Dark and oppressive clouds blocked out the sun in this area where the ground was utterly ravaged. A never-ending storm seemed to rage, making it seem as if Prima had stepped into a strange other world.
The dark and turbid smoke was isolated by the protective suit, but Prima could still clearly see the countless flames burning in front of her as well as annihilative substances floating like gossamer.
Wherever these intertwined aether passed, it only resulted in either scorched earth or directly transformed into nothingness.
Even if one couldn't comprehend the environment outside the protective suit, just witnessing this was all it took to make one feel uncomfortable.
...Of course, even if such a rare phenomenon was indeed worth researching, Prima didn't wish to ever experience it firsthand.
Prima silently muttered encouragement as she struggled through the many ruins, carefully searching every possible corner
Before entering this area, she had already assigned the tasks to each subordinate in detail. Each person was in charge of a small area. This would be more efficient.
In truth, everyone already knew…
It was near impossible for anyone to survive a Supreme-rank clash that was just like a meteorite strike, except for the two involved.
Therefore, the only reason to head into the center of the battlefield was to search for either Joseph or Wilde.
However, Prima didn't think so. While her mission objective was to find Joseph, she didn't focus solely on him and instead searched the battlefield for anyone who might have survived.
The covenant from ancient times that stretched on today would protect everyone who slept peacefully in the night.
This was something that believers of Walpurgis ought to do.
"Is anyone still alive—" Prima clasped her hands around her mouth and called out. As she couldn't use aether, she could only shout as loudly as she could.
As she gradually approached the center point, the number of severely rotted corpses got less. All that met her eyes was complete desolation.
At the same time, because Prima was in a laboratory all year round, her stamina was starting to run out.
Panting, Prima raised a hand in front of her and noticed that the protective suit was gradually getting worn with age. Thus, she used an internal device to inject herself with an elixir that temporarily strengthened her physique.
These were elixirs she had been researching and developing based on the secret manual which she hadn't officially reported to the Truth Union. Thus, they weren't named yet, nor could she mass-produce or provide them to others. At present, she could only use these on herself.
The environment is getting drastically worse. I can't last long even with protective gear. I've got to hurry, thought Prima to herself.
The influence of Joseph's domain of 'Burning' had greatly weakened because the concept of this domain had been pushed to the extremes, where at the very end, even the owner's own body would burn. By Prima's estimation of the speed in which aether in this area decayed, it would probably completely disappear after three days.
However, Wilde's domain of 'Eventuality' remained in action, trying to grind down everything within its reaches. The closer one got toward the center, the more dangerous it was.
A day later.
Prima wiped the sweat from her forehead and continued trudging forward in a lackluster fashion.
She had more or less found the right path. Moreover, after using an elixir array to communicate with the Night Dream Realm to obtain guidance, she had vaguely detected a weak aura. One that was fleeting and difficult to pinpoint.
Thus, Prima had retreated midway once to replenish her supplies as well as take some of her spare elixirs... which were considered taboo to most.
At present, in a geographical sense, she was already at the center of the battlefield. Her perception and senses were tingling as if warning her, and that weak aura was much stronger here.
Almost there... Prima thought to herself. Then, it suddenly felt as if she had broken through some invisible obstacle when she took another step forward. Her foot landed on what seemed like a different ground and the pressure she felt lightened. With a deep breath, she steadied herself.
The intertwined chaotic aether that raged like a storm all around faded in an instant.
The silent battlefield was devoid of life, and there wasn't so much as a squeal. Meanwhile, Prima found herself alone in a dark domain, feeling unsafe as she shrank back slightly.
Then... Her eyes narrowed as they focused on a massive crater before her.
In the middle of the crater that had been eroded more than a hundred meters deep was a silhouette that was so tiny in comparison.
The figure held a sword thrusting forward and maintained that posture, unmoving. Human features couldn't even be seen from this figure as most of the body was completely charred and had shriveled into withered branches. Currently, the figure was still gradually turning into ash which floated off in the air, just like a thin outline that had been sketched out in a rush.
