Through Garen’s personal experience, he realised that for this process, a strong body was necessary, but a person’s control of their own blood circulation was even more important.
During his conversations with Leila, he had often mentioned that using Totem Light to strengthen a person’s body was always the end goal that the Obscuro Society members were working hard to achieve. Unfortunately, it had never resulted in a positive conclusion, and the Silver Totems were merely the products of a surprise accident.
Sitting in the middle of the carriage trope, Garen was unable to keep his thoughts from drifting. His current research information was lacking, and he lacked the confidence to complete his plan and carry it out fully. He had to wait until he received Vanderman’s information and gained access to the Royal Library before he could grasp the theories properly. However, the necessary preparations for the second step were almost done, except…
Garen’s thoughts returned to his current state of reluctance and physical aching. If he really managed to complete the second step of the plan, he would be able to reach a new and unprecedented point of progress.
But this came at a cost, and it was something that he found difficult to accept.
The strongest part of the Dual Headed Salamander is its heart. It is parasitical, strong, and possesses great specialized abilities, making it the core source of its power. Its extremely powerful heart was the key for the second step of the plan that Garen was about to conduct. However, this would mean losing an army-type Form Three Totem subordinate.
The carriage trope travelled through a monotonous stretch of rolling hills that had bare, rocky mountains on both sides. Gravel and large, cracked stones that blocked the road were scattered all over the ground.
The chilling wind gusted throughout the hills with a whistling noise, and the blinding sunlight did nothing to increase the temperature.
The cavalry team rode on the left side of the troop, clad in thick grey cloaks. They rode with their bodies bent forward against the wind, while their cloaks made flapping noises as they billowed around their bodies.
The wind continued to whistle loudly, forcing the captain of the cavalry team to shout over the noise. However, as his voice was completely deafened by the sound of the wind, he decided to just ride towards Garen and make hand signals, pointing towards the front.
Garen glanced in the direction that the captain pointed towards, and rode towards the front. In the mountainous areas in front, ashen-coloured stone steps sloped upwards towards the mountain’s peak.
The road of stone steps was like an grey snake whose head could not be seen, climbing up the surface of the mountain quietly, slithering and twisting around it.
The stone steps ascended into a bank of misty clouds, making it impossible to see where they ended. Both sides of the stone steps were surrounded by dark grey trees and ashen stones. It was unbelievably steep, and there were deformed pine trees growing out of certain places.
The strong winds forced Garen to squint, and as he looked from left to right, he realised that he could not see the tops of any of the mountains on both sides, while bare grey rocks could be seen everywhere.
The captain of the cavalry team was a middle-aged woman emitting an aura of fearlessness. She wore a helmet and was clad in full-bodied red armor. She got off her horse and strided towards them.
"This road leads all the way up, and once you reach the peak, the Kingdom will be there. We’re at the fork now, and you’ll be able to see the main road in a bit, where there will be more people. Please be careful, all of you. I won’t escort you any further, as there are checkpoints up ahead." The cavalry team captain had to shout loudly to be heard clearly.
Garen nodded, signalling that he understood.
The captain continued, saying: "This road is a small trail that we patrol, and the fastest way to reach the Kingdom. You’ll need to pass through three more checkpoints along the way. Since you’ll need to pay a toll later, do you have gold leaves on you? If you don’t have any I can lend you a few."
"We have some," nodded Garen.
"That’s good. My name is Kenna, and I’m the 19th branch captain of the Kingdom’s third defense line. If you face any problems, feel free to look for me. I can assist you with any minor troubles you may face," said the captain loudly.
"Thank you very much." Garen understood that the captain was trying to build rapport with them. After all, Andel and the other aristocrats with him were definitely not impersonators, and if they were coming to the Kingdom at this time, it was assured that there were people in the Kingdom looking after them. Thus, it was a good opportunity to gain extra connections.
The cavalry team captain rode away on her horse and turned her team around to leave.
The carriage troop continued to move forwards while Garen gathered everyone together in the largest carriage.
He waited until everyone had arrived before closing the carriage door, and temporarily stopping the carriage against the wall for a break.
"What are you planning to do next?" Garen looked at Andel. "Are you going over to your uncle’s place?"
"Mm-hmm, Big Sis Hathaway and I both have relatives in the Kingdom; my uncle used to be the junior garrison squad leader. Meanwhile, Big Sis Hathaway’s younger sister works in the Kingdom’s archives," Andel replied calmly.
"You’re not coming with me?" Hathaway furrowed her eyebrows. She immediately forgot her unmarried status, before looking at Garen with the same gaze she reserved for her elders. "I’m going to visit the Royal Guards for a while. In the Kingdom, we all have allocated lodgings. Right now you’re not safe yet, so it’s better if you move together with us." She could tell that Garen was planning to leave again.
Garen smiled. "Father has estates in the Kingdom as well, except that they aren’t in the urban district areas. They’re in more remote places instead where the environment is much quieter, which suits me better. I’ve already made preparations to go live there." He currently possessed a large number of Silver Totems, and was too afraid to take them into the Kingdom. He spent the entire journey here hiding them from the patrol teams, and was now physically and mentally exhausted.
Both the Dual Headed Salamander and the Petrifying White Dragon were too large. As for the Deep Swamp Croc, if it wasn’t for the West Farm’s sparse population and light defenses, as well as the cavalry team’s lack of warning signals, its tracks would have been noticed a long time ago.
