Suddenly, he heard the quiet creeping sound of insects crawling.
He lowered his head to look, and noticed that his entire bed was filled with a large number of these insects crawling everywhere. There were so many of them tightly packed together that it was impossible to count.
Some of the insects were climbing up his arms, some were crawling on his thighs, while others were attempting to crawl up his chest and head.
The large clusters of insects looked like a pool of black mucus that covered the entire bed. A rotting smell that compelled people to vomit also permeated in the air.
"Damn it!!" Garen’s totem light flashed across his whole body as all the insects were shaken off. He felt a tingling sensation on his scalp, and got up frantically.
Immediately, the insects on his seat slid downwards like flowing water, and scuttled into the bottom of the carriage, disappearing quickly.
Garen picked his cup up to drink some water, but suddenly remembered the little insect that had crawled out of there.
He looked inside the cup and saw a fat white maggot soaking inside the water. The maggot’s body was covered in layers of folds and was curled at the bottom of the cup. It was as thick as two fingers and was still turning around and wriggling.
Many white insect eggs were floating on the surface of the water as well.
Garen threw the cup on the carriage floor. A wave of unprecedented anger burst out of him.
He pointed a finger angrily at Reylan who was still asleep.
What’s wrong, Brother?" Reylan turned over and looked at Garen calmly.
Both of them met each other’s eyes, but neither of them was willing to give in to the other.
Some time passed before Garen calmed his emotions.
"Are you using your methods to threaten me?" Garen felt that this was the first time he truly understood this girl from the Obscuro Society that he picked up.
"What methods? I don’t know what you’re talking about, Brother," said Reylan with a strange expression on her face.
Garen began to feel slightly suspicious that Lala’s illness may have been caused by Reylan. After witnessing the scene with these strange insects tonight, he had now started to suspect this possibility even more.
"What are you trying to do?!"
Reylan’s mouth stretched into an ugly smile.
"Brother, you like beautiful women, don’t you? Unfortunately, my face has disappointed you greatly. Isn’t that right?"
Her smile disappeared, and she seemed to be reminiscing something.
"Frankly… I knew earlier on that you weren’t my real brother."
Garen’s heart stopped for a moment and he paused his speech, as he waited for her next words.
"I just wanted to continue to bask in the feeling of being cared for by someone else, Brother," Reylan’s eyes grew wider, and her red eyes grew more bloodshot. "Of course, it would have been better if that little servant who was prettier than me actually died. That’s what I thought, so I decided to induce her slightly," she said. "You know as well, that some illnesses only require certain specialized environments, and that’s all that is needed to induce them."
"So it was you," Garen said calmly.
"Hehe…" Reylan laughed, and stood up suddenly. "Oh Brother looks like we have no choice but to be separated now. However, all this will only be temporary."
As she smiled, her face began to melt suddenly, as if it was a candle, and the wax-like liquid dripped downwards and turned into countless little black winged insects.
Immediately, Reylan’s entire body turned into a cluster of black winged insects that flew out of the carriage noisily, and buzzed towards the faraway sky.
The winged insects formed into a black human figure in the sky and waved at Garen from a distance.
A sullen expression appeared on Garen’s face as he watched Reylan leave instantly. He had no intention of making any moves right now, as both he and Reylan were individuals that the Obscuro Society wanted to get rid of, and there was no need for him to have any conflict with her now.
This incident with Lala had severed the mutual affection between them completely.
As for how Reylan felt, he had no idea about that, and did not plan on finding out.
"It’s good that she left," Garen huffed coldly as he scattered the Platinum Aura around his body everywhere, using it to check the condition of the three carriages. Once there were no more little insects, he returned it to himself slowly.
"Just like Jess. Nothing but another extreme madman."
There was not a sliver of regret in Garen’s heart.
Even though Reylan could have aided him greatly, a person like herself, who would hurt anyone by his side at any moment for the sake of lust, was definitely unstable. At a time like this where he was unable to grasp the situation, distancing himself was the best option.
"What happened?" Angel and the others got down from the carriage after they were woken up. They put on their coats as they stood beside the carriage window.
"Nothing. Reylan left. She fought with me," Garen forced a smile and said softly.
Angel’s expression had clearly relaxed as well.
"She left? I’ve always thought that there was something abnormal about your sister. It’s good that she left."
"You’re being honest for once," Garen smiled bitterly.
"We should be able to reach Aisley City by tomorrow. You should sleep early and get some rest. The Striped Crystal you’re looking for, and the other crystals, they have them all there," said Angel as she shook her head, and turned to leave the window.
Garen tried to detect his totem creatures.
The Dual Headed Salamander was sleeping in a hole that it had dug for itself at the back. The Resonance Hawk was on the left side within a seven hundred meter radius, hunting down an Aberration White Deer. The Petrifying White Dragon was in a different hole, cleaning the scales on its body.
The Deep Swamp Croc and the Beetles were scattered in different areas, and most of them were already asleep.
Angel, upon finding out that Reylan had left, did not seem shocked at all. She had noticed the complexities of Reylan from much earlier on.
