Chapter 397. Continental War (1)
Erunheim clenched her teeth as she looked at the giant monsters in the distance.
Each step destroyed countless structures below as the earth shook.
In a single day, the cities that the people of Reyunion had worked so hard to build had all been crushed.
Countless screams of people could be heard from all around.
“Move away from its path! Move!”
“… What about our homes? Our weaponry?”
One of the men evacuating the people shouted out in rage.
“Is that really important?! Focus on saving your life!”
‘Damn… If only we could use the power of the Flame!’
Although they could usually live with just their mechanical tools…
They started to really miss the power of the Flame after being struck with a catastrophe like this.
The one leading the evacuation was wearing Dragon God Armor, and he stomped the ground in rage.
But then… Something unexpected happened.
With a huge sound, the land beneath him cracked apart.
As he looked at this in a daze…
… The Dragon God Armor let out bright red lights alongside vents of steam.
The Dragon God Armor’s engine, which used the power of the Flame, reactivated.
‘Could it be…?!’
Erunheim and the man looked at the armor in shock.
‘We can use the power of the Flame.’
The strange energy that protected and suppressed them had disappeared.
But the first thing to appear in Erunheim’s head was fear.
The fence that protected them from the outside had disappeared.
There was no longer a place where they could hide from the Neropa Union or the Pompeion Empire.
But Erunheim decided to push back these thoughts for this moment.
‘I don’t have time to worry about such a thing.’
Even if the Empire or the Union didn’t do anything, this was no longer a place where people could live in.
And even at this exact moment…
… Seven giant mountain-sized monsters were crushing apart the territory of Reyunion and heading out in multiple directions.
They didn’t know what their goals were.
But there was only one thing they needed to do right now.
Getting as far away as they could from those things.
“Run towards the ships in the outskirts!”
“Hurry! Everybody evacuate!”
The man and Erunheim started to shout.
The Nerpa smiled as he looked at the ships floating up all around him.
“They can use them since the controller isn’t there anymore.”
The Nerpa muttered as he looked at the ships using the Flame’s power to fly.
Since he had taken the controller away, those ships were usable again.
Although most of them had been damaged or destroyed, they could still escape this place with them.
‘The issue is this place.’
The Nerpa thought as he looked at Hansoo standing before him, equipped with his own blue armor and wielding a strange hammer.
“I don’t know what your thoughts are, but… I truly need this. To revive my race.”
Out there in the vast space.
Even he didn’t know what had happened to his race that called multiple planets their home.
His race might have even moved on to other unknown planets.
But since he had now lost the Nelkipa.
He had to assume that his race had been annihilated and had to start anew in this place.
And to do that…
He needed enough strength that could then become the seed of their race’s revival.
‘Reviving one’s race… Quite similar.’
“Sorry, but I also need that.”
Hansoo looked at the ships rising up in the distance as he spoke.
The giant ships that were visible to an average person’s eyes despite being thousands of kilometers away.
Despite the distance, one could still feel the vibrations within the air from their movements.
But whether they had noticed the change in this place and started to move…
Or were moving to kill the now awakened monsters…
He didn’t know why they were all rising up into the air, but he knew one thing for sure.
That he needed the crystal to go against them.
The Nerpa pondered for a moment and suggested,
“How about this, let’s form an alliance for now. We do not need to fight each other. Our opponents are the Pompeion Empire and the Neropa Union, right? If we fight together, then we can deal with them with much more ease.”
He needed to gather three controllers.
Even if Hansoo didn’t exist, there were countless other obstacles.
And it was hard to use the crystal’s full strength at this moment as well.
There was no point in fighting each other.
Hansoo thought for a moment but then nodded.
“Not a bad plan.”
But as the Nerpa spoke with a bright expression… Hansoo added a few extra words.
“But I will look after the crystal.”
The Nerpa frowned at this.
“Can you not trust me?”
Their race held promises and honor very highly.
His words were basically saying that he did not trust him, so he wanted to hold onto the item of importance.
Hansoo smirked as he replied,
“Can you trust me?”
“What will you do if I decide to betray you at a crucial moment while holding onto that?”
