Michael's feet were still rooted to the ground when the Elemental Empress and Tiara reached him.

"Master, I collected the Superior Lizards you killed earlier. Don't worry, I didn't leave a single corpse behind!" Tiara exclaimed, hiding the fact that she had been eager to compete against Michael.

The disappointment she felt when Michael slaughtered the Superior Lizards with ease single-handedly while she had to team up with the Elemental Empress to hunt them down so as to not sustain an injury was evident on her face. It was only fortunate that Michael was not there to see her expressions.

Tiara calmed down quickly, happy that Michael was powerful enough to fight strong enemies without breaking into a sweat, but unhappy about the fact that she felt useless and not needed. Did Michael really need her if she was this weak?

Her Master gave her his beloved Soultrait as a gift, and he even upgraded it for her to make sure that Tiara's combat prowess would increase drastically. But why did Tiara still feel so weak compared to Michael? Was the difference between them really that much?

The Elemental Empress didn't sense anything weird. She knew that Michael was just too powerful. If not for his unique powers he wouldn't have been able to defeat and kill the Kitsun Lord, after all.

It would be even weirder if Michael was not stronger than Tiara. That was also why nothing was wrong about this situation in the Elemental Empress' mind. All she cared about was finding a place to establish her Elementals Society.

That is why the Elemental Empress' joy knew no bounds when they found the humongous cavern hall. She ran towards Michael, who was still far away from them even after they reached the cavern hall, and in her haste almost bumped into him.

"W-What…is that?!? This pressure…this…thing?!??" The Elemental Empress asked, her voice barely audible. She stuttered and retreated involuntarily until she was outside the entrance of the large cavern tunnel. Her blazing body flickered violently, her fear apparent.

Michael regained his senses upon hearing the Elemental Empress. The whispers in his ears had yet to disperse but he tried to ignore them to retreat slowly. Michael didn't dare to look away from the darkness that shrouded the cavern tunnel until the whispers in his ears disappeared.

"What was that?" The Elemental Empress repeated herself.

Unfortunately, Michael couldn't answer that either, "I don't know."

It was not the first time Michael was called 'Cursed Child'. In fact, Michael had always known that he and his family were cursed. Their first ancestor was the culprit and the reason his descendants were still suffering was due to the curse of the Will of the Origin Expanse. But Michael didn't really understand how the whispering voices determined that Michael was Cursed Child, why would they refer to him like that, let alone what the whispering voices meant by 'trial'.

The intense pressure originating from the bottom of the cave was peculiar and somewhat unique. It had to be something that was either created by the Will of the Origin Expanse or something man-made, created by a powerful being. Maybe it was a monster with great power as well.

Michael had no idea, and he didn't really want to find out either, not at the expense of his life, at least. He was curious about the things he would find at the bottom of the cave, but he took the warning of the whispering voices seriously.

'So the cave has the Temple of the Forgotten on the first sub-level, and something else at the base?' Michael asked himself rhetorically.

He sighed heavily and shook his head in denial. However, just one gaze at the Elemental Empress was enough to tell Michael that he had not imagined anything. The Elemental Empress was overflowing with fear. Their taming bond made that quite clear.

"I don't think we will have any issues as long as we stay on this level. Do you want to build your society here? The cavern hall is huge, and it shouldn't be too problematic to use the paths that lead sideways. Maybe there will be more cavern halls connected to this one," Michael suggested.

He was not sure why but the whispering voices sounded friendly and trustworthy. Michael asked the Elemental Empress if she heard the voices as well, but she shook her head. Apparently, he was the only one who could hear the voices. Tiara, curious as to why Michael and the Elemental Empress were so distressed, decided to step into the large cavern tunnel. She barely put her right foot inside the cavern tunnel when something eerily assaulted her. Tiara screamed aloud and fell onto her butt. She scrambled back hastily and escaped the eerie power even before she could get up from the ground.

"Did you hear something?" Michael asked Tiara, who could only shake her head.

She had gone deadly pale and looked like she was about to faint. Fortunately, she remained conscious.

"If we create a large gate at the entrance of the large cavern tunnel – and every other tunnel that may lead downward – I will be fine. The pressure in the cavern hall is quite intense but getting accustomed to it will strengthen the mentality of all Elementals born and raised here. It should be quite useful to temper our minds," The Elemental Empress expressed her opinion hesitantly.

She felt that the cavern hall was the perfect place to establish her society, but the 'thing' at the bottom of the cave worried her. Not knowing what might await them in the future was bothersome. Therefore, a sealed gate would be the bare minimum to be safe – or at least feel like she and her society would not be under a constant threat.

"It won't be a problem to seal the cavern tunnels with gates. Once we're strong enough we can venture deeper down. But I feel like that will take a while," Michael said, trying to keep his cool.

He didn't like that some whispering voices called him Cursed Child and that they called the thing at the bottom of the cave a 'Trial'. Michael had never heard the term Trial used with respect to the creations of the Will. If anything, the Will would create Legacy Ruins, or Inheritance Dungeons to honor the achievements of the deceased, and to make sure that their achievements could live until the end of time.

'Fuck this nonsense. Let's just put this aside until I know how to deal with it.'

Michael didn't plan to end up frustrated today. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done now that he encountered another mystery. To vent his frustration, Michael decided to kill the remaining Superior Lizards. The cavern hall was humongous and they had many monsters residing within it.

Michael didn't distinguish between them and cleansed the cavern hall. The next thing he did was to test out whether the large cavern tunnel was the only tunnel with whispering voices or if there were more of them.

Interestingly enough all tunnels leading downward could be marked with a sudden increase in pressure. It was suffocating to move through the tunnels that led deeper into the cave. However, only the largest cavern tunnel inflicted deep fear within the Elemental Empress and Tiara. It was also only the largest cavern tunnel that sent whispering voices to warn him.

Michael did some experiments with the cavern tunnels, but he ended them quickly when he received a message from Sun Demos.

["We ventured deeper into the cave and found a large cavern hall. It is very dark, but I think I can see the Elemental Empress' flames."] Sun Demos reported.

A few minutes later Sun Demos and the Monkey Troupe found the Elemental Empress, Michael, and Tiara.

"The cavern tunnels from above must be connected to this cavern hall. That means we should venture into the other cavern tunnel that leads to the surface to take care of the remaining monsters," Michael mumbled to himself before he gave out orders, "Sun Demos. Take Tiara and the Elemental Empress with you to eliminate the remaining monsters. I will take care of the gate. Nobody is allowed to enter the large cavern tunnel. If you do, you might die, either way. I'm just warning everyone beforehand."

Once his order reached the others, Michael turned away and went to the Underground Forging Hall. He walked to the Warfare Department where every member was fully focused on creating siege weapons for war. They didn't have as much work as others because they had been focused on inventing defensive measures that could be well-hidden amid the flourishing environment of the Untamed Jungle, camouflaging their weapons and attacks.

Michael never constructed thick walls to protect his territory. The walls would have to rise high above the tree top of the tallest trees to block the invasion of all types of enemies. That would defeat the purpose of having a defensive wall in the first place as it would attract too much attention and point a huge target on the huge settlement in the middle of the flourishing Untamed Jungle rather than safeguarding it.

In an effort to invent various means to improve the camouflage of the settlement, many had come up with unique ideas – including the Warfare Department. They created large-scale weapons that could be hidden beneath the canopy of humongous trees. By working together with Enchanters and Alchemists, the Blacksmiths of the Warfare Department were able to create a mechanism to reduce the size of Ballistae and Scorpions. They were hidden within the trees inconspicuously and would unfold once certain enchantments engraved into the trees would be triggered.

A small storage of Scorpion bolts and other projectiles was kept with the compromised siege weapons to ensure that the defenders would be ready for battle at any point.

Meanwhile, in times of peace, nobody would be able to pinpoint the siege weapons other than those who've been shown and talked about the exact location.

Understanding the expertise of the Warfare Department, Michael chose to give them a big order.

"Please build a huge gate that can only be unsealed with my energy!"