"You planning to wear me out? But you have grossly miscalculated!" Garen smiled coldly. The strongest part of the Divine Statue Technique was in its ability to defend and heal. At the rate that Garen was healing, he could easily go on for dozens more hours.
Sylphalan took a backflip, and landed gracefully atop a lamp post.
"It’s like…." he mumbled under his breath while looking at Garen, his eyes revealing an inner mix of loss and struggle,"it’s really like….."
"You can run pretty fast!" Garen was still now. He knew that if Sylphalan was not willing to fight him, he couldn’t force him into it either. At this point, both of them were tough characters that were near impossible to kill. Just like Duskdune Shura, even if one of them were to sustain heavy injuries, they could still confidently pull out. All masters of combat have a secret trick under their sleeves for the express purpose of escaping let alone that this was Sylphalan we were talking about.
"No…" Sylphalan seemed to think of something, his expression changed suddenly,"you’re not like older brother, you ended up on my path?" he suddenly started laughing like a madman,"Truly! Truly I am the only one who is right!"
"Only I am right!"
Sylphalan suddenly pulled back his invisible aura, and did an elaborate backflip flying towards the buildings behind him. With each step pushing off a building after another, he sped off in lightning speed so fast that even Garen couldn’t make chase. With the blink of an eye, Sylphalan was gone, only the distant silhouette of his body hopping between building erratically visible.
Garen looked at Sylphalan from afar, feeling a little pissed off. For a moment he thought he had Sylphalan, but the next he was gone. While he had managed to acquire the Argent Mirror, this but only his secondary objective.
He raised his hand casually, the white gold Divine Statue melted into golden fog and disappeared. Compared to the Giant Mammoth, the Divine Statue was at least twice more powerful.
Afterall, the Divine Statue technique was based off the Golden Statue sect, which once stood toe to toe against the Crimson Sand Sword Gate at its peak.
Not far away, there was a rumble, and in the midst of a massive explosion a red shadow appeared. Boom! There were sounds of glass shattering as the red shadow dashed through a few buildings and escaped.
The King of Nightmares tried to make chase, but still lost Flamingo.
"Damnit! He ran away!"
At the same time, Andrela appeared with a bitter face and a broken sword.
"I almost didn’t make it, thank heavens that guy ran away."
"Who knew that even with the three of us combined we still can’t match the Immortal Palace," Stephen looked defeatist,"if only Palosa was here…"
"Stop overthinking," Garen took a deep breath and tried to loosen up himself,"Palosa wasn’t here, the Immortal Palace also didn’t all show up. It’s too early to call the results. However all in all, we are definitely at a disadvantage against them."
"This is so underwhelming!" The King of Nightmares started cleaning up his wounds, apparently in that short fight he had been stabbed by Flamingo in his chest once. From the looks of his face, it wasn’t a small wound.
Garen also now understood that if all of them were pit head to head, they were definitely still not a match against the Immortal Palace. If today had been their final fight, even if they managed to shave the Immortal Palace by one or two members, they would do so at a hefty price. Perhaps they might’ve even all died.
This newly formed troop was simply too weak.
"Masters of combat at this level all have their own tricks to stay alive. Defeating them is easy, but to kill them entirely is next to impossible unless they’re suicidal." Andrela shook his head,"now we have the mirror, the Confederation is probably sending troops over now. We ought to leave."
The other two nodded, and the three of them leaped together in an instance, disappearing into the distance as three shadows.
"We should retreat too." the Old Woman clenched her teeth and bellowed as soon as Garen left. Julie helped the Old Lady up, and with the bodies of their dead comrades in hand, they disappeared into the shadows as well.
The remainder of people also started leaving.
At the corner of the hall, between the rubble of what used to be some pillars and statues, a man emerged from the dust looking horribly miserable.
With a body full of ash, and both arms visibly broken, it was the Bishop of the Argentists.
"I can’t believe that I, the great Bishop of the Argentists, would see the day where I had to act dead in order to survive!"
A few moments later, the Black Snake couple emerged as well.
"Aren’t we the same as well? Once we realized we couldn’t put up a fight we had to hide too!" the female Black Snake said,"if you’re so cocky, why don’t you bring the fight to them then!"
At this point, both sides had lost all intent on fighting each other after seeing what had transpired earlier. In retrospect, their abilities were just like how Flamingo put it: nothing but stronger ants.
