Floor 1 Failed to Protect
???: It’s pretty obvious, the formula was wrong.
Enoch rose and turned towards the voice, clenching his wand on full alert. He commanded with a low tone.
Enoch: Who’s this? Don’t hide yourself. Come out at once!
???: Hehe, make a guess.
Strangely, the person didn’t approach him from the front. Instead, she covered his eyes playfully from the back and stuck her soft and curvy body onto the boy. Enoch was so startled by her unexpected action that he pushed her away violently, his breath came in gasps.
???: Hey, relax, I won’t kill you. The Lord has told me not to.
Enoch: You… you’re one of the demons!
Demon Chief: Bingo! I am one of them, and I’m the chief of the Demon Army.
Enoch: It...it’s impossible! With the defence of the Northern soldiers, you can’t come to this realm so easily!
Demon Chief: How is that impossible? We could simply kill everyone in our way.
With a clap of hands, a terrifying monster came forward. As it was walking, a trickle of blood formed along the way- he was holding a head chopped off from a body, and Enoch could tell it was one of the nearby residents.
Having witnessed the traumatic scene, Enoch had no choice but to believe what he was told- the Demon Army had already breached the defence of the North and was taking over different towns.
Demon Chief: In the past, there were internal conflicts between different demon tribes, which prevented us from uniting our forces to launch an attack against you humans. But now, the Lord has come. He has our ancestral blessings and the tribes have all submitted to his rule, making us an invincible army.
Enoch: … If it really was a sure-win for you, why don’t you just kill us?
Demon Chief: Because I’d like to trade with you. Be compliant and come with me, then I’ll spare your friends. A bargain, isn’t it?
Enoch: “She’s right. Given our situation, it really is a bargain.”
Despite his inner disquiet, Enoch was ready to go along for the sake of his companions. All of a sudden, a magic strike attacked the chief of the demons with irresistible momentum. The monster wanted to protect her immediately, but the attack came without warning and wounded her shoulder anyway.
Ingrid was holding her wand up high, which was still emitting smoke- the result of triggering a magic attack. In spite of her injuries, she managed to get up with strong determination. Switching into its real form, Panther became her backing and glared at the chief of the Demon Army. Even the rest of the team rose one after another, getting ready for the fight.
Ingrid: Blablabla… so annoying! You might have crossed the border of the North, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll win! The people of the North will not surrender so easily, they’ll bravely fight to the end! And we won’t let you take Enoch away!
Hong Ai: I can’t believe I agree with the evil witch… but a runedragon, I’ll never allow you to hurt my friends, and I won’t let you take my Enoch away!
Madam Heidi: Haha, you girls are really brave. I won’t surrender either!
Dagda: Enoch, you idiot! Did you really think that we’d be happy if you had sacrificed yourself for us?
Mephibo: Enoch, you don’t have to worry about Qingxia. Xilocient is taking care of her, she’ll definitely be fine.
Clap, clap, calp! The chief gave them a big round of applause. Behind a black veil, a sweet smile spreaded over her gorgeous face. Her rosy lips formed an alluring curve.
Demon Chief: Ah, how beautiful your friendship is! I’d say more beautiful than the gems. Now… let me see how powerful it is!
The chief blew a whistle, summoning demons from all directions to attack Enoch and his team. With the support of his friends, Enoch had never been so energetic.
But reality was always disappointing. No matter how powerful his attacks were, they were still significantly outnumbered. The chief of the army had detected the potential threat of Hong Ai and a few demons were soon there to confine her movements, so that she wouldn’t be able to switch into her dragon form and take everyone away.
Fighting incessantly against the large number of demons, Enoch’s team was soon fatigued. Mephibo was the first to have fallen, who bumped into a tree and passed out in an ambush of the enemy.
Dagda: Mephibo! Ugh——
As Dagda hurried to help Mephibo, a demon paralyzed him by squeezing his neck. Madam Heidi had to protect both Xilocient and Qingxia all by herself. Hong Ai was hindered by gigantic monsters. Numerous demons climbed on Panther, who was obviously reduced to inferiority. Without the protection of Panther, Ingrid lied feebly on the ground.
The chief came to Ingrid and pointed her sword at Ingrid’s neck.
Demon Chief: Sigh, I knew it, a beautiful friendship is just as fragile. But don’t you worry, I’ll give you a quick death!
Enoch tried his best to wipe out the demons that were in his way. But with every step he took, there were simply more and more demons flocking to him. Enoch failed to approach Ingrid as he watched the chief waving her sword.
Enoch: No! Please...I beg you… Stop—!
Enoch: “Why… why couldn’t I protect them? No… no! I don’t want such a hopeless ending!”
Floor 2 The Resonance of Wish
???: “Do you… want to protect them?”
Everything seemed to have come to a halt. A puff of hazy light emerged and whispered to Enoch, who, though perplexed, answered without hesitation anyway.
Enoch: Yes, I want to protect them, people that I treasure! I’d rather endure the pain alone than letting them get hurt!
???: Then we’re feeling the same way.
