandoned wasteland, and the cities were evacuated early on.
No dragons were attacking the central altar region where Joshua stood. Beside him, Ling and Ying were twitching with anticipation, tugging at his shirt sleeves and looking at their master with hopeful eyes.
At a corner, Black was blinking too. “Master!” she exclaimed excitedly. “Are we fighting now too?”
“No.” Joshua shook his head. Remembering what the old pope told him a few days ago, he flashed a gleeful smile. “These normal dragons aren’t our opponents. We have another mission to do.”
In the pre-existence, Pope Igor himself had defeated the three Legendary dragons, while the many Supreme-level clergies stopped the Supreme dragons’ advance. Thus the Church of Seven paid a severe price to stop their skirmishthe entire battle lasted for two weeks, the first week being a pure tug-of-war while the next eight days and nights were a bitter attritional battle between their champions.
However, the Sacred Mountain had gathered a much more considerable force while the draconic plague itself came one year early. The dragons did not save their strength for one almighty push because the Pentashade could no longer depend on their flying kin to wear down the clergy force.
All that was left was a bold strike and forcing Igor into a decisive battle.
As a matter of fact, this did not matter much.
In the past, Igor’s struggle against the draconic trio and subsequent triumph was venerable, undeniably dangerous and not too gory.
But this time, things were different, for the world kept changing in many surprising ways.
Legendary battles were never fought on the physical world. To unleash their full capabilities, champions habitually move to demiplanes or the vacuum of outer space.
Hot on Igor’s heels, the three broke through the barrier of the world and the void outside.
Amongst the three legendary dragons was one black, one blue and one white dragon. They were not especially large but simply of ordinary size, although their scales and bodies were indestructible as if crafted by Orichalcos himself, and rippling energy that could flip dimensions orbited around their bodies.
They were the [Lord of the Falling Sleet, Bognar], [Kanor, Dragon of the Nether Sea], and [Verdia of the Eternal Mountain Wind], the patron and elders of their respective races.
The leaders of the red dragons and the green were still missing out in action, with one wandering the great elemental realms and the other lost within the turbulence between dimensions.
In fact, the pair had not been seen in the physical world for over seven hundred years.
The three dragons had been prepared to surround and attack Igor once they reach vacuum, but they soon smelled something foreboding.
They looked up in shock and found a man and a woman beside the elderly man, and from their movements in the nothingness, they were assuredly Legendary champions.
The man had dim golden hair, and wore a cape made from red dragon hide. Between his fingers was a dragon spear that was the length of several men.
As he chattered calmly with Igor, the dragons looked to the woman who had a pair of eye-catching pointy ears. She was plainly dressedher clothes looked as if they were made of tree bark, grass, and leaves. The fragrance of plants wafted from her, conjuring illusions of a lush field despite everyone being in the void.
“Israel, I thought you would’ve brought your dragon,” Igor said, narrowing his eyes. There was not a trace of nervousness in him as he spoke calmly with the dragon rider. “Color me surprised tooI’d never thought you would come here yourself.”
“I’m the one surprised. You’ve even invited the elven nature magisterwhat mountain of treasures did you shower them with?”
“I’ve simply agreed to help them in the search for Father Nature.”
The dragon rider without a mount fiddled with his spear. He and the elf shared a look, before turning to the three Legendary dragons and nodded lightly.
“So. Just three dragons?”
“Yeah, looks like they are surprised too.”
A surprise indeedand a speechless one at that.
How many Legendary champions were there amongst humans? Israel, Emperor of the North, sky dragon rider, and the nature magister of the great elven druids actually answered the call from the Churcha faction they tend to share a strained relationship with.
If it were any other day, the Legendary dragons would have thrown the dragon who blabbered such nonsense into magma for a good bath.
But now, the joke was given form. Bognar, Kanor and Verdia were filled with the rising panic of having fallen into a trap, while the enemies lackadaisical attitude enraged them.
Just two puny men and one fragile elf, and they think they would definitely win?
A soundless but menacing atmosphere spread between the six.
Then, the battle began.