"It’s alright; the favor can be returned soon." Garen grinned, seemingly able to understand Angel’s heart. "Being someone who controls four totems, with no lack of money, how can you not even have evolv one to second form? No, you actually can control five?"
As he abruptly lifted his arms, a blue ray of light emitted from behind his back, consolidating on his finger tips to become a blue butterfly the size of a basin. The butterfly steadily flapped its wings, glowing in blue fluorescence.
"You!!!!" Angel was finally moved completely. She looked cautiously at Garen, dumbfounded by the scene in front of her eyes. Including the previously summoned short-tailed croc and the three hawks, together with the neon butterfly, the person in front of her was also someone who could control five totems!
"This world is always unfair." Garen spoke faintly, "Geniuses like us have talent and wealth. But lacking inherited knowledge, there is no way for us to progress. While those mediocre, useless aristocrats can have it easy. With whole sets of evolution theories, there is no need for them to go around working and laboring for others."
Angel stayed silent, but there was solemness in her expression. What Garen said was spot on. Being born in a humble family, excluded in the association, without money and resources, she had to depend on herself for her own development. It was through hard work and labor that brought her to where she is today.
Seeing Garen, who could also control five totems standing in front of her, she instantly developed a strong sense of resonance.
"We are alike. Why should those low-aptitude trash get to enjoy everything without any effort? We are far better than them, yet have to laboriously struggle for what we have. Do you know how much effort i had to put in to be at the level I am today?" Garen roared defiantly. He was so into the act that it nearly warmed his heart.
Being an impulsive person, Angel clenched her fists tightly. As she heard Garen’s words, she remembered the humiliation and discrimination that she went through all these years.
"What is your plan?" She ask with a glimpse of hoarseness in her voice.
"Join me. Your appraisal is the best I’ve seen. Once you have a complete set of evolution theory, you would be able to step into the realm of a second form totem master. We have the same objective." Garen said sincerely.
"Do you think I’ll believe you?" Angel frigidly asked. "Sooner or later, I myself would be able to obtain the knowledge of cultivating a second form totem."
"Is that possible? Without basics, without a complete set of theories, and requiring special materials on top of that, do you really believe you can figure out second form evolution yourself? Perhaps it is possible. But how long would it take you? Two years? Five years? Ten? You are a murderer hunted by the Royal Alliance of Luminarists, not an innocent genius."
Garen was undoubtedly intending to gather some underlings for the next step of his scheme. In the upcoming chaos, individual ability will seem more and more insignificant, unless someone was with remarkable ability. However, he evidently knew that he was currently not at that level.
To elevate himself in the shortest time, the best way was to find a battle-tested veteran to understand the ins and outs of a totem user battle. At the same time, a group of helpers would surely increase the efficiency of hunting.
Moreover, regarding the war guild, Garen roughly knew a thing or two. In a war guild, with the existence of war chain and war hall, it could create a secure leader follower relationship.
Not to mention, dealing with the entire Obscuro Society on his own would be an impossible task.
Looking at Angel, he knew that although she looked innocent and impulsive, she was a ruthless girl. However, she possessed a strong understanding of tactics, and had immense potential as a totem user.
"What now? Have you made up your mind?" Garen calmed took a glance at the burning campfire behind him. "Do you plan to continue being hunted for the rest of your life? This time it was merely first form totem users, but it might not be that simple the next time. Rather than being hopelessly hunted, you might as well join my crusade. Let’s hunt other totem users together. You can repay your sins, while I have my own desires."
Angel crouched down. "My enemies are not just first form totem users. Are you sure you want get yourself into trouble?" She spoke harshly.
"It’s alright, I’m never afraid of problems." Garen snickered, "Essentially, my problems far surpass yours"
Angel bowed her head quietly. Garen wasn’t anxious, instead he patiently waited for her reply.
"According to the Elya Code, any convict can join the War Guild for a shot at redeeming himself. For every man killed, the same number of criminals have to be killed, as redemption. For the totem users that were hunting you, most likely it would have been because of this rule. Of course the premise would be someone has to refer you." Garen grinned, "This is nothing big to me. With my high mission completion rate, entering the war guild is a piece of cake. Once I’m in, I could refer you. That’s what many convicts do, relying on their comrades’ referrals to redeem their sins.
Angel closed her eyes. Her core totem had been obliterated, the three supporting totems had been destroyed, even the last summoned Black Panther was paralyzed by poison. It was evident that she was at an absolute disadvantage. Giving such an offer in this situation definitely showed sincerity.
Truly, as someone constantly being hunted, cooperating with him would be far more prospective.
"How could you be sure that I wouldn’t abandoned you after I’m free from danger?" She didn’t believe anyone would trust an enemy without a reason.
Garen walked towards a towering tree and leaned on the trunk.
"We are the same kind of people. Joining another group might put you back in the same spot as you were. Equality will only happen with like-minded people. I plan to gather people like us, combining our strengths. The strongest among us will become the leader. But it’s still too early to say these things. This ideology sounds similar to Phantom Light. Saying less would be better."
Angel fixed her eyes on Garen, gently nodded her head after some time.
"I promise you. With the war guild’s war chain and war hall, we will benefit together, share information with each other and reach a certain level of cooperation."
