The sky was slightly cloudy and gloomy during the afternoon and it seemed like it was going to rain soon.
Garen placed his left hand by the window and stared out at the familiar white manor in silence. He could see the faint white buildings around the manor.
A transparent force field which resembled an egg shell covered the whole manor. The security seemed to be very strict as groups of soldiers could be seen patrolling at all times.
"This is my home…" Garen muttered. This world’s home, he said inside his heart.
"It’s a beautiful place." Angel, who was sitting opposite of him, complimented, as Lala poured her a cup of coffee. "Are we going to stay here from now on?"
"There’s no rush for that. I’m afraid other problems have arisen. We should take extreme precaution, as we are currently in the chaotic era. I will enter first to confirm my identity, before bringing you guys in to prevent them from separating us, since our group is quite large."
Garen started frowning as he thought of something.
"What’s there to worry about?" Angel casually whistled. "Everyone would welcome us because of our strength, right?"
Garen shook his head.
"I’ll go and make the arrangement."
"Whatever floats your boat. Just send the signal if anything happens." Angel nodded.
Garen finished his cup of coffee in an instant.
"Then, I shall take my leave."
"I’ll wait for your good news."
Garen got down from the carriage, tidied up his grey robe and looked at the manor.
"It’s… been awhile since I’ve seen this manor…" He sighed softly as he walked towards the manor through the lake.
As he walked across the wooden bridge of the Black Swan Lake that was strangely devoid of Black Swans. What was left behind were a few mere black feathers, by the pond. Weeds were everywhere, and the water was murky.
It looked so different, compared to the clear and beautiful Black Swan Lake from his memories.
Garen shook his head and tightened his black robe.
A big silver fish jumped out of the water and attacked Garen, who was on the wooden bridge.
Without even looking at it, Garen flicked his finger at it.
The big fish was sent back into the water. Traces of blood floated onto the surface.
Garen increased his pace, and crossed the wooden bridge, and as he walked along the small route between the forest by the hill, he realized that the fence on both sides were ragged. Grey tombs were strewn across his left, all of them looked very recent.
As he finished glancing at it, he continued moving forward with a pair of red eyes filled with resolve.
As he arrived the entrance of the manor, he could see a woman in red armor having a conversation with the guards from afar.
As the opponent had yet to notice his presence, he jumped to the side and hid behind a big tree.
Soon, people started to gather by the manor as if a team was about to depart.
"Quick! Where’s Charles? Did he slack off again? It's supposed to be his shift! Call him out this instance!"
Loud voices could be heard from outside.
A faint voice could be heard from afar as well.
"...Confirm the identity of those people by the lake… They better…" "Garlock! Where’s Sir Maxilan? Is there any new command?"
Looks like they had discovered the location of the carriage team.
Garen was relieved that the people from the manor were preparing to confirm the identity of the carriage once they noticed their presence. In this kind of situation, they need to confirm whether they were friendly or hostile since they were in such close proximity.
After some thought, Garen turned into a grey figure as he rushed out.
While he was on his way back to the carriage team, he knew that Beckstone and the team had most likely arrived at the manor, as he saw the girl in red armor. There was a beautiful girl in red armor among them, from his memory.
Since they have arrived earlier than they were supposed to, the best route to enter the manor was to enter together with the team.
Garen understood very well that Beckstone was the future star of the Terraflor Society, who aimed to be as strong as the Hellgate to fight against the Obscuro Society. Unfortunately, they had underestimated the Hellgate and overestimated Beckstone. They thought that they could reach the pinnacle this world in terms of strength, but they didn’t know that there were always stronger opponents, out in this vast world.
Beckstone couldn’t possibly face every powerful character that appeared during the Chaotic Era.
The three heroes had the support of two Overlords and three Emperors, which was the reason why they could even last for so long. The ambitions, the resolve to change and the crazy ideals towards the Obscuro Society of the emperors were pushing the future towards an unknown direction.
"Good timing. I would like to witness the potential of the future pillars of the Terraflor Society." Garen smirked as he sped up.
Half an hour later…
Angel led the carriages into the manor slowly.
All the carriage curtains were wound up, and everyone was relieved, yet tired, as they arrived at a place among human beings. They no longer needed to worry about a sudden ambush from an unknown creature, which brought everyone mental reprieve.
When Vanderman found out that his son had returned safely, he rushed out of his experiment room as fast as he could and welcomed the carriages personally. Maxilan and Edney were guarding him tightly by his side.
