Chapter 1065 – The ultimate choice
The sounds of people huffing and panting were echoing as Ko and Ely continued to run as fast as they could through the tunnels. The place was similar to a maze with many variations where one could turn at, that would lead them to different areas of this tunnel.
Luckily, Ko had remembered the way back to the most important place, which was the one directly in front of the faction base.
“It looks like there aren’t any Marked around here. Do you think they already got to where they needed to be?” Ely wondered.
That’s when Ko suddenly stopped moving, making Ely b.u.mp into him. Just as he wanted to complain that he stopped, he too saw the silhouettes of two people turn around and start heading towards them.
“You just had to say something! Of course there would be Marked down here!” Ko shouted at him, as he pulled out his weapon. He was quite skilled with the sword, but he wasn’t sure it would be enough to fight off the Marked. His ability was also rather useless in the small cramped s.p.a.ce.
Unfortunately, retreating wasn’t an option either. The Marked were fast and strong and now that they had seen them, they wouldn’t stop chasing them. He would have to at least injure them to the same degree as his family members if he wanted to escape.
Ko punched the first Marked in the face and sent him stumbling back a few steps. He was ready to stab its companion, but before he got a chance to attack the second Marked who had opened his mouth wide, ready to dig into Ko’s shoulder, Ely barged into it, making it fall to the ground.
However, it wasn’t the only one sent flying. Having used too much force, Ely tripped over. The next second, the first Marked that had already recovered from the earlier hit, lept up but instead of trying to get revenge against Ko, it bit Ely into the side of his arm.
“Arghhh!” Ely screamed in pain. “Screw you, you b.a.s.t.a.r.d. Ko, just run, I’ll hold these two back and any other! You have to get to that d.a.m.ned tree!”
Ko wanted to save his friend, but he knew that after being bitten, Ely would soon turn into a Marked as well. Gritting his teeth, Ko left the trio behind. The Marked who had just bitten into Ely wanted to give chase, but he felt something grab its leg and yank it back.
When he turned around he saw Ely with one of his eyes glowing.
“Now have a taste of your own power huh!” Ely screamed at it.
The process of turning was usually rather instantaneous, yet the one before it had somehow managed to delay it, giving him time to fight it.
Ko continued to run, until eventually reaching a hidden escape route. Wasting no time he pushed the trap door up and slid it off to the side before pulling himself up. Exiting from the doors, he could feel waves of energy hit him.
Something was going on and sparks of lightning were everywhere. Ko wanted to ignore it, so he turned to look around and thankfully no one seemed to be next to the pink tree, at least the back of it.
Running forward, Ko could now hear that the sounds of fighting were turning more intense, curious he couldn’t help himself but to take a peak around the corner.
“Don’t tell me he’s been fighting against Robin this whole time?!” Ko mumbled in surprise to himself.
‘d.a.m.n it, I cursed that guy, and his whole faction and now it looks like he’s even risking his life for this place… what the h.e.l.l kind of leader does that make me?” Ko thought as he stopped spectating and gazed at the giant tree.
He didn’t really know where the crystal would be located, as he had never had the chance to fight against a Demon tier beast like this, so he grabbed his sword and swung it as hard as he could sideways like an axe.
During his swing, his weapon sword grew in size until it overshadowed the trunk itself… Yet after it landed there was no damage. Grumbling, Ko went over to inspect the tree, only to discover that his attack had barely left a scratch, yet on the blade itself a black substance could be seen, which looked exactly like beast blood.
Unsure what to do, Ko started to experiment with the way he attacked it. At first he attempted to take it down from the bottom, making it topple over, but that turned out to be ineffective.
Then he started to cut off the bark of the tree as he made his weapon larger. He managed to remove some pieces of bark and they left behind a pink glow underneath, proving that it was no ordinary tree at all.
After removing most of the bark from one side, he now could just see a large pink glowing substance but no crystal.
‘It must be an outer layer or something, I just need to destroy this thing.’
Holding up his sword one more time, Ko swung it with all his strength again. As the two collided a loud clang resounded, and once again a small amount of black blood was seen seeping from the pink crystal. However, as if reacting to the aggressor, the tree let out a large energy, blasting Ko away and sending him flying across to the other end.
“No, I’m not letting you have your way, not when I’m this close!” He screamed in defiance, thinking of everyone in the shelter that had been hurt by this thing.
“I think you might need a little help, that sword just ain’t going to cut it!” Suddenly, he heard a voice from behind, and what greeted him was the sight of the entire Cursed faction, Hayley and the faction members that had survived had come out from the faction base and made it to the large tree. However, they still had plenty of Marked chasing after them.
Peter and Linda were at the back, they had closed the door, and now were holding it steady against the onslaught of enemies, but it didn’t stop them from breaking part of the door. As for Sil and Eno, the two of them looked injured as they stood on opposite ends from each other. Clearly avoiding each other’s gaze.
Hayley knelt down by Ko’s sides and looked at the marking on his back, noticing that it was progressing faster than what she had seen but the marking was growing and then subsidising at the same time as he thought against it, indicating that Ko must have had a strong will to resist the turning.
Fex, Sil, Eno, Wevil and Layla walked forward ready to destroy the tree.
“Wait!” Ko shouted. “If you touch that thing you’ll be Marked as well!”
“Don’t worry, we’re not exactly ‘ordinary’ people?” Fex chuckled.
But when they turned back around they could see someone else standing in front of the tree, where the exposed pink crystal area was, and it was none other than Quinn.
‘How did he manage to survive against Robin?’ Ko wondered.
Both of Quinn’s legs started to be covered with a red aura, he then quickly ran back to where the others were.
“I still have about thirty seconds left of the active skill,” Quinn informed them. “I’ll take it down in one go.”
Running at top speed, his vampire powers allowed Quinn to jump up and spin his body as he swung from his h.i.p.s, to throw out his right leg as hard as he could to activate his active skill. This move had been taught to him by the martial arts master.
The spinning tornado kick!
The blood aura around his legs were now spinning like a drill once again, and at such a speed it slammed into the crystal. The entirety of the shelter and the ground it was on jolted forward a few centimetres due to the power behind the attack.
The roots that had been deeply dug in s.h.i.+fted forward and everyone lost their balance for a few seconds. When they looked at the tree, the pink crystal started to crack slowly, until eventually, it shattered. Black blood began oozing from it and the pink power started to fade.
The bright coloured leaves started to fade, adn all the colourful trees on the planet started to fade with it as well.
[The quest has been completed]
“Argh!” A scream could be heard from behind him, and all of them could see that Ko was rolling about on the floor. He continued to scream in pain at the top of his lungs.
“I don’t know what’s happening, I can’t heal him!”
Peter and Linda noticed that the door was no longer being pushed back, and when they opened it up they could see that all the Marked were similarly rolling about on the floor in pain.
‘What happened? Didn’t we defeat the Demon tier beast? Shouldn’t the ones marked return to normal?’ Quinn wondered… before he realised that this very information had come from none other than Eno.
Looking up, he tried to see where Eno was, but he was nowhere to be seen.
“Now you have a difficult choice, Quinn,” a voice said from behind. Turning he could see Eno, with a pink crystal that was almost see through in his hand. For a second Quinn was having a sense of Deja-vu, when Arthur had stolen the Demon tier crystal.
“With the power of the Demon tier crystal, I can use my ability to get rid of the markings on everyone here, thus saving their lives. However, you saw the power of this Demon tier crystal. Using it, you could create a weapon or a piece of armour that will undoubtedly bring us one step closer to defeating the Dalki race.”
“I have given you many warnings Quinn, and after today’s events I can confirm it even more. At the current rate, the human race is doomed to lose the war against the Dalki.”
“It’s up to you. Do you wish to save the ones afflicted, forsaking the rest of humanity, or shall we lament their sacrifice for the greater good?
“You must now choose?”
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