Beckstone and his partner, Darian, were cautiously avoiding the guards and soldiers as they walked towards the most deserted part of the manor.
He looked left and right, and occasionally at his watch as he waited patiently.
Soon, a figure with a cold face appeared. It was Beckstone, and he looked like he was in a very bad mood.
"Have you gotten your answers?" Darian whispered.
"It’s been confirmed. The last thing we need to do is find his experiment lab. Those experimental beings outside wouldn’t appear for no reason. He must have hidden building with a core experiment apparatus inside." Beckstone said coldly.
"What are we waiting for? Let’s go find that place!" Darian rubbed his hands as he was getting excited.
"No need to rush. That old man had started to suspect me. He must have known what we are investigating when you two were collecting intel for this past two days. We must proceed with caution."
Beckstone’s tone was very calm.
He took out a small blue crystal from his pocket. It had a diamond shape and it looked crystal clear.
"When we came out, teacher had given me a total of three Time Mists, and now it’s the right time to use one of them. We can use two abilities from each of these, which are Confusion and Bail Out. Naturally, we can use them at a different time."
As he was speaking, the crystal gently floated and rotated silently in the air.
Beckstone swung his hand upward, and gently pushed the crystal upwards. It came to a stop at the right side of his body.
"Alright, we should move. Our immediate area has been mistified, and all probing tactics should be rendered useless. However, we only have 30 minutes."
"You sure have a lot of good items on your hand! Why don’t I have any of them?" Darian felt in envy.
"You need to maintain a certain amount of calculations before using this; its difficulty is on par with solving an advanced physics questions within a time of ten seconds. I still have some of them if you need it." Beckstone replied coldly.
Darian was silent, calculation was not his forte.
Beckstone looked around before bending down and gently pulling up a metal plate that lead to an underground passage. The metal plate was camouflaged as part of a green field, and had a thick layer of dirt caked on top of it. One would never be able to realise that it was an underground entrance.
Beckstone looked down at the entrance. His eyes were glowed silver. However, the light slowly dimmed and calmed.
He immediately jumped into the entrance like how someone would jump into a pond, and disappeared into the darkness.
Without any hesitation, Darian slowly placed his lower body into the hole and the metal plate back to its original position, before he fully entering the underground passage.
Both of them were inside the dark tunnel; their only light source the blue crystal on Beckstone’s body. However, its intensity could only illuminate a small area, relative to his surrounding.
The ground was moist, a faint rotten odor was always present.
"How long has this placed been sealed off? It’s so smelly!" Darian complained covering his nose.
"It’s not that it isn’t ventilated, the odor wouldn’t disappear even if there was air coming through." Beckstone said calmly.
"Disgusting. It’s worse than the time we had to pass through that creature’s stomach!" Darian complained.
Two of them moved forward with haste.
Few minutes passed, and Beckstone suddenly felt something was off.
"Something’s not right!" He immediately stopped moving. "We’ve been walking for so long, how could there be no movement from the other side?"
A silver light flashed from his right eye and his vision was covered with layers of silver light.
"It’s a Tactic Maze!" His face suddenly sank. "They had prepared in advance! They even set up such a troublesome Tactic Maze."
"Who cares what maze it is! Let’s just break through it!" Darian started to become impatient.
"He patted his body and a big black creature emerged from his side. It was a humanoid creature with an eagle’s head. Its head and its body were covered with thick, solid feathers, its eyes were gold, and a black rings surrounded its pupils. It had huge, black wings as its hands and goat’s hooves for legs. It’s total height was about 2.5 meters, and was about a head taller than Darian.
"Move forward Night Owl! Pierce through everything!" Darian pointed with his finger.
The eagle head creature screamed spread open its wings.
Within a screeching sound, two white lights shot forward and landed onto the wall in front of them.
Two huge holes were formed in the wall. Stones were sent flying everywhere, some had landed on them but were deflected by their totem light.
In a blink of an eye, the holes recovered back to their original shapes. It was like an animal regenerating a leg after having it severed. Strangely, the stones went through the ground and disappeared.
