She stood up again, walking to the window and looking down.
"Come to think of it, it’s weird but even though you obviously have nothing standing guard here, not a single monster dares to enter the vicinity. Looks like you must have used some secret methods."
The streets of the suburbs underneath them were empty, without a thing in sight, and that was what piqued her interest.
Garen smiled. There were ten Deep Swamp Crocs hidden in the shadows, the Dual Headed Salamander was waiting in the labyrinths underground, the Petrifying White Dragon was hibernating in the ground underneath the suburbs. After eating too many monsters, these instinctive monsters would also know that this wasn’t a place to mess around with.
Even Form Three monsters would not purposely start trouble here without a definite benefit to gain. The scent of two Form Three Silver Totems was enough to completely mask the smell of humans in the villa.
"How’s your situation now?" Garen asked casually. "It’s been a while since you reached Form Two, right? Any new developments?"
Angel continued to toss the knife in her hand.
"Developments are average, the regular Form Two totem is no problem. I can take two on at once, and I have to thank your Exhaustion Ray for that, this solidifying tactic works pretty well."
"You have to speed up your own growth, the times wait for no one." Garen closed the notebook in front of him. "I also plan to move elsewhere, this place won’t be inhabitable soon."
"Why? With surroundings like these, where else would you want to move to?" Angel was taken aback.
"This place isn’t that safe anymore, I plan to return to Kovistan," Garen replied calmly.
"Kovistan?! You’re crazy!" Angel stared at Garen with an expression of shock. "It takes at least three days to reach Kovistan from here, and that’s including the steam train! If you want to walk, it’ll be at least five or six days. Do you know how many monsters there are between that? Even the Form Two monsters might come in droves!"
Garen didn’t explain, only smiling.
"What does your whatchamacallit group plan to do?"
"It’s the Hunting Group!" Angel frowned and corrected him. "Our plans, hmm, we plan to scrounge a living around Iron Tank City. Now that all the knowledge in Iron Tank City is open to all, it’s practically heaven. As long as you have the ability to, you can crawl your way up!" She whistled. "I heard that the White Dragonhawk Grand Duke died and was resurrected. To think that the Dragonhawk King has the ability to fake death and resurrection, did you know that?"
"Fake his death and then get resurrected?" Comprehension quickly dawned on his expression. "I never did know about that."
"The situation in Iron Tank City is not bad right now. The fact that the Grand Duke wasn’t dead after all really raised the spirits of many commoner totem users. That damned Goth assassinated his own father, and he’s apparently been executed by burning, incinerated directly in the furnace." Angel casually told him the important matters that had been happening recently. "I heard that on the night of the memorial tower, the Grand Duke suddenly sat up in his coffin, and nearly shocked the guards into wetting their pants."
"Is that so?"
Garen just kept smiling.
The news he was hearing now was slightly different from that of history, but the change happened anyway.
Right now, on the Kovistan side, his hometown of Lush Forest district was probably experiencing a change as well.
His father on this world, Vanderman Trojan, his cousin Sofea Hathaway, and those normal, harmful friends of his. And there was his previous crush, Aquarius too.
He had left for so long. It was almost a year, so it was time for him to go back and check. And it was time to return to being that Acacia from before as well.
The Royal Alliance was currently at a disadvantage, but it was still huge. As long as the three strongest countries at the core didn’t fall, the Alliance would never encounter any sort of problem. The three strongest country powers wove together, creating the terrifyingly large three departments.
"I heard that the revived Grand Duke plans to take the initiative and attack, trying to clear the straggler monsters in the surroundings as much as he can. If you have to leave, go check out the outgoing team just before you set off, it’d be a lot safer if you follow behind them too," Angel advised him.
Garen was planning to rely on his Silver Totems to protect him the entire way, so he could solve the Derivator’s hidden problem and upgrade his own core totem in the meanwhile. Right now, his potential points were snowballing by the day.
The Derivator’s hidden problem, upgrading his core totem and finding Solidifying Tactics to increase his physical qualities. These were the three goals he had set for himself.
"Why don’t you just come with me? And bring your group, I have a way to solve the camouflaging problems," Garen said directly.
"I can tell, what with how confident you look." Angel laughed. "After dealing with you for so long, I’ve gotten to know you, and you don’t do anything you’re not sure of. Last time I thought you couldn’t hold up on your own, but you’re doing quite well despite living in the outskirts. Looks like you’re no weaker than I am…"
"As long as you’re clear about that." Garen didn’t explain further. "How about it? Won’t you consider?"
"I still need to rely on the War Guild for my Legacy…" Angel was conflicted. "And I’ll need a lot of resources too."
"It’s alright, there’s always hope," Garen said determinedly.