Sending luminous ripples, the sphere of light eventually turned into an ethereal girl with purple hair. She pressed her palms together as if she was praying, her angelic face looked as gentle as water.
Hel: But it is precisely for the people you treasure that you have to protect yourself better, only then can you protect them. You’ll be alright, I, and everyone else will be with you.
Enoch: Everyone else?
Hel: Yes, everyone who wants to protect the North. They’ll help you in fighting against the invaders. As long as you pray with your heart and soul, the power of origin in your body shall answer your prayers, and you can make our collective wish come true.
Enoch: Soul… Whatever it is, as long as I can save them, I’ll do it!... Ugh! My chest hurts!
A mysterious purple aura flowed from Enoch’s chest, giving him enormous pain. In agony, he touched his earlobes reflexively again. Miraculously, the pain was soothed, and a massive amount of messages flooded into Enoch’s mind—
Odin: I would bear all suffering for the peace of the North, and the happiness of the people.
Freyr: I swear to the forefathers of Vanir that victory shall be ours!
Swegde: I will continue to fight! My blood may be drained some day, but my spirit to fight shall prevail!
Thrud: I will march on for my father and the people of the North!
Hel: I wish people that I love could live happily ever after.
Enoch: “I can feel it… their saudade, persistence and perseverance… The wishes of protecting their loved ones that were sent from the past… Come on, I will make your wish come true.”
Everything resumed. The three regalia vibrated as if attracted by something, and were drawn to Enoch abruptly. Casting brilliant and godly lights, they merged to become a brand new staff.
Demon Chief: “Wow, how beautiful… Is this the power that they’re looking for?”
Ingrid: “… Finally awakened? Isn’t it a bit late, dumb idiot!”
Robust energy streamed constantly from Enoch’s body and filled the staff. The mere shreds of energy spilt from the staff sufficed to scare all the demons around and leave them trembling. Enoch raised the staff as iridescent colors glistened in his eyes, purple and golden lights poured in front of his chest.
Enoch: I declare in the name of the origin: Heroes in the history of the North, revive and fight for your homeland again!
The manifesto was greeted by glows of gold and silver lights. The energy stretched to the sky from the staff and blasted like fireworks, splitting into trickles of fire and fell on different corners of the Northern lands. As the fire raged on, faint shadows emerged…
Northern Soldiers: That is… King Modi and Magni!
Northern Soldiers: And Lord Tyr…
Heroes of the past made their appearance one after another. Armed with their weapons, they eliminated the demons who had been torturing their people. The miracle boosted the morale of the soldiers instantly, and the tables were turned.
Demon Chief: Summoning thousands of soldiers from the past… That’s not fair. I’m out.
Realizing that it was a hopeless battle, the enemy soon retreated. The chief sat on the gigantic palms of the monster which carried her away with a flap of wings.
Demon Chief: This is just the beginning. The Lord will come in person very soon, who will be the leader of the demons back on our home planet. When the day comes, we’ll tread on this land which was once abandoned by gods!
Hong Ai: How could you be so arrogant! I’ll defeat—
Ingrid: Let her go! Stupid dragon!
Ingrid stopped Hong Ai and came to Enoch, holding his hands.
Ingrid: It’s enough, Enoch. You’ll die if you keep consuming your elements.
Enoch: … Is it enough… Everyone… is alright— Hmm!
Enoch asked , his taut nerves could finally slack. Meanwhile, countless rainbows converged into one and fell onto Enoch’s palm after twining him. Eventually, they became flashing cards.
Enoch: This is…
Ingrid: Cards of the Heroic Spirits, the embodiment of the heroes’ power. If you insert elements into them, you’ll be able to summon them to fight for you in the battles. Only the chosen ones shall possess the ability. But it’s extremely rare to see a battle of such a scale, it’s a miracle created by a specific time and this land.
Enoch: Ingrid, why do you know— Mmm!
Consuming too much power, an intense nausea overcame Enoch. Too weak to support his body, he was about to fall down when a pair of big hands caught him.
Heimdallr: Thank you for guarding Asgard and the North, the child of destiny.
Enoch looked at Heimdallr’s strong build. His scarlet armors were burnt everywhere, which were the scars left by the battles in the past.
Enoch: You are… Heimdallr... the guardian of Asgard…
Ingrid: Coming here after the battle? How is that a guardian!
Heimdallr: I am sorry. The loss of control of the regalia limited my powers, I’ve just broken free.
Floor 3 To the Enochian Tower
Enoch: … What happened? Why did the regalia go out of control?
Heimdallr: It all began with a story decades ago… Swegde, the Queen of Folkvangr, together with Modi and Magni, the Kings of Valhalla, borrowed the regalia from Asgard to defeat the demons. However, the regalia are too much to bear for humans, the inheritors were destined to die young.
Heimdallr: The first one to have died was the Swegde the Queen. Before her death, she handed the Sword of Victory and her kingdom to the two kings, who loved the Queen too much to marry someone else. They made the throne non-hereditary and searched actively for an inheritor of the regalia, unfortunately they failed.
