The King of Nightmares and Andrela looked at Palosa.
The latter shook his head and said: "We needn’t make this unnecessarily complicated."
"I think it’s best for you to follow along. That might turn out to be necessary." Garen turned his head around and said.
Palosa closed his eyes and stayed silent.
"Hmph." Garen didn’t want to speak further either and proceeded to walk into the mist.
Andrela and the King of Nightmare were speechless as they looked at the both of them. They ultimately followed Garen.
"Although we’ve already expected to have different opinions and be separated because of it, I didn’t think it would be so soon," Andrela said helplessly. "However, everyone has their own objective, opinions, and style of operation. Since Palosa and Garen both stand at the pinnacle of the martial arts world, it is normal to have a different modus operandi."
"I don’t really care." The King of Nightmares said as he hung onto Andrela’s shoulder lazily as he leaned against him. "It’s very boring lately… Drela, I have a suggestion."
"Forget about it." Andrela suddenly stopped.
"Drela, how about we have a wild war when everyone gathers at the middle of the island? Didn’t you want to be famous? If we do that you’ll be famous internationally~" The King of Nightmare suggested lazily. "I don’t care how you want to do it~~"
"Of course you don’t care…" Andrela was speechless. "You can just morph into another person. What about me?!" He knew that the King of Nightmares would do it if he wanted to. It’s completely normal of the King of Nightmares to knock Andrela unconscious and act in his place during the war if he got excited.
"Furthermore, I don’t want to be famous, I just want to… sigh, nevermind. I just can’t get through you!"
The trio walked into the thick mist and soon disappeared.
Palosa was still sitting in the same spot with his eyes closed.
Garen kept walked towards where the smell was coming from in the mist and soon arrived the place where there were blood stains on the rocks. The blood was dark red, betraying the fact that it had been shed some time ago.
He kept walking on and suddenly heard a faint sizzling noise in front of him. It sounded like someone was boiling oil or some sort.
Soon, a bonfire appeared in front of Garen. Within the fire were a pile of corpses, green and red. Black dense smoke kept oozing from the still burning flame.
Garen stood in front of the bonfire and examined the corpses.
"They’re the clowns."
The King of Nightmares walked forward, looked and said, "They died pierced by steel needles. It’s very similar to Nikon’s technique."
"Looks like the clowns were most likely the ones who ambushed us when we were in the sea." Garen squinted his eyes and whispered. "Perhaps they were trying to push the blameonto the Weisman?"
"Let’s forget this and go to where the key is. We have to go to the statue forests, be it to open the ancient ruins tomorrow or battling for the keys. We should go there further and see who’s in the Southern Territory."
"The Southern Territory and Northern Territory have their own respective keys?"
"Of course," Andrela answered. "One on each side. Hence there are only four people qualified to battle for the Black Smoke Pot."
"I recall from the map that we need to pass by two important places right?" With Garen’s memory being photographic, he had already memorized the map he had seen earlier. "They were the gap between the canyon and the edge of the cliffs. These two locations seem to the best spot for an ambush."
"A map is a map. Do you have any idea how to differentiate the locations within this mist?" The King of Nightmares frowned.
"How did they differentiate the directions here?" Garen squatted down and examined the clown’s corpse that was in the bonfire.
The King of Nightmares squatted down and looked at the surface’s striations.
"We should just follow the usual method. This surface has a consistent striations. We should be fine as long as we follow the direction that these are going. We should be good if we can find a living person."
"We will just have to deal with it." Garen frowned. "Let’s go there as soon as possible. We will interrogate him or her if we find someone."
He looked at the surface’s striation and walked along it. The remaining two followed tightly from behind.
The rocks in front of them were getting higher and higher. Some of them even had a deep gorge in between and they had no choice but to jump across the gap. The mist between the gaps were getting more and more dense as soon they could not see more than 2 meters ahead of them. The trio could only communicate via smell and hearing to prevent getting lost.
Soon a pile of corpses appeared on the floor. They were soldiers in white clothes without any emblems or indication of nationality. They examined the corpses and couldn’t identify any traits from it.
They kept moving forward. Explosions could occasionally be heard from far away, along with faint roars and the occasional gun shot.
The mist had perfectly enveloped the whole area.
"Has the battle to obtain the key started?" Garen looked at the directions where the explosions occurred.
"The key has been out for some time. We just don’t know who’s holding it. I heard that the keys were brought in from the outside, and the Southern Territory and Northern Territory have two keys each for two entrances to their ancient ruins. However, the ancient ruins are small and hard to find, and no one knows which the Black Smoke Pot is in." Andrela explained.
Garen stopped the conversation and kept marching forward as they moved past the pile of corpses.