Garen did not want to think about it any longer, and decided to lie down once again. But when he closed his eyes, he will still unable to fall asleep for some reason.
On the second day at noon, they reached the end of the plains in front, and a metal-grey colored hexagon-shaped city finally appeared in sight.
Aisley City looked like a hexagonal coin that had been embedded in the ground, it was abnormally neat. Each of its six sides had a watchtower built there.
Garen poked his head out of the window and looked at the city in front of him.
One of the watchtowers near the road had already collapsed. It looked like a broken pencil from the way that it had snapped in the middle. Half of it had fallen in the middle of the road, blocking the road that the carriage was using to pass through.
There were broken pieces of carriage tyres on the right side of the road, and some of the blood stains on the ground had begun to oxidize and turn black already. A few red-eyed rats were crawling around in the grass.
Once Garen’s carriage arrived, the little guys became frightened and ran away in all directions.
"Aisley City was an industrial city that was rich in mineral resources. It was also one of the two largest headquarters of the southern War Guild. Who knows if they are still any survivors from the guild?" Angel and Garen were sitting in the same carriage, as she chatted to him leisurely while sitting opposite him.
"Maybe there are or maybe there aren’t, but what does that have to do with us?" Garen joked. "In this kind of environment, other than our living essentials, everything else is unimportant."
"That’s also true," Angel smiled as well. "Get down first, the road in front is blocked."
She flung the door open and jumped off.
Garen followed closely behind.
Both of them walked towards the watchtower that was blocking the road in front.
Their surroundings were completely quiet, except for a few rats that crawled below the watchtower quickly, making soft noises as they went.
Weeds were growing on the surface of ashen roads, and dark green vines had begun creeping around the fallen watchtower. Bright daylight vaguely illuminated the interior of the watchtower.
The watchtower had a diameter of five to six meters, and had caused a blockade in front of all the carriages that attempted to move forward.
Garen walked to the side of the watchtower and looked in front, before realizing that the city gates was right there.
The city gates were opened, and there was a row of ruined little houses on the left, which appeared to be sites where merchant stalls once stood. The air was completely silent, and there was not a hint of rotten blood scent anywhere.
"So quiet…" Angel stood beside Garen and said softly as she furrowed her brows.
"It’s too quiet," Garen nodded. "To think that there wouldn’t even be one monster to be seen." Garen detected his Beetles and commanded them to look out, but they did not find even one monster. Everything felt strange.
"Let’s go. We’ll talk a look before we decide," Garen turned around and jumped over the watchtower, landing on the ground on the other side.
"If you’re looking for the Striped Crystal, I’d suggest that you go to the storehouse at the Governor's residence right away, because there should be more there," Angel said loudly.
"We don’t need to do that. The museum one of your members was talking about last time, we’ll go there instead," Garen turned his head upwards and looked at the Resonance Hawk that was circling over his head.
The large grey hawk was looking downwards at the entire city.
Garen drew a tactic gesture quickly. Suddenly his senses were dulled, before instantly becoming clear again.
He was now in the midst of the cold air, looking downwards at the entire Aisley City.
The interior of this hexagonal city was a mess of multicolored broken stones that had been muddled together. Most of the buildings had collapsed. Some areas were continuous sections of charred wreckage, making it obvious that a fire had occurred there. Other places were unharmed and still in perfect condition, as a protective barrier-like wall had been built around it. It was supported by heavy metal buckets, a sign that it was a man-made stronghold. However, there were still no movements there.
"What were the special features of the museum?" Garen asked directly.
"Eight pillars, all black, and a triangular fountain at the door. There were four brass statues in the surroundings, which were all statues of Fedilipa. The roof was rectangular and extremely long, resembling a street," explained Vicky with detailed descriptions, as she stood next to Angel.
"Very good," Garen locked down their destination quickly. "We’ll go there right away. We’ll enter through the city gates and passed through three straight streets, turn right, cross an arched bridge, turn left again and cross another two streets, before finally reaching the museum."
"It’s pretty far. All the streets in Aisley City are very long," Vicky said softly.
"Doesn’t matter. We’ll get our things, divide them amongst ourselves, and leave immediately. If you need anything, list them down and give the list to me," Garen said in a straightforward manner.
"The list was ready a long time ago. Here!" Vicky passed him a piece of white paper that was filled with materials and supplies.
Garen took it and glanced at it, before his brows began to furrow slightly.
"Some of these things are unnecessary, such as these historical books that can only be found on the other side of the city. Kardo fruit jam? This is not the time to be enjoying yourselves. And all these rare metals…"
"We should split up then. In this area, it seems that there aren’t that many monsters anymore," Angel shrugged. She passed him a black stick that was only the size of her palm. "This is a smoke signal used to alert others. If you’re facing trouble, just use this signal, and all of us will come over to assist you."
Garen took the smoke signal. "Do I need to light it up before using it?"
"Just rubbing it quickly against a rough surface will do."
"Alright. However, since there’s nothing wrong here, we should wait until we’re completely sure that there are no monsters before we split up and move."