Heimdallr: Just when the kings and I were at a loss, she paid us a visit.
Enoch: It’s mother… She was Tawil, right?
Heimdallr: Yes, she came on behalf of the magic association Starmage. She suggested that we should make use of the three regalia to build a huge barrier along the Northern border to defend against the demons. We were skeptical at the beginning, but she really made an effort to persuade us, and in reality the demons’ attacks were increasingly violent. So we had agreed to do that, and the barrier did keep our border safe for decades.
Ingrid: Wasn’t that great? What had it to do with the regalia’s loss of control?
Shaking his head, Heimdallr’s face carried a complicated expression. He slowly continued.
Heimdallr: She didn’t set up the barrier for the sake of the North. She did it to store elements with the three regalia until the time came, so that she could accomplish her own purpose.
Enoch: But why... why did mother do that? She even started decades ago…
Mephibo: It must be the soulstone… She wanted to activate it by using the tremendous power of the regalia, so that the ancient seal can be broken, and the origin can be reached.
Enoch: But that’s just a legend! Did mother really sacrifice the innocent for some senseless myths?
Heimdallr: I’ve never heard about the legend, but Tawil came here not long ago and took away all the energy in the regalia. I tried to stop her, but she sealed me instead. To compensate for their loss, the regalia went out of control to capture elements all over the world, which also drove the ghosts in the area insane.
Qingxia: It all makes sense now. That’s why we were attacked when we were rebuilding the barrier… The magic formula didn’t require the regalia in the first place…
Enoch: Qingxia, are you alright now?
Qingxia: With the help of lovely Xilocient, I would’ve revived had I died… I’m really sorry, principal. The accident was entirely my fault. I’d trusted our former principal so much that I applied the formula without considering carefully. My bad.
Enoch: It… how was that your fault? I gave you permission, so that’s on me.
Qingxia: No, you did nothing wrong. It was me who—
Ingrid: Will you stop? It’s a commission taken up by all members of Charlouette. It’s not the fault of anyone, but everyone! Okay, we’re done with the reflections. Let’s think about what to do next.
Enoch and Qingxia froze for a moment and burst into laughter shortly after. Baffled, Ingrid glared at Enoch irritatedly.
Ingrid: What...what are you laughing at! You’re embarrassing me!
Enoch: No...nothing, we just thought you looked really cool.
Ingrid: Huh? Why...why did you say that!
Qingxia: Aw, look at Ingrid, she’s blushing all over. I can handle the barrier. This time, I’ll design the formula to make sure nothing can go wrong—
Heimdallr: It’s useless. Even if we rebuild it, we won’t be able to resist the demons’ attack.
Enoch: Huh? Why?
Heimdallr: I can tell that there are far less elements in the world now. The barrier would be fragile even if we rebuild it now. I’m afraid that we won’t be able to resist them very soon.
Enoch: … What else can we do? The North is the frontline of the war between humans and demons. If it falls into the enemy’s hands, the world would become hell!
As his power awakened, Enoch caught a glimpse of the memories of the heroes’ souls. Their sentiments seemed to have influenced Enoch, whose connection with the North grew stronger now.
Heimdallr: … Go to the Enochian Tower. Pave your way to Heaven and seek help from the gods.
Enoch: … The Enochian Tower… The tower that bridges the world and Heaven… I’ll take your commission. We shall go right away to the tower when everyone has recovered.
Suddenly someone pulled Enoch’s sleeve- it was Hong Ai. Her face was delicate, but her red eyes looked worried.
Hong Ai: Enoch, are you sure about this? Don’t you want to find your mother?
Enoch: … No, I don’t want to… A person who sacrificed innocent people and put all of you at risk for her own sake… A devil… I wouldn’t call a devil my mother—
Madam Heidi: Enoch!
Madam Heidi: Don’t say something that you might regret later just because you’re upset now.
Enoch: I know… but I just don’t understand… Mother used to be so kind and so loving, she was the person that sister and I had loved the most. But recently everything has turned my world upside down… Madam Heidi, what should I believe in…
Enoch sobbed loudly as he recalled what he had been through lately. Several months ago, he took up the agency and became the principal. Dealing with all the tricky problems and bearing excessive stress along the way, his sole purpose was to retain the connection between him and his mother. But in the end, he was hit by an ultimate betrayal. It was too much for him to take.
Madam Heidi: Enoch, my beloved child. Even though the good, old days shall never return, come to the Enochian Tower if you wish to know the truth. Come to the tower which you share your name with, in which all the answers lie.
Madam Heidi: Those are the last words that Tawil left me with. I didn’t tell you earlier because you were inexperienced at that time. But after months of training, you’ve become an outstanding mage. So now I’m revealing them, then you can make your own choice.
Enoch: I… I’m going to the Enochian Tower… Not just to find mother, but also to save this war-torn land!
And so, the gears of destiny started spinning. After a few months, Enoch and his companions were all set. However, they were split by accidents as soon as they entered the Enochian tower. By some curious coincidence, Enoch met Glauox who had lost its memories, and started climbing the tower...