History of Earthlings - 2
Life of Earthlings
Floor 1 Exceptional Talent
Late at night when stars were twinkling and all creatures were asleep, a blue-haired man sneaked to a tranquil lakeside, where there was a girl waiting. The man stayed in the bushes vigilantly to spy on the girl.
Cang Bi: “Huh? Where’s the girl? She was there a moment ago.”
Astrid: Are you looking for me?
Cang Bi: Whoa!
The girl who was supposed to wait at the lakeside popped up out of the blue, hanging upside down on the tree. It was normal for Cang Bi who got jumped by her sudden presence.
Astrid: Shush——You’re gonna expose us.
Cang Bi: Right! S-Sorry.
As Cang Bi covered his mouth to keep the volume down, Astrid jumped down quietly. She exuded with a cool vibe when she flipped her hair.
Astrid: You’re Cang Bi, the Runedragon Leonard told me about, right? I’m Astrid. I’ll be taking you to the prison. Nice to meet you.
Cang Bi: “Leonard and her are totally different from the earthlings in my perception…”
Led by Astrid, the two set off to the prison hidden in the forest.
Astrid: Wait. Something’s wrong ahead.
Astrid grabbed a handful of sand from the pocket hung on her belt. When she threw it ahead, the sand started combusting after sparkling.
Cang Bi: Is that...a trap?
Astrid: Yes, it’s a magic trap set by the Eldus. Don’t worry. I can disable it.
It didn’t take Astrid long to crack the trap and let Cang Bi pass through safely. Not only cracking the traps, but Astrid always noticed the patrolling earthlings one step ahead, allowing her to use an alternative route before they were spotted. Everything she did amazed Cang Bi.
Cang Bi: Astrid, isn’t it a waste to put a gifted earthling like you into the slavery division?
To avoid making mistakes again, Cang Bi got the basic information about Eldus and earthlings from Leonard. He learnt that all earthlings were divided into different classes. Leonard was in the combat division, the highest class among all. That was also the reason why Enlil remembered his name.
The slavery division was the lowest class with only the weak earthlings. Yet the capabilities Astrid displayed had surprised Cang Bi.
Astrid: ...I used to be in the recon division, only one class lower than the combat division, but I was demoted to the slavery division for some reasons.
Cang Bi: Some reasons?
Astrid: It’s a long story.
Cang Bi: I’m here to listen, for I want to know more about your kind.
Cang Bi: “Pompeii, it was you who reached out to me regardless of my hostility. It’s my turn now.”
Floor 2 Aurora and Astrid
Astrid: Hmm...So the missions today are monitoring mana’s flow in the south and surveying on the machinas?
In the Eldus’s base, Astrid the recon earthling was reading a scroll of her tasks, but then the equipment she carried on her back slipped.
Astrid: Ugh, this gear is heavy.
Just when Astrid was going to carry the gear, she suddenly felt weightless on her back. Turning around, she saw a smiley face.
Astrid exclaimed when she found out who was smiling at her. Giving a playful gaze, Aurora carried Astrid’s gear with no hard effort.
Astrid: Don’t you have a combat mission today?
Aurora: Not at all. I’ve been free lately, so I’m here to take a recon mission with you.
Aurora was very down to earth despite her combatant status as well as the oldest earthling.
Astrid: Great! I feel confident when you’re with me.
Astrid: “I’m happy as long as I can live such a peaceful life with Aurora.”
Yet Astrid’s wish could never come true. One day, Astrid could not find Aurora when a squad came back from a combat mission. Then she went to Schnauzer, a combatant close to Aurora.
Astrid: Schnauzer, so happy to see you here. Where’s Aurora?
Remaining silent, Schnauzer’s exhausted face became gloomy. Astrid sensed something wrong, but she refused to believe it and asked with a forced smile.
Astrid: Hey, Schnauzer, stop joking with me. Just tell me...Right. She must be wandering somewhere else again.
Schnauzer tried to speak the truth, but the words were stuck in her tongue. Meanwhile, Astrid sobbed, shaking Schnauzer’s shoulders desperately.
Astrid: Please...Tell me that Aurora is alright…
Schnauzer: I’m sorry...Astrid...Aurora is...gone…
Astrid: No...No way...Impossible! She’s the strongest earthling! How come she died...I need to see her!
Schnauzer: Aurora...Her body fell apart and decomposed into dust after the battle...Nothing has left…
Astrid: Nonsense...Aurora died without leaving a body...This doesn’t make sense at all!
With her body trembling, Astrid bursted into tears when she finally admitted the fact. Unable to contain the grief, the weeping Schnauzer held Astrid tight to comfort her.
Schnauzer: It was hard for me to believe, but she crumbled in my arms and I couldn’t save her!
Astrid: NO! NO! I CAN’T EVEN SAY GOODBYE TO HER!
Shaking her head, Astrid was utterly crushed by Schnauzer’s words. She could do nothing but wail until her body was exhausted and passed out.
Regaining her consciousness, Astrid found herself in the medic station. Although she was still heartbroken and devastated, she realized that Aurora’s death was irreversible.
Astrid: “Aurora...Although she has no remains, I can at least have her stuff.”
