It was getting quiet outside, human voice and footsteps slowly faded away. Only occasional howls in the woods remained.
The sky was getting darker.
Staring at the dark sky outside, Garen slowly calmed down.
His anxiety-ridden brain was slowly tranquilized, returning to his previous state.
"Two years… Last world I was able to become the top in the world, I refuse to believe I can only accept my fate in this one!" He sat with his legs crossing, his eyes shining brightly in the night.
He recalled everything in the last world, Sylphalan, Old Man Gregor, Andrela, King of Nightmares, Ying Er, his uncle… Familiar faces keep popping up.
Garen closed his eyes slowly, and breathed deeply.
A breeze of cold air entered his lungs, lifting his spirit.
Wordlessly, he sat in his bed trying to comb out his thoughts, attempting to find a way to become a Luminarist.
"If it was really because of his Intelligence, it would be problematic to look for Vanderman. No one would believe someone else would become smarter, and even adopted so many extra behaviors overnight. Luminarists are not so stupid they couldn’t tell the difference. So unfortunately, this is out for now."
He continued brainstorming.
"Then I’ll need to find other Luminarists, learning by my own is definitely out of the window, too time consuming. If I don’t understand how it goes outside, I’d be boxing myself in and other people might take me by surprise." He reviewed the memory meticulously to see if there are any more valuable scenes.
The memory is large, he could only scan through it one by one.
The clock ticked…
Martial Arts World
Garena and Sylphalan both perished amidst the nuclear bomb and volcano eruption. The Smoke Island rose and became a huge crater for the volcano. People called it the Black Smoke Pot Crater.
Only a portion of the elites who participated the Smoke Island battle managed to escape. Most of them suffered from some sort of side effects.
The world’s Martial Art community was in a decline.
Half a month after the volcano erupted, King of Nightmares entered the White Cloud Gate. Together with Celestial Circle Gate, he managed to stabilize the Martial Arts community in the South. Then they planned to head toward the East in a systematic way.
Due to the volcano eruption, the air was mixed with volcano ash. Air quality was deteriorating around the three continents, the sky was dark, the ocean polluted. Floras and faunas were all affected, poisonous material were spread everywhere in the world.
One year later…
Celestial Circle Gate, White Cloud Gate, and The Sirens bought one giant ship each. Under Andrela’s lead, they were all headed to the East.
At the same time, Garen’s family, as well as his uncle’s family were all hypnotized onboard.
"Can you tell me how big brother died?" Ying Er asked Andrela who stood at the bow. Her waist-length purplish-black hair swayed in the wind, adding to her innocence.
"You big brother…" Andrela paused to think, "He may have been the strongest man in the world…"
"The strongest man in the world?" Ying Er’s eyes widened.
Andrela looked out to the horizon and slowly recounted Garen’s stories. "In the pursuit of Martial Arts, he’s already at the limit of what humans can achieve. His spirit and strength joined together seamlessly."
"In the three years he’s been studying Martial Arts, he had battled countless enemies and won, he had arrived at the peak of physical achievement!" Andrela stated calmly. "As his sister, you should be proud."
"It is so." An enchanting woman spoke from behind them both. King of Nightmares.
She transformed into Ying Er and approached slowly. They look the same, but her attitude is completely different from Ying Er’s, not having a single strand of purity.
"Garen used only three years to become a Saint of Fist Technique and killed the First Divine Warrior Palosa, taking over his title! His strength is out of this world!"
Ying Er was sad, but at the same time she felt a sense of pride. The praises the two top elites in the world sang of him made her feel a surge of exhilaration.
The three stood at the bow of the ship, silent, deep in their own reminiscence.
Three ships sped toward the Eastern ocean.
A bomb dove into the water less than a hundred meters in front of the ships.
A white column of seawater burst into the air and rained on the deck.
"Warning! Black flags! Pirates!" A sailor on top of the mast yelled. Cannoneers hurried to their places.
Andrela waved his arm.
"Raise the white flag!"
Ying Er did a double take, doesn’t white flag mean they’re surrendering?
She noticed, there were words on the white flag, so it’s not a flag of surrender. The words were…
From afar, scores of ships of different sizes had their Jolly Rogers raised. Several pirates were watching their prey with a telescope, and reported, "It’s White Cloud Gate! Let them pass!"
