Back at the War Guild Office in the outskirts of the city, there was almost no one else left, except for two guards who had stayed back to change shifts. As they watched Garen walk out, a surprised expression appeared on both of their faces, but they remained silent.
As he walked back calmly to his own villa in the suburbs, Garen realised that the entire area had become a paradise for his pets. All of the monsters that were scattered around here had been taken care of already, and only a few clusters of them remained in the surroundings. There were no solitary monsters left to be hunted.
Light rain began to drizzle down from the sky, as dark grey clouds began to appear.
As Garen walked into his courtyard, two Parasitic Beetles that had been keeping watch earlier now crawled towards him from both directions and climbed unto his body. The Giant Hawk and Resonance Hawk that were perched on the roof, stood up from their nests and let out a crisp whistling noise.
After taking out his keys and opening the front door, Garen walked inside, and closed the door with the back of his hand. Clad in a maid’s outfit, Lala walked towards Garen and, without being told, took his grey robe from him, and hung it on the clothes rack on the side.
"You’ve had a long day," Lala said softly.
"And you’ve adapted really quickly," said Garen teasingly.
He walked towards the sofa and sat down, as Lala attended to him and helped him change into a pair of clean slippers. Next, he brought the freshly made cup of black tea to his lips and sipped slowly.
"The tea has become cold."
"Forgive me, although we still have water in the house, we’re almost out of firewood, and I didn’t want to use it carelessly," said Lala as she stood on the other side of the room.
"This is a problem," nodded Garen. "I’ll think of a way to sort it out. The smoke from the burning fire where we warm ourselves will definitely catch people’s attention. Try and see if there are other ways to solve this."
"I will," nodded Lala in a hesitant manner.
Garen drank his black tea slowly as he leaned against the sofa and closed his eyes. A few moments later, he noticed that Lala had not left, and was still lingering at the side. He opened his eyes again.
"Is there anything else?"
Lala tugged at her white apron hesitantly.
"Although I’ve already troubled you greatly, but there is still something I would like to know.. How my family is doing in the inner city? As well as my friend, my only good friend Biz."
"The number of people entering the city are far too many, and they have been spread out messily. It would be very troublesome to find specific people," said Garen as he furrowed his eyebrows. "I have a lot of things on my mind, so in exchange, think wisely about the reward you will give me. If it is suitable, I will proceed to deal with this matter with my own hands."
"Yes, sir," nodded Lala. "I’m extremely fortunate to have met an employer like yourself."
Garen lifted his cup of black tea and finished it in one gulp, before looking around the hall and noticing that the whole place was now spotlessly clean. He smiled with satisfaction.
"I’ll be going upstairs now. Unless there’s an important matter, please don’t disturb me. Right until dinner time."
Garen walked into his study room and locked the door.
The windows of the study room had not been closed, and the wind lifted the curtains up, allowing some moisture to creep into the room.
He walked over and closed the glass window, before sitting in front of the desk.
Once again, he took out the items he had gotten from the blonde woman, and spread them out on the table.
There was a leather bag and a little notebook.
The brown leather bag was the size of a fist, but no one knew what it was that was hidden inside to cause it to bulge.
Garen opened the knot on the bag, and poured out the contents with a crash.
The items that fell out onto the table were apparently a huge pile of various gemstone jewelry. There were rings, red rubies, diamonds, as well as the most expensive amethyst.
A surprised expression appeared on Garen’s face.
"Could it actually be that?" said Garen as he recognized the effects of the gemstones and jewelry.
"Evolving gemstones… Various Key Primers required when evolving Totems. Red represents the direction of the flame, purple represents directions that are currently unknown, while diamonds represent natural evolution. There really is an abundance of them here."
Garen’s mouth spread into a satisfied smile.
"I won’t be able to use these things, but other Totem users will surely find them to be of much help. The amethyst is a Evolution Primer required by many Totems. While using other sources during to nurture totems, high quality gemstones are needed as Primers during the Key Evolution period, in order to result in the desired result. If these criteria are not met, it will result in a chaotic evolution, as well as certain totems being evolved without any powers at all. These things can be exchanged with others for great returns."
He kept the gemstones as well as the women’s jewelry. Garen’s gaze then fell onto a different item.
A black leather little notebook.
He opened the front page of the notebook carefully. There were tightly packed scribbles inside, written in messy handwriting, with the order all mixed up. It was obvious that this was an essay of sorts.
Garen flipped through the notebook for a while, and skimmed over the words he could recognize.
"Eh?" he said as he sat up straighter, his gaze focusing suddenly, as he stared at one of the pages in the little notebook.
He took the quill from the pen holder and opened the bottle of ink, before dipping the pen into it.
He copied a line of words from the book onto a piece of white paper.
‘15th March, truly an interesting time. A man who was an old wealthy business man on the surface, turned out to be a strong Totem user in secret. Once the quest has been completed, find someone to get rid of him. Advanced skills like Solidifying Tactics are not things that can be easily protected by old men like himself.
Garen copied down the name of the place from the back of the notebook. The words in the notebook were slightly blurry and messy, which made them quite difficult to differentiate. Even though the contents were written in the Ender language, he still understood them, except for a few crookedly written characters that were hard to distinguish. However, he was certain that the name of the place he had written down was definitely in Iron Tank City.
He took out the map of Iron Tank City and began looking at the place names one by one. Immediately, his index finger paused on a specific location.
"Niester Region, this is a famous immigrant district. The people living there are all immigrants from other areas, all of which are either rich people or skilled elites."
He kept the map and wrote down the address of the place. After that, he looked at the sky outside.
"It’s still early, I can go take a look."
After saying goodbye to Lala, he willed his totems to prepare to leave.