"It’s just a stupid mirror, yet it attracted so many insane characters. Heck, even the Immortal Palace showed up!" the male Black Snake frowned as he studied the hall, seemingly in deep thought.
"What’s on your mind?" the female Black Snake looked at her man.
In an open field, not too far away from the hall.
Beside an abandoned dirt road, stopped a black truck.
With a loud "KA CHA" the door swung open, out came Andrela, Garen and the King of Nightmares.
Andrela leaned against the door of the truck and swung out an oval white silver mirror.
"This is the Argent Mirror, it is also the Mirror of Secret Texts. Stephen, you should know how to use it right?"
He looked at the King of Nightmares.
Stephen nodded,"Of course. I’m still disappointed that I wasn’t able to severely injure Flamingo. Who knew that he wouldn’t even properly fight us, and just run away in the end!"
The King of Nightmares took the mirror over and studied its detailed carvings carefully.
"To unlock it will take some time. Before that happens, perhaps we can go take a look at that group that popped out of nowhere opposing Flamingo?"
"That old woman seemed to know me," Garen frowned, he reached out to take the mirror from Stephen’s hands. He couldn’t sense any hidden potential, which meant that item wasn’t one of those cursed antiquities.
As he studied the mirror, he seemed to hesitate.
"Those folks said that there’s something about the Will of the Origin in here? What’s that?"
"I’ve never heard of anything like that before," Andrela shook his head.
Even Stephen was baffled,"that’s why I said we should pay them a visit, they probably know more about this than we do."
Garen touched the pendant on his chest, it was starting to heat up again. It was heating up irregularly a lot lately for reasons unknown,"Do we have a means of contacting them?"
"It says so on the card."
Stephen took the mirror over again and studied it,"if we translate the runes and carvings on the mirror, it seems to say that the Hidden Text inside the mirror is a record for a secret sealing technique. It can seal up energy accumulated over time and convert it into a deadly blow when needed. However according to intelligence reports, the Immortal Palace found something similar once too, but I’ve never heard anything about a Will of the Origin."
"I think I might have an inkling of who that old woman is…." Garen finally found a piece of memory from a distant past that matched the face.
In the old man’s dolphin antique shop, he seen a woman bearing a similar face enter the shop.
He suddenly had a feeling that he was about find out where Sylphalan was very soon.
In the night.
Following the address given by Julie, the trio quickly arrived at a small jungle by the suburbs.
In the middle of the jungle was a dried out well, this was the entrance as told in the card.
The three of them hesitated, but they could see some light coming from the end of the well. A man in black overalls climbed out from beneath.
"Please follow me. The teacher awaits you below," the young man greeted the trio respectfully.
The trio could feel that a lot was happening underground, they could even hear the occasional music reverberating from the well.
Following the young man, they took turns climbing into the well, then climbing into a corridor just about the height of a grown man by the left of the well. The corridor quickly opened up to a spacious rock basement.
The walls were made out of rectangular stone bricks that looked pretty well aged. By the corner was a black grand piano with a young girl in black clothes playing a tune on it.
The girl, was Julie.
The music started slowing down before coming to a halt as the trio entered the room.
"Teacher, they are here," Julie stood up and spoke to the other corner of the room.
It was only then that the Trio noticed that there was an old woman sitting on a black chair made out of ratan by the other corner. Her breath was almost silent, her presence invisible unless announced.
This was the same old woman who sustained heavy injuries earlier in the day.
"Something here makes me incredibly uncomfortable," the King of Nightmares frowned and sniffed with his nose before covering it with a white silk cloth.
"You have really sharp senses," the old woman smiled and nodded,"I still haven’t thanked the three of you for your heroic acts earlier today. Had it not been for the three of us, we probably would’ve suffered severe losses."
"You lost two of your elders, and that still isn’t a severe loss?" Andrela asked rhetorically.
"It’s not," the old woman nodded,"the two of them were just telekinetic surrogates, their hosts have already started recovering in a secret location. It’s just one severe injury, no big deal."
"Telekinetic surrogates? One severe injury isn’t a big deal?" Garen repeated her words,"looks like telekinesis is a lot more interesting than I thought."
"Three of you, please sit and we’ll talk."
The old woman served up three cups of coffee.