Thankfully, the haunted forest did not host the witch Marakia was so afraid of. According to the Fairies that came out to greet them, Adelwight had left on a journey far away and was therefore unavailable.
“Adelwight on a journey? How unusual.”
It didn’t seem like the Fairies knew where she had gone. But since his purpose coming here was to go to the Fae World, it did not matter that she was not present.
After taking a short break in the Witch’s cottage, Sungchul asked the Fairies to open the portal to the Fae World.
“Hmm Hmm. You should have hurried to get her sooner.”
Bertelgia complained unhappily after they crossed the portal. Meanwhile, Marakia couldn’t contain his awe upon witnessing the unbelievably fantastic sights of the Fae World for the first time.
“Unbelievable… Such a beautiful place exists…!”
Marakia was the first to run out of the portal and into the unparalleled beauty of the Fae World. The little scared bird trembling like twigs in the wind was nowhere to be seen. This made Sungchul think,
‘I guess bird brain is still bird brain.’
Nothing could be more distracting. Bertelgia followed Marakia so he doesn’t get lost. Sungchul walked slowly as he looked around at the gorgeous sights of this world.
‘This moment has finally come.’
How long has it been?
The stoicism he maintained since Ixion had not changed in the slightest. He had thought that he would feel great joy once he reached the Fae World, but no change had occurred within him. In fact, Sungchul was feeling inexplicable but hair-raising impulses. For example, throwing the Final Elixir on the ground and crushing it, or throwing it so far away it cannot be found. These thoughts were followed by the unthinkably horrid anticipation and desire for stimulus.
“You look tired.”
The Fairy elder said to Sungchul upon their reunion.
“I’ve eaten and slept aplenty on my way here.”
Sungchul gave his reply, but he was feeling fatigue he couldn’t identify the cause of. All he wanted was to finish what he was doing quickly so he can go lay down on a comfortable bed.
It was very odd. To be moments away from accomplishing the goal he had been struggling and striving for all this time, and for the emotion that he felt as a result to be languor.
“Get yourself back together. Why are you so out of it?”
Bertelgia checked Sungchul’s face before poking him on his back using the corner of her cover.
“…Then let’s begin.”
Sungchul nodded and presented the Fairy elder with the legendary medicine he obtained from the unnamed being. Fairy elder’s eyes grew wide with surprise.
“Th…this… isn’t this the Final Elixir of legends? Just how were you able to obtain such a thing?”
“Well, some things happened. Anyway, let us go to her with haste.”
Sungchul and the elder walked towards the World Tree that pierced the skies of the Fae World. Marakia’s continuous exclamation of awe could be heard from behind as they traveled.
Sungchul and Bertelgia ignored the noisy bird and moved quickly. They were soon at the base of the World Tree.
“I thought this before, but…”
Bertelgia began to speak carefully.
“What is it?”
Once Sungchul asked, Bertelgia decided to just bite the bullet and speak the ugly truth.
“That girl. Um… Is she really alive?”
“Hmm… From the outside, how should I say this… There’s flowers blooming around her you usually find near corpses… so rather than being alive…”
Sungchul smiled slightly as Bertelgia treaded carefully around the topic, and tapped the corner of Bertelgia’s cover lightly.
“Did you think she died? It definitely looks that way. But she’s not dead.”
Sungchul turned to look at the Fairy elder who stood shoulder to shoulder with him. Once the elder was being watched by Sungchul, he stroked his beard as he answered.
“This human girl is currently connected to the World Tree. From the moment she became connected to the wellspring of life that is the World Tree, she’s become immortal. Her destiny is now one with the World Tree.”
“Ah… Is that so? Then what are those white mold-like things growing on her body?”
“The Moss of Blessings is a proof of having become one with the World Tree. It’s the evidence that you’re receiving life energy from the World Tree.”
“Ah… I see…”
It appeared as though Bertelgia now understood it.
Sungchul and company arrived at the cave-like space deep under the roots of the World tree where a girl lay under the illuminating lights from luminous mushrooms. A group of fireflies that were gathered around the girl scattered once Sungchul’s group arrived.
“Are you ready, Destroyer?”
The elder stopped before the girl. Sungchul nodded and filled his vision with the sleeping girl’s face.
‘She’s totally oblivious to the world.’
Seeing her face caused his heart to race. Although it was a very mild reaction, it was the first time Sungchul felt any kind of satisfaction since stepping foot in the Fae World. He took the Final Elixir from his vest.
