The mechanical stone door slowly rose up into the ceiling. As it reached the halfway mark, the once pitch-black storage room in front of us suddenly lit up with an orange incandescence. From the looks of things, this room was probably lined with brazier as well.
Truth be told, I was still a little puzzled by how pristine this entire palace was. After 80 000 years, the buildings below had basically all but collapsed and yet the palace was so undamaged, it was as if no time had passed at all…unthinkable!
The only explanation I could think of was that there was some mysterious magical array maintaining this structure. Perhaps it was providing the entire structure energy or even halting the flow of time.
It wasn’t long before the entire door rose into the ceiling with a final creak, and what had to be the most shocking scene ever entered my field of vision…
The entire storage warehouse was packed to the brim with completed golems…Not poop. Not half-completed parts. ‘Why is there a whole warehouse of completed golems here?’
‘Well, I guess they aren’t technically complete since none of them have been activated yet…they are just standing there like soldiers at attention.’
Because of how vast the storage warehouse was, and how many golems there actually were, I had no way of getting an accurate estimate of their numbers right away. Just from a simple sweep, I could tell that there were at least over one thousand golems present in this warehouse. The majority of the golems were of the Six-stars common variant while about 10% of the golems were the winged variant.
“Those big lugs won’t move, right?” Gem of Authority in hand, Mo Na wasn’t at all concerned about being attacked by the golems as she boldly strode forward to check them out.
From where I was standing, I could clearly feel that the golems were completely inert, like computers who had their power plugged out –unlikely to ever move of its own accord.
Even so, that didn’t stop me from worrying about Mo N and chasing up to her. She had just stepped into the warehouse when I scooped up her little body, after which I turned to the slightly lost queen ant and said: “You go first.”
Like that, she obediently moved ahead to scout for us while No.3, Big 4 followed behind in relative safety.
“Mo Na still has this, Mama, there’s nothing to be afraid of.” Having adjusted herself to comfortably sit on my shoulders, she then leaned in, gracing with me a sweet fragrance in the process, and lifted up the gem in her hands. Her beautiful eyes stared unblinkingly at the queen ant who was about to approach a golem: “See, Mama, that big ant is fine as well.”
‘You little scamp, I swear…weren’t you just terrified a moment ago? Now that you’ve gotten yourself some backing, you’ve immediately bounced right up again I see. Well, no matter what, I’m not putting you down till I’ve confirmed that everything is safe.’
It was only after No.3 and Big 4 had confirmed the inert state of those golems that I finally came in with Mo Na on me.
Having just stepped in, Mo Na immediately started struggling a little before promptly hopping off my shoulders and sticking that gem right up to the face of one of the golems. The little scamp gave a thorough look around the motionless lump of poop for a good long while but was unable to elicit any sort of response from it.
Over time, this failure started to grate on her patience at which point she unhappily punched the golem with the gem…
‘Oh sweetie…can’t you be a little gentler…and how can you use the gem like that…’
Seeing how unreliable she was and also out of concern of losing the gem, I immediately ran up to her and scooped her up once more, a bead of cold sweat rolling down my back as I did so.
“Sweetie, what do you think you are doing? Don’t break the Gem of Authority.”
“It’s fine, Mama, this gem is tough as heck.” She nonchalantly smiled as she shook her head. “See, Mama, it’s still fine.”
As she said that, she brought the gem up to my eye level. I carefully inspected the precious stone and saw that it was still as undamaged as before. ‘It seems like it’s not as fragile as I thought then. I guess that makes sense, it’s a gem after all. How could it be so fragile?’
Confirming that it was fine once more, I then put her down and instructed her not to toy around with the gem again else I would confiscate it.
Seeing that she had essentially gotten tacit approval from me, she happily nodded her head and promised not to smash the gem again with a grinning face.
At that, I stooped down and pinched her on the cheeks. “Again? You’d better not think of doing it again.”
“Mo Na promises, Mama.” She adorably begged for mercy with watery eyes.
Finally, I stopped my pinching. Immediately, my concern became whether or not I had pinched her a little too much just then.
Yet just as I was about to ask if she was alright, the little scamp promptly dashed away…
‘Well, I guess it’s a good thing that kids are lively…but is it really alright for her to be so disrespectful of adults, hmm…’
I tried to call out to her again but found that she had basically disappeared from my sight; in all likelihood, she was out and about, hiding behind some inert golem. At the end of the day, those golems were massive, especially those winged ones that came in at over seven meters tall. It wasn’t surprising at all that they were able to completely mask the presence of a child.
“Sweetie, where did you go?” I asked, ever the worrying parent. “Sweetie, come out quick, Papa can’t see you!”
Just as I was fretting over her disappearance, I suddenly heard No.3 yelling out to me from the side: “Master, the little Missus is here.”
Being one of my first few subordinates, he was normally in charge of protecting not just me, but my little baby as well. And despite the fact that he was a little dim at times, he at least knew how important Mo Na was to me so when Mo Na dove into the mass of golems, he made sure to keep track of her as well.
Following the direction of No.3, I walked past several golems before I found her squatting in a corner.
“Sweetie, what are you doing?”
Right at this very moment, she was squatting beside a black stone cupboard while gripping the Gem of Authority…
“Mama, let Mo Na explain…it’s not what it looks like…”
Honestly, she was probably about to smack that cupboard with the gem; there really wasn’t a need for her to explain anything at this point. Thus, I had to take back my previous words…she wasn’t just a little willful, she was really willful…