The pirate ships turned back without hesitation.
Ying Er stared at the leaving pirate ships, stunned. There was a shocking feeling of disbelief in her heart.
"This is the prestige of the strongest fighter in the world!" Andrela sighed. "We’ve met twenty-six different pirates, no exceptions, just raise the flag."
"Even Immortal Palace, Behemoth Gate, and other countries have recognized Garen as the strongest man in the world!" King of Nightmares continued. "The moment Weisman released the nuclear bomb, many elites saw Garen punching at the sky, his Divine Statue Aura was clearly seen above the Smoke Island."
Andrela nodded, "It’s not that the pirates were scared of Garen, it’s their way of showing respect. They respect his bravery to challenge firearms as a Martial Artist. The pirate king Macks is also an elite Martial Artists, he just couldn't arrive at the Smoke Island in time, but he also saw the platinum-colored Divine Statue Aura."
"Rather than saying that they respect his power, it should be said that they respect his attitude and spirit." King of Nightmares added, "Garen Lombard’s spirit is now a popular culture among the Martial Arts community, even in the army of each country. Some soldiers even tattooed his face on their bodies. He symbolizes the spirit of Martial Arts! One that does not give up even though they are in a tough spot."
"That was your big brother."
"That is your big brother."
The two mused the same words one after another.
Ying Er stood against the sea breeze, her heart burning, eyes watering even though she was not sure if she's sad or proud.
In that instant, black ships sailed in an orderly fashion on the opposite direction from them toward the three continents.
Sirens kept blaring. Numerous cannons spotted on the deck of the ships. The black on the ships almost covered wholly the deep blue of the sea.
"That is the Pirate King, accepting the summon of the Immortal Palace Alliance to attack Weisman’s army!" Andrela stared at the ships, and explained. "Sylphalan and Garen both died when the nuclear bomb exploded in the volcano. The Immortal Palace were so mad, as if Sylphalan’s death had stopped their plans permanently. Two people from the Immortal Palace wreaked havoc within the borders of Weisman. Flamingo himself blew up two ammunition depots of their military base, as well as a biochemical research base in three days. His method Estelle as extreme as always!"
"Weisman didn’t expect such a repercussion from bombing the Black Smoke Pot volcano. As of now, the armies of every country banded up into a coalition to take down Weisman." King of Nightmares laughed unapologetically. "When we left, the Confederation and the Tulip Republic coalition had already started attacking the bay of Man Marseille."
"There's the Immortal Palace wreaking havoc from inside, and there is the world's army on the outside. Weisman is finished." Andrela nodded.
Garen kept thinking while memories of Luminarists was dug out one by one.
It may be because he had not mastered the Divine Statue Technique, or maybe he realised his strength in this world is weak. Without unrivalled power, he's not confident in being invincible.
However, he's confident in getting stronger even though it's not the same world. The only problem is how much time he would need.
If you wanted to return to the last world, he'll need to make sure there is no more accidents. Transmigration through death had never struck a chord with him. He can't guarantee returning to the last world after his death, or going to a completely new world, or even perish.
If he wanted to avoid that, you'll need to solve the problem that is coming in two years.
After his battle with Sylphalan, the feeling of dropping to a level of normal human from the strongest man in the world had slowly healed. Right now, his thoughts are as calm as a cat.
A tiny scene flashed through his mind.
"No!" His brows furrowed, thinking hard to remember the scene that almost escaped him.
Soon, a man with a black fedora appeared behind a group of people. He was wearing a black suit with a pair of white gloves, and he was carrying a short cane.
"He’s that Luminarist called Emin! He’s not dead?" Stunned, Garen immediately recognized him.
He jumped from his bed, wore his shoes, and went to the window.
Near the dark lake, wisps of smoke was still visible above the woods.
"If he’s not dead, it would mean that he had survived the battle! This is an opportunity!"
He examined the places around the explosion site, there were several people cleaning up, preparing to leave.
Standing beside his window, he waited for a dozen more minutes until they’ve all left. It was then that he dressed up, changed into his boots and sneaked out of his room.
After leaving the manor, Garen went straight toward the direction of the site. Very quickly, he’d arrived around the explosion site.