I. Dahlia Von Klose
20 years ago.
A village was burned to ashes.
Black smoke surged from all sides, and dry trees burned brightly. It was unimaginable that there was a village here, and it was a tragic sight.
Count Howell Von Klose looked around with a staggering gait.
It had only been a few days since the gate had been opened.
In the western part of the infamous wild Oden Mountains in a small town bordering Von Klose’s County, a monster gate opened.
The first people who were informed of the existence of the gate were the watchmen protecting the Oden Mountains.
It was said that the power that leaked from the intermediate rated gate with a diameter of 40 Herham that was created in the middle of the village and consumed the life around it.
Before the mysterious ancient monsters crossed the gate, Count Howell formed a band of fighters and crossed the Oden Mountains.
The first to enter the gate were two senior sentinels and 50 paladins. But the results were disastrous. After the first day passed, the knights did not return, and the gate, which had been graded initially as an intermediate level, quickly was determined to be of a superior level.
On the third day, one sentinel, who barely saved his life, came out of the gate and informed them of the situation inside. The survivor’s condition was beyond words.
The gates were dominated by ancient monsters resembling spiders, numbering from thousands to tens of thousands. They constantly laid eggs, hatched, and ate the knights. All 50 paladins who entered together lost their lives, and the sentinels that exceeded the limits of their powers ran berserk and exploded.
It was utter devastation.
A runaway sentinel would not survive without pure-graded guiding. Minds exploded or went crazy.
His aides urged Howell to ask the imperial family for help right away. He drew his sword. Even if he asked the Imperial Family for help now, it would take four days for reinforcements to arrive.
Howell was prepared to die. His goal was to prevent any monsters in the gate from coming out to the ground until reinforcements from the imperial family arrived.
When Howell, a Sword Master and Royal Sentinel himself, released his power, a cypheric spark rose from his body and shattered.
That marvelous power grew to the size of the gate. Then the other sentinels opened their powers, ready to die.
50 paladins and 5 advanced sentinels. A senior guide came to the side of the Royal Sentinel, Howell Von Klose, and prepared to guide.
‘Glory to the Empire!’
A valiant roar resounded, and Howell and his subjugation clan rushed into the gate without hesitation.
But everything was in vain. Inside the gate was far more terrifying than his subordinate had described. Upon stepping in, the hallucinogenic gas ravaged the minds of the knights, and the sentinels began to run rampant. It wasn’t enough to tear each other apart, the monsters approached them and they became their prey.
As his guide collapsed, bleeding from his nose and mouth, Howell had a foreboding that something was terribly wrong.
But Howell did not stop fighting. If he retreated like this, it was only a matter of time before Count Bonkloze was consumed by the gate. It was a situation in which the empire, including the continent, might be in danger.
A monster with three heads and bright yellow eyes approached with its long and slender legs strangely twisted. Every time the monster moved, the sound of scraping metal was terrifyingly creepy.
A spider the size of a house, twitching its serrated snout, dripped poisonous saliva over Howell’s head. He knew he was about to die.
‘Damn it… .’
He didn’t want to die like this, but he survived at least four days, so the Imperial Knights would arrive soon. He thought he was fortunate to be able to protect his family’s honor until his last moments.
That was then.
‘Ugh! Aww! Arghhhh!’
The loud cry of a child from outside the gate pierced Howell’s ears. At first, he thought he was an auditory hallucination created by a demon. But the cry was so real that it made his mind clear.
It was a moment when the crying of a child who had been crying loudly stopped suddenly. The white light that flowed in from outside the gate turned the whole world white. Howell’s pupils, who were gazing at the monsters in the intense light that blinded him, contracted in an instant.
Then an explosion occurred.
A terrifying force surrounded Howell and his knights with a roar that shook the heavens and the earth. Howell was astonished.
‘Is this power a Royal Sentinel? No… . This power above that—the level of a Luster!’
The power of a Luster Sentinel legendary.
He had never heard of a Luster Sentinel so powerful in the Empire. In order not to be swept away by the rushing wave, Howell squeezed his last remaining strength to create an energy barrier. In a vortex like a sandstorm, Howell’s shield protected the knights.
The gate was destroyed without leaving a trace. But it wasn’t just the gate that was eradicated.
He faltered, scanning the place that had been a village until a few days ago.
His blood-painted eyes are like a beast. Howell began to remove the piles of stones that had fallen to ashes one by one.
It’s definitely here.
From here came the cry of a child.
Howell’s face hardened for an instant as he was removing the rubble like a madman.
What was found inside was really a baby. A newborn baby, only a couple of days old was crying in the ruins.
Howell, soaked in blood, knelt before his child.
Then the crying child stopped crying, sucking its fingers and opening its eyelids. Howell’s dark eyebrows twitched and moved.
Facing blue eyes like ice, he carefully held the child as if possessed by something.
“Ha… . It really was you.”
Howell got up, holding the child.
The power of a Luster Sentinel he felt a while ago was not an illusion. The uncontrollable power of the child’s body is dripping as if overflowing.
But that wasn’t the only thing.