After Bloed heard Elwha's words, he had a better understanding of the current situation.
Moreover, he understood some things that he could not understand before.
"In other words, the God of Slaughter will not give up in getting the purple crystal, right?"
Elwha put on a bitter smile. "Yes. In fact, most gods will resort to any means to get the Heart of the Forest in their hands."
Bloed nodded in understanding. At the same time, he thought about something.
If the purple crystal was so valuable, then the Goddess of Moonlight Glow probably also wanted it.
In other words, there was a high chance of the beastmen countries and the elves going to war for it.
It also meant he should be warier of Elwha. After all, if they were destined to be enemies, Elwha could attempt to get rid of them right now to avoid future problems.
As though feeling Bloed's worries, Elwha smiled hurriedly and shook her head in panic.
"Y-You don't need to worry about that, Mr. Bloed. Our relationship with Moonlight Glow is pretty good, plus, Moonlight Glow's goddess in considered one of the most reasonable gods around. I'm sure that if we offer her enough compensation, she will not only not fight us for the Heart of the Forest, but also help us to protect it."
"… Then, why did you not do that since the start?" Aya asked at that moment.
"Well, we would have to pay a very high price if we do that," Elwha said with a bitter smile. "Why should we do that when there was a much better option?"
"You are right. But it ended causing us a lot of trouble." Bloed could not help but say.
Elwha smiled wryly. What could she say? She was not expecting this situation either.
In fact, she still did not know how the information about the Heart of the Forest leaked to the God of Slaughter.
At that moment, Elwha stopped abruptly.
Then her face turned pale.
Bloed wanted to ask what happened, but then, his expression changed.
Because he felt the world around them tremble.
Bloed expression turned grave.
"Miss Elwha! What happened!?"
"I-I'm not sure! B-But we need to get away from here!"
Bloed was going to ask what she meant, but he then saw the reason.
All around him, the world started to crumble.
The houses, the mountains, the paths, all of them started to collapse, falling towards the infinite nothingness below them.
"Dammit!" Bloed spat out. He then pulled Aya's hand and started to run.
Unfortunately, no matter how much they ran, they could not outrun the destruction of the world.
"It can't be… This was not supposed to happen..." Elwha said while looking around. Her expression seemed like she just saw something frightening.
Bloed did not have the freedom to ask what happened though. He was completely focused on trying to find a way to survive.
However, it did not take him long enough to realize he could not escape just like this.
No matter how fast they ran, they could not escape when the entire world was crumbling.
"I hope this works." Cursing inwardly, Bloed used his mind to try to materialize something.
The next second, metallic sand appeared around him, quickly taking the form of a wolf.
"Leto, flight mode!" Bloed ordered in a hurry.
The metallic wolf heard the order of its owner and nodded. One second later, it had turned into a flying wolf.
Without hesitation, Bloed pulled Aya with him and jumped on the wolf's back while a confused Elwha followed behind them.
When the three of them were on its back, Letokicked the ground and took flight.
And not even three seconds later, the world below crumbled completely.
"What in the hell happened?" Bloed asked Elwha with a sullen expression. But the elf princess was just looking ahead them with a confused look.
"… I'm not sure. The elders did not tell me anything about this kind of situation. However, I think I know where to find our answers." The elf princess said while looking ahead them.
When Bloed followed her gaze, he saw an island floating in the middle of the nothingness.
"I think we found where the core is," Elwha said with a serious look.
Bloed furrowed his brows and nodded. He then told Leto to fly towards the island.
At that moment, Aya seemed to think about something. She looked at Bloed and hesitated slightly before opening her mouth.
"Hmm? What is it?"
"What about Miss Liu Ying and the others?"
Looking around him, he could not see any sign of the demon or any other living being.
Moreover, it seemed like their memories disappeared together with the chaotic world.
A sinking feeling filled Bloed's chest.
However, he shook it off immediately and looked at Elwha.
"Miss Elwha. What do you think?"
Elwha wrinkled her brows, just as confused as Bloed and Aya.
"… I don't know. I'm sorry, Mr. Bloed, but I did not expect to meet this situation either. We can only pray they are alright."
"I hope so," Bloed whispered to himseld.
Although Bloed was very worried about Liu Ying, he knew now was not the time to enter in panic.
Instead, he needed to focus on ending this troublesome situation as quickly as possible.
The longer he took in finding the core, the greater the danger Liu Ying would face.
Under a heavy mood, the group arrived at the floating island. And to their surprise, the place was pretty normal.
Weirdly normal, taking into account the things the group saw before reaching here.
Green plains, beautiful trees, clean creeks, and even some small animals.
In fact, if not for the white nothingness surrounding the island, this place would have looked like a beautiful paradise.
However, the group was unable to enjoy the scene for long.
As soon as Bloed and the others stepped on the island, the paradise disappeared immediately.
Bloed felt it. Hostility. Coming from everything on the island.
It was as though the entire place wanted them dead.
And soon, something confirmed his suspicions.
All around them, figures started to take shape.
Dark figures filled with malformations that could be called anything but normal. Monsters that could not exist in reality.
There were thousands and thousands of these abominations surrounding them, each one facing in their direction with hunger and killing intent in their eyes.
Aya turned tense. She grabbed her two daggers and stood in front of Bloed, ready to protect him.
As for the elf princess, she was looking at the scene with a look of disbelief.
"Impossible…" Elwha said with an ashen white face. "How can there be so many nightmares? Unless…"
"Unless what?" Bloed asked with a grave expression.
"… Mr. Bloed, I fear the Heart of the Forest became 'alive'... And it wants us dead."
Together with her words, the horde of nightmares charged towards them.
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