Garen followed the crowd and looked up as well.
There were thousands of White Dragonhawks and Giant Hawks forming into a circle in the sky, prepared to attack the countless creatures outside at any moment.
"Oh right, Goth and the others! Where are they?" Garen hurried through the crowd in the general direction of Goth’s house.
Everywhere was on high alert along the way; he could see guards and totem users sprinting about constantly.
Garen finally recalled that this was the key war of the Iron Tank City before the major change. He didn’t expect that he would forget such an important timeline after Reylan’s appearance.
Goth was staring sombrely at the scene before him.
The glass of the black and white photo frame on the table had some minor cracks in it.
He gently picked it up and carefully wiped off the layers of dust.
The ground was littered with an assortment of belongings.
"Goth!!" Suddenly a familiar voice called from outside.
Goth was startled. He then regained his composure, stood up and opened the door. Outside, he saw Garen standing alone in a grey robe who looked extremely dishevelled.
"Are you alright!?" Garen looked at him suspiciously.
"Of course I’m fine. A person like me who could torture two of you, how can I be in a pinch?" Goth flexed his biceps as he smirked.
"How about Jessica?" Garen asked softly.
A huge hand slammed onto the door beside his face.
"Don’t mention anything about Jessica!!" Goth lowered his head as his tone darkened.
"What happened?" Garen was stunned as he let himself into the house and locked the door.
As Garen entered the house, he saw vulgarity scrawled all over the walls.
‘Goth you are such a selfish prick!’
‘Curse you! May your corpse will be eaten by stray dogs when you die!’ ‘I hope you’ll never have kids. Even if you do, they will never have a good life!’...
Strong words were written onto the walls and they weren’t written out of anger. They’d been written in a jerky manner.
These red words covered all the walls in the house.
"What exactly happened?" Garen sat down and asked.
Goth sat down as well but he didn’t immediately answer Garen’s question.
Both of them sat together quietly.
"Andy is dead…" Goth suddenly opened his mouth.
Garen’s eyes widened when he heard it.
Goth looked at him in an unexpectedly calm manner.
"He died because of me."
"!?" Garen didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what had happened during his absence but Andy was dead!!??
Goth smiled. "A few days ago, we engaged in a close combat battle with the creatures. Andy rushed into the creatures alone and never returned."
"Why?" Garen asked softly. He couldn’t comprehend what was happening. "Is it because of Elielan?!"
"Elielan? He’s also dead.." Goth said emotionlessly, as though he was narrating a story that was unrelated to him. "I thought that he and I would become the best of friends."
"To be honest, I don’t really know what happened. Everything had changed when I regained consciousness." Goth’s face was very pale. "I was slow witted when I was young and would always lose in a fist fight, getting punched in the face every time… I’m simple minded and stupid."
"My dreams are so simple. I just want my mum to be recognized by the household, by my father."
Garen looked at him without saying a word. He had a bad feeling about this.
Goth smiled. "I’m old fashioned, don’t know how to dress up, inflexible and I like to daydream frequently. I never thought that a girl would fall for me in the future. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t expect a girl to like me."
His laugh was cold, as if there was a hint of sadness in it.
"I am really naive. I really thought that a girl liked me… I’m old fashioned, ugly, poor and have no power.. Haha…"
He stood up and looked outside of the window.
"Did you see the crowd outside? They probably don’t know… My father, the Grand Duke White Dragonhawk no longer possesses the Heart of the Dragonshadow. The strongest Tactic Precious Heirloom is no longer in his possession."
"How do you know?" Garen’s heart sunk.
"Because I took it away." Goth replied blandly. "Garen, I lost everything… really. I have lost everything…"
"You still have me as a friend!" Garen stood up and replied calmly.
"Friend?" Goth turned around and chuckled.
He suddenly stared at Garen.
"Then can you tell me how you obtained the Totem Light? Sir Totem User of the Obscuro Society?"
Garen was stunned as he didn’t expect Goth to mention such a phrase.
He stood still as he was unsure of how to answer him.
"I have lost everything…" Goth laugh miserably as he took a few steps back and accidentally knocked over the table’s photo frame.
Whoosh! A black figure flashed and he vanished, as though he was never there to begin with.
He then quietly walked out of the house to see a black carriage and a man in black with a few totem users in front of the house.