"It’s useless." Beckstone said calmly. "A Tactic Maze is made out of highly regenerative materials and has the effect of returning attacks. We can only get out of the Maze by following its rules. What you did just now was equal to a person fighting against the whole of the maze’s resources. If its source is geothermal energy, you’ll never solve it, even if you wasted all your strength."
"Then what should we do? You didn’t plan on breaking it through with strength?" Darian was displeased.
If we can find the four main nodes of the maze and destroy them, we can get out." Beckstone’s silver eyes moved. "Let’s spread out and find the nodes."
Inside the underground secret room.
DuQian was standing quietly in front of a giant black crystal. She had been modified by Vanderman, and was no longer a human being.
Her upper body was still resembled a human, with her fair skin and beautiful face as she was wearing personal armor filled with green blood vessels. However, her lower body had been modified into a giant dark green root, which was directly inserted into a square pool. Her lower body was filled with hundreds of roots, and it kept absorbing the green liquid from the pool, as if a huge tree were absorbing nature’s nutrients.
As the housekeeper of the Vanderman household, DuQian was also Vanderman’s lover. She had been by Vanderman’s side since young, and their relationship was that of a husband and wife, father and daughter.
In order to her lover’s plan, she was willing to sacrifice herself and be modified into such a state.
"Someone dares to go through the maze?" He looked up at the map shown on the crystal.
It was shown clearly that there were two red dots moving deeper into the maze from the entrance.
The whole maze was like a giant web, where the edge of the right was the entrance, and the exit was at the other end.
Both of them were moving towards the exit of the maze. All the guards that they had encountered during the journey were easily killed off by them.
DuQian pressed onto the symbol on the master control on her right but nothing happened.
She felt something was off. "Is this… Mist Blockade? I can’t believe they have such an advanced skill! Looks like they have planned beforehand."
She pondered for a while.
"Since I can’t send out the signal, I will come after you guys myself."
She placed her fingers onto the master control once again.
Immediately, the black crystals showed four different screens, each of them had a strange head sculpture within.
They were the clown, blind giant, two-headed wild boar and a beautiful woman with gold hair and red eyes.
"Someone has invaded the maze. Which one of you will go and deal with them? The enemy came prepared." DuQian said coldly.
"Uh huh!!" The two headed wild boar was the first one to voice out. Its voice was rhythmic and it was obvious what it was trying to say something.
Strangely enough, DuQian understood what it was trying to say.
"Alright. You’ll handle them alone Ralph. Don’t let them pass through your territory."
The wild boar oinked two times before the screen was turned off.
"Why didn’t you send me?" The clown licked his long red nails as he said unsatisfactorily.
"I would be a better choice instead of you." The red-eyed beauty was dressing herself up as she comb her hair. "I have used up all my ingredients here. It’s about time to refill them."
"You would throw all of them away before you even finish them. I would have conserved the materials by eating all of them after cooking them." The Blind Giant said unsatisfactorily as well. "Nothing will be left for us once that pig Ralph goes on a frenzy."
DuQian looked at these sore eyes. These four were strongest mutated beings, each of had their own unique strengths and couldn’t be classified by form.
Even she would be in trouble if four of them were to team up.
Although she didn’t know the strength of the intruders, she should be able to kill them off easily in their territory with the support of the elusive maze.
Garen was staring at the two carriages coming from afar. The carriages were badly damaged, and were on the verge of breaking down. Two of the horns on top were missing, revealing a giant hole.
The curtain was made out of broken clothes, and the driver was no other than his beautiful cousin sister: Sophie Hathaway.
Hathaway’s cold elegance wasn’t damaged in the least. Her silver armor, on the other hand, was ragged, revealing the blood vessels within the armor. The way the red blood vessels moved in the armor indicated that it was an experimental equipment made by Vanderman.
Although she looked oppressing on the driver seat with her golden ponytail, she had obviously gotten a lot thinner.
As she took a turn from the forest lane, Hathaway saw Garen and Leila standing in the middle of the road.
