Chapter 473: Aether Monument 1
Immediately, after the immense explosion and flame which swept through the dungeon, a piece of stone fell from the ceiling.
Once the heat and the flames receded, a hemispherical bluish veil appeared.
It was the shield that Luke had made.
Luke's hand managed to build up a shield for him and his men at the right moment.
He wondered if he would be able to do it since the stone dolls all seemed to have a mana of an 8th circle wizard.
Most of the shields which he made during the explosion in the dungeon were broken, yet, it still managed to block.
‘Kuek, I don't know who made those things, but they are terrible!'
If he could, Luke would have captured one of the stone dolls to analyze it.
However, Luke wasn't able to do anything as such as all the dolls had self-destructed.
"Is everyone safe?"
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
Fortunately, there seemed to be no casualties, all thanks to Luke's response.
However, he couldn't feel calm. The situation was much worse than before.
The passage of the dungeon collapsed due to the explosion.
As if that wasn't enough, there was a huge crack in the ceiling, and the stones kept falling from above.
Even if a chain collapse occurred, they would all die.
‘Was he aiming for this?'
Perhaps the self-destructing stone dolls were to destroy the dungeon and kill the intruders.
Luke wasn't sure if the one who was making it happen was Rudolf or a third person.
‘Huh, my head's hazy, but I can't stop and think here.'
Luke tried to use teleport magic.
When he entered the dungeon, he wasn't able to use it as they didn't know the exact coordinates of the dungeon.
However, the sneaky smile on Luke's face soon turned into a fluster when using magic.
Strangely, he couldn't find out the coordinates of the dungeon ruins.
‘What? How is this…?'
Luke who was confused looked around.
It was because he could see an unusual flow of energy through the dungeon which was blocking the movement of teleport.
Perhaps, the ancient fairy wizards used all their skills to prevent the unauthorized access into their dungeon.
‘Then Teleport Scrolls will be useless. Analyzing the wavelength will take some time…'
Luke, who frowned, ordered his men.
"Step back to a safe place!"
Listening to the orders, Philip and the other men hurried back to the dungeon.
However, hiding in the dungeon couldn't be an alternative.
The dungeon was strong on the inside, so it wouldn't collapse, however, it was the same thing as getting blocked inside.
‘But, there should be a passage out of the prison, or we are doomed.'
Luke was convinced, but he couldn't help but feel troubled.
‘Should we really dig through a place where magic can't be used? No, if I do something and the ceiling falls down, withstanding the fall will be tough by saving others.'
No matter what side they chose, they were in a huge mess.
Because of the mess they created outside, the Imperial Army would be waiting outside.
‘If I run into Rudolf after losing power, it is the end. In the end, analyzing the wavelength will take time.'
Flustered, Luke's eyes turned towards the stone gate he had been a while back.
The stone gate on the right side of the dungeon which the jailer called as tiresome.
He pointed to the stone gate.
"Open the gate. Maybe there is a passage to the ground."
Still, it was true that it had been troubling Luke since the first time he saw it.
At Luke's words, the men approached it.
However, even with a push or an aura covered sword, it didn't open.
"I think this is made with the same materials as the stone doll?"
Philip judged that because he fought the stone dolls a moment back.
Luke, who kept looking at the stone gate, agreed.
No magic circle or device, yet it had a similar power and working to that of a doll.
"But there has to be a limit to absorption. Let's keep pushing."
Luke's party persistently hit the stone gate.
Fortunately, the results they wanted had come. After hitting for about a dozen minutes, the thick stone gate got broken with the constant use of Aura.
Luke, who made a magic torch for himself and his men walked inside the stone gate.
"Be careful everyone. I don't know what is on the inside."
As he looked around carefully and entered, a short walk and a large cavity appeared in the underground.
In the center of the cavity was a three-meter high stone monument. And small stone statues were weirdly placed around the huge monument.
The number of small stone statues, which seemed to be kneeling in front of the huge monument seemed to have gone past 100.
"A monstrous statue which resembles a fairy… please tell me that they don't move!"
Philip responded to Count Ferrero who was anxious seeing too many stone dolls.
"No way. If you are anxious, should we smash them in advance?"
"No, leave them. We will get tired while doing it."
Instead of destroying the statues, the two decided to hold their energy.
On the contrary, Luke who was looking at the stone statues seemed interested.
‘Aren't these very similar to what I saw on the southern continent?'
The forest in the Southern Continent where he fell after getting caught in the subspace.
The statues there were almost similar to what Luke was currently seeing.