Angel looked at his expression of confidence and was slightly hesitant. But then she thought about the series of events happening recently, and how far away she was from Form Three. She clenched her teeth.
"Fine! I’ll go with you! I’m telling you in advance, I already have two elite Form Two totems, it’d be extremely hard for me to reach Form Three."
"No rush…" Garen wasn’t worried in the slightest. Once he got back to the Royal Alliance’s territory, there would definitely be as many resources as they could want, now that most of the totem users were incapacitated. It would definitely be a lot better than Iron Tank City, which was relatively poor.
The two of them continued to discuss some other areas of cooperation in detail. With the War Chain connecting them, Angel felt a sense of belonging with Garen. After their chat, they finally heard cheers coming from the direction of the inner city.
"They must have killed off a few more groups of monsters in the surrounding outskirts," Angel said with a laugh. "It’s always been like that these past few days."
Garen nodded. "We prepare to leave in a few days. We’ll do as you said, and set it at the same time as the Grand Duke’s rounds."
Five days later…
Large tides of monsters flowed towards the inner city from three directions around Iron Tank City.
After the flood of monsters, it was the three spots of Form Three monsters.
Iron Tank City, which looked like a white disc, seemed like it was being flooded from all directions by countless black ants, and there were occasionally larger insects among the ants.
Outside the city, on a tall yellow cliff.
Garen wore grey robes, several carriages stopped behind him. These horses were all purely black, with horns and fangs. They looked like horses on the surface, but they were polluted animals.
Angel and four members of the Hunting Group gathered to discuss something in whispers. The few of them looked at the large group of monsters walking around them curiously, and also had a mysterious respect for Garen, who brought them out.
The black monsters flew across their heads, black shadows gliding past, as they flew towards the inner city.
Reylan sat in a white armchair, counting something with her pen and paper. She kept writing and switching many complicated equations and numbers. No one except her could understand them.
Meanwhile, Lala was constantly on hand and ready to take care of Reylan.
Garen looked far and long at the inner city that was slowly being surrounded by the monster tide.
In the inner city’s defensive area, a circular hole was opening slowly.
A group of people in black hoods riding black horses slowly walked out of the hole, each of the riders wearing extremely heavy black armor under their hoods.
The man leading them all was tall and stout, sitting with a straight back on a large horse. His black helmet completely wrapped up his head, so that all anyone could see was his slightly red eyes.
His whole body was wrapped inside the magnificent and imposing armor, making him look like a moving iron tower, as he slowly rode out of the defensive circle.
The huge horse’s hooves stepped on the ground, leaving fist-sized holes, and throwing up sprays of dust and tremors.
The rider suddenly raised his head, his whole body of armor making slight noises.
A breeze blew by with a whoosh, picking up the long white hair from underneath the rider’s helmet, and making the waist-long hair fly in the air.
With a clang, the rider suddenly unsheathed the huge sword at his waist.
"We fight to protect the weak and elderly! We fight for justice and honor! I am the Grand Duke Cadersman, King of Glory."
"This is a fight for the people, to retreat is to give up!!" He abruptly raised his long sword. "Charge!!!"
Countless monsters rushed at him fiercely. The Three-eyed Black Bear and the Black-winged Bird returned, bringing even more huge Form Three monsters with them as they charged forth.
The heavy footsteps grew heavier with each step.
All the sounds were instantly overwhelmed by the strange cries and roars.
A pair of enormous black wings appeared suddenly behind the black-armored rider. With him in the center, a huge vicinity of black spirit light appeared out of nowhere, and any monster that entered this territory was instantly disintegrated, as though torn into pieces by some tremendous power.
Several Form Three monsters rushed at the Black Territory madly.
There was suddenly a loud cry, and in the sky above the entire Iron Tank City, the illusion of a huge black bird began to materialize slowly, covering the entire sky.
The black rider sat on his huge horse and didn’t move. The huge horse advanced slowly, the black spirit light as though a mouth swallowing everything in its path, devouring all the monsters it touched and turning them into mincemeat.
Nothing could stop his advancing. The black spirit light was like a plague that kept spreading.
The Three-eyed Black Bear roared, and finally turned around to run away.
Many black riding soldiers gushed out from behind him, charging at the group of monsters on the outside. They were like a black current, mercilessly piercing into the monster tide.
From far away, the black rider suddenly looked at Garen’s direction.
Garen met his eyes as well.
"Is this your decision? Goth, I wish you luck..." He murmured softly, sighed, and finally turned around to leave the cliff.
The carriage slowly turned around, arranged in one line, and drove into the distance.
Amidst the endless cries for blood.
Goth was like a pitch black coral, his body surrounded by thick black smoke. It was the terrifying air that came from between the black feathers.
Sitting in the middle of the battlefield, all the sky above covered his shadow.