"Don't be such a charlatan that just left. Tell me immediately if you feel any abnormal symptoms. Those who don't seem to be able to walk alone will be sent by Hinn Eldore and Finn Eldore as he was just now."
The eyes of the four remaining Peletta Knights became solemn. They didn't want to be blown away by an unidentified blue wind.
Shortly thereafter, two Peletta knights raised their hands and went down to complain that they could not bear the pressure.
By the time the surrounding landscape gradually became desolate, the dense trees and grasses disappeared and only the rocks began to appear, one more person disappeared.
All that remained were one Peletta Knight, five Cavalry members, General Gino, and Kishiar. Compared to the Cavalry who hadn't shown any signs of hardship so far, the only Peletta knight left was slowly getting tired and running out of breath.
Yuder noticed that he was the knight guiding on their way here, and that other knights called him "vice-captain". He seemed to have the highest status among the Peletta knights this time.
'He's the best of them all.'
It was a coincidence that all five Cavalry members, General Gino and Kishiar, who were Swordmasters, were fine. Yuder came up looking at the energy flowing around him. But so far, he hadn't felt much more than that.
"Gacaine, how are you doing?"
"I'm fine. I'm getting more and more energized by the stone...... I was wondering if it's because the stone Awakened us."
Gacaine answered, examining his limbs. Yuder thought his opinions might make sense.
"We're almost there. If we go up there, we will now see a huge hole created by the fallen stone."
As the trees gradually disappeared and finally reached an ascent of mostly rock, General Gino spoke to Kishiar.
"Yeah. The place with the grand nickname of the World's Navel or something. I can't wait to see what it looks like."
The World's Navel. Yuder rummaged through the past information he knew in his head while listening to what they were saying.
In the past, Yuder didn't participate in the Red Stone Retrieval operation, but before he died, he had read a short piece of information about the huge pit that occurred when the stone fell when he searched for information related to the Red Stone.
One day, the Red Stone that flew from the sky and fell in the middle of Airic Mountains immediately destroyed all the surrounding trees and land, creating a huge pit. It was said that the size of the pit created at that time was huge, and that almost enough forests had disappeared to fill a city. There were no trees or grass growing there even after the stone was retrieved.
The party finally stood at the end of the ascent. And they saw an endless view of a dizzyingly huge cliff in front of them.
There was a place as if someone had scooped up a mountain with a huge spoon. A pothole of immense size seemed to be called a valley or basin, not a pit.
"No wonder the air is different from here. It's chilling."
Gacaine looked down, frowning at the tip of his nose. His words were not just in his mood. Because Yuder was also feeling a similar sensation by looking at a dizzyingly huge hole.'Yes, it felt this way.'
A long time ago, the strange energy that he felt when he saw from a distance the Red Stone Kishiar had retrieved. The pressure, as if invisible air was weighing down all over the place, was felt softly by the wind.
"It's a cool scenery. Then let's go down there."
Kishiar looked around with a special appreciation. There seemed to be no safe route, but they had to go down. Because there was the Red Stone they were looking for in the middle of that huge pit.
"Your Highness. I, I... don't think I could go any further."
The last remaining Peletta Knight said to Kishiar, who was about to go down in search of the right place.
"It's hard to breathe."
"Alright, I understand. Then wait a little further away from here."
"I'm sorry, I have to follow in your footsteps until the end, but... I'm so ashamed."
"Don't worry, it's a great thing to follow this far."
Finally, the last remaining knight fell. Tension also rose on the Cavalry members' faces.
They stepped slowly down so they wouldn't slip. As they went down, the pressure got stronger, and by the time they reached the ground, thousands of needles felt prickly all over their bodies.'All the Cavalry members seem to be in a similar condition......Is it also because we are Awakeners?'
Yuder looked at the members' faces walking slowly with a frown. No one seemed to have difficulty breathing even though they were under pressure.
"General, which way should we go now?"
"Head as far as you can to the middle of the pit. The stone is very small, so you have to get close to see it."
General Gino answered Kishiar's question. He was frowning as he reached this point, feeling considerable pressure.
Among them, only Kishiar and Yuder remained unchanged.'The World Sphere didn't emit this much energy.'
Yuder recalled the World Sphere that he had seen countless times while heading to the place where the Red Stone was.
Stored in the sanctuary forest for a long time, it gave a slightly strange feeling when approached but did not emit this wild and intense energy.'As expected, the refining work at the Pearl Tower has reduced the Red Stone power and disappeared. What the hell were they doing?'
Mages of the Pearl Tower had refined the Red Stone into the World Sphere. Yuder thought they didn't have a very good purpose even though they didn't do it for what purpose.'There should've been one or two garbage studies there.'
The Pearl Tower was originally built by the archmage Pielle Mice who was not swayed by any political purpose, purely wanted magic research.
A pearl that could only be made by adding hundreds or thousands of layers of liquid to the shell with foreign substances. As the name suggested, they would accumulate magic countless times and live only for magic.
At first, they were ostracized. But things had changed over time. Pearl Tower had produced numerous archmages and several outstanding research results.
Previously, mages had a strong image of the court mages working only for the nation, but the mages of the Pearl Tower did not work for anyone. They studied and trained freely.
There was no way that those who were wealthy and trained freely tied to the state and moved for the powerful could be rivals. Hundreds of years later, all countries could no longer ignore the Pearl Tower, and they grew up to represent all mages.
The problem was that the first good intentions had changed in increasingly strange ways over the years.
Where did the purpose of "only magic" go? The current Pearl Tower clung to the power classes of various countries, striving for them and engaging in all kinds of inhumane research.
The creation of Misty Wind horses was less inhumane in their research. At least it was the result of researching the beasts and monsters.
The mages of the Pearl Tower struggled to the end not to lose their power after those Awakened by the power of the red stone came out. Yuder strongly suspected that they had refined the Red Stone into the World Sphere was part of the struggle.'And the tower was destroyed. I didn't do it, though.'
Yuder smirked as he recalled the destruction of the Pearl Tower, which was one of the charges when he was executed.
"I see the stone over there."
Then, General Gino opened his mouth heavily. Yuder's eyes, which wandered through the past, moved after him. At where General Gino was looking, there was a stone about the size of a fist half embedded in the ground.
The stone had a very ordinary appearance. If it weren't for the only stone that existed in this desolate place, no one would have thought it was the Red Stone.
A stone with a slightly dark color and a bumpy but overall round shape.
Although it was still quite far away, there was nothing around, so they could see the appearance of the stone very well. Everyone in the party stopped walking in the grip of their own emotions. Some showed awe, some fear, some just wonder.
Yuder also felt very strange the moment he saw the stone. However, what he felt was far from the same awe and fear as others.'Because of that.'
That thing changed his fate.
Yuder, an ordinary commoner boy, became the most powerful Awakener in the world, and was finally executed for trying to touch the stone. His living and dying were all done by that stone.'And from now on, it's a stone to be thoroughly examined and protected.'
Previously, the stone before it was carved could not be examined in detail. But not this time. Yuder decided to use the opportunity he got again more frugally than anyone else."How is everyone feeling?"