This was the thought that surfaced abruptly in the midst of Roel’s blurring consciousness. This thought had surfaced rather inexplicably, but for some reason, he didn’t doubt it at all.
It was a vague yet palpable pressure. It was electrifying, like an ice cube suddenly pressed against the nape of your neck in the midst of the blistering summer, but, at the same time, intimidating, like the sinister tempest of a brewing storm.
Under these sensations, Roel’s blurring consciousness was jolted fully awake, bringing him back to his senses. His golden eyes narrowed as he tightened the arm he had wrapped around Charlotte, shocking her in turn.
“Roel? What’s wrong? Are you in pain?”
Charlotte hurriedly wiped away her tears as she asked anxiously out of concern, but Roel couldn’t find the exact words to answer her question. Lying against her body, he stared at the horizon of the sea with a bewildered look in his eyes.
Then all of a sudden, at the extremity of the horizon, the golden sun vanished.
In the direction where the rising sun should have been, there was a smudge of darkness that was swiftly expanding. It was hard to discern what it was—it could have been a cloud of smoke or moving shadows—but before Roel’s astonished eyes, the darkness began to devour everything. The brilliance of the sun was gradually covered, causing both allies and enemies alike to realize that something was very wrong.
“Hey, what’s that over there on the eastern horizon?”
“It looks like a black smudge. What is it?”
The sentry keeping a lookout from the mast relayed the abnormality to all of the other crewmates with anxious shouts. The warriors that were guarding Roel and Charlotte began frowning nervously. The instincts they had sharpened from years of experience on the battlefield were telling them that a calamity was approaching.
Charlotte also halted her movement to look at the eastern horizon, where Roel’s eyes were fixated.
It was like a chain effect. More and more people had stopped whatever they were doing to gaze eastward. The gradually darkening sky induced the fighting warships to hurriedly turn on their lights, and the firing of the cannons came to a halt. The fighting crowd quickly parted from one another to form two different sides as they eyed one another warily.
“What is that? Speak!”
On the sea, Isabella pointed her Jewel Trigger at Gordon’s head as she bellowed furiously. However, the aged old man seemed to be out of it. He stared at the darkening sky with a confused look in his eyes. There was a slight fear, but, at the same time, reverence on his face, emotions that one would typically display before the gods.
“I told you, Isabella. Don’t try to resist them. It’ll only bring death upon you. It has always been right behind us. It’s our fate to serve the Mother Goddess! The divine retribution of the gods will purge all of the traitors…”
With a click of the trigger,
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