Senun raised his hand. The black swirling clouds had already filled the sky above. In the middle of the twirling clouds, lightning started to flash.
“What is this?” Nakun asked with a dumbfounded look. His nervousness continued to grow.
The darkened ground started to become visible through the lightning’s light. The twirling dark clouds were increasingly flashing with light, causing a sense of impending doom.
“Have you forgotten? I controlled all the meteorites and astronomical activities from the Forbidden Grounds. I also controlled every natural disaster within the world as well, from volcanoes to earthquakes!”
The ground started to slowly shake. It was the type of shaking that foreshadowed a much larger natural disaster. Siluone’s true body moved slightly. It was a subconscious, natural reactive response.
“Just because of two humans!!” Nakun cried out. He understood how much power Senun possessed. Furthermore, killing off a magic dragon, an evolved dragon, did not go against his code to serve and protect the dragon race.
“Do you think this is all just about those two humans? The people who are tilting the balance of this world are you guys. I, too, am an existence that opposes the natural order that the Creator has established in this world. A hundred years later, when the Creator descends, I will ask him directly. Why did he make this world so unbalanced and shoddy! However, if I just let things be, I will be going against the code from which I am indentured. It would be a breach of trust. I would be forever eliminated from this world if I stood here and did nothing. Thus, I will act as I have been sent to this world to do, as I have been programmed. Thus! Siluone, we’ll see if your body can sustain what is to come. I am here to bring justice and eliminate those things that do not belong.”
“Then… were you the one who moved the moon and changed the trajectory of this world? You brought on the hailstorm!”
“Think whatever you want. So, what say you Siluone? Will you listen to me? I don’t want to fight; I want to discuss and compromise. Those two humans also didn’t want to die; they wanted to come to an agreement, an understanding.”
“Even the Creator never intervened directly to change the course of nature or resolve a ravaging illness. I too am the same. I do not seek to intervene. I would like to discuss and come to an understanding.”
For the first time, Nakun, Satan, and Siluone felt the fear of death, of the extinguishing of their existence. Satan looked up at the hurricane-like swirling clouds above her. Signs of a helpless chuckle were starting to appear in her expression. To lose like this… the humans had painted a grand, artistic image. Their plan was closer to art. Satan glanced over at Senun. She knew that nothing would be resolved by fighting here. In a hundred years… the Creator would come.
‘Those young humans knew the limits of their powers, and they set the best plan that they could muster with that limited set of power. Senun’s observations are correct. Siluone will have to agree to those two humans’ terms. On the other hand, Senun will have to resolve his relationship with Siluone to get what he needs. Since she has a couple of nuclear bombs in her stomach, Siluone doesn’t have much time to consider other options. I still can’t believe it. Those young humans… they’re living such crazy, dreadful lives.’
Satan looked towards Nakun and nodded her head. Siluone conveyed to them that she agreed. Nakun closed his eyes. Senun let out a long sigh. They were all still thinking about the unimaginable power, the unrelenting clinging to life, and the sacrifice and hard decisions that San and Biyeon had made to forge their own, unique path. They were just in awe of the humans who maintained their beliefs and will until the end. Even if they were to meet these humans as enemies later, they couldn’t really hate them.
And just like this, San and Biyeon’s long and winding road had finally gone over the most treacherous hump.
“It’s my turn.”
The two didn’t hide their happy, satisfied faces. The two looked over at the third person, Raron. The two’s faces were expectant as they waited for Raron.
Once it went around once more, Yuren would be able to cry out a shout of victory. Yuren was so excited that his tailbone seemed to tremble beneath his hip. There were still two cards left.
Yuren was prepared to take everything. However, Raron was smiling. Suddenly, Yuren and the other player started feeling anxious.
Raron put down two cards without saying a word.
“Shall I stop here?”
The faces of the two others, who looked down at the board and the cards Raron had just put down, hardened in an instant. They looked at the cards they were holding before looking back at the board.
“Unbelievable! I was about to score some points this time around!”
“Nonsense! Are you telling me that I should continue the game and give up the two multiples?”
Raron looked at the two leisurely and said a few words solemnly, “Before they left, they said something like this…”
“… never be discouraged or give up even if you’re dealt a shitty hand.”
The two other opponents in the card game stared blankly at Raron.
“In the southern country where he lived, this was called ‘Sodang,’ and in the western country, it was called ‘Showdown’. So, what do you both want? Shall I continue? For the record, I already know what you both are holding.”
The two looked at each other, threw their cards, and tilted their heads back in disgust.
The gentle breeze was blowing. Currently, the yellow energy that autumn brought was clearly coloring the earth.
“They contacted you?”
“Yeah… they’re still traveling. I think they mentioned that they’re going to the eastern continent this time.”
“I wonder when they’ll come back.”
“When spring comes, when the flowers bloom…”
“Do you miss them?”
The construction site was lively. Abundant energy made the people’s caring hearts overflow. They didn’t know what happened, but the war had entered a lull.
The little things that people used to growl over and hate each other for suddenly disappeared from their minds.