He exited the villa, and jumped onto the top of the wall, looking at the totems in his possession quietly.
The three Giant Hawks on the roof circled around continuously and let out sharp deterrence-like howls, as if warning the other monsters in the sky that this was their territory.
On the ground, the Deep Swamp Croc commanded the eight Beetles to line up in the courtyard.
Garen left two of the Beetles behind, and arranged for the Petrified Giant Lizard to guard the house, while he took the remaining six Beetles out with him.
After that, he tried to recall the route from the map, and brought his totem herd around to the city, as they moved forward slowly.
Immediately, the Resonance Hawk found a hole in one of city’s wrecked walls. It looked as it had been damaged by a large monster.
Garen took the Giant Croc and Beetle into the city through the hole, which led to the craftsmen district in the inner city.
Grey-white bungalows were placed together in a row, and built tightly against the city wall. The insides of the building were completely empty and eerily quiet, except for the occasional sound of wooden doors and windows being blown closed by the wind.
The ground was covered with moist black soil, and there were white bones and blood stains everywhere. Meanwhile, numerous hammers and iron mats were scattered in the blacksmith shop by the road, and a few arrows were stuck in the pillars of a wooden building.
Garen was flanked by the Beetles and Giant Crocs, as they dashed into the area.
They spent some time turning circles around the clusters of buildings in the inner city, before hearing a voice echoing softly suddenly.
Garen furrowed his eyebrows, unable to understand what was being said. It sounded like a localized native dialect, unlike any of the languages of the Three Strong Empires.
He ignored it, and suddenly the sound of a woman sobbing emerged from the same direction as the previous noise.
The first voice grew louder and colder, as if it was scolding the woman.
Garen continued to ignore them, and passed through this region. In this chaotic world, only the strongest were the most powerful. Incidents like these were common occurrences everywhere, and could be seen anywhere.
Quickly, he passed through this vast region, and after continuing his journey forward for a period of time, he ducked down suddenly to avoid a large herd of Unihorn Lizards that flew past him in the sky. Although these monsters considered Silver Totems as one of their own and would not attack them without reason, in the event that they were provoked, they would still attack them, even if they happened to be of the same species.
Garen walked carefully until it was almost evening, before the crossroads of Niester Region finally appeared in front of him.
Along the way, he found six underground cellars in the outskirts of the city where survivors had been hiding. Many of these underground cellars had become private little kingdoms ruled by the strong. They hid in these underground cellars and became the kings they had always dreamed of becoming, wantonly enjoying themselves while trampling over the dignity and interests of other people.
Garen did not pay any mind to these people. Instead, he followed the address that he had memorised earlier, and rushed towards the rich businessman’s residence in the region.
Immediately, in the middle of the white buildings, a white house with a round silver roof appeared in Garen’s line of sight.
A large White Bat was perched on top of the silver roof of the house.
The bat was huge, as tall as five meters and as wide as four. Both of its white wings leaned against the roof, as if they were two pieces of white rags, as long as ten over meters when stretched open. Looking from afar, it looked like a white glider.
Garen willed his totems to spread out and surround the silver-roofed building. This house was the place where the rich businessman lived. It was obvious that this place had now become the White Bat’s residence, and if the rich businessman was not hiding, it would mean that he had been killed already.
Garen hid behind broken wall, poking his head out carefully to size up the Giant Bat.
A black iron chain hung around its furry neck, and the end of the chain was a red ball of flesh made up of a man’s corpse, dripping blood continuously.
Garen looked closely, and noticed that the black iron chain seemed to be growing out of the bat’s chest. Apparently, it was not something that was man-made.
He released his Aura carefully, as white-gold coloured ripples emerged slowly, covering the bat’s body at once.
The bat opened its eyes immediately, as if it had suddenly felt something. It shook its head from side to side, and began looking around at all directions.
A large splash of blood splashed through the air, sending Garen’s Aura back to him temporarily.
Garen let out a low groan, and held his chest.
"To think that a monster’s blood could be this powerful!! My Aura comes from the polymerization of my Three Energies, and are not of this world. I’m surprised that it could use the circulation of its vital energy and blood to force my Aura back to me. Amazing!! The high levels possessed by the vital energy and blood, if compared to the previous world, would not be able to be destroyed even by bombs or missiles. Only nuclear bombs would be able to destroy them!"
This was the first time he had encountered a situation like this. After achieving his Godlike Accomplishment, the vital energy in his whole body expanded to reach the limit of a human, and from then on, even wild creatures could not be much stronger than him. However, upon encountering this bat, who’s vital energies were powerful to an alarming degree, he knew that it meant that it also possessed extremely powerful vitality. Therefore, as long as it was not killed, it would be able to recover to its initial state, and bounce back immediately. Creatures like this with extremely powerful vitalities were the hardest to defeat.
"In order to go in, it looks like I have no choice but to kill this monster," said Garen as he narrowed his eyes and hid deeper inside.
Once he had willed them, a Black Beetle crawled slowly into the courtyard of the house, as its large ferocious mouth pointed towards the Bat and screamed loudly to provoke it.
The Bat ignored the Beetle completely, and acted as if the others were not there. It lay down again and prepared to rest. But the moment the Beetle tried to enter the building, the White Bat hissed and let out a warning noise.
Garen thought about it for a while, and decided to release the Neon Butterfly quietly, before using its poisonous powder to stain the claws of all the Resonance Hawks, as well dusting some on the Deep Swamp Crocs and Beetles as well.
Even though the Bat was an Aberration creature released by the Obscuro Society, the nature of its attacks still bore similarities to that of the Totem Light, and its specific strength was still unknown.
Garen took out the monster information pamphlet that he had gotten from the War Guild and began flipping through it.