Somewhere far from Mount Varangia, down within the ocean on the other side of the continent which Varangia resided in, strange events unfolded underwater.

The ocean ground cracked open, letting loose a hail of hot air. The fishes peacefully swimming in the water panicked at the sudden intrusion of strange beings coming out of the ocean floor.

A hand came out from the hole, then grabbed the sea floor. The owner of the hand raised itself up, revealing a round head with two huge eyes. Its wide fish-like mouth opened and closed repeatedly as if it was saying something, but it made no noise.

It jumped out of the crack, then swam around. Soon, another figure swam out of the hole, then another, until it was like a flood that broke through a dam.

Not only were there fishlike humanoids, there were also smaller squid creatures accompanying the humanoids. Despite their different appearances, they had one thing in common - whitish blue light leaked from within their scaley skins.

Inside the crack, numerous numbers of beings were struggling to swim up. And even deeper down, large structures were being built by small shrimp-like metalloids.

A voice resonated from the minds of the creatures.

‘Finally, the surface. Phase One is a success.’

In a region tormented by lava and toxic fog, a gigantic fort sat atop a murky black swamp. Its base looked like it was carved out of the skeletal remains of an ancient beast, and from the mouth, a citadel was erected on it.

Within the throne room, a large person draped in black tried to raise his head… or what remains of it. The skin and flesh of his head had rotted away, and his two eye sockets were empty. When he finally raised his head, a red glowing dot appeared on one of the eye sockets.

“Did you feel it, too?” A voice resonated across the empty throne room.

“Yes. A guardian has died. But what of it?” Another voice boomed inside the room just as another red dot appeared in one of the eye sockets. “We have a dozen guardians strategically placed at important locations. It will take time to see which one had died.”

“I see. I will prepare my paladins.” A deeper and more confident voice joined the room. Every new voice added one extra dot inside the skull.

“Good. Return to us when you find it. Wait… another has died. And another one?!”

This time, another glowing dot appeared. The dots were frenzied, nervously shaking within the darkness of the sockets. Whispers began to flood the lonely throne room, but they all came from the half-decayed corpse sitting on the throne.

“What’s going on?! They’re all dying one by one!”

“I don’t know!”

“Assemble the council! You, what are you waiting for?! Get your paladins running now!”

“Yes, Pontiff!”

There were skeletons in rusted brown armor all kneeling towards the direction of the throne. In an instant, the skeletons stood up in unison, then marched out of the room.

“What about us, Pontiff?”

“We wait… we wait patiently as we have done for hundreds of years.”

“As you wish,” multiple voices resounded at once, then silence took over the room once more.

At last, the glowing dots in the sockets of the skeleton on the throne died out, and the skeleton slumped down to its original position.

“We wait… for there could be no other end.”

A note from Adsterhappy

Releases would be postponed til a later date due to end of arc. (At minimum, a few weeks. At most, one or two months)

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