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Friday, April 19, 2024

Sword of Malta – Lightning in 72 years (9)

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9. The Wall of Fire and the Dragon Eridan

Starting November 2023, The Korea Daily is excited to publish the fantasy novel series “Sword of Malta – Lightning in 72 Years” on our website. This new captivating series follows a trio of young adventurers on their quest to uncover the mysteries of ancient civilizations, including the Maya and Inca. In an exciting development, Netflix is currently adapting the novel’s storyline into a film.
The ‘Sword of Malta – Lightning in 72 Years’ is the latest novel authored by Jeeyoon Ha, who created the “Pangaea series.” Ha’s debut novel, “The Pangaea: Finding Xibalba,” was selected by the Korea Creative Content Agency in 2022 as part of their initiative to support the global export of fantasy literature.
Readers can eagerly anticipate the online publication of two installments each month, with new chapters appearing bi-weekly, offering a regular escape into this magical realm. *Mark Oh translated the Korean novel into English.

[Getty Images Bank]

“Does the book choose me?”
Suri couldn’t take his eyes off Malta.
“If you choose Professor Sirius, you can read the book.”
Malta stroked his white beard.
“Why is this library named Dragon?”
Sabi interrupted the conversation.
“Because it is protected by a dragon.”
Malta wandered with an elegant gait.
“This library was created to preserve human knowledge, and it collects and holds all books from the world. But… a long time ago, an evil wizard named Moloch invaded the library with a hydra with hundreds of torch heads.”
“Moloch?”
Sabi tilted her head. It was unfamiliar name.
“Moloch tried to steal a certain book from the library. But when things didn’t go as planned, he attempted to burn down the library. Then, the dragon, the guardian of the library, appeared and defeated them with the power of lightening. The dragon defended the books in the library. But part of the library was damaged.. and when it was damaged, a portal to another world was accidentally created.”
Malta’s eye color deepened.
“What book was Moloch trying to steal?”
Suri had the feeling of an enigma’s wheel spinning.
“I’m curious about that too…”
Malta sighed lightly.
“…Is that dragon… in this library… now?”
Sabi got goosebumps all over her body.
“Of course. The guardian cannot leave the library… shall we follow me?”
Malta took the lead. Malta stood in front of a bookshelf. The nameplate on the bookshelf read 39-puzzle. Malta lightly pushed the bookshelf. A narrow and long uphill staircase appeared.
“This staircase has more steps than you actually step on. There are 72 stairs in total, but you’re climbing a much higher place than you recognize.”
Malta jumped up agilely. Suri, Sabi, and Maru followed. The sunlight was also follwing them.
“Suri, every time you step on a step, another step pops out from underneath… and the step you stepped on disappears.”
Sabi, who was following Suri, shouted. When they climbed all 72 steps, the core garden appeared. Trees and flowers of various colors were alive and moving.
“This is the sanctuary of the library.”
Malta spoke as if he were paying homage. The library was shaped like a pentagon. The walls were filled with bookshelves without gaps, and the ceiling was filled with the hieroglyphics that Suri had seen in his dream. The only wall without a bookshelf had black traces, holes, and cracks from a fire.
“This is the wall of fire… Eridan will appear.”
Malta bowed like a ballerina. Flames erupted from the wall of fire, and the wall opened. Along with a lightning tornado, the dragon Eridan flew in. On Eridan’s head, there was a horn and two large ears. Its pupils were an odd blue color mixed with the sky and sea colors, which kept expanding and contracting.
“…I’m sorry… but you seem kind of small for a dragon…”
Maru joked, but he was sweating cold sweat. In an instant, Eridan’s pupils suddenly grew larger and emitted a relentless blue light. Its body gradually swelled and its red, blue, and yellow wings glowed as they revealed themselves. The red, blue, and yellow scales that were hidden all over its body also glowed as they emitted baby lightning. The length of its wings appeared to be about 10 meters, and the length of its body about 5 meters. Eridan’s full form was by no means small.
“Eridan can fly and shoot lightning.”
Malta boasted about Eridan.
“Suri…”
Eridan called Suri’s name.
Its heavy voice gave the listener a sense of peace and trust.
“Do you… know me?”
Suri was bewildered.
“Of course… Professor Sirius.”
Malta winked. Just then, hundreds of birds flew in through the opened wall of fire and surrounded Eridan. They were Thunderbirds, birds that delivered all the world’s lightning. The Thunderbirds hid inside Eridan’s wings and scales. Then, Eridan’s wings exploded with lightning like fireworks. After a while, the Thunderbirds perched among the trees and flowers of the Core Garden. The head of the Thunderbird was shaped as if it had been struck by lightning, its feathers were blue, and its wings were engraved with lightning tattoos. Tiny flames flowed incessantly from its mouth. When it blinked its eyes, baby lightning cutely sparked.
“There was a Nova Empire in the universe. No one knows when the Nova Empire existed… simply from the Big Bang era or even before… many words floated around the universe.” Eridan began an old, legendary story, and as if a projector was turned on above Eridan’s head, a film began. The Nova Empire was a civilization designed with super-advanced science as its belief. They proudly claimed themselves to be descendants of Altima, which was not only their spaceship but also a unique metal produced only in the Nova Empire that was applied to all their structures. They denied magic.
They believed that magic was a regression of their highly advanced science. However, beings possessing magic began to be born one by one, eventually forming groups and living together. The Empire began to persecute them. Yet, the magic tribes did not comply. They resisted, arguing that there was no reason to be discriminated against for being different.
“Eradicate the magic tribes.”
The Emperor of the Nova Empire commanded.

[To be continued…]