Among the white mist, a group of human figures in clown attire quietly gathered beside the clown’s corpse. The corpses were torn into pieces and blood was spilled everywhere. It was a sight of horror.
The lighted torches in their hands faintly reflected the masks on their face.
"White ghost was dead right after he sent us the intel." The clown leader’s voice trembled as he spoke, in a weird tone.
"We have underestimated Flamingo."
"We will give up on attacking them and change our target. The deal between us and the Immortal Palace is to reduce the amount of participants that were not qualified to enter the ruins. Since they are qualified to enter, we shall ignore them." The clown leader whispered.
"My queen, do you have any confidence to retreat without harm?" He suddenly turned his head to the right and asked the clown.
"I’m not sure."
"Does that mean you’re not confident?" The clown leader paused for a while. "Nevermind. Let’s go ahead. All of you separate out and explore the other roads."
All the clowns moved out, and the clown leader was left alone.
He walked slowly to the corpse, squatted down and pinched the corpse’s skin.
"What powerful strength… A very cruel technique…" His playful gaze started to become more and more serious.
Garen slammed his palms onto a man in black’s waist, and the opponent flew away like a canon and crashed onto a rock not far away. The sound of multiple bones breaking could be heard and the man died instantly. It was unknown how many bones were broken.
He stood still and scanned his surrounding.
There were a lot of corpses in black shirts on the ground, and all of them had a picture of a white clown on their bodies.
Andrela and the King of Nightmares came from different directions.
Andrela cleaned his blood-stained sword
"These people are the clowns. What use do they have stationing here? To die without a purpose?"
"Perhaps they are trying to obtain the right to participate." The King of Nightmares yawned." This is meaningless. They are slightly stronger commoners die with the slightest attack. This is not fun at all."
The trio were standing in a narrow gap. There was a tunnel carved in the mountains face in front of them that was only wide enough to allow one person to pass through at a time. The tunnels seemed to be endless, shrouded by mist.
"Shall we go?" The King of Nightmares asked casually.
"Of course." Garen took a big step and entered the tunnel. Suddenly, his facial expression changed and immediately retreated.
A loud deafening sound rang from within the tunnel.
The rage of fire accompanied rubble crashing came down from above and threatened to crush.
Clank clank clank clank!!!
Andrela appeared in front of Garen/ The sword on his hand instantly transformed into a mirror and turned all of the rubbles into pebbles. Even the fire was stopped in its track.
The trio was forced back by the explosion for ten meters or so. The floor clearly had a few scorch marks from the friction created when they were pushed back.
From above, there was a red mushroom like cloud slowly ascending in the area. Strong winds were gusting and blew away the mist in the surrounding to reveal a big land of deserted place filled with black rocks.
"Clown King!" Garen was very angry. He had been stomaching his anger from losing his Golden Sword Throne and Golden Seal earlier. Now he had been attacked by the clowns again and was almost caught in the explosion hidden in the tunnel.
He could have been injured by the explosion if he hadn’t realized that the place seemed strange as if someone had set a trap in it.
Although he was not afraid of bullets, it didn’t mean he wasn’t afraid of being caught by a big amount of explosives.
The King of Nightmares and Andrela were unhappy with it as well and no longer have a relaxed expression.
"Let’s go!" Garen pushed away a stone that was flying towards him and continued walking. He started feeling impatient as he was continuously attacked and had to react constantly.
"My make up!!" The King of Nightmares started crying and started to bring out his comb and mirror to attempt to fix his make up. As he reached into his pocket, he realized that his combs and mirror had been utterly destroyed, "Damn you clown king! Don’t let me meet you!!"
On the other hand, Andrela was quietly patting away the dust was on his body.
The trio formed a line and sped up as they followed the surface’s striations and travelled to the first location.
At the center of the Southern Territories laid a strange place where mist was absent.
There were black statues arranged here. They were either standing, sitting down, or posing in weird postures. They were arranged in such a manner that it formed a dense forest of statues.
At the center of the statue forest was an empty space of land that was surrounded by the forest of statues.
A group of men in black coats were treading with care on this empty land. They stayed close to the stone statues and kept walking and jumping into inconvenient paths and were extremely wary of empty space.
"This is the place guys. Be extra careful. Dale, are you alright?" The golden haired woman who was leading the expedition turned her head around and looked at him with a worried look.
"I’m alright. Let’s keep moving. Stop treating me like a fragile flower that’s placed in the living room." The middle aged man who was at the very back replied. He was holding a black pipe in his mouth and occasionally took a puff.
"Oh right. What’s the situation on the items that we found? Has the result been released?" He looked at a fat bearded man who was just beside him.