"I wonder why that fellow wanted to take so many things so adamantly." Garen lost his cool.
"How do you feel after being empowered?"
"It feels great," Lala answered after some thought. "I feel more healthy and energetic. Plus the sickness I’ve had since young has disappeared. I only need six hours of sleep a day to fully recover. It’s as if my body is in its best condition."
"I will take this incident as a lesson for myself. You should stay by my side in the future."
"Okay!" Lala relaxed. She had been relying on Garen no matter what, as she didn’t feel at home when she was with anybody else.
Her parents died when she was young. Her aunt, her only relative she had, died during the battle. Hence, the only person she could only rely on now was Garen. Recently, she was sent to take care of Reylan, but had fallen seriously ill afterwards. This thrust her into a serious existential crisis, she wasn’t a totem user and therefore couldn’t control totems at the front lines during the war. As a commoner, she had to make herself useful for the team, or risk feeling useless and unwanted after a period of time.
Lala’s biggest wish was to return to Garen’s side, and take care of his livelihood, just as she had always done.
"Alright, you can leave now," Garen said calmly, as he placed the flower pot on the table.
"Sir Garen, regarding your personal news, I had not said a single word to Lady Reylan or Angel and the team from the Hunting Group"
She turned around and left the carriage after finishing her sentence. Garen was both surprised and satisfied.
The group of carriages stopped as they were having a barbeque just outside. With a small harp in her hands, Ansa played and sang to the music. The tunes and hymns slowly traveled into the carriages.
Garen listened to the music and he had a strange feeling written all over his face.
"This music… sounds rather similar to the Green Grass by The River." Garen recalled the drama series that he had watched on Earth. It was as if his memory had traveled through the space time continuum and went back to the drama series where he used to watch with his mother.
He closed his eyes and had left all of his thoughts behind opened his eyes.
He slightly moved his right hand to stand up and walked to one corner of the carriage where all the experimental instruments were placed. The experiment conducted yesterday had yet to be concluded.
It was shameful behavior for him, who possessed special abilities, to casually waste his time during this period of war.
It only required one to two days for him to get back to the Trejons’ territory.
Vanderman sat quietly and reviewed the three youngsters sitting in front of him.
The leader was obviously the one in the black robes. He didn’t look very well and was rarely exposed to the sun. His eyes were silver which gave off an emotionless vibe. He seemed to be in his twenties.
He claimed to be Beckstone, a traveler from a far away place. Due to the sudden events, he had been traveling all over the place to investigate the root cause. Although this reason was rather orthodox, ten out of five totem users would have the same reason. It was a reason that could be used in all situations.
Another person was a girl in red armor. She was about eighteen or nineteen years old and sat closely to Beckstone. She would occasionally stare at the person beside her; it was obvious that she fancied him to some extent. She looked very beautiful, and one could immediately tell that she was naive, with a mind devoid of schemes and plots.
The last person was muscular and seemed very interested in Maxilan’s Creature Armor, as he kept closing the distance between him and Maxilan. This youngster obviously was the type who couldn’t cover up his emotions.
Vanderman maintained a courteous smile the entire time.
"As a member of the Royal Alliance of Luminarists, I feel a deep regret for the current chaos. However, please forgive my investigation into your every move; we have a powerful enemy lurking in the dark."
"Viscount’s actions makes absolute sense. I feel very grateful that you have allowed us to rest temporarily during the chaos. Please do not hesitate if you require my assistance." Beckstone, too, maintained a courteous smile. Naturally, he wouldn’t reveal to anyone that he was currently investigating the disappearance of Leanna. It wouldn’t be too late for him to request for assistance after probing for information during his investigation. This was especially true, when the leader of this territory was under suspicion as well.
"For you to lend us a helping hand, I thank you for your generous support, on behalf of the citizens’ within the Trejons’ territory." Vanderman thanked the trio with the highest regard.
"You’re welcome." The three of them immediately replied.
"This is what we do."
"Then, I shall take my leave as I still have matters to attend to. The servants are available, shall you have any needs." Vanderman stood up. "Also, my territory is currently in the front line of attacks, and I have essentially taken care of all the creatures that would appear from behind. You will arrive at the human defense area if you walk from here, and if you wish to leave during this period, I will send someone to escort you to the other cities."
"Thank you, Sir Viscount." Beckstone stood up and bowed at him.
"No problem. Take a good rest. Someone will escort you to your rooms." Vanderman nodded and walked out of the living hall.
Beckstone looked at Viscount and Maxilan, who followed behind, leaving the living hall. He sat back down as could no longer hear their footsteps.