"Excellent. You are my first comrade." Garen extended his arm to pull her onto her feet. "Once I return I will apply to the war guild. To buy a war chain costs at least five million Rumbs, and that would be of the lowest grade. If we hunt together, should be able to earn it in a short time."
Angel nodded. She understood that cooperating with the man in front of her was the best path she could take.
The War Chain was a fixed, permanent solidifying tactic.
It was like a long chain, connecting the core totems of everyone participating together. Anyone who wanted to leave the chain would have to pay the price of losing their core totem. To a totem user, it was indeed a severe punishment. The higher the level of the totem user, the more painful it was to him. Totem users commonly devoted a lifetime of effort into their core totems.
Besides maintaining the stability of the alliance, the war chain brought other benefits.
A war chain was like a special totem, where it could be cultivated, and strengthened by embedding external components.
Angel pondered for a moment, and then whispered. "If a war chain without any additional abilities already costs five million, wouldn’t one with some abilities cost billions?"
Garen nodded. "After all, the abilities of the war chain perpetually affects every member. I haven’t seen other totems, but in Iron Tank City guild there is a chain with abilities called the Chain of Healing, which benefits the members. Any injuries sustained by all totem users in the chain would activate the minor healing abilities in the chain. The power of the tactic would then heal the injured totem user." He explained.
"Of course, we can only start from scratch. Once we obtain sufficient solidifying tactics, then the effectiveness of the war chain would be heightened."
"Easier said than done." Angel shook her head without saying much.
"The war hall instead is a platform of sharing evolution knowledge. We can transfer all the knowledge we loot, and this special totem allows equal exchange of knowledge. Of course, the knowledge learned by yourself can be included as well. Whether it is the exchange of knowledge, exchange of resources or using it increasing the effectiveness of the chain, all of these can be done through the war hall. However, it might take a long time for us to reach this stage." Garen lightheartedly explained. He could see that Angel wasn’t very familiar with the war guild structure.
Sure enough, Angel’s eyes brightened up with every word she heard. "Why are the guilds here much weaker than the ones in the North? Each one of them was swift and could easily track me. It doesn’t matter how far I left them behind, they would be able to catch up"
"There is a possibility that their war chain has a tracing ability. Compared to the Iron Tank City Guild, they are more aggressive and their chains have more varied effects. It is very normal." Garen nodded. "That’s it, it’s time to go. Next, I would go back to take up missions. Then I would inform, include you on the mission list, and apply to suspend the missions that hunt for you. As we collaborate to complete missions, our efficiency should be pretty decent.
As he returned to complete the formalities, Garen easily obtained the lowest level member certification, called Greyhawk. He was named after the grey hawk totem on his shoulder.
Through Garen, Angel paid a million Rumb’s bail, as proof that her kill-orders were suspended.
This amount of money could only buy her two days time, and Angel would be not be allowed to leave the boundaries of Iron Tank City. It would automatically lapse if she broke the rules. They had to complete at least one hunting mission in two days.
As for the two special totems in the war guild and war hall, the cost of tens of millions was not something they could afford at this stage.
The sky was overcast.
Dense, grey clouds clumped together, tarring the sky. Droplets of rain began to fall and they looked like transparent thin lines in the wind.
On the vast green plains, a squadron of caravans was travelling leisurely on the carriageway, heading towards White Stream City.
Majority of the caravans were grey and yellow, while on some of the goods had white, coarse cloth as shading.
In the middle of the squadron, a double-black-horsed carriage slowed down. The side window of the splendorous carriage swung open, exposing the faces of two young, fair aristocratic girls.
One of them inquisitively fixated on the goods on the middle carriage.
"Is this the Palas Caravan? Lala." The young girl asked her companion.
"It should be, I think I’ve seen the emblem." The girl named Lala seemed disinterested. She held her chin with one of her hands, staring at fleeting horse hooves, appearing to be in a state of trance.
"Lala, Lala?" Her companion, Vecil’s voice seemed to be from afar.
"So boring…" Lala sighed in her heart, halfhearted replying her companion. Vecil was always bubbly and full of energy, never running out of things to say.
Lala vacantly stared at rain droplets falling on the caravan.
She was soon going to White Stream City to continue her legal education. Although she had no interest in the law, she had no reasons to decline.
This is the society she was in, being born, then study, work, get married, growing old and eventually death. Day in day out, year in year out.
The industrial revolution has begun, and everything was booming. New ideas and gadgets were popping out in the market everyday. The world was like a seedling, continuously growing and developing without a set direction.
Lala signed in her heart again. She was turning 18 this year, the year she comes of age. But looking at her same-aged playmates, they seemed extremely immature. She likened them to parameciums, lowly and ignorant.
"Ignorance is bliss…" Lala breathed a sigh of relief. Very quickly, Vecil’s voice was ringing in her ears again.
"I heard Uncle Cornell’s son is being enlisted in the military. I wonder how is it like?" The thought lingered in Vecil’s mind. "Some time ago, Cornell Jr invited you for a horse ride. Why didn’t you go? It was so obvious he wanted to confess to you before he left. "
"Aunt wouldn’t allow." Lala calmly stared out of the window. "Moreover, I do not want to think about these at this young age."