LTBE: Chapter 172: In the Name of Love

Something is coming.

This was the thought that surfaced abruptly in the midst of Roel’s blurring consciousness. This thought had surfaced rather inexplicably, but for some reason, he didn’t doubt it at all.

It was a vague yet palpable pressure. It was electrifying, like an ice cube suddenly pressed against the nape of your neck in the midst of the blistering summer, but, at the same time, intimidating, like the sinister tempest of a brewing storm.

Under these sensations, Roel’s blurring consciousness was jolted fully awake, bringing him back to his senses. His golden eyes narrowed as he tightened the arm he had wrapped around Charlotte, shocking her in turn.

“Roel? What’s wrong? Are you in pain?”

Charlotte hurriedly wiped away her tears as she asked anxiously out of concern, but Roel couldn’t find the exact words to answer her question. Lying against her body, he stared at the horizon of the sea with a bewildered look in his eyes.

Then all of a sudden, at the extremity of the horizon, the golden sun vanished.

In the direction where the rising sun should have been, there was a smudge of darkness that was swiftly expanding. It was hard to discern what it was—it could have been a cloud of smoke or moving shadows—but before Roel’s astonished eyes, the darkness began to devour everything. The brilliance of the sun was gradually covered, causing both allies and enemies alike to realize that something was very wrong.

“Hey, what’s that over there on the eastern horizon?”

“It looks like a black smudge. What is it?”

The sentry keeping a lookout from the mast relayed the abnormality to all of the other crewmates with anxious shouts. The warriors that were guarding Roel and Charlotte began frowning nervously. The instincts they had sharpened from years of experience on the battlefield were telling them that a calamity was approaching.

Charlotte also halted her movement to look at the eastern horizon, where Roel’s eyes were fixated.

It was like a chain effect. More and more people had stopped whatever they were doing to gaze eastward. The gradually darkening sky induced the fighting warships to hurriedly turn on their lights, and the firing of the cannons came to a halt. The fighting crowd quickly parted from one another to form two different sides as they eyed one another warily.

“What is that? Speak!”

On the sea, Isabella pointed her Jewel Trigger at Gordon’s head as she bellowed furiously. However, the aged old man seemed to be out of it. He stared at the darkening sky with a confused look in his eyes. There was a slight fear, but, at the same time, reverence on his face, emotions that one would typically display before the gods.

“I told you, Isabella. Don’t try to resist them. It’ll only bring death upon you. It has always been right behind us. It’s our fate to serve the Mother Goddess! The divine retribution of the gods will purge all of the traitors…”

Bam!

With a click of the trigger, the head of the devout believer was blasted into bits. Isabella watched as the tattered corpse of an ex-comrade sank into the depths of the sea with a wintry look in her eyes.

“You were still a king, albeit that of the rebels. It’s your own choice if you wish to kneel and worship your so-called god, but before that, the one thing a king should prioritize over all else is his own people!”

With a cold harrumph, Isabella turned her gaze back eastward to look at the darkness that was swiftly rushing in their direction. The sky had already turned blurry, and the sea was no longer clear. All of these occurrences gave Isabella an inkling as to what was going on.

The destroyer of civilizations had descended upon them. It was a calamity that had reduced civilizations to rubble time and time again throughout history, a terror that continued to plague the world.

Its name, Sire Darkness.

That was what the destroyed civilization of ancient treants called it. It was another entity of the Six Calamities, wielding strength comparable to that of the egg SS Saint Mary was escorting. However, unlike the unincubated Glacier Creator, Sire Darkness was a mature calamity. Its destructive prowess was the real deal.

Sire Darkness was said to be an ancient monster created from fire and earth. The darkness that buried everything was not magic but something even more frightening than it.

Soot. Ash. Dust.

It was the fog of death formed when the earth tremored during the eruption of a volcano.

The moving ground and the breath of the volcano, these were the physical manifestations of Sire Darkness, as well as the very reason why it was undefeatable. It didn’t even need to attack; everything in its trail would simply perish.

No one could possibly survive an attack from such a monster. Gordon’s subservience and loyalty did nothing at all. All of the subordinates who had chosen to follow him were doomed to die in this calamity.

