In a forest on the border of Ender and Kovitan.
The afternoon sky was a shade of dark yellow near the top but gloomy and black in the middle. It was overcast and filled with large black clouds that rolled past.
The wind blew past, sometimes in strong gusts and other times weaker, making whooshing noises as it shook the trees.
Inside the forest, lots of boxy, square Chinese gardens stood upright in the middle. The gardens were only ten meters long and wide, quaint and quiet, and completely empty on the inside.
The interior of the gardens were filled with rows of black headstones, and in the middle stood a black minaret that was shaped like a sharp pencil lead.
The minaret was dark and gloomy, and was full of embossed portraits on its surface, while its surroundings were blocked off by protective metal fences.
On the right side below the tower, on the fresh green grass, Garen and Windling were standing beside the tower, and looking up at the minaret.
Both of them were dressed from head to toe in black clothes, but the clothes on Garen’s body was obviously much cleaner and tidier. Meanwhile, Windling’s clothes were torn and ruined, and somewhat embarrassing.
Garen walked inside through one of the broken fences, and reached his hand out to touch the surface of the minaret gently.
It was cool, and felt wooden to the touch. Hard shells were also stuck on the top, but big chunks of it fell off the moment they were touched, exposing a fat yellow caterpillar underneath.
"It looks old and worn. Are you sure this is the place?" Garen turned around and looked at Windling.
"I’m sure!" Windling shook his head vigorously. "This is one of the bases that I know. They don’t know that I’ve been captured by you, so they should not have shifted yet."
"It’s right below this tower?" Garen asked again.
"Indeed, it’s here!"
Garen squinted both of his eyes slightly.
Slight chills ran down Windling’s spine, as he backed off quickly and ran further away.
He walked not more than ten meters away, before he looked at the spot where Garen was standing, and noticed that a large cloud of black fog had started to diffuse there.
The black fog turned into Cloud Crows that circled around and rushed upwards, before releasing countless ear piercing cawing noises.
More than a hundred Cloud Crows gathered together, and charged downwards in a smashing movement. They seemed just like a black hammer.
A heavy crashing noise could be heard, as the floor near the right side of the minaret instantly sunk in completely. Throughout the ten meter range, everything was smashed many meters deeper. A deep pit that had a radius of over ten meters suddenly appeared beside the minaret.
A sharp voice that was unidentifiable as male or female rang out suddenly, as four human figures rushed out of the soil on the ground, like arrows that were flying in all four directions.
Garen groaned, and the hundred over Cloud Crows turned into a black stream that rushed towards the four people and wrapped around them. On the ground where he stood in the center, they now resembled a large "yuan" coin.
The Cloud Crows possessed a terrifying speed, which caused an afterimage, and moments later, they had managed to force the four figures backwards.
These four figures were all clad in black robes, and their leader had a physique that was unidentifiable as male or female, but was obviously skinny and weak.
"Who are you!?" After feeling the strong force field waves around them, the black robed person that was heading this group questioned Garen in a shrill voice, and glared at him angrily. "Do you know where this place is? This is the main Obscuro Society branch! How dare you attack this branch!? Do you not want your life!?"
"I was looking for your Obscuro Society!" Garen sneered, waving his right hand.
Strange cawing noises sounded through the air, as a large flock of Cloud Crows rushed towards them like a torrent, before submerging the four people completely.
There were only four people. One of them was a form three lower ranking general, while two others were merely Field-level, and were too weak.
The four of them had just released their totems, a black giant elephant and two dark yellow giant birds. They may have had other totems that were not released yet, but everything was completely submerged by the torrent of Cloud Crows. Even their cries of pain could not be heard.
The Cloud Crow torrent washed over after ten whole seconds. Then, it exposed the condition of the four people once again.
The four black-robed people had completely turned into four skeletons, as all of their flesh seemed as if it had rotted off cleanly, and all that remained were clean white bones.
A crisp whooshing noise sounded, as the four skeletons collapsed on the floor at the same time.
Their totems had also been instantly submerged by the Cloud Crow torrent, and the large elephant’s trumpet noises could not be heard anymore, as it had instantly turned into a large elephant skeleton, that quickly collapsed as well.
Garen raised the pocket watch in his hand and returned all of the Black Cloud Crows into the pocket watch, before glancing at the humans and totems on the ground.
He then glanced at his own Attribute Pane and noticed that his Potential Points were increasing, causing a satisfied expression to appear on his face immediately.
"Let’s go to the next base."
He lead the way into the outskirts of the woods.
A forced smile appeared on Windling’s face as he rushed to keep up, before both of their shadows disappeared quickly into the nearby forest.
Inside the light yellow arboreal forest
Clouds of black fog that looked like a snake wound through the forests, constantly searching for something. They would transform into crows occasionally, before turning back into black fog once again. It loomed in the background.
A little red bird with a lump on its head had just flew down and perched on a tree branch, before it was jolted by the passing black fog. The feathers of the red bird fell off quickly and turned into black dust, exposing the red muscles and skin underneath. Immediately, its skin shriveled up instantly as well, and less than a few seconds later, all that remained was the skeleton of a small bird, that made a cracking noise as it fell off the tree branch.
Windling stood below it, while a forced smile appeared on his face.
Near the front not far away, a loud quaking noise could be heard as a large number of trees were cut down, and fell down one by one with a crashing noise. The leaves made scratching noises as they brushed past one another.