The Nerpa pondered for a moment and shook his head.
He could actually see another person’s soul to a degree.
This man’s soul was rough, cracked in multiple places, and distorted in one place.
But it was still letting out a pure light.
It was a soul that only someone who still retained themselves could have, despite receiving and giving countless injuries.
Someone like this did not lie or betray easily.
Since they worked for the greater picture and not for their own benefit.
“What if I have to betray you to save my race? What do you think I will do?”
“In another way, what if you had to betray me to achieve your goals… What will you do?”
The Nerpa’s expression turned sour, and Hansoo continued to speak.
“We have too much on our shoulders to put our trust in each other, right?”
They were in a situation where they had to work for the survivability of their respective races.
They were just like each other.
Friendships and trust were nothing before the weight they bore on their shoulders.
The worst-case scenario.
If they had to give up their allies to achieve their goals.
If they had to betray their allies and attack them from the back to save their race.
What would he and the Nerpa choose?
And they knew that such a situation would come sooner or later.
‘The Nerpa’s race… Their scale is too large.’
They would have a goal that would fit their scale.
Which meant that the <Flame> would not be enough.
At least, not for both races.
The Nerpa grinded his teeth as he shouted,
“Extreme… you are too extreme! You are planning to make an enemy out of me because of an unknown future? Me that could be of great strength to you? I thought you were a great person, but you’re just a coward!”
Hansoo spoke coldly,
“That’s the issue.”
People who can greatly contribute to one’s strength…
They would become great enemies the moment one’s back was turned.
“Maybe if you and I both had a few things to lose, but… we have nothing to lose.”
They only had their bodies.
They had no race to save, no hostages to rescue.
— Do not trust anyone… that has nothing to lose. You never know what they will do.
Hansoo thought of Keldian’s words and tightly clenched his hammer.
‘Maybe… I am a coward.’
His enemy was too great.
He could not allow the item that could become the largest variable remain in the hands of the person that could become the largest variable.
He needed to kill the Nerpa when he was still weak.
And as if the Nerpa had read Hansoo’s thoughts, his expression turned cold.
“It seems you are underestimating me, but… sure. Let’s have a go at it.”
His choice to fight Hansoo wasn’t because Hansoo was going against him.
There was always the choice of running away.
But as he heard Hansoo’s words…
He had to admit the feeling he’d been burying inside him.
If both races were after the Flame’s strength, they would collide sooner or later.
And to prevent that collision, he needed to get rid of Hansoo.
He had clearly seen the alien race’s terrifying potential for growth.
And the man before him was a person at the epitome of that race.
‘I… will uproot you here.’
If not then he would return in the future with much more power.
… With its limitations removed, the power of the Flame started to rise up from the Nerpa’s soul, who had the rights to control such power.
Buried deep within the planet, the Flame’s core trembled as it supplied the Nerpa with a large amount of power.
And the strength that crushed Kiriel started to surround the Nerpa’s body.
… A huge collision exploded between Hansoo and the Nerpa.
Inside Erunheim’s ship.
Somebody was standing next to Erunheim with a blade.
Erunheim gritted her teeth.
Although the power of the Flame had returned, she could not deal with this woman.
After all, this woman was a monster that the Dragon God Armor couldn’t deal with.
‘We should’ve… stopped her before she got on the ship.’
Then with the ship’s strength, they could’ve stopped her to some degree.
But Kiriel did not care for her thoughts, mumbling while looking at the scene of the collision.
“It really seems that… Hansoo cannot trust anybody.”
Erunheim replied as she stared at the fight in the far distance.
“… Don’t you feel uneasy at all? You could also end up thrown to the side.”
Kiriel replied to the smirking Erunheim,
“I… don’t like a leader who can trust everyone.”
Even more so if their stakes were this high.
A person suspicious of everyone was much better than a person who trusted everyone.
“And there’s nothing about me that would make him throw me away. Look how hardworking I am.”
Kiriel shrugged as she said,
“So hurry and fire. Quickly.”
Kiriel pointed towards the Nerpa radiating a powerful aura in the distance, a cold smile on her face.