“How foolish. How many civilizations have the calamities destroyed since ancient times? Do you think that there were none who tried to submit to them? Those who resisted them might no longer be around, but how many of their worshipers have managed to survive to this day?

“The continuance of the High Elf Bloodline depends not on the Mother Goddess nor these hateful monsters. Rather, it’s the human blood in us which you made light of and viewed in disdain.”

Isabella muttered softly under her breath as she stared at the enemy swiftly approaching them. History had shown that traitors often suffered tragic fates, let alone those who betrayed their entire race.

As the calamity approached closer and closer, she couldn’t help but think about the speculations floating within the Twilight Sages Assembly.

“To think that we would be eyed by this fellow. It looks like Academic was right after all. His wisdom is truly amazing.”

Isabella chuckled helplessly under her breath, but after the smile came to pass, what remained was composure and determination.

“Perhaps this is the decree of fate. But, even if the balance of fate has already chosen a side, I, Isabella Sofya, refuse to lower my head!”

Golden mana began to pour out of Isabella and surge into the sky. At the same time, the communication devices of the warships also began sounding.

“Warriors! Since things have already come to this point, there’s no point panicking anymore. Like I’ve told you previously, the calamity of chaos has already caught up with our footsteps. Destruction has begun encroaching on our civilization. Gordon’s naive hopes have been disproven. That ancient monster seeks to bring down every single one of us humans here, regardless of our faction.

“It’s more than easy to offer our necks to the calamity like deranged cultists, but as proud humans who have defeated the Seafolk and conquered the sea, how can we show our cowardice to the enemy? Sia created this world with the concepts of life and death, and even that pitch-black monstrosity before us is no exception. Surely I need not tell you what we have to do now, right?”

With a faint but valiant smile on her lips, Isabella channeled her mana to an unprecedentedly high level. Behind her, the Goddess of Fate raised the balance in her hand, revealing an overwhelming difference in odds between both sides. Without any hesitation, Isabella staked all 10 golden chips that represented glory and honor on the side that was raised steeply up high, causing the balance to shudder a little.

At the same time, the entire Golden Fleet broke out into a furious roar.

“Fellow crewmates of the Golden Fleet, I hope that when we reminisce about this battle in our ailing years, we’ll be able to guffaw heartily without a single shred of regret. I hope that all of us can puff our chests up high when we speak of this glorious battle. Be it victory or defeat, I’ll be with all of you. So, charge forth without fear!

“Let’s show the backbone of us humans!”

“Roar—!”

The warriors of the Golden Fleet raised their swords up high and roared at the unprecedentedly powerful enemy standing before them. The roars of the warriors converged together to shake mountains and seas alike.

Amidst the rousing war cries, a golden sea manifested beneath Isabella’s feet. It represented the brilliance created by human civilization, an existence at odds with this ancient monster before them. It glowed brightly in the midst of the darkness, radiating courage to all hearts.

Before this calamity of extinction, the enemy warships halted their cannon fire while their crews glanced at one another silently. The captains barked out orders for them to hoist their flags up high and alter their direction.

In the wake of Sire Darkness’s attack, everyone came to realize a fact—they were all humans. Submitting to the terrifying calamities was a mistake in itself. The calamities lacked the values that humans embraced; they knew not of compassion, and they weren’t God Envoys either. They were mere bringers of destruction.

Ignoring the shoutings of the crowd, the black wave pressed closer and closer. Its dispersed body gradually converged to form a massive grayish-black silhouette in the midst of the darkened sky. The edges of its body were blurred out, so one could only make out its roughly humanoid appearance. However, its body was so huge that it seemed to connect the earth with the sky, dominating everyone’s line of sight.

Two dusk orbs lit up in the sky, becoming the eyes of the massive silhouette. It gazed down upon the humans who dared to attack it as its eyes gleamed a little in response.

“Golden Avatar!”

Isabella raised her finger and pointed at the massive figure that could easily wipe out every single one of them. An enormous divine avatar formed out of the Golden Soul rose from the sea amidst a rush of golden waves to stand before the massive silhouette in the sky. It released layers of golden light that trapped the ashes that threatened destruction.