A ray of white light was reflected outwards, and formed a silver light wheel when it gathered in the midst of the forest. The light wheel shrunk suddenly, and began to disappear.
Down below, a sharp black thorn dashed towards the sky and crashed towards the silver light wheel violently. Instantly, the same thing happened the second time, and the third, and the fourth…
Lots of sharp black thorns burst out suddenly, and pierced the silver light wheel in midair precisely.
Finally, the light wheel began to vibrate.
"Windling! You better wish you were dead!!!" The voice of an angry old woman echoed in the air.
During the silence, the light wheel finally disappeared, and turned into multiple dots of silver light that fell down slowly. They resembled drops of rain.
The sharp thorns that appeared suddenly also softened into twists instantly, and turned into clouds of black fog, before flying downwards towards the forest again.
Moments later, the sound of calm footsteps could be heard as Garen walked out of the thicket with the Cloud Crow front pocket watch held gently in his hand.
"You know each other?" He looked at Windling who was waiting at the side.
The latter nodded his head.
"Should we continue?"
"We haven’t captured the two people that escaped earlier," Garen said faintly. "Do you have any suggestions?"
"No clue. They are of the same level as I, but only joined after they received my invitation," said Windling as he removed his watch, signalling that he was powerless. "You wasted too much time in the library, and they must have ran far away long ago."
"The next one then," Garen nodded as he continued walking out of the forest.
"We can only look for the bases that are nearby now. The rest would definitely have received the news and evacuated by now, so we can only rush over before they leave to stop them," reminded Windling.
"Lead the way."
During the next three days, Garen allowed Windling to lead the way, as they raided seven bases quickly.
They were all the Obscuro Society’s secret bases, and out of the twenty over Obscuro Society members that were killed, four of them were elite General-level members.
They crossed over into the Ender Kingdom’s territory, and hurriedly passed through the wilderness and forest areas.
But after that, the nearby bases began to retreat, in order to evade their hunting territory. It was obvious that the Obscuro Society had finally retaliated, and had determined their approximate location.
After countless unfruitful raids, Garen allowed Windling to lead the way, as they crossed into a forest and entered the town area in the hinterlands of Ender. They began to notice the bases in these human town areas.
Nearby a town in Ender, inside a small birch forest.
The white tree barks stood upright, while the floor was covered in grassy lawns dotted with little white flowers and a few white butterflies that flew around them.
"Anselm, has the target arrived?"
Three people in black robes stood inside the forest, as they quietly observed the little village road that snaked through the forest.
"Not yet," said a woman’s voice that came from the black-robed person that was standing right in front. She removed her hood and exposed an average-looking, slightly plump face. "Why must we absolutely execute Avic? Isn’t there another method?"
"What other methods are you thinking of?" The man who had just spoken began to tease her slightly. "Avic obstructed the movements of our branch, so his fate has already been decided. And we should count ourselves lucky, as we stand on the side of the adjudicators that will decide his fate."
"Don’t harbour innocents thoughts like these anymore, Anselm," said the last man indifferently. His voice was hoarse, making it impossible to guess his age.
Anselm had frankly never thought of joining this Obscuro Society branch, but she had no choice, as her husband chose to join, and in order to ensure that her household was harmonious, she chose to join as well.
But not long later, her husband died in a monster raid. Hence, she was left all alone by herself.
The higher-ups allocated her into this little group.
She did not like the two other people in her group. One of them was a cruel deviant, while the other was a selfish person with a revengeful heart. However, she was left with no other path, and once she entered the Obscuro Society, she did many bad things, and could only hesitantly continue on and move forward.
Now, just because of a minor issue, she was about to assassinate an old friend that had been by her side for a long time.
Anselm felt that she had started to hate this type of life even more.
"I’ve heard that a bastard that specializes in attacking bases appeared at the border territories. The higher-ups have increased their surveillances, and created special groups codenamed "Hunt Cloud Crow". One of the General-levels from our branch has also been selected to go over. Did you guys know about this?"
The black-robed man with the hoarse voice started to speak softly and slowly.
"Most of our bases in the border areas have evacuated, I was wondering why the manpower in the branch became sufficient suddenly, when I realised it was due to the disappearance of so many bases." Surprised, another man said: "With the current situation, are there still people alive who are able to oppose the Headquarters?"
"That’s right, that man person is amazing! I heard that this was caused by him getting raided by the higher ups, which made him furious. Back then, he captured one of the elite members from the Headquarters and began to attack bases everywhere in revenge." The man with the hoarse voice croaked in agreement. "The Headquarters established the hunting group, but were too afraid to make a move, and right now they’re just withdrawing again and again."
"Wasn’t that like the Blood Tower and the Royal Family? Something like the Green Dragon Swordsman? When they raided Blood Tower, I heard that it ended in failure as well," praised another man.
"According to the information I received from my cousin, southward of Mason Town, after the Maple Leaf bridge is where the Cloud Crow’s hunting territory lies. If you have nothing to do, don’t go there. If not, the outcome will be hard to anticipate."
The two men chatted noisily for half a day, before the soft noise of horse hooves could be heard coming from the little road suddenly."
The three people became silent suddenly, and hid themselves in the forest.
Before the horses appeared on the little road, a low rumble echoed from behind them suddenly.
The earth felt as if it was being hammered down by a metal hammer, as it continued to quake violently, as if it was about to jump upwards.