Ethereal Paradigm: A Canvas of Black
50 The Point of No Return
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Ethereal Paradigm: A Canvas of Black
Author :ICARUS
© Webnovel

50 The Point of No Return

"You get a wonderful view, from the point of no return."

-Terry Pratchett

━━━━━━━━┓ ✠ ┏━━━━━━━━

I looked at the clock and it's now 5 minute-minus before the gates would finally open.

Ok, this is perfect. I should now re-start the 'Low-key' plan, although I don't see myself to be THAT 'Low-key' anytime soon. Not while a Japanese little girl is with me and not with this baggage. Well, I simply can't leave her alone.

We then got ourselves in the southernmost part of the city through the hand-made transportation I made using only the pen's ink. Pretty handy isn't it?

At the back of a facility, away from the gazes of everyone, I then undid the power, the moment the gate became vividly visible. I wouldn't want my identity of being a Herrscher, revealed due to a superfluous reason.

And then we, alongside a vast number of 'others' found ourselves facing a very large gate, and a very peculiar looking one, set to fit the atmosphere of 'Chaos' as the faction's name suggests. It is rather dull in color and is designed with bones and skulls all inlaid in a larger metallic piece, that forms this putrid-looking threshold. Well, I kinda like it...

This is what leads to the outside world they call as the third realm, "Naethervale"...

Wait, Is this gate always here? Hmmm. It's not the proper time to think of such a crude matter.

It is so crowded... I now understand why that failure of a goddess only wanted to regroup outside.

I looked around, still with Shiro holding my hand looking rather sleepy...Now, that I look at it, these people chose to destroy their own race, for whatever reason there is. But, this number is simply not quite right... For a 300 thousand remaining population, this would be only around a thousand here. Does this mean that we are awfully outnumbered?

I should not be too surprised though... Lacrimosa even implicitly said the same thing.

"Is everyone now in the gates? " The public address system again sounded...

"Well, looks like it...apparently. There's no such person now who would defy any command coming from you extravagant deities." I thought.

"This is now the path that you chose to face. Standing north, the people who chose to save their mankind despite the opaque future it still believes... Standing south, the outnumbered people who chose 'Chaos' for their own race. Now, let us see which is the naive decision. Are you seeing this Alexandra? Everyone's ready to go!"

"Uhmmm. Yes. Yes. Ehehehehehe. " The homeroom teacher slash, announcer, began to talk for the first time...And that, is definitely not the voice of someone who does not know what is happening. I feel you, sensei. Truly.

"Ok then everyone! Last tip... Listen to the Anima awaiting your arrival, kay?... And just be nice to the denizens there, you would not want to be eaten raw don't you? From there, learn the extents of your powers, ok? But, don't be inactive too much! That would be a penalty of Death! Ok then, further instructions would be given the moment you settle yourselves outside. THE GATES ARE HEREBY OPENED!" the deity ecstatically announced...

A creaking noise is then heard as the weird and gargantuan gate started opening. I looked at the clock. It's now, 3:09 AM. Nine-minute delay of what was agreed, yet not caring for the minor details, everyone is shunned by the fact that 'Here we are, in a world we never wanted and neither did we deserve'.

The third realm. NÆthervale.

Finally, the gate opened. It is still rather dark as the auxiliary lights of the city fend off the light of the soon-to-dawn gargantuan moon.

The gate is opened, but no one dared to take the first step. And I'm not doing it either. Someone will take the initiative.

Then, not yonder, a morena teen from the crowd walked towards the front row and took the first step outside, without any wavers. And then everyone followed with sheer confidence. Including me...shamefully, but reasonably.

And then, all of us found ourselves trending our foot in a well made phantasmic bridge, connecting the city to a terrain a hundred miles away which is still quite unclear as to what awaits because of the morning mist which is thick as milk, way thicker than how we were acquainted with back on earth. All we could hear are the rumbling of the sea waves approximately 30 meters below us and the cold winds...

And then, as all of us made it outside, to the bridge, the gates closed with an unseen hand... Signaling a point of no return.

Everyone watched the gates closed, as everyone knew of the fact, that if they want to not end up dying earlier than the average lifespan, they have to take this path, of the unknown with the chance of keeping the so-called 'dear life'.

It surely won't do us any good if we are just to stand here. Merely everyone then started to move forward even without the vocation of someone. Why the hell is this mist here anyway, we can't see clearly in all of this white!

And then, I felt something...hovering above us. It is big. I was the only one who felt it. It can't be something that wants to attack us right away, right? I hoped.

Then came a very loud roar, like the shouts of a thousand thunders all at once! Everyone, except me of course, became terrified and started to duck and take cover. But I have to fake some terrified actions too, to make me look normal. And then what we saw next, is this large entity with wings that extends to the skies and a spiky tail of burning vermillion... It flapped its wings mightily over us, that it cleared out the thick mists that are laid fore, giving us a view of what this NÆthervale really looks like, in person.

As we saw the ambient view, the majority becomes speechless, except for those who were unable to keep the excitement that they felt the moment they saw it.

"Wow" and "Beautiful", became the first lexicon to be spoken by humans in this realm. I for once is also keeping it inside me.

It is so beautiful. From this perspective from the bridge, we could clearly see the oversized moon whose reflection is radiating on the vast seas and swimming in it were creatures that we never dreamed of seeing. Mermaids? No. It's something more beautiful to behold. Fishes? Not mere fishes, but 'glow-in-the-dark-ones' making the sea look like a sky of some underwater civilization. Above, we could see the very clear night sky filled with radiant stars in where not one of the constellations is familiar and named. Birds of unfamiliar species are also seen while large dragons also flew in flocks mightily hovering above us. From afar, the same direction where the bridge is leading, we could see a well-made and established medieval-themed castle, no an empire, maybe, which is probably another few hours of walking, the moment we arrive at this bridge's end.

Yet this realm though... It's like Earth, but before man took the rule, together with its beauty. I can't also help but ponder at this point, because it just seems so surreal if monsters really do exist in these areas, and if something like that 'Cheshire Cat' really does coexist in such a lovely environment as this.

And it is as of this point, that those who lost someone dear would just dream that they were here too, to see all of this.

But in all of this boundless gaiety, an ugly side will always be somewhere. Just another side of a coin. We can't be distracted by the fact that this land, this peaceful-looking land, will soon be tainted with blood, as it becomes the eon's host for the 'Warfare of Fates', a gamble where killing becomes the new norm...

By the way, where's Celes? And how's the other majority who chose the Mirage Armada doing? Are they also seeing the same thing?

In all of the unclear details, one fact remains clear-cut. Here, we are... At a point of no return indeed.

(Classroom of the Elite main theme's climax, plays)...


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