"Cia!?" She was stunned and happy at the same time. "You’re still alive!!?"
She quickly stopped the black horses, got down the carriage and sprinted towards Garen.
She immediately hugged her tightly.
"You damn bastard! Where did you run off to! You had me so worried!" Hathaway was both happy and surprised. She then let go of Garen and pinched his body. "Thank goodness you didn’t lose any part of your body!"
"Stop it cousin sister!" Garen helplessly struggled out from her arms. "I’m already an adult. If you keep touching me I would sue you for sexual harassment!"
"Huh? I can’t believe you learnt these phrases in such a short time!?" Hathaway was angry and pinched Garen’s face. "Tell me! Where have you been all this while!?"
"Can you stop it?" Garen was completely helpless and immediately put some distance between him and her cousins sister. As Leila was in the scene, if this kept on his image as the leader would be lost for good.
He looked at Leila, and behold, she was giggling to herself in a corner.
"Cia! You’re not dead?!" A familiar voice came from the carriages.
Garen look at the carriage and saw a young woman with linen colored shawl hair jump down from the car. She was wearing some sort of white cowboy tight suit and there were holes everywhere on her knees and thighs.
This girl had a well balanced body figure, a rather ugly face and looked delicate. Her cheeks were red and seemed to be ill.
"Andel!?" Garen immediately recognized this girl. He could immediately recognize her thanks to his good memory.
Andel, Marin, Prynne and Acacia were the four of the noble team that were the most eye-catching in the Lush Green district.
He didn’t expect Andel to be alive.
"What happened to you? You look like you’re sick." Garen immediately walked towards her, the girl who had a slight crush on him.
"Where is Prynne and the others? Marin? How is everyone?" He started to reminisce the days the four of them hung out together, when he was enjoying his life.
"Prynne and Marin are together as they were sent to the royal capital by their household members. Marin was attacked by a creature and was severely injured and his injury could only be treated in the Royal Capital. I… I have no where else to go." Andel lowered his head as her mood plunged down.
Hathaway walked towards her and gave her a gentle hug. "When Andel’s family was moving, they were attacked by a creature and everyone was separated. The status of the remaining household members are currently unknown. I met her when I was on my way here. If not for the totem user who was sent by Prynne protected us, I’m afraid…" She didn’t finish her sentence by the meaning was loud and clear.
"Mum and sister will definitely be fine…" Andel whispered.
"Let’s go back to the manor and tell us what you have gone through. Let’s settle down first before we talk about the rest." Garen knew that Prynne’s status was higher than his, and was most likely the strongest noble in the Lush Green district. They had both power and authority, so he wasn’t so worried about him. The fellow’s household had a strong background within the Royal Capital and the Royal Household.
"I need to find a way to contact my uncle in the Royal Capital. He will surely help me, since he pampered me the most when I was young." Andel whispered.
These for households had countless of connections in the Kovitan Empire. Garen or Acacia’s father, Vanderman who was an academic noble had incredible connections with the research academy and the three departments. He was able to pull Barr and Baphje here to assist him during the Chaotic Era thanks to his connections.
Andel and the remaining two household, too had very strong connections of their own. As long as they’re alive, the chances of them from recovering the damage would always be very high.
Silver light came out from Beckstone’s eyes and formed a silver vortex onto the wall.
The shape kept changing and soon formed into a complicated map and two white dot and green dot could be clearly seen on it.
"This is the map of this maze. It’s not really complicated as they are only 322 forks. The construction of this maze is technologically obsolete It looks like they’ve spent some effort in it." Beckstone said coldly.
Darian, who had both of his hands at the back of his head, followed behind him without much interest.
"I’ll just need to follow you and your orders. Stop telling me these complicated things because I will get confused by it."
Bam! Bam ! Bam!!
Heavy footsteps could be heard from the front.
"It’s coming again. It’s so annoying! When will it stop!" Darian started to lost his cool and flung his right hand and the Night Owl appeared once again. "These creatures are too annoying! We need to kill all of them for five times in order for them to stop appearing!"