"Can you spare a few minutes of your time?" The man asked as he walked towards him.
Garen looked at him and took a deep breath.
"Good timing. I wanted to know what happened."
"You must be Goth, Andy and Jessica’s friend, Garen right?" The man confirmed. "Do you have any clues for this incident?"
"Incident? Clues?" Garen was startled. "What incident?"
"Do you not know?" The man asked suspiciously.
Ten minutes later, Garen pulled up his hood and was speechless as he watched the carriage leaving. He suddenly understood why Goth had been so cold and emotionless towards everyone.
The man didn’t know the overall situation as well. He only knew that his superior wanted him to monitor this place and enquired anybody who had visited this place.
Garen’s feelings were complex. Andy was dead, Jessica was lost and Goth seemed to be severely injured emotionally.
Perhaps only the three of them knew what truly happened. Now that Goth had left, he couldn’t find anyone who understood the situation and was at a loss.
"Based on Goth’s reaction, he could obviously see my empowered totem light. Since he was able to see through it, there must be others out there who could too." Garen pondered for a bit and decided to deactivate his black totem light, leaving behind his primitive totem’s totem light.
As Garen strolled along the main street, he kept analysing Goth’s whereabouts as he couldn’t understand Goth’s last words before he left.
It contained a lot of information.
Without realizing, Garen had arrived the War Guild’s headquarters.
Among the crowds by the headquarter’s entrance, a familiar figure was sitting by the stairs. It was Angel, Therese Angel.
She immediately stood up as she saw Garen approaching.
"I have been waiting for you for a long time. I’m impressed that the shackles had an additional effect."
"Let’s talk about it once we enter." Garen wasn’t in a good mood.
The two of them squeezed into the guild and found a seat at the corner of the hall.
"What plans do you have?" The moment they sat down, Angel asked quietly, just loud enough for Garen to be able to hear her. "The current situation is dire and I have already arranged an underground passage to leave this place through the guild. This place will soon become a playground for those creatures."
"Plans?" Garen thought for a moment. "I wasn’t in the city recently. Has anything major happened in the inner city?" He whispered.
Angel’s attitude towards Garen had obviously changed for the better due to the secondary effects of the War Shackles, which had given her a few advantages during her multiple battles. She now felt completely at ease with Garen’s shackles.
"Major event? Do you mean… the incident of the Duke Household’s Chief Commander?"Angel asked skeptically.
"Let’s hear about it." Garen whispered.
"The Duke Household’s Chief Commander, Goth’s wife had killed his mother and I heard that she even stole an important item from the Duke’s household. She is currently wanted throughout the city. I heard from a few acquaintances that the situation is extremely complicated." Angel pondered before she whispered her reply.
Garen was still dissatisfied. Although he was able to pull the history back onto its original course, Goth was still being forced into a dead end. Andy was not supposed to die, and Jessica has murdered Goth’s mother and went missing.
The situation was very difficult for Garen to imagine. Jessica had killed Goth’s mother. Was it because of the Silver Control?
Garen wasn’t sure if Goth had found out that Jessica was being Empowered, though he knew that whether Goth liked it or not, he had to walk this path.
Or else the entire Iron Tank City would be dead.
He wanted to avoid it but the Iron Tank City would be wiped out if he were to do it. Garen was truly stuck in a dilemma.
"This is the road the strongest person must take... " Garen lowered his head and sighed. He had been neglecting the fact that he had yet to try and make a conscious decision.
Had I really forgotten about time? Garen asked himself.
"Are you alright?" Angel asked in confusion. "Do you know that Goth?"
"He’s my friend." Garen nodded. "Alright let’s not talk about this. Where’s your small team? How’s it going?"
"It’s alright. We’re currently defending the southern region." Angel answered. "How about it? Do you want to tag along?"
"No thanks, I have other things to do." Garen shook his head he passed a paper with a written address to Angel. "You can come to this place if you encounter any trouble. Perhaps things will take a turn there. Remember not to bring too many people, not more than five people."
Angela took the paper skeptically and studied it. It was an address outside the city. "What have you been up to in the dark?"
"Don’t worry about it. Alright, that settles it then." Garen stood up as he’d heard shouts from the outside.
The city reverberated with countless creatures’ growls.
The final battle had begun.