. Then the third. And finally, the sixth,” Laguel continued in a monotonous voice. “While we were sending the fourth recruits, we made a decision after several internal discussions. At that time, the danger level of Planet Liber was—” Unlike before, Laguel didnt pause and calmly relayed the shocking information, “—upgraded from star-cluster-scale Crisis to star-cluster-scale Mass Destruction.”
“And currently,” Laguel wasnt yet finished, “Since the fifth and sixth recruits were sent…” Laguel continued while looking at Chi-Woo, who stood between a giant man and a woman wearing a beret, “We would like to inform all of you that the event is at least a galaxy-scale Crisis, and we are currently discussing whether or not we should further raise it to an event of galaxy-scale Doom.”
The hallway became engulfed in silence. The universe was infinite; planets orbited around the sun, and thousands of those suns formed clusters, and a collection of star clusters formed a galaxy. But according to Laguel, a galaxy was in danger and could possibly collapse?
Everyone completely froze with their eyes wide open. They had expected the worst, but this had gone way beyond their expectations.
“If things are that bad, rather than us, shouldnt heroes that fit…ah.” Someone murmured to themselves in a daze but did a double take as they realized that Choi Chi-Hyun, who was considered the best hero, had already gone to Liber.
“Can we even save it?” a clear voice rang out.
Laguel simply replied, “Well, first, the flow of the prophecy has not stopped.” Since the prophecy was still functioning, it meant that there was still a future left where Liber was saved.
“A planets crisis is leading to the death of a galaxy?” another hero asked out loud. “How the hell did that happen?”
Laguel shook her head and replied, “Sir, we dont know.”
“There is very little information in the Celestial Realm about Libers present status.”
The hall became noisy for a bit. The angels didnt know the cause of the situation, and they didnt know the current situation in Liber, either.
“How can you say theres hardly any information…If youve sent six groups of recruits, you should still have some connections with them. Is the information being blocked or interrupted?”
“No,” Laguel continued. “We ran into this problem because Libers connection with the Celestial Realm is random and unstable.”
The hero who asked the question frowned. “Random? Unstable?”
“We have tried to communicate with Liber several times, but we werent able to find Libers signal.”
The heroes stopped scowling, and their eyes grew bigger in shock.
“Yes,” Laguel continued to speak with a soft voice. “According to our speculation, theWorld of Planet Liber has disappeared.”
The murmuring became more intense than ever before.
“Fuck! How does that make sense?” Giant Fist even jumped from his position and shouted his condemnations. “If the World got fucked, youre basically asking us to throw our lives away!”
Chi-Woos eyes quickly moved.What does it mean that the World had disappeared?
“Simply put…it means were on the same boat as you.” The woman with the beret made a bitter smile. “Heroes—on Earth, people also call them champions, right?”
Heroes, champions, saviors who saved the world in danger—these were all words that Chi-Woo had frequently heard before. People were born mortal, and thus no one was born omnipotent. Everyone had their limits since birth. However, from among these humans, sometimes, very occasionally, special individuals who could surpass their limits were born. Humans usually called these people heroes, and what made people heroes was not just their mental and physical abilities. Heroes didnt die easily, and even if they did die, they could be revived. They could also turn back time and become a regressor, retain knowledge of the future that other people dont know about, or possess various other perks. In dangerous situations, unexpected allies always appeared, and miraculous coincidences occurred as often as eating a meal for heroes. With the various forms of support provided by their World, heroes could always break through difficult circumstances and become even stronger. It was not an exaggeration to say that the World revolved around its heroes. Heroes were truly overpowering in every way, and they had no one who could compete with them.
However, all of this was only true when the prerequisite of “to save the world” was attached to them. Heroes were existences that theWorld chose and wanted, and in exchange, these heroes saved the World. However, in this case—
“The World disappeared…” Someone muttered in a dejected voice. If a World died, this basically meant that the existence of heroes had also disappeared. Rather than gaining any perks, they would arrive at Planet Liber and die easily like an extra, an expendable soldier without a proper name. Moreover, rather than breaking through difficulties in times of crisis like heroes, theyd have to worry about their lives first. As the woman with the beret said, they would really just become ordinary human beings.
“I didnt expect to keep the power I got from a different World, but I cant believe that we arent even able to get support from Libers World. This is a bit…” The lion-maned man, who had spoken confidently in the beginning, slightly slurred his words. He even looked a bit scared.
“Miss, I have a question,” a woman who had been quietly listening spoke up. She was a priestess who had been praying with her eyes closed. “What will we be doing when we arrive there?”
With her question, a small hologram appeared in front of everyone. In the hologram, Chi-Woo saw what looked like the Earths world map.
“Sir Chi-Hyun, who entered Planet Liber as one of the first recruits, succeeded in securing a relatively stable transmission point.”
Someone laughed in vain. In other words, before Chi-Hyun went to Planet Liber, there hadnt even been a proper transmission space there. For heroes who were used to being summoned under a large-scale ritual or an oracle held by the natives of respective planets, this method was completely foreign to them.