Astrid left the medic station. By asking the slave earthlings in the hallway, she found out that all Aurora’s belongings were sent to the 10th storeroom on the third floor. There were a lot of things placed on the shelf, but it only took Astrid one glance to spot what she had come for——Aurora’s battle gloves.
???: Shamash, can't you treat them carefully? You’re driving me crazy.
Astrid: “This voice...Sir Kingu? Lady Shamash is here too...This is weird. What are they doing at the storage?”
Floor 3 The Revolution Aborted
Astrid saw Shamash and Kingu carry something to the fourth floor. Driven by curiosity, Astrid went there after the Eldus had left. Inside the dark area, a lot of objects wrapped by white clothes were lying on the floor.
Astrid: “What are these…”
The moment Astrid unveiled a cloth, she was jumped to stumble by what she saw.
Astrid: “It’s an earthling...And dried cracks are all over his body...So these are all earthlings here...”
???: Shamash! Wait!
All of a sudden, a voice sounded downstairs.
Shamash: Enlil, what are you doing here...Kingu must have told you.
Enlil: It’s too tragic to leave those dying earthlings here. Please, stop enhancing earthlings’ strength with spells.
Shamash: Impossible. Without the spells, they’re nothing but trash.
Enlil: But they have to exchange power with their lives! Their bodies can only withstand twenty five to fifty power-ups! Once they’re overloaded, their bodies will fall apart!
Astrid: “What! Is that the reason for Aurora’s death...Darn it! Darn it!”
Although Astrid was furious, she knew that she must hold back the anger, for Shamash would definitely kill her to keep her mouth shut for good if she exposed herself. She didn’t sneak away until Shamash and Enlil had left.
Later on, Astrid went to find Schnauzer, who was with Radha the earthling close to her. Then Astrid told everything she had witnessed.
Schnauzer: Those scum...I will never forgive that they treat us like some disposable tools…We the earthlings have the advantage in numbers. As long as we stand as one, we can overthrow those Eldus eventually. Astrid!
Astrid: I’m in. They must pay for what they’ve done to Aurora.
The revolution died before it could begin. Shamash somehow found out about their plan. Schnauzer was arrested for a trial.
Shamash: Schnauzer, tell me. Who else joined it? This is an order.
Shamash’s words triggered the spell programmed within Schnauzer, which induced a tremendous fear in her mind. In the eyes of the trembling Schnauzer, Shamash was like a giant to her.
Schnauzer: “I won’t bend before you...Aurora, lend me your strength!”
Schnauzer spent every bit of her strength on resisting the soul-crushing fear, and she was brave enough to look into Shamash’s eyes.
Schnauzer: This...Everything was solely my idea. Astrid only joined it under my threat.
Shamash: ...Is that so? Then exile Schnauzer. Throw her off the Sinner’s Cliff. As for Astrid, demote her to the slavery division. Effective immediately.
Yet Astrid,controlled by fear, failed to stop the tragedy. She could only watch Schnauzer being taken away...
Floor 4 Trapped in Fear
Astrid: And that’s my story...What a coincidence. We’ve arrived. This is the prison where the Eldus keep their prisoners.
The trip to the memory lane ended, returning to the regretful present. Meanwhile, Astrid led Cang Bi to the cells without alerting the guarding earthlings. Very soon, Cang Bi found the captured Elemental Beasts and the other creatures.
Cang Bi: Don’t worry everyone. I’m Cang Bi from the Runedragon clan. Please be patient. Your fellows will rescue you as soon as everything is ready.
Elemental Beast: Great...Thank you.
Cang Bi: Don’t be. She’s the one you should thank for. If she and her friend didn’t help, I wouldn’t have been able to come here by myself.
Astrid: No, don't mention it..I can’t accomplish anything. Back then, Schnauzer——
Cang Bi: You can do it! With me, the Elemental Beasts and the other clans, we can bring down those Eldus! And that will set you earthlings free too!
Astrid: I can bring down...the Eldus...AHHHH——!
Cang Bi: Hey! Astrid, what’s wrong?
Cang Bi: “What...what happened? Why is she screaming suddenly? And she seems like seeing something horrible…”
???: The programme inside her is triggered, which amplifies her sense of fear.
As a female voice spoke from somewhere deep in the prison, Cang Bi carried Astrid to defend vigilantly.
Cang Bi: Who are you? What do you want?
???: Just bring her to me! If we don’t do something, her mind will break down!
Cang Bi: “This...This is suspicious, but I have no choice. Just take the risk.”
Cang Bi carried Astrid to the furthest cell, where it kept a pink-haired, tanned lady behind the bars. The lady drew a circle with her fingers in front of the shivering Astrid. Next second, a soothing light glowed to calm Astrid’s symptom, putting her into sleep.
???: Phew. She’s fine now...I guess they’ve enhanced the fear-controlling programme. That explains why it was triggered just by saying any rebellious thoughts out loud...
Cang Bi: How come you know all these things? These aren’t something that an earthling would know...
Ninhursag: It’s because I’m not an earthling. I’m Ninhursag, the Eldus who created these children.
Cang Bi: You...created those earthlings...Then why did you manipulate lives!
Ninhursag: ...because I was too weak to defy Shamash...