"What’s wrong? What’s on your mind?" Berlina came closer from the back and asked gently. Her body fragrance found its way into Beckstone’s nose.
He took out a small delicate box and gently rubbed at the texture of the box.
"The clue points towards Trejons and stops here. We better investigate this manor thoroughly and we may find something."
"Leader, I sense something is off," Darian whispered.
"Viscount Vanderman," Darian answered in all seriousness. "I smell something bad from his body."
"A bad odor?" Beckstone frowned. "Is he a Phantom Light?"
Darian nodded slightly.
"There are disagreements within the Royal Alliance of Luminarists so this is to be expected. Perhaps Viscount Vanderman comes from a rather extreme faction." Beckstone thought for a while before he answered.
"In any case, I have a bad feeling about this." Darian shook his head as he said.
"Hehe… two Spiritualised Totem Users? Where do these two powerful characters come from?" Aquarius, who was in a beautiful red dress was holding the report given by her subordinate. She was stunned as she looked at the report regarding the totem users.
The girl in green looked serious from the start till the end.
"According to the intel, they’re currently tracking the whereabout of a girl named Leanna. This girl seemed to be rather important to the leader, Beckstone."
"Leanna…" Aquarius’s face was filled with joy. "Luck is truly on my side. Vanderman… Leanna… Leanna? What a joke. What are the current losses of the Green Shade?"
"It’s still alright and we have confidence in our disguise so there shouldn’t be any problem in investigating more. It feels weird that there are a lot of creatures appearing that didn’t appear onto the intel’s report." The girl in green skirt said.
"It’s fine. I believe it’s just a mutation from the bacteria and it’s not up to us to meddle in this situation to begin with. When will the elites that we hired from the superior arrive? Vanderman does possess something valuable after all." Aquarius asked.
"The fastest duration is about two days." The girl in green skirt answered softly.
"Let’s find a good time to tell the youngster the truth…"
Beckstone gently took out the message at the black pigeon’s leg and placed a tiny black stick on its leg. He then jerked his hand and released it.
The pigeon flew out of the window and with a sudden acceleration in speed, the pigeon left a trail of black feathers and disappeared.
Beckstone squinted his eyes.
This pigeon arrived in a strange manner and suddenly appeared outside of his bedroom’s window.
He tucked his head out of the window to look around and did not discover any suspicious trace.
After closing the window, he opened the message and scanned the words written on it slowly.
His pupil shrunk as he read the letters and as he finished reading everything, he gently crumbled the message into a pile of white dust with his right hand.
He stood by the window and was lost in thought for quite some time.
"Whether if it’s real or not, I will investigate this matter myself…" His eyes were filled with resolve.
With a complicated look on Garen’s face, he was looking at the sea of trees in front of him. It had been a long time since he returned.
He was in the driver’s seat in the carriage with a notebook that he always carried along in his hand. Suddenly, he gently closed the notebook and jumped off the carriage as he frowned.
The whole carriage team was gradually put to a stop.
Garen took a few steps forward as four Deep Swarm Crocs went forward slowly in all directions. These ambush type predators were able to leap in a tenth of a second and wouldn’t let go of their prey once they had bitten them. With the combination of their incredible strength and huge bite, they could tear their prey into pieces within a very short time.
These four Deep Swarm Crocs were the strength that he revealed to the public. He had his remaining strength hidden as the Crystal Derivator’s strength was not meant to be showed off to the public.
"What’s wrong?" Angel came from behind and asked.
Garen raised his hand, telling her that there’s nothing to panic about.
He walked towards a big tree and touched its root. There were droplets of black liquid on it and seemed to be corroding the root as white smokes were coming out from it.
Garen’s face changed as he had seen this special liquid in the creature’s information from the Obscuro Society. It was a secretion from a creature that was used to mark their territory.
He squinted his eyes as he stood still on the ground.
"If it’s that creature, perhaps…"
As he recovered from his thought, he turned around and walked towards the carriages.
Angel and the others had come down from the carriage for some time. Everyone was looking at him in confusion as all of them had released their totem, preparing for war.
"What exactly is going on?" Angela asked as she frowned.
"A ridiculously strong creature had just passed by. We’re lucky we didn’t encounter it as we’re passing through its territory." Garen smiled.
"It definitely sounds strong if you even considered it to be so… It’s best not to fight it." Angel nodded her head. "How much longer before we arrive your manor?"
"If we’re quick, we will reach there by tonight," Garen answered with confidence.