Ten stifling seconds ticked by, and the eyes in the sky narrowed in ridicule. Before Isabella’s shocked gaze, the massive silhouette spoke its first word.

“Foolishness.”

Sire Darkness’s body suddenly swooped downward.

“Fire! Fire!”

Under the order of the captains, the main cannons on the warships released over a hundred powerful bursts of golden light, piercing right into the body of the black fog simultaneously. 

Yet, despite all of the support and cover fire, the humans were still disadvantaged. The monster in the sky was unfazed by all of these attacks. The balance of fate held by the Goddess of Fate was shaking, but it was showing no signs of tilting over.

I’m still too weak. If only I had a few more years… 

Isabella sighed deeply to herself. Her personal strength as an Origin Level 2 transcendent, combined with the incredible force of the Golden Fleet, was powerful enough to obliterate a country. However, against the Six Calamities who ravaged civilizations as a whole, it was inevitable that they were still lacking.

In truth, she had already resolved herself for defeat.

Meanwhile, on one of the warships, Roel found his heart thumping swiftly at this battle of epic proportions unfolding before his eyes. His mind was consumed by nervousness. He lowered his gaze to look through the hole in the deck and saw that the egg of the Glacier Creator was still emanating coldness.

There was less than a day left till their return from the Witness State, but Roel knew well that they wouldn’t survive long under the ravaging might of Sire Darkness. The only thing they could do now was to activate the Perpetual Seal and bring down the egg. 

At the same time, Charlotte watched the battle before her as realization struck her.

They couldn’t win this fight.

Being able to peer into the essence of the Golden Soul, it wasn’t difficult for her to come to this conclusion. She watched the crewmates rushing around on the deck, as well as the cannons that were firing relentlessly, before turning her head to the black-haired boy standing beside her.

At this desperate moment, Charlotte, for a brief moment, seemed to see a future for the two of them. It would be a peaceful, normal life. They would travel around freely with one another, bickering about all sorts of minor things. They would have a wedding blessed by the elders, and beautiful flowers would rain upon them as they were proclaimed husband and wife. A new life would be born from their love, creating the complete family that she had always sought.

It was a pity that this future would always remain a dream, never to be fulfilled. The encroaching darkness felt like death’s embrace; it was only a matter of time before they succumbed and drowned within it.

Charlotte held onto the seven-colored stone in her hand tightly. This was a tool that provided her with absolute defense against all calamity. Be it the ancient monster in the sky or the dangers lurking in the sea, none of them would be able to break this greatest defensive spell of Jewel Magic.

“Its name is Protector of the Heart. It’s a magic tool made from mixing 7 top-grade gemstones together with your blood. It doesn’t just form a conventional barrier like most protective magic tools do. It would be more apt to call it the highest level spell, especially when it’s fired as a bullet.”

“Spell?”

“Indeed. It’s a magic spell to live.”

Recalling the exchange she had with Isabella, Charlotte slipped the seven-colored gemstone into the Jewel Trigger as she muttered under her breath.

“Why couldn’t we have met earlier?”

It was a question that sounded more like a sigh. 

Charlotte looked at her fiancé-in-name with a gentle smile before reaching out to embrace him. Faced with this abrupt gesture, Roel instinctively realized that something was off.

“Charlotte?”

“… Darling, you have to live on.”

Bang!

The trigger was fired, and the seven-colored gemstone within shattered into pieces. The bullet of absolute defense shot right into Roel’s body, surrounding him with a seven-colored glow as the impact knocked him into the sea.

StarveCleric's Notes:

This is the second bonus chapter from the mission, and it's cleared~
I probably won't be doing any missions any time soon because I don't have any spare chapters and I'm in a pretty stressed state at the moment @@ When people remind me of promises I made that I can't fulfill in the meantime, I get extremely, extremely stressed out. Hopefully I get some capacity soon to do something

Anyway, we're reaching the end of the arc soon, so I'll try to make sure there's a chapter everyday so that you won't be kept on a cliffhanger here aye. Hahaha it kind of worked out didn't it? There were some days without chapters, but in exchange we sped ahead the most tense part so it gets more fulfilling hehehehe

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Written by Bells on Cat Ears (猫耳铃铛). Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar.