Thirty minutes after Sila teleported to the Single-Horned Dragon Forest, he returned to the team with Sebastian . Unexpectedly, Sebastian didn’t come alone . He came with two of his dear friends: Franz and Asura . Still, based on the expressions on their faces, everyone could easily tell that they didn’t accompany him voluntarily .
Sebastian introduced Mamon–the new member who Franz and Asura had never met before . The first reaction from Asura was:
“Legends and reality are very different, I see . ”
Mamon gave Asura a gaze of malice . “How about you try me to see exactly why I was renowned as the monster everyone didn’t want to encounter the most?”
Asura was a psychic-type monster who possessed keen senses and high speed . Sensing Mamon’s mental oppression, he was aware that Mamon’s strength was far from normal . The psychic power he felt was filled with negativity and gave off a nauseating feeling . The vibe being emitted made people want to run away .
“Nah, I take my words back . I apologize . ” Asura bowed his head . He wasn’t the type to be serious about his pride anyway . In his opinion, dignity was useless if he had to end up dead because of it .
Mamon scoffed at Asura . “Let’s depart . ”
“Depart? Now? Can’t we take a break? Sebastian has been dragging us around non-stop . I’m so tired that my body is about to fall apart from exhaustion,” Franz complained as she sent her pleading eyes toward Sila . She knew for a fact that Sebastian would be kinder in front of Sila .
“In that case, let’s take some more time to rest . I’m also curious about where you have been, Sebastian . ”
With Sila’s proposal, Sebastian couldn’t help but comply . In fact, even Mamon, who was the highest level monster, didn’t object to Sila’s idea . Sebastian simply made a mental note regarding Franz’s ill behavior and would take care of it in the future .
Burapha lit up the bonfire, which had already been extinguished, for a second time . The trio of monsters gave him a strange look .
“The night is still far off yet . Why are you lighting up the fire?” asked Asura .
Burapha realized that between Asura and Mamon, the former was much easier to have a conversation with . “Isn’t it obvious, Mister? To warm our bodies . I don’t think it is effective though . I’m still freezing . ” Burapha rubbed his hands together . He wondered why nobody else was showing any reaction to the temperature even though it was extremely freezing .
“Are you stupid? The whole region in the north is under the curse of the Fairy Queen . This chill doesn’t come from the snow, but from her magic power . You have to cover yourself with energy reinforcement in order to keep yourself warm . ”
“R-Really?” Burapha was shocked . Meanwhile, Bluebird, who was holding himself back, suddenly exploded with laughter .
“Hahaha! I was biting my lip when I saw you preparing warm coats, using heat sticks, and lighting up a bonfire! Hahaha! I can’t hold my laugh back anymore!”
Any monster that had been around for a long time like Sebastian, Franz, or Asura knew this fact about the north . Mamon had a Hidden Gift that granted him a resistance to high and low temperatures . Sila and Lomyok were qi-type players who were always circulating qi throughout their bodies, so they never felt the cold to begin with . As for Bluebird, he was aware of the curse, so he had been cladding himself with magic power reinforcement .
“Why didn’t you tell me beforehand, Big Brother Blue?” Burapha asked Bluebird, feeling annoyed .
“Ah~ I’m only an amateur, so I didn’t dare to share my insignificant knowledge with an expert like Sir Burapha . Oh, about the Snow Bison, I suggest you ride it soon because you won’t be able to ride it after you enter the Winter Forest . The territory around Belacia City rarely accepts monsters from other regions . ”
“Only if their levels aren’t high enough,” added Franz .
Burapha looked at the edge of the forest . “That’s only five hundred meters away!!”
“Yeah, that’s why . Quickly ride it, pal . Hahaha! This is funny . I will have to report this joke to Boss . ”
As Bluebird was laughing, Burapha tried covering his body with psychic power reinforcement . The cold sensation vanished in an instant . However, maintaining this state was troublesome and required constant energy consumption . Burapha was only a Knight Rank player, so his maximum amount of psychic points was rather low . He judged he couldn’t maintain this state for longer than twenty minutes .
“Hey, hey, you shouldn’t do that . You are spending too much power . You have to reduce your psychic power consumption . Reduce it so that the consumed amount is less than your regeneration speed . Make the aura surrounding your body become as thin as possible . With this method, not only can you save up psychic power, but your psychic points capacity will also gradually increase,” Asura explained .
“Because of this environment, all the players in Belacia City can do this kind of thing as naturally as breathing . No wonder they are strong,” Bluebird added .
Burapha tried to suppress his psychic power consumption, but it required great concentration, which was rather difficult given that Bluebird was still laughing next to him .
Recalling that he could use psychic power as well, Sila stopped his qi circulation and tried covering himself with a thin layer of psychic power . Achieving the feat was far easier than activating Divine Raiment, so Sila could do it in a few tries .
Everybody sat in a circle . For the record, Franz snuggled up to Sila to prevent Sebastian from taking any offensive actions .
“Where did you go to after you left Grea City, Sebastian?” Sila asked . Meanwhile, Burapha didn’t seem to be interested in the conversation . He was diligently controlling his psychic power to become as thin as possible .
“I went to invite my friends to help me out, sir . It seemed there was some misunderstanding between us, so they hurriedly left me behind . Well, the misunderstanding was cleared up and we are back on good terms, right?” Sebastian swept his gaze to Asura and Franz, which made them shudder .
‘Invite us your ass! To bring out the Manifesting Soul Lantern to threaten us . . . I wonder where he got himself such a powerful Demonic Armament . ’
Sebastian didn’t wait for their replies . In fact, he knew from the start that they had no choice but to comply .
“From then on, the three of us went to Alkedia City, the Magic Kingdom, sir . ”
“Hm? Why did you go there?” asked Sila . Interested by the conversation, Bluebird stopped messing with Burapha and listened attentively .
“I knew that I couldn’t win against Infernee even though she was only a clone made of magic power . Therefore, I planned to use the simplest method to get rid of this kind of magic—and that is to kill the spellcaster, sir . Normally, if the spellcaster dies, the result of their spells will disappear . ”
“The three of you went to assassinate Montra?”
The conversation heated up . Even Mamon seemed to take an interest in what Sebastian was saying .
Bluebird interrupted . “Wait, wait . If Montra died, why did we still have to fight Infernee? Could it be that Mister Sebastian made a mistake?”
Sebastian shook his head . “We didn’t make any mistakes . However, there was a mess . ”
“It’s better to see it yourself, sir . Asura, lend me your help . ”
After Sebastian finished, Asura stepped forward . He closed his eyes and opened his palm, showing a crystal ball on it . The ball was showing moving images as if it were a television screen .
“Asura can record what he sees and show it at a later time, sir . He generally uses this ability to study opponents he has fought against . What you are seeing right now is what happened back then . ”
“Is there no sound?” asked Bluebird .
“I can only record what I see . You can neither sense powers nor hear sounds . ” Asura opened his eyes and looked into the crystal ball like everyone else .
The ball projected the scenery of the Magic Kingdom, a place Sila had yet to visit . The entire city was floating in the sky . It was divided into many areas and split among several islands on the one cloud . It was a captivating sight . The city gave of a surreal atmosphere unlike Zhongsuyuan City’s naturalness and Grea City’s futuristic vibe .
“This scene shows the time when we were entering the city . According to our plan, Asura would summon an army of skeleton soldiers to spread chaos all over the city, making the Heavenly Dragon Guild members come out and take care of them . Then, Franz would use poison to deal with their troops and Warlords to save our strength before entering their guild’s headquarters . Lastly, when the timing was perfect, the three of us would gang up on Montra . No matter how skillful he is, with the right place at the right time, there would be a high chance we could take him down . ”
“The plan looked rather lenient . Nevertheless, your team consisted of three Lord Rank monsters . How did your plan fail?” Mamon asked directly .
The recording in the crystal changed to in front of the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s headquarters . Even though the power couldn’t be sensed through the crystal ball, the viewers could see that all that remained of the front door were pieces of wood, the whole entrance having been reduced to a hole . There was no corpse, but the traces of blood and the intense battle could easily be noticed .
“Someone raided the guild before us, sir . ” Sebastian revealed what happened .
“Who? The Heavenly Dragon Guild had their front door demolished and it looks like they were humiliated… How was this news not spread everywhere,” Bluebird wondered .
“I investigated and found the reason why the news could be kept hidden; It was due to Mister Sila and Mister Blue . Your achievement was exceptionally renowned . In fact, the Heavenly Dragon Guild helped you spread the news in order to redirect people’s attention away from them . It was enough for Mister Blue to get your new title, the Sky Emperor, in the span of a single night . ”
Bluebird was rather proud of his new title . He was smiling from ear to ear when he continued his question . “By the way, who were the invaders? Were they members of the Wicked Union? How many were there?”
For the record, when Infernee appeared in Grea City, attacking the spellcaster was one of the options to solve the problem . Therefore, the Royal Armament Guild sent a request to do so to the Victorious Wolves Sect . Nevertheless, raiding Montra in Alkedia City sounded like a suicide mission, so they didn’t expect anything from it .
“I am not sure, sir . Maybe they belonged to a new guild . The only thing they had in common was a symbol on their clothes, a door with a skull in the center . ”
“Wait, wait, Mister Sebastian . Are you telling us that there were only three of them?” asked Bluebird .
“Yes, sir . There were only three invaders . Please look at them yourself . ”
The crystal ball showed the scene of Sebastian and his teammates successfully infiltrating the guild’s headquarters without any difficulty since the enemies were busy handling an enigmatic raid . The three monsters concealed their presence and sneakily observed the situation unfolding in the front yard located inside the compound . There were three mysterious people facing off against Montra, Shuran, Lost Ghost, and hundreds of the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s members .
Among the three people, the one who seemed to be the leader possessed a mediocre physique and was wearing a set of golden light armor under a white robe . His light brown hair was gently blown by the wind . His face was decorated with a kind smile that looked as if it would never fade . The reason Sila guessed he was the leader was due to the fact that he stood furthest in front and seemed to be the one speaking on behalf of the other two .
As for the other two, the first was a big man with blood-red hair . His eye sockets were black and his eyes were devoid of emotion as if he wasn’t human . He was wearing several layers of ragged black robes . Strangely enough, he was carrying a black coffin twice his size on his back . The other one had her entire body covered under a red cloak . Well, she should be a woman based on her physique . Some of her long red hair could be spotted outside of her cloak, giving off a sense of dangerous beauty . Even though her face was completely hidden, everyone seeing her figure couldn’t help but feel that her beauty must be extremely captivating .
“Then, Montra ordered everyone to go inside the building . . . ” Sebastian explained as the images inside the crystal ball showed the guild’s members going into the building . The Warlords seemed to protest, but Montra insisted on it .
Once everyone disappeared, Montra stood alone facing the three people . He tightened his grip on his spear . Even though the power couldn’t be sensed through the crystal ball, Sila and his teammates could still see the ground shaking from the oppressive might being emitted by both parties . Finally, Burapha quit practicing his psychic power reinforcement and paid attention to the recording within the ball like the others .
“What happened next?”
Sebastian sighed . “After that, I was informed that Infernee had vanished from Grea City . We had no business left to do there, so we withdrew . ”
The video in the crystal sphere came from Asura’s perspective . It showed Sebastian and Franz retreating, though Asura remained in the same place .
“Hm? Why is it still running?” asked Bluebird .
“I thought it was quite interesting, so I decided to observe more of it,” replied Asura .
“Is there no way we can know what they are talking about?” asked Sila . They could see Montra’s lips moving but, unfortunately, the remaining three were standing at an angle which hid most of their faces from Asura . Nevertheless, based on all their facial movements, Sila could somehow tell that the leader of the three was the only one holding a conversation with Montra .
“I can lipread to some extent . Well, I can only read the kid named Montra since the other one rarely showed his lips . Actually, this is not my business at all . Do you want me to try though?” asked Asura .
“Could you please?” Delightfully, Sila requested for help . Asura smiled inwardly . There was some merit in him doing a favor for Sebastian’s master . He would be able to make use of it in the future .
Asura coughed once . The images rewound to the part when Montra started talking to the others . Asura stared at Montra’s lips .
“It seemed he was saying . . . What does this mean?”
The leader-like man said something they couldn’t see . Then, Montra replied, “We have never meddled with each other before . ”
The woman in the team of three stepped forward and removed her cloak . Suddenly Montra changed his expression, though very subtly . It was an expression showing surprise tingled with sadness . Sila had never seen Montra make this kind of expression before . Based on Sila’s point of view, he could see only the woman’s back . He couldn’t see what Montra saw . Still, he felt the woman was somehow familiar .
Montra let out a dry laugh as if mocking himself, yet his eyes gleamed with a flash of wisdom like he had finally realised something .
“So it’s you . If it’s you, then I finally understand what I never got it until now . So this is why the association supports Sila instead of me . Regardless, I don’t understand why you decided to make an appearance today . Why bother revealing what could have been your trump card?”
“That’s because we have investigated, and finally discovered your objective . . . Please step back and let Sila become the winner . ” The young man stepped forward . Coincidentally, he was at the angle from which Asura could read his lips .
“Do you actually believe I will just submit? It’s easier for me if you guys are siding with him . I will just get rid of all of you simultaneously . ”
Montra took a battle stance . Even though it was just a recording, Sila could tell from the environment that Montra had become stronger . The environment around Montra shook from his emotions as if he had become one with nature . It was the art which Montra didn’t use against Sila the last time they fought in Grea City .
“We didn’t come to fight you today . We are here to give you the first and last warning . Withdraw, or else, the next time we meet, you will encounter the genuine Hell . ” The young man waved his hand as if he was using a paintbrush to draw a picture on the stone tiles in front of him . They cracked into the illustration of the skull in the center of the door . In addition, there were two inconceivable characters engraved below the skull .
“Keep your warning!” Montra bumped his spear’s handle against the floor, and the picture was crushed and transformed into the picture of a Chinese dragon twisting its body into number eight . The dragon eyes were gleaming, similarly to Montra’s . Both pairs of eyes stared at their opponents without giving up .
The clash of powers was both masterful and almighty .
Soon, the ball turned dark as if the television was turned off . Asura scratched his bald head . “With that level of power, if I continued to conceal my power nearby, I would have received injuries . As such, I retreated . ”
Burapha didn’t seem to be very interested . “In any case, that’s good news for us . They told Montra to withdraw, and that meant they were on our side . It’s lucky we have such skilled players as allies . Maybe they are individual players supporting us from behind the scenes . ”
“No, I think there must be something else to what we saw . ” Sila was sure that the three belonged to the Wulin Masters Association . Come to think of it, even though he was one of the candidates for the position of Wulin Lord, he was pretty much clueless about the association . It seemed to him that the darkness shrouding the association was getting darker the more he learned .
“By the way, the red-haired woman looked rather familiar, no?” Bluebird asked . “I feel like I have met her before . ”
Burapha nodded . “You think so too? I thought I was the only one . ”
Even though Sila didn’t say anything, he was trying to guess the identity of the woman . Who could she be to be able to make Montra show that kind of expression?
Nonchalantly, Burapha informed everyone, “Ah . . . just so you know, the characters the man engraved are read as Kimon . ”
“Hm? Can you read Chinese?” Bluebird asked, feeling doubtful .
“They are Japanese, Big Brother . My dad is Japanese, so I learned the language when I was young . Although the characters are the same, the native speakers can discern Kanji apart from Chinese characters through the sequence of lines drawn . Even though the man wrote them quite fast, I’m confident that they were written the Japanese way . ”
“Kimon?” Sila wasn’t familiar with the word . Rather, this was his first time hearing it .
“It happened so fast . How could you read them?” Bluebird was still doubtful .
“Alas, Big Brother . It’s the language I know . Just a glance is enough . In any case, Kimon means Hell’s Gate . I’m positive I got it right because their symbol is a gate with a skull on it . ”
“Hell’s Gate . . . ” Sila muttered . Although the three might turn out to be his allies, Sila didn’t feel at ease about it at all . He felt some kind of looming danger was sneakily approaching him . The gate which shouldn’t exist on Earth was slowly opening before everyone was aware of it .