Chapter 643 Underground Tunnels The SkyBeam began to climb the walls, and his mother had to grab onto the unconscious Selena lest she fell. Oren turned to the side and saw the three soldiers standing atop the trench, boarding a cloud.
"That thing can be used as a vehicle?" muttered Oren with surprise.
"It seems the master of the clouds is the strongest and possibly the highest-ranking one," said his mother while adjusting her rifle. "Since they are already here, we cannot enter the sewage. It seems he knows our plan."
"Then, we need to find a different way to escape," said Oren while turning his motorcycle and riding the trench's walls. The clouds rushed after them, seeking to entrap them inside. However, Oren managed to dodge those who caught up and increased their speed until the SkyBeam overheated. "The big gate!"
At the end of the trench, where there was a street crossing it, a giant gate took them directly underground. Oren turned his handle to push the SkyBeam past its limits, making it start to shake.
"The clouds are too close, Oren!" shouted his mother from behind him while shooting several volleys. Oren saw the great flood of clouds inches away from him as he turned around. The gate was still several tens of meters away, and they would be caught.
Oren turned around and raised his hand. Mana gathered on his hand, twisting like a vortex. Then, he slapped the engine on the side, infusing it with his mana. The SkyBeam exploded forward at terrifying speed, leaving the clouds behind while its outer parts began to melt.
His mother almost fell from the motorcycle, but Oren grabbed her arm and brought her back. However, the woman did not stop firing at the soldiers even while almost falling, using one arm to aim and shoot. As they passed through the gate, the SkyBeam began to give weird voices, and several parts fell.
"This thing is about to explode!" said Oren before hitting the breaks, and the three of them fell off the bike as it rolled on the ground. Oren could feel his wounds opening up again, making him groan in pain, but he jumped back on his feet in no time.
"Where are you going?" asked his mother while coughing the dirt in her mouth. The sewage system was abandoned, making it as dry as a desert. "We need to escape inside!"
"I will make one last use of this bike," said Oren as he adjusted the bike and turned it one. Several parts were gone, and its engine was still overheating, but Oren activated it anyway. Within the motorcycle should be a mana crystal that could be charged, making it similar to a bomb if tempered. "Kill at least one of them!"
The SkyBeam raved for one last time, and Oren infused his affinity mana into the engine. It pulled every mana in the surrounding into the machine, making it overheat again. The SkyBeam bolted toward the soldiers, who were approaching the big gate.
"Now, we can run!" shouted Oren toward his mother before running and carrying Selena. His mother fired at the SkyBeam, seeming to know his plan. As one of the bullets struck the engine, the mana crystal inside pulled mana into it.
His mother ran after him, and Oren saw the tremendous blue explosion engulfing the three soldiers with one last glance. Then, Oren and his mother ran into the underground tunnels, hoping to outrun the soldiers.
Melania pushed the door open and entered her home after leaving the kids at the shelter, where they would be transported to safety. The soldiers tried to stop her and take her away, but she assured them that she was safe.
However, the home that always felt safe now felt like the belly of a monster, waiting to devour her. The backyard was the same as she had left it, with her two parents meeting for the first time in forever.
"You are back," said June as she turned toward her. "It seems you needed some time away from me, Melania. I am your mother after all, and I came to visit, yet you run away."
"You are not her mother," Master Ronin defended with a broken face, "I… was foolish to trust you at that time. I even loved you, and by doing so, I cursed our daughter with having a mother like you."
"Do not say it like that, Ronin," frowned June. "I had my reasons for leaving at that time. And if I have stayed, I would have endangered both of your lives."
"And does that excuse leaving?" said Melania with a cold face. "Does that excuse coming this way and invading our city?"
"I had reasons for that too," said June with a sigh. "You would understand one day. After all, you are my daughter."
"Do not call me that," spat Melania. "It tastes bad. Having reasons explains things but never excuses them. A person's true character is revealed when he opposes his reasons to do the right thing."
"Right and wrong are different for everyone," June shook her head before turning toward Master Ronin, staring at Avarice Dungeon. "Are you fancying that blue explosion?"
"It seems… they did it," said Master Ronin toward June, who simply smiled and did not say anything. "There have been a few losses, but as I have foreseen, we won."
"Even foresight relies on mana," said June without any concern. "One of the soldiers is my flesh and blood, Ronin. He is the strongest mana user I have ever seen."
"And yet he lost," said Master Ronin with a frown. "Where does this confidence come from?"
"I have faith in my children," said June while glancing at Melania. "He is your older brother, dear. I told him about you, and he asked that we bring you to our side."
Melania was shaken as she remembered her lonely childhood with her father, who told her that her simple existence was proof that there were other civilizations, and her abilities were curses. He was right.
"What does your child have to do with my prophecies?"
"If the prophecy happens in a place isolated from mana, you cannot exactly foresee its future, right?" said June with a smile. "Jono has that ability, and he will make sure the mission is completed."
"…that cannot be true…" her father's lips trembled as he tried to find the words. "Then, you knew that I would only be able to foresee their escape, but not the result?"
"I have an inkling that it would end like that," said June while turning to her daughter. "Then, what would it be? Are you going to watch idly as your beloved disciple gets killed?"
Melania was silent, remembering the times she had spent with Oren. It was the closest she had to a little brother, and she did not want to lose him. Earlier, she trusted her father would handle the situation, but June had planned against that.
Melania ran toward June without another word and jumped over the table, followed by the fence. Their villa was on a cliff that oversaw the city, and running toward the blue explosion would lead her straight to Oren.
Her feet dragged down the cliff, and Melania turned into a streak of light that disappeared in the sky. June watched the scene with fascination before turning toward Ronin.
"That girl… what exactly is she?"
"None of your damn business," Master Ronin lost his cool for the first time in years. "You are treating her like an object, which you have thrown away and only decided to pick up. Do you have no regard toward her feelings?"
"I can change her mind," said June with a smile. "I did not want my children to fight, but it might be better for them to meet now rather than never."
Melania materialized above the explosion and watched the blue flames covering the sky. Then, she began to free fall before falling into the sewers and at the center of the fire. There were scraps of metal all around and few traces of blood.
"Oren?" called out Melania before her eyes turned white. However, the clouds mixed with the flames prevented her from seeing through the smoke. "It seems that all of them are inside the tunnels… I need to hurry."
Melania rushed inside, following whatever clues of battle she could find. Different scents rushed into her nose, and she followed the one of blood. Then, at some point, she realized that the underground tunnels forked into many.
"Have they decided to stick together or split?" Melania touched the ground, and her eyes turned white again. Then, images appeared in her mind, telling her what happened here earlier. "…they split?"
The next decision was deciding which path to follow. Should she try and save Oren, his mother, or Selena? Oren decided to leave marks and lead them away, but so did his mother, and so did Selena…
"All of these fools are trying to be the bait, which made the soldiers split too…" sighed Melania. "Who am I going to save?"