Last Embryo Volume 2 Chapter 3 Part 4
Now was the time. Now was the time for the boy to reclaim what was stolen from him, and for the bull monster inside of him to finally satiate its endless hunger.
He was about to take that first step towards the waterfall of the Great Tree to make his dreams come true (TL Note: Shia would be proud of him), but before he could do that, A loud rumbling sound echoed across the entire area, and its source…. Was coming exactly from the direction Asterios was heading towards.
「Kh…! An earthquake? Now of all times?!」
Not being immune towards the natural disaster that made the very foundations of the earth shake and crumble, so he collapsed on the ground just like everyone else and looked around in confusion. This situation was just too strange to be something as simple as a natural earthquake, because unlike in the past when he was still human, the small animals still present in the ruins did not panic or try to run away, almost as if they were used to it by now. Asterios’ first guess was that this youth called Jin had something to do with it and that it was probably a trap set up for him, but then he saw that Jin was also looking towards Underwood with his mouth half-open, as if he wasn’t able to believe what his eyes were showing him.
「No way… I knew Porol was talking that he has some sort of plan, but I never would have expected him to actually go through with it….?!」
「Hey, what are you doing talking to yourself like an idiot?! If you know what the hell is going on in here, then now would be a great time share that knowledge!!! Well?! If you have an idea, any idea at all what the source of that earthquake is, then out with it!」
Still on his knees and unable to get up from the shaking earth, Asterios raised an angry shout towards Jin. But instead of defending himself from his accusations, Jin stayed silent and simply pointed towards the Great Tree, form where the tremors seemed to be coming from. When Asterios followed him with his line of sight, he saw a most peculiar phenomenon happening at the roots of the Great Tree. The water beneath them exploded and went flying so high that the resulting spray might have as well been mistaken for being a waterfall itself, and that was not an overstatement by any means. If they could clearly see it from these ruins, which were located a fair distance from the City of Water, then it really must have been blown up to quite an altitude. In fact, it reached so high that everyone who saw that at that moment must have been under the same optical illusion that it pierced the sky itself, but that wasn’t the most fascinating thing about it. It was the giant metal… object that was shot from under the Great Tree that made the biggest impression on the former Minotaur. Whatever that thing was, it was so gigantic that it looked like it was filling the entire river to the brim and then some more, measuring more than 30 meters in width!
He was unable to understand how something so gargantuan was able to dash across the water’s surface so smoothly without ever sinking below the surface.
「Wha…. What in the Gods name is this thing?! Is that a fortress?! Is an entire iron fortress riding on top of the water?!」
Unable to hold his bewilderment anymore, Asterios raised his voice. The spectacle that was now unfolding before his very eyes was unlike anything that he saw during his lifetime. He had no idea what the people of the current era called such a monstrosity, but for all he cared about, that thing was well worth the title of a mobile iron fortress, or at least that was the only name he could come up with for something that looked like lumps of metal boxes connected together, spanning for more then 200 meters, and he was willing to bet that anyone who saw it would have concluded that it was something used for military purposes.
She continued to pull and tug at Jin’s sleeve, but because of the differences in both their heights and genders, she was unable to make him budge for even an inch. But if they won’t make a run for it soon, the iron fortress was surely going to squash them into a bloody paste if it keeps going forward with its current speed. However, Jin didn’t look bothered by that in the slightest; he just continued to stand in the exact same place he was standing for a while, and observed the approaching giant vehicle with his hand on his chin and his head tilted to the side, almost as if he was looking at something greatly entertaining.
「Well, yes, I mean, staying here will probably end pretty badly for us, but on the other hand, this is a special test run, so we might not get another chance to witness something like that with our own eyes, so if at all possible, I would like to observe as much as I can from this point-blank range…」
「Are you an idiot?! Has this small brain of your rotted completely?! I had no idea that my master was secretly harboring such filthy, masochistic desires, or maybe you did so when I wasn’t looking?! For the time being, just shut up and let’s run away from here already before…」
「It’s no use, we will never make it in time!!!」
Following Asterios’ scream, the moving iron fortress accelerated even more and continued to madly dash forward, shaving the water off like it was nothing but blades of young glass. At this rate, even if they would managed to get some distance away from it, they would get hit either by the splashing water or the pieces of the crumbling earth.
Stabbing his 『Proto Keraunos』 into the ground, Asterios used its giant blades as a shield to hide behind. He wanted to yell at Jin and Pest to get behind him so they could take shelter as well, but someone else was already on the way to get them both out of harm’s way.
A shadow of a giant tiger jumped in front of them and blocked the incoming waves of water that looked like mini-tsunamis, and then used its fangs to grab them by their collars and dashed towards the nearest safe space.
(No way, where did that thing come from?! That was way too fast to be anything normal!)
Even though he managed to withstand the torrents of water washing over him, Asterios was unable to hide his surprise at the tiger’s sudden appearance, because it simply jumped onto the scene even though it was not among the five presences that he originally detected, meaning that if it wanted, it could have launched a surprise attack at Asterios and he wouldn’t have even noticed that. If he showed even the slightest bit of genuine hostility towards Jin, Pest or any of those other guys, that tiger would have probably pounced at him and ripped him to shreds in the blink of an eye.
With only the lower parts of their bodies getting slightly wet, Jin held onto Pest while thanking the giant tiger for saving their hides.
「Thank you, Byakko (TL Note: White Tiger in English, one of the 4 Heavenly Beasts and the Guardian Spirit of the West in Chinease mythology). If you hadn’t show up we surely would have been done for.」
「If you knew it was going to end up badly for you, then you should have stopped playing around already. Remember that one way or the other you are our master, so be sure to take care of yourself properly..」
「It’s fine. With everyone here, I knew someone was going to save me.」
Was that a sign of absolute trust, or perhaps absolute laziness?
Even though there were many waterways sprawling across the entirety of underwood, the strange metal contraption navigated them in such a way as if it was consciously trying to get to where they were all were right now. Dashing ahead at full speed, the waves of water that were being splashed to the side of the fortress as it was speeding ahead swallowed one piece of the ruins after another like it was nothing.
Coming back to her senses after being shocked speechless herself, Pest tugged at Jin’s sleeve in distress.
「J-Jin, what do we do?! That monstrous lump of iron is heading straight towards us!」
「So it would seem.」
「So it would seem?! That’s now what you should be saying right now! It’s to dangerous to stay here, we have to run!」
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