Although his expression didn’t change at all as he looked at the silver carriages approaching, his shivering lips exposed his uneasy emotion. He held his hands tightly as his nails sunk into his palms. No matter how hard he tried to control himself, anxiousness and fear lingered in his brown eyes.
Vanderman lost his cool, as he saw his son, Acacia sitting beside the woman leading the carriages.
He took a few steps forward.
"Cia." He tried his best to prevent his voice from shivering.
Garen got down of the carriages and looked at his old man who was resisting himself with a complicated emotion. He felt distant and unease as he looked at his emotional expression.
"Father… I have returned…" He said softly.
He was then gently hugged by the Viscount.
"As long as you’re safe." Viscount whispered. He immediately let go of him after a gently hug and examined his son to see if he was hurt or healthy.
Edney followed up and said happily: " Cia, Viscount hasn’t been sleeping well since your disappearance. We have spent a lot of manpower to track you down and lost a lot of them since the chaos. But these things aren’t important anymore...you have returned! The most important thing is that you’ve returned safely."
"The most important thing is that you’re safe." Maxilan nodded from one side. He was looking at Acacia in front of him, who turned from an immature youngster into a mature adult, with a golden beard under his chin.
Garen gave Maxilan and Edney each a hug. These people would stand by his side and support him no matter what happened. Garen couldn’t help himself but to feel safe around them.
"This is Angel. Her team, the Hunting Group, saved me when I was in the Iron Tank City. I hired them to send me back here." Garen introduced.
He then introduced the remaining Hunting Group members to Viscount and Maxilan.
Beckstone’s team, and two of the totem users, Barr and Baphje, who were guarding the manor came out to see the commotion. Both parties were happy for the Viscount. Whether they liked it or not, the return of a family member would always be a happy scenario.
Beckstone recalled his farewell with his teacher when he left his village.
Barr and Baphje, too, recalled the days they left their hometown. They had been friends with Vanderman for a long time, and were invited here to protect the manor.
After the greetings, Garen was surprised that Angel was behaving properly, and every action was well mannered.
This good-looking girl in red shirt conversed with Vanderman with respect, and explained the fake story, which Garen had discussed with her beforehand, to Vanderman.
As Garen was looking at the people in the area, he could immediately recognize Backstone. This guy’s characteristics were obvious; he always put on an emotionless expression on his face, and had a unique silver colored pupils.
There were a lot of unfamiliar faces in the manor, they seemed to be Vanderman’s underlings. There were less familiar faces too, such as the housekeeper Duqian.
He had a better understanding of the situation in manor after enquiring of Maxilan.
The Vanderman Manor was currently safe, as it was being protected by two major powerhouses. One of them were Vanderman’s two trusty subordinates, along with at least ten form two totem users, supported by the Royal Alliance due to the relationship between them and Vanderman. The other powerhouse were the Royal Luminarists, Barr and Baphje. The both of them not only had strong knowledge in battles and tactics, they were also very knowledgeable in servicing, maintaining and executing Tactical Formations. Both of them had a few students who followed them everywhere, and were either form one totem users or form two totem users.
Although Maxilan didn’t reveal which form of totem user Vanderman was, Garen know that his father Vanderman had an ultimate weapon. On the surface, he was just a mere form one totem user, but he definitely had a strength that could possibly match a form three totem user. He was currently the strongest man in the manor.
Soon, he placed all of his attention on Beckstone and his team.
This young man in the black robe always had a smile on his face, but it gave off a sense of coldness. It’s as if he looked down on everyone from a pedestal.
He did have the power to feel arrogant. He was very talented, had an ancient inheritance, a mysterious teacher and the strength of a form three spiritualizations. These were the foundations of his arrogant behaviour.
As he noticed Garen’s gaze, he smiled at him politely and showed no interest in interacting with hi. He gave off a cold and distant vibe.
Perhaps, deep down, a form one totem user wasn’t worth his attention, as he was just small fry.
"They’re the Beckstone team, and they arrived here two days ago. I heard that they came from very far away, and were trying to find a place to stay where there would be people around so they could avoid the creatures." Maxilan stood beside Garen as he explained.
They walked towards the main building, where a faint fragrance of meat came out from the main hall as two servants opened the door to welcome everyone.
"Beckstone? He looks very strong." Garen nodded his head.