Garen was not listening to their analysis. He was standing slightly behind, alertly surveying his surroundings.
The two of them were talking at the front, while Garen was paying attention to the rear. Standing at the back, he could see the two of them through the rain—one of them was standing, while the other was squatting—in the pavilion. Their voices were carried to him intermittently by the wind. Garen lifted his head and looked toward the room that they had just come from.
He could actually faintly see a person standing at the window, but was unable to clearly see the person’s face. The room was pitch black and even the contours of the figure could not be made out.
Garen was quietly looking at the figure.
"Let's go! I found the key to the problem!" Dale Quicksilver and White Eagle walked over and tapped Garen's shoulder, then headed towards the entrance of the castle.
Garen quickly followed after them, but when he looked up at the second floor window once more, the figure was gone.
The three of them walked into the lobby and reached the place where Dale Quicksilver had jumped down previously.
The detective squatted on the ground, inspecting something. Then he looked at the Bronze Cross Emblem that was still on the floor, as if he was calculating something.
After a while, he stood up again.
Garen knew that Dale definitely found something. He followed the detective together with White Eagle and the three of them walked toward the back of a staircase on the first floor.
Dale examined the floor in the corner, then suddenly lifted up a black piece of floorboard, to reveal an underground entrance.
As the dark, rectangular entrance was uncovered, the thick smell of blood instantly gushed out.
The three exchanged looks as their expressions changed. Then White Eagle took out a matchstick and lit it.
Under the dim light of the matchstick, the three finally saw the scene under the entrance.
The interior of this small cellar was filled almost to the brim with corpses.
The corpses were all wearing black clothes and golden earrings.
Even though they were mentally prepared, the three of them were still shocked by the amount of corpses and drew in breaths of cold air. For a while, they did not manage to recover from the shock.
Afterward, White Eagle was the first to react.
"They're all from the Golden Hoop! What's going on?" He carried out a corpse that was closest to the entrance. "I can't believe so many people died here! No.89, a two-digit from the Golden Hoop is not that easy to kill!"
Dale knitted his eyebrows and said, "I only accidentally found the clue. I didn't think that following it would give me a result like this. It looks like this castle may be more mysterious than we imagined..."
"He died within a day." White Eagle inspected the corpse and sullenly said, "What should we do now Dale?"
"There's still some things that I haven't understood! Let's get out of here first!" Dale Quicksilver looked around the surroundings, as if he was checking for the presence of enemies. "This place isn't safe any more, so we shouldn't stay here. We'll go back and contact the police department, then mobilize some men here."
"What about the emblem?" Garen jokingly said with a low voice. "Don't tell me that it grew legs and ran back to the room?" He forced himself to laugh due to the slightly heavy the atmosphere.
However, when Dale Quicksilver heard his words, he became startled. He stood there absentmindedly, as if he thought of something.
"That's right!! The position of the emblem! I actually forgot about it! How did I not think of it just now!" he muttered to himself.
"You guys, follow me!" He suddenly turned around and started to run. As he ran, he looked at the carved reliefs on the walls.
Garen and White Eagle were baffled, but still followed after him. They moved from the back of the staircase to a room that was like a study.
Dale moved an empty bookcase aside and knocked on the floor. He soon found a ring and firmly pulled it.
A large wooden board was lifted up and the pitch black entrance underneath was revealed.
Dale took a lit matchstick from White Eagle and held it towards the entrance. There was a dark, metallic staircase connected to the entrance that extended all the way down.
Garen leaned over and looked in. The black metallic staircase extended downward into a very wide chamber.
Dale Quicksilver did not say anything further and just placed the wooden floorboard to one side, allowing the subterranean entrance to be permanently accessible. Then he tucked his shirt into his pants and went down the stairs.
White Eagle immediately followed after him, while Garen changed positions and looked down from the entrance.
The spiral staircase continued all the way down, extending to the bottomless darkness below. It was like a spiral funnel.
"We'll go down and take a look first. Please stand guard at the top. Fire your gun if something happens," Dale said softly after turning back.
Garen nodded. As he looked down at the anticlockwise spiral staircase that extended downwards to a bottomless depths, he felt slightly terrified deep in his heart.
The other two descended after lighting up a torch, yet the glow that it gave off seemed oddly weak on the spiral staircase.
Garen thought for a while, then picked up a rotting piece of wood from the bookcase. After weighing it in his hand, he threw it down the central gap of the spiral staircase.
The piece of wood rolled as it hurtled down, then, there was no sound at all.
The two that just went down—and had not yet gotten far—stopped. Dale found something, then lit it up and threw it down from the center as well.
The blazing red object rolled as it hurtled down, illuminating its surroundings as it fell.
They could only see section after section of stairs as the ball of light fell. The light from the fire became smaller and smaller and traveled further and further. It soon became a tiny dot and completely merged with the darkness. Then nothing could be seen.
Dale and White Eagle immediately turned around when they saw the result. They soon returned to the entrance and came out.
"From my estimation, this staircase is at least five hundred meters deep! It might even be deeper!" Dale Quicksilver sullenly said, "The secret of the Silversilk Castle might be inside here and this might be the final goal of the Golden Hoop."