“Since then, we have been continuously dispatching new teams and expanding our domain little by little.” One part of the hologram map blinked and lit up. And with this area as the center, parts of its eastern, western, southern, and northern areas began to light up one by one. However, the rest of the map was still gray.
“The goal of the fifth recruits was to recapture the northern part of the previously secured transmission point. They were able to achieve some success, but—” The light in the northern area turned from white to bright red. “Not even a few days after its recapture, all communications from the fifth team suddenly stopped.” And then the bright red area turned gray like the rest of the map.
“Since then, the sixth recruits had been dispatched to the outpost in the northern area, but our contact with them has also been lost. Its hard for us to even figure out whats going on,” Laguel continued with a blank voice. “The seventh recruits were originally going to be dispatched to the center outpost, and their goal was going to be re-entering the northern base while cooperating with the existing teams there.”
A couple of heroes nodded. Even though they couldnt do anything right away, this was a realistic goal.
But there was a twist in Laguels following words. “However, the prophecy changed our goal.”
Those who were nodding stopped.
“The seventh recruits are going to be dispatched right here.” The northern part of the center, which had lost its light, began blinking again. “You will be sent here to investigate and re-occupy the northern outpost.” In other words, the seventh team had to find out what happened to the fifth and sixth recruits who they lost contact with and recapture the northern area of the central territory. This was the purpose and goal of the seventh recruit team.
“I will take the liberty to say that we dont expect you or the previous recruits to save Liber,” Laguel looked back at the audience and said. “You just need to create the conditions for salvation to be possible.” In short, they were going to sacrifice Liber to save the galaxy.
Nobody knew what to say in response. They were completely lost. Everyone knew that the number of applicants had decreased as more recruit teams were sent out. For example, there were much fewer heroes in the seventh recruitment than the fifth recruitment, and the quality of heroes had also decreased. However, Laguel had announced that they were going to be dispatched to where the Celestial Realm had lost contact with the two previous teams. The administrators were basically telling them to go on a suicide mission. Moreover, they couldnt even get aid from the Celestial Realm or support and protection from a World.
“I have a question.” After a short silence, someone spoke up. It was a hero with an alien head and a thick book. “Are you sure that the goal you just announced was given by the prophecy?”
“Yes, of course,” Laguel replied without an ounce of hesitation.
“Then there should still be a future where Liber can be saved.” The hero tilted his long head and closed his book. “There must be a reason why the prophecy has changed. Am I correct to say that the change is related to what had happened earlier?”
Laguels eyes slightly narrowed, but she fixed her expression before anyone could notice. “That—sir, what do you mean by that question?”
“Many of those who were originally judged to be suitable were sent away, and many of those who were judged to be unsuitable came in here,” the long-headed hero calmly continued, “After that hero came in.” He turned his head back and looked at Chi-Woo. “Am I not right?”
The long-headed hero (that Chi-Woo judged to be a male) slightly raised his chin towards him. “Right now, we are in an unprecedented and ridiculous situation in which a World has disappeared. On top of that, the prophecy had set an even more ridiculous goal, while also correcting its past decisions.” The long-headed man looked even more intently at Chi-Woo. “Am I correct to assume that there is something or someone that can completely flip these terrible conditions among the seventh recruits?”
As soon as he finished talking, a large number of heroes stared at Chi-Woo. Giant Fist blinked in surprise, and the woman with the beret glared at the long-headed man.
“Sir, I understand what youre saying,” Laguel calmly said. “We dont know when the prophecy was revised, and Im merely relaying the information I was given.” Her words were very vague.
“…Yeah, thats your stance.” The long-headed man smirked and looked away. Only then did the heroes gazes shift from Chi-Woos face. Even though he still felt some intense stares, Chi-Woo forced himself to ignore them and focused on the stage.
“Everyone, please stand up from your position now.” As if to draw the attention from Chi-Woo, Laguels beautiful voice resonated in the air.
Those who were seated began standing up one by one. Laguel waved her hand. The portal that had disappeared at the stages center reappeared. “Since this is a very urgent matter, well prepare to transport you as soon as you enter this portal.” Laguel had said everything there was to say. It was now time for them to go.
“But,” Laguel added before anyone could move, “We will give you one more chance to change your mind.” Laguels words took an unexpected turn. “Im sure none of you expected this, and its reasonable to think that this is too much for us to ask.”
Previously, Laguel had said that once they heard about the current situation, no one would be allowed to turn back, but she now changed her tune. Her motives were clear as she continued, “If you swore to keep all of this information confidential at the price of your qualifications—” Laguel pointed her thumb at the portal again. “—We wont stop you from turning back.”
In a way, Laguels words were very compelling. “Now, those who wish to enter despite all the risks, please move to the portal on the stage.” She then turned to Chi-Woo with an earnest gaze and continued, “And the rest of you, please exit through the portal at the end of the stairs.”
As soon as she finished, everyone in the hall began moving at the same time as if they had all planned it beforehand. Every single hero, without fail, moved towards the portal at the center of the stage.
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