Sian realized what was going on as he fought off the Betas.
'They're defending against the intruder. That's why they couldn't come.'
It would require a very powerful being to pass through such defenses. It seemed that Lorvall did not have such a man either. It would have been dangerous if it was before Sian entered Apental, but this also meant that it was no threat to Sian now.
Sian advanced as he destroyed the Betas. There were Betas coming up from below so it was easy to find the way down. He carefully walked down as there might be stronger beings coming up, but there weren't any.
After going down three floors, there was another ring that worked as an entrance.
'Please don't say that it's an exit.'
Sian sighed and walked in.
He thought there would be another Beta, but there wasn't. It was like a lab. Unlike the large building upstairs, this was like a small, personal lab.
'So, the core is in here.'
Sian expected something amazing to be stored in the lab, but there wasn't anything special so Sian became disappointed. If the placed was guarded that heavily, he thought there might be an artifact like the carapace that was destroyed in Apental, or Karnine that lost its purpose as a weapon. He was curious about what this place was, but there wasn't much. He then searched for his original purpose and found the red seed at last.
It was radiating a life force within the small, tube-like glass encasing. It was the same energy Sian felt from the core of the Ciculus Tree. Out of the twenty-five tubes, only four remained. Sian then realized where those cores had come from.
"So they took it from here. But why not the other four…"
Upon closer examination, he realized why. These four cores seemed to be unstable.
"Well, they must have their reasons."
Sian took out all four cores and put them into Karnine's space. He looked around to check on what else to take and then jumped out to return.
"Sian, what took you so long?"
"I waited for a week."
"Huh? I came out within a day," Sian answered. He did take some time to go through those guards, but it wasn't as big as Apental and the number was much less. Nonetheless, it seemed it had been much longer in outside time.
"Yeah. I guess it's a different dimension in there. That's why the time difference happened."
"So, what was in there?" Stiel asked and Sian told her about all those Betas and weird labs.
"Oh, so that's why they couldn't enter. But it only took you a day to go through the Apental-like place?"
"Yeah. Even in Apental, it took me longer because I had to find the way out."
"I see. So did you find the core?"
"Yeah. What did you find here?"
"The building wasn't that interesting. But come here."
Stiel then ran toward the ocean and pointed below.
"What, this is…"
The cliff was actually a destroyed trace. From their location to the visible end of the coast, everything was the same. It wasn't something that was created naturally. Sian then sent an energy wave into the ocean to check what was in the water. Then he groaned.
"It's really deep."
It was deep, even for the greatest Harijans to travel through. Sian never heard of a coast getting deeper as it got closer to land, especially one that large.
After checking it out, Sian concluded, "Someone destroyed this place."
It was a trace of a fight between powerful beings.
"Maybe it's a fight between that… Chrona and Dragona?"
"Maybe. But I'm not sure."
Sian wasn't sure. Maybe Chrona would do such a thing, but Sian couldn't find a reason for Chrona or Dragona to come all the way here inflict such damage.
"Don't worry. It looks like it's really old."
"Let's not come near here anymore. I don't feel too good about this place."
"Yeah. I wondered why there's an ocean here all of a sudden."
The damage seemed like it had been there for over thousands of years. It explained why the forest was suddenly cut off by the ocean. There was probably land here before.
Sian was calm. If a being powerful enough to create such damage intended to destroy the land, it would have been destroyed a long time ago. If the human race survived even to this day, the one who did this was probably not interested in destroying the world.
Sian and Stiel then headed back.
The road on the way back was much more comfortable since they had gone through it once. However, the path was now filled with monsters that Sian hadn't seen before.
"So, those are Swarms."
"Yeah. They're quite interesting."
Silvery things were roaming all over the place to the Baron estates, the Viscount estates, and the Narija races. It seemed like they were attacking randomly, but they weren't. They were targeting the infected ones and they even consumed the black smog that came out after the host died.
"So those Swarms know who is infested by the Gerna."
"Yeah, they were created to kill Gerna after all, right?"
The surviving commoners and nobles were moving to a Count or Marquis' estate where the barrier was set up. They were attacked by Gernas on the way but the Swarms stayed around those humans and consumed all that were infested.
But Narijas didn't have such thing so they were continuously infested by the black smog and they kept getting attacked by the Swarms.
"It's working well. No wonder why Conrad wasn't concerned."
"Yeah, but the Gerna are increasing. It will be a problem if the barrier doesn't close soon."
Swarms were consuming the black smog, but the number was still growing. And unlike the Swarms who crawled the land, the smog flew away at much faster speed.
There were some races that were completely consumed by the Gerna and they tried to attack a Count's estate. The Gerna wanted to go into the estate but they were blocked by the barrier so they infested other races and attempted to launch an attack.
Some Gerna also tried to invade Stiel's body but they were reflected out thanks to the orb. Those Gernas then targeted Sian and tried to invade him.
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It was worse inside. The Gerna instantly melted away at Sian's power. It was like when the Akra was sent in.
"You know, you're like a lamp. One that lures the bugs and burns them."
Then they were at Vladek. The tree was still enormous, but it was very much lifeless without any leaves.
"So the core is really important."