“Are you leaving?”
“No… I wanted to get some fresh air. Would you like to come with me?”
Rain stepped out of the imperial palace. Next to her was her kind older sister, the fifth deputy secretary general, Youngin.
The outside wind was refreshing. It would soon get cold in a bit. The blue sky filled their eyes. The sky was full of dragonflies and birds flying overhead. Suddenly, a faint sense of longing rose in Rain’s chest. She narrowed her eyes. She suddenly felt sullen.
“They said the Supreme General has returned.”
“I heard. I also heard that the Han-Sung Clan has been thrown into chaos. Everyone over there seems to be nervous.”
“I’ve heard that the Dong-Myung Clan and Ki-Jang Clan have also withdrawn from the frontlines.”
“The same goes for other warrior clans and factions as well.”
“I don’t know what’s going on in the martial arts world. Other than that, I understand that they’re looking far ahead at something and preparing for the long haul…”
Rain looked up at the sky once more. Previously, there were always people around her who relieved her of this frustration…
“I wonder how they’re doing…”
“They’ll be back someday, right?”
“Do you miss them?”
Youngin looked at Rain. A tear gleamed in the corners of Rain’s eyes. A faint smile formed on the corner of Youngin's mouth and then disappeared without a trace.
Rain probably wanted to maintain a straight face. However…
‘A hundred years… we’ll be able to start anew. Loki died, but…’ Biyeon conveyed to San through their private channel.
“I feel so refreshed,” San stated aloud.
“Hey, that’s a little harsh,” Biyeon responded.
“No. We need to cleanly accept it and move on.”
“Don’t you feel refreshed?”
“Yes. Now, for the first time, we get to have a life. Our privacy is guaranteed as well.”
“Is it that nice?”
It was a gloomy, overcast morning. The two were leaving the temple of the sun god, Tehara, which towered on the eastern hillside of the bustling capital city.
When they left, the temple’s apostles hurriedly locked the door. They would not receive any believers today. Some apostles with puffy faces started sprinkling coarse salt outside the tower.
“Where shall we go now?”
“Wherever you want to go…”
The sun was rising over the sea. A new morning was welcoming them. The two’s faces were stained red.
“It’s a new life…” San stated.
“We get to make choices again,” Biyeon replied.
“Yeah… Now that we can make a choice, there’s nothing we can be upset about. This new morning is bright. Let’s live a good life from now on. For all to see. No one will recognize us anymore.”
“What about this drug? I don’t think we need it anymore."
“Keep it safe. Who knows? We might be dragged into another weird being's plan and have a termination deadline put on us once more.”
“I never imagined it would end this way.”
“At the end of the day, love is the code that allows one to connect with the Creator. So, was there realistically any shot for sages, who had only grown up with logic and knowledge, to solve this problem? If they were finally able to find the answer to release the termination deadline clause, they would have already become a person who could fall in love, so it would have been reassuring for the Creator. This Creator guy is smart. I guess I’m starting to like the guy, you know? I wonder if the Creator is actually a gal? Ugh-”
San stroked his side.
“How about we visit our lands? The Kijan territories.”
“We’ll write them letters occasionally. That should be enough for them to operate, no? I don’t think anyone would dare touch that place.”
“Where shall we go?”
“We should go to the eastern continent first, no? Let’s slowly get to know their side of warriors.”
The two looked at the rising sun. As if it had washed its face, the sun looked especially bright and clear for the two.
Negotiations with the sages ended satisfactorily.
Liberation as individuals had been achieved. However, San and Biyeon had to accept new demands. They agreed that their very existence could seriously upset the balance of the world. Moreover, the magic dragon’s sages suffered damage that was difficult to recover from in a short period of time. The dragons that decided not to mutate and evolve were still weak. The Fallen had not yet regained their full strength.
Humans were not prepared to defend against the new Nectar charged foreign forces or able to quickly absorb the skills and arts of higher stages of acceleration.
If San and Biyeon went on a hunt after their recovery, all the factions in this world would face a crisis to their existence. In this situation, it was necessary to reach an agreement that would satisfy all parties. The two agreed to not be hostile to the magic dragons for the next fifty years. Furthermore, the magic dragons and the Fallen would not be hostile towards the two as well.
In exchange, San and Biyeon decided to provide all the data that Siluone wanted to secure and provide the same data to the unmutated dragons and humans. The supercharged Nectar and vaccines would also be shared by all powers. The Nectar and vaccine would be tactfully improved according to each group’s respective operational objectives.
Humans would be responsible for resolving the problem of blood demons themselves, and during the fifty-year truce, all transcendent beings promised not to directly intervene in human society. San and Biyeon would take charge of developing humans to defend themselves.
The overall agreement was valid for fifty years, and in case of violation, a mutually placed termination deadline clause would take effect.
After 50 years? A new match would begin.
And though it wasn’t that important…
“Did you want to be that pretty? I think your face before was better…” San murmured.
“I don’t think you’re in a position to say anything… don’t you look younger?” Biyeon pursed her lips and pouted.
Completion of Etranger