Although most of the statues were broken, he wanted to keep them in the subspace bracelet.
‘Maybe they are connected?'
He didn't know the specifics, but Luke knew that the underground vacant spot was very similar to Nanas's trap.
He didn't feel his entire power getting absorbed as then, but he could still feel his energy and power of the body flowing into the center of the spot.
‘Not just my power. it is sucking in the power from the outside too.'
Luke looked up at the ceiling.
The ceiling, which seemed to be something that could be reached by stacking a five-story building, was engraved with a magic circle which had never been seen before.
Well, it actually made Luke wonder if it was a magic circle.
Unlike the existing magic circles, the structure, its form, and the process seemed to be different, but it seemed similar to the pattern of decorations used on the temple.
Most importantly, the strange magic circle seemed to be in operation.
Mana and all other energy flowed from the center of the magic circle.
The energy, which was being refined by the magic circle, got absorbed into the giant monument which was in the center of the place.
Luke, who was keeping an eye on the flow, heard Philip.
"Your Majesty, I have looked inside, but I don't see any passage through."
"It is alright. Don't turn nervous and wait."
Despite the calm reaction from Luke, Philip and his men seemed to be puzzled, yet since their King had asked them to stay put, they rested silently.
Ferrero who saw that was curious.
"This is amazing. You think he will get you out of this place so you won't even say out your frustrations outside."
"Because that is what His Majesty means to us."
Ferrero, who heard Philip's words full of trust, nodded his head.
He knew that Luke was someone who survived a malfunction of a Gigant.
It wasn't just that, he revived the land at that time and even won battles which he wasn't supposed to.
He was a man who had overcome several difficulties and turned into a true king.
It was very natural for Philip and the other knights who watched Luke from a close distance to put immense trust in him.
"And His Majesty is knowledgeable in magic as any other wizard. He is currently our only 8th circle wizard in the Symphonia Kingdom."
"Huh, he grew that much?"
He knew that Luke was famous for being a Rune Knight, but Ferrero never knew that his magic skills would be the same as a Meister of the Baroque Imperial magic tower.
When Ferrero looked shocked, Philip showed off about Luke, wanting to show his pride for being beside him.
"Do you know something else? Unlike the rumors of the public, he is a swordsman who has already reached the Sword Master intermediate level. Not long ago, five Sword Masters got defeated at once."
‘Huhu, this is…!'
If Philip's words were right, then Luke was around the level of Sword Sage.
Ferrero realized that King Luke was more terrifying than known.
It was because Luke had been deceiving everyone about his skills for years.
The wrong information had aroused the minds of the enemies.
And among them was Emperor Rudolf and the Imperial Intelligence Agency.
‘Maybe the biggest enemy of the Baroque Empire wasn't the Libiya Kingdom but the Symphonia Kingdom…'
While Ferrero was in thoughts, Luke approached the monument in the center.
As he went closer to the monument which was shimmering, a low reverberation emanated from the monument with a purple light.
At the same time, the black circle on Luke's heart accelerated spontaneously and the guard which Reina gave him began to glow.
‘This… power and resonance!'
When all kinds of energy got gathered, he expected some change, but the power of the monument was actually Aether.
Which was why Luke's Magi and Reina's guard reacted so violently with Aether.
‘What is with this monument? Why does this have Aether in it?'
Luke slowly extended his hand and placed it on the monument.
The moment his hand touched the stone, the magi in his body got sucked in.
Luke was shocked that his entire energy could have been taken in by the stone.
Contrary to his concerns of Magi getting absorbed, well, the same amount of Aether entered his body.
Amazed by the tsunami of Aether in his body, Luke was shocked. It was as if his body would explode due to the uncontrollable force which entered his body.
However, as if he had turned into one with the monument, his hand didn't move.
When Luke screamed because of the pain he was feeling due to the monument, Philip and his agents ran for him.
However, before they could reach Luke, they bumped into a purple wall and bounced back.
"Wh, what is this? How is all this happening?"
Count Ferrero, who was flustered, looked around.
The purple light from Luke's body and the monument was spreading through the vacant lot like a wave.
With that, every wall was shaking, as if it was going to collapse anytime.
But Luke couldn't pay attention to his surroundings. It was because the Aether which entered his body was making the black circle on his heart accelerate like crazy.
The change in the speed was so sudden that Luke could feel his body being swept away.
‘Am, am I going to die like this?'
Luke felt the horror of facing death as he could feel his body ripping itself from the inside.
The moment the pain and fear reached the peak, his body flashed and disappeared from the eyes of everyone.