However, only the white flame burning in its remaining eye socket still shone brightly, becoming the only source of light in this dark world, like a beacon guiding future generations.
It was as if this statue pointing its sword at the dead enemy was frozen for all eternity at this moment.
This area that wasn't harmed by the destructive surroundings spread out from that body. Even in death, it wasn't eradicated.
What kind of willpower is this...
Prima was at a loss for words due to the shock. After a while, she roused from it and climbed down the crater hurriedly and rushed toward the 'corpse,' almost falling and crashing to the ground in the process.
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Having finally reached Joseph's 'corpse' with some difficulty, Prima now had a tricky issue. She didn't know where to place her hands, so she carefully circled the 'corpse' several times.
Evidently, Joseph was as good as dead. All that remained was his almost obsessive will.
Is he… trying to protect something? Prima felt admiration for this Great Radiant Knight whom she had never met before.
Tens of thousands of years ago, Walpurgis had made the covenant to provide weak, feeble humans with protection. And now, it was people like these that exhausted their all to protect Norzin.
Lady Walpurgis would definitely be happy if she could see all this.
Prima was determined to save the life of this hero in front of her.
As she took out an elixir she had refined and poured it on the severely destroyed body, Prima whispered softly, "Can… you hear me?"
Then, she waited for a bit.
Prima had named this elixir 'Dawn's Revival.' Its main ingredient was the placenta of a baby, an organ that witnessed how life was produced from nothing and contained the concept of 'birth.' Thus, the elixir refined from it contained a glimmer of the concept of 'life.'
Prima had never evaluated her own level of apothecary, but if others knew she had managed to refine an elixir with these concepts, they would most definitely be horrified—
Because this was a power that only Supreme-ranks had. It could even be said to surpass Supreme-rank because Supreme-ranks usually only grasp the authority over one type of Law, yet Prima didn't have such restrictions when it came to concocting elixirs.
Therefore… in theory, she could refine an elixir that contained all concepts, and perhaps even further advance it to become a Law.
As if it were the light of dawn itself, the elixir flowed down Joseph's broken body. Wherever it passed, carbonized bits peeled off and new flesh grew. Along with that came bones and blood vessels sprouting forth like a growing sapling which filled up the entire frame.
Arms, limbs, torso, head, eyes, hair…
The potion that dripped onto the ground dissipated into a burst of light, seemingly coming into contact with seeds within the scorched ground that were already dead. In an instant, lush green grass full of vitality sprouted and grew, producing a scene completely incongruous with this silent battleground.
The white flames in the empty eye socket seemed to dance energetically.
Prima's eyes lit up as she observed the small aether monitor in her hand. She could see that the originally weak reaction was gradually strengthening. And besides that, she could already hear a weak heartbeat.
"Knight Joseph, if you can hear me, please try to condense aether. This will facilitate the union of your body and will."
Prima slowly repeated it three times, making sure that the other party did as told. Then, she squatted down and pulled a few strands of newly grown grass out.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry..." she whispered as she stored away the innocent strands of grass into her equipment bag that she used to store her elixirs.
Before Andrew completely took control of the Truth Union, Prima couldn't reveal her frightening elixir concocting ability for the time being. Therefore, she could only sacrifice these strands of grass to act as evidence.
"I—" A hoarse raspy voice of an old man sounded.
Hearing this voice, Prima looked up and blinked several times. She saw that Joseph had basically recovered, except for the white flame remaining in his eye socket. The old knight opened his other normal eye and looked at her. His lips parted as if he wanted to say something, then he fell to the ground with a 'thud' and lost consciousness.
“…” Prima hurriedly took out her communications device from her pocket. What she had done could only be considered emergency aid. She would have to continue concocting elixirs if she wanted to fully treat him.
Since Joseph had been found, she ought to first inform Winston. He had seemed extremely anxious when they had first met.