Even though the two of them only went down for a short time, a thick moldy smell radiated from their body. They were shivering as well and their faces were slightly pale. Garen was only standing next to them, but was able to feel the cold air emanating from their bodies.
"Let's get someone to survey it tomorrow! I don't think the Golden Hoop would be able to properly explore it within such a short time," White Eagle suggested.
"By the way, I found this thing in my room earlier. Kelly, do you know what it is?" Dale Quicksilver passed over an exquisite ring with a black gem. The ring was silvery but there was some rust on it.
Garen received the ring and carefully inspected it.
"It's nothing. It's just an ordinary metallic ring, not an Antique of Tragedy. I am not sure what the black gem in the middle is, but it might be a black crystal." Garen had picked up a lot of antique and jewelry appraisal knowledge, so he was able to recognize most materials.
"It's something from 50 to 60 years ago," he added.
"Really? But I feel that this thing might have an important function..." Dale took back the ring and muttered to himself.
"One more thing," White Eagle suddenly said. "I found that guy from the Golden Hoop hanging on by a thread. The strange thing was that he actually accused us of killing a lot of their guys." He frowned and continued, "But we did not even encounter the people that he mentioned and what's going with the corpses in the cellar?"
"It looks like this castle isn't an ordinary place after all… I didn't think that there's actually someone—other than us—who could cause such a huge loss for the Golden Hoop..." Dale Quicksilver closed his eyes, as if he was thinking.
"Let's leave this place first. We need to carefully examine the information on this place..." he calmly said after opening his eyes.
"Even though I want the Golden Hoop to completely disappear, it doesn't feel good to be framed like this." White Eagle shrugged his shoulders.
"There's nothing we can do for now. We can't stay here tonight any more," Garen agreed with a nod.
The three of them returned the bookshelf to its original position and silently left the castle. They jogged in the direction of Canoe Town under the rain.
In the middle of the night, under the heavy rain, the three figure swiftly disappeared into the darkness.
The rain drops continued to intensively smash onto the surface of the castle, creating a pitter-patter sound as they collided.
After two hours, the night deepened and the rain subsided a little.
A human figure swiftly returned from the same direction the three of them had headed toward. It was Garen in a black outfit.
His eyes were calm as he changed his clothes and put on a black mask. He jogged back along the original route and circled around the right side of the castle. There was a french window missing its glass panes. Propped by his hand, he easily vaulted through the window.
He nimbly exited the room and walked to the lobby.
When he reached the lobby, he spotted a black figure standing at the staircase. The figure was faced away from him, looking in the direction of the cellar with the corpses.
Garen's expression went cold, but he could not prevent the sound of his footsteps.
"Who is it!"
The figure suddenly turned around and looked towards him.
A flash of lightning illuminated the earring on her left ear. A large number ten was displayed on it.
Garen's gaze went cold and he slowly approached.
"Since you're someone from the Golden Hoop, hand that thing over and I can let you leave here alive," he said with a hoarse tone after deliberately altering his voice.
The figure who turned around was a tall woman with faint purple eyes and her hair tied into a high ponytail. With a frigid expression and tight black clothing, she gave off a cold and pure aura.
"You'll let me leave here alive? Ridiculous." The woman icily said, "Are you here for that thing as well?"
"What do you think?" Garen laughed bitterly as his right arm suddenly swung to his back.
A man in black behind Garen was sent flying. After hitting the ground, the mane rolled a few times before crashing into the wall, then ceased moving.
"I already said, hand that thing over and I can let you leave here alive." He did not even look at the attacker behind him and slowly walked towards the purple-eyed woman. The closer he got to her, the more he could feel the aura of potential exuding from her.
The purple-eyed woman sneered.
"Very well, you are qualified to make me fight you."
She slightly bent over.
A long hiss of breathing slowly sounded out. The woman raised her hands and grabbed her own collar.
With a tearing sound, her upper clothing was completely torn off and revealed her fair, naked skin.
"I will sacrifice your head to my dead brother…!"
The woman did not mind in the slightest that her naked chest was completely exposed. Her purple eyes faintly became deeper and her hands were clenched together with one above the other—as if she was holding something at her chest—while an oval space was left between them.
"Polaris… Fierce Arts!!!"
The woman suddenly breathed in once more, then her body rapidly inflated and thick muscles—covered with blue veins—appeared all over her body.
Her breathing sounded like a large airbag swallowing and spitting out air.
Within mere seconds, the cold, slim woman transformed into a muscular warrior who was as large as Garen.
The muscles throughout her entire body were twisted together, like steel ropes bouncing under her skin. A gigantic airstream slowly expanded from her body as a torrent of scorching air heated up the surroundings.
"Is that a Secret Martial Art?" Garen's eyes became more focused. The muscles of his body slowly tightened.
He took a deep breath and slowly assumed the starting pose of the Mammoth Secret Technique.
No matter how he saw it, he needed to go through a hard fight in order to obtain this new, accidentally discovered Antique of Tragedy.