Garen gently knocked on the brown wooden door in front of him before pushing the door open.
Inside was a spacious, enclosed black stone chamber. The walls, ceiling and floors were all made out of black, reflective marbles.
In the middle of the stone chamber, there was a blue, pentagonal pool filled with clear blue liquid.
At the edge of the pool erect was black scepter with two hawk-like wings that spanned over two meters across. The construction of the wings was so detailed and clear that even the feathers were crafted.
The design of the scepter was simple; the top of the scepter was shaped like a rounded diamond, the engraved musical notations largely faded due to wear.
Garen walked past the pool and saw the King of Nightmares and Zhaoxing Qin, along with the two old, white haired men behind the scepter.
Zhaoxing Qin was standing just behind the scepter with a black engraving knife on her hand engraving something onto the back of the scepter. She was so focused that she didn’t seem to notice Garen’s presence at all.
After some amount of time had passed, Zhaoxing Qin finally stopped moving her hand and tiredly let out a sigh. It was only then that she looked up at Garen who was standing to the side.
"How is it? Is it finished?" Garen nodded.
"Almost. A final step remains." Zhaoxing Qin placed the engraving knife down tiredly and shifted her focus onto the King of Nightmares. "When do you want to start?"
"Anytime." The King of Nightmares replied with a smile. She had changed into Julie’s attire, which was a T-shirt paired with a pair of jeans. Although there was nothing much going on on her chest, her body figure was still rather proportioned due to her small and exquisite size. She gave off a teenager’s vibe instead even though she was in her thirties.
"Then let’s start straight away. The flow of the ritual depends entirely on you, as disturbing the ritual with an external force would be very difficult." one of the old white haired men replied from the side. "We can only help you set up the ritual and nothing else."
"Isn’t this better?" The King of Nightmares nodded satisfactorily. She took out the Argent Mirror from her jeans. "I just need to placed this on the scepter and jump into the pool. That’s it right?"
"Yes." Zhaoxing Qin nodded.
"We shall head out first. The medicinal effect here is too strong."
"Thank you for your help, both of you." Zhaoxing Qin politely thanked the elders.
Both the old men bowed slightly before leaving the stone chamber.
"Once you jump into the pool, open a slight wound on your eyebrow and the rest will follow suit." Zhaoxing Qin turned around and gave the simple piece of instruction to the King of Nightmares.
Andrela and Julie, who had already received the news, came to see the ritual as well. They stood alongside the old men in the transparent stone chamber, which was next to the ritual chamber and looked into the ritual room through the glass panel.
Both chambers were separated by a layer of telekinetically enhanced crystallized glass. It was purpose-crafted for this situation to ensure the safety of the observer outside. This chamber was originally used to conduct telekinesis experiments.
They could clearly observe what was happening in the experiment room from the observation room. Furthermore, the enhanced crystallized glass panel was retardant to high temperature, erosion, frost, etc. Even hard-point metal was no match for it.
This guaranteed the safety of the observer.
"Alright. We should take our leave." Zhaoxing Qin started ushering the party out once the King of Nightmares was ready.
Garen and the others went out, and he saw Andrela standing in front of the glass panel with a worried look on his face.
"Why don’t you stop her if you’re worried."
"Everyone has to be responsible for their own actions, her and I are no exception. We only depend on each other when we are lonely and we definitely won’t allow our relationship to affect our decisions." Andrela calmly replied.
"A very abstract answer." Garen replied. "I only know to achieve my objective. Taking care of other people’s emotions has no important value to me."
"You should be careful. Looks like the Divine Statue Technique has some side effects."Andrela squinted his eyes as he looked at Garen, as if he had noticed something.
Garen was slightly stunned. He felt something was wrong when he spoke just now as it was not his usual style and personality.
"I’ll keep that in mind."
The Divine Statue Technique was a top tier technique that no one had ever obtained before. No one knew the overall effect of this technique, even the inventor himself might only be able to manage a guess. Although its power was huge, the side effects had started to show itself.
Garen could faintly feel his personality secretly starting to change. It was as if it was a direct effect of using the Divine Statue Technique, where he felt like a God, a being so high and above everyone that they would be as insignificant as ants to him.
"Prepare to start." Bam, after the experiment room doors were shut, multiple metal rods thick as arms mercilessly sealed the door, accompanied by a series of mechanical whirs and knocks.
Garen, who was standing beside Andrela, had snapped out from his thoughts and gazed into the experiment room.