Fortunately, the members of the patrol team were neither high leveled Totem Users nor researchers and could not tell the difference between Silver Totems and Primitive Totems, which allowed them to muddle through. This way, Garen could just make his Totems hide their Totem Light to the best of their abilities.
He had Three Petrifying White Dragons and one Dual Headed Salamander with him, all of which were high leveled Totems, but only the Dual Headed Salamander was brought along. The rest were left in the outer line of defense, because he did not dare to bring them inside.
He was convinced that in a larger kingdom, the number of strong individuals who could recognize Silver Totems would definitely be higher. Thus, it was better for him to lie low.
As for the Totem Light on his body, he did not dare to cover it, and only covered the Black-Striped White Tiger’s Totem Light.
"Father left some things in his house in the Kingdom, so I’m going there to take a look. Angel and the others, what are you planning to do next?"
"I’m going to the War Guild to catch up on the news. I want to see if I can find some good quests to earn some nurturing resources," said Angel indifferently.
Meanwhile Leila, who was standing on the other side, quietly said: "I have relatives in the Kingdom but I haven’t seen them for years, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to find them."
"Regarding the special resources for nurturing, I’ve prepared them for you already, and right now all you need is a large quantity of normal resources. This is fine as well. Just take it as a form of training," Garen nodded in agreement. "As the heir to the Trejons family, I’ll need an audience with His Majesty the Emperor. This is the compulsory procedure for the local aristocratic lords. Also, I think I’ll be able to meet Prynne and the others soon."
"So we’ll be separating here?" Angel raised her eyebrows.
Garen took a pen and quickly jotted down his address on a piece of paper, tore it off and handed it to Angel, before writing another note and giving it to Hathaway.
"The Trejons family has a household manager in the Kingdom as well. Big Bro Maxilan, Big Sis Edney, please contact my household members in the Kingdom, and add up all the household assets and strength that the entire household currently possesses."
"No problem," Edney nodded assuredly.
Maxilan hesitated for a moment. "We don’t know whether news regarding the old man has travelled to the Kingdom. The two masters Barr and Baphje…"
"It probably hasn’t," Garen shook his head. "If not, we would not have been received with such courtesy even when we had yet to return. This is still the initial aristocratic special treatment. Meanwhile, whether or not the two masters have returned is still a problem. This situation should be left as it is for the time being, I will handle it."
He pondered for a moment. This trip to the Kingdom was done hurriedly with many restrictions, and while a large amount of his strength was not allowed to be brought inside, Garen still had a goal in mind.
The Kovitan Emperor, Avic Sisman would probably be stabbed during this period of time. The remaining Obscuro Society members in the Kovitan Empire had all gathered in the Kingdom, and the fact that they gave up on the Silver Totems power meant that they did not just come here for a relaxing holiday.
The stabbing resulted in collapse of the entire Kovitan Empire, and the successful blaming of the Black Prince. What Garen planned to do was to gain more profit from this misfortune.
Beckstone from the Terraflor Society absolutely loathed him, and once the Obscuro Society members realised that he was impersonating Jess, it would definitely lead to a huge problem. Right now these two giants were in a hostile state, and the Royal Alliance of Luminarists was Garen’s only place of belonging. Regardless of the identity of his father Vanderman in this current world, or the territory where his household had always stood, all were condemned to return to the Royal Alliance of Luminarists.
The current Royal Alliance of Luminarists was still extremely strong and had not reached a state of weakness, even in the confusion caused by various Aberration Creatures attacking them while they were unprepared. Garen was unclear about the bottom line of the Obscuro Society, but the enemy knew him well and that had caused a serious loss. The three departments were not a force to be reckoned with as strong individuals and experts were abundant. This great war had lasted a duration of many years, and if not for the awakening of Hellgate, the Obscuro Society would not have been able to overthrow the Royal Alliance of Luminarists.
Beckstone had decided to slowly go through many things to increase his growth during this period of time. What Garen planned to do was to release his power, a little bit at a time, during his growth in this era.
The Obscuro Society and Royal Alliance of Luminarists were both large powers in this era, and Beckstone’s growth was a result that was carefully planned by the Terraflor Society. Almost every step included an abundance of profit-seeking opportunities.
However, to reap these benefits required one to possess a significant amount of strength beforehand.
The Royal Alliance of Luminarists was naturally the best choice. Since they were going to split sooner or later, and Garen though that he might as well keep some of their strength for himself.
Once he had separated from the rest, Garen made his way to the mansion that Vanderman had left in the outskirts, and stayed there.
There had always been a caretaker looking after the mansion, and the maids had cleaned it until it was entirely spotless. This made it possible for him to live there immediately, saving him a lot of trouble.
The Kingdom was built as a large city situated on mountainous peaks. All of the buildings were dark grey and round, and built on the peaks of three tall mountains, forming three Kingdom cities.
The three cities depended on each other but were also independent, and in the middle was a lofty cliff covered in a sea of white clouds.
The three cities were connected by a chain bridge and stone bridge respectively on top of an ashen coloured hill, looking as though three floating buildings had been embedded into the mountain tops.
The mansion where Garen resided was outside the three cities, situated on a wasteland outside the entry point.
There were a total of twelve roads leading into the Kingdom, and this mansion that was called ‘Blue Bay’ was situated near one of the roads. It was inaccessible to the people in the surroundings, and situated at the bottom of the first empire of the three cities. Further down was a barren mountainous wall that shielded the back of the empire.