“Then I’ll undo the connection to the World Tree.”
The elder retrieved a wooden staff from the Soul Storage and then recited an incantation. Sungchul saw magic formations appear all over the girl’s body and nodded.
The ritual began.
The elder’s indecipherable incantation reverberated in the room as the magic formations on the girl’s body grew larger and more complicated until all of them shone very brightly before blinking out of existence.
The moment the elder shouted, the white lichen began to disappear and in their place, the black spots of death began to grow. Like a predator in waiting, the Curse of Extinction attacked the girl with a ferocity of a wolf hunting lambs.
Sungchul felt a deep resentment towards the damnable curse of the gods as he opened the lid of the Final Elixir and opened the mouth of the girl slightly.
‘I kept my promise with this, Ryze Himerr.’
A clear and brillient red liquid left the bottle into the girl’s mouth. About ten seconds or so after the small amount of liquid entered her body. The girl’s entire body began to give off a strange light. The elder’s eyes grew wide.
“Ohh… this is unmistakable, this light! This miraculous energy! This is the real thing. The genuine Final Elixir!”
A miraculous medicine capable of curing any and all diseases. The effects were absolute.
Once the illuminations dissipated, the black spots that are the symbol of the god’s curse rapidly disappeared. As the spots of death disappeared, a shadow-like smokey substance rose into the air. It was the now-familiar phenomena that occurred from things connected to the Calamity.
Soon, the girl was free of any black spots.
Sungchul persisted through a powerful sense of apathy as he patiently waited for the girl to wake up.
The girl breathed for the first time. It was a weak gulp for breath, with a puff of white mist.
Sungchul saw this, and clenched his fist and uttered a name he hadn’t spoken in a long, long time.
“Arise, Craiya Ryze Kreigfreid.”
Bertelgia was watching full of emotions.
Finally, the girl’s brows became slightly furrowed.
“W…Wow! She really revived!”
They got past the most difficult part. But the problem came after this. Even a long while after, the girl did nothing but breathe. She did not open her eyes. Elder checked the girl’s condition and lightly shook her.
“Strange. Her heart is definitely beating.”
It was then. The girl’s lips opened slightly and a very childish voice came out.
Bertelgia was overcome with joy as she headed towards Sungchul.
But Sungchul’s expression was strange. Bertelgia could not detect not one iota of happiness from Sungchul. In fact, she only found a sense of bewilderment and the slight bit of disappointment mixed in his expression.
‘W…why? Why make such a troubled look?’
Bertelgia couldn’t have possibly known in her wildest dreams, but that girl, Craiya Ryze Kreigfried, had never called Sungchul father ever before.
It was a place where the light and the dark coexisted in unison. This was a forbidden place that could not be nor ever should be understood by the minds of mere men.
This place was a place where only those who have clearly surpassed all the boundaries and limitations of humanity could maintain their form, often called the World of Gods, or perhaps even the Netherworld. But to those who claim this place as their own, the name attributable to this location didn’t matter.
“The puppet of Calamity brought about a true calamity. What a thing to witness in my long life.”
A dominating voice reverberated from within the darkness like an echo of a voice coming down from the mountain. A similarly powerful, but an incredibly more profane and intensely sly voice reverberated out from a primordial ray of light.
“If the Miasma of the foolish ones reach our farms, then it will bring harm to the yield of our harvest.”
Before these indescribable beings, an orb representing the world itself appeared. On one quadrant of the orb, the yellow cloud of death was covering the oceans and spreading towards the continent.
“We must harvest at once!”
Other voices joined in as if to urge it on.
“We must quickly harvest!”
“We must harvest! Before it is too late!”
The voices sounded like the simultaneous shouts of tens of thousands of people at once. And from the midst of all the cacophony, a single voice cut through all the other sounds like a sword and spread throughout the immortal space above.
“There is news that Sidmia was slain by a mortal.”
These words were faced with immediate backlash.
“This cannot be true!”
“How is it possible for a mortal to win against a god?”
But a voice that cut through all other sound did not bend to the shouts of the many and continued to speak in its dominating voice.
“It is impossible for a mortal to defeat a Lesser God.”
The chaotic voices calmed down once again.
“But… it is not impossible for the true tool of god.”
Tool of god. This one thing was enough to freeze the air among the immortals. A soul-like silence completely filled this place composed of primordial light and darkness.