Zhaoxing Qin, Julie, and the two old helpers were monitoring the King of Nightmares closely.
"Everyone listen up. Julie, I want you to be alert at all times. You will immediately release the sleeping gas and stop the experiment if you notice something amiss!"
"Understood!" Julie nodded her head.
Zhaoxing Qin gave the King of Nightmares the OK gesture as she looked into the experiment room.
The King of Nightmares nodded his head and gave a sweet smile to Andrela as she looked at him, before hastily jumping into the blue liquid in front of her, which was about waist level deep.
The King of Nightmares gently scratched her eyebrows with her thumb nail. Her nail was as sharp as a knife as it easily drew a thin wound across.
She then immediately threw the Argent Mirror with one hand, which came to a stop hanging onto the scepter.
With excitement and curiosity, the King of Nightmares dipped her whole body into the pool, up to the point where her wound was being covered by the blue liquid as well.
Then, it was all silent.
"It’s starting." Zhaoxing Qin murmured.
As she finished her sentence, a splash came from the pool all of the sudden and the King of Nightmare stood up and started to vibrate. At the same time the water from the pool started to vibrate as well as if there was an earthquake.
However, even more curious was the faces of strangers flashing across the Argent Mirror’s smooth surface, which sped past one after the other. It was as if a lot of people were taking turns using the mirror.
Among the faces, expressions of pain, cold laughter, cruelty, anger. The only emotion that they lacked was one of calm and normalcy.
Garen and the others who were standing outside of the room couldn’t see or hear the situation inside. They only saw the King of Nightmares shutting her eyes tight as she frowned. It looked like she was in some sort of pain.
"What’s going on!?" Andrela couldn’t help but ask. He clenched both of his fists tightly as he felt involuntarily nervous.
"She’s absorbing it." Zhaoxing Qin replied. "It has just begun. There’s still a long way to go."
Andrela felt assured the moment he saw Zhaoxing Qin’s calm expression.
Garen had been setting his eyes on the King of Nightmares as he continued monitoring her status. He had to be careful as the King of Nightmares was their main source of strength going against the Immortal Palace. She might also be the only one who was strong enough to go against the top master Flamingo.
Time continued on its slow passage.
An hour went by...
Two hours went by...
Three hours… Four hours…
After a full six and a half hours later.
"There’s a progress!!" Zhaoxing Qin shouted out of nowhere.
Garen and the others immediately rushed towards the glass panel and looked at the King of Nightmares nervously.
They saw King of Nightmares opened his eyes, covered in thin, sprawling blood vessels. The worm like blood vessels travelled from the pupil to the sclera, to the temple point and to her cheeks and even her neck.
A strange power suddenly diffused through the experiment room and rippled the blue liquid.
"Attempting to suppress me? In your dreams!!" The King of Nightmares suddenly growled as the veins started to recede.
It was at this moment that everyone noticed at some point, the faces in the Argent Mirror had disappeared and only one face remained.
It was a face of a powerful man with eyebrows resembling knives. He had a black scar on his nose and his gaze was overflowing with confidence and violence. His hairs were short as nails.
The man in the mirror opened his mouth and he seemed to be talking to the King of Nightmares. When he stared at the King of Nightmares, his gaze were so cruel that it felt like he was trying to squash an ant.
"She has reached the final phase, which is to fight against the first generation’s Argent Mirror holder." Zhaoxing Qin explained. "The first holder is the strongest in the Argent Mirror. This is universally known. They are also the only one qualified with the ability to restrain and capture evil telekinesis users. He is the person in charge of the Argent Mirror and at the same time has sealed his negativity into it as well. That man should be the strongest holder in the Argent Mirror!"
"If she fails this phase, what will happen?" Garen asked.
"She will be severely injured and at the same time, she will suffer psychological damage." Zhaoxing Qin answered in confidence.
Andrela clenched his fist even tighter as he listened.
Garen kept quiet as he looked at Andrela. After that, he shifted his attention back to the experiment room.
The King of Nightmare’s veins kept expanding and shrinking. This probably meant that she was fighting against the strongest holder of the Argent Mirror.
"I feel like I have seen this man’s drawing…" The old man suddenly said as he came forward. His face was so frozen that it was as if he thought of something very serious.
"He’s Ansheli! He is the evil empire Ansheli!!" The other old man continued the sentence. He looked like he was in disbelief and shock as if he just saw a ghost.